#ReforestTheRoad — by Fredd Ochavo

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Calling out all trail runners who frequently visit Mt. Balagbag to be a part of the #ReforestTheRoadinitiative on that mountain. This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to volunteer in the ongoing tree planting and tree nurturing activities on the roads that were constructed there without the approval of DENR and MWSS. These roads have encroached the boundary of Ipo Watershed and are causing soil erosion. Trees were cut and vegetation was cleared to make way for these roads. Because of these, the water that is stored in Ipo Dam becomes heavily silted.

In August of last year, customers of Maynilad Water suffered because their water supply was cut off for days in spite of the heavy rains in Metro Manila. Maynilad blamed the high turbidity level of the water in Ipo Dam. It became too difficult for them to treat the heavily silted water coming from Ipo Watershed. We do not want this to happen again that is why we are doing what we can to bring back the forests of Mt. Balagbag that some people are destroying. It is very clear that the culprit of the murky water supply in Ipo Dam is the deforestation of the mountains in Ipo Watershed. We, therefore, need to do something about it.

If you want to plant trees at the #ReforestTheRoad sites on Mt. Balagbag to help ensure that Metro Manila will have a steady supply of clean water, just send us a message and we can give you seedlings of native trees for FREE. All you have to do is pick them up at our mini tree nursery along Commonwealth Avenue in East Fairview, Quezon City. Aside from planting, you can also contribute by pulling out grass and vines that choke the seedlings we planted last year together with DENR and other volunteer groups. Weeding will help the seedlings have a higher rate of survival.

We cannot visit the sites on a regular basis so it will be good if there will be more volunteers going there on days that we cannot. This is for all us anyway. This is for Metro Manila’s source of water.

RUN FOR THE FOREST, RUN!

GREEN IS GOOD!!!

 

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: 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

 

The Sierra Madre Hotel & Resort — Our Refuge During Typhoon Karen

Oct 15, 2016, we have a scheduled trail run event at in Tanay, Rizal, and on the same day, Typhoon Karen is set for a land fall. The wind was so strong and chilling, the rain was hard and the road was covered with fog. We arrived at the event venue at around 9PM, assuming that the event was still a go, despite the status of the weather. We are all ready to run rain or shine that is why we went to the event venue the night before the actual event.

We thought that we can pitch our tent at the event venue, which happened to be the Ten Cents to Heaven, for only Php 300.00 that the organizer of the said trail run event told me when I was claiming the race kit. To our surprise, the resort was asking us to pay Php 300.00 per person for pitching our tent, excluding the use of amenities.

At 10PM, the organizer of the event posted an announcement on facebook that they are cancelling the event, but because of the lack of internet access in the area, we are not aware that the event was cancelled, and we were there, at the same place as the organizers and they did not even bother to tell us that the event was cancelled due to typhoon that they based on accuweather even thought the Tanay Tourism Office already posted an announcement on their facebook that all adventure activies in Tanay should be cancelled.

Since we cannot afford the rates at the event venue, we decided to go the Sierra Madre Resort and Hotel. Rates of the room for 7 person is only Php 3,000.00, with use of all amenities, including the pools and trek to the water falls, that if we too the bait at the event venue which will cost us around Php 2,000.00 for just pitching our tent.

Sierra Madre Resort may not be the best mountain resort in Tanay, but they do have the kindest staff, who accommodated us and gave us what we needed during this unfortunate event.

The resort have lots of activities that you and your family and friends can enjoy. You can trek down going to the waterfalls, swim at a 4-6ft deep swimming pool with a relaxing view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. There are hanging bridge, monkey bridge, and zipline for additional excitement.

We would like to thank the resort for accommodating us in times of the typhoon. Our trail run misadventure turned out to be one of the best staycations of our travel journey.

Kudos to Kuya Alden, Kuya Ronnie, and other staff for a good service during our stay. Keep it up! 😀

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#OnTheList: 6 New Mountains in Tanay for Your Weekend Dayhike!

Recently this year, several mountains in the Sierra Madre have been explored and then opened to hiking. Most of them are located in Tanay, Rizal, where the famous Mt. Daraitan sheds its magnificent beauty.

Here are the five mountains we’ve hike that should be on the list of your mountain adventures.

