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Mt. Batulao
Province:  Batangas
14° 02.395N   120° 48.138E
Listed in Gallery:   Mountain Peak

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We are newbies when it comes to trekking and mountain climbing. In fact, Batulao was our first serious attempt.

We looked into your site (waypointsdotph) and found out that there were no clear descriptions on how to go to Mount Batulao. However, other more experienced people whom we know and met told us that Batulao is one of the easiest climbs to do. I am sure that there are many enthusiasts who want
to experience what we have experienced so I decided to share our brief story below.

Description and Location:

We started off from Tagaytay City driving along the highway we passed Alfonso, Cavite and then the border into Nasugbu. We turned into the road leading to Evercrest Hotel and stopped at the Don Bosco Seminary building
where we asked the guards to direct us to a person who could guide us to the mountain. That day, we were told to go into the barangay further down the road.

From the Don Bosco-Evercrest Road, you proceed further down and you will reach a fork in the road. The road to the right will lead you to Calaruega, another seminary and church of the Dominicans and to the left is a road that leads you to an unpaved road where the barangay is. At the barangay sari-sari store, you can ask if they know of anyone who can guide you to the mountain.

I was there quite early and unfortunately, all the possible guides were asleep. So its best to make arrangements the day before. Ideally, you can start the trek at around 6 am when it is cool. We started ours at around
9:15 am.

The trek takes you into the barangay road which narrows after a couple of kilometers into a path surrounded by grasses. Its best to bring water and snacks with you since it took us about 2 hours to get to the foot of Mt.
Batulao. This is also because we would stop often for photo opportunities. The path is a narrow pathway that meanders up and down hills moving closer to Camp 1.

Batulao is a very clean and well cared for by the townsfolk. At Camp 1 there was a bantay by the name of Rafael or "Pael" who took care of us and made us sign a log book. There was an entrance fee of PHP20.00 per person. Pael also sells buko and water from a spring.

There are roughly 10 Camps to the top of Mt. Batulao. The first 7 camps were really easy climbs for us but from Camp 7 to 8 and 8 to 9, the climbs were steeper and generally a bit more challenging. Being our first time,
the experience was fantastic and the views were superb. We reached Camp 10 a bit tired. It took us one hour to get up from Camp 1. This included lots of picture taking on the way up of course!

The total time we took to and from the mountain was around 7 hours! We expected to get back by lunchtime, but we were not told that the walk to the mountain was a long one. If you estimate that a slow walk may take you
around 12 - 15 minutes per kilometer, then, we walked anywhere from 8 - 10 kilometers to get to Camp 1. So the total distance to and from the site would be approximately 16 - 20 kilometers! That would be a full day's
workout. The funny thing was we got to Camp 1 around 11 am and that was when we decided to climb. We hit the top just about lunchtime! That was a wrong schedule to follow. During summer, the heat is just too much. But since we were so excited, we did not care about that. I was also told that
Mt. Batulao is about 1,050 meters above sea level. However, if you start from the ridge, you are about halfway through the height anyway.

Ideally, Batulao should be climbed during the dry season. The loose rocks
situated between Camp 7 - 10 is better traversed when it is not muddy and
slippery. We were lucky because there were passing showers the day before which helped compact the soil which had been dry for quite a while. We avoided a very dusty experience. We did not need any ropes and were quite
comfortable using our rugged hiking shoes. Our guide, Lorenzo "Enzo" Roxas
was just using slip-ons! He was one of the nicest people we had met in the area. Funny thing is he does not normally guide people up the mountain. His father asked him to guide us. His father is a Barangay Tanod there and
probably well respected. Everyone knew Enzo so we had no problems at all.

We are looking forward to more trekking opportunities.

Note: Please correct me if I am wrong. I do not have a GPS nor a way to measure
the distance we trekked.

Waypoint narrative by: Fernando_Delos-Reyes 2007