|Location: Negros Occidental, Philippines|
Entry point: Guintubdan, Ara-al, La Carlota City
Exit point: Guintubdan, Ara-al, La Carlota City
Coordinates: 10°24'44"N, 123°7'55"E
Elevation: 2,434 MASL (7,989 feet)
Days required / Hours to summit:2 days / 8-10 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 8/9, Trail Class 4
Descriptive Summary: Mount Kanlaon ranks 6th among the TOP TEN "TOURIST GEMS" of the Philippines as shown is this link. It is the highest mountain in Visayas and is considered to be the Philippines largest active volcano. It has two known craters, one is the old extinct crater called Caldera with a crater lake in Margaja Valley just below the Makawiliwili Ridge with the size of 2 by 0.8 km (1.24 by 0.50 miles) and the second one is the active Lugud crater which already killed 7 mountaineers on its deadly eruption in 1996.
View Mt Canlaon in a larger map
This is a part of my April 11 – 15, 2014 Mount Kanlaon – Negros Occidental Trips which includes: Mambukal Mountain Resort; Bacolod City Tour; The Ruins of Talisay; and Balay Negrense .
This was my second climb in Mount Kanlaon where the first one was recorded on August 24-25, 2013 but due to Low Pressure Area (LPA), our group was not allowed to go beyond the Pagatpat Campsite for safety reasons. It was during my second attempt to climb that we succeeded to conquer its summit on April 13, 2014. To make sure that we get the scheduled we desired, our group climbing permit request was sent to DENR-PENRO addressed to Mr. Angelo Bibar on September 26, 2013 through LBC. Our group consisted of eight, namely: Peter J. Zabala, Alan A. Valenzuela, Benedick I. Manalang, Cesar H. Garcia, Rome A. Frias, Timothy E. Mislos, Jonathan L. Reales and I. DENR-PENRO only approves a maximum of 10 climbers for a day excluding the guides and porters. I was the Expedition Leader of the group for the second time.
This exciting climb has started with a PAL flight from Manila at 8:00 P.M. and arrived in Silay International Airport at 9:05 P.M. Our pre-arranged chartered van picked us at the airport and we drove to Bacolod City for dinner. Peter, Jonathan, Tim and Rome took the morning flight and so we picked them also from an agreed place and headed to Guintubdan Pavillon for an overnight.
Bong Marcelino, our head guide, met us at Guintubdan Pavillon as we arrived there at almost 12 midnight and we arranged our meals to be cooked by them for breakfast and pack lunch for the following day. The groceries, butane and other necessary items were marketed by Rome Frias as an advance party and these items were equally divided to all our three porter guides.
We had a soundly and tight sleep in a Guintubdan Pavillon where due to its elevation of 900 meters above sea level gives a cooler temperature. The Pavillon is so picturesque overlooking the scenery down the place.
Having breakfast in Guintubdan Pavillon is just rewarding as you see lush green scenery of rolling hills and mountains. How we wished, we stayed longer and savored the joy that this awesome sight had delighted us.
The moment of truth has started as we carried our backpacks and in a moment of silence, our group prayed hard for God’s guidance and presence to give us safety all throughout the climb. The Pavillon serves as the jump-off point. We took the Guintubdan-Guintubdan trail which we believe is easier than the Guintubdan-Mananawin Trail. At exactly 8:00 A.M., we left the jump-off point.
We regrouped in Busay Buslugan Falls at 9:15 A.M. and had an endless pictorials. Our guides warned us that at this point “limatik” abounds and we have to avoid them by not sitting on the ground. The water then was so clear and quite inviting for a swim. We stayed in the place at 9:55 A.M. up to the point where we were dropped dead tired in our pictorials.
I still recalled the first time we visited this water falls last August 2013, it was filled with cascading water and the place was foggy and quite cold. By that time, it was not inviting for a swim as the water was freezingly cold.
We just passed in Patay na Suba (Dead River) at 10:15 A.M. Panoy and I did not stop there but the rest of the group when they passed through this point had a lengthy siesta including a snacks break. As you see, Panoy and I were not in the picture.
We arrived in Camp 1 at 11:56 A.M. just timely for our lunch. As far as I can remember, my exclusive guide in the name of Rexon “Panoy” Pieldad and I being in the lead pack, had only rested for thrice from Buslugan to Camp 1 at a maximum of 2 minutes each. Longer rests made me feel chillingly cold and so I avoided it. Thus, we both arrived first in Camp 1 and the next pack arrived at 12:15 Noon. With our excitement, “limatik” (a sucking leech) was remote in our minds. Before we reached Camp 1, we had to hurdle three long assaults.
