Mt. Balingkilat (Mountain of Thunder) — Travel Guide

I’ve always wanted to climb Mt. Balingkilat and spend a night on its summit, so me and my friends went to experience this mountain.

Mt. Balingkilat is a well-known mountain for most hikers. Due to it’s proximity from Manila plus the view and experience it offers to its visitors, no wonder it is one of the most climbed mountains in Zambales.

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Background

The name Balingkilat is derived from the native Aeta language which means Mountain of Thunder. Mt. Balingkilat is located in the province of Zambales, which main jump off point is at Brgy. Cawag, Subic, Zambales. It stands at a towering height of 1,100+ meters above sea level. It is one of the most hiked mountains in Zambales and is popular to day hikers.


Preparation

Before you can go and hike Mt. Balingkilat, you need to let the Chieftain of Brgy. Cawag know that you are planning to hike the mountain. He will be the one who will assign your guide and transportation if you don’t have your own vehicle. He will also serves as your main local contact whom you can ask regarding the hike.

Once you’re done coordinating with the Chieftain, it is now time to prepared yourselves. If this will be your first major hike, it best if you will climb at least two minor mountains in order to prepare your body for a strenuous major hike.

On the day of your climb, you are required to drop by the Subic Fire Rescue — SPOSO, near the public market, to have you names registered and your photos taken. It is important that you’ve coordinated with the locals/chieftain of Brgy. Cawag because they’ll be getting the name of your guide too.


The Hike

When hiking Mt. Balingkilat, you’ll need to consider the time when you will start your hike, and the duration of the trek/climb from jump off point to the summit or camp site. In our case, we started at exactly 10AM, when the sun is bright and shining hot. We really don’t have other choice but to start at that time because we want to reach the campsite before dawn.

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The first part of the hike will just be a gradual trek going to the first and only water source, the Kawayanan area. It took us one and a half hour going to the first water source, and from here we took our lunch, drank as much water as we can, took a little rest, and then started the second part of the trek, a moderate to hard assault going to the summit. We we’re a little slow in this part, aside from it is an assault trek, the heat of the sun affected our speed because it is already 12PM.

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We trekked for almost 3 hours to reach the last section of the hike to summit. This last section is the most technical part of the trail, extra precautions is required as you will be scrambling through the edge with rocks and boulders with high steps. You might also do some face-the-walls in some parts of this section.

At around 6PM we reached the camp site, which is and open area 15 minutes from the summit. We’ve had a hard time setting up our tents because of the strong winds blowing from every direction. There’s little to no shade for setting up tents in the area.

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After setting up the tents, we started preparing our meal for the night, eat, and then rest for the night. I never had the chance to go out of the tent for star gazing because the wind is so strong and cold that I chose to just sleep inside my tent. But as per my friend who went out that night, the sky was clear and there are plenty of stars that night. Next time, I will be getting out of my tent regardless of the cold. 😛

We woke up at around 6AM, prepared our breakfast, cleaned our camp, and then proceed to the summit. From the summit, you’ll see a 360 view of the Zambales and the West Philippine Sea. You will also see the Talisayen Cove and near by islands. The sunrise view is also to die for, offering you the view of Subic during sunrise.

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At around 9AM, we started our trek back to the jump off point. We are bit faster this time since there will be less assault this time, but we are still careful getting down the technical sections of the trail. Same as day one, our trek back to summit is also hot as hell, with little water in our bottles, we pushed through fast going to the water source.

We reached the jump off point past 2PM, where two our friends are already resting, waiting for us. We also took a rest, washed up, and then bounce out back to Manila by 4PM.


Summit Camp Itinerary (Back Trail)

Day 1

02:30 AM — Meet up Victory Liner Cubao
03:00 AM — ETD to Subic, Zambales
06:30 AM — ETA to Subic, Zambales
07:00 AM — ETA to Subic Market, register at SPOSO, buy supplies.
08:30 AM — ETA Resettlement, Brgy. Cawag. JOP, final preparation
10:00 AM — Start trek
11:30 AM — You’ll be reaching the first and final water source, the Kawayanan
03:00 PM — Start of the final assault section
06:00 PM — Reach summit camp site, set camp, prepare dinner, rest
09:00 PM — Lights Out

Day 2

06:00 AM — Wake Up, prepare breakfast, break-camp
08:00 AM — Summit trek
09:30 AM — Start descent
12:30 NN — Arrive at the Kawayanan (Water Source)
02:30 PM — Arrive at the Jump-off-point, rest, wash, up
04:00 PM — Back to MNL
08:00 PM — ETA to MNL

Nagsasa Cove Camp Itinerary (Traverse)

Day 1

01:30 AM — Meet up Victory Liner Cubao
02:00 AM — ETD to Subic, Zambales
04:30 AM — ETA to Subic, Zambales
05:00 AM — ETA to Subic Market, register at SPOSO, buy supplies.
05:30 AM — ETA Resettlement, Brgy. Cawag. JOP, final preparation
06:00 AM — Start trek
07:30 AM — You’ll be reaching the first and final water source, the Kawayanan
11:00 AM — Start of the final assault section,
11:30 AM — Summit, Lunch, traverse to Nagsasa Cove
06:00 PM — Reach Nagsasa Cover, set camp, rest, prepare dinner
09:00 PM — Lights out

Day 2

06:00 AM — Wake Up, prepare breakfast, break-camp
07:00 AM — Beach bum
09:30 AM — Free Time/Island hopping
11:30 AM — Break camp, prepare to get to Pundaquit via chartered boat.
01:30 PM — Arrive to Pundaquit
04:00 PM — Back to MNL
08:00 PM — ETA to MNL

NOTE: This itinerary are estimated times only and some parts are based on our own experience. This itinerary might change depending on your meet up schedule, pacing, and acts of nature.


Breakdown of Expenses

Php 226/pax — Victory Liner Cubao to Olongapo (via San Fernando)
Php 285/pax — Victory Liner Cubao to Olongapo (via SCTEX)
Php 20/pax — Olongapo to Subic PNP/Market
Php 100/pax — Subic PNP/Market to Jump Off Point
Php 2,000/7 pax — Guide Fee
Php 60/pax — Registration Fee
Php 500/pax — Food allowance
Php 2,500/7 pax — Boat Fee

Safe budget for 7 people back trail: Php 2,000
Safe budget for 7 people traverse to Nagsasa Cover: Php 2,500


Important Contact Numbers

Sir Jimmy Ablong (Brgy. Cawag) — 0921 954 3215
Subic Fire Rescue — 0939 443 4776


Conclusion

Mt. Balingkilat is a great mountain for both experienced hikers and to those who are looking for a nice hiking challenge. Just be sure that you are prepared to conquer and enjoy hiking this mountain. Bring enough water that will suffice your needs the whole duration of your hike, at least 2L per person is advised. Everything your bring up to the mountain must also come down with you. leave no trash and trace.

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Travel Guide: Mt. Lubog 923+ MASL

I’ve been wanting to climb Mt. Lubog for a long time and for it to be part of my 2017 project, The 100 Mountains Project. So I joined a group of hikers that is set to climb Mt. Lubog on a date that I have a free schedule.

Our group is composed of 11 awesome hikers, and we met each other at Commonwealth Market, this is where the terminal to Brgy. San Isidro is located and also where the habal-habal we rented waited for us.

When we arrived at the jeepney terminal in Brgy. San Isidro, we immediately transfer to a habal-habal which can accommodate 4-5 passengers including the driver. Expect a 1-2 hour bumpy ride from the terminal to the registration area, so bumpy that we need to get off the vehicle multiple times and push it up just to pass by those deep gaps on the trail.

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After that excruciating ride, we reached the registration area where we met up with our guides and register ourselves. Few minutes later, we started our long journey to the foot of Mt. Lubog.

