Mt. Tres Marias: An Impulsive Climb To Biliran’s Highest Peak

They say that it is the journey that matters not the destination but for the case of Mt. Tres Marias in Biliran island, Province of Leyte, it is acceptable to say that it is indeed both the journey and the destination.

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Situated at the Eastern part of Visayas region, Mt. Tres Marias is the highest peak of Biliran, towering 1315 MASL.

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To reach this beautiful and pristine forest you have to endure 5 to 6 hours trekking activity. And the chance to see wonderful waterfalls.

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As I enter the into the forest line that held in myths to be a paradise guarded by snakes and spirits. I was truly amazed!It is amazing how God created all this things and yet only few have appreciate its beauty.

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Our journey to Mt.Tres Marias was one of the impulsive adventure I had in my entire life. No plans and itinerary were set. We didn’t even contacted someone for a guide-ship services.

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As we did our typical trek from the jump-off point at Brgy. Sampao-Almeria, the only thing that keeps repeating in my mind,is what they said about how challenging the trail is.Yes, it was indeed a challenging trail.The stones in the rivers where we pass through was so slippery.

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Before hitting the camp site, we travel across 4 waterfalls. The first flowing waters that we embrace was the Ulan-Ulan Falls, followed by the Recoletos Falls. Recoletos Falls was actually named from a group of athletes coming from University of San Jose-Recoletos. Then the Sampawan Falls and Nomad Falls.Nomads falls was actually named after NOMADS group—a mountaineering group in Cebu City under Inter-Mountaineering Society (IMS).

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Despite of our impulsive adventure, I can say that we are so lucky that day. Because we are able to passed by the rivers after the heavy rain.

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At around 4PM, we finally reached the camping site. We are so lucky enough to set-up our tents as the massive raindrops began to stop.Aside from that, the water source is just located few meters away from the camping site, but no so much luck because the camping site was muddy, really!

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After dinner,  we quickly headed back to our tents.  I slept like a baby till the break of the dawn because of cold temperature. Oh, before I forgot, I tried to woke up myself at around 1:00 oclock in the morning, because according to my source that will be the best time to see the glowing camp site. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any :(. Maybe because of the massive rain drops that’s why the glowing plants did not appear.

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The next morning is another day to rise up for a new journey to the summit Naliwatan Peak. Few minutes later, the majority of the group woke up and prepared breakfast with non-stop teasing on each other of what happened last night. Lol!

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We endured almost 1 hour of steep ascending trails before reaching the peak.

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It was discouraging to see that the summit offered no view except the other peak of Tres Marias. The summit has a limited space. I believe only 1 tent is enough to pitch on the area. The peak was just around maybe 14 meters in diameter and cliffs on the sides and small trees on the center.

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Various insects and flowers can also be found in the forest, abundant insect that was totally different from other mountains. Breathtaking views awaits for you once you reach the top. Always remember that it’s not the destination but it’s the journey .

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I felt so blessed when we reached the summit even though it’s in zero visibility. I saw some sea of clouds but in just a few seconds the fog will covered it.

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We had a simple snacks and a quick rest. Few pictures taken and down we go to the camp site for our lunch and see explore the other waterfalls in the mountain.

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As we reached the camp site, we instantly break our tents and quickly started our descending trek back to the jump-off.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
I’m reminded just how insignificant my presence is, in this unyielding landscape. I could feel my fragile mortality in the balance. The self-doubt is ever present. The struggle wasn’t only with my body – it was pure mental as well trying to remain positive with my self-talk. It’s an exercise in humility and introspection. If I ever used my charm  in the default world to get things my way, I knew those qualities are worthless currencies on the slope – the mountain accepts or rejects me in its own terms, unconditionally.

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With that paradigm, I return to the city, cleansed of my ego, humbled in my demeanor, validated in having made it in one piece, and rich with new friends.


ITINERARY:
DAY 0- October 13, 2017, Friday
08:00 pm- Meet up Port of Cebu-3
10:00 pm-ETD Cebu Port to Ormoc (via Roble Shipping Lines)
04:00 am- ETA Ormoc City

DAY 1- October 14, 2017, Saturday
05:00 am – ETD Ormoc City to Naval
07:00 am – ETA  Naval, Biliran
07:30 am- Breakfast at the town and quick drop at the market
09:30 am -ETA Jump-off via Brgy Sampao/Registration
10:00 am- Start Trek
11:30 am- Ulan-Ulan Falls
12:00 NN- Recoletos Falls/ Lunch
01:00 pm -Resumed Trek
04:00 pm- ETD Camp Site
04:30 pm- Set-up camp
05:00 pm- Prepare for dinner
06:00 pm- Dinner
07:30 pm- Lights off

DAY 2- October 15, 2017, Sunday
05:00 am- wake up call
06:00 am- Prepared breakfast
06:30 am- Breakfast
07:30 am -Started trek going to the summit
08:30 am- ETA Naliwatan Peak/ Summit
10:30 am – ETD Naliwatan Peak to Camp Site
11:00 am- Start Trek back to Jump-off
01:30 pm -ETD Nomad Falls/Lunch
03:30 pm -ETA Brgy Sampao
04:30 pm- ETA Naval town proper
05:00 pm- ETD Naval to Ormoc City
07:00 pm- ETA Ormoc City
07:15 pm- Quick dinner at Ormoc Plaza
08:00 pm- ETD Ormoc Port to Cebu City
10:30 pm- ETA Cebu City
Home Sweet Home

EXPENSES:

GENERAL TIPS:

  1. When planning an adventure hike to Mt. Tres Marias, you can contact Kyle Ryan for guide ship services at this number: 09155692569.
  2. Wear proper/protective sleeves to prevent scratches from prickly plants on the trail.
  3. Climbing Mt. Tres Marias is not easy for those who haven’t tried major mountain climbing so make sure to do minor climbs.
  4. Chalet Hills, Busay has a very good space for camping but not ideal on a noontime because it’s an open field.
  5. The trek will take around 4 to 5 hours depending on the pace.
  6. If doing a camp always respect the environment and other campers.
  7. Kill Nothing But Time | Take Nothing But Pictures | Leave Nothing But Footprints.
  8. LEAVE NO TRACE

 

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