Use this Region Guide to easily find and compare Crags.

Table of contents

1. Philippines 186 routes in Region

Summary:
JFMAMJJASOND
seasonality
Mostly Sport

Long/Lat: 122.402175, 11.029824

Unique Features And Strengths:

Lots of variety, bouldering, sports, trad and keen friendly locals. Lots of development potential.

Description:

The Philippines is divided into 1000s of islands in a tropical climate and has much to explore for the intrepid traveller and climber. As per much of South East Asia the Philippines has an abundance of karst limestone but it also has a mix of rock types with some cool bouldering up in the mountains and DWS down by the sea.

Access Issues:

See each area as it is common to have to pay a small fee at each area for the maintenance of tracks, facilities and cleaning!

Approach:

See each area, some easy, some can be more involved and part of the experience.

Where To Stay:

Can be done cheaply or expensively.

Ethic:

Sports, mixed, trad and bouldering all appear.

1.1. Palawan 2 routes in Area

Summary:
All Trad

Long/Lat: 119.495966, 9.819841

1.1.1. Entalola Island 2 routes in Crag

Summary:

Long/Lat: 119.333108, 11.129371

1.1.2. Apulit Island 0 routes in Region

Unique Features And Strengths:

DWS above pritine water

Description:

While the pristine white beaches of Palawan have attracted divers and luxurious travelers for many years, it was also identified by James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini as a new deep water soloing destination, given the numerous limestone karst cliffs on the Bacuit Archipelago

Access Issues:

There is a local tax permit of PhP 200 per head that has to be paid by every tourist if they are staying for more than a week. There is also a minimal Tour Guide Conservation Fee required for boat trips. Both can be paid at the Tourism Office along the beach. Just ask the boat men or resorts along the beach where the office is located.

Boat rental on the average costs PhP 4000 per day, while Kayak prices are from PhP 700 to 1000 per day.

Approach:

Getting There

Manila to El Nido

You can fly straight to El Nido via a chartered flight through Island Transvoyager Inc. ITI’s 50-seater ATR aircraft offers daily flights from Manila to El Nido. Travel time is approximately 55 minutes and a tickets costs about USD 350.

Flight reservations on ITI may be made through El Nido Resorts. From El Nido airport, guests will take an hour and 30 minutes van ride to Taytay Town Port. A 50-minute boat transfer to Apulit Island from Taytay Town Port follows. Guests are provided with light snacks along the trip.

Via Puerto Prinsesa

The cheaper, although longer option, is to book a Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa and do land trip to El Nido. From the Puerto Prinsesa International Airport, take a taxi to the bus station for around PhP 100 – it’s only 30 minutes away. From the bus station, you can either take a bus for PhP 150-250 (no A/C or A/C) or rent a shuttle van (good for 8-10 persons) for PhP 4000. The bus takes 7-8 hours due to multiple stops, while a shuttle may take 6 hours non-stop.

Where To Stay:

There are stores and groceries around the church (there is only one church on El Nido town) that provides almost all basic necessities to load up on food, water and personal hygiene requirements. The store right across the church also carries medicines and first aid supplies.

For places to stay in, there are many options ranging from pension houses and backpackers’ inns to pricier resorts along the beach side. Prices range from PhP 400 to PhP 3000 per night.

Ethic:

DWS in a world heritage area, please take care of the place its stunning and not trashed like Thailand!

History:

While the pristine white beaches of Palawan have attracted divers and luxurious travelers for many years, it was also identified by James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini as a new deep water soloing destination, given the numerous limestone karst cliffs on the Bacuit Archipelago.

During their exploration in 2014, at least seven areas and 30 DWS lines were established, with potential for a whole lot more. Routes range from 6a to 7c difficulty with heights of 8 up to 25 meters. For routes located over shallow water, trad climbing is also doable.

