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Quick escape from Manila: Tanay Rizal

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Staying in Manila sometimes can get real boring without beach, waterfalls and all the stuff the Philippines is famous for. This time we went to Tanay, located in the Rizal province, beside Laguna de Bay.

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Danarak Falls

The town usually isn’t explored by tourists, but it is a nice place for a day trip getting away from Manila. In our itinerary we included the two waterfalls, Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls, Calinawan Cave, the second oldest Tanay Church and the refreshing Parola lighthouse. To get there, we took a van from Starmall(Edsa-Shaw), which took us only 1.5 hour to get to Tanay market, probably because it was 9am the traffic was not as heavy as usual. The van ticket was 70php per pax. After getting off at Tanay market, we went to buy some food before dealing with the tricycle driver who we finally talked into giving us a package of all places we wanted for 400php. But you can always bargain. Just don’t let them scare you off with their first say 1200php, which is total nut.

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On our way to the waterfalls

The kuya(the term used in Tagalog that means brother) drove us to the waterfalls first. Danarak Falls costs 20php and Batlag Falls 100php. Danarak Falls was nice but it was packed with lots of local tourists, families and kids. Buoys for rent, 5php. To get to Batlag Falls we trekked for 5-10mins with a bridge connecting the two falls. On the bridge you will see people doing rock balancing. Real amazing. Was my first time seeing that but we didn’t get down to take photos. Batlag Falls was way better because there were less people, plus the water wasn’t so deep. There’ll also be picnic tables for rent. Enjoying the natural massage from the falls was a delight of our trip.

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The amazing looking Daranak Falls
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Batlag Falls
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Kuyas for the buoys rent
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Daniel at Batlag Falls, after his bottomless mojito drinking the night before that made his daytrip a hell in Tanay!

After the waterfalls, we went to look for our kuya driver who took us to the Calinawan cave. It was a disappointment tho. The fee was 20 per pax but you will have to pay another 100php for the compulsory guide. The guide during the whole walk in the cave just said “Careful!” and “This is another stone”, and understood almost no English from us.

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The entrance of Calinawan cave that says a bunch of things you can’t do inside. But my friend threw up inside and the guide was happy with it so i guess you can pretty much do anything.
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Me and Daniel from Colombia
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The guide took okay pictures for me tho
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She said the bats left.
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With my cool kuya driver

After Calinawan cave we took the tricycle back to the Tanay town and then off to Parola. In the native language it means lighthouse. It is beside the Laguna de Bay stemming from the waterfalls of the northern mountains. We walked up the Parola and enjoyed the scenes from the top. You can taste the tranquility of the lake with the fishermen bringing tons of fishes up from the water. They put them to the trucks off to the market.

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We enjoyed the views on our way back to town.
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Fishermen at the laguna port
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Buckets of fishes ready for sale!
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Views from the top of Parola
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You can also see that side of mountains where the waterfalls are coming down to join the laguna.
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We were discussing if it is salty water because it seems like they can still cultivate the whole land.
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The whole Parola view
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And to the top we were at!

Finally we were off to the Tanay church, which is the second oldest catholic church there. A big praying inner setting with the backyard comprising of two chattels, while you can also walk upstairs to the gathering hall.

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Tanay church from the outside
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Inside the praying hall

I wrote in the previous post that I always go for the local food. They are unexpected, maybe in a bad way but why not? This time was no exception. We found a local eatery next to the park beside the church. They sell cheap filipino dishes. We got two noodles for 55php(1.5USD)!

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The local eatery with several filipino dishes
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Our food was not that good but i guess we just don’t really like the filipino taste

Tips & Things to note

  • After getting off at Tanay market, a bunch of tricycle drivers will come to you. Make sure you get the best deal around 120php only for the falls OR 400php for everything like we did(It’d be a half day package)
  • Remember to hide your camera in your bag before getting to the entrance of Batlag Falls to avoid the 100php extra charge
  • My advice to skip Calinawan cave as the rocky road from the waterfalls to the cave will be so uncomfortably shaky and the cave itself was just ok
  • Parola in tagalog means lighthouse. Usually the stairs going up are locked. Kindly ask the restaurant in the opposite if you can go up or tell to the kuya to ask for you
  • When we headed back to Manila we avoided the fully packed van and waited for the next one. It took one hour for the van to be fully loaded again. Lesson learned: grap the full van and go! because it’s gonna be crowded at the end anyway

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