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.



sunrise-at-mount-semilya

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.



Mt.Semilya

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. 


Mt-Semilya-summit

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.


Camp-site

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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