April 10, 2016
I was getting my friends to hike their first mountain, and I chose the beautiful Mt. Talamitam because it was relatively easy plus it had the side trip to Layong Bilog river afterwards. It was a very fun adventure and despite the heat, we were able to finish and make the climb a success!
The day started off on a bad note because my wallet got stolen on the bus to the meet up place. I’ve been commuting for a while now, but this was the first time that it happened. I guess it was a wake up call for me that I have been getting too lenient with my valuables in public transpo. It’s a reminder that we do live with scum and that we should not make ourselves easy targets for them.
Anyway, I was still able to push through because one of my friends who will be hiking with us is an heir to a major political dynasty in the Philippines and was fully-loaded with cash! So I borrowed a few pesos from him that day and promised to pay him back when I get my ATM cards replaced. Cha-ching!
So after everyone was accounted for, we took the Nasugbu-bound bus to sitio Bayabasan (Km83), the jumpoff of Mt. Talamitam. At the jumpoff, we had our final preparations and secured our guide, kuya Lito, and we were off!
Since most of the group were beginners and first-timers in the mountain, we took an easy pace and had lots of pictures taken in the grassland and all around the trail. We also enjoyed the close encounters with the wildlife in the area, aka cows.
The sun was really starting to shine down on us, we took shelter in the trees and bought lots of refreshments from the locals. At the last piece of shade before the summit assault, we took an extra long break and readied ourselves physically and mentally.
Our steep assault to the summit was slow and steady. I was encouraging my friends that the summit was within reach. It was fun seeing the effort on their faces. There’s a special feeling of camaraderie when you are haggard together with your friends.
One by one, they reached the summit where they immediately sought shelter in the hut at the summit. Refreshments were bought and lots of pictures were taken. We had a long rest at the summit as other hiking groups arrived and joined us in the hut.
New to me was the halo-halo being sold at the summit! Wow! Before there was just the usual Gatorade and water, but this was definitely a treat.
My rich and prestigious friend got the cramps when I told him to pose on top of a rock. So we had to massage him and let him rest for a bit. Good thing one of our fellow hikers was a therapist! She was able to help out with the massage to make my friend’s recovery faster.
Afterwards, we headed down to the river. We got lost a bit on the descent because I forgot the trail going down, but finally we took the right one and were on our way. We decided to have late lunch at the river. The group ordered some food to be cooked by the locals and our guide delivered them to us. After eating, the group had a quick dip.
The water level of the river had significantly gone down, I guess because of the summer season. It was no longer safe to jump off the cliff that we used to frequent. Fortunately, the locals showed us a few more diving spots where the water was still deep enough.
This was a significant Layong Bilog experience for me because I was finally able to jump off the very high tree branch above the river! This was the highest diving point available and I was doubtful at first if the branch can carry my weight. Good thing it did and I was able to jump off it twice! Another dive conquered!
After diving, and frolicking in the river, we dried off, rinsed ourselves and were on our way back to the Metro!
This hike was fun because of my friends who attended. I also got to meet new and awesome people which is always a good part of mountaineering. This was another organized climb that found success. Wewhew!
Thank you to all the participants: Mai, Migo, Mike, Mayleen, Enzo, Louise, Jape, Angel, Lovel, Alex, Ate Lhyn, and Jam for attending. Congratulations on finishing Mt. Talamitam and I hope you enjoyed the adventure! Also to kuya Lito for being a very understanding guide. Thank you to the Big Guy for the (extra) sunny weather as well!
This was good elevation and heat training for me. Plus it is always good to have the opportunity to bring friends to the mountains. Congratulations, Mayleen, Enzo, and Migo for reaching your first summit! May susunod pa ba? Haha!
Climb safe and enjoy the outdoors.