The DSLR camera that I always use was LOST 😦 so the photos here were caught using my five year old digital camera.

Mt. Humarap
The Town of Paete, Laguna de Bay, and Mt. Sembrano as seen from Mt. Humarap
Tatlong Krus, Mt. Humarap, Paete
Panoramic view from the Tatlong Krus
Mt. Humarap
Tatlong Krus of Paete

I’ve been subjected to too much pressure and problems these past few months. What I needed was a stress reliever, and an out-of-town trip surely is one.

After a random decision, I went to the town of Paete, Laguna yesterday (April 2, 2013) to go search for some peace of mind. I planned to go up Mt. Humarap which is actually a hill overlooking the town of Paete.

I left San Pedro, Laguna (my hometown) at 6 o’clock in the morning and boarded a Santa Cruz, Laguna-bound bus in Alabang, Muntinlupa City which left at exactly 7 o’clock. I was a little bit surprised to ride an air-conditioned Santa Cruz-bound bus in Alabang since most of the Santa Cruz-bound buses there are the “ordinary” type (not air-conditioned). Anyway, I arrived in Pagsawitan, Santa Cruz after two hours and then I quickly rode a Siniloan-bound jeepney that passes through Paete Loob. Jeepneys going to Siniloan and Paete Loob always pass and stop to get passengers in Pagsawitan.

People in the bucolic part of Laguna never fails to make me smile, and at some point they make me a little bit envious because they are too happy, friendly and nice unlike most the people here in western Laguna and Manila. There was a moment when I asked a passenger for some directions while I was in the jeepney that day. And then after some moments of talking, other passengers offered me some directions as well after they have overheard our conversation. A guy even suggested that I should go to a place called “Wawa” somewhere in Paete, which I did. These people are so helpful! 🙂 After about thirty minutes or so, the passengers told me that I should get off the jeepney because we finally arrived at Paete. The passenger that I talked to gladly told me to take care.

I first walked towards the old church of Paete, the Saint James the Apostle Church. You can see it’s very old at first glance. Unfortunately, there was something going on inside the church, but I managed to have a peek of its interior and its retablo.

Bell Tower of the Church of Paete
Paete Church and the Sierra Madre

After some minutes of looking at the church and appreciating it, I went around the streets near the church to see some of the wood carving shops and then quickly walked towards the narrow street leading up to the three crosses. The street leading up to the three crosses is just besides a brightly-colored barangay outpost. Houses line the first section of the narrow street but it became more denser with trees and plants as I went further up. You won’t get lost once you’re there. You just have to follow the stairs.

Stairs up to the Tatlong Krus
Nature!

I had some glimpses of the Laguna de Bay (tr. Lake of Bae) as I go up the craggy stairs and it was wonderful. Additionally, there was also a bamboo bridge somewhere up the track.

A view of the Laguna de Bay
Zoom in!

I saw a blue station (that looks like a waiting shed) meant as a resting place at the fork not-so-halfway up Mt. Humarap. The steps straight ahead lead to the Matabungka Falls (locals simply call it as “tàlon”) while the stairs on the left lead up to the Tatlong Krus / peak of Mt. Humarap. There are two bathrooms and a “tubigan” (practically a thing with a hose that has water flowing out of it) near the resting station. I washed my face with the cold, refreshing water coming out of the bamboo. The resting station, however, is fully vandalized. I really don’t know how people get joy by writing their name on walls, seriously.

Mt. Humarap
The “tubigan”
Vandalized!

After some rest, I proceeded to the stairs on the left and continued my ascent. Trees abound and some parts up the stairs gives peeks of the town of Paete below. There was even a nice dog somewhere in the track that followed me up to the three crosses.

Paete below
Gusto ko siyang i-uwi, eh 😀
The light!

And after some more meters up, I’ve finally reached the top! Mt. Humarap / Tatlong Krus _✔_ !!! The wind up there was very cool and refreshing, and the view was fantastic. Mt. Sembrano can be viewed from afar, protruding out on Laguna de Bay while the town of Paete looks like an eagle in flight when viewed from the peak. The three crosses stand tall as if guarding the town of Paete below, too. Picnics can be done in the area because there are cottages installed there.

Mt. Humarap
The Three Crosses

Mt. Humarap

What are those circles?

The experience was very wonderful. I stayed there for about half an hour to look around and yes, I found a moment of peace and serenity- the moment where I forgot all of my problems. My mission was then complete! 😀

I then started to descend down the mountain to the Matabungka Falls or talon.

Mt. Humarap
The town of Paete and the Laguna de Bay. I think that’s Mt. Makiling on the background.
The Tatlong Krus were visible from the low-lying Wawa Park.
  • To read my blog about Paete’s Matabungka Falls, click HERE.
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