You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves. -Lito Tejada
True enough with the message of this quote, climbing Mt. Batulao the second time around together with the first timers of this mountain gave me that first timer excitement feeling also. Its scenic views and appealing landscapes I guess would forever be in my memory. That’s why the moment some of my friends initiated an invite to hike during that Holiday (Chinese New Year), I immediately suggested Mt. Batulao. This would be the first time that I would be blogging about this mountain though. I was joined by my colleagues in MMS (Aizel, Eduard, and Marc) and our guests (Pol, Rak, Bob, and Fats). So allow me to walk you through another blissful adventure of the Kikay Mountaineer.
Mt. Batulao has been one of those popularly hiked mountains for its accessibility, rewarding views, and variety of trails. It is recommended for beginners yearning towards experiencing hiking for the first time and at its best. Or simply if you find yourself inkling to escape from the city’s noise and pollution.
We took a bus at the Coastal Mall bound to Nasugbu, Batangas. It was a 2 hour ride to the Evercrest Golf Course. We took the chance to have lunch at one of the carinderias there before we hailed a tricycle to the jump off point.
We started our trek late at 1100 already so we had to take advantage of the remaining daylight. The trail welcomed us with this clear road which I thoroughly remember the first time I went here was very muddy that we even walked through those higher platforms. The weather during our hike this time was very favorable, not too hot and not even raining as well. The road was clear and desirable for walking. A chorus of kids asked to guide us but since I can still remember the trail by heart, and I also remember clearly that Batulao’s trail is very defined, we decided not to hire guides anymore.
Most of our guests were first time hikers and beginners so we decided to take the New Trail the moment we passed through the fork between the Old and the New Trail. It got markers that numbered the peaks to the summit. It got uphills affording astounding views of the famous Batulao landscapes. There were a lot of mountaineering groups who climbed on that day. The crowd even created traffic in one of the narrow trails there.
Our ascent continued along with our swift pace. We would celebrate every time we reach peaks by taking photos with its markers. They were like mini milestones and seeing each one of them unleashed one by one gave us that feeling that we’re up for the next level. Whew! Exciting! 😀
Mt. Batulao will always be one of my favorite mountains. I would never get used to climbing it over and over again. And if I would be bringing up a friend who wants to try hiking for the first time, this mountain would always be at the top of my options. The green vivid open trails would allow one to see the wholeness of Tagaytay and Nasugbu
For just 2 hours and a half of ascent, we finally reached the summit. It’s surprisingly less than our estimate of 3 hours given that we had first timers with us. Good job team! We took the chance to take photos in here. 🙂
We stayed in the summit for roughly just 30 minutes then started with our descent. For my pursuit of variety and to feed up my curiosity as well on what the Old Trail offers, they agreed with me take it on our way down. True enough it brought us a lot of trail surprises which were no regrets. I could say that this is more challenging and longer than the New Trail though. We had to carefully go down through the boulders of rocks. There was also a part wherein we had to rappel our way down since it was very steep. Do not worry once you reach this part for I guess (based on my estimates) the rope is strong enough to handle the heaviest of a human weight. 😉
Same thing with the New Trail, the Old trail got lots of “Ministops” that sells buko juice, halo-halo, softdrinks, and snacks. And indeed for some reason, they taste differently in the mountains. They’ve got added flavors leaving you asking for more! 😀
Our descent was roughly just around 2 hours that we made it to the final jumpoff point before 1700H and to the highway by 1730H where we washed ourselves up. There were rented shower rooms in there that allow you to take a bath for Php20 per pail. Don’t forget to bring your jackets for the weather is already cold by night time.
We’ve planned to have our postclimb feast at Tagaytay and try one of those bulalohan restaurants in there. And since it was a Holiday on that day, almost all of the restaurants there were full and congested that we would jump in from one to another. We decided then to dine in The Grill amidst its long waiting time. The wait was all worth it anyway because their bulalo was indeed very special. Not sure if our extreme hunger contributed to that but it was the best bulalo that I’ve ever tasted indeed so far. Haha!
Thank you so much Batulao team! I enjoyed and am very pleased with this hike! Till next time! 🙂
Budget for Transpo:
Bus from Coastal to Nasugbu (roundtrip) – Php210
Tricycle (roundtrip) – Php60
Registration (Php20 for each trail) – Php40
Jeep to Tagaytay – Php 20
*exclusive of food