I run…therefore I am


A Most Unexpected Journey, Part II

It was the weekend when most of my friends were doing the Mt. Sembrano 25KM trail race and since it fell on a Saturday, I just couldn’t abandon my clinic works and join them. And so I messaged our Payasso FB group if anyone was up for some Sunday trail fun. A day passed and it looked like I’ll have to do it solo. Until I got a message from Meljohn (BoyP) of his planned trek to Matulid Falls which looked really dinky in the FB page he created.
But any BoyP invite I have learned not to ignore, recalling our 2012 accidental adventure which lasted the whole day. Check this out.

10422193_813130672098080_6992381218992550975_n 11159470_813130598764754_8330411649108722027_n 11159958_814071462004001_509795596615356725_n 11156399_814074722003675_6813012124825957220_n

11156355_814071175337363_4943457837684412426_n 11150646_814086032002544_2448555768758343333_n

And so I arrived at McDonalds near Ever Commonwealth at 4 AM. We were 7 in all including Doc Pitot, Dan & Russelle, Chito & Ariel. We left for Rodriguez, Rizal by 4:30 and after one endless descending drive to our starting area, we set out by 5:30 AM. So it’s a non-stop assault and more climbs along a dusty trail studded with bald brown mountains on both sides. 3 hours later (12 KMs), after more slopes and uphills, we found ourselves venturing into a forested zone peppered with white boulders, some the size of trucks. We coasted along until we reached a centuries-old giant tree lording the forest land. Soon, the plunge began with no end in sight. It only settled once we set foot on the river banks as we traced its winding meandering route.

11148589_814087172002430_4006820837714410232_n 10429264_814066735337807_2078482483747261695_n11149368_814087105335770_8834674537407880662_n

We were truly in the middle of a tropical forest replete with towering trees, oversized roots and cascading ferns. I thought we were the only outsiders there with a sprinkling of locals every now and then. Along the way, we encountered lumberjacks with finely cut boards of timber hanging on their backs and marching up to deliver their goods and get paid P350-P500 per board delivered. As we went deeper, we saw patches of newly burnt fields, some with ancient trees on their last struggle before being surrendered for charcoal making in a random exercise of the kaingeros. Definitely, certain sectors are making a hay from Rodriguez’s last swaths of remaining forest growth.

Freshly burned forest, anyone?

Freshly burned forest, anyone?

11164680_814077112003436_8170826949203322643_n 11150370_813573088720505_3297529443217495375_n 11152682_814077418670072_3281647077253614588_n 11059340_814073808670433_1136423237788500551_n 11078153_814084585336022_3649532351335682280_n 10404857_814082635336217_9219346591982383345_n 988918_814076438670170_5098025135817944834_n 11152682_814077418670072_3281647077253614588_n 1798644_814066842004463_4701377502443445350_n11182174_814077738670040_1850852588588961685_n (1)
By 9:15 AM, the rumbling sounds of Matulid Falls came, pulling us in to behold and enjoy its fascinating beauty. We stayed for a good 30 minutes to swim in its cool clear waters, refresh and eat. Now this was the highlight of this journey and totally worth the effort.

11094685_814079672003180_7397370917453931528_n 13419_813574025387078_7491280655902266392_n 11179976_814080265336454_2760940136214788874_n 11174948_813574212053726_2419055793410975439_n 11174953_813576685386812_6092300348092898186_n 11165009_814083155336165_2643234307606153688_n 10410274_813130462098101_4972117570521018926_n
In our return trip, we took another path less steep, this time tracing the river up as we scrabbled over boulders and crisscrossed the river many times. It still was a struggle but with new sceneries, it wasn’t as bad, especially when one is joined by a lumberjack with 50 kilos on his back. Once we reached KM 25, we took our short meal of halohalo, trail mix and bread.
The final 12 kilometers still featured mild hills but relatively, it was all descents which we took in with gusto and speed. We really had no choice as master BoyP, the brain, clock and compass behind this journey, had an itinerary by the hour to be followed. So every time we were seen slowing a bit, chitchatting or stopping, he would bring out his imaginary whip and crack it at us (like horses). So a little over 2 PM, we reached our starting point, took in some beer and kikiam before calling it a day.  It was a total of 36 kilometers and worth every step of the journey, indeed.

10906522_814077005336780_1864677278922122288_n 11102727_813576578720156_5813180499021317138_n 11148589_814087172002430_4006820837714410232_n 11161355_814068928670921_3209895167354913968_n


Goodbye, Matulid for now…

The road back took me 1.5 hours as we passed through Quezon City’s depressed areas of Payatas going up. It took us almost a full day but it was truly worth the trip.

Amazing photography by Dan Sagayap Alvarez & Doc Richelle Perez.  Now, I’d want me a GoPro camera myself!

point of entry: toyang / san isidro, rodriguez, rizal
approx distance: 36 km (2way)
local guide: not available for now
fee: free as of now
trail description: open trails (to the last sitio), kaingin trails, river crossings
chances of getting lost: 3 / 10
side trip: simbahang bato, pamintinan falls, kipot falls, puray falls, sitio inuman, balagbag, oriod, deadmans trail, japanese tora2 (to be explored)