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Marapara Peak - 2nd Highest Peak of Negros
This is my year end climb and It was totally devastating experienced for me because we hiked approximately 9 hours on our Day 1 and 4 hours of it was a night trek. Though, I already climbed Mt. Kanlaon the Heart and Nostrils of Negros Island but the  struggle I faced on this majestic mountain was awesome and incomparable. Anyway before I will embroidered my story here I will let you give some insights about this mountain. Mount Mandalagan is part of Negros Volcanic Belt,  a crown jewel of North Negros Forest Reserve with elevation of 1963MASL. Moreover, It is located in the mountainous area of Negros Occidental which lies on the northern part of Negros Island. Yet, according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Mt Mandalagan is one of potentially active volcano. 


The Class Picture - they're ready!
This feat was started when my college classmates and friends opened a topic about mountain climbing and they told me that they are willing to join and experience the life in the mountain. So, I planned an event 4 days before new year - TO CLIMB MOUNT MANDALAGAN and a month prior to that, I prepared and submitted a letter addressed to the Tourism Officer of Silay City because it is mandatory that one month before the climb dates you must secure  an official climb permit from their office. Apparently, unlike the other DENR officer/ mountain warden they collecting environmental fee, camping fee and other "name it fee" but climbing mandalagan is for free. Yes, you need to pay only 20 pesos for the entrance at Hospital in Brgy. Patag - the jump off point going Mt. Mandalagan.
"Tinagung Dagat" - Hidden Sea
Locals called it "Hospital" until now because before it is serves a sanitarium of the military during war. Anyway, I've been in Barangay Patag many times - a nice and great place for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lover like me since there's a lot of natural pools, springs and waterfalls lies in the place. We reached patag before lunch and we hurriedly asked the forest officer on duty for our guide and discussed to him our itinerary. After that, we took our lunch and prepared ourselves on this real life adventure that awaits us under those thick and pristine forest of Mandalagan. 

Mixed emotions enveloped my being that time since I will be experiencing once again the real and true nature of Mandalagan and I know that there's a lot of things that the said mountain can offer. Anyway, we are nine in the group including our 2 guides: Lee, Chaw, Rz, Mai, Mark, Ehmz and Me - sorry I forgot the names of our guide. We started our trek right after our lunch. At first, my compatriots was very excited not only it is their first time but because of the experiences they will learned on this feat.
Solfatara Daku - Lake of Sulphur
The signage says "Notice: Area is protected by DENR. Keep out" these signs simply conveyed us that we already entered the protected area. So apply the basic mountaineering etiquette!There's a lot of "gimme five" during this climb and of course as we passed by solfatara gamay we were asking our guide of how many more hours to reach Marapara Peak our 1st campsite but he usually uttered 2 more hours. Yes! I know that it is his tactics for us to keep our spirit alive and excited. One, two, three hours passed by but still we didn't reach the Peak and it is 5pm already - the sun are so excited to settled down. It is a bit a dark already in the forest and we manage to see the not-so-called trail "unestablished trail" by using our head lamps with 80degrees ascent - challenging - deadly - terrifying - yet we survived!
Endemic Plants at Brgy. Patag
When we were descending on our third day challenge most of us is very tired but when we reached the alimatok campsite 2 hours away from Tinagung Dagat our energies was tripled because of the Limatik or leech on the trail it makes our body awake and alert. Most of us are doing trail run of course we were afraid that our skin will be sucked by slimy little creature. On the trail bushes you can see the leeches extending their bodies - waiting for their hosts. It took 4 hours until there were no leeches on the trail but some of my classmates were tired and exhausted I can see in their faces that they want to give up but we don't have choices but to push and accept the challenges.

Safety Measures and Practicalities:

1. Wear Proper attire and Equipment

2. Always bring sufficient water
3. Trail food please
4. Off Lotion for mosquitoes
5. Eucalyptus oil for Limatik
6. Leave No trace!
I hate this creature "The Limatik" - afraid of this. Don't you?

Rates, Budget and Expenses:

Guide - 500/day
Porter - 500/day
Entrance (Mandatory) - 20

Jeepney fare vv - 80
Food Ration - 300
Misc - 50
Water - 54

Total Mt. Mandalagan Budget and Expenses = PHP1,504.00


Tinagong Dagat, Solfatara & Marapara Peak (3D/2N) Itinerary

Day 1
0500 – Wake up Call
0515 – Taking a Bath/Breakfast
0545 – Taking a Jeepney Going to North Bus Terminal
0630 - Take bus from Bacolod to Silay
0730 -  ETA Silay City / Buy Packed Lunch
0830 - Meet with the Group at Silay Plaza
0900  -Take first trip to Brgy. Patag
1000 - ETA Hospital; Get a guide
1130 - Lunch
1230 - ETA Alimatok Campsite
1430 - Arrival at Solfatara Gamay
2100 - ETA Marapara Peak. Set up camp
2130 – Cook Dinner
2200 - Dinner / Socials

Day 2

0600 Wake up call
0700 Breakfast / break camp
0730 Head back to Tinagong Dagat
1030 ETA Tinagong Dagat
1100 Set up camp
1200 Lunch
1300 Proceed to Solfatara Daku
1500 ETA Solfatara: Picture Taking
1530 Go back to Tinagong Dagat
1700 ETA Tinagong Dagat
1800 Dinner / socials

Day 3

0500 Wake up call
0600 Breakfast / break camp
0700 Proceed to Brgy., Patag
1100 ETA Patag
1110 Washing time
1200 Lunch
1300 Head to Silay City proper
1430 ETA Silay City
1430 Take jeep to Bacolod
1530 ETA Bacolod
*END


P.S : My deepest sincerity and thanks to my classmates in this adventures:  I will not forget Emma for bringing lot of foods, Riza for pretending not scared but she was terrified - I salute you that you survived! Charito for being fashion junkie at all times even inside the forest, Mai for being the chef on the Campsite - and having a bucket of chocolates, Honey - you rock! Mark - you took a bath on the super cooled water of Tinagung Dagat. Until next time guys!

 ENJOY CLIMBING!
 

Post a Comment

  1. Quite a hectic schedule you have and well worth the effort - 3 fantastic spots in 3 days. From Sulfatara-Gamay, did your party use the trail up the peak to the west of Marapara? From the Marapara summit, did you use the new trail leading to Alimatok Country Trail at its junction close to the ridge overlooking the swamp?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Dennis, we used the unestablished trail up to the peak of Marapara from Sulfatara - Gamay. Yet, we used also on our 2nd day hike the new trail leading to Alimatok Country Trail at its junction close to the ridge overlooking the swamp (Tinagung Dagat).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi :) How's the trail going up? by difficulty i mean.

    Thanks,

    ReplyDelete

 
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