Tanay: Your Travel Guide to the Home of Adventure and Nature Experience – The Transport Queen

TANAY, RIZAL – A perfect tourist spot for motorcycle roadtrips, mountaineeers, adventurers, and even for those who hates trekking but still wants to enjoy mountain views and bathe in refreshing waterfalls. Tanay is located east of Metro Manila, just a few hours away if your coming for the weekend. Commuting to Tanay is also easy as public utility transport is available at Cubao and Shaw Blvd.

tanay

I am glad to be invited for a FamTour activity for Bloggers sponsored by the Municipality of Tanay under Tanay Tourism Office, headed by Mr. Jeffrey M. Pino.

Tanay Tourism Jeff Pino

Mr. Jeffrey M. Pino, Tanay Tourism Officer

Of course I was excited the moment I was chosen to join the FamTour. Packed my things for the expected itinerary (I have a very huge baggage consisting of extra clothes, Maong jacket, toiletries, etc. I never run out of clothes to wear on a travel but usually I bring light clothes to wear – no maong pants, all shorts).

So I slept at around 8pm, and woke at 2am, left Cavite at 3:30am and arrived Cubao at 4:30am. Call time is at 5am, we waited for the whole team at Jollibee P. Tuason, Cubao.

Upon the arrival of Sir Aldren, our Tour Guide for the day, he welcomed us with seashell garlands. Courtesy of Honorable Mayor Rex Tanjuatco and the Tanay Tourism Office. It was such a warm welcome to start the day.

tanay tour

Read on as I start our journey to the Home of Adventure and Nature Experience – TANAY!

DISCOVERING TANAY!

1st Stop – Municipality of Tanay

Our first drop is the Municipality of Tanay where we were oriented on what to expect on our Daytour plus the town’s history and culture. “Hane” the common expression of the locals means “Is it Ok?”, or to get someone’s attention. Sir Jeffrey Pino adopted it and coined HANE on Tanay’s Tourism Slogan:

(H) Home of (A)Adventure and (N) Nature (E) Experience! HANE!

Town of Tanay history – A short village on Monte Tan-ay, now Inalsan. Under the jurisdiction of Pililla from 1573. Tanay became an independent parish under San Ildefonso in 1606. In 1620 it was transferred to San Antonio (Pan-tay). When San Antonio was burned in 1639. The people moved to the present site and founded the town in 1640.

Tanay Municipal Hall
Tanay Municipal Hall

We have full load of activities on the list which made us even more excited.

TANAY ITINERARY

2nd Stop – Tanay Church and Town Plaza

  • Location: M. H. Del Pilar St. , Tanay, Rizal

The ecclesiastical administration of Tanay belonged to Pilillia up to 1606 when the first Church was built. The first church was completed in 1783. Tanay Church is also commonly called Saint Ildefonsus of Toledo Parish. The Tanay Church was actually declared by the NCCA (National Commission of Culture and Arts) as a National Cultural treasure church.

Tanay Church

In front of the Tanay Church, was a dead 100-year old Acacia Tree where it was graced into life by turning it into a huge sculpture or Our Lady of Guadalupe and San Ildefonso de Toledo.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe

3rd Stop – Rambull’s Bakahan sa Tanay Fastfood Restaurant

  • Location: Manila East Rd., Tanay, Rizal

We picked up our packed breakfast and lunch at Rambull’s Restaurant – Bakahan sa Tanay. It was amply called “Bakahan” or cow/buffalo slaughterhouse, because it was located beside a “bakahan.”

Rambulls restaurant

They prepared us macaroni spaghetti with sandwich for breakfast, and Chicken Adobo with Chopsuey for lunch. Inside Rambull’s is a miniature cow bull statue where you can ride for photo ops. Rambull’s set-up is that of a common eatery, I have yet to try their Bulalo – if it’s meat is comparable to that in Tagaytay.

4th Stop – Daranak Falls

  • Location: Daranak Falls Rd., Tanay, Rizal

Getting to Daranak Falls is just about 20 minutes away from the town center. And kids and adults alike will enjoy the view of Daranak less the hassle of trekking. Yes, it has cemented pathways and it is just about up to 5-minute walk from the entrance.

