Trail Running in Angono/Binangonan, Rizal

Angono, Rizal boasts itself of being the Art Capital of the Philippines and hometown to two National Artists, Maestro Lucio San Pedro and Carlos “Botong” Francisco. Here, one can find the concrete murals along Dona Aurora Street and The Angono Petroglyphs (which share its boundaries with Binangonan) known as the oldest work of Art in the Philippines dating back to 3000 B.C.

Of interest to runners, this highland valley south of the Sierra Madre mountain range is site to miles and miles of dirt trails, narrow concrete paths that pass along rivers, small remote villages, cogon fields, undeveloped subdivisions and wild trees that snake thru the boundaries of Angono and Binangonan. We had planned to run along these trails about 3 weeks ago and it was only last Sunday (February 15) and perfect weather that had us packing our gear and heading off to a completely uncharted territory.

With running buddies June, Daryll and Oliver, we hopped on into June’s old but trusted limousine and headed straight to the Thunderbird Resorts/Fiesta Casino located beside the Eastridge Golf course in the foothills of the Angono/Binangonan mountain range which served as our starting point. We arrived at the resort at about 5:30am and after a few minutes of stretching, we were on our feet.

The facade of the Thunderbird Resort

The facade of the Thunderbird Resort

On the initial phase of our run, we headed towards a wide tunnel then ran the uphills of various villages wherein one finds a glorious view of Laguna de Bay and its outlying cities. Development of these villages are still on the initial stages (many still stagnant, thank goodness) where one can run on both dirt and  paved roads which in my estimation have not been utilized much.

Out the Binangonan tunnel

Out the Binangonan tunnel

First stage of our run, an uphill towards residential villages

First stage of our run, an uphill towards residential villages

The first 3 kilometers served as a warm-up run for our uncharted trail run

The first 3 kilometers served as a warm-up run for our uncharted trail run

After about 4 kilometers of running, we headed off to a dirt road which lead us to discover an amalgam of trails which were a delight to the four of us!

Dirt road in one of the villages while trying to catch up with Daryll

Dirt road in one of the villages while trying to catch up with Daryll

Trying to find our way out.

Trying to find our way out.

Road leading out to main street

Road leading out to main street

A look from way behind

A look from way behind

June, sprinting upwards!

June, sprinting upwards!

A view from the top

A view from the top

Another view from the top with Laguna de Bay visible. Camera shy Oliver in white

Another view from the top with Laguna de Bay visible. Camera shy Oliver in white

Nearing the trails

Nearing the trails

One more hill to climb

One more hill to climb

Running on the outer trails

Running on the outer trails

Running in line

Running in line

Nearing the inner trails

Nearing the inner trails

Further inward

Further inward

Running in good form

Running in good form

In tandem

In tandem

On our way to a golf course

On our way to a golf course

Crossing a bridge inside the golf course

Crossing a bridge inside

The start of the trail run

The start of the trail run

Inside nature

Inside nature

More to explore inside

More to explore inside

Now, the bushy part

Now, the bushy part

Amidst burning cogons

Amidst burning cogons

Towards the hills of the Sierra Madre Mountains

Towards the hills of the Sierra Madre Mountains

Views along the route

Views along the route

More cogon

More cogon

A snapshot of the trail we were threading to. It's about a foot and a half narrow, good for one person at a time to pass thru

A snapshot of the trail we were threading at. It's about a foot and a half wide, good for one person at a time to pass thru

Still chuggin' along the trails, not having an inkling of where we were heading to

Still chuggin' along the trails, not having an inkling of where we were heading to

There's still some confusion of where we were exactly. Some farmers we bump into said that we were still in Angono, others say that we were inside the boundary of Binangonan. When we asked the people on this isolated hut, we got a terse reply, in the vernacular they said "you are in the middle of nowhere!"

We got lost! There was some confusion of where we were exactly. Some farmers we bump into said that we were still in Angono, while others said that we were inside the boundary of Binangonan. When we asked the people on this isolated hut, we got a terse reply, in the vernacular they said "you are in the middle of nowhere!"

