Summer 2012 : A Trip to Daranak Falls, Rizal

I’ve been really busy this past month, with dance practice on my list almost every other night in preparation for the big day. And you guys should know that I’m not a dancer by profession, I’m a nurse :)) So I work eight hours in the morning from 6 am to 2 pm, and then run off to dance practice for another four hours or so. Go home, sleep, wake up, repeat. Despite the hectic schedule, it kind of grows on you: the laughter, the bruises on every frickin joint that hits the floor, the most amazing group of people working towards the same goal. I miss it so much already, and I’m looking forward to July, when we’ll have our next series of practice for another performance.

In between work and dance practices, I kinda got to include an outing, at least. I would have hoped that my only outing for this summer would be with friends, but it’s not the case. Nevertheless, it was still one great adventure. Who knew there was a touch of paradise a couple of hours away from Manila?

For our department Summer Outing, we headed to Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal. It was a two-hour trip from Taft, Manila to Tanay, Rizal . I’m not so sure how much it costs to commute to the place, but the entrance free? Twenty pesos. Pwede na ba idagdag sa sagot sa, “Anong mabibili ng twenty pesos mo?”

We got ourselves a spot on one of the comfier and higher “cottages” (I’m not so sure what it’s called), with a great view from the top of the falls.

Going down posed a bit of a challenge, because it was slippery, and rocks were everywhere. One wrong step and my camera might not ever see the light of day again :)) That, or I could get injured bad.

Provided that it was so accessible to Manila, and the entrance fee was inexpensive, a lot of people flocked over to Daranak Falls to cool off. It just like swimming in a really big ass swimming pool, except that it kind of gets deeper at the farther areas (how deep? say 40 feet?), and there’s also the experience of getting massaged by the pressure of the water falling from the height of forty to fifty feet. It’s like Ace Water Spa, only more natural and inexpensive.

On the more shallow areas of the water, walking or attempting to keep your feet flat on the ground posed as a huge challenge because there were rocks everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, and you’re just so unsure of every step. There were huge, dull rocks, and their were small pointy, rocks. It’s like walking on a bed of needles, so you might want to go to the deeper areas of the water, the ones free of rocks. Since I don’t know how to swim, I rented one of those salbabidas / floaters to get me to the farther areas of the water. We swam for around two hours, then got tired and got out of the water to eat lunch.

I was enjoying so much, my OC self forgot to question the sanitation and cleanliness of the water. Is it safe? Yeah, I guess so. It’s been two weeks since I was there, and I’m still okay. Is it clean? Maybe. My other friends say that on top of the falls is a cleaner, more private area called Batlag, the entrance to which costs a little more. We didn’t get the chance to explore that area, but maybe next time, we’ll make it a point to.

Also, I want to try and jump the twenty feet jump next time! I want to know how it’s like to do something you’re deadly afraid of, despite my lack of capable lungs. It’s a challenge. During that day, most of the boys were jumping from the twenty-feet point, and when two brave girls approached the twenty-feet point, all the boys were cheering for them to jump. How sexist that they’re probably thinking that all girls are still modern-day damsels in distress, but yeah, it is not usual to see many girls taking that risk. I will show those guys next time! :)

Makes me wonder though, how difficult can it be? You just stand at the edge, and hold a deep breath. Jump steadily, and try to break the water with a clean dive. If I jump standing, it would be easier to get back to the surface. Jump, and when I make contact with the water, the shock of the pressure from the water would squeeze out whatever air I tried to hold in, and I would open my mouth to gasp for air and — easy enough. :))

Here are some photos of me and my friend, Paula, who was really helpful. I wouldn’t have any photos at all if not for her Iphone. Thank you

Having dessert. Paula, me, and my dishevelled hair, plus an empty lanera of leche flan

The ride back home

That’s it for now! Hope you’d try and visit Daranak Falls for yourself. It’s an awesome photoshoot location for photographers and models, and a breathtaking site for those who wish to take a break from all the urban lifestyle shit and experience nature for themselves. -ED

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