Sunday, March 31, 2013

The complete idiot guide for Kibungan Circuit

Kibungan, Benguet
Jumpoff (closed loop): Sitio Tanap, Poblacion, Kibungan
LLA: 1820 MASL (Tagpaya); 1875 MASL (Oten); 2105 (Tagpew)
Days required / Hours to summit: 2-3 days / 6-9 hours (Tagpaya)
Specs (Version 1): Major climb, Difficulty 5/9, Trail class 1-4
Specs (Version 2): Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 1-4
Features: Pine ridges, mossy forests, rice terraces, village walks

Source :
Welcome to Kibungan!
Just before the Holy Week, Im looking for a multiday hike to do with less expense because we are only two in the group. And the video from Loyola mountaineer inspire us to drop all of our plans and instead go to kibungan benguet to try the kibungan circuit. Of course doing it with two persons , the itenary will differ from doing it with a big group. So I once again, researched how the locals would do it, how are the locals go to kibungan from baguio and from kibungan back to baguio. I reached out to Engr Kolbel for information and he replied that Sir Charo is the new head of tourism and he gave me sir Charo's number. Since January this year, I constantly get in touched with sir Charo for logistics and information about kibungan and he glady reply to all of my inquiries, without his help the climb might not pushed trough or might not be comfortable than what we have experienced.
Kibungan Municipality Town Hall
We Met at Victory Terminal in Cubao, After more than 5 hours, we arrived in Baguio City, walked all the way to session road to eat breakfast and to buy our packed lunched. Then we took a taxi to Dangwa terminal and wait for the first trip of bus to Kibungan.

The travel time from Baguio to Kibungan will take within 3-4 hours with 2 stop over. It was 30 mins past 9am when we arrived in Kibungan Municipality. There we were met by Ferdie, our guide assigned to us by sir Charo. We have our last minute preparation and bought our supplies. At 10am, under the heat and  humidity, we started to walked to Kibungan mountain ranges.

The trail of Kibungan Mountain ranges
The trail was comparable to Mt Ugu,with weather like Mt Arayat and Mt Balingkilat. With continous ascend and short descend, We arrived in the first campsite at 3pm. The first campsite is also called Buga campsite,there are reliable water source nearby and clean bombsite.

Buga Campsite
From the first campsite to the 2nd campsite which is near Mt tagpew , it will take you between 6-8 hours depends on how long you take a break and how fast you are walking. We arrived at the 2nd campsite at 2pm. According to the guide we are the 2nd fastest group to arrived, the fastest was at 1pm. The tagpew campsite is much colder than the campsite in buga. The water source is just 5 to 10 mins walk and there are also restroom nearby. From the campsite it will also take within 20 mins hike to the summit of Mt Tagpew, the highest peak of the entire circuit.

At Mt Tagpaya. The first peak of the circuit.

The dry part of the trail

At Mt Oten. 

The trail to Ilocos or La Union

Mt Tagpew Summit

The Second Campsite. Near Mt Tagpew.
The descend back to poblacion is the most challenging part of the trekked. We are all accustomed to descend all the way to the jump off with just short ascend and flat terrain. In kibungan, the descend back to jump off is the most crucial and difficult because the entire trail is open, meaning you are under the mercy of the sun's heat that will surely drain your energy and sometimes your sanity. When you reached the road , you think its over and all the way easy ? Think again! After the first store on the side of the road, you will be back again on the trail. When  you passed the last hanging bridge,you will be up again for the surprise, this is the only trail that will let you finished still hiking up. And you are hiking up with the bugs constantly bugging to get into your eyes. We arrived at the municipality at 15 mins past 3pm to end our kibungan circuit adventure.

At Mayo's River
Sweet. Another small group climb.

 The complete idiot guide for climbing Kibungan Circuit

9pm  : Assembly at Victory liner Cubao. Fare : P445
10pm: Etd Cubao to Baguio

Day 1
4am   : Arrival in Baguio, walk to session road to have breakfast and to buy packed lunch/ dinner
5am   : Take taxi to Dangwa terminal. P40
6am   : Take first trip Bus to kibungan. The second and last trip was schedule at 11am. P130
9:30   : Arrival in Kibungan. Meet the guide, buy supplies. There are small stores in kibungan that sells meats, vegetables and other canned foods. No butane .
10am : Start trek
11am : Arrival at the Church, lunch break. Watersource nearby
12pm : Proceed hiking
3pm   : Arrival at the Buga Campsite : Restroom available. Watersource nearby

Day 2
5am  : wake up call
6:30  : start descend
7:00  : water source
10:00: Mt Bulalakaw. Lunch. Water source nearby
11:00: Proceed hiking
2pm  : Arrived at the 2nd campsite . Watersource and restroom available
pitch tent, relax . Enjoy the surrounding.
4:00  : Hike up to the summit of Mt Tagpew
4:15  : Eta Summit. Take pictures. Enjoy life.
4:30  : Start descend
4:45  : Back at the campsite

Day 3
6 am : wake up call
7:30  : Start descend
9:00  : Arrived at the church. Watersource. Take 30mins break
9:30  : Proceed
11:00: Mayo's River Lunch.
12:30: Proceed
3:15pm : Back at the Municipality. Rest.

Lodge is available for 200/head. There's a clean restroom so you can take a bath and change clothes. You can also cook in the lodge for your dinner. The small market and sari-sari store will be closed at 6pm.

First trip bus back to Baguio is at 5am. Fare is P130. Travel time 4 hours.
From Baguio take taxi to Victory liner. No need to reserve ticket.
Baguio to Manila : P445

Registration fee : P30
Guide fee          : P500/day
The guide have their own tent, cookset and food. Of course we can share our foods/trail food to the guide. The guide can only share your load up to 3kg. Because remember the guide have the same load as you are..

Enjoy The Kibungan Mountain Range Experience..

For guide and other information please contact : Charo - 09108771725

Kibungan rice terraces.

Dont forget to reward yourself for the climb. Try Goodtaste Beef Broccoli for less than P100


  1. Nice, Sir Helmet. I will use your itinerary for a Kibungan Circuit climb either perhaps next year. Puno na kasi events ko this year, hehe.

    Could you send to me the contact details of Sir Charo?



  2. Hi Sir,

    Pwede din makahingi ng contact sa Tourism Office (Sir Helmet)?

    Di ko kasi ma-contact si Sir Kolbel.

    Salamat. :)


  3. Nice read sir. Btw, is there cellphone signal at Kibungan?



  4. Nice blog, sir. Thanks for posting. I will be doing my Kibungan Tramping before Holyweek this year. Can I ask for sir Charo's cellphone number, please.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi Sir, thanks for sharing your Kibungan experience. Very helpful!

    Would you happen to have the contact number of Sir Charo? We're planning to go there by the end of January. Hope you could help us. Thanks!

  6. Nice blog Sir, is it okay if i ask for the no. of Sir Charo from Kibungan. Thanks.