Mount Makiling is probably one of the most famous mountains in South Luzon because of its proximity in Metro Manila and is the home of University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna. Personally, its one of my favorite destinations because the community around the mountain is very successful in preserving the environment around the mountain. UP offers several courses in Biology and Forestry which contributes in educating the youth in their role in environment conservation and research. In fact, biologists and researchers employed at Haribon Foundation came from UPLB and they have proven several times their expertise in their chosen fields.
In case you have not visited the site, here are a few places to visit:
1. Jamboree Site - camp site for Boy Scout of the Philippines
2. National Arts Center - managed by the Cultural Center of the Philippines
3. Mud Spring - a place where you can see boiling mud, a good 2-hour hike from the foot of the mountain
4. Raptor Center - a place for rescued birds in the wild. You can see the Philippine Eagle here (in case you haven't seen one)
5. UP Los Baños - several places to see around the campus
Other than the sites I mentioned, one activity you may want to try is Bird Watching. New to this activity? Mount Makiling is one of the best sites. The reason: it is home to a lot of Philippine endemic birds, or birds only found in our country. If you want to see pictures, you may go to Romy Ocon's site or you can click this link. You need not reach the summit to see the colorful birds. Just at the foot of the mountain you can see the Colasisi, Philippine Falconet, Coleto, Guaiabero, etc.
Of course, an outdoor activity would not be complete without swimming. Although Mt. Makiling is not known for falls and rivers, you can actually enjoy hot springs all over Pansol, Laguna. This municipality is a famous tourist destination because of its hot springs. Resorts are affordable and some places include kiddie pools and slides. You can also rent a small house for private or family occassions. And before leaving Los Baños and Pansol, Laguna, do not forget to buy native delicacies such as espasol, kesong puti and the ever famous buko pie.