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The Serenity and Majestic Waters of Daranak Falls

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The Daranak Falls Adventure Starts

Who would think that Daranak Falls can be found in the shortlist of partially destroyed ecosystem of the straits and balding mountains of Tanay, Rizal? I never really expected it to turn into a Philippine travel sort of adventure. At first I couldn’t even believe my eyes when we came close contact with Daranak Falls last September of 2004. This was actually the first natural and literally virtual falls that I have seen in my whole life. I never imagined at first that I could actually see such a beautiful sight in the small mountainous area of Tanay, Rizal. Allow me to take short sketches using my own words to describe the appeal that I saw in the majestic falling waters of Daranak Falls.

The Accidental Journey to Daranak Falls Begins

September 22, 2004. While me and my friend, Ronnie who is driving the motorcycle that my brother bought to the mountains of Antipolo that day. I decided to take the trip with him because we were bosoms in the neighborhood and trusted my fate with his slightly shaking hands due to alcoholism. Yes, my friend is alcoholic and his name is Ronnie. We were actually out there to do what motorists call as break-in of newly bought motorcycles. This is a must whenever you buy a new one and this break-in will determine the strength of the engines when the actual use begins and so we began our very long journey, a journey to a friend at the boundaries of Angono and Binangonan (supposedly). The friend’s name to visit is Berlin.More…

We Got Lost and Found Daranak Falls Instead

To make this story short, we got lost while on our way to the mountains of Angono, Rizal as we were supposed to come to Berlin’s house but must have taken the wrong turn that led us to nowhere in the middle of the Rizal Straits. I couldn’t really recall the paths that we took in order to reach my other friend’s house (Berlin) but the important thing is we actually reached our supposed destination. We drank small amounts of liquor only because we are actually leaving early for the long drive to the mountains of Rizal. We were happy that night but must have slept 1: 00 AM for the simple reason that I must have missed my childhood friend and over mingled with each other.

Dining in Banana Leaves

The next morning, we took a short breakfast and dined at a banana leaf with freshly grilled “tuyo” and freshly opened sardine in can. I bid “adios” to my friend Berlin after that and me and Ronnie took the hard road to the top of Rizal mountains leading to Quezon as we have asked bypassers along the way.

Reaching the Summit of Rizal

Reaching the top, we almost fell when we got off the motorcycle because we never noticed that gravity in the top of the mountain is really very strong and you will not know it while you are riding. Marveling our eyes at the top and seeing what’s in store for us on our journey, we both sighed in relief after a short rest in the middle of the biting sun rays at 12:00 noon in the highest peak of Rizal. Continued our journey and decided to eat at the crossing of Sampaloc, Tanay. We ate half ripe banana for desert and had 2 sets of veggies and 1 set of meat for lunch. It’s 1:00 PM and we are not yet in the mood for a travel because of the heat.

Sampaloc, Rizal – Where Daranak Falls Falls

After deciding to go, we got off with our helmets on and took the path leading to Sampaloc, as the natives said, back to Estrella and back to Berlin’s house. Somewhere along the way, I saw a sign saying >>—> “TO DARANAK FALLS“, pinned at the heart of a very big tree I believe to be a mango right in the corner. I murmured to Ronnie to take a turn back to the sight. I always love nature and this must have driven me to whisper a halt to Ronnie and go back where I couldn’t have been mistaken to see the sign. I never saw a living falls in the first place and this could be my chance, my mind dictates behind my ear. He obliged and gave me the favor, so we both got back and it was almost 5:00PM.

Closing Time at Daranak Falls Mountain Park

We never knew that 5:00 PM is the closing time of the falls. So we took the hard road once again as we were led to a very dark forest behind the entrance. There were many ups and downs and the road is nearly not really visible as the rains are threatening to falls in a few minutes. After about a 4 kilometer rough road take, we finally reached the mouth ( or so I thought) but it was just the entrance and I asked the booth personnel as soon as I got off the motorcycle. I was really surprised at entrance fee – 10 pesos/head that time. It was a rainy season and there were no people at all going to places like a falls when it is raining. I asked Ronnie and he agreed so we took out chance at taking a peek inside the park. YES! It was actually more looking like a park inside. Excitement and bewilderment with mixed emotions entangled my thoughts and sight, I guess that time both of us had the same feeling because we can really hear the sound of the water falling in fine rigid and melodically monotonous tone.

Two Hanging Bridge – 1 Concrete and 1 Wooden

On our first step beside the booth, I was really surprised because we were greeted with a short hanging bridge made of concrete. Below us, the majestic cool and smoking waters that we both assumed must have come from the water falls and more excitement clothed us both. Asked a few people inside where was the path to the falls and got there in no time.

Before we got to the falls, we again greeted with another bridge but this time it was a wooden bridge which reminded me of “The Bridge of the River Kwai” movie shot in historic Burma. At the first sight of the Daranak Falls – I sighed in relief and cannot really believe of the majestic water falling from Daranak Falls itself. A live and kicking water falls in front of my sight. “My god! The Philippines must have been so blessed”. Those were the exact first words that came out of my mouth. We marveled at the beauty and serenity of the Daranak Falls never thinking that we still have a few kilometers to spend riding.

Videoke Inside the Falls

We heard voices a few minutes later and couldn’t believe that they have a “karaoke” up there. We tried to see the pad and we both smiled in amazement. We couldn’t sing as they already had it turned off for sleeping time. Imagine sleeping back in the falls is 5:00 PM? Always thought electricity is scarce but look what we found? We both took a bottle of beer because we can’t stand the freezing cold that must have come from the waters of Daranak Falls combined with the huge amount of fresh forest mist.

Taking a Plunge Before Leaving – Promise to Go Back

Can’t stand it anymore, we both took a plunge at the waters after a bottle of beer but after a few minutes we were both greeted with words like, ”sorry, the falls is closing by 5:00 PM.” so we both hurried to our clothes and went to the motorcycle and took off with smile in our faces. I said and told him that I will bring my family to the sight and that was it.

This is a blog posted for Paradise Philippines in hopes to develop the place an ideal tourist destination and local spot for the Filipinos here in the Philippines to enjoy especially during summer months and also to be able to send money to the Philippines in terms of eco tourism which has always been one of the best characteristics of the Philippines as a land of tropical forest.

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