Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynoba: Twin hike and traverse to waterfalls

Location: Tanay, Rizal
Difficulty: 3/9
Hours to reach the summit: 2-3 hours
Visited on: October 2016
Side trips: Eight Waterfalls

 

Uncertainties

I’ve just gone home after a trip to Cebu, and my office travel companions greeted me with an invitation to hike Mt. Maynuba to celebrate my officemate/hiking and travel buddy’s birthday. Of course, wanderlust got the better part of me so I readily accepted, although with reservations.

Come Friday, I backed out from the hike because I promised my mother that I’m not going to climb mountains when there are rainstorms, for safety reasons. So although I should’ve left the office as early as three in the afternoon, I stayed up late and even had a catch-up with another office friend of mine.

But then again, wanderlust had the better part of me so I set my alarm to 1:30 am because we were supposed to meet at 2 in the morning. Upon waking up on my alarm’s tone, I immediately sent my friends a message and decided to come with them to hike.

It was three in the morning when we met up at Starmall Shaw Boulevard where we rode a UV express to Tanay. Sadly, we had to wait for more than an hour to fill the van with passengers.

 

On our way

20 minutes after four, the vehicle made its way to Tanay, and around 5:30, we arrived at the Tanay Public Market. Early that Saturday morning, we faced quite some commotion. Two tricycle drivers fought over who between them should have us as their passengers. This led to a lower transportation cost, and although I personally wanted to seek for a different tricycle driver to take us to Brgy. Cayabu instead, we ended up choosing one between the two of them.

The drive to Brgy. Cayabu, although mostly on paved highway roads, was quite bumpy and the vibration caused by the motorcycle was quite intense. The arrival to Sitio Batangasan would signify rocky-pebbly kind of roads which are truly uncomfortable to pass through at. We had gone past Brgy. San Andres, the home of Mt. Batolusong, before arriving at Brgy.  Cayabu.

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It is quite interesting to note that there were a lot of vehicles outside the registration area for one wouldn’t actually expect that cars could pass through those stone-hard roads unblemished.

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Outside the registration area, there were two sari-sari stores, one of which offers cooked food for the famished.

 

The Climb

We started our hike around 7 in the morning, and our guide, Ate Heidi, warned us about the slippery muddy trail caused by the continuous rains the day before. Indeed, the trail was very muddy, my legs fought hard not to slip and fall down into the mud.

A few minutes walk from the jump off, you’ll pass through some residential lots, one of which would have an enthusiastic monkey, although in chains. More walks from there and the first assault of Mt. Cayabu would meet you.

It was a long assault so expect that you’d try to catch your breathing quite a lot of times, but also, you’ll probably be slow in pace because of the slippery trail, that is, if you are like me.

Somehow, the struggle will be rewarded by the breath-taking sea of clouds enveloping the mountain ranges. And after another assault and after an hour from the beginning of your hike, you would already reach the summit of Mt. Cayabu.

The trails were still slippery and there were a few time when hikers had to hold on to ropes and do some rappelling just to veer away from the higher likelihood of slipping down into the rocky-muddy slopes.

The hike did not stop there; we kept the trip up to the peak of Mt. Maynuba and went past through the great talahiban.

 

 

Before arriving at the first falls, we face some extensive rappelling so you better be careful.

 

The Water Falls

Upon arrival at the first waterfalls, the Natatagong Paraiso Falls, we were greatly in awe! Indeed, the place is a hidden paradise.

When my companions finished eating, we continued our way to the second falls. It was a ten-minute walk-rappel way of arriving to our destination.

The second falls was the Catmun falls which was again five ft. deep. I had a quick dip at the pool and it was truly refreshing.

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The third falls was just a few meters away. This waterfalls, named Gintuan, has strong currents. We wanted to try out the water massage, but the currents were too strong for us.

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We then proceeded to the fourth falls, the Gugulong na Bato Falls. The place is named as such because there is a huge smooth rock that looks like it is ready to roll over anytime soon.

The waterbed was about 6 ft. deep, and it was nice to swim there. We spent some time longer there compared to the other three waterfalls.

We only passed by the 5th and 6th falls, Lantay and Pantay Falls respectively. Hikers are prohibited to swim on these two falls because the rocks are too slippery, and the place is too rocky. According to our guide, snakes possibly live in these falls’ waters because they thrive in cold and rocky habitats.

However, we swam at the waters of the 7th falls, the Manganiso Falls. Its waterbed is really wide, however, the waters are much colder than the other falls at Mt. Maynoba.

Oh, it was heavenly refreshing!

We also simply passed by the last waterfalls, Maynuba, because the sky signified that the rains were ready to fall down. We had to get down quickly because the way back to the jump off composed of traversing the river about six times, and if the rains fall down, the waters’ currents will be stronger than the usual.

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It was about an hour’ trek from the last falls to the jump off, and we reached the place at about 3 in the afternoon.

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Good to note:

  • Upon arrival at Tanay Pubic Market, or even a block away from there, tricycle drivers would already try to catch your attention for you to rent them as your ride to your destination.
  • From the trails to the summit of Mt. Cayabu, mosquitoes would keep pestering you so you better use mosquito repellents prior to your hike.
  • The ropes are not height sensitive but hold on to them when you see them because they’re almost equivalent to your lifeline.
  • Try to wear gloves so that your hands won’t get too dirty when you try to hold on to rocks or plants. Also, try not to touch bamboos that have thin thorns; they’re quite painful. Thus, include scotch tapes in your first aid kit because this would help remove the thorns stuck on your skin.
  • There is no signal at Brgy. Cayabu until you reach the summit, and even when you have some signal, it won’t be stable. After your hike, you might only get your signal back when you are already on your way to Antipolo.
  • Hikers better wear long sleeves and leggings because the talahibs would either leave scratches on you or might be too itchy, especially for those who have allergies.
  • Unlike other mountains, there is only one water source hikers would pass by during the trip. There are no stores, neither tinderos, during the hike. This is probably because hiking these two mountains began only around March 2016.
  • There are comfort rooms at the jump off where you could take a bath and pay for 20 pesos each.
  • Perhaps because the hiking at these two mountains have just begun, the guides are not as helpful as the guides from the other mountains. They tend to leave the hikers behind.

 

Itinerary

Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynoba

You may also view the itinerary here.

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