  1. Mt. Maynoba — Mt. Cayabu (Loop Hike)

    Want to experience the sea of clouds? Mt. Maynoba, opened early 2016 has been one of the go-to mountains of hikers because of its proximity to Manila and the view it offers. A layered waterfall is also waiting for you after descending down the peak of Mt. Maynoba.

    DIY Itinerary here: Travel Guide: Mt. Maynoba

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  2. Mt. Sapari — Mt. Binutasan (Maysawa Circuit)

    Opened few months ago, Maysawa Circuit offers a beautiful view of the sea of clouds and a refreshing waterfall sidetrip after descending the mountain. It features two mountain-hills, the Mt. Sapari and Mt. Binutasan and a creek at the end of the hike.

    DIY Itinerary here: Travel Guide: Maysawa Circuit – Mt. Sapari (592+ MASL) And Mt. Binutasan (577+ MASL)

    Mt. Sapari

  3. Mt. Paliparan

    Mt. Paliparan, with an elevation of 562+ MASL resides at the peaceful community of Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal. One can experience the picturesque view of the rock formations, limestone, and a panoramic view of the Laguna de Bay, Pililla Wind Farm, and Mt. Banahaw. It is named paliparan by the Dumagats mainly because it is a venue of a kite-flying competition by their youths. The lush vegetation at trail going to the mountains made the climb more interesting and challenging.

    DIY Itinerary here: Travel Guide: Mt. Paliparan and Tung-tong Falls

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  4. Mt. Tala — Mamuyao Loop

    Another mountain has recently been opened for hikers, a relatively new day hike destination that nature lovers have to add to their mountain bucket list. Mt. Tala, standing about 567 meters-above-sea-level, offers a 360 view of the Sierra Madre mountain range plus a bonus experience of the Sea of Clouds.

    DIY Itinerary here: Travel Guide: Mt. Tala Day Hike + Waterfall Side Trip

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With the number of hikers increasing everyday, flocking to one mountain every weekend, it is a good thing that these mountains are being opened and getting available to us nature enthusiasts. Spreading the impact of this mountains can help preserve their natural beauty, provides income to the local community, and opens a new way of destressing one’s self from their busy like in the metro.

There’s two things we might request to those nature lovers, one is practice the LNT (Leave No Trace) principle in every place you go, and second thing is respect every place you visit, not only the place but also the community/people living in the area.

All together, let’s explore, share, and love outdoors. Peace!


If you have stories, tips, itineraries, or anything related to traveling, you can send those to contribute@itinerary.ph for us to feature them. Let’s explore and share the beauty of the Philippines to the world!

Travel Guide: Mt. Tala Day Hike + Waterfall Side Trip

Another mountain has recently been opened for hikers, a relatively new day hike destination that nature lovers have to add to their mountain bucket list. Mt. Tala, standing about 567 meters-above-sea-level, offers a 360 view of the Sierra Madre mountain range plus a bonus experience of the Sea of Clouds.

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Our team left Manila at around 1:30AM and arrived at the extraction point at 3:30AM. We should cross 3-4 rivers to be able to reach the jump off point, since our van can’t do such river crossing, we decided to park our van near Mt. Maynoba jump off point and then hired a jeepney to bring us to Brgy. Mamuyao. It was a 20-30 minute ride from Brgy. Cayabu to Brgy. Mamuyao.

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At the registration office, we presented the permit we requested a week before our scheduled hike, filled out a form, paid registration fee, and acquired some guides. Before starting our trek, we were oriented by the tourism officials about what to’s and what not’s then proceeded with our trek.

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We started our trek before 4:30AM. It was a 2-hour trek to the summit, passing through rivers, bridges, and a lot of deep mud, not to mention the rich number of limatiks sucking our blood (lol). We reached the summit at around 6:30AM, spent 30 minutes – 1 hour appreciating and enjoying the 360 view on the top of the summit. At around 7:30AM, we started our trek going to Mararaot falls, which is just 1 hour away from Mt. Tala summit.

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We reached Mararaot Falls by 8:30AM, from there we had our brunch. It was our friend, Mia’s birthday so we brought a lot of food. We sang her a birthday song and munch our food together with our awesome guides.

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We decided to go back to the barangay to get our bags and log out because we would like to be able to reach Palo Alto resort by 3PM. There are two other falls along the trails of Mt. Tala, but we decided to skip it to chill and spend the rest of the day at Palo Alto waterfalls, just few hours away from Mamuyao.

