Mountains,  Travel and Adventures

Birthday Hike to Mt. Amuyao via Barlig-Barlig

Hiking has been one of my favorite things to do on weekends. And because my birthday fell on a weekend, I felt like celebrating on the mountains. Luckily, my friends had a scheduled hike to Mt. Amuyao on that weekend.

For this hike, we used the Barlig-Barlig route but I have also experienced the Batad-Barlig route. For more details on the latter, click my blog post here.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,702+ MASL

Location: Barlig, Mountain Province

Trek to Summit: 5-7 hours


Below is a detailed breakdown of our expenses:

VEHICLE FROM TO FARE TOTAL PER PERSON (12 pax) ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME
Rented Van Shaw Boulevard Barlig, Mountain Province Php 17,000 Php 1,417 10 hours
Barlig, Mt. Province Manila 12 hours
TOTAL Php  1,417 22 hours

Other Expenses

DESCRIPTION AMOUNT TOTAL PER PERSON (12pax)
Guide Fee (1:5, per day = Php1,000) Php 2,000 Php 167
Registration (Tourism @ P25, Barangay @ P50) Php 900 Php 75
Bunker House (Mt. Amuyao Summit) Free Free (first come, first serve)
Food and other groceries Php 1,912 Php 160
TOTAL   Php 402

SAFE BUDGET: P3,000


Day 1: Ascending via Barlig

We arrived in Banaue at around 8:30AM. This is where we ate breakfast and bought the rest of the supplies that we needed. It took us about another hour before arriving at Barlig Municipal Hall where we registered and met our guides: kuya Nasser and kuya Ralph

All set, let’s go. (L-R: EJ, JL, Yhang, Maylene, Sunshine, Rayford, Camae, Jaze, Nathan, John, Marco, Jervine)

I had an idea of Barlig’s trail so I knew it was not going to be an easy ascent because of the tremendous number of stairs we had to pass. Nonetheless, I was also looking forward to the rice terraces along the trail because I remember it to be very picturesque.

We officially started our trek at around 11:50AM and it was a challenge because of the open trail and the heat of the sun. I literally had to stop just a few minutes after we started because I suddenly felt dizzy.

Along the rice paddies

Barlig; though easier than Batad, is still quite a challenge because of the continuous assaults and the endless number of stairs. I decided to be part of the sweeper team because I was not feeling exactly well during this trek and also because I wanted to take my time along the trail. Meanwhile, we asked our trail runner friends to be in the lead pack so they can, hopefully, get us a good space in the bunker house at the summit.

Apart from the open trail, the Barlig route also has several forests which we had to pass.

Endless stairs
Take five somewhere along the trail

We arrived at the last waiting shed at around 4:00PM. From that point on, assaults would be steeper and more difficult. During our break here, I also decided to wear another layer because I knew that it will be cold soon.

We arrived at the first and last water source around 6:00PM where we stayed for a while because of the minimal flow of water. The summit is not too far from this point and we just had to trek about 30 minutes more to get there.

Luckily, our companions were able to get a good spot at the bunker house so we were able to crash well for the night

Dinner time at the bunk house. There’s sinigang, eggplant, bagoong and liempo

I almost forgot that it was my birthday that day because of exhaustion but I immediately felt it when my friends surprised me with a homemade banana cake with a text that read “Camae HB” (they ran out of that icing thing to complete the D lol. Effort is very much appreciated nonetheless!)

“Camae HB”

The weather was also good that night so we were able to see a lot of stars, sea of clouds and the bright, yellow moon which prompted us to take a lot of night photos.

Basking in the moonlight
Constellation watching at the summit of Mt. Amuyao

Day 2: Descending via Barlig

We woke up the following morning to a beautiful sunrise. The morning was not as cold as the first time I was there but the sunrise was just as beautiful.

The start of sunrise. Look at the beautiful colors at play!
Golden hour

After watching the sunrise and taking enough photos, we went back to the bunker house to eat our breakfast before packing up for our descent. There were only about two groups at that time and we were the last to go down since we still took our time taking photos.