It is about 1-2 hours foot journey going to Sitio Lubog, the place where the real hike to the summit of Mt. Lubog will start. The trail from the registration area to the main jump off is bearable, rolling hills with few assaults. There are some water sources that you’ll be passing by, so if you ran out of water, just ask your guide to stop and fetch water to the sources.

After almost 2 hours, we reached Sitio Lubog, we took a few minute rest, bought some drinks and snacks at the store which open that time and then continued for the final assault going to the summit.

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Prepare yourself for a continues rocky assault going to the summit. The trail is composed of sharp rocks which can be so slippery during rainy seasons, so be mindful of your steps and be cautious all the time.

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We reached the summit within an hour and the rock formations on top welcomed us with its astounding beauty. Even though we did not have a clearing that time, we still enjoyed taking photos with the rock formations on different sides and angles of the summit. On a clear day, you’ll get a view of Mt. Oriod and other mountains of the Sierra Madre.

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We went down after almost an hour of appreciating the summit’s beauty, and then reached the jump off in less than an hour. We then proceed to the Blue Lagoon, where we had our lunch and rest. We did not stay for a long time because it was raining hard and most of us wanted to reach the registration area.

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The Blue Lagoon

After 1-2 hours of trekking, we finally reached the registration area. We had some snacks, coffee and noodles while we wait for our other team members to arrive at the area. When the whole team arrived, we rode the habal-habal again going back to the jeepney terminal. It was a super bumpy ride again, but we where thankful that none of us got hurt and we were all in one piece when we reached the jeepney terminal. From the jeepney terminal, there are jeepneys waiting for you that will bring you back to Commonwealth Market.

Suggested Itinerary

  • 04:00 –– Meetup at Commonwealth Market
  • 05:00 –– ETD to Brgy. San Isidro Jeepney Terminal
  • 06:00 –– ETA to Brgy. San Isidro Jeepney Terminal, transfer to habal-habal
  • 08:00 –– ETA to Registration Point (Caingalan), Register, Guides
  • 08:30 –– Start trek going to Sitio Lubog
  • 10:00 –– ETA Sitio Lubog, prepare for summit assault
  • 11:30 –– ETA Mt. Lubog Summit
  • 12:00 –– Start Descent
  • 12:45 –– ETA Sitio Lubog, Lunch
  • 14:00 –– ETA Blue Lagoon
  • 16:00 –– ETA Registration Area (Caingalan)
  • 18:00 –– ETA Jeepney Terminal
  • 19:30 –– ETA Commonwealth Market

How to get to Mt. Lubog (Commute)

  • Ride a jeepney bound to Brgy. San Isidro at Commonwealth Market.
  • Transfer to Habal-habal going to Caingalan (Registration Area)

Budget and Expenses

  • Commonwealth Market to Brgy. San Isidro –– Php 25.00 (Php 50.00 Roundtrip)
  • Habal-Habal –– Php 1,000.00 (Roundtrip, can accommodate upto 5 passengers including the driver)
  • Guide Fee –– Php 500.00 (1:6 Ratio)
  • Registration Fee –– Php 50.00

TOTAL BUDGET PER PERSON FOR A GROUP OF 4 MEMBERS: Php 475.00

Contact Persons

Kagawad Peter Idala –– 09284647447 / 09074913840, please make sure that you contact him before hand because he will be the one who will be arranging your habal-habal ride to and from the jeepney terminal of Brgy. San Isidro.

Sidetrips

There are some caves, waterfalls, and lagoons that can be part of your sidetrip, just tell your guides in advance.

Conlcusion

Hiking Mt. Lubog can be very satisfying especially when you will have a clear view of the surrounding mountain ranges from the summit. It was one of those long treks that can make some newbie hikers reach their limits. Prepare yourselves to the bumpiest ride you’ll ever have, and keep holding on for you not to fall. 😛

A traverse going to Mt. Balagbag is possible, just make sure you coordinate with the right persons, and also make sure that you have a ride back going to Tungko from Licao-licao.


Special thanks to Sir. Daneth Obongen for sharing the contact persons and budget breakdowns for this itinerary. He is hosting some budget friendly hikes, you can check him out if you are interested to join his fleet.

Travel Guide: Nueva Ecija Trilogy

We love living our lives the craziest way possible, so we hike three mountains in Nueva Ecija in three of its municipalities. There are three mountains in the province of Nueva Ecija which were recently opened and introduced to hikers like us, thanks to the Nueva Ecija Backpackers & Mountaineers Community Inc. (NEBMCI) for their effort in exploring such beautiful mountains in their home province.

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A View Deck before going to the summit of Mt. Sawi

The first mountain we hiked was the Mt. Sawi also know as Mt. Sawing Balite located in Brgy. Malinao, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. Contrary to its name “sawi”, the view on top of the mountain is “wagi” offering you a panoramic view of the mountain ranges of Nueva Ecija and its landscapes. On an average hiking pace, we reached the summit in less than two hours, warming us up for our trilogy hike.

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At the summit of Mt. Sawi

On our decent, we took a peek at the “Simbahang Bato” which is a rock formation that looks like a chapel. Just ask your local guide to take you here as part of your hike.

After a morning hike at Mt. Sawi, we proceed to Brgy. Mapaet in Palayan, Nueva Ecija to taste the bitter-sweet hike of the small but terrible Mt. Mapaet. It is about 400 meters above sea level and can be hiked in less than an hour. But hiking it at 10AM with the striking heat of the sun took us two to three hours reaching the summit. Ascending to the summit is not easy, aside from the hot temperature, the steep assaults will give you a hard time reaching the top. Once you reached the summit, a 360 view of the scenic landscape of Palayan, Nueva Ecija will make that bitter-sweet ascent worth it.

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Ascending to the summit of Mt. Mapaet

Before proceeding to the last mountain of our trilogy, we took our lunch in Laur, Nueva Ecija. There are eateries that offers delicious meals for a cheap price, a meal with one dish, two rice, and a drink only costs around Php 50 to Php 60.

After taking our heavy lunch, we bought the final sets of supplies that we need for our camp to the Mt. 387 (Batong Amat) in Brgy. Puncan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, our last mountain for the Nueva Ecija Trilogy. We reached the jump off of Mt. 387 by 6PM, and start our trek at around 7PM. It is a gradual ascent going to the summit, and we manage to reach the campsite around 9PM.

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Milky Way at 3:00 AM at Mt. 387

We camped at Mt. 387 on a new moon, and the absence of the moon made the stars shine brighter making our hike even more memorable. I was able to take some shots of the milky way at 3AM to 5AM.

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The Lover’s Tree

We woke up to the amazing view of Mt. 387’s mountain range and saw the rolling hills dubbed as the Chocolate Hills of the North. A truly amazing view that will make you appreciate nature even more.

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Mt. 387 Campsite
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Grassland traversing to Aloha Falls
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Almost 90 Degree traverse at the Bamboo Forest going to Aloha Falls
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The steep descent to Aloha Falls

This trilogy will not be complete without having a dip to the refreshing water of the Aloha Waterfalls, which can be traversed from Mt. 387’s campsite. Traversing to the waterfalls is not easy. If the ascent’s difficulty is 2/9, going down to the waterfalls is twice as hard because of the steep decent which is almost 50 degrees. Thanks to the trees, bamboos and cogon grass, we were able to get down safely.