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At the registration area, we were asked to provide some comments and suggestions on where they can improve the quality of their service to the people hiking the mountains. We weren’t able to give on because our experience was flawless. The guides and the officials are accommodating and they’ll make sure that you are safe going up and down the mountain.

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We left the barangay by 1PM and went back to our van parked at Brgy. Cuyambay. On our way to Palo Alto, we stop and buy food at Cafe Katerina, one of the famous stop overs in Tanay. At 3PM, we reached Palo Alto and ate the food we bought. It was a very awesome experience, enjoying the cold waterfall, and celebrating our friends birthday with our wonderful friends.

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It was indeed an exhilarating experience, and it was one awesome day that we will never forget. Till our next adventure team!

 

How to get to Mt. Tala

  • First, secure a permit one week before the actual trek. No permit no climb policy is strictly observe with this mountain. You can contact Mr. Perdrito Campus to arrange your permit. He can also provide you vehicle/jeepney that you will need in order to reach the jump off point from the extraction point (river crossing).
  • From Cubao, ride a jeepney going to Cogeo
  • From Cogeo, ride a jeepney going to Batangasan (You might wait for the seats to be filled before taking off)
  • From Batangasan, ride a trike and tell them to bring you off to Brgy. Mamuyao Mt. Tala jump off

Suggested (Chill) Itinerary

01:00 AM Assembly
02:00 AM Depart to Tanay, Rizal
04:00 AM ETA extraction point, head to jump off point.
4:30 AM ETA Sto. Nino-Mamuyao junction
5:00 AM ETA Jump off point (Bgy Mamuyao)
5:30 AM Start trek
6:45 AM ETA Manipo falls
7:45 AM ETA Makiwit falls
09:00 AM ETA Mt. Tala Summit, 598 MASL
09:30 AM Start descent, traverse to Mararaot falls
10:30 AM ETA Mararaot falls, lunch
12:00 NN Start descent
03:00 PM ETA Jump off point
04:00 PM ETA Extraction point
05:30 PM ETD Manila
07:00 PM ETA Manila

Note: This itinerary is deviced if you have beginners trekking with you. You can finish the trail early depending on your pace. We’ve had a different itinerary since have to get to Palo Alto by 3PM.

Expenses

Jeep Cubao to Cogeo — Php 25.00
Jeep Cogeo to Batangasan — Php 42.00
Trike Batangasan to Jump Off — Php 200.00/person (Not yet confirmed)
Registration fee — Php 40.00
Guide fee — Php 500.00 (1:5)
If you will be renting a jeep, that would be Php 6,500 from Cogeo to Brgy. Mamuyao (2-way)
Brgy. Cayabu to Brgy. Mamuyao — Php 80.00
Palo Alto entrance Fee — Php 100.00

Tips

  • Best if you will be hiking with a group of 10 or more to lessen your expenses.
  • The jump off point is almost 1 hour away from the extraction point which the cheapest way is to rent a jeep from Cogeo to Brgy. Mamuyao.
  • Contact Mr. Pedrito Campus so you can request your permit and arrange your transportation if you don’t have vans or monster vehicles that can do multiple river crossings.
  • If you have vans, better if you’ll park it to the nearby barangays because there’s no secure parking lots near the extraction point.
  • You can ask Mr. Pedrito to arrange you a jeepney that can fetch you from Brgy. Cayabu (where you will park your vehicle) to Brgy. Mamuyao

Hiking Concern

  • There’s presence of limatik so be prepared, bring alcohol or any ointment that can prevent them from sticking to your body and suck your blood.
  • Trail is super muddy when wet so wear shoes that are appropriate with this kind of situation.

Contact Numbers

Mr. Pedrito Campus
Smart: 09193265454
TM: 09263652353

Photos courtesy of Eric Muños

Travel Guide: Exploring Pinto Art Museum

Do you love art? Well, Pinto Art Museum is a place where you can find different kinds of art from photography, paintings, to contemporary arts and much more.

If you want to visit the museum, here’s a quick guide on how to get there and how much budget to expect. 🙂

So, from EDSA Shaw Boulevard, Star Mall-Crossing van terminal, ride a van going to Antipolo then tell the driver to drop you off at the Ynares Sports Arena, fare is at Php 50.00.

