Jun 03
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING…JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES by Julie Ann Nunez  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Jun 3, 2011

Marami ng nagkalat na mountaineer group, either with a serious purpose or for fun climb lang. Ilan sa mga mountaineer group with purpose ang SIKAP-BUNDOK (Samahan sa Ika-uunlad ng Kapaligiran, Pamayanan at Kabundukan).

SIKAP-BUNDOK is a Philippine-based mountaineering-oriented outdoors club with strong environmental and service ethics. It also emphasizes internal discipline and skills training among its members in particular, and encourages the same among the local mountaineering community in general. Click for the link of Sikap-Bundok for more details (http://www.sikapbundok.org/home.html)

Another is FIMO (Alliance of Filipino Mountaineers, Inc), binding different mountaineering and outdoor organizations in the Philippines. It has been formed to attend to many varying problems and challenges faced by the mountaineering community.

Mountaineering groups are standing indivisibly united by one goal and one cause, for the good of Mother Nature and of oneself regardless of religion, status in life, affiliation, region, culture, tradition and belief. For more details click the link (http://fimoinc.multiply.com/)

And for fun climb, pahuhuli ba naman kami dyan? Kaya naman, noong 2008 sinubukan naming akyatin ang Mt. Manabo, considered as minor climb, 830 meters above the sea level; 360 degrees view of the southern Luzon mountains; at the summit, a white cross is located.


The peak where one can really see 360 degrees. There is a white cross at the top of Manabo as well.

It was my first ever hike. At first I was a little bit hesitant kasi I’m afraid of heights. Even sa escalators or sa foot bridge eh pahirapan ang akyat.

Pero dahil na rin sa convincing power ng mga friends ko eh nag decide akong sumama. With a heavy back pack and other plastic bags in my hands, naka-akyat kami up to the nearest camp site, just below Manabo peak kung saan kami nagtayo ng tent, nagluto and the rest of the time eh nag-socials pa.


Campsite from Manabo’s Summit

May 14, Saturday. Our second adventure, which we called the “FRIENDSHIP CLIMB”. Twenty (20) participants joined and the youngest hiker was 10-year- old Hans. His first ever climb was December last year at Mt. Palay-Palay (Pico de Loro), Maragundon Cavite

Mt. Batulao, is considered as a minor climb. Difficulty of 4/9, with 60-70 degrees assaults, which required you to 1 day / 2-4 hours to summit. Its name draws from a spectacular origin. Every yearend, the sun sets right between Batulao’s two peaks, creating an image of rocks surrounding a disc of red light. In Tagalog, this phenomenon of “Bato sa Ilao” (Illuminated Rocks) became abbreviated to “Batulao”. This happens only in the last week of December.

Jump-off point is Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu. Kung saan nagstop over kami para makapag-lunch muna bago mag-trek.

From the highway to the end of the road—about a 20-minute trip that costs P100 for a tricycle ride. The trip will take you into the barangay road which narrows after a couple of kilometers into a path surrounded by grasses.

It took us about 2 hours to get to the foot of Mt. Batulao. I must say na hindi pa man kami nagsisimula sa pag-akyat sa Batolao eh pinag-pawisan na agad kami nang husto. The path meandered up and downhill moving closer to Camp 1.

Nagdecide si Bing na sa New trail (west) na lang muna kami dumaan. Mas mahirap kasi ang daan sa old trail (east) lalo’t marami kaming dala.

Bago pa man kami makarating sa Peak 8, stop over muna kami sa isang kubo kung saan nagpa-hinga muna kami at naglaro ng Pinoy Henyo. Salamat na lang at may mga kubo na libreng pahingahan ng mga hikers na tulad namin. Grabe ang init at pagod na dinanas namin. Pakiramdam ko nga bibigay na ako. Mabuti na lang at maraming tumulong lalo na sa tulad kong takot sa mataas na lugar.


Participants of Pinoy Henyo

After mountain hiking became popular in the late 90s and early 2000, Batulao is one example of how a place has been developed to accommodate this new found livelihood source called eco-tourism. The owners of the campsite have set up a toilet within the area. A camp has also been established and is constantly being maintained with pesticides to prevent ants from roaming the campsite area. Some makeshift benches have also been set-up.

What ensued was a long exhausting hike from the foot of Batolao, to peak one (1) until peak eight (8), kung saan kami nag-tayo ng tent. Finally, magkakapagpa-pahinga na rin. Mahaba pa ang araw kaya naman ng maitayo na ang lahat ng tent, nagluto na ang iba. Pagkatapos magluto umakyat ang iba sa pinakatuktuk ng Peak 8. Hindi ko na inambisyong sumama pa doon dahil medyo masama na ang pakiramdam ko.


Dramatic Views on top of Peak Eight (8), just below our camp site

After a long day of hiking, games and socials, at around 11:00 pm natulog na kami. Grabe ang lakas ng hangin to the point na feeling mo liliparin ang tent mo. Thank God na kahit ganon, naging maganda ang panahon sa buong mag-damag.

At 6:00 in the morning, nagdecide ang grupo na mag-summit using the old trail. Kung mahirap ang paakyat mula sa peak one to eight, mas lalong mahirap ang pag-akyat sa camp 10 or summit ng Mt. Batolao. Trails were really steep, there were loose stones, and the winds could set you off-balance. Katakot-takot na uhaw at gutom ang dinanas namin dito. Ilan lang ang nakaisip na magdala ng tubig, karamihan sa amin eh talagang tuyong-tuyo ang lalamunan.

With this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjtzZxS5rog it is not impossible to do an indie or mainstream film soon, bakit nga ba hindi? Andoon ka rin lang naman bakit hindi pa samantalahin ang pagkakataong magamit at maipagmalaki ang ganda ng mga bundok sa Pilipinas. Ang kailangan lang naman ay ang creative imagination ng writer, producer na willing mag-invest for a mountain film at isang magaling na director. Why not, di ba?

The amazing view of the scenery at the top eased all the inevitable muscles pain and nerve-wracking experiences we faced. I felt so blessed to witness how beautiful the creations of our Almighty. I just can’t express the right words to use and describe the feeling if you are on top of the mountain. Probably a nice jump shot and lots of pictures will show you how amazed and happy we were to finish the trail to the summit safely.

Going back to the campsite, which was on the other side of the summit, was another difficult and long walk. Going down to almost 70 degrees trail was really an achievement for me. Thank God to those who helped me.

We had great memories to cherish in Mt. Batolao. Another adventure to come this month of August, this time PICO DE LORO which is considered the highest mountain in the Cavite province and highest point within the boundary of Cavite and Batangas. More participants… more games… more pictures… body pains and of course unexplainable happiness. This time, we intend to film this unforgettable experience.


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