Mt Batulao Fun Hike

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Chill hike and camping. As a newbie in hiking and camping we need to go to minor yet mainstream mountains. This time we trail up to the infamous Mt Batulao in Nasugbu, Batulao. Many novice mountaineer hike this mountain due to its pristine beauty and easy access from Metro Manila. It will take you 2-3 hours travel from the capital. It was dawn of February when we decide to team up and go to Mt. Batulao. Traveling with fellow mountaineers, limited fund and a personal guide with us. It was 900H when we arrive in Evercrest Golf Course, at the back lies the jump off to Evercrest. The morning sun is high but since it still in cold months, the breeze of the air is still cold.
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We ride tricycle going to the jump off where little kids are bombarding us to be their guide. Since we got our mate who actually climb Batulao for the nth time we did not need one to hike up. The heat is tolerable, at the start all of us fell in love with the beauty. It is a 360 degree of scenic view of Batangas shore and land. Everything seems to be so pretty. We reach the fork, rest a little bit and carry on to the Old trail to the New Trail. We met lots of day hikers when we are proceeding to the old trail camp site.

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We took our time going up since we are early on our itinerary and it was just too beautiful to leave soon. When we reach the Old Trail Camp site, we register and rest for a while. The real deal started when we trek up to the summit. Series of assaults and downhill trail is really eating our energy. Good things it’s not hot, I cannot imagine going here during the summer months because it will kill you. It was a grassland trail, limited trees and lots of Talahib (wild grass) every where. We reached the 60 degrees assault which you need to use rope, it looks difficult but actually it was just the angle of the picture. It was steep, it will be very hard during the rainy season to go to this path.
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We reach the summit, it was a dry, rocky and sandy summit. The view is beautiful, the wind is just smooth and full clearing of the afternoon. We can see the lush vegetation nearby with Kaingin site (burning of woods for coal) but it is still pretty. We are not tired and sloppy unlike with other mountains we tried. We are full of energy this time even though the trail is not that easy. My bag is full packed with things and group load this time but I manage to go way up without gasping for air or back-killing pain. It went smooth.
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Going down to the New Trail Camp site is actually challenging. Too many slopes to conquer, face the wall and ropes again to add up our adventure. I get tired and weary. No sleep for more than 24 hours, hungry and thirsty. We finally reached the camp site. We are the only people to camp. It was Friday though, many people hike Batulao during weekends. It is also timely because it was the New Trail 7th anniversary and there will be party during the weekends. The land lord and trail master of the New Trail, Tatay Xerxes, accommodate us very warm. Even though, he doesn’t seem to talk that much. Reminding us that we can wake him up if we want something in his sari-sari store (convenient store in the mountain, business e).
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After setting up our camp with 2 tents for the 6 of us. We don’t have things yet available at this time (we have now, thought!! Yay!!). Dinner was serve and the comedic socials begins. In the middle of the night, we decide to go to the other side where another campers are ducked in. Cold air “Amihan” is freezing us, the sky line is pretty with millions of stars in the sky. The city lights below are twinkling in the dark. It was a pretty sight, as we call it a day. We trek down to our camp to be horrified that our camp was ransacked by a dog. Eating the cooked chicken which is supposed to be for midnight snack. Oh what a waste. Anyway, we learn that we should never leave things when going out.
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Light out and I am doze again to dream land. I woke up very late, breakfast ready by my co-hikers and we break our camp. It was very hard to leave because we are now watching day hikers and campers trek their way up while we trek our way down. I want to stay here but I need to go to work later this evening. We reached the fork and stayed there for an hour or so. We have cold soft drinks and Halo-Halo to cool down the morning heat. After which we decide to go down, walk our way up to Evercrest entrance. We head back to Manila after wash up. Another successful climb for me. It was a fine day.

