Mt. Mabilog DIY Climb Guide (with side trip to Lake Pandin)

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Mt. Mabilog, with an elevation of a little more than 440 meters above sea level, doesn’t seem to be much of a challenging hike. It offers simpler trails as compared to prominent mountains Pico de Loro and Batulao.

Mt. Mabilog jump-off point is at Lake Pandin, one of the 7 Lakes of San Pablo. It requires at least 2 hours of easy trek to reach its grassy summit from where you can see, in full glory, the towering mountains of Makiling, Banahaw and Cristobal.

Compared to its neighboring mountains, Batulao, Manabu, and Pico De Loro, Mt. Mabilog is off the mainstream. You will not see groups of mountaineers forming queues along the trails. No selfie-addict climbers and photo bombers. No noisy crowd playing music in full blast. It’s very rare to see a mob on its summit. When we climbed it last weekend, we had the whole mountain for ourselves, foot to summit. We liked it there. It’s soooo refreshing.

The fact that Mt Mabilog has not attracted the eyes of a growing number of mountaineers is a blessing in disguise. It offers seclusion and peace unlike other hiking destinations near Metro Manila. We know it is selfish to feel happy seeing the mountain void of tourists but we hope it stays that way. Having it off the radar is just perfect!

more photos here


By Public Transportation

  1. From Pasay take a bus bound for Lucena or Bicol.
  2. Alight at 7-11 in San Pablo, Laguna. It is near San Pablo Medical Center. Travel time is 2-3 hours. 
  3. Take a tricycle to Nagcarlan jeepney terminal.
  4. Ride a jeepney bound for Liliw, get off at Lake Pandin jump-off point
  5. Trek to Pandin Lake and register/get a guide then start the 2-hour trek to Mt Mabilog summit.

By Private Transportation

  1. From Metro Manila go to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at Calamba.
  2. From Calamba exit, take the route going to Sto Tomas Batangas then head straight to San Pablo City.
  3. Once there, you can ask the locals in the area on which road to take in order to go to the jump-off for Lake Pandin.


It only requires 2 hours of easy trek to get to the summit so if you plan to climb Mt Mabilog, you can leave Metro Manila as late as 7AM. We managed to reach the peak in 3 hours and descended the hill for an hour with a 2 year old dumpling in tow.

7:00AM – Ride a bus in Buendia bound for Lucena. Get off at 7-11 stop in San Pablo, Laguna
9:00AM – Ride a tricycle to Nagcarlan jeepney terminal
9:30AM – Ride a jeepney bound for Liliw and get off at Lake Pandin jump-off point
10:00AM – Start trek to Pandin Lake / Mount Mabilog
10:30AM – Start trek to Mt Mabilog
1:00PM – Summit / Lunch / Rest
2:00PM – Descend back to Lake Pandin
3:30PM – ETA Lake Pandin / Cruise with Late lunch
5:00PM – Wash up
6:00PM – ETD back to Manila

However, if you plan to cruise Pandin Lake and check out other side trips like Underground Cemetery and Bunga Falls, it is ideal to leave manila around 3AM.


Items Rate Notes
Bus fare from Manila to San Pablo  Php120 per way  
Tricycle to Nagcarlan jeepney terminal  Php14 per way  
Jeepney fare to Nagcarlan  Php20  
Guide Fee  Php350 for 5 persons  
Registration fee FREE  
Parking fee Php40 Applies to those who will bring their own car
Ligo fee Php20 Optional
Pandin Lake cruise with lunch Php360 per person  


  • The hike in general is easy, but we suggest that you get a guide even if it’s not mandatory because 1.) It’s one way to help the locals so we could encourage them to take care of the mountain that provides them income 2.) The mountain lacks direction markers and the various pathways might lose you 3.) in case of emergency, there is someone who’s knowledgeable of the topography to guide you.
  • If you want to visit Bunga Falls, you can hire a tricycle for Php200 one way. Make sure to arrange for the trike taking you to Bunga Falls to also come get you at a set time because it’s hard to come across other empty trikes from the falls itself. Just negotiate the price.
  • Mt. Mabilog summit is a perfect camp site. We suggest you stay there overnight to maximize its beauty. 
  • For more virtual and interactive live updates, you can check our INSTAGRAM PAGE or follow us in TWITTER.
  • Be part of Love. Eat. Wander. Facebook Community Page for more updates and climb tips or visit our YouTube Channel for our other travel/climb videos.

Thank you for dropping by!


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1 Response

  1. August 25, 2017

    […] numbers of hikers in our group. You may also consider climbing another neighboring mountain like Mt Mabilog, or do a day hike instead of overnight for lesser impact. DO NOT leave your trashes behind. […]

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