Twin Dayhikes Itineraries: Maculot + Manabu, Talamitam + Batulao, Tagapo + Sembrano, Kalisungan + Mabilog

One of the avenues I am exploring right now is coming up with twin dayhikes around Metro Manila: two destinations that, when combined, makes logistic sense, and can reasonably and enjoyably be done in just one day. As of December 8, 2012, I have done four of these and I am sharing itineraries I have designed for them.

NOTE: These itineraries are designed for people who have at least a moderate pace. Those who want a more relaxed pace are advised to just do one mountain at a time. However, you can also attempt two mountains, but if the first mountain proves to be enough for a day, then just make do with one, which is good in itself!
It makes perfect sense to combine Talamitam and Batulao, because both of them are accessed in just a single highway, and transportation is quite easy from one mountain to another. Just take the bus from Manila to Nasugbu, get off at the Talamitam trailhead (KM. 83); after the climb, take the return bus but instead of going all the way to Manila, get off at Evercrest to do the Batulao. There is a carinderia in front of Evercrest that is a sensible place to have lunch. Refer to the Batulao and Talamitam pages for more information.
0400 Take bus to Nasugbu or Tagaytay then Nasugbu
0700 Get off at KM. 83. Register
0715. Start of first climb
0900 Arrival at summit. Rest.
0930 Start descent
1100 Back at trailhead. Tidy up, then take jeep to Evercrest
1130 Lunch at carinderia in front of Evercrest
1300 Walk to trailhead past Evercrest.
1330 Start of second climb
1600 Arrival at summit
1730 Back at jumpoff. Tidy up.
1800 Take jeep to Tagaytay
1900 Dinner and postclimb in Tagaytay
2000 Take bus back to Manila
2200 ETA Manila
Lipa is now highly accessible from Manila, and both Maculot and Manabu Peak are within striking range of Lipa. Hence, these hikes can also be easily combined in one day. I recommend going to Maculot first, because it has the most scenic viewpoint, and mornings in the Philippines tend to be sunnier than the afternoons. Also, it is the longer of the two climbs, especially if you’re doing a traverse (which might be a stretch for many folks, but very rewarding). From Cuenca, simply take a jeep to Lipa, and from Lipa proper, it should be easy to take a tricycle to Brgy. Sta Cruz in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, the jumpoff for Manabu Peak.
For those who want an added action, do the Maculot Traverse (Rockies-Summit-Grotto) before heading to Manabu Peak! This can be done but try to be back in Lipa by 1400H.
0400 Take bus to Cuenca either directly or via Lipa
0700 Get off at Poblacion; register; take tricycle to trailhead
0715. Start of first climb
0900 Arrival at Campsite, then Rockies.
1000 Start descent
1130 Back at trailhead. Tidy up, then take jeep to Lipa
1215 Quick lunch
1300 From Fiesta Mall, take trike to Brgy. Sta Cruz (Sulok)
1330 Register at Brgy. Hall before proceeding.
1400 Start trek
1445 Reach Mang Pirying’s place. Coffee break!
1500 Resume trek
1540 Arrival at summit
1600 Start descent
1730 Back at trailhead. Take tricycle to Lipa
1830 Dinner and postclimb in Lipa or Sto. Tomas
2000 Take bus back to Manila
2200 ETA Manila
Both Mt. Tagapo and Mt. Sembrano are located in Rizal province, and somewhat follows the same Manila East Road route, so it is possible to do the two in one day – I had to do it myself first before writing this. There is the logistical challenge of having to go to Talim Island and back, by boat, which would cause delays; if achieved at all, there would have to be some night-trekking in Mt. Sembrano. But this delay is actually favorable, because Sembrano’s glory can be fully appreciated in the late afternoon, when the setting sun casts Laguna Lake into a beautiful body of water, and when the sweltering heat is gone, which somehow diminishes the joy of beholding so many mountains.
Private transportation is highly recommended for this option, but I am presenting a theoretical public transport option, which can easily be adopted as a private transport option.
0500 At EDSA-Shaw Crossing, take jeep/FX to Binangonan
0630 Arrival at Binangonan Port; take pumpboat to Brgy. Janosa
0800 ETA Brgy. Janosa, register, secure guides
0815 Start trek
1000 ETA summit
1030 Start descent
1145 Back at trailhead
1200 Take return boat to Binangonan. Lunch along the way.
0130 Arrival at Binangonan. Take jeep to Tanay, Rizal
0230 Arrival at Tanay; take jeep to Jalajala.
1515 Get off at Brgy. Hall of Malaya, Pililla, Rizal. Register
1530 Start trekking
1630 Arrival at Manggahan campsite
1720 Start of grassland slopes
1745 ETA summit. Sunset viewing
1810 Start descent
2000 Back at trailhead. Take jeep back to Tanay, then Manila
2200 ETA Manila

