February 11, 2013

Social Climber: Mt. Batulao

We stopped on a road walled by mountains and give a spectacular view of farm fields. I knew it was the start of the trail. We stopped there to wait for the other people who supposed to join us. But after a few minutes of tickling (especially with Dharzi) with each other we decided to move on. After the stop over and prayer we took some time to get some obligatory group shot. This might be needed to see in the end who made it alive! Joke... Kidding aside, I was kind of' nervous and a little bit afraid to climb the mountain. It's not that I can't make, its just I don't want be a liability to the other climber who went there to enjoy nature and rejuvenate their soul. Hehe… with God’s grace I made it =)




There was this one kid who asked us if we wanted a guide. And maybe because most of the people in the group are climbers and knows the way to get there, we (or they) refuse to get the kid as our tour guide. The kid was charging us Php30.00 per head. Quite expensive huh…I pity the kid that I almost wanted to accept his offer. Maybe if only I was alone or with other inexperienced climber. 
  

The trail was smooth for the first 30 minutes (or maybe an hour) as we were traversing  a not so inclined cemented pavements and terrain. During the walk stories after stories were heard. That was the reason why we were behind among the group.  We call ourselves the sweepers, even though we were not acting as if, because we were behind! The truth was we were behind because we were taking pictures of every interesting place we spotted. Can you blame us? According to Gelai’s boyfriend who I think a semi pro climber, taking pictures while doing the trail is not advisable. Safety reasons? Or Time reason? I don’t know… hehe/ But as Claire argued, it is part of the journey. 







I have learned some key terms/position in climbing a mountain from the experienced fellow who were also trailing behind because of us. Hehe. First is the Head. He is the one in-charge of the trail that the group is traversing. The head usually is joined by the guide, if ever you have one. Then the second doesn't have an official name (as per Dharzie) let me just call him the Middle Man for discussion purposes. The middle man should receive the message of the head properly for guidance. He should also send message as to what is happening in the body. Then the last is the Sweeper. The sweeper is always on the last. He should be patient because he will have to wait for the people trailing behind. He is also the one who will give assistance if ever a need will arise.   

We did a stopover for 20 minutes in a HaloHalo and buko store for some refreshment. I think that stopover was necessary because the next trail was not the same as the previous one. We then had to decide whether we will take the new trail or the old trail. After their discussion of the pros and cons of each trail, they decided to do both! We traverse the mountain using the old trail for ascending then the old one for descending. It was a common trail actually as most of the people I saw used that trail except for a foreign couple we crossed in the old trail.     



Path leading to where your soul will be rejuvenated.

Where this path leads? I don't know and I don't care as long as I am moving, moving , moving up in the mountain. 

Isn't good to climb mountain? Isn't here where you see the perspective of the world you are living?



See those big summit on the left and the three baby summit on his right? Yeah you can climb that =)



The challenge took off. From simple trail to a more complex one but was still manageable. Every spot is worth a shot or two. Every spot is breath taking matched with a cool and fresh breeze from the fields and Laguna de Bay.     






The Summit


Once I said during the climb - its the journey not the destination. Then somebody goes - Its both actually. Then I shut my mouth. Reaching the summit proved that she's correct. Its both actually - in every journey. 


I love the electrifying thrill inside of me. I felt that I had to shout and shout to release all the pain of my feet and muscles. And I did so and it was effective. It was a sweet moment with the salty sweat all over my body. As the sun soon to meet the horizon, we had to go back before the dark burst into the sky.





It was this priceless moment above captured by my best friend - my point and shoot camera - that summed up my first ever mountain experience. The sun seemingly hiding from the shadow of the mountain we traversed. How could you not say that it was an awesome climb? And it was a memorable climb given the fact that I met new friends who will further, I guess if they tag me, ignite my passion for this kind of sports.

Dinner

After the climb we treated ourselves with a nice round of stories and jokes and off course the famous Bulalo of Tagaytay. We jokingly said that we really came for this not for the climb. Hehe...



A pot of Bulalo seems blur as our stomach makes us so =)

How to get to Batulao:

  • Take a bus going to Nasugbu Batangas - It is better if you take it from EDSA cor Taft Ave. The bus station is located at the back of McDonalds.
  • Tell the driver to drop you in Evercrest.
  • Then you can start the trekking from there!
    • Another option: Take a tricycle and tell the driver to drop off point where you can start trekking. From there there are kids/guides who will approach you to hire them as your guide.
Expenses:
  • Bus (EDSA - Evercrest) - Php120.00 (Estimated)
  • Buko                                 - Php20.00
  • Registration Fee              - Php40.00
  • Dinner                               -Php300.00 (Chip-in)
  • Bus (Evercrest to EDSA) - Php120.00 (Estimated)