Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mount Talamitam: Mount Batulao's Twin

Date: MAR 07, 2015

Next week, I will be heading to Mindanao to climb Mt. Apo, But before that, I need to do some practice. I looked for mountains near Metro Manila that can be scaled in one day. While doing my research, I found this mountain located in Nasugbu, Batangas – and thought that it would be a perfect place for me to train. I, along with two of my officemates, will be climbing Mount Batulao’s twin – Mount Talamitam.

The trail going to the plateau, with Mount Talamitam on the background
I never had the chance to print the itinerary for today’s climb, and I’ll be solely relying on my instict. When Friday shift ended, Joey, Aly, and I went straight to Starmall and rode a bus bound for Buendia. When we reached Buendia, we bought our breakfast at Jollibee and rode an airconditioned DLTB bus bound for Nasugbu.

Joey, Me and Aly
The bus trip from Buendia to Sitio Bayabasan only took us 2 ½ hours, because there was no traffic along the way. Sitio Bayabasan, also known as kilometer 83, is the main jump-off point for those who wanted to climb Mount Talamitan. It is located beside the highway, making it easy for mountaineers to see it. We had to register our information first, and then I began changing my clothes. While sitting on the bench, we were approached by someone who introduced himself as our guide – Sir Ace.

The climb started at 10:15 AM, and we had a swift pacing at first. There was a river which we had to cross, and even if we were still near the mountain’s base, the leveled ground began transforming into an assault trail. After trekking past the assault, we decided to rest for a moment, and then I became dizzy. I almost wanted to throw up, but I managed to control it. My officemates gave me chocolate, making me feel all right.

Searing heat at the plateau
There was another assault that we had to go through, and when we were done taking it, Joey began to complain about being wobbly. Because of that, we decided to eat our take out. We were suspecting that hunger was the main cause of our dizziness along the trail, and after we finished our food, we felt fine and went on with the climb.

Past the assault trail was a plateau, where you can see Mount Batulao in the distance. A number of cows and horses were grazing in here, and we decided to rest under the shady tree for a while because of the scorching heat. There was another assault trail after the plateau, and this one would lead us up to the summit, but we thought that it might be too difficult for us. Our guide suggested another trail that he just recently discovered, and assured us that it’ll just be a piece of cake for us.

Grazing horses with Mount Batulao on the background
We continued the climb after regaining our energy, and we went to the back of the mountain. The trail was full of tall wild grass, and at 12:50 in the afternoon, we managed to reach the summit. There were resting spots at the top, so the two of us (Aly and I) decided to relax for a moment while we were waiting for Joey.

Mount Talamitam's summit
Refreshments were also available at the summit, and Aly bought one for each of us. We drank our cold soda while looking up above the sky, gazing at the clouds.

It was a pleasant day, and we could see the mountains near Mount Talamitan. From where we were at, the mountains of Cavite and Pico de Loro can be seen in the north-west; a mountain near Balayan and Fortune Island can be seen on the south-west and Mount Batulao can be seen on the South. We remained at the summit for two hours, and decided to descend at 2:38 PM.

Mountains near Mount Talamitam (Pico de Loro on the far right side)
The trek going down was not as exhausting as the trek going up, and we managed to get back to the plateau in a very short period of time. Upon arriving, Sir Ace began collecting trash around the plateau and burned it, and we were just resting at the grass while he was cleaning the area. We also took some photos, and after all the trash was gathered and burned, we continue the descent.

9th mountain conquered!
Because we need to get to the registration area, we had to take another route. There was an assault trail once again, and soon after that, we reached the registration area. We had to pay for P20 exit fee, and then we left afterwards. We already exhausted all of our water supply, so I asked Sir Ace if he knew about a water source nearby.

He accompanied us to a spring near the river. He told us that it was clean and tested, and we could drink from it, so I filled my tumbler with water and drank all of it. The water was cool and refreshing, and I even used it to wash my face. Joey and Aly followed the same, and when we were done, we continued to walk.

The river which has clear water and next to it was the spring
According to Sir Ace, we were close to the jump-off point, and at 4:45 PM, we successfully descended the mountain. I was so hungry that time so I bought sautéed monggo with rice and halo-halo. We also gave Sir Ace our payment, and thanked him for guiding us. After eating my late lunch, the three of us went to a house nearby and took a bath.

Nice treat after the climb!
After bathing, we said goodbye to Sir Ace and rode a bus bound for Tagaytay. We wanted to eat bulalo that time so we went to Mahogany Market. We chose to eat at Barboza Bulalo (Sir Ace told us that they have the best bulalo in town), and because it was Joey’s birthday yesterday, she paid for our meal! THANK YOU JOEY! They have big servings, and at the price of P350, it was worth it.

We initially planned to go to Olivarez that night to buy pasalubong. However, because we were too exhausted to do it, we just decided to ride a bus back to Manila. We slept all through out the journey, and we were already in Baclaran when I woke up. From Baclaran, Joey and I had to ride another bus bound to EDSA, while Aly separated from us and rode another bus bound for Paranaque. I got off at Megamall, and from there, rode another bus bound for Taytay. It was already 11:30 PM when I got home, and I felt happy because we managed to conquer another mountain. My training was a success, and now, I am ready to face one of the greatest challenges in my life as a mountaineer – climbing Mount Apo!

06:15    Left Convergys and buy taho, P10, and ride bus going to Buendia, P21
07:00    Arrived at Buendia, and buy Jollibee Burger Steak, P55
07:30    Ride AC DLTB bus going to Bayabasan, Nasugbu, BTG (KM 83), P129
10:00    Arrived at KM 83
10:15    Start hike going to Mt. Talamitam
12:50    Arrived at the summit
14:38    Start descent
16:00    Arrived at the registration area and paid P20 exit fee
16:45    Arrived at the base
            -Eat halo-halo, P25
            -Eat monggo with rice, P30
            -Buy water, P25
            -paid guide fee, P300 (P100/head)
17:15    Take a bath (P20, but didn't take a bath)
18:00    Ride AC bus going to Tagaytay, P38
18:45    Arrived at Mahogany Market in Tagaytay, and eat bulalo at Barboza Bulaluhan, P350/order
20:00    Ride AC bus back to Manila, P86
22:30    Arrived at Ortigas, and ride AC bus going to Taytay, P27
23:30    HOME

TOTAL: P566*

*bulalo excluded, Joey paid for it (THANKS JOEYJ)
*P20 fee for bath excluded as well, I never took a bath, just wiped warm soaked towel on my body

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