Trekking Mount Batulao is one adventure you can do in the province of Batangas. Moreover it is a popular mountain to climb by experienced hikers, and a choice of most neophyte hikers to ascend.
It is an attractive mountain to climb on the grounds that its jump off point is near Metro Manila, and with close proximity from Tagaytay City. One has to enter through Evercrest Golf and Country Club and from the gate, climbers can ask for the proper directions.
By the way, you might be wondering where the word Batulao came from. According to the locals, it was derived from Bato sa Ilaw (illuminated rock), wherein a yearly phenomenon was observed during the last week of December, where the sun sets right in the middle of Batulao's two crests, producing a figure of rocks surrounding a disc of red light.
Anyone can climb the mountains of Batulao anytime of the year. Although during the summer months one has to put in mind that ascending the peak you will be passing by a tree-less trail covered with cogon grass. So that the trek could get really hot during noontime.
According to the more experience climbers, Mount Batulao is one of the easiest climbs, which is 811 meters above sea level and considered as a minor climb with 60 to 70 degrees assault.
Words of advise for first time climbers. The word "minor climb" must be understood that all mountains pose some degree of difficulty and risk. Moreover it is a good idea to consult a doctor before climbing the peak.
It is also a must for hikers to register before proceeding to ramble. Leave your name and mobile number to the officials at the registration area. And tell them when you are expected to return.
To get to the summit, one has to be very careful in the steep trail. The hikers should be physically fit for he/she is required for rock scrambling. And not recommended for persons who have cold feet on heights.
Trekkers are also advised to wear proper mountain climbing get up. May I repeat that hikers will encounter a cogon field so it is advisable to wear long pants. During the cold months jackets or long-sleeved shirts are advisable.
There are two trails a hiker can select in reaching the summit. The old trail, which is on the east side, is a more challenging course to take. Climbers taking the old trail are advice to bring climb equipment such as ropes and to wear gloves. However, taking the new trail on the west side, ropes and gloves aren't necessary.
Hikers are also advice to bring with them enough drinking water during the hike. Although one can have a buko (coconut) drink along the hike, and sari-sari stores will usually take an hour from most campsite and prices may not be reasonable.
And the most rewarding time of your trek is when you reach the peak of Mount Batulao. At the summit you will have a panoramic view of Taal Lake, the Batangas and Cavite provinces, the South China Sea and the mountains of Pico de Loro and Mt. Maculot. You will also find an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the peak.