Cycling,  Local

Daranak and Batlag Falls

First long ride for the year of 2021! Way back in 2016, we embarked on an adventure to escape the stress of the past year and visited Daranak Falls. Now, we’re determined to return and immerse ourselves in the breathtaking beauty of Daranak Falls once again. To reach our destination, we anticipate passing through various scenic routes, encountering an abundance of captivating sights along the way. This bike adventure is about to be extended and filled with exhilarating experiences.

At 6:00 in the morning, we gathered at the Chowking crossing on EDSA with Lj, Tito Bingo, and Kuya Tune for our bike adventure. Once we were ready, we promptly embarked on our journey. We rode along Ortigas Avenue, and that’s where our ascent to Antipolo began. It had been quite some time since I last tackled this route, so naturally, I faced some challenges. Along the way, we made a few stops to rest. Thankfully, we started our climb to Antipolo early in the morning, avoiding the scorching heat that would have made the ride twice as difficult.

When we arrived in Teresa, we decided to revisit our favorite pit stop from our previous bike adventures. Every time we ventured to Sierra Madre and Infanta, we made sure to indulge in the mouthwatering delights of “Tita El’s Fried Chicken.” However, upon reaching the spot, we were met with disappointment as it was temporarily closed. Perhaps the pandemic had taken its toll, causing financial setbacks and forcing them to shut down. Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on numerous jobs and businesses. Nevertheless, this setback couldn’t deter us from our ultimate destination: Daranak Falls! With unwavering determination, we pressed on, ready to continue our exhilarating bike adventure.

At 9:00 in the morning, we found ourselves in Morong. Our pedaling was slow but steady as we supported each other, creating a relaxed and leisurely ride. However, we had to be extra cautious due to the narrow roads and the influx of trucks passing through. The abundance of caution was necessary to ensure our safety in this area.

Shortly before 11:00, our perseverance paid off as we arrived at the breathtaking Daranak Falls. The sight of the signage marking our destination instantly lifted our fatigue and dizziness. Finally, we could indulge in the joy of swimming and immerse ourselves in the rejuvenating waters.

To reach the entrance of Daranak Falls, it took us more than 15-20 minutes from our initial arrival point. However, the majority of the route was downhill, allowing us to glide effortlessly and savor the surrounding beauty as we descended towards our destination.

And finally, all the exhaustion, hardships, and sacrifices were worth it as we experienced the beauty and refreshing coolness of the water. The entrance fee was incredibly affordable, just 50 PHP per person and 20 PHP for a bicycle. I remember back then we used to leave our bikes outside the entrance, but now they have surveillance cameras inside Daranak Falls, which assures us that our bicycles are safe and secure within the premises.

But did you know that inside Daranak Falls, if you hike further, there’s a private falls called Batlag Falls? You just have to add an additional 100 PHP, and I assure you that it’s even more beautiful than Daranak Falls. At first, my companions were content with Daranak Falls, but I insisted and persuaded them to go to Batlag Falls. Eventually, they agreed.

When we reached Batlag Falls, we had the place all to ourselves. It was completely different from our previous visit when there were so many people. Due to the pandemic, it felt like we had the place all to ourselves. The water was incredibly cold, the surroundings were impeccably clean, and the ambiance was incredibly relaxing. As we submerged ourselves in the water, all the body aches vanished. After some relaxation, we had our meal there. Thankfully, there were food vendors available. We waited out the heat of the day and then began our journey back home on our bikes.

If you want to go on a vacation without venturing far from Manila, why not try Tanay, Rizal, and visit Daranak or Batlag Falls? I guarantee you that it will be worth your visit.