The desire to see the slopes and grassland over a mountain peak started when I first tried hiking. The grit and grandeur of far-flung wilds intimidated my innerself to question the wonders that lies beyond the concrete jungle we’re living in. It hurts to know that it became an enigmatic wall that separates us to the indefinite beauty of our physical world. From then on, I told myself that I’d have to visit more of these places.
Lucky enough, our co-worker Mina agreed to hitch us on their family’s trip to Mt. Batolusong in celebration of her sister’s birthday (Happy Birthday ate Cindy!).
It was actually a group hike managed by Laagan Backpackers (if you want, you can visit their group page for schedules. I heard that they always have climbs on Wednesday’s), Mina’s family are also joiners here. Overall, we were around 30 pax, I think?
It was my first time to join a group hike and I’m glad I did because I learned that traveling with other people, strangers or not, makes a journey more interesting and lively, plus you also learn a lot from them, like how salt could prevent muscle cramps when placed under the toungue, and all other stuff I honestly had no idea before.
Trivia: Mt. Batolusong, located at San Andres, Tanay, Rizal, is just two hours away from Manila. It has a peak of 645 MASL and a level of 3/10 diffiulty. They say that this mountain is part of the Sierra Madre range. Cool.
As we were briefed, our guide said that our destination was subdivided into two ridges: 1) Duhatan and 2) Mapatag.
The ascent to Duhatan, despite man-made route, was quite difficult because we had to pass through shallow terrains, rocky streams and slippery mud. I had to keep reminding myself to look at my steps instead of the greenery.
Thankfully, There were people around who assited us all through out the trek. Also, the bamboos were useful when it became a bit challenging to walk.
Since we started early, we had the chance to witness the sea of clouds when we reached Duhatan. It was so mesmerizing I had to stop and just stare at it, wishing that somehow I could just jump off and live with the clouds. I wanted to be part of it.
Mapatag, for me, was more friendly to hikers, there were a lot of talahibs and other shrubs here covering area and the wind is strong enough to create a relaxing sound.
Finally, when we reached the summit, it felt like all our hardships had paid off, the view on top was magnificent and irreplaceable (so with the memories).
On other note, I loved the grassy trail going to Kay-ibon Falls (Yes! We had a side trip guys). What’s more refreshing than taking a dip into a cold water after a tiring climb?
I had visions here that one day when I grow old, I’m going to set out a camp and live my aging life on a farm, staring at the sky all day long.
Tips: There are several side trips here which includes: Kay-ibon Falls, Sangab Cave, and other trails eg. Susong Dalaga. If you have more time and stamina, you may also want visit them. They’re all wonderful!
It was satisfying yet the feeling of isolation and complexity still lingers as to what lies above the hidden vicinity that reaches above the sky. The very reason why the horizon remains a mystery to my bewildered heart. Still, everything else becomes complicated and beautiful.
As we packed up, I remember vividly the untold stories of sunrises, the secret energies of trees, the melodious choir of birds and crickets, the vast museum of the wild which again, regains familiarity to the most beautiful part of ourselves, however lost and concealed within, always, always comes back to life.