A Dose of Daranak Falls, Tanay, Rizal

T'was 4PM and our driver swiftly zigzagged past cruisers, trying to chase the sunset. Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal is open only until 5pm, and we were determined to reach it before then.

It was one of those spur-of-the moment trips. Our group of 10 decided on it at the very last minute, while hanging out at a friend's home in Taytay. It was just an hour drive away anyway.

We took the Manila East road, skirting through the Rizal towns of Angono, Binangonan, Cardona and Morong. We then took a left turn at Sampaloc road. Directional signs to Daranak Falls are visible as far as Cardona.

Our black Toyota Revo pulled up at the almost-desolate parking lot at around 4:30PM (we left Taytay around 3:30PM). An attendant immediately approached us and informed us of the fact that we already know.

Since we only had 30 minutes to spend, we haggled down the entrance fee from P50 per person to P25 (adult/child rate is the same). We would forego swimming and just come in for photographs.

Swimming in the waterfall area is prohibited after 5PM because the lifeguard clocks out at that time, so it's really a safety precaution. But, the dipping pools and the entrance is accessible after hours - partly because it also serves as the passageway to the nearby Batlag Falls.

An assembly of concrete picnic tables greet guests after crossing a hanging bridge. These are available for rent (P200-300). A small canteen serves quick meals and snacks. Beside it is a shower/toilet complex with free-flowing water.

Our group ventured straight to the waterfalls. A few trail bends ahead was Daranak Falls in all its freshwater glory. Its waters trickle down from the mother of all mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre. I was glad we came in the right season, when water is abundant.

We frolicked in the knee-deep pool by the viewing area, wishing we had come a bit earlier. The cold mountain water was so inviting; I could use a good water massage!

After a a refreshing half-bath, the sun was ready to set. We descended back and made a brief stop at the junction going to Batlag Falls, you know - for next time. It's a short uphill trek + an additional P100 fee to get there, but they allow overnight stays.

Our trip was short-lived but it won't be the last. We will be back for a recon, possibly on our bikes and with an overnight booking.

More photos below:

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