Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mt. Malipunyo | Malarayat Mountain Range Traverse Day Hike

Malipunyo Peak of Malarayat Mountain Range is now Batang Lakwatsero's 21st mountain. We successfully reached it last Sunday when we traversed the long Malarayat Mountain Range which took us 11 hours, starting from Manabu up to Malipunyo Peak.

Although our original plan of summitting its three prominent peaks (Manabu, Malipunyo and Susong Dalaga) was a failure (dalawa lang naakyat namin, Manabu and Malipunyo peaks, kinulang na kasi sa oras para sa Susuong Dalaga peak), there was no "panghihinayang" feeling after the hike. What else could I ask for, we were so blessed with an unexpected great weather, a cool guide and an awesome climb group.

I thank my friend Jay for organizing this fun Malarayat Traverse (Manabu-Malipunyo) day hike and all the 12 mountain-loving individuals who joined the event, it was really a fun and memorable hike.

Sunday - September 23, 2012

Our adventure started at 06:30 AM when we reached Mt. Manabu jump-off after some 2 hours of travel from Manila. There, we met our cool guide, Kuya Mario, for this Malarayat Range Traverse day hike.

the organizer and the guide,
nakuwento samin ni kuya Mario na minsan na niyang ginuide sa Malarayat Traverse si Seven Summiteer, Romi Garduce, astig!
At 06:45 AM, the trek commenced. We took the grotto trail (medyo familiar pa ako sa trail, I had a Manabu hike just last February, read this link for that Manabu post) and reached the summit in about 2 hours. The trail was a bit too muddy from yesterday's heavy rain, but other than that, the hike was pretty much easy.

part of the trail to Manabu Peak is this grotto and water source
Contrary to what we were expecting, the day was very clear, a very unexpected one since we know that typhoon Lawin is lurking somewhere east of Luzon. It's a blessing from above, it made us smile and happy all throughout the climb.

stone cross marker of the summit of Mt. Manabu
at the center is Malipunyo Peak, seen from Manabu Peak
From Manabu Peak, we descended to the campsite then entered a dense trail that forks out from the main trail. This overgrown trail then led us to an established trail which according to Kuya Mario is now part of Mt. Maraduhan (a lesser known mountain of Malarayat Range). From that point, ferocious Teka-teka and Lipa plants became much more prevalent.

sangkatutak ang thorny plants sa trail
the whole Malarayat Team
The trail wasn't that difficult at all, the assaults were mostly gradual, and if it is steep it won't last long and there are plenty of branches and roots to cling on. Perhaps the only challenge in this traverse is the high prevalence of Teka-teka and Lipa plants.

By 10 AM, we reached the grassy trail of Mt. Balagbag (another lesser known mountain of Malarayat Range at kapangalan lang nung nasa Rizal). It's an open trail, trees are less in number (medyo mainit at hindi ko dala yung sumbrero ko, buti na lang meron ako payong kaya protektodo pa rin mula sa araw). We continued following the trail until it led us to the summit of Mt. Biak-na-Bundok.

Mt. Biak-na-Bundok, as its name suggests, is indeed a mountain with a "biak na summit" and it is obviously not natural. According to our guide, Pres. Marcos tried to create a highway from Lipa, Batangas to San Pablo, Laguna right across Malarayat Range. It was a major project that was later abandoned (kung bakit hindi tinuloy, hindi ko alam) and left that part of Malarayat Range partly bald.

at Biak-na-Bundok Summit. Behind me is the Susong Dalaga Peak
The treeless summit of Biak-na-Bundok is a very good vantage point to look at the nearby Southern Tagalog Mountains, the three prominent summits of Malarayat Range and the lakes of Laguna and Taal.

Mt. Maculot
Mts. Cristobal and Banahaw
Mt. Kalisungan
Manabu Peak, peeking behind is Mt Makiling

It was almost lunchtime, Kuya Mario told us that we can have lunch at the next campsite 10 minutes away from Biak-na-Bundok.

The campsite is wide (kasya siguro ang 5 tents) but it's not perfectly flat and clear, and there is a water source. We had our lunch there and stayed for an hour.

our lunch site
there are plenty of water source throughout the traverse, hikers won't run out of water
After lunch, kuya Mario led us to his tree-house (or tri-house). We became curious with this house kasi sabi ni kuya Mario maganda daw yung lugar na yun. But when we got there, wala naman special sa lugar. I really don't get it why kuya Mario calls his house a tree-house (or tri-house). When I asked him, sabi niya triangle daw kasi yung bubong, then I was like, "ah ok".

