Mountain trekking was never really an inborn passion for me. But I like to try things that are out of the box and push myself to experience adventures and create beautiful memories for myself. And that includes taking risks.
In this blog, I set out to climb one of the most challenging heights that I’ve ever been to. Conquering Nagpatong Rock Formation in Tanay, Rizal is not an easy task. I would say that an average or a beginner hiker can climb it, but the added dangers of slippery and sharp rocks that you’ll have to trek on definitely heightens the risks and the fear factor. On top of that, the “ber” months are usually the rainiest part of the year so we had to walk on mud that can sink every step we took.
Nevertheless, it was a worth it climb with a breathtaking view from the top.
We started early in the morning with a brief introduction from our tour guides in front of the barangay hall in Cayumbay. They gave us a quick but thorough idea of what to expect from our journey, the do’s and the don’ts, and some guidelines to remember and follow through. Simple reminders like don’t leave trash and look out for one another. We were a 20 man group being lead by a local guide for every five of us.
We started to hike around 3:30AM. We decided to go early to catch the sunrise from the top of our destination and save time for another side journey. The area was too dark and you can only hear the sounds of nature. Sounds you won’t hear in the big cities like streams of rivers and nocturnal animals.
For about 40 minutes of hiking, we regroup and rest before another assault at this hut along the trail.
We squeeze ourselves through tunnels of rocks as we carry on with our adventure. You’ll thank yourself later for packing lightly and not taking with you some unnecessary weight. From this point forward, you will now be grabbing on to some branches and rock formations for balance and leverage. It is highly advisable to bring gloves with you. Don’t use rubber gloves! Use the cotton kind with a palm protector so that your skin can breath and absorb sweat.
We’ve finally reached this base camp around 5:30 in the morning. A few locals live here and provides lavatory rooms for P20. You may also leave your baggage here to prepare yourself for the tougher phase of the climb. The locals will watch over your things and you can collect them later as you head back from the top.
We rested for half an hour. Just enough time for some refreshments and rest. Also some time for appreciation for nature.
The thick jungle seems to be hiding some secretes through its thick vegetation and rock tunnels.
Spaces become narrower as we follow through our trail on a single line.
And then our passage ways started to get narrower and narrower.
Almost there! We’ve finally reached the base of Nagpatong Rock Formation. A sign welcomes its visitors…
…but its ladders puts the fear in their eyes. This is it. Go big or go home! These aren’t the safest looking ladders but what are you gonna do about it? You’ve hiked through sharp rocks and you’ve probably slipped several times already from the dense and muddy jungle. Did you come all this way just to quit? Now get yourself up there and don’t look down!
Seriously! Don’t look down. Not only ladders, but you’ll also be grabbing on to ropes for dear life.
Just a few more meters of crawling and balancing on sharp edges. Finally, we’ve reached the top of Nagpatong Rock!
Some choose to enjoy the view and the achievement with friends.
Others choose to appreciate it alone.
And some don’t waste time and would rather take pictures right away with there daring poses.
Here’s some view from the edges.
When the fog clears, don’t forget to take a solo picture and with friends.
To achieve this shot, you must first hand over your camera to one of the guides before climbing up. And then, he’ll be waiting for you from the other side.
Here’s some other scenic views from our way down
(Meetup on a Friday night)
11:00PM Meetup Greenfield, Mandaluyong
12:00AM ETD Greenfield, Mandaluyong
01:30AM ETA Cuyambay
02:30AM Brgy. Cuyambay. Register / secure guides / light breakfast
03:30AM Start climb to Nagpatong Rock Formations
04:30AM ETA Nagpatong Rock Formations
08:30AM ETA Brgy Cuyambay
09:00AM Late breakfast/Lunch
10:00AM Wash & Pack up
11:00AM ETD Tanay
02:00PM ETA Greenfield, Mandaluyong
If you and your companions still have the energy and time, you might also want to go on a side adventure to Tungtong Falls. This will include crossing waist-deep rivers and rappelling. So instead of packing up at 10AM, follow through this additional itinerary.
(With optional side trek to Tungtong Falls)
10:00AM Trek to Tungtong Falls
11:00AM ETA Tungtong Falls
01:00PM Descent to Tungtong falls
02:00PM Wash & pack up
03:00PM ETD Tanay
06:00PM Greenfield, Mandaluyong
*DENR Registration Fee – P100 per person
*Guide/s – P500 for 5 persons
*Private Transport – Roundtrip Aircon Van travelling Greenfield-Cuyambay : Cuyambay-Greenfield
*Public transport – Jeepney ride from Cogeo to Sampaloc but get off at Cayumbay. Then Tricycle to Barangay Hall in Caymbay to register then another tricycle to starting point of trail.
Safety is your priority. Always follow instructions from your tour guides. Loss or destruction of personal belongings like gadgets and cameras can not be blamed on the guides, be mindful of your own things. Also, observe LNT “LEAVE NO TRACE”. Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos, kill nothing but time
Things to bring:
*Water water water! (priority)
*Packed lunch – Lunch is also available at local carinderias. But bring something with you for back up.
*Extra clothes for wash up
*Sun protection (arm sleeves/sun block/cap)