Friday, January 8, 2016

Mt. Cinco Picos | From Mountain to Sea

Mountain and sea always make a perfect combination. I've done many hikes in the past, but those that go together with a beach destination, whether an island paradise or a crystalline cove, more often than not, are the most rewarding. A perfect example of this and probably the first to come in mind when talking about mountain-sea combo trip are the mountains of Zambales, particularly the ones located in the coastal towns of San Antonio and Subic.

A traverse hike of Mt. Cinco Picos (or literally, Five Peaks), in combination with the secluded Silanguin Cove at the end of its trail is among those popular Zambales mountain-sea destination. 


Saturday - February 8, 2014

As we were all yearning for a quick weekend beach trip, Team Tramping Philippines and I, decided to go to Silanguin cove via Cinco Picos, since none of us have ever done it. Sa totoo lang, matagal na naming pinaplano umakyat ng Cinco Picos, but for some reasons, lagi na lang nauudlot. Finally, now, it pushed through.

Aboard Victory Liner bus, we left Manila as early as 12 midnight, and reached Olongapo at around 2 o'clock in the morning. Then from there, we traveled to the jump-off point at Sitio Cawag in Subic to meet with Chieftain Jimmy. By the way, there's no available public transpo to Sitio Cawag in the wee hours of Saturday, so Agnes prearranged a jeepney service for the team.

Never hike a Zambales mountain at the height of the day. That's the lesson we learned from hiking  Mt. Balingkilat and Mt. Pundaquit in the past. If you would back read our experiences in these mountains, you'll learn how these mountains live up to their "sobrang init abot singit" reputation. Naiisip ko pa lang, init na init na ako.

Having this in mind, we began hiking as early as 3 o'clock in the morning. Talagang main goal namin sa hike na ito ay ang matakasan ang init ng araw. Thankfully, the trail was mostly straightforward, has only a few river-crossings and with very minimal assaults. To cut the story short, our night trek was fairly easy. Also, the absence of day light kept us more focused on trekking, thus a quicker pace.

And just as the sun begins to rise, the recognizable peaks of Cinco Picos were right there in front of us.

First photo of the day. Welcome to Mt. Cinco Picos.
Through the grassy hills, we soon reached the foot of Mt. Cinco Picos where the major ascent finally took place. As we continuously gain elevation, we were graced by the lovely dramatic sun rise scene from the east.

Sun rise
As much as we enjoyed the view of the beautiful sun rise, the mountains and the surrounding landscape, without a fail, also gave us that moment of wonder and awe. Umabot sa point na wala nang nagpapansinan sa amin dahil kaniya-kaniya nang nag-pipicturan sa napaka-gandang scenery.

Mt. Balingkilat at the background

From the rolling grassy slopes, it took us less an hour to reach the first of the five peaks of Cinco Picos. Cool sea breeze coming from the West Philippine Sea, as well as the view of the much awaited Silanguin Cove are the best things I remember when we set foot at Peak 1.

Genuine laughter at Peak 1 of Cinco Picos
For minutes, we stayed at Peak 1, thanks to the chilly morning breeze that embraces us up there.  

When we carried on with our hike, I was surprised we're already descending the mountain towards Silanguin Cove. From what I know, we still had to pass through Peak 2 before taking the final descent. I asked our guide about this only to find out that no one has ever reached any of the peaks beyond Peak 1. All of the previous Cinco Picos hikes only reached Peak 1.

Anyway, we continued marching towards Silanguin cove, following the single visible descending trail. The trail is open all the way, and there was no potable water source encountered. Kaya imaginin mo na lang kung sakaling nag-trek kami sa katirikan ng araw.

Rolling hills en route to Silanguin Cove
Ayun ang aming patutunguhan
Fearing that the sun would soon caught up, we hastily trekked down the trail. Todo iwas talaga kami sa init ng araw. But being just mere mortals, we're no match against time. By 8:45 AM, the trek was already scorching hot. Consequently, our paced slowed down badly.       

Looks near, yet still too far.
From 9 until 10 AM, we endured a dry, desert-like environment. We thought we'll be able to escape this great torment by starting very early, but still we failed. The final stretch of the hike proved to be the most challenging part. Hell, it was hell.

sdfsdsgrg46#$. init!!
There were shaded portions along the trail where we stayed and rested for minutes, pero hindi pa rin sapat, aircon na ang kailangan namin! We also crossed dry river beds before finally arriving at the tall talahiban area.

Panoramic shot of Mt. Cinco Picos
konting tiis na lang.
Finally, at 10:30 AM, the inviting sounds of sea waves began to brush our ears. This gives us a boost, despite the intensely energy-draining environment. Konting push pa, and it's all gonna be over.

The moment we escaped the talahiban area, lo and behold, the grand prize Silanguin Cove.

Paradise at the end of the hike.

Up next: Silanguin Cove | the Prize at the end of a hike


  1. i could only imagine how hot it was...deym!
    pero ika nga nila, pagkatapos ng hirap, may katumbas na sarap...
    2 years ago na pala yung akyat mo sir ivan pero di nakakasawang magback-read...

  2. Hi sir.. Ask ko lang po sir if pwede mo ishare contact nyo ng jeep at ni chieftain.. We're planing to climb this weekend eh.. It would be a great help for us sir.. Thankyou..

  3. Sir kaya ba ng Day hike lang ?

  4. Sir naka schedule sana yan kung kaya ng day hike? thanks!

  5. Hope you could include the itinerary and budget of your climbs :)

  6. Looking at the pictures, ramdam ko ang init! Namiss ko ang Cinco Picos.. and we were able to hike up to Peak 3. Kaso pag naiisip ko ung 3AM-5PM na paghihike until makarating ng Silanguin Cove, hayyyy, I don't know if I can still do it! Galing mo ser!

  7. Sir nag-email ako sayo. Paki-share naman kung sino pwede ma-contact, planning to hike MT. Cinco Picos this coming vacation.

  8. Sir if we could kindly acquire the contact for the jeep/guide/chieftain po and if you might have itenerary for this dayhike please.

    Thank you

  9. Sir, plan po naman traverse cinco picos to Silaguin cove. Pede po ba makahinge ng contact ng guide sa cinco picos



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