MOUNT PUTING BATO: Samal Island’s Highest Point

I never consider myself as a mountain hiker least a proficient mountaineer. I’ve always thought mountain hiking is a very tedious form of outdoor activity. Dull and dreary, I assumed. So, whenever I got invites for mountain climbing, I courteously declined. Surprisingly, one unplanned trip took me to the highest point of an Island that changed my whole lackluster impression about mountain climbing. It was a day hike that carried me away to instantly fall in love with the mountains. And from then on, I have always liked to conquer the thrill of great heights. This I give credit to the day I made my first unforgettable climb to MOUNT PUTING BATO of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaGoS).Mount Puting Bato is located in Barangay Guilon in the Island Garden City of Samal, a component city of Davao del Norte Province. Standing at a towering height of 1,345 feet (410m) above sea level, Mount Puting Bato is the Island’s highest point. Being the highest summit, it is one of most popular destinations in the Island and home to many climbing expeditions of many mountain climbers and enthusiasts.

My first climb to Mount Puting Bato.

Easily reached, Mount Puting Bato is a perfect destination for a great day hike. Its peak can be reached following two different trails. One is the Guilon Trail and the other one is Tayapoc Trail. The Guilon Trail entails approximately 2 hours hike from the jump off point passing through narrow trails and bushy woods. On the other hand, Tayapok Trail from the jump off site to the peak only requires a very minimal 30 minutes hike passing through an open trail and grassy upland. With its great accessibility, conquering Mount Puting Bato’s summit is indeed a wondrous day hike adventure.

The Tayapoc Trail

Reaching the peak of Mount Puting Bato, all my exhaustion vanished away upon seeing the breathtaking 360° panoramic view of everything that surrounds the Island. The view of Davao City on the west; the green mountain ranges of Davao Oriental on the east; verdant Valleys of Compostela Valley on the North; and the tranquil Davao Gulf on the south. The majestic peak of Mount Apo peeping from the clouds also added amazing attraction of the view from top. It was really an astonishing sight.

Compostela Valley on the North as viewed from the Peak
Davao Oriental on the East as viewed from the Peak.
The Davao Gulf and Davao City as viewed from the Peak.

My first trek to Mount Puting Bato was actually unplanned. Together with my travel buddies, it was supposedly a beach getaway at one particular resort but our itch for more adventure lured us to explore the other charms of the Island. The “no itinerary” adventure for that day brought us to the many must-see destinations in Samal Island and that included our unexpected climb to Mount Puting Bato, making it my first ever mountain climbing experience followed by other different amazing mountain treks.Today, I learn to love the thrill of every mountain adventures I have. There is a feeling of triumph and sheer fulfillment whenever I am at the top. Yes, the trek is tiresome. That’s inevitable but amusingly fulfilling. Mount Puting Bato ignited the love I have for the mountains. I’ll forever be grateful.

My second climb to Mount Puting Bato.
My third climb to Mount Puting Bato.

My first day hike to Mount Puting Bato was followed by another. And another. And another. I’ll never get tired to go up there. Now, whenever I bring friends to the Island Garden City of Samal, I make sure to give them a Mount Puting Bato experience. Tiresome it may seem but I guarantee them special pleasure that is undeniably memorable. So, whenever you’re in Samal Island, never miss to climb Mount Puting Bato. It has become one of my favorites in the island. And who knows? It could also be yours.

HOW TO GET THERE:

From Davao City, take an Island City Express Bus going to Island Garden City of Samal. Drop off at Peñaplata proper. From Peñaplata, take a single motorcycle (habal-habal) and tell the driver to bring you to Sitio Tayapoc, the jump off point going to the peak. From there, follow the trail going up to the summit of Mount Puting Bato.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. How long is the trek? I’m nowhere near a trekker myself and would like to know the time it would take to go and down especially if I’ll be bringing with me a couple of other less trekkers than me.

    I was in Samal last December and do plan to go back again soon.

    • Hi Eileen…

      This is what I wrote on this article – “Easily reached, Mount Puting Bato is a perfect destination for a great day hike. Its peak can be reached following two different trails. One is the Guilon Trail and the other one is Tayapoc Trail. The Guilon Trail entails approximately 2 hours hike from the jump off point passing through narrow trails and bushy woods. On the other hand, Tayapok Trail from the jump off site to the peak only requires a very minimal 30 minutes hike passing through an open trail and grassy upland. With its great accessibility, conquering Mount Puting Bato’s summit is indeed a wondrous day hike adventure.”

