Tanay: Nagpatong Rocks!
A unique rock formation at Barangay Cuyambay at the mountains of Masungki in Tanay, Rizal. It has become a popular destination for the barkadas, hiker or not, for the unique photo experience it offers and became more famous after being featured on TV. And being at close proximity to Manila, it is one of the destination spots for Tanay visitors, not only for the mountaineers but also for the newbies seeking outdoor adventures.
We traveled at dawn, driving through the Marcos Highway to Cogeo. From here we took the Marikina-Infanta Road until reaching the junction to Barangay Cuyambay. From the corner, we took the concrete road downwards almost two kilometers long, where the barangay hall is located. It took us more than one and a half hours to reach the barangay hall where we registered.
After registration we have to go back to the highway, this time going to Sitio Jamboree where the hike’s jump off point is located. It is somewhat a hassle, as you have to go to the barangay hall to register and go back again. Here we met with Ato and Arnold who served as our guides.
At the start, the trek is easy, being going downwards. After almost a kilometers we reached a hut selling drinks and snacks, christened “7-11”, which also serves as a landmark or stopover for hikers. From here, the trek slowly becomes harder.
Compared to the rock boulders at the beginning, we have to go through the limestone karst which has sharp edges and hard to step on.
Depending on the ability, it can be climbed within 30 to 45 minutes, but for our group, it took us an hour and a half.
The last stopover prior to the rock formation climb is the base camp. We were with several other hiking groups waiting to climb. Because we went on a holiday, there are lots of people and we have to queue up. Only twenty at a time can be accommodated at the summit, so we have to wait.
And after what seemed to be an hour, we were finally called by our guide to climb. The climb at the Nagpatong Rock is one of the most challenging part of the trek. You have to climb almost completely vertical and without harness or safety equipment. There are bamboo ladders and ropes strategically placed that you can hold to aid your climb.
Reaching the summit, your stress is dispersed by the awesome view. It’s very rewarding especially that you’ve overcome the climb. From here, you can see the Sierra Madre mountains, the Marikina-Infanta Highway, the costly Masungi Geo-reserve and the Mt. Masungki peak (you can clearly see the billboard constructed).
It is called “Nagpatong Rock”, referring to the rocks that seemed to be stacked on top of another (“patong” means to stack or pile over). At the other side, you can see Masungki, it was named so due to it being crooked (“masungki” means crooked). It has two towering limestone cliff facing each other.
The famous spot here is the flat top where an entire group can take photos. Guides are trained to take photos, so after assisting the hikers they go to another adjacent rock formation to shoot photos of you. It is required to have a solo shot, they give an allotted time for you to fully savor the moment. No wonder why it takes a little longer so that the remarkable experiences can be captured.
After a while with the time spent taking loads of selfies, we finally descended. It’s more tricky and arduous going down the rock formation than climbing up, as you have to be sure on your steps. Fortunately, Ato and Arnold are ready to assist us.
After reaching the bottom of the rock formation, we started our return to the starting point. We were offered to go to the peak of Mt. Masungki, but because we left our baon at the parking lot and our stomachs screaming of hunger, perhaps we could do it another time. The trail we took on our approach is the same path that we made on our return. On our way, we met with other groups just starting to hike even though being near noontime. After more than an hour, we finally made to our starting point to take lunch. It is a perfect moment, for, after a long hike, the cool waters of Daranak Falls is waiting for us.
- P100 – Registration (Per Person)
- P500 – Guide Fee (1 Guide Per 5 Persons)
* You can ask for a discount when hiking in groups
* You can give a tip if you’re satisfied with the guide
TIPS AND QUIPS
- Bring gloves for the rocks have sharp edges (there are gloves for sale at the parking lot for P50)
- Wear appropriate clothing
- Foods are available at the base camp but you can save more if you can bring your own food
- Bring enough water
- Avoid going weekends or holidays to prevent a long queue
- Go early to avoid the noontime heat, as the summit of the rock formation has no shade
- No mobile signal is available
Tanay Tourism Assistance Desk:
- Public Transport
From Cubao, take a jeep going to Cogeo Gate 2. Here there is a terminal going to Sampaloc (the first trip is at 5am). Fare costs PhP50 and the trip takes more than an hour (34 kms). Tell the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Cuyambay. From here take the tricycle going to Barangay Hall (PhP10 fare). After registering, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal going to drop-off point (PhP40 fare).
Take the Marcos Hi-way or Sumulong Hiway going to Masinag. From Masinag, take the road going to Cogeo and from here take the Marikina-Infanta Highway going to Sampaloc, Tanay. After more than 34 kilometers from Cogeo, you can see the road going to Barangay Cuyambay (near the Pico de Pino Café). The road has a steep descent so take extra precaution.