“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” -Ibn Battuta

I was really captivated the moment I laid my eyes on this enchanting waterfalls. The pristine, clear water that flows directly from mountain top that turns to a beautiful shade of blue as it touches the deep catching basin will leave you breathless.

The long and tiring journey I had was instantly forgotten. I know for sure that this breathtaking view is just worth it. Though, I can only count on my fingers the falls I’ve been to, this place is really stunning and worth telling.

DARANAK FALLS is one of the flagship destinations of Tanay and is a popular summer getaway for locals and tourists from in and out of the country. This 14-meter high falls nestles calmly at the foot of the Tanay mountains.

dara1We threw ourselves under the tempting waterfalls though we can’t swim. Who can say no and resist its charm? The rubber tube saves the day for non-swimmer to still plunge in and enjoy this natural wonder. The refreshing cold, fresh, surging water of the falls will surely makes all the weariness in our body go away.


The big smile on my friend’s face who joined me in this adventure is so contagious

This place is preserved with the natural vegetation, complemented with ponds, and rivers cascading through elaborate tropical trees and plants.

d2.jpgd4.jpgd1This natural pool makes a perfect place to relax, unwind, spend quality time with your family and friends and to just to commune with nature.


A group of mothers having a good time


A stage father who wants his two sons to post for a good picture with Daranak Falls on the background.

There are available cottages for those who want to have a picnic. There’s also stores, carenderias (small restaurant) and souvenir shops inside. The cleanliness and orderliness of the falls is strictly maintained by the local government tourism office.


How to get there?

From Starmall (Jeep/FX) Terminal, Shaw Boulevard. ride a (Jeep/FX) bound to Tanay, Rizal for 58Php, then alight at the Tanay Public Market (Travel time is about 2 hours). Then, at Tanay Public Market, ride a tricycle going to Daranak Falls for 150 Php one way.

La Mesa Ecopark: My Temporary Escape


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

-excerpt from Desiderata

Once in a while it’s nice to be quiet and be at peace with yourself, to commune with nature and feel sweet serenity, to have a temporary break, do something different and do what you love to do.

For the time being, I’ll put the nagging voice inside of me of my to-do list and deadlines on mute. I’ll free myself of the feeling that I’m always racing against time. I just want a breath of fresh air and I just want to do the things that inspire me.

As much as my heart desires to go to a faraway land, I need to hold my horses because I don’t have much time on my hands. All I need is just a short trip. After battling where to go for hours for my nature tripping. I made a decision to discover what Metro has to offer. Then, I started hitting the road..

Thirty minutes away from home by jeep. I found myself lost and wandering in a residential area in Quezon City, along Commonwealth Ave just to fulfill my mission for today–a day of fun and adventure. I tried to recall a distant memory years back when I was here. I looked for unfamiliar traces that will lead me to my desire destination-my ‘safe haven’.


Hope arose when the big signage of La Mesa Eco park came in to my view. “I’m almost there!” I uttered cheerfully with a big smile on my face while catching my breath because of the long and tiring walk I’ve gone through. I continued the trail and walked on steel bridge with hanging plans and under the calm bamboo roofs. And without me realizing it, its not yet the main entrance to the Eco park, more walks to go. It’s now slowly creeping me the thought that I should have took the tricycle for convenience than to walk and personify my melancholy state.


Hidden wonders unfold before my eyes as I walked further into the Eco park (it’s not really bad thing at all to walk), it became reality that I was alone and surrounded by nature. The earthy smell of new-mown grass filled my nostril; the light wind caressing my skin left a soothing feeling on my being, the swaying tree breeze and chirping birds’ sound music to my ears. Then finally, after a very long journey. Here I am again.


La Mesa Eco park is a 33-hectare public park located right outside the natural boundaries of the watershed and 40 meters below the reservoir. This is a sanctuary when you want to feel the nature amidst the noise of the city. It provides healthful outdoor recreation and a true forest experience. If you’ve always wanted to come here but have no idea of what to do, let me give you the activities that you can do:

1. Enjoy true forest experience

Be captivated with a sight to behold. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life here lies a wonderful scenery of tall trees, different species of plants that will really take your breath away. You can enjoy sightseeing and nature tripping under the shade of trees.


The picturesque view of the lagoon


Enjoy the feeling of being alone and be surrounded by nature


Butterfly Haven. A butterfly sanctuary that dazzle visitors with these exquisite flying gems’ glorious hues and graceful elegance.


Stairway to heaven. Get a glimpse of the scenic view of the entire La Mesa Eco park and dam as you climb the 100+ steps stairs.

2. Relax and Unwind

These cottages provides one with a chance to reflect in solitude or the ecstatic feeling if you choose to bond and spend time with your family and friends.



3. Experience fun and adrenaline rush 

Aside from picnicking, the following are the activities that you can do:

PicMonkey Collage

Zipline. Feel the momentary rush and thrill of the ride and be captivated with the breathtaking view that awaits you on top.

PicMonkey Collage1.jpg

Horse back riding. Who says it’s easy? The guide told me that this tamed horse will give me an amazing tour of the park. But honestly, I almost had a ​heart attack every time this horse will move an inch. I’ll give myself a credit though since it was my first time.


Bungee Fun. I didn’t have the courage to try it because of the fear that instead of fun it might be a nightmare and ruined my mission today. I had a not so-good experience with this kind of activity that still lingers on my head until now.


Paint ball. If you’re on war mode. Try this thrilling paintball activity with your friends! I’m sad that I wasn’t able to try this activity because I go here alone.

Wall climbing and Archery are no longer available when I go here. But for those who are not into adventurous activities you can try:

Biking. It’s for free, if you bring your own bike. There are rentals, but you can only use their designated biking area and you cant go around the park.

Boating and Fishing. Experience and enjoy a paddle boat ride. There is a small lake you can boat around in but as of posting, it is closed because of a construction going on.


Swimming. The swimming pool facility that accommodates visitors looking to cool down while having fun.

If you’re planning to go here, you can bring food and you can bring anything you want!

For more information regarding La Mesa Ecopark, check out their website. You can also just call the following numbers (don’t forget to add +63 if calling from outside the country, or +02 if calling from outside Manila): 430-4051, 430-5207, and 430-5207 (telefax).

The entrance to the park is P40 for QC residents (with proof of residence), P20 for Quezon City students (with valid ID), and P50 for everyone else. Children below 3 feet are free, as well as senior citizens who are residents of Quezon City.