Thursday, September 19, 2013

My First Hike: Mt. Maculot and the "Rockies" of Cuenca, Batangas

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It's time for some Throwback Thursday (Blog Edition)!

My love for mountain hiking started back in 2009 when I was invited by a college friend to have an overnight on top of a mountain. He has done hiking before and he wanted to encourage others, along with my other college friends, to try out this adventure. Overnight on top of a mountain sounds fun so everybody accepted the invitation... or should I say, the challenge? Paul (the one who invited us) chose Mt Maculot of Cuenca, Batangas. Reasons are: 1) It is considered an average in terms of its height in which it is ideal for newbies like us. 2) He's also familiar with the place because he'd already been to Mt Maculot.

PS: Please ignore our outfits in the following photos. They are inappropriate for hiking and we regret wearing them. #lol 

Cuenca, Batangas - Blurring out those campaign ads (Photo from Edward Calugtong)
How to get there:
From Buendia/Gil Puyat, take a bus going to Lemery. Usual bus rate is 147 pesos. Inform your conductor that you'll go at Mt Maculot and drop you off at Cuenca, Batangas. From there, you can hire a tricycle that will bring you to the jump off point of Mt Maculot. Fare is 20 pesos per pax. But before going to the jump off, ask your driver to stop you at the Registration Area which is near the Barangay Hall of Cuenca. Registration fee is 10 pesos per pax. Log everybody in the logbook. This is our first lesson about hiking. Never miss out to register because that will be used for emergency purposes.

Sign that we are heading to the right direction =] (Photo from Edward Calugtong)
After the registration, we headed at the jump-off point to gear up and start the hike. We started the hike with a prayer followed by a stretching. That's our second and third lessons. Always ask for guidance from our creator and prepare your body with this extreme adventure. These two are very important. We should never fail to ask assistance to God as this kind of sport comes with lots of danger. Also, stretch out to increase your range of motion, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs.

Yup, this is our official outfits for Mt Maculot hike. #throwbackThursday  (Photo from Edward Calugtong)

I can still remember my excitement that day on this first hiking adventure of mine. I really don't know what to expect up there and I thought this was just a plain activity. Well, everybody is excited and oozing with energy on the first quarter as we went up to the peak of Mt Maculot. Everybody is chatting, laughing, joking and even singing. But those were minimized as we gone through the second and third quarter. Trails are getting stiffer and harder. We started to feel our weight and the weight of our things that we carry. Lesson number four: Only bring what you need. Do not bring unnecessary things. Just keep it light.  There are also some parts of the trail that requires you to grasp on soil, grass and branches in order to continue. Never hesitate to put your hands on this things. This is not the place for people who has an "attitude". One must have a strong legs and feet to surpass the obstacles. That makes us realize that this activity should be taken with precautions.

Start of our trek
Trail are getting difficult...
Everybody was tired and sweating hard. The sun sets to its highest position. Getting thirsty is inevitable. Fifth lesson: Have enough water supply. This is a vital thing that mountaineers should bring on every hike. Thank God, there are stalls in different parts of Mt Maculot that sells "buko" juice and other cold beverages. Yup, its cold but they're a bit pricey too. We bought drinks on most of the stalls we passed by. Having cold drinks in this tiring activity is priceless! You'll come to appreciate them. It is also a way to conserve our packed water. So instead of drinking them, we reserved it and will be used while our stay on top and going down the next day.

 Store in the middle of the trail | That's my friend, Julius (Photo from Edward Calugtong)
What I also noticed is that as we encounter other mountaineers, they always greet fellow mountaineers even they're are strangers. "Magandang umaga/tanghali/gabi sir/ma'am" (good morning/afternoon/evening sir/ma'am) and/or "ingat po" (take care) are the most commonly used greetings. That is lesson number six: greet fellow mountaineers.


Emac, Eteng and Julius finding doing their own ways
After 2 hours of trekking. The group finally reached the top! Our hard work paid off and what I felt upon reaching the top was un-explainable (but I know it's in a good way). The view on top of Mt Maculot is superb.

Heaven and Earth
Sunset at Mt Maculot
After a quick tour on top, we started to pitch our tent. The camp site of Mt. Maculot is quite big and can a accommodate large group of mountaineers. Then we started to cook and prepare our dinner. It was a great dinner even though only canned goods and noodles were served in the table ground. We talked about our experiences and thoughts as we went up to this mountain while eating. Energy is getting high again. The dinner was followed by socials. Lesson number seven: Have fun. Though hiking is an extreme activity, mountaineers should also enjoy and have fun!

