DAY 1

Jan 07 2017

MT. KALISUNGAN
Calauan, Laguna
Jump-off point: Brgy. Lamot 2, Calauan
LLA: 14° 08.790N; 121° 20.683E; 760 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2.5-3 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-2

BACKGROUND:
Mt. Kalisungan In Calauan, Laguna is one of the smaller mountains in the Southern Tagalog region, but is nonetheless prominent because in many points of view, it is one of the mountains that flank the Banahaw Trilogy. Moreover, it has a special place in history as the final stand of the retreating Japanese soldiers in Laguna towards the end of World War II (1945-1946). It used to be – and still is – a mountain that has many names. Some call it Mt. Calauan or Mt. Nagcarlan after the two towns it borders; others call it Mt. Lamot because it lies in Brgy. Lamot. There is growing consensus, however, that this mountain, rising to 760 MASL, should be known as Mt. Kalisungan. Japanese guerrillas at the twilight of World War II made Mt. Kalisungan their last stand in Laguna. Afterwards, locals erected a white cross at its peak. It has become a local Holy Week custom to climb the mountain. Throughout the year, Mt. Kalisungan receives ample rainfall, and because of its relatively rustic location, its great charm lies in its serenity. Fruit trees – from rambutan to kaimito, and of course buko – provide trail food year round, as well, but don’t forget to ask permission before picking!

Verdant fields surround the slopes of Kalisungan. There are coconut trees, banana plantations, corn fields, citrus orchards, and vast grasslands leading to the summit. As one goes higher, the view becomes more distinct: directly in front of you, to the north, is Talim island with its Mt. Tagapo shaped like a young woman’s breast; you can also see Jalajala peninsula jutting into Laguna Lake like a ship, with Mt. Sembrano on its helm. Moving your eyes to east, the highlands of Caliraya appear. And once you reach the peak, you will be able to glimpse upon the seven lakes of San Pablo, flanked by Mt. Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw. Then, from a distance there is Mt. Makiling, to the west, completing the circle.

ITINERARY
0600 Board Green Star bus bound to Sta. Cruz from LRT-Buendia (P117)
0830 Alight at Victoria, Laguna (at the Duck junction). Take tricycle to Brgy. Lumot
0900 ETA Brgy. Lamot. Ask for the way up. Register at Brgy. Hall.
0915 Start trek
1200 ETA summit. It is marked with a white cross. Lunch.
1300 Start descent
1530 Back at Brgy. Lamot. Take tricycle to Victoria, Laguna
1600 Wait for Buendia or Cubao-bound buses at highway
1900 ETA Manila

SOURCE: Pinoy Mountaineer

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