Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River: the six-hundred-peso adventure

Ten years. Yes, it was ten years ago when I last felt helpless and useless because I could not move my legs, I could not even feel it. And it was all because I took the path that only the adventurous and the martyr people take–mountain climbing. (ANSABEEE!) I told myself that it would be the last time i’ll do that. I was FIRM about that decision.

Buuut, since I love changing my mind (like how Mayweather does), I decided to join my friends in another mountain expedition in Tanay, Rizal. They have been planning this since a long time ago (like two weeks, I guess) and they were pretty excited about it. I WAS NOT. ‘Til i googled about Mt. Daraitan and saw the pictures! Yeah, it was beautiful but I was like, “come on, they must’ve used a lot of filters in that picture.” What really convinced me in joining them was because of the below one-thousand-peso ALL-IN BUDGET!

So anyway, we left ortigas (meeting place) at 3am. 3:30am actually ’cause we had to buy coffee– which is very necessary especially when you only had 2 hours of sleep before the climb (Talk about tiwala sa sarili). We arrived in Brgy. Daraitan (thanks to Waze) at 5:30am and proceeded with the registration and orie ntation. We started the hike at 7am.

Daraitan river at 5:30am
Daraitan river at 5:30am
Traverse trail
Traverse trail

I could not count how many times I swore…well, WE swore that day. We exchanged the most crisp and juiciest SWEAR WORDS during the hike because THE STRUGGLE WAS WAY TOO REAL especially for us (Joyce, Geordan, Jonna, Yna, and I) whose only exercise is “the walk from the couch to the refrigerator.” (Taraaay ng couch!) We even made up our own version of the most popular swear word and called it “VAKVAKINANGSILAAH.” We vakvakinangsilaah-ed the day away! Kate and Deb were the only giddy persons that time prolly because it’s their fifth mountain adventure this year.

First rest stop
First rest stop

I knew I made another RIGHT DECISION when we reached the summit of Mt. Daraitan after 2.5 hours. It was one of those freeing moments wherein all you want to do is just close your eyes, open it, close it, and open it again just to make sure you were not dreaming. We were welcomed by a magnificinet view of Sierra Madre range. I was amazed with what I saw. I was amazed with myself for surviving the 60-80 degree hike that lasted for almost three hours. Then, I cried. (Chaaaarriol! Haha!) Well, I just started taking pictures and videos AGAIN while standing on a limestone at the edge of a cliff. (Rock n’ roll yoooh!)

holding my breath while taking this shot
holding my breath while taking this shot

Our “buwis buhay” adventure didn’t end there. We had to go down (trekking for 3 hours) to reach Tinipak river. I really don’t mind trekking for three hours since going down was easier. But giiirl, I WAS WRONG! It’s like we subscribed to unlimited sliding promo. We held all the tree branches within our reach and we used GPS (gapang para safe). Again, after endless “vakvakinangsilaaah” episodes, we reached Tinipak River. IT. WAS. THE. BOMB. I could not find the perfect word/s to describe it. To describe the whole adventure. Because everything was beyond real. So for you to have a clearer visual, how ’bout you watch this short travel video that I made. DARAITAN and TINIPAK

standing at the edge of a limestone in Mt. Daraitan's summit
standing at the edge of a limestone in Mt. Daraitan’s summit
The Crew
The Crew
Tinapak River
Tinipak River
Tinapak River
Tinipak River
my sister and I in Tinipak
the crew. Photo taken by our 50-year old energetic tour guide, Mang Ando.
clear water of Tinipak River

Our adventure to Mt.Daraitan and Tinipak river was seriously exhausting (still having a hard time walking and moving my leg as of this moment) but daaayuuum, IT WAS WORTH IT. But i think It will prolly be my last time to climb a mountain. And I AM FIRM about this.

But then again, i love changing my mind. Like how Mayweather does. Heehee.

How to get there:
Well we brought a private vehicle (this is advisable if you have a pick-up truck or a 4 x 4 else your sedan will die and crush into pieces coz the road was just rough. Really rough!)) head to Marcos highway and follow the Tanay-Infanta Road. Make a left turn when you see a sign board that leads to Brgy. Daraitan. We used Waze to be safe (navigate to Daraitan Barangay Hall)

Take a jeep in EDSA-Shaw Crossing to Tanay. Then Ride a jeep to Sampaloc, then a tricycle to. Brgy. Daraitan.

Travel Tips:

We only spent 600php for the whole trip

(in Php)
Tuna and Spam sandwich 78
Gas contribution 150
environmental fee 20
tour guide fee (500 divided by 8) 62.5
mineral water 2 1.5L 45
Food (Halu-halo, pancit canton etc.) 160
use of shower 20
parking fee 50
total 585.5

*As much as possible, bring a packed lunch or sandwich with you and at least 2 liters of water per person. There are stores near the barangay hall. You could buy food there before hiking. The next food store is located near the Tinapak river. The food is relatively cheap. Everything is below 35php from viands, to Halu-halo, pancit canton etc.

*Wear propper trekking/mountaineering attire. No pekpek shorts please.

*For day hike (like what we did), PACK LIGHT. as light as you can. Otherwise, you’ll die. Just kidding. But there’s a strong probability that you’ll curse yourself for not listening to me.

*Prepare 20php per head for the environmental fee, and 500php for the tour guide (can accommodate up to 10pax)

*shower/changing area is located near the barangay hall. 20php per ligo.

For more info about Mt. Daraitan, you may visit the website of Tanay tourism office in this link:

You may also contact them at: 0917-5229024 / 0922.7496574 / 736-1059 or 0998-9881590


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