Daranak Falls

Daranak Falls is one of the flagship destinations of Tanay and a popular summer get-away for locals and tourists from in and out of the country. Daranak Falls nestles at the foothills of the verdant mountains. Its main attraction is the 14-meter high waterfalls cascading into a deep catch basin that serves as its natural pool. Its stream feeding from the fascinating view and beautiful pieces of rocks. The stream flowed serenely through massive different rock formations, creating pools of jade green and blue crystal blue waters ending up in the deep catch basin of the waterfalls and rivers. – Hon. Rex Tanjuatco, Tanay, Municipal Mayor

We enjoyed the breathtaking view of the falls. Rainy season is the best season to view the beauty of Daranak, though be extra careful since the waters are raging fast. Most tourists flock here during Summer, when the waterfalls was just enough for bathing.

Take a look at the amazing Daranak Falls in this short clip;

TIPS and Budget:

  • No Liquor and drunk persons allowed
  • Operating Hours: 8am to 5pm
  • Adult and Children P50.00
  • Picnic Shed P300.00
  • Picnic Table P200.00

5th Stop – Calinawan Cave

  • Location: Barangay Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal

Situated just a few minutes away is the Calinawan Cave. It is said to be the hideout of the Japanese colonizers during World War 2. The Calinawan cave is a huge cave system which can reach up to 7 levels. But only 5 levels are available for public tours.

Calinawan Cave Tanay

For beginners, only Level 1 & 2 are for viewing. Levels 3 to 5 can be accessed but not during rainy days. The water inside the cave can reached up to waist deep. To trek Level 3 to 5, one must walk on his knees, so we were contented with exploring Level 1 and 2 where challenged also surprised us ahead.

Calinawan Cave Tanay

Calinawan Cave is a famous “shooting spot” for action movies both local and international films. The tour guides will take you into a historical yet fun trip while you explore the cave. They even let us experience “zero visibility” for 10 seconds. Yes, we didn’t SEE ANYTHING for 10 seconds of silence and off lights. It was a thrilling experience and I imagined how did the occupants survived their stay at the cave. Take note that Calinawan Cave once became a shelter of Japanese occupants during World War 2, it was their hospital and home. It is also said that during those times the cave leads to Montalban (now Rodriguez), Rizal and was walk-able for 9 days from end to end, they used this as a hideout and access to escape.

Calinawan Cave Tanay
Level 1 of Calinawan Cave
Calinawan cave tanay
At last, I survived going through Calinawan Cave. Remember to wear proper hiking shoes or sandals because you might end up carrying your rubber shoes to save it from the mud, like me, haha!

TIPS and Budget:

  • Entrance Fee P20.00/person
  • Guide Fee P100.00/person
  • Operating Hours: 8am to 5pm, sometimes they extend up to 6pm depending on the weather
  • Attire: Wear helmet, bring flashlight or headlight, wear proper hiking sandals or slippers, bring bottled water, tissue or wipes *it is muddy inside

It’s nice to travel solo or with group, but it’s best to have a travel buddy. Thanks to Milet Miranda of Project Gora, she’s been my constant companion, we assisted each other and took turns in taking photos.

project gora

6th Stop – Nagpatong Rock Formation

  • Location: Barangay Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal

The highlight of our tour was the climb to Nagpatong Rock Formation.

Nagpatong Rock formation

We stopped at Brgy. Cuyambay, the jump off point, for a lunch. The locals prepared us a boodle fight of fish, ginataang puso ng saging (Banana heart in coconut milk), together with our packed lunch from Rambulls Restaurant – chicken adobo and chopsuey. We had a full lunch, just enough for the climb that we were about to take.

cuyambay

The tour guide had a short orientation before leaving Brgy. Cuyambay. Beginners like us might take about 2 hours to reach the Summit. Nagpatong Rock Formation is a 3.3 kilometer walk and with 560 MASL (metres above sea level).

