Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan are very close to each other and most hikers are doing the so-called "twin dayhike". These mountains were open to public last February 2015. It was new to hikers and the local government is still in the period of revising their policies, especially DENR as these mountains are considered as protected areas. The aforementioned mountains, including Mt. Hapunang Banoi are part of the Pamitinan Protective Landscape of DENR.
|Wawa River dividing Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan|
Montalban Mountains became popular because its near the Metro, perfect for budget travelers, the trail difficulty is for beginners and the "SEA OF CLOUDS" that is worth "INSTAGRAMMING". I saw a lot of hikers that doing the "buwis buhay" selfie that they will post in their social media account, some were even shouting or saying "hugot" stuff.
Anyway, I do not want to rant but I am quite happy to see young people climbing mountains and exploring their world. I just hope they become more responsible hikers!
Going back, here is my Travel Guide to a twin day hike in Montalban, Rizal. Our guide for our hike was Tatay Fernando. You can contact him with this number (63) 921 - 564 - 7249. He was recommended by my friend who also loves outdoor life, Gian.
|Groufie with Tatay Fernando!|
How to get there?
Ride a UV Express van, that is bound for (Montalban- Eastwood) from Cubao (Gateway - in front of Dunkin Donut), then tell the driver to drop you off at Eastwood and ride a tricycle going to DENR in Bgy. Wawa.
How to get home?
From the DENR Office there are jeeps and tricycles waiting. I highly advise that you take the public Jeepneys bound for Bayan or Eastwood or Robinson, it is more comfortable and cheaper than riding a tricycle. Then, tell the driver to drop you off at the FX Terminal or if you prefer taking the jeepney back to Cubao, just tell the driver.
Our Itinerary for the Dayhike
2:00 AM Wake up | Prepare things | Travel to Cubao
3:00 AM ETD for Montalban
4:15 AM ETA DENR Office in Bgy. Wawa | Register and pay necessary fees
4:30 AM Start hike at Mt. Binacayan
5:30 AM ETA Summit | Enjoy Sunrise and Sea of Clouds
7:00 AM Start descent
8:00 AM Start hike at Mt. Pamitinan
9:30 AM ETA Summit | Photo Op
10:30 AM Start Descent
11:00 AM Lunch at the so - called 7-11 | Rest | Eat Halo - Halo
1:00 PM Start Descent
1:30 PM ETA DENR Office | Freshen up
3:00 PM ETD for Manila
4:30 PM Home Sweet Home
Total Expenses for our Trip: (Note: It was just ME and my PARTNER)
50 Php - FX to Montalban
60 Php - special / 30 each
2 Php - Waiver
20 Php - "donation"
20 Php- "donation"
500 Php - Guide Fee / 250 each
8 Php - Jeep to Bayan
50 Php- FX to Cubao via Philcoa
1. Start early, so that you finish early. Also, if you start early there is a higher chance for you to reach the summit before sunrise and witness their majestic "sea of clouds". Lastly, it gets really crowded after 7 in the morning.
|See that, we were so early pero may NAUNA pa din. :D|
2. There are stores on your way up, you may or may not bring too much food and water, just be prepared for cash, they do not accept credit cards! HAHAHAHA.
3. Be friendly especially to the locals and people you meet along the way. :) This is basic.
4. Please promote the Leave No Trace Policy. Be a responsible hiker. #biyaHERO!
5. Stop taking too much selfie on the summit, especially if there are LOTS of people waiting for their turn! You don't have to take picture of every corner of the mountain.
|1/8 ang ito ng taong nagaabang makapag summit|
6. Stop playing loud music, talking/ laughing out loud, or even screaming! It is unethical and disturbing to other living things. ;)
7. It is advisable to wear a worker's gloves as the limestone are really sharp. Be more cautious and always listen to your guide.
|3M Workers Gloves|
8. I highly recommend that you climb on weekdays, as it really gets crowded on weekends! There was a line going up to the summit of Pamitinan and people are waiting for their turn. BTW, we were 17th on the line. 0.0
|NAKATULOG NA KO KAKAHINTAY!|
9. It would be best if you already have a contact guide prior to your hike as it will ensure you that your guide is a LEGIT one, that has undergone training so that you will not just enjoy the view but also learn some history about their place. I highly recommend that you get Tatay Fernando on your next hike. He is very kind and funny! Call him, 0921 - 564 - 7249.
10. There is a new policy effective February 1, 2016. They have new rates, please take note of the following:
- ENTRANCE FEE : 20 PHP
- TREKKING FEE : 50 PHP/ PERSON
- CAVING FEE : 20 PHP/ PERSON
- TOUR GUIDE FEE : 500 PHP/ GROUP OF FIVE (5) PERSONS [FOR HIKERS]
*** Visting Time is from 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Note: They do not allow hikers to start after 2pm, for safety purposes)
Verdict of Tara Gumala: It was a fulfilling hike, as it was my first time to climb two mountains in 1 day. I prefer early morning hike, as it is not exhausting. I will definitely come back here on a weekday. I regret going there on a weekend, it was so crowded. I enjoyed seeing young people but argh! I hate crowded places.
Ano, TARA GUMALA??