Adventure Notes # 17: Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

MT. KALISUNGAN DAYHIKE
BRGY. LAMOT, CALAUAN, LAGUNA
JUNE 11, 2016

AN ABORTED MT. KALISUNGAN DAYHIKE

As the hot days slowly gives way to wet, rainy ones, we started to think where to start hiking again. Our leg muscles are softer so we decided to do a minor hike. We finally opted for a Mt. Kalisungan dayhike in Calauan, Laguna.

As with other Southern Tagalog mountains that receives ample rainfall, Mt. Kalisungan’s trail is lush and highlighted by fruit bearing trees and grasslands near the summit. As narrated by Gideon Lasco in pinoymountaineer.com, “verdant fields surround the slopes of Kalisungan. There are coconut trees, banana plantations, corn fields, citrus orchards, and vast grasslands leading to the summit.”

We met at JAC Liner Buendia at 6am and took the next bus departing for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. It took two and a half hours before we arrived at the Victoria/Itik junction, thanks to the traffic build up in Calamba and Los Baños. Upon alighting at the junction, there is a carinderia selling itik (duck) dishes, which explains the over sized duck monument that marks the place. We found out later that raising ducks for food is a major industry in the town of Victoria.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Oversized itiks at the junction. (screengrab from Google Map)

 

The tricycle ride to Brgy. Lamot is smooth and easy. After registering at the Barangay Hall, we opted to get a guide since we’ve heard about the mountain’s labyrinthine trails. We hopped on our guide Ambet’s tricycle as the jump off is about a kilometer from the Lamot national road.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

With Mang Bino, the foremost guide in Mt. Kalisungan. His contact details can be found in the notes below.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Phoebe, Dina and Mark (the blogger) at the jump off.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Start of hike.

 

We started at 10 AM, passing through a gradual trail, with bananas and various fruit bearing trees along the way. Despite the occasional cloud cast, it was a hot and dry day. Not very long into the hike, we stumbled into a wooden fence blocking our way so we have to turn back. Our guide told us it was private property and probably fenced very recently.

We went another way bypassing the fence. After some time, we came into another fence but this time, we simply went through it.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Going through a wooden fence.

 

We also passed by a charcoal pit where locals are making charcoal by burning wood and covering it with soil. The heat consumes the carbon, leaving the charcoal to be collected. Charcoal as we’re familiar is a more efficient fuel and gives off far less smoke.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Charcoal pit.

 

As we went up, the plains of Calauan became more visible. Mt. Makiling loomed on the horizon as with the surrounding mountains. However, Phoebe also visibly felt more discomfort, a combination of lack of hiking time, heat and sleep deprivation. We took lengthy stops along the way, including one under a large mango tree with a nice view of the rice fields and the plains below.

We continued our hike as high noon was approaching. Unfortunately, Phoebe’s discomfort was only growing worse, the heat was making her dizzy. After some time, we decided to abort the push to the summit and just enjoy our time in the mountain. We had our lunch under the mango tree before going down the mountain.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

The wife of Mang Bino who was guiding another group giving Phoebe a head massage.

 

On our way down, we passed by two small children picking fruits from a Bignay tree with a stick. We asked permission from our guide to join them, and he said okay, as the tree was owned by his relative.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Picking bignay from the tree.

Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

Clusters of bignay fruits hung on the tree.

 

We were back at the jump off by 1pm and after downing a bottle of cold soft drinks, we hopped on a waiting tricycle to take us back to Itik junction. During our trip, kuyang driver was telling me about several celebrities who have visited Mt. Kalisungan like Sheena Halili, Rica Peralejo, Agot Isidro and recently, Christian Vasquez. I tell kuya to add us to that list but he doesn’t seem convinced.

By 2pm, we were back at the Itik junction. After tidying up at the same carinderia earlier, we took a Buendia bound bus at the highway and was back in Manila before five in the afternoon.

Although we didn’t succeeded in completing this Mt. Kalisungan hike, we were still happy to be back in the trails. We were definitely a bit out of shape so more work needs to be done before we can return and hopefully see the views at the top of Mt. Kalisungan. Special thanks to Dina for going with us in this hike.

ACTUAL ITINERARY

6:00 AM Meet up JAC Liner, Buendia Bus Terminal
7:00 AM Depart Buendia
9:30 AM Arrive at Masabang/Itik junction, take tricycle to Brgy. Lamot
9:45 PM Arrive at Barangay Hall, register and arrange guide
10:00 AM Start Hike
11:30 AM Aborted hike (hiker discomfort)
1:00 PM Back at jump off, tidy up, take tricycle to Itik Junction
2:00 PM Take bus back to Manila
5:00 PM Back in Manila

ACTUAL EXPENSES

Bus fare Buendia to Masabang/Itik Junction P125
Tricycle fare to Brgy. Lamot P20/person
Registration fee 20/person
Guide fee P400/day
Tricycle fare to to Masabang/Itik Junction P30/person
Bus fare to Buendia from Masabang/Itik Junction P116
Comfort room (Itik Junction) P3/P5 per use

ADVENTURE NOTES

  • Depart early. The summit is an open grassland and expected to be very exposed at noon. Also so you can avoid the build up of traffic in Calamba and Los Banos.
  • There is a carinderia right upon alighting the bus at the Victoria/Itik junction. They serve Victoria’s specialty – itik, and one of the signature dish is kinulob na itik which is a whole fried or baked duck.
  • The road to brgy. Lamot is in very good condition. The people are also friendly and helpful.
  • The trails can be confusing and some goes through private property. It is better to hire a guide to save the trouble.
  • Despite the travel time, going to Mt. Kalisungan is very convenient due to the ready transportation options.
  • You can arrange for a guide in advance. The foremost guide in Mt. Kalisungan is Mang Bino (contact# 09994100991) and his wife.
  • For more details and complete information on this destination, visit our Quick Guide to Mt. Kalisungan.
    ~~~
Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.
  ~~~

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195 thoughts on “Adventure Notes # 17: Mt. Kalisungan Dayhike

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