Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lakes & Mountains Around Mt. Kalisungan

Mt. Kalisungan in Calauan, Laguna is one of the big mountains that can be seen along the road to Sta. Cruz, Laguna after Mt. Makiling. With fellow AKAC members and 3 guest hikers from Peninsula, we hiked there last 10 February 2013.

Converging at Caltex station along SLEX, we took our breakfast in McDonalds plus bought sandwiches. At around 6:00 am, we turned right at the Duck Junction and started looking for the barangay hall of Lamot 2. After registering and gave our donation, our local guide JV led the team on the Kalisungan trail that starts near the Field of Faith center.

There are lots of banana shrubs on the initial part of the trail. Good thing that its past the rainy season, so the trail is not muddy as experienced by most hikers. We encountered a lot of confusing forks, so it was really wise for us to have hired a guide on this particular climb.

I saw a juvenile forest millipede along the trail.

Some locals transport their fruits and vegetables, with the help of horses.

Thirty minutes near the summit, we bought fresh coconut juice from a local farmer who sells them at expensive price of Php 20/pc. After about 3 hours of relaxed hiking pace, we finally reached the summit.

Along the trail and from the first accessible peak with the cross marker, Mt. Makiling is a prominent figure on the west side.

On the north is Mt. Tagapo in Talim island within Laguna Lake.

Its western neighbor is Mt. Sembrano, jutting out from the mainland of Rizal.

Ms. GA pointing to the borders of Rizal and Laguna provinces.

Going to the second peak, the lakes of San Pablo and Mt. Malarayat range are becoming clearer.

Mt. Atimla, Kalisungan's twin neighbor is lush with vegetation. I haven't heard any mountaineer who had climbed it.

On the east side, Mounts Banahaw and Cristobal looms, covered by clouds most of the time.

Near the foot of Mt. Cristobal lies Mt. Mabilog. On its southeast side are the 3 lakes of San Pablo, namely -- Calibato, Pandin, and Yambo.

Turning southward, we saw the 4 more lakes of San Pablo, namely -- Bunot, Palakpakin, Sampaloc, and Mohicap. San Pablo City's downtown is right beside Sampaloc lake, while Mohicap lake is the closest lake in Mt. Kalisungan.

Farther than Sampaloc lake is the mountain range of Malipunyo or Malarayat. As we looked westward, we saw Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas, before we saw Mt. Makiling again to complete the 360 degree view.

Below is a photo of the 15+ foot tunnel, suspected to be dug by treasure hunters a few months back while it was raining.

Mt. Cristobal as clouds briefly left its summit.

We started our descent past 12:00 noon, after we consumed our lunch or snack food. When we retrieved our vehicles from the barangay hall at past 2:00 pm, I saw a long scratch on the right side of my vehicle. The other car on our team has a missing rubber moulding from its back bumper. Lesson learned? Don't bring a vehicle on this site.

After taking a P 20/head shower on the big house referred to us by locals, we proceeded to Bunga falls near the mountainous boundary of Calauan and Nagcarlan towns. We paid Php 10/visitor, and walked less than 10 minutes from the parking area. Nobody among us wants to get wet again, so we just enjoyed taking photos of the place.

Before going back to Manila, we satisfied our hunger at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Bay, Laguna.

For a 760 MASL mountain with 3/9 difficulty rating, it was another day of great and fun-filled hike!
Next hike will be a return to Mt. Gulugod Baboy, two weeks after this climb.

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