So you’re hooked from Heneral Luna the movie? Get to know the Supremo, Andres Bonifacio, more as we retrace his final grave in Cavite.
Aguinaldo Shrine is prominently placed in Kawit, Cavite. But did you know that another hero of equal repute, and perhaps Aguinaldo’s mortal enemy, is also enshrined in Cavite? That hero is none other than the Katipunan’s Supremo, Andres Bonifacio. His shrine stood at the distant town of Maragondon, Cavite.
The Other Mountains in Maragondon
Maragondon is best known to mountaineers as the location of Mt. Palay-Palay or Mt. Pico de Loro. A lesser known destination is the historic Mt. Buntis and Mt. Nagpatong, which holds historical significance to the Supremo. This is the presumed location where he was killed by fellow revolutionaries.
Mt. Buntis is a mere 1.5 hour hike, but the drop off point at Brgy. Maragondon is quite a distance from the foot of the mountain. In the morning that we arrived, we soaked in the rustic morning in the province. Families are just about to prepare breakfasts and prepare for the weekend market, as we made our way to Caingin Hanging Bridge overlooking the Maragondon River.
Mt. Buntis: An Agricultural Trail
Across the bridge, our hike to the foot of the mountain began. The trail to Mt. Buntis is laden with bamboo shoots and quiet communities. Of rice fields which we tread with great care lest we fall to the rice paddies from the narrow path. And of carabaos sun bathing after their morning work.
Soon, the trail evolved to narrow, beaten and muddy path that would have been slippery had it rained. Carabao footsteps unevened the trail and even made quicksand when the forest turns too moist and foggy. There are also a lot of minor river crossings, but the trail of Mt. Buntis will never tire you, as there hardly is an incline. The assault to the peak lasts for 10 minutes of very minor incline.
Soon, we reached the top. Mt. Buntis is more of a hill overlooking dense forests and tree-covered hills. At 280 MASL elevation, we were not able to view the communities along the trail but neighboring peaks. We also chanced upon the caretaker who cleans the bamboo chairs and tables at the summit.
On to the Supremo’s Shrine
One can do a traverse to Mt. Nagpatong and then get to the Bonifacio Shrine. However, this is a more difficult option because of the lack of transportation at the Shrine going to town. What we opted is to get back to our jumpoff point at Caingin Hanging Bridge and ride a tricycle for lunch at Lolo Claro’s. Unfortunately, the Bonifacio Trial House, located walking distance from Brgy. Maragondon, was closed during our trip.
After our sumptuous lunch at Lolo Claro’s, our tour guide got us tricycles going to the Bonifacio Shrine and Eco-tourism Park. It was the Supremo and his brother Procopio’s final destination, after being executed for treason by the Aguinaldo administration. Located between the feet of Mt. Nagpatong and Mt. Buntis, as the locals themselves are uncertain of exact location of the brothers’ execution.
Bonifacio Shrine: Where A Hero Laid to Rest
The Bonifacio Shrine with marble with metal monuments are shaped within the words “KKK” (abbreviation for the revolutionary society, Katipunan, which Bonifacio founded) and “Bayani” (hero), the latter narrating the fate of the Supremo. At the leftmost side stood a 12-foot statue of Bonifacio and his chained brother.
Thank you TravelCompass for the historical daytrip!
How to commute to Mt. Buntis: From Manila, take a bus to South Luzon Bus Terminal located at Coastal Mall. Then, take a bus to Maragondon or Ternate (PHP85). Ask the driver to get you down at Brgy. Maragondon as there are no prominent landmarks on the highway. From here, walk to the barangay hall to register. I highly recommend getting a tour guide. For a group of 7, we were charged PHP500. There is no fee to climb Mt. Buntis, but we gave PHP50 to the caretaker that we chanced upon at the peak
How to commute to Bonifacio Shrine: Hire a tricycle to take you to Bonifacio Shrine. They charged us PHP100 per person, round trip. An environmental fee of PHP20 was supposed to be collected, but the caretaker of the Shrine is notoriously always missing
Overall Budget: PHP600