Mt. Arayat Traverse - Magalang Pampanga exit to San Juan Baño in Arayat, Pampanga. Foodtrip to the pride of Arayat Kabigting's Halo-halo
Renante MinaMonday, July 1, 2013 18 comments

     Everytime I have a trip in Northern point of Luzon I always noticed the lonely mountain particularly in Central Luzon which can be seen afar from NLEX (North Luzon Expressway). I’m a newbie in terms of mountaineering only Mt Maculot the mountain I climbed that time, my only focus was Southern Tagalog part. Majority of the specification of the mountains in Southern Tagalog part are minor climb which means good for beginners. I was confused if there’s a mountaineer climb that mountain I do a researched and I found out that mountain was very technical and I read a negative feedback about the mountain because some issues like NPA and over charge of fee, I lost an interest to climb that mountain. Few months after because I already earned an experiences and I tried major climbs like Mt. Tarak traverse, Mt Malipunyo traverse etc and I have already close buddies in climbing I felt confident I can do the Mt. Arayat traverse.

     Two trails lead to the peaks of Mount Arayat. Mount Arayat National Park Located at San Juan Baño in Arayat, Pampanga has a trail to the southern Peak, taking around 3–4 hours to reach the peak. The northern or higher Peak can be accessed on a route from Pampanga Agricultural College in Magalang, Pampanga, taking a similar time to reach the peak, however, this route takes you through the Arayat Amphitheatre and the so-called White Rock which legend claims to be the Home of Apung/Aring Sinukuan or Sinukuan.

Mt Arayat

     The Tropang Bangag set a climb last June 22-24 to celebrate a reunion and have sidetrip in Nueva Ecija to witness the Taong Putik Festival, 18 participants joined the event I’m glad that members of Tropang Bangag were almost complete only sir Gerald, Erwin and Amber didn’t join the event because they have a important matters doing that time, The climbed event created by ma’am Weng as we always request the Tropang Bangag must have a reunion climb. A big thanks to Ryan he facilitated our transportation, meal plan and he was also our guide.

     At Five Star station in Cubao supposedly the time of our meet up was 4:30AM but as always it can’t be avoided a contagious attitude that was to be always late. the itinerary was not always followed hahaha at 5:30AM we departed at the Cubao terminal the group decided that we will meet Ryan in Dau Pampanga Terminal at 7:00AM we arrived in Dau but the group decided to stay in a fast food chain near the terminal so we can take our breakfast and buy a food for our lunch and prepared our stuffs while waiting for Ryan.  Past 8PM when Ryan arrived at the place of our meet-up he strongly suggest that instead of we do commute we will hire a jeep because it was much easier and no hassle to our trip to the jump-off and we can request to the driver to buy some supplies at the market. We hired the jeep for only 1,100Php good for 18 persons.

First station of the cross

     The one main cause of delay of our itinerary was we encountered a heavy traffic in Pampanga going to the jump-off to Barangay Ayala. When we arrived at the barangay I noticed a printed banner “Banal na Bundok” I was curious why they call it Banal na bundok while walking going to registration area I saw a station of the cross, I guess they use as pilgrimage place during holy week season, I thought just like Mt. Banahaw according to others that is a miraculous mountain, there’s a belief that can heal diseases.

Registration area barangay Ayala

Manong porter "the blogger"

     My buddies laughed at me because they asked me if I am sure are about the bag that I will use. And their concern was why I didn’t use my hiking bag how can I climb with that situation, the only I replied to them was I want to be a porter, I can handle this. They didn’t know sila pinagtri-tripan ko hahaha and I felt I’m local in that place. After the registration area I feel the pain on my back and also my muscles was aching at my both hands, I told to myself kunting tiyaga nalang malapit na hahaha.

Resting area

     Almost 12:00PM we reached the resting area at the nipa hut and the group decided to eat our lunch there. At the magalang trail there are 2 trails the Old trail (traditional) and the new trail or they call it Poste trail (post of wire of the current). As advised to us by Ryan we will use the Old trail much safer than the new trail because the new trail’s too slippery during rainy season he don’t want to take the risk of its group even it’s the trail is shorter than the old trail. At 1:30PM after we took our lunch we started again our trekked going to campsite but suddenly I realized tama na ang pagpapanggap I need to use the straps and buckle of my backpack because I will refill my 4 liters bottle at the water source, because after the water source it is start the steep portion of trail, it’s gonna be a big problem to me if I will force myself although I challenge myself the big problem is I don’t have idea with the trail how steep and dangerous it is.

