a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Glimpse of Mt. Kanlaon

While I jumped up and down to battle the cold, I had to remind myself for the nth time why I travel to remote places and put up with the discomfort just to hike a mountain. Dark heavy clouds lingered over the sky, wind came in fierce batches along with a light drizzle.  In the first few minutes we arrived, my friend and I had already covered ourselves head to toe. 

Sitio Mapot, our starting trail to Mt. Kanlaon's crater summit
The view however was calming, a huge contrast to the weather that welcomed us in Sitio Mapot. We were surrounded by vast greenery where a very small community resides. Wild flowers are everywhere, its colors popping from the bushes.  It was 7:00 AM and though the sun remained hidden behind the clouds, the colors of plants and trees remained vibrant.  

I felt restored and once again, excited to begin our revelry with nature. 
Droplets of rain on my shot
By 7:47 AM, we started our wet hike to Mt. Kanlaon's, the Philippines' 3rd most active volcano which offers unbelievably beautiful views, the main reason which drove me and a friend to leave the comforts of Manila. Air was thin and I found myself out of breath although the  inclined trail wasn’t that steep.

We reached the denser section of the mountain where I couldn't see past 5 feet due to the thick foliage covering the trail. What's great is that it shielded us from the strong winds that were strong enough to knock down my 134-pound frame. 




After an hour of hiking, we reached a small clearing and it was there that Joral broke the heart-crushing news to us.  Due to strong winds, we should not go farther. There were threats of falling trees and much as I love these beasts of the forest, my passion would be a  no match against a fallen tree trunk.  :(

When we planned our hike past the climbing season, (Season's March to May and October to December), I knew chances were high that we wouldn't be able to reach the summit due to bad weather but I have friends who have done a successful ascent off season and so I was hopeful. But safety was an enormous priority and with happy vibes intact, we obeyed our guide and headed down quickly. 

I'm still determined to get to the summit next year! I shall see you again gorgeous Mt. Kanlaon. 



After our short adventure in Canlaon city, I parted ways with my hiking bud and I continued on a solo journey to Dumaguete (blog here). Arisse, thanks for joining this adventure. Til the next one!

Hiking Information  (Mapot-Mananawin Trail): 
How to Get to Canlaon City :
From Manila, fly via Cebu Pacific or PAL Express to Bacolod. From the South bus terminal in Bacolod, take a bus to Canlaon City (90 Pesos, 2.5 hours).  Ask the driver to drop you at Biak na Bato bus stop. We took the 1PM bus. There's most likely an earlier trip but I don't know what time. You have to be there at least one day before your hike to arrange the permit. Permits to Mapot trail can be secured at the DENR office in Biak na Bato in Canlaon CIty. If taking the Wasay trail, secure the permit at the DENR office in Bacolod

At Biak na Bato, hire a motorbike to the DENR office (60 Pesos/motorbike). 

Main Contact to Hiking Mt. Kanlaon: 
Sir Angelo Bibar - Park Superintendent of Mt. Kanlaon National Park (MKNP) 
Mobile Number : +63917-301-1410.  Telefax : +63 (34) 433-3813; 435-7411 
Email Address : angelobibar@gmail.com | eioibibar@yahoo.com
*Sir Angelo will email you all the relevant info. . Coordinate in advance (suggested advance coordination is 3 months ahead according to the info. sheet sent to us). You will be asked to submit mountaineer information,  booking form & notarized waiver form (Notary Public costs 150 Pesos at the Mandaluyong City Hall, bring or provide your representative a valid ID). 

Rates  (as of September 2013) : 
Permit Fee: Php300 for Filipino | Php500 for foreigner 
*Secure permit 
Guide:  Php700/day
Porter:  Php500/day
*Permit fee can be paid once you arrive in Bacolod/Canlaon City. 

When is the Best Time to Hike Mt. Kanlaon? 
"Mountaineering is open during the months of March to May and October to December.  The months of January, February, June, July, August, and September are low season wherein only one expedition party per trail per month is allowed.  In the event, however, that PAGASA declares weather disturbance and/or PHIVOLCS declares volcanic activity, the area shall be closed automatically from mountaineering." (Info. from Protected Area Mgt. Bureau, Mt. Kanlaon)

Official Trails to Mt. Kanlaon :
Wasay in Murcia; Guintubdan in La Carlota and Bago Cities; Mananawin and Mapot in Canlaon City.

Other Useful Blogs:
Pinoy Mountaineer : Wasay-Guintubdan Trail

Misadventures of Tintin : Mapot-Mananawin Trail 


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