Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’re Marinduque experience is never complete without hiking to the highest point of the province— Mt. Malindig.
As part of the blog series I’m doing for my homeland, I together with my cousins had our day hike at Mt. Malindig last May 12, 2016. The jump-off point is at Brgy. Sihi, Buenavista. It’s a 10-15 minute trike ride from Buenavista Poblacion or Bayan.
According to Commander Gonzales, captain of the Malindig military outpost, the mountain is 1157 meter high above sea level (MASL) and 900 (MASL) (up to military outpost). Using the trail classification and difficulty scale from pinoy mountaineer website, this mountain is a minor climb with 3/9 difficulty and a trail class of 1-2. Reaching the summit may take you up to 3 hours only, beginner-friendly right?
TO-DO BEFORE THE CLIMB
It was a gloomy morning when we arrived at Sihi’s barangay hall around 7 a.m. There’s no one at the hall and it was locked. We waited for about 5-10 minutes until we were able to talk to several barangay officials. The barangay captain explained, that we need to secure a barangay permit (Php 45) and a tour guide/barangay police (Php 500). If we know someone around the place to accompany us, a tour guide won’t be required. But of course, that will be “a climb at your own risk.”
THE CLIMB’S HIGHLIGHTS
We started hiking by 7:40, and after 5 minutes it started to drizzle which made the path muddy. Eventually, the rain stopped and we got a good weather for the rest of the climb. To set your expectation, this climb is “basagang tuhod.” Ready yourself and your knees for a lengthy walking and hiking. Expect lots of cows along the way, I even stumbled because of them.
After one hour of hiking we reached the pasturage, it was the perfect spot to see the majestic view of the sea, the scenic hills and mountains of the towns ( Gasan, Buenavista, Torrijos and Boac). It’s the area to graze cattle and horses. From this point up to the military outpost, it’s going to be an open trail which can either be scorchingly hot or foggy. We were lucky enough to experience the fog and the cold weather that morning.
THE MILITARY OUTPOST
As we continue trekking, the weather constantly changes from shady to sunny. We passed through hills and tall grasses of talahib. It took us another hour to reach the military outpost.
Aside from the officers’ camp, a cell site is also found at the outpost. Upon arrival, we signed in on the logbook, took a rest and had our meal at a small hut. Just a heads up! It depends upon the officer-on-duty if he will allow hikers to climb up to the summit. In our case, we were permitted by Captain Gonzalez, so we left our bags at the hut while our phones were left charging in the camp. Thanks to captain!
It could take another hour or more to reach the summit from the outpost.
We started hiking through the summit assault by 11:20 pm. For now, I would not recommend to hike up to the summit. It’s not managed; it’s a total wilderness; many tall grasses, wild plants, shrubs, and trees are blocking the trail.
We got a hard time hiking and seeing the path, given that the guide already has a bolo to clear our way. Most of the plants are thorny and itchy which really irritate our skin. We also went through a dense and mossy forest with so many “hantik” on the ground.
After 40 minutes of hiking, we decided to go back. Yes, many of us even the guides were not prepared for it. That’s what you get when you choose to save and didn’t get a legit tour guide.
Months before I hike, I have a friend who climbed Mt. Malindig. Here’s how the summit looks like. There was no view, just a mossy forest.
DESCENT FROM THE MOUNTAIN
By 12:30, we already arrived at the outpost. It was 1:15 pm in the afternoon when we started descending from the mountain. It was literally under the blazing sun. We arrived at the jump-off point around 3 pm. After the climb, we went straight to Poctoy white beach for a post-climb dip.
HOW WE GOT THERE:
Meet up at Brgy. Caigangan, Buenavista, Marinduque
Ride a trike going to Brgy. Sihi barangay hall
If you are coming from Manila, check this (travel guide) on how to get to the province.
Trike to Sihi from Caigangan- Php 25
Tour guide fee- Php 150
Trike from Sihi – Poctoy beach—Brgy. Caigangan – Php 500
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- Please wear long sleeves and pants/leggings– I got home having so many armosekos on my leggings and jacket. It’s a small, rounded and itchy part of a plant which sticks on clothes and scratches the skin.
- It’s better to wear shoes than slippers– I really regret wearing slippers. Aside from burned feet, I also got scratches from plant’s torns, rough leaves, and hantik bites. Seriously, hantik bite hurts. According to my uncle, hantik has a sting like bees.
- Be ready for rains and muds– even during summertime, it drizzles up there especially going to the summit. It makes the trail muddy and harder to hike.
- Climb during summer months-during our climb, some parts of the summit assault are almost not passable. Just imagine how worse it will be during rainy days.
- Accessibility and transportation issue– by 5 pm, commuting is almost impossible around Marinduque. If there’s something costly when travelling in the province, it’s the transpo. I would advise to just get a special trip with a trike driver to drop and fetch you from/to your destination.
- Get a post-climb dip- have it at Malbog Sulfur Hotspring or Poctoy White Beach.
For more info to guide you on your post-climb dip, check my blog too about Poctoy White Beach. Click here!