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Pinagbanderahan Mountaineering Adventure

Located in the Atimonan side of the Quezon National Forest Park in the province of Quezon, Pinagbanderahan is a historic and "strategic" part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

It is commonly and erroneously referred to by many as Mt. Pinagbanderahan. However, its real name is actually Mt. Mirador and it is part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. The name Pinagbanderahan came from the Filipino phrase "place where the flag was hoisted". The peak got its name from the historic flag hoisting events in the different eras of Philippine history. The first flag was hoisted on the mountain's peak during the Philippine Revolution. The Filipino revolutionaries hoisted the Philippine flag after kicking out the Spanish colonizers from the province. A few years later, the Americans hoisted The Old Glory on the mountain's peak after successfully defeating the Filipinos during the Filipino-American War. Several decades later, it was the Japanese flag that was flying over the Pinagbanderahan. It was only in 1946 that the Philippine flag reclaimed its rightful place.
Just follow the trail...
You can go up the man-made steps

or go under fallen trees
The man-made steps near the mountain's peak
Let's go!
...and the surrounding landscapes
The picturesque view of Sierra Madre
Just a little more
So why on Earth did the Filipinos and their colonizers try so hard to hoist their flag on this particular mountain? The answer is simple -logistics and psychological impact. As you all know, the peak is known today as Pinagbanderahan has a perfect vantage point of the island provinces of Marinduque and Mindoro, Mt. Banahaw, and the towns and cities of Pagbilao and Lucena. In that sense, it gives a control factor those at the peak and also a domination effect for those in the lowlands. 
I finally reached the peak
The marker at the peak

I got to visit Pinagbanderahan during my mom's High School Grand Reunion. Their batch organized a hike up to the mountain. My sister, cousins, and me didn't waste the opportunity that's why we tagged along. Since we were not part of their group, we hired our own local guide (it's a requirement to have one). Each guide is allowed to guide a maximum of 10 people. The guide's services and environmental fee cost only P300 (as of 2015).



Regarding the local guides, I could safely say that they are very respectful and patient. Our guide, Kuya JB waited patiently for us even if we took plenty of stops for some photo ops. We also didn't feel rushed in any way.
A great view from the peak

As for the trip, I would say that it's fairly easy. The trail going to the peak is actually cemented and doesn't require you to wear a full mountaineering gear (my sister actually looked like she was going to the mall during our hike.) Aside from that, it's only 2/3s of the hike that you'd experience continuous ascends (the stairs are also cemented so don't worry).
Entrance to Cueva Santa
Inside Cueva Santa
What I like about the hike to Pinagbanderahan are the caves that you'd find near the trail. Despite some minor vandalism, the caves are clean and still has stalactites in it. We visited one the said caves -the Cueva Santa and did some photo shoots in it. (I suggest you visit this cave during your hike.)


The huge statue of the patron saint of Atimonan found near the jump-off point
Overall, hiking Pinagbanderahan is recommended to everyone who loves mountains but doesn't want to step on mud or exert too much effort in doing so.

Mountains Details: 
Height: 366 MASL
Major trailhead: Zigzag Park, Quezon National forest Park, Atimonan, Quezon
The jump-off point going to Pinagbanderahan
Climb time: 1-2 hours

Getting there:

The best way to reach Pinagbanderahan is to personally drive to its jump-off point.
From Manila, follow the Pan-Philippine Highway until you reach the fork near the exit of the town of Pagbilao. Follow the road of the right (EME Road) which will bring you to the Zigzag Road. Follow it until you see the Zigzag Park which is the mountain's main jump off point.

Itinerary:
3:00 AM - Departure from Manila
7:00 AM - Arrival at Zigzag Park
(Hiking to the peak starts only at 6:30AM)
7-8:00 AM - Breakfast / Hike preparation
8:00 AM - Start the hike
8:30 AM - Side trip to Cueva Santa
9:00 AM Resume hike 
10:00 AM - Pinagbanderahan / MT. Mirador peak
10- 11:00AM - Photo Ops
11:00AM - Descent
12:00NN - Side trip to Cueva Grande
1:00PM - Arrival at Zigzag Park
1- 2:00 PM - Lunch and preparation to go home
2:00PM - Departure to Manila
6/7 PM - Arrival at Manila

Ratings:
Crowd
Cleanliness
Overall rating

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Andrea! It's been a long time since I heard from you.

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  2. Hi Sir...
    I am interested to hike on this... Meron po bang malapit na ilog or falls dito sa Pinagbanderahan na pwedeng puntahan na rin para isang hike na lang. Let me know kung meron po.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Maria! Usually kasama ng tour na ito ang Bantayan Falls kaso sa ibang lugar yun. Ang malapit dito eh dagat in Atimonan or Pagbilao. Marami ring mga kuweba dito.

      Delete
  3. SIR pwede mahingi contacts ng guide jan...plan to hike it this june....TIA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Try the Atimonan Tourism Office. Eto number nila.
      (042) 316 6905

      Delete
  4. Hi Sir, Magkano Registration and guide fee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jewel, last time we visited wala pang P300 /pax may tip pa kami binigay kay kuya guide namin. Di ko lang sure if nagbago na ngayon. =)

      Delete
  5. sir pm po mero po ba kayo itinerary sample ng pag punta nyo at magkano po lahat nagastos nyo salamat po ng marami

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yung itinerary nasa itaas. Yung nagastos ko is yung gas ko lang from Manila to Zigzag Park and back. Nasa 3K din un. Mas mura un if commute ka lang. =)

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  6. Panu po pag commute san po kami sasakay ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From Manila or Cubao, you can ride a bus going to Legazpi City. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Atimonan junction. From there you can rent a tricycle going to Zigzag Park. =)

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  7. yung guide fee po ba na 300 ay babayaran ng individually or as a group na po?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dadaan po ba un sa bitukang manok road?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Opo. Daraan po muna kayo doon. Titigil kayo sa Zigzag Park para maakyat ito. =)

      Delete
  9. Hi..if nasa zigzag na , san matatagpuan yung mga nagguide? Ty

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kung magsisimula po Ako Sa catanauan quezon. How to get there po. Thank u

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Pinakamainam paring pumunta ka sa Zigzag Park at doon magsimula dahil nandoon ang mga registered local guide ng bundok. Dito ka rin magpaparegister muna. This would guarantee safety.

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  11. hello po pano pumunta sa mt pinagbanderahan if magstart po kami sa grand central terminal commute lang po kami. salamat po sa inyong pagreply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      There are three ways.
      First you could charter a van at the terminal. Costs around P1000 to bring you to Zigzag Park and back.

      Second is by heading to the town of Atimonan where you could charter a tricycle to bring you the jump off point.

      The third and most challenging is boarding down at the fork between the Diversion road and Zigzag. From there, walk up to the jump off point. This would probably take an additional hour hike.

      Delete
  12. Panu po pumunta sa mt.pinagbanderahan kapag andito sa novaliches torres

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sakay ka ng bus papuntang Legazpi then baba ka sa Atimonan. From there pwede kang magrent ng trike papuntang Zigzag Park.

      Delete
  13. Recommended po ba sya sa Mama ko na 69 yrs old pero malakas pa sya and nakaka akyat pa sya ng bundok sa province namin. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Pwede naman po. May man-made path na kasi ang bundok so mas madali na siyang maakyat.

      Delete

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