Saturday, September 6, 2014


By: Ramon Q. Gayas Jr. (Ser Montaineer)


BLOGGER'S 7TH VISIT 08-24-2014
Stands in 811+ masl and recognized as one of the most beginner-friendly and top favourite hiking destination in Batangas province is Mt. Batulao. Its proximity from metro manila makes hikers easily access and constantly visits this; it’s just a 2.5 to 3 hours bus ride from Coastal Mall Provincial bus terminal to reach its entry point---the Evercrest Golf Course in Nasugbu, Batangas. Mt. Batulao is located within the jurisdiction of Nasugbu, lies near the area of Tagaytay which is known as cool spot. In spite of its location, there are times that hikers encounter a hot and humid temperature due to the exposed nature of its trail. In that case, climbing this in early morning, mid-afternoon or at night will be nice enough timing to avoid sunlight exposure and to make the hike more enjoyable. On the other hand, campers would feel totally different in the evening as the entire mountain is mainly foggy and windy, which make the atmosphere turns to be cool and refreshing.

BLOGGER'S 6TH VISIT 12-08-2013
Apart from having a stunning landscape and splendid viewing panorama at the summit (360 degree views), the Mt. Batulao also possess an easy to moderate trail and numerous campsites, which is the reason why it gained prominence as an outdoor training venue. Indeed, different organizations visit this for training purposes; like Team Building and Basic Mountaineering Course. It has been part of different events such as; trail running, scouting, religious gathering and etc. Even mountain bikers are likewise attracted to it; they also visit this to capture its beautiful scenery. Mt. Batulao is definitely a noteworthy destination also because of its nearness to other spots which is able to incorporate to it for additional venture. Interestingly, many mountaineers integrate the itineraries of Mt. Batulao and its neighbour peak Mt. Talamitam for a “twin hike” and for more thrilling adventure, Mt. Batulao can also be a commencement or finale in doing the Maragondon-Nasugbu Trilogy Hike:  Pico de Loro-Talamitam-Batulao (vice versa). In addition to that, relaxation at Nasugbu beach or to try the special delicacies (special bulalo) and attractions in Tagaytay would be another nice and worth combination of Mt. Batulao escapade. Blend all these good assets makes Mt. Batulao a very interesting mountain to experience.

BLOGGER'S 5TH VISIT 10-30-2011
In line with its popularity, commercialization and limitless climbing occurred on this mountain. Unfortunately, the sustenance of the low-impact hiking and cleanliness did not materialize. Visitors may still encounter litters on trail, noise in the evening and mass camping/climbing especially on weekends and holidays. 

Overall, Mt. Batulao is truly an impressive place to visit, but at the same time a piece of nature appealing for total clean up and responsible climbing practices.


NOTE: Trails to Mt. Batulao become severely muddy during rainy season

The entry point – Climbers usually commence the trek at Evercrest Golf Course, while others are taking tricycle (10 minutes ride) going to the trail head which is Sitio Matala, a part of Calaca. And to make hike easier, some visitors extend the ride going to the place they called “jump-off”, a much preferred point to start the trek to shorten the trip up to the summit (optional).

The trail head – The initial part of the trail is generally straightforward, partially cemented which then lead to rough road. This is easy to follow but be observant on some confusing section particularly near the Elementary School. The ups and down terrain is perfect for warm up and the views of Mt. Batulao and agricultural lowland along the way is a treat to behold. After a 45 minutes trek from the trail head, climbers will reach the spot they called “ministop” the store between the segment of “Old Trail” (downward left) and “New Trail” or the peak 1 itself (upward right).

The Old Trail – This trail posses partial woodland and mostly grassland; it will take 1.5 to 2 hours trekking from “ministop” to reach the summit. The several nipa and trees along camp 1 up to camp 7 are nice places for rest stop. However, be mindful on the dangerous section that will be encounter starting from Camp 6 up to the summit. Trails are really steep (60-70 degree trail with rope segment between Camp 9 and summit) and it will literally require you to use your limbs to ascend this. The small loosed rocks there and strong winds may set off your balance, so give extra careful attention while passing through this area.

The New Trail – This is the shorter route in climbing Mt. Batulao, at this point (from “ministop”) the summit is trekkable within 1 to 1.5 hours, though trails are entirely exposed to sunlight. However, there are also available shady place for you to stop off; several nipa lies at Peak 8 and Peak 10. Most of the trails there are ups and down, same with old trail it also has rope segment prior the summit. On the other hand, there are reported tragic incidents happened on this trail; one is the recent fell accident at peak 9 (September 21, 2014), the victim was rescued and survived and the other one was happened at peak 8 in year 2012 which involved the death of a first time hiker, so consistency in taking extra caution is advised.