Water source in old trail

Boodle fight group of police officers

Assault going to white rocks

With the group of students from U.P Diliman

     We took our long rest at the white rocks and for us to take pictures and we met a huge group of students from U.P Diliman and soon to be Geologist they’re studying and researching about Mt. Arayat.

     Mt. Arayat is an extinct stratovolcano on Luzon IslandPhilippines, rising to a height of 1,026 metres (3,366 ft) There is no recorded eruption of the volcano, and its last activity probably dates to the Holocene era. The volcano is located in a flat agricultural region at 15°12′N 120°45′E. Mount Arayat stands in the middle of the flat Central Luzon Plain, consisting of rice paddies and a typical elevation of about 15 to 35 metres MSL. The mountain is topped by a circular volcanic crater about 1.2 km in diameter, much of which has collapsed on the western and part of the northern rim due to erosion. There are no cultural records of historical eruptions. However, weak steaming is currently present in some of the heavily eroded vents on the North Western side of the summit. The ancient eruptions were said to have caused the formation of a Lava Dome on the Western Slopes of the mountain known as White Rock which makes a nice tourist destination and is usually a field trip destination for students of Pampanga Agricultural College. source: wikipedia

Geologist student from U.P Diliman he is analyzing what kind of stone they got from the white rocks

Cliff at the white rocks

Campsite at the North Peak

     At 4:00PM we reached the campsite very foggy and windy I’m hopeless to witness the splendid view at the campsite of North Peak but I already expected that would happen. We will encounter a heavy rain and strong gust of a wind at the peak because this month is rainy season and months of typhoon. This mountain my first time I encountered a lots of mosquitoes even I apply an insect repellant it wasn’t effective at all, they bite every part of my body even I have a shirt, I’m so worried and asked the other Policeman assign in their quarter if there’s a Malaria cases or any cases cause by mosquitoes in that mountain.

     Because we have good chef Ryan to our meals we ate Papaitan for our dinner and Sir Albert was in charge to our pulutan for our social that night. It was about 12 midnight when we finished our social and I opted to sleep at the shed unfortunately I can’t sleep because of those mosquitoes busy buzzing on my ears.

Unexpected sea of clouds

     Daylight came we noticed a forms of cloud forming at the other part of the mountain after a few minutes everyone was shouting and they jump for joy we were shock we didn’t expect this because of the weather last night, we were too lucky and witnessed a sea of clouds I remember when I was in Mt. Pulag I can’t explain what I’ve felt because it’s was my first time saw a magnificent form sea of clouds that time and also my dream.

Tropang Bangag

Muddy trail

     At 9:30AM we descended in a muddy and slippery trail from north peak going to south peak the first technical part of the trail we passed was we used a rope to descend in a huge rock and the second was in the slippery and steepest part of the trail, I didn’t expect that It will happen to me muntik na akong nahulog dahil sa hindi pag-iingat, a large root obstruct on steepest part of the trail when I lifted my body across the root my heavy backpack sway on my right side and I lost of control when I try to recover I can’t move forward, without hesitation I asked for a help that I can’t lift my body across the root, luckily in front of me was Ryan, he rescued me, I thought that was the end of my life hahaha after that happened to me my feet was shaking and my heart beat became faster.  12:30PM we reached the south peak campsite we took a li’l rest rest for a while and the others prepared our foods.

Stone wall

Where we set-up our rope

Magnificent view

Steep trail assault to South Peak

View deck

     We took a death defying pose at the view deck offers views of Central Luzon, including a view of Pampanga River. The collapsed western Slope that forms the other half of its Caldera like crater can also be seen. It offers a view of the mountains of Zambales and Bataan (to the west), and the mountains of the Sierra Madre range (to the east).

    Past 2:00PM we descended at the south peak campsite, the boulders trail welcomed us when we were descending I can’t wait. I’m excited to reach the cemented road in San Juan Baño in Arayat, what I do was as much I can I hike very fast because I’m too tired, but the others run hahaha. 

     At 4:00PM we finished our climb one of the most technical because of what happened to me hahaha my first time and Ryan suggested an authentic halo-halo in Arayat and everyone was craving to a sweet cold merienda.

San Juan Baño in Arayat

Local guide: Ryan
Contact #:    09152309266
Travel guide: How to get there by commute visit this site Lagataw

Kabigting's Halo-Halo

The pride of Arayat Pampanga

     Ryan suggested try to taste the pride of Arayat the Halo-halo and all of us was agreed because everyone was craving for a very cold drinks and to re-freshen up our body from very tiring trek from Mt. Arayat, The Halo-halo has no presentation like ice cream or leche flan toppings but I will assure to you that the ingredients they put are absolutely scrumptious I can rate their halo-halo 5/5, the good thing is you can refill your cup with crash ice. they offer also palabok and other type of merienda.

