Manila, with her traffic, fast paced lifestyle and pollution, is suffocating. Then let’s add the stress and demands of your job in the equation, as well, will result to an urge to run away. No, not from our responsibilities (I know it’s tempting at times but we have to remember we’re broke) but to just run away for some fresh air and take a break from the adulting chaos.
That’s what happened to my last weekend of November. Paul and I decided that we are too consumed by work that we drove ourselves to Tanay, Rizal for a change of scene. We have always wanted to see the famous Daranak Falls of Tanay since the start of the year. It’s better late than never!
DRIVING TO DARANAK FALLS
We were both from Rizal so we don’t have to endure the traffic eastbound. Daranak Falls is 57 kilometers away from Robinson’s Metroeast (our meetup point) and there’s two major roads – Marcos Highway and Teresa Road – that connect Antipolo to Tanay. We took the zigzag road of Teresa as Waze suggested and we reached Daranak after an hour. The road to the falls is cemented, steep and has some blind curves. Parking (P30) is kinda limited on the side of the end road.
Ride an UV Express in Starmall Shaw Terminal bound to Tanay. Alight at Tanay Public Market Transport Terminal and asked around for the Daranak Falls Tricycle Terminal.
Crazy things we did before chasing waterfalls
We worried about restroom inside (turns out there are but no locks) so we decided to wear our swimsuits under our clothes in the car already, in case you know, we wanted to swim. From the road, there’s a registration booth where you need to pay P50 for the entrance fee and register your names before you can enter the premise. It turns out you can bring food (without corkage) and anything inside except for alcohols and plastics. We didn’t have anything on us so we passed on getting a picnic shed or table.
There’s nothing much to hike since the path is cemented already. We crossed a bridge and saw a big store with sheds around. We still can’t hear the waterfalls from our position so we thought it’s still a little far and we’re already starving. SO WE ATE FIRST. (#sorryNotSorryFoodIsLife) I ordered liempo (P130) and Paul got the hotdog + adobo (P75). The vendor told us that we can sit by the shed even we didn’t rent one as long as we bought from the store. Our food took some time to be served so we roamed around the area first.
At 10am, the place isn’t crowded and the place is clean. There are number of sheds around and there’s only one big group present. There are also dogs around who are friendly and harmless.
FINALLY, TIME FOR SOME WATERFALL
After lunch, we started our effortless hike since the path is already paved. There’s a lovely arch entrance with We heart Daranak sign on top and shell curtains draping down. From there, there’s still no view of the falls but the river water is so clear and blue that children are swimming on the shallow part. We continued walking, up and down the slippery steps, and got surprise that the falls is already around the corner. I was waiting for the sound of crashing water but turned out Daranak is a little timid.
But what I didn’t really expect is the gatorade-like water. Our friends from Rizal would usually tell us that the falls is nice but ordinary and sometimes the water is brown. Seeing it made me felt like I was back in Kawasan Falls. There are only few people swimming because, I guess, from the looks of the water and the November breeze, it is freezing. Just across of the waterfall, there’s a jumping point for the brave souls that the locals love using.
Daranak is lovely that Paul and I stared for it for a while until we decided to swim. It is the perfect break from the concrete jungle that we wanted.
Honestly on our way to Daranak, we were undecided if we’ll swim but when we saw the water, we agreed to make the most out if this mini trip of ours. We went back to the store, deposited our bag to a locker they’re offering for P50 and brought another P50 to rent a tire floater. With nothing on ourselves (since I forgot my go pro), we splashed by Daranak Falls November water and it is freezing!!!
DARANAK FALLS TIPS
- Open everyday 8 AM to 5 PM. No overnight visitors.
- No rough roads going to the falls so go ahead bring your sedan.
- No hike needed so you can bring your grannies and grandpas!
- Bring all the food you want. There’s no corkage.
- But you can’t leave your bags (or all your food) near the waterfall unless you rented a shed or table.
- So, like us, you can rent a locker for P50.
- The sheds and tables are a little near the waterfall (wala po sa mismong tapat or near the water!) with garbage cans and grills.
- The place is clean so please practice sustainable travel.
- If you want a zero crowd, go in the morning or a weekday. Most people go at lunch time.
- And the water is not blue all the time. If it’s rainy, expect the water to be not as clear and blue.
- There’s a shower area (P5) but it is 3/5 clean and there are no locks on the door.
- You can also visit Batlag Falls (P100) and Calinawan Cave (P20 + guide fee) because they’re also in the vicinity.
BUDGET (FOR BOTH OF US)
Car gas – P300 (roundtrip)
Entrance – P100 (P50/each)
Lunch – P250 (P130 liempo / P75adobo/ P45drinks)
Locker – P50
Floater – P50
Parking – P30
Shower – P10
We went home at around 3:30 PM, happy with our little travel to escape the chaos in the city and work. And we can’t wait to discover more places in Rizal that we already have another Rizal roadtrip scheduled maybe on January 2019! 🙂 Have you been to Daranak Falls? Or maybe planning to go soon? We can talk in the comment section below.