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"All mountains are sacred and that the vital life force or prana is very pure and highly spiritual in the forest of the mountains. And climbing a mountain is like a pilgrimage to a sacred place. When you climb a mountain,you will perspire thoroughly, the pores of your skin will open. Not only will you breathe pure prana but your body will absorb a very high quality of cosmic energy. When you reach the peak of the mountain, you will feel the presence of the divine. And your heart and soul will be at peace and one with nature. Spending the night on a mountain top, you will clearly see the stars and some planets that you cannot see in the lowlands because of the clouds and the pollution. Then, you will behold the grandeur of the universe that you will utter the prayer, "Oh God, thank you, thank you that I am alive", for you are truly alive when you're on a mountain top. It is easier to meditate and commune with God and the Masters on a mountaintop. Climbing a mountain is like our spirits' ascent to the heights of divine illumination or cosmic consciousness. Since ancient times, all illumined adepts have climbed a mountain at least once or twice in their lifetime to completely commune with God. The mountain is the best place to practice intensive meditation. Even the great masters are in the Himalayan mountains. I'm just following the great tradition of going to mountains to commune with God, the Masters and nature."

--Frater JL

 


Mt. Pulag

Mount Pulag (or sometimes Mount Pulog) is the second-highest mountain in the Philippines. It is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,922 meters above sea level. The borders between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain's peak.

Because of its high elevation, the climate on Mt. Pulag is temperate with rains predominating the whole year. Rainfall on the mountain averages 4,489 mm yearly with August being the wettest month with an average rainfall of 1,135 mm.

The mountain hosts 528 documented plant species. It is the natural habitat of the endemic dwarf bamboo, (Yushania niitakayamensis) and the Benguet pine (Pinus insularis). Among its native wildlife are 33 bird species and several threatened mammals such as Philippine deer, giant bushy-tailed cloud rat, “bowet,” and long-haired fruit bat. Mt. Pulag is the only place that hosts the 4 cloud rat species. It has one of the most diverse biodiversity of the Philippines, with the newly found (since 1896) 185 grams dwarf cloud rat, Carpomys melanurus, a rare breed (endemic to the Cordillera) and the Koch pitta bird among its endangered denizens.[1][2]

On February 20, 1987, a large part of the mountain was designated as a National Park with Proclamation No. 75. This act aims to preserve the environment around the mountain due to threats from increased development such as conversion to agricultural lands, timber production, hunting, and increased tourism.

The indigenous people of Benguet consider the mountain to be a sacred place.

 

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Mt. Ampacao

Rising above the highland town of Sagada, famous for its natural and cultural wonders, is its highest point, Mt. Ampacao. Laden with pine trees, this mountain offers a beautiful overview of Sagada. It only takes 90 minutes to reach the summit on average pace. The 'ranch', a viewpoint two-thirds up gives beautiful views of nearby villages and mountains, especially on the western side, where one can already see the mountains straddling Ilocos Sur and the Abra-Mt. Province boundary. The panorama includes Mt. Polis (SE), Bessang and Mt. Tirad, site of the famous Tirad Pass (E) and Mt. Sipsipitan (N).

The two important landmarks in the mountain is the ranch and the summit. Apparently, the typical guided tour only reaches the ranch, after which tourists are led to Lake Danum. As a result, the ranch is mistook by some as the summit. Actually, another 20-30 minutes is required to reach the true summit, marked by the Smart cellsite. Here, the views are likewise that of the western panorama. In all, Mt. Ampacao is a refreshing, easy trek and a must-visit for mountaineers who are in Sagada.

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Mt. Tarak

Mount Mariveles, Tarak Ridge, Bataan

Like Mounts Natib and Samat, the slopes of Mount Mariveles were battlefields during the American and Filipino defense of Bataan against Japanese forces in 1942. Situated in the middle of the lower portion of Bataan Peninsula, this 1288 meter high mountain is a popular mountaineering destination. Climbing the mountain requires a long, hot trek from the foothills to steep upper slopes. Hopefully, you’ll get to cool off from a river crossing halfway up the mountain. For the final leg, there’s a rocky, windy trail to the campsite and the summit. But once there, enjoy a scenic view of the beaches of Bataan and the South China Sea to the west, Corregidor Islands and Mount Pico de Loro to the south and Manila Bay, with distant lights of Manila, to the east. Level 2

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Mt. Osmena, Cebu City

Osmena Peak is known to be the highest peak in the province and Island of Cebu. Base on actual GPS altitude, it stand approximately 1000 meters above sea level. Osmena peak is located in the vicinity area of Mantalungon, (a town that is around 700 to 800 meters and probably one of the highest towns in Cebu. Mantalungon has been known as the vegetable kingdom of Cebu. Its really unusual finding this town where you feel it was like an area in the Cordilleras were they have their trading post for vegetable dealers and townfolks and children are wearing jackets at high noon. Reminds me of Baguio City and La Trinidad).

