Tanay adventures

June 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

me and my lovely daughter in sierra madre

me and my lovely daughter in sierra madre

Have you been to Tanay? I have. Whenever I have some money for gas, I go as far as Little Baguio in Infanta Quezon.

You just take the Marcos highway, way pass Cogeo and way, way pass Foremost farms. It’s my dream to buy a 10 hectare lot there in Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay. Just 50 kilometers from Manila. The air there in Tanay, especially in Barangay Sampaloc is sooo cold. If you visit Sierra Madre Resort, you’ll find the place lonely and very comforting.

Jesus lives in Infanta Quezon

Jesus lives in Infanta Quezon

Marcos highway runs through Antipolo, then, Boso-Boso and Tanay. The end of the highway is Little Baguio in Infanta Quezon. There, the weather is wonderful. It’s airy. Its also somewhat scary because there’s a small number of people who live there.

The town is full of christian churches. I think churches there outrank and outnumber residents. Sierra Madre is full of millenarian groups and cults and its no wonder that some of them call Infanta and Real towns in Quezon their home.

Little Baguio, Quezon Province

Little Baguio, Quezon Province

See this road going to Little Baguio? People here always gawk whenever some vehicle passes thru because its not so often that private vehicles or buses passes thru this town.

Former president Ferdinand Marcos was the one who planned the construction of this road. He wanted a shorter route to Quezon from Manila. See this mountain? That’s the last concrete road. The government has not been able to finish the project. Last year, I was able to go up to that mountain to see the last path linking Little Infanta to Real. It’s still not finished. Hope that the local government of Quezon sees this and prioritizes it. Great to experience driving from Antipolo to Quezon. Heard Real is a wonderful sleepy town.

Cave along Marcos HIghway in Quezon Province

Cave along Marcos HIghway in Quezon Province

There are so many interesting things and places to visit in Sierra Madre. A few kilometers away from Little Baguio is a cave formation. You can actually see it while driving. It’s beautiful. Unknown to many, there’s someone who lives there because I saw that the back of the cave is gated. Good grief. Men still live in caves?

Interesting ya? Get that car right now and drive up there. It’s really a breeze going there. Many things to see, many things to think about.

The one thing that really pissed me off during my travels up there is seeing whole mountains destroyed because of mining activities. There were two mountains there with mining operations. That ruined my day.

Kalinawan Cave in Tanay

Kalinawan Cave in Tanay

My joy came back when we visited the Kalinawan Cave in Tanay. The route going there is easy. From the Tanay town center, you count about 4 to 5 kilometers. If you see the sign pointing to the way going to Daranak Falls, that’s it.

Before you reach Daranak, you’ll see a sign pointing to Kalinawan Cave. You traverse a very small rough road.

Go here first before you even go to Daranak. The cave is somewhat “mystical” because, some folks say, this is the cave where Bernardo Carpio stayed. I don’t know about that but this cave system is huge! I don’t have a flashlight and I was not able to enter the cave. I’m with my young daughter and I fear na baka me sawa there.

Cave Entrance in Kalinawan cave in Tanay

Cave Entrance in Kalinawan cave in Tanay

Great cave but scary. The cave is supposed to run through San Mateo. Legend says the Japanese made it as their sanctuary and camp during World War II. Was’nt able to verify this since I was just at the mouth of the cave. Next time, I’ll bring along my flashlight.

Seeing the cave, I thought how insignificant am I in God’s scheme of things. The cave is about 50-70 feet high. I felt like an ant.

my daughter who wants to enter the cave

my daughter who wants to enter the cave


Kalinawan cave is actually a system of small caves leading to what some say is a great chamber inside. This cave system, some folks say, was used by the Katipuneros in their fight against the Spaniards. There’s also an underground network there, which I was not able to check since I don’t have a flashlight.

I have more cave photos here but I don’t think I can upload them all there. Suffice to say that I felt fear when I went there. I don’t know why. I don’t have phobias. Or, do I?

Chandelier at the mouth of Kalinawan Cave in Tanay?

Chandelier at the mouth of Kalinawan Cave in Tanay?

I want to see if there are religious shrines made by Filipinos or remontados (the name of the group of people who migrated here from the lowlands to avoid the Spaniards).

Some folks in Tanay say that these cave systems are as old as 40,000 years old. Don’t know about that. How do they know?

Some even say that the first Filipinos were born here, though that’s quite possible. Hey, paging the UP Archaeological Society! Any plans of exploring these caves? Maybe there’s still artifacts left there? Earthen jars or bones?

Kalinawan Chapel--church made out of a cave

Kalinawan Chapel--church made out of a cave

Prior to that, remontados roaming the Sierra Madre mountains made it as a religious shrine.

In fact, people living there constructed a small church. The church was made part of the limestone formations of the Kalinawan cave channel.

People here are very religious. And you know what? A couple of them live very, very, very near the Kalinawan cave systems. They’re very poor folks. They just make money out of sampalok.

More on my trips to Tanay and Quezon later….By the way, my next stop is the Pamintinan Cave in Rodriguez (Montalban) Rizal and the Wawa dam.


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