The concept of travelling is common to a lot of people especially to youngsters as it is always associated with adventures! The excitement it brings is as exhilarating as you would expect it to be. While some travels can be expensive, you can still experience a real good adventure through hiking and also nature tripping in a more budget-friendly way! If you are one with nature, this blog post is definitely for you!
Growing up in a community inside the “looban” (forest), hiking is kind of an easy game for me. I heard a lot of good experiences with this extraordinary adventure that is why last December 2019; I decided to have my first hiking experience at Mt. Marami with my colleagues, Trisha and Mhai!
Mt. Marami (also known as Mataas na Gulod Boulders), is a cliff at the southern portion of Mt. Mataas na Gulod located in Maragondon, Cavite. It became famous to a lot of hikers and mountaineers because of its breathtaking natural design and was once called Nagbuo by the locals, but later called Marami (English word for plenty) because of its feature having multiple gigantic rocks! The open trail of the mountain will lead you to experience its known “Silyang Bato” which can be found in the summit.
Experiencing this one of a kind journey is possible through various ways of access. You can do a DIY itinerary with your friends or you can book a private hike through various travel and outdoor tours (everything can be accessed online). In our case, we booked our slots through Kuya Jay Ilagan who was a tour guide in the said spot (as recommended by one of my former students who visited Mt. Marami).
There are two jump-offs to start your trek. One is located at Brgy. Ramirez in Magallanes, Cavite and the other one is located at Brgy. Talipusngo in Maragondon. Our service arrived at Brgy. Ramirez around 05:00 in the morning and had our breakfast together with the other hikers. After our breakfast, Kuya Jay and Kuya Gener (our tour guides) oriented us about our hike followed by a short prayer for the safety of everyone. At exactly 05:30, we started our hike!
The first leg of the hike was through a concrete road passing by residential houses. It took us a few minutes before we ended up walking through an up and downhill dirt road. We also took this chance to have some chitchat with our fellow hikers and tour guides about the community and the guests who tried this adventure. What made it more engaging and exciting was most of our fellow hikers were also teachers so we did not have a hard time befriending them! Our tour guides were very friendly and accommodating as well! What a luck to have such friendly atmosphere for us right?
It was still dark that time and all of us were using our flashlights to keep a good track on the trek to avoid slips since the road was slippery. It took us around 15 minutes before we encountered a difficult uphill climb. It was not hard in my case as I felt like I am just around our province (Sorsogon), but for my colleagues and some of our fellow hikers, it was a struggle. We stopped from time to time to catch our breaths, keep ourselves hydrated and indulge with the beautiful sceneries around us.
We also had an opportunity to witness the sunrise in the middle of a forest surrounded by huge trees where the sunrays beautifully reflect to its branches and leaves. Thank you, Lord for these beautiful and peaceful creations!
It was around 07:30 in the morning that time where most of us felt leg and muscle cramps as we overcame series of descend. Panting, we continued to walk further and crossed several rivers until we reached a small community inside the forest and found a good resting place under a small waiting shed covering us from the punishing heat. The people there were also accommodating. We took some group photos and rested for about 10 minutes before we continued our hike.
We went through the same up and downhill walk with some ascents and descents longer than the ones that we had earlier. Things become ever more difficult. Good thing that our tour guides were really considerate and we made several pauses along the hike for some breathers because most of our fellow hikers could not keep up with our pace making our hike to take a bit longer. It was not a problem after all since all of us were tired and sweaty. Imagine walking for quite long in an up and downhill slippery dirt road under the agonizing sun! Hahaha!
I was running out of trail snacks and food that time and all I have was a liter of water to keep my body hydrated to continue the hike. As we go further in the middle of the woody forest and overgrown vegetation, the atmosphere somewhat felt scary. We were surrounded with a lot of huge and tall trees that could make us lost along the way. My anxiety intensified more because of Kuya Jay’s story about our tour guide, Kuya Gener who got lost in the same place before and took him and his team a day to get out of the forest! SCARY!
