My journey back to Mount Maculot took more than 14 years to be completed. My last climb to this beautiful mountain was in 1998 and if I would remember correctly, it was my last climb before giving up my hiking activities.
I almost got distracted when I was invited to join a free [promotional] tour to Cagbalete Island in Quezon Province, the invite was so tempting that I almost gave up my quest of retuning to Maculot. Since I’m not much of a beach person, the latter won.
As usual, I met fellow climbers from Cavite at Phoenix Petroleum gas station at the corner of Daang Hari and Molino Road in Bacoor, Cavite at around 6:00 AM of March 12, 2012. There I met Sir Jim, JR & JM and Ma’am Gen (an SMB newbie), from Bacoor we went to Jollibee Alabang to take out breakfast and pick-up Ma’am Lanie, I had a Longganisa breakfast meal and a glass of Pineapple Juice. After finishing up our breakfast, Sir Jim received a text from the group coming from Manila that the bus had left the terminal.
From Alabang, we headed to our destination, we arrived at Cuenca, Batangas Town Proper after almost 2 hours, bought supplies at a convenient store while waiting for the Manila group to arrive. It was not long when then finally arrived at 7-11 Cuenca, took their breakfast there and time to roll towards the jump-off at Barangay Siete (7).
We had our lunch at the jump-off, we also took the opportunity to prepare and be briefed of the climb, since there’s not much shade at the campsite, we decided to start the climb before noon and it’s gonna be a slow pace trek (petiks climb) taking into consideration that the trail is a continuous steep uphill climb.
The first 15 minutes was a test for my cardio, good thing I brought much water and there are several pit stops where you can buy buko juice, suman and other stuffs.
At 500 MASL, the view was breathtaking, a good way to relieve of the hardness of the trail.
Upon reaching the final pit stop and before the snake-trail, we decided to rest for about 30 mins, the sun is still harsh and we don’t want to be toasted at the campsite. At around 3:00 PM we started our assault to the campsite, enjoyed the view from the top, pitched our tents and took much needed rest before we explore the famous “Rockies.”
The Rockies is one of the 3 destinations of Mount Maculot, the Summit and the Grotto are the 2 others, it’s located north-west of the campsite and stands at an estimated 703 MASL. At around 5:00 PM, we started our “Rockies” exploration, I’m in awe of the view from the top of the Rockies, from there you can see the whole Taal Lake, looking the west, the full view of the Balayan Bay. Bad thing though, my camera’s battery died while I was taking photos at the Rockies, lessons learned, charge the battery before going on a trip!
After exploring the Rockies, it’s time to cook, time to test my new Kovea Camp 5 stove and the Kovea Solo 2. For dinner, we had rice, (pre cooked) Chicken Adobo, Salted Egg, and canned goods. After dinner, we had our socials, 2 bottles of GSM Blue and a bottle of Marka Demonyo (Ginebra San Miguel) with Mango Juice as chaser and indian mangoes as pulutan, the socials is not just about the booze, it’s all about the talk and sharing of information and experience. The topic went from mountaineering, religion, aliens and supernatural beings. The strong winds and night mist didn’t stop us from enjoying the night. At midnight, it’s time to hit the sack, the wind was strong and it’s getting colder.
It was drizzling when I got out of the tent the following morning, the biggest suprise was when the rainbow showed up, Mount Maculot never ceases to surpise me. At around 7:00 AM, we had our breakfast and broke our camp at around 8:30 AM.
We started our descent at around 9:00 AM, the drizzle is slowly turning into rain and we fear that the trail will be a slippery. The descent took us a little over an hour, suprisingly, it wasn’t raining at the jump-off. We took our shower at the jump-off and had our lunch, most of us had a bowl of Batangas style Lomi. After lunch, we left the jump-off and headed home.
Same mountain, different experience, I always enjoy visiting this mountain and hope this will not be the last. Next stop, maybe another training climb at Pico de Loro.