Sunday, July 27, 2014

MT. TIBIG RANGE CIRCUIT


MT. TIBIG RANGE (CIRCUIT)
Lobo / Batangas City
Entry Point / Exit Point: Hulong Banalo - Sitio Tibig - Sitio Banoi - Hulong Banalo
MASL: Unverified
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 to 2 Days / 1.5 to 2 hours
Specs: Minor Climb, Difficulty: 2/9, Trail class: 3
Features: Community, Exploratory, Scenic views, Coastal view, Fauna and Flora, River, Seasonal Waterfalls
Article History: Updated July 07, 2014
Created by: Ramon Q. Gayas Jr. (Ser Montaineer)

MOUNTAIN ADVISORY: CLOSED to hiking activities, as of November 08, 2016.

OVERVIEW

“The summit with views of island, mountains and the sea; within the province bounded by mountain and sea”

A potential hiking destination which offers magnificent views of island, mountains and sea is the hidden landscape that connects Batangas City and Lobo Batangas known as Mt. Tibig Range. This mountain is technically under the jurisdiction of Sitio Tibig Brgy. Talahib Batangas City and at the same time a portion range of Mt. Banoi Lobo Batangas which is the reason why Prof. Anacleto Caringal of Batangas State University named it “Tibig Range”. The name Sitio Tibig was adapted from the moraceous tree “tibig” (ficus nota) which is abundant in that place before. Tibig means “tubig” (water) since this tree species helps restore, conserve and recharge spring water along mountain slopes and also serves as an indicator of high water reserve. According to Prof. Caringal their group’s climbing expeditions up the Tibig Range started in the year 2009. On December 11 of the same year, his team from the Society for the Conservation of Coastal and Mountain Ecosystems (SCCME) celebrated the Annual International Mountain Day at Tibig Range. Thereafter, they also frequented the grassland and forest of the said mountain to study the Population Density of “Bayuko” (Rysotta).

In the present time, the community of Hulong Banalo Lobo Batangas served as the jump-off point in climbing Mt. Tibig. This is accessible from Lobo Poblacion within 20 to 30 minutes travel via local tricycle ride. The trip going to the jump-off area will see you passing the coastal areas of Lobo with attractive beach resorts as if reminding you of another possible activity after the hike. A short rough road travel after, the community of Hulong Banalo will be revealed. At this point, one would feel a totally different atmosphere and community. The people’s simple way of living is pretty noticeable; local residence raising livestocks, poultries, and piggeries are very imminent. Locals show their spirit of warmth by allowing visitors refill their water supplies or even to use their places as temporary resting place. Thus, hospitality and the simple way of living of the barrio folks are among the best attractions that this place offers.  

Continuing on to the trail to Mt. Tibig, one will be treated to different fruit bearing trees; fruits are presence along the way like mango, citrus and Lobo’s famous fruits; the sugar apple and tamarind. Picking up some for consumption is not prohibited by the locals, an added treat that hikers can enjoy during the trek especially when the fruits are in season. Climbing up Mt. Tibig is pretty laid back; this is only 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the trek up to the summit. Most importantly, the spectacular views waiting at the pasture summit of Mt. Tibig offers a priceless feeling of exhilaration to the mountaineers.  

TRAIL TO SUMMIT (DILAWAN TRAIL - SITIO TIBIG)

ROUGH ROAD TO DILAWAN TRAIL 
The trek usually starts at the last basketball court of Hulong Banalo, the first part of the trail is a cemented pathway which connects to a short rough road, which then leads to a small intermittent river stream. The river can get deep after a rainstorm, hence, depending on the season; hikers might have to prepare to cross waters during the trip. Crossing this marks the start of the Dilawan Trail and its trail head can be found inside the left woodland. This trail offers a challenging steep terrain however, the trail is well established, one need not feel unsafe throughout the 45 minutes to 1 hour ascend. Locals called it “Dilawan” because of the strong presence of Turmeric or “Luyang Dilaw” (Curcuma Longa) in the area during the early 1980’s, however; it is now rarely seen along the open trail and forest interior.  While passing through this trail take time to observe on several open areas to have a glimpse to the blue ocean span of Lobo. After an hour of trekking through the woodland of Dilawan trekkers will reach a place where there is only one house standing and this will indicate that Sitio Tibig, Batangas City has been reached. From there, the grassy slope of Mt. Tibig can be seen; a confirmation that the summit is not that far behind. 

