Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Panicuason Trail is one of the best chosen path to reach the summit of Mt. Isarog. Your climb will start at the Girl's Scouts ground in Naga City. I consider this a "warm up"  hike to Mount Isarog National Park. Then you have the choice of cooling down first in Malabsay Falls or Nabuntulan Falls before heading off to your camps and reach for the western summit of the mountain, popularly called as "Bintana" or window in English.

Mount Isarog National Park was declared as a national park since 1938, Mt. Isarog, an inactive volcano, rises in the heart of the province of Camarines Sur, the. — “Mt. Isarog National Park, Bicol - Worldsaurus, the local”
"Patag-patag" is the name of the other chosen trail that leads you to the easterly side of Mt. Isarog. The English language equivalent of "Patag-patag" is flat. But don't be mistaken, the name doesn't mean that the trail is flat rather it is a misnomer. If you compare it to Panicuason trail it is more densely covered by forest trees and plants. 

"Patag-patag" trail begins in Tigaon, Partido, Camarines Sur in Consocep Mountain Resort. More than 1 hour drive from Naga City business centre or "CENTRO". Also, one should keep in mind that taking this trail you might come across of the presence of blood leeches mostly during rainy seasons. They are called LIMATOK in the local dialect of Bikolnon. For beginners to encounter this kind of blood sucking parasites can be discouraging and horrific. Well, don't be surprised because it is not only in Mt. Isarog, you will find this kind of species in most rain forest mountains of  the Philippines (Spanish Malaya).

The ancient culture of India who worship a god called Dhanvantari, a Hindu god believed to be an avatar of Vishnu practiced leech therapy for thousand of years to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream. However, Christian civilizations in Europe who are pioneers of modern medical science have discovered that such practice is not good and can lead to  Infection, Anemia, Allergic reactions and the risk of leech migration from the treatment area, possibly into body orifices or deeper into the wound itself. They may enter the ear, nose, mouth or perineum and attach to the tissues.

So what is the best thing to do if you are going to pass by a leech infested area? Well, my advice is to use protection and one should wear a bug proof Leech Socks, "they stop leeches from getting into your socks and crawling up your trouser legs - a most unpleasant experience and one to be avoided if at all possible."1 Leech repellent can also be used. "Most insect repellents work quite well with leeches but the most effective are probably the ones containing DEET or Citriodiol. You may find though that you need to reapply it more frequently than you would for flying insects - particularly if it's hot and humid and you're walking through undergrowth that tends to rub it off."2

Permethrin Clothing Treatment for Leeches
Permethrin is an insecticide that kills leeches and most insects on contact and hence it's ideal for treating clothing in leech infested areas. It can also be used to treat tents and mosquito nets to improve their effectiveness.3

Protective Clothing
Anything bare is a target for bugs, so you should keep your skin covered. Maybe you can make some shoes out of bark to protect your feet. The perfect outfit to wear in the jungle is a long sleeve shirt, long pants, a netted hat, knee- high socks, and protective shoes. If you want, you can also wear PUTEES. Putees protect the lower part of your leg from leeches and ticks. Long sleeve shirts, long pants, a netted hat, knee- high socks, and protective shoes are all protective types of gear because they are all protecting you from bugs in the jungle.4

PUTEES: Long pieces of cloth that are wounded around the legs.
Above is a picture of step by step guide how to put on PUTEES.

How to wrap puttees, with crossing turns.

I hope you will have a great time in Mt. Isarog and enjoy the view over there. Happy backpacking!

For more detailed info about Mt. Isarog PLS CLICK HERE ( This is year 2000 post but I hope you will find it useful in acquiring information about your trip to Mt. Isarog.) Click HERE and learn how to remove a leech. Also HERE is Climb Guide : Limatik 101. :)



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