The cool and arid clime of Mt. Batulao is a pleasant escape from the tropics. The moment you alight from the Crow bus at Evercrest Golf Course – the jumpoff – you will feel the same coolness felt by the visitors of Tagaytay. And this temperature will be with you all the way. Batulao is the only mountain in the region where you can wear jackets at high noon. You have to. There is no tree cover throughout the climb. On sunny days, this paradoxical blending of heat and cold, on dramatic, sometimes steep landscapes, with forceful winds that make the cogon grass dance, forming beautiful waveforms across the slopes, earns for Batulao the distinction of being the most spectacular of the mountains in Batangas.
The trails are initially rough roads, then transition to paths that are well-maintained, taking you up and down, up and down, at first gently, and then the slopes will be more pronounced later. After around forty minutes of trekking, you will encounter a hut, fondly called ‘Mini Stop’ where buco juice is sold for P20 each. 500 meters beyond this hut is the fork between the two trails to Mt. Batulao’s summit.
Mount Batulao is located in Nasugbu, Batangas which is 1,5 hours from Silang, Cavite. One of famous mountains for mount climbers in Philippines.
OLD TRAIL (EAST)
Fork to summit: 1.5-2 hours. Take the left, downward path to follow the old trail. You will enter a woodland, then emerge into the campsites (or stations) marked 1-10. At the earlier campsites the facilities are larger and there is a water source. There is a logbook and you will have to pay a registration fee of P20.
Same old slopes till station 8, after which the final ascent commences. Beyond this point, at the you have to be extremely careful because the trails are really steep, there are loose stones, and the winds can set off you balance. Also, they spawn duststorms which may cause transient visual disturbances. This will just take 30-45 minutes, though. Campsites are marked from 1-10 in the final hour, with stations 8-10 being the steep parts, Campsite 10 being the summit itself.
EW TRAIL (WEST)
Fork to summit: 1-1.5 hrs. Take the right, upward path. There is a small wooden marker. You will immediately ascent into a hill, and continue ascending and descending. Around 20 minutes uphill is the lone campsite of the trail, good for several tents. There is a water station – the locals who man the site sell water which they get from a nearby river (around 30 minutes away). Here is also the counterpart registration area of this trail.
From the campsite, go up the hill and continue trekking until you reach a point where you have to go down and enter a forested area. Just proceed into this woodland and emerge 10 minutes later. The path goes between two rocks; turn right towards the summit. At this stage you are just 15 minutes away.
0400 ETD bus terminal in EDSA-Taft via Crow Bus Lines to Nasugbu, Batangas (P114.00)
0715 Arrival at Evercrest
0730 Start trek
0930 Arrival at Camp 1 (fee of P20.00)
1015 Arrival at Camp 8, commence summit assault
1100 Arrival at summit; lunch
1200 Start descent
1530 Back at Evercrest; clean-up at nearby sari-sari store
1600 ETD for Tagaytay by jeepney (P24.00)
1630 ETA Tagaytay; anything goes from here
For the old trail, some would advice wearing gloves during the final ascent to Batulao’s peak, but it would depend on the hiker’s grip and convenience. For the new trail, gloves are not needed nor recommended.
Boy guides, aged 8-17, wait for mountaineers by the highway; you can secure their services for a range of prices but PinoyMountaineer recommends P300/day. Don’t worry much about the ‘child labor’ aspect as these kids are able to go to school on weekdays; they do the guiding on weekends as their part-time job.
You can save time by taking a tricycle from the highway to the end of the road – about a 20-minute trip that costs P100/tricycle ride. You can also get their cellphone number to fetch you on your way back. At the small village that you will pass by foot or trike, you can buy food and water. A local ice cream is also sold.
At Camp 1, P20 fee is collected; a similar fee is collected at the New Trail campsite. Take note: If you want to two different trails up and down, you must pay P20 on both sides.
There are no immediately accessible water sources throughout the Batulao trail but guides can access further sources, 30 minutes away for you on either trails. For dayhikes, 1.5-2 L water is advised. Cellphone signal is present throughout the climb.
Mount Pundaquit beckons for trekkers and mountaineers. There is a waterfall on one end of the beach where you only need to follow a stream to find it plus the secluded Anawangin cove shielded by the mountain with its agoho trees (similar to pine trees).