Anyway, we spent 20 minutes at Kuya Mario's humble abode. We rested there, some climbed up the tree beside the house and pick some black wild berries. Kuya Mario also let us taste his stock of Alamid Coffee. Cool talaga si Kuya Mario, game na game siya sa piktyuran at kwentuhan.

ang pinagmamalaking bahay ni Kuya Mario, triangle daw kasi yung bubong
talagang umakyat ng puno para lang mamitas
at eto ang pinitas niya, wild berry. masarap siya in fairness
From Kuya Mario's tree-house, we proceeded to Mt. Malipunyo. It took us 2 hours to reach its summit, passing through a stream and a slightly steep trail. It was also on this leg of the trail that I got victimized by Lipa Plant (aarrgh! sobrang kati na masakit). Sa totoo lang hindi ko siya magawang kamutin kahit sobrang kati niya, dahil pag ginawa ko yun, parang kinakagat ako ng mga langgam sa sakit. Kuya Mario told us that gabi is the remedy for lipa itch (mag-lalaban daw kasi yung kati ng lipa at kati ng gabi - medyo hindi ako sure kung effective ito and I doubt it kaya mind over matter na lang muna).


Biologist's Zone

Lipa Plant (Laportea meyeniana) belongs to Family Urticaceae, a family of plants known for the presence of stinging hairs. This plant is notorious for its itchy defense mechanism. Anyone who gets in contact with its leaves will surely feel intense itch or skin irritation. This reaction is caused by the formic acid released by Lipa plant [take note that it's also this acid that ants (Family Formicidae) produce if they sting or bite]. These plants usually thrive in low and medium altitudes (much like the mountains of Southern Tagalog).


We reached Malipunyo peak at 02:45 PM. The weather was still very good at that time and we were able to see again the neighboring mountains. 

the flag marks the summit
ang mga kabundukan ng Southern Tagalog, seen from Malipunyo peak
meron din ulo sa summit.
Sabi ni Kuya Mario, isang linggo pa lang daw yung estatwa, napatumba na kagad ng bagyo,
kaya ayan, ulo na lang ang natira
We descended after 45 minutes. The descent to Brgy. Talisay, Lipa City (our exit point for this Malarayat traverse) was quite a long continuous trek, mostly gradual, pero dahil bitin ako sa tulog, madali akong napagod.  

along the way, pinatikim kami ni Kuya Mario ng Catmon.
It was my first time to taste one, at lasa siyang kamias
It rained during the final leg of our trek. It was a heavy downpour but it did not last long. And by 05:45 PM, we reached the liguan station in Brgy. Talisay, the traverse was finally completed. 

It was a successful climb and I personally enjoyed it a lot.


21st mountain success!


  1. anng hilig mo tlga umakayat sa bundok :)

  2. Wowww!! :) Gusto ko din umakyat ng bundok, bakit ganun parang hindi mahirap akyatin pag ikaw nag kwekwento hahah :)

  3. Sir may contact po ba kayo ng guide and how mush is the guide fee...

    1. kuya Mario with a jungle bolo can guide you. Here's the contact number: 09994106990. Bigyan niyo ng tip. As per event organizer, 1200 ang guide fee nya. Mukhang alam niya ang mga trail even the one that goes to San Pablo - maybe you can try that one. Yung Suso na lang ang babalikan namin. (Vince, 2012)

    2. talaga ang gusto ko itawag sa kanya eh.. Kuya Mario with a jungle bolo...

  4. same shirt din ung suot ni mang mario nung nagpa-guide kami sa kanya! hahahaha!

  5. grabe nakakainggit! gusto kong ring maexperience na umakyat sa iba't ibang bundok.. so sad wala akong kasama..:( is there any way para makasama sa ganitong activity na kasama ung ibang travel bloggers?

  6. Grabe Ivan ang influence ng blog mo, nakabasa ako ngayun sa newsfeed ko. Kuya Mario with a jungle bolo na talaga ang tawag sa kanya ngayon. LOL. my stupid thoughts...

  7. Finally after years of planning, natuloy din kami mag Malarayat traverse last weekend. Super worth it!

  8. Hi there, May contact number po ba si Mang Mario? Gusto po sana namin mag try sa Nov 9?



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