You don’t have to be a bird in order to travel. You don’t have to be a cloud to see the world. What’s important is that you have a set of beautiful eyes, and a heart, and that’s all that matters to see.
Itching to go out and exercise my wander skills, I’ve asked a few friends to come with me to explore the wonders of Pamitinan located at Montalban, Rodriguez Rizal.
To tell you the truth, I’ve known little about the place. If not because of a friend, I woundn’t even know that the place existed. According to the photo’s he sent me, it’s a budget hike for everyone. And who wouldn’t be tempted with budget travels, right? So off we went.
Our group, I-team (Jeric, Mark, Chut and Yours truly), agreed to meet at exactly 5am in Cubao so we could catch the sunrise at the summit. But for some reason, which involves miscommunication and geographical naiveness, we ended up meeting at around 6:30 am. Haha! We were a bit disappointed, but still happy that we’re able to push through.
Rushing ourselves to meet the literally risen sun at the mountain, we headed ourselves to Cubao, Farmers to catch the UV trip to Montalban (50.00/pax). The travel lasts for about 1-2 hours depending on the speed and traffic. After reaching the sitio, we rode in a jeepney going to Wawa Dam (8.00/pax). Note that you can also ride in a tricycle (15.00). In the reg. site, we paid Php. 50.00 for the entrance fee and another charge for the tour guide (worth is depending on the number of mountains / hikers, the cost is around 500.00 (+)/group).
Anyway, to get some facts, I kept asking our tour guide, Kuya Rogelio Bataan, about the history of the place. I didn’t get much of an answer tho, except that it was said to be discovered by Bernardo Carpio. Uhm… Who is Bernanrdo Carpio, anyway? At first, I thought that he was a famous katipunero because kuya said that the place was once a hiding place for soldiers during the spanish revolution. Turns out that only half of it was true. According to further research: legend says that Bernardo Carpio was considered to be a strong giant who was trapped inside the mountains. He shrugged his shoulders causing the earthquake in Montalban. That explains the wonderful, huge rocks surrounding the place.
At first, we were determined to climb Mt. Pamitinan. Little did we know that it is a trilogy treck, and is also offering other must-see places near the area. In our location, there were three neighboring mountains named; 1) Haponang Banoi, 2) Pamitinan and 3) Binacayan.
Funny, I thought that these were the names of Bernardo’s lovers. Anyway, the four of us agreed to finish two mountains (Banoi and Pamitinan) because we also wanted to soak ourselves at Wawa Dam, and we don’t have much time to do it all in a day. The dam is located just a few steps away from the reg. site.
If you’re a fan of stones, this is definitely a good place for you to visit. It has a steep way up and the only way to get there is to climb through the biiiig and edgy rocks. They say that these sharp rocks are made of lime stones. Amazing, right?
Haponang Banoi (at least 6 hrs hike) is more difficult to climb than Pamitinan (4 hrs hike). The view in both peaks were somewhat similar, differing only in terms of difficulty and challenge of trek. I both loved it.
The summit itself is wonderful (400ft. high) , except for those area where industrial action is being done. It pains me to see how much we, human beings, can injure Mother Earth. Trees were swept off at some sites and there was also this fog and smoke caused by kaingin. The people and government- WE, should take an action about this. Maybe let’s start with simple act’s like; putting our garbages in their proper disposal area. Agh!! And cutting trees should be completely banned!!!
After accomplishing the hike, we decided to get soaked at Wawa Dam, as planned. But upon reaching the place, to our dismay, it has turned to be a bit.. dirty. I’m not being finicky but there were trash everywhere. We coulnd’t even find a clean spot to bathe, so we decided to go home instead.
Moreover, it isn’t much of a sad story. I enjoyed the thrill in climbing the rocks, and the rush of adrenaline in reaching the peaks. I really liked climbing using the rope to reach the top of Pamitinan and the challenge to balance ourselves at Banoi.
For me, the journey is both a memory and a wake up call, I guess. And it should be. Things are becoming devastating each day, and we are blinded not to see it. It’s not too late to make a change tho. Maybe if we stop cutting trees, littering and burning plastics, and bear in our hearts the importance of Mother Earth… if we try to stop doing our bad and unclean habbits, we can still save this planet.
This journey is a cry for change. I’m pleading to the innermost, pure soul inside of us… Let’s sincerely make a move about this. Let’s fight for our home, yes? It may not cause a drastic turn over yet, but it will pay off after some time. I’m sure, it will.
Just like hiking, you start with few baby steps in order to reach the peak, it will seem difficult and impossible but all you need is time and patience, and the willingness to do it, and then, before you even know it, you’re done reaching the summit.
Ps. The hike feels like climbing a malformed rocky stair. We we’re even joking about not taking flanax, because if not equiped properly, you will surely feel your knees jumbling. I advise that begginers should take some jogs before climbing, it reduces the body and knee-pain. Also, remember to bring A LOT of water and a towel. Put some sunblock. Use a shoe that has a hard sole. And gloves could be a luxury, you must bring one. Be attentive and always, take care. Again, my love, gloves. Pls. Gloves…