Trekking from Camp 1 to Camp 2 is only 18 minutes all of which are cardiac assaults where we left Camp 1 at 12:55 noon and arrived there at 1:13 P.M. From Camp 2 to Pagatpat Campsite, deep ravines were evident. Cardiac assaults were increasing in number and I have to stop to catch my breath. In some instances, I have to call Rexon to stop for a while and usually for barely two minutes, we resumed.
The scenic foliage is becoming richer, thicker and closely intertwined as the we trekked deeper into the rain forest of Mount Kanla-on Natural Park. This park was reenacted into law through Republic Act No. 9154, Series of 2001 establishing Mount Kanla-on located in the cities of Bago, La Carlota, and San Carlos and in the municipalities of La Castellana and Murcia, all in the province of Negros Occidental, and in the City of Canlaon and Municipality of Vallehermoso, both in the province of Oriental as a protected area and a peripheral area as buffer zone providing for its management and for other purposes.
As a background, Kanlaon Volcano, also spelled as Kanla-on or Canlaon, is an active stratavolcano which is the favorite spot for mountain climbers being the centerpiece of Mount Kanlaon Natural Park which was originally established on August 8, 1934. It is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Mount Kanlaon has three hot springs on its slopes: Mambukal Hot Springs on the northwest, Bucalan Hot Spring and Bungol Hot Spring. Its adjacent volcanic edifices are Mount Silay and Mount Mandalagan, north of Kanlaon.
Left Camp 2 at 1:13 P.M. and was in Camp 3 at 2:05 P.M. We passed through the crash site at 2:35 P.M. where former President Ramon Magsaysay plane had crashed. Panoy and I were at Pagatpat Campsite at 3:40 P.M. and waited for the rest of the group.
We stayed longer at Pagatpat till 4:15 P.M. to ask the rest of the group if they can still manage to push for the Saddle Campsite for overnight and since it was still early, the rest gave a resounding "yes" to resume the trek to the Saddle Campsite where we reached there at 4:45 P.M.
I felt cold when I arrived at the Saddle campsite for I have been wet with perspiration and so after Panoy helped me to pitch my tent, I comfortably had an ample rest and waited for the call for dinner. The rest of the group went out to enjoy the sunset. There was no socials as everybody wanted to sleep but the campsite was so noisy with the LGU official climbers of Negros Oriental who had boisterous laughter until dawn. Our group had barely slept.
The night was not so freezing as compared to Mount Pulag but somehow one may not afford to have a comfortable sleep without socks and cold clothing gears as the coldness was really annoying.
The wake up call was at 5:00 A.M. for us to witness the beautiful sunrise. And so without anything in our stomach, we headed up to the summit where it took us 40 minutes to completely conquer the summit. We first kissed the big stone on the foot of the summit as first timers to climb the summit.
Scaling up to the summit has given us opportunity to capture the totality of the Margaja Valley where it really looks magnificent. It was so breathtaking and no word can ever describe how beautiful it is.
Scaling the summit was quite dangerous as the trail is consist of loose rocks and down to Margaja Valley is approximately a thousand feet below. Thus, how can I afford to miscalculate a step where it will cost my life.
The summit has an active crater on it but we were advised not to look down for a strong wind can blow us down into it. We have to crawl and the guides were obliged to hold our feet for safety.
More or less, this is the only view available to our naked eyes as it is very dangerous to go beyond. We were following closely the instructions of our guides for our own safety. We cannot even stand at this point.
Though it was scary, I managed to extend my arms to capture what is beyond my sense of sight but I was completely held by my guide in my two feet. This summit has a peak elevation of 2,435 meters above sea level (7,989 feet) and the mountain has a base diameter of 30 km (19 miles) and is dotted with pyroclastic cones and craters.
Based on what I've learned from my online research, Mount Kanlaon has erupted for 26 times since 1919. Eruptions are typically phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ash falls near the volcano. In 1902, the eruption was classified as strombolian, typified by the ejection of incandescent cinder, lapilli and lava bombs.
Grateful to meet, Pete for the first time who is a friend of my friend, Jrich Macasero where his artistic inclination in photography has provided me a lot of materials for this post.
Another travel buddy made a difference in this climb as I learned some tips from him regarding some photography and IT tips. So glad to meet him for the first time.
A silent but deep photographer has its own way of documenting every specie he captures with his camera whether it belongs to flora or fauna category.
While loose rocks are so dangerous for any false move, I made it to a point that I surely locked my feet in every single step I made for me not slip out.