If pressed for time, a single-day DWS trip can be easily arranged by renting a pump boat for a day. But for the complete El Nido experience, an highly-recommended alternative is to go 3 days and 2 nights straight with Mother Nature. Camp on any of Bacuit’s white sand beaches at night and do island/cliff-hopping during the day, bringing only basic provision and climbing gear.

1.2. Manila 65 routes in Crag

Summary:
Sport, Trad and Unknown

Long/Lat: 121.013801, 14.576251

1.2.1. Wawa - Montalban 65 routes in Crag

Summary:
Sport, Trad and Unknown
Unique Features And Strengths:

Climbing and bouldering

Description:

Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) is located in the foothills of the SierraMadre mountain range beside the Wawa River. Limestone climbing and bouldering can be found.

Access Issues:

Aling Normas is a food stall where every Wawa visitor eats. Introduce yourself to Aling Norma, she is friendly and accomodating and register here in the logbook with your name, destination. Settle the P300 fee per group, this goes to the local government for maintenance and security of the area. P20 for parking if you have a private vehicle but remeber the attendants name that you paid so you dont pay twice. Once you cross the bridge make a donation to the locals on the trail head in the village, keep the path open, clear and its their land, P15-20.

Approach:

Approach vis Commonwealth Avenue. From Commonwealth Ave, turn R to the road going to Batasang Pambansa, following the curving road until you see Payatas Avenue to your R, marked by bottleneck traffic and market vendors on the sidewalk. Go through Payatas, down the mountain and R once you come across a junction. Follow this tricycle infested highway to the end and turn LFollow this road till you hit Wawa. You have reached once the road turns into a walkway with parking on the L.

Or public transport options.

  1. Take Cuboa-Montalban jeepney /FX to the end of its route (P25)

  2. From Philcoa, take the jeepney marked Philcoa-San Rafael via San Mateo all the way to its end. (P12)

  3. You can take any jeepney heading to Fairview and go down at Litex. Take the jeep to San Jose Market (P6) Take one more jeepney to San Rafael (P3)

All routes lead to San Rafael where you take one last ride to the dead end road of Wawa

Be ready for river crossing and watch for slippery trails in the wet.

Where To Stay:

Meals are usually taken at Aling Normas where the typical morning fare includes lugaw (Filipino congee) with hard boiled egg and mami ( egg noodle soup) while lunch and dinner favourites are the fried chicken and pinoy style spaghetti

You can take sari sari store snacks with you to the crags but what most do is eat a full breakfast and just finish the day with a late lunch dinner. Take lots of water.

You can also spend the night at Aling Normas which is furnished with one bathroom and 2-3 sleeping quarters. This is good as you have far to go after the post climb chit chat, San Miguel and Redhorse

Ethic:

Trad, sport climbing and bouldering.

History:

The history of Montalban spans 30 years with some access issues with the crags situated on private land. As of 2009 Rodriguez has been opened to climbers, bikers and vacationers through the payment of minimal fees.

Montalban Wawa is the most developed sport climbing area in the country, with routes going as far back as the 1980s through the efforts of climbers from the University of St Tomas and the University of the Philippines. From a few traditional routes it has grown into more than 20 crags with over 100 routes.

Wawa offers a variety of styles steep, crack, sport, boulder and trad. Not all are well maintained.

1.2.2. Atimonan - Quezon 0 routes in Crag

Unique Features And Strengths:

An abandoned quarry with a variety of routes, pockets, cracks and overhangs

Description:

An abandoned quarry witha variety of routes. Great in the summer months between November and January. Routes are 10 - 40m long.

Tips from the Locals

Pastor Noel Suministrado is the caretaker of this climbing area. Please get in touch with him and register before hitting the crag.

Address: Ilang-ilang St., Capistrano Subd. Lucena City 4301 Email: nova21ch@yahoo.com http://www.facebook.com/noelsuministrado

Access Issues:

Permits / Fees / Registration

Before starting any climbing activity at the site, it is mandatory that climbers register with Kagawad Billy Vila first (at the house situated at the entrance of the climbing area). A PhP20.00 fee is collected to keep the surroundings and climbing areas clean.

