Mt. Hapunang Banoi is considered as the sibling of twin mountain in Rodriguez, Rizal, the Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan. These trilogy mountains are known for its limestone and sharp-edges rock formations making your hiking experience more challenging. As we remind always to our readers from our previous blog post about Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan, wearing gloves is really advisable not only for beginners but also for seasoned hikers to avoid or minimize the chance of getting wounds because most part of the trail is definitely composed of sharp-edge limestones especially the trail near the summit.
Since there are hundreds of mountain here in the Philippines open publicly for hikers, hiking is now one of the most favorite activities for those people who want to experience some challenging and exciting adventure.
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal
LLA: 14°44′25.3′′ N, 121°11′30.4′ 517 MASL (+460m)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3.5 hours
Specs: Minor, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-4 with limestone scrambling
Features: Limestone formations, scenic views of Sierra Madre and Rizal province
Source – Pinoy mountaineer
We already hiked the twin mountain of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan, Mt. Hapunan Banoi was the last mountain we hiked from the version 1 of the trilogy. It is also the 6h mountain that I’ve conquered since Mt.Pulag. Some of our hiking buddies were not available that time so we have no other choice but to pursue to hike this mountain. It was already 6:30 in the morning when Aj and I arrived at Eastwood, Montalban. Not so early than the usual 5:00 AM arrival.
It was Palm Sunday that time so the travel time took so long due to the traffic because of people going to church. Since that was the 3rd time that we went back to Sitio Wawa, we already knew what to do and where to go next. We immediately rode a tricycle going to DENR registration. The day before the climb, we already contacted our guide last week in Mt. Pamitinan to guide us also on Mt. Hapunang Banoi.
Before we hike, I took the opportunity to capture the morning beauty of Wawa river. Luckily, there’s someone around the area playing with his drone. I approached him and I started to ask questions regarding on the drone specs since I’m planning to buy soon. He politely asks if it’s okay to shoot us a drone video and we immediately responded yes with a smile on our face! hahaha Check out the video below. 😀
We started to trek around 7:15 AM. Mt. Hapunang Banoi and Mt. Pamitinan shares a common trail as same as the direction going to the junction. The junction is a rest area where you could also find Sari-sari store and souvenir shop. It’s also a resting camp that divides the trail into two. The left side leads to Mt. Hapunang Banoi while the right side is going to Mt. Pamitinan.
Related article: Mt. Pamitinan: Day Hike Travel Guide
THE LATTER PART
The rocky trails surrounded mostly by Ipil-Ipil trees welcome hikers at the first part of the trail right after the junction. A far distant sharp edges limestone add more difficulty hiking this mountain. The steep and narrow path in between the two huge dolomites was too risky and dangerous so you have to be cautious. Some passage was difficult to pass that you have to bend your body just to reach another level.
Tip: Going in large groups is more advisable because it lessens the individual expense for the tour guide fee. So since we were only two, we have to shoulder the PHP 500 fee for the tour guide.
Exactly 10:15 AM when we reached the summit. There’s also a good spot where you could do your “Buwis buhay” pose before reaching the summit but a long queue of hikers are also waiting for their turn for the picturesque spot. While other hikers are busy taking pictures for their Instagram and Facebook feed, we took the opportunity to eat the foods that we bought at the convenience store. It took us roughly 2 and a half hours of hiking before we reach the summit.
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The breath-taking scenery captivated everyone from the summit of Mt. Hapunang Banoi. It was totally a hike-worthy mountain that I can recommend to newbie hikers. The view from the summit is just amazing not to share. From the top, you can see the Mt. Pamitinan, Mt. Binacayan and even the version 2 trilogy, the Mt. Lagyo, Mt. Parawagan, and Mt. Susong Dalaga.
Related article: Mt. Binacayan Day hike: Travel guide, Budget, and Tips
Mt. Hapunang Banoi seems like a combination of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan but it’ much higher since it’s 93 m ahead than the summit of Mt. Binacayan and 91 m ahead from the summit of Mt. Pamitinan. There are a lot of similarities in terms of difficulty, trail, and limestones but Mt. Hapunang Banoi is somewhat difficult than the twin mountain. Nevertheless, it’s still considered as a minor climb and also recommended for newbie hikers. We started to descend around 11:00 AM.
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We’re really looking forward hiking the trilogy mountain as soon as we get back or maybe one of the mountains in the version 2 trilogy. Our next target is Mt. Lagyo. So I hope you enjoyed reading our journey to Mt. Hapunang Banoi. For those who are planning to hike this mountain. Let us share some travel tips and how to get there.
HOW TO GET THERE
- Ride a UV express van from Cubao(in front of Jollibee farmers) bound to Montalban(Rodriguez)-Eastwood.( Travel time is about 1 hour)
- Tell the driver to drop you off at Eastwood.
- From Eastwood, ride a tricycle going to DENR.(15-20 minutes travel time).
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES
- UV VAN to Montalban or Rodriguez – PHP 100.00
- Tricycle from Ministop(Eastwood) to DENR – PHP 60.00 per 3
- Registration fee – PHP 50.00
- Guide fee – PHP 500 good for 5 persons (PHP 100 each)
- Tricycle from DENR to Ministop(Eastwood) – PHP 40.00 each
- Lunch PHP 100
- FX to Cubao – PHP 50.00
- TOTAL: PHP 500.00
4:00 AM Wake up | Preparation | Travel to Farmers Cubao.
5:00 AM Travel from Cubao to Montalban, Rizal
6:00 AM ETA at Luvers Montalban
6:15 AM ETA DEAN Office – Brgy Wawa for registration
6:30 AM Start hike at Mt. Pamitinan
7:15 AM ETA Hapunan Banoy and Mt. Pamitinan Junction
7:30 AM Assault to Summit
9:30 AM ETA Summit
10:30 AM Start descent
12:00 NN Lunch at the junction
2:00 PM Back at the Brgy Wawa
4:00 PM Back to Manila
THINGS TO BRING
- Bring a lot of water
- Energy drink (Gatorade)
- Hand Gloves
- Packed lunch(Optional). You can buy foods at carinderia nearby
- Garbage Bag( Leave no trace)
- Extra clothes
- Cameras(Actioncam, Phone, DSLR, etc)
- Approximately 1.5 hours travel time from Cubao to Montalban – Eastwood
- Pack light and bring enough water. 💧
- Bring gloves or any hand protection gears.
- DENR Office in Sitio Wawa doesn’t open until 4:30 AM.
- Bring snacks/food (Chocolates, jelly, nuts, and etc)
- There are shower rooms and toilets at the jump-off point
- Hiking shoes is much better than wearing sandals.
- There are sari-sari store and carideria at the jump-off point where you could have a breakfast or lunch.
- Wawa dam is just 5-10 minutes away from the DENR office.
- Best time to visit is 4:00 AM so you can witness the sea of clouds before the sunrise.
- Better to bring your own trash bag to dispose your waste properly.
- Pray before hiking.
Name: Jay Are Damas
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