June 14, 2015
As if I didn’t get enough of my Mt. Manabu climb the day before, I spontaneously planned another climb with a friend. This time, it would be on Mt. Talamitam, a mountain that I’ve heard is also another easy climb. Packaged with the climb is a quick swim at the Layong Bilog river. So without further ado, here is the second part of my Back-to-Back Bundok weekend!
Mt. Talamitam, aka Mt. Batulao‘s younger sister, is a minor climb with a difficulty of 3/9. I’ve heard a few things about it, mostly of how easy it is. But still, I’ll never know until I try to climb it and fortunately, I did.
Early Sunday morning, I was already traveling to our meet-up point at a bus station in Pasay. We rode a bus bound for Nasugbu and fell asleep (or tried to) along the way. We passed by Evercrest (the Batulao jumpoff), and saw the Tagaytay view engulfed by the morning mist.
After arriving at the jumpoff in Sitio Bayabasan, we secured a guide and started the trek immediately. We wanted to do this climb as fast as possible because we’re spontaneous like that.
We crossed a concrete bridge and a bamboo bridge on the way to the first part of the climb, the foresty area. This was the part where first timers needed a guide because there are various footpaths along the trail and it can be easy to get lost. Our climb through the forest was very quick and we didn’t take a break until we were past the trees.
My calves started to ache early on and I was already sweating more than my entire Manabu climb. I told our guide that I thought this was an easy climb. He said that most people think Talamitam is easy because the pictures posted on the net aren’t of the forest trail, but the plains that we were about to reach. In fact, there were a couple of hikers that we passed who decided to go back because they couldn’t take the ascent of the foresty area.
But thankfully, once we got past the forest, the climb started to ease up and we entered the part of the climb called “Teletubby land.” This was because it looked so much like the plains and grasslands in the show. To be precise, it reminded me of the Windows XP wallpaper. It was at this part that I took off my slippers and trekked the rest of the way barefoot. The ground wasn’t too rocky, you just have to look out for poop.
After some pictures with goats and cows, we reached the hardest part: the final assault to the summit. There is actually more than one trail to the summit. We asked the guide to take us through the hardest and steepest route because we like a challenge. And so we scrambled up the trail through the talahib and up to the summit.
When we reached the summit, the wind was so refreshing. I love climbing bald mountains! The summit was amazing. From there, you could see Mt. Batulao, Mt. Makiling, and Pico de Loro. Even Fortune Island and Mt. Gulugod-baboy can be seen if you know where to look.
Our guide told us that we were the 3rd group of the day to climb, but since one group backed out, and we overtook another group along the grassland, we reached the summit first! We were the only ones there aside from overnighters so we had plenty of time for pictures. What a blessing to have had two climbs consecutively with us alone at the peak.
After a breather, we started our descent. We literally ran down the mountain. It was a very quick descent and we had lots of pictures as well. I was quite proud of our pace.
Our next destination was the river called “Layong Bilog.” In some blogs, the river is labeled as “Layong Bato” but our guide corrected us. It was a short trek away from the foresty area and we climbed over some rocks along the river to get to it.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that there was a cliff jumping portion. It wasn’t very high, but I love jumping off cliffs. I was excited and immediately entered the cold refreshing water.
There were already some locals swimming and so I asked them the way to climb up the cliff and when I reached the top, I said a quick prayer and jumped.
It felt so good. I love diving into deep unknown waters with the potential for injury. Hahaha. My hike-mate also dived after some persuading and we swam around for a bit.
Afterwards, we trekked back to the jumpoff and had lunch and fixed ourselves. We were proud of our time and even our guide was impressed with our pace. We hiked a mountain and jumped off a cliff, all before the clock struck 12:00!
After lunch, we waited for a bus back to Manila. It was trafficky but I slept most of the way back.
It was a very good experience and I had a lot of unexpected fun climbing Mt. Talamitam. And while my favorite trail is still Mt. Batulao, this mountain holds a special place in my mountain ranking. I would surely return here especially as they have plans to open another peak beside the current summit. I guess this is proof that spontaneous trips are often the most rewarding.
Itinerary and cost breakdown:
- 05:20 ETD Pasay, Bus to Nasugbu
- P124 per head
- 07:29 ETA Sitio Bayabasan / KM83
- P40 per head, Reg fee
- P300 per day, up to 10 people, minimum guide fee (Not required, but encouraged; especially for first-timers)
- 07:33 Start trek
- 08:45 ETA Summit, commence Picturetaking
- 09:30 ETD Summit, descend to Layong Bilog
- 10:30 ETA Layong Bilog, commence swimming and cliff diving
- 11:15 ETD Layong Bilog, back to jumpoff
- 11:35 ETA Sitio Bayabasan, fix selves and lunch
- 12:32 ETD Sitio Bayabasan, Bus to Cubao
- P150 per head to Cubao
- P124 per head to Pasay
- 15:35 ETA Pasay
- 16:15 ETA Cubao
Total Cost: P514
Safe Budget: P700
If y’all are planning a hike, contact Kuya Randy, our guide at 0929 182 6397. Tell him the fast hikers told you to get him. :P
Thank you pinaywanderwoman for accompanying me on this hike and to kuya Randy, our very friendly and knowledgeable guide for keeping us from getting lost. And most of all to the big guy for keeping the weather perfect for climbing.
Mountain #7 conquered and done in record time!