5 Things You Need to Conquer in Climbing Mt. Makiling

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On the peak of Mt. Makiling

Just a week after I trek Mt. Pamitinan, another adventure came, a traverse hike in Mt. Makiling from Sto Tomas, Batangas to Los Banos, Laguna, together with the people and new friends I met from the previous hike.

There are two major trails here. One is the UPLB trail which is more commonly used, taking 4-5 hours to reach the summit (Peak 2). The second trail is the Makiling Traverse, known as “Maktrav”. This route is more difficult and it took us 9-10 hours traversing from Batangas to Los Baños via Sipit trail. The other trail here is the Palanggana but can no longer be used, as it now sets on private property.

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Sipit trail starts at Sitio Jordan in Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Though the trail is pretty much easy to follow and trees is marked by number of station, there’s a series of ups and downs.

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Just a bit background from Wikipedia. Mount Makiling is a state-owned forest reserve administered by University of the Philippines, Los Baños. Mount Makiling National park was the first national park of the Philippines. It was extablished in 1993 by Proc. No. 552, but it was finally transferred to the University by Republic Act No. 6967(1990) when it finally transfer to the University by President Corazon Aquino for use in forestry education and information.  It is now known as Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, declared as ASEAN Heritage Part in 2013.

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The view somewhere on top of Mt. Makiling.

It doesn’t have much impressive views from top, but challenging forest trail awaits you and that makes more interesting and exciting to trek up. I listed here the 5 things you need to surmount while hiking to the mystique of Mt. Makiling (via Sipit trail)

1. Leg Cramps
One thing that can often happen to hikers is leg cramps. This is painful and can leave you walk with difficulty and move unsteadily. Basically, this is caused by heavy fatigue, pushing yourself too hard, and simply dehydration. Traversing Mt. Makiling via Sipit Trail is a long and strenuous day hike. Allow your muscles to become used to hiking by having a regular exercise at least a week before the trekking day. Also, make sure you have a full water bottle and drink from it regularly as you go.

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Our adventure started around 7am.

2. Dehydration
Maintaining good hydration is essential in climbing Mt. Makiling. It will take almost 10-hour journey towards the peak and going down. If you are sweating heavily, you’ll become dehydrated and may be losing water faster. It’ll surely make your muscle cramps, get thirsty, headache, fatigue, and dark yellow urine. In order to prevent this, bring 2-4 liters of water and make sure you can carry this while trekking.

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Don’t forget to have a rest and eat enough to boost your energy.

3. Slippery Slope
Expect wet and muddy areas especially when rain came in a day before the hike. You have to be very careful because parts of the trail were slippery.

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4. The rope segments

One thing more challenging in traversing Mt. Makiling is dragging yourself on a rope segment. This will require your enough strength to carry your weight, yet it makes a lot easier for climbers to get to the top.

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5. Limatik
Just like leech, this small and short worm-like creature, Limatik, is a blood sucker. This little living thing will add flavor and spice to your climbing experience. 🙂 It is said to have a sensory receptors that can detect presence of warm-blooded mammals. Sometimes they can detect presence via movement, or via carbon dioxide exhalation. To prevent Limatik bites, dress up with closed gears to avoid approach skin. Use ear plugs to avoid them in entering your ears.

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Sometimes it’s not about the mountain, it’s not about the destination, it’s not about the summit; it’s about the climb, it’s about the journey, it’s about how you conquer yourself while climbing at a challenging trail.

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