The Summit – The old trail and new trail will meet up on the same summit, the 360 degree viewing spectacle includes: Scenic views of Batangas Mountains, Highlands of Tagaytay, Balayan bay, silhouette of Mindoro and Lubang Island, portion of Maricaban straight and Verde Island passage, Calatagan Peninsula, Maragondon Mountains and Mt. Mariveles Range. While you are on the summit, don’t miss out the chance to capture the magnificent rock formation of the so called “Peak of Deception” which looks like dinosaur’s spines. The cattle at the pastoral area below the Mt. Batulao are nice to watch, one thing comparable to tamaraw watching at the ridge of Mt. Iglit Baco in Mindoro. If ever there is no clearing at the summit, take time to wait and observe the captivating movements of fog which predominantly gives dramatic opening for the views.


Mountain’s Profile
Major Jump-off: Evercrest Golf Course Nasugbu, Batangas
Trail Head: Sitio Matala, Brgy. Cahel Calaca, Batangas
Elevation: 811+masl
Days required: 1 to 2 days
Hours to summit: 2 to 4 hours
Specs: Minor Climb
Difficulty: 4/9
Trail classes: agricultural, grassy trail, woodland trail, with rope segment and 60-70 degree trail
Features: Community, Agricultural lowland, 360 degree scenic views

Environmental Recommendation – To reduce the hiking impact at Mt. Batulao, hikers are encouraged to conduct a clean-up climb or give initiative to pick up the remaining garbage in the mountain. Limit the numbers of participants (fewer or not more than 15 person per group) and as much as possible avoid climbing this on peak season.

Communication – For coordination, inquiries and updates regarding the status of the trail you may contact Roel at 09279008496, he is a care taker of new trail. Cell phone signal is present throughout the trail.

Guide and Registration fee – Getting guide is traditionally not required, however, requiring hikers to hire guide might be subjected for implementation due to the fell incidents happened and possibilities of changes on the rules and regulation in the future, so coordination should always be considered before proceeding. Just in case you need guide; they are available at the entry point/trail head and can be paid P300 per day. Registration is being done at Camp 1 for old trail and Peak 8 for new trail. The registration fee for both trails is P20 for a day hike and P30 for overnight.

Transportation – Bus ride from Coastal Mall to Evercrest = P127
Optional Tricycle ride to Trail head = P 40/1 way for 4 passengers
Optional Tricycle ride to “jump-off” = P 100/1 way for 4 passengers
For private vehicle; parking area is available near the Evercrest Golf Course and Sitio Matala for P60-P100 per day.

Camping notes – For overnight staying at the Old trail, campsites are available starting from camp 1 to camp 7. The camp 8 and camp 9 are rocky, not spacious and very dangerous for camping. While for the new trail; the traditional campsite is the Peak 8, though there are also potential campsites prior that peak. Camping at the summit is also possible but very limited.

Water source – Intermittent stream can be found below the camp 1 of old trail, but the water is sometimes cloudy and not available. Bringing 3-4 L of water for overnight staying is recommended. However, you can also buy water through the care taker (Old trail and New trail, P30/Gallon).

Alternate route - Climbing up Mt. Batulao via Tuy Batangas trail is possible; some climbers reportedly frequented this trail including the peak of “Mt. Susong Dalaga”. However, proper inquiries and coordination is advised. More information is needed for this alternate route, but this is definitely another taste of Mt. Batulao adventure.


Number of participants
4 Persons
1 Day / Day Hike Traverse

Transportation (commute)
Bus ride from Coastal Mall to Evercrest (back and forth) = P254
Optional Tricycle ride to Trail head (back and forth) = P20
Guide fee (optional)
P75 per person
Registration Fees
New Trail to Old Trail (vice versa) = P40
Contingency fund
P111  per person


Day hike traverse: New Trail to Old Trail

0400 ETD From Coasal Mall Provincial Bus Terminal
0700 ETA Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu, Batangas / Take Tricycle to Trail Head
0715 ETA Trail Head (Sitio Matala)
0730 Start Trek
0815 ETA Fork Trail / Take New Trail (upward right)
0900 ETA Peak 8 / Register
0945 ETA Summit
1030 Start descend to Old Trail
1100 ETA Camp 1 / Resgister again / early Lunch
1200 Resume trek
1300 ETA Sitio Matala / Rest and Wash
1400 Take Tricycle to Evercrest
1410 Head back to Manila or side trip (optional)

Day hike traverse: Old Trail to New Trail

0400 ETD From Coasal Mall Provincial Bus Terminal
0700 ETA Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu, Batangas / Take Tricycle to Trail Head
0715 ETA Trail Head (Sitio Matala)
0730 Start Trek
0815 ETA Fork Trail / Take Old Trail (downward left)
0830 ETA Woodland
0845 ETA Camp 1 / Register
1015 ETA Summit
1100 Start descend to New Trail
1120 ETA Peak 8 / Register again / early lunch
1230 Resume trek
1330 ETA Sitio Matala / Rest and Wash
1400 Take Tricycle to Evercrest
1410 Head back to Manila or side trip (optional)