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Monday, January 30, 2012

MOUNT MACULOT Batangas was where I celebrated my 31st Birthday

There are two things I hate about my birth month. One, it happens a few days after Christmas and New Year I am always broke, two,it's too early in the year I get to get older first before everybody else does.Yeah, I just turned 31 last January 21. That was a Saturday but I didn't really plan for any unique way of celebrating due to the 1st reason. That until  my wife's sister,Sheila, introduced her boyfriend to us last New Years eve, Jessie, and turns out that he is a mountain climber. He mentioned about their plan to climb Mt. Maculot on January 21 so we thought joining their group is a perfect way to celebrate my birthday----maiba naman.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING  was one of the things I failed to do in 2010. I wanted to experience real mountain climbing in contrast to the impromptu hike to Mt. Samat one April day in 2009 where I was wearing my PONY Chuck Taylor type shoes and holding a pillow we brought for the trip.My feet felt sore after 3 hours of following the cement road going up so I walked on the way down with only my socks on.Crazy. And so I though of doing it again in proper mindset and gears this time around. I was targeting Mt.Batulao in Batangas as I never heard of  MOUNT MACULOT before.It's in Batangas din pala in a sleepy town they call CUENCA. I googled for some photos a few days before the trip but only found a few impressive ones so I set my expectations low on this one......

MOUNT MACULOT Batangas was where I celebrated my 31st Birthday




mount maculot 
 MOUNT MACULOT is where I celebrated my 31st Birthday

Mt.Maculot
that's not me--that's my wife......

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HOW TO GET THERE

Before I get too cocky with our photos on top of the mountain,let me recall the climb first. We left Alabang at around 8:30pm Saturday. We made a couple of stops since there's no more bus bound Lemery Batangas. LIPA was the first stop where we shopped for a few goods at the 7/11 convenience store there. We boarded the jeepney to Cuenca which is 24 pesos away from Lipa. We got to Cuenca past 11pm boarded the tricycle to the jump-off for 20pesos each then off we go.

THE  NIGHT TREK

Some people said it's a 3 hour climb. ART, the leader of our group, that we can have it for an hour or two---even 45 minutes if we are fast.Wow!!. MOUNT MACULOT is around 800feet high according to ART so I guess it's not too high.What I didn't expect was that the climb is a continues ascend. I thought we would go zigzag of some sort but it was more of a continuous vertical climb.

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Well at least they got me there when they said its for beginners.I anticipated its easy to climb pero hindi pala. Still difficult for me with manifestations of signs of ageing like aching back and knees. I was also carrying a heavy bag that time.Sh*t, I still don't know how to travel light. Good thing some of our colleagues were kind enough to offer carrying some of our things like the ..... heavy bottle of tequila I bought in the convenience store....hahaha

Maybe it was not so beginner level for me but the cool breeze of mountain air was comforting. Plus the 12 stops/stations along the way made things easier.On top of that, there were 14 of us, and most of our colleagues,though we met them for the first time, are experienced mountain climbers. They reminded us to take our time, to pace ourselves and not to hurry as there is no trophy waiting for us in the summit. It's about taking one step at a time and enjoying it. We reached the campsite after 1hour 30 minutes. That was fast!!!!
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WAKING UP
-----------THE CAMPSITE

It was already 1am when we got to the campsite.It was packed with other hikers so we had to walk further to find a spot where we can set up our tents.It was windy that night but putting up the tent was such a breeze.My wife is a girl scout coordinator in Mandaluyong so she was the one teaching me how to do it.haha

When all was set, we unpacked our food and started gathering together. We chatted until 4am over alcohol then napped for 2 hours in time for the sunrise.

WOKE UP WITH THE VIEW OF THE CAMPSITE.............

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THE CLIMB TO THE ROCKIES

Your climb to MOUNT MACULOT will never be complete without climbing THE ROCKIES.It's not the peak but another section of the mountain on the western side allowing you to have a good view of the sorrounding plains and TAAL LAKE. This one caught me by surprise. I never anticipated it could be damn beautiful up there in the ROCKES. 

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ON THE WAY TO THE ROCKIES.....
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CLIMBING THE ROCKIES AT THE BREAK OF DAWN

Another 15minutes or so and you are on the top of the rockies.It's an easy climb but you have to be careful with your footing coz it's really steep. We stayed here for more than 2 hours.It's here where one can really appreciate nature at its best.It's here where every angle is different.It's here where the expression "looking at life in a different perspective" makes sense. Each angle here is unique and pleasing to the eyes and the cool wind a delight to the senses.

HERE ARE THE SHOTS I TOOK on top and on the edges of the Rockies.......
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THE PROPOSAL

One major highlights of our climb in the Rockies was the proposal of jessie to his girlfriend Sheila. Everybody was busy when Jessie suddenly made a scene.hahaha. So we were like what??????speechless. It took a few seconds to sink. Then everybody was cheering for them.Sweet!!!!!Congratulations to both of you!!!!
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THE HIKE DOWN THE TRAIL

We had a quick breakfast and packed up at around 9:30am ready for the hike down.The group thought the earlier would be better so it would not be too hot. 90% of the route is dotted by trees so it was easy but it still helps if you don't hike when the day is not at its hottest.

