The 18KM Hike

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When they said Mt. Tapulao was a long hike, I did NOT expect an 18 kilometer hike. The blogs said it was dayhike-able. Well, we finished after around 21 hour non stop hike so I guess it was technically done in a day.

How to get there

  1. In Caloocan, go the Victory Liner bus terminal. Take the bus to Iba, I think. Just ask the conductors where to ride. It’s around PHP650ish one way. Ask them to drop you off near Mt. Tapulao’s stop.
  2. Take the tricycle to the jump off (PHP100???)
  3. To go back, we took a tricycle to Iba (PHP450)
  4. Then after exploring Iba, we took the bus to Cubao

 

Quick Tips

  • The last trip in Victory Liner is around 11pm. Be sure to be there by 10pm at the latest. No, there are no ticket reservations (I’ve asked again and again).
  • For a dayhike, ensure that you start earlier than 4am. Suggest you leave the terminal at around 9pm.
  • Bring food. It’s 18kms gently sloping – and no store in sight.
  • There are two water sources. One around KM06 and another around KM17.
  • This was a mining pit a decade ago (according to our guide). They use the minerals (i forgot what they were called) to make steel. These are the black, heavy rocks. Expect to see rusting rocks at the trail. Also, there are blue, colorful rocks, but I digress. This was a mining pit, so the trail is designed for 4×4 vehicles. If you have one (and are used to using one up the mountains), go team up with others (for goodness’ sake, don’t go up alone) and save yourself 16KMs worth of rough road hiking.

 

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Early in the morning, we were still fascinated with the colorful rocks.
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… and then we’re not.

 

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A couple of kilometers later, we see the pine trees. Finally!
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This panoramic view is fascinating. At the right side of the mountain are clouds, at the left is a clear sky.

 

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Last leg before KM18 stop! Spoiler alert – it was NOT mossy.

 

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The “grass” near the mossy-not-mossy forest.

 

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Going down. This is between KM17 and KM18, right before the mossy-not-mossy forest. Probably my favorite part of the trail
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