Mt. Tapulao - High Peak

Tapulao came from a local dialect means pine trees. It is located in Iba, Zambales, 4-5 hours away from Manila. During the American Period, Mt. Tapulao was called the High Peak because of it's elevation of 2037 MASL. From Victory Liner you can secure a tricycle going to Barangay Damapay-Salaza where in the jump-off starts.

Tapulao has two trails, the first to establish is the Iba, Zambales trail where in you will need to trek the rocky road for 14-15 hrs. Few years ago, you can hitch a 4X4 trucks going to the “Bunker” while mining is still present. The recent trail explored by Tarlac Mountaineering Club was the Tarlac-Zambales Trail in 2008, that will take you 3-4 days to conquer. For more information on this trail you may visit

We take the Iba, Zambales trail
during the Holy Week of 2009 (04.08-10.2009) together with Kawangis Mountaineers and my group Kamandag Mountaineers plus guests climbers and tourists. The trail is very established with a rocky trail. The sunny weather made the trail, not that easy, because there is no trees to provide shade from the heat of the sun. Just the "talahib" (full grown high grass) will give you a shelter and shade from the heat of the sun. We called it a "kalbaryo" (Calvary) may be because of the Holy Week season. The trail was almost the same while taking a turn. It will test your patience and temper. good thing that my colleagues are funny and we just make fun of the trail. It takes us 15 hours of trekking due to the reason that we have first timers that cause the delay. during ur trek we encounter a great view of "Sea of Clouds" like what you can experience in Mt. Pulag and "Sunset while Moon Rises". Just an additional info. there are two water source along the trail, but beware of the "payatot na limatik".

Bunker Highlights

From the "Bunker", you will really appreciate the nature and view. Lots of pine trees additional is the cold weather that will keeps you relaxing. You will also feel at ease with the warm welcome of the people there and you won't believe that there is a comfort room in Tapulao, not just a simple comfort room, but with a bath tub. The "Bunker" also serve as the campsite.

From the Bunker, it will take 45 minutes up to the Peak of Tapulao. You will pass by a large trees, mossy forest and wonderful view. But don't expect to have a wonderful view on the peak. At the peak, we meet the NEST - GAME came all the way from Tarlac Trail. They make it an annual climb during the Holy Week season.

After hitting the peak. We go all the way down to the Barangay Damapay-Salaza. We reach the barangay almost night time. It's might hard for us to catch bangka going to Potipot Island for the side-trip. So we decided to have the overnight at the Barangay Hall. And will hit Potipot Island early in the morning.

Suggested Side-Trip is Potipot Island.

For Potipot Islands information visit this link -


Day 0
1900 Assembly time @ Vistory Liner Pasay Terminal
2100 ETD for Iba Zambales
Day 1
0300 ETA Iba Zambales. Arrange for trip to Dampay Salaza
0400 ETD for Dampay Salaza
0430 ETA Dampay Salaza. Give courtesy call to Kagawad
0530 Start Trek
1030 ETA Water Source - Lunch Time
1300 Resume Trek
1600 ETA Bunker Campsite
1800 Dinner/Socials
2200 Lights Out
Day 2
0500 Wake up call; Breakfast
0530 Assault Summit for sunrise viewing
0600 ETA Summit
0700 Trek back to campsite
0730 Breakfast; Break Camp
0900 Start Descent
1030 Water Source; Early Lunch
1130 Resume Trek
1500 ETA Dampay Salaza.
1600 ETD for Potipot Island Sidetrip
1700 ETA Dawal Beach Resort; Buy Food and Drinks
 Optional Stay @ Dawal or Proceed to Potipot Island;
1800 ETD for Potipot Island Sidetrip
1815 ETA Potipot Island; Pitch Tent; Prepare Dinner
1900 Dinner/Socials
2300 Lights Out
Day 3
0600 Wake up call; Breakfast
0700 Free Time; Explore Island; Swimming
1000 Prepare Lunch
1200 Lunch
1300 Free Time; Explore Island; Swimming
For those who need to go home
1500 ETD for Dawal Beach Resort. 
1515 ETA Dawal Beach Resort
1530 ETD for Iba Zambales
1630 ETA Iba Zambales. Victory Liner
For those who will stay
1800 Prepare dinner
1900 Dinner/Socials
2300 Lights Out
Day 4
0600 Wake up call; Breakfast
0700 Free Time; Explore Island; Swimming
1000 ETA Dawal Beach Resort; tidy up; lunch;
1200 ETD for Iba Zambales
1300 ETA Iba Zambales, Victory Liner
1900 ETA Pasay

For more information on itineraries you may visit


Tapulao Climb:     Amount
Pasay - Iba Zambales - Pasay 900.00
Iba - Dampay Salaza - Iba 260.00
Registration Fee 20.00
Food/Drinks (dinner/breakfast only for Day 1&2) 50.00
Potipot Sidetrip:
Iba - Uacon Candelaria - Iba 150.00
Registration Fee - Potipot (Overnight) 100.00
Food/Drinks (per day) 100.00
Bangka 100.00

UPDATES as of June, 2011:

Guides are required in traditional trail cost P700/5 pax.

If you want to take the Tarlac Trail you may contact guide from Tarlac Mountaineering Club (P500)
Nath De jesus 09159442224
Marco Dalida 09275281396
Hensel Quilling 09162232283

For more photos you may visit


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