February 19, 2014

Mt. Naguiling Mountain Exploration

Major Jump-off: Brgy. Jaybanga, Lobo Batangas
MASL: Balatikan Campsite: Approx. 500+, Summit Approx. 1007+
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 to 2 Days / 6 - 7
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty: 6/9
Updated: July 2014

The town of Lobo, Batangas is an emerging potential destination for tourists, mountaineers and outdoor lovers. The mountain ranges that surrounds this town offers an attractive environment to people visiting the place. The mountains in Lobo such as Mt. Banoi, Bangkalan and Patong Peak have been pursued many times by different mountaineering groups and are now some of the most favorite hiking destinations in the Lobo. However, there are still mountain peaks that are yet to be explored and are equally suitable for hikers and campers alike. One of these is Mt. Naguiling. The name “Naguiling” or “Nagiling” had been used since the olden days because of its grinding trail feature. Some locals called it Mt. Lobo in general and “Tilos” (Tuktok) when referring to the mossy summit. Previously, the team of students led by Prof. Anacleto "Sir Clet" M. Caringal of Batangas State University climbed the said mountain countless times from 2001-2007 for some forest vegetation research. In 2009-2010, some UST students did the same to study pitcher plants in the mossy summit. According to Sir Clet many experienced and non-experienced climbers attempted to reach the summit of Mt. Naguiling but only ended up only in Mt. Daguldol in San Juan Batangas.

Mt. Naguiling is part of the Lobo-San Juan Mountains (LSJM) which is situated near the border of two Batangas towns: Lobo and San Juan. This hidden beauty is also considered by the local residence as the highest peak in the coastal province of Batangas approx. 1007+ MASL. It is particularly located at Barangay Jaybanga, Lobo Batangas which is accessible via Lipa-Rosario Batangas and Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion routes. The Lipa-Rosario route is found to be the easier one being 2 to 2 hours and 30 minutes of travel time starting from Lipa City, and it is directly accessible riding the local jeepneys in the location. On the other hand, choosing the Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion route will lead you to an additional 1 hour of travel through the Nagtoctoc Road. Friendly tricycle drivers from Lobo Poblacion may be willing to cross the river in Curba, Brgy. Nagtaluntong to directly drop visitors at the said boundary.

Left: Jeep terminal to Calantas, Antipolo and Jaybanga in front of Girder hardware store.
Right: Our Tarpaulins being displayed at the jump-off at Brgy. Jaybanga.

Nagtoctoc Road: During our first exploration of Mt. Naguiling, we used the Nagtoctoc Road which was at that time closed and was in the process of being cemented. We were fortunate enough to hitch a ride from one of the construction trucks passing by. As of this writing, the Nagtoctoc Road is now open and well-paved for automobiles to utilize. Most of the vehicles that pass through this newly built road are private vehicles and any public transportation that ply this route are limited.

Jump-Off at Brgy. Jaybanga: The view from the jump-off point is equally wondrous as you will see green rice fields all around, and the Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces in which the locals are quite proud of. Visiting the rice terraces is also a good opportunity to get a panoramic view of the Lobo-San Juan Mountains. The rice terraces will only take about 10 minutes by foot from the main jump-off.

Jaybanga Rice Terraces with Mt. Naguiling and Lobo-San Juan Mountain Range

Trail to Summit: The trek up the mountain officially commences at a spot near the house of Brgy. Chairman Romeo Delen. His house also serves as temporary base and resting place for folks visiting the area. The first part of the trail is perfect for warm up. Within an hour of trekking, the last landmark is the house of one of the official guides, Kuya Allan Magnaye. Here you can rest, restock on water before proceeding to the "Bukohan" where guides can grab fresh bukos for you and your group for free, and finally the campsite known as "Balatikan". While on this trail, you will be rewarded by beautiful views of Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon mountains; Mt. Maculot, Mt. Banoi, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal.

Left: Pitcher Plant Right: Wild Orchids 

Balatikan Campsite: Balatikan is derived from the word “balatik”. A hunter’s trap used before for hunting wild boars. The campsite can hold about 6-8 tents, however, most of the area are sloped, where some can
be too inclined for one to get a good nights rest.

Left: Balatikan Campsite. Right: A scenic180º view at Balatikan Bato

On a clear day, one can see Mt. Malipunyo Range, Imoc Hill, Mt. Kalisungan, Mt. Atimla, Mt. Maculot, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw, Mt. Cristobal and Mt. Banoi and a closer view of Mt. Naguiling when looking at the opposite direction are visible at the campsite particularly at “Balatikan Bato”, a cliff near the campsite that is a perfect vantage point of Batangas and it's surrounding area.

