Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Climb Guide: Malarayat Range Traverse

View from Peak 2 of Malepunyo

Malarayat mountain range is situated in the province of Batangas, covering municipalities of Sto Tomas and Talisay. There are trails that lead to the neighbor provinces such as San Pablo, Laguna and Tiaong, Quezon which technically puts the mountain range between the borders of three provinces.

The Malarayat range is composed of several peaks and the three most prominent are: Manabu Peak, Susong Dalaga, and Malepunyo Peak. Traversing these peaks is feasible and can be done in various ways. The traverse itinerary can vary depending on the point of entry and exit as well as the desired number of peaks. When we did the Malarayat Traverse we took the Sto. Tomas entry through Mt. Manubu and exited at Talisay after climbing Mt. Malepunyo. Overall, we covered 6 peaks.

The Traverse

If you are taking Sto. Tomas - Talisay traverse, the first mountain to climb is Mt. Manabu. You can take the trail via Grotto that leads to the summit and go down to the campsite. Right after the campsite is a trailless trail that leads to Mt. Maraduhan. You can also take the traditional trail of Manabu and pass by Tatay Piryeng’s nipa hut for a free coffee. Ascend to Manabu summit afterwards and backtrack to get to the next peak (or you may opt not to go to Manabu summit by turning right at an almost impenetrable trail that forks out from the main trail before the campsite, to go to Mt. Maraduhan.)

The trail to Mt. Maraduhan is overgrown with grasses, vines, and heaven knows what else. Merciless teka-teka (thorny shrubs) and Lipa plants (poison ivy) are thriving in abundance along the way; be careful not to get in touch with them.

After Mt. Maraduhan, pathway becomes easier and manageable. You’ll have to pass by a grassland until you reach the third peak - the shadeless summit of Biak-na-Bundok. This mountain I may say has an impressive view, it boasts a very good vantage point for other Southern Tagalog Mountains. Biak-na-Bundok is also a good campsite as there is a water source nearby. On our end, we continued trekking until we reached our guide’s “tree house”. We spent the night there. Good thing we did because after several minutes of resting when we reached Kuya Mario’s house, heavy rain poured.

The next day, we took the 3 remaining peaks of Malepunyo. From the tree house, it took us one and half hour to reach Peak 2, thirty minutes from Peak 2 to Peak 3 (the highest point, 1015 MASL), and another 30 minutes from Peak 3 to Peak 1. Overall, it took us a total of 4 hours from Kuya Mario’s tree house to Peak 2, Peak 3, and Peak 1 then back to the tree house. During the trek we passed by stream, slippery paths, dense foliage, and steep trails.

We drop by a nameless waterfalls before deciding to finally descend to Brgy. Talisay.

How to Get to Malarayat Jump-Off

The easiest way is catch a bus going to Lipa City or Batangas Pier, there are buses bound to those destinations near LRT Buendia. Tell the driver/conductor to drop you at Fiesta Mall. From there catch a tricycle going to Sulok, Brgy Sta Cruz, Sto Tomas Batangas (if you are taking Manabu-Malepunyo) or Sitio Talisay (if you are taking Malepunyo-Manabu). Drivers know too well where to bring you.

Projected Expenses

Aircon Bus to Sto Tomas
Php124 one way
Tricycle to Jump Off
Php30 per pax (should only be Php20)
Guide Fee
Php750 per day
Wash Up / Ligo Fee
Php20 per pax
Registration Fee
Php20 per pax (Manabu Entry)
* New ordinance: The Barangay no longer ask for registration fees from mountaineers entering Malepunyo. Each climber is required to plant a tree instead.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 (September 28, Saturday)

0500 - Assembly at Jam Bus Terminal
0530 - ETD Manila
0800 - ETA Batangas (buy provisions)
0900 - Start Trek
1100 - Manabu Campsite (lunch)
1130 - Resume trekking to Biak-na-Bundok
1300 - Water source
1330 - Start assault to Malepunyo summit
1700 - Malipunyo Summit (overnight camp)

Day 2 (September 29, Sunday)

0600 - Wake Up call (breakfast)
0700 - Break Camp
0730 - Start descend
1100 - Jumpoff (wash up)
1300 - Lunch sa malupet na lomihan ng Batangas
1500 - Home bound
1800 - ETA Manila

Travel Tips

  • During rainy season, the trail especially in Manabu can be very muddy and slippery. Make sure to wear the right footwear to prevent accidents from happening.
  • Make sure to get reliable guide as the place can be dangerous due to booby traps, poison ivies, cliffs, etc.
  • Wear proper climbing attire if you don’t want going home covered with rashes and cuts.

Interesting Facts

Sometime in 2011, we climbed Mt. Malepunyo but we failed to reach the summit as our guide fooled us. Story here -> Somewhere in Malarayat

Just after our recent Malarayat Traverse, then I realized that the place where the guide brought us last time is actually the Peak 1 of Malepunyo.

Contact Information

Kuya Mario (Guide)


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