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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.