NASUGBU, BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES — Whenever the keywords “hike, nearby, beginner” are encountered, the humble Mt. Batulao pops into my mind. Batulao (811+ MASL), located two hours away from Manila, is probably one of the most sensationalized mountain this year (2015). Who could blame outdoor enthusiasts? Batulao offers remarkable landscapes and rolling slopes perfect not just for a dayhike but for camping as well. All of these just a short leap from Metro Manila!
Coming from our beach camping at Burot Beach in Calatagan and from our bulalo session in Tagaytay, our three-membered group went to Mt. Batulao past 2:30pm on a weekday. Quite a late hour for a dayhike, isn’t it?
There are two major trails — the Old and the New. It is best to experience both trails, but it would be up to you whether which one to try first. Our group tried the Old Trail first then exited through the New Trail.
We were already back to the jump-off by 6:00pm. Speedy hikers! Well, technically, we hurried because we haven’t brought lamps with us and because we came late. I wonder if it must’ve been caused by the alcohol from Burot.
TRAVEL GUIDE / TIPS
- HOW TO GET THERE. From the bus terminal in Coastal Mall in Pasay, ride a bus bound for Nasugbu (PhP 105/pax). Get off at Evercrest Golf Course (Hillcrest). You may opt to start the trek from there or you can ride a tricycle (PhP 25/pax) and asked to be dropped off at the trek jumpoff.
- GUIDES. Guides are optional but if you are a newbie hiker, you should consider getting one. Tricycle drivers may offer their services as guides. Kid guides are also available at Evercrest and along the way. There is no fixed fee but a recommended fee is at least PhP 300 per day.
- REGISTRATION FEES. There are registration fees collected at the campsites of the two trails. Total of PhP 20/pax if you are just a dayhiker. Total of PhP 30 if planning to camp.
- As the mountain is a sensation nowadays, try planning your trip on a weekdays if your schedule permits. The lesser the people, the better for your muni-muni session, right? 🙂
- As the trails are exposed to the sun, bring your usual sun protection. You know the drill.
- Bring water! We haven’t brought enough water with us (ignorant noobs). Good thing there are bottled water for sale at a store at the New Trail campsite, of course offered at a higher price.
- You can also plan a twin hike with the nearby, Mt. Talamitam. Or even a trilogy hike, including the newly-opened (for hiking), Mt. Apayang.
The author first hiked Mt. Batulao on April 9, 2015.