Saturday, April 19, 2008

Daraitan River Trek (UPM Talikasan Open Climb 2008)

Obviously, I'm excited about going to a new place. The Daraitan River Trek is yet to take place next week, and I'm still taking extra care of myself to ensure that I don't get sick. In between working, I am taking a glimpse about the place and the ecosystem in the area. Expect me not to write about trekking the river as I am absolutely clueless about that.

The Daraitan River Trek, an open climb organized by UPM, is in Tinipac. As per the e-mail forwarded to me detailing the activity, Tinipac is already a part of General Nakar, Quezon Province, but most of the activities are under the locality of Tanay, Rizal.

General Nakar is a first class municipality and the biggest municipality in the province of Quezon. It is in the west of Tanay, Rizal. I tried to find Tinipac, but Wikipedia does not list it as one of Gen. Nakar's baranggays.

Tanay is another first class municipality in another province - Rizal. I knew that Tagalog is widely spoken in the area, but I have been surprised to learn that it is believed to be the birthplace of Sambal (or Zambal). I don't understand that language, but it is one major language spoken in my province (especially in the northern part of Zambales), the others being Ilocano and Filipino.

Daraitan is a rural baranggay in Tanay. It has an area of 1,641 hectares or 5.80% of the total land area of the municipality. In the upland of Tanay, one can find the beauty of Daraitan River, which has been awarded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the “cleanest body of water” in Region IV. A search in the Internet for Daraitan River shows its popularity for trekking.

The itinerary for the trek reveals the other sites to discover as Kalinawan Cave, Daranak Falls and Balete Cave. Kalinawan Cave is located in a hill called Rawang in Brgy. Plaza Aldea, which cradled courageous Filipinos fighting for our country against the Spanish, American and Japanese invaders. Walk for twenty minutes and one will reach Daranak Falls, shared by Brgys. Plaza Aldea and Tandang Kutyo, which is 14 meters in altitude with a shallow opal-like pool to receive the lunging water from the top. I imagine this place is spectacular as WOW Philippines say the falls is a favorite shooting area for movies and advertising outfits.

Searching for Balete Cave in the Internet tells me it's in Davao. The Emptee Barrel tells me otherwise. By the way, he's the team leader for UPM and for this trek.

In Emptee's e-mail enticing non-members (especially UP students) to join the Talikasan Open Climb, he has mentioned some of the area's endemic inhabitants. However, a brief research about some of those mentioned tells me that they are not endemic to Tanay. This is one area I'm not really into, so I'll just resort to taking pictures of the creatures I'll see in the trek. There's just a wish I could do that, by the way.

The beauty of the Philippines cannot be contained in blogs like this one. Explore the country! Explore the world!

About UPM

UPM, or the UP Mountaineers is one of the premier mountaineering organizations in the Philippines today. It was recognized as a student organization by the University of the Philippines on June 28, 1977, with brothers Boboy, Benjie and Joji Francisco, Bobbit Palaganas, Ross Legade and Art Ellson as the founding members.

UPM was the first mountaineering group in the country to introduce the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) in its application process aside from institutionalizing the Leave No Trace principle popular among all mountaineering groups today.

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