Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mt. Marami | Stormed And Clouded

02:00 AM at Mt. Marami camp site

Situation critical! (Typhoon Ambo was striking). Wind blowing wild, rain pouring hard, and lightning striking badly. There's a flood of about 3 inches deep inside our tent. I wished it was just a nightmare, but no, it was all real. We want to sleep but we can't, aargghh, it is my worstest camping experience ever!


We [me and 2 other climbing buddies] were alone at the campsite of Mt. Marami on the night of June 1st when we experienced this traumatizing typhoon battery. It was really a terrifying experience (talagang mapapa-promise ka never to do it again). We felt so helpless. But what the heck are we doing on this mountain in the first place at this terrible time? Blame it to our undying lust for adventure!

It was Thursday night when I decided to join Josh and Christian in their exciting quest on Mt. Marami, the mountain famous for its handsome rocky summit. Mt. Marami also has a history of mountaineers getting lost on its labyrinth of confusing trails, hence, many mountaineers jokingly call it "Mt. Maraming Ligaw." Getting a guide here is highly recommended (pero hindi kami kumuha ng guide).

Friday - June 1, 2012

It was around 09:00 AM when we reached Magallanes, Cavite (after almost 4 hours of commute from Manila). The sky was clear, it's safe to say that we're blessed with good weather. But who would trust that clear sky, duh it has been raining all over Manila every afternoon for days already, so basically we're already expecting a rainy hike.

After registering our names at the Magallanes police station, we traveled by tricycle (P70-60 per trip) to Brgy. Ramirez (the main jump-off). We registered there again at their Barangay Hall and paid a P20 registration fee, they asked if we'll get a guide but we practically said no (tipid mode kami). We'd just ask the locals we'll meet along the way.

Barangay Hall of Brgy. Ramirez. There's a P20 registration fee

The moment we stepped out of the barangay hall, it drizzled. Only then we realized the info posted online that the trail can be really extremely muddy during rainy season (naku po). But that did not stop us. (nothing's gonna stop us now... ♫♪♫)

It was indeed "Mt. Maraming Ligaw." If I'm not mistaken, we had three wrong turns and with it we lost about 45 minutes, before we finally got the right right trail to the campsite (big thanks to the locals we met along the way).

Here's a series of photos of the trail we took to somehow help you out if you plan to trek Mt. Marami without a guide.

We trekked despite the intensity of mud on the trail. Parang every 5 seconds may isang kilong putik na sa talampakan mo.
Our first wrong turn. If you go straight, you'll find an iron gate. The wider trail to the left is the right one.
We just followed the main trail, the wide muddy trail, until we reached the muddy river.

At the river, we again had a wrong turn (our 2nd wrong turn).

Don't cross the river yet and enter this bamboo fence just like what we did or you'll end up in a cattle pasture losing about 30 precious minutes..

A local kid helped us and pointed the right direction towards the bamboo bridge (muchas gracias kiddo)

The bamboo bridge, if you see this landmark then you're still on the right track. There are about 3 noticeable ascending trails to it's left, just follow any of these trails, they will converge into a single trail.
When you reach the higher ground, you'll notice a cassava plantation to your right. Just follow the visible trail straight ahead.
Then you'll meet this old large mango tree.
Past the mango tree, you'll enter a banana plantation. There's a split on the trail somewhere here, we turned left (our 3rd and last wrong turn, the right is the right way) towards another private property.

The men on the shed on the banana plantation asked us why we did not get a guide. They said we'll surely get lost as there were more confusing trail beyond that point. We just smiled and asked them where's the right path, they pointed the trail to the left of the banana plantation.

Ironically, we did not lose our way anymore beyond that point. We simply followed the trail which is very obvious naman.

The trail then led us to this walled area.
Just walk further following the muddy trail and you'll end up here in this wide muddy dirt road.

You'll constantly meet locals with horses along the way (remember to always be courteous to them by simply greeting them "good morning or good afternoon" or just show a bright smile).

At the end of the wide dirt road is this sign. Welcome to Nuestra Señora Dela Paz.
There's a visible trail on its left, but our instinct tells us not to take that trail. So we asked the people inside the Nuestra Señora Dela Paz compound. Surprisingly, our instinct served us right, the people there told us that the trail on the left is already closed, the directed us at the back of their compound where we'll see another trail that will descend to a river.

