by - 10:20 PM

the guide Rhea May and the Mount Batulao

There are infinite of possibilities while on a high altitude.  Imaginations run as my restless feet takes one slow step at a time in a vast land form, of unknown steepness and elevation blanketed by the dark horizon in the absence of visible landscapes sans the sounds of unknown creatures being heard of.

This is my first night trek.  And I found myself at the famed Mount Batulao of Nasugbu, Batangas.

Boarded on a San Agustin Bus bound for Nasugbu, Batangas, sleep-deprived and unwary of where I am heading to, the thought of another mountain to hike is the only concern being fed to my cerebrum.

We waited at the bus terminal at Coastal Mall, Paranaque for the next trip to Batangas.  And after thirty (30) minutes, I find myself now in the road once again.  

With mountaineers slash drunkards in tow, mobile drinking then began. Who would have thought these strong hikers would be energized by a red horse beer before communing with nature.  I hope San Miguel Corporation would someday be in the lookout for endorsers on the road and we'll gladly audition. 

And the risk of "urinating disorder" due to unaccounted intake of beer comes into the picture.  Not knowing that we are not in a bus stop, my companions went down to look for a rest room. In a few minutes, the driver stepped on the gas then the accelerator and one of our companions was left behind.  I don't know what to do then. Should I panic or should I just laugh? hahaha!

Since this is not a provincial bus where all passengers are to be accounted for for every stop over, our companion decided to just meet us at one of the eateries near the Evercrest Golf Course - the jump-off point for this sojourn in the mountains.

At around 9PM in the evening, the trek then began. Under the coldness of the night with an unusual drop of temperature, predicaments of too much perspiration is out of our concern.

For one hour and a half, we were able to make it to the camp site.  Along the darkness of the road, we passed by a mat of the most expensive brew of the world - the civet coffee beans, as we greeted each local who passes through from time to time unmindful of the zero visibility of landscape making these vast expanse their own living room.

With just a headlight and no visible markers on site, local residents/guides and proclaimed resident mountaineers of Mt. Batulao will reach their desired destination.  Indeed, a mountain suited for first timers.

With an exhausted body and trembling legs, we need to find temporary shelter. The trail of Mt. Batulao has anticipated such predicament, thus, the huts offering halo-halo, coconut juice, and some rice cakes.  Yes...halo halo in the mountains is what makes Mount Batulao different from other mountains.

Upon arrival at the campsite, the happy hour then strikes.  Campers were having endless conversations with a few singing moments while others silently gazing the clear skies with constellations waiting to be identified.

Lights then went off or should we say my eyes involuntarily closed culminating the mandatory drinking spree at the mountains of Batulao under a very cold weather.

After a few hours of deep slumber, I was awakened by the coldness of the morning mists covering my tent.  As I peek through the small window, the silhouette of the mountains over the pink rays of the horizon slowly appeared - indeed a special greeting from the mountains.

my home in the mountains
And broad daylight exposed the scenic mountain belt of Batulao.  It was a sight to behold, truly breath taking and a relief from this wearisome adventure specially fit for outdoorsy persons.

The trail provides pit stops which are good not only for catching one's breathe but likewise serves as a temporary refuge from the rays of the sun.  Peddlers are likewise available offering refreshment drinks and energy booster foods.

The trail is indeed well-maintained by the locals and with them serving as tour guides, trekking becomes one of the major source of their livelihood.  Most of the guides are the children of Batulao.  Nowhere to be construed as child labor, I see it on a different perspective, that is, playing with their vast playground while augmenting their allowance for school.

My first night trek was an eye opener of varied proportions.  It made me realize that faith will lead one to his/her desired destination no matter what the obstacles are.  "Don't change the mountain. Let the mountain change you."

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  1. Yun pala eh, umaakyat ka pala e. sumama kana atty. sa Team Redhorse Kids sa Mt. Marami sa May 23! haha