It was as far back as 2011 when I first planned of climbing this mountain. I started that year with a very memorable climb in Mt. Maculot in Cuenca Batangas and immediately set my eyes on Batulao. But news came of somebody rolling down the mountain and died. We cancelled the climb and never pushed through until late last year.
It was more of a coincidence than careful planning. I joined this charity group and they planned to have an outreach in Alfonso Cavite in December so along with another member of the group, Jake, we decided to camp in Batulao the night before the outreach.
We left Manila past 2:00 pm. Quite late so it was already dark when we arrived by the highway in Nasugbu which is the set-off point to Batulao. We happen to meet a group there who were about to join their peeps already in the mountain. So friendly they first approached us to join them in the hike.
Good riddance because even Jake who has hiked twice got perplexed by the trail at night. We could have wandered up and down blindly if not for them. The old trail although easier , until campsite, is confusing at night as it goes through grassy areas and at times small forests. We decided to follow the lead of the other team and they wanted to hike from the highway to the base of the mountain and then up.
The first part of the hiked proved very challenging as it has been raining for days prior to our visit. Although the sky was clear and the stars were out that night, the road leading to Batulao's base was so muddy and slippery and sticky. In short, papasok palang kami sobrang challenging. So we were very slow. We started climbing 7:00 pm and arrived at the camp site past 11:00 pm. Starved and exhausted.