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The Aloha Falls

We reached Aloha falls after 2 hours of that struggling descent, and that stress going down was taken away when we had our bodies dipped to the cold and fortifying waterfall. Going back to the jump off, we rode a pickup truck which was probably the highlight of this trilogy hike.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 0

  • 11:00 PM — ETD to Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija for Mt. Sawi

Day 1

  • 04:00 AM — ETA to Brgy. Malinao, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija
    • Last minute preparation
    • Register
    • Secure guides
  • 05:30 AM — Start Trek
  • 07:30 AM — ETA Summit
  • 08:00 AM — Start Descent
  • 09:30 AM — ETA Jump off
  • 10:30 AM — ETD to Brgy. Mapaet, Palayan, Nueva Ecija for Mt. Mapaet
  • 11:30 AM — ETA to Brgy. Mapaet, Palayan, Nueva Ecija
    • Last minute preparation
    • Register
    • Secure Guides
    • Proceed to Trail head
  • 11:15 AM — ETA to Trail Head
    • Start Hike
  • 01:00 PM — ETA Summit
  • 01:15 PM — Start Descent
  • 02:00 PM — ETA to Trail Head
  • 02:30 PM — ETD to Brgy. Puncan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija for Mt. 387
    • Lunch along the way
    • Buy supplies for camp
  • 05:30 PM — ETA to Brgy. Puncan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija
    • Last minute preparation
    • Register
    • Secure Guides
  • 06:00 PM — Start Trek
  • 08:00 PM — ETA Camp Site
    • Set camp
    • Eat dinner
    • Star Gazing
    • Socials
  • 10:00 PM — Lights out

Day 2

  • 05:00 AM — Wake Up Call
    • Prepare breakfast
  • 07:00 AM — Break Camp
  • 07:30 AM — Start descent to Aloha Falls (Traverse)
  • 10:00 AM — ETA Aloha Falls
    • Rest
    • Swim
  • 11:00 AM — Trek back to jump off
    • Ride a pick up truck (Optional) — 20-30 minute ride
  • 12:00 PM — ETA Jump off
    • Rest
    • Wash up
    • Lunch
  • 02:00 PM — ETD to Manila
    • Miryenda along the way
  • 07:00 PM — ETA to Manila

Hike Expenses

  • Mt. Sawi
    • Registration — Php 30.00
    • Guide — Php 500.00 (1:5 Negotiable)
  • Mt. Mapaet
    • Registration — Php 20.00
    • Guide — Php 300.00 (1:10 Negotiable)
  • Mt. 387 (Batong Amat)
    • Registration — Php 30.00
    • Seedling Donation — Php 10.00
    • Guide — Php 500.00 (1:5 Negotiable) Overnight | Php 300.00 for Day Hike
  • Transportation
    • Doing a trilogy hike in Nueva Ecija is easier with private vehicle or rented van, because you will be transferring from one municipality to another. So we rented a van for two days which costs us Php 11,500.00 all-in.

Total budget (Excluding Food) — Approximately Php 1,100.00

Landmarks for Waze/Google Maps

  • Mt. Sawi
    • Malinao Elementary School
  • Mt. Mapaet
    • Barangay Hall of Mt. Mapaet
  • Mt. 387
    • LAT 15.90506  LONG 120.99212

Contact person

Travel Guide: Discovering the Beauty of Maligcong in Bontoc, Mountain Province

For almost 15 hours of land travel, who would have thought that there’s a scenic landscape hiding in the municipality of Bontoc in Mountain Province. For our 16th and 17 mountain for the The 100 Mountains Project, we went to Maligcong in Bontoc, Mountain Province to hike Mt. Fato and Mt. Kupapey, two of its main hiking destination which offers a picturesque view of the community.

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The Maligcong Rice Terraces viewed from the summit of Mt. Kupapey

 

We left Manila at exactly 1:00 AM in the morning, and reached Maligcong by 2:00 PM, including side trips, stop overs, and supply procurement. We started our trek to Mt. Fato (1,627+ MASL) by 4:30 PM, aiming for a sunset view at the summit. It was foggy that afternoon so we didn’t have the chance to watch the sunset at the summit, but we still managed to enjoy the panoramic view of the Cordillera Mountain Range.

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Trail going to Mt. Fato
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East side of Mt. Fato’s summit

It was called Mt. Fato because of the rock formations you will see at the summit. “Fato”, which came from their local dialect, means rock or “bato” in tagalog. Mt. Fato is a 1 to 2 hour chill hike starting from the accommodation you are staying.

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One of the rock formations at Mt. Fato’s summit (East Side)
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The west side of Mt. Fato’s summit, where you will watch the sunset. But we weren’t lucky enough to witness the sunset because of the weather condition. Still a beautiful view.

On a clear weather condition, you’ll be able to watch the beautiful sunset on top of Mt. Fato’s summit, and a far view of the Maligcong Rice Terraces. We descended down Mt. Fato after an hour and went back to hour lodge to have dinner and power rests before we commence our early morning trek to Mt. Kupapey.

The next day, we woke up at exactly 3:00 AM then prepared ourselves for our hike to Mt. Kupapey (1,640+ MASL). We’ve had our quick breakfast, had ourselves ready then started our trek at exactly 4:30 AM.

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Foggy view of Maligcong Rice Terraces

The trail to Mt. Kupapey is consists of concretes assault steps passing by the rice terraces, and soft ground assault nearing the summit. It was also a 1 to 2 hour trek from your accommodation. The trails can be a little slippery on rainy days so be cautious with your movements.

At the summit of Mt. Kupapey, you will be able to see the astonishing beauty of the Maligcong Rice Terraces, and on a clear day, the beautiful sunrise will greet you good morning with its rewarding beauty. The sun’s bright rays will cast on the layers of Maligcong Rice Terraces which is really an amazing view.

But our trip was different, the sun did not show up, and we waited several minutes for the fog to clear up. And then once this white wall of fog cleared up, it gave us a different perspective of the beauty of the Maligcong Rice Terraces. With the fog unfolding the view of the wonderful landscape, it left us in awe for a few minutes before the fog became a white wall again.

The name Kupapey was derived from their local dialect which means butterfly. Because once you reach the summit, the view of the rice terraces is like a butterfly on a full wing span.

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Closer view of Maligcong Rice Terraces

 

After an hour of waiting for multiple clearings, we decided to descend down and traverse our way to Maligcong Rice Terraces for a closer view of the landscape. Traversing to the rice terraces is one of the highlights of this trip. The amazing man-made creation was so awesome that it made me want to stay longer and appreciate the view for a couple of more hours. It was really an amazing experience seeing this man made beauty.

The best time to visit Maligcong is on the months of April to May, when fields are green said by our local guide. It was indeed a great experience visiting this place, we will surely comeback to experience its beauty on a different climate.

How to get to Maligcong

MNL – Baguio – Bontoc – Maligcong

  • Ride a bus going to Baguio. There are various bus liners that have trips going to Baguio City, one of them is the Victory Liner which have bus terminals in Pasay and Cubao. Fare is Php 445.00.
  • From Baguio City, take a cab going to Dangwa Terminal or Slaughter House, both terminals have buses going to Bontoc, Mountain Province. It will be a 6 hour bus ride and fare ranges from Php 200.00 to Php 250.00.
  • Then from Bontoc, go straight to the Jeepney terminal going to Maligcong. Ask around where the terminal is located. It is a 30 minute uphill ride going to the barangay and fare is around Php 20.00 per person.

There are other routes going to Bontoc, like MNL-Banaue-Bontoc-Maligcong via Ohayami Bus Lines, or MNL-Bontoc via Coda Lines.

First trip of the jeepneys from Bontoc proper going to Maligcong is at 8:00 AM and last trip is at 4:00 PM.

Where to stay in Maligcong

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There are lots of home stays in Maligcong, but most of the famous accommodations will likely be fully accommodated if you will reserve few days before your trip.

We stayed at Terraces View Guest House, a not so popular lodge owned by Ate Rowena. Her guest house was always (somehow) the last option when all the famous lodge like Suzzete’s and Vilma’s are already fully accommodated.

Ate Rowena’s place is actually a good place to stay. The place was fully equipped with basic utility needs, cooking wares, and free coffees. The beds are also comfortable with warm blankets. If two blankets are still not enough, you can request for an extra one, free of charge.

