Saturday, July 6, 2013


Location: Sibuyan Island, Romblon, Philippines
Entry point: Sitio Olango, San Fernando, Sibuyan Island
Exit point: Brgy. Tampayan, Madgiwang, Sibuyan Island
Coordinates: 12°24'50"N, 122°34'4"E
Elevation:2058 MASL (6,751 feet)
Days required / Hours to summit:3 days / 18 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 10/9 (until 12/2009)
Trail: Class 6
Blogger Note: The most death-defying, difficult and challenging climb ever but still he wanted to climb it again for five days to stretch the time to make it more lighter avoiding the freezing night trek towards the summit

View Mt Guiting-Guiting in a larger map

The seventh picture of this post has been featured in Hiking Feed as one of the eight most scenic trails in the Philippines.

The last two major assaults before reaching the summit

I consider this climb as a climb of the decade – a major one at 2,058 MASL or 6,751 feet above sea level. The actual climb is dated November 2-3, 2012. In terms of difficulty, this surpassed all my climbs ever. I had first scaled this mountain on October 31 – November 2, 1999 in a traditional trail with PNB Mountaineering Club. This time, I was with Sir Dennis Hisanan (with CP No. 09334881403) , the organizer, along with his girlfriend, Matel Rivera; Ced de Guzman together with our guide (Remy Robiso with CP No. 09217322462) and porter (Junior Rollon). It became too exhausting since instead of having it for three days, it was compressed for only two days. The trip was long and exhausting but I had the opportunity to see the three islands of Romblon consisting of Tablas, Romblon and Sibuyan.

The breathtaking Peak of Deception

The actual travel/scaling time was documented as follows:

First Day

01:50 P.M. Left Buendia LRT Station (Pasay) boarding JAM Bus Transit
04:36 P.M. Arrived Batangas Port
06:05 P.M. Left Batangas Port boarding Reina del Rosario Ferry Boat

Second Day

04:20 A.M. Arrived Odiongan Port of Tablas Island, Rombon
04:50 A.M. Left Odiongan Port boarding a mini-bus heading to San Agustin Port
06:45 A.M. Arrived in San Agustin Port (Tablas Island)
08:35 A.M. Left San Agustin Port boarding a big boat (Damgel)
09:50 A.M. Arrived Romblon Port (Romblon Island)
10:00 A.M. Left Romblon Port boarding a big boat
12:00 Noon Arrived Ambulong Port of Magdiwang in Sibuyan Island
01:10 P.M. Left Ambulong Port boarding a chartered tricycle
02:30 P.M. Arrived at Tatay Remy Robiso’s house in Sitio Olango
03:50 P.M. Courtesy call with Mayor Dindo Rios in his residence in San Fernando
04:40 P.M. Food marketing in San Fernando market
06:30 P.M. Dinner
07:30 P.M. Rest Overnight at Tatay Remy Robiso’s residence

Third Day

02:30 A.M. Wake-up Call
02:45 A.M. Breakfast
03:30 A.M. Start Trekking
04:15 A.M. First water source (river)
06:40 A.M. Camp 1
08:00 A.M. Bobit’s Peak
09:45 A.M. Camp 2
10:30 A.M. Helipad Clearing
11:30 A.M. Camp 3 (Lunch)
12:24 Noon Crash Site
02:30 P.M. Trina’s Spring
04:10 P.M. Remvaldely’s Peak
06:20 P.M. Summit
06:30 P.M. Pitch tent in Summit’s Campsite
07:30 P.M. Dinner
08:00 P.M. Rest Overnight (RON)

Fourth Day

05:00 A.M. Wake-up Call
06:00 A.M. Breakfast
07:20 A.M. Summit for pictorials
07:45 A.M. Start Descent from Summit
09:27 A.M. Peak of Deception
10:37 A.M. Mabel’s Spring
11:10 A.M. Face the Wall Crossing
01:05 P.M. Start scaling the Knife Edge
02:50 P.M. Mayo’s Peak (Lunch)
03:35 P.M. Camp 3
04:00 P.M. Bulod’s Spring
06:05 P.M. Camp 2
07:20 P.M. Camp 1
08:15 P.M. First River Crossing
08:25 P.M. Second River Crossing
09:40 P.M. DENR Office
10:35 P.M. Magdiwang Beach House
11:00 P.M. Dinner
12:10 MN RON

