Sunday, June 26, 2016

Maynoba Circuit (Rizal): Mt. Maynoba (728+ MASL), Mt. Cayabu (680+ MASL) and the 8 Waterfalls

Right off the summit! Taken on a waypoint beyond the summit of Mt. Maynoba

A newly opened mountain to hikers, Mt. Maynoba (or Maynuba according to some sources) and the circuit hike to complete the loop back to the trailhead offer a diverse assortment of attractions and challenges. The Maynoba Circuit consisting of Mt. Cayabu, Mt. Maynoba and the eight waterfalls en route back to the trailhead is easy enough for beginners and challenging enough for the more seasoned hikers. From its steep and straightforward assault to the summit, to its amazing views of the sea of clouds and spectacular panorama of the mountains and valleys of the Sierra Madre in addition to the several tiered waterfall system that completes the loop, there is enough variety in the trail to keep any hiker interested.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Mt. Manabu (Batangas, 760+ MASL)

Taken at the summit of Mt. Manabu with Mt. Susong-Dalaga in the background (June 2016)

A newbie-friendly mountain that is great for introduction hiking, Mt. Manabu forms part of the great Malipunyo Range. Located in the heart of Sto. Tomas, Batangas, it is easily accessible from Manila via buses that ply the route from Pasay or Cubao to Lipa City or Lucena. With its lush and verdant forest trail and the garden-like peak area, it is perhaps the most accessible and easiest mountain to hike in Batangas near the Metro. With all of its natural beauty and the relative ease of its trails, Mt. Manabu is really a great choice for a relaxed and comfortable hike.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Majestic Sea of Clouds at Mt. Hapunang Banoi (Rizal, 517+ MASL)

The Majestic Sea of Clouds at Mt. Hapunang Banoi (taken on June 2016)

Early morning Independence day Sunday, together with some friends, we went to Sitio Wawa to try on another mountain in the area. On our previous hike at Mts. Pamitinan, Binacayan and Hapunang Banoi, an imposing mountain can clearly be seen on the west side of the Wawa River. This mountain, according to our previous guides is called Mt. Parawagan. Since this mountain is not listed in Pinoy Mountaineer we do not have any information about the mountain, not even it's elevation and difficulty level. Scant information from a facebook page and a blog entry do give some details about the mountain as well as some images. Since we already hiked most of the open mountains of the Wawa-Mascap area, we decided to give Mt. Parawagan a try.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Minalungao Hill (Nueva Ecija, 192+ MASL)

The Cross of Minalungao Hill (Taken at the summit of Minalungao Hill, May 2014)

It has been more than two years since I climbed my first mountain, or should I say my first hill? At any rate, even in the scientific community there is no clear-cut and definite line that separate a hill from a mountain. Several sources say that eminences of around 600 meters or more are considered mountains while below it are hills. However if we take this definition into consideration, several landforms historically and traditionally referred to as mountains would be demoted into mere hills - including most of the mountains of the Wawa-Mascap area in Rodriguez, Rizal as well as the historical mountains of Cavite like Mt. Buntis and Mt. Nagpatong.

Anyway, more than two years ago, together with some friends, I had the chance to visit the Minalungao National Park in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. The national park features several attractions including the sheer limestone cliffs and white boulders that form a picturesque bend of the PeƱaranda River, the relatively unexplored Minalungao Caves and of course the cross at the summit of Minalungao Hill.