HIKING GUIDE: Mt. Mabilog and Pandin Lake

Mt. Mabilog
Aside from the historical sites, food, and rich culture, Laguna also has great flora and fauna that can be found on the mountainous and forest areas. Mt. Mabilog is just one of the mountains lying in the province where a vast diversity of wildlife can be found. Hiking Mt. Mabilog can definitely bring an extreme and remarkable experience because of its muddy trail but there's a wide picture of the Laguna and the nearby mountains, such as Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal. Not only that, the reflection of the skies can also be seen on the water of the seven lakes.
Mt. Mabilog itinerary

trails of Mt. Mabilog
Today, our adventure is a combination of hiking, waterfalls, and heritage site as part of our Batang Hamog Climb for the Independence 2014.  We arrived at Pandin Lake at around 3:40PM. From afar, the lake looks like a mirror that looks like an extension of the sky. The area is surrounded with trees, coconut and other plants, perfect for relaxation. The ambiance in the area is cool, the air is fresh, and the water is clear.

Mt. Dawit
Mt. Dawit can also be seen from afar (photo above)

THE TRAILS OF MT. MABILOG: We left Pandin Lake at around 4:37PM and started trekking. The trail class of Mt. Mabilog got a two over nine rating, so it’s perfect for the people who are looking for a relaxing hiking experience. The first part of the trail is well-established which serves as the trail of the locals and their horses to transport local products. The next part was complicated because of the fork trails pointing to every sides.  Then, the  ten to twenty minutes assault to the camp site.

Upon reaching the summit of Mt. Mabilog, we took few minutes rest and started pitching our tents, the others were preparing our sumptuous dinner. We camped overnight on the summit and same old routine, sharing a lot of stories and surprises. It was a long night with laughters welcoming two new found friends from Israel.
Mt. Mabilog

summit of Mt. Mabilog
THE SUMMIT AND THE CAMPSITE OF MT. MABILOG: The summit, also serves as the campsite, has a wide area that can accommodate several tents. It also has a perfect view of the Mt. Banahaw, the "Holy Mountain" and Mt. Cristobal, the "Devil's Mountain." During our ascent, the summits of these two giants seem to be playing "peek a boo" by hiding in the clouds. The lakes are like mirror with the gorgeous reflection of the sun set. The wind is fresh, cool and relaxing.

REMINDERS: Cows, horses and goats spread in the area, so expect for animal poops. During our overnight stay, I got insect and ant bites, insect repellent location is highly recommended. Also, there were dogs visiting the summit, so make sure that your leftovers are stored properly.  And remember the “Leave No Trace” principle.

Mt. Mabilog

tourist spots in Laguna
 The side trip to Bunga Twin Falls

tourist spots in Laguna
The side trip to Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

THE PERFECT SIDE TRIP AFTER HIKING MT. MABILOG: I slept for only two hours then woke up at around five thirty in the morning. Prepared our breakfast and started descent to Pandin Lake. Had an hour break by the lake. This time we were able to blend with the locals and discover their culture. After lunch break, we headed back to the parking area and proceeded to Bunga Falls. This gorgeous waterfall is forty five minutes travel from the jump off.

After enjoying the relaxing ambiance of Bunga Falls, we proceeded to our last destination, the famous and old Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. From Bunga falls, it was almost an hour travel to Nagcarlan. It was almost sunset and the caretaker was about to close the gate when we arrived but we talked to him if we can still enter. When he said YES, we hurriedly entered the main gate and on the door of the underground cemetery.

HOW TO GET TO MT. MABILOG: From Manila or any point on EDSA, you can ride a bus bound for Lucena City but alighted in near 711 convenience store, by the San Pablo Church, in San Pablo City. Beside 711, ride in a jeepney bound for Nagcarlan or Liliw and alight in Pandin Lake entrance.