As an archipelago of 7,107 islands and a tropical country blessed with some of the world’s greatest biodiversity, it is a given that the Philippines can serve as a good playground for both beginner and seasoned hikers alike. Some photos are from Kim Soledad.
Together with my sister and 11 college friends, which comprised mostly of first time hikers, I went all the way from Metro Manila to Tanay, Rizal to hike at Mt. Daraitan. Located at the heart of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Mt. Daraitan is an ideal mountain to do as a dayhike for people from the metro. However, if you have time, it is recommended that you stay there overnight since the area offers various activites from hiking to spelunking. I woke up at 2:30 AM to prepare since we should be at Greenfield City, Shaw Boulevard by 4 AM. At 3 am, my sister and I rode a cab to Shaw and made it on time. I didn’t have enough sleep. I only had about 2 hours of sleep. I always have a hard time sleeping before hikes. Fortunately, being sleep deprived that day didn’t become a problem to our hike, but it was the next day. The day after the hike, I felt weak and slept more than usual. If you can, get enough sleep before the hike.
Is climbing Mt. Daraitan good for beginners? Not really but it can be with proper preparations. What made the trail hard was its steep trail. It was an all assault hike, with its slope more than 80 degrees, that might feel steep to those not used to hiking. During our hike, it rained… kinda hard, making the trail not only steep but also muddy and very slippery.
Despite the hike being their first time, I’m glad my friends were able to conquer Mt. Daraitan’s summit and I’m sure it wouldn’t be their last summit to reach. Yay!
Did I get tired? Not really. The hike pace was chill. It was in a slow pacing and I have prepared myself mentally a night before. I wasn’t able to prepare physically due to lack of time so I just read online articles about the hike and prepared myself on what to expect on the said hike. The thing that stuck on my mind was that the hike is an all assault hike.
With a slow pace, it took us 3 hours to reach the summit. Upon reaching the summit, we ate our packed lunch right away.
MORE OF ME (’cause there are too many rocks to climb and I’m adventurously vain hahaha)
Our descent experience was a different story. Due to the rain shower that caused the trail to be muddy and very slippery, it took us a little longer than expected. With a chill pace, it took us 3 hours to reach the summit and about 4 hours to go descend. We had to be very cautious during the descent since some of the branches we were holding on to were not that strong.
Due to the slow pace and lack of time, we descended using the route from the summit to the barangay. Thus, we weren’t able to see the Tinapak River. Although steeper and takes more time, the trail to Tinapak river is a highly recommended route to take from the summit. In that river, you could explore its springs, natural pools and caves. You might be wondering how the area looks like. Here’s a screenshot of my screen when I searched on google:
But, it’s okay. There’s still a next time and safety over beauty!
… and we conquered Mt. Daraitan and had tons of fun!
The most memorable days usually end with the dirtiest clothes!
Need a Mt. Daraitan travel guide? Here you go! (Click this link)