Standing proud atop the famous Nagpatong Rock in Tanay, Rizal
Standing proud atop the famous Nagpatong Rock in Tanay, Rizal

Tanay is becoming a hiking haven near Manila with several climbing destinations in close proximity with each other. One destination which has fascinated me for a time is the unique looking limestone platform of Nagpatong Rock at Barangay Cuyambay. When I got an invite for a day climb, I quickly jumped-in. Not only to satisfy my curiosity of the place but to support a cause. I joined United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and their ambassador Atom Araullo in climbing Nagpatong rock to spread awareness on their campaign “2 Billion Kilometers to Safety”.

2 Billion Kilometers to Safety

I remember watching one of Atom Araullo’s documentary “Silang Kinalimutan” from GMA iWitness. His story was about the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who flee Myanmar and the efforts of some Filipinos including the UNHCR to bring aid to these refugees.

Bamboo trail at the start of the climb
Bamboo trail at the start of the climb

International Organization for Migration (IOM) considers what’s happening in Myanmar and Bangladesh as one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes in the world. Rohingya refugees are not alone in this plight of being displace due to fear, abuse and oppression. According to UNHCR, refugees around the world walk an estimated 2 billion kilometers every year to reach the first point of safety.

The global campaign called ‘2 Billion Kilometers to Safety’ calls on people all over the world to cover this distance travelled by refugees through individual acts of solidarity. These acts when taken together, acknowledge the resilience and strength of refugees.

Reaching Nagpatong Rock formation
Reaching Nagpatong Rock formation

Nagpatong Rock

Our climb at Nagpatong Rock became more purposeful knowing that every step we take, we’ll be walking along with these refugees. Pledging our kilometers to give them a glimmer of hope through UNHCR’s effort in whatever hard path they are taking.

The trail at Nagpatong Rock was quite easy for regular climbers but it’s the presence of people with the same cause made the climb more fun and easy. From the steep dusty climbs to scrambling along rock walls to get to the top. Together as we reach the top of Nagpatong Rock, in unison we shout “Together, let’s step with refugees!”

Climbing at the top of the rock
Climbing at the top of the rock

Pledge your Miles or Join a Climb

Our collective efforts logged in around 150km. Individually, each person can log up to 50km manually or through an app or manually at their website www.stepwithrefugees.org/en-ph/.

Eco-adventure outfit Trail Adventours have hikes every third Sunday of the month dedicated for the 2B KM to Safety cause. Proceeds from these themed hikes will go in support of the campaign. To keep join future hikes, follow Trail Adventour’s website at www.trailadventours.com.

Finally reaching the top of the rock
Finally reaching the top of the rock

Essential Info

Going to Nagpatong Rock

  • Public Transport: From Cubao, take a jeep going to Cogeo Gate 2. Past the market there is a big jeep to Sampaloc ( first trip is at 5am). Fare costs PhP50 and travel time is at least an hour (34 kms). Tell the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Cuyambay. Take a tricycle going to Barangay Hall (PhP10 fare). Register then take a tricycle or habal-habal going to drop-off point (PhP40 fare).
  • Private: Take the Marcos Hi-way or Sumulong Hiway going to Masinag route. From Masinag, take the road going to Cogeo and head straight to Marikina-Infanta Highway going to Sampaloc, Tanay. From Cogeo, it’s about 34km going to Barangay Cuyambay. Landmark is Pico de Pino Café.

Registration Fee: P100/person
Guide Fee: P500 for a group of 5 person for Nagpatong, P750/ for a group 5 person for Nagpatong-Masungki

Group shot at the ground
Group shot at the ground
Through the rock
Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view
Group photo with Angel of Lakwatsero, Javy Cang, Gideon Lasco and Atom Araullo
Group photo with Angel of Lakwatsero, Javy Cang, Gideon Lasco and Atom Araullo