Group photo before descending. Thanks, #SOMO!

I was looking forward to the descent because with all the assaults we did the previous day, it was just going to be a quick run down…until, of course, the flight of stairs in the village.

We made a quick stop to the rice paddies because one of our friends brought his drone with him. Because we had plenty of time in our hands, we shot several scenes along this area.

The group at the rice paddies
The village is almost there!

Even though we were already at the village, we knew we still had to push our legs and wobbling knees to climb the final flight of stairs back to the jump off. In order to distract myself, I decided to count the steps we took just to give a quantitative description of the severity of this last part of the hike.

387 steps.

Of course the 387 steps are only for the final flight of stairs to the jump off (not including the other stairs we had to pass along the village).

387 steps going up

And finally, when we reached the jump-off, we went to the nearby canteen to eat our lunch and wash up. Afterwards, we departed to buy fruits and vegetables at a nearby market before heading to Nueva Vizcaya to eat dinner and finally back to Manila.


Thank you so much to #SOMO for another fun hike!

JL and Yhang for securing our bunker house space and to JL for returning to help us with our things. To Yhang for the good company and stories also!

Jaze and Nate for helping with dinner and breakfast. Nate for lending me the “hot compress” and for the funny jokes the entire time. Jaze for sharing funny stories also.

Rayford for organizing the entire hike and for being my trail buddy from start to finish.

Jervine for the superb photos and for buying and giving me the medicine I needed at the onset of the trek.

Shine and Marco for the good company. Marco for the video and the night photos and Shine for being our trail buddy during the ascend

John for documenting the entire hike through the many photos and for being genuinely nice all throughout trip.

Maylene for being my bunker bed buddy and for the trail food that you shared with us.

EJ for the yummy banana bread! It was good to finally meet you.

From L-R: JL, Yhang, EJ, Jaze, Nate, Maylene, Rayford, Camae, Shine, Marco, John, Jervine

Thank you to Marco for another great video of our hike. Kindly watch in HD:


Itinerary

Day 0

11:30PM – ETD Manila to Banaue

Day 1

9:00AM – ETA Banaue. Breakfast

11:00AM – Arrival at Barlig Jump-Off. Repack and do final preparations.

11:50AM – Start trek

6:30PM – ETA Summit. Socials and rest for the night.

Day 2

5:30AM – Call time for sunrise

8:30AM – Break camp

9:00AM – Start descent

1:15AM – Back at the jump off

5:00PM – Leave for Manila

3:00AM – ETA Manila


Things to Bring

Clothes

  • Jackets (fleece, thermal, windstopper)
  • Bonnet/Head Wear
  • Gloves
  • Extra socks
  • Scarf
  • Layers and change of clothes
  • Raincoat/Poncho
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Slippers

Toiletries

  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Tissue, wet wipes
  • Deodorant

Essentials

  • Alcohol
  • Sun block
  • Plastic bags (for trash, dirty clothes, gadgets and to be used as mats)
  • Medicine (Paracetamol, Loperamide, Ibuprofen, Loratidine, Phenylpropanolamine HCl/decongestants, etc.)
  • Powerbank
  • Trail Food (biscuits, chips, candies, chocolates, etc)
  • Water (at least 3L)
  • Lunch, dinner and breakfast food (talk to your group about the arrangement)
  • Money
  • Bag Rain Cover
  • Flashlight
  • Baby Oil
  • Salt (to prevent muscle cramps/spasms)

Miscellaneous

  • Trekking Pole
  • Cookset
  • Stove
  • Butane
  • Tent
  • Earth Pad
  • Camera
  • Monopod
  • Mess Kit (Plate, Spoon, Fork, Cup)

Happy to have celebrated my birthday on the mountains with good company. I never thought I would come back to Mt. Amuyao but I am glad I did.

This year, I hope to be able to go back to hiking and traveling.

Tara, akyat!

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