Tinipak River Travel Tips

Last May, we conquered Mt. Daraitan and got to reward ourselves with a quick stop at the peaceful and picturesque Tinipak River. Surrounded by mountains and trees and littered with beautiful massive white rocks, it was a sight to behold! I decided right then and there that it is one of my favorite places (“my happy place”) and I would definitely come back.

Eight weeks later, I was back! This time with friends from work and this time, we skipped the mountain. The plan was just to take loads of pictures at the river ūüėÄ

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A portion of Tinipak River I didn’t get to see during my first visit. It’s so pretty from this side!

The trip had some hurdles so I thought I would give a list of tips to help prevent similar mishaps:

1. Going to Brgy. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal via public transpo entails an hour long tricycle ride from Tanay town proper. I highly recommend calling the Tanay Tourism Office or the barangay itself to hire your tricycle. We did this for our first Daraitan trip and it proved to be a good idea! 

The second time I visited the far-flung area, our¬†group just got a random tricycle at Tanay town proper and the driver made us¬†transfer to another tricycle halfway through the trip.¬†It turns out¬†he’s not allowed to drive tourists all the way to Brgy. Daraitan because there are designated trikes for this special trip. Or perhaps, he just wanted to¬†avoid the bumpy road leading to the barangay.¬†To avoid ¬†this inconvenience, get a contact person from Brgy. Daraitan (see next bullet for our recommendation!). The people of Daraitan¬†or the tourism office of Tanay will be happy to assign you a driver slash rough-roads expert!

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Tanay is seriously underrated! Loving the probinsya vibes.

2. Even¬†if¬†you’re¬†not climbing¬†the mountain and you just plan to go to the¬†river, you are required to hire a¬†guide. We¬†were quite stubborn at first. We tried to assure¬†the people at the registration that we didn’t need a guide. My friends and I thought it was unfair that they’re charging those scaling the mountain and those going¬†straight¬†to the river the same amount of P500 when the trek to the latter is a lot shorter!

They insisted on their rule¬†and threatened they’d send us back to town if we didn’t get a guide.¬†IT WAS STRESSFUL and we had to give¬†in. We were lucky one of the guys agreed to accompany¬†us for only¬†P200. John¬†is the nicest! He knows his stuff and is extremely helpful. Contact him at¬†0917-2523735 and give him a generous tip! We gave him P500 in the end.

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into the wild

3. Bring slippers but don’t use them for the hike! Since we were not planning on climbing¬†Mt. Daraitan, we thought slippers would suffice. Boy were we wrong. It is still advisable to wear proper hiking footwear¬†because the Tinipak trail takes about 1 hour of trekking¬†over big slippery rocks.¬†I wore my almost-always reliable Havaianas slippers with straps. Although it didn’t break and I didn’t slip, it was very¬†uncomfortable.

If we didn't get a guide, we would have missed this scenic detour.
If we didn’t get a guide, we would have missed this scenic detour.

4. Bring an umbrella/raincoat/waterproof jacket and WATERPROOF YOUR STUFF. If your backpack is not waterproof, at least have¬†a huge plastic bag where you can shove¬†your things when it starts raining. We were unprepared for the heavy rain that greeted us on our¬†hike back to the community. Hiking in the rain didn’t bother me so much. I¬†liked the thrill. I felt pretty badass (HAHA) but¬†I was also¬†worried¬†about my stuff getting soaked.

5. On the way home from Tanay Town Proper, I would recommend riding a UV Express bound for Shaw/Megamall instead of a jeep. This is a lesson I’m carrying over from my first Daraitan experience. Shuttles are more expensive but also more comfortable and have less stops, therefore faster than a jeepney ride.

6.¬†Last but not the least… bring barya and small bills when you travel to Daraitan (or anywhere for that matter).¬†As someone OC with money, my P1000 bill brought so much unnecessary overthinking¬†ūüėź

That’s it.¬†Some helpful advice. Or don’t follow these tips for a more unforgettable adventure! Ours was definitely one for the books (or should I say, one for the¬†blogs? Hehe).

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I will never tire of this place. Worth the almost 3 hour commute. Looks like my buddy Soi is thinking the same thing ūüôā

PS. As we were passing by Antipolo on our way home,¬†I was struck with a realization. I think my love for nature has something to do with my being an AA girl. I studied in Assumption Antipolo for 13 years! We had a beautiful campus in the mountains. We were¬†surrounded by trees and fresh air. There was no traffic to and from school.¬†I’m now 20-something and working in the city and I¬†constantly want¬†to escape to the mountains or anywhere near nature. I’m glad I found this gem in my home¬†province¬†of Rizal. I will definitely be back for a third time, Tinipak!