Left: Guides hacking through dense vegetation. Right: Burrow holes

Tilos / Summit Assault: "Tilos" is a local term for the mountain peak. The summit assault takes about 4 to 5 hours from Balatikan Campsite and it is best to start the trek early morning. Mt. Naguiling is gifted with rich bushes and trees, comparable to Mt. Makiling. It is also a good opportunity to observe the flora and fauna along the way as you will see interesting colonies of ferns, orchids, moss and pitcher plants. Monkeys, snakes, forest snails or "bayuko", turtlehawks, kalaw, wild boar and many more also thrive in this mountain and it's forest. Their is just so much life in Mt. Naguiling that the Brgy. Jaybanga proudly takes credit for due to their governance being able to successfully thwart illegal logging activities in the area long ago.

Left: Inabutan forest. Right: The best patch of clearing we can get at the summit

There is no clearing at the summit. From the campsite to "Inabutan", a patch of flat land in the middle of the forest with a log in the middle of the trail, we had to go up and under, and hack our way through towards the peak. A peak without a view may be disappointing to some, but the uniqueness of Mt. Naguiling's peak is like no other since the peak allows you to stand mostly on entangled tree roots, earth, plants and leaves that has matted altogether to form that patch of land, allowing us, hikers to feel cautious on where we step, and a little paranoid as to what lurks beneath the footing we were standing on.

Densely vegetated even at the summit.

Traverse / Sidetrip: An additional feature of Mt. Naguiling is the traverse trail from Balatikan Peak to Sitio
Bagong Pook. Just take the trail facing Mt. Banoi. It is a more scenic route, but steeper with an incline of about 50-60 degrees of slope that is exposed to sunlight compared to the trail of Sitio Manggahan. It is advisable to take this for the descent. After an 1 hour on the trail down, you will be rewarded by very refreshing water of  their Mini-Falls; with a nice pool where you can swim and relax. After bathing, the trek going back to the jump-off is almost a walk in the park for about 30 minutes as the trek would be mostly on flat lands and pastures.


Option 1: Via Lipa-Rosario, Batangas

Day 1

0630 AM - Assembly Buendia Taft
0700 AM - ETD to Lipa City
0900 AM - ETA Lipa City / Take Jeep to Rosario
1000 AM - ETA Rosario / Purchase supplies / Early Lunch
1200 NN - ETD Jeep to Brgy. Jaybanga, terminal located at Girder Hardware store
0200 PM - ETA Jaybanga / Look for Brgy Capt. Romeo Delen / Register / Get Guide
0230 PM - Visit Jaybanga’s Rice Terraces
0300 PM - Start Trek
0330 PM - ETA Sitio Manggahan
0430 PM - Bukohan
0600 PM - ETA Balatikan Camp Site / Set Camp / Prepare Dinner
0730 PM - Dinner

Day 2

0500 AM - Wakeup call / Prepare breakfast
0530 AM - Breakfast
0600 AM - Prepare for Summit
0630 AM - Start ascend to Summit
0730 AM - ETA Inabutan Forest
0930 AM - ETA Summit
1030 AM - Start descent to campsite
1130 AM - Lunch along the trail
0100 PM - ETA Campsite / Breakcamp
0200 PM - Start descend via Sitio Manggahan or Traverse Trail to Mini-Falls (suggested)
0330 PM - ETA Jaybanga / wash up
0500 PM - ETD Exit to Rosario-Lipa Batangas
0700 PM - ETA Rosario
0730 PM - ETA Lipa / Board bus to Manila
1000 PM - ETA Manila


Jam bus liner to Lipa: P124 / PAX - One way
Jeep from Lipa to Rosario: P25 / PAX - One way
Jeep from Rosario to Brngy. Jaybanga: P85 / PAX - One way
Registration: P20
Guide: P400 per guide

*Chartered Jeep one way (c/o Chairman Delen): P2000 to Rosario - This is done in the event that there are no more rides going back to Rosario.