Approach:

Getting There

From Manila, estimated travel time can be between 3-5 hours.

By private vehicle

Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) all the way to the end, past Calamba and Batino exits, into the SLEX link to STAR Tollway. Since it is a link, you will pass two toll booths (one to exit SLEX, the next to enter STAR Tollway). Watch out for the Sto. Tomas Exit and turn left, which should lead you to Maharlika Highway, which is major road that connects Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Quezon province. You will pass through the following Quezon towns: Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucena City, and Pagbilao before reaching Atimonan.

By public transport

You can take JAC Liner or Lucena Liner from either Buendia or Cubao Station. When you get down at the last stop at Lucena Grand Terminal, ask for any bus (usually AB Liner) going through Atimonan. Look out for two landmarks, the stone marker for Km165 and the Paradang Rizal arch, for your stop.

Where To Stay:

Arrangements for your daily meals can be made with Kagawad Billy for a fairly minimal monetary expense.

A climbers’ hut, which can house up to 15 persons, has been put up through the donations of visiting climbers. There are no set fees for using the kubo just yet, but donations are most welcome for maintenance! For freshening up, there are two toilets and a bath adjacent to the house of Kagawad Billy.

Climbers can also opt to bring tents and camping related paraphernalia, as a camp site is located about several meters from the climbing area. Just be sure to pitch tents away from the towering coconut trees or else risk getting hit by falling coconuts.

Ethic:

Mixture of sport and trad climbing here.

Tips from the Locals

Pastor Noel Suministrado is the caretaker of this climbing area. Please get in touch with him and register before hitting the crag.

Address: Ilang-ilang St., Capistrano Subd. Lucena City 4301 Email: nova21ch@yahoo.com http://www.facebook.com/noelsuministrado

1.2.3. Bulacan -Manalmon 0 routes in Crag

Unique Features And Strengths:

Bouldering on smooth feature by the river

Description:

Since most of the boulders stay close to the river, it is quite apparent that majority of the problems would present smooth features. Occasionally you can chance upon problems with crimps and slopers. On the upper sections of the banks the boulders become more grainy. Such is “Jamaican Coffee” and “Manalmoner.” The character of the boulders changes abruptly. Unlike some other bouldering areas where there is a strong constant feel on every boulder, Manalmon presents a varying array of rock each with a different texture.

Access Issues:

As of the moment there is a standing guide fee of PhP 500.00 for a group of 10 or less or PhP 50.00 per head. Unless you are familiar with the local guides, you will be obliged to abide by the fees as set by the DOT (Department of Tourism). If you happen to be with the more familiar face of Philippine local climbing who frequent and developed the area, you might be able to dodge the fees altogether. You can try to reason, however, that you’ll be staying by the river and not the summit of “Mt. Manalmon.” See if that would be reason enough for you not to pay the fee as the guides were really institutionalized to be there for hikes to the summit and tours in the caves, and not for bouldering guides.

Approach:

By private vehicle

Take the northbound EDSA highway and then veer right to enter NLEX (North Luzon Express Way). Exit at Sta. Rita (exit 32A/32B) and then keep going straight along AH25 until San Miguel, Bulacan (about 40 km). There is a right turn at Barangay Camias marked by the Total Gas Station on the left side of the road and a local tricycle terminal on the right.

The road will then wind up to Barangay Sibul (9+ km). Take a left turn for the Sibul Springs Resort, which by looks seems old and abandoned, and at the end of the down sloping road, turn right and head up to Sitio Madlum (3 km). The dirt road branches off several times but keep going straight until the huge enough marker announcing the way to Madlum Caves. The rocky down sloping road will take you to a small parking area close to the river. From here it’s a 30-40 minute hike to the farthest bouldering area.

