Major jumpoff: Brgy. Tanawan, Alinao
LLA: 1450 MASL (peak) 1564 MASL (highest point)
Days required / hours to summit: 1-2 days / 5-7 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 5/9, Trail class 2-3
Mt. Malinao is the second of the ‘Magayon Trio’ – the three beautiful mountains of the province of Albay. Of course, the first and by far the most famous is no less than the famous Mayon, where the very concept of Bicolano beauty derives. Malinao, as its name in various Filipino languages denote, means ‘clear’ and likely it is the clarity of the mountain’s waters that is described in the appellation. A striking example is Vera Falls, at the slopes of Mt. Malinao, itself a beautiful destination.
A lush forest surrounds Mt. Malinao, but prior to this, abaca plantations are encountered, a sight very typical of the hinterlands of Bicol. The forest is quite dense, reminiscent of Mt. Isarog. Although there are several peaks on the caldera rim of Mt. Malinao (being an old volcano), the usual trek only goes to the first peak, because of security concerns. However, future possibilities may include a traverse of Mt. Malinao. At the peaks, one can gaze down the vast caldera very similar to that of Mt. Asog or Mt. Mariveles.
All said, Mt. Malinao is a very nice dayhike (or overnight climbs), and can be taken as a Mt. Mayon sidetrip or as a climb in itself for people visiting Bicol.
From Legaspi City
0500 Take van or jeep from Albay to Tabaco
0600 From Tabaco, take jeep then/or tricycle to Brgy. Tanawan, Alinao
0700 Start trek
0830 Arrival at Sugad Plaza
1200 Arrival at the summit/crater rim
1300 Start descent
1700 Back in Brgy. Tanawan; option to head to the cold spring pools.
1800 Head back to Albay
1900 Arrival in Albay
Getting there. From Legazpi City (accessible from Manila by a 10-hour bus or a 40-minute plane ride) you can take a jeep or van to Tabaco City, and from their, you can either take a jeepney or tricycle to Brgy. Tanawan, Alinao. Contact JR (see below) to see if he can pick you up at Tabaco City.
Guides and permits. The person to contact for Mt. Malinao climbs is JR Casi at 0928.222.2572. He is the president of the Alinao Guardian Mountaineers as well as of the guide association; by contacting him beforehand he can do all the . Upon arrival, hikers must register at the barangay hall before proceeding with the climb.
When to climb. Malinao can be climbed year-round and is not dependent on volcanic activity, unlike nearby Mt. Mayon — so it is a good Plan B for those planning a Mt. Mayon climb.
MT. MALINAO PICTURES
The open fields before the forests – at the onset of the climb.
The forest has some nice flora and fauna.
Views from the summit: see the wide caldera beneath.
The blogger with JR Casi, our recommended guide for Mt. Malinao. On the background, one of the nice, clear streams of Mt. Malinao.
Mt. Malinao was the second of seven climbs that the blogger did in April 2011 with the Iron Lady, Jo Steven. An account is narrated in Hiking matters #157.