Monday, February 21, 2011

ULTIMATE PULAG (Akiki-Ambangeg Day Hike)

And so the first leg of my Lagataw Adventure Series has just been completed. I climbed Mt Pulag (the highest elevation in the island of Luzon) in a day’s hike via Akiki-Ambangeg route. That was actually not just an Ultimate Pulag adventure. My Day 1 (Saturday) commenced at KM 54 along Halsema Highway up to the summit of Mt Timbak (the third highest mountain in Luzon) then down to Kabayan Barrio and Kabayan Central where I spent the night! Day 2 (Sunday) was the actual Ultimate Pulag climb. This was actually my sixth time in Mt Timbak and my fourth climb up Akiki and down Ambangeg trails.

Thanks to:
Sir Rheyson Cornilla (my nutritionist and medical adviser)
Ma’am Emerita Tamiray (Mt Pulag PaSu) for letting me stay at the Visitors’ Center Sunday night
Travel Factor for giving me a ride from Mt Pulag Ranger Station to DENR

This was my itinerary:
Day 0 (Feb 18; Friday) BUS RIDE
2355hrs: Departure @ Victory Liner Pasay

Day 1 (Feb 19; Saturday) TIMBAK DAY HIKE
0600hrs: Arrival @ Baguio
0630hrs: Tapsilog @ 456 Restaurant (Session Rd.).
0700hrs: Shop at 7-11. Get a cab for D Rising Sun bus terminal (Slaughter)
0720hrs: Departure @ Slaughter Terminal to KM 54 (take any bus that will go along the Halsema highway. There’s plenty of ‘em!)
0940hrs: Arrival @ KM 54. Start Trek
1100hrs: Arrival @ Mt Timbak summit. Visit Ate Josie’s place
1210hrs: Resume trek to Kabayan barrio
1230hrs: Lunch @ the store across from the Timbak mummies burial rock.
1320hrs: Resume trek. Took the wrong road to the right...Wasted 45 minutes. You’ll know when you’re on the wrong trail if Kabayan barrio is no longer in sight below. At a fork, you should take the road to the left, five meters after which, you’ll see a ‘gate’ that blocks the road. Just go through it.
1620hrs: Arrival @ Kabayan barrio. Find the short cut to Kabayan Central
1710hrs: Arrival @ Kabayan Lodge (Kabayan Central). Check in overnight. Do some grocery shopping. Have your dinner at any restaurant around. They stay open ‘till 8 pm. Place your orders at any (for breakfast) at night. When you say ‘breakfast at 0530’, you’ll have your breakfast no later than that time!
2000hrs: zzzzzzzz

Day 2 (Feb 20’ Sunday) MT PULAG (akiki-ambangeg) DAY HIKE
0530hrs: Breakfast at the restaurant beside the lodge.
0620hrs: Start trek to Akiki Trail trailhead.
0650hrs: Arrival @ the trailhead to Akiki. Register. I was going to trek without a guide but that would have been very irresponsible (and pasikat) of me, so I decided to get one.
0730hrs: Start trek
0820hrs: Arrival @ Eddet River
0930hrs: Arrival @ the first resting bench
1000hrs: Arrival @ Marlboro Country (Helipad)
1040hrs: Arrival @ Mossy forest (last water source). Lunch
1100hrs: Resume trek
1155hrs: Arrival @ Saddle campsite
1210hrs: Arrivel @ Mt Pulag Summit
1220hrs: Start descent
1250hrs: Arrival @ Camp2 (water source)
1330hrs: Arrival @ Camp1
1350hrs: Arrival @ Ranger Station. Hitch a ride
1500hrs: Arrival @ DENR Visitors’ Center. Log out. Chat with fellow hikers. Wash up. I had the option to hitch a ride to Baguio but I was running low on cash. Couldn’t monitor my expenses…forgot that I still had to buy my bus ticket from Baguio to Manila. I had some amount transferred through LBC but by the time I got to Baguio, LBC branches would have already closed. So I decided to have a good night’s rest at the Visitors’ Center.