By public transport

A number of bus stations in Cubao, Quezon City or Pasay City have trips going to Cabanatuan. Take any of these buses and go down Barangay Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan. Make sure you tell the driver you’re going down Barangay Camias lest it speeds past towards Cabanatuan as not too many commuters go down this locale. From there take a tricycle from the nearby terminal and ferry off to Sitio Madlum. To go back, make sure to contract the tricycle to fetch you on the desired date and time.

The approach

From the parking lot the best route to take would be to cross the river on foot. After wading through the water come up to the opposite bank and then register with the Madlum guides. There is a log book where you need to sign in your names. Hike up the concrete steps to take you to the hidden opening of the Madlum Cave. The short direct cavern will open up to a bigger area and the first bouldering area.

To get to the next bouldering area requires another 30-40 minutes of hiking. Cross the river at the far bend of the first area and then just follow the obvious trail running along side the river.

Where To Stay:

Food & Shelter

Camping is the main way to go if you’re planning a bouldering trip to Manalmon. If you run out of food, however, there are mini “Sari-Sari” stores in Sitio Madlum that sell beer, softdrinks, bread, etc. You can also chance “Halo-Halo”, a local fruit-milk concoction over ice shavings, too during summer.

If you happen to have a car, coming and going to the area will not be problem and so you can also probably stay at nearby motels along the main highway.

Ethic:

Bouldering

History:

Bouldering in Manalmon is always an unwinding experience. Go there to camp, enjoy nature’s rewards, spend seemingly endless, useless quality banter with friends, and of course...hours of bouldering.

Bouldering in Manalmon started in the later months of 2001 or perhaps the early months of 2002. Prior to becoming a bouldering area, Manalmon has already gained repute for the pristine simplicity of its landscape. A clear river runs along the banks of the campsite and a canopy of giant bamboo trees lines the trail that leads up to the summit that is equally appealing, attracting hikers to meander its trails.

The full effort though in the development of the area into one of today’s prime local bouldering destinations can’t be attributed to the single endeavor of the discovery. Dennis Diaz, together with Anthony Prieto, after returning from their journey in Koh Tao, Thailand, decided there needed to be a place Filipinos could call their very own stomping grounds. And so after sending news of the discovery and together with a huge group of eager Pinoy climbers, they hauled bags, camp gear and local prototype versions of crashpads and rushed off to Manalmon for a new climbing experience.

1.3. Luzon 0 routes in Area

Description:

Climbing areas on the island of Luzon.

1.3.1. Camarines Sur 0 routes in Area

1.4. Iloilo 25 routes in Region

Summary:
All Sport
Unique Features And Strengths:

Limestone crags

Description:

Variety of grades and 5 star hospitality from the locals.

Access Issues:

Iloilo city is accessed by direct flights from Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong. you can also get boat from Manila (20-25 hrs) and bus (21 hrs)

Where To Stay:

Lodging options in the city are common from cheap pension houses (P250 per night) to hotels but to save time many camp at the crags

Ethic:

See the locals mostly sport climbing but also some trad exists in the Philippines.

History:

People have been climbing here since the 1990s but it wasnt till the 2000s that the development of sport climbing took off.

1.4.1. Dingle 25 routes in Crag

Summary:
Unique Features And Strengths:

Limestone with a variety of grades

Description:

Dingle is a municipality located in the Iloilo province an hours flight south of Manila.

Access Issues:

It is required to get a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the area is part of the Natural Park. You can pass by the DENR office before hitting the road to Dingle.

Approach:

Take a taxi from the airport and tell the driver to take you to Tagbak Jeepney and Bus Terminal. Rise a jeepney going to Dingle, Iloilo (about P50) The driver should let you off around Dingle Plaza or a motorcycle terminal near the market. Hire a motorcycle driver to take you to the Barangay Caguyuman, and tell him to drop you off at the Tanod Outpost (P20)

Where To Stay:

possible to stay in Dingle town or camp at the base of Nautod Wall or bivouac under Left Wall where the overhang reclines. There is also access to water for washing up with a faint spring just 5 mins down the trail. Stock up on provisions in town or for longer camps pay the local guide to shop and cook meals for you.

