Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mt. Makulot: Ascent to Batangas Rockies

Mt. Maculot

It is a common life lesson that one should not prejudge something or someone unless you get facts to support your assertion. As an example, a person may seem weak, misfit or wrong but one’s determination may break the usual preconception. A place may seem lacking in special distinction but maybe it has more beyond what is expected from it. It is like you’ll never know unless you try it and see it yourself. So what is up with these now?

Well, a lesson has been reiterated thru a climbing trip that we had last May 21-22 2011 in Mt. Makulot in Cuenca Batangas. It reminded me to never underestimate something or someone for they might surprise you in the most astonishing way. Now, what is the surprise?  Well, some friends of mine who looked liked they can’t last a 20 floor stairway were determined enough to have photo ops. Ooops sorry! I mean determined enough to take the challenge of climbing a mountain. Surprisingly, they made it to the top and I’m guessing they were game to face the challenge for the chance of getting pictured up there in the summit. See below? I told you. From the smiles, I knew it.

There’s a mix of dubiousness and excitement when we begin walking in the trails. The uncertainty of the summit’s beauty was personally quite bothersome. I guess it was caused by my grand desire of sight-seeing. Anyway, the atmosphere of excitement manifested as we wondered at the loud chirping noises made by the unseen crickets. 

Mt. Maculot

I know that when eyes get busy, it could relieve the tiredness of a long hike that’s why I kept looking around trying my best to spot on something unusual. Despite the lush plant life that Mt. Makulot has, and being such a discontented hiker, I still searched for more bizarre flora along the trails to Makulot’s summit.

I was pretty much stupefied by the level of difficulty in Mt. Makulot. I thought it would be easy like Gulugod Baboy mountain in Batangas, but it wasn’t. It surprised me because I find it more difficult than my recent climb in Mt. Palay-palay in Cavite

Mt. Maculot

For me, it was like stepping up on the ladder of Mountaineering’s level of difficulty. Comparing from the last climbs that I had, I would say Makulot is the hardest so far for me. After thousands of gasps for air, we reached the summit where we rested and hanged out with the flies. It was quite irritating when they buzzed around your ears while you try your best to sleep.

Shortly, the tents were all set at a very good spot in the summit where tall grasses seemingly fenced our short piece of land. It was a great spot spacious enough for like 6-7 tents for two. I know how noisy it can get when drinking session begins so it was advantageous for us to be fairly distant from the other group of campers. 
Mt. Maculot

The highlight of the climb was the assault to Rockies. At first, I thought it was like any ordinary piece of earth’s crust where all the elements that anyone would expect can be seen and felt there. By just looking at the Rockies from a distance, I can tell how the sunshine can tan your skin, I can imagine how massive the airspace directly above the Rockies is and I thought it was poorly scenic because only lumps of rocks and grasses are up there.

Rockies at Mt. Maculot

When we started the assault, only then when I realized I should stop underrating Mt. Makulot and its Rockies because the true feeling of awe is not about what you see in the trails. I only got the feeling of awe when I stood on the edges of the Rockies and looked at the land of trees and crippled lake that was all below me.

The Quixotic at Rockies Mt. Maculot

It must have been a feeling of great intensity when you stood up there in the most unsafe spots, a place where a wrong move can put you in great danger. It’s always impressive when people are fearless as if death is not among the options.

Alan at Rockies Mt. Maculot

There should have been a heightened adrenaline rush at some point in the Rockies but the scenic view of the lake can easily counteract the fear of heights. As if a song reminded us that we got to live like we’re dying, an unhesitating photo ops is always expected.

Shai at Rockies Maculot

If only we’re not told about the horror stories that happened in Mt. Makulot, I would say that the Rockies is a nice place for solitary moments where you can spend time away from everyone else. Alone time is always a free time where no one will dictate you when and how to do things. There’s a deep appreciation of nature most especially when you do sightseeing on your own. 

Arnel at Rockies Mt. Maculot

From my observation, the weather is normally erratic at mountains. The wind gradually became stronger and rain clouds passed by. We had to go back to campsite for shelter. 

Mt. Maculot Cuenca Batangas

After a short drizzle, a rainbow showed off while the sun is setting.

After the dinner, I went to sleep to restore the lost energies. It was windy and wet during the night, I saw how the winds pounded our tarpaulin and I got awakened thrice by the cold rainwater on my feet. On the next day, a beautiful sunrise greeted us. It was a cold morning at the summit and it gave us a regenerated feeling.

sunrise at the Rockies of Mt. Maculot
There was a beautiful sight of the sky, lake and mountain from the Rockies that morning. I would say then that early mornings are the best time to climb up the Rockies. A beautiful sunrise is best viewed from there. It’s amazing how slowly it lights up the foggy lake. 

sunrise at the Rockies of Mt. Maculot

Looking back at the beginning of this where I thought Mt. Makulot is not a gifted destination and when I thought the refined ladies can’t overcome the steepness of the trails, now I truly understand that you have to see it first before you judge it and now I laugh at myself because I was wrong when I said the ladies cannot make it to the top. The picture below is the last group shot in Mt. Makulot during our descent.

Check out the slideshow of pictures below. I included here the actual video taken during our descent and background music from the band Death Cab for Cutie entitled ‘You are a Tourist’.


 Photo credits to Arnel Palor Photography


happysole said...

the tents were all set at a very good spot in the summit where tall grasses seemingly fenced our short piece of land -- buti walang snake? hehehe

Dee Quixotic said...

yes, wala. pero may malaking worm with striking color underneath our tent.

Marvin Barangay said...

Dito kami next na pupunta! Nakaka-excite. Haha. Thanks for the info! Ngayon palang kinakabahan na ako. :D