View at the Summit
My college friend Arman message me, asking if I have a climb before the end of the month I replied to him there’s a plan but there’s no specific date yet, upon his request he wants to climb again but it’s only a minor climb and a day hike, so that our other classmates can join with us. I think twice if I will pursue my plan to have a solo climb or to join with other group with their invitation, as what I realized it’s only “once in a blue moon” and it is a chance to have a bonding with my other classmates in college so I decided to decline all my invitation and to accompany my classmates because it only their time to unwind with their stressful work.
I researched on the internet and find what mountain that is easy to climb good for the first timer because it’s their first time do an outdoor and I found Mt. Pinagbanderahan as what I see the specification was 1/9 of the trail, best for the beginner. I suggested this mountain to them and everyone agreed.
We met at the JAC Liner, EDSA Kamuning and to catch the 4AM trip going to Lucena, because but it’s too late I’ve noticed that going to Lucena was almost 4hours of travel and another 1hour going to Zigzag road Atimonan Quezon according what I’ve read on the itinerary. I didn't expect we will consume 5hours of travelling going there aside from our hike I’m worried with our time going back to Manila. I thought the travel time just like going to Batangas, I admitted it I'm dumb hahaha.
At 8:00AM we arrived at Lucena Grand Central Station, and then we rode again another bus going to Amao to the zigzag road or known as Bituka ng manok less than an hour of travel again. The first thing we do when we arrived at Amao, we stretched our legs because of our butt got numb for a long hours of travelling and sitting on the bus. 9:15AM we started our walk, and a zigzag road welcome us, we noticed a car fall on the road, luckily it’s only a minor accident. The zigzag road consider as hazardous road, even 6 wheeler are not allowed to use that road because of the sharp curve and steep portion. Drizzling while we were walking on the road and after it near at the view deck, what a great surprised we saw a magnificent rainbow across the forested area.
The zigzag added excitement as we got closer to Pinagbanderahan and the mountain with green tree-filled mountains. Finally for 1hour of walking we reached the major jump-off Atimonan Tourist Information Center, where we registered and took our early lunch.
Start of the trail
At 11:00AM we started our trek guided by Kuya Mario. 95percent of the trail is cemented and you can see a huge rock formation at both side of the trail. We visited also a small cave that can pass throughout for only 5-10minutes, where you can see the formation of stalactites and stalagmites, I was dismayed with what I saw on the a large printed name on the stone, I don’t know what’s on their mind doing that, they have no respect to the nature. According to our guide this cave where the Missionary Sisters killed by the Japanese soldiers and they called it Cueva Santa.
We noticed an old structure of cemented stair, that stair was built during the commonwealth period/government, as our guide said we were already near at the summit and everyone was energized and joyous to reach the summit, Exact 12:00PM when we reached the summit with 360 views and stunning panoramic view. The peak is a perfect advantage point to view Mt. Banahaw, the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro, as well as the major towns and cities of Quezon, like Lucena, Pagbilao, and Tayabas. Pinagbanderahan literally means “where the flag was hoisted”. The place got its name due to its role during the World War II where the Philippine flag was raised in the Philippine Revolution – and thereafter it witnessed the American and Japanese flags being raised in its heights before finally the Philippine flag reclaimed its proper place in 1946.
At 1:30PM when we descent and planning our side-trip at Bantakay Falls as our guide said hindi “kakayanin ng oras niyo kasi malayo layo pa yun” and he gave other option the Magsaysay Falls. We trudged on the trail because of the photo ops hahaha one cause of our delay. When we reached the jump-off and I checked the time it’s already 3:00PM I asked them if we will continue our side-trip as we estimated the time we have doubt if we can because no one of us have a headlamp or flashlight and we don’t know if the bus operate 24hours going back to Manila so we cancelled our side-trip at the falls and the alternate we do was to have a food-trip in San Pablo Laguna to eat Bulalo.
How to get there:
- Ride a bus going to Lucena Grand Central by JAC Liner or JAM Transit at Kamuning EDSA station or Buendia station.
- From Grand Central station ride again a bus going to Atimonan Lopez inform the Konduktor or the driver you will drop you there going to Zigzag road “Amao” after the Quezon National Agricultural School. At the main highway about the Y junction from Lucena, the first junction going to Power plant and second junction take right going to zigzag road “Bituka ng manok"
Note: There is no public vehicle you can ride at the zigzag road.
Landmark going to Zigzag road
- When you are there in zigzag road “Bituka ng manok” if you will notice a mini park at the left side of the road with a signboard Atimonan Tourist Information Center that is the major jump-off and registration area.
Note: Going back to Manila at the main highway of Atimonan there's already a buses
going to Manila
218.00 - Bus fare: JAC Liner "oneway" Kamuning to Lucena
30.00 - Bus fare: P & O trasportation "oneway" Lucena to Zigzag road Amao
300.00 - Guide fee
110.00 - Bus fare: Atimonan to San Pablo Laguna
130.00 - Bus fare: San Pablo to Cubao