I suggest you contact her first and reserve your slots to make sure that you have a place to stay when you get there. You can contact her at this number: 0915 188 1732. The rate is also very affordable, considering the basic needs there that you can use for free, that would be Php 350.00 per person for and overnight stay. She even spare a fee for our driver’s accommodation, what a nice host. 🙂

Recommended tour guide

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We would like to recommend Kuya Dennis to be your local tour guide. A fun, jolly, full of information about the place, you will surely learn more about Maligcong from him.

Contact him thru his mobile phone: 0909 811 8149. Guide fee starts at Php 800.00 for hiking both mountains, (Php 300.00 for Mt. Fato, Php 500.00 for Mt. Kupapey) for the first 5 persons in the group. If your group is larger than 5 members, that would be Php 175.00 per person (Php 75.00 for Mt. Fato, and Php 100.00 for Mt. Kupapey).

Budget and Expenses

  • Bus fare MNL to Baguio — Php 455.00 x 2 (Php 910.00)
  • Baguio to Bontoc — Php 200.00 to Php 250.00 x 2 (Php 400.00 to Php 500.00
  • Bontoc to Maligcong — Php 20.00 x 2 (Php 40.00)
  • Accommodation — Php 350.00
  • Guide — Php 175.00
  • Registration Fee — Php 20.00

Total Expected Budget is around Php 1,895.00 to Php 1,995.00. Safe budget will be around Php 2,000.00 to Php 3,000.00 for your food and take homes.

Sample Itinerary

Day 0

  • 10:00 PM — Bus to Baguio

Day 1

  • 04:00 AM — ETA Baguio, Quick breakfast, Take cab to Dangwa Terminal (GL Trans)
  • 05:00 AM — ETD to Bontoc
  • 11:00 AM — ETA Bontoc Town Proper, Lunch, Buy supplies
  • 12:00 NN — ETD to Maligcong
  • 12:30 PM — ETA to Maligcong, rest, prepare for Mt. Fato hike.
  • 04:00 PM — Start hike to Mt. Fato
  • 05:00 PM — ETA Mt. Fato Summit, rest, photo ops, wait for the sunset
  • 06:30 PM — Start descent
  • 07:30 PM — ETA Home stay, eat dinner
  • 10:00 PM — Light’s off

Day 2

  • 03:00 AM — Wake up, breakfast, prepare for Mt. Kupapey Hike
  • 04:30 AM — Start hike to Mt. Kupapey
  • 05:30 AM — ETA Mt. Kupapey Summit, rest, wait for the sunrise
  • 07:00 AM — Start descent, traverse to Maligcong Rice Terraces
  • 07:30 AM — ETA Maligcong Rice Terraces, Photo ops, enjoy the view
  • 08: 00 AM — ETA Home Stay, Rest, wash up, proper breakfast. Free time
  • 11:00 AM — Lunch, prepare to leave
  • 12:00 NN — ETD to Bontoc Town Proper
  • 12:30 PM — ETA to Bontoc Town Proper
  • 01:00 PM — ETD to Baguio
  • 07:00 PM — ETA to Baguio, dinner, buy pasalubong
  • 10:00 PM — ETD to Manila

Day 3

  • 03:00 AM — ETA Manila

If you still have plenty of leave credits, you can have Sagada or Kalinga as a second destination after Maligcong.


If you have your own private vehicle, or rented van going to Maligcong, a possible side trip to Banaue Rice Terraces is possible. Just take the MNL-Banaue-Bontoc route.

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One of the most photographed Cordilleran in Banaue.
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The Banaue Rice Terraces

 

 

Travel Guide: Laiban Twin Day Hike (Mt. Ngusong Kabayo, Mt. Lubo, and Tangwa Peak) Laiban Falls

I know that you are looking for a new hiking destination which is not that crowded, so here’s a travel guide to Laiban for a quick twin day hike and a refreshing dip to the waterfalls!

Before anything else, we hiked these mountains on a weekday and there’s literally only the two of us who hike on that day. We had the mountains all by ourselves without any other hikers on site. So, consider hiking on a weekday for a less crowded experience.

OK! Because it’s my friend Leley’s weekday off, we decided to go on a quick twin day hike in Brgy. Laiban, Tanay, Rizal which is just next to the barangays where Maysawa Circuit is located. There are actually four mountains in this barangay, a reason for it to be coined as Laiban Quatro. These mountains are Mt. Ngusong Kabayo, Mt. Lubo, Mt. Toyang, and Mt. Matang Ulang.

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Hiking Mt. Lubo and Mt. Ngusong Kabayo can be done in less than a half day including the waterfalls. From jump of to Mt. Lubo, it will only take you one and a half hour to reach its summit, and another 15-30 minutes to reach Mt. Ngusong Kabayo’s rock formation. Tangwa Peak, is just a few minutes away from the rock formation of Mt. Ngusong Kabayo, and you’ll see here a 360 view of Sierra Madre, along with the mountains of Maysawa Circuit, and Mt. Toyang.

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Mt. Lubo is arguably a peak not a mountain, well, I’ll just leave that to the pro’s to what ever they want to call it, but for me, Tangwa Peak deserves to be called Mt. Tangwa and Mt. Lubo to be called Lubo Peak.

Anyways, so after we reached Tangwa Peak, we descended down after a few minutes to take a dip to the cool water of Laiban Falls. Laiban Falls is a multi layered waterfalls with cool blue waters. It is just around 30 minutes to 1 hour trek from the Tangwa Peak. You will not get disappointed with this waterfall, because you’ll enjoy every layer of it, unlike the so called “8 Wonder Falls” 😛

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Laiban Falls Layer 2, reminds me of Kawasan Falls in Cebu because of the blue water. :)
Laiban Falls Layer 2, reminds me of Kawasan Falls in Cebu because of the blue water. 🙂

So, after a refreshing dip to the waterfalls, we decided to go back to the jump off to wash up and go back to Manila. We reached the jump off before 11PM and left the place at exactly 12NN. and back to Manila by 2PM, just the right time for me to go to work. 😛

How to get to Brgy. Laiban

  • From Cubao, ride a jeep going to Cogeo Gate 2
  • From Cogeo Gate 2, proceed to the jeepney terminal and ride a jeep going to Sampaloc and tell the driver to drop you off to Mayagay 1, the land mark will be Martessem.
  • Then from Mayagay 1, there are habal-habals waiting for you and they will take you to Brgy. Laiban. You will be crossing at least 9 river crossings before you reach the barangay. Ration of the habal-habal is 1:1 for a more comfortable ride on a bumpy 30 minute ride.

Expected Expenses

  • Cubao to Cogeo — Php 24.00 (Php 48.00 RT)
  • Cogeo to Mayagay 1 — Php 55.00 (Php 110.00 RT)
  • Mayagay 1 to Brgy. Laiban — Php 100.00 (Php 200.00 RT)
  • Registration Fee — Php 40.00
  • Environmental Fee (Mt. Ngusong Kabayo) — Php 20.00
  • Environmental Fee (Laiban Falls) — Php 20.00
  • Guide Fee — Php 500.00
  • Total Budget per pax for a group of 5 Persons — Php 538.00

Suggested Itinerary (Average Pacing)

  • 0300 Meetup Cubao
  • 0400 ETD to Cubao to Cogeo
  • 0430 ETA to Cogeo
  • 0500 ETD Cogeo to Mayagay 1 (Martessem)
  • 0600 ETA to Mayagay 1, Ride habal-habal
  • 0630 ETA to Brgy. Laiban
    • Register
    • Secure guides
  • 0700 Start Trek
  • 0800 ETA Mt. Lobo
  • 0900 ETA Mt. Ngusong Kabayo
  • 0930 ETA Tangwa Peak
  • 1000 Start descent to Laiban Falls
  • 1130 ETA Laiban Falls Layer 4
    • Lunch
  • 1200 Proceed to the other layers
    • best to swim at the Layer 2 of this waterfall
  • 1400 Trek back to Jump off
    • Wash up, eat
  • 1500 Back to Mayagay 1
  • 1530 ETA Mayagay 1
    • Wait for Jeep to Cogeo
  • 1700 ETA Cogeo
    • Ride jeep to Cubao
  • 1830 ETA Cubao

Hiking Notes

  • If you are a large group, you better hire you own transport service for your convenience.
    • If you are renting a van, you will have to leave it at Mayagay 1, and still ride habal-habal going to the barangay.
    • If you are renting a monster jeep from Cogeo, it can already take you to Brgy. Laiban, and you don’t have to ride the habal-habal.