Nagpatong Rock Formation is composed of 2 towering rocks facing each other. Ahead of Nagpatong Rock is Mt. Masungki (another 2 hours from Nagpatong base camp). Big rocks were formed on top of another, hence its name “Nagpatong.” Adjacent to the platform for tourists, the other rock, is a place for the tour guides to shot wonderful photos. They were trained to instruct tourists on how to achieve that “perfect shot.” It was wonderful to see numerous rock formation along the way. And while seeing all of these, makes me wonder “how did all these limestones get here?”, “why Tanay?.” In this inquiries of mine, our Tour guide Rhodel and Sir Aldren, however still tried to answer, they said that since a long, long time ago, the Philippines was buried in water, that only Palawan Island can be seen in the surface. That even Tanay was once buried in water. Hence, might be the explanation of the numerous rock formations as if the gods have played rocks and spread it in Tanay.

Hiking or trekking to Nagpatong is quite easy compare to that of Mt. Daraitan. For non-mountaineers like us, we took about 40 minutes to reach the 1st stop, where the sign of Nagpatong Rock direction can be seen.

mountaineering
Starting the trek
rock formation
Once in awhile I stopped by to take photos of the rock formations along the way. There are limestones and seeing these already satisfies the nature lover in me.
nagpatong rock formation
1st Stop – to Nagpatong, on the other side is the way going to Mt. Masungki
nagpatong rock formation
Welcome sign – the base of the Nagpatong Rock
tanay
Climbing the way to Nagpatong Rock Summit
Nagpatong Summit
Finally! Achieved Nagpatong Rock Summit! My legs were shaking at this point (heights, Aww!) so I comfortably find a spot where I can confidently positioned myself for a “buwis buhay” shot. It was also windy here so balance is important.

At my age, 40 (going 41 in 7 days after my climb), plus living mostly sedentary lifestyle, I considered it a BIG achievement to be able to trek the 2-hour walk going to Nagpatong – without panting and fainting. Also having a weight like mine made it difficult for me to climb over the rock. This is my VERY 1ST TIME and a dream come true for me to finally take what they call “buwis buhay” shot.

Special thanks to all the tour guides who assisted me, specially to Rhodel and Sir Aldren, and Kuya who never left my side during and after my trek to Nagpatong Rock. We wouldn’t make it to the top if it weren’t for their patience in guiding us along the way. They are so adept in the route and also minute by minute asking us if we still can continue, and informing us of what to expect along the way. Plus, they are good photographers!

tour guide
Kuya Rhodel and Kuya (sorry I didn’t got his name).

TIPS and Budget;

  • Rock/Mountain climbing is an extreme sport, never ever try if you have heart conditions, an asthma, a vertigo, or have fear of heights;
  • It is not for the faint of heart,
  • After climbing up the 2 storey wooden ladder, you will hold on to a tied rope and push yourself to climb over the big rock to go on the platform;
  • You may slip if you missed your step and fall;
  • Falling is fatal, climb at your own risk
  • Bring at least 1 liter of water (there’s no water to buy nor clean spring along the way);
  • Bring jellyace, gatorade or chocolate bars for energy and hydration
  • Apply Sunblock
  • It helped that I applied Haplos Ginhawa Moringa Oil as an anti-mosquito repellent as well as it instantly soothe my muscle
  • Bring a stick or be resourceful enough to get a bamboo stick along the way, it’s very helpful;
  • It is a nice hiking experience since most of the trail is an open area and flat,
  • The climb to Nagpatong base will take you 15 to 30 minutes of assault climb;
  • Wear comfortable clothes, travel light as much as possible
  • Registration Fee: P100/person
  • Guide Fee: P500 (maximum of 5 persons per guide)
  • Total climbing hours for beginners may take 5 hours (back and forth).
  • It is advisable to start early in the morning

The beauty of Nagpatong Rock inspired me to write a poem Life is Awesome, Live It!

