Easy Day Hikes | Mt. Palo / Mt. Tinucan (Antipolo, Rizal)

It was still quite early when we started making our way up Mt. Palo. The mountain tops are still blanketed by fog and the air was refreshingly chilly. 

With me are very good friends, Celine, Kara, Gretchen and her daughter Lia.  (We missed you, Ferdz!) .
As most of us had just resumed physical activities after two years, we wanted an easy outdoor adventure. 

Mt. Palo in Antipolo is a beginner-friendly hike with mild ascents, long flat sections and dramatic views of nearby mountains and rice fields. From the jump-off, it takes 2 hours on a slow pace to get to its peak, ideal for who just want to hike on a relaxed pace. 
reunited with Celine, Kara, Gretchen and her daughter Lia
We reached this section of the trail in 2 hours. 

The trail starts nice and easy. From  the side of Canumay Elementary school where we met up with our guide, it's a gradual ascend on a dirt road but it's enough to make the unfit like me feel out of breath. Thankfully, there's no need to rush here.   You can take your time and still be back at day time. That is,  if you don't fall asleep somewhere along the trail. With plenty of flatlands and picturesque spots of rice terraces, mountains and a flower garden,  short naps are very inviting. 

Our guide's mother lives 30 minutes away from the summit so we decided to stopover to say hi.  Lola welcomed us like old relatives with her excited greeting, followed by an invitation for coffee. We initially refused as we didn't want to bother her but she wouldn't take no for an answer. Being a coffee lover, I happily accepted  despite the hot weather.   She then brought us to her colorful flower garden.  With mountains as its backdrop, it looks like a scenery  in a fantasy flick. 
Bright flowers of cosmos everywhere! Photo from Kara

Over the course of chatting and sipping coffee,  dark clouds began appearing in the sky and following quickly, rain. Its drops, big enough to soak anyone under it in seconds. 

a classic Filipino lunch served by our host

Before we realized what was happening, lola had finished preparing lunch.  A huge steel pot was filled to the brim with fragrant red rice mixed with white. My rice lover heart!  Following a traditional Filipino meal, rice was accompanied with salted fried fish and some greens.  She apologized for the simple food but we were more than happy to partake. With the wet weather, hot coffee and wonderful friends, it was one of the most unforgettable meals I've ever had. 

 The rain finally stopped and soon enough, sun and its punishing heat were back. At this point, we had lost interest to go to the summit.We felt very contented to just stay at lola's place to savor the view and the company. Most of us haven't seen each other in months! 
bright flowers of cosmos at lola's garden

It was lola who insisted we hike to its peak. She assured us, the trail was mildly steep. 
Had she met the old me - younger and fitter, I would have agreed that it was indeed easy. But 2021 me had become a couch potato. Sporting an add-on of 10 kilos, soon, I was grasping for air. I almost vomited. It was so hot too!]

I slumped on the ground after reaching the summit of Mts. Palo and Tinucan.   At 597 MASL, it's a  small mountain but after being inactive for almost two years, the feat felt momentous, similar to when I had reached the Philippines' highest peak,  Mt Apo in 2019.  
At the summit. Lia stayed behind to play with our guide's daughter. Photo from Kara.

We stayed for a few minutes to chat and shared some more laughs like the good, old days I missed. Finally, it was time to head back to the city. By 5:00 PM, we were back in Marikina. 

Itinerary and Expenses 

Mt. Palo Day Hike
Location : Purok Canumay Sitio San Ysidro, Brgy. San Jose Antipolo
Jump-off : Canumay Elementary School (Link to Google map here)

4:00 AM Meet at Jollibee Farmer’s Market
4:15 AM Depart from Jollibee Farmer’s Market via Private van
5:45 AM Arrive at jump-off, register, meet guide
6:00 AM Start Hike
8:00 AM Summit
10:00 AM back at jump-off

Trail Description : Easy hike, open trail so best to start early. Our guide had recommends starting at  5:00 AM.

Transportation : We rode a Toyota Innova to the jump-off . The road was paved 99% of the way, with just a  very short stretch of dirt road  (less than 50 meters) going to the parking lot/registration area. 

Guide : Sir Richard - As the area has limited network coverage, he recommends getting in touch thru their FB page -Mt. Palo

Registration Fee - 60 Pesos/each
Guide Fee - 600 Pesos/5 pax; 6 or more persons need additional guide
Private Van - 600/each for a group of 5.

For other easy hikes near Metro Manila, check out my posts on: 
Pico de Loro (Ternate, Cavite)
Mt. Lantik (Nasugbu, Batangas)
Mt. Matinik (San Miguel, Bulacan)

Past adventures

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