Hiking is familiar to me. I live in a mountainous province in Ifugao. Sometimes my friends & I walk a 15-kilometer ascending and descending road from school to home for fun. Sometimes we also do this to save money from PUV (Public Utility Vehicle) fares. On Weekends, we hike the hills so we could play slide. However, this time it’s different.
Before anything else…
Trail: Traditional Trail
MASL: E 811
Registration: PHP 10.00 (as of September 2013)
From the city, ride a bus going to Tungko. Ask the driver to drop you off at Licao-Licao jeep terminal or Jollibee Tungko. As of September 2013, jeepney fare to Licao-Licao costs PHP 27.00.
Mt. Maranat hike travel time
For beginners like me, it is about 3.5-5 hours. Advanced hikers do it about 2 hours or less.
This time it is different. I’ve been working out, doing some strength training and I wanted to push myself. I wanted to test my stamina, my patience, and perseverance. I asked Nannette, my officemate who regularly hikes, to company me in which she agreed.
My officemate & I arrived at the jump-off around 8:40am – 8:50am. We started hiking at 9:00am. It was a rainy day due to “Low Pressure Area” (Habagat). Along the trail, we came across with a group of hikers descending from Mount Balagbag. We greeted each other with a smile. They offered us some drinks (Gatorade) while we chat. Thank you fellow hikers!
Going to Mt. Maranat has several trails. We took the traditional trail. It has two stopovers but this is optional. One is a store 45 minutes away from the jump-off and the second is near the campsite. The second stopover is in the soil eroded area where you can see the campsite. There are two water refilling stations at the traditional trail so you don’t have to bring a lot of water.
[insert second stopover image]
After the second stop over, you’ll descend a steep rocky trail, cross a river by rope, and a steep ascent.
On our way down, Nanette screamed, calling my name like there’s something wrong. I asked why and yet again, she screamed: “There’s a snake.” As I looked back, a long green snake is passing beside me. We stood there, surprised, waited for the snake to pass. Out of fear, we were furious to get down. The supposed 30-minute descent took us only 15 minutes. Venomous or not, thank goodness no one got hurt.
At the campsite, I thought we were the only party who hiked because of the bad weather. Only to find out that there were already groups of hikers at the camp site. One group was there to plant some trees. I am thankful that we have these people giving their time helping with the environment.
Meeting Tatay Nestor
Tatay Nestor lives in a small house in the campsite. He is from Mindanao, grew up seeing violence, and later on escaping from it along with his family. He found several jobs along the way and for some personal reason he ended up in Mount Maranat.
Early in the morning, I had a conversation with him. While having our coffee, we talked about the environment, politics and his problems with the government.
Love At First Sight
This is my first hiking and camping and I gotta say, I love it! I enjoyed it. I am looking forward and excited for my next hike!