When I was at the summit, I was so worried of the research I made that on August 10, 1996, a group of 24 mountain climbers were on the same summit when the volcano suddenly erupted without any warning killing British student Julian Green and Filipinos Noel Tragico and Neil Perez, who were trapped near the summit. The authorities rescued the 17 others including 10 Belgians, another Briton and six Filipinos. The 17 were identified as Belgians Frederick Carraso, Philipp Couche, Caroline La Grange, Sophie La Benne, Darmien Gaitan, David Rycaert, Florence De Corte, Jean Francois Ossengeld, Caroline Verlinde and Delthme Ferrant, Briton Gordon Cole and Filipinos Pepito Ibrado, Wovi Villanueva and Albert Devarras.
We had then our breakfast as we returned to the saddle campsite and had breakcamp afterwards. The following is my personal record on how I descended the mountain with my guide, Panoy which I made it for FOUR HOURS AND 8 MINUTES to Guintubdan jump-off without taking any trail food and lunch and literally I was non-stop then. Left saddle - 9:20 A.M.; Pagatpat – 9:37 A.M; Crash site – 10:04 A.M. ; Camp 3 10:17 A.M.; Camp 2 – 10:49 A.M; Camp 1 – 11:03 A.M.; Patay na Suba – 12:17 Noon; Buslugan – 12:38 Noon and Guintubdan jump-off – 1:28 P.M.
On the other hand, I scaled Mount Kanlaon from the Guintubdan jump-off point to the saddle campsite for a total of EIGHT HOURS AND 45 MINUTES inclusive of occasional rests due to excessive cardiac assaults, lunch break, trail food and water break and siesta time in Buslugan for a lengthy pictorials. From the saddle to the summit is only 30 minutes if no pictorials are made along the trail.
Below is a suggested Itinerary:
08:00 ETD Guintubdan
09:30 Buslugan picture-taking
11:30 Lunch at Camp 2
03:30 Pagatpat Campsite
04:30 Pitch tents at the saddle - There is an option to scale the summit if weather permits
06:30 Dinner afterwards socials
05:30 Wake-up call:
08:00 Scale the summit with backpack
08:45 Start descending from summit
09:45 Pagatpat Ridge
12:00 Lunch at Camp 1
04:00 ETA Guintubdan Jump-off point
04:30 ETA Guintubdan Pavillon
04:35 Shower in Guintubdan Pavillon
06:00 ETD Guintubdan Pavillon
07:20 ETA Mambukal Resort
The total budget does not include the plane fare which is P3,500. These expenses include the registration of P300; 3 porter /guides for P7,000 including a tip of P1,000 for their extra services for cooking and made us like boarders waiting for sumptuous meals inside our tents; all meals from/to manila airport; all grocery items, butane, bottled water and other climbing supplies; chartered van of P3,200 from Bacolod airport to guintubdan; chartered jeep from guintubdan to mambukal for P1,500; mambukal accommodation of P3,300; guintubdan pavillon accommodation for P1,200; airport terminal fee in Bacolod for P200; hotel accommodation and taxi fares for the advance party in marketing food – P800 and other common expenses which were all divided into eight persons.
Porter/Guides have a rate of P1,000 per day. On our part, we hired 3 porter/guides where we paid P6,000 and an additional of P1,000 for our tip. Our porter/guides had served also to be our cooks, photographer and safety advisors.
HOW TO GET THERE
Take any daily flight from Manila to Bacolod. Hire a chartered van from Bacolod airport to Guintubdan Pavillon for overnight so that the following day the climb can start as early as 8:00 A.M. It is cheaper to have a side trip to Mambukal than to hire again a chartered van from Guintubdan back to Bacolod. Chartered jeep from Guintubdan to Mambukal is only P1,500 and the minibus from Mambukal to Bacolod is P35.
Mount Kanlaon Climb is a part of our 5-day Bacolod-Mount Kanlaon Climb-Mambukal-The Ruins of Talisay Trip and I am sharing what we spent in the entire trip which does not include the "pasalubong".
