It has been a while since I have gone hiking with Joshua. Although we go on local trips here and there, the last time we climbed a mountain was December last year (2017) to the beautiful and majestic Lake Holon in South Cotabato. So, when a friend of Joshua invited us to go on a day hike in Mt. Napulak, Igbaras, he never hesitated (It is his favorite mountain ever since he was still a child. It’s ironic that it was his first climb to that “favorite” mountain. haha). Actually, I was kind of hesitant to join since I have lots of paperworks to be done ASAP (haha). But, hey! I told myself the night before the hike “This only happens once or twice a year, and it might never happen again.” Besides, it’s a holiday. So, it was a GO!
Eight of us pushed the day hike in Mt. Napulak. This group consists of Joshua’s workmates and friends. Some of them I met for the first time. Everyone has a life to live and careers to build.
Even though we were not acquainted yet at first, there is always that thing binding everyone together: the spirit of fun and adventure. I was not really sure of what to expect on the day hike in Mt. Napulak, Igbaras. Several reviews consider it as minor hike only with difficulty of 4/9. So, with an elevation of 1200 feet above sea level, we gave that experience a shot and test it ourselves!
ITINERARY: DAY HIKE IN MT. NAPULAK, IGBARAS
Below is the itinerary of our day hike in Mt. Napulak, Igbaras. You can modify it based on your preference.
5:00 AM – Meetup at Iloilo Terminal Market (They call it Super.)
5:15 AM to 6:15 AM – Travel from Iloilo City to Guimbal Market
6:15 AM to 6:30 AM – Travel from Guimbal Market to Igbaras Municipal Hall
6:30 AM to 6:45 AM – Travel from Igbaras Municipal Hall to point of start off
7:00 AM – Start of hike
7:30 AM – Breakfast and coffee at local coffee shop at one of the houses we passed
8:00 AM – Continued ascending
11:00 AM – ETA Summit
11:00 AM to 11:30 NN – Lunch at summit
11:30 AM – Climb the nipple rock
1:00 PM – Hike back to coffee shop
3:30 PM – Drink coffee and refreshments.
4:00 PM – Descend back to Brgy. Tigbanaba
4:30 PM to 4:50 PM – Travel from Brgy. Tigbanaba to Igbaras town proper.
5:00 PM – Back to the city
The first part of the trek was considered as a warm-up and the trail, although easy, was steep. We also saw farmlands and a few houses in the area.
More or less 30 mins after hiking, we passed by this humble hut which happened to serve native coffee. The coffee was real good for ten pesos per cup. They also sell a pack of native coffee for fifty pesos. Quite cheap for that delicious taste! We stayed in the hut because some had their breakfast. After 30 minutes, we continued ascending.
Along the way, we saw some Rafflesia flowers, which were one of the reasons why I went. However, they already dried up. If you wish to see blooming Rafflesia flowers, you should plan a hike when they are seasoned. We also stopped by in the water source which they call tuburan to refill our bottles. The waters are coming out from bamboo sprouts which are originally from the mountain springs. This is the only water source so make the most out of it.
There were grasses taller than us. Some paths were unclear. Others were steep that they will make your knee reach your chin. What challenged us was the slippery soil and rocky, dry path, especially when descending. Every time we asked Kuya JP (our guide) how many minutes left, he responded 30 minutes all the time, and there were countless 30 minutes (haha). It took us four hours to reach the summit including all the stopovers.
SUMMITING MT. NAPULAK
When we reach the summit, everyone took a well-deserved rest, reserving the picture taking later. We had a picnic at the summit and ate our packed lunch together with our guide. The dining experience was magnified by the spectacular views of the mountains plus the relaxing music played by Kuya JP. The place was not crowded. We almost owned it all by ourselves. It was a beautiful moment, indeed.
After taking our lunch, we decided to climb up the nipple rock (this is where the name Napulak comes from). If you have a fear of heights, this experience is really a nice try to conquer it. The first one to climb was our guide and I was following him. During the rock climbing, I was trying not to look down because it was real scary. I was focused on the grips and not making the wrong move in the process. A wrong move can cause a fatal injury.
After a while, we decided to descend. We were trying to catch the last trip of jeepney going back to Iloilo at 5 PM. We reached the bottom around 4:30 PM. Even though the trip was so tiring, giving us body aches, the day hike in Mt. Napulak, Igbaras experience was a total blast!
Have you also tried this day hike in Mt. Napulak, Igbaras? Let littlemisadvencha know about your experience.
littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, M.S. student in Structural Engineering and a fur mom of four-legged babies. She writes about her experiences to inspire and educate.