Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mt. Batulao: New Trail Day Hike

The landscape of Mt. Batulao is truly a head turner. I remember myself sitting on the left side of the bus beside the window and when I moved the window curtain to just peek at the scenery of Batangas, the beautiful landscape of Mt. Batulao immobilized my head and I stared at it with amazement. From afar, the rugged peaks looked challenging and the very nice weather composed of blue skies and blinding sunlight promised a non-muddy, non-slippery and easier ascent to its highest peak.

Speaking of Flora and Fauna, Mt. Batulao is merely a grassland with a very small forested part. I remembered myself resting on this part the longest because I know this is the only place aside from the nipa huts where I can hide from the sun.

There was a goat that blocked my way. I don't understand goat language so I was unsure if it wants to attack me when it was bleating. I paused a little longer just thinking and analyzing as if deciphering the animal's continuous "baaa" until I pulled it's rope and directed it to move away from my path.

I was late when I started trekking Mt. Batulao so I chose the new trail which is testified to be the easier way ascent to its highest peak. I also had a short talk with manong who does the maintenance of the trail by digging or shaping the soil using a  shovel.
at a forested part of the new trail in Mt. Batulao
It took me 2 hours of trekking before I reached the summit. At the top I was rewarded with a nice view of the lowlands, a blurry sight of Pico De Loro and Mt Maculot. Also, the view of Susong Dalaga which I still doubt.
View from Mt. Batulao highest peak

View from Mt. Batulao Highest peak
How to Go to Mt. Batulao

1. Ride MRT train (5AM) and get off at EDSA-Taft station. Right below the station are McDonalds, Chowking and SOGO Drive Inn. At the back of these fastfood stores are BSC buses bound to Balayan, Batangas. Just ride the bus and tell the conductor that you are going to Evercrest Golf Club Resort or just say Batulao Mountain. (depart at 6AM)
2. On your way to Evercrest Golf resort, you'll pass by several Tagaytay Resorts and along the way you'll see many "Sandari Batulao" road signs. These are hints that you are getting closer to your jump off point.
3. As soon as you see the Golf Resort,  get down from the bus and look for tricycles. They'll take you to a community below the mountain where you'll start trekking.
4. The trails are obviously easy to follow. Keep on walking until you see a hut where halo-halo and buko juice are being sold. This is where the trails are divided into Old and New trail. To your left is the old trail while to you right is the easier New Trail. Both trails will lead you to the peak of Mt. Batulao.

Tips for a Solo Day Hike in Batulao Mountain

1. I was looking for Crow Bus lines at the start of my solo trip to Batangas but I didn't find one that morning so I took a chance on a BSC bus headed to Balayan. (Fastforward) On my way home, I heard two old woman talking about Crow Buses, one said that Crow Buses are replaced by BSC buses.

2. If it's your first time to go to Mt. Batulao and you're doing it solo, ask the bus conductor to drop you off at Evercrest Golf resort. (In my case Bus Conductor do not know about the resort) Ask the Bus driver if the bus conductor do not know Evercrest Golf Resort.

3. Look for tricycles. You will see them right away as soon as you get off the bus. A tricycle ride from the highway to end of a paved road costs 100 per trip. (NOT per person)

4. Direction-wise, you don't need a mountain guide because the trails are very easy to follow. On the other hand, considering SAFETY, it is highly recommended to get a guide as pointed out by a reader of this blog ---see comments below. Guide services are done by kids. (300 pesos guide fee).  In my very humble opinion, what's the point of having kid-guides if these kids cannot control hikers who are *galawgaw, *maharot, *pasaway, at *malikot sa bundok.. may jumpshots pa nalalaman.

5. The mountain is not as forested as other mountains. Be prepared to get sunburns if you do not cover up your skin.

How to Avoid Headaches when Climbing:

Follow the link below and I hope this can help you understand why you get headaches when climbing. Discussed in there are ways to avoid this headache and how to cure it.


Batang Lakwatsero said...

grabe lang. haha.. sama ako sa bundok!!!

Dane | Tramping Philippines said...

Because years back, A ride from Evercrest would really cost a hundred pesos per pax. They would go straight to the foot of the mountain instead of the sides making it a 20 minute rough road ride. It was just this year that the fair became super low. I even commented on this issue through Agnes, because as I remember it was 100 per person. But now we only paid 50 for two. But the catch is the road directly to the foot of Batulao is now impassable to small tricycles.

Dee Quixotic said...

wow Dane! trivia yan, trivia! First time ko lang kasi sa Batulao.

Gladys | said...

thanks for this post. my first ever climb was here at mt. batulao. i've been encouraging non-climber friends to come up here so we can take pictures. hope i can go here again :)

Dane | Tramping Philippines said...

hehe, yep. I love this mountain. This year alone, I summited it 3 times already through different kinds of pattern trails. I know this mountain by heart. hehe. Whenever we get a free weekend, A hike to Mt. Batulao always come to mind. I really really really really love this mountain. As in seriously love. hahaha. You should try the old trail sometime, a very different kind of trail

Dee Quixotic said...

yes Dane, definitely babalik ako dito to try the old-new traverse. Napakadali puntahan.

killerfillers said...

Madaling puntahan at madaling akyatin kaya ko paborito tong bundok na to.

pusang kalye said...

isa ito sa mga bundok n una kong gustong akyatin.ang lapit lapit lang sa manila pero diko magawa-gawa.kelan ka babalik?balitaan mo nga ako sasabay kami ni wifey.:D/.oi--seroso ako dyan ha,

Dee Quixotic said...

@killerfillers, sinabi mo pa! ang ganda kasi nung landscape nya.

@Sir Anton, every weekend may naakyat dun. I'm sure marami kayo makakasabay sa trails.

Chyng said...

i have an officemate too, hobby nya lang magsolo climb sa batulao. now i understand why.. rewarding sa taas! =)

Anonymous said...

Sana hindi kasama sa tips mo yung "not to get a guide" esp. for first timers. One should not under-estimate any mountain/situation. That's why nagkakaro'n ng mga accidents/unfortunate incidents ay dahil sa pag neglect ng mga do's and don'ts ng mountaineering, kahit pa tayo ay mga super bihasa na. And actually, yung pagkuha ng guide ay parang tulong na din natin sa mga locals dahil isa yun sa mga ikinabubuhay nila. tulong na din natin yun sa pagme-maintain nila ng mga trails, etc. na-bother lang ako dahil twice mo binangit sa blog mo (talamitam, batulao). peace! :)

Dee Quixotic said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for letting me know your opinion. I did slight revision of this post to include your very concerned tip. You are totally right. For first-time hikers in Batulao, look for someone who will guide you not just for directions, but also someone who is capable of controlling your PASAWAY-ness. Also, as far as I know, the registration fee at old trail and new trail is like our bayad sa pagmaintain nila ng trail condition. I'm not sure if the kids who receive our 300 pesos guide fee are the ones who maintain the trail..?? Lastly, twice ko na mention ang Batulao sa blog ko kasi the first hike I did is via the new trail only, the second time I was there is when I did two peaks day hike. --> That's the purpose of "NEW POST" button sa blogger.

thankful and always open for correction,