It was during the hike down when we realized the route we took the night before. Mount Maculot is a feast to the eyes.It's clean and the tress are untouched.I love this mountain!!!!!
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THE GRASSLAND

This part is worth the mention. I guess most mountains have grasslands and they are usually the final section before the peak. When ART mentioned that it's gonna be a 15 minute hike from there to the campsite, we thought its gonna be an easy-breezy one. WRONG. It was the hardest part of the trail for me as there are no trees to cling to and the grass could get really itchy on the skin. Yeah, be sure to bring something for your face or head and a jacket too or else you are in for an itchy night in the camp site. It was also longer than I anticipated. Or maybe I was too excited to get to the camp site that night.hahaha
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THIS IS HOW THE ROUTE LOOKS LIKE during the day..............
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BE SURE TO LOOK FOR THE SIGNS, it's kinda easy not to get lost actually but some people still do get lost. On our way down, we met a group of four who started just a few meters behind us but suddenly disappeared. We thought they took the elevator.hahahaha.Turns out they made the wrong turn and ended in a very tricky trail. Buwis buhay daw and they were so dirty when we saw them. They recalled how they survived the difficult night.Glad they were able to make it out safely. 

There are signs along the way so be sure to look for them. Plues, Maculot is a famous place for mountaineers so its always with hikers.Be sure to also pay attention to where they are going.
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TEAM MT.MACULOT


Wanna say thank you to these awesome guys for making our first hike safe and memorable. Mga walang issues and arte sa katawan tong mga to so I was infected. Back there in Maculot, I was the accepting and walang arteng Antonio that I was before.Kaya naman palang matulog sa bed rolls eh. It was fun.

Ei guys, Mt. Batualao will be enxt ayt? Looking forward to the climb with you again. Be dure to add me in facebook so I can tag your pics and also in twitter if you have one--- 

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TURNING 31
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No turning back the hands of time.....
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me @31 years old :)

THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all those who greeted me on my 31st birthday. And to all those who silently wished for me in their thoughts.It's very touching.And to my lovely wife, I know sign's of ageing are slowly manifesting but everything was easy knowing that you were there beside me during the climb and in our journey through life.I know everything will be a breeze with you around. Thank you. Asan na pala treat ko na bakasyon grande?hahaha

MOUNT MACULOT is a beauty deserving of several posts so I will make another one soon as this one is a little too personal. I think A DO IT YOURSELF GUIDE TO MT.MACULOT is in order,Look for it soon!!!!tata!

PS: Thanks pala sa co-worker nila Jessie and Art who invited us over for lunch pagbaba namin ng bundok.Di masyadong naghanda si kuya, parang pyesta lang sa dami ng food. God Bless you kuya!!!:)


______________________
 more info on Mt. Maculot from the website
of PINOY MOUNTAINEER

17 comments:

  1. Sweet! Just had my first mountain climb at Pico de Loro, it was kinda tough. Your experience makes me want to try Mt. Maculot next.

    Happy 31st birthday! Cheers!

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  2. Looking good at 31!

    Happy Birthday Anton! :p

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  3. I missed climbing this mountain when my group climbed it last year - because of some obnoxious reason - and I regret it.
    Hope I can climb this someday, and do that really cool planking-style photo above the rockies - is that you Sir?
    Thanks for sharing your experience and more birthdays to come!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kawawa sigurado ang PA mo, ser anton, at talagang dala-dala pati bag mo. Juk! :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. bilib ako sa mga umaakyats ng bundok kasi bawal dyan uber arte... yung di maka-poo-poo or wiwi sa gubats... hehehe.

    habertdei sir anton :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. looking at your pictures makes me miss my mountain climbing days hehehe.. belated happy birthday bro

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  7. Happy 31st Birthday, Kuya Anton! Ang ganda nga dun sa Rockies. Pero parang lahat naman gumaganda diyan sa camera mo. Hahahaha.

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  8. Experiencing a different kind of activity on your birthday instead throwing a usual party is awesome! Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  9. salamat guys!!!!!salamat. Akyat na uli Yodi----and this time, with the right motives ha.lols @ Yow--flattered naman ako don---pero mukhang ganun na nga kasi nagmumukha akong tao pag camera ko na gamit ko. that's the power of photoshop.jwk.hahaha @khanto---naku--be sure to poo poo na before climbing.mahirap na.baka matuklaw ka ng snake while making poo poo mahirap na.very unflattering.lols

    ReplyDelete
  10. you have the same birthday as my brother :)



    Happy 31st birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  11. i know enjoy na enjoy ni teresa tong mga ganitong activity. nagulat ako ha, nagmountain climbing ka. hehe

    pero ang ganda ng view, nainggit ako. keri ko din ba to? magbabaon ako madaming salanpass. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  12. ser! yan ang tawagan sa bundok. happy bday ser at sana naenjoy niyo ang pagakyat. Madaling balik-balikan ang Rockies, i'll wait for the DIY guide.

    ReplyDelete
  13. great way to spend ur birthday! belated happyy birthday po!

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  14. Awww.. na-experience ko na din sya! Di ako gaano nahirapan dahil binasa ko muna ung post mo! It was such a big help! Salamat at belated hapi burpday! :)

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  15. ganda... pero my napanuod ako sa ANG PINAKA ng GMA NEWS TV may mas mganda pa dito, nakalimutan ko lang yung pangalan.. as in 3rd highest mountain in the Phil, ayun MT.PULAG pala. over the top kc ganda

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hope you will keep on submitting new articles or blog posts & thank you for sharing your great experience with us.

    ReplyDelete

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