Mountain climbing is a new hobby of mine and I promise to climb as many mountains as I can. Ever since I’ve joined a mountaineering club in my previous school, I’ve realized that climbing has a lot of perks. I was able to enjoy the beauty of nature, push myself to the limit physically, became more responsible and of course, I’ve gained a new circle of friends.
Anyways, this is just a fun climb and who would have thought that somewhere in Norzagaray, Bulacan, you’ll find a place like this. I introduce to you the Lioness and Rhino Rock Formation.
In case you are wondering, Lioness and Rhino Rock Formation was named that way because once you’re on top of the rockies, you’ll see that it looks like a lion and a rhino (they are two separate rock formation). There are other rock formation in the area such as the so-called monkey and elephant but it’s the lioness and rhino that’s really popular. Here’s a quick guide and directions on how to go visit the Lioness and Rhino Rock Formation.
Lioness and Rhino Rock Formation
If you are from Manila / Quezon City, just ride a bus/fx/jeep going to SM Fairview. Just tell the drive to drop you off there. Just so you have an idea of the fare, fx from Morayta is around Php 40 while an air-conditioned bus from Cubao is around Php 30. From SM Fairview, ride a jeep going to Bigte. Fare is Php 34 so expect it to be a long ride. Drop off at Bigte Market. Ride a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at Lioness. It’s better to be in group because it’s much cheaper. Tricycle costs Php 15/head.
There’s a path going to the rock formations but unfortunately, the people were asking us Php 100/head which is too much. After arguing, we ended up taking another path with the help of a friend and this little girl in blue dress who acted out as our guide.
Tip: It’s sad that there are people who are taking advantage of others just like what we have experienceted. My suggestion is, it’s better if you have someone who knows the place or have climbed the rockies already.
First stop: Rhino. The trail is both easy and difficult. Easy because it’s a 15-minute walk from the jump off. But what makes it difficult are the rock formations itself. They are steep and the rocks are sharp so it will be a struggle especially to beginners.
Tip: wear shoes that has a good grip and gloves are also suggested.
Look! Even Coca-cola greeted me! It’s been months since I last saw these guys and I have a missed a lot of fun climbs due to my schedule at school. But hey, it’s nice to be back to somewhere you can call home. And sometimes, home is not a place but rather a friend.
Meet our little tour guide! This girl is amazing! She’s like spiderman (no kidding!). Don’t belittle her because climbing has been part of her daily life. Next stop: Lioness.
The “but first, let me take a selfie” and “buwis buhay” post.
The next part of our trip was a visit at Pinagrealan Cave. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the jump off. There’s a Php 50 entrance fee which includes a rent of the helmet and flashlight. You can also drop your bags at the station. Don’t worry about it, it’s secured. The cave is a one-way cave so upon reaching the end, you have to go back to the entrance to exit.
Tip: the cave is submerged in water, around waist-deep so slipper/sandals are suggested. Bring extra clothes as well. There’s a shower area at the station so you can wash after visiting the cave.
Summary / Expense Breakdown
(From SM Fairview) Jeep to Biget Market – Php 34 Tricycle to Lioness – Php 15 Tour guide tip – Php 20 Entrance to cave – Php 50 Tour guide tip – Php 10 Jeep back to SM Fairview – Php 34
(we didn’t ride a tricycle back since it’s just a 10-minute walk from the cave)
Help Save Lioness and Rhino
This is sad news to everyone. The SPAR Development Corporation just closed the area for possible quarrying. This hurts climbers and explorers like us because when I saw the place, I realized that there are a lot of beautiful places around the metro just waiting to be discovered. And I want everyone to experience the kind of experience I had upon visiting the place. Please spare the rock formations. Preserve it. #SaveLionessRock and #SaveRhinoRock. You can read fellow adventurer Gideon Lasco’s open letter here.
Thanks to my good friends for inviting me to be part of this climb. It’s nice seeing you again and of course to the new friends I’ve met. See you soon! Till our next climb. 🙂
– Justin –