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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrMount Makiling located in Laguna, Philippines is an inactive volcano without any recorded eruption since the 16th century. Its apex is approximately at 3,638 feet or 3,576 feet above sea level. The state-run University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) College of Forestry and Natural Resources officially manages the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, an ASEAN Heritage Park.
LegendThose who take a distant look of the mountains say that the contour of the mountain looks like her reclining profile. Mount Makiling is a mountain filled with a lot of stories and legends inspired by Maria Makiling , the legendary mystical protector and dweller who lived in the mountain. She was amazingly beautiful, helpful and courted by suitors including Spanish soldier, Captain Lara; Spanish mestizo student, Joselito, and farmer, Juan. They eventually demanded that Maria make a choice and she promised by the night of the full moon. That night, she told them she was choosing Juan but the other two got angry and vowed to take a revenge on Juan.
One night, the Spanish cuartel burned down and Juan was captured and eventually was accused as the perpetrator. He was shot in the town plaza but managed to shout Maria’s name who rushed to the town when she heard his shout but it was too late. She cursed the two spurned suitors and those who cannot accept failure in love. Both fled to Manila but Joselito died while Captain Lara was killed by revolutionary Filipinos. Maria was never seen again but once in a while somebody would get lost in the mountain and they remembered the curse of Maria.
Makiling Botanic GardenThis botanic garden is just a small sampling of what Makiling has. The mountain has 2,048 species of flowering plants, 45 animal species, 181 bird species, 22 amphibian species and many more.
National Arts CenterThe NAC houses facilities like classrooms, dormitories and an open theater for artistically gifted secondary school students. Located at a vantage point, you get wonderful views of Crocodile Lake, Laguna Lake, Talim Island, and different towns of Laguna.
Peak I, Peak II and Peak IIIPeak II, 4.8 miles from the entrance, is the mountain’s highest peak. It is the choice for hikers and experienced mountain climbers. It is recommended that you stay only until the afternoon and descend before nightfall. Overnight stays were recently banned at Peak II for security reasons.
UPLB TrailThe most commonly used and safest trail is the UPLB Trail. Other trails include Philippine Arts Center Trail and Sto. Tomas Trail although there have been reported incidents on these trails.
Mount Makiling Rain Forest Park (Tayabak Campsite 2.5 miles from the entrance) and Malaboo Campsite (or Camp One near the helipad or geothermal site, Palanggana Campsite – campsite for climbers
Flat RocksThis is a riverbed with huge, flat rocks located just 1,227 feet from the entrance. Swimming is not allowed because of leeches. This easy trail goes on to Mud Springs and then all the way to Malaboo Campsite.
Mud SpringsLocated just 12 feet from the entrance, it is popularly known as the crater of Mount Makiling but it really is not. It is a mud pot or a type of hot spring where sulfuric acid and volcanic heat breaks down the rocks and turns it into clay. The clay then mixes with water and becomes hot, highly acidic and sulfuric mud. You will see hot steam from volcanic vents that reek of sulfur.
Other Attractions Nearby
- Enchanted Kingdom – This theme park is popular because there are a lot of interesting rides, attractions and dining options.
- Splash Island - It is the country’s biggest water park located in Southwoods Ecocentrum in Binan, Laguna.
- Lake Caliraya – It is a manmade lake located in the Sierra Madre mountains and is ideal for boating, water skiing, windsurfing and jet skiing.
- Rizal Shrine – Located in Binan, Laguna, it is a shrine to the Philippine national hero, José Rizal , as it is the house where he was raised as a boy. There is a museum with his memorabilia.
- Pagsanjan Falls – A powerful waterfalls located in Cavinti near Pagsanjan, Laguna, it is one of the Philippines' well-known attractions.
- Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery – This is a unique historical attraction because this underground cemetery located 15 feet below r the church used to be the meeting place of Filipino revolutionaries.
- Pansol Hot Springs – Various resorts located in Pansol is the ideal place for enjoying the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs.
How to Get ThereThere are guided tours that can be arranged from Manila that will provide a private vehicle and tour guide. If you want to bring your own vehicle, take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at Calamba then go to UP Los Banos College of Forestry and then look for the Makiling Rainforest Park.
If you want the more adventurous way, take a bus from Buendia, Makati or Cubao, Quezon City that goes to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. From Alabang, there is a bus that goes to Calamban, then a jeep that goes to Los Banos. After getting off at Los Banos Crossing, walk towards el Danda street beside Robinson’s Mall then ride the jeepney with the UP Los Banos Forestry. Another option is to rent the jeepney all the way to the Mud Springs and Float Rocks entry point which cost about Php 100 one way.
Safety TipsThe sulfuric smell in the mud pots of Mud Springs are quite offensive and should be avoided by those with respiratory problems.
Thick smoke coming from the sulfuric vents and the boiling mud can cause burns. Camping is not allowed in these areas as well. Always stay within the fenced area.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: Jan 30, 2015