PLACES WORTH VISITING IN TANAYRIZAL

Mt. Maynoba, Tanay

One of the municipalities that you can find in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range is the laid-back town of Tanay. This means that this municipality is full of adventures and ecotourism. Tanay boasts of many awe-inspiring waterfalls, majestic rivers, and hike-worthy mountains. In this blog, let me share some places worth visiting in the municipality of Tanay.

PLACES TO VISIT IN TANAY RIZAL

With its proximity to Metro Manila, a day hike in the mountains of Tanay is what mostly draws tourists to this municipality. Here are a few mountains worth hiking in Tanay:

MT. CAYABU and MAYNOBA TWIN-HIKE

The Maynoba Circuit boasts eight mini-waterfalls that can be reached after descending from its summit. They say that Maynoba offers the highest chance of witnessing the sea-of-clouds of all the Rizal mountains. It’s a twin hike because it requires you to trek Cayabu’s summit first for an easier trail to Mount Maynoba.

MT. DARAITAN

Mt. Daraitan Summit. Photo Credit: Daryl Ocampo

Daraitan is the most popular hiking destination in Tanay Rizal. Its summit has limestone formations, a view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, and a glimpse of Laguna de Bay.

MT. NGUSONG KABAYO

Mt. Ngusong Kabayo. Photo Credit: RB Platon Barit

Mt. Ngusong Kabayo in Brgy. Laiban is one of my favorite mountains to hike. Its summit has a limestone formation that looks like a horse’s muzzle. Hence came its name ‘Ngusong Kabayo’. A trek to the summit during the rainy season rewards you with sea-of-clouds and four beautiful waterfalls.

MT. BATOLUSONG

Mt. Batolusong is probably one of the easiest hikes amongst all Rizal mountains. Most of its ascending part is just at the start of the hike for one hour. And once you reached Duhatan Ridge, the trail gets easier all through Mapatag Plateau.

NAGPATONG ROCK FORMATION

Photo Credit: Leori Enriquez

Nagpatong Rock is really not a mountain per se, but nonetheless, an easy and very enjoyable day hike destination. It’s a must-hike during the pandemic as it tends to get crowded especially on a weekend.

THE WATER ADVENTURES

There are several waterfalls and rivers in the municipality of Tanay. Some are easily accessible, while some require hiking to get to the place. Here are some places worth visiting in Tanay for those who love water:

DARANAK and BATLAG FALLS

Daranak falls is the flagship tourist destination in the municipality of Tanay. It’s the most accessible one and no hiking is required to get to the waterfall. Daranak is managed and protected by the local government of Tanay. The upper part of the waterfall is a privately owned land. It has another waterfall which is called Batlag Falls.

LAIBAN FALLS

PLACES WORTH VISITING IN TANAY
Kalaparan Falls

Brgy. Laiban prides itself of four beautiful waterfalls. The falls can be reached through hiking Tangwa Peak, descending to the four waterfalls, or simply trekking through the river ascending to the falls.

SANGAB CAVE

PLACES WORTH VISITING IN TANAY

This cave is sitting next to a quiet campsite in Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal. It can be a perfect place to relax after hiking Mt. Batolusong.

TINIPAK RIVER

PLACES WORTH VISITING IN TANAY
Photo Credit: Crystalaine Rabino

What’s a perfect way to relax after a day hike in Mt. Daraitan than seeing the rapids of Tinipak River. You can take a dip on some of its swimmable basins, or you can simply relax and listen to the river.

KAY-IBON FALLS

PLACES WORTH VISITING IN TANAY
Kay-ibon Falls

This waterfall is easily accessible through Marilaque Highway. It can also be a side-trip when hiking Mt. Batolusong.

HOW TO GO TO TANAY RIZAL

Tanay is just a couple of hours away from Metro Manila. There are several ways to go to the hiking capital of the east.

PUBLIC Transportation: Jeepneys and UV Express (Public SUV’s and Vans) are the most common mode of transportation going to Tanay, Rizal. There are terminals in Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Cubao, Quezon City area.

PRIVATE CAR: Driving to Tanay has always been the best option for me. There are three ways you can get to Tanay. First is through Antipolo, via Ortigas Extension (Pasig). Second way is through Binangonan, via Angono Baytown (C6-Taguig). And lastly, which is probably the most widely known option, via Lower Antipolo, or Marilaque Highway.

WHERE TO STAY IN TANAY

An overnight stay in Tanay is so satisfying. Rizal province has very good weather all year round. Thus, it is best for outdoor enthusiasts like me. You have a number of options with your accommodations. You can stay in a fancy hotel, a relaxing camping ground, or a budget-friendly resort hotel.