Manila—Baguio v-v:  P990
Baguio—KM 54:         P70
Guide fee:                   P1000
Park fees:                    P200
Lodge:                          P200
Food and stuff:          (~P500)

What I learned from this adventure:
  • 1.       There are a lot of non-mountaineers in Mt Pulag. It’s funny how they talk and exchange malicious remarks against each other when one gets someone else’s ‘wash-up’ water, and when somebody jumps the line (among other comically tense and yet trivial scenarios at the Visitors' Center). They don’t possess this mountaineers’ ‘forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’ rule of thumb.
  • 2.       I’m starting to think there is no such thing as ‘pasma’. I followed Sir Rheys’ advice and I didn’t feel the vibrating abdominal muscle sensation (to think that this was an even more arduous activity than my Mt Pulag Invitational Climb two weeks before).
  • 3.       There is a reason why hikers shouldn’t climb fast. Exposing your body to rapidly fluctuating temperature and barometric pressure doesn’t sound like a very good idea. Do what I did and your body will tell you what I mean.
  • 4.       These lessons will decide how the remaining nine on the list (of my Lagataw Adventure Series) will be executed.  


  1. Congrats idol..The best.. sana makasama ako sa mga climb mo minsan..Im sure I will learn a lot from you.. Keep on climbing in the free world..

  2. @helmet: tnx...madami ako akyat this year. sana makasabay ka sa kahit isa dun!hehe

  3. Sir Adonis, Borriz here. Ibang klase ka talaga (exclaimed with a big smile :)! Nung nabasa ko ang Akiki-Amba dayhike plan mo, na-excite na 'ko, pero alam ko na kaya mo... tapos sinimulan mo pa pala ng Timbak-Kabayan dayhike! Uulitin ko lang, ibang klase talaga, hehehe.

    Last Sunday, nagkumustahan kami sa text ni Ate Josie, naikwento nga na dumaan ka daw pero wala sila. Pati pala Friday, may umaakyat na din, at grupo-grupo na. Plan ng wife ko na magpadala ng signage sa kanila, para lang din pang-atensyon para hindi tapakan ang mga pananim.

    Sabi ng dati ko'ng boss na doktor, kung totoo daw ang pasma, ubos na ang tao sa mundo, sabay ligo sa madaling araw after working overtime. Buhay pa naman. Yung mata lang ang alagaan na ipahinga bago maligo.


  4. Thanks Sir Borriz...naisip mo rin pala yun...iniisip ko kasi, signage sa mismong KM55 entry!hehe dapat magkasama or magkausap tau ng personal. madami tau pede pag-usapan tungkol sa timbak.hehe

  5. ay sir Adonis, kayo pala yung nasa DENR nun, kasama ko dun sa group na nakaiwan ng stove... buti na lang nakita niyo... Thanks po Sir... hehe...

  6. @jimi: thanks din ser...congrats sa Luzon 3-2-1 niyo.

  7. Wow! Congratz. Akiki-Ambangeg pede pala day hike.
    Kala ko ultimate na yung ginawa naming 2-day hike ng Mt. Ugo with 2 outreach programs ng dalawang elementary schools. Siempre inabot ng gabi still hiking.
    Great blogs you have here.


  8. @Dumboqtpie: Thanks for visiting my site. With the readers' support, I am inspired to write more!

  9. isang mapagpalayng araw sau sir!! dhell po ng malaya adventure club

  10. salamat po sa pagbati ser dhell!

  11. I'm pretty sure they weren't a walk in a park climbs..right? (all your climbs)

    You deserve all the accolades Sir! But I have one question hope you don't mind.

    What's in your mind if your readers or followers posted like this?.."galing sir iba ka talaga" "wow hardcore" "ikaw na talaga ang the best" and all the stuff..blah blah blah.

    has it come to your mind that maybe your readers are just "nambobobola lang" or might have been saying like "Ang yabang namn nito bakit kailangan pang e post"

    Have you thought that you might have haters too?
    Pls don't get me wrong sir i'm your avid reader i swear! hehehe

    1. naicip m b ang mga bagong natubong hikers?

  12. @anon
    My reply was a bit lengthy that I made it into a blog post.

