Mountain News: YABAG issues advisory on Mt. Cinco Picos and Mt. Balingkilat hiking

YABAG Mountaineers and Michael Babao, popularly known as MikeB, were pioneers in the exploration and establishment of hiking trails in the Zambales Coastal Mountains and Coves area, which includes Mt. Cinco Picos (cover photo of version 4) and Mt. Balingkilat. We are reposting in full their Climb Advisory dated May 4, 2011 from MikeB’s website:
As of this moment we are not recommending to any mountaineers to hike Mt Cinco Picos (aka Tatlong Tirad), Rounded Peak (Bundok Dayungan) and Pointed Peak (Bundok Balingkilat) and other mountains and traverses on which the jump-off is along Cawag, Subic, Zambales. This is due to the fact that we are having some problems with the Chieftain with regards to the way they ask fees to the mountaineers. The fees that they are asking to the mountaineers are too high on which these were not agreed before. I am seeking a dialogue/meeting to the Chieftain but at this time there’s no response from him.
In response to what we agreed before and in respect to the community, I was able to get a guide and experience a guide fee of Php 900.00 on a day hike from Mt Cinco Picos traverse to Rounded Peak and I was curious about how they charge mountaineers especially that new routes are already open. Here are some of the guide fees that seem overwhelming:
Mt. Balingkilat Dayhike – Php 600.00
Mt. Cinco Picos to Dayungan Traverse – Php 900.00
Mt. Cinco Picos traverse to Silanguin Cove – Php 900.00. I received reports that they even charge as high as Php 1,200.00
Jump-Off traverse to Nagzasa cove – Php 600.00 (even for 1 day only)
Mt. Balingkilat traverse to Anawangin cove – Php 1,500.00
Mt. Dayungan traverse to Nagzasa cove- Php 900.00
The trail is already established and we can hike these mountains with no guide at all. Paying the guide fee is just a way of helping them and this will be an additional income to the Aeta community. But what I can see right now is that they already made the guiding rates as business stuff by paying them on a location basis not on a per day basis and this is not we agreed before when we open these trails to the mountaineering community.
We agreed before that it should be Php 300.00 per day (whether he is a guide or porter) for every 7 (not 5) persons no matter which mountains (Mt Balingkilat, Mt Cinco Picos and Mt Dayungan and its traverses) the group is heading.
Kindly disseminate this information to other mountaineers and I will keep you posted for whatever developments that I might have by posting to Gideon’s Site (PinoyM), Facebook, and websites.
Other Important Information
I explored the backside of Mt Cinco Picos (aka Tatlong Tirad) together with Raul Panis early of year 2006 and we were planning at that time a different mountain before we summit Mt Apo. So after we survey the area and also the possible campsites we introduced this to our friends in mountaineering which includes the PHINOE and PAGCOR Mountaineer Clubs and this we made the attempt to summit one of the peaks of the Mt Cinco Picos. We introduced this to the mountaineering community last October 2006 when we held the First Open Climb to Mt Cinco Picos.
Information relayed through this post was made in coordination with MikeB and the YABAG Mountaineers. will continue to provide relay updates from them regarding the status of the mountains of the Zambales Coastal Mountains and Coves area.

NOTE: For feedback/clarifications from other concerned parties, please email the blogger at

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3 Comments on "Mountain News: YABAG issues advisory on Mt. Cinco Picos and Mt. Balingkilat hiking"

12 years 9 months ago

pwd na po b ulit ihike ang balingkilat trav to anawangin? bka may ma recomend po kaung guide..plano kz ng group namen umakyat d2 sa nov 6. please txt me 09052409276.


lampara mountaineer

13 years 2 months ago

I'll just get another chieftain as guide. I agree with Mike: those trails can be hiked without guides once you've done them at least once with a guide the first time, and the trails are established by now. And it's also to give income to the locals. However, paying more than 300 pesos per day, whether as guide or porter, is excessive. What does it say to the guides in other areas, esp in G2 whom we only pay P500 per day?

I applaud Mike and his group for organizing the guideship and its system in Cawag. I hope Chief Jimmy will see reason. Also, I hope he would be fair in distributing guide and porter assignments, parang mga kamag-anak lang nya ang nabibigyan ng trabaho.

I have 2 other guide contacts in Cawag whom Im more comfortable with. The only reason I go through Jimmy is out of respect for MikeB. But otherwise, I would always have gotten the guide who helped us out during our first foray in Cawag Zambales.

Chief Jimmy quoted a rate of P600 per day for the Dayungan hike but I had to cancel because I had asthma attack. This was for a March climb, I think.

13 years 2 months ago

Hello Sir/s Ma'am;

We've been to Nagsasa Cove via Cawag Jump-off last April 23-24, 2011. We agreed for 600Php (but we gave him 1000Php because he acts also as a porter) for overnight guide fee. We were 6. Yeah, it seems that there ware also conflicts between the chiefteins there. Kindly fix this one sir in order for other mountaineers to explore the beauty of the Zambales Coves.

We're here to help too.