Tag Archives: Batangas

Talamitam’s animal farm

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Talamitam has a cuteness level of 5 with all the pairs of neighing horses, curious cows, photogenic carabaos and charming baby goats. Oh wait, this isn’t a farm.

Mt. Talamitam is an easy dayhike like her sister Mt. Batulao. Legend has it that a giant once lorded the plains. He had one foot in Batulao, and the other at Talamitam. Or so the story goes from an enthusiastic and chatty (slash intoxicated) local official. The trail starts from the barangay hall with a ten-minute walk through houses and concrete paths until a footbridge is crossed. From there, the trail transforms to a relaxing walk through partially covered paths. A clearing is reached after about twenty minutes; it offers an unobstructed view of the peaks of Batulao. Moving forward, the bare slopes transform to neatly lined rows of seedlings. It becomes open afterwards as one passes through fields and a “golf course”. There is absence of shade and trees throughout the rest of the hike.

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Maculot for the holidays

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In celebration of the holidays, we had a Christmas party and year-end dayhike at Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas.

Albeit rainy and slippery, we had fun eating cake at the Grotto and blowing candles at the Rockies.

After the quick Maculot traverse, the group gathered at the mountaineers’ store for a simple potluck meal and exchange of gifts.

Batulao’s scenic peaks

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Mt. Batulao
 

 No wonder mountaineers keep coming back to climb her.

For one, Mt. Batulao looks very pretty and cotton candy-like with her white-capped peaks. From afar, the grass-covered peaks provide a stunning view of the mountain’s slopes. Tall cogon grass and its seedheads sway to the tune of the wind. Mt. Batulao is a personal favorite because of the simplicity of its beauty.

Secondly, the established paths are by no way indicative of an easy climb. The trails are initially rough roads with houses and small village stores to your left and right. But after the last nipa house called “mini-stop” (that also marks the fork of the old and new trails), the clear paths take you up and down endlessly through gentle slopes and otherwise, through wide covered areas and narrow rocky paths. The final ascent to the highest peak is a highlight in itself as it involves a short rock or wall climb.

At 811+ MASL, Mt. Batulao’s summit, albeit small, offers a visual feast of Batangas’ landscapes and seascapes. Interestingly, enterprising locals will follow you to the summit armed with loads of Mountain Dew.

To fully appreciate Batulao, traverse the old trail going to the highest peak and the new trail on the way back. Mountaineers will have to ridiculously “register” and pay twice on both sides though. There are two registration centers and mountaineers pay Php 20.00 at each stop. There are no restrictions in climbing Batulao. It can be done any time of the year. Prepare for dense cogon growth, exposed trails and absence of tree cover. After your climb, across the entrance of Evercrest Golf Club Resort, locals offer areas for a quick wash-up.

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Manabu for a day

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Manabu Peak

Short for Mataas na Bundok, Manabu Peak is an easily accessible dayhike destination. It has an MASL of 760+ and a total trail length of 4.7 km.

The trail is interestingly shaped like a rosary with Manabu’s signature big white cross aptly capping the peak.

Perfectly manageable for beginners. The trail is visible and established. Save for a few forks here and there, it is possible to trek Manabu without a guide. If my memory serves me right, just remember to always take the right forks when going up, and (logically) the left forks when going down.

To get there by public transportation, ride the Lipa- or Tanauan-bound JAC or JAM Lines and specify that you will be alighting at the Fiesta Mall (more specifically the Lipa Memorial Park along the highway). A 100-peso tricycle ride will take a group of three to Sulok, Brgy. Sta. Cruz in Sto. Tomas. It will take you twenty minutes on the tricycle to get to the jumpoff point. Alternatively, for bigger groups, you can hire a jeepney to take you to Sulok.

A registration fee of Php15.00 is collected by the barangay. (Un)Fortunately, since our hike was on a Sunday, the tanods were enjoying their (work)day-off. :) Some useful pieces of information about the tanods: 1. pay the exact amount as some regulars say they are not in the habit of giving you change for big bills; 2. take down with a shroud of doubt the mobile number they will give upon registration as it is apparently a dummy according to my friend, and; 3. sympathize with the famous barista, Mang Perying, as he launches a spiel on how seemingly useless the collection of registration fees is since it is not the barangay who maintains the trails to the peak, but the residents like himself.

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Daguldol hiking and beaching

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San Juan, Batangas

A beach and a bundok. How can I resist it?

After an impromptu invitation by a UP friend and a frenzy of are-we-going-or-not conversations, last weekend, my office friends and I found ourselves in yet another weekend getaway. From our initial plan to go to the Hundred Islands in Alaminos to the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, we finally settled at the last minute to go to San Juan, Batangas for a beach and a mountain climbing trip.

Mt. Daguldol is located in Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas. It is a small mountain range with an MASL of 670+. Classified as an easy climb, the mountain along the coast of southern Batangas is a popular trekking destination. Accessible via private and public transportation, Mt. Daguldol appeals to both tourists and mountaineers. Apart from being only four to five hours away from the metro, San Juan is also popular for its beaches in Laiya which is a nice side trip.

To get there by public transportation, ride the RRCG buses in Buendia bound for San Juan. Unlike the Lipa- or pier-bound JAC or JAM Lines, these buses will take you directly to the town proper where you can alight at the town market. They leave at 4:00 AM, 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM. Their buses can be found near the MRT or LRT stations along Buendia in Pasay. From the town market, your group can either take the public jeepney (Php40.00 per head) or rent a van (Php650.00 per way) bound for Laiya or Hugom.

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