Ethic:

Some trad exists in the Philippines but mostly sport climbing.

History:

Climbed on since to 1990s but the 2000s saw the development of sport climning!

1.4.2. Igbaras 0 routes in Crag

Unique Features And Strengths:

Limestone in development - harder grades

1.5. Cebu 94 routes in Region

Summary:
All Sport

Long/Lat: 123.734902, 10.308765

Unique Features And Strengths:

Limestone and lots

Description:

Provincial Island of Cebu

Approach:

Plane bus or boat from Manila to Cebu City

1.5.1. Cantabaco 61 routes in Crag

Summary:

Long/Lat: 123.734902, 10.308765

Unique Features And Strengths:

Immaculate white limestone above a viilage in the hills,

Description:

In a nutshell, this crag should be the first X in your map if you want a sampling of what climbing in the Philippines can offer. One of the whitest sun-bleached limestone crags in Southeast Asia, it is in the Visayas, in one of the most festive islands of the country, Cebu.

Right in the middle of the small barangay of Cantabaco, an hour’s journey through the jungle and into the island’s heart, lies the country’s premiere climbing destination. The streaked limestone cliff stands over the small community of a few hundred.

Grades go from 6a to 8a+, with the majority in the 7 range. Pockets, tuffas, overhangs, crimps and slopers characterize the entire cliff. All routes are natural and bolted exquisitely for really good climbing. There are about 40 routes up on the cliff.

Bolting projects from 2008 to 2009 gave way to new 35m-long pitches. Seasonal developments continue to this day.

Access Issues:

Introduce yourself to local climbers Raymund Daculan, Jeane Boy Yonson, or Gian Yagonia. They’ll be glad to show you around. There’s a logbook for climbers at Nang Mameng’s house on the way to the crag after you cross the river (there is a rickety bamboo bridge, don’t worry). Sign up.

Approach:

Outside the departure area of Mactan Airport, hire a taxi to take you directly to Citilink Terminal (PHP 250-300 or USD 4–5. Note that these are the white taxis, not the yellow airport taxis that charge you a higher rate of PHP 300++). Citilink Terminal is a small terminal for vans or “V-hires” that can take you to various points in Cebu. Ask for the one that goes to Lutopan and pay PHP 60 (USD 1.30). The ride that lasts a little more than an hour will take you through the end of the polluted city highway to a zigzagging mountain pass, into the heart of the island. Tell the driver to let you off at Cantabaco’s Kapilya (chapel) and mention you’re climbing in Cantabaco. You can’t go wrong. Only a few V-hires operate in the area and they know these parts well. If you can convince a Tax driver it costs about 700 - 1000P direct from the airport to Cantabaco.

Where To Stay:

Breakfast at your local “carinderia” (equivalent to a house porch or frontage converted into a canteen by setting up a serving counter, portable tables and chairs) is probably the best and most convenient. Just walk down the main road, point to your preferred viand, and sit where there is space. If your preferred dish is not part of the daily fare, you can prearrange a menu by giving instructions the night before. Whichever way, meals range from PHP 40– 70.

If you prefer a simple cup of coffee and pastry, catch the delivery van of bread that passes early in the morning, or try the “puto” (local rice cake) sold down the highway heading to the crag.

Later in the day, other food options are available on the main road. Food stands are set up, serving grilled hotdog, pork barbecue, “isaw” (barbecued chicken intestines) and other barbecued chicken innards. These are all recommended and worth a try.