I’ve always wanted to do a ‘twin dayhikes’ in my home province of Laguna, and my initial candidate was a TD of Makiling and Kalisungan. This is actually very very doable for fast hikers, but may be a bit of a stretch if following an average pace, not to mention the necessity of renting a jeepney or hiring a habal-habal up to the Nursery in Makiling. When I discovered Mt. Mabilog this year, I realized that it’s the perfect pair for Mt. Kalisungan, making the TD a thematic ‘Seven Lakes’ hike’ since both mountains offer nice views of the Lakes, not to mention the chance to actually visit at least one of the them – Lake Pandin – which happens to be one of the most scenic of the seven.

This TD is very doable even with public transportation, and a distinct possibility is to do a Nagcarlan loop from Calauan, taking a jeep from Calauan to Nagcarlan instead of to San Pablo, then approaching Mt. Mabilog via Brgy. Sulsuguin. However, this is theoretical, and I’m presenting instead what I’ve done before:


0430 Take Sta. Cruz-bound bus to Duck Junction
0630 ETA Duck Junction, Victoria. Trike to Brgy. Lamot 2
0645 Arrival at Lamot 2; Secure guides
0700 Start trek
0900 ETA summit of Mt. Kalisungan (760m)
0930 Start descent
1100 Back at Brgy. Lamot 2. Take trike to Calauan proper
1115 From Calauan proper, take jeep to San Pablo
1145 ETA San Pablo City poblacion; lunch
1300 Take Nagcarlan-bound jeep and get off at Sto. Angel
1345 ETA Brgy. Sto. Angel. Walk to Lake Pandin (5-10 mins)
1400 ETA Lake Pandin; secure guide; take pictures
1415 Start trek 
1545 ETA Mt. Mabilog summit
1600 Start descent
1700 Back at Lake Pandin; Tidy up
1730 Back at Sto. Angel. Take jeep back to San Pablo
1800 ETA San Pablo; Dinner 
1900 Take trike to highway; head back to Manila
2200 ETA Manila 
1. In any dayhike, a headlamp or flashlight is recommended. All the more if you’re doing two in a day! There is a very real possibility of running out of daylight
2. Check transportation options if you feel you might finish late. If you are a group of around 10, consider taking private transportation (i.e. van rental) to make the logistics easier and more comfortable. In my experience, it’s only just a bit more than public transport.
I am planning to do more of these “Twin Dayhikes” in the future. I am still studying what else might be good, and feel free to make suggestions by commenting!

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18 Comments on "Twin Dayhikes Itineraries: Maculot + Manabu, Talamitam + Batulao, Tagapo + Sembrano, Kalisungan + Mabilog"

1 year 10 months ago

Hi! we've been to Maculot-Manabu last May 12. Required n po guide sa Maculot for P400.00 1-5 persons yata. Then pag overnight P800.00.

2 years 2 months ago

Panu po mka join ng climb?

2 years 2 months ago

Paano po tayu makakakontak nang guide d2? Aakyat sana dis april.. Paki lagay nalang po contact # at anung bundok na marerecomend na maganda.. Ralph po.. Salamat.. More powers.. 09356211782

2 years 11 months ago

We did Talamitam-Batulao last Saturday (April 5). Mas nakakapagod ang Talamitam. :)

I'm looking forward to do Maculot-Manabu nextime. Thanks for the suggested itinerary on this page. :)

3 years 9 months ago

sir Gid,

magkano po ung fare dun sa it nung TWIN DAYHIKES: KALISUNGAN AND MABILOG? balak po kc namin mag twin dayhike this coming sunday. tia