Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mt. Mabilog, Bunga Falls and Underground Cemetery


(Hirit Sa Tag-Ulan)

It was supposed to be an overnight climb for TheBackpackers event in September but due to the recent typhoon “Mario” that struck the metro which caused fear and concern to the participants, we decided to cancel the overnight event and changed it to a dayhike event. Luckily, the event can be achieved in one day.

According to our President, BP Heinz, this was the first time in our almost four years of existence to conduct a dayhike event. I must say, although cheaper and convenient, I still prefer overnight event whenever I am with TheBackpackers and here is the story on why.

All the participants met at KFC near Gil Puyat LRT Station at exactly 6:00am. There were four (4) BPs who confirmed their intention in joining this event and they are: BPs Heinz, Nickson (myself) and returning from months of absence, BPs Annalyn and Alexi. Joining us for the second time are Ramon and Jimmalyn who were our guest at Mt. Daraitan and lastly, to complete the line-up are the first timers - Siji, Malen, Charmaine and foreign national from Venezuela, Merly.

While waiting for our rented Van, we get to have a small chitchat with the guest and it was known that BP Alexi and guest Ramon knew each other because they previously work in the same company and that guest Siji (BP Heinz’ sister) is actually working already (lol). Upon arrival of the van, we embarked on the journey bound to Nagcarlan, Laguna.

Over two hours of travelling, we finally arrived in our first destination, the jump-off point of Mt. Mabilog in Brgy. Sto. Angel in San Pablo, Laguna. We were again doing a traverse climb (San Pablo City to Nagcarlan, Laguna).

We went straight to the Brgy. Hall of Sto. Angel and had ourselves registered. The Brgy. Hall was distant from the jump-off point that can easily be seen thru signage which states “To Lake Pandin” or “To Lake Yambo”. After last minute of preparation which includes bathroom break in the Brgy. Hall and a prayer, the group began with its Mt. Mabilog climb.

We were assisted by a kid guide from jump-off point to Lake Pandin named Rachel (I hope my spelling is correct). It took us about 15-20minute walk and it was literally a “walk-in-the-park” from the jump-off to Lake Pandin.

Start of the trail to Lake Pandin
Coconut trees along the way

View of Lake Pandin upon arrival

Arriving at Lake Pandin
Waiting area at Lake Pandin
Located at Brgy. Sto. Nino, Lake Pandin is one of the seven (7) lakes of San Pablo (along with Bunot, Calibato, Yambo, Palakpakin, Muhikap and Sampaloc). Together with Lake Yambo, they are called the “Twin Lakes”. Legend tells that they were both lovers that were cursed and it might have been true because of its positioning in the map. Regardless, its scenery is a must visit in the City of San Pablo.

It was the birthday of our 2nd time guest, Ramon and while taking some picture from the lake, he invited us for a Halo-Halo treat as celebration of his birthday. It was a good experience sitting in a floating cottage and savoring the view of the lake while talking to new friends. Although, we might enjoyed the cold halo-halo after the climb.

Halo-Halo celebration
BP Annalyn
Guest Siji
Birthday boy Ramon
BP Alexi

At floating balsa at Lake Pandin
Guest (Ramon, Jimma, Malen, and Sharmaine)
After the mini-celebration, we resumed our way to Mt. Mabilog in a traverse route.

Mt. Mabilog is one of the mountains surrounded by San Pablo Laguna's pride, the Seven Lakes. With the height of about 450masl, this mountain would be recommendable even to those who are planning to do mountain climbing for the first time. With its gradual assault , beautiful flora & fauna and non-technical trails, surely a beginner will enjoy this mountain. 

Trail going to Mt. Mabilog
BP Nickson
BP Alexi at the trail
Easy hike
A photo to the end group
A photo to the front group
It was an all easy hike for some of the experienced climbers. For BP Alexi and Annalyn, it was considered as their "return to BP climb". However, this two female BP are physically fit for adventure and even on their climbing absence, they still managed to keep the pacing with the group. 

We managed to arrived at the summit, which also serves as the campsite for this mountain, at exactly 12:00nn. The campsite was spacious and flat. It is ideal for camping for big groups with alteast at 360 degree view of all the almost all of the seven lakes. The only disadvantage I felt would be the lack of trees. It may sound selfish but it is for purposes only of covering us from the heat of the sun. 

Since the event was a dayhike, socials were made while we were resting. I admit that socials conducted in an overnight event is much more enjoyable than having it on a dayhike. 

Usual introduction about ourselves happened but what made the mini-socials interesting for this event were because of two (2) things:
1. We were required to observe English Only Policy (EOP) and,
2. A particular guest made a bold move by asking for forgiveness to another guest on a reason that only the two of them knew.  

After a short socials, we headed to the middle of the wide summit to have our traditional group photoOps. Here are some of the pictures.

