I thought Mt. Gulugod-Baboy was my first and last mountain. Well, I spoke too soon. Despite of me being weak when it comes to ascending trail, I still wanted to climb more mountains. Hiking is like drugs. Once you experience it, you’ll want more of it (Don’t get me wrong, I never and will never try prohibited drugs). The experience gets so addicting!
Mt. Daraitan is located in Barangay Daraitan, Tanay Rizal. Mt. Daraitan, standing at 739+ MASL (meters above sea level) is a gem at the heart of the great Sierra Madre mountain range. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that full of adventures, Mt. Daraitan is the place to be!
I joined my friend’s friend hiking group which is INCLIMBERS going to Mt. Daraitan. Before the hike, to better prepare myself, I read some blogs and reviews about it. A week before the hike, I also did some cardio exercise to condition my body. I ran every afternoon at UP oval for an hour and diligently used stairs at the office from ground floor to fifth floor. Beat that!
ROAD TO MT. DARAITAN
Call time was at 9am, Farmer’s Cubao. We left at 10am and stopped along the way to transfer to another car which, unfortunately, broke down when we were almost at the jump off point (maybe because of the bumpy ride). We waited for a couple of minutes hoping that it can be fixed until they told us that we (Me, Wend and Kei) should go first at the jump off point to inform the other group (btw, there’s no signal at the area that’s why we can’t text them). When we reached the jump off point, the other group was already worried waiting for us. We told them what happened and decided to have lunch while we are waiting for the other three participants who were left to fix the car. It’s already 2:30pm when the group decided to proceed because our guide told us it won’t be easy to hike at night. Since it’s maximum of 10pax per guide and we were 17 (20 including the other 3), we were divided into two groups. Hoping that the other three can still join us, we waited for a few minutes but the first group went ahead after we prayed. Few minutes later and still no words from the other three, we left the jump off point and started the hike.
I must warn you, it is going to be a tough climb (Kahit anong paghahanda ang ginawa mo, masasaktan at mahihirapan ka pa din lol). I know that most of the mountains are not easy to climb but this one, this particular one, requires more of what is necessary (maybe just for me).
Just after a few minutes on the trail, I found myself panting already so I asked for a minute to rest because the group’s pacing was kinda fast. Maybe because most in our group were guys. I think they don’t know the word “rest” or “take 5” haha coz we barely rested. I almost surrendered because the trail seems like a never-ending assault. Weng and I didn’t have enough sleep the night before which made the hike even harder.
Our guide (forgot his name), offered to carry our bag (suki talaga ako ng porter! Huhu) and even made me a stick to help me walk (pabebe hiker boohoooo!).
Mt. Daraitan’s trail was merciless. Every time I tried to check the trail ahead of us, it was an overflowing assault with the ascent becoming steeper. It was too late for me to give up though.
Instead of asking our guide if we are near the summit, I started to throw my “HUGOT LINES” (means the accompanying words draw emotions out of him/her) to lighten up the hike and became the “HUGOT QUEEN” in an instant! LOL! After 2 hours of painstaking walk, we reached station 2. I asked our guide again how many more minutes till we reach the summit and you don’t have any idea how relieved I am when he told us that we were 15-20 minutes away. Hooray! The experience was all worth it upon reaching the summit.
After enjoying the view and taking Instagram-worthy photos, we started our descent. We used a different trail to traverse in Tinipak River. If you think that going up was the hardest part, na ah! Descending was even more difficult.
My legs were shaking, I can no longer bend my knees, I can’t see the trail because it was too dark and only 3 in the group had flashlight. I’m too exhausted that’s why I kept on asking over and over again if we were near. It was an “Iyak-Tawa” moment for me knowing that we are still far from Tinipak River.
Finally, after more than 3 hours of descent, we reached our destination. Unfortunately, since it’s late in the evening already we didn’t see the beauty of Tinipak River (May Revenge to! Promise!). Some of them went ahead to Tinipak cave and did some spelunking while Me and Kei chose to stay at the sari-sari store to rest and eat. After an hour, we left Tinipak and proceed at the jump off point where the first group was already waiting for us because it was already 11pm (whaaaaat?! Didn’t notice the time!). We took a shower and fixed our things, paid the tour guide and left the place.
It was hardest climb I’ve ever done (out of 6 mountains as of this writing) and I will never ever forget the experience. I think I had a little bit of trauma after that hike because it took me a week before I was able to recover!
Mt. Daraitan: 739+ MASL
Jump off point: Barangay Daraitan, Tanay Riza Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2.5-4 hours Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-3
- At least 3 Liters of water
- Packed Lunch
- Trail food (nuts, chocolates, jellyace)
- Sunblock, Raincoat, Cap, Shades etc
- Extra clothes
- Waterproof bag for your gadgets in case of rain
- Flashlight / Headlamp
- Garbage Bag
- First aid kit
Tips and reminders:
- PACK LIGHT – It’s almost uphill from start to finish, so if you can lessen your weight it would be easier (Sabi nga nila, iwanan mo yung mga bagay na nagpapabigat sa buhay mo LOL)
- I know the trail is not easy. Just push through it and later on you’ll get used to it (Kapag paulit-ulit ka ng nasasaktan, masasanay ka na din HAHAH).
- Always register with the local tourisn center. Get a local guide if needed.
- Always follow rules and policies set by the authorities. Follow your guide coz they know what they are saying. (Kaya tayo nasasaktan madalas, dahil sa katigasan ng mga ulo natin. May warning na, tumuloy pa din LOL).
- Show respect and courtesy towards the locals.
- Do what good mountaineers do, LNT. LEAVE NO TRACE.
BUDGET: 500-700 pesos