April 20, 2012. Some friends from law school and I took a day from our summer break to go on a road trip east of Metro Manila to the western towns of Rizal.
Our first stop was the town of Rodriguez, just half an hour’s drive from Quezon City, to frolic in the waters of the the abandoned Wawa Dam and its reservoir.
Situated upstream from Marikina River, Wawa Dam is an American colonial-era infrastructure nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains flanked by two majestic natural limestone walls covered in lush foliage. It used to supply water to Manila until the building of the Angat Dam in Bulacan. By legend, it was the infamous Bernardo Carpio who caused the separation of the limestone mountain which stood right where the dam is, as he was breaking free from bondage, and thus resulted in the flow of water creating the river that leads to Marikina.
We proceeded to Antipolo, further upland into Rizal where we paid a visit to Antipolo Church, a famous pilgrimage site, and to some waterfalls made infamous by a popular folk song, Hinulugang Taktak.
The falls, however, have all but lost its traditional charm, and nowhere is it near its folk song glory, having turned into a massive catch basin for detergent and other sewerage from residents upstream.
Before heading out of Antipolo, we dropped by the ‘pasalubong center’ to sample some local rice cakes to take home.
We were supposed to drive further east to the town of Tanay to end our day trip in the waterfalls of Daranak and Batlag, but my classmates didn’t think it was a good idea, as it was getting dark late in the afternoon.
As an alternative, we proceeded south of Antipolo to a town along the banks of Laguna Lake, Angono, famous for its artisan families. We ended our trip with some drinks at Nemiranda’s Arthouse’s restaurant.