March 14, 2015
I recently met a new friend who happened to be a veteran mountain climber (she has climbed 14 mountains!!), and after a few days of talking, I told her that I haven’t climbed a mountain ever since Pico de Loro and that I’m itching for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. She invited me to climb Mt. Batulao, a really popular mountain that’s been popping up on my Facebook feed as well. Since I had no other plans for the weekend and I’m a big fan of spontaneity, I agreed. This post summarizes my experiences for that climb. (Image-heavy post ahead)
While Pico de Loro has a 3/9 rating, Mt. Batulao has a 4/9 so I expected the climb to be a little more difficult than the previous one. I prepared a bigger bag this time. I brought more food and more water than before and consulted my friend on the things to bring to this hike. When I left the house, I was confident that I had everything I need.
It was between 3:30-4:00 when I met with my friend. By 5:00 we were already on the bus bound for Nasugbu. We arrived at Evercrest at around 7:00. Evercrest is a retreat place/resort/ewan where the road to Mt. Batulao starts. You can ride a tricycle to take you to the start of the trail, or you can walk. Because I am kuripot, we walked.
A lot of the people who have been up this mountain say that the hardest part of the climb is the heat. But since I tend to thrive in heats, rather than in cool temperatures (probably due to me being hot as well), it wasn’t a problem for me. In layman’s terms, me likey hot and no-likey cold. So when the sun started to rise and we felt the cool morning breeze disappear, I wasn’t bothered at all.
There are two trails that you can follow to go up the mountain. The Old Trail and the New Trail. We used the Old-to-New route because it is said that the Old Trail was harder to climb and we liked a challenge. Also, there weren’t a lot of people because most of the climbers were using the New-to-Old route.
The trail was surprisingly easy, there was a very low chance to get lost. We even saw some trail-runners going up. Easy as cake. I recommend climbing with a friend because the trail can be very long, and conversation and music help. Plus the view is also pretty breathtaking once you get up a considerable height. I don’t know why I bother taking pictures because they really don’t do justice to the real thing.
Luscious green and yellow-green fields everywhere. I liked this climb more than Pico de Loro because of the views.
The cool breeze was also nice once you get high up. It’s not cold enough to make you shiver, but it makes the heat go away and wakes you up.
So yeah, basically lots of peaks and valleys everywhere. It feels so good to be away from the city. I recently entered a ~*soul-searching*~ stage in my life and this escape is really helping me see the beauty of life. #deep
If I remember correctly, Mt. Batulao has 10 peaks. So the climb is actually more of an up-and-down traverse. Some ascents and descents can be pretty steep depending on the trail you choose. There are also rope segments where you have to be able to at least pull yourself up while walking up an incline.
Once we got to the summit, there was a sudden explosion of people. Most of the climbers came from the New Trail and were already resting and/or buying refreshments from the stalls there. It’s amazing that at the top of a mountain like this, there are people selling energy drinks and halo-halo. That’s pretty cool or sad, depending on your perspective. It was probably a few minutes past 10:00 when we arrived. We decided to have an early lunch but couldn’t find a good place to sit because of the crowd of people. So we took a few pictures and decided to continue down the New Trail.
My friend and I had lunch a short distance from the summit. While eating, we were passed by other climbers from the New Trail who greeted us cheerfully although they were obviously tired. Another good part of climbing the mountains is how kind the people are. So courteous and everyone was greeting each other and telling everyone to be careful (ingat!).
The descent was easy as the peaks were getting more and more shorter. It was good that we were going against the usual flow because there were more chances for pictures without a lot of people. By about 13:30, we were already back in civilization and a few more kilometers after, we were taking a bath at a house in front of Evercrest.
After that, we pretty much took a jeep back to Tagaytay, ate a lot, and took a bus bound for Baclaran. All in all, it was a very good experience for me. Making Mt. Batulao my “Father Mountain” gave me a good sense of accomplishment and also gave me a break from thinking about my day-job. I recommend this mountain for beginners as it is relatively easy.
Special thanks to ate Dawn, who invited me to this climb and guided me. Although we got lost a few times, it was a very rewarding experience.
Second mountain, conquered! Next!