They call it by a handful of names – Mount Jumbo or Mount Yangbew, among others – and having seen glorious photos of the mountain around social media, our interest was piqued into what lies on its peak. So in the wee hours of the morning on one random weekend, we hopped on a cab that took us to Barangay Tawang, La Trinidad, the home of the mountain.
They call Mt Yangbew “Little Pulag”. We haven’t been to Pulag yet so we don’t know what makes them similar. But the climb upwards wasn’t that challenging, even if we were beginner hikers. The slopes were filled with evergreens, then the landscape gradually transformed into grasslands.
We traveled there in the wee hours of the morning, so when we reached the summit, we were just in time for the sunrise. As the sun crowned, the crests and the vegetation were beautifully silhouetted by the light. We could feel the degrees rising from morning chill to a gentle warmth.
We were approached by one of the overseers of the site. Visitors have to pay a small fee of 30 pesos for regulars and 25 pesos for students. We also learned that hikers can camp overnight for just 100 pesos per person. We wish we had known that sooner!
If you were wondering what’s so jumbo about Mt. Jumbo, the “jumbo” or “jambo” is actually short for “jamboree” and has nothing to do with size. In the days of American colonization, Mt. Jumbo was used as a gathering spot for the Boy Scouts of America. Now anyone can enjoy their little jamborees on this mountain!
As we were taking our sweet time enjoying the view and breathing in the fresh air, a manong and his horse never failed to catch the corner of our eyes. We’ve heard different accounts of how much it costs, but the horse is available to take on a ride or for photo ops.
The horse’s name was Silver, and he was such a gentle sweetie. Hi ho, Silver!
Back to exploring, we couldn’t get enough of the golden hills. *Cue soundtrack* The hills are alive with the sound of muuuusic! Mt Jumbo was actually wider than we thought. The expanse of yellowish-greenish-brownish vegetation seemed to go on and on.
There were also some rock formations here and there. As the sun got higher and higher, there was no means of getting any shade anywhere. Even the rocks weren’t tall enough to provide shade. We should have brought a tent!
Nevertheless, we never stopped taking pictures and even spent some time lying down on the grass. The lengths of the vegetation would vary from place to place, sometimes it would reach up to our hips! They were even still damp from dew, so we sometimes got a wet surprise!
After spending half the day exploring this place, we got hungry. Good thing we brought some snacks, lots of liquids, and a picnic mat. There’s no better feeling than a nice meal with a gorgeous view. (Let’s never forget to dispose of our trash properly!)
We were just about ready to call it a day, but not before one last picture. Behold! A rare photo of the WTB team.
There are more ways than taking pictures to immortalize a place as special as this. So we made a quick watercolor painting of Mt Yangbew to keep in our scrapbook (and our memories!). We’re sure we’ll be coming back here someday, especially since it’s just outside the border of Baguio. Til next time, Mount Jumbo!