The Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems implemented its annual Lenten Season Visitor Management Program, Make it Makiling! (MIM!) from April 2-9, 2023 in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and other various stakeholders and partners surrounding Mount Makiling Forest Reserve ASEAN Heritage Park (MMFR AHP). The program aims to educate visitors on the importance of conserving and protecting Mount Makiling while enjoying its sceneries.
Typical visitor activities include hiking, bird watching, and picnic. During the program implementation, additional activities were made available including camping at Tayabak campsite and geocaching at various points along the Mariang Makiling Trail. Points of interest open for visiting include Flatrocks, Mudspring, Makiling Rainforest Park, Tayabak Campsite, Agila Base, Station 14 (Rafflesia site), and Peak 2 while in the Sipit Trail are Stations 1 up to 15. MMFR’s Leave No Trace Principles are implemented and observed during the MIM! 2023. There were a total of 2,572 visitors who joined the program in Mariang Makiling Trail with the highest count observed on April 7, 2023, with 932 visitors. Almost a third of the visitors (851 visitors) hike the summit. Moreover, a total of 228 visitors trekked the Sipit Trail in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas.
Several groups have contributed to the success of the Make it Makiling! 2023. The sponsors of the program include Calamba Water District, La Vista Pansol Resort, 88 Spa and Resort, Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Toyota Calamba, Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc., Maibarara Geothermal Inc., Laguna Prime Multipurpose Cooperative, ERDB Multipurpose Cooperative, Makiling Forestry Credit Cooperative, Local Government of Bay, and Los Baños, Laguna and Sto. Tomas City Batangas, Laguna Aquatech Resources Corporation, Makiling Medika, Mer Nel’s, Kim-Kat Enterprises, Hon. Jec Vargas, Mr. Ruben Oliva, and South Supermarket. Additionally, there were several volunteer groups that partnered with the center to implement the program safely. These volunteer groups include MDRRMO and CDRRMO, City ENRO, and PNP of the LGUs surrounding MMFR, Urocom, LOBSET, UPF, UHS, RHU of Los Baños, and Sto. Tomas City, 1st Laguna Provincial Mobile Force Company, Brgy. Bagong Silang, ROTARACT, Metropolitan Mountaineering Society, UPLB Mountaineers, and Rescue Kidz. The management conveys its gratitude to the visitors for their cooperation and to the sponsors and volunteer groups for the smooth implementation of Make it Makiling! 2023.