MT. BANOI AS VIEWED FROM MT. TIBIG
Once the top of the grassy slopes has been reached, hikers will have a chance to have a 360 degree view of the entire span. Interestingly enough, it has been observed that as one goes higher, the view becomes more exciting to look at. While approaching the grassy part of the ridge, you will be able to see little by little the back side of Mt. Banoi displaying its lush green forest. At the slope prior to the summit, the Lobo San Juan Mountain Range (LSJM) presents an enchanting sight to behold. The Lobo river delta is also noticeable while the vista of the magnificent coastline formation of Lobo Beach is spectacular. And once you reached the summit, directly in front of you, is the breathtaking view combination of island, mountains and sea; the Verde Island over the sea passage including the scenic range of nearby mountain peaks of Batangas City --- Mt. Pulot Itaas and Mt. Pinamucan. Taking the descending trail facing the Verde Island will give you a closer view of it and on the trek back, some interesting cliffs beside the summit will be seen.

AS VIEWED FROM MT. TIBIG

AS VIEWED FROM MT. TIBIG
CLIFF BESIDE THE SUMMIT
AT THE CLIFF: SUNRISE AND LSJM ON THE BACKGROUND
AT THE CLIFF: LOBO BEACH ON THE BACKGROUND
On the other hand, another interesting spectacle from the summit of Mt. Tibig (to the right) and distant from the Peak of Pinamucan is the Maricaband Island, Mabini / Anilao-Mt. Gulugod Baboy and Batangas Bay completing the beautiful panorama. Moreover, viewing at the summit will be more priceless if one is lucky enough to have a glimpse of Mindoro’s Mt. Malasimbo, Mt. Halcon’s silhouette and Mindoro Island itself on a clear day. Indeed, the Calapan Mindoro is partially visible coupled with Islets known as; Horca Piloto, Pulong Munti, Pulong Gitna and Baco Chico Island.


AS VIEWED FROM MT. TIBIG
CIRCUIT TRAIL (SITIO BANOI - HULONG BANALO)

HEADING TO SITIO BANOI
Surveying Mt. Tibig through the trail heading to Sitio Banoi is definitely an added venture. In fact, one will also pass by interesting surroundings as this area offers beautiful views of Lobo Beach, Isla Verde, Mt. Pulot Itaas, Mt. Pinamucan and Mt. Tibig at different vantage points. The notable centennial “Duhat Tree” with several big rocks beside is also a nice and shady place to stop by to rest and to take a closer look at Mt. Banoi. Rest stop underneath the said tree might be helpful before passing the challenging (60-70 degree) descending terrain ahead. The small loosed rocks on the ground here may hinder speed but trek is still manageable and can be finished within less than an hour. After this, Layon River will be reached (Layon means “waterway” or water itself) and the clear and pristine water as well as several small ponds is a treat to behold. The natural sound from the water’s current sounds like music to the ears while passing or crossing the river bank. Additionally, hikers could encounter seasonal waterfalls in the area during the rainy months.

Overall, Mt. Tibig is a worthwhile hiking spot, with friendly trails and highly recommendable for beginners. Most of all, the exploratory spots and scenery makes it a pleasurable adventurous destination. (See Itineraries, Special concerns, Sample Budget Computation and Trivia below)

CENTENNIAL DUHAT TREE
THE CLIFF BESIDE THE DUHAT TREE
LAYON 
3rd VISIT June 29, 2014
2nd VISIT May 01, 2014
1st VISIT November 02, 2013
PREREQUISITE DETAILS


Transportation: Fare as of June 29, 2014 and travel time:

BUS - Manila to Batangas City (P157, 1.5 to 2 hours travel)
JEEP - Batangas City to Lobo Jeep Terminal (2 rides, P10 each, 30 min travel)
JEEP - Lobo Jeep Terminal to Lobo Poblacion (P56, 1 hour travel) 
TRICYCLE - Lobo Poblacion to Hulong Banalo (last basketball court) (P120 special ride, 20 min travel)

Note that last trip in Poblacion Jeep Terminal going to Batangas City is 1700 while in Batangas City Bus terminal going to Manila is 2030.

On the other hand, for jeep rental you may contact kuya Mario Cortez at 09183801147 (P400 One way service from Batangas Grand Terminal to Lobo Jeep Terminal) and Kuya Alex Borbon at 09994233169 (P1200 One way service from Lobo Terminal to Hulong Banalo). Kuya Alex is also willing to stop off at Poblacion for you to register at PNP and buy supplies at Lobo Public Market.

Registration: Register at PNP Lobo, there is no registration fees required as of June 28, 2014. Some police Officials in Lobo are not familiar with Mt.Tibig; it will be helpful to tell them that your group will climb the mountain via Hulong Banalo so they can note your entry.

Guideship: As of June 28, 2014, there are no existing rules requiring guideship. Guides are available at the jump-off area and getting one maybe advisable for small group. Guides are normally paid P400-P500 per day. One of the well-known ones is Kuya Gabino Boonggaling (local guide) and he may be contacted at 09264916824 / 09194403941 if you need his assistance.

Safety Concerns: Layon River may not be accessible during extreme weather conditions. Heavy rains normally trigger flashfloods in the area. Hikers are also advised to bring necessary things to be protected from over exposure to sunlight especially during summer season.

