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Daranak Waterfalls

Spicy Trekker goes to Daranak Falls

Lately, we've been loving waterfalls trips as our faraway getaway. Asides from its affordability, it is also very accessible, uncrowded and a unique vacation experience. Most people during summer would prefer going to beaches or chilly places like Tagaytay and Baguio. But for us, we'd prefer a different place, a different experience. Something uncommon, something that only a few people can only share to talk about.

One of the nearest waterfalls in Metro Manila is Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal. Riding a Sta.Lucia jeep from Sandigan Bayan, Batasan, we rode another jeep to Robinsons Cainta and waited for a bus/jeep that can take us to Tanay. We stopped over Tanay's public market where it is also a terminal for vans, jeeps and tricycles. We thought a 150peso tricycle ride to Daranak is far too expensive. But you'll know once you get there. It is a very long long and uphill way to reach your waterfall destination.

It was a Friday and we didn't expect that the place will be crowded. Vans labelled with ABS-CBN was parked and several other vans and jeeps welcomed us in the entrance. There's a film shooting currently ongoing in Daranak's less crowded waterfalls, "Precious Heart Romance" which stars Megan Young and Zanjo Marudo. I only knew this when I saw the commercial since the staff there kept telling us that they were shooting for "Wako-Wako"(the Philippine version of Ewoks).We were saddened by this because the main Daranak falls was too crowded and wanted to go to the more tranquil and exhilarating waterfalls, the Batlag Falls.

We weren't able to swim in the waters of Daranak for two reasons: 1) the place is crowded; and 2) the water was very deep and I don't know how to swim! Although you can rent a "salbabida" or lifebuoy for 20pesos. 

So the best thing we could do is to explore and follow the long creeks the place has. It was still an adventure trying to cross those rocks, big and small, pointy and some slippery round. You wouldn't know if the water underneath is deep so better grab a long pointy stick to use as your guiding cane! And the best part of the trip is swimming in its cold water streams! It never gets hot even in a sunny day.

If you get hungry, there is a sari-sari store in the center hall but the food being sold costs double. You can buy a block of ice for 8pesos, which you will indeed look for on a very hot day! Since we didn't bring any food, we found a small stall grilling fish and liempo. Yumm! A long slab of Pork Liempo costs about 60-80pesos, and just order a cup of rice for 20pesos. Solb na solb ka na!

**Traveller Tips**
1) Make sure to pack some food and bring a picnic mat so you can enjoy eating beside the creek and streams.
2) Also, get everything you need from the Tanay public market, it is the nearest point of civilization! Haha..what I mean is, withdraw cash here, buy food and drinks (and a good hat) if you forgot to pack some baon lunch.
3) Remove your slippers and walk on barefoot  when crossing streams/creeks. The skin of your foot makes it easier to prevent you from slipping on hard to cross rocks, and your feet can actually provide you a better grasp and hold!

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I love food and travel and anything unique and exciting. I love life itself and its a great joy for me to share my food and travel experiences with you.