Jan 20, 2010

Mt. Batulao

It was a cloudy and windy last Sunday (Jan.17) at Mt. Batulao! It was raining since we arrived in Tagaytay City until we reach the jump-off, fortunately the rain stops when we start trekking. The view of Mt. Batulao’s Twin Peaks is somewhat majestic. It looks different from the usual Philippine Mountains; this is due to its tree-less peak covered with cogon grass. The view of the Taal Lake, the Batangas province, the South China Sea and the surrounding mountains like Talamitam, Pico de Loro, Marami and Maculot and will definitely fulfill your visual senses. Here are some photos of our climb.

Facts on Mt. Batulao.
The name Batulao was derived from an annual phenomenon observed by the locals. From the town of Balayan, one can see twin mountains to the east that appear quite distant from each other. But the same scene viewed from Batulao is curiously different. The same mountains seem to move closer. More fascinating is the fact that some time between December 22 and 28 every year, when the sun nestles right in between the two peaks. It creates a scene described by natives as "ilaw sa dalawang bato" (light in between two rocks) or "bato sa ilaw" (light in a rock), from which derived the term Batulao.

To be there.
From Manila, take a bus going to Nasugbu, Batangas. After passing by Tagaytay City, some minutes later you will be passing by a junction then the Evercrest golf course. One can walk to the jump-off from the highway or take a tricycle ride that cost php100/tricycle to save some time. There many boy guides waiting for you along the jump-off (but if you are confident with the trail a guide was unnecessary).

The trail.
Batualo trails are exposed so wear protective clothing. You will also be passing by cogon fields so wear long pants. Temperature is bearable although from the summit, it’s colder especially when the winds are strong. No permit is necessary to climb Batulao but you have to pay php20 at camp 1 and another php20 if you take the other trail. There are two trail leads to the summit, 500 beyond the hut (who sell buco juice) is a fork between two trails. For the old trail take the left a downward path. For the new trail take the right an upward path. Water sources are not available so bring enough water. Climbing this mountain can be done any time of the year; the trail was well set up and easy.

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