DIY Guide to Mt. Igcoron

Friday, May 24, 2019

mt igcoron antique
After spending almost a week combing through Antique’s offerings, from tracing historical sites to spending my birthday at Seco Island, I decided I have had too much water and not enough ground. And so, on the 7th day, when I had the chance, I escaped to the mountains.

I went on my own and DIY’ed my way to get me my dose of hike. It was absolutely worth it.

But first, the Leave No Trace Principles:

BACKGROUND
Located in the landlocked town of Valderrama, Mt. Igcoron lies just about 400 MASL. It’s part of a long chain of ridges that surround the island of Antique. Its name could mean “where there are plenty of cogon” – the prefix “ig” means “where there is” in the local tongue.

The peak used to deter outsiders because it apparently harbors rebels, but personal experience proves it's perfectly safe.



THE TRAIL
The jump-off to Mt. Igcoron is located in the village of Binanogan. But before proceeding, one must log in at the Police Station then secure a guide at the baranggay hall. There is a paved road that transitions to the actual trail, about a 10-minute walk. One has the option to ride a habal-habal through this portion.
mt igcoron diy guide

The trail begins winding through rice fields that would require you to balance on mud embankments. There will also be creeks and a watercourse that, during my visit was dry, but in the rainy seasons, it would come alive, complete with mini waterfalls.

Views of sierras and rice terraces will emerge as you go further into the trail. The knife-edge of Igcoron will also become visible.
igcoron dayhike

valderrama rice terraces

mountain ranges in antique



A sharp slope would then lead you to a vast plain that is reminiscent of the Sound of Music. It’s flanked by two peaks: Igcoron to its right and Igduaw to its left. A portion of this land is used for agriculture. Cows can be seen grazing. A lone duhat tree provides ample shade to hikers. Kuya Ed, my guide, calls it Little Alaska (or something like that). He also tells me camping is allowed in this area. How beautiful the night sky must be here.
overnight mt igcoron

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Mt. Malindig

The trail then continues into an almost 90-degree slope. In the summer months, the soil is loose and almost devoid of the ubiquitous cogon grass. Wild quails also amble about in the area – be wary, they get startled easily.

After about twenty minutes of scrambling, you will emerge on the tightrope of a ledge of Igcoron. The path zigzags into small mounds. The wind here can be intense.
mountains in antique

dayhike mt igcoron

The view, meanwhile, is incredible.

A panoramic view of Valderrama, featuring the Caranganan River, more of Antique’s ranges, and the distant ocean would greet you.
mt igcoron view

Farther is another peak with a cross marker. Getting here requires even more precaution as the path tapers even narrower. Some parts are also steep. But, again, the view is magnificent.
cross on mt igcoron summit

mt igcoron summit antique

Mt. Igcoron can be summitted in under two hours. Getting down is even quicker. It’s a great sidetrip to an Antique itinerary if, like me, you get tired of the ocean easily. I’m already thinking of going back for an overnight stay.

There is also a nearby resort called Villa Valderrama that offers lodging for Php600 per person per night.

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Mt. Masungki

GETTING THERE
Philippine Airlines flies to Antique via Clark every Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. 

From Kawa Inn in Tibiao, I took a van to the Ilaures junction. It took about 45 minutes. From here, get on a habal-habal or a tricycle and ask to be let off at the Police Station. You must log in here. It is required.

Next, get on another habal-habal that would take you to Brgy. Binanogan. Proceed to the baranggay hall and look for a guide. You can take a habal-habal through the paved road or just walk.

To get back to the Ilaures junction, you’d have to take a habal-habal to town where jeepneys, tricycles, and habal-habal are available. Jeepneys have scheduled trips and are almost always full. Tricycles, meanwhile, wait for other passengers, and charge more for a special trip. So, if you’re by yourself, your best bet is a habal-habal.

For a hassle-free tour to here and around Antique, check out Katahum Tours.



EXPENSES
Per person unless otherwise stated
Van Fare (Kawa Inn Tibiao vv Ilaures Junction) - Php50 x 2 = Php100
Habal-habal Fare (Ilaures to Police Station) - Php150
Habal-habal Fare (Police Station to Brgy. Binanogan) - Php20
Guide Fee - Php500
Habal-habal Fare (Brgy. Binanogan to Habal-habal Terminal in the Town Proper) - Php20
Habal-habal Fare (Town Proper to Ilaures Junction) - Php150

SAMPLE ITINERARY
04:15 to 05:00 - Van from Kawa Inn to Ilaures Junctin
05:00 to 05:30 - Tricycle (or Habal-habal) from Ilaures Junction to Valderrama Police Station 
05:45 to 05:50 - Habal-habal from Police Station to Brgy. Binanogan
06:00 to 07:15 - Hike from Jump-off to Little Alaska
07:15 to 07:25 - Rest
07:25 to 07:45 - Proceed trek to Summit
07:45 to 08:00 - Photo ops
08:00 to 08:05 - Trek to Cross
08:05 to 08:30 - Photo ops
08:30 to 09:45 - Cross to Jump-off
09:45 to 10:00 - Habal-habal to town proper
10:00 to 10:30 - Habal-habal from Town Proper to llaures
10:30 to 11:20 - Van from Ilaures to Kawa Inn


OTHER DETAILS AND CONCERNS
Practice the LNT Principles at all times (Read: 8 Basic Etiquette Rules Every Modern Traveler Should Know)
- Vans are available as early as 4AM
- Habal-habals and tricycles are also available around this time in the Ilaures Junction
- Better get in touch with the village head Kap Jerry at +63 936 343 5909 or 09363648836
- You may also check with Tim Ledesma of the Tourism Office at +63 917 507 5409 should you have trouble contacting the Kapitan. 
- You may choose to go up Mt. Igduaw. Or even do a twin hike!
- You may stock up on supplies at the village where there are several sari-sari stores. 
- There is also a carinderia near the Ilaures Junction called Floring’s if you’re looking for a place to have lunch.

Into hiking? Check out more DIY Hiking Guides

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