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Budget:

Php 700-900.00 for 6 pax

Shaw Blvd to Coastal Mall: Fare Php 40.00
Coastal Mall to Evercrest: Fare 120
Evercrest to Jump Off Tricycle: Fare Php 250.00
Registration (Old Trail): Php 20.00
Overnight fee (New Trail):  Php 30.00
Another Registration as of March 2015: Php 10.00
Tour Guide:  Php 300.00
Food Allowance:  Php 1500

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Sample IT:

Old Trail to New Trail:

0700 ETD Coastal Mall bus terminal to Nasugbu, Batangas
01015 Arrival at Evercrest
1030 Start trek
1145 Arrival at Fork. Take the left.
1200 Camp 1. Register
1400 Camp 8, commence final assault
1600 Summit
1700 ETA New Trail Campsite  / Set up Camp
1900 Dinner/Socials
1200 Lights Out
0700 Start descent via New Trail
0800 ETA Fork.
0930 Back at Evercrest.
1030 ETD Evercrest
1200 ETA Manila

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Things to Bring:

1.5 to 2 L of Water or rehydration fluids
Group Water 2 liters
Hiking or trekking shoes
Sun protection and Rain Protection (hats, sun block, headgear, sunglasses)
Hiking gloves (optional but recommended)
Food (Snack and Lunch)
Personal Medications
Camera
Mess Kit
Extra Plastic
Head lamp

Essentials:

Burner
Swiss Knife
Tents
Lamp/Flashlight
Butane
Cook Set
Spatula
Dish Washer
Trash Bag
Medical Kit

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Till our next G!!

Jei February 5 and 6, 2015

Photo Credits: Gel and Me

Banaue: Short Trip to Sagada

Traveling with friends.
It was Christmas time when we tour Sagada to experience the cold weather apart from going to Baguio which is very much crowded any time of the year. I always dream of going to this town because it is famous for it’s beauty and culture. Nestled at the top of the Mountain Province, we left Pampanga around 2300 on Christmas Day. This time, we join a group from a travel agency since backpacking wasn’t ideal for this season. Our trip will start to the famous Rice Terrace in Banaue, Ifugao before proceeding to Sagada. I was able to sleep on the way to Ifugao even though it was not comfortable. The agency provide a van that compressed 15 people with out belongings. So imagine sardines squeezed in to a can.
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All my legs are getting numb, when we reach the highway going to Banaue it was foggy and almost zero visibility. I tried to sleep again even though I was feeling uneasy. The road is slippery and we are actually running beside a 20-30-meter cliff. We arrived in Banaue for breakfast around 0600H. It was cold, wet and slippery. For is coming all over the place. On the restaurant where we decide to dine in, there are huge windows to view the entire town. After eating breakfast we head out to the Viewpoint to see the Banaue Rice Terraces.
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The view is spectacular if only there are few houses built in the surrounding area. But the Terraces are still amazing. Man made rice paddies, the Igorots are very intelligent and smart to have the mountains transform into something very useful for their livelihood. After taking too many picture, we decide on continuing the journey on the way to Sagada. From Banaue it will take another 4-6 hours of travel time via private transportation. I cannot figure out how many hours when you commute from Manila to Sagada because the bus will take ages before it arrives and the jeepney needs over flow passengers before the driver start the engine.
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Anyhow, we arrive Sagada around 1200H because of traffic and road construction. It was peak time and I did not know that there are too many people are traveling to Sagada which actually ruin our itinerary later. We arrive on each of our hotels, we learned that most of the inns and hotels are fully booked because of public holidays. The inn we got is good enough, no AC nor electric fan, hot shower and 2 queen size beds. It was basic and simple which is good enough for the 4 of us.
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Sagada is progressing by the looks of the town. Hotels and restaurants are surrounded. This place is not as mainstream as Baguio City or Tagaytay City but it is building is progress in high rate. Many travelers are from the cities, hoping to see a town and experience its adventure.
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Off to Next Trip!
Jei 25/12/2014
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To the Parrot’s Beak: Mt Pico De Loro

