Sunday, February 03, 2013

Atimonan, Quezon: Mt Pinagbanderahan and Bantakay Falls

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A mountain inside a national forest park - That is how I describe Mt Pinagbanderahan. Located in Atimonan Quezon, this mountain is inside a forest park that was built during the American period. Mt Pinagbanderahan is a historic site so people who wanted to visit the place should avoid destroying stuff and maintain the cleanliness of the area. This is a good climb for first timer since it is considered to be a minor trail in terms of its difficulty. It will take 2-3 hours of trek from the jump off point up to the peak; and back again to the jump off point.


How to get there?
From Cubao, ride a bus going to Lucena Bound. Don't forget to instruct the bus conductor to drop you off at Lucena Grand Terminal. The bus fare is  215 pesos and 3-4 hours will be rendered for the ride. From Lucena Grand Terminal, ride again a bus going to Atimonan Lopez. This time tell your bus conductor to take you at the drop off point going to zigzag road. Additional 1 hour for this trip and 30 pesos as for the fare. As you reach the drop off point, you need to walk until you reach the Atimonan Tourist Information Center. That is the jump off point of Mt Pinagbanderahan as well as the registration area. The reason why you need to walk up to the tourist information center is because there are no public vehicles you can ride at the zigzag road. Tip: If you're in going in large group, I suggest you rent a jeepney to take you from Lucena Grand Terminal going to Atimonan Tourist Information Center to avoid the walk and reach the jump off point the shortest time possible. Actually, this is what we did.

Paul bargaining this trip
Mt Pinagbanderahan has this rain forest environment which makes the trail covered in shade and lessen the heat coming from the sun which is actually great for a hiker like me who hates being burned by Mr Sun. Another characteristic of Mt Pinagbanderahan is, its trail is cemented. Yup, if I'm going to put it in figures, almost 90% of the trail is cemented. It is like you're already in the peak of the mountain and instead of stepping on the grass or ground/soil, you are still stepping on a cemented trail.

cemented trail of Mt Pinagbanderahan
There are also caves you can explore along the way. As we went inside the cave, my excitement to explore the cave slowly changes until I felt disgusted. Disgusted to the people you wrote names and non-sense things on the cave's wall. These kind of people don't know how to respect and appreciate the value of nature. Argh!

Sir Paul exploring the cave
Inside the cave, don't know what they're looking at
Moving on, reaching the peak of Mt. Pinagbanderahan you will see a panoramic view comprises of Mt. Banahaw, the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro, as well as the major towns and cities of Quezon, like Lucena, Pagbilao, and Tayabas. We had a photo op before we went down back to the Information Center.

Alvin as he goes up to the view deck of Mt Pinagbanderahan
view at the summit
We still have a lots of time so we decided to have a side trip tour at Bantakay Falls.

Crossing a river - way to reach Bantakay Falls
How to get there?
From the Information Center, take the road leading to the Atimonan side (Since the old zigzag road is under 2 municipality, Pagbilao and Atimonan). You can ask for a hitch or trek all the way down to the diversion road (Atimonan). When you reach the diversion road, take buses going to Lucena which cost 8 pesos. Tell the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Catalina or simply tell them you're are going to the falls. A banner with a statement "Upland Reservation" denotes that you are already in the jump off point of Bantakay Falls. Going to Bantakay Falls will only take 15-20 mins. Again, if you have followed my tip above you can just simply negotiate to your driver for this side trip.

Before you proceed your trek at Bantakay falls, you need to register first at Mr Bebot Alzula's house. You can also get your guide there. Trekkers are encouraged to get a guide because the trail going to the falls are misleading. Guide fee ranges from 150 - 200 pesos.

Edward, cleaning his slippers
We had the trek to the falls during the night which makes it difficult. Aside from without having a clear vision of the trail, the way going to the falls is wet which makes the soil change into mud. Having a guide is a wise choice because aside from assisting you they are also familiar with the place.

As soon as we reach the falls, we started setting up our tents, cleaning ourselves and preparing our dinner. After some socials we decided to rest and charged up for day 2 of our Atimonan trip.

I celebrated my 21st birthday at Bantakay Falls
We don't have a clear vision of what the falls looks like when we got there since it was late in the night. So when we woke up the next morning, we were amazed how beautiful the falls is. We started to swim, taking photographs for souvenirs and exploring the area.



I had a blast playing with my camera's shutter speed
The environment of the falls is very refreshing. I couldn't stop pushing my camera's shutter button.

Mother Falls of Bantakay
We had our breakfast and lunch there before we went back again at the jump off point.

At the jump off point, you can clean up at Mr Bebot's house. Then you can wait for buses in the highway (with a banner stated "Upland Reservation") going back again in Lucena. Bus fare is 24 pesos.

