Emher served as the team leader with Bong, Louie, Jelyn, Camz, Ellie and me as his lead-pack mates. The tail was led by Rey with the Baguio girls (Sarah, Amor and Julie with newbies Phoebe and April), Rap, Rosei, Rosei’s friend, Joseph, Erick, Thisoy and Rheinan. The Rocky Road (aka Rockies) trail is relatively easy, with lots of rest stations. The Baguio girls brought ube jam. Rosei’s sanitary pad was used to turn Bong into a Hello Kitty impersonator.
At 11AM, we reached the peak of the Rocky Road trail. There is a sari-sari store at this point. A soda drink (8-oz) costs 35pesos. Gatorade is for 65pesos.
At 1300, we commenced the journey to the Grotto via the summit. Out of nowhere, the group just started speaking in English with British accent and other unimaginable accents. Trails are dirty, with lots of scattered plastics and annoying materials. The summit is similar to that of Mt Makiling – no outstanding view! There are two roped segments.
After emerging from the forest, the grassland greet you in an ecstatic manner, with the blades of the grass swaying around like rejoicing for your arrival. At the peak of the grassland portion is the Grotto.
We cleansed ourselves at the nearby Mt Maculot View Resort for 50pesos. We visited St Isidore Church.
When we were already sitting comfortably in a jeepney for Lipa, Rey realised that Erick and Rheinan were missing. They were left behind! So we turned around and drove back to get the two. For 23pesos, you can tell the driver to take you at the bus station.
After three weeks of staying in the lowlands, I was given again the chance to climb. As usual, the group is crazy and insanely happy, chatting their hearts out as if they have never seen each other for a year or two. I wonder when will they run out of stories.