Thursday, May 19, 2011


Location: Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines
Jump-off: KC Hillcrest Hotel and Golf Course (formerly Evercrest)
Coordinates: 14.0408 N 120.8011 E
Elevation: 811 MASL (2,660.24 feet)
Days required / Hours to summit:1 day / 2-4 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail Class 3 with 60 - 70 degrees assault
Last Update: June 21, 2014

Descriptive Summary: The most accessible and nearest mountain from Manila with such a breathtaking scenery. It is equally popular for day hike/workout climb and overnight climb. Its proximity to Tagaytay City gives it a cool weather but most importantly, a "bulalo" treat in Tagaytay City aftr climbing it which makes it more rewarding.

View Mount Batulao in a larger map

The scenic Mount Batulao at night

Mount Batulao is the most closest to my heart when it comes to climbing mountain. It is like a friend that I can talk to whenever I want to unwind. I highly recommend it to friends and beginning climbers as well as here you can experience nature at its best most especially if you stay overnight. Camp 1 in the Old Trail is really ideal for overnight camping since there is a water source. In this camp, too, you can buy a supply of water for P10 per pail in case, summer dries up the nearby water source.

A halo-halo and buco stop to quench the thirst

One of the perks in scaling Mount Batulao is the fact that it has a lot of halo-halo and buco stops at P15 per serving and fresh buco at the same price. In addition to that, day climbers who find preparing food difficult for the climb can have their meals in the eateries near the KC Hillcrest either for dine-in for take out at the most of P45 per meal. This same place also offers shower for P10 per head.

An overnight in Camp 1 of the Old trail

Camping overnight in Batulao is such a rewarding experiencing for it makes you closer to mother nature and one of it is stargazing at night. In this specific climb, I was in company with Atty. Gilbert Gordove, soon-to-be-lawyer Isagani Dionela and sweetheart Carmila Uy, Rizaly Dionela and her younger sister.

Full moon as viewed from Camp 1 of Old Trail

Personally, I find Old trail the best to offer scenery and for staying overnight. It has around 9 campsite, as far as I can recall in different elevation up to the point where it is almost near to the summit.

Another scenic nightscape in Mount Batulao

Mornings are really that good in Mount Batulao as you see the dramatic landscape of the mountain. A lot of campers stay overnight and by the time we were there, I happened to see two young couples with siblings ranging from two to four years old. The kids really enjoyed the climb.

This stretch of connecting hills is a part of New Trail

Indeed, this climb is not expensive as you will only spend P110 one way from BSC Bus terminal near EDSA MRT Station going to KC Hillcrest in Batulao or for P220 round trip. From the KC Hillcrest, you may opt to take tricycle for P25 per head for one way or P50 round trip. There is registration of P20 in the Old Trail and another P20 in the New Trail. It is better to climb from Old trail to New trail than the other way around.

You may take a guide who are usually young kids so that you can help them earn for their school allowance. There is really no need to take a guide because the trails are quite defined but if you want to help these kids, then you may take one.

Photos courtesy of Rizaly Dionela who happened to be a part of my group in spending an overnight in this very majestic mountain.

Monday, April 18, 2011


View Guimaras Island in a larger map

This trip is dated April 4 - 5, 2011 which is a part of my March 31 - April 5, 2011 Iloilo-Boracay-Guimaras Trip. It started when we left our host's house in Janiuay at 8:29 A.M. and through a chartered jeepney, we headed to Ortis Seaport of Iloilo and arrived there at 9:14 A.M. We waited and finally we boarded a boat for Guimaras Port in Jordan at P20 each with travel duration from 10:17 to 10:30 A.M. We chartered for a jeepney going to Sitio Bulan-bulan in Brgy. Santa Teresa in Jordan and stayed in our host's house there.

In the afternoon, we had a swim in Raymen Beach Resort located in Alubihod, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras at P10 entrance fee per head. We stayed there till 6:00 P.M.

Back to our host's house, we enjoyed their hospitality and had a sumptuous dinner. We watched a graduation ball in a nearby school plaza till midnight.

The following day, we enjoyed the country side and rested and left Guimaras at 1:00 P.M. On our way to Iloilo International Airport, we dropped by in the Original Biscocho House to buy for pasalubong. We were so early in the airport at 3:20 P.M. and waited for our flight which was at 7:10 P.M.


View Boracay Island in a larger map

This trip is dated April 2 - 3, 2011 which is a part of my March 31 - April 5, 2011 Iloilo-Boracay-Guimaras Trip. It started when we left Cabogao Gamay Island at 7:41 A.M. and arrived in Gigantes Island to transfer to a bigger boat at 8:11 A.M. We waited till 9:00 A.M. where the boat left Gigantes Island and arrived in Estancia Feder Port at 10:25 .AM. From the Port, we boarded a tricyle for P10 per head to Bayuyan Estancia Bus Terminal which was 10:58 to 11:02 A.M. We chartered to vans from Estancia to Roxas City where the travel was from 11:07 A.M. to 1:13 P.M. We chartered an 18-seater van from Roxas City to Caticlan with the travel lasted from 1:35 to 4:50 P.M.

From Caticlan Jetty Port, we arranged our trip to Boracay Island where we paid the following:

Boat fare - P25
Environmental fee - P75
Terminal Fee - P50

We boarded the boat from Caticlan to Boracay Port which lasted from 5:30 to 5:38 P.M. and finally, we checked in at Travellers' Inn in Station 3 which is a beach front though we have to board a tricycle from the Boracay Port to our resort with travel time took from 5:46 to 5:55 P.M. at P20 per head.

It was not really an exciting Boracay Trip for this is not my first time. I wanted to sleep early since I was so tired with the whole day travel transfers. We enjoyed shortly the vibrant night life of Boracay.

The following day, the only activity we had was a very short swim in the beach front and the rest was in the Helmet Dive costing P500 per head. However, recuperating from my ear infection, I did not join the helmet dive for it might aggravate my physical condition and severe my ear infection.

I did not enjoy the swimming because I cannot submerge my head in the water to avoid the entry of water in my infected left ear.

It was too hot in Boracay and there was Frisbee Competition with Derek Ramsay around and some celebrities which I did not bother to check. Korina Sanchez was there also to feature the Number One SPA in the Philippines.

We left Boracay at 4:39 P.M. and was in Caticlan Port at 4:48 P.M. We had a chartered 18-seater van from Caticlan to Iloilo City's Tagbak Bus Terminal with the travel duration from 5:19 to 11:18 P.M. From Tagbak Terminal, we chartered a jeepney going to Janiuay Municipality of Iloilo with travel duration from 11:28 P.M. to 12:16 Midnight where we settled for an overnight in Farida Sedillo's uncle's house.