Note: There is no registration fees for trekking Mt Pinagbanderahan and Bantakay Falls.

Breakdown of Budget:
Bus fare (MNL to Lucena, roundtrip) - 430 pesos
Bus fare (Lucena - Zigzag road) - 30 pesos
Bus fare (Atimonan Information Center - Brgy Catalina) - 8 pesos
Guide fee - 300 pesos (group contribution)
Bus fare (Brgy Catalina - Lucena) - 24 pesos
Food - ***

27 comments:

  1. sayang d nmin napuntahan ang bantakay falls... nice photos

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    1. Salamat po. balikan nyo po this year yung falls di nyo pagsisisihan kahit medyo mahirap ang trails [maputik]

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  2. super duper love your photos, ang gaganda!!!

    I hope to climb pinagbanderahan too. Anyway, thanks for visiting and commenting on my post, here to return the favor, thanks again. :)

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  3. Nice one rem I love this... :D I would say Congratulations to your new blog... I'm proud of you rem. Keep it up.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks sir Paul. Sure, there will be more posts to come :]

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  4. ang ganda naman ng tubig jan :) super clean ng place. inggit much!

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    1. yup, magandang magpractice dito ng waterscape photography. malinis ung tubig and bihira ang tao. Thanks for dropping by Ferdie

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  5. Hi, I'm planning to set up a team building for my team but I don't have any place in mind. I'm thinking of a 2-3 hours drive from Manila, ung hindi na gaano gagastos in terms of materials na dadalhin, and hindi kailangan magastos ung pupuntahang place. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, hmmmm I would suggest try going to Mt Manalmon. It will be a great place for team building and not too costly. Aside from it has an easy to average trail trek, there are also lots of things you can do in this place. The caving part will be fun for team activity. Communication and camaraderie will be practiced there. :]

      Here's our adventure at Mt Manalmon:
      http://geejaytravellog.blogspot.com/2013/01/mt-manalmon-climb-madlum-exploration.html

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  6. sir may contact ba kayo sa pwedeng guide sa mt. pinagbanderahan at bantakay falls?

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    1. Hi po. Wala po kaming kinuhang guide sa mt Pinagbanderahan pero sa Bantakay falls, nagparegister kami kina Sir Bebot Azula at dun na din kami kumuha ng guide ito yung phone number nya - 09058842542

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    2. meron bang tutulugan jan,.,,, pag over night?

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    3. Wala po. pero kung may tent kayo pwede pong mag pitch doon sa area

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  7. thank you sir, and ask ko na dinkung how much yung rent nyo sa jeep from grand terminal to jump off point ng mt. pinagbanderahan? malaki ba campsite sa bantakay falls?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't remember the exact amount pero it is around 700-900 pesos.
      Regarding naman sa campsite ng bantakay, yup malaki naman siya.

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  8. thank you sir geejay, and last na lang, it seems kasi na mga 5:30pm na kami dadating sa jump of ng mt. pinagbanderahan since 11am lahat ang out namin from office, tanong lang kung may mapagseset upan ba kami ng camp or tents sa jump of ng mt. pinagbanderahan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maliit lang yung area sa summit/peak ng mt pinagbanderahan kasi parang square area na binakudan ng sement lang yun. kung wala masyadong aakyat possible nga na makapagcamp kayo dun.

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  9. Hi GeeJay!!!

    Planning to go there this august. Ok lnag kaya na pumunta ng umuulan ulan ang panahon? Kasama ko mga college friends eh nag-uumpisa pa lang sila sa outdoors. Ok lng kaya!! Anyways, good write ups again!! Imformative!!!

    Thanks bro!!

    Billy of http://galaero-escapetravels.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ayos lang naman po umakyat dito kaso siyempre mas magiging mahirap ang trek pag maulan. Maputik kasi ang trail kaya doble ingat dapat po sir lalo na may mga newbie po ata sa group nyo. =)

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  10. Hello Sir,

    We're planing to do an Outreach Climb, may school or community po ba na malapit sa Jump-off ng Mt. Pinagbanderahan or sa Bantakay Falls?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. May community po sa sa jump-off ng Bantakay Falls pero wala po akong contact dun. Sa Mt Pinagbanderahan naman po, nakahiwalay siya kaya wala pong community na malapit. Ayun po.

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    2. Salamat po sir, Ung pinost nyo po na number ni Sir Bebot Azula, un pa din po ba ung gamet nya hanggang ngayon?

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    3. Yan po ang di ako sure but its worth to try po

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  11. Nice Blog po....My Group are planning to go there this weekend. Your Blog is m uch Help!....

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    Replies
    1. Glad to help you out. Thanks din for visiting my blog.

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  12. thanks for sharing sir. hope to be there soon.

    ReplyDelete

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