Mt. Hapunang Banoy (Rodriguez, Rizal, 517+ MASL)

Location: Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal
Duration: 1 day / 2-4 hours hike to summit
Challenge level: Moderate (Level 4/9)
Activities: Hiking
Attractions: Limestone formations, scenic summit views, Wawa river and dam
Budget: P700-1,000
When to visit: All year round
ABOUT MT. HAPUNANG BANOY

Part of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Mt. Hapunang Banoy is one of the Rizal mountains (the others are Mts. Pamitinan, Binacayan, and Ayaas) accessible from Brgy Wawa, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. Taking only one hour of travel time from Cubao, the Rizal mountains present a very good option for weekend getaways.

Going to Brgy. Wawa is very convenient. Just board an FX in front of Jollibee near Cubao MRT (northbound side) going to Eastwood Rodriguez. Alight at the endpoint of the route, then board the waiting tricycles to Brgy. Wawa. The tricycle will drop you at the DENR station, where you need to register, pay a fee of P50/person, and get a guide. Guides are optional as of March 2016.

The hike starts by crossing Wawa river using a hanging bridge. Don’t worry as this bridge is very sturdy and is used by the locals to get to the other side of the river. The early trail is tropical and well covered from the sun. Limestone formations can also be observed in sompe parts. Not very long into the hike, there are resting points and local stands selling snacks and drinks.

After an hour of brisk hiking is the junction, where the trail to Mt. Pamitinan and Hapunang Banoy splits. The trail to the right leads to the right and the trail to the left goes to Hapunang Banoy.

From the junction, the summit of Hapunang Banoy is about 1.5-2 hours away. The trail is a combination of forested and sharp limestones, with the latter more pronounced as you come nearer to the summit.

The summit itself is composed mainly of limestone formations and very open. At the top, there is a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountain range and of the snaking river below. The plains of Rizal also can be seen.

Going down, you can have lunch at the junction as there are a lot of stores here selling meals and cold drinks. From the junction, you have a choice to go down using another trail that ends in the campsite beside Wawa river. This trail goes through a small river system so during rainy season, you may have to get your feet wet.

Fruits, vegetables and other local produce are plentiful in Brgy. Wawa. Depending on the season, you can find avocados, pineapple, starapple, guava, singkamas, and corn. During the dry months, Wawa Dam transforms into a summer destination used by people to cool off the heat.

MT. HAPUNANG BANOY SAMPLE ITINERARY
4:30 AM Departure Cubao to Eastwood Montalban via van
6:00 AM Arrive at Rodriguez, Rizal. Take tricycle to Brgy. Wawa
6:15 AM Arrive at Brgy. Wawa Tourism Center, register and meet your guide
6:30 AM Start of hike
8:00 AM Arrive at junction
10:00 AM Arrive at summit, take photos
10:30 PM Start descent
11:30 PM Back at the junction. Rest and lunch
12:30 PM Start descent back to jumpoff / Wawa Dam
2:00 PM Back at jump off
EXPENSES
Van fare to and from Rizal 100
Tricycle to and from Brgy. Wawa 20
Registration 50
Guide Fee (P500 for 5 persons) 100
Total Expenses  270
QUICK REFERENCE
How to go there: Take a van at Cubao (beside Jollibee on the northbound lane of Edsa) with signboard Eastwood Montalban. At the endpoint of the van’s route, there are tricycles waiting. Ask to be brought to Brgy. Wawa.
Registration and guides:  Registration is at the Tourism Center. The tricycle from Eastwood will drop you here. Registration fee is P50/person (Mar 2016).

Guides can be arranged here too. There is no fixed rate but P500/mountain is reasonable.

Contact details: Kuya Ogie (guide) -09473868778
Facilities There are many local stores in Brgy. Wawa selling meals, snacks and other necessities.

There are pay bathrooms available in Brgy. Wawa to tidy after the hike

Special precautions: Exercise caution over the sharp rocks near the summit. Be extra cautious also when crossing Wawa River during inclement weather.
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
  • Hand gloves are a must due to the sharp rocks during the hike. If you forget, hand gloves can also be bought at Brgy. Wawa for P40.
  • You can buy in season fruits or vegetables in the local market.
  • You can combine the Rizal mountains in a single day, depending on your pace and strength.
CHECKLIST 
  • Packed meals, snacks and water
  • Extra set of clothes
  • Personal items (camera, phone, id, cash)
  • Personal medication and toiletries
  • Others i.e. first aid kit, flashlight, raincoat, etc.
SAFETY REMINDERS
  • Always register with the local tourism center/police station. Get a local guide/tour if available.
  • Avoid going very close to perilous places. Give at least a meter of allowance from any cliffs or ravines.
  • Always follow the rules and policies set by the authorities (i.e. tourism center, LGU, DENR, etc.)
  • For more safety tips and reminders, visit our article on Outdoor Safety.
  • Never leave or dispose waste in the outdoors (including biodegradable waste). If you pack it in, be sure to pack it out.
  • Refrain from making any markings or vandalism.
  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow, approach, or feed them as this may affect their natural behavior.
  • Do not bring in or out any flora or fauna.
  • Show respect and courtesy towards the locals and be sensitive to their cultural practices and ways of living.
  • For more responsible outdoor practices, visit our article on Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles
MT. HAPUNANG BANOY PHOTOS
Pamitinan

At the Wawa River

~~~
“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was” (Dag Hammarskjold)
~~~

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