  13. Sir, tanong ko lng po, di kau nsakay ng monster jeep on going to akiki trail? pano po pagpunta nyo ng baguio from Ambangeg trail?

  14. akala ko solo, solo but guided pala.

  15. Thanks sir adonis for this ITI. akala ko rin imposible gawin ang dayhike ng AKIKI-AMBA. KUDOS to you sir.. done this last OCT 2011

  16. Sir Adonis, Dane here of tramping philippines. Thanks for this post. Were super inspired and would love to try this next year. Just talked to the DENR last saturday and they said its possible to go directly to akiki and register there, The park ranger even remembered you doing it I think? he said he remembers Adonis after I told your story. hehe.

  17. Did a Timbak-Pulag combo again Nov 12-13. This time with Team Lagataw (Kevin and Buyco)..I still can't believe that we could do it over the weekend! We were lucky to have been able to get a monster jeepney ride with a group of only ten members. opportunies indeed come to those who travel in small numbers.
    @dennis: sabi ko sayo kayang kaya mo e...asteeg yung sayo, unguided. pero hindi irresponsible kasi wala namang available na guide.
    @dane: you don't need to stall it. do it when time and budget permits. Tip: the best way to climb Mt Pulag when climbing in small numbers is via Mt won't have to deal with jeepney rentals. I'm planning to do a Halsema-Timbak-Akiki-Akiki-Timbak-Halsema itinerary next time to avoid the really bad roads at Ambangeg and Bokod.

  18. just done timbak traverse to kabayan central at pulag (akiki-ambangeg) dayhike.

    sir adonis maraming salamat sa pagshare ng itinerary.
    sabi ni sir salvador pumunta ka daw sa timbak last weekend(tama ba?).

    yun paved road at rough road papunta ng kabayan e walang katapusan pagbaba. Sumakit ang legs ko at naramdaman ko habang umaakyat sa pulag.

    hindi na ako umakyat sa Pulag summit kc walang view pero ang target ko lang idayhike via akiki-ambangeg.kung meron view that time parang reward na lang sa akin yun. napakasarap!
    thanks sir.


  19. @Ken...yep nagpunta ako ng Timbak the other weekend. May sinamahan na nag Timbak-Pulag duo. Hinatid ko hanggang Kabayan Central then uwi na ako ng Baguio. Sarap ng nasa Baguio. Mt Timbak ang day hike...tas less than P300 ang gastos.hehe

    And that's cool...sometimes the summit isn't the sole testimony to a feat!

    This Timbak-Pulag duo has started to gather a considerable following. So to all those solo adventurers who have a thirst for challenge and nature adventure, Timbak-Pulag is waiting for you1

  20. Wow! Great Experience. Halimaw is still alive!

  21. I'm a newbie. Haven't climb any mountain yet. If I follow your itinerary and just get a guide,is it safe? or should I join a group?

  22. Hi,

    Congrats sir on your Pulag Dayhike. Me and my group is also planning to do dayhike Pulag via Akiki this May. We would like to ask for a professional advice from you regarding the following concerns:

    1. Itinerary - what is the ideal time to start our trek?

    2. DENR told me that their office will open at 7am, so it would be very late if 730 am pa kami magstart ng briefing tapos pupunta pa sa trail head ng akiki, so around 10:30 na kami makakapag start.

    Thanks in advance sir

    1. I really recommend a dayhike in Mt Pulag especially that the camp site is now crowded. The impact of a day hike would be pretty minimal compared to overnight or multi-day treks.
      Yes you're right, timing is crucial. What time do you think you'll get to Baguio?
      I recommend the DENR orientation. We are certain that we can be responsible climbers but never our companions. I have made this mistake many times. Some of my companions don't understand by heart the LNT principle. I feel so disappointed and frustrated when one of them does something against the principle.
      Here are two options,
      You can have the orientation with Mam Mering late in the afternoon the day before your trek. Have an overnight stay at the Akiki trailhead and start trek at 5am the following day.
      Be at the Akiki trail head/office early in the morning and have the orientation with the park ranger stationed at the Akiki trailhead as soon as he is available.

      for more inquiries e-mail me at


YOU deserve a holiday!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...