Camping Notes: Overnight camping is allowed and there are a lot of potential campsites at the entire ridge. The summit campsite can accommodate 5 to 7 tents only. However, water source is only available at the jump-off area; bringing 3-4 liters of water for overnight staying is advisable. Cell phone signal is sporadic starting from the jump-off and throughout the trail.

Side Trip: Climbers in Lobo usually take Lobo Beach as their post-climb side trip. You may also try to make a courtesy call to Prof. Anacleto Caringal to arrange entry to the beach of Lobo via BSU Masaguitsit.  While you are on the beach, don’t miss out on the chance to visit the Lobo River Delta. This place is highly recommended to nature photography enthusiasts and it will only take 20 minutes coastal trekking from the campus. Prof. Caringal is also happy to assist folks in visiting mountains and other spots in Lobo; he can be reached at 0927-776-3287 if you want to experience the Eco-Tour around Lobo.

SAMPLE BUDGET COMPUTATION (For Manila Base Hikers / Commuters)
NOTE: Adjust the budget computation base on the actual number of participants and  days of staying.


Number of participants

4 Persons

Duration

1 Day / Day Hike

Transportation (commute)

BUS - Manila to Batangas City (back and forth) = P314
JEEP - Batangas City to Lobo Jeep Terminal (back and forth) = P40
JEEP – Lobo Terminal to Lobo Poblacion (back and forth) = P112
TRICYCLE - Poblacion to Hulong Banalo (back and forth) = P60

Guide fee

P100 per person

Contingency fund

P174 per person

TOTAL EXPENSES

P800

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

NOTE: Kindly secured your coordination to Prof. Anacleto Caringal before proceeding to Batangas State University Masaguitsit campus.


DAY HIKE: MT. TIBIG + LOBO BEACH and RIVER DELTA

0400 From Manila, take bus to Batangas City
0530 Drop off at Balagtas. Take jeep to Lobo Jeepney Terminal (2 rides in the morning)
0600 From Lobo Jeepney Terminal, take jeep to Lobo
0700 ETA Lobo Town Hall / Register at Police Station
0730 Take tricycle to Jump-off
0800 ETA Hulong Banalo (Last Basketball court / Jump-off) / Get Guide
0830 Start trek (Steep Assault) via Dilawan Trail
0930 ETA Sitio Tibig (Single House) (Batangas City)
1030 ETA Tibig Range Summit / Visit Tibig Cliff / Take Picture
1130 ETA Start Descend (Circuit)
1145 ETA Centennial Duhat Tree / Rest stop and Lunch
1300 Resume descend to Sitio Banoi trail
1400 ETA Layon River (River banking)
1430 ETA Jump-off / Proceed to BSU Masaguitsit
1500 ETA BSU / Courtesy Call to Prof. Caringal / Coastal Trek to Lobo River Delta (Optional)
1520 ETA River Delta / Take Picture / Swim at Lobo Beach / Wash and Rest
1630 Headback to Poblacion
1700 ETA Poblacion Jeep Terminal / (1700) Last trip Lobo to Batangas City
1800 ETA Batangas City / Dinner / Head back to Manila
2100 ETA Manila

OVERNIGHT: MT. TIBIG + LOBO BEACH and RIVER DELTA

DAY 1

0900 From Manila, take bus to Batangas City
1100 Drop off at Balagtas / Early Lunch / Take jeep to Lobo Jeepney Terminal (expect 2 rides)
1200 From Lobo Jeepney Terminal, take jeep to Lobo Poblacion
1300 ETA Lobo Town Hall / Register at Police Station
1330 Take tricycle to Jump-off
1400 ETA Hulong Banalo ( Last Basketball court / Jump-off) / Get Guide
1500 Start trek (Steep Assault) via Dilawan Trail
1600 ETA Sitio Tibig (Single House) (Batangas City)
1700 ETA Tibig Range Summit / Summit Camp
1730 Sun set viewing
1800 Prepare dinner / Dinner / Social
2200 Lights Out

DAY 2

0500 Wake-up call / Breakfast
0600 Sunrise viewing / Visit Tibig Cliff
0700 Break camp
0800 Start Descend (Circuit)
0815 ETA Centennial Duhat Tree / Rest Stop / Picture Taking
0830 Resume descend to Sitio Banoi trail
0915 ETA Layon River (River banking)
1000 ETA Jump-off / Proceed to BSU Masaguitsit
1100 ETA BSU / Courtesy Call to Prof. Caringal / Coastal Trek to Lobo River Delta (Optional) / Lunch / Swim at Lobo Beach / Wash and Rest
1630 Headback to Poblacion
1645 ETA Poblacion Jeep Terminal / (1700) Last trip Lobo to Batangas City
1800 ETA Batangas City / Dinner / Head back to Manila
2100 ETA Manila

ADDITIONAL INPUT

Since Mt. Tibig is in between two towns which is Batangas City and Lobo, a traverse is always an option. The trail from the summit facing the isla verde may lead hikers to one place in Batangas City, while the trail in Sitio Banoi is definitely another gateway to reach the Mt. Banoi.

