Reunion Climb At Mount Banoi And My New Friend From The Wild


To reunite with the people who mentored me on this thrilling sport called mountaineering is always something I look forward to since 2009. That was the year I got to meet Red, Paul, Kat, Rhov, and the rest of the now Sabit-Sabit Mountaineers on the mountain trails of Batulao, Tirad, and Timbak. Talking to these people each time we’re on the wilderness just brought so much fun. I couldn’t deny how thankful I am for what they’d imparted me. Lessons that are to be learned from the short course called Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)turned out shorter because of them. I’ve learned a lot—firsthand—about climbing preparations (e.g., the suitable outdoor apparel [which I admittedly disregarded until my fourth climb], trail food, water discipline, etc.) to packing of equipment (e.g., light packing [which I repeatedly failed to do until my fourth climb also], ground equipment, water proofing, etc.).

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And, on issues surrounding environmentalism such as holding firm to the Leave No Trace principles. I’ve always admired these people because they share the same concern to the now collapsing ecosystem. Hearing what they have to say about it had always been enlightening. I suddenly remember how I was called upon by one of them because of my habit of, for lack of a better word to describe it, mindless spitting on the ground. I was lectured on the ripple effects of such…I was never the same since. They’re the kind of people whom everyone would love to hang out with especially on the mountain trails. I’m proud to say I owe these people BIG time.

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That’s the reason why our reunion climb (after two years) in December 2011 at the verdant Mt. Banoi in Batangas Province became the most anticipative one on my list.

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On the 18th day of December 2011, this reunion climb was held at the pristine and bushy mountain of Banoi in Lobo, Batangas. Apart from the fun we had during this reunion climb, there are three things I vividly remember about the mountain: its clean streamlets, lush vegetation, and the encounter with the locals halfway to the summit. The Wandering Feet is but flabbergasted with the mountain’s preserved beauty. I take my hats off to the people living atop 400 MASL because they know their responsibilities to Mother Nature.

And, of course, my new friend whom I met at the saddle. This is to prove once again that I can talk to animals–as cute and deadly (or so I thought) as this fella. I thought I couldn’t convince him to give this unforgettable moment. Well, times like this require my ability to talk to animals, especially if it’s as daring as what you can see on the photo.


Mount Banoi is a preserved mountain perfect for hiking and adventure. It is located in the province of Batangas where its major jumpoff is at Sitio Malabnig, Brgy. Balatbat, Lobo. The mountains elevation is 960 meters above sea level (MASL) for the Main Peak and 850  MASL for the Two Towers’ Peak. It only requires 3-5 hours to reach the summit and a lesser 2-3 hours of descent. Mount Banoi falls under the category of a minor climb.

Mt. Banoi is my fourteenth conquered mountain.

For more information about Mount Banoi (how to get there, sample itinerary, trivia, special concerns, etc.) please click this site: www.pinoymountaineer.com.

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31 Comments Add yours

  1. writingwildy says:

    Beautiful Pictures and sounds like a wonderful trip. How I miss Hiking! To reach the top of a mountain is an emotional and physical accomplishment. Even if it one time or hundred times the feeling on top looking out and down is incrediable. Thank you for sharing!
    writingwildly

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      You are so right. The view on top of a mountain is incredible. “There are different paths leading to the mountain’s summit and most of the time, these paths are hard and arduous. Howbeit, once you see what’s atop the summit, you’ll be driven to find harder and more arduous paths.” (https://yobynos.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/weekly-photo-challenge-path/)

      Like

  2. willofheart says:

    this is truly captivating post, love the photo’s, Philippines has lots to offer…

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I love to hear that, will (of heart). Say it again. 🙂 “Philippines has lots to offer…” Yeah, yeah, and yeah!

      Like

  3. Bama says:

    There’s this thing between me and snakes which makes us can never go along. BTW, I think this is the first time I saw those feet again after some feet-less posts of yours 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I guess you have herpetophobia. Anyway, I’m glad you kind of miss my feet. Hehe … I’ll try not to forget photographing them in my next travels.

