Mountains and Volcanoes
No Budget for the Rolling Hills of Batanes? Choose Mt. Batulao!
Maui Sanvictores | Sep 08, 2016
Mt. Batulao, located in the the province of Batangas, stands 811 meters above sea level (MASL). From the city of Manila, one can take a 2-3 hour bus ride to Batangas and witness such spectacular view. This mountain is rated 4/10 difficulty level by Filipino mountaineers. Depending on the time of the year you’re visiting, expect a very cold hike during the months of December – February and a scorching hike during March – May. I recommend the former as this is the most ideal weather to enjoy a relatively easy climb. Expect slippery pathways due to the mountain’s loose soil. It is also highly recommended that you wear your hiking shoes, bring ample amount of water, and wear clothes that cover enough skin if you’re not fond of getting cuts and bruises from the trail.
Exploring the paths of Mt. Batulao do not necessarily require guides but if your group consists of people who are new to climbing, you might as well hire locals for a safe and relaxed climb; bonus points for helping the local communities earn a living. You might be asked to choose between the old trail vs the new trail. The latter is said to be the easier path but if you have the time in the world and is down for an extra adventure on the way, choose the former.
In our case, arriving at the jump-off point a little late at 1 p.m. (a little? okay, we are REALLY late), we took the new trail. According to our guide, Kuya Idoy, since it’s already afternoon, we might not be able to reach the summit via the old trail. The old trail seems notorious for taking too long to finish and is rumored to be not fit for newbies like us. Being extremely guilty for arriving too late for the climb, we conceded and let our extra curious selves take the back burner.
The experience was a mix of water-gulping stops and jaw-dropping moments amidst the magnificent view of the rolling hills. A hike in Mt. Batulao is one you don’t ever regret doing, its pits and stops are as picturesque as it appears in the photos over the internet. Eventually you really get tired for its steep turns as this mountain has 12 peaks, as peak #10 the highest – summit, but every sweat proves it worth as the view doesn’t leave at the trails. Unlike the typical mountain that offers its climbers the view only atop the summit, Mt. Batulao generously allow awe-ainspiring moments all through-out the climb (ascent and descent).
This mountain is rated a 5-star climb for a 4/10 difficulty. Definitely a must-try over the weekend with family and friends. So what are you waiting for? Pack those bags and get yourself to the nearest bus station. Revel in what the nature has got to offer.
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