EdPau pitching the tent
Socials that night - Pinoy Henyo and 1,2,3 pass (Photo from Edward Calugtong)
After the socials that night, all went to rest. And that was my first sleep on top of a mountain. Beat that!

The Rockies

Day 2 of our Mt Maculot Hike
The following morning, everybody woke up early to prepare and eat breakfast. This time we will be heading to a so-called place, Rockies. Rockies is a piece of Mt Maculot that offers its visitors an amazing view. Just refer on the photos below to see what I mean. It is just a 30 minutes or less of trekking from the camp site of Mt. Maculot. Extreme caution should be observed since the wind blows hard on this part of the mountain and the space on top of Rockies is a bit narrow.

Off our way to Rockies
We are young, wild and free... also extreme!
Edward and Paula - moments of love. Yiiiihiii
This shot is much better when taken zoom out...
Am I right? :]
After almost an hour of stay and photo op at Rockies, the group decided to descend back to our camp site and start trekking down. Lesson number eight arise here: Take Nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footsteps, Kill nothing but time. No need to explain further, right?

Climbing Mt Maculot is definitely a great experience. Though trekking up and down can sweat the hell out of me, the view on top and the pride you may feel and get as you reach the peak pays off all those hard works. Just like the famous saying... No Pain, No Gain - I guess that's the ninth lesson.


Breakdown of Expenses:
Bus ride (Pasay to Lemery, Lemery to Cubao) - 300.00 PhP (two-way)
Tricycle (Lemery to Jump off, Jump off to Lemery) - 20.00 x 2 way = 40.00 PhP/pax
Registration - 10.00 PhP
Food: **.**

50 comments:

  1. I miss maculot. Kailangan ng balikan

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  2. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.


    my weblog :: travel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I do have a twitter account but my usual posts there are mostly personal thoughts - just search geejaygelogo. However, you can follow my FB page to get latest news and updates on this blog: https://www.facebook.com/?q=#/geejaytravellog?ref=hl

      Cheers!

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  3. Hi! My friends and I would love to go to Mt. Maculot but none of us have been there. We are all first-time climbers, too. Where can we coordinate for a guide going there? How much? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I'd say there's no need of a guide on traversing Mt Maculot but since you're all first timers, then it will be better if you get one. You can ask for a guide as you register near Barangay Hall. Guide fee ranges from 300-500 pesos (this price is for the whole group and NOT per head fee, ok?). This will still vary base on how good you are on bargaining the price. :]

      Plan now and hike the soonest, Tinakits!

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  4. Hello Kuya, thanks sa mga blogs mo, this will be our guide for our later or soon treks.. Keep it up :)

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    Replies
    1. Welcome and thank you din for trusting my blog. Keep safe! Cheers!

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  5. sir ano po ba ang mga prohibited pag nagpunta ka dito? balak din namin kasi pumunta dyan by next year. thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm ano ba? Lahat sir ng sasalungat dito sa quote na to is masasabing prohibited sa kahit saang bundok: "Take Nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footsteps, Kill nothing but time."

      Kumbaga, iwas lang sa kahit na anong pwedeng makasira sa bundok. Gaya ng pagbubunot ng mga nakatanim, pagtapon ng basura kung saan saan, paggawa ng unnecessary na apoy like bonfire, pagpatay ng hayup in case na may ma-encounter kayo at magingay ng sobra. Mga ganung bagay sir.

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  6. di din pala pwede mag inom? itong mga college classmates ko gusto mag inom. inaalala ko lang baka maaksidente sila. hahaha.

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    Replies
    1. Pwede mag inom sir. Masarap uminom sa taas kasi malamig. kaya lang hinay hinay lang. mahirap bumaba ng bundok ng may hangover :] Yup tama medyo prone sa accident kapag nalalasing kaya control ang kailangan. Ilagay ang alak sa tiyan, wag sa utak hehe

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  7. Your blog is so nice and to be honest I really love it! Seriously your blog is amazing :)

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  8. Mukang ok dito. Listed :) nice blog

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    Replies
    1. Yup ayus po dito plus maganda ang viewing deck. Thanks po!

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  9. balita ko madumi na daw dito? totoo ba un?