Contact Person

  • Kuya Bimboy (Joshua) — 0930 924 6637
    • You can contact him if you want to ask for info about the mountains.
    • You can also ask him if he knows someone who has a monster jeep that can fetch you from Cogeo and bring you to Brgy. Laiban. Just let him know that we referred him to you guys

Travel Guide: Crazy Tanay Heptalogy Day Hike

Ever tried hiking seven mountains in just one day? If you have the crazy guts to try it out, I’ll be sharing how we manage to hike seven summits in less than 24 hours.

Tanay has been a go to when in comes to multi-mountain day hike because it is surrounded by the mountains of Sierra Madre. There are lots of mountains that has a close mountain next to it making it possible to do a twin hike or trilogy. To be able to make our Heptalogy possible, we have to get permits from three barangays and notify them before the actual date of the climb.

For this Heptalogy, there are three barangays covered in the whole climb, Mt. Kayangkangan and Mt. Tan-awan in Brgy. Sto. Niño, Mt. Tinucan, Mt. Lilid, and Mt. Piluktunan in Brgy. Tinucan, and lastly, Mt. Maynoba and Mt. Ayngat in Brgy. Cayabu.

We started our hike at exactly 12MN, hiking Mt. Tan-awan and Mt. Kayangkangan in Brgy. Sto Niño. This was originally a Hexalogy Day hike, buy we did not expect that we are going to pass by the summit of Mt. Tan-awan, so I guess, it is safe to say that we did a heptalogy that day.

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Mt. Tan-awan ©Em Quirante

Mt. Tan-awan (467+ MASL) and Mt. Kayangkangan (566+ MASL) loop distance from jump off is 7.6 kilometers. If all of the members of your hike are experienced hikers, hiking these mountains can only take 2.5 to 3 hours max. There’s not much to see here so we just took a quick rest and photo ops, then proceed to our next set of mountains. Btw, if you’ll be hiking on a new moon with a clear sky, there’s a big possibility for you guys to see a lot of stars, and if lucky enough, there will be a milky way.

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Mt. Kayangkangan ©Em Quirante

Next stop is the Tinucan Circuit, covering the mountains of Mt. Tinucan, Mt. Lilid, and Mt. Piluktunan. We were supposed to hike Mt. Maynoba and Mt. Ayngat next to Mt. Kayangkangan, but due to influx of hikers and lack of guide availablity, we have no choice but to proceed to Brgy. Tinucan, which is just a few minutes away from Btgy. Cuyambay.

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Mt. Tinucan

We the officers of Brgy. Tinucan requires every hiker to conduct a planting activity. The number of seedlings depends on the number of hikers.

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Tree planting at Mt. Tinucan

Alright, so first stop is Mt. Tinucan, standing at around 595+ MASL, will welcome you with a straight assault from jump off to summit. Trek to summit is just one hour to one and a half. From there, we started planting the seedlings we brought from the jump off point. Then we proceed to Mt. Lilid, passing by three to four peaks. Mt. Lilid is standing around 556+ MASL, an easy traverse from the summit of Mt. Tinucan, and can only take you less than an hour to the summit.

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Mt. Lilid

Last part of the Tinucan Circuit is the Mt. Piluktunan. Trekking this mountain is the most rewarding and refreshing part of the heptalogy. There was no waterfall included in the itinerary, but there’s no way to skip the Gan-gan waterfalls which part of the trail of Mt. Piluktunan. The summit of this mountain the topmost part of the water fall where are spring is located which is where the water came from.

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Mt. Piluktunan (Gan-gan Falls)
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Chilling at one of the layers of Gan-gan falls in Mt. Piluktunan

After a refreshing dip from the water fall, we descended down and had our lunch near the barangay hall of Tinucan, we proceed to our last stop, Brgy. Cuyambay where we will hike the last two mountains in our itinerary Mt. Maynoba and Mt . Ayngat.

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Mt. Maynoba summit

We left Brgy. Tinucan at exactly 3PM and reach Brgy. Cuyambay after 20 minutes. There are only 6 of us left that are willing to hike the last two mountains. We hike Mt. Maynoba first. Since we are in a hurry, and would like to be back at the jump off point as early as possible, we took the unusual trail, the trail that only porters and locals passed by. It is the short cut to the ridge of Mt. Maynoba cutting one hour off of our time. We reached the summit of Mt. Maynoba before 5PM then we proceed to Mt. Ayngat.

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Mt. Ayngat (Camp Site) 30 mins away from Summit. 

Mt. Ayngat is a new hiking destination in Brgy. Cuyambay, which opened about two months ago. Most hikers camp here overnight. Mt. Ayngat’s summit is more than an hour away from Mt. Maynoba’s summit, passing by a waterfall, bamboo forest, and grasslands. We reached the summit of Mt. Ayngat before 7PM. It was already pitched black and the things you can only see are the one lit up by your flash lights. It was raining a little that time which made our descent a little harder and slippery. We reach the campsite pass 7PM, took a little rest and photos and continued our descent. We had a creepy feeling, it’s like there’s someone laughing at us while we were trekking down. So one of our member decided to play some music with her phone. We reached the jump off point by 8PM, and it was a relief since we thought that it will take us forever to get down Mt. Ayngat. Our other members are all asleep, bored at the monster jeep we rent while waiting for us.

We headed back to Manila pass 9PM, tired and all wanting to have a nice rest in their beds.

This heptalogy climb is mt most memorable hiking experience. It does not only made me realize that I can surpass my own limitations, but it also gave a new set of friends who are willing to do another crazy multi mountain hike in the future.

Suggested Itinerary

09:00 PM — Meet up jollibee farmers cubao
10:00 PM — ETD to Brgy. Sto Niño ride at monster jeep
12:00 MN — ETA Brgy. Sto Niño register/secured guide
12:30 AM — Start trek Mt. Kayangkangan
02:30 AM — Summit photo ops Mt. Kayangkangan
03:00 AM — Start descend back to Brgy. Sto Niño
05:00 AM — ETA Brgy. Cayabu register/secured guides
05:30 AM — Start trek at Mt. Maynoba
06:30 AM — Summit photo ops Mt. Maynoba
07:00 AM — Start trek Cayabu peak
08:00 AM — Summit photo ops Cayabu peak
08:30 AM — Start trek to Mt. Ay-ngat
09:30 AM — Summit photo ops Mt. Ayngat
10:00 AM — Start descend back at Brgy. Cayabu
11:00 AM — ETA Brgy. Tinucan register /secured guides
11:30 AM — Start trek to Mt. Tinucan
12:00 NN — Mt.Tinucan summit photo ops
12:30 PM — Start trek to Mt. Lilid
02:30 PM — Mt. Lilid summit photo ops
03:00 PM — Start trek to Mt. Piluktunan
04:00 PM — Mt. Piluktunan summit photo ops
04:30 PM — Start descend back at Brgy. Tinucan
06:30 PM — ETA jop/wash up/dinner/logout/end
07:00 PM — ETD to MNL
09:00 PM — ETA to MNL

How did we do this?

