Mt Marami: Mt Rushmore of the Philippines

Christmas has just passed and I was itching to climb a mountain to end 2013. My travel buddy Hampaslupang Lagalag and I agreed to hike Mt Marami (sometimes called Rockies). We set the climb on December 29 since there was no work the following day. 3 more friends joined us. This mountain has a grandeur set of massive rocky pillars, hence the name "Marami" which translates to "many" or "plenty". It is often compared to Pico de Loro, which has similar rocky formations, and they also share the same location. One can actually see the summit of each mountain from the peak of the other.

Mt Marami
Mt Marami

We all decided to gather first at Marlu's Diner in Lavanya Square in General Trias, Cavite before proceeding to Magallanes, Cavite. We left past 8:00AM. Armed with our GPS, Google map and bad internet connection, we lost our way twice and wasted some time, hahaha! After a couple of wrong turns, we finally reached Magallanes.

Mt Marami Jump-off
Mt Marami Jump-off

We arrived in Brgy. Ramirez, the jump-off for Mt Marami past 10:00AM. There was already another registered group when we logged in the Barangay Hall. Registration fee is Php20 per person. We patiently looked for a guide to accompany us since Mt. Marami is known for its labyrinth trail. After finding two boys to assist us, we decided to have brunch at a store just outside the hall.

Start of Trail
Start of Trail

It was almost noon when we started our hike. Already too hot for a climb, and we had to pay the price for meeting up late. The start of the 4-hour hike was rather easy since the weather has been good the past couple of days. We did not experience a muddy trail which other mountaineers have spoken of.

First River Crossing
River Crossing

Third River Crossing
Porter Horse from another group

I advised the group that we will be crossing two rivers and therefore should be prepared to get wet. Lucky for us, there was no rain and the water in the river was very manageable. We took a long rest when we reached Bangkaan River. There we found a dilapidated wooden bamboo bridge. Our guide said it was used to cross the river whenever the water gets high during the rainy season. But it was destroyed 3 years ago. I hope the local officials of Magallanes will do something to repair this bridge for the safety of mountaineers. Another group arrived as we were about to leave. They had their stuff carried by a horse. Now, why did we not do that?

Nipa Hut at Mt Marami
Utazo sitting on a horse while we were resting at Cafe (Mt Marami Summit in the background

The next part of the hike was really tough as we had to endure the scorching heat of the sun with the exposed trail. There were only a few trees to hide along the way. Finally, we reached a nipa hut called "Cafe" by the mountaineers. Just nearby this hut is the last water source. From here, we can already see the peak of Mt Marami. The other group also left their horse here since the rest of the trail is not passable by big animals. After resting for 30 minutes, we resumed our hike going to the base camp.

Camp Area
Camp Area with the Rockies in the background

We reached the camp site before 5:00PM. From there we can already see the peak clearly. The summit is a good 20 to 30 minute hike from camp. There was still time to get to the peak but we opted to pitch our tents and prepare our dinner. There was a lot of animal shit in the camp, make sure you carry your headlamps when walking around. The wind was cold and strong, brrrrrr! Did not expect it to be this cold since the altitude was just below 400MASL (meters above sea level).

Dinner
Dinner

The smell of the crab and corn soup, pork and chicken adobo as well as the tinapang bangus was very inviting. We were all hungry after hours of trekking. Nothing was left of our dinner except for a small slice of the bangus. Even the fried eggplant was not spared. Burrrrrrp! Everybody settled in their tents after dinner since it was so cold. After a while, we started the socials.


Sunrise

We woke up at 5:00AM. After coffee, we started our way to the summit and witnessed the sun rise along the way. Come to think of it, I haven't experienced a good sunrise for 2013 until the end of the year. As the saying goes, save the best for last!

Mt Marami Summit
Mt Marami Summit

Utazo at Mt Marami
Utazo at Mt Marami

Mike Laagan at the Summit
The Traveling Panda at Mt Marami Summit

If the wind at the camp was strong, the wind at the summit was wild. We stayed there for almost an hour just enjoying the breathtaking view. We can clearly see Pico de Loro from the peak and the surrounding mountains. It was truly rewarding to be conquering another mountain after a long time. The view was perfect! After some photo ops, we started our descend.

