By Jalene B.D.S.
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day 2-4hrs Mt. Sapari 591masl; Mt. Binutasan 562masl
Specs: Minor climb, difficulty 2/9
Features: scenic views, sea of clouds
The locals in the area, particularly the Dumagat people, aim to protect their domain by opening two mountains as a hiking destination to the public. This twin hike of Maysawa circuit includes Mt. Sapari and Mt. Binutasan. They aim to promote this place as an ecotourism site. According to the lead guide every person who climb this mountain contributes to the locals’ livelihood (since locals worked as tour guides) and to nature’s preservation (every hiker registered is equivalent to a sapling which they’ll plant in the area).
We started our trek on a downward slope until we reached the water source. The guide told us to not stay too long at Mt. Sapari so we can enjoy the view at Mt. Binutasan.
It’s already late in the morning so there’s no sea of clouds but I’m really not after that view.
Mt. Sapari got its name from the priest who chose to live there his entire life.
We stopped to take a little rest. I noticed this tree and saw 3 people eating its fruits. The tour guides told us that it’s the wild berries, safe to eat. I’m curious what it tastes like so I took the black one. It tastes familiar. Then I took more because I’m trying to know what food it tastes like. I asked help with my friend and then we came to realize it’s the sineguelas fruit. The red one is sour but I like it.
After resting and figuring out what the wild berries tasted like, we move on to the next destination -Mt. Binutasan. I thought we reached a dead end but its just a small entrance to the bamboo forest.
I didn’t know that bamboos have small thorns almost invisible to the eyes. I just found out when one of us got splintered. Be careful, bring gloves whenever you climb mountains.
Mt. Binutasan (from the word “binutas” which means “to make a hole”) was once a virgin mountain not open to the public but because of the project wherein they need to link this area to another barangay, a path has been made.
01:30 meet up Jollibee farmers cubao beside tapa king and chowking
02:00 ETD Cubao
03:30 ETA Bgy. Cuyambay Hall, register; secure guides; get ready
03:50 Head to Maysawa Loop-Circuit jump off point
04:00 Start trek
05:00 ETA Kagawad’s house, watersource
06:00 ETA Mt. Sapari viewpoint
06:30 Start traverse to Mt. Binutasan
07:30 ETA Campsite
07:45 ETA Enso Peak
08:15 ETA Mt. Binutasan Peak 1
08:30 ETA Mt. Binutasan Summit (Peak 2)
09:00 Start descent to Maysawa falls
11:00 ETA Maysawa falls; swim; photo-ops; lunch
13:00 back to jumpoff
15:00 ETA jumpoff; wash up; meryenda
17:00 ETD cuyambay
19:00 ETA cubao