Osmena Peak is uniquely different from any other mountain peaks in the Philippines. Multiple jagged hills, or quite simply known as the Mantalungon range, are grouped together overlooking and stretching as far as the Badian shorelines. Visually, it's similarly formed like the Chocolate hills of Bohol, but are thinner and sharper pointed peaks. Unlike the Famous Chocolate hills, the peaks are grouped almost near each other and are obviously formed from rocks that have survived through time. One of the highest jagged yet almost perfectly formed hill was named Osmena Peak in honor of the famous political Clan in Cebu. One can trek across the mountain ranges to get to Badian, practically cutting across the island of Cebu westward.

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Mt. Banahaw


It is said that Mt. Banahaw keeps away those who are not yet ready to receive its secrets. Rising some 2450 meters from sea level, this active volcano, a part of the Banahaw- Cristobal National Park, has long been believed to be a storehouse of psychic energy. The local residents considers it a sacred mountain. It teems with legends and superstitions. It has been the home to countless members of religious cults, hermits, soul searchers, spiritist and faith healers who climbs its slopes to meditate in it’s cave and commune with the mountain spirits. It clearly shows the other side of Filipino fanaticism and superstitious ways. Being in Banahaw is something like stepping into incredible stories of apparitions, heavenly voices, strange sounds, dwarves, fairies and even UFO’s. Geographically, Banahaw stands on a power point where the key lines of the earth intersect.Wherever such latitudes and longitudes meet, they create energy fields that allow higher frequencies of perception, physiological or otherwise.

Banahaw is one of those rare fields just like Lourdes in France, Sedona in Arizona, Bali in Indonesia and Ayers Rock in Australia, to name a few. People living in the foot of the mountain speaks of apparitions of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and even Dr. Jose P. Rizal and other national heroes.

An old legend has it that a hermit living near Banahaw once had a vision that it was to become the New Jerusalem. Appropriately, the names of all topographical features had been given names with biblical allusions, Kinabuhayan, Dolores, Santo Kalbaryo, Kweba ng Dios Ama and the famous Jacob’s Well to name a few. During Holy Week, pilgrims ascend to the crater rim peaks called Durungawan to relieve the passion and death of Jesus Christ. There, three crosses have been strategically planted to recreate the actual crucifixion scene. On Good Friday, however, the summit should be deserted, as the mystics believe that only God the Father may bear witness to His Son’s death.

It is also said that on the same day, an enkanto (spirit) opens a hidden cave near the crosses, which acts as the pathway to the nether world. Anyone left on the summit will be compelled to enter it and never return. Mt. Banahaw is a silent eloquent towering refuge. It forces the visitor to see beyond, if only momentarily, his/her superfluous needs. For an instant, even the most jaded traveler becomes pure of heart and for that alone, a climb up the mountain is well worth it.

Banahaw is located 100 kilometers southeast of Manila. It is the highest peak among a series of mountains and is surrounded by the towns of San Pablo, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucena, Tayabas and Lucban. Being an active volcano, its last recorded eruption was on 1721. That eruption caused a lake to form on the volcano’s crater which may have caused the crater to burst open during a possible eruption of 1743, though geographer Fr. Huerta mentioned in his Estado Geographica that it happened sometime 1730. The crater today is called ilalim. It also resulted the transfer of the town of Sariaya to its fourth and present site. In the 19th century Banahaw was called Monte de Majayjay or Monte San Cristobal which was then considered the "gateway" in ascending the mountain. It was also called "Vulcan de Agua" because of the numerous springs that flows from the base. The present name Banahaw might have been derived from the word Ban-aw which means a vantage point to a lofty position.

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Mt. Allob

 

 

Mt Daguldol

 

Its proximity to Manila, a golf course-like campsite on the summit and beach at the foot of the mountain makes Mount Daguldol one of the country’s most popular mountaineering destinations. If you’re a beachy person but want a taste of mountaineering adventure, this is for you. The trail is gentle and lined with rest stops, friendly locals, soft drinks

, halo-halo and buko refreshments. Standing at 670 meters tall, it boasts of a stream and waterfalls where visitors can cool off. Its summit provides a view of Batangas Strait, the high mountains of Mindoro Island and to whet your appetite, for a swim the next day, the beautiful and pristine beach. Level 1

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