A climb to remember at Mt. Napulawan


Over the vacation, my organization had our Induction Climb in Mt. Napulawan. This is an annual event which welcomes the newly inducted member of the organization into the family. We had 19 young mountaineers who will continue the legacy of the MIT-MC.


We rode Ohayami bus to Banaue,. This is my 2nd time to visit Banaue, and it is still cold. We had to pay 20 pesos for the environmental fee in their office, just beside the bus stop. I have already organized the transportation for that event, so we rode the chartered jeep right after we had our breakfast. You can ask the driver to stop by the market to buy some food and stuff you’ll be needing for the climb. A lot of veggies, chicken and pork is available in the market. We head up to Hungduan, it took us almost 2 hours of drive to reach the jump off. Along the road, we stop by the police station and pay 50 pesos for each mountaineer for the trekking fee. This will ensure your protection in the area. After we had our lunch, we prep up for the climb.



The trail to Ny-O campsite is a continuous trek to the top. Not so many tree shades to protect you from the sun, so sun protection like umbrella is needed for the climb. High grass, ferns and dry shrubs is on the side of the trail. It would only take you 2-3 hours trek from the jump-off to Ny-O campsite.

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Ny-O campsite is quite big. Up to 8 tents can be pitch here. We arrived here before sunset. After pitching our tent, we prepared our dinner. After some chit chats, we had our rest for the next day’s trek to the summit. We woke up early to make our breakfast and packed our lunch.

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After we packed up and break camp, we started the trek to the summit. Just minutes away from the Ny-O campsite, we found a water source which the guide didn’t tell us so we brought liters of water. There not much gradual trail in this mountain, still assault trekking.

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The second phase of the trail to the summit is very mossy. It’s so beautiful, full of mystery and you can feel the nature. Greens are everywhere and so is limatik. Good thing, they don’t like my blood. The trail is still steep and you need to crawl and hop over the logs along the trail. We experienced hailstorm during our climb to this mountain. It was raining that time when we noticed that the droplets became bigger, hail na pala. It was a first for me and my friends. Anyway, when you noticed that the small shrubs is on the both sides of the trail, that means you’re nearing the Magic Mirror. It is called Magic Mirror because when a person, from the summit, look at you at that point, you’ll appear as a giant because you’re taller than the trees. From there you just have to trek your way up to the summit for like 10 mins.


IMG_6294 This is the Magic Mirror point. At the top of that hill is the summit.

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We reached the summit early than usual. So we just chill at the top, talked about the hailstorm, take a photos of the place and also take a selfie. Kuya guide lead us to a marsh which is beautiful, you can stand through it and you’ll feel that you’re slowly sinking. It is 10 mins away from the summit, just near the water source. I got curious on what does Nganga taste like, so asked the guide to teach me how. I didn’t like it tho. We pitched our tent and after that we cooked our dinner. Some chit chats then sleep.

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I woke up late so I didn’t catch the sea of clouds and the beautiful sunrise. Good thing I got a good view from the top of the summit. A blessing that you’ll never get to have everyday. A hot coffee would be the perfect combination for a beautiful view from the top of Mt. Napulawan. We ate our breakfast and prepared our lunch. We picked up our trash, clean the area and pack up to descend the mountain. Mang Casio (guide) keeps on reminding us that the descend will take us 10-12 hours. So we hurried and start the trek to Hapao.

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A slippery trail descending the mountain would be the first part of Hapao trail. A never ending beautiful mossy trail is my favorite part of this mountain. You just have to be careful because you might bump into hanging branches, which happened to me.

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After the mossy part of the trail you’ll notice a change when you reach an open part of the trail, where no mossy trees shading the trail. All are dry deep descending trail. Knees are cracking and aching so you just have to run through the trail. Hapao trail is perfect for descending, it would hard to traverse here to Hungduan because the steep descending trail, what more ascending.

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The last push of the Hapao trail is the view of rice terraces of the area. You’ll notice a waiting shed on the trail, this will indicate that you are near at the end of the Hapao trail. Many of my friends got lost at this part, after the waiting shed you’ll notice the trail (picture above; left), the cemented trail leaning the mountain is the right way, this will lead you to the cemented stairways to the end. We waited for the jeep to pick us up to send us to our sidetrip, Sagada.


Letter for my fellow Mapuan Mountaineers,

The experience in this mountain was something to remember. This event is the last hurrah of leading MIT-MC as President. At first I just want to travel, didn’t think that I would LOVE mountaineering. I got to a point where I forgot that I’m frugal, that I pleasure myself in climbing and traveling. I just LOVE it here, how it developed me as a person and also how it changed me to become what I am now.

Never thought that I will be leading a group as bizarre as MIT-MC. Before I ran as President, someone asked me “Why lead MIT-MC?”, I just answered her without thinking,” I was valued here and I found my family in this group, so why not lend my service to them.”

I was afraid that I might bring down the organization. Good thing, I have my supportive officers. Who really helped me from organizing event down to laughing at my corny jokes. Even though there are misunderstandings, at least we find ourselves solution to the problem. There are like my brothers and sisters who helped me on my plans for the organization. I would like to thank you to all your hardwork and sacrifices to help the org. They helped me forget something that I struggle to get over with, they are there to support me on everything.

Many was amazed on the amount of Alumni who are now active on the event of the organization. It was a bit scary, I always keep on thinking that they might not like how I lead the organization, which they value so much. It’s always refreshing to see how the Alumni get along the school based IMs of the organization. Hopefully, they’ll continue to support the activities of the organization and SANA more alumni will support MIT-MC.

To the advisers, who supported us through the ups and downs of the organization. Thank you po sa lahat.

The newly inducted member of MIT-MC (BATCH 24), I hope you’ll get the lessons we had during the induction. The purpose of which is to strengthen your bond as batchmates and ignite the fire that you’ll need to serve MIT-MC. You’ll be the next generation who will take care of the organization. Hopefully, the org will help you developed and find the joy I found in this family. You’re our legacy. On behalf od the officers, we’re proud of you and thank you.

Again, thank you so much to everyone who helped me , supported me, taught me, and learned from me. You don’t know how happy I am to be part of this amazing organization. I’m always at service, in position or not. Mc Pol Androuse C. Cruz, President of MIT-MC 2013-2014 and a proud Mapuan Mountaineer, now signing off.


See you at the summit.

Mc Pol

Mc Pol Cruz is the owner and publisher in this travel and lifestyle blog, Weekend Sidetrip. He love being under the sun and doing things that he loves, traveling. Mc Pol is ready to explore various culture, stop foot to stunning places, savor different cuisines and help other travelers in their adventures.