I am relatively new to mountaineering and so far, all my hikes have been limited to day hikes. So when the announcement of a two-day holiday came, I immediately planned for an overnight hike to Mt. Marami (ideal for an overnight hike but day hike is also doable). It is funny that I planned it that way considering I still do not have the the right equipment for overnight hikes (i.e. tent, hiking bag, sleeping bag, etc. *ehem Santa*)
However, just a few days before the scheduled hike, I decided to turn it to a one day event since we had a private vehicle to use. But because of this, we had to start the trek really early in order to finish early. We were already on the trail even before the sun was up – a first for me.
Height: 405+ MASL
Location: Maragondon, Cavite
Trek to Summit: 3 hours 50 minutes
Even though Mt. Marami is not that high, the trek is surprisingly long because the jump-off is relatively far from the mountain itself. Nonetheless, the destination is worth the long journey.
Allow me to share my experience in hiking my 9th mountain last November 18, 2015.
Because we got to Mt. Marami’s jump off via private vehicle, I cannot share my firsthand experience using public transportation but I can share what I gathered through other blogs.
For those using private vehicles, just take CAVITEX and go straight all the way to Naic and follow the signs leading to Magallanes. We used Waze for navigation and entered Magallanes Police Station as our destination. It is advisable to get a guide beforehand to help with the directions from the Police Station going to Brgy. Ramirez as the way going there is a bit tricky. Parking is available at the barangay.
We all met at Coastal and left around 3:10AM. Because it was still early, we did not encounter any traffic along the way. After registering at the police station, my friend called our guide for the day and asked for directions going to Brgy. Ramirez. There, we registered again and paid an optional fee of Php20 each.
Originally, we planned to take a quick nap before starting the trek. This was because I have not had any shuteye coming from the insane circumstances I had the previous day. But because of our excitement, we decided to scrap the nap and start the trek. Thankfully, most of us brought headlamps and flashlights so it was easy to see the rocky trail even without the sunlight.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see the sunrise as it was covered by several mountains. Nonetheless, the sun painted the sky with warm hues to compensate.
We used the Talahib Trail to reach Mt. Marami, here the ascend at the start is gradual with several assaults every now and then. The first part of the trail is also a bit bare, only passing through a few shaded areas but will eventually lead to forest.
The second part of the trail involves crossing four rivers. They can swell during rainy season but during our hike, they were calm and shallow and we just stepped on the rocks to cross. Further into the trail, we passed by a lone hut where we bought buko. Note that I said buko because someone had to climb a tree to get the buko. What is good about this is that we got it fresh out of the tree but the downside is that the juice was not cold.
After the quick refreshments, we got up and resumed our trek. It was not long after when we first got a glimpse of Mt. Marami and looking at it from afar got me really excited!
The third part of the trail involves passing through a long stretch of open grassland mostly covered in talahib thus the name, Talahib Trail. In this part, we encountered different animals such as cows, carabaos, goats and horses which were either grazing or pulling a cart. Not long after, we reached the campsite where the view of Mt. Marami is clearer.
It was cloudy during our way up so we did not feel heat of the sun that much. It even rained for a while which got me worried that we might not have any clearing when we reach the top.
The fourth and final part of the trail passes through a bamboo forest which is reminiscent of Mt. Pico de Loro‘s trail. After the forest, there will be another stretch of grassland followed by a bit of rock scrambling all the way to the summit. The winds at the top are cool and strong making the stay really relaxing. Luckily, the rain stopped a few minutes before we reached the summit and the strong winds blew the clouds away enabling us to fully see and appreciate the incredible views Mt. Marami has to offer.
We were the first group to reach the summit. Well, there were only two groups that did a day hike anyway. Lol. The view at the top was incredible with Palay Palay mountain range visible and Mt. Mariveles at the further end of the horizon.
