Mt. Batulao Peak - Reaching the Summit, Overnight Camp, Hike Going Down, Sidetrip to Calaruega Church in Nasugbu, Batangas

Hike! Oooh... Hike! Wow... Hike! Wait... Hike! Crawl! Sit! Go Up That Rope! Legs Shaking! Wind Howling! Mind Blowing! Breathe! I Made It!!! Great! Now, how do I go down? Hahaha.

I was tired yet I kept on going. I was scared but I found the will to move forward. This had got to be one of the most dangerous stunts I pulled and it's only the start of 2014! Haha. I'm claiming Mt. Batulao as my first ever summit (my first attempt at Mt. Pulag was just a warmup haha)! It took us first-timers 1.5 hours to reach the peak from our campsite. We left the rest of our stuff in our tents. This is Part 3 of 3 of my Mt. Batulao series. Read about the trip from Manila to the Old Trail and New Trail Fork here. Read about the Old Trail to Camp 1 here.

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3:10 p.m. We left at 3 and I was surprised to find out that Camp #2 was really near. CR-wise though, if we decided to stay here or at the higher camps, we would have to find our way down in the dark when nature calls and that I think is dangerous.

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We arrived at Camp #3 a few minutes later.

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3:12 p.m. There's something about these trees per stop that made me smile.

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I guess we were able to recharge a bit at camp so it was easy at first.

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3:18 p.m. Here's Camp #4! I was starting to see a pattern haha.

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3:23 p.m. There were a lot of photo moments and I loved the view along the trail.

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3:28 p.m. Up and down we went. The view just became panoramic by Camp #5...

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The wind also got stronger...

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and all that shade was gone.

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3:30 p.m. Our destination target was to get to that tree

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and it was quite a challenge for me at some points.

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3:38 p.m. The view though was awesome at Camp #6 (or is this 7?). I liked this site the most but the wind was super strong and I can feel it pushing me. I think this must be the most scenic campsite.

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3:46 p.m. The path turned for the worse and a lot vertical here. If we went any slower, we would still be climbing and holding on to rocks by nightfall and that's not good.

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There's the previous camp we left behind. Good thing the group behind us decided to stop and camp there. 

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Mik said that if the wind was too strong, then it was better if we just sit down and crawl from here...

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We hiked up slowly and one by one. I was a disadvantage with my shorter legs and height... I was already hugging the rocks BTW and it was the safest position for me. I also kept my camera. The first casualty in this mountain a few years ago was at Camp #8, I think. She was taking pictures and, with one wrong step, fell down below.

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3:57 p.m. Okay, so I'm sure this is Camp #8...

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My legs nearly gave away. I was out of breath - shaking from all that climbing, swaying a bit with the wind, trembling from the colder temperature. This is the view from the right.

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This is the view from the left. I was able to enjoy this climb every few minutes because of the sights around me.

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Look! Do you see the New Trail and the hikers?

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Time to focus on what's coming next!

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I squint and held my breath when what I had to do hit me...

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How haw de carabao? These people took quite a while to go down one by one.

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Who wants to stay here? We'll come back this way anyway.

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One quick look down the previous camp...

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Crap they're almost done... Haha. What have I gotten myself into?!

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If it were my 2nd time here, I would stop at this point.

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Our friend decided to stay behind and I left my Columbia jacket and walking stick - seeing I won't need them and they would only weigh me down.

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4:10 p.m. Even my hat was not a good idea (the wind was so strong, better if it's a bonnet). My gloves were very, very useful, rashguard and the long leggings.

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4:16 p.m. Just had to sit down with all that workout...

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4:19 p.m. The rope challenge was coming up next.

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4:24 p.m. My turn... 

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4:28 p.m. I had to concentrate for a while so I kept my camera already. I was also so overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I finally made it.

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They were selling room temp Mountain Dew for P25. Our water supply was completely depleted already and this was exactly what we needed.

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Views, views, views...

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I was glued to the ground from exhaustion and the strong winds.

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4:45 p.m. It's almost dark. We're good to go back! Same way down!

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I put my Headware over my hair. The wind was really super strong now and I need to concentrate without my hair flying. I also kept my camera. This was my last shot before I held on to rocks for life. Going down was much harder and I had to slide down a number of times. I had close calls too and I bumped my butt a few times. It was a struggle and I was hurrying up a bit because it was already getting dark. I was super in my zone. Think I got back to camp at around 6:15 p.m.

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7:00 p.m. I was seriously ready to sleep. Below is my thermal mylar blanket.

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By 7:35, dinner was ready. Everything is so yummy when you did what I did and held on for that long.

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Day 2
8:20 a.m. For breakfast, we had adobo =) We headed down after our tents and stuff were ready (around 10 a.m.).

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10:35 a.m. Rest stop at the Old Trail. We rented out Mang Johnny's horse for our stuff (P500). They finished around an hour earlier and met us at the jump-off point.

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11:11 a.m. This was me - already injured, exhausted and teary-eyed. I was so ready to go home...

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11:28 a.m. The last stop was the first hut where we had buko the other day. They had arroz caldo, goto

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and this halo-halo with melon powder (I think it was P25).

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We got to the car at around 12:30 p.m. We stopped at Calaruega Church because it was really near. There's a P30 entrance though (parking outside with pay)... It's a popular church to get married and I could see why. 

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Plenty of picture spots.

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As you can see from the lack of pictures, I was pretty much spent. We ate and cleaned up in Tagaytay. We got to Manila at around 7:30 p.m.! Well, this is pretty much the end of my Mt. Bolinao adventure =) I was like an Energizer Bunny - kept going and going, reached my peak, lasted a while longer then crashed so suddenly haha. I'm so glad I did it! Buwis-buhay haha.

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