It never crossed my mind that I would hike another mountain this year. I was busy all along with my current job(3 months after promotion) and still adjusting with the environment that a little break or an extended day off is needed just to breath and be a normal person again. Moreover, shifting at night means the first day off shall be allotted only to sleep the whole day, perhaps, the night time as well.
Little did I know, Kath planned to go to Mt. Batulao as she was saying that it's only a day hike and no need for us to go overnight which the same we did last year for Mt. Pulag.
She already contacted the tour guide and confirmed our hike on Sunday. However, we can't really make it that time since my shift ends on Sunday morning at 9:00 am which was already hot to hike and all I need was to sleep. Talking about Valentines date.. I already let the day passed by. Good thing, we moved our hike on Monday thinking there will be few people in the mountain since it's not usual people will hike on weekdays.
We plan to be there before 6:00 AM just to avoid the hot weather once we get to the top but it seems we were lazy enough to get up that it was already 5:30 am when we left the house and drove from Imus to the Evercrest the meetup point with Kuya Ely, our tour guide.
There were tricycles there but Kuya Ely mentioned that they'll ask you to pay 100 pesos good for two person up to the jump off but still depends on you haggling skills or else, you can walk there up to the jump off which is not too far.
Since we have our Urvan, he guided us from Evercrest up to the jump off.
Beware!!! Our Urvan escapade became an instant 4x4 off road.. very risky for unaccustomed vehicle since the road is not too friendly. But it saved us a couple of bucks and convenience to take a bath and change clothes after the hike.
We brought 1-2 liters of water, skyflakes, snickers, mentos.
We started our hike at 7:10 am.. We took the new trail which Kuya Ely said, it has a better view of Batulao.
You'll encounter several horse dung along the trail because a lot of residents there uses a horse as mode of their transportation.
Not ready for the picture :P
Few stops made and we are starting to appreciate the Batulao nature. You can count the number of trees along the new trail and few camp sites that you can buy stuff to help yourself up. By the way, you need to pay 30 pesos per person for the registration fee for maintenance of the trail. Kuya Ely mentioned that we already skipped some of those registration sites since no one was collecting it.
In case you don't want your hands to get cut or injured, wear gloves. Try to grab anything to help pull you up or down as there were trails that will test your trust and confidence to your tour guide.
Of course, don't miss to do photo ops on the famous boulder where your background is pretty amazing. Kuya Ely was very good at talking photos and he knows what pose you should do.
Found a bamboo stick along the way. Very useful in trekking.
You can see the Batangas and Tagaytay in 360. We were a bit lucky to own the top for few minutes since few groups planned to hike that day. Also, the weather was not too hot and we can still stay there for long.
next mountain just across of Mt. Batualo
Kath, Kuya Ely and Me.
Mandatory jump shot
New trail view from the top of Mt. Batulao
He also, told us a story that Mt. Batualo was originated as "Bato sa Ilaw" because every Holy week, rocks are shining from afar.
60-70 degrees rope decending
Top of Mt. Batulao view from old trail
time to take a bath
He then, brought us to a small river were we can clean a little bit from mud I just forgot the name but it was quite near to the jump off.
When we got to the jump off where we parked our van, there's a mini baranggay that offers you to take a bath for a cost of 25 pesos. Hence, no more trace that we just hiked Mt. Batulao that day yet it was a memorable experience.
If you will be taking a bus from somewhere.
Ask the bus conductor to drop you off here Evercrest (click the link for the map)
From there, you have options on taking the tricycle to jump off or just walk it through.