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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mt. Masalakot & (Lalayag) Nalayag Monolith


NALAYAG MONOLITH located in Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas.
"An exploratory climb to promote and save"

Nalayag Monolith: 552 MASL
Major jump off: Brgy Balibago Lobo Batangas.
Specs: Minor Climb
Difficulty level: 4/9
Trail class: 2/3
Hours to summit: 3-4 hours
Date Climbed :
December 4, 2016
December 18, 2016
November 19, 2017

Check this out on my Youtube channel:
Mt. Masalakot and it's Nalayag/Lalayag Rock formtion

Mt. Masalakot including it's Nalayag rock formation (simply called as Nalayag Monolith)

According to the locals, this precious piece of nature is in danger due to mining and the community is against this massive destruction of nature. President Rodrigo Duterte assigned Ms. Regina Paz "Gina" La'O Lopez as the Secretary of the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). An environmentalist, she heard the voices of the local community and asked for this operation to stop immediately.

"The environmental impact of mining includes erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. Besides creating environmental damage, the contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals also affect the health of the local population."

-          Wikipedia

Lioness Rock Formation wasn’t saved and let’s not wait for Nalayag Monolith and/or any other mountains will also be a victim of this destruction. It’s better to keep Nalayag rock this way unspoiled and at peace. We could also endorse it to the public as a new hiking destination but with consequences like; disturbance on its wildlife, vandalism, destruction of its natural form and etc.

For these consequences, we could raise awareness like Basic mountaineering Course (BMC) and Leave No Trace (LNT Principles) to everyone who wish to visit this spot and other must see places in the Philippines.

I was invited by Team Bakal to join this exploratory climb and as we were the first team that was given the chance to explore and had a closer look to the Nalayag rock dated December 4, 2016, a flag of Team Bakal was placed at the top of the Nalayag Monolith. However, we did not had a chance to reach the peak of the Monolith as there’s no established trail yet going there.

Team Yapak - Yapak Travelers
After a couple of weeks, me and my friends decided to go back with some new friends to see the Monolith dated December 18, 2016. Luckily, the local guides established a new trail to have it traverse that starts at Barangay Balibago and a safe way going to the peak of the Monolith. My team was the second group who visited the place but we are the first team that had successfully summited the highest rock or the Nalayag Monolith and it is almost same as to the monolith of Pico de Loro in Maragondon, Cavite. After this event, we also decided to make our official group which was established January 27, 2017 named after my blog, Yapak Travelers or simply called "Team Yapak".

Local guides asked for our support to publicize this magnificent massive stone as a new hiking destination and as an addition to their means of livelihood. By means of tour guiding other hikers/tourist, it could be an income to support their family.


Around 6 in the morning, our team arrived at the Lobo, Municipal, Police Station for registration and paid P20.00 each for the environmental fee. This will also serve as our help on their future projects in Lobo. We laso had a quick group photo as a proof of our registration taken by a Police officer. After that, we went back to 7/11 in Malvar street and met up our guides that we hire, then helped us to go straight to the Jump-off; Barangay Balibago. Travel time took us almost an hour while seeing the ocean views, neighboring mountains and Mt. Halcon from afar. We also passed a historical lighthouse which is also included on the latter part of our itinerary.

Faro de Punta de Malabrigo (Malabrigo Point Lighthouse)

Rocky channel - way to Nalayag

Due to road construction, first part of the trail comes with a long walk within a rocky channel, "a warm welcome under the sun". According to our tour guide this is passable by a Monster jeep and he can suggest one that we could rent when we come back.

The place is very quiet and peaceful, only few local’s lives here.  Schools are too far from their location and "I can’t imagine how many kilometers their children needs to walk just to go to school". Looking forward to conduct an outreach program on the next school year.

The welcoming green forest in a Rocky channel - way to Nalayag

First water source

There are few slight ascend then we had a quick stop over at the first water source. The water is safe to drink and it’s a bit sweet. We had a smooth trek up to this part and we did not encounter any problem.

Another part of the trail is river trekking which is very similar to Mt. Damas (click here to see description). It is still accessible but not highly suggested to hike during rainy days because it’s very risky. There are also streams serves as the pool area where you can enjoy the refreshing cold water from  a Spring.

River trekking - way to Nalayag

Wooden bridge

We crossed this bridge made of wood and sort of metal as its backbone. You can only pass through it by walking at the center for safety. It’s also an indication of a more challenging trail and it is mostly covered by bearing fruit trees like mangoes and coconuts.

Stunning views from it's neighboring mountains like Mt. Tilos as the nearest, which the team already climbed a week before. As described by other members the descend part of Mt. Tilos on it's boulder's trail is the most challenging part as this require full rock climbing, rock scrambling and multiple rope segments.