The MONOLITH
Drain with my every day life. After putting so much fear in my life, I decide that I want to break free from being the simple, book-worm and couch potato gal to become an utmost adventure geek. I never imagine to find so much love and passion to mountain climbing. I was over weight before, I was lazy and a massive alcohol drinker. Now I will climb my 5th mountain which is Mt. Palay Palay or Pico de Loro. One of the mainstreams mountain in the Philippines. Located in Ternate, Cavite. It is about 2 hours away from the Manila so many hiker are attracted to visit the summit.
NEW TRAIL
OLD TRAIL
OLD TRAIL
It was a fine day in Manila when we left. The traffic is not heavy from Shaw Boulevard going to Coastal to ride the bus to Ternate. From Coastal Mall terminal to Ternate terminal, we took tricycle going to the DENR jump-off. Then the confusion started, arriving to the jump off. Rumors is the old trail will be closed soon and municipal people are starting to barricade the old trail due to registration dispute. Before there are two registration point. One from the DENR (Department of Environment and National Resources) from the government and from a private collector which is the land lord of the old trail.
Hiking Mates
Hiking Mates
From the jump off we were bothered by several locals, we want to trek down the old trail going to the summit but we were discourage due to the pending closure of the trail. But we insist on having the old trail instead of using the New Trail. Despite the whole rigmarole of decisions in which way we finally started the trek. This is an overnight camping trip which was decided within 24 hours. I was tired and exhausted from work. I need to create our itinerary and budget. The night before we leave, I am very tired and wanted to cancel the trip. But still decide on going.
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Trekking down the old trail.

From the old trail jump off going to the next registration site we saw a rattle snake in white and black color. The vegetation is still good although the trail looks very used. We saw several groups going down form a day hike. Spreading news that there is wall construction on their way down which make us very hopeful. The hesitation we got is released so take a rest in the camp for while. We started trekking, to our horrors the closure of the old trail is inevitable. We saw policemen and workers starting to put barb wires and we need to talk to them for us to passed by. They told us to share the news to other people who the old trail was closed. I think we are the last group who was able to trek the trail. It was farewell and good-bye for the old trail.

Little Bamboo Forest going to the camp site.

As we continue, I can ear the water from the falls but we don’t have time to go there since it is not part of the IT. We arrive the 2 hour-assault, my back hurt, I did not sleep, tired, weary and hungry. My beast mode was long gone. I was palpitating real hard. Too much coffee and carbonated drinks. My thoughts are dreadful but I need to survive this hike otherwise I will not climb again. After the series of uphill climb, we manage to reach the camp. The sun is about to set on the west, the wind is harsh. It is windy in Pico during the afternoon till night-time. We left our bags in the campsite and trek to the summit.
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The wind cause a trouble on the way up to the summit. Edges and sandy all over the 60 degree slope. It was hard to climb because of the sand whirling together with the wind but we are able to reach the top. The deafening sound of the wind is nothing compare to the sight I am seeing. It was beautiful upon reach.

Girls and mountains.

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Scene in the Tower. Just Glorious.

Then, the famous MONOLITH stand on her grandeur in the middle of the forest, sea and clouds. It was wonderful. After getting all the picture we need, we head to the monolith top to experience, rock climbing. With ropes and other paraphernalia.
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Shoe selfie!!

I got scratches on my elbows but still I cannot feel the pain because the sight is just wonderful. We a took time to explore the monolith and when we are satisfied we head back to the campsite to set our own camp.

Emote sa LITH.

The way up. Looks can be deceiving. LOL!

