a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Trail to Kwebang Lampas

Kwebang Lampas is slowly gaining attention from those who enjoy exploring undeveloped, off the tourist path destinations. The place is part of a cove away from the nearby barrios and is accessible in two ways – by boat from some point in Quezon or a 30-minute trek from a private land owned by the Lukangs, the latter option is my prime choice because it involves hiking where you will encounter tons of nice sceneries.

The other amazing thing about this place is the beach and although I'm more of a landscape fanatic, I found it incredible particularly because :
1. There aren’t a lot of people. In fact, on a lucky day, you will not see anyone there aside from the caretakers
2. The water is so clear and filled with small fishes.
3. It is hardly a resort, another reason for me to love it. You just pay a measly 35 pesos entrance fee per head and that’s it. They don’t have fresh water for bath or fixed toilets. They do not allow overnights within their vicinity even if you bring your own tents. We were told that the land is in the middle of a claim dispute and will not be conducive for an overnight stay. It’s also not very easy to get there if you are not familiar with the area. Had it not been for our adventurous friends who went there last year, the trek would have taken hours instead of just 30minutes (so thank you Gay, Erwin and Jules for your tips!) .





Just a warning that this is not a destination for the fastidious. It is a getaway for people who respect nature and people. Please bring your own garbage bags and avoid noise.


Information As of January 2009
4:30AM – Assembly – Wendy’s EDSA Boni
4:40AM – ETD – Wendy’s; wait for buses going to Lucena; (Added Info: Jac Liner also has a terminal along EDSA, Cubao)
We finally got one at around 4:50AM!
4:50AM – Departure EDSA Boni to Lucena via Jac Liner; Fare is 210 pesos/head;
7:50AM – Arrival at crossing (it’s a diversion road in Quezon with a highway signage pointing to Bicol); From where the bus driver let us off, we crossed the road and waited for jeeps marked “Pagbilao”. There were a lot of jeeps passing by this area and we only waited for about 5 minutes until we were able to ride one bound for the jeepney terminal for Ibabang Polo ; Fare is at 7.50-8.50 per head(I forgot the exact amount).


Jeepney ride to terminal will last about 10-15minutes. The jeepneys bound for Ibabang Polo has a schedule so better be at the terminal by 4:00PM. I also noticed that most of their jeepneys have no provision for top loading so you better get in there ahead of everyone else.


9:19am – departure for Iba.Polo from the terminal. We were sitting inside the jeep with 3 sacks of rice, a cart filled with toys, some plastic bags containing fish and meat plus other people’s luggages. I didn’t mind because the sceneries we passed by were amazing! It’s like my eyes were swimming in a sea of green most of the time.
10:20AM – arrival at Ibabang Polo; Tell the jeepney driver to drop you off at the nearest point to Kwebang Lampas and from this point you have two options:
a. Hire a tricycle towards the Lukang property. It’s a 14-minute trike ride on dirt road and you will be paying 20 pesos/person.  From that point, you will have to trek for another 30 minutes.
b. Walk all the way  to kwebang lampas and spend about one hour of trekking.


Our group took option A which was also wiser because it was getting a little hot.
Since the Lukang property has barbed wires around it with a signage that said "Private Property, No Tresspassing", we had to pass through a small road at the right side of their property. Don’t worry, the trail is now quite established. Just take note of this : There’s a cement wall to your right and at the end of that wall, you will need to turn right where there are several bushes.


After walking for about 15 minutes, you will finally see the ocean and you will have to turn left towards a rocky trail. This is where the view gets more interesting. You will see the clean ocean, even be tempted to swim in it and take some pictures by the rock formations.


After taking in the refreshing view, walk some more, turn left and you will see another established trail, then walk straight again into the woods. Do not make any right turns because those trails lead to nowhere. (I should know because we got a little lost in there..hehehe) When you see a swamp, you are already about two-three minutes away from the gate of the Lukang property with a rusted metal gate which I guess is locked most of the time and you will have to knock really hard so better use steel for knocking or something. 


The entrance fee is at 35 pesos/head and they will allow you to use their nice, little huts for a small fee. Since I am really bad with names, I could not recall the name of the male caretaker but he’s really nice and we chatted with him for a few minutes. He told us where they get fresh water which is in a well marked by two mango trees outside of the rusted gate. Apparently, it’s near the trail where we walked but we couldn’t find it so we just went back to town a little salty and wet after a few hours of swimming around the cove. We headed back to town after lunch.


There's also a jeepney schedule for the trips back to Pagbilao, the last trip is around 5-5:30pm from Iba.Polo terminal but better be there earlier.


Since overnight trips aren't allowed within the vicinity of the cove, you can check-in at Greenview Motel at the Pagbilao town proper if you don't feel like going home yet. They have clean, fan rooms, comfortable beds with private toilet and bath. The price was 350 pesos per room for 12 hours but if you make it 24 hours, it’s only going to cost you 450 and that’s already for the entire room. You can also share one room with for two more other people, but you will have to add 150 pesos for each extra person.


You can also order food from them until 7:00pm but if you want to go out and explore the place, SM Lucena is about 15-20 minutes away via Jeep or if you wanna experience local cuisine, you can dine at an eatery, a 3-minute walk from Greenview. It also has a videoke machine for entertainment. If you don’t like the food there, there’s also an eatery one jeepney ride away (fare at 7.50pesos each) at crossing. The jeeps pass by infront of Greenview so it’s hardly a hassle getting anywhere these places.


Taking the bus back to Manila isn’t difficult at all. There’s a bus terminal bound for Alabang, Taft and Cubao at the crossing and there are also Jac Liner buses in front of SM Lucena bound for LRT Buendia and Cubao. Just ask for the first and last trips. In our case, we rode the 5pm bus back to Cubao. The interval between each bus is about 30minutes.


By the way, here’s the summary of expenses (excluding food, but you know what, if you wanna save, you can just bring your own food)


EXPENSES/HEAD : (As of January 2009)
210 pesos – Bus from EDSA Boni to Crossing
8.50 pesos – Jeep from crossing to Iba.Polo (short for Ibabang Polo) jeepney terminal in Pagbilao (not sure of this fee, more ba or less Charwill?)
37 pesos – Pagbilao to Iba.Polo
35 pesos – entrance fee to beach
35 pesos – Iba. Polo jeepney terminal to Greenview motel
7.5 pesos – jeep from Greenview to Crossing to eat dinner
7.5 pesos - tricycle from Crossing back to Greenview
225 pesos – 24 hr stay in Greenview (450pesos/room – 24hrs (fan room. Private t&B); 350 pesos-12hrs (fan room); 900 pesos/room (with aircon, private t&b)
11 pesos – Greenview to SM Lucena
214.50 pesos – Bus from SM Lucena to Cubao


To check out other places in Pagbilao, you can also visit this very helpful site.
(Glee, thank you for organizing the entire trip and for our friends in the ECOF community for sharing valuable information. Thank you..mwah!!! )

2 comments:

  1. hi ma'am. nice post.

    my friends and i have visited this place as well. such a beauty.

    more power ma'am!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Kure! :) Kaw din, here's to more adventures!

    ReplyDelete

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