Mt. Marami: Scaling the rocky summit

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Situated in Maragondon, Cavite, about 2.5 hours south of Manila is Pico de Loro’s neighboring peak. Mt Marami has several forgiving trails, three rivers to cross over, and a stunning view of its rocky summit along the hike.

It is one of the least known hiking destinations in the south, providing trekkers with its beautiful scenery of palm trees, grasslands, some livestock and the village’s friendly locals.

The Trailhead

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We started the hike at 8:30am. The sun was up and there weren’t any signs of a heavy downpour for the whole day. 

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We encountered several forks along the trail, it may be easy for first time hikers to get lost here since some of the paths didn’t have any markers. Our guide lead us to the left to be welcomed by coconut trees. It just surrounded us anywhere, providing shade from the sun.

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We made our way to the river right after some steep trails. Good thing it was calm and shallow when we got there. The guide informed us that the river becomes knee deep during the rainy season.

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More flat sections as we moved along. 

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And then there it was! about 45 minutes from the jumpoff, the rocky summit just showed up on the horizon. There are some muddy sections as well but it wasn’t a big deal. Parched from the midday heat, we moved on and found our way to a store.

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A small chapel located in front of the store where we had a stopover.

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Manna from heaven! It was a surprise when I found out that they were selling Halo-halo. Best way to refresh along the trails for only 20 pesos.

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More river crossings as we moved along. It was a very pleasant stroll as we had nice conversations while enjoying the views. It was 3 hours worth of flat sections with only a bit of steep ascents. The muddy parts were manageable and there were a lot of stopovers.

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We were then informed that that 3 hour hike was just a path going to the foot of the mountain! No wonder there weren’t enough steep assaults! It was around 11:30am when we reached another stopover before the difficult part of our journey.

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More trees everywhere as the summit’s pillars peaked on the horizon.

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Climb to the Summit

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The summit’s rocky pillars were getting nearer as we moved on. The trail was a bit steeper here and we could feel the midday heat. The gradual assault was bearable but I considered it a bit challenging.

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And then another blessing from Mother Nature! We got to the only water source at past noon time. We took a breather here for a while while we washed up, beating the heat.

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We moved along as we were welcomed by a steeper, rooted trail. We were panting heavily at this point, good thing the water source from moments ago provided us with fresher supplies.

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The last shaded stopover. A local store that sells sodas and energy drinks.

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The scorching heat was more intense at this point! I just poured some water all over me to cool down. It was mostly grasslands after our stopover followed by another steep section. This was where we realized that we were getting very close to the summit, the guide informed that it may take us another hour to reach the peak. 

We took rests most of the time, the heat was just too much but the scenery became more interesting as we went farther. It was all green, mountainous surroundings with not much clouds to block the view. 

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This part of the hike was a more open area compared to the grasslands. We got used to the heat by this time already. It was also a surprise that there were several livestock thriving on the mountain.27

We then went through a bamboo forest. The shade was so rewarding for us! The swaying of other trees and the creaky sound of bamboo trunks made us more relaxed, contributing to our quick recovery from fatigue,

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And then there it was! We were now headed towards the final assault to the summit. It was amazing to think that we could only see these gigantic rocks on the horizon a few hours ago and then it was right in front of us after the long hike. 

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We didn’t mind the heat of the sun on the summit because of the slightly strong winds. The surroundings were breathtaking! Offering a 360 degree view of Batangas and Cavite. We had to scramble our way to another part of the peak to reach the rocky cliffs.

You had to be careful though, as there was a gap in between rocks that you had to skip in order to get to the other side, in between was a ravine where you can see the bottom, it was scary if you look through it but it was a manageable gap, you can ask the guide for assistance for your own safety.

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Mountains everywhere! We were surrounded by the Maragondon mountains. On the other side of the horizon are Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Mariveles. Nearby is the popular Mt. Pico de Loro (as seen on the photo).

We had lunch on the campsite just below the rocky cliffs after the ravine. We took a break from the burning sun as we were shaded by rocks, trees, and plants. Of all the mountains we have climbed, this was one of the summits where we stayed longer. It was just breathtaking to think that the top of Mt. Marami had so much to offer, and the cool wind compensated with the scorching heat making it easier to hang out. There were also too many viewpoints for photo sessions, from the vast view of the lake to the famous “Silyang Bato” (Rock chair). 

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One of the guides who assisted us to cross the rock formations. He was very helpful and polite. (And crazy as well!!!) Scaling the cliff while he dangled his foot.

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The Mt. Marami dayhike was one of the most exhilarating experience that I had. We started late in the morning, met new mountaineers whom we tagged along with, and the trail had the perfect balance of easy flat hikes and challenging climbs. (Plus I had enough sleep the night before!).

 In addition to this, I couldn’t stress enough how beautiful the summit was! The rock formations were excellent in giving us an awesome 360 view of what the Southern Tagalog region had to offer. From it’s towering neighbour mountains, an aerial view of the surrounding forests, and the vastness of the lake. With its ideal proximity from Manila, this will be one of the mountains that I will definitely go back to.

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Some facts:

  • Jump-off point: Brgy. Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite
  • Height: 405 MASL
  • Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 4-6 hours
  • Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
  • Features: Rocky outcrops, scenic views of Cavite
  • Alternate jumpoff is in Brgy.Talipusngo which is a few hours longer compared to the Ramirez Jumpoff.

How to get there:

Via public transport:

  • Take a bus from Baclaran to Naic Cavite: 60php (2 hours)
  • Jeepney ride from Naic to Magallanes: 35php (around 45 minutes)
  • From Magallanes Police Station, ride a tricycle bound to the jumpoff: 30php (20 minutes)

Via private vehicle:

  • Take CAVITEX or Aguinaldo Highway all the way to Naic, Cavite, then follow the signs to Magallanes.
  • Ask directions for Brgy. Ramirez. Parking is available near the barangay hall.

*Source: www.pinoymountaineer.com

Itinerary:

  • 05:30: Meetup at Alabang Zapote Road
  • 08:00: Jumpoff: Registration and Arrival
  • 08:30: Start trek
  • 11:30: Reached the foot of Mt. Marami, start of assault.
  • 12:00:  1st campsite, trek to Bamboo Forest
  • 13:00: Summit/Lunch
  • 15:00: Start descent
  • 18:00: Back to the jumpoff
  • 18:30: ETD to Las Pinas City
  • 20:30: ETA: Las Pinas City
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