Mt. Makiling is the closest spot for me to take a hike in. I am from Laguna myself. Even hikers from Manila or nearby provinces can climb this mountain because Los Banos is very accessible with lots of available transportation options.
On May 1st, I had no plans. Also, I would not just let the holiday pass by with me staying at home binging on series on Netflix. So, I woke up early that morning, packed my go-to travel stuff (DSLR, extra shirts, tripod, and sunblock), and headed for UPLB to hike at Mt. Makiling. This is my third hike in the mountain but this was my first time doing it solo. I was nervous yet excited.
Tips to get to Mt. Makiling:
- There are two ways to get to UPLB. If you are dropped in Crossing terminal beside CMC, there are jeepneys going to UPLB. Meanwhile, if your bus dropped you off at SM Calamba, just wait for buses going to Sta. Cruz and you can tell the conductor to stop at UPLB or Olivarez.
- Walk towards Jollibee. Take the ‘ikot’ and tell the driver to drop you off at Forestry.
- Once you are at Forestry, you will see a little house by the gates. This is the registration area for hikers. There is a P10 fee. Hikers can wash up here after their descent from the mountain.
- Simply follow the tracks. A few hundred meters from the gates is the path to Flat Rocks. Take this detour for a refreshing break. Enjoy the cool mountain spring!
- Otherwise, stay on the track to reach the peak! It took me roughly 2 hours to BE CLOSE to the peak. Also, there will be another detour along the way.
- The second detour leads to Mudflats. Beware though because there will be a strong sulfuric scent in the area because it is a volcanic outlet.
- Don’t forget to bring lots of water but if you forgot to pack some, there are fresh buko juice sold along the way.
- I would not suggest this because this would ruin the experience, but there are habal-habal on top for those who are too tired to walk down the mountain.
- Leave no trace! This is every hiker’s instinctive rule not to leave trash on the mountain.
- Have fun! Enjoy the view! Marvel at the beauty of Mt. Makiling.
Check out some of the photos that I took during my solo hike in Mt. Makiling: