It was past four o’clock in the afternoon, and we were in the middle of descending from the summit of Mt. Makiling when suddenly we got separated from the group and got lost.
Let me start from the very beginning.
The bus station near LRT Gil Puyat is our meeting place before going to Batangas. Jornel, one of my collegues, and I arrived early since we came from the office. At around 4:30AM we are already complete and boarded the bus going to Lucena. There are no direct buses that will take you to Mt. Makiling Jump off point.
After more than an hour of travel from Manila, we alighted at Brgy. San Felix Sto. Tomas, Batangas. After buying some stuff and food, we rode a tricylce going to Mt. Makiling jump off point to register and hire a guide.
At around 6:30AM, we started the trek. After a few minutes, we reached station 1 and then station 2 where we took some rest and ate snacks. At this station, you can also find a water source though I don’t really know where the water is coming from. But kuya Jason, our tour guide, said we can drink and refill water there though we can still refill water at station 4 because that is the last station with water source.
After leaving station 2, the real adventure began. Thee assault going to the summit literally feels endless. I needed to catch my breath once in a while. We even made contact with famous “limatik” (leach) between station 13 and 14. They look like harmless but come on, they are still named as blood sucker for a reason. Yikes!
After crawling, rappeling, undying assault and picture taking, we reached the peak 3 at 12:30PM where we decided to eat lunch and take some rest. At this point I have two problems: (1) my water is limited to two bottles with approximately 150ml of water each and (2) my legs are starting to hurt, yet we still need to climb for more than 1 hour to reach the peak 2.
After less than an hour of rest, we resumed the trek going to peak 2. At this point the trek became harder but at the same time you will also see some breathtaking views.
Achievement unlocked! We reached the peak 2 and yes we made it! Mt. Makiling is legit. At this point I only have very little amount of water left. Kuya Jason said the trek from the summit is a downhill but a bit muddy so, I felt relieved in a way because I think I might not need more water.
We started to descend after taking photos at the summit. While descending, we unknowingly got separated from each other. Jornel and kuya Jason were a little bit ahead of us, sir Ronald and I were in the middle, while Mike with his wife and Mark were behind us.
While walking, sir Ronald noticed the uphill trek that made us feel confused because kuya Jason said that the trail is all downhill from the summit. At that time we tried to contact our group but sadly there’s no signal coverage. We also tried to go back to the trail thinking we took the wrong way, until such time we decided to continue to the trail instead of going back when. Suddenly Jornel contacted us through mobile phone and informed us that we were on the right track.
Around six o’clock in the evening, we finally arrived at Agila base camp in Los Banos Laguna. I was then surprised that all of them were waiting for us, while resting and drinking fresh coconut. They said that the trail we took is the new and longer, since Mike and company has also a guide, kuya “Manong”, took the old and shorter trail. I didn’t get the chance to ask his name but kudos to him, he is very kind. He even tried to look for us but apparently we met near Agila base camp.
We decided to ride the habal-habal going to UPLB registration point since it’s getting dark. We took a jeepney to take us on a highway where there are buses going to Manila.
At the end of the day, we survived the famous Mt. Makiling traverse hike and it was very satisfying.
Here are some tips you might consider when taking the Mt. Makiling.
* Bring lots of water because you will need it badly.
* Bring a trekking pole, it will help you.
* Pack light as much as possible.
* Wear gloves, you will be needing it.
* Wear a trekking shoes if possible. In my case I used my Skechers memory foam rubber shoes. Though it helped me a lot since it feels very comfortable, the thing is, it is very slippery on a muddy trail that I even slipped twice so I suggest you wear trekking shoes, and
* expect the unexpected.
Yes it’s a wrap. Thanks for reading and hope this will help you.
NOTE: Some photos were from Jornel’s camera
For complete Itineraries and expenses click here: http://geraldventures.com/mt-makiling-travel-guide-itinerary-expenses/
If you have any suggestions and opinions, feel free to comment. Let’s help.