      Like

  4. Bonnie says:

    What a beautiful and fitting tribute to your mentors! I admire your zest, appreciation and respect for this gorgeous land in which you live. The photos are as always, breathtaking. Thanks for such a beautiful and meaningful post!

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      You’re always welcome, Bonnie. Thank you for noticing how I appreciate my native land! I’ll always be grateful that I live in the Philippines. Having said that, I absolutely think you have a gorgeous land too. It’s one of my dreams to reach the U.S. of A. 🙂

      Like

  5. great story Sony, aside from marriage and having kids, I consider mountaineering one of the best parts of my life, and I am sure we’re on the same page 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      So am I, Bro. So am I. It really changed my life that BIG. You’ve seen that. I actually consider the mountains as my concubine for they have irresistible arms, legs, bodies (of different sizes), and heads. I love being wrapped by their arms and be carried on their shoulders just like my wife’s. 🙂

      Like

    2. Lettie says:

      Cheers pal. I do appaceirte the writing.

      Like

      1. Sony Fugaban says:

        Thanks, Lettie, for bearing with the writing. I hope you get to see my posts from 2013 to the current year.

        Like

  6. rommel says:

    Your history of adventurous travels is to envy for.

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I would say, “it’s should be the other way around.” I’m the one who envy your adventures. I meant that.

      Like

  7. kat says:

    wow!! just read ur blog sir sony…and it was just so flattering that I was able to inspire you (at least) and i was able share something good to you. Thanks so much too! I am now even more inspired to climb and meet more friends! 🙂

    keep on writing and wandering sir sony! 😀

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Kat, you know how much our climbs together — with the rest of the group — means. I really value each of the climbs we had. Thank you for being one of my mentors!

      Like

  8. aRVee says:

    Another great adventure from that wandering feet of yours… I love your travels though am not sure if I can sustain the energy those travels require but I certainly did climb one mountain and it was a feat for me indeed… haha…

    Whenever you get to travel back to that mountain taken cared by Mang Perying, please spare me some coffee, I want to taste it… 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I just noted that, aRVee. Sure I will. Daghang salamat, my friend!

      Like

      1. aRVee says:

        Walay sapayan (de nada, you’re welcome) my friend 🙂

        By the way, I shared with you the Liebster and Hug awards, tonight…
        http://ilovemandaue.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/my-liebster-and-hug-awards-go-to/

        Like

  9. bluebee says:

    Sony, do you go mountain-climbing in your sandals?!

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Yes — ALWAYS! I’m more comfortable with it than shoes.

      Like

  10. I’m actually aiming this mountain on march. with side trip to Malabrigo Lighthouse. parang maganda nga sa Banoi, malinis tlga!

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Wow. Seems like you have a thing with a lighthouse. Ingat sa climb niyo if ever.

      Like

  11. john says:

    Very good stuff !! It inspire me for next time I come to Phil !

    Cheers

    John

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I’m happy to hear that, John. 🙂

      Like

  12. Sony I am pretty flabbergasted with the mountain’s preserved beauty myself! Those are amazingly wonderful pictures of nature’s best offering. I think it is a wonderful thing that you follow your heart with your Wandering Feet Sony and then I get to read and see the beautiful places you visit!

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Consider it done! 😉

      Like

  13. Roderick Villaruz says:

    Hi Sir. Im Deric from Baroc Mountaineers. Saw your write up about Mt. Banoi. We’re wondering if you provide guide services for this mountain. We are planning to climb it on the 3rd weekend of this month (September). You can reach me on this number: 09175138371, or you can message me on my FB account: derickalvarezvillaruz.

    Any info you can provide is much appreciated

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thanks for the comment, Deric!

      Anyway, we didn’t actually need a guide when we had that reunion climb since the “masters” were with me. I have a suggestion though: visit pinoymountaineer.com and type in the searh box Mt. Banoi. What you will see after will surely give the info you need.

      Like

      1. Tin says:

        Nice pics and write up..Our group will also go to Mt. Banoi this sat sun..

        Like

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