Ten Cents to Heaven Leisure Camp
http://tencentstoheaven.com/
Address: Sitio Mayagay II, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Contact Numbers: (+632)8542-2087, (0999) 888-6227
Momarco Forest Cove Resort & Hotel
https://www.momarcoforestcoveresortandhotel.com/
Address: Sitio Bathala, Brgy. Plaza Aldea, TANAY
Contact Numbers: (+63)917-851-3623, (+63)928-559-5306
Lambingan Hills
https://www.facebook.com/Lambingan-Hills-Official
Address: Narra Street, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Contact Numbers: (+63)921-571-2014
Treasure Mountain
https://www.facebook.com/TreasureMountainTanay/
Address: Sitio Maysawa, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Contact Numbers: Not available at this time
Balai Tanay
https://www.facebook.com/BalaiTanay/
Address: Daraitan Rd, Tanay, Rizal
Contact Numbers: (+63)917-529-1578

Visit Tanay all-year-round

Tanay is known for a few things. Its mountains, waterfalls, highway, camping sites, and even its diction, ‘hane?’. But more than those things that we already know, Tanay always surprises us with new places worth visiting in this municipality that’s full of adventures. For me, Tanay is indeed the Philippines’ adventure capital of the east. If you are coming to Metro Manila for a few days, and want to escape the city for a day or two, Tanay is the place to go!

P.S.

Read more about the Province of Rizal on my previous blog.

Panguil River Eco Park, trek to Ambon-ambon Falls

Pangil is one of the municipalities in the province of Laguna that is accessible in the east of Metro Manila. Most of its barangays are conveniently situated at the southern tip of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Thus, Pangil is blessed with all sorts of natural attributes. And the best place for ecotourism in Pangil is none other than Panguil River Eco Park.

What is Panguil River Eco Park?

Panguil River Eco Park is an ecotourism resort by the river. They offer several water activities, riverside cottages, a camping ground, and a gazebo for events. The place has a nice receiving area right across a wooden hanging bridge. The staffs are friendly and every transaction comes with a receipt.

What to do in Panguil River Eco Park?

There are several things to do in Panguil River, but the best and most enjoyable activity is the trek to Ambon-ambon falls. And this is mainly what this blog is all about.

The trek to the waterfall is mostly by the river. You will walk, swim, and/or ride a bamboo balsa to reach the falls. The first part of the trek is just a clear and well-maintained pathway of concrete and stairways made of pebbles and stones.

Panguil River Eco Park

We reached the first river crossing after a few minutes of walking and we were too excited to take a dip thinking it’s the only river crossing. We were reminded to leave our cellphones behind, but I guess we never paid attention. Lol!

Panguil River Eco Park

The second river crossing was relatively easy too. It was only knee-deep with a rope across the river as a guide.

Panguil River Eco Park

It was just a walk in the park up until the 3rd river crossing when there’s no pathway anymore. You already need to swim or ride a bamboo balsa to continue with the trek.

As we get closer to the waterfall, it was like the challenge is getting upgraded. And yes, that was the best part of this unique trip.

The last part of the trek is a wooden ladder sitting on top of a huge slippery rock. And you’re there already. You will see a glimpse of Ambon-ambon falls after climbing that ladder.

Ambon-ambon trek
Ambon-Ambon Falls
Ambon-ambon Falls

WHAT ELSE TO DO IN PANGUIL RIVER?

Panguil River is an Ecotourism Park. They have several cottages by the riverside, pavilions for those who want to stay overnight, a dorm-type accommodation, a kiddie pool, a dam/spillway, a camping ground, and a gazebo for events. They also offer a water-tubing activity down the river from the lower portion of Ambon-ambon falls.

How to go to Panguil River Eco Park?

DRIVE: Pangil is just 2-3 hours away from Metro Manila. Drive to Famy, Laguna via Tanay-Pililla Road. Once you reached Famy, Panguil River is just 5-10 minutes away.

COMMUTE: Ride a Raymond bus to Infanta and drop off at Famy 7-eleven. The bus terminal is in Sampaloc, Manila. There are jeepneys passing through Pangil from Sinilioan going to other Laguna Municipalities right across the road.

You may also contact them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/panguilriver.

Links to previous blogs:

Bunsuran Falls
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Rizal Province

Wow, Bolinao! (Bolinao, Pangasinan)

Bolinao is one of the coastal towns in the province of Pangasinan. It is popularly known for its giant clams that are locally known as ‘Taclobo‘. This municipality is also widely known for its waterfalls and beautiful fine-sand beach.

