Thursday, December 8


I have the city at my doorstep and the mountains at my backyard. 
I love living at the Junction!

For a public park, Daranak Falls can surprising exceed one's expectations. The pool under the waterfall alone is bluer than I expected (the water of course is not blue after the rains -- video below).


The place is so beautiful on a sunny day that the pool below will call on you to dive. Opposite the waterfall (facing this picture) is deep enough that you can somersault from the ledge and never hit the bottom of the pool. Ever since I learned how to swim, I've fallen for jumping off ledges and cliffs. I tried it first in a tubing trip with friends in Cotabato, back in college -- the feeling of being caught in the middle of an irrevocable decision to leave solid ground, yet still be too far from hitting the water and swimming . . . that suspended moment mid-air that always recall Wile E. Coyote in my mind, had been incomparable. It's liberating!

the water will call on you to dive -- I swear!
After your first plunge, you can either take the long route back up to the ledge via the steps for a second jump, or climb the rock-face directly from the water -- which is faster and shorter -- to increase the frequency of your jump; just watch out because the rocks are sharp and will cause injury to soles and toes softened by the water.

Since this is a public park, the best time to go here is on weekdays, when there are hardly any people. I recommend this because these days make it feel like the waterfall is your private place. Weekends and holidays though are a different story.

the small waterfall opposite the picture above
climbing a little of the rock-face of the waterfall

That's how you chase Daranak Falls!
Easy does it.

* Jeep to
Tanay, Rizal @ Crossing & get off the public market terminal.  Take a tricycle to Daranak Falls.

* About 1.5 hours by jeep
Additional 30-minutes or less by tricycle


* PhP53/head jeepney fare (terminal to terminal)
* PhP50/head one-way tricycle will get you as far as the turning to the access road from Sampaloc Rd (an additional PhP50/tricycle when you ask the driver to pick you back up will get you all the way to the entrance of the falls)
* Park entrance is PhP20/head

Chasing Waterfalls Series:
Pagsanjan Falls
Ambon-ambon Falls

Friday, December 2


I have the city at my doorstep and the mountains at my backyard. 

I love living at the Junction!

My sister said that as children, we went to  Pagsanjan Falls with playmates from the neighborhood. The problem with going to places like this below the age of 10 is that you don't recall it. Or at least I don't, with my poor memory. 

So I wanted to go back there because I wanted to see for myself the very-talked-about skills of the bangkeros maneuvering through river-rocks. 

And from that experience, I learned  it's possible to live in a tourism-commercial. It was truly breath-taking moving through a river between 2 walls; waterfalls revealed at almost every turn. I could imagine it from the eyes of someone not born and raised from a tropical place. I wonder how it all looks like looking down from the gully . . .

1 of 9 minor waterfalls on the way to Pagsanjan Falls

Seeing the foot-works live, pulling about 300-pounds (me, my friend Sandra, and the boat) of weight between them against the current, truly is impressive!

Whoever thought of paddling upriver and bringing tourists to the falls at the end of it, was brilliant!

on my way to Devil's cave

That's how you chase the Pagsanjan Waterfalls
easy does it!

* There are a few bus depots at Buendia, Taft with trips to Sta Cruz, Laguna. Then a jeepney to the town of Pagsanjan.

* About 3-hrs by bus & less than 30-mins by jeep
* The boat paddling to and from the waterfalls will take about 2 hours

* Bus fare is under PhP150/head one way.
* Jeepney fare is under PhP30/head one way.
* Some online resources will say the boat is PhP500/head but the posters in town says PhP1,000 -- so if you get a PhP500/head price, let me know!

Chasing Waterfalls Series:
Daranak & Batlag Falls
Ambon-ambon Falls

Thursday, December 1


I have the city at my doorstep and the mountains at my backyard. 
I love living at the Junction!

the falls, all the way from the top, at its source
Of the day trips I've made since I started this CALABARZON campaign, Panguil River Eco-Park is by far the best. There's light trekking, bamboo rafting, river swimming in varying depths (as deep as 18-feet), ledge jumping, waterfalls massage and a short tubing to top it all off -- Call that fulfilling and cost-efficient!

The getting there is slow -- a drive through the mountain highway of Rizal province will give you a scenic view of the beautiful Sierra Madre Range as a back-draft to Laguna de Bay. Then there's a hanging bridge to cross and a serene river to distract you before you go on 3 short bamboo raft rides to cross the  river.

 And when you're ready, you can take a plunge to the beckoning river

but not before you spot a snake hanging at a cliff 
-- don't worry, the guide will point this out to you hahaha

spot the snake

When you get there, I tell you, WOW would be an over-used word. 
Wow, because it's so accessible, you'd wonder how it could be there 
and you've never gone before this day.

taking my niece and her friends to see their first waterfalls, and taking them all the way under it
when your guide permits it, take a tube with you & ride the current
 Make sure to be friends with the guides, because they'll tell you the best spots to jump.
The best spots to swim at.
The places where you can drink the water from the leaves.
 and basically get away with a few fun stuff that only locals would do.

Once you're all exhausted from having chased this waterfalls,
you can then take a tube ride half of the way back to the hanging bridge.

easy does it!

* Route 1: Jeep to
Siniloan @ Big R, Cainta & get off the public market terminal.  Take a tricycle to the eco-park.
* Route 2: Bus to Sta.Cruz, Laguna @ Buendia, Taft. Then jeep to Panguil -- get off the church. Take a tricycle to the eco-park.

* About 2-hrs by Route 1
About 3.5-hrs by Route 2


* Route 1: PhP83/head to Siniloan and PhP80/tricycle (fits 6 people)
* Route 2: About PhP140/head bus fare, plus an estimated PhP50/head jeep to Panguil and a PhP15/head tricycle fare
* Park entrance for non-resident is PhP40/adult and PhP10/child -- same fees applies to foreigners.
* Standard rate of PhP180 (group package for 6) to go to Ambon-ambon Falls.

* Tubing is PhP20/adult and PhP10/child
* Optional: small nipa hut for PhP200

Chasing Waterfalls Series:
Daranak & Batlag Falls
Ambon-ambon Falls