Getting high on rocks in Mt. Hapunang Banoy
Looking for ‘close-to-extreme’ rock-climbing slash trekking near Metro Manila? I found a new destination for that extra challenging activity in the mountains of Rodriguez, Rizal — the Mt. Hapunang Banoy.
Rizal’s green terrain
For less than two hours of travel from Cubao, Mt. Hapunang Banoy or Mt. Banoy or Hapunang Banoy in Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal is sure to give you that feeling of ‘getting high’ as you will literally climb on rocks to reach the summit.
Wawa’s Hanging Bridge
Don’t get confused with Batangas’ Mt. Banoi and Rizal’s Mt. Banoy. During our climb, our guide clarified to us that they spell Banoy ending with “Y” unlike the one in Batangas which is ending in “I”. So it’s better to use Hapunang Banoy when referring to that rocky mountain in Rizal.
Our guide also clarified that it’s Hapunang Banoy and not Hapunang Baboy.
Some of those rocks are not stable to step on. Be extra careful!
Mt. Hapunang Banoy is still unrated by hikers, since the mountain is not too much explored according to personnel in the DENR site in Brgy. Wawa. In fact, our guide had to create new trail for us as we can no longer see the existing trail.
View of Mt. Pamitinan from Hapunan Banoy
Hapunang Banoy is among the three mountains that can be accessed through Brgy. Wawa. However, it is the ‘lesser famous’ mountain compared to its neighboring Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan but it has the highest elevation of 462 meters above sea level compared to the two at 424 MASL and 426 MASL, respectively.
Those rough and sharp rocks! Be extra careful, hikers!
What to expect?
You can actually do ascend and descend of Hapunan Banoy in 3 to 5 hours. We did it in less than 5 hours with average pace but a lot of 5- to 10-minute breaks and picture taking (of course!).
From Brgy. Wawa DENR site which will be the registration and jump-off point, it will be like there’s nothing special with the trail of this mountain. Before going up, you will pass a hanging bridge. This hanging bridge is a picture-perfect one, so make sure to take photos here. Expect some 30 to 45 minutes of regular trekking and hiking.
Not yet the summit. Still at Peak 1.
Then after than close-to-an-hour regular trek, be ready to get high on rocks as this will be the rock climbing part all the way to the top. This rock climbing will take 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach the summit.
Breathtaking scenery up there!
Having said, Hapunan Banoy has trail class of 5 since you need to use your free hand as climbing method.
Be extra careful
Hapunan Banoy’s rocks will tell you, in your face, that they are not just ordinary rocks. They are sharp rocks. Don’t try to climb with bare hands. Use gloves when climbing Hapunan Banoy.
View from the summit
Expect that there are ‘unstable’ rocks that can induce injuries not only to you but to other hikers as well.
View atop Hapunan Banoy.
Since it’s a rocky mountain, expect that there are no huge trees to cover and protect you from the extreme heat of the sun.
Chillin’ on top
Beware of barbed plants! Yes, I really used ‘barbed’ instead of ‘thorny’ because those plants, which names I don’t know, really have thick and strong thorns! They don’t get rid of you until you’re trapped in those grasses! (Yes, that exaggerated part with exclamation point in every end of sentences because I was a victim of that barbed plants!) One of these plants has leaves which looks like Makahiya but didn’t close their leaves when having contact with this plant.
Resting at summit with rocks as our roof.
With these cautions, be sure to wear long sleeves, thicker leggings, and durable shoes. Don’t try the mountain when you’re wearing shorts or slippers. It will not only be very difficult but very dangerous.
Travel light but have at least 1.5-liter water. Unlike our minor climbs, there are no sari-sari stores going up the mountain.
How to get there?
From Cubao UV Express Terminal, ride UV Expresss going to Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) then tell the driver to drop you off in Eastwood. From Eastwood, ride tricycle going to Brgy. Wawa DENR site.
From Cubao, round trip transportation expenses will be Php120. Guide fee will be Php400 for a group with 5 members.
Wawa River view from the top
Sir Iril (guide) — 09479780563