The last leg of the hike was the most difficult because of its steeper assaults and obscured trails as it require a lot of leg work that made my knees tremble and almost fall. It was necessary to hold tightly on ropes across the trail for you to reach the summit or you might see yourself falling from the cliff! Despite the struggle that everyone experienced, everything paid off because finally, WE REACHED THE SUMMIT!
It was 09:40 that time and the view was indeed breathtaking and captivating. I found myself sitting in one of the rocks at the summit and staring at the panoramic view of the skies, the outlying mountains and the sea from afar. I was totally lost for words and all I can think that time was how lucky I am to have this opportunity to witness this fine-looking scenic view of Cavite province. The scorching heat was no longer an issue because all of us were busy in satisfying our eyes with the view as well as taking a lot of individual and group photos! WHAT A GREAT YEAR-ENDER ESCAPE!
Reaching the summit of Mt. Marami made me realize a lot of things especially how the environment helps the world attain certain sustainability. I hope that in the future (if given a chance to come back here), everything stays the same. This is a living proof that nature is in greater need for conservation and protection. And we humans are responsible to take care it.
I also took that chance to reflect on things that 2019 had brought and taught me. If you really feel lost and you wanted to have some soul-searching, hiking is one of the best options to consider because the peace that it brings when you reached the summit is indeed a great help for you to think clearly and do things back at square one.
Here are some of my photos at the summit!
You may also visit my Instagram highlight “Wanderlust” for other photos and videos in this adventure. Click this IG highlight link: https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODUwNjEzODQ2Nzg0Njg2?igshid=bey5vwj4f3zs&story_media_id=2209647594215598309
Leaving the summit was bittersweet. As long as I wanted to stay a bit longer, I could not endure my hunger and due to time constraints, we were not able to follow our itinerary to visit Oriit Falls. It was around 10:45 in the morning when the group decided to go down and have our lunch. Along our descent, we crossed paths with another group of hikers (some were Filipinos and the others were probably Koreans or Chinese). We took the same route when we started our hike and had our lunch in the community where we had our short stop over.
The descent was a little bit challenging because of the leg and muscle cramps, but there was no time to waste because all of us were starving! It was a few minutes away before lunch time when we arrived. We waited for a couple of minutes until the lunch was served! I can say that it was one of the best boodle fights I have ever had!
To cut the story short, we reach Brgy. Ramirez around 04:30 in the afternoon. Some of us took a quick bath because we really smell bad and had a short nap before we decided to go home! I am glad to say that my fellow hikers and our tour guides are still in-touch through Messenger. I am glad that it was not just a pure hiking experience, because we also gained friends!
Is it worth a try? OF COURSE!!! If you want to avail the same itinerary we had, you can reach Kuya Jay Ilagan through 0955-310-5087 or Kuya Gener Crispin’s Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/gener.crispin.5
EVENT FEE: 845 php per person
- 2-way van transportation
- Registration Fee
- Guide Fee
- Lunch (Boodlefight)
- (Raffle: T-shirts)
- Trail food, packed breakfast and water
SAMPLE ITINERARY (just a basis and subjected to such adjustments and changes due to weather conditions, late arrival because of the traffic, and other time constraints):
- 1200H Pick-up of hikers from certain locations
- 0100H Estimated Time of Departure
- 0500H Estimated Time of Arrival (Jump-off, Registration, Briefing)
- 0530H Start of Trek
- 0830H Mt. Marami Summit
- 1000H Lunch (Boodlefight); Rest of the Hikers
- 1030H Photo Ops
- 1100H Going to Oriit Falls
- 1200H Trek to Jump-off
- 1500H Jump-off in Brgy. Ramirez
- 1530H Wash Up (for hikers)
- 1630H Estimated Time of Departure
THINGS TO BRING:
- 2-3L of drinking water (for personal consumption)
- Trail snacks (nuts, chips, chocolates, etc.)
- Plastic bags, trash bags (for personal use)
- Extra clothes, arm sleeves, cap, head cover
- Flashlight, gloves, toiletries, packed breakfast
- Poncho (in case of the rain)
- First aid kits and pocket money
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading my Mt. Marami escapade. I am looking forward to hear your story after you get there! MARAMIng realizations sa Mt. Marami!