Mt. Tagapo

Mt. Tagapo
Major jump-off: Brgy. Janosa (Talim Island) Binangonan, Rizal
LLA 14.32° N 121.23° E, 438 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2

One famous feature of Talim Island are the "Bundok ng Susong Dalaga" (Maiden's breast mountains) - two huge mounds of conical hills resembling the female breast, which are the highest peaks of the island. These two hills are among the more famous of several hills in the Tagalog regions who share the same name, because local folks of old often named identical conical hills as such. This feature is best observed from neighboring Mount Sembrano across the lake.

At the heart of Laguna de Bay lies Mount Tagapo. Its unique geography makes it a worthwhile hiking destination. You will have to board a pumpboat from the towns of Rizal to reach the island; this boat ride will take you to the scenic lake and its fishing villages. You will realize that Laguna de Bay is so huge it's almost like a sea. Then, on Talim Island, as you start hiking, you will be surrounded with bamboo; the whole island is like a grove, and people live on the bamboo, which islanders use to produce furniture, toothpicks, and even charcoal hence the name Tagapo, from taga which means to chop. The trails are easy and in hours you will be at the peak; There you can behold the entire Laguna Lake and its coastal towns; the skylines of Makati and Ortigas as well as nearby Mount Sembrano.

Mt. Tagapo

Talim Island is technically under the municipality of Binangonan, Rizal. Pumpboats ply the routes to different barangays in the island, connecting them to mainland Rizal. Less frequently, there are also trip to Calamba Laguna. Talim island, as its name suggests, is shaped like a blade, cutting across Laguna Lake from south to north. It's uniqueness, as an island community within a large lake, is unparalleled.

Talim Island is located at the center of the Laguna de Bay lake under the municipality of Binangonan on the western side and the municipality of Cardona on the eastern side in the province of Rizal. The island is rich in bamboo grass, with which islanders make different types of furniture such as bamboo sofas, cabinets, tables, chairs and a lot more. It is the main source of their living, while fishing on the lake is only secondary.

Two parishes are located in the island. Santo Domingo Parish is located at Janosa, Binangonan, and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish at Navotas, Cardona.

Mt. Tagapo map

Things to consider:

  1. Climbing this mountain is not physically demanding, but it is not a popular destination. The campsite will most likely be overgrown with cogon grass when you climb, especially during off season months (off season months/rainy season: July- Nov).
  2. The mountain is between two Rizal towns: Binangonan and Cardona.
  3. There is no water source on this mountain.
  4. Buy necessary items before taking the boat trip (at the Binangonan public market), resources on the island is limited.
  5. Campsite can fit about 20 tents.
  6. There is a deep pit on the summit (a result of treasure hunt digging in the past), climbing the summit at night is not recommended.
  7. The summit offers a 360-degree view of Laguna de Bay surrounding the island.
  8. The trailhead can be found behind the Sto Domingo church and Janosa High School.
  9. Bamboo trees line the forest trail before reaching the grassy campsite.
  10. First boat trip from the island is 7:30AM / Last trip 7:00 PM.


Budget: around P380 per pax.
Budget estimate for 5 people:

Jeep - EDSA Crossing Terminal to Binangonan Pier (P41.00 one way)
Boat fare (~P30.00 one-way)
Registration fee (P20.00)
Guide fee (P300.00)
Food & Liquor (P150.00)


Day 1 (Dayhike)
05:00 - Assembly at Shaw Boulevard, Crossing
07:00 - ETA Binangonan pier
07:30 - ETD First trip boat
09:30 - ETA Brgy Janosa (Registration)
10:00 - Start Trek
12:30 - ETA Campsite (Lunch time)
13:30 - Start trek to summit (Picture taking)
15:00 - Start decend
17:00 - ETA Brgy Janosa
19:00 - Boat (Last trip)
19:30 - ETD Binangonan
21:30 - ETA Shaw Boulevard, Crossing


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