Saturday, September 26, 2015

TREK GUIDE | Mt Kanlaon Natural Park, Mananawin-Mapot Traverse (2,435 MASL)

Mt Kanlaon Natural Park, Mananawin-Mapot Traverse (2,435 MASL)
Mountain Trek Guide

Mt Kanlaon is the most active Strato Volcano in the Visayas, having no other neighboring mountains in its base; it stands like an island with the same Topographic prominence as its height at 2,435 MASL. This volcano is one of the 6 permanently monitored volcanoes by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

A Volcano of violent and unpredictable temper; with a history of killing 3 and injuring 17 hikers when a sudden phreatic explosion happened in 1996, having said that, Bureaucratic process requirements had been set before a hike in Mt Kanlaon Natural Park is permitted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This volcano straddles 2 provinces composing the Negros Island Region, the Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. As a natural park, Mt Kanlaon is a protected area monitored by the DENR.

 Our climb organiser Mark stops for a take 5. We just got past the Cogon Grasses that are twice as tall as the smallest of us, it was quite challenging going through a trail that is hidden under thick clusters of grass.

Ro Za just dropped her 50L Trek bag for a photo op. Said that we should climb mountains in our own pace. It is never a race nor a contest of who is stronger.

Mountain Facts
  • Mt Kanlaon Natural Park is the roof top of Visayas, with Height and Topograhic Prominence of 2,435 MASL.
  • This mountain straddles 2 provinces composing that of Negros Island Region; namely Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
  • An active volcano, Mt Kanlaon is one of the 6 permanently monitored Volcanoes by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and is also part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • Mt Kanlaon is a Natural Park, designating it as a protected area of 24,388 of forest, grassland and agricultural lands.
  • This volcano is dotted with pyroclastic craters and cone, its mountain summit has the active Lugud Crater and the Margaja Valley with a crater lake.
  • The volcano has 3 Hot Springs on its slopes; Mambucal Hot Springs, Bucalan Hot Spring and Bungol Hot Spring.
  • 26 Erruptions or Notable Volcanic Activity has been recorded since 1919.
  • 1996 Kanlaon Incident resulted in 3 fatalities when 24 climbers hiked the mountain and it suddenly erupted without warning.

On our final ascent to the Summit or Mt Kanlaon, to the Lugud Crater.

Shot with GoPro Hero4 Silver: Here I stand near the edge of the Lugud Crater, Mt Kanlaon's most active Crater at the moment. The Crater is a deep abyss of about 150 to 200 meters down a rocky bottom with sulfuric water pools.

Trail Notes

The blogger had been in Negros for a number of times, having completed my college degree in Central Philippine University (CPU) in Jaro, Iloilo City, the location which is the Academe Hub of Western Visayas. This gave me the opportunity to be introduced to people who came from anywhere in the region. Though it’s been a decade since I last step foot in Negros Island, my acquaintances proved useful in my exploration or even my traveling alone to Negros Island and Canlaon City which would be the jump of site for this hike. I initially didn’t have plans of climbing Mt Kanlaon as I have just book tickets for another major climb in Northern Mindanao, the invite came from a climb organiser in Cebu City which was just introduced to me a day before the hike, I thought to myself that I can just add this to my climbs this year. 

Our intended trail was supposed to be Mananawin-Wasay as we planned to enjoy the Mambucal Hot Springs after our decent in Wasay, Murcia, Negros Occidental. We hadn’t anticipated to be left out of provision mainly our butane fuels. The Wasay trail for our descent will take overnight for us to complete and we are not allowed to burn firewood since we are in a protected Natural Park. We decided to take the shorter route of Mapot Trail instead of Wasay which will take us back Canlaon City where we initially started.

The bureaucratic requirements in climbing Mt Kanlaon astounded me. As part of a hiking group, we each need to secure a notarized waiver “Release from Liability and Waiver of all Claims”; this form basically waives your right to sue if something happens. I have climbed mountains designated as National and Natural Parks, but usually the burden of paperwork is taken by the team lead or climb organizer, I normally had to sign my name or fill out a form but never have had to notarize a waiver just so I can be allowed to climb a mountain. It was not fully explained but the idea is probably due to a fact that we will be climbing an active volcano that is permanently monitored by PHIVOLCS.

On a positive thought, our guide Kuya Tata and our porter Gary were brothers, this made the communication between them easy and convenient, and they took turns in leading the trail. Kuya Tata is equipped with a radio which gave him a constant contact with the Office of the Park Superintendent (PASU). So while we are being monitored for any park violations, our safety is also assured as we traverse in the maze of forest trails.

The DENR will never issue permit to any hikers if the mountain shows a hint of increased volcanic activity.

Summit above the clouds.

Enjoying our photo op session at the summit of Mt Kanlaon Summit the morning for our 3rd Day.

Mount Kanla-on Natural Park Suggested Climb Itinerary
Mananawin - Mapot Traverse

NOTE: This Itinerary is adjusted for those who will fly in from Manila to Bacolod.