Social circle
Summit view
view of Mt. Cristobal
view of Mt. Banahaw
view of Lake Yambo ang Lake Pandin
Guest Malen

Birthday boy (guest) Ramon
BP Nickson

BP Alexi
Guest Siji
BP Annalyn
Guest Jumpshot!
BP Jumpshot!
Group shot
Group shot
TheBACKPACKERS and Guest at Mt. Mabilog summit
We arrived at the jump-off point Brgy. Sulsuguin in Nagcarlan, Laguna after 30minutes of non-stop descent (talking about record-breaking descent) and met Kuya Edward, our trusted driver. Next stop...Bunga Falls!

From the jump-off at Brgy. Sulsuguin, it took us around 15 to 20 minute ride to Bunga Falls.

Located at Brgy. Bunga, this majestic twin falls offers a different kind of experience to those who loves heights and cliff diving. With an estimate height of  over 30 feet, cliff divers would really have their knees shake and heart pound. I've been to several falls near the metro and I can say that this falls amused me. I'm not referring to its basin but the falls itself. Its very rare that you get a chance to experience a waterfalls as strong as Bunga Falls. Myself and BP Annalyn wanted to experience what it feels like to be beneath the falls itself but to our dismay, it strong current kept us from reaching it. 

Bunga Falls
Bunga Falls basin
Guest Merly and BPs Annalyn and Alexi
Merly having trouble swimming
Guest Ramon, Sharmaine, Jimma, Malen and BP Nickson
Some locals said that its basin can be as deep as an ocean and numerous marine animals can be seen from below. However, we don't have a goggles to prove their stories. All I know was the basin was very deep and there are only some point where visitors can stay. Severe caution should be exercised in this fall.

Surely, this falls will never be forgotten by one of our guest. But we were just glad that YOU are safe. Happy 2nd life! (story would be kept confidential)

Our last destination for this event was the Underground Cemetery. Located along the hightway of Nagcarlan, this tourist destination serves as the resting place for some locals of the province. It unique architechture make it a destination of the municipality. It's like a mixture of old spanish place and a cemetery. 

Outside the Underground Cemetery

BP Alexi
BP Nickson
Guest Jimma
BP Annalyn
Guest Merly
Girls (Alexi, Anna, Jimma, Sharmaine, Malen, Merly and Siji)
The boys 
Group shot (minus Alexi) at Underground cemetery
We were unlucky to enter the underground cemetery itself since we arrived beyond its operation hours (only up to 4pm). But that doesn't stop us from having some fun in the camera, here are the pictures.

You may wonder (or not) where we had our lunch or even snack, the answer was...we had none! From the time we ascent Mt. Mabilog until the Underground cemetery we had not eaten any proper meal. The reason was, we can't see any canteen/ restaurant/ eatery along the journey. So what we did to celebrate our event and to extend the socials was to have our LUNCH, SNACK and DINNER at Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Calauan, Laguna.

It was a feast of food for all of us who were there since I know everyone were starving. There were overflowing of foods in our table which made me feel even more hungrier. We celebrated and extend our socials while everyone were laughing at some jokes and sharing some stories with one another. 

Singing band at Isdaan Restuarant
Guest Merly with Obama
Guest Malen
BP Annalyn with Obama
BP Heinz
TheBackpackers and Guest at Isdaan Restaurant
It was again a successful event to remember for TheBackpackers and the Guest (specially to one of us) 

We will never stop exploring and meeting new people, because with TheBackpackers - it is about the ADVENTURES and the PEOPLE! 


DAYTRIP (September 21, 2014)

Meet up at KFC near LRT Gil Puyat Station
Departure (via rented van)
Arrival at Brgy Hall of Sto. Angel
Registration/ Last minute preparation
Start Trek
Arrival at Lake Pandin (South Trail) /
Halo-Halo break

Resume Trek
Arrival at the Summit (aka Campsite)/ Rest/Socials
Start Descent
Arrival at Lake Sulsuguin (East Trail)
Departure to Bunga Falls
Arrival at Bunga Falls/Swimming
Departure to Underground  Cemetery
Arrival at Underground Cemetery
Departure to Isdaan Restaurant at Calauan, Laguna
Arrival at Isdaan Restaurant/ Dinner
Departure to Manila
Arrival in KFC near LRT Gil Puyat Station


Expenses (PhP)
Rented Van
5,000/ 10people
Toll Gate (Back and Forth)
428.00/ 10 people
Guide Fee
600.00/ 10 people
(P300.00/ guide x 2 guides)
Entrance Fee in Bunga Falls

Cottage Rental
150.00/ 10 people
Parking at Bunga Falls
25.00/ 10 people
625.30/ person

*SUPER Special Note: Our contribution was only 600.00/ person.


1. It is highly recommended hiring a van because Mt. Mabilog is far from Bunga Falls and Underground Cemeteray and finding a tricycle would definitely take some time. The cellphone number of Kuya Edward is 0942-4912274

2. There are no bathrooms in the jump-off point of Brgy. Sto. Nino. I recommend doing it in the Brgy. Hall. Furthermore, there are small "sari-sari" stores but it is much advisable to buy your foods and water on your way to Laguna.

3. Original price of the cottage in Bunga Falls is P200.00. Therefore, bargain for less.

Photo courtesy of:

Nickson Garcia
Heinz Alvarez
Alexi Lee
Malen Espinas

Post a Comment