Montalban: Paitiman sa Mt. Pamitinan
Need to withdraw from the urban clutter that is Metro Manila but does not have the luxury of time or money? Feel the thirst for the rush of adrenaline and view of nature? Experience the climb and thrill of Mt. Pamitinan. Or should we say Mt. Paitiman? The sun surely won’t give the skin an excuse for not being tan. 🙂
Mt. Pamitinan, (426 MASL) is located in Sitio Wawa, Brgy. San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal. The karst mountain is known for being one of the five peaks—Mt. Hapunang Banoi, Mt. Pamitinan, Mt. Binicayan, Mt. Ayaas and Mt. Lagyo. These stretch throughout Rodriguez called The Pentalogy Climb or The Penta Climb. Hikers come for the challenge of finishing the Penta Climb on a single day, but that doesn’t mean the newbies aren’t welcome to join the fun. In fact, Mt. Pamitinan is enjoyable for both experienced and new climbers.
We arrived about past 5 in the morning at Sitio Wawa for the registration which costs P50 per head. Luckily, our guide, Mang Samuel, happens to be the father of one of the TupangGala. Besides being saved from making any unnecessary gala with no direction, it’s more fun to travel with a friend as a guide. Mt. Pamitinan is a karst mountain: It is a landscape formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone and dolomite. In other words, it’s a very rough peak and if one dares to climb it, one must be willing to spare a few clothes and fingers to be slightly scratched. (Not really, but it’s one jagged hill). Worry not since there’s an option to buy gloves for only P20.
Before climbing the peak, we walked through 80 meters hanging bridge arriving at the foothills of the mountain. We’ve prepared for the climb, but not the trek before hiking. The sight of acacia and banana trees help the exhaustion of strenuous walking, but when all hope’s lost, fret not because there’s a rest stop to be found. The resting area, full of white rocks, can also be good for those who want rock climbing. After that, we reached the junction that separates the track: the right side leading to Mt. Pamitinan and the left side to Mt. Hapunang Banoi. The junction has stalls and establishments for food and refreshments that are affordable. Staying over at night is also possible if ever climbing the peak at night-time and want to start before daybreak.
Starting the climb onto the 1st peak—it was rather painful than tiresome but the breathtaking, picturesque overlooking of the spread of Rodriguez was all worth the trouble. On the other hand, Mang Samuel climbs with confidence, finesse, and tirelessness. Unbelievable! Reaching the 1st peak was a very unforgettable experience; the feeling of accomplishment, the spectacular sight, and of course the exciting photo op for all hikers’ Facebook profile picture and photo cover purposes. The peak, being a karst mountain, has the unique features of the slanting rock which can make heart-pounding shots.
The 2nd peak, the highest peak of the mountain, was only a 15-minute walk away from the 1st peak but we had to wait longer since a certain amount of people are allowed at a time as a precaution for the slanting rocks. Arriving at the highest point was another jaw-dropping view. Besides the mountains of Quezon and Bulacan on the far east, we waved at other hikers who were also at the peak of the neighboring mountains. Such an amazing view that made us forget the pain of the rocks on the ascent. The peak is also good for climbing during the morning, in order to witness the sea of clouds. Feeling accomplished and proud, we descended along other hikers who had Mt. Pamitinan as their 3rd hike already for the day. Not so much accomplishment for us, but for starters, it can pass as one.
- From Cubao, take the often fast-and-furious jeepneys plying the Cubao-Montalban route, or FX (UV Express) if you prefer comfort. Alight at the Luvers in Montalban. Jeepney fares are at PhP40 and for FX, it’s PhP50.
- Take the Wowtoda tricycle for PhP8 (be careful with some drivers, though)
- Environmental Fee – P50
- Parking – Free
- Guide – 500 (5 persons)
- Wawa Dam
- Pamitinan Cave
- Mt. Binicayan
- Mt. Hapunang Banoi