Option 2: Via Balagtas-Lobo Poblacion (Curba, Brgy. Nagtaluntong / Nagtoctoc Road) 

Day 1

0430 Assembly Buendia Taft
0500 AM - ETD to Balagtas
0630 AM - ETA Balagtas / Take Jeep to Lobo Terminal and Proceed to Poblacion
0800 AM - ETA Poblacion / Buy supplies / Breakfast / Register at PNP / Take trike to Curba
0830 AM - ETA Curba / Register at Army Detachment via charted Jeep and proceed to Nagtoctoc Road
0900 AM - Start trek / Visit Tulay na busog (optional)
0910 AM - ETA Tulay na busog / back trail to boundary
1000 AM - Resume ride via Nagtoctoc via chartered jeepney
1100 AM - ETA Jaybanga / Look for Brgy Capt. Romeo Delen / Register
1200 NN - Lunch
0130 PM - Visit Jaybanga's Rice Terraces
0200 PM - Start Trek
0300 PM - ETA Bukohan
0500 PM - ETA Balatikan Camp Site / Set Camp / Sunset Viewing
0600 PM - Prepare Dinner
0700 PM - Dinner

Day 2

0500 AM - Wakeup call / Prepare breakfast
0530 AM - Breakfast
0600 AM - Prepare for Summit
0630 AM - Start ascend to Summit
0730 AM - ETA Inabutan Forest
0930 AM - ETA Summit
1030 AM - Start descent to campsite
1130 AM - Lunch along the trail
0100 PM - ETA Campsite / Breakcamp
0200 PM - Start descend via Sitio Manggahan or Traverse Trail to Mini-Falls (suggested)
0330 PM - ETA Jaybanga / wash up
0500 PM - ETD Exit to Rosario-Lipa Batangas
0700 PM - ETA Rosario
0730 PM - ETA Lipa / Board bus to Manila
1000 PM - ETA Manila


Bus to Balagtas: P157 / PAX - One way
Jeep going to Lobo jeep terminal - P10
Jeep to Lobo Poblacion - P54
Trike to Nagtoctoc Road - P40
Take a public ride from Nagtoctoc Road to Jaybanga: This route is currently unverified as public transports are limited as of this time.
Registration: P20
Guide: P400 per guide

Or simply charter a jeep - approx P3000-4000

*Chartered Jeep one way (c/o Chairman Delen): P2000 to Rosario - This is done in the event that you initially did not charter a jeep, and if there are no more rides going back to Rosario.

A short video clip of how the summit looks like.


  • The Rosario-Jaybanga jeep leaves only once the seats/cargo are full, therefore you may want to consider the number of participants up to 10 to fill up the ride the soonest, or charter one. For renting a jeep, you may contact kuya Andoy Balmes at 09295536232.
  • Last trip of buses from Lipa back to Manila is 9 PM, so make sure to be back in Lipa before the said time. If you happen to miss the trip, either wait until 4 AM, or ride a bus to Calamba, then Calamba to Manila, as the terminal there runs 24 hours.


  • There are water sources in Mt. Naguiling and one that's off the trail, less than an hour from the Balatikan campsite. Guide's can fetch water early in the morning to restock, and be used for cooking/cleaning and for hydration. Bringing 3-4 L of water is still advised.
  • Intermittent mobile coverage
  • The path to the summit is densely forested and thorny plants abound, therefore wearing gloves is strongly suggested.
  • Strong winds prevail in the campsite and can be chilly at night except for the summer months.
  • Adhere to trail formation accordingly as some trails can be confusing as expected for a mountain that's not being frequently hiked.
  • Adhere to the LNT principles.
  • As the first official mountain hikers to get an approval from the Brgy. Chairman to trek Mt. Naguiling, we have agreed to dispose wastes outside their baranggay as well. Adhere to this accordingly!


Brgy. Jaybanga Chairman:
Romeo Delen - 09293159513 / 093027666986 / 09177575186.

Kuya Freddie Dilay and JR Dilay - 09123158600 / 09193763311
Kuya Allan Magnaye and Alvin Magnaye - 09488572737

Jeepney Rent:
Andoy Balmes - 09295536232

Guides from L-R: Kuya Alvin, Allan and Freddie


We are thankful to all the people who helped us to make this exploratory climb happen especially to Prof.Anacleto M. Caringal of Batangas State University, Sir Romeo Delen Chairman of Brgy. Jaybanga Lobo, Batangas and to our guides: Allan Magnaye, Alvin Magnaye, Freddie Dilay and JR Dilay”.

Post Script: We the climbers from All-Top Mountaineering Society (AMSOC), Bundokerong Walang Grupo (TEAM BUWAG) and Walang Atrasan Sa Akyatang Kabundukan (WASAK OUTDOORS) did a successful Exploration Climb at Mt. Naguiling Lobo, Batangas last February 16-17, 2013 (1st Visit), May 18-19, 2013 (2nd Visit) and February 15-16, 2014 (3rd Visit).

~ City Boy Tripper

Sir Ramon Gayas Jr.


Post a Comment

Social Profiles

Facebook Pinterest Google Plus Email