Have you ever had something so close yet never had the chance to know it better? No, I’m not trying to pull off a ‘hugot line’ here. I am referring to Mt Tagapo. I was born and raised in Laguna and Mt. Tagapo is one landmark that I have been observing since. It is located in Talim Island in Rizal, across Laguna Lake. Every Sunday morning, my dad and I would usually go to a fishing port in Cabuyao City to jog, have a serving of goto, and buy from the fresh haul of tilapia, imelda, and bangus. Since then, I have always wondered what is on the other side of the lake.
This weekend, my college friends and I pushed our plans for an overnight hike at the mountain. I was hesitant to stay the night but things happened and I had no choice but to stay. I would recommend this trek to beginners since the trail was pretty simple. Other blogs have rated the difficulty of climbing it at 2/9 but I would give it 11/9 and here’s why.
We arrived in Janosa at half past four. We bought extra food and signed up at the barangay hall. Kuya Peds joined us at our trek. We started climbing at 5:30 PM and 15 minutes into the trek, my friend started doubting whether we should continue climbing since the sky’s dark and it looks like it’s going to rain. Since we were already there, we might as well continue climbing and, it started raining. Turning back was not an option so we had to continue moving to reach the campsite before darkness hits us in the middle of the mountain. We were soaking, the flood water is flowing in our direction, and it is starting to get dark. After several breaks, we have reached our campsite. For some reason, it was as if somebody was playing a trick on us because it stopped raining when we reached the site.
The camp location was just 20 mins away from the peak. We set up the tent, had dinner, and called it a night. In the morning, our friends arrived and joined us on our trek to the peak. I highly suggest wearing long sleeves, pants, and covered footwear going to the peak because of the tall, sharp grass along the way.
Our group started descending at around 12:30 to have lunch at the base and bathe. The night before, we coordinated with our guide Kuya Peds to prepare us water for cleaning. On Sundays, there are no boat trips to Laguna so we had to take the long travel through the barangays of Binangonan up to the Binangonan Port. The boat left Janosa at 3:30 PM.
- From Cabuyao Town Proper, look for tricycles going to Bigaa and tell the driver to drop you off at the port going to Talim Island or Janosa.
- Wait for the boat. The smaller one will transfer passengers to a larger one that will then stop at different ports of Binangonan. Get off at Janosa.
- Register at the barangay hall and you’ll be assigned a tour guide. You can opt not to have a guide but if this is your first time, I suggest getting one. The rate is P300/guide for a day hike, and P600 for overnight.
After this experience of spending a night in the wild, I told myself that I can join Survivor. There is this recharging and rewarding experience of escaping the city, leaving work, and just being one with nature. Getting to the top may be difficult but the view from up there is totally worth the challenge.