Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Luzon Datum of 1911: Journey to the Center of the Philippines

Culminating my Mountaineering Year, 2013, was a climb to an underrated mountain in my hometown. It was very special because located in that mountain is the exact CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES. It is said that every Filipino Geodetic Engineers dream of reaching this marker as it serves as the Point Zero when making a map.

Luzon Datum of 1911/Station Balanacan. 
This Philippine Marker is located in the highest hill in the northwest point of Marinduque Island. According to, its institutionalization as geodetic datum origin is traced to the surveying and mapping activities in the Philippines of the then United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USCGS). With the new territorial claim of the US following the Spanish-American War, the responsibilities of the USCGS grew which included the conduct of various scientific and cartographic initiatives in the Philippine Islands beginning 1901. Reference:

NHI Marker of Luzon Datum

From my hometown (Santa Cruz), I drove half an hour to the nearby town (Mogpog). I had my cousin as my sidekick in this journey. Along the way, we took the liberty of taking pictures in some of the fascinating places.

Butansapa Bridge, Mogpog

Magapua Footbridge, Mogpog

We had our breakfast in Mogpog Public Market and continued our journey afterwards.

Lomi for breakfast.

The main route going to Luzon Datum is the same as going to Balanacan Port. Upon reaching the intersection in Brgy. Balanacan, we turned right. The first few minutes of my drive was fine, roads are concreted. And then there comes the rough road. It was a tough one and I need to be extra cautious. Aside from being muddy, the roads are steep.  There were a lot of times that my sidekick needs to walk so that I could pass in some dangerous portions.

The rough road going to Brgy. Hinanggayon

The muddy trail I need to face.

The MUD. Bow.

Upon reaching Brgy. Hinanggayon, we looked for the Barangay Hall and registered. As of December 2013, they still are not able to issue official receipts so they only accept donations. We also asked for a guide.

Welcome Post of Luzon Datum 1911

Brgy. Hinanggayon's Rules for the Locals

It took us 30 minutes to reach the Datum. 

Point Zero. The Center of the Philippines.

Positioned exactly at POINT ZERO.

A shed was constructed so that visitors can rest. A circular pathway was also made around the Datum.

The summit offers a view of the shorelines of the western side of Marinduque.

We took our lunch, rested for a while, and started to descend.

It is better to bring motorcycle if you are going to Luzon Datum of 1911. It will be harder for 4-wheeled vehicles.

If you will just commute, there are only two schedules going to Brgy. Hinanggayon: 9:00 AM and 12 NN. Jeepney terminal is located near Mogpog Public Market. Ask the locals for directions.


Olivr said...

gujab. sana makarating din dyan.

Jennifer Adams Juan said...

Wow! That was such an adventure you had there. I wish I can ride a motorbike like you. When is the best time to go there? Would February be an ok month to visit that part of Marinduque? said...

oohhh..definitely I would go to the center of the philippines! This is new. thanks for sharing.

Joel P. Rivadeneira said...

@jennifer, any time of the year is ok. But i suggest that you visit Marinduque during the Holy Week so you could visit Moriones Festival.

Rochkirstin Santos said...

How much did you spend per person for this trip? Are there a lot of restaurants available?

MallSaleLover said...

Nice trip! I have respect to mountaineers, with their passion to nature and endurance. That summit photo is perfect.

Martina said...

That's quite an adventure, is there a time of year when there is less mud?

Debarpan said...

Wow!you enjoyed a great adventure.very nice photoes and obviously a nice share.

Joel P. Rivadeneira said...

MallSaleLover: Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your comment about the photo.

Martina: i guess summer time is perfect. Holy week is the best time I think so you could visit the festival of Marinduque as well :)

Joel P. Rivadeneira said...

Rochkirstin: Since I live in the nearby town, I spent 500 pesos total (for the two of us) for including the gasoline, donation for the barangay, and food. There is no available restaurant in the area. You have to bring your own food hehe.

DaNnEa said...

Wow, how awesome is this! I've never thought about the center of the Philippines before, but now because of this, it is definitely in my travel bucket list now!

Nickle Love said...

Sounds like a great adventure. And at the center of the Philippines? Cool! Thanks for sharing. ^_^

Charlotte Anne de Peralta said...

I envy people like you, who travel and have an adventure a lot. hope i can go have some adventure, even just for one day. nice photos you got.

kymmeeee said...

Your blog is amazing! My family lives in Bohol,and I miss them- especially with the earthquake and typhoon. Your blog gives me an opportunity to feel closer to them. Plus, I am a homeschool mom and my son loves science. Please come visit my blog at I posted about the Visayas today! PS. I'm going to sign up for your newsletter so I don't lose your blog!

Joanna Sormunen said...

What a beautiful place! Hopefully I can go there some day also. Glad you enjoyed the trip :)

Joanna Sormunen said...

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Anonymous said...

you've got nice adventures. saw your site's link from another travel blogger I follow. I figured out that you know each other because some of of your posts are similar. you just differ from the manner the content is written but your photos are the same as well. anyway, you're good+

Stella Jezebelle said...

aaah! nature tripping! love it! can we make travelling an occupation? hahaha

Joel P. Rivadeneira said...

Thank you guys for dropping by.

I appreciate it.