From the Ynares Sports Arena, hail a tricycle and ask him to bring you to the Pinto Art Museum. Fare is Php 40.00 – Php 60.00 tricycle. It can accommodate 4 persons.

Once you’ve arrive at the museum, you first have to register, log your name and pay Php 200.00 as entrance fee. Students and senior citizens have discounts provided that they have their ID’s with them. Upon entering the museum, you have to leave your backpacks at the package counter near the entrance, then after that, you can now enjoy roaming around the museum.

It can take 2-3 hour for you to fully roam the whole museum, including 5 galleries and a chapel. There are a lot of visitors coming here during weekends, so if you can visit the museum on a weekday, that will be awesome!

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Travel Guide: Maysawa Circuit – Mt. Sapari (592+ MASL) and Mt. Binutasan (577+ MASL) – [UPDATED 2017]

There’s another mountain circuit which has been recently opened to hikers a few months ago which offers a beautiful view of the sea of clouds and a refreshing waterfall sidetrip after descending the mountain.

The Maysawa Circuit features two mountain-hills, the Mt. Sapari and Mt. Binutasan and a creek at the end of the hike. One should register first at the barangay hall of Brgy. Cuyambay, same registration area of Mt. Paliparan. After registration, hikers will go straight to the trailhead, which requires them to ride a vehicle in order to arrive there quickly. As of September 2017, registration area is still at the barangay hall, but they said that they are planning to put a registration area at the start of the trail to the circuit.

At the summit of this mountains, you will be able to see Mt. Batolusong, Mt. Maynoba, and other neighboring mountains along the Sierra Madre mountain range.

Sea of clouds view from Mt. Sapari Summit
Sea of clouds view from Mt. Sapari Summit
Descending down the slippery trail of Mt. Sapari
Descending down the slippery trail of Mt. Sapari
Ascending to Mt. Binutasan
Ascending to Mt. Binutasan
View of Mt. Batolusong while ascending to Mt. Binutasan
View of Mt. Batolusong while ascending to Mt. Binutasan
Sea of clouds from the Peak going to Mt. Binutasan
Sea of clouds from the Peak going to Mt. Binutasan
Yen doing the UP Pose
Yen doing the UP Pose
Abby enjoying the evaporating sea of clouds
Abby enjoying the evaporating sea of clouds

How to get to Brgy. Cuyambay

Public

  • From Cubao, ride a jeep going to Cogeo
  • From Cogeo, ride a jeep going to Cuyambay. Brgy. Cuyambay is just 5 mins away from
  • Batangasan and is on the right side of the road.
  • From there, hire a habal-habal going to the Barangay Hall, then after registration, ask them to take you to the trailhead of the Maysawa Circuit

Private Transportation

Take Marcos Highway going to Brgy. Cuyambay the turn right. Follow the road until you reach the Barangay Hall.

Suggested Itinerary

04:00 – Cubao to Cogeo
05:00 – Cogeo to Brgy. Cuyambay
06:15 – Habal-habal to Brgy. Hall/Register/Briefing
07:00 – Start Trek
08:30 – ETA Mt. Sapari Summit
10:30 – ETA Mt. Binutasan Summit
11:30 – ETA Maysawa Creek
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Back to trailhead

An optional side trip can be done to Palo Alto Waterfall Resort, just few minutes away from the trailhead. Entrance fee is Php 100.00

16:00 – ETD Manila
18:30 – ETA Manila

Note:

  • Trail can be super muddy and slippery during rainy days. Bring gloves, and wear your most comfortable trekking outfit, and be careful while descending down the two mountains.
  • For you to witness the sea of clouds, I suggest that you go there via private vehicle and leave as early as 2AM from your meeting point.
  • There are few limatiks along the trail, so brace yourselves for a bloody trek during rainy days.

Expenses

  • Registration+Environmental Fee: Php 100.00
  • Guide Fee: Php 500 (1:5) Php 1,250.00 Overnight
  • Cubao to Cogeo: Php 25.00
  • Cogeo to Cuyambay: Php 42.00
  • Habal-Habal: Php 50.00

Contact numbers

  • Jeep rental (Rene) – 09127570867
  • Brgy. Cuyambay – 09124795185
  • Brgy. Cuyambay (Rose) – 09093379673
  • Van rental (from Manila) – 09269702947
  • Laida (Guide) – 09991797050