Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

The mountains are not so appealing to me before but after my 2nd climb, I could say that I am now beginning to like them. And since my feet were itching for a new adventure, I decided to accept an invitation from my sister to join them in trekking Mt. Hapunang Banoi.

Located in Rodriguez, Rizal, just almost an hour travel away from Manila, Mt. Hapunang Banoi is one of the three mountains frequented by hikers in the province of Rizal. Classified as a minor climb with a 4/9 difficulty by Pinoy Mountaineer, Mt.Hapunang Banoi, with an altitude of 517 masl, is often included in a twin hike by most hikers along with Mt.Pamintinan and sometimes in a trilogy including Mt.Binacayan.

We started our trek at around 7am from the jump off and reached the summit at around 9:30am after some occassional stops to rest and for some picture taking.

With a trail class of 1-4 with limestone scrambling (by Pinoy Mointaineer), wearing gloves is really a great help to protect your hands since almost during the entire trek you will be depending on rocks for support as you ascend.

We tried our best to reach the summit which was just a few steps away from us, but we were a bit scared already. The trail was a bit hard for us to take and our hands were a bit painful already since the rocks were quite pointed, so we decided to just have a group picture few meters away from the summit.

We started our descent shortly after our picture taking near the summit. We would have wanted to have some picture taking on the 2nd peak, but since the queue was quite long, we decided to continue our descent and look for some other nice spot for picture taking.

We took our lunch back at the junction and continued with our descent 30 minutes after. We were back at the jump off at around 12:30PM, took some rest, freshened up and headed home.

Getting there:

From Cubao take a UV Express bound for Rodriguez for a fare of php50. Alight at eastwood/montalban as the locals call the place. Take a tricycle for a php60/trip to Wawa Rizal (jump off).

Going Back:

You can ride a tricycle to get you back to Puregold San Rafael or ride a jeepney for php8. From puregold you can hail a uv express bound for Cubao or jeepney whichever you prefer.

Other expenses:

Registration – php50/head

Guide Fee – php 500/mountain


Into the Ridge – Tarak Ridge

Into the Ridge – Tarak Ridge

For the second time, I gave in to the invitation of my sister to join them in another adventure in the mountains. This time the destination is Tarak Ridge in Mariveles, Bataan. I am more of a sea person but when I googled the place, an amazing body of water called Papaya River came into view so I pushed my doubts away and joined them on their two days one night adventure into the ridge.

We boarded a bus bound for Mariveles in Cubao and left Manila at around 12 midnight. We arrived at Brgy. Alas-asin around 4 am and as SOP, we registered at their Barangay Hall and paid the corresponding registration fee of which I could no longer remember how  much and had our early breakfast shortly after.

The trek from the highway to papaya river was an easy one. Just a typical long distance walk with some short climbs passing through some bent twigs and branches. The weather was not so good on the days before our trek so the trail was a bit muddy and slippery.

We reached Papaya River at around 9 AM. The rushing sound of the river was so relaxing it took away all the tiredness I felt from a more or less five hour trek. Since the river is the only water source in the area, we filled our water bottles first before we continued with our trek.

It was after passing Papaya River when my real struggle started. Climb after climb and it seemed like the steep trail was never ending. I had to held on to the twigs and branches of the trees around just to pull my self up. If it was a day tour I would have told them to just come back for me when they’re done at the ridge but unfortunately we would be staying overnight.

After almost 4 hours of struggle, my sister and I finally reached the ridge – we were the last one to arrive actually. We pitched our tent, and took some rest for more or less an hour and started our trek again, this time to explore the ridge.


We were anticipating a night filled with star gazing and picture taking but it rained the entire afternoon until the evening. Wet from the downpour we just quickly changed clothes had our dinner and silently prayed for the rain to stop. Unfortunately, it rained until morning. A bit disappointed we took our breakfast and silently packed our things since it was time to go home.

Because of the rain, the steep trail was even more difficult to take. Quite a bunch of cogon grass I had to held on to that left some small cuts on my hand just to support my self not to slide down upon our descent from the ridge.

We passed by Papaya river once again on our way down and decided to stop by to take our lunch in the area and have some final dip. The water was too cold for me it was enough for me to just dip my hands.


The bad weather might have ruined some of our plans for this adventure but still it was a wonderful experience. This was my first major climb and for a first timer to spend a night on the mountains on a rainy weather together with the sisterette and our awesome bunch of friends was indeed fun.