We were indeed in the middle of nowhere as the trails seem to be endless. Instructions given to us by the local townspeople compounded the confusion when they gave varying directions of where we should go. At this point, June wanted to go back to where we came from which was about 8 kilometers away. However, we decided to continue and explore some more after we asked children who seem to know more about the route and were more direct in their instructions.

So off we went and the adventure continues

So off we went and the adventure continues

This trail is perpendicular to a river where the locals do their laundry

This trail is perpendicular to a stream where the locals do their laundry

Taking a break to pose with children at the stream

Taking a break to pose with children at the stream

After 2 hours of running inside those trails, we finally found our way out. And what do we find back? More dirt roads!

After 2 hours of running inside those trails, we finally found our way out. And what do we find back? More dirt roads!

At this point, we could barely jog as most of us had run-out of water and energy drinks. Still, we paced slowly to the top.

At this point, we could barely jog as most of us had run-out of water and energy drinks. Still, we paced slowly to the top.

We found our route back to the resort via the backdoor hills within a subdivion. 1.5kms to go.

We found our route back to the resort via the backdoor hills within a subdivion. 1.5kms to go.

Onwards to the mountain hills

Onwards to the resort

At this juncture, we could see the rooftop of the resort which is less than a kilometer away.

At this juncture, we could see the rooftop of the resort which was less than a kilometer away.

One more hill to hurdle

One more hill to hurdle

Slowly maneuvering the rocky slopes

Slowly maneuvering the rocky slopes

Almost there...

Almost there...

Daryll, finding time to play

Daryll, finding time to play

June, the master of the sudden left turn, breaks into a smile after viewing the finish line

June, the master of the sudden left turn, breaks into a smile after viewing the finish line

It's Fiesta time, at last!

It's Fiesta time, at last!

Never mind if Oliver is running in the wrong lane, we're finally home and its all the matters!

Never mind if Oliver is running in the wrong lane, we're finally home all in one piece!

Over-all, we covered a total of 21 kms for that 2 &1/2 hour running sojourn…in the middle of nowhere!

Next: Cool-down at the Angono Petroglyphs

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9 responses to “Trail Running in Angono/Binangonan, Rizal

  1. Hey Darryl!

    Thanks! Lakas mo tumakbo! Wag mo kaming iwan ng malayo ni June sa 15k next Sunday! 🙂

    Vic–Thanks for visiting!

  2. Hi Rene,

    I like the place, it’s beautiful! Those trails look fine except for some rocky portions.
    The pictures are great! You look physically fit and lost a lot of weight since the last time we met. Keep it up, I salute you! But the best picture of all is June’s sudden left turn (he’s really the master). Next time, please take more pictures of Oliver. Looks like he gained some weight, thank God!
    I’m trying to get back in shape now that spring season is just around the corner. Hopefully, I will be able to level your energy the next time we see each other. I’m thinking next year, sana….
    Good luck to both of you on the 22nd.
    Ingat lagi!

    Norman

  3. that’s part of the fun of trail running–getting lost and then, of course finding your way back again. looks like you guys had a blast.

  4. wow! nagalugad niyo talaga ang kabundukan ng Angono-Binangonan! thanks for sharing the photos!

    Angono Art City
    Philippine Art at its Best!
    Filipino Culture & Traditions Alive!

  5. Norman – actually we had dedicated this run for you as you were there with us in spirit. Pano ba namang hindi, eh you were talking to us on the fone while we were running! i agree with you, June is “the master” of the sudden turns, kaliwan man or kanan!

    We’ll be looking forward on your return next year. June will be cooking up some places for us to visit.

    Take care bro and see you soon!

  6. Hi Eric! Thanks for visiting. You got a very fine blog on your trail runs yourself! Please allow me to link your blog to mine.

    If you ever return to Manila soon, please hook up so we can run some local trails. We might get lost but i’m sure we’ll find our way out.

    Take care!

  7. Angono Art City– thanks for visiting too. We surely enjoyed our short sojourn in Angono. The people we met there were all friendly and patient to answer our queries. We’ll surely return there for another run and partake some fried itik which we missed previously.

    Mabuhay kayong lahat, mabuhay ang Angono!

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