Sunday, May 6, 2012

Climbing Mt. Manalmon for the Second Time

Not satisfied with our first climb of Mt. Manalmon here, we climbed it again last Easter Sunday, right after our day climb of Mt. Arayat on Black Saturday. My body had not yet fully recovered, but I have to fulfill my promise to my companions that I will bring them to Mt. Manalmon on that day. The summit of the 196 MASL Mt. Manalmon is on the right side of the photo below, while Mt. Gola is on the left side.

Unlike our first visit, there are already many people when we arrived at the jump off site. We met family excursionists and group of mountaineers at Madlum River, despite the low water level of the river. The parking area and the bamboo raft that ferries people on the other side now has fees of Php 50/vehicle and Php 5/pax respectively.

We passed again the Madlum cave before heading to the assault trail on the edge of the river. My sons and their cousins enjoyed exploring the boulders and edge of the river below.

Before heading to the summit, I climbed the lower rock face of the mountain below.

Which allowed me to see the Madlum River with a different view.

From the summit, below is the view of the Madlum River at the north side.

The neighboring Mount Gola as viewed from the summit of Mt. Manalmon.

The taller Mt. Mabio from the southeast side.

One of the trees on the mountain's summit, which reminds me of cherry blossom trees.

On our way back, we took a different route this time, emerging at the side of the parking area. Here, we hiked up to an opening of another cave.

Lunch was spent at the parking area, where we found and used the makeshift wooden table and bench below. While in the middle of our lunch meal, a lady asked us to pay Php 50 for the rent of the table and bench. I was surprised of the seemingly unreasonable amount, considering the material and craftmanship of the "furniture".

The kids decided to just try the zipline at Php 50/person, and drop the Bayukbok cave tour. Despite the summer heat, we did not even thought of swimming at the river, since its too crowded and the water is not as clean compared with our December 2011 visit.

It is quite saddening to learn that the place had also resorted to commercialism at unreasonable rates. First there is the Php 20 road access fee through a rough road that leads to Sitio Madlum. Second is the new Php 50 parking fee on unpaved road, which is as expensive as the malls' flat parking fees on weekends. Third is the Php 5 fare/pax on the bamboo raft which used to be free for everyone's use. Fourth is the Php 50 rental of the bench and table above. 

With such fees that I find exorbitant on the quality of "hardwares" they offer, they will alienate mountaineers on their area. I don't think I will go back to their place again. Perhaps I would rather see the Biak na Bato resort which we saw on our way back using a different route.

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  1. medyo mahal na nga singilan dyan.

    nakakatamad na ulit puntahan. bawat galaw may bayad.

  2. this is saddening, we'll see how our hike would go as we plan to go here tomorrow morning.