Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Five Mystical Mountains in the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Halloween is fast approaching. For those who want to take their ghost-hunting experience to a different level this year, a trip to a mountain might be just what they need, as the Philippines is known to have supernatural elements lurking (and sometimes interacting with their visitors) in the depths of their land and mysterious forests.

As the saying goes, “Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints,” but locals say hikers who lived to tell their hair-raising experiences may not have followed this rule and had done something to offend those who dwell in these mountains. Though there are also hikers who insisted that they had prayed, asked permission, and were very respectful of the place and still experienced something out of the ordinary.

For those who’d rather see to believe, or are simply looking to have a good time, lists down five mountains in the country that are tied to various tales of mystery and horror.

If there is one mountain famous for its mystical beliefs, it is Mount Banahaw. This dormant volcano situated between the provinces of Laguna and Quezon is believed to be inhabited by mystical creatures and elements, attracting thrill-seekers, psychics, sector believers, and cults. Many religious groups would pay a visit to do pilgrimages for healing, and most of them claimed that they felt rejuvenated after their visit. This mountain also attracts curious tourists who are hoping to experience something divine and extraordinary.

Some of the urban legends that surround this mountain include hikers beings abducted by aliens, amulets and charms made from the stones and woods taken from the mountain itself, and apparition of a beautiful lady that appears to hikers who get lost or are in danger. Some also believe that the water from its springs have healing qualities.

The Mount Banahaw photo above was taken from


(Photo from

Situated between the provinces of Laguna and Batangas, Mount Makiling has been an ASEAN Heritage Park since 2013 and is administered by the University of the Philippines Los Banos. Its famous feature is its contour, which resembles a woman in a reclining position.

Legend has it that the woman is Maria Makiling, the forest nymph who guards the mountain. It is often said that Maria Makiling is an overwhelmingly beautiful lady who is kind and helpful to all those who also treat the mountain well. However, she is also known to be wrathful toward those who would try to harm the mountain.

Many believe that those who disrespect the mountain even in the slightest way suffer. Some get lost, while others experience sudden, unexplainable great pain, while some find themselves in a really unfortunate situation. One of the solutions to appease mountain nymph is to return what has been taken to the mountain and to ask for forgiveness for having disrespected the mountain.


(Photo from

Adjacent to Mount Banahaw is Mount Cristobal; however, if the former is said to be the “holy mountain,” then Mount Cristobal was dubbed as the “Devil’s Mountain.” Local stories have it that

the devil resides in the mountain itself, emitting negative energies that make the mountain cold, silent, and spooky. Stories about Tumao (a creature like Big Foot that wanders around tents at night), supernatural occurrences, haunting voices sounding through hikers’ radios, shadows following people, appearances of elementals, and interactions with unnatural beings are popular among those who have trekked the mountain.

Perhaps the most talked-about alleged encounter with beings from the other world in Mount Cristobal is about a couple who took a wrong trail and fell to their deaths. Since then, they have appeared to lost hikers, leading them to the wrong trail as well so they will have company.


(Photo from

Famous for its rock wall called The Rockies, the igloo-shaped Mount Maculot is located in Cuenca, Batangas. Considered as one of the most popular landmarks of the province, it offers stunning views of Taal Lake and Volcano.

Many believe that the mountain is being haunted by the ghost of Maricar, the girl who plunged to her death at The Rockies. It is believed that she is the one spotted and heard by campers during the wee hours of the night. Some even claim to have heard her shrieks from down The Rockies.

Aside from the sightings of the ghost girl, others claim to have seen huge shadows following or observing them from the trees. They would loom over the campers as they go about their activities. And at night, these shadows would also circle their tents, keeping them awake.


(Photo from

Mount Samat in Pil├ír, Bataan, holds a national shrine named Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), a 92-meter white cross erected near the mountain’s peak to commemorate the Battle of Bataan during World War II and the heroism and bravery of its fallen victims.

It could be because Mount Samat was a witness to such atrocity that many stories about hauntings and sightings float around. Several mountain bikers have alleged feeling their bikes being pulled toward the edge of the cliff even when riding slowly, while others said they could feel they were being pushed toward oncoming vehicles. There are also reports of hikers and campers hearing stomping boots, while others have said they heard voices of soldiers who seemed to be doing military exercises.

Whether you’re planning on hiking over Halloween or anytime in the future, these beautiful mountains ought to give you something chillingly memorable and worth sharing to other curious adventurers. So go ahead and take a trip...if you dare.

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