Expecting a quick dayhike ala the likes of Daguldol and (as I was told) Gulugod-Baboy, imagine my surprise as I squished and squashed my way through sloping trails of mud and horse dung. Fruit flies hovered over dead banana trunks and coconut husks scattered along the way. Mosquitoes were abuzz at 3/4 of the trail. They were having a field day; and so were the red and black ants.
This is not the kind of park I had in my head. Indeed: never underestimate a mountain.
The rewards, as always, are fantastic. At the final ascent, swaying cogon grass lined the steep trail to the open summit. The peak of Kalisungan offers an unobstructed view of Calauan and San Pablo. Three of San Pablo’s Seven Lakes are visible at the left side. Mounts Makiling and Banahaw stand regal at the north and south portions of Kalisungan. There’s also Laguna de Bay and Talim Island’s Mt. Tagapo.
The sweltering heat and the absence of cover make staying at the summit unbearable. After a quick break and the customary taking of pictures, we headed back. And as if on cue, Mr. Sun hid for a moment to make way for fine, light rain.
06:10 ETD Pasay via Green Star
08:00 ETA Brgy. Masapang, Victoria, Laguna
08:05 Take tricycle to brgy. hall of Lamot
08:10 Brgy. Lamot; secure guide (trail has a number of confusing forks)
08:20 Walk to jump-off (beside the Retreat Center)
12:30 Jump-off; wash-up (the kind lady homeowner of the store where we bought cold drinks offered her laundry area; alternatively, the brgy. hall has a clean-up area)
01:30 Walk to brgy. hall
01:45 Ride jeep to Duck Junction
01:55 Late lunch at Fiesta Laguna
02:30 ETD for Metro Manila via HM Transport
05:30 ETA Ortigas Center
500.00 Guide fee (Kuya Bino’s charge for at most 7 pax)
115.50 Bus fare to and from Victoria
10.00 Tricycle ride to Lamot (although we were charged Php20, according to Kuya Bino, it should only be Php10)
8.00 Jeepney ride to the Highway (alternatively, you can ride the jeepney plying the San Pablo-Sta. Cruz route; they pass directly in front of the Brgy. Lamot hall)