Discovering Mt. Semilya

My journey as a mountaineer all began when I was invited by two of my colleagues to a charity climb. In my post "Chasing Passion", I wrote about how I trivialized mountaineering and never really thought it was something I'll be fond of. Back then, there were only two reasons why I decided to join the climb; first was to be part of a charity event so I can share my blessings; second and to be a bit more honest - I was bored and wanted to try something new. 

Looking back, I'm really thankful that I have accepted the invitation. My first climb was probably the most memorable; full of pleasant discoveries and memories, and it also added wonderful people in my life.


Mt. Semilya stands 785 meters above sea level, with a trail class of 1-3 and a difficulty of 6/9. The Dueg Resettlement is the usual jump-off point when climbing Mt. Semilya (check also my post "A Humbling Experience in Aeta Dueg Resettlement"). The first 20-minute of the trek was a rocky, steep trail. And the next 65 minutes of the trek was a gradual assault and then followed by open trails that will take you up and down for an hour. Along the trail one can see a clear view of Mt. Tapulao (high peak) of Zambales and the Saw Tooth Mountains.


There were plenty of water-source in the area. Though as a first-timer, I was obviously hesitant to drink as I'm afraid I might get some unpleasant reaction in my stomach. Curious as I was; I took a sip, then took more - it was surprisingly a very delicious water I think I've ever drink. It was cool, refreshing and it has a very smooth taste that you really can sense its freshness. You may think I'm exaggerating to say that I call it the true mineral water or literally a spring water.

Mt.Semilya-surrounding view

Anyway, we set our tents in the campsite which is just couple of meters away from the small and steep summit (more or less than 5 minutes walk, as I remember). In the summit one can view the Sierra Mountain ranges (east), Mt. Damas (north) and Mt Arayat (south-east). At night, one can have a peek of the city lights in Camiling Tarlac; and of course, the beautiful stars and constellations.  Cool strong winds will embrace you especially as the night gets deeper. 


Our guide, an Aeta, was very cool and kept us entertained the whole night with his tricks. You can ask for a guide services in Dueg Resettlement. Nowadays though, I heard news that some groups of the NPA are roaming around the area so it is highly advisable to consult the local authorities before climbing.


What I love about Mt.Semilya was that it's surrounded by mountains, the beautiful green scenery can be attributed to its unpopularity I guess. It was probably one of the unspoiled mountains I would ever climb here in the country. We were also told that we're the third mountaineering group to climb this mountain; funny how I try to boast about it, but it's cool right?!

Other TRAVEL & LEISURE Articles:
The Rural Way: La Paz Beach, San Narciso
The Scenic Views of Tagaytay
Traveling Solo to Laiya Batangas? Here's a Quick Guide and Review

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