For those who are interested to perform a Heptalogy Day Hike, you first have to secure a permit from the Municipality of Tanay. You can contact the guide’s coordination, Sir Pedrito Campus or Kuya Pitoy to some. He will assist you and will handle the process for your permit.

Sir Pedrito Campus — 09193265454 or 09263652353
Email address — pedritocampus@gmail.com

You have to contact him and send your letter of intent a week before the actual climb. You have to rent a monster jeep because it will be hard for the vans to cross multiple rivers and rocky roads. You can ask Sir Pitoy to find a monster jeep for you.

Expected Expenses

  • Guide fee — Php 1,500.00 1:5 ratio
  • Registration fee — Php 120.00 per pax
  • Seedling for tree planting in Brgy. Tinucan — Php 15.00/pax
  • Transportation
    • Cubao to Cogeo (Commute) — Php 24.00
    • Cogeo to Cubao (Commute) — Php 24.00
    • Monster Jeep Rental — Php 6,500.00
      • (15 pax = Php 434.00/pax)
      • (10 pax = Php 650.00/pax)
  • Total Expenses for a group of 15 pax — Php 917.00
    Total Expenses for a group of 10 pax — Php 1,133.00

Barangays covered in this heptalogy climb

  • Brgy. Sto Niño – Mt. Kayangkangan + Mt. Tan-awan
  • Brgy. Cayabu – Mt. Maynoba + Mt. Ay-ngat
  • Brgy. Tinucan – Mt. Tinucan + Mt. Lilid + Mt. Piluktunan

What you need to bring

  • Hydration bags
  • Lunch
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Extra cash
  • Headlamp (Very Important)

Hiking Notes

There are a lot of limatiks at Mt. Kayangkangan, by a lot I mean it’s a limatik fest, so be prepared. One way to prevent them from sticking to your body is by applying “Off Lotion”, wash your pants or clothes with salt dissolved in water, or efficascent oil.

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Mt. Kayangkangan limatik fest! 😀 What a bloody hike! © Jayvee Quijano

There can be easily removed by spraying alcohol or splashing them with salt. It will be bloody, and I had warned you.

So yeah, we will definitely do more of this kind of hiking activity, it gives us a sense of fulfillment and a realization that you can really be a better version of yourself.

For more hiking schedules, visit our facebook page and subscribe to our DIY events.

Travel Guide: Montalban Trilogy Day Hike

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Early this year, I started a project called the “The 100 Mountains Project” aiming to summit 100 mountains before the end of this year. I started off the project by hiking the Montalban Trilogy, the Mt. Pamitinan, Mt. Hapunang Banoi, and Mt.Binacayan. That’s three mountains already to kick off the project!

Before performing this trilogy hike, first you need to know if you are fit to climb three mountains consecutively. This hike can last upto 11 hours of trekking. You need to be physically and mentally prepared to last the whole hike.

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Started our trek to our first mountain, Mt. Pamitinan, at exactly 5AM. It was a 2 hour hike from jump off to the junction of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi. It’s a gradual assault going to the summit, passing by boulders of rocks. There are at least two stations where you can take a five minute rest. We reached the junction before 7am, took a five minute rest and then proceed to Mt. Pamitinan summit.

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The trail to Mt. Pamitinan summit is not that easy for some because of the pointed rock formation in which you need to more cautious in every step your take. It’s a 15-20 minute hike before you reach the famous view point where in you can take those “buwis buhay” shots. From there, you can see a panoramic view of Rizal, and the mountain of Bincayan. From the second view point, which is just 5 minutes away from the first one, will give you a stunning view of the sea of clouds and a beautiful sun rise.

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Right after descending Mt. Pamitinan, we proceed to trekking Mt. Hapunang Banoi, which is just right next to Mt. Pamitinan separated by the junction. It’s a 30 to 40 minute hike from junction to summit, it may vary depending on the human traffic of the mountain. The sharp rock edges also adds difficulty hiking this mountain, and one must be super careful ascending this mountain. At the summit, you’ll see the mountains of Sierra Madre and view Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan.

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We descended down before 11pm and had our lunch at the eatery near DENR. at exactly 1PM, on a hot Saturday afternoon, we started our final trek to Mt. Binacayan. It was a tiring hike made even worst by the heat of the sun. Trek to summit of Mt. Binacayan is not easy, you need pass by big boulders of rocks, requiring up body strength and arm strength to be able to pull your self up the rocks. It took us almost two hours before we reach the summit. From the summit, you can see the mountains of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi, and a 360 view of the Sierra Madre mountains. You can take you “buwis buhay” shots here.

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We descended Mt. Binacayan after spending 20 minutes at the summit, and then reach the jump off by 4:30 PM. It was indeed a challenging day hike that tests our strength and endurance. It is worth coming back, but for a hexa climb. 😛

Actual Itinerary

  • 03:00 — ETD To Eastwood, Montalban via van from Cubao
  • 04:00 — ETA to Eastwood, Montalbal. ETD to Brgy Wawa (via trike)
  • 04:30 — ETA Brgy. Wawa, register, secure guides, start trek to Mt. Pamitinan
  • 07:00 — ETA Junction
  • 07:30 — ETA Mt. Pamitinan Summit
  • 07:45 — Start descent to Junction
  • 08:15 — ETA Junction, take five minute rest
  • 08:20 — Start trek to Mt. Hapunang Banoi
  • 09:30 — ETA Mt. Hapunang Banoi Summit
  • 10:00 — Start descent to junction
  • 11:00 — ETA Junction, take five minute rest
  • 11:05 — Start descent to jump off
  • 12:00 — ETA jump off, rest, lunch
  • 13:00 — Start trek to Mt. Binacayan
  • 15:00 — ETA Mt. Binacayan summit, photo ops
  • 15:15 — Start descent
  • 16:00 — ETA Jump off, wash up, eat
  • 18:00 — ETD Manila
  • 20:00 — ETA Manila

Expected Budget

  • Cubao to Eastwood, Montalban (Van) — Php 50.00/person
  • Eastwood, Montalban to Brgy. Wawa (Trike) — Php 50.00/trike
  • Registration — Php 50.00
  • Guide — Php 1,500.00 (1:5) Montalban Trilogy

 

Travel Guide: Mt. Pulag via Ambangeg Trail

 

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Watching the sunrise at Mt. Pulag summit

Mt. Pulag, the third highest peak in the Philippines and the highest in Luzon is one of the best mountain you can ever hike in the Philippines. Dubbed as the “Playground of the Gods” because of its majestic view at the summit surrounded by sea of clouds. Trekkers often go here to witness the stunning beauty of the sunrise as it shines to the slopes of the mountain giving light and warmth to its surrounding.

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Mt. Pulag, pronounced as “Pul-ag” means bald because there are no trees from grassland to summit. This mountain has three types of landscapes, the pines, the mossy forest, and the grassland. This mountain is in between three provinces, Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya.

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The Ambangeg Trail is the easiest trail going to the summit of Mt. Pulag. Most hikers calls it the “Artista Trail” due to its relatively easy trail compared to Akiki Trail and other trails. Trek usually starts at the ranger station after you’ve secured a guide and registered your team. From the ranger station, it is a 4-5 hour hike to summit and trek starts at 1 am in the morning if you are camping at the ranger station. If you are going to set your camp at camp 2, you have to start your trek by 1-2 pm on your day 1, then start your trek to summit at 4 or 5 am on your day 2. Camp 2 is just 1-2 hours away from the summit of Mt. Pulag.

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How to schedule a hike to Mt. Pulag

Before you can enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Pulag, you first have to secure a reservation at the Mt. Pulag National Park Management. Ask them if there are still available slots on the day you chose to hike Mt. Pulag. Note that they only allow a maximum of 500 hikers a day to climb Mt. Pulag so better have your reservations as early as one to two months, because there are some organizers who hoard slots on weekends giving less slots to those DIY hikers like us.