It's good to know the community means of Livelihood:

This forested trail is leading to a coconut plantation (3rd image) which is a potential camp site. Aside from transporting Coconut to the market they also use coconut shells into to coals, coconut oil and coconut coir (1st and 2nd image). After this is the “Atisan” – Sugar apple plantation (4th image) a sneak pic as Mt. Tilos was also captured.

Community means of Livelihood - way to Nalayag rock formation

Passing through this location requires crossing of Barb wire fence. Not a sign of danger for restricted areas but simply not to lose their cattle. This spot commence the 1 hour assault trail, so expect that slopes will get steeper as you go higher.

During the assault - way to Nalayag rock formation

The trail is not well established and guides need to clear and make a new trail to make it passable during the assault. Gloves are not required but highly suggested.

The assault part worn's us out. Good thing that trees are covering the trail throughout the climb. "I can't imagine how would I look like if it's not."

A quick groupie from the early birds (first to reach the foot of the Nalayag rock formation)

The early birds at the foot of Nalayag Monolith

and the rest of the team after the assault trail.

The rest of the team at the foot of Nalayag Monolith

According to our guide they are seeing numbers of monkeys playing around these rock formations. And they won't show as they are afraid of people who visit this spot. On the other hand, we had so much photo ops but not making any disturbance and of course, the day won't end without doing the Team Bakal's signature group photo.

Team Bakal - Nalayag Monolith

Rock climbing - way to Nalayag rock formation

We started using our rope from here, not that technical but this is just a preparation for a more challenging way up to the highest rock formation.

There are actually 3 elevated parts or rock formations wherein you will see scenic views from the beach to the mountains. It comes with a bigger and superb  must see views that Batangenos will surely be proud of.

way to the Peak of Nalayag rock formation

From the 2nd rock formation to the highest one, rope segment is required in order to reach it's peak. The 1st rock formation stands 6 to 7 feet, second is estimated to be in elevation of 50 to 60 feet and the highest is from 100 to 120 feet (from the foot of the Nalayag rock formation). Again this is just estimated, MASL and level of difficulty is still unknown.

Despite of the strong wind on the rope segment, finally reached the second peak.

Nalayag Monolith
"Discover and capture great adventures."

For your safety and the Nalayag rock formation's preservation:

Apply BMC and LNT practices
Maximum of 4 to 6 heads at the 2nd peak and at least 5 to 10 person's on the monolith
Always ask for assistance from the guides
Don't just depend on your rock climbing expertise, use rope for safety
Be extra careful taking selfies, strictly no jump shot and/or life risking photo operations
Do not stay at the foot of these rocks when someone is making their way up/down it's peak

Acknowledging the helpful Team Bakal's equipment for our safety:
Not required but highly suggested

After a challenging exploratory climbed. We had a simple boodle fight at the beach near the Historical lighthouse.

Two thumbs up for another successful event!


"Don't change the mountains, let the mountains change you."
The aim of this blog is to inform, educate and motivate my readers and to appreciate God's creation.



After few days, our guide called and advised that they just established a new trail from a different town/barangay that is much easier going to Nalayag rock formation to make it traverse. But, there will be another P20.00 registration free from the other jump-off as help to the said community.


Way to Nalayag rock formation -

  • 01:00 Assembly McDo MUNOZ 
  • 01:30 ETD Munoz
  • 02:00 ETA TFC pick up
  • 06:00 ETD to Batangas
  • 06:15 ETA PNP Lobo Poblacion / Registration then Proceed to Jump-off
  • 07:00 ETA Jump off
  • 08:00 Start trek
  • 11:00 ETA Nalayag rock formation
  • 14:00 Start descend
  • 16:00 ETA Jump-off
  • 16:30 ETA Light house 
  • 17:00 ETA Beach Resort/ swimming/rest
  • 23:00 ETD to Manila 

This event cost us 850.00 each
Inclusion of;
  • Registration and environmental fee
  • Sharing for the Guide fee
  • Rent of Van, cottage, long table, kitchen wares, cook set, stove and etc.
  • Food: inclusive of rice, chicken and pork bbq, fish, "pancit canton", fruits and a lot more.
  • We also paid the drinking water, electric usage and entrance fee at the beach.


    • Water atleast 1-2 liters depending on water consumption
    • Packed Lunch
    • Breakfast
    • Trail food
    • Sandals for river trekking 
    • Slippers
    • Gloves
    • Extra clothes
    • Poncho/rain coat 
    • Mess kit
    • Trash bag
    • Personal medication 
    • Toiletries
    • Extra Money 
    • Camera 
    • Powerbank
    • Extra batteries

    Sir. Russel Sioco

    You may contact the Head Tour Guide on his facebook account:
    (You can also hire him if you need guide for Mt. Tilos)

    "all guides are friendly, very kind indeed. Well, I must say everyone from Lobo have big hearts and hands that are willing to help."

    If you wanna be here, lemme help you!


    We preferred to hire a van for this event.

    Click here.
    For Google map directions

    Directions via Google Map - From: Farmers Plaza to Lobo, Malabrigo, Batangas.