Day 1 Friday

Bacolod-Silay International Airport is the nearest Airport and point of entry to Negros Island.
Book a flight within day time if you intend to commute from Bacolod to Canlaon City.
Bus rides with Ceres Liner is the only available mode of transport when commuting, please take note that the last bus trip leaves Bacolod South Terminal at 7PM.

NOTE: Bacolod has 2 Bus Terminals; the Ceres Bus Trips to Canlaon City is with the Bacolod South Terminal. And the trip usually last for 3 hours.

Once in Canlaon City, you can book an overnight stay with JCC Pension; you can finalize the plan by buying provisions and meal plan.

Day 2 Saturday

6:00 AM Wake up call
6:30 AM Breakfast
7:30 AM Buy Supplies
9:00 AM Meet up with Guides at DENR
9:15 AM ETD for Sitio Mananawin thru a hired Van.
9:40 AM ETA Sitio Mananawin Jump Off
9:50 AM Start of Trek
12:00 PM Lunch along the trail
1:00 PM Resume Trek
2:00 PM Patay na Ilog
4:00 PM Grassland
6:00 PM ETA Campsite/ Set up camp
6:30 PM Prepare dinner
7:00 PM Dinner
8:00 PM Socials
10:00 PM Lights Out

Day 3 Sunday

6:00 AM Wake up call
6:30 AM Summit Assault
7:00 AM Lugud Crater Summit, Picture Taking
7:30 AM Prepare breakfast
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Breakcamp
9:30 AM Start Trek to Makawiwili Peak
11:30 AM Makawiwili Peak
11:00 PM Resume Trek
1:00 PM Lunch along the trail
2:00 PM Resume Trek to Mapot
5:30 PM ETA arrival in the roadside along Sitio Mapot, Brgy Maiba, Canlaon City
6:00 PM Take Habal-Habal Ride back to JCC Pension in Canlaon City

Day 4 Monday

Take an early bus ride from Canlaon City to Bacolod City, the trip will take 3 hours to complete. From Bacolod, you can hire a taxi back to the airport or go to the available side trips like “The Ruins”in Talisay, spend an overnight stay in Mambucal Hot Springs in Murcia.

 Cold Mornings in Mt Kanlaon summit. 

Mist over Margaja Valley.

Timeline and Things to Consider for Mt Kanlaon Climb  
  • 1 Booking form for a group of up to 10 individuals will have to be submitted at least a week before the trekking date.
  • Climbing permit should be secured from the Office of the Park Superintendent following submission of required information such as Letter of Intent, Booking Form, Mountaineer Information, and Notarized Waiver of Responsibility of the climbing party members. Booking shall be made at least three months prior to the expedition schedule.
  • Individual Mountaineer Information form and Notarized Waiver needs to be submitted 1 week before the climb. Please note that climb permit will not be prepared by the DENR without these forms.
  • Required documents can be mailed via fast courier to DENR Office Address:
Biologist Angelo C Bibar
Ecotourism & PAMB Operations Officer
Mt Kanla-on Natural Park
c/o DENR-PENRO, Abad-Santos Street
Brgy. 39, Bacolod City 6100, Philippines
Telefax (034) 433-3813; 435-7411 
  • Permit can be paid and obtained from The Office of The Park Superintendent (PASu) only during office hours at business days.
  • Permit Fee: Php 300 for Filipino Hikers, Php 500 for Foreign Hikers.
  • Guide Fee: Php 700 per day
  • Porter: Php 500 per day
  • There are 4 Official Trails for entry/exit; Wasay in Murcia, Guintubdan in La Carlota and Bago Cities, Mananawin and Mapot in Canlaon City.
  • Mt Kanlaon climb is in high season during March to May, and October to December. It is low season during January, February, June, July, August and September wherein only one expedition party is allowed to hike per month and per trail.
  • Climb is closed to any climbers if there is any weather disturbance or if Volcanic Activity is noted.
  • For Inquiries and questions, you can contact:
Mr Angelo C Bibar
Mobile 09173011410

Recommended Guide
Manong Tata
Mobile 09334590236


 NOTE: This Link Download includes the Booking form, Waiver Form, Mt Kanlaon Info Guide, Mt Kanlaon reminder for Rules and Regulation and the Mountaineer Info form. Additional requirements maybe required by PASu.

On The Map

Ang Pala-lagaw Photo Gallery
Flickr: Negros Island

Francis Balgos has declared himself a champion of weekend travel warriors, of call center agents who have less time for themselves, he feels everyone of you who has desires to be at two places at the same time, to see the world in their own eyes, to live fully at the best of their years. ...

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1 comment:

  1. WOW! This natural park is promising. This is why I want to go traveling. I bet you had no clue on what scenes you will be seeing until you get there. So overwhelmed with all of these pictures you just shared to us. Your group is lucky because the weather was on your favor. Be adding this park to my must-to-go list. Thanks Francis!


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