The Abundant Mount Cristobal Of Quezon Province


Backgrounder

Mt. Cristobal

“Countless legends surround Mt. Cristobal. With its summit taking on a characteristic ‘W’ shape, like that of stealth bomber, it is flanked by the grander Mt. Banahaw to its northeast, and together, they figure prominently in folklore. For instance, it is said that while Mt. Banahaw is a holy mountain, Mt. Cristobal is the Devil‘s mountain, and the two mountains possess good and evil energies that cancel out. The primeval forests of Cristobal, decked with ferns and thorny plants, culminating in its ancient crater, seem to fit the bill of an eerie mountain. Furthermore, there are tales of voices or apparitions, such as the creature called ‘Tumao’, waylaying mountain climbers; many hiking groups have their own “ghost stories” to tell. Even locals believe these stories; some guides say they have amulets to counteract the negative energy” (pinoymountaineer.com).

Notes

Mt. Banahaw

1. It’s actually ironic that despite the stories I heard and read, I didn’t feel even a scintilla of eeriness the entire time that we were there ascending from the foot and descending from the head of the mountain. In fact, the first thing that I can recollect whenever I hear Mount Cristobal is its abundance. Abundance in life forms as it boasts an array of flora and fauna in its halcyon surroundings. No wonder I was so ravished by this mountain each time I see the pictures I took from it notwistanding the fact that I didn’t capture any of the reptile species (bubuli and balikakas) and the well-known civet cats (the animus and the musang) inhabiting the deeper parts. In reality, capturing said reptiles requires a super camera so grant me an excuse for failing to show them here.

Going back to the stories on the background, I can guarantee that they’re just but folklore and there’s no reason to fear this beautiful mountain.

 

2. Because of Mount Cristobal, I found this beautiful plant bearing this flower or fruit, whose name is still unidentified to date. I actually posted it on this blog last April 6 of the current year hoping for some experts to shed light on whether or not this is a flower or a fruit. And, of course, to have the name of this subject plant identified.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

In the meantime, I called it Pearls of the Orient Seas because those four fruits or petals resemble to pearls.

3. Poop is beautiful! I learned that because of civet cats’ dookie that are visible on the trails. These morsel of undigested coffee beans is actually a hot stuff for the locals that they covet for it. That’s for sure is an exaggeration but here’s a fact according to the author of pinoymountaineer.com: These excreted beans that litter one of the cleanest mountain trails in the country, are a sought after delicacy, fetching thousands per kilo in Europe. The cats’ acute sense of smell enables them to select the best coffee beans. Hence, the beautiful dookie.

There’s Euro in this Poop!

(A kilo of these “special coffee beans” costs about P1,000.00 or $25.)

4. Because of this mountain, I learned how to use the macro mode of my camera. I am proud to present my masterpiece: the edible sampinit (wild raspberry).

Sampinit

5. After a visit to this overrated talon (waterfalls) found at the foot of Mount Banahaw, I concluded that there might be a mistake for regarding the opposite mountain of Mount Cristobal, Mount Banahaw, as the Holy Mountain. The waterfalls, which I was expecting to lure my eyes turned out to be unattractive at all. (My apologies for saying that.)

The numerous pieces of cult symbols carved or hanging on the caves as well as humungus stones at the foot of this Holy Mountain visible on our way to that waterfalls speak for my claim. I am not an expert in paranormal stuff but negative energy is what I smelled therein. Unfortunately, I already ran out of battery by the time we reached the part I am describing so I got no pictures to show. That’s what I thought until I visited Master Paul’s Facebook page. The latter explains the pictures that will support this note.

Well, I hope Mount Banahaw will be opened to the public again anytime soon as is it still closed when we were there. I need to get a feel of what’s lurking at the summit.

6. This is climb paved the way for my ultimate and sexy climbing partner to be featured. Her name is Maggie Q.

My Sexy Climbing Partner, Maggie Q.

7. I met new hiking buddies (Jason, Raul, and Shey).

The Crew At the Summit

Clockwise from left: Raul, Jason, Shey, The Blogger, Ma’am Amy, Sir Bart, Master Paul, Matet, and Ron.

