Thursday, April 14, 2011
MOUNT BATULAO CLIMB FOR THE THIRD TIME
This is my third time to scale Mount Batulao of Nasugbu in the province of Batangas. This mountain has an elevation of 811 meters above sea level or 2,660.76 feet which is categorized as a minor climb, level 2 and moderate. It has steep and open summit offering such an awesome panorama when one is on top of it.
This climb has offered me another exciting experience as I have guests with me and a fellow PNB MC Member, Rome Frias and another seasoned mountain climber from OWWA in the name of Mr. Anthony Bueza, Rome’s officemate. Our guests were: Doctor Cesar Garcia – Rome’s and my friend; Raymund Leonor (OWWA) and my colleagues (SPED teachers) in Angels Institute of Learning in the names of Ella Krizia and Emlou Vargas. It was the first time for them to experience mountain climbing. For Doc Cesar, Raymund and Ella, it was such a great milestone in their lives conquering the mountain’s summit and overcoming their fear of heights. The long legged and long-haired Emlou, on the other hand, is a daring woman without any fear of high altitude. She just find it thrilling being in this endless scaling activity.
This climb started boarding a bus in Pasay Taft Rotonda at 6:20 A.M. and we arrived in Evercrest of Batulao at 8:48 A.M. We fixed first ourselves in the nearby store in answering the call of nature and proceed with a 12-minute tricycle ride for P20 per head going to the nearest jump-off point. Melvin Brusas (Grade III pupil and a school drop out for 3 years), the cousin of Randy was our local guide then. It was my first to climb where I forgot to lead a prayer for I was as excited as my guests. The trekking started at 8:58 A.M. The skies then were open and the weather was perfect. It was not so hot and small amount of clouds accompanied us to shade us while on trek. Along the trail, the panorama was so inviting that our guests requested for an endless picture taking. After one hour and 31minutes, we have to rest and regroup in Halo-Halo Refreshment Point. It was a 17-minute break along with some other climbers having their Halo-halo moments to quench their thirst from a grueling trekking session.
We resumed our trekking at 10:27 A.M. But we have to stop shortly at a Buco Stop Point where the entry point for New Trail awaited our guests. Then we went down trailing to the direction of the Old trail. We arrived at Camp 1 of the Old Trail at 11:49 A.M. after a series of 5-minute stop and regrouping with accompanying picture taking with a registration of P20 per head. We agreed that we will spend overnight in Camp 1 to really have some rest and refreshing moment with mother nature. Besides, our guests would like to avail of the comfort room facility which costs P20 per pail of water. A water source is available in the camp for cooking. We pitched then our tents and took our lunch. We slept in our tents for almost two hours and after that the group except for Raymund and Anthony scaled towards Camp 7 to capture best shots with the backdrop of the summit. We cooked our dinner at around 5:00 P.M. and had eaten at 6:30 P.M. where socials followed, the usual wine drinking. Of course, I am a non-drinker and so I have to be contended in sharing some conversational moment with the group. Lights out was at 10:21 P.M. but I slept earlier than the rest of the group. We hand really a soundly sleep as almost all of us were snoring.
We woke up at 5:30 A.M. and cooked for breakfast. While others were cooking, Raymund, Anthony and I scaled up to Camp 6 for picture taking. We had our breakfast at 6:22 A.M. and cooked again for our pack lunch. Break camp followed at 9:35 A.M. for we opted to stay in the camp to enjoy the place. Ascending towards the summit started at 10:11 A.M. Our guests find ascending towards Camp 7, Camp 8, Camp 9 and Camp 10 (the summit) with extreme difficulty though I still initiated to take some pictures to capture the action while my group mates were ascending the summit. We were at the summit at 12:06 Noon and stayed a little bit longer. We resumed a more relaxed trekking towards the new trail passing on a narrow and breathtaking ridge. We arrived at the New Trail registration camp which cost us P20 per head at 1:49 P.M. and stayed longer for our late lunch. We arrived in the exit point of the New Trail at 2:14 P.M. and stayed longer for a buco treat costing P20 per order. An endless trekking followed up to the jump off point at 4:15 P.M. where we took a tricycle to take us to Evercrest. Anthony and Raymund left earlier due to scheduled appointment. The rest of us in the group had fixed and cleaned up ourselves in the available stores and took a 22-minute jeepney ride for P17 per head to Tagaytay City for a Special Bulalo treat at the Diner’s Restaurant. Bus rate from Tagaytay City to Pasay is P87 per head. We arrived Pasay City at 9:09 P.M.