Mountain News: Drowning accident in Flatrocks, Mt. Makiling, claims lives of two UPLB students

UPDATE (12/7/12 0911H): Mt. Makiling remains open on both sides (Sto. Tomas and Los Banos). 

We have been informed by the members of the UPLB community that two UP Los Banos students, Enzo Valdez and Kevin Lagodon, were found dead last night in the Flatrocks, Mt. Makiling, in what is initially believed by the authorities to be a “drowning accident”, pending further investigation.


The pair was said to have gone hiking last Sunday (December 2, 2012) and went missing since then. It is unclear to us whether they hiked to Peak 2 or Mudsprings, or only in the Flatrocks area. They were found in the Flatrocks, part of the Molawin Creek which is accessible by a 400-meter trail from the summit trail to Peak 2 just a few hundred meters past the trailhead. 

Growing up at the College of Forestry where Flatrocks is located, my childhood friends and I were very familiar with the place: it is very relaxing to go there, have a picnic or just hang out in the flat rocks, or go upstream to explore the pools of water and rock formations. Its beauty and tranquility, however, can be deceptive. Since I was very young I have heard stories and accounts of students who died in the area. These deaths were usually attributed to flashfloods or sudden changes in the water level. In this accident, it is unclear why and how the drowning happened, although we are very much interested to find out the conclusions of the investigation, for the safety of future hikers. 
I offer my prayers and condolence to the families of Kevin and Enzo, with the hope that they will find comfort in this time of grief, and with the hope that accidents like this will never happen in Mt. Makiling.

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5 Comments on "Mountain News: Drowning accident in Flatrocks, Mt. Makiling, claims lives of two UPLB students"


Guest
Anonymous
6 years 3 months ago

baka pinagalitan sila ni Mariang Makiling.
posibleng nag trip, nag kulit or gumawa ng di maganda sa bundok.

everybody knows na napaka sagrado netong bundok na to. at madaming nag babantay na nilalang dun.

condolence sa pamilya ng naiwan, at condolence sa lahat ng mountaineer dahil nawalan tayo ng co-mountaineer.

Guest
6 years 3 months ago

any idea san part ng flat rock un accident !?

one time kc binaba q n yung flat rocks sa baba pa mismo mga 40meters away sa trail ..

cgro biglaan ung pag agos ng tubig kya nganap yang bagay n yan ..

Guest
Warjie
6 years 3 months ago

Godbless their souls. Flatrocks' water is pretty deceptive. I was walking one time on a knee-deep water then suddenly got stuck on a neck-deep one. I wonder what part of the Flatrocks they drowned? Take care people and never challenge nature even if you're skilled.

Guest
Anonymous
6 years 3 months ago

This is sad news. But then again, one can never take Mt Makiling for granted. In the 80s, a bunch of UPLB students on Flatrocks were suddenly engulfed by a wall of on-rushing water (just like in the movies as one of them said). Two students drowned. Minutes before it happened, it was very quiet and the water was very tranquil…

Guest
Anonymous
6 years 3 months ago

I am sorry to hear about this. It is not the first time this has happened. back in 1986 there were hikers who got caught in a flash flood. if there was a thunderstorm or freak weather upstream, and you didn't notice the water changing color, the wall of water would be right on top of you in seconds. (N)