Something to look forward
Empty weekend about to end, ayoko masayang ang araw kaya I decided to embark another Solo Climb and isa lang pumasok sa utak ko that time..... Mt. Balagbag.
Googled it up and came across sa blog ni Ms. Akyatera Bundokera (http://bundokaholics.blogspot.com).
According to Ms. Akaytera Bundokera, there are 4 trails available that will lead you to the summit: Horse Trail, Rotary Trail, Waterfalls Trail and Licao-licao trail.
To add some spice to this solo climb of mine, I chose the Waterfalls Trail (Five Waterfalls). No specific itinerary for this climb, since I have all the time to traverse the said mountain.
Jumpoff.... Sitio Karahume
Marker found at the right side
The Jumpoff point for this trail will be Sitio Karahume. From highway (marker) hike all the way up to Karahume Elementary School and not to worry because the trail is well paved and you will be passing villages,you can ask the locals for the right route
(Note: Ask the locals for the trail going to Kaytitinga Falls or locally known as Otso-otso Falls, Do not ask them for direction going to Mt. Balagbag Summit because they will surely advise you to go to Sitio Licao-Licao)
A few meters after the school, to your right you will see cemented 130+ steps going down. Take this route as it will lead you to the river, where the River/Waterfalls Trail starts.
I have seen albums and blogs featuring the said trail and majority of them where taken during dry season and the rivers were all dried up. I was then lucky that the rivers and the series of mini falls had a strong current that time.
Follow the river heartily, you'll see houses on the sides of the river and if you think that entering these residential areas will lead you the right path... you're wrong..... trust me because I entered one and it was a dead end, the owner told me to retrace my path and "be one" with the river... hahahaha kasi sa river ka mismo dadaan.
The water was knee to waist deep at that time so I spent time looking for perfect spot for me not to get totally wet.
The first mini falls was breathtaking, to bypass this part, to the right climb up then cross to the left.... then again climb up. You'll see another mini falls, water falling to a basin-like portion. I wonder how deep that part though, took some photos then went further and boom...another falls... this time its quite long way up.
As recognized from the blog I read, I am at the foot of Falls no. 3. Wondering how to reach the upper portion, I came across with some mountaineers and locals... I asked them if there's an easier way to reach the top portion. The group of mountaineers had question marks on their faces and told me they have no idea about it and were not aware that its passable up there. They directed me to a path found on the right side going up to Veterans, I used the said trail and asked the locals who greeted me, and according to them that it's the last falls they knew and its going to be difficult if I will climb it. I tried insisting that 2 more falls above once I get access from the 3rd one, however the locals argued that it is the last falls. Taking their words for it, I exited the area and found myself at the trail were Waterfalls and Licao - licao trail meet..... and a few meters I reached Veterans Village.
The Gate and the registration area
Rough Road ahead then after I passed by the Resort (Yes, merong resort)....Rocky road with open area greeted me. I met some mountaineers descending and some locals (kids) carrying sacks of Uling. Look for a Gate, since going to Helipad (as locals calls the summit) is a private area.
Once you're inside the area, you'll see a small house ahead and this is where you'll register (as far as I know this is the only registration area, the rest.....bogus). Again, its an open area and for about 30 mins you'll reach the Helipad.
@ The Helipad
The Summit is also an open space, prior reaching the summit a "waiting shed" or a resting hut is available.
I Rested for an hour at the summit and took some picture then descend. I chose Licao-licao trail as my exit point, and licao licao trail is actually the main access road of the entire Sitio Licao-licao (from Veterans to Terminal).
Though this was a successful solo climb of mine however I felt something was lacking . . . something from that falls...
How to get there:
1. Ride any bus going to Tungko
2. From Tungko, Ride a Jeep going to Licao-Licao (Terminal is located near the Market, Near BDO Bank)
3. Inform the Driver that you'll drop off point is Sitio Karahume.
Note: Huling Jeep going from Licao-licao to Tungko is at 6:00pm, so plan accordingly.
1. Guadalupe - Tungko : 75.00 x 2 = 150.00
2. Tunkgo - Karahume (Entry) / Licao licao terminal (Exit) : 27 x 2 = 54.00
3. Registration : 10.00
4. Guide fee: No need for a Guide.
Total : PhP 214.00
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