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    Replies
    1. Talaga po? Nung akyat ko naman po dati, hindi pa naman po

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  10. hello!
    kmusta po ang water source dito?? kelangan po ba namin mag dala ng madaming water?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wala na pong water source pag dating sa taas Anon. kung tama ako nasa 4 liters po na tubig yung dala ko. Ayun po

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  11. Thanks Geejay. Your blog is really helpful. We're planning to go there this Friday, just a dayhike though. My friends and I are not first-time climbers, we've been to Mt. Pico, Batulao and Cristobal, but with a travel group. But we're also inviting some friends who are first-timers. We plan to commute because it's cheaper. :) But we're still thinking of getting a local guide because I've heard from a friend that there are NPAs around the area. Is it essential to get a guide because it's our first-time to Mt. Maculot? :) Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. During this climb, there is only one person whose done hiking and the rest of us were first timers. We didn't hire any guide yet we still manage to reach the top. So, i guess you can do the same. Still, it is your call whether you're going to hire one or not :) Ingat pa din po!

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  12. Nice place. The climb must really worth it.

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    Replies
    1. Super duper worth it po. Lalo na ung view sa taas :)

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  13. is maculot safe for a wannabe solo first time hiker? is it always available on saturday/weekend?

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    Replies
    1. May mga marararik na part ng trails ang Maculot but kaya naman siya kahit newbies, just look at us po. Pero I recommend to try nyo po ung mt Gulugod-Baboy or mt Manalmon. Mas kilala kasi silang akyatin ng mga naguumpisa palang. May posts din po ako sa 2 bundok na yun. :)

      And yes po, bukas ang Maculot on weekends

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  14. Do you think it's ok to bring someone along without mountain climbing experience?

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    Replies
    1. Yup, just tell that person to very cautious during the hike. As for this post and during that time, only 1 of us has done mountain climbing yet we were able to survive mt maculot :)

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    2. hi, i would like to ask if there is a need to get a guide person since we are all newbies to this activity and in fact this will be our first climb. also, is it a well developed trail and easy to follow?

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    3. what do you mean by developed? Well, the trail at Mt Maculot is very visible and easy to follow. If you're not confident enough then I suggest you hire a guide.

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  15. Jep Sanchez ErenioMay 27, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Sir I beg your pardon sir pero walang tricycle from lemery to jump off cuenca. Cuenca to jump off po yan. Please revise your post para walang ma mislead na tao. Thanks

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    1. Hi po sir Jep. Indi po misleading yung nakasulat sa blog. Isinulat ko po na ang sasakyan po nila ay going to Lemery pero sasabihin po nila sa kundoktor na ibaba lang sila sa may Cuenca. Then from there, ay sasakay na po sila ng tricycle going to the jump off point. Same thought po ng comment nyo :)

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    2. I get your point sir geejay. Pero it helps kung mas specific kayo sa name ng take off at drop off points lalo na sa mga first timer sa lugar. anyway, they wouldn't be mislead if they've read your blog well. thanks! :)

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    3. Noted po sir Melvin. :) Thanks!

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  16. Sir may available po bang guide doon. thanks po.

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    Replies
    1. yup. tanong lang po kayo sa registration area :)

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  17. Safe po ba para sa first timer ang mt.maculot. Kaya po ba namin to kahit wala kaming guide? Nagbabalak po kasi kami mag hike. Dalawa lang po kami parehas pang first timer. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Lakasan lang talaga ng loob minsan. Kasi kami, hindi din kami nakuha ng guide kahit lahat kami newbie sa bundok na yun. Mga mga times na naliligaw kami pero ang importante po, kumpleto kayo sa gamit just in case maligaw po

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  18. Sir kya poba 1 day hike? Tnx

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  19. hi, we're planning this aug 23 magclimb sa mt maculot.. open pa po ba yun? do we need tour guide? how much po fee? or baka gusto nyo kame samahan?! :) thanks

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invite pero pass ako. busy sa work :) hehehe.. Kung bukas siya? hmmm, so far wala namang news na nagsara siya and good na ulit ung panahon kaya malaki ang chance na open pa din siya. guide? if this is not your first time pwede namang wala na. wala namang ligaw sa bundok na to. pero kung di pa kayo komportable sa hiking experience nyo, di na masakit sa bulsa ang guide. hati hati naman kayo ng group nyo na magbabayad eh

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  20. What month is the best time to visit?

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    Replies
    1. Month? Hmmm I suggest March to May... though mainit, mas safe naman siya since di pa tagulan nun. dala lang kayo ng maraming tubig to keep you hydrated

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  21. how do we get a guide? do we need to call and reserve? or we could just ask for a guide as we get there?

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    Replies
    1. Nope, you may ask one on the area where you are going to register.

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  22. Kailangan pa ba ng tent pag day lang ang aakyatin?

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  23. Hi sir, may binayaran pa ba kayong guide or sinundan nyo lang ung trail mismo? thanks! :)

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  24. guide po ako sa maculot 09363001503 ito po contact number ko

    ReplyDelete

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