7th Stop – Pico de Pino Cafe & Restaurant

  • Location: Brgy. Cuyambay, Marikina-Infanta Highway, Tanay, Rizal

After our very challenging Nagpatong Rock adventure, we headed to Pico de Pino Restaurant to freshen up and for snacks. We were already so tired to take photos of the place, I was glad Sir Aldren had these photos. I enjoyed the food especially the pancit and brewed coffee. They also have a small shop – perfect if you need to buy extra clothes, slippers or some souvenirs. I bought a pair of slippers to freshen up my feet (my rubber shoes and socks were wet and muddy), for just P150.

Pico de pino
Photo credits to Sir Aldren of Tanay Tourism Office
Pico de Pio restaurant.
We had fresh lumpia, pancit and a refreshing juice for snacks. Plus, a complimentary brewed coffee which tasted so good!
Pico de Pino
Photo credits to Sir Aldren of Tanay Tourism Office

8th Stop – 3 Springs Mountain Park, Tanay, Rizal

  • Location: Km. 56 Marcos Highway, Sitio Mayagay 2, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal

Due to time limitation, instead of passing by at Ten Cents To Heaven, we headed straight to 3 Springs Mountain Park. But unfortunately, I together with 2 other bloggers didn’t make it to the lobby or restaurant of 3 Springs. Our van got stuck up in the mud, and folks have been trying to get it out and took about an hour before successfully pulling itself out of the mud. The three of us who were sitting at the back decided to stay inside the van for added weight (maybe it will help while they try to get the van out). But after about 15 minutes, the two of us, @peculiarlymade, decided to get down and walk towards the location of the 1st group of bloggers. Flock of students, tourist buses were already moving out, but we were moving forward to where they are coming from. Though tired from our already exhausted day of hiking, we enjoyed the view of sunset.

sunset
Sunset view at 3 Springs Mountain Resort

But we didn’t make it to the resort, the 1st batch who headed earlier were already coming back to where we came from. Said the dinner was cancelled because of the delay in our schedule. So, we also took a ride at their vehicle and head back. Once back, our van was still hopelessly trying to get up from the mud, and at last after about 5-8 minutes, our van was right on track! It was alright for me to finally be heading back home, after all, I miss my kids!

GET TO KNOW

Special thanks to Tanay Tourism Office (DOT Tanay) Sir Jeffrey M. Pino, for choosing me to be one of the bloggers for this FamTour and all the staff of Tanay Tourism for the warm welcome and accommodation. 

Tanay Tourism

Want to experience Tanay? Feel free to contact their local tourism office:

  • Tanay Tourism Officer Jeffrey M. Pino 0998-988-1590/7361059
  • Email: tanaytourism@gmail.com
  • Address: Ground Floor, New Tanay Municipal Hall, M. H. del Pilar St., Tanay, Rizal 1980
  • Contact numbers: (02) 6551773 loc 212-213 / 09985788199
  • Facebook page: Tanay Tourism

How to get to Tanay if your a DIYer:

  • You can ride a Van or jeepney at Starmall Edsa or Cubao or choose your options in this list – Commuting to Tanay
  • Once in Tanay, you can ride a tricycle going to places
  • It is best to get to the destinations by private car (preferably SUV for areas with rough road)

We missed these destinations though in our itinerary;

  • A feel of 3 Springs Mountain Resort
  • Ten Cents to Heaven – Team Building Venue, Longest Zip Line in Luzon
  • Bakasyunan – Bali of Tanay
  • Parola/Lakeshore – Panoramic View of Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw, Talim Island, Tagaytay City. Perfect Sunrise/Sunset photography.

Now as of this writing, and checking on the web about those destinations that we missed, my passion for adventure was ignited, and I am longing to go back to Tanay and consider an overnight stay for more ADVENTURE! I am inspired to get fit so I can brave the other mountains of Tanay! We can do it, TANAY, HANE!

Special thanks to my Tanay Bloggers Family for making the tour a fun, and unforgettable tour to remember, follow their blogs too!

Tanay Bloggers Fam Tour
Tanay Bloggers Fam Tour Team

For more photos of my Tanay Adventure, click here Tanay Daytour Travel Guide  and Nagpatong Rock, follow me at my social media accounts:

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