Today, June 3, 2018 is World Bicycle Day. As an avid biker, it was just right and fitting that I go out and ride my bike. So I took a quick spin to Antenna Hill to celebrate this special day for all cyclists of the world.
Ever since I started riding, Antenna Hill has become one of my favorite destinations. It’s not only because this place is near my home, but it offers both beginner and veteran bikers a short but challenging ride to the top. And the view from the top is simply breathtaking.
While it’s a popular biking destination, newbie bikers and first timers are not familiar with the route going to the top. So I have decided to write this guide to help those who would like to visit Antenna Hill.
Antenna Hill is located at Barangay San Carlos, Binangonan, Rizal. I will assume that you will be coming from the South, that is, the towns of Taytay, Cainta, Pasig City and other nearby towns and cities. Just take Manila East Road leading to Angono and you’re on the right path. Before entering Angono town proper, you will see a signage. Take the left lane and head towards Binangonan.
You will pass by SM Center Angono which is one of the major landmarks. Continue traversing Manila East Road going to the direction of Binangonan.
A few hundred meters more and you will see Gate 1 of San Carlos Heights. Most bikers start their ascent to the top through the San Carlos Heights gates, either via Gate 1 or Gate 2.
If you are a newbie into biking, I suggest that you avoid these gates. Gate 1 will lead you into a short but steep climb and Gate 2 will lead you into a hard climb right away going to the main street to Antenna Hill. You need to conserve your energy if you want to conquer this hill.
I suggest instead to take Barrio Road because the climb there is newbie friendly and gradual. This road is located just before Gate 1. The land mark is the signage of Grand Monaco at the corner of the Highway and the entrance to Barrio Road.
Enter from the highway to this road. You are now in Barrio Road.
Continue going forward for about 300 meters. From here you can already see the mountain that you will scale to reach Antenna Hill.
Go on until you reach the corner of Barrio Road and Waling Waling St. There is a waiting shed on the left which will be your landmark.
Then turn right to Waling Waling St.
Waling-Waling is less than 100 meters only. Continue until you reach the end of that street.
Upon reaching the end of Waling-Waling St., make a turn to the left.
And for about 5 meters only, make a right turn towards Aristorenas St.
For about 50 meters head on until you reach a corner with another waiting shed and a tricycle terminal.
Then make a left turn towards Adelina St.
This is now the start of the climb going to Antenna Hill.
From this point up to the top of Antenna is approximately 2 kilometers. I recommend for the newbie bikers to shift to the granny chain ring to avoid changing gears while in the middle of the climb. Just play it by ear with your rear cogs and use what is easy for you. This way you will not break your chain or destroy your rear derailleur (RD). I have seen many times in the past beginners breaking their chain halfway through the climb due to wrong gear combination.
Continue your ascent for around 100 meters before turning right.
You are now on the second stage of the climb to Antenna. This stretch is around 300 to 400 meters of gradual ascent.
At the end of this climb is an area where you can make a recovery and catch your breath. You may want to regroup here if you are riding with your friends. You will notice here a cross because there is a Marian Shrine at the top and devotees do the Stations of the Cross during Holy Week. A barangay outpost is also available if you want to rest for a while.
Then you take on the third stretch of climb which is approximately 300 meters from there.
At this point, you will see a glimpse of Laguna Lake as you are pedaling to get into the next turn.
Continue the climb until you reach the next area for recovery and regrouping.
You may want to rest and hydrate here. Riders with a group oftentimes make this as an area for regrouping.
This is where you will start the fourth climb. And from experience, the fourth and the fifth climb are shorter but harder, if not the hardest of the climbs to Antenna, especially for a newbie.
Turn right here which will lead you to the fifth stage of the climb.
There is a sharp curve which leads into the fifth stage of climb. At this point, you are now midway to the summit.
It’s a short climb, roughly 100 meters but is probably the hardest part for a newbie.
Make a left turn upon reaching the end of that short climb.
Continue pedaling until you reach an intersection marked by a tree.
When you reach the intersection, you have a choice either to take the right way dubbed as Fox trail or the left way called Chicken trail. This is the sixth and last stage of the climb.
The road to the right is called Fox trail. It’s the shorter way to the top but also a bit harder climb compared to the Chicken trail.
Just a few meters from here is the summit already.
The more popular way taken by bikers is the road on the left dubbed as Chicken trail. However, you will no longer encounter a rough road or trail because the road leading to the top has been paved for a couple of years now. It used to be an off-road terrain until recently when it was cemented to provide an easy way to the pilgrims visiting the Marian Shrine at the top of the mountain.
The climb through Chicken trail is the sixth and last climb. It’s a short climb, around 50 meters.
From here it’s a flat terrain until the Marian Shrine. This is the last landmark which leads you into Antenna Hill.
You have finally arrived to the top once you see this.
There is a sari-sari store owned by a couple, Kuya Jeff and wife Ate Wena.
Ate Wena’s store offers lugaw, lumpia, instant noodles, pancit canton, Gatorade and other drinks for the hungry and tired bikers.
You will also see this tower just beside Aling Wena’ store. According to Kuya Jeff who used to guard this tower, this antenna is a telecommunications facility owned by MERALCO. This is the reason why this place has been called Antenna Hill.
There is a viewing deck where you can while your time away gazing at the beauty of Laguna Lake.
The top of Antenna Hill offers spectacular view of Laguna lake and nearby Rizal towns.
The downhill trail leading to Eastridge Estates and to Thunderbird Resorts is one of my favorite spots at the top. This the jump-off point if you want to visit the Angono Petroglyph and Eastridge Sandugo Trail.
If you are planning to visit this place, the best time to ride to Antenna is either early in the morning before the sunrise or late in the afternoon to catch the sunset.
Even non-bikers hike to the top to get a glimpse of the sunset.
This is why I never get tired of riding to this place whenever I have free time. The beauty of nature as seen on top is just priceless and amazing.
I have created also a short video of this ride to the top. I hope this will guide newbies and first time visitors to Antenna Hill.
Till then. Ride safely and enjoy!