Weekends are precious, and when only one day can be spared for a day hike adventure, nothing beats a summit-to-sea (or sea-to-summit) adventure. For this kind of weekend, adventure company Trail Adventours (trailadventours.com) offers the Mt. Nagsasa to Nagsasa Cove summit-to-sea trip.
Philippine Day Hikes – Mt. Nagsasa with Trail Adventours
Mt. Nagsasa is located in Zambales, north of Manila. I hiked with Trail Adventours, and as one of the most professional hiking organizers in the country, they made sure we used private vehicles to get to our destination. Our group was pretty big, at over a dozen participants.
The trip took about four hours, and we had a short stop on the way to register at a police station. This was done to make sure the authorities know whom the hikers are (in case a search-and-rescue was ever needed) and that we had the proper permits. Our lead guide, Jeric Tugaff, made sure everything was in order and before we knew it, we were at Sitio Cawag, the adventure jump-off point. He then gave us a short introduction to Trail Adventours, and handed out our personalized IDs together with Allan Rebuta, our other guide. As usual with Trail Adventours, we had a short getting to know each other session and a short talk on the “Leave No Trace” principle for outdoorsmen. This briefing is very important and no hike organizer should leave this out.
We then started the trek – with night lamps no less – before the break of dawn!
Mt. Nagsasa – actually named Mt. Bira-bira, but called Nagsasa due to its destination cove – features grassy trails with minimal elevation along the way to the summit. For anyone who works out regularly, this hike is not too challenging. There are hardly any locals along the trails, so it was a quiet trek for our group. The reason we started early (around 0430H) was so we could reach the mountain proper before the sun breaks; Nagsasa’s trails are exposed and are notoriously hot.