Barangay Pundaquit, the gateway to the romantic Capones Lighthouse, the secluded Anawangin Cove, Capones Island and Camara Islands and now a favorite shoot locations for television series and music videos with fine gray sand, semi-private and waves/surf breaks ideal for newbie surfers has only a handful of beach resorts.
Pundaquit Beach Resorts:
Megan’s Paradise Beach Resort
Pundaquit, San Antonio
Telephone No.: +63.47.621.0507; +63.47.913.3784
Review: Budget resort where many people can share a room. Tutubi stayed here in 2005 in his first trip to Capones Island Lighthouse.
Nora’s Beach Resort
Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
Contact Number: +63.918.278.8188; +63.919.637.4917
Punta De Uian
Pundaquit San Antonio
Telephone Number: +18.104.22.16892
Mobile: +63.918.888.UIAN (that’s 0918.888.8426)
Review: Upscale resort with nice swimming pool.
Wild Rose Beach Inn
Pundaquit, San Antonio
Contact Number: +63.910.661.5613
Some signs spell Pundaquit as Pundakit (Filipinized spelling). No information yet on cheap homestays, restaurants, hotels and other “where to stay” places but intrepid travelers can camp out at Anawangin Cove. If you have time, you may also check out Casa San Miguel, a farm and school for gifted children.
How to get to Pundaquit, San Antonio Zambales:
Commute: Ride a bus to Zambales at Victory Liner (terminal on Rizal Avenue (Avenida) near LRT Monumento Station) with signboard Iba, or Sta. Cruz and drop off in San Antonio town. Hire a tricycle to take you to the beach resort of your choice.
From Manila, Head towards NLEX and exit at San Fernando. In San Fernando, drive all the way to Olongapo City where you pass by Subic town, Castillejos, San Marcelino then San Antonio. In San Antonio, ask around for directions to Pundakit for it’s not easy to describe it here. (No information yet on the new route via SCTEx for Tutubi has yet to pass by the new tollway)
To get to Anawangin Cove, or Capones Island, rent a boat to take you there. Negotiate pick up time with the boatmen.
We provide an area which is a sort of “introduction to camping” experience. We want to promote camping in the Philippines, but we recognize that many people here have never done it. We want to provide the “no risk” opportunity for people to try it with their families.
We “ease” people into it. You can bring your family, or friends, and you can enjoy sleeping under the stars in a remote area. You have the choice of trying to cook your own food if you want, and you will not have to deal with the realities of camping where there are no toilets.
We don’t have rooms for rent (although some of our neighbors do)
because we do not want to have campers kids saying “Daddy, lets move to the room with the TV”. If you decide that thats what you want, no problem. move to the hotel about 200 meters down the road. It takes 10 minutes. At least you tried camping.
With its cool climate and clean air, Tagaytay City is the perfect place for leisure activities like picnics, horseback riding, camping and sightseeing. It makes for an affordable weekend getaway for most Filipino families, if they’re astute enough to take advance of the best bargains in Asia.
Mt Madjaas is the highest mountain in the Island of Panay having an elevation of 2090 meters above sea level and has been popularized by the story of the coming of the Bornean Datus’ to the country. Madjaas is easily accessible via Boracay. Allot 2-3 days to explore the place. From Boracay Boat Terminal, proceed to the town of Culasi then take a tricycle to Barangay Flores. The place is not a popular mountaineering destination before since the place was previously a notorious camping ground of insurgents.
Chief among Panay mountains and revered in local culture and tradition, Mt. Madjaas in Culasi, Antique is one of the most challenging climbs in the Visayan islands. Some questions have been raised whether Mt. Madjaas (or Madja-as; Madia-as) is the highest or second highest in Panay, but for now it is recognized as the highest. And regardless of this dispute, Madja-as is certainly the mountain that makes Antique a truly rewarding destination for climbing.
Madjaas means ‘mataas’ in some local dialect, but in English it can suitably described as ‘lofty’ instead of just tall. This loftiness will definitely be felt in the summit which opens up to the view of Western Panay island and the surrounding seas, but it extends to the mossy forests of the mountain, in which several unique flora and found have been identified.
Access is still limited and Madjaas is currently a relative-unexplored peak, but as we get more information we expect that Madjaas’ rightful place will be restored.