One of the interesting intermittent waterfalls at Layon is the so called “Payat Falls”. The term “Payat” was originally used by the blogger due to “Slim” flow of water that comes from a vertical cliff. This waterfall is predominantly seen during rainy seasons as the water stream grows wider depending on the volume of the rain.

PAYAT FALLS
TREE PLANTING NEAR THE TRAIL HEAD OF DILAWAN

Special Thanks to Rolven Ciriaco, Ayra Robellon, Jelson Nicolas Tolentino, Monna Policarpio and Joane Mejia for the photos and to all participants who joined me in 1st and 3rd visit at  Mt. Tibig Range

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MT. NAGUILING





MT. NAGUILING: TRAILING THE TWISTS OF LOBO's HIGHEST PEAK
By: Ramon Q. Gayas Jr  (Ser Montaineer), Co-contributor: Alan James Saldana (cityboytripper)

Acknowledgement: “We the climbers from All-Top Mountaineering Society ( AMSOC ), Bundokerong Walang Grupo ( TEAM BUWAG ,) and Walang Atrasan Sa Akyatang Kabundukan ( WASAK OUTDOORS ) did a successful Exploration Climb at Mt. Naguiling Lobo Batangas last February 16-17, 2013 (1st Visit ), May 18-19, 2013 (2nd Visit), and February 15-16, 2014 (3rd Visit). We are very thankful to all the people who helped us in making our exploration climbs possible especially to the following people: Prof. Anacleto M. Caringal of Batangas State University, Sir Romeo Delen, Chairman of Brgy. Jaybanga Lobo, Batangas, Pransism, a blog writer who featured the beauty of Lobo, Batangas, and to our guides namely Allan Magnaye, Alvin Magnaye, Freddie Dilay and JR Dilay.”

“I, Ramon Gayas Jr. would like to extend my gratitude to my co-author Alan James SaldaƱa, Aira Robellon, Drew Amon, Rolven Ciriaco, and Hanna Pechon for their full effort and hard work for joining me in searching for the jump-off area and for the patience and perseverance in exploring the said mountain during our First Exploration Climb. I would also like to thank all who participated our 2nd Visit (Tree Planting Climb) and 3rd Visit (1st Year Exploration Anniversary Climb), as it would have been close to impossible to have succeeded without your support.”


OVERVIEW

Apart from being famous as the “Sugar Apple (atis) capital of the Philippines” and home to the famous Tamarind Wine, the town of Lobo, Batangas is also an emerging potential destination for tourists, mountaineers and outdoor lovers. The mountain range surrounding it offers an attractive environment to people visiting the place. Mountains in Lobo such as Mt. Banoi, Bangkalan and Patong Peak have been pursued many times by different mountaineering groups and are now some of the most favorite hiking destinations in the said town. But the adventure never stops as there are still mountain peaks that are yet to be explored and are equally suitable for hikers and campers alike. One of these is Mt. Naguiling. The name “Naguiling” or “Nagiling” had been used since the olden days because of its grinding trail feature. Some locals called it Mt. Lobo in general and “Tilos” (Tuktok / Top) when referring to the mossy summit. It is also originally coined due to its shape and features apparently does not change despite being viewed from different vantage points, making it look like it “twists” or “grinds” in order to face it’s viewer.

Previously, the team of students led by Prof. Anacleto M. Caringal (Sir Clet) of Batangas State University climbed the said mountain countless times from 2001-2007 for some forest vegetation research. In 2009-2010, some UST students did the same to study pitcher plants in the mossy summit. According to Sir Clet many experienced and non-experienced climbers attempted the summit of Mt. Naguiling but they ended up only in Mt. Daguldul in San Juan Batangas. Mt. Naguiling is always mentioned in some internet blogs and articles about Mt. Daguldol and is commonly referred to as the “nearby peak” and “next target” for exploration. 

TULAY NA BUSOG
Mt. Naguiling is part of the Lobo San Juan Mountains (LSJM) which is situated near the border of two Batangas towns: Lobo and San Juan. This hidden beauty is also considered by the local residence as the highest peak in the coastal province of Batangas (1007+ masl). It is particularly located at Barangay Jaybanga, Lobo Batangas which is accessible via Lipa-Rosario Batangas and Balagtas–Lobo Poblacion routes. 

Lipa-Rosario route - The Lipa-Rosario route is found to be the easier one being 2 to 2.5 hours travel time (From Lipa City) and it is directly accessible riding the local jeepneys in the location. Be prepared though for a long rough road ahead. 

