Mt Batulao is one of the mountains that you could be proud of. It is not as high as Mt Pulag in the Cordilleras or as biologically-diversified as its neighbouring Mt Makiling, but it gives you the much-sought enjoyment and thrill. The spectacular display of ridges and peaks is a precious sight in two different colours: brown during the summer months and green for most of the year.
I was hesitant at first to join my friends because they planned for a night trek! My vision is impaired and I usually have difficulties doing things at night. But they assured me that the trails are slightly easy. And so at 1400H, I was inside a fastfood chain in Pasay eating burger and waiting for my friends, unknowingly at the wrong place! So after one hour, I was still on the same seat, just texting. Louie led me to the correct assembly area. Ralph and Conrad were already there. Then, Bong, Sarah, Julie and Genia arrived. We left the bus terminal for Nasugbu a bit past 1600H. It was extremely cold inside the bus (17 degrees Centigrade, as per the flashing light over the driver’s seat).
It was already dark when we reached the jump-off point at Evercrest Golf Resort (fare is 106pesos). Sinaing na tulingan was chosen by my mind to satisfy the ramblings in my stomach. At 2030H, we started our trek. It is required, by the way, to register at the guardhouse (absolutely free!). The trail was severely decorated with mud, made more disgusting by animal fecal matters. Aside from the unpleasant nature of the wet soil, it was slippery. We lost our way amidst tall grasses and scary cows and horses. Louie tortured me by posing a trail-run challenge. It was fun but I almost drove myself to one of the shallow ravines.
We reached the camp a little over 2200H. After pitching the tents, I felt the heat surging inside of me. I decided not to join the activity and take a rest instead.
The morning after
I climbed the summit to see the sunrise with Julie, Genia and Rap. We stayed there and took pictures of the surroundings for almost two hours while Rap slept. At the summit, there are merchants who sell Mountain Dew softdrink. It was funny because they hide the bottles under the plants at night.
After taking a bath, we took a bus back to Pasay (fare is 110pesos; for Cubao, 132pesos).
Thanks to the RED Mountaineers. Photo credits: Ralph Louie Pastidio.