We joined the Katribu in their year-end climb at Mt. Naguiling. I would say that it was a blunder-filled adventure but we managed to have fun…
|Mt. Naguiling as viewed from Jaybanga Rice Terraces|
Early on, we failed to reach the meet-up time at Pasay Terminal. So to catch up, we rode separately at Cubao then regrouped with the others at Lipa, Batangas. We were at Lipa on time but the supposed 9am kick-off slipped to 11am. As we haven’t read nor heard about Mt. Naguiling, we just went with the flow. Also, I have somewhat mastered the art of worrying less in travels. Hmmm…
The chartered jeep finally roared for a supposed 3 hour ride to Brgy. Jaybanga. Yes, we expected to be dropped off at the jump-off or the registration area. Here the strings of misfortune continued its spell. We took a detour passing through rice fields as the bridge directly connecting Taysan/Lobo was under construction. We also entered a narrow rough road leading to Brgy. Nagtaluntong and by the look of it, I doubted if our ride would make it. Through enough, a four-wheel-drive is required to traverse to Brgy. Jaybanga as we will be crossing on ground the Lobo River.
|The river cross|
We were constrained at Brgy. Nagtaluntong for a while until the kind Mang Johnny, as they call him, agreed to bring us to Brgy. Jaybanga. It was already 4pm then but sometimes, the saying when it rains it pours also has its limits. It was Mang Johnny’s birthday and with sheer delight, he invited us to his feast; a true Batangeño hospitality.
The Jaybanga-Nagtaluntong Road was another surprise unexpected. Indeed, only a 4x4 could navigate the steep uphill and downhill road that we steered for more than an hour. Even the sunset has left when we arrived at the registration or the Captain’s place where our elderly guides had been waiting all day. Yes, we were lucky to be provided with a guide even if we failed to arrange for official guidance.
After an hour crossing rivers and crawling through a muddy trail, we retired at our guide’s yard; our camp for the night.
Wake up call was at 6am but it was past 8am when we started our trek. The trail is fairly gradual but with sludgy areas. An hour thereafter, we made it at the Balatikan campsite.
|at Balatikan Campsite with Mt. Naguiling Peak covered by clouds|
The summit, so near yet so far...
|Mt. Naguiling Peak|
|Jaybanga Rice Terraces|
It was past 10am when we descended for the mini-falls. The trail nearly resembled the Mt. Batulao vertical, except that it is bigger and lengthy.
We trek for an hour until the nameless mini-falls hailed us. For the locals, they simply call it ‘talon’ (jump), their huge leaping tub.
By 12noon, we retreated to our camp which was an hour away. After break camp, we had our last 1 hour tramp back to the Captain’s house where we waited for Mang Johnny’s jeep for our return trip.
While waiting for the rest to finish, we took a glimpse of Jaybanga Rice Terraces. It may not be as grand as Banaue, but the recognition of being a terrace field is already a pride for the native.
|Jaybanga Rice Terraces|
Travel Date: December 2014