At the camp, due to my negligence. I forgot to bring the tent we need which is really frustrating. Imagine 6 persons sharing 1 tent with a capacity of 4 persons. HURRAY!! Good thing I bring my own sleeping bag otherwise I might get cold. The wind is blowing relentlessly, getting strong every hour. After setting up our camp, dinner time and socials started. We cook our own food, we are still novice but we manage to upgrade our things one at a time. I doze off due to exhaustion. I slept outside the tent since I am the one who did not bring the tent. (T.T) It was cold, it is pinching my skin. I had 2 jackets on a sleeping bag but still the cold is harsh. I survive the night, woke up happily with all the people surrounding us!! Shocked to see that it was Saturday morning and people from the cities and nearby towns are now exploring the entire camp site. (ashamed!!!)

Setting Up the CAMP

Camping and Shelter

To trail during the week-end is highly discourage because there are lots of people hiking during this time. Actually, too many people. It was a good thing that we decide to hike on a Friday. After eating our breakfast we decide to break our camp. We trail back using the New Trail since back tracking to the Old trail is now officially prohibited. Foot traffic is all over the trail. We need to patiently wait for group of lines to be finished before taking our turn.

The NEW TRAIL

The New trail is still diverse. The vegetation is still in good condition, mossy and green. It took us 2 hours to trek down back to the jump off. We ate and washed up. Then it is time to go back to the real world.
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Expenses:
Shared expense for a group of 6 = Php 700
Solo Break Down:
Shaw to Coastal Mall : Fare Php 20.00 – 30.00
Coastal to Ternate: Fare Php 80.00 – 90.00
Ternate to DENR (Tricycle):  Php 250.00
Registration: 30.00
Second Registration (Old Trail)= Php 25.00
Food and drinks: 250
Ternate to Coastal Mall: Php 80.00 – 90.00
Coastal to Pasig City: Php 20.00 – 30.00
DENR to Terminal: Php 80.00 / Person
SOLO Budget Cost: Php 900.00 – 1000.00

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Sample Itinerary
Day 1
0700 Board bus at Coastal Mall Terminal to Ternate (P82)
01000 ETA Ternate. Rent tricycle to jump-off
1045 ETA DENR / jump-off point.
1100 Start trek
1145 ETA rest station, Basecamp 1
1300 Camp
1400 ETD to Summit
1600 ETA to Camp Site
1900 Dinner and Socials
2300 LIGHTS OUT
Day 2
0430 Breakfast
0500 Break Camp
0600 start descent to Magnetic Hill
0900 ETA jump-off point.
0930 Back at DENR; take jeepney to Ternate then take bus back to Manila
1100 ETA Manila.

At the top of MONOLITH

Photo Credits:
Gel, Rona, Sarah and Herdy (Yapak Mountaineers)
 Hike Date: February 20 and 21, 2015
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Wonders of Traveling

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I started traveling when I realize that my lifelong dream will not come to life sooner than my expected plan. Being suppress in the academe life will deter me in enjoying the jet setting life I want to have. I am still young to venture my time in school for 20 years or so. I decided to come out and explore the world, travel the entire Philippines.
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I am a proud Filipino that is the reason why I did not dare to go abroad and nestle my talent in a foreign land. My heart belongs to the beauty and wickedness of this pretty island. Where we smell the fresh salty air of the sea, the pollution of the Metro and the green pasture of the Kapatagan. I so love this beloved country that I dream of taking picture every corner of the land.
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When I was younger, I never expect myself to be this adventurous. I always love books, reading is my ultimate passion before. It feels like going through the world, creating your own visual concept of what we have in this blue and green ball. But when I have the ability to finance my venture, it is like a drug that make you feel better. Walking, seeing, hearing and feeling the heat, the cold, the warmth, the breeze, the life of a town and nature. Things can change you.
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I cannot compare anything in this world when I feel the exhilarating thrill of going out and looking for something beautiful. When you see the things not every individual can see. When you experience the most amazing ride, some people can get in. Its like you’re at the top of the world screaming your lungs out and diving the depths of the sea. This is truly a wonderful world and the Philippines is one of the best of them all.
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So let us pack our things, if you love the mountains go here. If you love the sea, go here. If you love the blue sky and the warm sun just go here. This little country can offer you the best than Morocco, Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Europe and the Americas can offer. In Asia, Philippine Island is love and fun belongs. That is the reason why, It is More Fun in the Philippines!

