Nagpatong Rock has been open for quite sometime. However, it was just recently that it created buzz among the mountaineering community. I wasn’t aware of it until my friend posted pictures of his Nagpatong Rock adventure. His pictures of Nagpatong Rock captivated me. The rock formation is just awesome.

So let’s resume our adventure!

At the close of the first part of our Sunday excursion, we were at crux – should we complete the entire circuit or skip Ikmo Rock. The group is quite divided so we bided the time by waiting for our companions. Finally, we were complete at around 10:30 AM. Because some chose to return to the jump-off point rather than finish the entire circuit, we reached a consensus. We will  proceed to Nagpatong Rock and skip Ikmo Rock. It is definitely the highlight of the trip and the one most of us is looking forward to.

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The cerulean sky inspires the spirit of the outdoors in me. Clear blue skies mean more adventures under the summer sun.

11 AM. We proceeded to Nagpatong Rock, using the same trail we used in climbing Mt. Masungki. Although we’re already tired from our earlier climb we were still looking forward to Nagpatong Rock. After an hour of following the winding trail, we saw it! The excitement in the air rejuvenated our emptied manna. Although we still had to scale a minor assault, our exasperation was left at the back of our minds.

And over the horizon, there it is, Nagpatong Rock, as good as the one advertised! What a sublime sight it is. I can barely imagine how such a marvelous structure formed. Indeed, nature is a wonderful enigma, full of surprises. Unfortunately, there was already a group ahead of us so we had to wait. While patiently waiting for the group to come down, we took the chance to rest and eat some snacks.

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The road to success is often marred with obstacles that stymie our progress.
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Some obstacles are not for the faint of heart. Photo by Faith Dominong.

The sun was already high above us so we climbed up the first level of Nagpatong Rock. That’s when we saw how we are going to scale Nagpatong Rock. I tried to look down and what I saw was a treacherous drop! Only daredevils would risk this, I thought to myself.

 

Here’s the current scenario – to get to the other side, we have to cross the rock’s side by clinging on the rocks. We have to pull ourselves across. The only safety net is a solitary rope that fences the side of the drop. It was a short part but one misstep and you’ll find yourself hurtling 60 feet down into sharp rocks and trees. Thankfully the guides are there to ensure our safe passage.  But it wasn’t enough to assuage my doubts. However, when I saw my companions cross safely, I gathered my wits – I can do it too!

It’s too late to back down now. Besides, I am already here – why buckle down on a challenge. Then came my turn. Crossing while dangling on a small piece of protruding rock was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. It would have been impossible had it not been for our guides. Once across, I breathed a sigh of relief. When the group before use finally came down, we climbed up. Climbing up is a challenge because of the jagged rocks that are really sharp. Unfortunately, we forgot our gloves. We’re used to these circumstances but man, the jagged edges did hurt!

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Learn to overcome every challenge because at the end of the treacherous journey is a wonderful reward. (The guides are taking our pictures from the rock facing Nagpatong Rock.)

When we were finally at the top, we were all mesmerized. We’re finally standing ON Nagpatong Rock, that awesome structure that nature, over time, has magnificently sculpted. It looks like a medieval fort and we’re the defenders standing stern to defend our stronghold. The rock itself is amazing but the view is beautiful too. From the rock, we saw the famed Masungi Georeserve.

As there were no trees on the rock, the heat was penetrating deep into us. We were being fried under the summer heat. We quickly had our pictures taken by our guides. Facing Nagpatong Rock is a smaller rock formation from which pictures are taken. When we’ve had our fill of pictures and due to the heat, we decided to climb down.

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A rewarding view to cap an eight-hour excursion.
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The summit of Mt. Masungki on the left side as seen from Nagpatong Rock. You can also see a vestige of the billboard, though a very tiny one at that.

When we all safely climbed down, some of us headed straight to the jump-off point. Some of us stayed behind and explored the rock formation opposite Nagpatong. Though smaller, it is equally beautiful. It is like a platform from which to appreciate Nagpatong Rock. What we saw only validated what we knew of Nagpatong Rock – it is amazing! The smaller rock can also be climbed using a rope but climbing it is a bit of a challenge.

For us to climb it, my companions carried the small ladder used in climbing this rock. Although the rock has limited space, it was able to accommodate the five of us who climbed up. For a couple of minutes, we just sat in tranquility, drinking in our environment. When we’ve had our fill, we headed back to the jump-off point. When we reached the base, we rode a habal-habal to the jump-off point as we were too tired to walk back. At the jump-off point, our companions already had their lunch so we joined the feast.

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The journey to the top is always made better by the people you encounter along the way. Photo by Faith Dominong.

After having lunch, we headed to Daranak Falls to swim and cool down. 30 minutes after alighting from Mt. Masungki jump-off point, we finally reached Daranak Falls. Although I was already expecting it, the long queue of cars on the way to the falls still astounded me. Our van had to park way up because the road down to the falls is already filled with people who had the same idea as us. We then rode a tricycle down to Daranak Falls.

There is a PHP 50.00 entrance fee to the falls. Some people were already leaving but the waterfalls was still crowded. We were a bit disappointed when we finally saw Daranak Falls, a classic case of reality vs expectation. The trickle of water is not as strong as the ones seen in pictures. Even the emerald green waters we were expecting was not there. I know I am doing the place an injustice. Maybe because the waterfalls is just too crowded that we cannot fully appreciate it. Spirits dampened, we just decided to take a bath in the bathrooms instead of diving into the “cool waters” of Daranak.

We left when everyone was already done bathing. We were in a rush because there seems to be a heavy downpour. Thankfully, the downpour didn’t release its full strength and reached our van dry.

And hence, concludes another weekend adventure away from the city!

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Two thumbs up for another successful weekend trek! Looking forward to the next! ~ CLB

Itinerary

1200H Meet up at Cubao
0130H ETD Cuyambay, Tanay
0300H ETA Cuyambay Barangay Hall
0345H Orientation
0400H Start trek!
0530H ETA Junction
0630H ETA Rocky formations, start final ascent to Mt. Masungki
0700H ETA Summit/Billboard. Photo ops. Climb billboard. Breakfast.
0900H ETD for Junction
1000H ETA Junction. Regroup. Early breakfast. Nap.
1100H ETD for Nagpatong Rock
1200H ETA Nagpatong Rock
1230H Climb Nagpatong Rock. Photo ops.
1400H ETD for jump-off point
1500H ETA Jump-off point
1530H ETD for Daranak Falls
1600H ETA Daranak Falls. Wash up.
1730H ETD Manila

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