Trail Chronicles #9: Pintong Bukawe

We first discovered these wooded trails way back in 2009 when me and running buddy June Santiago were first enthused into trail running. Tucked behind the sprawling Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal, it stretches far north-west to Wawa in Rodriguez and Calawis in Antipolo on the east side.

Last week-end, June and i re-visited the place as we retraced the route of last year’s Merrell Trail run, only– we did the reverse of the route and ran other outlying trails that were not used in the original course. The endless kilometers of trails and rough roads leads you with a beautiful stretch of untouched surroundings and will find you gasping from an overdose of the place’s delightful scenery.

The richly forested trail has an elevation gain of about 446 meters. We started off near Camp Sinai and worked our way to a gentle descent down the main river. It’s a moderate trail, not too hilly at most and crosses the river several times.

These are not well-trodden trails but any beginner in trail running should enjoy some of the most beautiful and untouched landscape San Mateo has to offer. Regular trail runners are constant visitors to this place and it’s easy to do a regular 10k up to 50k if you’re among enthusiasts of ultra trail running.

I’m leaving you with our pictures from this trail run adventure. Enjoy!

At the entrance trail to Mt. Sinai

One of the few eateries at Mt. Sinai

A cow blocks our path

This is what we call the albino tree trail

Overlooking the Sierra Madre mountain range

Finally, a glimpse of the river

Cassava plants adorn this river

These 4 year old kids just cross the river instinctively, no hesitations, balancing acts–done in a few seconds! Took us a minute to figure out where to make those steps! πŸ™‚

The kids were now way ahead of us

These delicious-looking grape fruits were all over the place

Selfie and sun block galore!

Running in Pintong Bukawe would not be complete w/o eating at “Giant”. But the “paluto” here has now become over-priced! 😦


10 responses to “Trail Chronicles #9: Pintong Bukawe

  1. You always have such lovely pictures! I love being taken on your adventures! What did you do about the cow? Walk around it or jump over it? πŸ˜‰ I love that the kids totally schooled you on getting across the river!

    • You walk around it Steph, as lightly and quickly as possible! Don’t jump over it as it might suddenly rise up and propel you up in the air! πŸ™‚ Yah, the kids make us look clumsy at times! 😦

  2. Hi there, nice blog. We are two foreign runners who would love to encounter this trail. Can you share directions start, landmarks, ends. etc? It would be a big help for us, cheers!

    • Hi Kristian! There are 2 ways to get there. The first is by way of Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal where you pass through the Timberland trails on your way to Pintong Bukawe and the 2nd is via Marcos Highway past Masinag Market going to Boso-boso. I would suggest taking Timberland Heights going to Mt. Sinai in Pintong Bukawe.

      • Thanks alot for the answer, we will go there on Saturday. I am not that familiar with the trails up there yet. Is this the trail leading / passing by Philips Sanctuary? And will we end up river crossing at WAWA? Anyway we wil just start at Timberland and ask for directions, and see where we end up πŸ™‚


  3. Hi jazz runner.

    I am a business traveller in Manila and, after reading your blog, I am thinking about going for a run along a few trails in san mateo this sunday.

    Can you send me any good gpx files so i won’t get lost πŸ™‚ ?? My address is

    Thanks! Koen

    • Hi Koen! Regrets. Much as i would like to help, i don’t really create nor save any gpx files on any of my trail runs/routes. I’m not much of a techie person although i just take note details of my run on my gps watch for distance, elevation, speed, etc. and that’s it. Sorry about that. 😦

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