Mang Mario said his hometown in Daraitan, Rizal is just about 2 hours from Antipolo, Rizal. He initially wanted us to meet near the Antipolo Church at 6AM and we could all just go to Daraitan together. But it was a Sunday and I'd still be coming from Katipunan and my colleague is from Montalban so 6AM was just too early, eek!
So we met at Starbucks in Antipolo though i had my breakfast meal of longganisa at McDonalds, yey! From Antipolo we hailed a tricycle to take us to the sakayan ng jeep to Gate 2 in Cogeo. We got on the jeep and the ride of our life was about to start. And apparently that ride took us two hours! But it was a smooth ride and the scenery was just breath-taking.
I spotted a few cyclists and bikers, the air was cold and fresh. It's my first time there and as time passed and we went farther I felt like Baguio was just within reach, lol.
After about two hours we finally reached Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal. The town of Daraitan is still much farther ahead and we could opt to get on another jeep which happens to be alas-puno. Or we could ride a habal-habal which accomodates only two persons per bike (in Mindanao, habal-habals could accommodate 6 persons per ride hehe), or we could ride on a tricycle which i felt was much, much safer. I have once met an accident somewhere in the mountains of Leyte aboard a habal-habal, nah, I'd get on a different mode of transportation if I could help it. At last we were able to negotiate with a tricycle driver who gave us a good enough deal. We first dropped by a gas station for him to fill-up, and a vulcanizing shop for his tires to be checked. Looked like we were in for another adventurous ride, eh!
Mang Mario said the tricycle ride could take about twenty minutes, the driver said it would take us an hour, naku!
It was a good thing that it did not rain. The road towards Daraitan was pretty rough it made me feel like we were actually traversing on a dry riverbed. I realized why the driver said it was gonna take us an hour, he had to inch slowly on the road I felt like we were almost tiptoeing on rocks and soil.
After almost an hour, a few photos and video shots, and a lot of murmured prayers we finally, finally reached Daraitan.
And what a sight indeed! There was a cool blue-green pool, okay it was a river. A few people were frolicking in it I felt like i wanted to dive in as well. It was hot and the waters seem cool and very inviting.
Ahh, but we had work to do and and we need to get across the river.
After about a couple of minutes, we saw ourselves setting foot on Daraitan soil. And what actually greeted us was a well-kept community with paved roads, a church, a barangay hall and a multi-purpose hall where people in the community could gather and even spend time for recreation.
I tried googling more about the area and found out that it is actually trekking destination and I saw more inviting photos about the place. Too bad we were there to work.
After quick interviews and taking a few video shots of the area and the people we had to head back home. Because home was still several miles away...
Mang Mario invited us to go back hopefully in summertime so we could go around more and finally get to dip in their cool blue rivers, nice thought, nice thought indeed. Kahit malayo, salamat talaga, Mang Mario! :)