Balagtas–Lobo Poblacion routeIf you choose to take the Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion route, it will be a 2 to 2.5 hours travel (From Balagtas) to reach the boundary between “NAGTOCTOC ROAD” and “TULAY NA BUSOG”. From there, expect additional 2 hours with rafting and trekking via Tulay na Busog or 1 hr travel via Nagtoctoc road. Friendly tricycle drivers from Lobo Poblacion may be willing to cross the river in Curba, Brgy. Nagtaluntong to directly drop visitors at the said boundary.

Tulay na Busog - The “Tulay na Busog” of Brgy. Nagtoctoc is one of the nicest spots mentioned in Lobo Batangas’ Eco-Tourism Campaign. This is a river that serves as water source for the local residence and also offers a beautiful view of clear and pristine water and interesting rock formations. “Tulay na Busog” is an alternative way that connects Brgy. Jaybanga to Brgy. Nagtoctoc as well as Curba, Brgy. Nagtaluntong. The local people passing here used raft to cross this river especially during rainy season. Getting assistance from locals is highly needed to ensure your safety. However, the “Tulay na Busog” is only 10 minutes away from the boundary in case rafting is not possible or if you only want to visit this as side trip; backtracking to the boundary is not much inconvenient anyway. You may also use the Nagtoctoc road to reach Jaybanga.

AS VIEWED FROM NAGTOCTOC ROAD
Nagtoctoc Road - In early 2012, some locals usually allotted 2 to 3 hours for trekking or horse riding to pass the Nagtoctoc road going to Jaybanga. However, in the present time, because of the improvements of road condition in the location, they can now easily connecting their travel from Nagtaluntong to Nagtoctoc as well as Jaybanga even the other way around. Indeed, the ordinary four wheel vehicles like van and jeep can now pass through to the steep cemented road of Nagtoctoc. As of February 16, 2014 the Nagtoctoc road is accessible by public Jeepney, but very limited / irregular, always consider private vehicle to pass this entry point. On the other hand, passing through Nagtoctoc road is also an opportunity to see the beautiful view of Mindoro’s “ISLA VERDE”. Moreover, the view of Nagtoctoc Hills along the way and even the view of Mt. Naguiling at the boundary of Nagtoctoc and Jaybanga road are spectacular.


BOUNDARY OF NAGTOCTOC AND JAYBANGA ROAD
Jump-off - The view from the jump-off point is equally breathtaking as you will see the Mt. Naguiling with lush green rice fields on its front, the Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces. Locals are quite proud of their only version of “RICE TERRACES”, a product of their hard work. Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces is also one of the main attractions in Lobo Batangas` Eco-tourism Campaign. This beauty is also one of the main sources of income for the locals and is considered as one of the “wonders” of the said municipality. Visiting the rice terraces is also a good opportunity to see the wide range view of LSJM. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to trek through from the main jump-off.


LSJM AS VIEWED FROM MINI-RICE TERRACES

Trail to summit - The trek up the mountain officially commences at a spot near the house of Brgy. Chairman Romeo Delen. His house also serves as temporary base and resting place for folks visiting the area. The first part of the trail is perfect for warm up and you will pass by interesting sceneries as the area is surrounded by small rice fields and houses of Sitio Manggahan. After an hour of trekking, the next landmark is the house of Kuya Allan Magnaye (Last House) where you can rest and refill water. While going through the trail, you will be rewarded by beautiful views of Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon mountains; Mt. Maculot, Mt. Banoi, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal. This is a very good culmination of what is ahead on the trek. Just like the other mountains in Batangas, you will also pass through a coconut plantation (473 masl) and the trail guides may be willing to pick some coconut for you and the group.

After passing the coconut plantation you will encounter many trail variations, most of them leading to the trail going to the campsite and the summit. The right most trail is going to Balatikan Peak Campsite (Balatikan is derived from the word “balatik” a hunter’s trap and it was used before as hunting ground for wild boars) and the left one is going to Tilos Peak / Mossy Summit. Some parts of the trails leading to campsite are steep but manageable and it takes about 2 to 3 hours trekking from the main jump-off site. Mt. Maculot, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw, Mt. Cristobal and Mt. Banoi are also visible at the campsite particularly at “Balatikan Bato” coupled with scenic views of Mt. Malipunyo Range, Imoc Hill, Mt. Prinza, Mt. Kalisungan, Mt. Atimla and a closer view of Mt. Naguiling. Brgy. Jaybanga look like a catch basin from this stand point and the view is just captivating.

