So, where can you go with less than 800php for a day trip and still have a helluva fun? We went to Tanay, Rizal. *insert winking and excited emoji here*
The original plan was actually to explore the seven lakes of San Pablo, Laguna. I, the usual “pasimuno” of trips, and along with 8 of my officemates/friends, planned the trip. But then like all other best laid plans, of course five of them couldn’t make the trip. So two days before our planned schedule (November 6, 2016), and since there are only 4 of us left (Me, Rochelle, Weng, and Edward), we decided to go to Tanay, Rizal instead.
That was actually a trip we have planned before, but had to cancel because of increment weather conditions. And since then we’ve always wanted to go.
It was early morning when we left Roch’s house, where we all stayed for the night. We took a cab to Cubao but when we arrived at the UV Terminal, they told us there was no UV that will take us straight to Tanay. So we opt to ride a jeep instead that will take us to Cogeo. And it was actually one helluva ride, really. When we arrived at Cogeo, we took another jeep (bound to Sampaloc).
We arrived in Tanay at around 7:30am. There were some tricycle drivers waiting there that asked us where we were headed. We told them we’re headed first to Pililla, Rizal (the windfarm). We were told the trip will cost 400 pesos back and forth for that trip alone. We settled with Kuya Dindo’s price. He also offered us if we wanted to take him up for the whole day, going around all our destinations for P1,200. We agreed with that since there are 4 of us to share the expenses.
It was quite a long, rough ride before we got to the view deck of the Pilillia Wind Farm. There weren’t many vehicles on the road and we got a good view of the windmills from there. From the road, we could already see the scattered wind mills along the hills of Rizal, standing tall on the fields of green and almost, but not quite, reaching up the sky.
It was a little breezy that day, a great day for viewing the windmills. We arrived around 8 in the morning and there were already a number of people around the area. There was a souvenir store where you can buy miniature windmills and at the back of it are the comfort rooms where you have to pay Php 5.00 for usage.
We checked out the place, and took a few pictures of the scattered windmills. Some were close and some were far. There was one at the viewing area where we also took a picture of.
On the view deck, a large fish pond down at Tanay was visible. And it looked almost surreal because of the beautiful hills and the magnificent clouds.
There was also an area where information about the windmills can be read. There were posters about the positioning of the windmills and about energy and science stuffs.
And of course we didn’t waste the chance to have a picture with this guy.
We got back to our tricycle ride before 9 in the morning. And this time, we’re headed to Regina RICA.
Upon arrival, we were asked for a parking fee of 30php. Kuya Dindo parked just beside the entrance so we walked our way towards the large statue of Mama Mary.
There was a long queue at the sacred walk towards the statue. So it took us a few minutes before we reached the top. Along the way, we saw a few sheep and cows.
At the top, we followed the crowd inside and there was an orientation of the do’s and don’ts upon entering the statue. Shoes or slippers were not allowed inside so we were given bags where we can put them while inside. Also, since it was sacred ground, taking pictures was not allowed and we respected that so we didn’t take any.
Inside, there was a nun that leads the people for the prayer and meditation exercise. It was really quiet and you can really feel the sacredness of the place.
We were only able to take pictures when we exited the inside of the statue. At the top, we can see the church below and the bottom of the hill and other flowers that were a little too photogenic.
We also took the chance to do the Labyrinth Walk. It was the sacred walk where you can pray while walking and when you reach the miracle tree in the middle, you can have a wish and give an offering. We thought maybe it will be just a quick round, but as we were walking, we realized the path is like a maze and it actually took us several minutes, especially that the sun was a little too hot that day.
At the end of the hill, there was the church and a well where people are pouring divine water into containers. We don’t have any containers so we just splashed the water on our faces and on our hairs. So when we entered the church, we were all wet looking. We didn’t attend the mass since it was just 10 in the morning and the mass is at 11 o’ clock. But we did stay inside the church for a few minutes to offer our prayers.
After that, Kuya Dindo took us to The Gathering Cafe where we had our lunch and where we change to shorts because we will be going to Calinawan Cave next. We stayed for a few more minutes after eating because the nipa huts were too relaxing and oh, can we just stay there and sleep?
