Located only 65 km from Manila this rainforest is perfect escape for all nature lovers, mountaineers, scientists and tourists.
You can find here more than 2,000 species of flowers and plants, 300 species of ferns, more than 200 species of mosses, 45 species of mammals, almost 200 species of birds, 70 species of reptiles, 22 amphibians and thousands insects and arthropods.
It is also known as dormant volcano. It does not have any recorded volcanic eruptions, but is considered dormant because of its geothermal features such as mud springs and hot springs.
Mount Makiling is a state-owned forest reserve managed by University of the Philippines. In February 23, 1933. Mount Makiling was declared as first National Park in the Philippines. Since 2013 it is ASEAN Heritage Park.
Makiling Botanic Gardens - built in September 1965, Makiling Botanic Gardens hosts several native, endemic, and exotic plants. It is located at the lower elevations of the Molawin-Dampalit watershed. It is also start point for Makiling Eco Trail (8,5km long trail from Botanic Gardens to Peak 2).
Flat rocks - it is located approximately 20 minutes walking from botanical garden it is perfect first stop for refreshing and taking picture if you are on the way to Peak 2.
Mud Spring - it is main attraction for me, real mud, hot spring in the middle of jungle. It is small lake with boiling water as a proof of volcanic activities there. The Mudspring is located 6 kilometers along the Makiling trail from the first checkpoint.
According to legend, there was a time when the gods could live like ordinary mortals do. Two deities, Dayang Makiling and Gat Panahon, had an only daughter name Maria. Because of her beauty and charm, she was the delight of her parents. The source of their joy and strength, Maria was, to them, a jewel, a treasure that made life full of light and laughter.
She is beautiful,kindhearted and loving. She had a long shiny black hair and she often wear black pearls and gold jewelry. She often shows off herself to people living at the foot of the mountain as a human. Many times,people would climb up to the mountain and pick some fruits but when they came down,fruits changed into gold. People thanked her for it.
But one day,some people robbed her jewelry. Some hunters climb up the mountain and hunted for wild animals, cut down trees and left the forest at the top of the mountain denuded. At that time,one of those hunters is a mortal which Maria Makiling fell in love with. She discovered that that hunter already have a mortal as his wife. After those things happened,Maria Makiling was very angry that it thundered and rained hard that night and her voice was heard by all people leaving at the foot of the mountain saying "I have provided you food,treasures and shelter but it wasn't enough for you!I have given you everything you want but still you aren't contented. I loved you more than myself but still you searched for mortal love. Now,feel my anger! And wait for my revenge! From now on,you shall stand on your own feet and you will never see me again. I swear!" And she laughed so hard that it brought an earthquake.
After her large voice was heard, she never showed herself again to those mortals who abused her kindness. Today,it is still believed that Maria Makiling is still living there.