The summit assault takes about 3 to 4 hours from Balatikan Campsite and it is best to start the trek early morning. Mt. Naguiling is gifted with rich bushes and trees, comparable to Mt. Makiling. It is also a good opportunity to observe the flora and fauna along the way---you will see interesting colonies of ferns, orchids, moss and pitcher plants. One of the most valuable memories you will take out of the climb to Mt. Naguiling is the lingering sound of wildlife like monkeys, hummingbirds and wild boars. You will also encounter forest snails (bayuko), snakes, and wild boar’s trail and pool. There will be priceless moments too when you catch a glimpse of broad scope beach of Tayabas bay below while trekking up to Tilos Peak (summit). On the other hand, the shrubs at the summit of Mt. Naguiling are normally obstructing views; however, through the efforts of the local guides/officials in trimming its overgrowth, viewing at Tilos Peak became possible. Indeed, it has been verified by the blogger during its day hike adventure with Pinoy Mountaineer last August 09, 2014 (See This Linkthat the newly trimmed viewing deck gives rewarding views of nearby Nagpatong Peak, Bangkalan Peak and Mountains in Batangas City. This is also a nice spot in viewing the Lobo Beach, Verde Island passage and Verde Island itself. Furthermore, the special presence of majestic Mt. Halcon and dome-shaped Mt. Malasimbo of Mindoro Island is another interesting sight to behold from the highest peak of the coastal province of Batangas.


According to our guides, a traverse climb connecting Bangkalan Peak, Patong Peak, Mt. Naguiling and Mt. Daguldol is also possible, considering all those peaks are part of the Lobo San Juan Mountains (LSJM) which is interconnected and has a potential traverse with each other. More information is needed for LSJM Adventure, but it is definitely exciting and challenging traverse. 

One interesting anecdote during the trip is that our group spotted a turtle along the trail near Balatikan Campsite. Simple joys like that can wipe your tiredness away.

Traverse / Sidetrip - An additional feature of Mt. Naguiling is the traverse trail from Balatikan Peak to Sitio Bagong Pook. Just take the trail facing Mt. Banoi. It is more scenic but steeper (50-60 degrees) and exposed to sunlight compare to the trail of Sitio Manggahan. It is advisable to take this for descend than to ascend. After 45 minutes to 1 hour of descend you will be rewarded by very refreshing water of “TALON” Mini-Falls; with a nice pool where you can swim and relax. It is also offers interesting rock formations and numerous small pools in the area. All these combined makes a very fruitful climb experience. (see additional information and suggested itineraries below)


BALATIKAN PEAK

BALATIKAN CAMPSITE

AS VIEWED FROM BALATIKAN

AS VIEWED FROM BALATIKAN

AS VIEWED FROM BALATIKAN

TILOS PEAK / MOSSY SUMMIT







LOCAL GUIDES AT THE SUMMIT
TRAVERSE TRAIL

TALON MINI-FALLS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Note: Cell phone signal in the Jump-off area is sporadic, take this into consideration when communicating to the locals/local officials of Brgy. Jaybanga.

Mountains Profile
Major Jump-off: Brgy. Jaybanga, Lobo Batangas
Entry Point: Via Lipa-Rosario Batangas or Balagtas- Lobo Poblacion (Curba Brgy. Nagtaluntong / Tulay na Busog / Nagtoctoc road)
Exit Point: Via Rosario-Lipa Batangas or Lobo Poblacion-Balagtas
Elevation: Balatikan Peak (500+), Tilos Peak (1007+)
Days required: 1 to 2 days
Hours to summit: 6 to 7 hours
Specs: Major Climb
Difficulty: 6/9
Trail classes: agricultural terrain, community trail, woodland trail, grassy trail, forested trail, intermittent river bed
Features: Clean Community, Rice fields, Exploratory, Scenic views, Mossy forest, Fauna and Flora, Mini-Falls

Environmental concerns: Our group had conducted a Tree Planting activity at Sitio Manggahan of Mt. Naguiling last May 18, 2013. The said activity is our own initiative for Native Forestation using indigenous flora of the Philippines. We are also encouraging mountaineers and visitors to Plant Philippine Native Trees and protect the remaining natural forest in the said mountain. On the other hand, We are strictly following the “Leave No Trace” Principle. We do not want Mt. Naguiling and Barangay Jaybanga to suffer from waste produced by mountaineers and visitors. Please do not leave your garbage and bring it outside Mt. Naguiling and Barangay Jaybanga as well.

Eco-Tourism concerns: The features of “Tulay na Busog” at Barangay Nagtoctoc and “Rice Terraces” at Barangay Jaybanga are included in this article/Itineraries as support and to simply help promoting the Eco-Tourism Campaign in Lobo, Batangas. If you are interested to experience the other spots in Lobo (Eco-Tour) you may contact Prof. Anacleto M. Caringal of Batangas State University at 09369365887 or email him at prince_tectona@yahoo.com.

Safety concerns: Take special note of the entry points going to Brgy. Jaybanga. They are sometimes not accessible during extreme weather conditions and during the rainy season because of slippery roads and strong river currents. There are reported flashflood incidents in Nagtaluntong and Jaybanga River during the year 2012. It is best to coordinate with a local before proceeding.

