Day 5: The Grand Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan Enchanted River

“Start the day with breathing life in and exhaling all the worries away”

– Fakir

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Features: Tinuy-An Falls, Bislig City, Hinatuan, Enchanted River, Habal-habal Tour, Surigao del Sur

I woke up heaving with excitement for my 5th day here in Mindanao. Everything I do here makes me feel the utmost freedom I wanted in life. The day will be as amazing as the previous days. I continuously fall in love with this place. After having my breakfast, I called my guide to start my day in Tinuy-An Falls. I read from other blogs that you need to go there early in the morning to catch the rainbow so I decide to go there around 0600. Bislig air is refreshing as Siargao Island. It’s a quiet place and very peaceful.

My guide fetch me at 0615, we started the trip to Tinuy-An Falls. From the main road going to the falls will be a rough drive. It will be a 30 minutes bumpy ride. Road blocks, mud and stone path will welcome you. We arrived around 0700, I am the first tourist of the day. I guess I was too early. I paid the entrance fee for Php 20.00. You can explore the place, swim if you like and get all the pictures you want. My first impression, I was overwhelmed by the grand falls in front of me. Pictures don’t give justice to the beautiful fall in front me. The Tinuy-An falls is very high and the curtains of water gives refreshing treat to the guest.

So at this point of time, Pryde (my camera) decides to kill its manual mode. HAHAHA : ( It was busted for some reason so I decide to get my pictures using my ipad and action camera. Still hopes high and enough cameras to cover my trips, I proceed in exploring the falls area. The Manobo tribes are the land lords so they will your guide if you want to check out the upper curtains of the falls. My guide is as quiet as I am as we go further up. There is a man-made stairs that will help you climb. Kuya guide is very kind to help me when we reach the slippery area. The cold splashes from the falls give me the refreshing feeling.

I reached the upper part of the falls, then swim in the ice cold water. The view was as fascinating as you view it below. Getting into high places relieve my addiction to adrenaline. It seems like all the issues in my life wash away by any scenic landscape in front of me. The love for adventure will definitely continue for as long as I can climb and hike and travel and walk and love this life. Tinuy-An Falls is a beauty you cannot see from its photos. It speaks more glamour in real life than check it out from the photos. It’s too dreamy to capture. To pretty to catch. Too real to get. These are my feelings as I view the wonders of the area. Really cool! Returning back to the main road after the trip, you need to ride into the Tribal Habal-habal which is actually part of the ordinance set in Bislig since they are the landlords of the area.

I made new colleagues all the way from Siargao Island. Upon embarking my way to Enchanted River, Jel’s friend from the DIY is also in Bislig for the same tour. I was just too early and unable to check that she messaged me several times for us to cut the cost of the habal-habal. Sometimes being too early can missed cheap opportunities. So, we fetch Grace from her inn and proceed to Hinatuan. We manage to cut the cost from Php 1000.00 to Php 700.00 which is still a good price. The motorcycle ride to Hinatuan is not a joke; another butt numbing trip for 45 minutes on a endless highway starts again.

We arrived at Enchanted River around 1000, registration fee Php 50.00 and you can explore the entire area which currently manage by the local government. At first glance, I am not as fascinated towards the River. It’s way different from the pictures shown in the internet. The turquoise color is gone and the deep blue abyss is not there. A bit disappointed but our guide said it’s currently not good to look because its high tide. Even the water taste a little bit salty. Since its high tide, river water meets the sea which is the reason why it’s a bit salty. Going here made me sweaty so I take the opportunity to dip into the cold relaxing water.

My high school friend Nilo was here when he globetrot Philippines for his work. I saw several of his photos from here so this made me decide to include Enchanted River as part of my Mindanao backpacking trip. I am a good swimmer but never a good diving. Taking my underwater photos gave me a hard time. This is part of the disadvantage of backpacking alone. No one will take your damn pictures. Good thing someone invented a timer for cameras. Whoever you are, thank you.

We waited for the fish feeding program in Hinatuan which starts at 1200. Grace got a really good spot at the upper portion and I got one on the lower portion. The staff feed the fishes for the next 15 minutes with background music. After the gig, we decide to go back to Bislig for Grace to take her Tinuy-an Falls trip and me to ready my pack. It was a quick day tour for both Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan. I cleaned up back to the hotel and ready my bags to Davao City. I ate roasted chicken for lunch which cost me Php 120.00 with drinks and rice.

I waited for Grace and we hopped into Bachelor Bus bound to Davao City, fare cost Php 300.00 for ordinary bus. The February wind is like a lullaby as we begin our journey. The road trip started around 1700, as we view Banana Plantation and endless greens of Mindanao. This time of my life really change my perspective about travelling this beautiful country. Its broaden my mind and views as we passed by the town after town. There are several bus stops for break and dinner time. As the night time crossed the sky line, I fell asleep and when I woke up we were in Davao Ecoland Terminal. The entire transfer took us 7 hours and it’s worthy. We catch a tricycle to My Hotel to check in but they are fully booked. They refer us to Daylight Inn, we got our double bed fan room for Php 300.00. Same pricing to surrounding inns in Davao, our is near the famous Bankeruhan and other establishment.

Finally, I was able to set foot in the one of the safest place in the world. Tomorrow will be the time to explore Davao City. For now I need to take a rest and have the best sleep.

Touch Down PIRATES!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

The Mother Falls of Aurora

Ditumabo Falls

The high and mighty. Showering me from the mountains

The high and mighty. Showering me from the mountains

After breakfast, we check in to our Villa in Barangay Zabali. It is a house converted to inn which can accommodate up to 40 persons. We left our baggage bring our cameras and swimming gears heading to trek to the falls. Aurora Province, our first tour will be the Mother’s Fall or Ditumabo Falls in San Luis, Aurora Philippines.

