November 30, 2015
A friend of mine asked me if I’m interested to join their climb but they’re still not sure which mountain to go. Since the said date was a holiday, I answered yes right away. I suggested doing a trilogy (three mountains in a day) hike of Mts. Pamitinan, Binicayan, and Hapunang Banoi just to test my limit since I’m not sure if I’m capable of doing a five mountains in a day hike (Pentalogy) which was starting to get popular during those days. These three mountains are located in Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal. It’s a good thing my friend’s company agreed as well and we decided to push through the hike. However, only three of us pushed through plan, thus the beginning of Team RAK’s adventures.
I’m sure if you’re familiar with this mountain, you would point out my typographical error. Mt. Binicayan, or popularly known as Mt. Binacayan, is our first stop for this trilogy hike. Our guide specifically pointed out that the real name of the mountain is “Bini” and not “Bina”.
The first leg of our hike going to our first summit is a concrete road within the community of Brgy. Wawa. After which, we started the trail with boulders and scenic views of the neighboring mountains. We didn’t witness the sea of clouds/fogs which engulfs the entire stretch of neighboring mountains surrounding Mt. Binicayan that morning. Instead, we’ve got scenic views of the Sierra mountain range.
The trail to the summit is characterized by boulders and sharp lime rocks, so it is highly recommended for hikers to use gloves to avoid cuts and bruises.
Up in the summit, there were already few groups who were having their photo ops. We joined them by finding some spot for us to have ours as well. From the summit of Mt. Binicayan, the summit of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi can be seen, as well as Mts. Sipit Ulang, Ayaas, and Balagbag.
|At the summit of Mt. Binicayan. Behind me are Mts. Pamitinan and Hapunang Banoi (left) and the rest of the beautiful Sierra Madre mountain range.|
After our short rest and photo ops, we went down and head to our next summit – Mt. Hapunang Banoi.
Mt. Hapunang Banoi
|Trail towards the junction of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi.|
We made it at the junction around 10:45 AM and from there we’ve had our early lunch. It’s my first time hiking in these mountains so I cannot compare it as how it was before. Rex, however, have been able to climb these mountains even before it became a hype to mountaineers and tourist, and he said that a year clearly changes a lot in these mountains (check out his entry here).
There were lot of hikers who climbed Mt. Pamitinan that day, so we opt going to Mt. Hapunang Banoi first. Like Mt. Binicayan, the trail en route to the summit is composed of boulders and sharp lime rock formations. It is also longer and more challenging. When one of us suffered from leg cramps, we decided to take a rest first a Kemalugong tree nearby. And who would stop us from getting nice photos from there?
Up in the summit are stunning rock formations perfect for your next buwis-buhay pose. But kidding aside, these rock formations sure are stunner.
Done with summit number two! One summit to go! I’m so excited!
We reached the junction at around 3:45 PM and after a short rest, we resumed with our hike. Rex advanced quite farther from us since he already knew the trail. Kuya Fernan, our guide, was just ahead from the two of us at the back. I am really excited reaching the third summit, finally my very first trilogy hike! However, as I look back, I noticed that I’m quite far from Arjov. Worrying because he suffered from cramps a while ago, I decided to descend back. From there, my hunch was right and he’s having cramps on both legs. I cannot leave a comrade behind, so I told Kuya Fernan to go ahead with Rex while I decided to assist in going back to the junction.
Back at the junction, we were lucky enough to be given free Buko juice by one of the vendors. I’ve had like 4 cups for free! We waited for our other friend to go back and when he did, we just let him rest for a while.
|Team RAK. Team Trilogy (accurately, 2.5 for me and Arjov lol)|
Unfortunately, just when we’re about to start descending, an emergency call catch everyone’s attention. One of the female hiker in other group have had her right leg injured and so our guide rushed over the location of the accident. Good thing guides in Brgy. Wawa have 2-way radio that would make communication for emergency like these easier to manage. I salute them for having a reliable and responsive emergency team.
So I guess, it’s Montalban 2.5 then.
|At Mt. Pamitinan’s summit.|
📍 Credits to Carving That Niche for the photos.