Registration and Guideship: Since Mt. Naguiling is not a popular hiking destination, coordination with local official is required. Ask permission first from Chairman Romeo Delen (Brgy. Jaybanga) prior to your climbing schedule; he can be reached at 09293159513 / 09302766986 / 09177575186. The registration is requested in his house; and he can assist you to forward your registration at Brgy. Hall and Jaybanga’s military detachment and arrange local guides. On May 18, 2013 we started a voluntary nominal fee of P20 per climber.

However, if you are planning to take Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion route (see transportation below), hikers and visitors are also encourage to register at PNP Lobo Poblacion and Military detachment in Curba Brgy. Nagtaluntong. 

Getting a guide is required because the trails may be very tricky. Local guides can be hired at Jaybanga for P500 fee per guide (recommended for day hike). The Dilay and Magnaye brothers are the popular guides at Mt. Naguiling; they are based in Sitio Manggahan of Brgy. Jaybanga. If interested to acquire their help, you may contact them at 09123158600 / 09193763311 (for Kuya Freddie Dilay and JR Dilay) and 09555802488 / 09488572737 (for Kuya Allan Magnaye and Alvin Magnaye).

Transportation: As mentioned above there are two different routes to reach the major jump-off area it’s up to you and to your group to choose the most convenient way.

Via Lipa-Rosario route - To reach the jump-off via Lipa-Rosario route; take bus from Buendia and alight at bus stop Lipa. As of February 15, 2014 the bus fare is P124 each. Take passenger jeepney going to San Juan and tell the driver to drop you at Public Market of Rosario (P25 each) and then walk to GIRDER TRADING where the jeepney terminal is located. From there, take another jeepney ride going to Jaybanga (P80 each) and ask your driver to drop you at the front of the house of Brgy. Chairman Romeo Delen. Always consider a jeepney rental if you want to reach the jump-off early because jeepney in Rosario going to Jaybanga leaves depends on the number of passengers. You may also contact kuya Andoy Balmes at 09295536232 for jeep rent or ask him regarding his time departure in Rosario and reserved seats for your group. Take note that only the local "monster jeep" from rosario can pass through the long rough road and streams in this route. Also, there is no regular trip going back to rosario, so consider jeep rental for your exit. Lipa-Rosario route is advisable entry and exit point for climbers from metro manila.

Via Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion route - If you are taking Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion route; take bus from Buendia and drop at Balagtas. As of June 29, 2014 the bus fare is P157 each. Take jeepney ride going to Lobo terminal (2 rides, P10/ride). From this terminal, you have to take another jeepney ride to reach the Lobo Poblacion (P56 each). From Lobo Poblacion, take a tricycle going to the boundary of Tulay na Busog and Nagtoctoc Road (P40 each). Take note that you have to cross the river in Curba Brgy. Nagtaluntong to reach the said boundary. However, at this point, there is no regular trip going to Jaybanga, it is also advisable to use private transportation or rent a jeep at Poblacion to bring you to Brgy. Jaybanga via nagtoctoc road.

The last trip from Lobo Poblacion to Balagtas leaves at 1700 while the buses going to Manila from Balagtas Bus Terminal and Bus Stop Lipa leaves between 2000 and 2100 in the evening. It is helpful to take this into consideration when planning your itinerary.

Camping notes: There are plenty of water sources in Mt. Naguiling and many folks at Sitio Manggahan will be hospitable enough to allow you to refill your water containers in their houses. Another water source is near the Balatikan Campsite (bukal) but the location is a little off the trail. Ask your hired guides for directions. Bringing 3 to 4 L of water and trail water is still recommended for overnight staying. It is also possible to camp near the houses along the trail but camping at Balatikan is highly recommended. Not only it has more scenic views, the site can also accommodate more tents. Before balatikan lies another potential campsite. Preparations for strong winds must be done. Remember that cell phone signal can be sporadic starting from the main jump-off and throughout the trails.

Hiking notes: Climbing Mt. Naguiling is very challenging considering that this is not a popular hiking destination. The first part of the trail is gradual and manageable except the trail going to summit because there is no established trail. There are slippery spots along the mossy forest and climbing Mt. Naguiling during the rainy season would be extremely difficult. There are also a lot of thorny plants along the forested trail, usual precaution is advised. If you are planning to take the traverse trail from balatikan allot additional time for you to stay and refresh at Talon Mini-Falls. A day hike is possible but this requires fast pace and it is best to ensure that your group plan to start the trek from the main jump-off (Jaybanga) as early as 0700. If this is strictly followed, you will be able to go back at the jump-off site before 1700.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Option A: Via Lipa-Rosario, Batangas

Day 1
0630 Assembly @ Buendia Taft
0700 ETD to Lipa City
0900 ETA Lipa City / Take Jeep to Rosario
1000 ETA Rosario Batangas (GIRDER) / Buy supplies / Take Jeep to Brgy. Jaybanga
1230 ETA Jaybanga / Look for Brgy Capt. Romeo Delen / Register / Get Guide / Lunch / Visit Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces  
1400 Start trek
1430 ETA Sitio Manggahan
1500 ETA Last House
1700 ETA Balatikan Peak Camp Site / Set Camp / Take pictures @ Balatikan Bato / Sunset Viewing
1800 Prepare Dinner / Dinner / Socials
 2300 Lights out