One Way

One Way

The Wooden Bridge, Imagine 300-500 passers everyday during the vacation season

The Wooden Bridge, Imagine 300-500 passers everyday during the vacation season

From Baler to San Luis, it takes around 30 to 45 minutes drive. Our tour guides give us briefing before we start the trek going to the falls, it will take one hour walking into the river, land and wood bridges before reaching the falls.

The Sun, The Forest and The Greens

The Sun, The Forest and The Greens

Freshly picked coconuts. Oh LIFE!

Freshly picked coconuts. Oh LIFE!

The river is very clean and locals maintain the spot. Bottled water and food are not allowed in the falls and trekking area but there are food stalls available at the jump off offering fresh coconut juice, grilled corn, barbeques and sodas.

Sweet Life

Sweet Life

Jump Off to the Mother Falls

Jump Off to the Mother Falls

The futile land of Aurora is very diverse and have beautiful scenery. It was a breathtaking sight for all of us. The water is crystal clear, cold and refreshing. The entire trek is perspiring and tiring but our eyes were fed by luscious surroundings. Reaching the falls gave us chills because the water.

The trail life

The trail life

A Man-made Dam to prevent flashflood during the rainy season

A Man-made Dam to prevent flashflood during the rainy season

The Ditumabo Falls is around 140 feet high. The flowing water gives cold air, refreshing everyone from their sweaty clothes. I did not resist from the cold water, I immediately dive giving icy bites on my skin. We swim for 30 minutes before deciding to go back because it was crowded. People coming from different towns filled the place.

High School Friends Photo Ops in the Water Duct

High School Friends Photo Ops in the Water Duct

The Groupie on the Duct, my college friends.

The Groupie on the Duct, my college friends.

We need to move to give space to other tourist so we went back. It was not easy going back because people are piling up on a line, trails and bridges are built for just one person. We need to take turns which makes trekking back longer. Trekking into the stone river area is not easy, people in different ages need to wait for their turns.

Water Duct from the falls to cascade the water downtown

Water Duct from the falls to cascade the water downtown

Little trinkets of water from the mountain

Little trinkets of water from the mountain

Some people where thrown away by the current of the water and it was not easy task controlling the rapids. When we reach the jump off, all of us are tired and starving.

Mini Dam with my Sister Jec and Future Bro-in-Law Chris

Mini Dam with my Sister Jec and Future Bro-in-Law Chris

The refreshing water from the Falls with Xy and Bandam (Bonding with great friends)

The refreshing water from the Falls with Xy and Bandam (Bonding with great friends)

It’s time for food tripping. I choose to get grilled corn for Php 20.00 / $0.45, coconut for Php 25.00 / $0.57, bottled soda for Php 10.00 / $0.23, barbeque for Php 30.00 / $0.68 and chip for Php 15.00 / $0.33. The good thing visiting here is that price is not that expensive unlike other known tourist destination, so KUDOS to Aurora Tourism.

The Mother Falls of Aurora

The Mother Falls of Aurora

Image Sources: Nilo Canlas and Xyrik Manongsong (Approved Photos)

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

 

Daranak Falls

Diving the clear blue water using the edge of humongous rock formation is an amusement for me. I dream of going to place where I can jump the highest cliff I will ever find. On a lovely day, touring a group of office mates in a magical place near our city. We went to Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal Philippines. This place is not a secret but few people in the Metro doesn’t know it exist.

d14One time, I got all the stress at work and want to scream my lungs out because of the toxic my job brings. I search the nearest place where I can swim to pour down this massive stress. I read a blog about a nature park which is only 1 hour drive from my place. Right there and there, I went in Tanay to search for the place. Before I went to the town, I read articles and blogs about the park. From the pictures the enthusiast uploaded, the place seems so magical.

Together with a friend, we explore the town and find our way to Daranak Falls. At first, I was astounded on what I am seeing because the place is very beautiful. The pictures I saw beats the real thing. I was fascinated about the park, it is very clean, cheap entrance and a lake where you can swim.

PLUS! It has a small cliff where you can dive anytime you want. The water from the falls magnificently pouring down endlessly. The water is blue and cold. A very refreshing afternoon for us to take deep swim and enjoy the nature.

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I jump several times off the cliff, in different ways and style. The thrill of the water splashing on your face and the cold water hitting your body will definitely cool your stress system down. I always go back to this place, I am in love with its simplicity.

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It was an amazing experience for and for the rest of my friends who I invited here. They were shock to know that there is a place where we can take a nature trip and give ourselves time to breath from the polluted Metro.

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How to get there:

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You can go to Tanay Rizal via Jeepney van.

PUJ
From Crossing, Shaw Boulevard Mandaluyong
Terminal next to Worldwide Corporate Center across Starmall. There is Shaw to Tanay Jeepney
Fare: Php 53.00 as of 21/12/2014

PUV
Starmall Terminal for PUV. Starmall – Tanay
Fare:  Php 60.00 as of 21/12/2014

Estimated Travel Time: 90 minutes

From Tanay to Daranak Falls

Take a tricycle from Tanay Terminal to Daranak Falls
Solo: Php 150.00 to Php 200.00
Fare: Php 30.00 to Php 50.00 minimum of 4 pax

Daranak Falls entrance fee is Php 50.00.

Cottage Rental: Php200.00 -300.00 for the entire day

You can rent floaters inside for Php30.00-50.00 for entire stay if its off-peak and per hour for peak season. Peak season is from March to June where people around the Metro seek the comfort of cold mountain water spring. The park is jam-packed by families. If you are solo traveler, you can ask the life guards to attend your things if they have fewer people. Just make sure to try the cliff dive. It was so worth it.

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