Bolinao Falls 2

HOW TO GO TO BOLINAO PANGASINAN?

Bolinao is a  6-hour drive from Metro Manila. Here are a few tips on how to get to Bolinao:

PRIVATE CAR: You can drive north to Tarlac via NLEX. Bolinao is just a couple of hours away from Tarlac.

*You may also opt to rent a van for your family’s trip through Van Rental services. I highly recommend Taong Kalye Van Rental Services. Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/noahoberez.

COMMUTE: Five Star Bus offers a direct trip from Cubao, Quezon City to Bolinao. Or you may also take a bus to Tarlac, and then take a regular bus from Tarlac to Bolinao.

WHERE TO STAY IN BOLINAO?

Birdland Beach Club

We have been to Bolinao four times already. And during our most recent 3-day stay in Bolinao, we stayed in Birdland Beach Club in Long Beach, Bolinao. It’s the best place to stay in Bolinao! It’s just 5 minutes away from the market and bus terminal. It has a reliable internet connection, several room accommodation options, and an overall quiet, relaxing environment.

You can book your stay directly by contacting them using the following information, or you can book using Airbnb, just like we did.

Birland Beach Club, Bolinao
Website: https://www.birdlandbeachclub.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birdlandbeachclub
Phone number: +63 977-807-4794

Here are other accommodation options in Bolinao:

Treasures of Bolinao
https://treasuresofbolinao.com/
Address: Treasures Rd, Patar, Bolinao
Contact Numbers: +63 906-475-9366
Rockview Beach Resort
https://www.facebook.com/rockviewbeachresort14.net
Address: 2406 Patar Rd, Bolinao
Contact Numbers: +63 905-261-6686
Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort
www.puertodelsol.com.ph
Address: Patar Rd, Bolinao
Contact Numbers: +63 2 8710-7371, +63 917-554-2859, +63 908-895-8491
Sundowners Vacation Villas
www.sundowners.ph
Address: Luciente 1, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Contact Numbers: +63 (977) 859 7299, +63 (998) 544 8070
El Pescador Resort Hotel
www.elpescadorbolinao.com/
Address: San Andres St, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Contact Numbers: +63 999-992-6184, +63 927-145-0110

TOURIST SPOTS TO VISIT IN BOLINAO PANGASINAN

Bolinao is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pangasinan, and even in North Luzon. Not only that it has very good and relaxing accommodations, but it also has a few places worth visiting! Here are some of the places you should not miss visiting when in Bolinao:

Patar Beach

Patar Beach

Patar beach is a public beach area in Bolinao. It has beautiful cream-white fine sand and clear turquoise blue water. It is free for everyone’s access, and one is not required to rent a cottage. Wouldn’t it be nice if all beaches in the Philippines are like that?

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse.

Bolinao Lighthouse

This lighthouse was built in Patar, Bolinao in 1903. It stands at 351 feet above sea level on top of Punta Piedra Point. It provides a panoramic view of Patar white beach and Cape Bolinao Dendro Thermal Ipil-Ipil Plantation.

Enchanted Cave

The enchanted cave is indeed so enchanting. It’s probably the most beautiful underwater cave that I have seen so far. It has clear cold water inside and there are lights installed. There are also giant clams shells around the area which means that this cave as well as its surrounding used to be part of the ocean!

There are two other underwater caves in Bolinao, but the Enchanted Cave is the most popular.

Bolinao Falls 1

Bolinao Falls 1

Bolinao has a series of waterfalls on its streams. The first waterfall that you will see when entering Brgy. Samang Norte is simply called Bolinao Falls 1. It’s the tallest waterfall in Bolinao and has a deep basin of more than 30 feet.

Bolinao Falls 2

Bolinao Falls 2

I like the second waterfall better than the 1st one. It looks more quiet and peaceful. It has several huts beside the waterfall perfect for a family picnic or barbecue time.

There is a third waterfall downstream which we decided not to visit at this time.

WHERE TO EAT IN BOLINAO

My personal favorite in Bolinao is Tummy Teasers because they offer a variety of food options on their menu. For budget travelers, I would also highly recommend JQ’s Corner. Tummy Teasers restaurant is in Poblacion, along Saturnino Camaingan Street (the road leading to Patar Beach), while JQ’s Corner is right beside the bus terminal.