Burot Beach going SOLO

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View from the tricycle going to Burot Beach.

Summer is love. April is FREEDOM. It’s been a while since I went on a trip all by myself. After 3 months of long exhausting hours at work. Finally, my 5-day vacation leave was approved. 3 days before my leave I plan to go to Marinduque but because of the Storm Chedeng, all plans need to be cancelled. I settle myself finding a serene beach to accommodate my insanity. Then, there was BUROT BEACH. A day before my leave I quickly sort out my itinerary. I went to Calatagan, Batangas Philippines long time ago. It was 4 years ago, I remember the agony of the long drive during that time. I was impatient back then and traveling doesn’t suit my lazy butt.
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Me. Selfie Queen.

With lingering feeling, I exhausted searching for a perfect IT plan A, B and C leading to one of the biggest accomplishment in my life. I bought my own cook set and burner for this trip which I will use in the future for my hiking escapades. The night before I travel, I cannot sleep. Worrying all night on what to do on my first ever camping beach trip. I woke up very late, very late from itinerary. Started packing things, last-minute shopping and breathing my way out to the real backpacking experience.
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My Camp with neighbor. Yes we have similar tents! 🙂

Late like 5 hours late from my schedule trip. I set off my foot around 1130H from Pasig City, arriving in Taft Avenue around 1200H. The terminal station going to Nasugbu is at the back of Mcdonalds and Dunkin Donut. Later I learn than there is a van terminal going straight to Calatagan at the back of Kabayan Hotel, also in Taft, Pasay. I load myself to the bus going to Lian, Batangas because the bus to Calatagan will take ages before arriving in the terminal.
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Sunset. Very serene while I cook my dinner.

After 4 grueling hours in the bus that did nothing but to fetch passengers I arrive in Lian, Batangas. The Pasay City-Bacoor-Dasmarinas-Silang-Tagaytay City- Nasugbu ride with wailing children and snoring co-passenger I was able to find a jeepney going to Calatagan. From Lian to Calatagan it will take less than an hour. I took off the jeepney, got myself 4 gallons of water and ride on a tricycle going to Burot Beach.
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This is waist high water and you can still see the bottom part.

 I arrive around 1730H, the heat of the sun settled down and there was no space for me to pitch in my tent. People from the Metro come down south enjoring the holiday and long weekend but I manage to get a good spot for myself. I forgot that I did not eat breakfast and lunch because I was late on my schedule itinerary. After pitching my tent and things down, I cook my food canned mackerel in Sinigang (Sour Stew) and rice. I got too tired to roam around, I am still observing my fellow campers. I am still worried to leave my things behind but my neighbor campers have chit-chat with me. I met a traveling couple Kuya Alex and Ate (I forgot her name) which are adorable to supply me things about the area since they arrive earlier than I.
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Beach Bumming starts now.

I walk around near the shore after eating dinner to see plastics and garbage from other campers. It was disappointing that these people doesn’t know the principle of LEAVE NO TRACE. They have no respect to the nature, sooner or later this beach will be wasted because of those people who don’t know how to take care of the environment. I got a plastic full of garbage 30 minutes after I walk around. Kuya Alex told me that there are people who are managing the garbage but I don’t feel its enough. There will be no garbage at all if people know how to pick up their own trash.
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Cove end, this rockies are real star!!

