Life is pretty amazing and horrible at times, but with the right company of friends, you will learn to get by.
At first, I was hesitant to climb this mountain, due to some unexpected casualties, although, I can’t stop thinking about it so I tried, THREE TIMES in THREE YEARS. You read that right, I always have time for Mt. Maculot since 2013.
If you are planning to visit Mt. Maculot in the future, allow me to share these important details:
You can simply ride a bus from Cubao or Buendia, bound to Lemery with the earliest trip at 4 am. Alternatively, you can also take buses that are bound to Lipa, then take a jeepney to Cuenca. Kindly ask the driver to drop you off at Poblacion Town Center (along highway).
From there, you can take a tricycle to the jump-off.
Always check the weather and always prioritize your safety. 🙂
As I mentioned in my previous posts, I started climbing in 2013. I tried to be a ‘weekend warrior’, however working in a BPO company have some struggles which includes monthly changes of schedule and since I am under a sales account, December means gift shopping month.
Finally we were able to plan an overnight hiking with friends, this time in Mt. Maculot. This was actually the first time I brought a friend, it was her first climb, first overnight at the mountain and it was also her birthday. Celebrating at the top of the mountain with new friends wasn’t so bad after all.
Meet my college classmate in FEU – Manila, Jamee Jessica.
She’s one of the bubbliest and bulliest person, I know.
After a 3 hours bus ride, we arrived at around 12 noon along the highway of Poblacion and decided to eat lunch before we begin the ascent.
Liempo BBQ, 1 cup of rice and soup for P70.
Mt. Maculot is located in the town of Cuenca in Batangas. It is the major attraction in the municipality and the most popular mountain for mountaineers & campers. The mountain’s difficulty at 3/9 which makes it really a good choice for beginners as you enjoy the scenic views of Taal Lake.
On March 4, 2003 issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer, says that Cuenca is also known as the “Home of the Bakers”. They even celebrate ‘Tinapayan Festival’ held every June. No wonder that when you visit the place, you will see a lot of bakery shops in every corner. Grab some for breakfast or snack during your climb.
In this photo, you will see tricycles that will bring you to the mountain’s jump off.
These tricycles will drop you off first at the Barangay Outpost for registration, P20 per hiker. After which, you will be drop off at the mountain’s jump off at the Mountaineer’s Store at Barangay 7 “Siete”, Cuenca.
It was Jamee Jessica‘s birthday and first climb, so let’s have the ‘obligatory shot’ before the ascent begins.
As I always say, Let the adventure begins.
The start of our climb was quite easy and tolerable.
(Photo from L – R) Meet Adah, John D, Jamee, Yours Truly in Pink, Mara, Jahzee, Jervin and Ivan
I actually had tooth extraction (considered a minor surgery) a week before my climb, I am advised not to do extraneous activity to avoid bleeding. However, I already made a promise to Jamee Jessica and my dearest hiking buddy, John D., promised to lend his trekking pole and carry my 2 liters of water.
Again, my gazillion thanks to this person.
Hiking a mountain, no matter how high, is like achieving your goals using little steps. You tend to feel afraid, doubting yourself if you can make it, but in this journey, you will see helping hands along the way.
The question is, will you allow yourself to trust them?
Hiking with Jamee Jessica was a bit special because I always see her as my younger sister. I tried to look after her along the trail, but I let her enjoy walking in the forest.
Along the trail, you will also find numbers of resting spots, wherein some locals are selling buko juice for 10 pesos. During our climb, the weather was refreshing and I didn’t even apply sunblock since the trail is covered with trees.
You’ve got to learn how to smile after the pain.
The higher we climb, the steeper it gets.
At the campsite, you can see a store labeled as “7/11”. They sell hard drinks, cigarettes, soft drinks, instant coffee, noodles, candies, chocolates, chips, and even ‘Halo- Halo’. Kindly expect a higher price since you are at the top of a mountain. You should also be aware that some people/hikers are also boisterous at night, drinking and chatting.
After pitching our tents, we took some rest and took all the time to get to know each other. I had to sleep early after dinner because I felt pain from my extracted tooth. I am so grateful they spend time with Jamee Jessica for the last few hours of her birthday, they let her experience “DO-FO”. Lights were off around 10 pm, and when my not so little sister slept beside me, she was shivering. I had to hug her and make sure she’s okay.
So if you’re planning to climb around December-January, make sure you have enough clothes to layer for cold weather.
