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Ma Curl meets Mt. Maculot

Mt. Maculot
After the tiring Cebu Tour, here's another unforgettable mountaineering experience.  Although, I admit that this month is my busiest month in my blogging career.  Almost every rest day, I have schedules to visit different places.  Mt. Maculot is an amazing mountain that everyone should try.  It is perfect for those people who just started their journey in mountaineering.  The new trail is actually simple, no need to worry about the marks because aside from ribbons, you can easily notice the signs in some trees on the trail. 

Before ascending, the ambiance in the whole area is really good.  The people on the neighborhood were so kind, they greeted us saying magandang umaga po!  So, we just replied them by saying hi and hello.  The air is not that warm, so it's very advisable to travel enthusiasts.  Tricycles are available in every corner of the Barrangay, so it is really accessible.

Among the mountains that I visited, Mt. Maculot is the only mountain that has a lot of Buko Store (coconut juice vendor) on the trail, so no need to worry about drinks, for only 10 pesos.  Each stores are available in every 10 meters, not sure about the exact measurement.  The vendors are mostly children especially if it's weekends, I have no idea if it's still covered by labor code, but I think it's okay because selling coconut juice is not that heavy, it's an additional earning for them.

Since Mt. Maculot is just few meters from the shore of the Batangas, so you can expect for fresh air in your journey.  The newly opened trail is covered with the trees that give shades to all the climbers.  Some parts of the trail is open and you can see how beautiful the whole area of Batangas is, even though you're not yet on the summit.

From Cainta, Rizal, I did commute going to SM Mall of Asia. After meeting with Onah and Alfie, we took a jeep bound for Buendia. At around 10AM, we arrived at the terminal, beside the high way. It’s actually not a famous bus terminal in Buendia; I forgot the name as in I forgot everything. After arriving and placed our baggage at the back of the bus, I bought breakfast first at the burger stand on the side of the terminal.

The bus left the terminal at around 10:13AM.  The weather that time wasn't really that good, but, at least we were seeing the sun shine and blue skies, so it's a good thing for us.  We were occupying the seats in the last row, so we were staring all the moves of the other passengers in front.  One thing which I can't forget; there were two guys in front of us, I think they are partners, they played a remixed songs in his phone.  The sound was really loud, that's why we didn't understood the dialogue of the movie.  The guy sitting in front of this two guys was irritated by the sounds, so he put his own earphone and maybe played his own music, I don't know about what's he's listening to.  We tried to take a nap, but it wasn't successful of course because of the sound.  We were staring on the sky the whole time and was waiting for the better weather.

Mt. Maculot
Then by 11:40AM, we arrived in Tambo Exit.  Almost 75% of the passengers get off the bus at this place. Then took a jeep bound for Cuenca, Batangas (jump off.) The travel time ranges from 20 to 30 minutes for 20 pesos.  We alighted a Cuenca Public Market and bought supplies. At Cuenca Market, the prices are cheap and you can buy everything from there. When we were done shopping, time to take our lunch at Inay Ludy's Barbeque, Goto at Iba. pa.  near 7-11, beside the highway. That meal was really good, I promise! This resto is famous to the Batanguenos because of the great taste, SULIT! After lunch, we proceeded to the tricycle terminal beside the market.

We were four and took just one tricycle going to Brgy. Pinag-kaisahan, but the Brgy. Captain didn't allow us to take the trail from Grotto to summit, because of security aspect, so we went to the other Brgy.   We paid 20 x 4 pax = 80 pesos for tricycle.  Then at around 1:15PM, we reached registration area which was on the side of the street and paid 10 pesos each, for entrance fee.  Then proceeded to the jump off. After getting off the tricycle, we walked on the cemented road going to the Rocky Road and started ascending at around 1:23PM.  The rocky road is consists of stones, you can easily notice it because of the street sign at the intersection.

We reached the camp site at around 3:04PM.  One thing that I noticed before taking a rest are those empty wine bottles and garbage in every corner of the camping site.  Grabeng kalat ang kung saan-saang parte ng camp site. Store can also be found at the camp site that sells goods.  The camp site  is a long space with grasses on each sides.  From the camp site, you have perfect and full view of Mt. Taal in the middle of the Batangas lake.  The wind blowing is cold so it's refreshing for the muscles.  This mountain has an open camp site, no trees that can give shades to the entire area.

