Five days ago I agreed to go on a hike to Mount Tagapo with a friend, yesterday supposedly because it was a holiday. But a day before that I backed out. I am not the type of person who backs out on a trip. I actually always end up going alone because it’s the others who back out a day or two days before the trip. But I wasn’t feeling so well the day before, I was coughing so bad and I still have colds so I thought it would be better if I take a rest.
I have already climbed Mount Tagapo two years ago with my ex-officemates, Angie and Alvin. It was one of the easiest hikes I ever had in my life. Two years may have passed but I still remember how I felt after the hike. I was delighted because it was a chill hike and the view at the summit was amazing.
Mount Tagapo is in Talim Island in Binangonan, Rizal. It is located at the heart of the largest lake in the Philippines, Laguna de Bay. Locals call it ‘Mt. Susong Dalaga’ because from the towns of Laguna, you can spot the peak of Tagapo, which has the form of a young woman’s breast. It has an elevation of 438 meters above sea level and is the highest point of Talim Island.
The island can be reached by taking a boat ride from Pritil Port in Binangonan. There are regular boat rides to various villages on Talim Island, but the boats only leave once they’ve gathered enough passengers. The jump-off point to get to Mount Tagapo is at Brgy. Janosa.
Hike to Mount Tagapo is ideal for beginners – its level of difficulty is 2/9. It is very easy and the ascent is gradual with some parts moderate. Most parts of the trail are shaded and you’ll see lots of bamboo trees. Hike to the summit takes less than two hours.
Prior to reaching the peak, you’ll arrive at a camping ground with a hut where you can take a rest before climbing the summit. From this point, you get a clear view of the grassy summit, which looks like that of the Windows XP screensaver. The last ascent to the summit from the camping ground takes less than 15 minutes and you’ll pass through tall grasses.
What makes hiking to Mount Tagapo more enjoyable is that very few hike this mountain. Which means summit is not crowded, and during our hike, we had the whole place to ourselves. We had a great time taking selfies and groufies. At the summit, you get to enjoy a 360-degree view of Laguna de Bay.
We were able to leave the island at around 2:00 PM which was a good thing because it rained while we were on the boat on our way back to Pritil Port. We were lucky that it was sunny from the start to the end of our hike.
How To Get There
- From Cubao, take a jeepney bound for Binangonan at the jeepney terminal beside Telus (near Farmer’s Market). If there aren’t jeepneys there, walk behind Alimall (in front of Concentrix). There should be jeepneys going to Binangonan passing there. Another option is to ride a jeepney or van bound for Binangonan at Starmall in Shaw.
- Once on a jeepney/van to Binangonan, tell the driver you’ll be getting off at Pritil Port. Once in Pritil, ride a ferry boat to Talim Island and alight at Brgy. Janosa. The boat has numerous stops at different barangays so make sure you alight at the right barangay. Boat ride to Brgy. Janosa takes about one to one and a half hour due to the numerous stops. Once you get to the barangay, head to the barangay hall for a quick registration and to get a guide.
Registration fee: Php 20.00
Guide fee: Php 400.00 per group of 5 persons (provided by the barangay upon registration)