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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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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