For accommodation, there are 2 options, The best being Aling Glenda guest house (ask for Aling Julie, or make contact with Cebu Climbing Community or Gretchen Yagonia on FB to book) is the climbers’ top pick. It has its own shower, dining area and refrigerator, a very nice porch to hang out on, and can accommodate a group as large as 10 to 12. Alternatively, there are 4–5 smaller rooms to the side of the house. Each room has an electric fan and is good for 3–4 persons, with a common outhouse/shower. 150P per night and they can cook at about 80P per meal, good food.

The other option is Spring Park Resort although reports are mixed, with some rooms good, some bad and very average food for 500P per night, but it does have a pool that if clean can be used. A good rest day activity if you say elsewhere,

Sometimes, even local residents take in visitors. This usually happens when there is a big number of climbers coming in for rock trips (late October to early November). Except for Spring Park, a night’s stay in any one of the places costs PHP 150. A night at Spring Park can cost up to PHP 1,000 depending on the room.

Ethic:

Traditional and sport climbing

1.5.2. Poog 33 routes in Crag

Summary:
Unique Features And Strengths:

Moderate sport climbing on feautured white limestone.

Description:

A new area found by the Cebu locals in 2012/13 with development started.

Access Issues:

Thanks to Gretchen Yagonia and Willard Ellemino access has been granted to Poog by the land owner and Local LGU.

Please be pollite to all you see and take your rubbish with you to preserve access for the future.

Climbers are supposedly required to visit the Poog town hall to register and pay the entrance fee. This is still highly recommended, but officials must have realized that this is quite inconvenient for the climbers. Thus, they assigned a local there to record your presence and collect the fee. He patrols the area regularly, and he brings a record book with him.

Approach:
  1. Poog Cliff is very accessible. Take a Toledo-bound bus at the Cebu City South Bus Terminal. Ask the conductor to drop you off at the Upper Poog-Toledo Highway crossing at the left side of the Uling-Toledo highway. Your landmark is a sari-sari store named Rosita’s Store. Disembark from the bus, and take a habal-habal to Upper Poog.

You can see the cliff as you approach a blind corner. Get off at the gray, concrete house by the road.

  1. Alternatively, you can take a V-hire at the Citilink Terminal in Cebu City rather than the bus. Once you get to the Poog crossing, follow the directions above.

  2. Ask permission from the property custodian before climbing the cliff. The custodian resides in that grey, two-story concrete house beside the trail that leads to Poog cliff.

Where To Stay:

Camp at the crag or stay at one of the guest houses at nearby Cantabaco.

Ethic:

Traditional and sport climbing

History:

The popularity of rock climbing in Cebu—and in the Philippines, as a whole—has been slowly but steadily picking up. That is no surprise at all as we are blessed living in a lush, beach-filled, tropical paradise with numerous limestone cliffs that have the potential of becoming world-class climbing areas. In fact, we have one of the best rock climbing areas in the Philippines, which is located in Cantabaco, Toledo. Now, we have a new one, which is just 15 minutes away from that classic crag.

Gian Carlo Jubela, Sheila Mei, Gretchen Yagonia, Willard Elemino, Jessie Singsong, together with a small team of local climbers and guides, re-discovered an abandoned crag in Poog almost a year ago. After testing the rock through trad climbing, we concluded that it was the perfect candidate for a new rock climbing destination in Cebu.

Through the generous donations of Ascanio Combria and Matthew Brooks, the bolting efforts of Enie Yonson and his team, and Gretchen and Willard’s talks with the Poog LGU, they were able to initially equip the white-rock Poog crag with more than 20 routes. Now, the beautiful Poog crag is open for everyone who wants to try out the adrenaline-pumping sport of rock climbing.

1.5.3. Mansorella 0 routes in Crag

Unique Features And Strengths:

Big, hard, long routes

Access Issues:

TBC

Approach:

Near the village of Barangay Tagba-o in the Cebu hinterlands

Ethic:

Sports climbing and traditional climbing are both found in the Philippines.

History:

Found by the locals and a bunch of routes bolted as part of the Spot Project and North Face climbers visit by Yuji Hiriyama, James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini.