Saturday, July 28, 2007

Marinduque: Hiking up Mt. Malindig in Marinduque

I climbed another mountain today. Mount Malindig is the highest peak in Marinduque. For a second climb, I was told, Malindig was something. And imagine, my first was also a Level 2. What a consoling thought for the blisters I got!

From the Buendia LRT Station, we took a Jac Liner bus to the Dalahican Port in Lucena, Quezon (PHP193). I was with Gideon Lasco and Sharif Gonzales. Sai Sicad followed, taking a bus from Cubao. Our bus arrived at the port just in time for the 2 a.m. departure of the ferry to the Balanacan Port in Mogpog, Marinduque (PHP125). But Sai arrived a minute late (we actually saw his tricycle arrive at the port as our ferry pushed away) so he had to take the 3 a.m. ferry to Sta. Cruz, Marinduque. So plans changed and we met up with him there.

We arrived in Balanacan at about 5:30 a.m. Vans were waiting outside and we took one to Sta. Cruz (PHP70) to meet up with Sai. At Sta. Cruz, we had breakfast at Rico's Inn and checked out the old church. The church and retablo was intact. From there, it was a jeep to Torrijos where we took a jam-packed tricycle (there were ten of us including the driver) to Brgy. Sahi in Buenavista, the jump off point for Mount Malindig. Just look for the tricycles to Malibago and ask the driver to take you further down the road to Sahi.

The forested volcano of Malindig, previously known as Marlanga, is located at the southern tip of Marinduque. The climb is usually 1 hour and 30 minutes. But with me around, it took 3 hours to get to the base camp which is about 900 meters above sea level. Unlike the Pico de Loro climb which was rainy, muddy but forested, the Malindig climb was scorching hot with no trees to give us any shade. but the views were fantastic such as the Tres Reyes Islands named after Melchor, Gaspar and Balthazar.

We wanted to be back down before dark so that we could pass by the Malbog Sulfur Springs so I decided to stay behind at the base camp (to speed up things and to recharge) while the rest went up the summit which is 1,157 meters above sea level. There's no view up the summit since it's covered by thick forest growth. The best view is from the base camp where according to Gideon, you could see many the major mountains in Southern Luzon including those in Romblon, Mindoro, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon and the Bicol Region.

Our descent took just an hour. Back at the jump-off point, we took a tricycle to the springs in Malbog. We had to cross a small river to get to it. The group only stayed for a while since we wanted to be in Boac before it got really late.

On the way to Boac, we stopped at the town of Gasan for dinner. I was surprised to see some good places to eat. We picked an Italian sounding restaurant which did serve pasta and a variety of American and Filipino dishes. It was value for money since I got pasta for three (the menu says good for two) for just PHP70! Everything was so cheap. We also got ourselves some tuba to drink at the beach house.

For the night, we stayed at the private beach house of Lizel, Sharif's girlfriend. The last photos are some experiments I made with my camera. Those are night shots, quite dark when I took them, but with super long exposures. See the stars?

Part 2: Boac and its architectural heritage

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