Looking for your next hiking destination? On a budget? Near the Metro? You’ve got the right place! Why?
because I’ll be sharing here our story and itinerary for our Mt. Tagapo aka Mt. Susong Dalaga (438+masl) overnight climb.
We didn’t expect to climb the Mt. Tagapo in Binangonan, Rizal on a really dim light situation, though we’ve planned to have our overnight camping in the mountain’s campsite. Surely, time is really hard to measure especially if there are unforeseen circumstances. Mt. Tagapo is located in Talim Island which is the largest lake island in the southwest rim of Laguna de bay. According to our guide (Kuya Dan), there were around 17 barrio’s (If I am not mistaken here) governed by Binangonan and Brgy. Janosa is one of the main barrios of the island and also, partly famous because it is where the mountain is located.
It was also nice to know why the place is called “Talim Island”, it is because of the fact that there is an abundance of planted cogon grasses in the area which has a description of tall and has sharp edges, wherein the Filipino word “Talim” or “Sharp” is derived of.
As far as I can remember, Brgy. Janosa is the 4th port stop of the ferry from Pritil Port.
So here’s our itinerary for our overnight camping:
1500 ETD Shaw Boulevard (front of Star Mall- ride a van going to Binangonan/Pritil Port)
1730 ETA at Pritil Port, Binangonan Rizal
1830 Ride a boat going to Brgy. Janosa, Binangonan Rizal (4th stopover) after Brgy. Buhangin
1915 ETA at Brgy. Janosa (Dinner and Register at the Jump-off and secure guides)
1930 Start Night Trek
2130 Arrived at the Campsite (Pitch tent and relax and socials)
2300 Lights out
0430 Breakfast and warm up at the Campsite (fix things before climbing)
0500 Start trek to summit
0530 Arrived at the Summit (Wait for sunrise and Photo-ops)
0800 Descent to Campsite
0830 Full combat meal at the Campsite and fixing tents and things for the descent
0900 Start Descent to Base Camp
1130 Arrived at the Registration Area (log-out and tidying up)
1245 Board Boat at Brgy. Janosa going to Pritil Port
1345 ETA at Pritil Port, Binangonan, Rizal (late lunch)
1430 Ride Van going to Shaw Blvd.
1530 ETA at Shaw, Mandaluyong City (Back home)
HOW MUCH WILL BE THE COST-
Since we are in a big group, we already occupied the van going to the port and paid only P60.00 (some,opt riding tricycle since the drop-off point is just near the Church) or 5-minute walk can also be an alternative way if you’re in a budget. The tricycle costs P10.00/head to drop you off the port. Please be reminded that there is a one (1)-hour interval in the schedule of the boats. The earliest boat going to Brgy. Janosa is at 2:00am and the latest and last trip would be around 09:00pm. The boat fare costs P30.00/head and make sure that if you are sensitive to a sea/boat ride, take your meds before boarding to avoid any uncomfortable feeling while transporting. There are also a lot of food in the port (just make sure that your stomach is ready for any indigestion). Also, there are a lot of vendors offering boat passengers of fish crackers, pugo (quail eggs), boiled peanuts and drinks (eating while sailing? WHY NOT) while in the port. The boat ride going to Brgy. Janosa will take an hour or an hour and a half depending on the wind and waves.
I admit, I was alarmed on the sailing part because THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF COASTGUARD CHECK AND PASSENGERS LIST (which is I guess the cause of overloading of passengers in a given boat). I am highly conscious of the fact that these little things are neglected by the local government of Binangonan.
We have arrived at the port of Brgy. Janosa at around 0730pm and were still thankful that the Brgy. Captain (which we contacted) is still able to accommodate us and secure us our guide. We are advised to have two (2) guides going up since it is a night trek (which I believed far better so that the group will have a forward and sweeper guide). The guide fee costs P400.00/dayhike and P800.00/overnight for a group of 5-6 and the registration fee costs P20.00/head.
We ate our dinner at the base camp since it will be dark and exhausting if we will wait up to the campsite to eat. I supposed that one of the reason why I refrain from overnight camping is because of my capability to bring loaded bags. My shoulders and back are already giving me a hard time to step up in every assault and my sandals was also a problem since the trail was a little bit muddy and rocky.
So far, all of my groupmates never surrendered in the trail which is very motivating.
I guess these are the few pictures that we’ve got to shot while in the trail because I didn’t have the strength to still take pictures because of exhaustion but the game is still on and stopping is not an option.
We reached the summit at around 0900pm and thankfully! there are few mountaineers who helped us in pitching the tents and we’ve managed to clean things up before going to some chill time and sleep. The campsite can accommodate around five (5) to eight (8) tents depending on the direction and location and also I’ve seen trees where you can place your hammocks. I am also thankful that there are only few mosquitoes in the area (friends told me before that there are a lot of those before) and hantik (large ants) and few spiders and frogs are quite visible in the trail and site.
What is kinda sad about getting into the summit is the fact that we didn’t see the beauty of the sunrise due to excessive fog. We waited around three (3) hours before seeing the surroundings of the island, like that of Mt. Makiling and the Laguna de Bay.
And we waited. waited. waited.
Patience is indeed a virtue.
and a lot of patience for this spectacular view.
Main reason why I love to climb. Just seeing the beauty of nature, all the pain and hardships are gone. All the struggles and lifts are paid off.
Our mandatory group pic after a successful overnight climb.
We’ve decided to start to trek (descent) after we’ve finished to ate our packed foods and trail snacks. There is a mini store at the campsite where you can buy cold drinks and some other snacks.
There are comfort rooms and bath areas just at the back of the base camp where you can tidy up and relax in the registration area before logging out.
It was around 1245 pm when the boat arrived at the port.
WHAT I LEARNED-
Every climb is unique so better watch out on everything that is happening. Night trek is indeed a challenging thing for me because my flashlight/headlamp is the only main source of light while in trail. Be cautious in every step and be careful to anything that you are stepping on (there are times that there are ants and frogs on the trail). Wear long sleeves and pants especially when you’re doing day hike because you don’t want to be in full blisters when you get down in the base camp. Wear extensive sunscreen protection if you’ll get sun-bathing in the summit (No trees in the summit for covering up).
PATIENCE IS REALLY A DIFFICULT TALENT AND CLIMBING WILL HELP YOU EMPOWER THAT TALENT.
It is highly advised that mountaineers/climbers should contact the local barangays when deciding to climb to avoid mishaps and to secure your safety. You may contact Brgy. Captain Arambulo – 0943-544-0524 for any questions and queries.
We are grateful also that we a van offered his service to us from Pritil Port to Shaw Boulevard, same fare and all which is a good thing because we don’t need to wait or haggle for our service going home. I think its kuya Chito (I’ll update his number here).
One of a kind climb, the most number of times I’ve slipped-off while in the trail. Thank Jah! I still have my body intact and we are all safe.
Hope this blog helps!
Happy reading and hiking!