Mount Makiling, or Mount Maquiling, is a dormant volcano located on the border of Laguna province and Batangas on the island of Luzon, Philippines. The mountain rises to an elevation of 1,090 m (3,580 ft) above mean sea level and is the highest feature of the Laguna Volcanic Field. The volcano has no recorded historic eruption but volcanism is still evident through geothermal features like mud spring and hot springs. South of the mountain is the Makiling-Banahaw Geothermal Plant. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) classifies the volcano as potentially active.

Mount Makiling is a state-owned forest reserve administered by the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Prior its transfer to the university, the mountain was the first national park of the Philippines. Mount Makiling National Park was established on February 23, 1933 by Proclamation No. 552. However, it was decommissioned as a national park on June 20, 1963 by Republic Act no. 3523 when it was transferred to the University for use in forestry education and information.[2]

Now known as Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, it was declared an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2013.[3]


Legends surrounding the mountain relates to Maria Makiling, which is said to be the 'guardian' of the mountain. The contour of the mountain is said to be that of her in a reclining position.[1]


Mount Makiling viewed from SSW in Malvar, Batangas.

The following are the proclamations, republic acts, and executive orders relevant to the Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR):[4]

  • Proclamation No. 106 (1910) - Makiling Forest Reserve was established with specific boundaries and placed under the Bureau of Forestry by Governor General W. Cameron Forbes to regulate the use of public forest and forest reserves in the Philippines; Makiling Forest Reserve was set aside for the purpose of establishing a forest school and for silvicultural studies.
  • Proclamation No. 60 (1920) - The reserved was renamed Makiling National Botanic Gardens and placed under the Bureau of Forestry by Proclamation NO. 60 issued by Governor General Francis B. Harrison primary for scientific studies on plants and animals.
  • Proclamation No. 552 (1933) - The reserved was renamed the Makiling National Park under the Bureau of Forestry issued by Governor-General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. to serve as game refuge and for other purposes for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.
  • Proclamation No. 214 (1937) - Calamba Estate block was added to the Park for forest purposes issued by President Manuel L. Quezon.
  • Republic Act (RA) 826 (1952) - Transfer of the administration of the Makiling National Park form the Bureau of Forestry to the Commission of Parks and Wildlife in order to promote effectual planning, development, maintenance and conservation of all national parks, monuments and wildlife in the country.
  • Proclamation No. 692 (1960) - Administration of the Makiling National Park was transferred from the Commission of Parks and Wildlife to the University of the Philippines (UP) issued by President Carlos P. Garcia for forestry education and research purposes of the College of Forestry, subject to the condition that said land will be conserved and preserved as a national park.
  • Republic Act (RA) 3523 (1963) - The Makiling National park was disestablished and then ceded, transferred and conveyed to UP issued by Pres. Diosdado Macapagal to serve as the land resource for carrying out a program of public education and information in forestry, with end goal of promoting general public appreciation of forest values.
  • Executive Order (EO) 224 (1987) - Complete jurisdiction, control and regulation of watershed areas including the Makiling Forest Reserve was given to the National Power Corporation (NPC) issued by President Corazon C. Aquino in support of the country’s major program of energy development.
  • Republic Act (RA) 6967 (1990) - Administration of the Makiling Forest Reserve was finally transferred to UPLB by President Corazon C. Aquino primarily as a training laboratory for the advancement of scientific and technical knowledge on the preservation, conservation and development of forest, flora and fauna and natural resources.
  • Executive Order 121 (1994) - created a Presidential Commission on Laguna Lake and Mt. Makiling Development to address urgent problems affecting the resources and to formulate a master plan for the development of the lake and the reserve which are seen as integrated ecosystems.

Places of interest

View of Mt. Makiling's north face as seen heading south on South Luzon Expressway's Exit 50 - Calamba Interchange.

Geographical features

Close-up view of Makiling summit from Santo Tomas

Rivers and creeks

  • Munting River — Santo Tomas
  • Siam-Siam Creek — Calamba
  • Sipit Creek — Calamba
  • Pansipit Creek — Calamba
  • Pansol Creek — Calamba
  • Dampalit River — Los Baños
  • Saran Creek — Los Baños
  • Pili Creek — Los Baños
  • Molawin Creek — Los Baños
  • Maitim River — Bay
  • Calo River — Bay

Hiking activity

Mt. Makiling is a popular hiking destination. The two major trails begin at the UPLB College of Forestry and Brgy. San Miguel, Santo Tomas. The UPLB trail is more commonly used, taking 4–5 hours to reach the summit (Peak 2). This trail was closed in October 2007 due to trail damage wrought by Typhoon Xangsane on September 2006. The trail was closed again in December 2012 after two students were found drowned in a restricted area on the mountain.[6] The trail was re-opened most recently in March 2013.[7] The second trail, known as Maktrav, starts in Santo Tomas. This route is more difficult and requires 6–7 hours to reach the summit. Both trails are generally established and safe, although throughout the years there have been occasional reports of fatal accidents and injuries, especially on the Santo Tomas side. Climbers also frequently encounter leeches along the way.[1]



  1. ^ a b c PinoyMountaineer: Mount Makiling, 1 September 2007, retrieved 2007-10-26 
  2. ^ "Republic Act no. 3523". PhilippineLaw.info. Retrieved on 2013-10-15.
  3. ^ "Mt Makiling named ASEAN Heritage Park". Rappler.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-06.
  4. ^ "Laws Governing the Makiling Forest Reserve". Mount Makiling Forest Reserve. Retrieved on 2013-10-04.
  5. ^ Masó, Miguel Saderra (1904-01-01). Volcanoes and seismic centers of the Philippine Archipelago. Dept. of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census. 
  6. ^ Makiling trail closed in wake of UPLB deaths, 9 December 2012, retrieved 2013-04-05 
  7. ^ Mount Makiling trail reopens for Lenten hikers, 25 March 2013, retrieved 2013-04-05 

External links