Mornings are also the best time to reach the summit.
She made it on her first climb!
‘Cause we’re happy at the mountains. ♥
It was foggy that morning and we were reminded to be extra careful while reaching summit. It may take 10-15 minutes from the campsite to the ‘Rockies’. *FYI, it is very steep and you need to be extra cautious while scrambling up with rocks because it might hit you it in the head.
Blurry Jump shot with big smiles! 🙂
Are we happy or are we happier?
Going down the mountain can be harder than ascending, but it is fulfilling, most specially when everyone in your group is safe and well.
After the descending the mountain, you can take a break and eat ‘Halo Halo’ for only 25 pesos. There are also available restrooms that you can use ranging from 15-25 pesos. Water is sold separately.
You can also try Traverse wherein you can see the Grotto and stations of the cross. For more information, check it on Pinoy Mountaineer‘s website.
Before we head home, the three of us decided to visit Tagaytay, and unexpectedly get off the jeepney when we saw Sonya’s Garden signage. Spent 700 pesos for unlimited healthy and organic dinner. Must try!
* Thank you Ivan for some of the photos I took from your photo gallery. 🙂
After one year, we decided to spend our advanced Christmas celebration on this same mountain for a day hike. The weather wasn’t so friendly then, but we still push through since we have our guide for assistance.
Meet the Maculot Crew version 2.0.
(L-R) Doc Jay, Doc Adelaine ‘Ads’, Yours Truly, Teacher Adah, JohnD, Ma’am Hermi, Sir Ralph, Sir Dan and Sir Kim in front.
As you can see, we have new faces for this climb. Teacher Adah, brought her friends Ma’am Hermi, Sir Ralph & Sir Dan (on the right side of this photo).
Just like these flowers, you grow and bloom as time passes by. It may not be the way you planned it, but it always has a reason. You just have to open your eyes and see why…
Just like these flowers, we also fade.
Meet John D. Dela Rosa, I met him during our Banahaw climb last March of 2013. He’s the quiet-observant hiker, but as you get to know him, you will feel safe and comfortable to share your thoughts and feeling, WHY? Simply because he never judge. I realized he is one of the truest guy friends I know in just a short period of time. We bullied him a lot of times, but when the tide is high and the road is rough, we know that we have each other.
No clearing, all fog.
Reunited with TRIPLE A and HANDSOME John D. Dela Rosa!!! We also had our exchange gift at the campsite. All of our gifts seems to be very useful.
Before the rain pours, we were able to eat our lunch at the campsite. ‘7/11’ was closed during our climb, maybe they were preparing for Noche Buena.
This was the trail going to the summit; it was still foggy and some stones were slippery. Please be cautious in every steps, if the weather is too bad kindly prioritize your safety.
Thank you, Ma’am Hermi!
We ended the night with hot Batangas Lomi, a type of noodle dish that make use of thick egg noodles with quail eggs and pork, kikiam, ham or meatballs, generously topped with chicharon.
As I post pictures of my adventures online, via Facebook & Instagram, my friends became interested and eager to try hiking. This was my first time to organize a climb with beginners, so I let them choose which mountain they want to try for a quick day hike. They were my classmates in college, so I decided to call the event “TAMARAWS UNITE”.
In the past two climbs, you will see that the weather was cold and a bit refreshing. Last month of June was scorching hot and I highly recommend that you should bring arm sleeves, 1 – 1.5 liters of water, sunblock and/or cap during the summer months.
Meet my fellow ‘tamaraws‘ for Maculot version 3.0
(L-R) Allen, Paula, Aia, Issa, Romelyn, Daphne & Aaron
The last time I spent a day with them was at the hospital, and now we’re at the mountain.
Isn’t it a beauty? ♥
Stayed under a tree for a few hours, for lunch and nap time.
I once posted that no matter how painful the sun touches my face, I still chose to stay.
Why stay if you are in pain?
Maybe because even it’s painful, this amazing sun shed me light and realizations in life.
While everyone was busy taking their photos, we’re celebrating our 2nd mountain together.
I am not a professional climber, but I learned to follow what’s necessary. At first, I was hesitant to bring them at the mountain, I might cause them bruises or risk their lives. Thank you ‘tams’ for trusting me on this one and I considered this climb very memorable since everyone made it to the summit and we all got home safe & sound. Most importantly, it made us happy & bonded.
Thanks for joining me on my last climb in the Philippines for 2015!
If you want something, have the guts to do it. 🙂