The City Mayor’s Office Tourism Division personnel conducted a 2-day site validation at Mt. Capistrano last February 5-6, 2020. There were three barangays located near the site, namely Barangay Simaya, Barangay Managok and Barangay San Martin. Each barangay has an entry point to the peak of Mt. Capistrano.
The trail situation and distance covered from the base to the peak at barangay San Martin was open and agriculturally cultivated with some indications of soil erosion. The forest line is still in good condition and DENR signage can be found, prohibiting the illegal cutting of trees. Biodiversity of the mountain is still in good state. As the trail started to ascend it changes to a vertical rocky lime stone making it a little bit technical for a beginner climber.
Meanwhile, in Barangay Simaya it has concrete stairs with 292 steps from the base going to mid-part of the peak. Along the way, there were some issues where sacks of garbage hanged on the trees, which is not appropriate for it will invite trekkers and climbers to leave some trash behind. And because it was still unregulated, the trail was damaged from single trail to three lanes trail. At the top, the view is stunningly beautiful where you can see the 360-degree scenery down below and from afar Kalatungan range and Mt. Kitanglad are also visible.
Entry point in Barangay Managok trail is the easiest to trek among the three. Most of its trail is shady because of the abundance of planted trees through the initiative of the barangay and residents. It is less technical and steep compared to Simaya trail. There is also water source near the base area and was already tapped by the people residing Purok 10. Along the way to the peak, it has caves that climbers/trekkers can freely enter.
Among the three entry points going up to the peak, Simaya is famous among trekkers. However, vandalism and improper waste of garbage are still evident affecting the natural beauty of the mountain. With the site validation conducted, this will serve as basis for its future policies and regulation due to increasing tourists and visitors of the site.
Report by: Steve Laurence Perino & Ricky Joseph Landingin, II