-Mount Cristobal is my eleventh subdued giant (06 March 2011).

For more information (how to get to the place, climbing notes, trivia, more stories, etc.) about this abundant mountain, visit this website: pinoymountaineer.com.

PS: GE X5 and Some Photos by Mr. Paul Basco

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29 thoughts on “The Abundant Mount Cristobal Of Quezon Province

  1. yes Sony I do agree with you ,You have nice set of photo here..Good thing you made the photo big at least we can now see clearly how beautiful are the mountains you climb..
    No matter what are the hearsays sorrounding this idyllic place I’d still push on my guts to explore it like you,Countless surprises awaits..That Pearl of the orient seas plant is quite mystical still I didnt know its name also ehehehe..

    what camera are you using anyway?

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  2. HI Sony, It was like going with you on the climb. Thanks for the post! Loved the pictures as well. The places that you are able to visit are not easy for most people to go to.

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  4. The pictures are stunning! I admire your photography skills 🙂 I had a good time reading this post. I always see Mt.Cristobal from my village in San Pablo but I never had the opportunity to climb this mountain. I’m quite surprised to discover the abundance of life present in the mountain. And by the way, did you try the sampinit? That’s my favorite food when I was a child. Thanks for sharing this story! 😀

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    • Salamat! Regarding your question, I did. The sampinit tastes sweet and sour … like a guava. I was lured by its sweet look that I actually ate it before asking the guide on whether or not it’s edible. I trusted my instinct. I am still learning to be cautious on my propensity to eat fruits unknown to me. Hehe …

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  6. hey nice blog! i must say you are a very good writer, your piece was very captivating that it ‘lured’ me until the end. Our group of mountaineers are going to conquer Cristobal this October amidst all the folklore and urban legends, but actually those stories make it even more challenging for me! Thanks for the post Sony!

    PS. I think Banahaw will be open next year. We’ll surely be one of the first to climb that if that happens 🙂

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  7. You got me to say “wow” all over again. What an adventure. Never been to both these mountains, only in pictures. The photos just showed me another world where most only wish to visit one day. No wonder legends about these 2 beautiful mountains. Your discoveries like the ” Pearl of the Orient Seas,” is fascinating and made me believe that something enchanted is brewing in those places. The “civet cats’ dookie ” also got my attention. They say they digested coffee beans gives a great tasting coffee with a kick. May be when I go home next year, I will get to try one. Any restaurants that sells them? I admire you thinking in life and your zest for adventure. May be one day, I got to climb a mountain too. God bless you and your family…

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    • I researched on that, bro, and fortunately, I found two (2) that sell the “beautiful poop” or make that, coffee dookie (kape alamid). H'm … Sounds nice … for someone whose not familiar of the word dookie 🙂

      The first is Kape Kesada, which is also an art gallery for some artists holding exhibits and a house made from salvaged parts of old houses. This art gallery/coffee shop is just a few meters away from Rural Bank of Paete at Plaza Edesan — the commercial center of the town in Laguna. It’s about 400 meters from the town plaza and Paete Church. Note: Taking pictures is not allowed inside the gallery, “daw”.

      The other one is Tiendesitas in Pasig City.

      According to what I read, kape alamid costs about P500 ($12.50) for 50 grams or about P1000/kilo. No wonder kape alamid is considered the most expensive coffee in the world.

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  9. In Indonesia, we call the poo coffee ‘kopi luwak’ and the westerners call them civet coffee after the beans have been eaten and undigested by Asian palm civets or toddycats ( Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).

    They say the coffee tastes beautiful and it is very expensive, but I don’t think I will drink it!
    Nice post:)

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    • I agree with you that its name helped the mountain retain its abundance. I should at least be thankful for that. Didn’t know how the name came to be a big help after delving to your comment. Who would thought that the name can ward off climbers? H’m. That’s just clever.

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  10. sure a clever way. I just hope no more other mountains be given such name just to preserve its natural beauty. Still, mountaineering etiquette and local awareness are the keys for the better future of these mountains.

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