I’m not a person who would want to go out and travel during the Holy Week since I know there are lots of people traveling at that time. But when you have been deprived of travel around mainland Luzon for almost 2 years my rule to not travel during Holy Week breaks. When my brother said that we should travel to Daranak Falls on April 12, 2014 (Black Saturday) I quickly said yes. We planned the logistics and we executed it last Saturday.
8:00 AM – It was a good thing that Ariel, my brother’s friend, was particular with time. We met him near Masinag Market at lower Antipolo and also around that time after saying hello we quickly went on our way on a private vehicle. The direction was to keep going straight along Marcos Highway away from Cubao.
One question that came up during the road trip was Would there be lots of people at the falls? I was a bit hesitant to answer the question as Holy Week is the time where most Filipinos have time to travel, therefore the probability of people converging at one beautiful place is high, yet I wasn’t sure as I only have been there once and it was not during the Holy Week. Since I was not sure I answered “Let’s just assume that there would be really lots of people there.”
The reason for my answer would be for them to expect the worst case scenario, so that when we get there and the place was jampacked at least they were expecting it and all other scenarios would only get better. I’m not sure if it worked though as I found out later that the two were positive thinkers, which was good! #WorstCaseScenario
When we were near the town of Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal I asked the question – “Do you know what’s the name of the road?” Both of them answered no. Not many people know that Marcos Highway runs from Katipunan in Quezon City and thru Sampaloc, Tanay. I’m not sure if it ends at Laguna though. #Trivia
9:24 AM – We arrived at the town of Sampaloc. There was a sign that told us that we should turn right so we did. Then we were all paranoid that the fuel of the vehicle would not be able to take us safely back at home. So we asked a random lady where the nearest gas station is. She told us that there was a Flying V and Shell gas station in town. Phew! After that we continued our journey.
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Does Daranak Falls have drinking water where we can buy? Let’s just assume that there will be no place there to buy water. #WorstCaseScenario. So we stopped by a small sari-sari store and asked if they have drinking water, unfortunately, they only had small bottles of water so the lady told us that we should keep going straight and a little passed the intersection to Daranak Falls there’s a grocery there where we can buy water, food and other items. It was a kind gesture as they really wanted to help people. Imagine they had a sari-sari store and they told us another store where we could find what we needed. They were thinking of us rather than they thought of themselves. #GoodPeople
9:50 AM – We just finished buying from the grocery store and headed back to the intersection.
10:05 AM – We finally arrived near Daranak Falls and it was just as what I was expecting. There were a lot of people that one side of the road was filled with parked vehicles. And the other side was the only part of the road where one vehicle can only pass at a time. Thinking of the worst case scenario, this actually happened.
The people on the vehicles going down said that the vehicle going up should move back. The people on the vehicle going up said that the vehicle moving down should move back. Therefore it was a stalemate.
Then after about 10 minutes the vehicles going down slowly moved back one-by-one giving way to the vehicles going up. I overheard this conversation from one of the persons at the vehicles going down (Person 1) and one of the person who was looking for solution (Person 2).
Person 1: Dapat yung mga umaakyat yung umatras!
Person 2: Gusto niyo po ba na ganito ang sitwasyon hanggang mamaya?
In my opinion the winners here are the people who humbled themselves and gave way to other vehicles. If they have not done that then we would have been stuck there for a long time. #ProblemSolvers
I still want to know. In this scenario, who should give way? Tell me please. #Question
10:24 AM – We were now walking towards the entrance of Daranak Falls, and it was still a long way to go. We were passing by people that were going up saying “And daming tao! Hindi na kami pumasok!” I was worried that Ariel or Dane, my brother, would also lost interest in getting inside to see the falls. But one after the other they both said “Sayang naman ang pinunta natin dito kung hindi man lang tayo papasok.” I knew then that I was with the right set of people. They are people who will get the most experience given the baddest of situations. #PositiveThinkers
We registered, paid the entrance fee (50 Pesos/person) and went inside the vicinity of Daranak Falls.
10:31 AM – We entered the gates and got our tickets and baggages checked.
It was a good thing that I pictured the worst case scenario as having so much people that I would have to squeeze in through the crowd just to get somewhere. Therefore, I was happy to know that my worst case scenario was not the reality. Though there were still a lot of people.
We decided to see Daranak Falls first before heading to Batlag Falls, so that we don’t have to go see Daranak Falls on our way back.
A staff of Daranak Falls suddenly approached me and told me that our bags are not allowed in that area. Personally, I think it was a good thing that they are not allowing people to bring their stuff and stay there so that more people could enjoy the area.
After that we decided to go straight to the slippery trail to Batlag Falls.
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10:39 AM – At the fence to Batlag Falls.
I’ve wondered why the Entrance Fee of Batlag Falls (100 Pesos/person) was high compared to Daranak Falls (50 Pesos/person). But when I first saw Batlag Falls, I knew why because I liked it more than Daranak Falls. #PersonalOpinion
The steep trail to Batlag Falls plus the high entrance fee was on our side. It filtered the people from getting into Batlag Falls making their options limited and thus reducing the number of people in Batlag Falls further. #Schaudenfreude. Still there were lots of people!!! Still it was a good thing that the people I was with are positive thinkers.
