If you are looking for an easy travel, a wonderful scenery with an intimate interaction with nature, and a journey with a healthy dose of exercise, then you should consider hiking.
Trekking for hours while carrying your weight and your stuff in the traverse will be worth it because of the beautiful scenery that awaits you. Hiking is like travel, interaction with nature, and exercise in one activity.
Climbing a mountain is not only a physical activity but a mental activity, too. Climbing keeps your senses alert at all times, your attention and focus are directed to only one activity. Your critical thinking and strategic planning is enhanced during this activity.
Arriving at the summit after all those hardships is also spiritually liberating. Traversing the forest on foot makes the experience humbling, and you will realize that humans owe a lot to nature. As co-inhabitants of this world, we should treat each other with care and help each other thrive and prosper instead of just destroying the environment with our ways.
Hiking doesn’t have to be expensive and extremely planned out because of the distance. In fact, around Metro Manila, there are near provinces where you can climb your first mountain…like Rizal.
Rizal is relatively near Metro Manila. With only minutes away from Quezon City and almost two hours from Pasig City, your hiking adventure will be plan no more. Some of Rizal’s peaks are relatively easy which are perfect for beginners.
Here are 5 Rizal mountains you can climb to jumpstart your hiking adventures:
5. Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal)
Mt. Daraitan is one of the many mountains of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range that is located between Tanay, Rizal and and General Nakar, Quezon. Among Rizal’s mountains, this land formation is certainly one of the most popular hiking site.
With the recent attention the place is getting, the village near the area has become an ecotourism site. Barangay officials even formed a system of handling the visitors and trained locals to be guide in the climb.
They also offered outdoor attraction aside from the actual hike like the Tinipakcaves, limestone formations, springs and even pools sometimes as a side trip during the climb. The trek usually lasts from 2.5 to 4 hours depending on your itinerary.
How to get there:
Private vehicle/rented vans:
It is always convenient to go there on private vehicles or rental vans since it’s time efficient. Go in groups to lessen the travel expenses too. Take EDSA Shaw to Tanay, Rizal viaMarcos Highway. Take Tanay-Infanta Road and take a left turn on a dirt road with the sign which leads to Brgy. Daraitan. Follow the road until you arrive the Daraitan River and pay 50php to pass the bridge and head to the barangay Hall
If you’re taking the public transportation, take the jeepney from EDSA-Shaw to Tanay, Rizal. From Tanay, you can take the jeep to Sampaloc, Tanay for around P26. When you arrive to Sampaloc, take the tricycle to Brgy. Daraitan (100 php per person).
You will arrive in Brgy. Daraitan River and will cross a raft and take another tricycle to the barangay hall. From there you will be briefed about the guidelines and registration.
4. Mt. Pamitinan (Rodriguez, Rizal)
Just two hours away from Quezon City, Mt. Pamitinan is accessible to hikers. Being located at Sierra Madre, this mountain easily became one of the famous mountains to go to.
Mt. Pamitinan is one of the three mountains in Rodriguez, Rizal (including Mt. Binacayan and Hapunang- Banoi) which promises a scenic view in the sea of clouds. These mountains also surround Wawa Dam, only minutes away from the registration office. You can tour it as a side trip.
How to get there:
You can ride an FX going to Montalban from Gateway Mall or in Jolibee Farmer’s Plaza branch (P50). Get off at Eastwood Montalban and ride a tricycle to Sitio Wawa (P60 for 3 people). From there, just register on the DENR office for guidelines before hiking (Reg. Fee P2)
3. Mt. Tagapo (Binangonan, Rizal)
Mt. Tagapo, also known as Mt. SusongDalaga, is located at Talim Island, a small island in Laguna de Bay. At its summit, there’s an overlooking view of Mt. Sembrano, a faint glimpse of Mt. Makiling and the view of Manila and Binangonan.
How to get there:
Take a jeep to Binganonan on EDSA-Crossing terminal in Shaw Blvd. From Binangonan, ride a tricycle going to the port (P15). From the port, ride a passenger ferry to Brgy. Janosa (P30).
2. Mt. Hapunang-Banoi (Montalban, Rizal)
After Mt. Pamitian comes the neighbor mountain Mt. Hapunang-Banoi. Both of these mountains share the same limestone formation and also surround Wawa Dam.
This mountain’s name came from its folklore. In the folklore, it is where the eagles eat their prey. Banoi is the Tagalog term for eagle that is why it is named “Hapunang-Banoi”. The locals share that a lot of eagle are seen in the area before, but since eagles are endangered species in general the sightings decreased.
You can also hike Mt. Pamitian on the same day or visit Wawa Dam for a side trip!
How to get there:
You can ride an FX going to Montalban from Gateway Mall or in Jolibee Farmer’s Plaza branch (50 php). Get off at Eastwood Montalban and ride a tricycle to Sitio Wawa (60 php for 3 people). From there, just register on the DENR office for guidelines before hiking (Reg. Fee 2 php)
1. Mt. Maynoba, Mt. Cayabu and 8 Waterfalls
These mountains are also members of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The hike to Mt. Maynoba and Mt. Cayabu is fairly easy compared to other mountains since it passes through vegetable gardens, woodlands and exposed grasslands.
The summit will greet you a stunning view of the mountain range and the peaks of other mountains as well. On your descent, you are more than welcome to refresh after the hot and exhausting trip in the 8 waterfalls you will pass by.
How to get there:
From Gateway Mall, ride a jeepney going to Cogeo. From Cogeo, you need to ride another jeep going to Brgy. Cayabu. Then, register and secure your tour guide.
- Consult your physician first before undergoing into any extraneous physical activity. It’s important to know if your body is prepared for hiking first, before planning the trip thoroughly. Better safe, than sorry.
- Bring enough money with you. While most hikes are on a budget (usually under 1,000 php per person), it is important to have enough money with you just in case.
- Wear appropriate outfits and bring appropriate gear with you. By gear, I mean trekking shoes/sandals, cap, sunscreen, enough water, durable bag, gloves, raincoats, extra clothes, etc. Bring minimal but useful things in your bag.
- LEAVE NO TRAIL. What you bring up, you also bring down. All your trash should be deposed after you leave the site; not at the summit or anywhere. That’s why you should bring extra plastic bags. Your trails are the only ones that is left on the site.
- Schedule your departure times early. (Because Metro Manila’s traffic is hell on Earth.)
With these five mountains, you can now jumpstart your hiking adventures! Just don’t forget to plan it out and stay safe during the trip. Budget hiking is always welcome, especially for newbie hikers. Start your hiking trip, now!
Hiked these places before? Share us your story in the comments below!