Want to be a rockstar for a day? You don’t need mad guitar skillz.
We tried the ultimate adventure combo at Norzagaray, Bulacan by pairing up spelunking Pinagrealan Cave and climbing Lioness Rock!
Update: We regret to inform you that this is no longer possible. Private quarrying companies have blown up the rock formations. Read this post as a memoriam to the Lioness.
Caves and Rocks Near Manila
Lioness Rock is roughly walking distance from Pinagrealan Cave. But we rented a tricycle for a day (for a regrettably expensive price of P300 — talk about taga) . We made it to a cement plant, which is the jumpoff to the rockies.
Apparently, Norzagaray, Bulacan is the mainstay of big cement brands because of its rich deposits and its proximity to Manila. As such, some of the rockies, but not the Lioness Rock, are ridden with landmines.
Conquering a Huge Chunk of Rock
Expect a bit of a difficulty climbing up to the Lioness Rock. It is a steeply inclined like climbing up a huge chunk of rock. The jagged texture of the rocks will improve your grip. But if you slip into the ravine, well, I don’t know what becomes of you. #realtalk
To be honest, I’ve chosen the wrong outfit for this climb. It’s best to cover skin to avoid bruises and scrapes from the rough surfaces. My sandals also did not fit the ridges between rocks, so at some point, I climbed with only socks on.
Lioness Rock in Full View
The hardest part for me was almost at the top, taking the big step on the rock below. My feet was aching, so our tour guide lent me his slippers. But after the knee-scraping and feet-scorching scramble, we finally made it in full view of the Lioness Rock! It looks like a natural sphinx! Or a primate king overlooking town.
We commenced climbing up Lioness Rock. It took more time than it should because I was (understandably!) chicken. No ropes. No footstools. Barefoot. Toasted under sun.
Overcoming Fear of Heights
Josh was teaching me how to get a grip with my fingers and not with my entire body. Which I never did by the way out of fear of slipping if I hinge farther from the Lioness Rock. At this point, I froze and begged not to continue! I practically stayed in this position for several minutes, honestly willing to call it quits. Joking with teary eyes. Were it not for his equal stubbornness and pep talk, I never would have scrambled to the top!
Whenever I look at this photo, I can’t help beaming in pride that I actually made it on top of this beauty! Should be one of the greatest rock formations in the country. The Lioness Rock is also the highest among the clusters at Norzagaray.
Maybe the Lionesss Rock shouldn’t even be hidden in a warehouse of a cement plant. Although, the traffic itself should be controlled given the difficulty and riskiness of the climb. Here’s to being scared but doing it anyway! And to awesome partners-in-climb.
Would you dare? Watch our video!