Mt Makiling at the sipit trail
Since I was in grade school I already heard the story about Maria Makiling. This story, being part of our Philippine mythology and now there are numerous versions of the Maria Makiling legend. One superstition is that so often, men would disappear into the forests of the mountain. It is said that Makiling has fallen in love with that particular man, and has taken him to her house to be her husband, there to spend his days in matrimonial bliss.
Mt. Makiling is popular hiking destination for all the mountaineers and the popular trail they use for those who are seeking more adventure is the Maktrav (Makiling Traverse) and the two major trails at the UPLB College of Forestry and Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. But as latest update according to Pinoymountaineer the Palanggana trail in Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas has been closed by the local authorities.
I always asked Ivan when he will climb again in Mt. Makiling, and I pleaded if they have a Maktrav I will join the event. Because at this time rainy season no one of my friends were interested in Mt. Makiling maybe because they’re been traumatized with the limatiks (leeches). If not mistaken few days after when I request to Ivan, I received a message through facebook that they have a Maktrav (Makiling Traverse) without hesitation I grabbed that opportunity parang para sa akin ang event na iyon ata hahaha joke, kaya bawal mag-inarte once a blue moon lang mag invite si idol kaya dapat game agad. I knew that Ivan always do a Maktrav for several times, one of the reason why I like to join with him and of course so we don’t need to hire a guide hahaha medyo kuripot lang, because of my excitement I already set my mind that I will not be afraid of leeches but my only concerns were my eyes and ears so what I did was I put my buff on my hiking bag before the climb and there’s no reason I will forget it, I will use my buff as protection to cover my ears and some parts of my head and one the funniest suggestion to me was I will put salt on the water when I will take a bath before the climb I don’t know if it is true maalat naman pawis ko ha bakit pa hehehe. I’m can’t wait and I want also to experience what they did to a very technical climb in Mt. Makiling traverse, I told to myself that I will not consider myself as a hiker/climber if I didn’t climb the Mt. Makiling.
At the JAM Liner Buendia was the meet up of the participants, I thought the group left me because I can’t see ma’am Dawn and Ivan at the terminal because it was already past 4am when I arrived in Buendia, luckily ma’am Dawn was late also hahaha akala ko mauudlot pa ang lakad ko. Almost 6AM the bus departed at the terminal via Lucena bound and it’s my chance to take a nap because that night we celebrated the birthday of my buddy and I’m thinking if I will survive in Makiling traverse because I don’t have enough rest and I felt dizzy that day, this could be big challenge for me again so guys don’t drink liquor before the climb hahaha base on my experienced.
At 7:00AM we arrived at San Felix Sto. Thomas Batangas at the Sea Oil gas station as the landmark of that place and near the gas station there’s a trike terminal, where we rode again going to Ecopark Sitio Jordan (registration area) and we paid 65.00 good for 3 persons. No registration fee is required at the sipit trail but if you’re first timer in that trail they recommend to hire a guide for the hikers P500-600 plus fare going back to Sto. Tomas. The common trail use in Maktrav at the Palanggana Trail the authorities have declared that can no longer be used, as it sits on private property according to Pinoymountaineer.
Past 7:30AM we started our hike, the trail is gradual and rolling until we reached the station 2 and during that time past years ago they call it kambingan because they used that area farm for the goat and now lambingan hahaha and they made as station/rest area for the hikers,
Kambingan and now lambingan hahaha
After a few meters from the station 2 there’s stream where we refilled our bottles but some of the participants doubted if that stream are applicable to use as water consumption. But to me I didn’t hesitate to refill my bottle because what I’ve see the water is flowing, I know my stomach is already immuned to bacteria hahaha.
When we were at the steep area of the trail at the station 5, I experienced dejavu it looks familiar this trail and while I waited for the hiker to ascend at the steep trail ahead of me I tried to remember in just few minutes that I’m thinking, now I remember my Tarak traverse just like they have a similarity on the trail, maybe that was the effect of without enough sleep and alcohol in my body hahaha, after that station we assembled again at the hut where the Palanggana and Sipit trail are connected.
Hut where we rest
At the station 9 Ivan decided to wait the other participants behind of us because there’s a confusing trail after the station 9, and it was my opportunity to rest, when it drizzle the small evil insects that have an unwholesome vampiric bite (leeches) in the forest became aggressive they’re now thirsty and ready to suck our blood, luckily I have my anti leech I used my perfume to spray hahaha para sosyal ang pagpapahirap sakanila.
We encountered lot of rope segments, for me one of the exciting part on the trail but to be honest some part of the trail are very technical, what only you do is to trust the rope malas mo nalang kung ikaw ang nadali hahaha.
After we passed the haring bato we reached the peak 3, I gazed for a moment but the fog started to cover the view and the rain poured, “bakit ngayon pa kapag minamalas nga naman” along the trail we don’t have pictures on the mossy part, I was disappointed that time I thought the weather was in favor with us, blue skies and sunny day when we were at the sipit trail, so sad on my part because this mountain is one of my toplist. I toppled the leech’s everytime I saw they crawled on my poncho and I always groped my face because my only concern was my eyes and ears, aside from the leeches the muddy slippery trail added to the challenge I think more than 10 times I slipped on the trail fortunately I don’t have any major injury only a muscle pain.
Finally we reached the peak 2 and I’m starving my buddies from Laguna base decided take our lunch but the other participants were ahead of us, we thought they’re waiting in peak 2 but we didn't see them hmmm ang bibilis mga iyon ah.
After we took our lunch and have a li’l rest we decided that we will descend and not to wait for the other participants behind us but actually we were worried about them, as what we see the trail is established but our concern was we don’t have headlamps also we need to hike quick before we will caught by dark on the trail.
Yes finally when we reached the Aguila base they said that we were almost near but when where at the long wide boring road my feet started to ache akala ko malapit na yun pala more than 3kms pa pala huhuhu we didn't stop at the nursery to take a merienda because our main focus was have a rest and to take a bath.
A huge trees on the wide road of UPLB
Past 4PM finally we reached the registration area at the UPLB and I survived.
Guide in UPLB he is a good comedian hahaha he narrates about the mysterious Mt. Makiling
Ivan suggested at the Sulyaw sa Grove to take our dinner before we will back in Manila I must say the price is very affordable for their foods it less was than 100 I have my bottomless icetea 2 pork dish and 1 veggie and unlimited soup hahaha.
For only 82.00 sulit na sulit with bottomless iceteaAnd it was my first time I experienced after you eat you will put your plates and glasses at the wash area, self service ang peg sa pagliligpit ng kinainan hahaha.
After the costumers eat they will put in the wash area