I got tire and sleepy around 900 so light up. I woke up because my fellow campers are partying like there is no tomorrow. The noise irritates me, I was there for solitude, to relax and forget the buzzing noise of the metro but these people manage to ruin my night. I decide to read my comics while breathing in the air from the sea. Around 200H i fell asleep again, call it a night and had a restful slumber (thanks to the ear plugs I bought). I woke up around 600H, the breeze of the sea welcomes me. It was low tide when I arrive but the water went up in the morning. It was a wonderful sight, a smile on my face and prepare to face mt beach activities. A cup of coffee fill in the early morning cold air.
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700H, took my own risk pack my phone and ipad to my ever trusted bag, zipped my tent and went on a long walk to the shore. I went to the series of stone forming the cove and took unlimited selfies. The water is very clear and clean. It seduce me to dive and swim like a fish. After walking around the beach shore, I cooked my breakfast (corned beef with egg and fried rice). 800H, I swim the vast clear blue sea. I enjoy my beach bumming activity even though I am alone and everyone is looking at me amusingly.
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Breakfast in the sand..

I got hook into the water for 3 hours and the heat of the sun is protruding. I decide to break my camp and go home. There are available toilet and shower rooms which are very basic. Free flowing water that is scalding hot you can get some to drink coffee. I manage to break my camp successfully and took my final shot of the place. It was high noon when I decide to leave the cove back to Manila. 1230H I arrived in Calatagan Poblacion to take the bus but the bus did not arrive within an hour of waiting. So I decide to take the van from Calatagan to Pasay City.
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A kiss from me. Having fun in the sun.

The traffic is inevitable, the trip is good from Calatagan to SLEX (South Luzon Expresswaty) but after exiting the toll. Massive traffic welcomes us aboard. It was 1 hour of traffic before we arrived to the terminal. I am exhausted and hungry. Grab a hotdog in 7/11 and take another bus ride going to Robinson’s Galleria and take another bus home. All in all the entire transportation took me 5 hours back home. Tanned by the sun, tired from the trip and hungry. I can still feel the excitement, I am way too happy for my successful trip to Burot Beach.
Expenses:
Pasay City to Lian Batangas: Fare Php 152.00
Lian to Calatagan Bayan (Town): Fare Php 30.00
Tricycle Bayan to Burot Beach: Fare Php 150.00 Solo / Php 60.00/pax
Tricycle Entrance: Php 10.00
Burot Beach Entrance Fee: Php 130.00
Tent Space (if you are bringing you own tent): Php 30.00
Tent Rental : Php 150.00 for 2 persons
Going Back Expenses:
Tricycle Bayan to Burot Beach: Fare Php 150.00 Solo / Php 60.00/pax
Van from Calatagan Bayan to Pasay City: Fare Php 180.00
Pasay City to Robinson’s Galleria Bus (AC): Fare Php 18.00
Robinson’s to Home: Fare 12.00
Budgeted Food for Solo: Php 300.00 to Php 500.00 ( based on consumption)
My Budget Cost: 500.00 which includes the butane, food, toiletries and snacks on the way
Total Cost: Php 1700.00 to Php 2000.00 for solo
Budget Tips: Bring friends to cut off the cost of the tour. The more the cheaper. Try to haggle with driver.
Sample Itinerary: (I adjusted my Day 1 for 4 hours. Hehe)
Day 1
430 ETD from Pasig City
500 ETA  Taft Pasay City Bus Terminal
530 ETD Bus Terminal going to Calatagan
0815 ETA Lian, Batangas 0830 ETD Lian Poblacion to Calatagan Bayan
0915 ETA Calatagan Bayan
(Alternative Route: Van from Taft Pasay City at the back of Kabayan Hotel to Calatagan: Trip 4-5 hours)
930 Complete Supplies
0945 ETD Calatagan Poblacion
1000 ETA Burot Beach
1015 Secure Camp Area and Pitch Tent
1100 Prepare Lunch
1300 Free Time (Swimming, Beach Bumming, etc)
1500 Meryenda
1700 Prepare Dinner
1900 Dinner and Socials
Day 2
600 Wake up call
630 Prepare Breakfast
700 Breakfast
730 Free Time (Swimming, Beach Bumming, etc)
1000 Wash up
1100 Break Camp
1200 ETD Burot Beach
1215 ETA Catalgan Poblacion
1230 ETD Calatagan to Taft Pasay City
1730 ETA Pasay City
You can adjust your time while in the beach. You can snorkel and island hopping to Puting Buhangin for Php 100.00 minimum of 5 person. If you are solo you can go with other groups but I decide to stay in the beach.
It was fine time to explore the world. With or without someone to accompany you. Once in a while go on a solo trip and be happy by yourself. Engage your self to the nature and environment.
See you on our next trip!!!
Jei 09/04/2015

