In the heart of Laguna lake, we will find a dagger shaped island, hence the name Talim Island. This is where the Backpacker Lead spent his interesting day last weekend. He was not lucky for the weather was not on his side, but he was fortunate to witness a festivity celebrated on the island that day.
Monsoon on My Third Time
Solo Backpacking at Talim Island
by Ivan Ignacio
ON SOLO BACKPACKING
|Travelling around Rizal province|
It was an unplanned excursion and I just went where my wandering feet carried me. It first took me to a trip from the Metropolis to the nearby province of Rizal where I got enticed to climb a mountain ~ either Mt. Irid for I was craving for a new mountain to conquer, or Mt. Sembrano for a nice recon climb. Since I can not decide, I just went off at Cainta, Rizal junction and told myself that I would ride the tenth jeepney that will pass by, regardless of its destination. It was a jeepney bound to Binangonan, Rizal.
"Ah, fate wants me to revisit Mt. Tagapo", I told myself.
|Iglesia Ni Cristo, Binangonan, Rizal|
The structure of the church always fascinates me
Travelling solo is good for the soul, but for some, climbing a mountain alone is considered as irresponsible mountaineering. As a matter of fact, the topic is getting more controversial in the mountaineering community as solo backpacking gains popularity. My stand here is to each his own. Being a person who sometimes climb mountains alone when all of the members of The BACKPACKERS or my other hiking buddies are not available, I am aware of the risks involved in the sport. So whenever I travel alone, I see to it that I have a point of contact in the metropolis. I told my destination to some friends as I was enthusiastically riding at the back of a tricycle en route to Binangonan Port.
|Water lilies everywhere!|
|Water lilies due to recent rainstorms block the boats at the dock|
MONSOON ON TALIM ISLAND
|Maneuvering through the supposed seats at the dock|
When we reached the supposed jump off point of a typical Mt. Tagapo hike; Brgy. Janosa, strong winds started to slap the sail of our boat. The gymnasium and the walkway in this barangay was also flooded. The boat halted for a good ten minutes as it was impossible to unload the passengers at Brgy. Janosa. The winds were violent and the rain got heavier. The kids inside our boat got scared as thunderclaps were heard every once in a while. Their eyes were trembling in fear. When the difficult weather slightly subsided, the boat went on to its next destination.
|The children inside the boat were daunted because of the grouchy weather|
|The covered court became covered with lake water|
|Washing at the washed up pathway|
I did not alight at Brgy. Janosa as I was persuaded by the weather to go back to mainland and just postpone my solo expedition. But for some reason, the adventurous soul in me managed to push me out of the boat on the next stop: at Brgy. Kaytome. Luckily, the walkway here was higher so there was no flood. But for the apparent reason that flood might be anywhere, I actually removed my shoes and socks, and prepared to get wet. After getting off the boat, I was surprised to see commotion in the island. Despite the bad weather, there were still a lot of people outside the streets. It was not the same rustic Talim Island that I met years ago which was quiet and serene. There were stalls, banners and a lot of people around. Then I realized that an island fiesta was being celebrated that day! Then I replaced my thought that it may have been the perfect time visiting the island that day.
|Fiesta at Brgy. Kaytome|
|The parade... Miss, smile!!|
I walked through the paved road connecting Brgy. Kaytome and Brgy. Janosa passing by some of the simple attractions offered by that day's festivity. I was alone and it was so much fun. I spoke with some locals who were kind enough to show me the direction to Brgy. Janosa. I passed by a clearing where I was able to view the entirety of the vast Laguna Lake and how it flooded some parts of the island. I walked and walked. I interacted with the locals. I got to appreciate and take part in their festivity. Regardless of the uncooperative weather, the townsfolk were still able to push through with their annual celebration joyously. They were so nice and accommodating. They are a fraction of the reason why Filipinos are known to be the most hospitable persons on earth.
|Hermit crabs for sale|
|This persistent child lost all his coins in this stall|
|Simultaneous christening of twenty (plus) babies|
|Solo Backpacker -|
BP Lead Ivan
This solo backpacking experience was a time for myself. I wanted to take a time off alone where I can have peace of mind, and visit a place where I can ponder on matters about the heart.
|Meet Mahinhin from Talim Island|
The main concern in getting back to the mainland from the island is that the passenger boats are not always available. During this trip, I was stranded for three hours waiting for a passenger boat. Even though there were a lot of people in the island because four barangays were celebrating their fiesta, only a few passenger boats were operating due to the bad weather. I had to hop from Brgy. Kaytome to Brgy. Janosa to Brgy. Buhangin to catch a boat.
|Stranded.. Waiting for a passenger boat..|
|The boatman who refused to operate due to the weather|
|Our saving grace!|
HOW TO GET TO TALIM ISLAND
2. Alight at Pritil Port
3. Ride the passenger boat en route to Talim Island
4. Alight at any one of the boat stops.
If you are planning to climb Mt. Tagapo, alight at Brgy. Janosa
5. Before climbing, make sure you register at the barangay hall
**It would be less hassle to visit the island when the lake is not this swollen.
** The traffic from Pasig to Binangonan can be very heavy and tormenting during rush hour.
Happy Backpacking and remember, Leave No Trace!
Jeepney or FX fare from EDSA Shaw to Binangonan ~ 40 - 50 Php
Passenger boat fare ~ 30Php
Mt. Tagapo registration fee ~ 20Php
For The BACKPACKERS' account of the highest peak in
Talim Island: Mt. Tagapo,