Happy Independence Day, Philippines! Now why am I on Mt. Pamitinan?
For me, one of the best way to commemorate the National Holiday is to climb Mt. Pamitinan, primarily because of its historical significance.
So instead of going to the Aguinaldo Shrine, we chose to scale Mt. Pamitinan, at the foot of which the Katipunan Supremo himself, Andres Bonifacio tore cedulas and cried out “Viva La Independencia Filipinas!” as early as 1985.
Tale of the Mountains of Montalban
Mt. Pamitinan makes for a good destination for a dayhike because of its proximity to Manila (barely 2 hours) and because of the number of activities that can be done here. Like Mt. Manalmon, one can choose to go spelunking at Pamitinan Cave and the so-called Bat Cave and still have time to scale another mountain of nearly the same height, Mt. Binacayan.
The Montalban Mountains also held Philippine myths. In the photo above, I am beholding a view that spurred folklore of the Herculean (or Chuck Norris-like?) character named Bernardo Carpio who was believed to have been supernaturally trapped between the mountains in attempts of suppressing him.
This supposedly allowed a river to course through and caused earthquakes whenever Carpio attempts to free himself. Interestingly, this is the same site as the West Valley Fault, whose future tremors the Metro now fears.
Mt. Pamitinan’s Limestone Walls and Cliffs
At only 426 meters above sea level (MASL), Mt. Pamitinan only entails a short hike. The difficulty, however, lies in bouldering and scrambling among jagged limestone exposures that is scattered all over the trail. Wearing gloves is a must, as well as possessing high spirits for some pseudo-rock climbing.
What I love about Mt. Pamitinan is that even for a short climb, it affords of a beautiful view of Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. Plus, its beautiful rock formations makes for a photogenic spot, as if emulating that Simba of Lion King shot raising a cub from a cliff.
Picturesque view of long and winding Wawa river, lush greeneries from neighboring mountains Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Hapunang Banoy, natural land ridges and the Sierra Madre mountain range are also visible from Mt. Pamitinan.
The Solid Rock Peak
Bouldering to the peak of Mt. Pamitinan will be your last push to the top. In scaling the huge rock, one has to do a rope-free rock climbing. It is actually easier than it looks (although that didn’t stop me from chickening out a bit). The 360 view from the rock summit is just eye-popping. I loved the rich green hue of clustered mountains — the greenest I have ever seen!
On the descent of Mt. Pamitinan, one can opt to make a side trip to Pamitinan Cave. Unfortunately, it was closed upon our arrival. So we made our way to the equally scenic Wawa Dam where weekend warriors go mountain biking and swimming with the family. An enjoyable view is the gigantic smooth, white rocks that peppers Wawa River, reminiscent of Tinipak River.
Of folklore and freedom. Apart from the beauty the peak and even the foot of the mountain provides, I just love climbs that tell a story. Climb with us at TravelCompassPH.
- Inspired? Get more Mountain Climbing travel ideas
- Find and book accommodations in Laguna (near Rizal)
- You can also discover more attractions in Rizal