Mt. Maculot
 Me, on the peak of the Rockies
3:33PM - It was a hot afternoon when we pitched our tents at the middle part of the camp site.  No need to worry about the temperature, the sun was shining brightly but the wind was still cold. After pitching our tents, we let the door open so that the air can remove some bad odor, in tagalog pinasingaw.  While starring on our tents and taking photos from different angles of the camp site, we were hiding from the striking sun shine.  Before the sun set, we went to the Rockies - another summit of Maculot which is a collection of large boulders, perfect for an exciting death defying pose.

The trail from the camp site to Rockies is simple.  There are steep parts on the trail that you need to use your hands to balance.  On both sides of the trail are cliffs which are hundred meters from the ground, so it makes the climb more exciting.  The wind at the peak of the Rockies is really strong, because the area is open.

There were some day trekkers that time, so we let them finish first.  Some were afraid, but some were not and they didn't care if they're secured.  Some were standing, but I know that their knees were shaking while doing their poses. It was few hours photo shoot until we felt that we need to take a rest, so we decided to go back to the camp site before the sun set.

Mt. Maculot
 at the Camp Site
We finally reached the campsite at around 6:30PM.  The sky was partially grayish orange that time, while the wind became colder.  Alfie was cooking our dinner when we arrived at the camp site.  We were getting problems with the strong wind, it blew the fire on the stove. After cooking, we took our dinner inside my dome tent.  Pork Sinigang and plain rice were served hot while my tent was protecting us from the strong wind and the steam of our food was spreading inside the tent.

We took a sleep at arround 8:07PM while the wind was strong. My tent fought for us the whole night.  One thing why I loved my tent that night was, the wind was really strong, then it came to a moment where my tent bent until it reached my shoulder, so I easily pushed it back.  It was 1AM when I woke up because there was a group arrived at the camp site and occupied the same area.  They were so noisy, shouting and playing loud music the whole time.  That moment was irritating, so we shouted to minimize their noises. Hindi namin ni Onah naiwasang mag-BUNGANGA.

5:31AM - I woke up and everything happened last night was still fresh.  I opened the window beside me to check if who were the guys that night.  There was a green tent beside me, as in few inches from me, and that's why we heard them loudly even the wind was strong.  Stretching for few minutes while lying on the ground sheet before I decided to came out the tent.  The wind outside was really cold that made us chill and the fog was around us.  To keep us warm, we prepared our coffee, bread and mayo.  The other group also woke up while we were preparing our breakfast.  As expected, they were still noisy!  We greeted them as part of being courteous.

7:12AM - we took our breakfast.  Coffee, noodles, bread, meat loaf and the night's left over were properly prepared at the middle of our two tents.  We were at the middle of our breakfast when the other group approached us.  We were talking all about the tents!

Mt. Maculot
Break camp at around 8:12AM.  We started folding our tents and preparing for the next challenge - reaching the summit and to the grotto.  Few meters from the camp site, the trail was simple, it's not that complicated.  The gorgeous views around the mountain can be seen only in some part of the trail because trees were covering them.  There were some parts which the mossy trees can be found.  The cool weather in the area reminded me of some other mountains of Batangas.

 We reached the summit at around 10:39AM .  With the other group, which we didn't knew, we took a short break on the summit and took a lot of photos.  The summit was just a small area surrounded by trees and grasses.  After the summit, there was a part where the trails formed a fork, so the ribbons tied on the trees guided us in choosing the right path.

10:59AM - reached the longest rock climbing part in my mountaineering journey.  There were two parts which we did rock climbing.  The first part was the short one, it's not so complicated and I think the newbie can do it with their bags on their back.  The second one was longer and more complicated that the first one.  The rope was the only thing that you'll be going to use to balance.  Look on the photo above.

We reached the grotto at around 12:24PM.  We met some students who were taking pictures.  In this area, you can see the nearby villages.  The wind was cool and really fresh.

12:48PM - reached the road connecting the Barrangays.  Walked few meters going to Brgy. Pinag-kaisahan. We were looking for bathroom but we found nothing. So we took tricycle going to the other jump off and bathrooms are available for 20 pesos. After preparing, we took our late lunch at Inay Ludy's Barbeque, Goto at Iba Pa.  I can't forget the taste of the barbeque with plain rice.  First time kong mag-extra rice huh. Siguro dahil din sa pagod. Basta natuwa ako sa barbeque nila.

Just in front of the resto, we took a jeep going to Lipa, Batangas for 45 minutes travel.  At Lipa, after getting off the jeep, we took a short walk going to Lipa Bus Terminal.  We took Alps Bus going to Ortigas for two hours travel time. This event was really good! Till next time.

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