Friday, December 2, 2016

Hiking Adventures #30: Mt. Balingkilat Night Trek Traverse to Nagsasa Cove

I've read an article from about a girl conquering Mt. Balingkilat and telling why we should put it on our bucketlist. I was convinced and share the page on Facebook. It was noticed by my friend so he told me that he will set a climb in Mt. Balingkilat.

The climb was set by my hiking brother Edmund Milanes. He's very vocal about his first climb in Balingkilat which was draining and exhausting. We don't want to experience that so he decided to do a night trek. All joining participants were convinced that this would be easy because it's a minor climb and we'll be trekking at night. I also invited a friend for her come back climb and tell her it's gonna be an easy climb.

Day 1

We headed to Zambales at around 9:00AM and our target is to start trekking by 3:30PM. Our first stop was in Olongapo Market for lunch and buy stuff for the climb. Then, we proceeded to Sitio Cawag for Registration and as we approached the mountain, it looks very hot.

Before we start to trek, I was really in good condition, I did a lot of warm-ups and stretching. We started at around 4PM and the weather was really hot. The first part is a gradual trek going to the foot of Balingkilat. It would take only 30 minutes, but we reached the foot after an hour and it's all because of me. While trekking gradually, I started to get weak. I thought I was only starving so I ate a pack of Happy Panda. I got thirsty and I can't help drinking a lot. But as I continue, I still felt so weak and get easily exhausted and there was a time I wanted to vomit. I think it was because of the weather, it was humid, plus the weight of my backpack.

Take 30

We had a lot of rest until we reached the foot. We have more to deal with so I opened a can of corned tuna to energize. It was already 5:00PM when reached the foot and we have to be in the summit by 9:00PM. So we continue despite of my situation, I really thought I was in good condition for this climb.

After 30 minutes, we had a long break again and watch the sunset. It started to get dark but it was still humid, there's no air blowing. We were really exhausted, some of us wanted to sleep in the trail.

It was around 9:00PM when we reached the campsite. We hurriedly pitched our tents and prepare for dinner. We had a very quick socials, we just finished a one bottle of Emperador Deluxe. Since it was not very cold, some of us slept outside their tents.

Lechon from Cebu

Day 2

I had a good sleep because it wasn't so cold. We watched the sunrise then prepare the breakfast after. Our target is to descent as early as we can to avoid scorching weather but we failed due to some errands in the campsite.

I thought descending would be easy but it was the hardest part because traversing to Nagsasa Cove will take a very long trek with matching uncovered trails, so it would be a very hot trek.

Good morning at Mt. Balingkilat Campsite

First, we reached the summit before we go down. In the summit, you can see the Nagsasa Cove. The view is very awesome, but in my mind it would be a hellish trek later.

I got very thirsty in the middle part of the descent. My hydration got emptied just before we reached the foot of Balingkilat and we were about to trek for like 2 to 3 hours more to reach Nagsasa. The weather was really hot that made the descent more difficult. We don't have a choice but to drink in the River, but fortunately it is tend to be a water source.

We were really exhausted as we reached the Nagsasa Cove. We hurriedly looked for stores selling softdrinks to re-hydrate. We took a quick dip in the cove before we tidy up. There are locals who are offering to cook some of our extra food. After a long and hot trek, we tried to chill after and reward ourselves.

This climb is one of the hardest, but the view from the summit really worth it. I think I can go back to Balingkilat maybe 2 to 3 years from now and do night trek again. =)

Earl, Ken, Pheng, Emy, Rod, Pluto, Anna, Edmund, Dennis, Abbie and Aldrin

Special thanks to the following for the photos:
Aldrin Valentona
Earl Santos

Mt. Balingkilat Traverse (1,100+ MASL)
July 16 - 17, 2016
Jump-off: Sitio Cawag Settlement, Subic Town
Difficulty: 5/9 Major climb

Estimated Budget: P800 - P1,200

Note: Please be guided that the group should provide tents for the guides.


  1. What time did you guys depart manila?

  2. Can i have your itinerary?thanks

  3. Here's our itinerary

    8:30am Meetup at Pioneer
    9:00am Departure to Zambales
    12:30pm ETA Subic , Visit at Police STation Lunch
    1:30pm Final Buying of foods
    2:00pm Head to Sitio Cawag
    3:00pm ETA Cawag Register
    3:30pm Start Trek
    8:00pm ETA Balingkilat Campsite near Summit. Set Camp
    9:30pm Dinner (Packed Dinner or cook if there is something to cook)

    Sunday July 17, 2016

    4:00am Wake Up call Prepare Breakfast (Quick to Cook)
    5:00am Breakfast
    5:30am Break Camp. Sunrise Viewing
    6:00am Start Descent
    10:30am ETA Nagsasa Beach/Swim
    1:00pm Lunch (Paluto sa Nagsasa)
    3:30pm Boat to Pundaquit
    4:30pm ETA Pundaquit
    5:00pm ETD to Manila
    8:30pm Eat Along the way
    10:00pm ETA Manila

  4. Need po b tlga mag boat to pundaquit pabalik, or may way from nagsasa like tricycle? TIA