Category Archives: Hiking Sessions

Mt. Daraitan: Beauty and Madness Alike

Mount Daraitan, a true spectacle within the heart of Sierra Madre mountain range capturing all types of moutain enthusiasts- behind its natural beauty is unexpected madness.

Between General Nakar, Quezon and Tanay, Rizal can be found this beautiful wonder with its own unexpected beast to discover. Approximately three to four-hour travel from Manila which makes it one of the best destinations to get away from the buzz of the metro and its hectic schedule.

According to pinoymountaineer Mount Daraitan is considered a minor climb with 4/9 difficulty and trail class of 1 to 3. Its looks so easy to climb when you look at it in paper.

While trekking all the way up to the summit, anyone can appreciate tropical rainforest and different limestone formations which is predominantly evident among mountain ranges in Rizal. At the summit you can see Laguna de bay, Pililia Wind Mill, Mounts Maynoba, Batosulong, Makiling, Sombrano, Susong Dalaga, and many more.

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Enjoying the summit after more than 2 hours of trekking.

Then upon descent, Tinipak river offers various water activities and not only that, adjacent to it is Mount Mamara which has different caves to visit with natural pool in it.


Tinipak River. Just where the water from the cave is coming out. We did not go to where the crowd are.


Inside the cave where you get to enjoy running water pool.

Yes it has its own madness. If you think that the hike to the summit is just easy, think again, you must be mad. The mountain is approximately 740 meters above sea level (masl), relatively higher than Mount Hapunang Banoi in Montalban which is only 517 masl. More than 600 meters of that height is a straightforward assault with 70 to 90 degree angle. For those who are not experienced hiker, this will be a challenge. Weather condition will also play a big part in the level of difficulty.

Check out our Itinerary guide HERE.


Mount Banoi, Where Eagles Come to Dine

Mount Hapunang Banoi is located in Bgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal with approximate height of 517 meters above sea level (masl). “Hapunan” which means diner and “Banoi” or eagle in tagalog,  the mountain is said to be a sanctuary of eagles where they come to dine before nightfall. Unfortunately because of continues forest degradation these eagles no longer pass this place. Sadly, as we climbed the summit we heard a loud sound of fuel-run saw obviously cutting down the remaining trees.

The Department of Environmental and National Resources now protecting the area but not strong enough to completely elliminate logging. On the contrary, they do a pretty good job promoting the area to mountain enthusiasts to visit the place which resulting livelihood to the locals.

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Some of the picturesque view points

The trail difficulty according to mountaineers guide is 4/9. Like any other mountains in Rizal, limestone formation is everywhere and while appreciating these rock formations you can have a perfect views of Sierra Madre, Mount Pamitinan among others. There’s also enough shed alo g the way, exactly where and whe  you need it – bamboo sheds, wood trees, vines and at the end of the trail you will be congratulated by mahogany trees as if greeting you with all happiness.

Mandatory “Jump Shot” behind are mount Pamitinan and Binicayan.

Before heading back to Manila, one can have a side trip to Wawa dam to freshen up.

Great wall of limestone rock behind us. First stop to take 5.

Bamboo trail giving shed to mountaineers halfway to the summit.

Our guide kuya Frank eagerly concentrating to capture the best shot worth posting on Facebook and Instagram.

Going to the top of the summit is never easy but it is always worth it.

Freshen up at Wawa Dam, the only thing you would like after a long trek of the day.