Mt. Batulao: Revisited "Two Point O"

The enchanted Mt. Batulao
Mt. Batulao, a popular mountain of Nasugbu, Batangas that is known to its copious peaks, serves as the group's mother mountain. HAFEEX PH's first trek happened last April 2013 in such remarkable mountain. It offers a grander view of a massif sitting at 811+ MASL. It is always earnest reminiscing the moments of our first climb; a time when we remembered ourselves free as birds flying high above the sky, free as the river running fast down into the ocean, and free as the wind travelling across borders. In short, Mt. Batulao thought us that we can live our lifetime as free as we could. That being remembered, we were stunned by the changes ensued in climbing the mountain.

October 24, 2015

0730H: Our team meets up at Pasay rotonda and took bus bound to Nasugbu, Batangas with fare at around P120. By the way, Nasugbu bound buses already includes "Batulao" in their sign boards, which shows indication that the mountain is already renowned.

0930H: Upon our onset in Nasugbu, tricycle drivers offered us a ride going to the jump off point for P25/pax (it may vary with the arrangements because other offered P20/pax). We however refused and just walked from the highway up to the jump off point just like how we did before.

1030H: Influx at the jump off point. Here, we were requested to register in the logbook for monitoring purposes yet with no fee. This is also the area wherein a certain tourism outpost is stationed mandating us to secure a guide for P500 per group of 10. This modified regulation really struck us as we were not prepared for this development, though we failed to research this matter prior to the climb. What we were aware of is just basically the experience we had during our first climb in 2013. Of course, we rejected the idea of having a guide and plead that aside from it is our second time to climb the mountain, Mt. Batulao housed a fairly easy trail. Since were unprepared for such issue and as advised by Kuya Jojo who understands the behaviour of the locals (he is actually raised in the same setting, particularly one in the highlands of Masbate), we gave up the argument as they were telling that such directive already in effect just last month, September, only to find out that it is not yet being finalized (not yet approved in the barangay level). They gave us a 13 year old guide (honestly, were still pondering on the purpose of needing a guide because we're not sure if the guide is trained in cases of mishap), but thanks anyway to the kid.

HAFEEX PH team (L-R: Jojo,Rhea,Rommel,Jason) with Jay and Nep.

On the positive note, we've shared the experience to the two new-fangled hiking pals who joined our group to share with the guide fee. Thanks to Nep and Jay! Indeed, the more the merrier so to speak. Along the trail, conversations just bloom by sharing each and everyone's hiking experiences. Topics are just coming out of nowhere, from travels to space to the guide's boyhood to ghost stories and more. It is always a pleasure learning something from other's inputs.

Those individual moments...
We elected the new to old trail where we paid registration fees thrice. First is in the new trail, halfway to summit for P30, second in the old trail at the campsite area for P20, and third for P10 at the near exit of the old trail. Again, as compared to our prior climb which required us only to pay two registration fees, this change brought us disappointment merely because it is unexpected.

And so much of those fads, the only physical challenge we encountered during the climb is the heat. Personally, I can't even glance at the entirety of the view at the summit without my sunglasses on. And wind is nowhere to be felt. Mt. Batulao does not have shades to offer at the top so we were being rescued by umbrellas - ella, ella, eh, eh <LSS inserted>.

Spotted! Not only our team's umbrellas were on.
HAFEEX PH on the rise.
A great pose to end the climb!
A third visit to this mountain would still be worthwhile for no cases can undermine its beauty. After all, Mt. Batulao is our mother mountain and needless to say - it's our home.

After the fulfilling hike, we recommend a must visit side trip in Caleruega Philippines Retreat Center. It always pays to thank Him for the safe climb. It is just one tricycle away from the jump off point for P20/pax and P30 entrance fee. We have enjoyed the solemnity of the surroundings; fragrances coming from the flowers are strongly smelled in some part of the place. We entered into the chapel and offered our prayers and thanksgiving for another successful and safe climb.

To end the adventure and by calling it a day, it's not enough to satisfy just our eyes and soul. Our appetites also deserve a treat and the best way to fulfill the craving? Is to rush to our favorite place in Mahogany market in Tagaytay for a perfect "bulalo" treat paired with one of their bestseller "tawilis" and free eat all you can "señorita".

And that summed up to our another solved adventure!

HAFEEX PH | #happyfeetexplorerPhilippines
Emilio Atabay Jr./Jason Arnoco/Rommel Montalan/Alpha Rhea Galomalim/Nep/Jay/John

Blogged by: Jason

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