Monday, October 22, 2012

The Fascinating Art of Rock Balancing in the Philippines

I was introduced in this kind of art during my first hiking adventure in Mt. Damas where mountaineers uses the rocks near Ubod Falls to create their non-permanent art by stacking stones above each other, mostly its the smaller rock at the bottom and a bigger one on top. So imagine how hard it is to took photos beside these stones at they might fall and hurt me. Read my adventures here:  .Anyway, its absolutely cute so I never leave without taking a few photos and been very careful not to ruin other peoples creation.

Last August 5, while strolling around Tiendesitas in Pasig, I met Ildefonso Bandoma Vista, co-founder of Rock Balancing Philippines. He's so busy and focused finishing his art and I was having fun myself looking at his creation. This time I saw someone skillfully placing each stones above and beside each other without steel and glue to hold them together and as if the rocks and stones give him permission to do what's in his mind, they were totally obedient to him; thus an arc was made. His work is more intricate, more aww-worthy.

I joined the others nearby and played with the stones the group provided for guests to try. I coined the term "played" coz, well, we are incapable of simply stacking stones above each other. The stones slipped after placing the third or forth stones and though we are kinda frustrated, me and the others have fun and realized first hand that this art is not easy and though it looks simple, it requires analytical skills, some geometry, calculations, right manuever and some instinct. Yes, it is an art with mathematics. It requires comprehension coz one wrong moved or placing of stones could ruin the entire creations. Sometimes, you don't even want to breath, thinking a small movement might ruin everything. Not for short-tempered, clumsy and impatient person. Treat rock balancing the way you play chess- relax, precise and you can ruin it after you win.

That time I was hesitant to approach Boboy, as his was fondly called, because there are lots of photographers and people around. Anyway, my curiosity won over and when he stand up after finishing this creation, I approached him, introduced myself as a blogger and interested to know why is he doing it.

Allow me first to thank him for being accommodating and give time to answer my questions that I was be able to write this article.

In my short interview with him, I learned that Boboy owned a plant nursery business in Tanay and rock balancing is his way of expressing his advocacy of a balanced life and a balanced environment.
I never noticed the plant seedlings that was surrounding the area that time because its the rock art that got my full attention.

Together with his co-founder,  Leandro Inocencio, their group conducts exhibits, environmental symposiums, tree planting activities, clean up drive etc throughout the country and uses rock balancing art to extend their vision to people to make good choices for their lives and for the environment and encourage people to be take part for a cleaner and greener environment.

If you are interested to know the group, their art and be part of their advocacy, you can reach Boboy thru the following:

Rock Balancing Philippines Facebook Page

For plant and gardening enthusiasts, those who needs landscaping services and maintenance, contract planting, reforestation or simply wants to purchase exotic and fruit trees, you can visit his business page at:

Vista Home and Garden Enterprise (Tanay Plant Nursery) Facebook Page
Location: Km. 55 Manila East Road Barangay Plaza Aldea 1980 Tanay Rizal Philippines.
Contact Numbers: +639278551692,  +639182732093, (02) 654-0022

Try Rock Balancing and don't get discourage if at first you won't succeed. Practice makes perfect. When you've finally found the relaxing, rewarding and fun part of it, you will look at every piece of stones, pebbles and rocks an interesting topic. These humble stones that we simply ignore when we are at the beach could be your medium for an art where people would be more than glad to have their photos taken beside it.

And don't blame me that I don't warned you but this will be addictive. Later and sooner, you will be upgrading your skills, creating more elaborate and intricate formations. And your art can't be copied by anyone - coz there will be no two natural stones alike, surely there will be no two rock balance creations that were symmetrically similar.

Have fun, use your imagination, think, create a marvelous art from a humble stone and later, allow the stone to do what it does best- be still and beautiful on its own. You create an art and you never destroy any part your medium.


  1. Very well written....The words express what most of rock balancers around the world feel as well.
    Ildefonso and Inocencio are doing a great job.

  2. Joch, I am speechless with your projects. Good thing you included your youtube channel in your comment. I like it so muchhhh (nice choice of songs, as well) Great job!!
    I forwarded your message to the founders of Rock Balancing Philippines and maybe someday when you visit our country, you can check them out and join the group in their activities here. Thank you for reading my article. Continue you passion for this art and keep on documenting it. It is honestly relaxing by merely looking at your videos. Keep it up!!


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