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Rock formations make the place extra enchanting.

Thank you, Nors, for the photos ‚̧

Reveling in the Rockies

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ON A HIGH at the Rockies of Mt. Maculot

I’m hesitant to write about my travels because 1) I suck at articulating my experiences and feelings 2) I don’t have beautiful photos to make up for my bad¬†writing 3) I am lazy. But some¬†people have been urging me to start blogging about my trips so¬†I figured I’d give it a try. Besides, today is WRITE-SOMETHING MONDAYS (which I just started last week hehe) so here goes an entry about our Mt. Maculot Climb last Saturday. Luckily, my officemate (one of the people encouraging¬†me to start a¬†blog) lent me her Canon S95 so I was able to take some nice photos, but I ran out of batteries by the time we reached the best part of the hike. More on that later.

HOW TO GO TO MT. MACULOT / HOW TO GO BACK / EXPENSES

This is a must for travel bloggers I suppose. For all I know, you’re only reading this for directions (and if that’s the case, I apologize for my long intro).

(1) Ride a Lemery-bound bus. Go down at Cuenca town proper. Our bus of choice was Jam Liner (Kamuning). We left the terminal around 6:38 and got to Cuenca past 9AM. P155/person.

(2) From Cuenca town, ride a tricycle to the jump-off point (P20/person), pay the registration fee along the way (P20/person). At the registration area, they’ll assign you a guide.

If you’re only going to the Rockies and you’re a group of 5 or less, it will cost¬†P400 for the guide.

(3) Going home, just go back to Cuenca town proper via tricycle. If it’s still early, you can ride¬†a jeep to Lipa Grand Terminal and ride a Manila-bound bus there. In our case, it was late in the evening so the jeepney driver told us to just wait for a bus in “Calabarzon”/ Star Toll instead of Lipa terminal. Cuenca to “Calabarzon” is P22 per person. We had a difficult time finding a bus in “Calabarzon”, so we took a shuttle to Turbina (P45) and rode a Cubao bus there (P87).

There ya go. What else??? SOME TIPS:

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One of the gorgeous views on the way up. But believe me, the best is yet to come!

(1) Maculot is full of surprises. The views keep getting better! It’s super tempting to take plenty of photos but please save your camera batteries. Don’t waste it on selfies along the way because believe me, all the selfies you need should be taken at the Rockies. I had one major regret during our Maculot climb: draining my camera¬†during the hike and failing to capture the view atop the Rockies.

I think that’s my most important tip: DELAYED GRATIFICATION / PATIENCE / SELF-CONTROL. Limit your picture-taking on the way up. Wait ’til you get to the Rockies. Or just bring extra batteries!

(2) Perfect timing! It’s a very good idea to go the Rockies in the late afternoon. You’ll get to bask in the beauty even more when it’s not too hot, plus the late-afternoon sun adds drama to the view and you can¬†take photos bathed in beautiful light. The Rockies rewards¬†climbers with a 360-degree view of Taal Lake, Batangas towns and surrounding mountains. Thank God one of my climbing companions was wise enough to limit her camera usage during the hike so her camera had enough battery when we got to the Rockies.

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Kuya Nilo, our guide, on a “buwis-buhay” spot (actually 80% of the Rockies is danger zone. One wrong step, you can die).

(3) We started climbing down after sunset. Trek was a lot shorter because we barely stopped to catch our breaths ¬†/ take photos (unlike the hike up). It’s advisable to bring a flashlight or head lamp if you’re planning to follow this itinerary.

(4) Give a generous tip to your guide especially if you’re doing sunset at the Rockies followed by a night hike.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I still have a pretty incurable hangover from the Rockies experience. The place was heaven on earth!

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Spot Mt. Makiling on the right!

Where to next? ūüôā

Zoella ella ella

Zoe Sugg is the only person who can make me watch an ENTIRE makeup tutorial video (and post about it on my blog!). The girl is so pretty and talented! Sobrang hanga ako sa magagaling magmakeup!

I obviously cannot do wonders like this to my face. I am impatient and easily frustrated, my hands are not well-trained and I don’t have money to spend on makeup.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to get inspired. ‚̧