Home to the most active volcano in the Philippines, Zambales has become an emerging travel destination for its scenic mountain ranges and beautiful coves. To accomplished one of the things i put on my bucketlist this year which is “Mountain Hiking” I decided to conquer the Mt. Balingkilat which literary means Mountain of Thunder in Aeta dialect from Nagsasa Cove. I heard from others that this mountain seems to be a difficult climb for many reasons. It was even tagged as “The Inferno Trail Dayhike.” But I disregarded all that I’ve heard, I wanted to experience it first before I believe them.
Location: Subic, Zambales
Entry point: Sitio Cawag Settlement, Subic
Exit point: Nagsasa Cove (Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio)
LLA: 14.89 N, 120.11 E (est.), 1100 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 2 days / 5 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 1-3
Mt. Balingkilat, literally the “Mountain of Thunder” in the native Aeta language, is at 1100 MASL one of the highest peaks in the Zambales Coastal Mountains and Coves area, an emerging hiking hotspot within San Antonio and Subic towns that has scenic views and nice trails that interconnect high peaks and beautiful coves.It was once known as ‘Pointed Peak’, a name that was used by US Navy servicemen who used to be stationed in nearby Subic Naval Base, but this title’s descriptive accuracy is valid only on certain vantage point. Moreover, out of respect for and appreciation of the indigenous people’s heritage, we are preferring the native name Balingkilat, and has re-emerged as the common name given to this mountain.
Source: Pinoy Mountaineer
We started 5 am in the morning, it will be difficult if you hike this mountain in broad daylight. There are few trees on this mountain, the road is steep and grassy. If you’re going to hike this mountain you should wear clothes that will cover your arms, legs, and even your hands/face to avoid scratches.
I believe them now. It’s been a challenging climb but it’s worth it considering the view that you will see at the summit. It compensates all the challenges I experienced during the climb. It’s an exhilarating experience conquering Mt. Balingkilat. It took us 5 hours to conquer this mountain and another 4 hours going back to the cove.