Mt. Sipit Ulang: Clawing Our Way Towards One of the Mountains of Rodriguez, Rizal

Baga-meter:  baga 2 Kaya Pa Bes (What is this?)

How to get there (Public):  From Cubao, ride a jeepney going to Montalban (now known as Rodriguez, Rizal). Alight in Total Gas Station at Eastwood  and ride a tricycle going to Brgy. Mascap. (see budget breakdown for more details)

What to do there: Mountain Climbing, Sightseeing, Swimming in the very cold waters of Payaran Falls.. Mas malamig pa sa ka-M.U. mo. Panigurado. 

Note: Special thanks to Engr. Mel, Engr. Raymart, Engr. Lyka, Mr. Louie, Ms. Rose Ann, Mr. Paul and Mr. Jordan for photo and video contributions.:)

 

I remembered the first time I made my official “hike” at Caranglan, Nueva Ecija, near the place of my hometown; I was a young girl then, opting to find fishes in one of their brooks rather than going towards the summit of what was now known at Mt. 387 (nung kapanahunan kasi ng kabataan ko ang tawag lang namin sa kanya ay bundok sa Digdig– yun na yun). When I grew older, I realized that surviving mountains and having crazy adventures became my addicition– to the point that I had made myself always available kahit na alam kong maaalangan ako sa pagpasok the next day.And so.. I fully understand my former co-workers’ feelings when they came to a conclusion that surviving Mount Kayangkangan for this year was not enough.

All of us became restless after the hike; that was when the idea of hiking Mt. Sipit Ulang at Rodriguez, Rizal was born.We met up at Sta. Lucia around 4:30 am, against our schedule, which was three o’ clock.

Our initial meet-up at Sta. Lucia

Fun starts even on the way

When we were complete we rode to a jeepney going to Montalban and almost alighted at San Rafael ( almost kasi lumagpas kami ng very very light). A few walks after, we arrived at the tricycle terminal going to Barangay Mascap. In there, lo and behold, we found out that a person can sit on the top of the tricycle. Without waiting for any signal I climbed up and sat comfortably on the metal supports.

Ngiting-aso sa taas ng tricycle

A few minutes of travelling we landed our cold feet at Barangay Mascap where we registered and paid for our environmental fee. We were introduced to Mr. Telong and Ms. Edjen as our guide.

Engr. Lyka at the Registration Area

After prayers and few introductions we headed off our way towards Mt. Sipit Ulang.The first part of our trail consists of assaults, squeezing our way towards rock crevices and passing through ledges.

First part of our trail consists of small brook crossing and walking in bamboo bridges

The rocks were sharp and the path was slippery; we protected ourselves with arm sleeves and gloves to avoid hurting ourselves. We could hardly see anything because it was still dark– but it didn’t stop us to be mezmerized by the silhouettes of the rock formations towering our path.

Group shot kahit madilim pa

It was around six when we took our stop at Mini-Sipit. We were too engrossed in picture taking we stayed there for thirty minutes.

At Mini-Sipit

Morning Breeze+ Breathtaking View =GREAT MORNING

Jean Louis + Rose Ann Pre-Nuptial Pic. XD

Walking towards the summit is a fun time, especially kung may pagka-baliw din ang mga kasama mo. We poked fun at each other, ate our snacks and even donned flower bands ala-Encantadia Sang’gres.

Ang apat na diwata ng kagubatan

Trail towards Mt. Sipit summit was filled with the beauty of the forest

The next part is the rock climbing part at Paniki Trail. In here, we were almost sandwiched by two huge rock boulders. We climbed vines and bamboo ladders while making inside jokes about our careers and personal lives.

Rock Climbing pa more!

One of the highlights of the trail is going up on a vine…

…and going up on  a steep bamboo ladder

Mr. Telong treated us to another adventure we never forget in visiting Mt.Sipit Ulang— we went spelunking an unnamed cave. We explored its crystalline rock formations (which was strikingly similar to Mystical Cave) , groped to small cervices and climbed up our way out back to the rays of sunshine.

Ingat lang sa mga  may arachnophobia

Inside the cave

Going up pabalik sa kabihasnan

Our next stop is yet another version of Mini-Sipit. I would never, ever forget this place. Because I tried to be a daredevil I climbed to an underdeveloped and steep part of the rock formation. I sat on the wrong part and then I heard a huge kkkkrrraaattt in my jeans– ayun, sa sobrang pagmamaganda napunit ang denim shorts ko. I was too ashamed and too anxious to go down ( just imagine if not ONLY the shorts got ripped but the leggings as well) so I asked Kuya Telong to assist me.