|BACOLOD-MOUNT KANLAON CLIMB-MAMBUKAL-THE RUINS TRIP|
|5-Day Trip Package|
|DETAILED ACTUAL EXPENSES|
|(For a Group of Eight Persons)|
|1.||Notarization for Mount Kanlaon Climb waiver||P||P 100.00|
|2.||Registration for Mount Kanlaon Climb (Get a confirmation of the scheduled date of climb first from DENR-Negros before you book for your flight thru Mr. Angelo Bibar, the Park Superintendent with Mobile Number 09173011410; Landline – (034) 433-3813/435-7411; E-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org; and postal address: Abad Santos Street, Brgy. 39 Bacolod City, Negros Occidental 6100)||300.00|
|3.||Courier fee thru M. Lhullier for the cash remittance of registration fee to DENR-Negros for a total of P2,400. Please note that M. Lhullier is the nearest remittance center to the DENR-Negros Office||150 .00||18.75|
|4.||Courier fee thru LBC Express of the original accomplished documents of the individual personal information sheets, group booking registration and the waivers||100.00||12.50|
|5.||Round trip bus fare for Bong Marcelino for processing climb permit with lunch provision since Bong resides in Guintubdan going to Bacolod and vice versa||300.00||37.50|
|6.||Accommodation of one advance party booked on the first airline trip of the same day for marketing of food, bottled water, butane, spices, toiletries and other necessities in Bacolod City to avoid flight excess baggage||500.00||62.50|
|7.||Various taxi/jeepney fares for the advance party marketing including the fare from Silay International Airport to Bacolod Hotel accommodation||400.00||50.00|
|8.||Food and other necessities bought by the advance party which includes the food provision for two porter/guides during the actual climb||3,800.00||475.00|
|9.||Butane provision since carrying this is prohibited in the plane for 3 units at P65 each||195.00||24.38|
|10.||Dinner in Bacolod during the first day (Fast food budget meal)||150.00|
|11.||Van transport from Silay International Airport to Guintubdan on the eve of arrival in Bacolod booked earlier with Charles Ea of Rent-A-Car services Mobile No. 09173092985||3,500.00||437.50|
|12.||Accommodation rental in Guintubdan Pavillon for an overnight stay during the first day with advance booking thru Bong Marcelino||200.00|
|13.||Porter/Guide fee for 3 persons at P1,000 per day for 2 days for a total of P6,000 including a tip of P1,000 for the cooking services provided during the whole duration of the climb. However, P2,000 was shouldered by Alan Valenzuela since he took one porter/guide exclusive for him.||7,000.00||625|
|14.||Chartered jeep from Guintubdan to Mambukal during late afternoon of the third day after the climb booked earlier thru Bong Marcelino||1,500.00||187.50|
|15.||Mambukal Accommodation of LGU Cottages good for 4 persons each cottage at P1,500 each booked earlier at mobile numbers: 09052235745, 09158608251, 09267948566 and 09473241969 paid within 24 hours after placing it as reservation to a bank||3,000.00||375.00|
|16.||Dinner in Mambukal’s food court during the third day||130.00|
|17.||Breakfast and lunch in Mambukal food court during the fourth day||260.00|
|18.||Entrance fee in Japanese hot pool||100|
|19.||Ordinary bus fare from Mambukal to Bacolod City during the fourth day||37.00|
|20.||Various jeepney/tricycle fare within Bacolod City during the fourth day including an evening visit to The Ruins in Talisay City||60.00|
|21.||Dinner in Bacolod during the fourth day (Chicken Inasal budget)||150.00|
|22.||Accommodation for an overnight stay in Bacolod City at Pleasant Travelers Pension House located in the corners of 13th and Aguinaldo Streets with downpayment booked earlier at 09079427202||2,600.00||325.00|
|23.||Entrance fee to The Ruins where students with ID Card pays only P40 and adults at P80 on an evening visit||80.00|
|24.||Breakfast and Lunch in Bacolod City for the fifth day||300|
|25.||Entrance fee to the Ruins on an morning visit||80.00|
|26.||Taxi (bigger taxi to accommodate 8 persons) fare for a half-day tour in Bacolod, Silay and Talisay Ciities tour including driving to the Silay International Airport during the fifth day||700.00||87.50|
|27.||Terminal Fee in Silay International Airport bound for Manila||200.00|
|28.||Roundtrip airfare booked for the peak season this promo airfare package falls during rainy season and there will be a possibility that climbers will not be allowed to scale the summit like us who had our first climb scheduled August of the year and scaling the summit was aborted then, thus, we again climb Mount Kanlaon during summer which is a highly suggested time of the year to make one reach the summit.||3,500.00|
Bong Marcelino for porter/guides – 09103385307
Pleasant Travelers Pension House in Bacolod (so affordable) – 09079427202
Van transport – Charles Ea – 09173092985 or Dante Nono – 09394494041
Angelo Bibar (Park Superintendent) for Climbing Permit Request thru DENR – PENRO – 09173011410
DENR-PENRO Address: Abad Santos Street, Brgy. 39 Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
DENR-PENRO Email: email@example.com
Aaron Pitogo (DENR-PENRO Personnel) - 09396200987
Mambukal Reservation Office – (034) 213-2715; (034) 433-8516 and (034) 709-0990
Note: Bong Marcelino can be asked to place a booking reservation for Guintubdan Pavillon and chartered jeepney transport from Guintubdan to Mambukal.