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Reaching the Summit of Mt. Hapunang Banoi (Amazing Foggy Views)

Posted on the 13 July 2019 by Michael David Oyco @MDoyco

Group shot at Mt. Hapunang Banoi (Michael and friends)

Our group shot at one of the beautiful spots of Mt. Hapunang Banoi

As I continue to discover the mountains in Rizal, this could be the highest peak we might get that is just a few minutes away from the Metro. As far as I remember to what our guide (the last time) told us is that behind its name is because it is where they saw some eagle's nests before. And just purely with that information, I am always excited to go back and hike the place hoping to see one in the wild. How cool would that be!? Well, I am in most cases would normally be game for such an outdoor activity as I take most of the opportunities I get to do some exercise - especially when it's enjoyable. Let us be honest here that we do have some preferences on how to stay fit. So moving on.. Join us as we trek this mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views we experienced. Man, God's creations are just so stunning and to know that we are just seeing a fraction of it is mind-blowing.
So the group met at a convenience store around 2:30 AM. Our target was to arrive at the jump-off area and start the hike at the earliest possible time (4:30 AM). The crew consisted of 6 boys and a girl so feel free to guess who was the last one to arrive (lol). 

Mt. Hapunang Banoi crew

Michael, Chester, Benjie, Jhay and Philip - left to right (Lester taking the photo)

The good thing here is that we arrived at the foot of the mountain and started to climb just in time. We all have hiked before, except for Lester, who claims that this is his first climb ever (exciting). Oh! And by the way, it rained hours before our trip so we (Philip and I) expected to see great views on top - thick fog/sea of clouds to be exact.  
Not that long that we were welcomed by the first stunning view of the morning..

One foggy morning

A foggy morning indeed

This kind of view makes any hike worth it. The better part of it is that you are even more driven to go further as, of course, you expect even better views as you go higher. We were all uttering (repeatedly) how beautiful the view is every time we pause and wait for the group to be intact again, and those moments are priceless - seeing people awed by what they see.
There are several beautiful spots to rest at and take that awesome selfie, one of those is this "Lion King" like rock cliff. And this is where my friend, we start the photography session for each member haha! (Watch the video below for more photos and videos, I'll just feature selected ones here in the blog post)

Reaching the summit of Mt. Hapunang Banoi (Amazing foggy views)

Philip at the "Lion King" rock cliff

Everyone is doing a great job as we are rocking our phase. Jusairah who is our lone rose in the group is doing a good job climbing in comparison with the other gals I have hiked with - while Lester is go with the flow of the group and he seems like he doesn't need any rest at all (except for the leg cramping part hehe).
We pushed through to the next instagrammable areas which are the tall rock and the wall cliff part. A few (Chester and Jhay) dared to climb the tall rock since its quite hard to go up if you are not confident enough. So instead, the group took time on the wall cliff (my favorite) area since it is the last part where there is decent shade and besides, it is a great place to compose ourselves before going to the highest part of the mountain. 

Jusairah at the edge of the wall cliff

Jusairah at the edge of the wall cliff

We were all taking and feeling it in here. We were appreciating the view, breathing-in the unpolluted air, getting the breeze of the wind.. I tried to make a quiet moment as a group, but I failed (lol). It seems every time I plan to have a peaceful moment up there it always, always not happen and I wonder why. I always have it my head when I am in the city, but when we are in the actual moment, either I get succumb of tiredness or the urge to finish the hike and go down to eat overtakes me. Anyway, back to the trail.. After some minutes of picture taking, we headed forward to see the summit.

Benjie at the Mt. Hapunang Banoi Summit

Benjie topping the Mt. Hapunang Banoi Summit

What a nice view, eh? Well, we reached the summit with the sun on top already so the fog cleared. By the way, I think we were only 3 different groups who hiked this peak that day and even with that number, we managed to get here kind of late because we took our time getting great pictures for everyone haha! Well, it's worth the trade.
While they are having their photoshoot on top, I managed to sneak and select a different spot to take mine. They call it "The Boots" since the stone behind me looks like one. I was nervous getting my way there since I decided to have it on a formal theme (lol). I was worried that my pants will limit my leg movements and if my leather shoes can take the terrain. Please do note that there is no other way to get to the spot other than all the parts you can see in the photo. So thank you Lord that I am still writing this blog post alive lol.

Michael on the boots cliff of Mt. Hapunang Banoi

The suits, oops. "The Boots" rather hehe

Make sure you watch the video below to see more of our photos especially the group pictures. Wrapping things up, everyone enjoyed the experience as we got a great clearing on top. It's not every day we get to see that kind of view and even though it's tiring, it refreshed me at the least breaking my daily routine - I can't say the same for the others haha! 
So as we go down and reach what they call the "Junction" (a main/similar trail to other peaks), we decided not to continue our planned dip in the river as the water is murky and the temperature is quite high already. Maybe next time, though it still not failed to give us stunning views even from below including this wooden hanging bridge that serves as its gateway to and from the mountains.

Montalban wooden hanging bridge - mountain gateway

Montalban wooden hanging bridge

We actually enjoyed some unusual perks too on getting back to the jump-off area as the people there harvested a surplus of avocados. So they sold most of them to hikers like us at below-market price. Most of us bought kilos of it - I bought 3 for the people at home.
And there you have it guys, our Mt. Hapunang Banoi experience. Hopefully, I can cover the other peaks soon. I have climbed most of them already but I am waiting for the next opportunities to have them taped as it is so much better for you guys to see them too. So I hope you guys enjoy this simple video I created. Until our next adventure!

Related climbs: (All can be done on the same jump-off point)
version 1:1. Mt. Pamitinan2. Mt. Binacayan3. Mt. Hapunan Banoi THIS
version 2:4. Mt. Lagyo5. Mt. Susong Dalaga6. Mt. Parawagan
others:7. Mt. Kapananan

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