      Hope this helps. :)

  2. Like. Di man lang ako napawisan dyan. Loljk

  3. Hahaha. nag puting bato ako dati in slippers and shorts. :))

  4. Nice pics, Olan! (as always!) :D Thanks for bringing us there! It was really fun and memorable.. :D

  5. Esther C. Marchand says:

    What a view!!! I’m sure it is best on clear days. Are you sure a fifty something woman can climb this?…. lol!!!

  6. canadagoose says:

    olan214, i love the pictures in your article. am planning to visit samal next month, june 2011. i know there are many sites and resorts to visit, pero noong mabasa ko to, i thought this i’d like to see first hand. thanks for sharing. anong camera ginagamit mo? cheers.

  7. Oooh. Gonna consider climbing this before Mt. Apo since di masyadong mahirap (base from your testimonials). Haha weeee nalingaw ko kay mag Habal-habal ka from Penaplata! :))

    Miss na nako mag HH! :D

  8. Is Mount Puting Bato near Hof Gorei Resort? I basically do not have an itinerary but I would love to tour around the place.

    Thanks.

  9. hi… would like to ask if how much did you pay for the HH from penaplata to sitio tayapoc? thanks

  10. idol!

    what are the things to bring/wear during trek at mount puting bato?

    • Hi Dexter. :) reaching the peak of Mount Puting Bato is very easy. As much as possible, wear a trek pants as cogon grasess there are bit thicker, unless gusto mong magkasugat sugat. :) Then plenty of water. :) Mainit sa taas, you will need more water. :) kung gusto mo madaling trek lang, dumaan ka sa TAYAPOC TRAIL. Pero gusto mo medyo matagal tagal na paglalakad, use the GUILON TRAIL. :)

  11. taga dira lang ko noh pero one time lang ko ka saka dra

  12. very nice place, olan! i am so deeply very inspired by your travel passion. keep up d good work :)

  13. how many hours is it to travel by bus from Davao to Penaplata?I wanna go there this weekend…=)

  14. Hi! Just want to ask some details.

    First. Is there any fee you paid to go up? Like, tourism whatever? Or like a guide to bring you to the peak? Or one just has to follow the trail and reach the peak and find their way back on their own?

    Second. This take off point in Sitio Tayapoc you mentioned. Is this the 30-minute hike or the 2-hour one?

    Thanks. :)
    Thumbs up for this entry. :)

    • Hi Faye,

      There is no fee to go up there. There is just an entrace fee when you get ao the peak. It’s just Php 10.00. No need for a guide. All you have to do is just ask the habal habal driver to bring you to sitio tayapoc. From there, you’ll see a trail that will lead u to the peak. The trail is only 30 minutes.

  15. LIKE! aakyat ako jan soonest . . .

  16. Just recently, I got interested in outdoor activities.. but I don’t know how and where to start. Fortunately, found your article! :) great help! will try Puting Bato soon. :) hopefully within this month. By the way, how do you prepare yourself before mountain climbing? like exercises perhaps…? thanks! :)

  17. Hi, I haven’t been there but I wanna go. I’m bringing three people with me and none of them has even been here, too. Is it safe for newbies to go there? Are there going to be people we could ask or something? Are there any directions doing to the top? Is it safe? Thank you :)

  18. we plan to go climb any day between january 19-29, 2013. where can we get a guide to traverse it to canibad beach? thanks!

  19. It’s a nice place to visit…gusto kong makarating sa tuktok ng that Mount Puting Bato soon…I loved mountain climbling ever since,infact how many times I experienced it and now I REMEMBER THOSE TIMES, I really missed it…thanks and nabasa ko itong article mo Olan…and one thing nga pala anong Beach ba ng Samal Island ang malapit diyan sa Mount Puting Bato? thanks and more Power! GODBLESS!

  20. Hi Sir Olan! Ask ko lang po kung sino po ang pwede naming i’interview about Mt. Puting Bato. We are planning po kasi to have a docu film about samal and we chose this site as one of the list of known destinations in Samal Island. Balak po naming gawin ang shooting next saturday, Jan 26..

  21. christoff says:

    mag kano ang pamasahe sa HH kung doon sa GULION TRAIL kame dadaan?

  22. We took the ferry to Samal, rode motorcycles to the trail, then hiked-up towards the top, only to find a locked gate with barbed wire surrounding the top of the mountain. You have to pay to get to the top, and no one was there to collect money or open the gate. It was 10am on a Saturday morning. Big disappointment.

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