This trip was another motorcycle ride and part-training of our soon Mt. Kinabalu climb. We left the Metro at 10am and originally bound to Pangil, Laguna for a Buntot Palos Falls dayhike. We learned at the registration area that a guide is now required due to previous issues of robbery at the trail or campsite. The guide fee for a dayhike is P300 plus P20/head registration fee. Ahem... the P300 for the two of us was beyond budget... With that, we diverted our training to Mt. Romelo.
After a quick lunch at the Siniloan junction, we proceeded to Engr. Rodel’s place for our Mt. Romelo trek. It was already 1:15pm when we made the river cross. Barely 30 minutes along the trail, we were shocked by the sight of an open field with remnants of chopped trunks, twigs and leaves scattered by the side. If my memory served me right, that area used to be the famous “kawayanan” where plenty of frightful stories has been told and replayed several times. Well, I don’t want to judge... maybe the farmers are planting new breed, maybe a pest infestation occurred that necessitate the cutting of trees... maybe, maybe... ahhh!
We continued our trek with the previous scene replaying in my head. I became cognisant of the surroundings and another obvious distortion was the deepness of the trail as compared to the leftover of the previously installed rope guided posts. It was exactly one year since my last visit and the damage was a sad realization of the mountain that awakened my outdoor spirit.
It was about 2pm when we reached “unang burol” and seeing trees from what used to be a grassland area uplifted my woes. It was a success affirmation of the several tree planting activities organized and participated by different concerned groups. I prayed that this trees will stand by the years and escape the torture of saws and axes.
We reached the campsite before 3pm. We did a quick “take 5” at the rappelling site before we commenced our return trek. Summertime was evident by the drought of water in the river. That should mean droplets of waterflow by the Buruwisan Falls.
The Waterfalls of Mt. Romelo
Travel Date: March 2013