Monday, April 2, 2012

Rain and Shine: Mt. Tagapo

Mt. Tagapo
Talim Island, Laguna de Bay
Major jump-off: Brgy. Janosa (Talim Island) Binangonan, Rizal
LLA 14.32° N 121.23° E, 438 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2
(source: Pinoy Mountainer)
So this is what happened. From our amazing daytrip in Naga and the ten-hour train ride, I spent half of the day sleeping, trying to regain my almost washed-out strength from my failed exhibitions in CWC. But it turned out to be a trap, because when I woke up – I felt much worse.  At a turtle’s pace, I tried to fix  my things for my next day trip – a day climb to be exact… went to work from 6pm to 3am… waited in the pantry until 430am… and at around 5am, I found myself inside an FX on my way to yet another energy-demanding activity.

Since Mt. Tagapo is in an island, we had to take a boat ride to the town of Janosa. We took the first trip at 630am. Boat leaves in every two hours. Fare is 30 pesos.

It was my first time to ride this kind of a water-based transport and I was elated about the experience. Alanganin bangka, alanganing ferry kasi sya. It’s huge. And half of the passengers were actually goodies, transported by retailers in the islands.

the mighty captain of the ship

We passed about four to five town ports to disembark other passengers.

Just after an hour and a half, we found ourselves in front of the welcome sign of the town.

From the port, we just walked straight to the barangay hall (as in, isang derecho lang from the port..) for the customary registration (20pesos). We met our guide, Kuya Arthur – (0939.617.8387). He was with us from Binangonan port (see second pix). Standard rate for a guide is 300. We have read a recent solo climb of Pinoy Lakwatsero to Mt. Tagapo before our schedule hike. Mommy Earl and I even thought of doing the same thing – not hiring a guide and just follow his instructions. But since we have numbers to split the cost, might as well hire one – for safety.

While having breakfast and the much needed caffeine refill, it rained. Good thing I brought my reliable raincoat, while others had their umbrella. Unlike other climbs, I didn’t bother to prepare baon for lunch. I just had leftovers from my recent Naga trip.

By 830am, we officially started the second climb of the year…

kung makapag signage, parang nasa kabilang kanto lang ang bundok ah!

Kuya Arthur – 0939.617.8387

It didn’t rain the whole duration of the climb, but from the time to time, it brought us a little discomfort because the dried up trail gradually became muddy and it’s slippery when wet… not to mention our worries about another foggy summit.

Dolly (seated on the rock): sana nanood na lang ako ng One Piece...

After taking the photo above, the heavens mercilessly showered us with liquid blessings – just before we reached the last part of the trail before the base camp. Whew. We had to halt and took shelter to one of the bamboo-shielded-giant-tree-covered areas. We stood there for at least 20-30 minutes. I thought we will go home with a heavy heart on that day. Until we realized we forgot something very important in each climb – the prayer. Oh yes, we forgot to pray before the climb so there, He reminded us just before we start ascending the base camp. So, we silently uttered our prayers – and yes, the rain stopped soon afterwards.

The human-tall talahiban of Mt. Tagapo reminded me of Mt Gulugod baboy and Mt Pico de Loro. You have to protect you face with your arms while passing them or else you’ll get scratches.

1030AM. It was still drizzling when we arrived the base camp. We can hardly see the summit because of the fog. But little by little, the skies cleared up.

now you fog...

 now you don't...

The minute the heavens showed us the sign of a perfect weather, we rushed back to the trail and started our hike to the summit. Never mind the cold wind blowing our almost soaking bodies.

hala sige..picture ng picture!

It took us about 30 minutes before conquering the fullness of the mountain. Indeed when at the top of Mt. Tagapo, you can see the beauty and vastness of Laguna de Bay and the different sides of it.

Kuya Arthur: Ito rin yung tinatawag na susong dalaga, kasi para syang shape ng ano…ng dalaga…

Inch: (Amused.)Talaga kuya?! Ibig nyong sabihin kuya, itong summit… ito na yung…
The rest of us: Sige Inch, sabihin mo… sabihin mo… haha..
(kung sana kasama natin sina Rai, Gulli at Echo…hindi ka mahihirapan Inch noh?!)

For a time, we had to play tricks with the fog to capture the view from the summit, especially for our must-have jump shots.
the group shot

the feet shot!

of course...the jump shots!

We stayed for half an hour in the summit… then off to our descent.

We took refuge to Kuya Arthur’s house for a quick rest and retouch. Few minutes later, he told us the boat is already there, so we had to double time our pace. According to one of the passengers, the last boat trip from Janosa to Binangonan is 7pm (just double check it with your guide or in the barangay hall.)

paunahan makarating ng Maynila oh... hahaha
Upon arriving back to the port, we immediately looked for the nearest food chain available for a quick super late lunch, before heading home.


  1. Looks like Mother Nature played tricks with you guys but it was still a good climb :) I miss climbing and I'm stoked that in 2 weeks I'll be summitting again. Wee!

  2. Looks fun. Hopefully I get to visit that place again :)