I have been hearing Mt Sembrano from friends as one of the ideal mountaineering destinations. However, more recent news about this mountain are all about negations — robbery in the broad daylight and intentional slash-and-burn cultivation. Locals also say that natural fires occur in the areas dominated by Imperata cylindrica
(commonly known as cogon). With this repudiation, visitors to the mountain are advised not to stray away from their group. Pinoy Mountaineer
has also raised a warning call when hiking the mountain.
To compensate my almost three-month hiatus in mountaineering activities, I join various groups from time to time (as long as I have a friend or know somebody who is also joining the activity). With this Mt Sembrano itinerary, I joined the CORE group.
The trail is “easy” that you do not need a guide – mostly take-rights. It would only take you three hours to get to the summit.
The hills are green, real treat for the eyes.
A view of the Laguna de Bay coastline in Pililla, Rizal.
The “hotness” of the day can make the grasses susceptible to wild fire.
Though the brown grasses create a great contrast with the greenies, they are dangerous as they may get burned anytime.
The trail to summit with MJ leading the pack.
Some of my new-found friends: MJ, Norman and JC’s cousin (whose name I forgot, unfortunately.. and a first-timer, by the way). Shiela invited me to this event.
These are some of the natural wonders I saw during the hike.
The obnoxious yet beautiful Lantana camara, locally known as coronitas.
Aside from the 20-peso registration fee, there is a 10-peso entrance fee to the Manggahan area.
This is by far the climb I made with the most number of buko juice consumed. The extreme heat might have made me like the whale of buko juice.
According to some locals, there is even a longer and more exciting waterfall somewhere in the mountain.
Notes: From EDSA Crossing, we rode a jeepney bound for Tanay via Antipolo (fare: 53pesos). At Tanay Market (look for the terminal area), we took another jeepney ride to Malaya in Pililla, Rizal (fare: 20pesos). We registered at the Malaya Barangay Hall (fee: 20pesos) where the group was also given a brief orientation about the mountain.