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Beginner Friendly Hike : Mt. Kalisungan

Mt. Kalisungan in Calauan, Laguna is another good option if you're looking for a short & moderately challenging hike near Manila. The trail starts easy at a farm, then onto a moderately steep trail all the way to the summit. Though forested, you'll hardly feel any wind, making it a very uncomfortably humid hike. Making up for all that sweat is the view at the summit! Here, you can enjoy a scenery of nearby mountains and the lakes of San Pablo. 
approaching Mt. Kalisungan
If you're planning to stay at the summit for a while, bring a cap or umbrella as the peak is a grassland with no trees. 

Read : 12 Useful Things to Bring on your First Mountain Hike

This was my third visit to Mt. Kalisungan and though the trail and the views are the same, the experience is unique. I'm  happy with the new friends I met (hello Cess, PJ, Red, Rod, Razel and Ana!) and the food we enjoyed after :P.

Our group at the summit of Mt. Kalisungan (Photo fr PJ Sapoco)
Mt. Kalisungan can be tackled as a short day hike, combined with a second hike to nearby Mt. Mabilog (post here) or as an extended day hike to its neighboring peak, Mt. Atimla (post here). 

More Tips!
- Wear a dri fit shirt as you'll be sweating buckets due to the humidity. Bringing a foldable fan or  umbrella is also a good idea.
- After your hike, you can change at the bathrooms at the jump-off and eat at Itlog ni Kuya, a roadside eatery along the main highway in Victoria, just near the junction where you can see a giant duck statue. You can also make your way to UP Los Banos where there are a lot of good food! (Read ELBI : The real "food trip"  | Food Trip Under 500 UP Los Banos).  
refreshing ourselves with fresh fruit shakes at Vega Center in Los Banos, Laguna.
This stall near the mall entrance serves really good and affordable shakes! (Photo from Cess)
Supplies
On this hike, I brought 1.5 liters of water (I froze 500 ML the night before so I have something cold to drink while hiking). Bring more if you get thirsty often. For snacks, I bring food that sustain energy on the trail such as almonds, cashew, sliced apples, orange, healthy snack bars and for long hikes, energy gels. 

How to get here 
My friend arranged for this hike so I didn't keep track of the fees. However, I found a helpful itinerary from The Novice Trekker, check out his post here.

Thanks Gid (and Wang for the ride!) for letting me tag along this hike. :) 

"If this inspires you to climb a mountain, just remember to preserve what Mother Nature has to offer. Reduce your impact leave no trace." 




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