Mt Marami and Silyang Bato
Mt Marami (right) and the Smaller Silyang Bato (left)

Hampaslupang Lagalag at Mt Marami
Hampaslupang Lagalag at Mt Marami

Some more pictures on the way back to camp. We started to break camp once we reached base and left the campsite by 9:00AM.

Brunch
Brunch

After an hour we were back at the Cafe and prepared brunch. We had Nido Oriental Soup, dried pusit and Zaragosa Sardines (not owned by the singer Jessa), and some fresh tomatoes. "Galit-galit muna ang peg kasi gutom na ang lahat" (no one was talking since everybody was hungry). We were so hungry that we consumed everything. We then rested until noon and had fresh buko juice before we continued our descend.

Bangaan River
Bangkaan River

Our next stop for rest was back at the Bangkaan River. We underestimated our drinking water supply and had barely had a drink as we were going down. Water sources in Mt. Marami was scarce. After enough rest, we started to head back to the jump-off point where we had snacks and cold softdrinks. We enjoyed our hike. We had a perfect weather, a good sunrise and an unforgettable ending to 2013. We capped the day with Bulalo na walang Sebo and buttered shrimps at Marlu's Diner in Lavanya Square in General Trias, Cavite.

Actual Expenses:

Gasoline - P500 (from Manila round trip for each vehicle)
Guide - P800 (we took 2 guides since they were cousins, 1 will suffice actually but since it was Christmas and we have soft hearts)
Food - roughly P1,200 since we bought a lot of food for lunch, dinner and brunch plus we ate at the jump-off before and after hiking, and because we love to cook and eat on top of the mountain (actually magastos kaming kasama sa climb pagdating sa pagkain)

Sample Itinerary: (which we do not usually follow but serves as guide for time allocation)

Day 1
0530 Meetup Coastal Mall. Take bus to Naic
0800 ETA Naic, take jeep to Magalanes
0830 ETA Magallanes. Register at police station. Buy supplies, take tricyle to to Brgy Ramirez
0900 ETA Brgy. Ramirez, Register at barangay hall.
0930 Start trek
1000 ETA Ilog na Kayrayag.
1100 Cross three segments of Bangkaan River; proceed to Nuestra Señora de la Paz
1230 Have lunch at Kapihan Nipa hut. There's a nearby water source.
1330 Resume trek to Campsite 1
1430 ETA Campsite 1.
1500 Reach Bamboo Forest.
1600 ETA campsite at base of Mt. Marami summit.
1630 Assault the summit; explore.
1800 Return to camp.
1830 Dinner / socials

Day 2
0530 Wake up / Coffee / sunrise viewing
0600 Assault Summit
0630 ETA Summit, photo-ops
0730 Back to camp, breakfast
0830 Break camp
0900 Start descent
1100 Back at Kapihan nipa hut, get water
1200 Bangkaan River
1330 Back at jump-off point at Brgy. Ramirez, wash up, snacks
1500 Return to Naic
1600 ETA Naic, late lunch / early dinner
1700 Return to Manila
2000 Back to Manila

Related Links:

Sea of Clouds of Mt Pulag

Post-Birthday Hike to Pico de Loro






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4 comments:

  1. Nice! the peak is not the usual "landscape" that one sees in the Philippines

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    Replies
    1. thanks for dropping by! The massive rock formation is quite unusual. the other peak near this mountain resemble a parrot's peak.

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  2. Is it safe to leave your "not so important" things in the camp? i mean, pag-aakyat na ng peak? ok lang iwan yung tent na nakatayo?

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    Replies
    1. It is not really recommended to leave anything on the camp unless you will have someone watch over your stuff. If you take 2 guides, one of them has to stay to watcj over your things. Make sure to ask for guides from the barangay hall, they have a pool of guides. If in case you want to be adventurous and save up on the guide fee, it is highly recommended to leave someone on the basecamp.

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