Going to the Silyang Bato/Stone Chair was a bit tricky because we had to do a bit of rock scrambling again and jump over a cliff. When I saw the cliff, my experience in Mt. Hapunang Banoi quickly crossed my mind and my friend, Jen (who I was with as well during the hike to Mt. Hapunang Banoi), and I had to ask our guide for assistance. He also jokingly said, “Di naman nakamamatay yan. Pag nahulog ka, pilay o bali lang naman aabutin mo.” (You won’t die if you fall, you will only get crippled or fractured). So please be careful.
For the longest time, I have been planning to climb Mt. Marami and when I finally saw the Stone Chair right before my eyes, I got really, really thrilled! Sitting on it; however, was not as easy as I thought it would be. Strong winds kept blowing and I was somehow being carried away so I had to hold on tight to the rocks while placing my legs right at the edge of the Stone Chair facing the cliff.
We took turns sitting on the chair and taking photos. Thank you to my brother, Marc, who was patiently taking everyone’s photos.
Because there were only two groups that time, we were able to get to know the others at the summit. It was not their first time to climb, in fact, one of them has already climbed 24 mountains. Cool!
We decided to start our descent after two hours of staying at the summit. We thought going down would be easier but it was not. The trail was slippery and we had to be careful not to slip and fall down. Some of us even chose to just slide down the trail. Unfortunately, I slipped once while running down. Lol. What made the descent more difficult was the fact that the sun was already up and we had to bear the heat for a long time because the trail is mostly open.
We made several stops to rest and re-hydrate and some of us even ran out of water. I had to share mine and I eventually ran out of water too even before we reached the bottom. We were all looking forward to reaching the hut where we bought buko that morning. Imagine our disappointment when we were not able to buy any because the guy who climbs and gets the buko already left.
It was not just us who ran out of hydration. Some members of the second group were also hurrying to go down to buy refreshments. It took us about 3 hours and 20 minutes to get down and both groups immediately proceeded to the nearest sari-sari store and bought cold drinks.
It was a nice feeling when everyone started congratulating each other on a successful hike to Mt. Marami.
After finishing our drinks, we proceeded to the barangay to wash up before heading back to Manila.
3:10AM – Depart from Coastal
4:26AM – Arrival at Magallanes Police Station. Register.
4:45AM – Arrival at Brgy. Ramirez. Register. Final preparations.
5:20AM – Start trek
9:10AM – Arrival at Summit. Lunch. Take photos.
11:00AM – Start descent
2:20PM – Arrival at Barangay. Wash up. Rest.
4:00PM – Depart from Barangay and head back to Manila
8:30PM – Back in Manila
Bring enough water/hydration. 2L is usually enough for me but I had to share some with one of my hikemates so I eventually ran out of water.
Please do not underestimate the mountain and prepare accordingly.
Wear proper attire (avoid slippers, sandals are okay)
Bring a cap and umbrella for rain and heat protection
Bring flashlights or headlamps
Watch out for poop along the trail! There are a lot.
Get a guide in advance (I would not recommend our guide due to some things that he did during our hike so I cannot give his name and contact details)
Prepare your legs for battle (be it with the assaults or the talahib wounds)
Getting to the jump off via public transportation is possible but very troublesome to do as some jeepney trips are scheduled per hour. It is advisable to use private transportation to avoid inconveniences when doing a day hike.
Also, here is the video that summarizes our hike to Mt. Marami. Note that most of the things I said above can be seen in the video.
My heart was really happy after climbing Mt. Marami. Thank you to my brother for driving us to and from the barangay (even though I could have relieved him from driving as well lol). And thank you to my other hikemates, JB, Kenneth, Jen and ate Kyle for going and making the journey worthwhile. Congratulations on finishing Mt. Marami!
Always grateful whenever my hike plans push through with minimal problems. Even though I had no sleep the night before the hike, I am thankful that I still had enough energy to admire the beauty of Mt. Marami.
And that is the story of how I conquered my 9th mountain. Hoping to do several more before the year ends. Let’s go climb!