Conquering Tanay’s Nagpatong Rock Formation

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation

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.

The climb…

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.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Listen to your guides!

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.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
You’ll need headlamps or flashlights to see through your way.

For about 40 minutes of hiking, we regroup and rest before another assault at this hut along the trail.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Waiting for the rest of our group to catch on to us.

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.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Rocks everywhere. Watch out for your head and hold on to something!

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.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Rest and light snacking

We rested for half an hour. Just enough time for some refreshments and rest. Also some time for appreciation for nature.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
We continued through the thick fog of the morning.

The thick jungle seems to be hiding some secretes through its thick vegetation and rock tunnels.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Here we go again. Ducking branches and boulders.

Spaces become narrower as we follow through our trail on a single line.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
These rocks are a testament to nature’s age and strength.

And then our passage ways started to get narrower and narrower.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
You might not enjoy this if you have claustrophobia

Almost there! We’ve finally reached the base of Nagpatong Rock Formation. A sign welcomes its visitors…

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
At 560 meters above sea level, it isn’t really that high. But the sharp rocks around that sign should be an indication that we shouldn’t take the situation lightly.

…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!

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Brave hearts will climb

Seriously! Don’t look down. Not only ladders, but you’ll also be grabbing on to ropes for dear life.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Ropes and ladders. The only way to the top.

Just a few more meters of crawling and balancing on sharp edges. Finally, we’ve reached the top of Nagpatong Rock!

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Top of the world! What a great view

Some choose to enjoy the view and the achievement with friends.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Companions enjoying the view

Others choose to appreciate it alone.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Alone but not lonely

And some don’t waste time and would rather take pictures right away with there daring poses.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
A man stands by the near edge of the formation for a better scene in his picture.

Here’s some view from the edges.

When the fog clears, don’t forget to take a solo picture and with friends.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Ready your best pose

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.

Conquering Tanay's Nagpatong Rock Formation
Thanks kuya!

Here’s some other scenic views from our way down

Sample Itinerary

(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
03:00AM Trekking
03:30AM Start climb to Nagpatong Rock Formations
04:30AM ETA Nagpatong Rock Formations
07:00AM Descend
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:

*Headlamp/flashlight (priority)
*Gloves (priority)
*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
*Comfortable shoes/slippers
*Sun protection (arm sleeves/sun block/cap)
*Extra money
*Cellphone, Camera

Nagpatong Rock Formation: Tanay, Rizal map

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