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Required documents before climbing Mt. Pulag

Due to recent cases of hikers having difficulties surviving the climb to Mt. Pulag, the management is now requiring all trekkers to submit medical certificates proving that they are fit to climb the said mountain. Failing to submit this requirement on the day of your hike will have them prevent you from hiking Mt. Pulag, so better have this requirements on-hand before leaving for this hike.

Just in case you are too busy too have yourself checked in your area, there’s a hospital in Ambangeg, just a few minutes away from DENR Office wherein you can have yourself checked by a doctor if you are physically fit to climb Mt. Pulag.

Transportation from Baguio to Jump Off Point

Ok! So, you have secured your slots and you’ve had yourself checked for your medical certificate, now you need to find ways on how to get to the jump off point. There are no public vehicles that can bring you from Baguio to Ambangeg. Mostly, hikers hire monster jeeps as their means of transportation from Baguio to Ambangeg and vise versa. If you have rented a van, you can go directly to the Ambangeg but I strongly advise that you leave your van to Baguio and just hire a monster jeep if your driver is not experienced with the road going to the jump off point. There are cases where vans loose their brakes which caused accidents, so again, just hire monster jeeps from Baguio to Ambangeg.

Things you should bring when hiking Mt. Pulag

The weather gets really cold in Mt. Pulag, dropping down to 5 degree celsius and below which makes most hikers chill and suffers hypothermia. So here are some essential things that you should bring with you when hiking Mt. Pulag.

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  • Fleece Jacket
    • Can be used as your base layer
  • Thermal Jacket
    • This will be your mid layer
  • Windbreaker Jacket/Outer Shell
    • This will outter layer that will protect you from dew or rain
  • Rain Coat
    • Just in case you will be hiking on a rainy weather
  • Gloves
    • You need to keep your hands warm, trust me
  • Bonnet
  • Grabber Body Warmer
  • Grabber Hand Warmer
  • Grabber Toe Warmer
  • Thick Socks
    • Keep your feet warm, bring an extra pair just in case it gets wet
  • Aluminum Foil Mat
    • You’ll use this as flooring for your tent to keep your body from the cold ground of the camping site
  • Sleeping Bags
    • Extra protection from cold
  • Tents
    • Your shelter. If you don’t have tents or don’t one to bring one, you can rent at the Ranger Station from Php 300- Php450 per tent
  • Cook Set
  • Stove
  • Butane Gas
  • Mess Kit
  • Hygiene Kit
  • Extra Food
  • Water Bottles/Containers
  • Power Banks
  • Phones
  • Cameras

How to get to Mt. Pulag

  • Ride a bus going to Baguio from Manila
  • Hire a Monster Jeep that will take you from Baguio to DENR Office and to Ranger Station. Monster Jeeps cost ranges from Php 7,000 to Php 8,000

Breakdown of expenses

DIY Expenses for Mt. Pulag via Ambangeg Trail. Budget is for a group of 18 people maximizing the capacity of the Monster Jeep.

  • Bus MNL-Baguio-MNL: Php 960.00
  • Monster Jeep Rental (Good for 18 pax) : Php 7,500.00 [Php 417.00/pax]
  • DENR fee: Php 175.00
  • Ranger station LGU fee: Php 150.00
  • Guide fee: Php 120.00/pax
  • Camping fee: Php 50.00

    TOTAL: Php 1,822.00/pax

    PS: If you are going to set camp on Camp 2, you need to pay the camping fee at the DENR Office.

Miscellaneous

  • If you don’t have medical certificates, and you are already in Baguio, you can ask your monster jeep driver to bring you to the nearest hospital in Ambangeg and have you checked if you are fit to climb Mt. Pulag. It will cost you Php 100.00 for the medical check up.
  • If you don’t have tents, you can rent at the ranger station
    • Tent — Php 300.00 – Php 450.00
    • Aluminum Foil Mats — Php 50.00 (Small) Php 100.00 (big)

Contact Numbers

  • Please call the Mt. Pulag National Park Management to reserve your slots between 8AM to 5PM only
    • 09291668864
    • 09199951316
    • 09103010423
  • For your Monster Jeep transportation, please call Kuya Romeo
    • 09092102123

Side Trips

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Viewed from Lolo Cancio’s Inn and Restaurant
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Jang-jang Hangin Bridge
  • Ambuklao View Deck
  • Jang-jang Hangging Bridge
  • Lolo Cancio’s Inn and Restaurant
    • Stunning view of Mt. Indian and the Ambuklao Lake and Agno River

So yeah, Mt. Pulag is definitely one of the most beautiful mountain in the Philippines and it has one of the most stunning view that you can ever experience. But with all of its beauty, we must still protect it from being destroyed and help it maintain its natural beauty. Us hikers have the biggest role in preserving the beauty of Mt. Pulag. Always remember the principles of LNT (Leave No Trace) and educate one another on how to love nature.

REMINDER!

  • Locals said that it tends to rain unpredictably if visitors of the mountains are noisy. So you better keep your voices down so you do not disturb the nature and other hikers near you.
  • Clean as you go!
  • Do not litter!
  • Have fun!

Travel Guide: Twin Hike — Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam

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Mountain Ridge of Mt. Batulao casted with the lights of the sun as it rises

Yesterday, December 20, 2016, me my friend went on a quick day hike to Mt. Batulao. We started our trek at 5:30 am and reached the summit before 7:00 am. We are both trail running enthusiast so we ran through the ridges of Mt. Batulao to the summit. We stopped by along the trail to take photos of the breaking dawn and appreciate the cool breeze atop of the ridge. When the sun peeks from the horizon, it shines light to the rolling hill of Mt. Batulao giving us a nice view of the landscape while the shadows of the nearby peaks cast over us.

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We reached the summit before 7 am, giving us more time to appreciate the view on the summit. We’ve had a great clearing that time, and a beautiful view of the sunrise and the 360 view of Batangas and nearby towns.

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We descended down by 7:15 am and reached the jump off point before 8:00 am. We then first have a quick breakfast and then took a trike going to the highway. It’s still too early to go home so we decided to Sitio Bayabasan and take a quick view of the Mt. Talamitam.

We rode a jeep near Evercrest going to Nasugbu, we alight at Sitio Baybasan. The jump off point of Mt. Talamitam is just near the highway and can be easily seen. We registered at the registration area, pay the registration fee and started our trek at exactly 9:00 am.

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Mt. Talamitam is an open field, so trekking at 9:00 am is tiring one. It was hot that day so we took a rest every 10 minutes of walking. The most exhausting part of hiking this mountain is the final summit assault, passing by tall cogon grass that blocks the winds on the trail, making the trek hotter and tiring. Luckily, there are huts built up there so we took a rest again before commencing the final 5 minute assault to the summit.

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We reached the summit at 10:15 am. On top of the summit, you’ll see the view of Batangas, and it’s nearby towns, the landscape of Mt. Batulao, Mt. Makiling, Pico de Loro, Mt. Marami, and it’s neighboring mountain Mt. Apayang.

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We descended down by 10:30 am, since the trail is going down, we decided to ran going to the jump off point. We passed by a store selling fresh buko juice, bought one, and took a 5 minute rest. We resumed our trek and we reached the jump off point before 11:00 am. We rest for a while and then washed up ourselves then proceed to Tagaytay to buy some Rowena’s Tart for pasalubong.

So, to conclude that, we did an unexpected twin day hike of Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam. If only my friend don’t have an appointment to attend at the afternoon that time, we could have climb Mt. Apayang and make this hike a trilogy climb. But then, this was  a great hike recommended for those people who have limited time for adventure. And hey, we hiked on a weekday so there’s just the two of us enjoying the view at the summit.