Upon arrival at Calinawan Cave, we were asked to log our names and there is a fee of 20php per person as entrance, and 10php for the rent of the helmet. The mandatory fee for the guide (for the first two levels only) is 200php. When you opt to go all the way down to the fifth level, you had to give additional guide fee of your choice.
Luckily, the guide assigned to our group was Ate Daisy, the same guide that was in Rated K’s episode that featured Calinawan Cave. She was very funny and accommodating like she really know what she’s doing and know the Cave and its history so well. (She didn’t even wear a helmet) She talks a little too fast and sometimes she’s really hilarious, getting along with us four just right.
Along the way, Ate Daisy has pointed out Stalagmites and Stalactites.
She also showed us fake ones that were there because they were used in TVs and Movies. At the second level, she asked us to turn off our lights. We were all hesitant, especially that she wasn’t telling why. And for goodness sake, we’re a few feet underground in a cave! There were lots of thought going in my head, like maybe there were ghosts, or maybe once we turn off our lights, she’ll scare us or leave us there. Once our lights are turned off, she told us not to say a word. And we obeyed (reluctantly, I might add).
While the lights were off and no one’s talking, I can feel Edward (who’s in front of our line), moving backwards closer to us. I wasn’t moving and trying to adjust my eyes to the dark space, but no luck, so I just tried to be alert for whatever was about to happened.
But nothing happened. I was a little embarrassed that we were only scaring ourselves. Ate Daisy just wanted to prove that on the second level, you could experience zero visibility. When she asked us to turn on our lights again, she was still crouching in the same position as before.
After a few crouching, creeping, and trying to get through really tiny spaces, we finished level 2. Ate Daisy asked us if we would like to go on for levels 3 to 5 and there was a little confusion on that. At first, I don’t want to do it because I was too tired and thinking that levels 3 to 5 would be more difficult makes me sick. But then we decided to go on since we’re already there and we’re more about the experience and the memory of it.
So there. We made it 120 ft. underground. Yay for us!
And of course we took a few pictures on our way back up. We also took pictures the moment we stepped outside the cave, missing the fresh air while we were inside.
We looked at ourselves and we were really dirty and muddy (especially Edward and Weng), a true sign that we made it up to the fifth level. And it was a rewarding feeling, really.
Kuya Dindo asked us if we still wanted to wash up since we look really gross because of all the mud and the sweat, but we told him we’ll wash up at the falls instead. So we head straight to Daranak Falls.
The original plan was to go to both Daranak and Batlag Falls. With all the plans I’ve read, Daranak Falls gets a little too crowded and Batlag Falls is more quite. But since we’re a little tight on time and budget, we just decided to just stay in Daranak Falls alone.
We paid the entrance fee at the desk upfront and we pass this bridge and noticed that the place looks more like a resort with a natural falls. There were cottages and comfort rooms and tables around.
The falls itself is beautiful, with the stream of water emerging from it. The water was cold and clear and blue. The trees around gives visitors the perfect shade. There were quite a number of visitors from all ages, swimming and wandering around.
Since three of us were non-swimmers, we decided to just stay at the spot in front of the falls.
We enjoyed it there because there was a tiny falls with water fall where we experience a natural back massage, though it got a little tiring when exposed to the water for too long.
We stayed there for a while, just sitting, watching the waterfalls, taking pictures, and just relaxing after the spelunking in Calinawan Cave. We decided to wash up after a few more minutes, since we still wanted to go to the lighthouse before the sunset.
There weren’t many people when we get to the lighthouse and the person in-charged even let us climb up the top.
The view of the sunset was spectacular. I love how the colors blend in the sky. This is actually my favorite part of the day: the sunset. It always amazes me how beautiful the sky gets; how picturesque and surreal it looks. It makes me realize how amazing things always come in the end.
Before we left the lighthouse, we had a picture with our tricycle driver, Kuya Dindo who is so kind and accommodating.
After that, he took us to the jeepney terminal going to Antipolo where we will catch another jeepney back to Cubao.
And no matter how late and tiring it gets as the night progresses, you couldn’t wipe off how great and unforgettable our day had been. 🙂
List of expenses: