Together with my college friends (Ali and Meyeh) we planned to go to Maculot, but due to bad weather and body aches (signs of aging na ba ito?) last March 4 we didn’t push thru. Desperately wanted to climb muntik na kaming mapunta sa Mt.Sawi, Mt. Sembrano, Mt. Kayangkayangan, Mt. Tagapo, at lahat na ng maisip naming bundok but we just agreed to not leave for the weekend and have it rescheduled the following week – March 11.
Sunday midnight and we’re off to Batangas, matapos lumagpas sa pick-up points at magkanda ligaw ligaw papuntang jump-off. Thank you Waze for guiding us, maliligaw ka talaga considering na looban ang place and madilim pa. Jump-off is at the Mountaineer’s Store; foods are available and use of CRs. We opted to do the traverse upon registration, and then a guide was assigned to us – Jimboy. After registration we still need to drive a few minutes to start our trek.
It’s my first time trekking this dark, yung takot ko considering all the stories I’ve heard tapos ang lamig lamig pa ng hangin. What did I put myself into? Lo and behold the first part was purely assaults, walang katapusang assaults (haha). Nawala takot ko napalitan na ng pagod, there were fourteen (14) stations/stopovers before reaching the Rockies Campsite. We were like third group to reach the Rockies and had to wait for our turn to have our picture taken at the popular spot. It was so windy and foggy and cold. Dito talaga nagtagal sa pagpila para sa pictures, the things you do just for instagrammable pictures.
We had to go back to the campsite to make our way to the summit; it was a leg day indeed. Hindi na naisip magpicture but instead we just walked and walked and walked until we reached this fork road. I remembered na sabi nung isang guide na nakasalubong namin na “malapit na kayo pag nakita nyo yung dalawang daan, sa kaliwa kayo dadaan”. This is it! eto na yun but guess what it was the most tiring and difficult trail I’ve been to. Imagine this: malambot ang lupa (as in loose soil ata yun), bagong tabas ang mga halaman, naka-incline ang daan at makipot, wala kang hahawakan na sanga or ugat man lang – meron man halaman puro tinik naman, di mo makita san ka malaglag kung sakali (haha), kulang nalang gumapang nalang para makaraos and I can’t imagine how I/we managed to go through that. Pagdating sa summit sobrang dami ng tao, where did all these people come from? Wala kaming kasunod maglakad, san sila nagdaan? Then, our guide told us that it’s a new trail – sobrang bago pa kakabukas palang nung Thursday (we did our trek on a Sunday). Now I know bakit ganon, mukha kasing di pa nadadaanan (haha). We just had our picture taken at the summit sign then off we go to the grotto.
Yes, more walking for us! This time we need to unleash our inner rappelling skills. Kung mabagal ako paakyat mas mabagal ako pababa, we need to support ourselves with the ropes to go down. Di ko na alam gano kami katagal na puro pababa ang ginagawa. Thank you sa mga bato, puno, ugat, at sanga na nahawakan ko. I should have brought with me a gloves, medyo masakit sa kamay ang paghawak sa mga lubid. After a dozen of “10 minutes nalang” we finally reached the grotto, just had to rest before going up. Didn’t stay long at the peak ‘coz it’s so sunny and hot, going down form the grotto was much easier – there’s already a cemented stairs. We had to pass thru the 13 stations; we ended our trek at Brgy. Pinagkaisahan.
We went back to where we parked to take a bath (Herman’s Paliguan) dahil nangigitata na kami sa mga pinagagagawa naming. Water’s so cold and refreshing. Initially we planned to go to Caleruega Church but we just straight to one of these restaurants at Tagaytay to eat lunch then bought some pasalubongs. We’re all so tired after that – legs and arms were aching but we did finish Mt.Maculot all in one piece.
Here’s our list of expenses for our DIY climb; food not included:
|PARTICULARS||AMOUNT PER HEAD
|Guide (w/ tip)||
|CR at Mountaineer’s Store – No.1||
|CR at Mountaineer’s Store – No.2||
|Herman’s Paliguan – Ligo (per timba)
*can’t remember how much are the other fees