Trail Chronicles: The Lost Garden of Tanay

In the mountains of Tanay, one place holds a special allure to those who have ran its trails and crossed its rivers…the rugged scenery of Sitio Maysawa. If you have ran any of PIMCO’s Natures Trail Discovery Run (NTDR) trail series in Tanay, you just might have passed some of its rocky terrain, steep uphills and an abundance of streams and rivers that greets you endlessly along its course.

A few days ago, running buddy Jun and i decided to re-visit the trails as we last did during the Pimco Buddy Run2Run 21k held last year. The Maysawa trails are beautiful but jagged, rocky on some parts, wooded on the inner portions  following shallow but crystal clear rivers plus a couple of different ridges through the woods. It throws in a couple of relentless uphills and descents. The terrain on the end part, after reaching Brgy Laiban is a mix of woodlands, creeks, open space and the occasional cultivated field.

We felt like little kids running on a playground again as we  made a recon of the route, starting at the back of the Sierra Madre Hotel and made our way down to Sitio Laiban, another scenic backdrop suffuse with gorgeous trails and rough roads which leads to Maysawa.

This time however, Jun and i went off the beaten path and instead explored the inner sanctum of its wooded area, a path not used on any of Pimco’s trail races before. We managed to run and walk endlessly for about 2 hours and discovered three falls from rushing streams, white rocks and a garden-like deep pond where we had to cling on rocks to get over the other side of the stream.

It was as surreal as it can get, the deep green-colored water was hollow on its surface but you can just see the deepness when you get near its core where the rushing water was like waterfalls pouring into a garden of rocks.

Probably Tanay’s version of the lost Garden of Eden, if ever there was one.

The three falls leading to the site were not too high and the rocks took on a whitish limestone-like texture but were not too large, unlike the ones found at Daraitan, also in Tanay.

We tried to venture further inside this enclave but found it too deep for comfort and found no way out so we headed back to the falls on our way back.

Sharing with you the pictures that we took…

Laiban Trails on the way to Sitio Maysawa

The trails at Laiban traverses along clean rivers

The entrance to the falls and rock gardens

A stranger was kind enough to brief us on what to expect inside. Note the white rocks

A dormant waterwheel near the falls

Jun poses on the small waterfalls

There’s a pond just in front of it where you can take a dip

Venturing past the falls on top

You can wade into the shallow stream or step on those rocks as you wish

The trails lead into wild fauna

The entrance to the eternal place

Jun ventures into the deep green pond

Climbing up past the rock formations. Notice the deep sink hole of the pond on the left

Slippery here. Trail shoes is a must!

It’s either we found the Lost Garden or we were the ones who got lost!

A stair-like rock formation on an imagined Roman garden

A closer look

Endless river trail which seems to go nowhere

We venture back to Sitio Laiban for the 10k uphill run back to base

We will be back here

Anyway, the place is amazing as anyone with a good grip on his trail shoe can climb the rock formations and you’re not afraid to wade on strong streams to wallow in the beauty of this far-off jungle and surrounding landscape.

Definitely a fun discovery trail run and will come back here once again! Bring your cameras with you!