Mt. Makiling Traverse: The Power of Imagination

Mount Makiling, also rarely called Mount Maquiling, is a potentially active volcano in Laguna province on the island of Luzon, Philippines. It rises to 1,090 MASL (meters above sea level).

Legends surround the mountain, many of which relate to Maria Makiling, said to be the ‘guardian fairy’ of the mountain. The contour of the mountain is said to be that of her in a reclining position.

The University of the Philippines, Los Baños is designated as the official caretaker of the mountain.

Mt. Makiling is a popular hiking destination. The two major trails begin at the UPLB College of Forestry and Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The UPLB trail is more commonly used, taking 4–5 hours to reach the summit (Peak 2). This trail was closed in October 2007 due to trail damage wrought by Typhoon Xangsane on September 2006. The trail was closed again in December 2012 after two students were found drowned in a restricted area on the mountain. The trail was re-opened most recently in March 2013. The second trail, known as Maktrav, starts in Sto. Tomas. This route is more difficult and requires 6–7 hours to reach the summit. Both trails are generally established and safe, although throughout the years there have been occasional reports of fatal accidents and injuries, especially on the Sto. Tomas side. (Source: http://www.wikipedia.org)

Last 4-5 February 2012, I climb Mt. Makiling Traverse (Maktrav) the most famous and difficult trail with leeches along the way, and my first climb doing a night trek with the group of Kutitob Mountaineer (Kutitob means “Ant” in Bulan, Sorsogon, Bicol).

I have never imagine that I will climb and expend a night in this famous Filipino folklore story, “Ang Bundok ni Maria Makiling” . When I look back, this was only tattooed in my imagination. Whether the story of “Maria Makiling” is a fact or fiction that she is known as the beautiful “guardian” of the mountain, I was there on top, enjoying and exploring the majestic view of the mountain.

This mountain thought me that “nothing is impossible” your imagination will take you where you wanted to be, it only requires endurance and determination because at the end of a tough climb, the best reward is to successfully reach the summit of Mt. Makiling.

On top of the mountain at Melkas Ridge, Mt. Makiling.

On top of the mountain at Melkas Ridge, Mt. Makiling.

Jump-off point at Brgy. San Bartolome, Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

Jump-off point at Brgy. San Bartolome, Sto. Tomas, Batangas (Feli (left), Tiara and Kris (right).

Taking a break while on the trail of Sto. Tomas trail (photo courtesy of Joren Refuerzo).

Taking a break while on the trail of Sto. Tomas (photo courtesy of Joren Refuerzo).

Camp site preparing for a mountain dinner.

Camp site preparing for a mountain dinner.

Melkas Ridge, Mt. Makiling (photo courtesy of Joren Refuerzo).

Melkas Ridge, Mt. Makiling (photo courtesy of Joren Refuerzo).

Summit of Mt. Makiling.

Kutitob Mountaineer at the summit of Mt. Makiling.

A traditional photo shot at the summit of Mt. Makiling (photo courtesy of Joren Refuerzo).

A traditional photo shot at the summit of Mt. Makiling (photo courtesy of Joren Refuerzo).

Decent Peak 2 of UPLB trail and side trip the Mudspring.

Decent Peak 2 of UPLB trail and side trip the Mudspring.

Kulitin sa Agila Base (from left to right: Jhong, Tina, Ewol, Van and Joren)

Kulitin sa Agila Base (from left to right: Jhong, Kris, Ewol, Van and Joren)

Reaching the far end of UPLB trail and a cold soda is the best reward for a safe and successful climb.

Reaching the far end of UPLB trail and a cold soda is the best reward for a safe and successful climb.

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8 thoughts on “Mt. Makiling Traverse: The Power of Imagination

  1. kindly used the sipit trail, your friends are lucky that our station personnels did not intercept due to illegal entry coz palanggana trail is closed

    Like

  2. Pingback: Mountain Carved by Beauty and Love | Barefoot on Fire

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