Day 2
0430 Wakeup call / Heavy breakfast / Prepare packed lunch, trail food and trail water
0600 Start ascend to Summit
0700 ETA Inabutan Forest / Bayukuan (770 masl)
0800 ETA Mossy Forest
1000 ETA Tilos Peak / Explore / Picture Taking
1100 Start descent to campsite
1200 Lunch along the trail
1330 ETA Campsite / Breakcamp
1430 Start descend via Sitio Manggahan or Traverse Trail to Talon Mini-Falls (OPTIONAL)
1600 ETA Jaybanga / Logout/Rest
1700 ETD Exit to Rosario-Lipa Batangas (rented "monster jeep")
1930 ETA Lipa City/ETD to Manila
2200 ETA Manila

Option B: Via Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion (Curba, Brgy. Nagtaluntong / Tulay na busog) 

Day 1
0330 Assembly @ Buendia Taft
0400 ETD to Balagtas
0530 ETA Balagtas / Take Jeep to Lobo Terminal and Proceed to Poblacion
0700 ETA Poblacion / Buy supplies / Breakfast / Register @ PNP / Take trike to Curba
0730 ETA Curba / Register @ Army Detachment and proceed to boundary of Nagtoctoc Road and Tulay na Busog
0800 Start trek 
0810 ETA Tulay na busog / use raft and trek
1030 ETA Jaybanga / Look for Brgy Capt. Romeo Delen / Register / Get Guide / Lunch / Visit Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces / Rest
1400 Resume trek
1430 ETA Sitio Manggahan
1500 ETA Last House
1700 ETA Balatikan Peak Camp Site / Set Camp / Take pictures @ Balatikan Bato / Sunset Viewing
1800 Prepare Dinner / Dinner / Socials
 2300 Lights out

Day 2
0430 Wakeup call / Heavy breakfast / Prepare packed lunch, trail food and trail water
0600 Start ascend to Summit
0700 ETA Inabutan Forest / Bayukuan (770 masl)
0800 ETA Mossy Forest
1000 ETA Tilos Peak / Explore / Picture Taking
1100 Start descent to campsite
1200 Lunch along the trail
1330 ETA Campsite / Breakcamp
1430 Start descend via Sitio Manggahan or Traverse Trail to Talon Mini-Falls (OPTIONAL)
1600 ETA Jaybanga / Logout/Rest
1700 ETD Exit to Rosario-Lipa Batangas (rented "monster jeep")
1930 ETA Lipa City/ETD to Manila
2200 ETA Manila

Option C: Via Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion (Curba, Brgy. Nagtaluntong / Tulay na busog-Nagtoctoc road)

Day 1
0430 Assembly @ Buendia Taft
0500 ETD to Balagtas
0630 ETA Balagtas / Take Jeep to Lobo Terminal and Proceed to Poblacion
0800 ETA Poblacion / Buy supplies / Breakfast / Register @ PNP / Take trike to Curba
0830 ETA Curba / Register @ Army Detachment / Rent Jeep and proceed to boundary of Nagtoctoc road and Tulay na Busog
0900 Visit Tulay na busog
0910 ETA Tulay na busog / Picture taking / back trail to boundary 
1000 Resume ride via Nagtoctoc  (rented jeep)
1100 ETA Jaybanga / Look for Brgy Capt. Romeo Delen / Register / Get Guide / Lunch / Visit Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces / Rest
1400 Start Trek
1430 ETA Sitio Manggahan
1500 ETA Last House
1700 ETA Balatikan Camp Site / Set Camp / Take pictures @ Balatikan Bato / Sunset Viewing
1800 Prepare Dinner / Dinner / Socials
 2300 Lights out

Day 2
0430 Wakeup call / Heavy breakfast / Prepare packed lunch, trail food and trail water
0600 Start ascend to Summit
0700 ETA Inabutan Forest / Bayukuan (770 masl)
0800 ETA Mossy Forest
1000 ETA Tilos Peak / Explore / Picture Taking
1100 Start descent to campsite
1200 Lunch along the trail
1330 ETA Campsite / Breakcamp
1430 Start descend via Sitio Manggahan or Traverse Trail to Talon Mini-Falls (OPTIONAL)
1600 ETA Jaybanga / Logout/Rest
1700 ETD Exit to Rosario-Lipa Batangas (rented "monster jeep")
1930 ETA Lipa City/ETD to Manila
2200 ETA Manila

TURTLE IN MT. NAGUILING

Special thanks to Alan James Saldana, Rolven Ciriaco and Jim Lester for the photos