Around this time last year, I braved against my fear of heights and decided to climb my second mountain.
I don’t always go on hikes but sometimes, adventure just calls you. So, in the wee hours of the morning, I answered an invite, dressed up, and we headed towards Batangas to climb Mt. Batulao.
The First Hour (5:30 – 6:30 am)
It was the 12th of January at 5:30 am. We had our flashlights on as it was still hard to see where we are heading.
I can feel the cool breeze against my skin. I was cold from the wind, the excitement, and the fear of what I agreed to.
Minutes past by and we started to see the peaks. We aimed to reach all. With my unfit state and lack of exercise, I started feeling tired even if we have not reached the first stop.
We were lucky to start the hike early. Just look at this view!
We found a stick along the road. It somehow helps with balancing, especially for people like me who is prone to getting off-balanced.
An hour later, we saw this beautiful sunrise. I was tired but this view is worth it. Yet, were not halfway there yet.
We reached Peak 1 after about an hour. I tried to smile against the exhaustion. I jokingly said I’m good and we can go home. Then again, I didn’t go this far to only get this far.
The Second Hour (6:30 – 7:30 am)
There were a lot of scenic views so we took some pictures. It was a chance to rest too so why not.
I think this is already halfway through? I’m not sure, but you can see the peaks that we passed and that’s enough to keep me going.
There was an area that was really steep so we had to use a rope to help us up.
There was also a big rock that J was brave enough to climb for a good photo. I wasn’t.
Reaching the summit
We moved forward. We are almost there! The last few campsites are steep so there were no pictures taken. There were times where I was stuck hugging against the rocks as I can feel the wind blowing against me. I had to close my eyes and take a couple of breaths before moving because I can feel my fear creeping in.
Despite that, we made it to the summit!
We rewarded ourselves with halo-halo. We earned it!
We enjoyed the view from the top as J pointed on places which I couldn’t remember (I am bad at geography). He taught me where Taal is though – at least that’s one thing I remember. Interestingly, that same day, we found out that Taal erupted. I guess we were also lucky that we finished early as some cars were stranded because of the event.
It took us about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach the summit. It might have taken us more to go back down. Nevertheless, it was a fun and unforgettable experience. Aside from the magnificent view, I take with me the feeling that despite of my fear of heights, I was able to push myself to conquer it and complete the hike.
I enjoyed hiking because it helped me test myself. It also made me realize that I was stronger than I think I was. Like with life, sometimes you must keep moving forward. I powered through. I made it! And I’d be able to do it again next time.
Here are some tips if you would also like to climb Mt. Batulao:
Pack light. This will allow you to not be burdened through the hike – especially since the last few campsites are steep. We left our changing clothes in the car and just bought our essentials during the hike. We suggest keeping it minimal – water, snacks, towel, and a light waterproof poncho or raincoat (in case it rains).
Bring water. There are stopovers along the way where you can buy food and drinks. Though, there were instances where we got thirsty so it’s best to have hydration with you.
Prepare money in small denominations when you climb. There are several collection areas throughout the trail that require you to pay around Php 30. We couldn’t remember the total cost, but some guides say that it costs around Php 150.
Start early. Mt. Batulao is an open trail, so it gets really out once the sun is out. We were able to enjoy the view more because we started before sunrise.
A guide is required. A guide is required to climb Mt. Batulao. There are guides who offer services from the jump off area. Rate is around Php 500.
Shower and rest room. There are some stopovers that have restrooms. For the shower, there are houses at the base where you can shower at a fee. Some charge per use while some charge by the pail.
Note: You might want to check for additional rules given the quarantine restrictions. This hike was done January 2020 so there might be a lot of changes. Mt. Batulao is still closed for hikers as of this posting.
Enjoyed this post? Share about your hiking experience in the comments!
Missing the mountains,