How To Get to Mt. Batulao

  • Take a DLTB bus bound to Nasugbu, Batangas at the terminal near Buendia LRT station.
  • Get off the Evercrest Golf Club, of just tell the conductor to drop you off to the highway going to Mt. Batulao.
  • Then ride a trike going to the jump off point. It is a store where you can eat, buy souvenirs, and leave your things. Just make sure you bring your valuables with you.

Expenses at Mt. Batulao

  • We did not hire a guide since we already know the trail, and guides are not required anyway. We took the New Trail to the summit and back to the jump off point. So, no guide fee.
  • There are three registration areas at the new trail, some mountaineers call them toll gates. First toll gate asks for Php 20.00 registration fee, second one and third one will ask for Php 30.00 each. So new trail will cost you Php 80.00 per person. This are all one time fee, so if you’ll do a back trail to the new trail, and they asked you pay again, tell them that you are already paid upon going to the summit.
  • Trike to and from Mt. Batulao jump off is Php 30.00 each if you are a group of 4-5 person. Since there are only two of us, we paid Php 100.00 for a trike, so that would be Php 50.00 each for us.

How To Get to Mt. Talamitam from Mt. Batulao

  • From Evercrest, ride a jeep or a bus going to Sitio Bayabasan. In our case we rode a jeepney going there. A 15 minute jeepney ride enough for a quick rest before taking off for a twin day hike.

Expenses at Mt. Talamitam

  • Guide is also not required here in Mt. Talamitam since the trails is established and there’s somehow no way to get lost. In case you will encounter any trouble, or you got lost at the trail, they will be giving you their contact numbers which you can call in case of emergency
  • Registration fee is only Php 40.00 per person
  • Jeepney fare from Evercrest is Php 12.00, if you’ll take a bus, ordinary bus fare is Php 10.00 and air-conditioned bus fare is Php 25.00

Total Expenses for Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam Twin Day Hike

  • Bus Buendia to Evercrest — Php 111.00
  • Trike to Mt. Batulao jump off — Php 100.00 for two persons (Php 200.00 if roundtrip) Php 30.00 per person if group of 5
  • Batulao Toll Gates (New Trail) — Php 80.00
  • Jeep to Sitio Bayabasan from Evercrest — Php 12.00
  • Registration fee at Mt. Talamitam — Php 40.00
  • Bus going to Manila — Php 120.00*

Total Budget for two persons is: Php 563.00*

* May vary depending on where you will get off
** If you want to buy pasalubong in Tagaytay, bus fare is Php 56.00 (air-conditioned), then the fare going to Manila will be less than Php 100.00

Suggested Itinerary

This itinerary is devised for groups less that 5 persons, and can do some running along the trail.

  • 02:30 — Meetup DLTB Buendia bus terminal
  • 03:00 — ETD to Batulao (Evercrest)
  • 04:00 — ETA to Evercrest, take a trike to Jump off Point
  • 05:00 — ETA Jump off point. Prepare to start trek
  • 05:15 — Start Trek
  • 05:45 — First Toll Gate
  • 06:10 — Second Toll Gate
  • 06:30 — Third Toll Gate
  • 07:00 — ETA Summit
  • 07:15 — Start Descent
  • 07:50 — ETA Jump off point, rest, eat breakfast
  • 08:15 — ETD to Evercrest
  • 08:30 — ETA to Evercrest Ride Jeep to Sitio Bayabasan
  • 08:45 — ETA Sition Bayabasan, Register, prepare to start trek
  • 09:00 — Start Trek
  • 10:10 — ETA Summit
  • 10:30 — Start Descent
  • 11:15 — ETA Jump off point, rest, wash up, eat lunch
  • 12:00 — ETD to Manila or side trip to Tagaytay or wherever.
  • 16:00 — ETA to Manila if no side trip with not so heavy traffic along Imus and Bacoor.

Hiking Notes

  • For a faster pacing, just bring the essential things with you, like water, phones, and wallets, plus your cameras. Better if you have hydration packs with you rather than bringing your whole backpack with you.
  • If you want to make this a trilogy with Mt. Apayang, it is possible, you just have to pay additional Php 20.00 at the jump off of Mt. Talamitam

So, that’s it! A fun twin day hike for a half day! 😀 Hoping for more adventures this coming 2017! Cheers!

Travel Guide: Mt. Batulao (811+ MASL)

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Dreaming of climbing Mt. Guiting-guiting in Romblon? Do you know that there’s a mountain in Nasugbu, Batangas that offers a little G2 like experience, like the knife-edge. The trail of Mt. Batulao is consist of gradual assaults that can be very muddy on rainy seasons. Trail gets a bit steep and slippery near the summit which requires extra caution. There are ropes that can help you climb those steep slopes easily.

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Mt. Batulao offers an spectacular view of Cavite and Batangas, and beautiful landscape surrounding the mountain. There are two major trails in this mountain, the New Trail and the Old Trail. These trails can be combined for a traverse climb.

For only 2-3 hours drive from Manila, Mt. Batulao has been a famous hiking and camping destination for most hikers. Enthusiast who are looking for quick day hike challenge, climb training, or chill night camp, considers this mountain as one of their options.

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Local guides are not required, but advised for beginners especially when the trail gets very muddy. Rate of guideship is Php 400 – Php 500.00 a day for a group. There are also a lot of registration fees collected along both trails. Our group took the New Trail and we encountered three registration areas. The first registration costs us Php 20.00, they said that it will be used for the construction/maintenance of a church in their barangay, the second and third registration area costs Php 30.00 each, they collect these fees so you can pass by their private property. If you are planning to take a traverse from New Trail to Old Trail, prepare for more registration areas along the Old Trail.

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Nonetheless, Mt. Batulao is a great and beautiful mountain recommended for those hikers who are looking for a quick day hike adventure with a close range to Manila.

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Suggested Itinerary (New Trail)

02:30 AM — Meetup Bus Station
03:00 AM — ETD to Nasugbu, Batangas
05:30 AM — ETA Evercrest
06:00 AM — ETA Trail Head, Start trek
07:00 AM — First Registration (Php 20.00)
08:00 AM — Second Registration (Php 30.00)
08:30 AM — Third Registration (Php 30.00)
09:30 AM — ETA Summit
10:00 AM — Start Descent
12:00 PM — ETA Trail Head, Wash up
01:00 PM — Back to Manila or Sidetrip to Tagaytay, eat Bulalo, buy pasalubong
05:00 PM — ETA Manila


How to get to Mt. Batulao

  • Ride a bus going to Nasugbu, ask the conductor to drop you off to Evercrest Golf Course
    • San Agustin Bus Terminal (Cubao) — Php 135.00
    • DLTB Bus Terminal (Buendia-Taft) — Php 111.00
    • Coastal Mall Terminal (Pasay) — Php 104.00
  • From Evercrest, ride a trike going to the trail head. You can opt not to take the trike but I suggest you ride one because it can be a 1-1.5 hours trek from Evercrest to trail head.
    • Trike — Php 30.00/person


Expenses

  • DLTB Buendia to Evercrest, Nasugbu, Batangas — Php 111.00/pax (Php 222.00 RT)
  • Trike to trail head (Optional) — Php 30.00/pax (Php 60.00 RT)
  • Guide (Optional) — Php 500.00/12 = Php 45.00*
  • First Registration — Php 20.00
  • Second Registration — Php 30.00
  • Third Registration — Php 30.00


Total expenses:
Php 407.00**

* Php 41.67 rounded off to Php 45.00
** Expected budget for new trail with one guide and rode trikes from Evercrest to trail head round trip. Can be lesser than Php 407.00 if you’ll choose to not to hire a guide and walk from Evercrest to trail head.

Mannquin Challenge at Mt. Batulao