Ang babaeng nakangiti at namromroblema at the same time. KUYA, YUNG SHORTS KOOOO!!!!!

At Mini-Sipit II

A few more pabebe assaults and we reached the famous summit of Mt. Sipit Ulang. We rested and ate our snacks at the bamboo bench where we waited for our turn at picture-taking.

Pahinga ulit

As usual in our group, nauna ulit si Engr. Mel sa pag-akyat sa summit.

Engr. Mel didn’t waste the opportunity, though

We followed him a few minutes later and witnessed with our own very eyes the beauty of Mt. Sipit Ulang. All the gasgas and bruises that we had were replaced by the amazement of the majestic view of Rodriguez, Rizal at the summit of Mt. Sipit Ulang.

Paul Killing dem Formations with Pak na Pose

Finally at Mt. Sipit! 😀

Engr. Lyka at the Summit

My Seryoso-Ako-Pero-Ang-Ganda-Talaga-Pose

Engr. Raymart with the backdrop of Rodriguez Mountain Range

We indulged for several minutes at the summit before we went down towards the jump-off. The descent was pretty easy, with small brook crossings.

Mr. Telong at our descent

It was eleven when we went back to the jump-off where we ate our lunch.

Lunch muna

After taking our meal we went to the second part of the adventure for that day– the Payaran falls.We rode to a habal-habal to arrive at our next stop.

Going to Payaran Falls

Ms. Rose and I going to Payaran Falls

In this point we started wetting our feet and discovered the alluring beauty of the multileveled Payaran Falls.

The Lower Part of Payaran Falls

The sixth level of Payaran Falls was overcrowded at that time, so we waited for our turn and discovered the seventh part muna. Too bad it was close on weekends, so we contented ourselves in taking pictures and admiring its clear water. Kahit–kahit sobrang sakit sa loob. ( Chos. Half-meant.)

When you can only see but not feel. Hahahuhu

After a few minutes of waiting we enjoyed the sixth part of Payaran Falls where we swam, massaged our backs and photobombed each other’s almost perfect picture takings.

Jordan Feeling the Warm Rays of Sunshine

#TropaGoals

Paul’s Almost Perfect Dab Pose

It was three when we decided to go back to the jump-off and wash ourselves before going home.

Going Back

Ligo muna before leaving

We had another habal trip where Mr. Telong generously took us a ride hanggang sakayan ng tricycle and in there, we witnessed the breathtaking mountains of Rodriguez, Rizal once more before heading towards our way home.

 

The majestic Rodriguez in the afternoon sun


Until we meet again, Rodriguez, Rizal! 🙂

Expenses (Travel)

*Sta Lucia➡Eastwood at Rodriguez: PhP 30.00
*Eastwood➡Brgy. Mascap = around PhP 40.00/pax for group of four
*Environmental Fee = PhP 50.00 each
*Payaran Falls + Mt. Sipit Guide = PhP 87.50/ pax for group of eight

*Habal-habal trip= PhP 50.00 two-way /pax  for group of eight
*Way back towards Sta. Lucia = PhP 70.00

*Total damage sa bulsa = PhP 327.50

Our DIY-style Itinerary

04:00-05:00 Cubao to Eastwood, Rodriguez, Rizal

05:00 – 06:00 Eastwood to Brgy. Mascap; registration

06:00-08:00 Start Trek to Mini-Sipit; take photos

08:00-08:30  Trek to Mini-Sipit II; take photos

08:30-09:00 Mini-Sipit II to Cave

09:00-9:15 Cave to Summit

9:15-10:00 Summit; take photos

10:30- 11:00 Start Descent

11:00-12:00 Lunch at Jump-off

12:00-13:30- Habal-habal ride and trek to Payaran Falls; swimming and photo ops

13:30 – 15:00 Back to jump-off

15:00- 17:00 Jump-off to Cubao

Yanna’s Tips:
➡Signal is available only at the summit. Kapag dala mo ang trabaho hanggang Sundays, alam na.
➡ Wear long sleeves and GLOVES as protection for the razor-like rock formations. Emphasis for the gloves because you will really bleed if you don’t

➡ Mt. Sipit is crowded at weekends. If it cannot be done to go there at weekdays, always be courteous to other co-mountaineers especially in picture taking. Sorry po dun sa naghintay sa amin sa Mini-Sipit I!
➡Be prepared for both rain and sun. Tatagan ang baga.
➡ Always Leave No Trace.
➡ And yes, always pray for your safety. Nothing beats the power of prayer.

 

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