Mt Talamitam Heat

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Earn money by keeping your day job. Save money to buy all things I want. Repeat 5 times a weeks. When everything fails go to the mountains. Pure happiness and not stop action will push you to your limit. kicking that adrenaline you been longing to scream out. Oh well, it was a fine February day. After weeks of going up, up, up and away to 3 mountains which I will review soon. Me and my mountain buddies decide to spend our time off in Mt. Talamitam. New peak for novice hikers like us. This will be my 6th mountain summit and it was a blast.

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 Mt Talamitam is nestle in Nasugbu, Batangas Philippines. I will no longer elaborate since you can google it. I tell you the experience I had going to the peak of Mt. T. This particular mountain is not as famous as Mt Batulao which is located on the same town.  I got interested to this mountain due to various blogs made by other mountaineers. They mentioned about the political rivalry and landlords registration war. It was a little bit off limit to go to mountains who have been long boycotted by several clubs and hiking society.

 

 Out meet up location was in 7/11 Starmall, manage to leave there around 800H which is actually 2 hours late from our original itinerary. Then run all the way to Coastal Malll to catch the Nasugbu bus. We reach Nasugbu around  1100H due to heavy traffic and the bus stop over to get passengers. I had no sleep but I was able to catch up along the way, it was a good long nap in the bus.

 Upon reaching the jump off, we learn that the disputes in the registration is long gone. Its been 3 years since the matter dissipates and locals are still suffering because of the occurrence. My team never made it to 83 km because the conductor doesnt know the jump off so we pass over the registration site. We made it to Sitio Bayabasan, Kuya Paul welcomes us very warmly and offer himself to be our guide. It was high noon, warm and sunny. I can see the peak of Talamitam soaring high in the sky with the heat and breeze of February afternoon.

It was hot, trekking all the way up there will make the hiking very difficult. There was no water source and we need to save up our water. Kuya Paul bring our group water which is very kind of him. He told us to swim first in the river before going up and wait for the sun to go down. After the mesmerizing bath in the river. We resume the trek around 1630H. The sun is still piercing through our skin like needles. I feel like my backpack weight became double. Sweat pouring in my face and my heart is beating relentlessly.

It was tiring to go way up when it is too hot. But as we walk our way up we gloriously dive in into a magical hill. From a not very far away land we can see the majestic Mt Batulao. The heat lost when we saw the terrain, it was just so pretty. So I take time, slow down and have multiple pictures. We reach the saddle camp site around 1800H, set our tents and ready for our group socials. We had our dinner and the usual social on how the trek. We decide on reaching the summit at dawn to watch sunrise.

Lights out. I woke up because the stray dog rummaging our stock, food and equipments. It was wrong to leave things out of tents and I learn my lesson. Ending the day very tired, I found myself sleeping safe and sound until the wind came along. Since the camp site doesn’t have trees, the wind almost destroyed our tents. We surpassed the wind but I did not surpass sleepiness. I did not wake up on time and did not join the group to reach the summit. After we break the camp, I decide that I want to  reach the summit. Alone, I find my way up in the summit. It was my first time to trek alone, I was afraid in the beginning but when I reached the top. It was nothing but awesome view and endless happiness. It was a great journey, great day and great love.

On our way back, we swim again in the river. Free fall in its little cliff. It was a lovely day to end. We went back to Kuya Paul’s store, ate and refresh before heading back to Manila with tons of star apple and junk fruits on our packs. This climb is rated 3.