MT. BALINGKILAT [1100 MASL]
Coordinates: 1541N 12005E/15.683N 120.083E/15.683; 120.083
specs;Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 5/9, Trail class 1-4 ...
Days required / Hours to summit: 2 days / 6-8 hours
ike many mountains in the western side of Luzon, Balingkilat is rocky, grassy, and windy. There is little tree cover. There are steep parts in the final legs of the trail, but the views are refreshing: the Subic Bay coastline and the neighboring mountains such as Mt. Cinco Picos.
In the past, the Balingkilat climb was usually a two-day affair. Hikers would take an early morning bus to Subic, then take a jeepney to Sitio Cawag. The climb starts midmorning, with a 60-90 minute initial push to Kawayanan - an "oasis in the desert". The trek then resumes, all the way to the summit campsite, where there is another water source available. Between lunch and campsite, the trail becomes quite steep, with open ridges, rocky slopes, and sharp boulders.
At the summit, one can behold South China Sea and the coastline, which includes, from north to south, the following coves: Anawangin, Talesayen, Nagsasa, and Silanguin. Mt. Cinco Picos meanwhile is SSE, and between Cinco Picos and Balingkilat lies the "third mountain" that can very well complete a 'Cawag Trio': Mt. Dayungan. Further afield are the Bataan mountains, Mt. Natib (SE), Mt. Samat (SSE), and Mt. Mariveles (SSW). The other mountains of Zambales are also visible, including what is called 'Mt. Malasimbo' (E). These, and the scenic ridges, make Balingkilat a truly breathtaking place.
0300 Take Victory Liner bus from Pasay to Olongapo (P200+)
0600 ETA Olongapo City; breakfast.
0700 Take rented jeep to Sitio Cawag, Subic
0800 ETA jumpoff; secure guides
0830 Start trek
1230 Arrival at Kawayanan. Lunch.
1330 Resume trek
1700 Arrival at campsite; set-up camp
1800 Dinner / socials
0700 Commence summit assault
0800 ETA summit
0900 Start descent.
1300 Back at jumpoff; late lunch. Tidy up.
1500 Head back to Olongapo City
1600 ETA Olongapo. Take return bus to Manila
2000 Back in Manila
Logistics. No prior arrangement is needed with the Subic Police Station, but as per agreement between the Subic police and the Sitio Cawag officials, a letter of intent must be submitted by every hiking party who climbs any of the mountains whose trail originates from Sitio Cawag (Balingkilat, Cinco Picos, Nagsasa, Dayungan). Before you climb, prepare a "Letter of Intent" in triplicate. One copy goes to the Police Station right beside the Subic Municipal Hall, another to Chieftain Jimmy; keep the remaining copy with you. A P20 registration fee is also paid. Tell your tricycle or jeepney to drop you off in the Police Station first before proceeding to Sitio Cawag Settlement.
ESTIMATED BUDGET 1100 PHP
Inclusive; transpo 2 way, id,
registration, guide and camping fee
NOTE; SELF CONTAINED
__________________________________________________________________LIMITED SLOTS ONLY