Let me tell you a story about a falls less taken. Last Sunday, March 20, I went on a tour of the Province of Rizal. The first order of business is to visit the Angono Petroglyphs. Afterwards, to beat the heat of summer and to eat lunch, our initial itinerary is to chill in Daranak Falls. But Daranak Falls is usually swamped with people, so someone suggested that we go to the falls less taken, the Batlag Falls.
How to Get to Batlag Falls
Batlag Falls is located in the Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal. The beauty of all this is it’s not far away from the busy city of Metro Manila. For only 2 to 3 hours via private or public transport, you will arrive in this tranquil place. If you’re driving your own car, Batlag Falls is easy to locate. You can just ask the locals how to go to Daranak Falls, the more known of the 2 falls in Tanay. Daranak and Batlag Falls are situated in the same area, I can call them sister falls. But the more convenient way to find Batlag Falls is through Waze. Yes, technology. 🙂
Once you’re there, depending on the volume of people and vehicles present, you may need to park your car quite far from the main entrance of the 2 falls. When we got there, our van cannot go farther near the entrance, so we just rode a trike that takes us to the entrance of Daranak Falls. The trike fare costs Php 50 for 5 people. Not bad.
When we got to the entrance of Daranak Falls, we were surprised with the volume of people already there. I even thought that there’s an event happening! It is jam-packed with tourists, excursionists and locals alike. But then it’s a Sunday and vacation season just officially started, so that might explain the beyond normal amount of visitors. Hopefully, on a regular day, Daranak Falls is not this crowded. Otherwise, this may not be the right place for people who just want to relax and have some peace and quiet.
To go to Batlag Falls, there’s no other way but to first pass through Daranak Falls. Yes, that also means paying the entrance fee for both Daranak and Batlag falls. Mautak at swerte itong may-ari ng Daranak Falls. Double earnings. The entrance fee is Php 50. Kids below 3 feet are free of charge.
Upon entering Daranak Falls, I noticed that it’s even more crowded inside. I like the wooden bridges that we have to pass through. Below there are already people swimming. I haven’t seen the actual falls since you have to go deeper into the area to find it. We went here for Batlag Falls, which is farther up Daranak Falls. There’s a sign and a footpath you can follow. You will have to pay Php 100 to proceed to Batlag Falls. After that, it’s around 5 minutes uphill walk to get to the resort where the falls is located. I got a little tired, but when I saw the forest and the comparatively less crowded area, Batlag Falls is worth the extra bucks and exercise.
In the middle of a dense forest lay a row of cottages and tables. We sat there to rest for a while. That uphill walk is sure tiring, or maybe I just lack exercise. Batlag Falls is more nature than an actual resort. So for people who prefers to have the facilities of a resort, you may be disappointed here. But for those nature lovers who’s up for an affordable adventure, then Batlag Falls might fit the bill. While waiting to finally settle down, I roamed around a bit to get a glimpse and feel of the area.
We then settled down and prepared to eat. We chose a table just across the waterfalls. It’s a nice little spot because we get a direct access to the falls. We’re 10 people and the table feels cramped up. But who cares at this point, I just want to eat. I’m so hungry! It’s nice to just eat outside with a group of people surrounded by the beauty of nature. Living in Metro Manila for years, I suddenly missed this kind of scenario. This is exactly what I need. 🙂
By the way, make sure you bring all necessities you need, including food, water, snacks, everything! The food and water inside the vicinity of Batlag falls cost a fortune! Like bottled water will cost you Php 100. Ice is Php 30. Coke, Php 150. What kind of sorcery is that? And oh, it says in the entrance that alcoholic drinks are not allowed, but you can buy some inside. LMAO. Besides, they don’t check your bags, so it’s very easy to sneak some in. *grins*
Batlag Falls Up Close
Now to the hero of this place, the Batlag falls. First, it is not overly crowded like the Daranak Falls. I guess the fact that you have to pay twice is hindering people to go here. The falls look like a veil. It’s like 2 falls combining in the middle. The entire falls area is not big. It is quite small, actually. The water is cold and looks bluish green. It doesn’t show in photos, but sometimes the water has this glowing look to it. I was surprised that the water is not deep. It won’t even reach my waist, I think, even if I’m close to the waterfalls. But then I’m a tall guy, so take that for what it is. What I love about Batlag Falls is the surrounding forestry. Balete trees adorn the area, putting some ambiance of mystic to this already natural beauty. There’s this big balete tree right smack the middle, which can serve as shelter from the heat of the sun or a nice spot for photographs. You need to be careful, though, because the rocks and area around it are really slippery.
As far as the facilities, I am not impressed. It needs major improvement. It is not well maintained. But as I said, this is not a posh resort and of course, you get what you pay for. But I just wished they can provide a clean and good bathroom. The bathroom is a little “baboy,” as one of the guy I’m with refers to it. And I kinda agree. The shower area has no privacy. The floor is muddy. I went there to take a pee, and I can’t even find a spot where I can actually do it. There’s no toilet, too. I saw some portalets outside, but there’s no sign that they are actually usable. And who knows what’s in store when you open them. Oh, and when I turned on the shower, I heard someone from the girl’s shower room shout, “Nawala ang tubig.” Crafty.
Overall, it was a fun couple of hours. I am just realizing how much Tanay can offer in terms of locations to explore, and Batlag and Daranak Falls are among them. I prefer Batlag over Daranak just because there’s less people and it has a hidden paradise feel to it. Batlag Falls has a potential to be really enchanting, it just needs more maintenance. But overall, I recommend this to those budget friendly adventurers who don’t want to go far to experience the beauty of nature.