Cycling to DRT’s Secret Falls: The year-end ride that made me reflect on life

“Happy New Year, everyone!” I greeted my co-workers in advance then I hit send before I logged off of work. It was 6:30 in the morning as I started pedaling my bike to meet with three of my friends: Edmon, Daniel, and David, and began cycling from Quezon City to Savano Park to meet a couple more friends, Roger and Justin, who will be riding a bike with us going to Doña Remedios Trinidad. The destination of this blog’s long-distance cycling trip.

It was the morning of December 31st, the last day of 2020, the year I hit life’s rock-bottom, but the sky that day has never been clearer.

While cycling somewhere in San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, I smiled under my face mask because there I was, alive on the last day of probably the worst year of my entire existence.

I know it’s cheesy.

But nothing is as satisfying as knowing you are bouncing back and finally understanding that there is a fine line between losing and winning; because failure may create winners.

And that I, for all it is worth, might be starting my winning season.

The road going to Doña Remedios Trinidad or DRT is reasonably hard with a series of low hills that embraced our bikes through riding ups and downs.

But for the most part since I started cycling, bicycle rides are pretty beautiful. Whether I am riding through rolling hills in the countryside or even some cool urban jungle, my two wheels often end up bringing me to places that my two feet couldn’t.

And while riding a bicycle is quite the scenic sport, some bike rides are just nothing but simply extra stunning. The ones you couldn’t stop thinking about because they are pinch-yourself-stunning.

That is to say, no one knows this better than the cyclist out there who are experiencing it.

I wish I could express into words how wonderful it is to ride a bike through a flawless, typical-province-pavement beside a beautiful river. With the morning sun kissing all of the Earth and all the plants and trees are shining a little bit greener in this light.

We arrived at the gateway to DRT sometime after a few hours. And that was when David’s front bike tire turned into a flat.

Since both his wheels are tubeless, it was extra hard fixing it because the odds weren’t in our favor that day: no tubeless tire adapter, the nearest bike shop was some 15KM away, and none of the vulcanizing shops around could fix it.

But you know what I love about the cycling community? Almost everyone has a sense of belongingness that makes everyone feel welcome. I know that’s very Starbucks but that’s a fact.

Some random dude that we randomly called out for help, helped us all the way. When we were all desperate after hours of looking for help, he gave his extra tire interior so we could continue with our ride.

Long story short, the dude was heaven sent from up above.

Continuing with our ride, David mentioned that he felt like he was having a headache and we told him that it was probably the stress of what happened.

And so I realized, no one can dictate to you whether you are feeling good or feeling bad, because you are the only one who knows exactly how you’re feeling at any time. The important thing for you to know is that it’s impossible to feel bad and at the same time be having good thoughts. They say that that would defy the law because your thoughts cause your feelings. That is to say, if you are feeling bad, it is because you are thinking thoughts that are making you feel bad.

Your thoughts determine your frequency, and your feelings tell you immediately what frequency you are on. When you are feeling bad, you are on the frequency of drawing more bad things. The law of attraction must respond by broadcasting back to you more pictures of bad things and things that will make you feel bad.

Thankfully, David carried on and decided to have a good day anyway because a bad-trip-David is the last thing that we would want for New Year’s Eve.

Thus, positive vibes only.

It was somewhere between 10 and 11 when we reached the place they call Secret Falls and lucky we are, there were only a handful of tourists in the place.

What I love about Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, is that everyone is radiating positive vibes and energy. This might be the only time of the year when most of the people are just extra welcoming, children are happy, and strangers are genuine.

So after short hike through a mostly secondary jungles, crossing two tiny small and narrow river, we reached Secret Falls.

The place was quiet yet beautifully bright probably because of the energy of the people responsible of taking care of the place.

After finishing our lunch, we walked a bit to reach the falls. And while my friends were enjoying their dips, I just sat there and observed the place.

I wish I could explain properly the rock formation—how the water of the river flawlessly slides between them. How the afternoon rays of the sun, mixed with the breeze of this green rainforest can give me little butterflies at the pit of my stomach, because, damn, it was beautiful.

This place could be easily jam-packed on regular calendar yet there I was, enjoying its silence that made my heart skip a bit. And how everytime I’m away with nature, I feel so complete.

Sometimes, it is comforting to know that the earth turns its orbit for you. The ocean ebb and flow for you. The birds sing for you. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there, for you. So taking a look around, I thought that none of it exists without you or me. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the truth of who you really are.

You are the master of the universe.

The thing about letting your soul figuratively submerge in the cold waters coming from god-knows-where part of the mountain is that you will completely get lost track of time. That a 12 noon may sometimes feel like 3 in the afternoon especially if you are enjoying the moment. And it is such a great moment because it feels as if you are getting a huge discount of time.

The universe will sometimes let you experience this. And when it does, you gotta do what you gotta do to seize the moment: to be completely present.

Cycling from DRT going back to Quezon City was beautiful. Even with the afternoon sun, that was kind enough not to be scorching, I could say that this ride is by far the most scenic, panoramic, and picturesque I ever had. And what a great way to end the year.

So we all went home a little somewhere around 4 in the afternoon, slept for a bit and woke up for New Year’s Eve, drinking whiskey until 8 in the morning.

Life is good.


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      Marron Santillan

      I couldn’t agree more. That’s on point! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts ☺️

  1. @martinsandiego

    Thanks for writing about your trip. Youtube just makes me feel stupid.

    Might do this route soon.

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