Mt Tabayoc DIY Climb Guide

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After our Mt. Timbac (Timbak) Traverse climb that ended in Kabayan Barrio, we rode a bus bound for Ballay to get to the jump-off point of our next mountain – Mt. Tabayoc. Known as the 2nd highest mountain in Luzon and the 7th highest peak in the Philippines, this mountain boasts a height of 2,842 MASL. A lot of mountaineers in pursuit of conquering the highest peaks of the country aim to set foot in this elevation.

THE MOUNTAIN

I personally like Mt Tabayoc. In fact, this it was my most favorite mountain during our Luzon 321 climb. It offers the thickest and lushest rainforest I have entered to date. The tree canopies hide the sky so perfectly that there is no reason to worry about the unforgiving rays of the mighty sun, or strong rain and wind. Huge trunks are covered with mosses, bonsai trees at the summit have branches fastened strongly to each other, and twigs from the trails through the peak are so empowering, controlling the little remaining pathways available. The overall view reminded me of the Wulong Forest in the Avatar movie, very stunning!

The trek to the summit is accentuated by mossy forests which is akin to that of Tawangan trail in Mt. Pulag, although Tabayoc (for me) is way better. Trails are not as wide as that of Tawangan and the moss is thicker and greener. It is a well-preserved mountain with lush virgin forests. Rare species of plants and animals, beautiful orchids, vines and ferns, mosses, and other environmental creatures abound in the mountain of Tabayoc. The pristine characteristic of the place is definitely one of its best features.

The summit of Mt Tabayoc is forested; a view deck was created to provide a “window” for climbers to see the view from the top. From the view deck you will be able to see the other towering mountains in the province.

HOW TO GET TO MT TABAYOC (from BAGUIO)

By Private Transportation

  1.  Head northeast and then turn right onto Kisad Road.
  2. Continue driving until you reach Shuntug Road then turn left onto Quirino Highway
  3. Continue until you reach Naguilian Road
  4. Turn right onto Bokawkan Road then continue driving until you reach Magsaysay Avenue
  5. Slightly turn left when you reach Baguio-La Trinidad-Bontoc Road
  6. Continue onto Halsema Highway then exit via the Buguias Road en route to Kabayan.
  7. The roadtrip ends in Brgy. Ballay which is situated at the foot of Mt. Tabayoc.

 By Public Transportation

  1. Go to Dangwa Terminal (located at city proper) or at the Slaughterhouse bus terminal along Magsaysay Avenue. Dangwa Terminal is more accessible.
  2. Take the bus bound for Kabayan and alight at Ballay. Ballay is the last stop of Kabayan buses. It is the jump-off point for Mt Tabayoc and the four lakes.  You can start the trek from there. Buses bound to Kabayan leave Baguio City at 10 AM; last trip leaves at 12NN. It is a 5-6 hour trip. If buses bound for Kabayan are not available, take those buses en route to Baguio-Bontoc via Halsema Highway and get off at Abatan, Buguias, Benguet. There are jeepneys bound for Ballay from Abatan but only during Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 7AM to 12NN only.
  3. From Ballay, you can start your trek down (around 1 hour) to Lake Tabeo which is the campsite and the jump-off point for Tabayoc. In our case we hitchhiked a veggie truck so we can reach Tabeo Lake without hassle.




IMPORTANT

  • If you plan to climb Mt. Timbac first before Mt. Tabayoc, you may wait for the bus that passes by Kabayan Barrio (exit of Mt. Timbac Traverse) to Ballay.
  • If you are coming from Banaue, you can take take the jeepney bound to Tinoc and from there you can trek to Ballay.
  • If you plan to head back to Baguio after climbing Tabayoc, remember that the first trip from Ballay to Baguio is at 7AM and the second and LAST trip is at 10AM.

RATES & EXPENSES FOR MT TABAYOC CLIMB

Aircon van Manila-Baguio Php455 per way
Taxi fare to Slaughterhouse terminal Php50 per way
A-Liner Bus Baguio – Ballay Php155 per way
Camping fee Php50
Cultural Free Php30
Environmental Fee Php200
Guide fee Php1,000/7 pax ( Php100 per person in excess of 7) Php1000 / number of pax
TOTAL (the amount varies depending on your number) =

SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR MT TABAYOC CLIMB

This IT is for Mt. Tabayoc climb only, with side trip to four lakes. Necessary adjustments are needed if you plan to do Luzon 321 or Timbac-Tabayoc climb.

