Hiking: Mt. Batolusong

It was a Saturday night when we decided to climb Mt. Batolusong the next day. With barely any sleep, we met at McDonald’s Cubao at 4am, and rode a UV Express bound to Cogeo Gate 2. From there, we transferred to a jeepney and got dropped off at Batangasan. We then saw a welcoming arch to Barangay San Andres, where tricycles were available to transport hikers to San Andres Barangay Hall for registration, and securing of guides. The next kilometers were then travelled by foot.

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Mt. Batolusong has recently gained been a hit due to its close proximity to Metro Manila and its promising Sea of Clouds. Located in Tanay, Rizal, and along the Sierra Mountain Ranges, it is a minor climb, and a beginner-friendly mountain offering a scenic view of Laguna, Rizal, and its neighboring provinces.

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The trail from the Barangay Hall requires to pass through rice fields before entering the woods with steep trails, and then woodlands and rock formations. After about an hour, the trail welcomes a grassland with rolling hills. The first camping site called Duhatan ridge, which was named after the Duhat trees around it, can serve as a resting spot. From there, it would take around 30 minutes to reach Mapatag Plateau (645m), which serves as a refreshing campsite due to its excellent grassland wind.

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According to our guide, the Sea of Clouds is usually visible up from the Duhatan Ridge, but due to the gloomy weather conditions, we weren’t able to witness it.

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Rain accompanied by strong winds started to pour when we arrived Mapatag Plateau. It was chilly and discoraging, but we decided to continue our adventure and hike up the Rangyas Peak. We left our bags with our guide who did not come along with us up to the peak. We passed through even more grasslands and a beautiful bamboo land before reaching a huge boulder of rock before finally summiting the peak.

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The climb up the rock was a bit dangerous especially because it gets slippery with the rain, but with proper determination and courage, one can pass through it.From above the summit, views of the Sierra Mountain Ranges are seen. It was kind of foggy and misty so we weren’t able to maximize the view. It was beautiful nonetheless.

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It took us about a couple of hours to descend the mountain, passing through the same muddy trails. Our guide then led us to Sangab Cave, where a cave and turquoise-blue freshwater awaits. We dipped for a while until the rain started to pour again. The locals then accommodated us and offered us their bathrooms for a quick bath.20161218_141348.jpg

Expenses Breakdown:

35 (x2) – Cubao to Cogeo

27 (x2) – Cogeo to Batangasan

30 (x2) – Tricycle (120 pesos for 4 people)

20 – Registration fee

100 – Guide fee (500 pesos per guide per 5 people)

TOTAL: 304 pesos

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