A Brief History

     It started sometime in 1970 when Geraldine Kabigting, sister of Jacinto Kabigting suggest to his brother to try an exotic flavor of a halo-halo instead of the traditional tropical fruit flavors. They have thought of these 3 main ingredients to create a new taste of halo-halo in their community:

Kabigting’s Halo-halo Main Ingredients
Carabao’s Milk – make it caramel
Cream of Corn
Beans – cook it for a day to have a sweet taste

     Susan and Johnny Medina who just reside near Kabigting’s Residence have tasted the new discovered flavor of the halo-halo. Later days after that, group of camera men and crew of Travel Time with Susan visited Kabigting’s Residence to taste and feature their halo-halo. Kabigting’s Halo-halo was made popular abroad through that documentary story from Travel Time.

     Surprisingly, foreigners, people from abroad and tourists started to visit and dine in the place. From then, Kabigting’s Halo-halo became The Pride of Arayat. Ordinary people from the community, known politician (Tessie Aquino-Oreta, Lilia Pineda, Dong Gonzales, Monz Laus, etc.) artists (Chesca Garcia, Angel Aquino, etc.), media people (ABS-CBN Crew, Jessica Sojo, etc.) and even former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo personally went there to taste Kabigting’s Pride Halo-halo. Source: pampangadirectory

Jacinto Kabigting
Flora Kabigting


528 Banawe Ave cor Calamba St
Sto. Domingo, Quezon City
(02) 354-6156

Marquee Mall
Marquee Mall, FG Nepomuceno Ave
Angeles City, Pampanga

Robinsons Starmills
2/F Robinsons Starmills, Jose Abad Santos Ave
San Fernando, Pampanga

Paralaya, Arayat, Pampanga
(045) 630-1219 | 0919-3936626
Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm


Kathleen | dasocialclimber said...

hello po! umaakyat din po pala kayo...

albert thebackpacker said...

Mount Arayat climb is my first traditional traverse, and one of my best climb. Thanks sa Tropang Bangags, sana ma invite nyo ko uli.


Yan gustovko eh ung pag akyat sa dulo ng post may side trip na pagiging food blogger! Naks! Ingat sa pag akyat maulan p nmn ngayun

Pao Kun said...

nakakapagod! haha! pero very refreshing dahil sa halo-halo!

Joy said...

Hanga talaga ako sa stamina nyo:) me umakyat bundok lately to see a lake up there ( blog later) for one and half hours. Two days na masakit pa rin mga kasukasuan:) but it was worth too.

razzy said...

nice view... pero akala ko pugad yan ng nice people (NPA) ehehhe.. naligaw kase ako minsan may hinahanap akonng site, pinabalik ako nun napagtanungan ko kase heading to mt. arayat na ako tapos 5pm na. medyo delikado na daw.. :) sarap talaga halo-halo after umakyat.. :)

Manong Unyol said...

opo ma'am hehehe

Manong Unyol said...

sama sama lang sir hehehe cross country naka survive ka nga eh :)

Manong Unyol said...

hahaha sama ka minsan di ka busy hehehe mga climb namin minsan may sidetrip...

Manong Unyol said...

oo sir kapagod sulit ang reward hehehe view at masarap na halo halo after ng climb :)

Manong Unyol said...

salamat ma'am Joy, sana sinubukan mo din nong umuwi ka pinas

Manong Unyol said...

Hmmm ewan ko lang, oo masarap yung halo halo kc original recipe nila yun since 1970 pa daw hehehe

Ian | Going Places said...

mahirap lang sa mountain trek is pag-umakyat ka ng first time tapos wala pang guide which was experienced by my colleagues when they try pico de loro in Cavite.

I like 12th photo the most.

Manong Unyol said...

yes sir mahirap talga kapag wala guide iba kc sa bundok wala mapag tatanungan hehehe di tulad sa city kaya wag maghinayang sa ibabayad sa guide for own safety naman yun kapag may guide at saka may magrereport incase may mangyari. salamat pagpuri sa photo kakatakot din dun pagkamali sa cliff ewan ko lang kung mahahanap ka pa dun hehehe :)

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clyde walker said...

Will add this Mt. Arayat on our things to do in Pampanga's list. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos! Mukhang masarap din tikman yung halo-halo. :)

Armina Carlos said...

Hi! Kailangan pa po bang umakyat ng bundok para makita po yung station of cross? Thanks!

Renante Mina said...

Hindi na po kc sa paanan lang ng Mt. Arayat Magalang Pampanga yung station of the cross