Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daraitan River Trek - My Story

I survived the Daraitan River Trek!

Joining Talikasan

One lazy day in the office, Donald sent me a message asking if I wanted to join the UPM Talikasan. Of course I wanted to. My question in return was if I could do it. He said I could.

He sent me the itinerary, I reviewed it, thought it was fun, and then decided to join. I had to still ask him about a couple of times or more if it was going to be easy and if I could make it. I sent Mon a text to ask him to join as well. He was quite hesitant, negotiated a bit, then decided to go, too. Later I would learn that he initially didn't want me to go to that trek, but probably since I was determined, and even told him that I have already reserved a slot for myself and that I was just waiting for his confirmation to reserve another slot, he agreed.

Two setbacks almost made me back out from joining Talikasan. Two weeks prior to the trek, I had a sore throat, the kind that often leads to pharyngitis and a bad fever. So I went to the doctor even if my throat was just beginning to get swollen. Heck, the medicine she prescribed was so expensie.

A "not so feeling well" condition couldn't deter me from joining. What then could a very long line in BPI Express Vito Cruz-St. Scholastica branch do to me? That line, long and not moving, almost made me back out. I was really not feeling well, then I had to suffer the torture of standing for a very long time since, as the teller told us, their computers hanged. Oh well, one of the largest banks in the country had that kind of service.

With the non-refundable advanced payment already deposited to the destined account, I had no choice but to get ready for that trek. I had initially planned to take the stairs to work for two weeks, but since I was feeling bad, I only did that once - from 6th to 15th floor. Fortunately, for the week prior to Talikasan, my work and "responsibilities" as a roommate made me walk and walk and walk...in my girlie flat shoes.

The Trek

Fast forward to April 26.

I woke up at 4:30 AM. Call time was 5:00 AM. Mon and I still didn't have packed breakfast and lunch. Thanks to McDo, we had packed meals in an instant. The sad thing, however, was that our meals were in styro. Hasn't RA 9003 banned styro package already? The meals we bought weren't even messy and saucy. I hope McDo would intensify its campaign to help preserve our environment by refraining the use of styro for its packaging.

The Daraitan River Trek started in Tanay, Rizal. Our camp site was already in Sitio Tinipac in General Nakar, Quezon. (Click here for my previous post.)

Before the river trek, the group first went to Kalinawan Cave. It was a new experience, a fun experience thanks to Tope, and a realization that people do vandal everywhere even inside a cave.

We then walked to reach Daranak and Batlag Falls, though any vehicle could easily reach that place. Daranak and Batlag Falls, with a P20.00 entrance fee for each site, is a place very much visited by everyone. If only there weren't that many people, I think the beauty of the place would have etched in our memories.

After that not so relaxing experience (although the wind was refreshing in Batlag Falls), we rode the mini-elf-jeepney (our service) to reach Brgy. Daraitan. We ate lunch in the baranggay hall, then started the short trek to Daraitan River.

The trek was only for two hours, but it wasn't really easy. I thought it would be easy. I didn't know that I had to jump from one small rock to one big rock to another rock and more rocks. Much like rock trekking. Another new experience. Who would have thought I could do it?! Still, I survived without a scratch haha!

I enjoyed the backpack riding even if I submerged in the water twice during my first attempt. By the way, I have to thank Jec for his backpack.

I cooked tuna-corned beef-red pasta for dinner. It was raining pasta that night. Almost literally, since my white polo enjoyed a splash of another red pasta sauce cooked by JR. Oh, not just a splash. Only about a quarter of the sauce was left after that incident.

We had socials that night, then it rained, then swoosh morning came. A recollection of the previous night's kalashengan entails.

Sunday morning, we explored another cave - Balete Cave, where a balete tree stands near its entrance. Dark, blunted rocks, sharp rocks, strong rush of flowing water, bats, another exciting adventure.

A Realization and More After The Talikasan

I really enjoyed the Talikasan. It is in a way one triumph for myself. I'm not really a healthy and fit person, and surviving that trek without a scratch, without feeling sick, without feeling a single (not ordinary) pain was like conquering my weakness. My weakness really involves my health, but I don't want to think it that way. At least I have realized that I could be fit if I wanted to. If I wanted to haha.

Another realization was that I could overcome my shyness. Over the years, I have improved a lot. Haha. I have just realized that I'm not the shy Katherine anymore. Still shy, but not the irritating kind of a shy girl.

The trek also made me (from Anne's term) a bit domesticated. I cooked and I washed my clothes. Emphasis has to be made that I do not wash my clothes. Much more washing them with my own two hands! That's a feat.

Am I forgetting something else to say?


Thanks to the UP Mountaineers for holding events such as Talikasan, thus giving a chance to non-members enjoy the kind of trip that they enjoy.

Thanks also to the men of UPM and to Mon for always assisting me when I could not move my foot to another rock anymore. Special thanks to Kate for assisting me go up one big boulder of rock during our trek home.

Thanks to Donald for inviting me.

Thanks to my group. Thanks to everyone for making the trip fun.

The Cast. Nakaw na larawan mula kay Jec.

How to Get There

Join UPM. Send your e-mail to join@upmountaineers.org.ph.

More Photos







hi kate, im cat :)
nice pictures :) can i ask for ur help? our group will be visiting daraitan this march. we haven't been there so we have no idea about how much it will cost us. wala rin kaming contact/guide dun. since u've been there, can you give us a contact person and estimated cost? help please.. thank you :)


Hi Cat :)

I really don't know a contact person/guide or how to contact one for Daraitan.

When I went there last year, it was through the UP Mountaineers Talikasan Open Climb. The fee to join the activity was P1000, which covered "transportation, guideship fees, equipment (tents and stove), and a participants' T-shirt."

The event leader was Kristoffer Noriel OrdoƱez, whose Multiply site is at http://emptee.multiply.com/. You may also want to check UPM's other Talikasan activities at http://upmencom.multiply.com/calendar.

Since I don't know your contact details, I'm just replying through a comment, hope you receive it, and hope that helps.

Have fun! :)