Travel

Appreciating the hidden beauty of Iket River

GasgoniaIT has been a month since I got my bike customized into a street tracker so I was really itching to test it some place where I haven’t visited yet.

Fortunately, I and fellow Yamaha rider Dennis de Joya Montano talked about this area in Bulacan, a secluded place where me and my friends could relax.

So we mapped out a ride with other two-wheelers. We prepared our bikes and stuff and headed to Dona Remedios Trinidad, the largest municipality in Bulacan.

Iket River is located in Sitio Dos, Camachin, which is a quiet area in Dona Remedios Trinidad. Iket is largely unknown to Manilenos and is more of a stream than a river. Its clear water flows from one of the mountains of the Sierra Madre mountain range and is likely connected to Angat river.

Iket River, Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan
Iket River, Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan

To get there, our group gathered at the 7-11 convenience store near the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan at about 6:30 in the morning. Then we throttled our way from Gaya-Gaya to Sapang Palay, also in Bulacan, passed by Tigbe, the Norzagaray Rotonda until we reached the arc of Angat.

From the arc we traced the twisties of Binagbag up to Dona Remedios Trinidad.

Thankfully, it wasn’t raining that day so the ride was stress free. It’s just us, our motorcycles, the wind and the road.

Then we reached a bend to the right, which led to Iket River. While we’re parking our bikes, we could already hear the sound of water flowing down the stream. A large sign saying, “Welcome to Iket River Resort,” greeted us near a pathway that leads to the water. We paid our entrance fee in a sari-sari store located nearby.

For P60 per head, we were able to secure a cottage, pay our entrance and park our bikes in the resort.

After securing our bikes, we descended our way to the stream, walking down a concrete pathway that led to the waters. We passed by several cottages until we found our spot — a makeshift hut nestled by the rocks.

The river is a sight to behold. The cool and clear water that flows from the mountain is surrounded by large rock formations. The water way was enveloped by surrounding trees that lead to the forests up the hills.

To make the place “tourist friendly,” the resort owners slightly developed the area without ruining its natural ambiance.

They just provided a space where tourists could park their vehicles and set up several cottages and nipa huts where visitors could rest. There are also grilling areas per cottage so that tourists could cook their own food.

Some of our friends prepared our food, while others went swimming. Later, we feasted on our baon by setting up a boodle fight then drank a bit. We weren’t worried about getting drunk. All we need is to dip ourselves into the cold river to shock ourselves awake.

After getting tipsy, I took a nap at the cottage while my friends made some adjustments with their bikes. One of them changed a sprocket set, while the other offered free tuneups. At 3:30 p.m. we started packing up to return to Manila.

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We were setting up our bike for a costumary group pic when I had trouble starting my YBR. Thankfully, it was only caused by a disconnected relay (although I lost my headlight and horn). I had the wiring fixed upon our return to Manila and now the bike’s working fine.

 

Except for that wiring problem, that Iket River trip was all fun.

The place is scenic, peaceful and relatively unknown to most Manilenos. It’s one of the secluded beauties in Bulacan and it’s certainly worth your visit.

Here are more photos courtesy of my fellow YBR riders Jayson Porlaje, Brian Morenos and Oscar Lazo.

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This article was also featured on motopilipinas.com (http://www.motopilipinas.com/2016/09/appreciating-hidden-beauty-iket-river/)

 

Dennis Gasgonia
Dennis is a veteran newsman who has written for the Philippine based Daily Tribune, The Standard and The Manila Times. Dennis currently works for ABS-CBN. He is also the publisher of motopilipinas.com

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