Mountains and Volcanoes

Mount Sem-ilya: Experience One of the Best Hikes in Central Luzon


Diwata Ng Bicolandia
Diwata Ng Bicolandia | Jun 28, 2016
Mount Sem-ilya: Experience One of the Best Hikes in Central Luzon

Another hiking destination located at the landlocked province of Central Luzon in the Philippines-- characterized by rocky, grassy (talahib), rolling slopes-- is Mount Sem-ilya. Scrambling up to the top requires caution and care. The companion mountain of Mts Damas and Tulongan on the other side derived its name from the word 'Silya' or 'Saddle' meaning  a chair that supports a rider or other load, fastened to an animal's back by a girth. The most common type of saddle is designed for horse usually use by local shepherds of Dueg.

The trail of Mount Sem-ilya opt hiker to start either at Barangay Papaac or at Dueg Resettlement Area that require a 4x4 vehicle (3,000 pesos two way)  or habal-habal (150 pesos per head on one way) to reach. Highlights of the hike includes a 360 panoramic views of the impressive Mts. Damas, Tapulao (highest peak of Zambales), Tulongan, Arayat and Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Possible sea of clouds may also be seen along the way specially in rainy seasons either in the morning (Sunrise) or in the afternoon (Sunset). Summit holds 10-15 hikers at a time.


0000 Meetup Jolibee Farmers Cubao
0100 ETD to Camiling, Tarlac 
0430 ETA Camiling, Tarlac 
0530 ETA Brgy. Papaac at Jump-off. Start Trek via Papaac- Dueg trail 
0600 Start trek to Mt Sem-ilya 
0900 ETA Mt Sem-ilya summit 
1030 Start descent, back to Dueg 
1200 ETA Dueg Resettlement 
1430 Start Descent to Brgy Papaac via National Road
1600 ETA Brgy Papaac. Wash up. 
1700 ETA Camiling, Tarlac 
1800 ETA Manila 

Contact: Mother Tessie Dadulla 09073139992

Elevation and Route

How to get Mount Sem-ilya?

Via Public Transportation

1. From Cubao, ride a bus bound to Camiling in Tarlac. 

2.1 Hire a 4x4 or a jeep bound to Dueg Resettlement Area (Major Jump-off).

2.2 Hire a tricycle and get off Purok 7, Barangay Papaac (Alternative Jump-off which also that will also pass through Dueg Resettlement Area, from Papaac to Dueg may take 2-3 hrs assault trek).

Via Public Transportation

1. Take North Luzon Express Way to Paniqui - Ramos Rd in Tarlac. Exit toward Ramos/Paniqui from N Luzon W Expy then turn left onto NLEX Segment 8.1/C-5. 

2. At the interchange Smart Connect, keep right and follow signs for NLEX. Take the exit toward SCTEX/Clark Airport the keep left to continue toward N Luzon W Expy/SCTEx/Subic - Clark - Tarlac Expy/R-8. 

3. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Clark North/Concepcion/Hacienda Luisita/Tarlac City/Baguio/TPLEX and merge onto N Luzon W Expy/SCTEx/Subic - Clark - Tarlac Expy/R-8. Take the exit toward Ramos/Paniqui. 

4. Take Paniqui - Camiling Rd to Quezon Ave in Camiling. Head west then turn left toward Bonifacio Street. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Bonifacio Street. Turn right onto Paterno Street then turn right again.

5. Head North, turn left the go straight until you reach Purok 7 of Barangay Papaac where the Registration located.

Registration is 20 pesos while guide is 500 pesos per day with 7 is to 1 ratio.  Fortunately water source are available along the trail from Papaac to Dueg specially at the resettlement area. 

Random Pictures

Trivia: Because of the unavailability of commuting vehicle to and fro the resettlement. The people of Dueg alternatively use another trail leading to Barangay Papaac. So if you are up to the challenge, you can jump off from Papaac this time adding 2-3 hours from the first day itinerary. (Source: Pinoy Mountaineer)

Pro-tip: Water source are present at resettlement area and along the trail. If you plan to hike Mount Sem-ilya be sure to consult the local authorities before climbing or secure a local guide for security reasons. (Heard that some groups of the NPA are roaming around the area.) If you are up on the challenge and properly trained, you can do twin dayhike (Sem-ilya to Damas + Ubod Falls) making you day more productive. Smile emoticon.  

Most of the photos used in this article where from the recent climb organized by Michael Reyes and team. 

Read Related Articles: 

Imagine Mayon at Your Back, Awesome Right?

Size Doesn't Matter: A Trip to an Active Crater 

Journey To Mt. Ulap: Through the Ridges of Cordillera and Above the Clouds

Add to your: Wishlist Done That

Be a Pinoy Wanderer!

Choose Philippines encourages writers, photographers, travelers, bloggers, videographers and everyone with a heart for the Philippines to share their discoveries and travel stories.

Share Your Journey

Other Stories by Diwata Ng Bicolandia

Tell Us What You Think

Related Stories