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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrMount Banahaw is an active volcano rising 8,038 feet above sea level, located at the Banahaw-Cristobal National Park in Quezon province in the Philippines. It is a popular hiking site that is approximately 50 miles southeast from Manila City. Mount Banahaw is the grandest peak in the Southern Tagalog region and the highest within the area which also includes Mt. Masalacot, Mt. Kalbaryo, and Mt. San Cristobal. Geographically it is said that this mountain stands on intersecting lines which is said to create higher energy field frequencies.
Considered a sacred mountain and holy land, it is likewise said to be a source of psychic energy, with many reported miraculous physical and spiritual healings which is why it attracts mystics, psychics; faith healers, hermits; religious pilgrims, and cults. Mount Banahaw has become a place of worship, cleansing, meditation and prayer as well as the site of many religious pilgrimages and communion with mountain spirits.
LegendMany legends have been told about Mount Banahaw. A popular legend says that the four Archangels made Mount Banahaw the Holy Land because of the trouble in the Middle East. Still another says that Juan Ynbin, a Chinese woodcutter who joined a revolt against forced labor was dismembered by the Spaniards and thrown to sea but miraculously came back to life. He said a beautiful woman placed him on a leaf that brought him back to Majayjay near Mount Banahaw. A third story says Agripino Lontoc, a famous mystic was given the names of the different holy places in Mount Banahaw by a Holy Voice. He went to the mountains to seek for amulets and to escape the Spaniards who thought he was a rebel. Every time he tried to leave Mount Banahaw, he would go blind which is why he stayed on and became one of its first hermits.
HistoryDuring the last recorded eruption in 1721, a lake formed on the volcano’s crater. Geographer Fr. Huerta said that the crater burst open from another possible eruption in the 1730s. ‘Ilalim’ is the name given to the crater. During this time, Sariaya town also transferred for the fourth time to its present site. During the 1800s, Mount Banahaw was called ‘Monte de Majayjay’ and ‘Vulcan de Agua’ because of the springs that flowed from the base of the volcano. Its present name of Mount Banahaw was said to come from ‘Ban-aw’, meaning “a vantage point to a high position”.
How to Get ThereThe peaks of Mount Banahaw can be reached via different jump-off points: Tayabas (Banahaw de Tayabas), Lucban (Lucban de Banahaw, Sariyaya (Guis-guis Trail), and the Dolores Trail, the easiest and most popular.
Take a bus that goes from Buendia/Gil Puyat, Taft Edsa or Cubao to Lucena or Batangas and stop at San Pablo, Laguna. Fare is approximately ₱130 ($2.86) for this 2.5- to 3-hour trip. When you reach San Pablo, take the jeepney that goes to Dolores, Quezon. Go to Kinabuhayan in Barangay Sta Lucia in Dolores. At Kinabuhayan, the locals will guide you to where the trail starts or ask for directions to the back of the barangay hall. From there, the trail splits into the Crystalino and Tatlong Tangke trails that both go straight to the Durungawan peak. This is officially called the ‘Banahaw de Dolores climb’. It would be a good idea to use one trail in going up and another one going down. This is an easy trail even without a guide as it is marked and visible.
Things to See
Cristalino FallsThis 30-meter, bridal veil, crystal clear waterfall has a very serene ambiance with ferns, palms and vine-covered trees. The pool at the bottom provides drinking water for the thirsty and a refreshing dip for the weary.
Suplinang Tubig FallsAnother 30-meter waterfall that fall as long strands of water and has a natural rock platform at its bottom where one can get a natural massage from the falling water.
Salamin Bubog (Glass Mirror)A small pond located at the bottom of Suplinang Tubig Falls whose waters are so still they reflect like a mirror.
Kweba ng Diyos Ama (Cave of God the Father)The cathedral cave has a 30-meter high entrance and is considered as one of the most sacred places in the mountain where pilgrims light candles. You need to pass through dangerous precipitous ravines.
Santa Lucia FallsTwo waterfalls named Talon ng Ama (Father’s Falls) and Buhok ng Ina (Mother’s Hair) said to bring total healing and make your gemstones sparkle brighter.
Durungawan 1, 2 and 3Viewpoints at the summit of the mountain.
Tatlong Tangke3 natural water tanks.
Pintong Lihim (Sacred Door)Two large boulders with different paths.
NiluhuranAn area where bent trees look like they are kneeling.
Husgado Cave (Cave of Judgment)It is a 20 to 30-meter long dark and narrow cave with an entrance that can only fit one person at a time.
Tubig ng Gatas (Milk Water)This river is as white as marble.
Tubig ng Dugo (Blood Water)This river looks blood red because of iron oxide.
Kamay ni HesusLocated on the slopes of Mount Banahaw in the Lucban side, it is a spiritual center headed by healing priest, Fr. Joey Faller with a gigantic Risen Christ statue and the Station of the Cross.
In the Kinabuhayan area are the following: Bakas (Footprint of Christ), Santo Calbaryo (Calvary); Tres Personas (3 Persons), Kweba ni San Pedro (Cave of St. Peter); Ina ng Awa (Mother of Mercy), Dolorosa; Prisintahan, Piedra Mental; Ciudad Mystical, Nunong Lalake; Kinabuhayan Spring, and Kweba ng Espiritu Santo.
Other popular places nearby include Lake Ticab, Lake Dagatan, thermal springs in Tiaong, Bakia, Sampaloc, Mainig, and Cagsiay.
Travel TipsIf you want a quiet trek to Mount Banahaw, avoid the Holy Week when thousands of pilgrims visit the place.
Mount Banahaw have been closed to trekkers since 2004 due to the environmental damage it sustained but some designated areas are open to pilgrims only until 10 p0 feet It may be reopened to trekkers in 2015.
Bring several changes of clothing if you plan to experience dipping or swimming in various waterspots.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: Feb 04, 2015