Thursday, September 20, 2012


The inactive volcano in Laguna rises 1,090 meters ASL. It has no record of eruption. It is a home to diverse flora and fauna. It resembles to a form of a woman reclining. More interestingly, it is well known for the mythical Mariang Makiling.

The day after my twin climb to Mt. Batulao and Taal Volcano, I was again headed to summit this beautiful mountain. Unlike my other solo climbs this was truly a challenge to solo trekker like me. Yes, I trekked really solo. I had no guide.

From the YMCA guest house of UPLB, I walked around the campus early morning looking for nearby fastfood or carenderia to energize my exhausted body from the last day’s twin climb. Unfortunately, they were all still closed.

 I headed to the jump-off point at the College of Forestry with little trail foods and a piece of burger bun and canned tuna reserved for lunch.  

 So with an empty stomach, I trekked alone passing through the forested road.

After an hour, I passed by Station 5 with few picnickers taking breakfast at the small eateries. Good enough, my stomach was filled with smoky hot arroz caldo.

Energized and with high spirit, I side tripped to Mud Springs and witnessed the restless smoking, boiling mud.

I continued my trek until I reached Station 11, the entrance to the forested trail. Accursed by Mariang Makiling, I got lost. I went back to the lone house at the station and asked for the right way.

When I entered the forest, a heavy downpour abundantly showered me. I wore my rain cover and noticed black and orange striped creatures parading towards me. A lot of them!

I was hitting my skin everywhere like hitting mosquitoes. I was bitten on my head and right eyebrow and anywhere else I didn’t know. I felt a sudden soar on my BP.

I continued the trek, muddy, dirty, and unmindful of the slimy creatures that accompanied me. At least, I was not alone. And I just thought they’re good for my arthritis.    

It was a difficult climb, some areas have ropes and wooden ladders. 

No good view was on sight, though the sun already shone. I was about to reach the summit when I finally saw humans, descending.

When I reached the summit after 4 hours of trekking, I ate my bread and canned tuna. 

The weather was a bit genial. There was a good view of the lowlands.

I put off my clothes, soaked in sweat and rain. I then set up my tripod and took the liberty to pose whatever I wanted.

I even posed at my naughtiest, knowing no one is around.

All of the sudden, I realized I was not alone. NO, I WAS NOT ALONE!

So I hurriedly put my clothes on.

I got many companions wanting to feast on my uncovered skin. Leeches abound even at the peak. 

And I could see some of them coming towards me claiming their treat. Some had already got their share.

After half an hour, I started to descend. I went backtrail.

I encountered other hikers going uphill.

The view of the lowlands got better. 

I never get bored passing the same trail again. 

Leeches kept me excited on my way down. A lot of them got in through my shoes and enjoyed their main dish.

It took me three hours to safely get back to the UP Campus. 

With that experience, I rewarded myself a box of Buko Pie. And I headed back to Manila so fulfilled with another wonderful experience--- an unguided solo trek!   


  1. nice adventure sir astig ah ang daming vampire hehehe :)