Even before the year has started, I’ve already been in the look for a mountain that is minor, accessible, but got really astounding views for my year opener and birthday climb as well. I was also very envious looking at the Mt.Apo photos of my colleagues who climbed it during the holidays. Haha! Thus, I was very inkling to hike and immediately initiated invites with my friends to go with me. Mt. Maculot hit all of my criteria as per the blogs that I stumbled upon. Despite its popularity last year due to the death of my fellow Isko after an accident there, we still pushed through with the plan.
Together with my MMS friends Cha, Aizel, Mau, Eduard, and Doc Tom, we scheduled to meet up last January4, Saturday, 0900 at JAM Kamias and boarded the Lemery, Batangas bound bus. They also have a terminal in Buendia, which you can also take as an option, whichever is convenient for you guys. It left at 0945 already since they had to fill it up first. It was kind of a long travel since we arrived at the Cuenca City proper at around 1230. We decided to take lunch in the Telebong’s Eatery located along the highway which sells lutong bahay foods. I had my full meal lunch for only Php55!
We took a tricyle to the jumpoff point wherein we paid Php20 each. Climbers may also consider walking from the highway to the jumpoff point as a warmup option but we’ve decided not to since we’re already late on our supposedly itinerary. And it’s gonna be a loooong walk by the way. It was already 1330 when we started the trek. The weather was absolutely fine when we went there. The sun was up but not annoyingly burning. Nevertheless, put on some sunblock still and arm warmers if you don’t want to get dark. I actually just forgot mine that’s why I’m not wearing one. Hehe 🙂
We commenced our adventure with a prayer and stretching, our usual routines. The new trail of Maculot was gradual at first but became difficult because it was slippery. Not because it’s muddy, but because it was so dry this time. Unlike with the previous climbs that I had wherein wet mud would stick all over the soles of our shoes. This time, it can’t even get a grip of the loose rocks and soil. Every step on steep assault makes me want to just slide instead. I remember myself struggling on my way up as if something was pulling my feet down. I also remember stumbling after stepping on a loose rock. Haha! Lesson learned: bring a trekking pole!
The trail got lots of resting points that we would stop and take a five-minute break every time we would see them. It was indeed a chillax and no pressure climb for us. We would even invite people along the trail to join our upcoming BMC! 😀 The trail is mostly forested and shady. It is also already established that we didn’t get a guide anymore. We also saw Ate there selling buko juice for Php10 each. One thing I’ve noticed though are the trashes there, empty sachets of chips and bottled water were just scattered along which is sad. I do hope that every person who gets to climb here know the basic rule that they should take with them whatever garbage they just had .
I even bumped into an old high school friend along the trail, Ana Katrina! Haha! She hiked with her college orgmates. I was so giddy when I saw her because it’s not always that you get to bump into someone you know way before along the trail. 😀
After 2 hours and a half of ascend, we reached the famous Maculot Rockies at exactly 4PM. The view atop was indeed breathtaking! The other side is forested while the other side looms the Taal Volcano surrounded by the Taal Lake as the sun slowly goes down. I dubbed it as romantic. 🙂
We stayed there to take photos, a lot of them actually I just can’t post everything here. Haha! I was looking for the famous Dila spot but I can’t find it. I just found out later on that you should go further to see it. We decided not to push through with the summit anymore since we have to go down before it gets dark and we only had just one flashlight with us! Wag kaming tularan! Hehe 😀
We descended via the old trail. It was easier and faster this time that we made it to the final jumpoff at around 7PM. We took a shower on the paid restrooms there. We also took the chance to indulge on the famous Batangas Lomi plus their pancit bihon. It’s a must try guys!
After dinner, we hired two tricycles there to take us to the highway where we have to take a jeepney to the Bus terminal. We actually even planned to go to the Tagaytay Sky Ranch but most of us were already tired so we decided to go to Starbucks instead. I treated them for coffee since it’s my birthday a week after.
Mt. Maculot is a must see mountain indeed and recommended for beginners! We took it for almost just a half day since we started late in the afternoon already. But one has to take EXTRA precaution on the Rockies boulders part since it got lots of cliff side and sheer drop points. If you’re planning to take a buwis-buhay shot on the edges, be very careful with your moves! I didn’t see any water source there so bring at least 1-2L of water with you. I had two 500mL Gatorade with me plus my 500mL tumbler filled with water and they were just enough. Better if you bring your own trail food though there’s a retail store there that already sells chips and cold softdrinks.
Thank you to the Maculot gang for joining me on my Birthday climb! Wiii! I truly appreciate all your presence. 😀