Here’s my list for you:

JQ's Corner
Type: Budget Breakfast
Location: Poblacion
Contact number: +63 915-925-7627
Giant Taklobo Resto Grill
Type: Sea food
Location: Patar Road
Contact number: +63 921-463-0623
Bolinao 2 London
Type: Grill and Cafe
Location: Poblacion
Contact number: +63 921 563 5765
Sungayan Grill
Type: Sea food
Location: Balingasay 
Contact number: +63 912 353 4433

WHY VISIT BOLINAO?

Bolinao, Pangasinan is a 6-hour drive from Metro Manila, but it’s so much worth it. It has everything that you will ever wish for in a vacation; waterfalls, underwater caves, a white-sand beach, and a totally relaxing accommodation.

It is possible to visit Bolinao on a one-day trip. Some tour agencies and operators offer day-tour packages to Bolinao which are normally really cheap. The itinerary includes leaving Manila at 12 AM, arriving in Bolinao at 6 AM, and going home after a whole day full of adventures. But I highly recommend that you stay for a few days so you can maximize your time at each tourist destination.

The secret to a perfect Bolinao trip is to spend a few days and just feel the serenity of the place. Thus, choosing the right accommodation is certainly one of the most important things in planning your travel to Bolinao.

Let me share a few photos of our very cute accommodation in Birdland Beach Club.

Links to previous blogs: Cebu, Bataan, and Antipolo.

Bunsuran Falls, a Waterfall in Antipolo

There is a waterfall in Antipolo City known as Hinulugang Taktak. It used to be the flagship of Antipolo long before it became a city. Unfortunately, it became polluted in 1960, and it never recovered despite a few rehabilitation efforts. But did you know that there is another waterfall in Antipolo City? I just recently discovered Bunsuran Falls.

Bunsuran

Bunsuran Falls is flowing at the foot of Sierra Madre Mountain Range, in the heart of Upper Marikina Watershed, Calawis, Antipolo City. The Upper Marikina Watershed is a protected landscape. Its preservation is crucial to Metro Manila as its streams flow directly to Marikina and its nearby cities. This gives us hope that Bunsuran will not end up like Hinulugang Taktak.

HOW TO GO TO BUNSURAN FALLS?

PRIVATE CAR: Drive to Marilaque via Marcos Highway, passing Cogeo/Padilla. A few minutes after passing Boso-Boso Highlands resort, there is a wet market. Turn left as soon as you see the busy marketplace. Follow the signs that lead to Mount Purro Nature Reserve, and then turn left when you see a bridge and a sign that says ‘Bunsuran Falls’.

COMMUTE: Take a jeepney to Paenaan. There are terminals in Marikina and Cogeo. Tell the driver to drop you off at ‘Veterans’ or ‘Kanto ng Veterans’. Then you can take a tricycle going to the falls jump-off point. There is no hike required. The waterfall is just a 5-minute walk from the parking area.

Bunsuran

WHAT TO DO IN BUNSURAN FALLS?

Bunsuran has an interesting landscape. Its water flows on a huge wide rock that creates a series of steep drops to a few basins. One of its basins looks like a natural jacuzzi, while another one downstream is a deep basin where no one is allowed to swim. Here are a few things you can do in Bunsuran:

Relax on a Natural Jacuzzi made by Nature

Bunsuran

One of the basins of the waterfall is a 3-foot natural pool rock formation that looks like a Jacuzzi. This is one of my favorite spots on the falls.

Cliff jump

Antipolo

We have seen some locals cliff diving from a huge rock towards a 6 ft water. Please be careful though, it only has a tiny space between the rocks and the water, and it may be prone to injury.

Camp

Bunsuran

Outdoor enthusiasts can camp by the riverbanks. A local guide is required if you are staying overnight.

Swim

Bunsuran

There are only a few areas for swimming in Bunsuran. Most parts of the river are shallow with less than 4 feet depth of water. And that’s a good thing for non-swimmers. 

Picnic or Foodtrip

You can bring food, or grill a barbecue on the riverside. There are also food stalls near the falls. Please be responsible for your own trash. Clean as you go and leave nothing but footprints.

WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BUNSURAN FALLS?

The best time to visit the falls is BER-months or rainy season in the Philippines. If the stream does not have enough water, the place looks too dull and unattractive. In Bunsuran, the more water, the more fun there is! Let me share some additional photos to help you decide if the waterfall is worth visiting.

SAVE THE STREAMS!

Antipolo City has become Rizal Province’s capital since July 2020. With this, we can expect more infrastructure buildings and subdivisions in the next few years, but it’s good to know that Antipolo has not totally lost its natural beauty. We really hope that we can keep Bunsuran Falls as it is and protect it from becoming polluted like the other streams in the city.

P.S.

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