Mountains and Beyond · nature · Wanderlust

Trips and Side trips | The Mount Mabilog Adventure

There are a few things my friends and I are particular about in doing a hike. First, it should be a day hike (since we are mostly girls and we have no camping gears yet). Second, it should be a minor climb as much as possible. I know, we should be trying difficult peaks once in a while, but we don’t hike on a weekly basis so that’s a little difficult to decide on…

Excuses, excuses…

It’s been three long months since our Mt Balagbag hike and we were very much looking forward to another encounter with nature. It was decided that we hike the little giant in Laguna which is Mt Mabilog.

Since we were taking the South trail, we spent a few minutes first on lake Pandin.


The Mabilog team. Manang in red was selling us all sorts of delicacies. We ate halo halo and gather our strengths for the climb ahead.


One of the houses surrounding the lake.


The author posing on a bamboo raft with lake Pandin at the back drop.


The trail follows through the banks of lake Pandin. It was really humid and we were sweating 10 minutes on. But you’ll never have guessed with those smiles on.


Mt Mabilog’s trails are mostly bare with trees. We hardly had any shade from the harsh afternoon sun. Indeed, it is more tiring doing a hike on a hot weather. We were nearly out of water halfway through. Unlike the other mountains such as Batulao or Maculot, there were no vendors along the trails of Mabilog. Noticeably, we were the only hikers that day as well.

Some wild berries.


Exposed trails.


Rest. I had cramps at this point. Awfully painful.

Maybe because of excessive heat and sweating, I had a terrible leg cramps. But we’ve come too far to even think of not pushing it to the summit. I took off my shoes and wore a pair of flipflops through the rest of the hike. It was uncomfortable, but better than having a stiff muscle!  The hike must go on.

The view from the summit. 441+ MASL.

At last, we made it. Every summit is rewarding, as I have always known since I started climbing mountains. Up mount Mabilog, we were treated to the view of Mt Cristobal and Mt Banahaw just behind it. Lake Yambo was visible as well as the other lakes from the distance. We sat on the grass, took in the view, relaxed our eyes with all the surrounding hues of greens and blues.


After having our lunch, we just lazed under the shade of the tree. Enjoyed the gentle mountain breeze, thankful for another day in the heart of nature.


This climb was also our formal induction to Pandawan Outdoor Group, nature enthusiasts and adventure loving people.

After a series of hair flipping videos and photo shoots, we started our descent. We took a different trail, traversing to the other side of lake Yambo. The grass and vegetation were more thick and we can barely see the trail. It’s really a good idea to hire guides when climbing this mountain.

After almost an hour, we reached a paved road. We’re already in Nagcarlan.


The paved road along Lake Yambo.

Lake Yambo

Our guides helped us charter two tricycles to take us to Bunga falls. We bade goodbye to them and off we went.

It was almost a 10 minute ride to the falls. The extra minutes of trek was worth it when we reached our destination. Save for the flies because of the thrash the tourists are leaving, the falls itself was beautiful.

Bunga Twin Falls


Close encounter with the raging waterfall. It was so refreshing after a day in scorching heat.


We rented two floaters since the water is deep and we’re too tired to swim.


All freshen up. POG pose of the girls.

After a refreshing dip, we went to Nagcarlan Underground cemetery, our second side trip of the day.



Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.

It was already past 5 PM when we arrived and the site was already closed for visitors. Still, that didn’t prevent us from taking souvenir shots. I’ve been here before, but it never fails to invoke a sense of nostalgia. Historical places are beautiful.


The setting sun peaking through the iron window.



We spent a few minutes at the Nagcarlan municipal hall.

All tired and famished, we rode a jeepney back to San Pablo and had our dinner before heading back to Manila. Our muscles may be sore the next day, but we were all happy our wanderlust were satisfied. Nature never fails to make me happy. It led me to knowing people who share the same interests as mine. It enriches me in ways I know I’ll never get anywhere else. In nature, we always have good company.

Cheers to a beautiful life,



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