Day 1

0100 ETD Manila to Baguio via Victory Liner Bus
0700 ETA Baguio City (breakfast, buy provisions)
0800 ETD Slaughterhouse to Kabayan
1400 ETA Brgy. Ballay, Kabayan
1500 Start trek to Lake Tabeo
1700 ETA Lake Tabeo (set up camp)
1800 Dinner / socials

Day 2
0500 Wake-up call / Breakfast
0600 Start ascend to Mt. Tabayoc
1000 ETA Mt. Tabayoc summit
1100 Start descend
1400 Back at jump-off / Lunch
1500 Explore the three other lakes
1800 Back at campsite
1900 Breakcamp / Head back to Baguio

If you do not have your own service back to Baguio you can stay for another night and catch the 7AM bus trip. Again, the second and LAST trip from Ballay to Baguio is at 10AM.




MT. TABAYOC CLIMB TIPS

  • Bring warmer, gloves, sweater, thermal jacket; anything that can keep you warm.
  • Get a guide that knows the way and can assist you all throughout the climb. The trail of Mt. Tabayoc can be very confusing and judging your location relative to the summit can be very challenging because of the thick vegetation so make sure that you are with someone who really knows the way up.
  • It is best to climb Tabayoc early in the morning because rain usually pours in the afternoon. It was such a hot day when we climbed Mt Tabayoc. The sun was so proud and unforgiving; but 30 minutes after we descended, it rained ice!
  • If you want to take advantage of climb services of a travel agency, you can contact Sole Adventours.
  • 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, travel tips, and for more photos of our Luzon 321 climb. You can also visit our YouTube Channel for videos. 

Interesting Facts 

  • The mountain of Tabayoc has different names such as Tabayac, Tabeyo, or Talbayog which in the local tongue means “basin”. The name was taken probably from the four lakes (Tabeo, Ambulalakao, Iculus, and Detapnaco) situated at the base of the mountain. All these lakes can be visited together with your Tabayoc climb for an additional Php100 per person. We camped at Lake Tabeo and visited the lake of Ambulalakao, free of charge.
  • Ambulalakao Lake is said to be the cleanest lake in Benguet, might as well check that out for yourself.
  • The Junior Pulag is also located within the vicinity of Tabayoc.

Contact Information

Tabayoc is under the jurisdiction of the Mt. Pulag National Park – they have the same protocol.  Permit should be secured from the Park Superintendent. You may contact PASU for guides. Making personal and unofficial arrangements with the locals is being discouraged. 

Kuya Santiago Ballagan and his son were our guides for Mt. Timbak & Tabayoc during our Luzon 321 climb. His son pick us up from Baguio. Through them we were able to reached the jump-off of all three mountains (Timbac, Tabayoc, Pulag). We had to secure another guide for our Mt Pulag via Tawangan climb as per one of the requirements of Mt. Pulag National Park officials.

Anyway, for your future climb you may contact these people for assistance:

Emerita Albas PASU / DENR 0919-631-5402 / 0929-166-8864
Arlan Bugtong Tabayoc Park Ranger 0946-592-8483 / 0999-389-8711
Santiago Ballagan Timbac – Tabayoc Guide 0910-752-2655

OUR UNSOLICITED PLATE OF THOUGHTS 

  • I hope the thick and beautiful forests of Mt. Tabayoc can be preserved for future generation. I fear that the growing settlement at the jump-off point around the lake will someday become the cause of the mountain’s destruction.
  • I had a little argument with the DENR person Emerita Albas when I contacted local guide directly and just informed her about our climb. I told her that the reason we did so was because we cannot afford the 15k jeepney rental. She has a point to get mad as I did not follow protocol but I informed her that there should be cost-efficient alternatives in doing Luzon 321 climb. She said DENR can help in arranging transportation. So you guys who plan to do 321 climb, try coordinate with the park rangers and DENR/PASU for cheaper options. Please let us know if ever you are able to find better deals.

 Acknowledgement

This climb has been made possible by the help of Mr. Santiago Ballagan and his son Josiah Ballagan. Josiah serves as our guide for Timbak and Tabayoc during our Luzon 3-2-1 climb. They can be reach at number (+63910) 752 – 2655 (Santiago Ballagan) and (+63946) 415 – 2355 (Josiah Ballagan).

 

Love,

Missy of 

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Should you want to add/dispute something in this article, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

 

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Note: This entry is part of our Luzon 3-2-1 climb which happened four years ago. This is a repost from our old site, with new updates included.

Climb Guide for Mt. Timbak
Climb Guide for Mt. Tabayoc
Climb Guide for Mt. Pulag via Tawangan Trail
Climb Guide for Luzon 3-2-1

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