Fifth Day

05:00 A.M. Wake-up Call
05:30 A.M. Beach Walk
07:20 A.M. Breakfast
08:40 A.M. Beach House Check-out
10:35 A.M. Left Ambulao Port in Magdiwang boarding Maria Querubin Ferry
12:45 NN Arrived Romblon Port and transferred to Maria Zenia Ferry
03:00 P.M. Left Romblon Port boarding Maria Zenia Ferry
11:30 P.M. Arrived Batangas City Port 11:50 P.M. Left Batangas City Port boarding bus for Manila

Taken from the Remvaldely’s Peak

Mount Guiting-Guiting was declared as Natural Park and is situated between the boundaries of the three municipalities of Sibuyan Island, namely: Cajidiocan, Magdiwang and San Fernando. Its name was drawn from the shape that is formed from its peak which is consist of granite stones that look like the teeth of a saw. For locals, the mountain is a legend, a mystery, a sacred place and to some natives a taboo mountain. Old folks usually associate the mountain as the sighting area of the “Golden Ark” – a bad omen which brings disaster and bad weather. Testimony of survivors of sea tragedy – ships, & boats, say that just before the “tragedy” happen, they saw the mountain in a “golden glow” as if like an X-Files episode.

Descending the death-defying heights from the Peak of Deception

From right to left: Summit, Peak of Deception and Mayo's Peak

While resting at a certain part of Knife Edge

For the academe, Mt. Guiting-Guiting is a prized sight of research teams. The more popular teams that studied the area were the Smithsonian Institute, Columbia University and the National Geographic Society. It’s an interesting research site because it is the home of various endemic wildlife, fauna and flora aside from being a Natural Park not just a National Park. The mountain is the home of the Philippine Fox, the smallest rat in the word and various instinct rats and birds.

For the true-blooded mountaineers, the mountain was rated among the top 3 among the popular mountains because of the degree of difficulty in scaling it and the other two are Mt. Halcon (2,587 meters or 8,488 feet) and Mt. Mayon. But unanimously rated as the most thrilling mountain to scale because of the feeling of mystery entwined with fear. Personally, successfully climbing this mountain is an event and more than an achievement. Climbers are advised to have doses of medication one week before and after the climb since this mountain is continuously on the red of malaria alert.

A wide angle shot taken while descending the Peak of Deception

As per record, it has taken a death toll of four and reportedly injured a number of careless climbers. On the other hand, descending the summit was even terrifying, death defying and an energy exhausting activity. We were scaling very stiff sandstone ridges for a number of hours and I somehow felt very close to seeing our Creator in every move I made. For us then, gravity was not the only enemy we have been facing with. But rather, we dealt with the climb mentally to stifle our inner demons of fear, to formulate and adopt a strategy in the face of fatigue and self-doubt. It was a day-long mental battle to survive the risk we have been into. And so, conquering the mountain’s summit was really a mental challenge which I somewhat experienced euphoria at the top that can be described as primal satisfaction.

The glory of moments after sunrise at the summit

Fear of heights of the narrow ridges particularly in the Knife Edge and cliffs at a backdrop of more than 6,000 feet, too much fatigue slowed down my motion and forced us to have a night trek again for the second day just to reach the jump off point. Furthermore, scaling this time the traverse trail even made more challenging from the very start of Camp 1, to Camp 2, Camp 3 and the Remvaldely Peak which are all packaged in an endless cardiac assaults.


  1. This is completely and absolutely amazing scenery!!! You are so lucky to have an opportunity to scale this mountain

  2. I never thought of you as daring as you are in this blog post. You are so astig of a kind.

  3. The scenery is amazing but a place where I really can't go. I never had any experience in mountain climbing.

  4. I salute you for having a 5 days itinerary of this climb. Grbe ang lakas nyo po sir. :) (hands down).