Sunday, April 29, 2012

Escape to Mt. Malindig

Mar 10-11,2012, Marinduque Province

This was an event for our group, B.U.S.O.G Mountaineers, organized together with Lauren Ramos and Manny "Qitter" Abiog. We were just having a breakfast then at Mcdo after  a 5K  run (Run for  Cancer  Patients) in September2011. We wanted to have a dayhike and we didn’t agree which mountain to climb next. It has to be something we’ve never climbed yet. It has to be something new for the three of us.

We thought of having a dayhike in Cinco Picos or Balingkilat in Zambales until we came up with the idea of “how about crossing the sea and getting into another island??” 

Then came the idea of climbing Mt. Malindig in Marinduque. I was so excited! It was actually included in my bucket list for 2011. Such island is just  direct across our town in southernmost part of Quezon province and  I was really planning to climb this mountain because everytime my bestfriend and I go to our town’s port to witness the sunset while having a good conversation, what always catch my attention is that highest peak in Marinduque. During that time, I had no idea yet of its name.

To continue, this Malindig climb event was originally planned in December 2011 but due to some constrainsts we opted to move the event to March 2012, at least to have an ample time to save up money perhaps for this.

Majority of the participants were from BUSOG mountaineers of course; 3 of my friends in Lingkod community were able to join too as well as my sister Jahmie whose first ever summit was this mountain.

Aside from the excitement of climbing a mountain in an island, we were able also to enjoy the long trip, it was a 4 hour-ride to Lucena , and from Dalahican Port in Lucena to the island was another  3 hours. It wasn't actually the bus trip but it was the ferry ride that we enjoyed the most.  We stayed for few more hours at the  port, simply because we had a mistake in getting an accurate information on the ferry schedule (please see itinerary below and other info).

Amazing Sunrise

 It was a smooth sail that funny how Lauren and I didn’t even notice that we were already 30-minutes sailing and “to add insult to the injury”, she even attempted to confront the driver(or the navigator of the ferry) and questioned him why we are not yet moving, which apparently puzzled him. Haha! 

Just when we were about to arrive at the island, we were blessed enough to witness a beautiful view of sunrise. I was really delighted that we almost never stopped taking pictures. We arrived at Balanacan Port in the town of Mogpog at around 6am that morning of March 10. We were picked up by our chartered jeepney and ate our breakfast in Boac after a few minute-ride.

It was another few more hour-ride goin to the town of Buenavista where Mt. Malindig is located. We passed by around three towns of the island province starting from the port- Mogpog, Boac (the capital of the province) and Gasan. There’s nothing super peculiar that I saw during our ride. The towns have  just narrow roads, plenty  of trees, mountains and seas  which reminded me of my hometown and I really felt  home. But, this island is simply wonderful in its own ways--- the serenity of its isolation, the scent of seas,  the simplicity of the locals. These just gave me an indescribable joy.  Hey, I crossed the sea and now standing in a land not connected to the major Luzon. I definitely embraced the joy of being in a small island like this.

Before starting the trek, we first secured our permit  and then bought food and some stuff. From the town proper of Buenavista, we could already see the whole of Mt. Malindig. For me, it resembles Mt. Talamitam in Batangas, bald and open mountain. The only difference is that it is standing at 1,157 MASL compared to Talamitam which is only at 630 MASL. Thus, our trek to campsite was a challenge as we faced the extreme heat of the sun. We started the trek at around 1:30PM.

Our first take-5 rest was a "buko" break. Kuya, the guide, was so good that he picked buko for us  and t’was for free. After the buko break, we reached the open part of the mountain. It’s like a pasture with a rich grassland and cows and horses are scaterred. Open as it is, as we elevate ourselves,  we gradually saw the half  (one side) of Marinduque island. The sea’s simply a magnificent view.

Me and my sister Jahmie
greeny open trail
We arrived at the campsite at around 4pm. We set camp, relaxed and prepared our food.  We planned to summit right after we took some rest and unfortunately, it started to get foggy. We decided to summit the next day as advised also by the guide and two armies there. We felt safe being within the vicinity of the military area. They were good to us. They even let us use some of their things.

We had a getting to know activity in our socials after the dinner—a night full of laughter. Then, we agreed not to summit on the next day given the circumstance of thick fog and instead pave way for the side trip. I felt bad knowing that we won’t be reaching the summit anymore.  And so, the night was really getting cold because of the fog. I even felt like I was in Pulag.. it was sooooo cold, seriously.

The next day, we were still having hope to reach the summit but all we could see was fog. It was very cold. However, as the morning  went on and as the camp site was getting clearer thankfully with the vanishing fog, Lauren and I had the feeling that we should go for summit. I was thinking also for my sister, Jahmie. It should be her first summit. This event is a climb and sidetrips are just side trips. Surprisingly, all of us agreed. They were up for summit. It was only 8:30am, when we ascended. The trail is just like some other mountains that I have already climbed yet still challenging because of the mud perhaps brought by the fog /slight rainfall last night. And so we reached the summit—no views, it's covered by trees and it’s  just a mossy one. But the joy of reaching the summit was still there. According to the guide, they are planning to build a wood deck for the mountaineers or anyone reaching the summit to see the views from that highest peak.
trail from summit to the campsite

our group at the summit!
The bad thing was one of our companions got injured, Joseph. We looked for a “manghihilot” when we're back at the jump off point, good thing he was able to manage the pain.

Obviously, we ran out of time on our descent and sidetrip was just impossible. We had to get to the Balanacan port by 3:30pm. Unfortunately, we were not able to arrive there on time. Thankful that there was a trip schedule at 6:30pm. Kenneth, tagged as our chef, cooked some pasta for us while waiting for the call time.

And so we sailed back tired yet happy. We browsed our pictures and laughters were inevitable because of the funny moments of the climb.We enjoyed again the ferry ride. Big check for Mt. Malindig!

taken from the campsite
time to be back home...

Day 0

2100 Board Dalahican-bound bus from either Buendia or Cubao
Day 1

0400 Board ferry to Mogpog port (Balanacan)
0730 ETA Marinduque, make arrangements for transportation to Buenavista.
0800 Breakfast/Stopover at Boac
1030 ETD Buenavista/ETA jump-off point in Brgy. Sihi.
1100 Prepare Lunch before start trek
1230 Lunch
0100 Start trek.
0345 ETA military outpost, 900 MASL. Lunch.

** Schedule of trips (Dalahican to Balanacan): 1:00am; 4:00am 
Day 2
0600 Wake up
0800 Commence summit assault.
0930 ETA summit. It is covered with trees and there is much to see.
1030 start descent
1200 back at the campsite
0200 ETA back at jump-off point
0400 ETA Balanacan Port/Arrange for Transpo/Buy tickets
0630 ETD Balanacan Port
1000 ETA Dalahican Port
0200 ETA Manila
** If earlier, sidetrip is possible (Spelunking and Falls Adventure - Malbog Hot Springs, Torrijos Falls, Bathala caves, etc)
**Last trip back to Lucena is at 2000hr.
** Schedule of trips (Balanacan to Dalahican): 4:00pm; 6:30pm; 8:00pm

** For those planning a climb, locals/military there prefer an outreach or tree planting

Expenses per Individual Excluding Food
 (Php 1,500 budget is safe but may vary depending on the number of participants)

Bus Fare (Manila to Dalahican Port, Lucena City and vice versa) 219.50 one way x 2 PHP 439.00
Dalahican to Balanacan and vice versa 260.00 one way x 2
Teminal Fee

30.00 one way x 2
Hired Jeep

**15 pax



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