While most people observe Independence Day by placing the Philippine flag against their walls or cars, we’ve chosen to take the flag to the peak of Mt Batulao. I was invited to join a tramping event to celebrate Independence Day and my answer was yes for sure. There were only three participants on the said tramping activity, five including me and Madz.
Mt Batulao was just a minor climb and relatively easy yet, the view from the top was spectacular. You can reach the top for an hour or two (full speed) but since we’re not in a hurry, moderate pace was enough. We hit the ground past 2 pm and reached camp site around 5 o’clock. We cooked dinner (sinigang and adobo) and feed our starving tummy by 7 pm.
Two other groups arrived at camp site late at night and luckily the group next to our tents were tight-lipped. One of our guys (Paul) on the other hand had a miserable night. His neighborhood was loud.
It was a chilly hazy morning which was perfect for our hot premium coffee. The crisp mist blended with nippy breeze was exceptional while having our superb breakfast.
We start our final leg towards the summit past 8 am. We’re lucky to have great weather and no threat of rain whatsoever. The terrain on Mount Batulao would be a nightmare during rainy days. It will be very muddy and slippery. Take note that there’s nothing to hold on to except for grasses and rocks which sometimes are loose too.
We resumed our summit attempt scrambling on a steep rocky terrain. Cliff on both sides while the wind was playing with us. The five of us climbed first while the other group were on our tail. We were ascending when one of the guy behind us said he can’t see anything.
We realized he’s in trouble so we paused for a bit to lend our helping hand. He almost passed out and we learned later on that he’s not a fan of heights. He even asked if there’s a shortcut or another way to get to the top. As an encouragement, we told him “Look around you, is there another way?” We’re already half way to the summit and going down was harder via Old trail than going to the top.
We carried on while he took rest for few minutes with his hiking buddies.
We were at Camp 8 when everyone decided to take five and grab some cold drinks. Yes, cold drinks are available here. Expect to pay extra penny, the drinks are costly yet, it’s reasonable. You’ll need some cold refreshment when you’re climbing underneath the blazing sun.
We commenced our final push to the summit 5 minutes later. As the saying goes, “Save the best for last.” Trust me, before you conquer the summit you got to beat the rope section. This was the tricky part where rope was installed to aid climbers. I would say it’s risky but not deadly at all. It’s nearly vertical rocky slope which is fairly short and relatively safe. Anyone can surpass this section without using the rope. I didn’t use it. He he!
All five of us made it to the top safely and we all enjoyed every seconds of it. The 360 degree picturesque view from the top was really worth it. The heat of the sun was nothing when in front of us was the surreal beauty of nature. The green meadows and dense woodland was marvelous. WOW!
We stayed at the top for more than 30 minutes then head back down via new trail. It only took us more or less an hour to reach the jump off point. This event was one of the memorable ones that we will surely cherish for a lifetime. We will definitely go back if time permits.
Stay tune for my next adventure.