Wednesday, September 17, 2014

At the “Of Rocks and Light”

Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. It is home to the famous Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes, and Taal Heritage town, a small picturesque town that has ancestral houses and structures dating back to the 19th century. It was Thursday night when we started to plan to trek Mt. Batulao.

Batulao, the mountain named after two tagalog words: Bato at Ilaw which means in english, "Of Rocks and Light"; eventually meant of the grandiose sunset that can only be seen right at between two of its rocky peaks.

The starting point of the trek is at Evercrest Golf Course, easily accessible by bus from Manila. We walked for 30 minutes to jump off.

We chose the new trail. At the starting point of the climb, I fell in love with the mountain. The view was perfect. No doubt why people love to drop by and climb the mountain. The entrance fee was 20 pesos each. Walking thru the new trail, we saw some marks about the numbered peaks. Some parts of the trail can be scary because it was too narrow. The trail goes up-down, up-down. With this kind of mountain, you better wear sunblock, caps and long sleeves if you don’t want to get sunburn. 

Climbers can enjoy drinking buko juice and soft drinks that are sold in the area.

It took us 2 hours and 50 mins to reach the summit! Hooray! We did it. The view was fantastic!

Mt. Batulao is a highly recommended option for those wishing to go trekking in the Philippines.

Way points:

Batangas City is 2 1/2 hours away from Manila when using the old inter town route. Using the STAR Tollway route, one can reach Batangas City for just 1 1/2 hour. Tanauan City is about 1 hour away and in between Tanauan City and Batangas City, one will find Lipa City. ALPS The Bus, Inc. is one of the many bus companies that travels the said route.

Travelers can take air-conditioned buses in going to Batangas City. Those who want to go to Nasugbu, Calatagan and Lian towns (Matabungkay) can pass via the Tagaytay route.
Travelers going to Puerto Galera can take direct air con buses from Manila (Cubao) to Batangas pier. The best services are BLTB (every hour) and JAM transit (also every hour) from the Kamuin Cubao bus station. Sometimes, especially during peak hours, buses run every 30 minutes. The last stop is a Batangas pier.

When driving one's own vehicle to Tanauan-Lipa-Batangas City, travelers will pass through the South Luzon Expressway, then the STAR Tollway and can just follow the directional signs along the highway.