We followed what they told us, thanks to them, we reached this river.
The time was around 1PM, the sun was shining brightly. I told myself, "looks like we'll gonna have a good weather after all." We simply followed the trail (mostly ascending) towards the direction of Mt. Marami as we can already see its rocky summit. Whenever we meet splits on the trail, we always opt the left.

the summit of Mt. Marami. we'll be coming' for yah.

Less than an hour had passed and we reached a house where its owner invited us to have a break for some time. He then asked us why we did not get guide and told us that we'll surely get lost on the maze of trail beyond that point. The three of us just smiled and left soon afterwards. From the house, we crossed over a barbed fence. 

Then through this dry bamboo forest.

We continued following the trail which led us to an open area with a tall tree at the center. Beside the tree are three rocks fit for sitting (sakto sa aming tatlo). All of a sudden, the sun hid behind the clouds, not just simple clouds but rain clouds, yup, it began to rain drastically.

it's raining. 'sigh'
 Good thing the rain stopped after about 15 minutes, giving us the chance to go on with the trek.

The trail led us to this grass area
then to a narrow trail where there's a cliff on the left side. The narrow trail was quit slippery and muddy so we passed through it very carefully.

Clouds then formed around us, slowly putting out of sight the rocky summit.
Toinks, a cow then came out from nowhere, blocking the lone trail. We shooed it like a dog, and it moved away (thank goodness).

Few more minutes and we finally reached the campsite. It was becoming really really cloudy that time so we decided to stop there and set up our camp. Temp was dropping as well.

the campsite
setting up our camp
the three of us. Josh, Christian and Me
and our dinner, actually we got very little food supply. Aside from the loaf bread I brought, we munched mostly on jellies and candies for our dinner and breakfast the following day.

I couldn't remember how we wasted our time at the campsite. We just stayed inside the tent the whole time, talking about many things like mountains, getting fit, college life, other people's lives, girls and a lot more. Then all of a sudden, it was night time already, a cold drizzling foggy night.

I think it was around 7PM when the drizzle gained up strength. Wild gusts of wind soon follow. In less than 10 minutes, the strong rain grew even stronger, water started to seep into our tent, flood was accumulating, and wind was battering from all sides. Aarrgh, just imagine how terrified we were on that terrifying moment. This lasted for more than 30 minutes

After it stopped, we went out of the tent to check the damage. There was none aside from the ankle-deep flood inside our tent. So we drained it, almost everything inside bathed in flood, wtf. We prayed that the storm won't return. But it returned!

draining the flooded tent
Rain poured hard, wind blew wild, this time thunder joined the fun, flood rushed in. We simply can't do anything but open up our umbrellas inside our tent. Then it stopped again only for a few minutes. It cycled over and over again until around 4am the next day. arghh!!! We were not able to get the good sleep we very much wanted.

umbrellas up inside the tent.
I promised myself never to climb a mountain again if it's raining bad (well I actually promised that before when we failed to traverse Mt. Cristobal also because of a storm).  

Saturday - June 2, 2012

The following day (around 6AM), we woke up wet and shivering. I did not noticed that I was able to sleep while both my feet were soaked in a flood of about 3 inches deep. grabe lang. 

We went out and it was all white outside. We almost lose hope of reaching the summit.

But we are unstoppable now after experiencing nature's grudge last night. After dealing with some pork n beans for breakfast, we started the final assault to Mt. Marami's summit.

We followed again the trail somewhere at the grassy back of the campsite.

We reached this bamboo forest. The trail here is very confusing, very observant eyes are needed.
Suddenly, the trail ends up to a bushy field. We know it isn't the summit yet because we haven't encountered the columns of rock. So we went back to the bamboo forest to look for some other trails, we saw one but it also ended up to a wilderness and mud slide. To cut the story short, we lost the right trail for almost an hour. We almost gave up, we even played a "maiba-taya" if we'll continue the final assault or not. But in the end, we still gave it one last try, if we still failed to find the right trail, we'll just return to our camp and prepare ourselves for the descent. 

Lucky us, we still found the right trail, an ascending trail hiding behind a tree (I tied a trail sign there before we left). We followed that trail and

it led us here (just don't mind the guy on the photo),
then here,

and finally at the summit!!!
It was however a very cloudy and very windy summit. There was no clearing at all, no view of any nearby mountain, 'sighs'.
After about 15 minutes, we left the summit. A bit dismayed but still very happy that we were able to reach the summit without a guide, great achievement for the three of us.