10:52 AM – We were able to get a good place near the falls where a table was setup (200 Pesos/table) thanks to one of the kind staff of Batlag Falls. Then we ate breakfast (leftover food from the house).
We then decided to swim but I was worried that no one will be guarding our stuff. So I volunteered to be the one left behind to guard our things. But seeing them go all out enjoyment while I wait on the sidelines made me want to join them so I quickly placed all my stuff at the bottom of my backpack and covered it with towels and shirt. And while swimming and enjoying I’ll look at our stuff from afar and if I see someone touching it I’ll go out of the water, run into a sprint showing my manly muscles while shouting “Magnanakaw! Magnanakaw!” Good thing that no one even tried to touch our stuff. #Phew!
Still it was stressful to leave our things unattended.
People then started increasing on the shallow part of the basin so they decided to go to another basin to check out a deeper part. It was a good thing that all of us are confident on our swimming abilities that we were able to enjoy the deeper parts. That’s where we spent most of our time.
Good thing again that there was a vantage point where I can regularly see our stuff from the deeper basin.
2:00 PM – We decided to go back to our stuff and go back to the vehicle. And I decided to take more pictures of Batlag Falls along the way.
2:11 PM – Bathroom Problems: There were a lot of people who were trying to take a bath and changing clothes that we decided to just change somewhere near the vehicle. When we passed by the vicinity of Daranak Falls the situation was worst.
It was a good thing that there was a bathroom near the place where we parked. I think it’s privately owned and it’s a farm. It had a good running water too. Best of all, we all had it to ourselves!
2:42 PM – We were now on our way back to Manila.
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3:08 PM – We stopped by Cafe Katerina along Marcos Highway to enjoy the view of the road and eat some late lunch (Bulalo, barbecue, chicken and liempo. At least here it was not as crowded.
5:08 PM – We then arrived back at Masinag and separated our ways.
Did I enjoy my trip to Daranak Falls & Batlag Falls?
I admit that due to the great number of people during our visit I did not get to enjoy the place much. I do not like crowded places in general. But thanks to Kuya Dane andÂ Ariel I was able to enjoy the trip. Good company definitely destroys a bad experience.
I’ll be visiting Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls again but this time during off-peak season for me to fully enjoy the place. And maybe I could get to visit Calinawan Caves too.
|200 Pesos||Chip-in for the car fuel||200 Pesos/person|
|96.33 Pesos||Chip-in for the Grocery||289 Pesos|
|50 Pesos||Entrance to Daranak Falls||50 Pesos/person|
|100 Pesos||Entrance to Batlag Falls||100 Pesos/person|
|66.67 Pesos||Table rental at Batlag Falls||200 Pesos/table|
|6.67 Pesos||Tip to the guy who helped on the parking||20 Pesos|
|163.33 Pesos||Food at Cafe Katerina||490 Pesos|
This is a theoretical expense report as we were all generous treating each other on different occassions. But if you divide the expenses equally by 3, this is what you will get.
Daranak Falls & Batlag Falls information
Daranak Falls has a Facebook Fanpage atÂ facebook.com/DaranakFallsinfocenter. I think this is ran by the local tourism office.
To whoever runs the Facebook page of Daranak Falls. Keep up the good work!
Just a little note. I beg everyone to please read all the information first before asking on their facebook page. I read a lot of comments there that the answer was already written in their facebook page.
There are two ways you can get to Daranak Falls coming from Manila.
Via Marcos Highway
- Ride a jeepney/shuttle from Cubao to Cogeo Market.Â Fare: ???.Â Travel Time: ???.Â Availability: ???
- Ride a jeepney from Cogeo Market to Sampaloc, Tanay.Â Fare: ???.Â Travel Time: ???.Â Availability: ???
- Rent a tricycle from Sampaloc to Daranak Falls.Â Fare: 50 Pesos/person (minimum of 4 persons, one-way).Â Travel Time: ???.Â Availability: ???
Via Tanay Poblacion
- Ride an jeepney/shuttle from Starmall to Tanay. Fare: ???. Travel Time: ???. Availability: ???
- Ride a tricycle from Tanay to Daranak Falls. Fare: 50 Pesos/person (minimum of 4 persons, one-way). Travel Time: ???. Availability: ???
Usually, you have to go back the way you came from but you can take a traverse route.
I got to talk to tricycle drivers that were waiting at the entrance of Daranak Falls they said they were always waiting there at the entrance for passengers. But I think this is only the case during peak season. It’s always best to talk to the tricycle driver that brought you to Daranak Falls to wait or come back for you at a specific time and tell him your route going out.
Sorry for the lack of details for commute. 🙁
There are stores along the road and inside Daranak Falls. It’s up to you if you want to buy there. I’m not sure if they are there during off-peak season.
If you’re not willing to risk it you may buy your food and drinks at Sampaloc or at Tanay Poblacion.
Please keep the place clean. Bring your trash back to your home and throw them properly.