Back at the camp, we saw again our flooded tent. 'sighs again'
Drying up our bags.
By 09:15 AM, we began the looong descent. The muddy trail of yesterday became even muddier. The shallow rivers we crossed yesterday rose to knee-deep. We lost our way a bit but still managed to find the right trail (thanks again to the very helpful locals).

deeper river!

At 1PM, we're back at Brgy. Ramirez, freshen up there then rode a trike back to Magallanes, then jeep back to Naic, then finally bus back to Manila.  

We survived Mt. Marami

I will definitely be back here for the summit view we never saw.

here's a video of our traumatic experience at the campsite

and a juxtaposition of the mountain that vanished.

Lagataw's awesome post on Mt. Marami served as our guide on this guideless hike on Mt. Marami. thanks so much sir Adonis.


  1. Ikaw na pre!!! astig ka talaga!! Ingat ingat din!

  2. Replies
    1. syempre po. hehe, sayang nman kasi yung punta nmin kung susuko kami.

  3. I remembered our "We Almost Died in Mt. Pulag" experience. We also braved the storm. Kudos for this great adventure!

  4. Totoo na yung mga worsts experiences are weirdly also one of the best experiences. hehe

    I remember when I climbed Mount Marami before. Marami ngang ligaw! Maswerte pa kami non kasi maganda yung weather. ligaw pa rin. Ang hirap pa tumayo sa summit. Naiimagine ko tuloy kung gaano kahirap yung ginawa niyo without a guide and without much sleep.

    Glad you're safe pre. Keep on climbing and travelling! :)

  5. wow! grabe yung experience nyo ah. dapat sguro magkaroon na rin kayo ng high tech na gadgets para ma forecast ang weather everytime you climb...gadgets like a radio? LOL. or something para may update kayo sa weather. pero congrats at di kayo nag give up and buti di kayo napahamak sa adventure niyo ivan. ingat palagi ha!

  6. It is a huge challenge to climb and camp in a stormy weather. How did your tent got flooded?

    1. indeed. our tent is non waterproof, water was seeping in from all sides.

  7. ayaw ko nang ganyan. tanging blue sky and cotton clouds ang nagpapaligaya sakin pag umaakyat.

  8. Ang galing nitong blog mo.. kung tutuusin ay ang bata mo pa, nakapagsusulat ka na ng ganyang kaayos at may photography skills ka pa.

    Sundan ko dito ang mga susunod pang lakwatsa mo pare koy.

    PS Maari bang pakitanong kay do not mind this guy in the picture na naka blue tshirt kung anong tatak at kung saan nya nabili yung lonta nya? Wala pa akong trek pants,ganun yung hanap ko.

    Maraming salamat!

    1. salamat po sir. mabibili po ang ganyang trek pants sa murang halaga lamang sa browntrekker sa may Buendia.

  9. Ang kyut ng pokerface hihi. kung ksama nyo ko nataranta na sguro ako

  10. ang lupet nyong tatlo! bulib ako! good Luck sa mga susunod nyo pa na mga akyat! kudos!

  11. ang lupet ninyong tatlo!
    saludo ako sa inyo!
    good luck sa mga susunod na mga bundok pa na inyong tatahakin..

  12. ang lupet ng blog mo!!!
    plan ko sana pumunta ng mt marami bukas ahaha..
    kaso marami pala dapat iconsider.
    maulan pa ang panahon ngayon.. hehe...
    salamat sa blog nyo, marami ako nalaman..

  13. kainggit! atapang atao.. kabitenyo ata talaga kayo :) nakakahiya naman, kayo pang mga dayo yung nakaakyat na sa Mt. Marami at Mt. Buntis. di bale, pag nakahanap na ako ng mga 'atapang-atao' na tulad niyo, maaakyat ko na din mga yan. sana lalake na lang ako para maraming di pumigil sa paglakbay ko haha :)

  14. Nice blog! punta kami tomrw, sna hnd umulan hehe!

  15. naligaw din kami sa bundok na to. hahahaha ubusan ng tubig :P

  16. thanks for this blog kua..
    can you contact me sa email ko..

    my mga itatanung lang ko kua..
    kasi plan namen umakyat ng mga kawork ko this aug..


  17. Astig :) Gusto ko tuloy mameet si IVANLAKWATSERO galing magkwento :) YUng readers e ma imagine na parang nag hike na rin :) Ingat po lage .

  18. Galing naman :) Parang gusto ko tuloy mameet si Sir IVANLAKWATSERO :) Galing magkwento madadala mo ang reader sa naging experience niyo :) Naakyat niyo na rin po ba ang Pico de Loro?



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