Transportation. To access Culasi, take a bus from your arrival point in Panay Island, more frequently Iloilo (4-5 hours ride) or Kalibo (2-3 hours). Then take a tricycle or jeep to the jumpoff at Brgy. Flores.
Mt. Madja-as is accessible from two popular trail-heads – Flores and Alojipan, both are barangays of Culasi, Antique. The original Alojipan Trail which was utilized by the 1977 climbing party follows the ridge adjacent to the right of the Hangod Tubig Trail. The original trail is no longer in use for a ‘bitas’ or ‘break’ caused by landslide in a section of the ridge makes it unpassable.
The Hangod Tubig Trail capitalizes on a creek (’hangod tubig’ means’ big water’) northwest of the Madja-as summit that serves as the last water-source for the assault of the peak. This trail was established late in 1997 by a 21-member party sponsored by the Department of Tourism and the Antique Provincial Government, largely an Antiqueno mountaineering group (Jeffrey is a member of this party) that climbed the summit and traversed to the opposite trail in Flores.
Dimas Maquiling is a common guide in all the mountaineering climbs that start in Alojipan. He knows three of such climbs that utilized the Hangod Tubig Trail (the author could not determine the route taken by a large climbing party participated by some Americans or Caucasians and led by San Jose mountaineers). Of these three climbing parties, only the 1997 party did a successful climb of the true summit. The UPVM party (a student group) reached only Banderahan Dos while another UP party (a professional group) reached as far as the First Peak.
Mt. Famy is one of the closest places to do some hiking and camping in the summer. Situated in the north-eastern part of Siniloan in Laguna, Mt. Famy is one very attractive campsite to visit regularly.
From Manila to Sinoloan, it takes about 2 to 3 hours of bus and anothe 15 minutes of tricycle ride to the foot of the mountain (mostly buses travel straight to the hiking site).
For the weekend trip, you may spend less than P550 which will cover the fares, canned food and some extra change.
Note: P20 registration fee at the entrance and P100 if you need a guide. If you rent a horse and a guide, is another P150.
It is better to bring some canned foods and cooking utensils. But you can buy some foods in stores along the campsite and pay for them to be cooked (usually fried or sauteed). The cost have a meal cooked with some rice is P20. Mineral water is brought in very early in the morning cold softdrinks and beer can be had anytime of the day.
Schedule your trips to several cool places around such as Buruwisan River, Batya-batya, Sampaloc Falls, and the Lansones Falls.
Mountain Valley Guest Inn 2 is located in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, Philippines, features many beautiful hiking and mountain biking trails through out the wooded and rolling hills property for your leisure activity. You can also hike in the shade of the large trees along the hiking trails at Mountain Valley Guest Inn 2.
Guest Inn is a very large, heavily wooded in trees, Government Forest is for your hiking, camping, mountain biking and exploration in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, Philippines. You can set up your own tents or by renting one of the Guest Inn’s Tents for P300/night.
Mountain Valley Guest Inn offers 6 different, themed romantic rendezvous hotel resort suites for a very memorable wedding night, romantic honeymoon, memorable wedding anniversary, romantic birthday, romantic Balikbayan vacation and travel, or other romantic escapes, getaways, and romantic occasions, or a fantasy vacation.
Also nearby are the 7 lakes of Highland Resort for your exploration, swimming, and boating—Mountain Valley has a good boat you can rent for your enjoyment at Highland Resort. You can also swim in the famous and bountiful year-round Mabinay Spring and enjoy the Spring’s beautiful wooded park.
P600, P800, & P1500 per night
(P1500 for waterbed, swinging bed or hot tub spa room)
Here’s How To Pay For Your Room Reservation For Mountain Valley Guest Inn
Alternatively, if you are already in the Philippines, you can mail your check or money order payable in P-pesos to Phillip Fry, P.O. Box 341, Dumaguete City 6200, Negros Oriental, Philippines, or you can make a bank deposit to our P-peso bank account at any nationwide branch of BDO Bank, Bank of Commerce, or UnionBank. For bank deposit details for the bank of your choice, please email Cathy at email@example.com
Traveling to Mountain Valley Guest Inn
Travel by Ground and Sea
From Cebu City:
Go to the south Cebu bus terminal; take an air conditioned Ceres bus that goes from Cebu City to Bacolod (the bus will cross the ocean in a short ferry ride to Negros Island) but tell the conductor that you only want a ticket to Bulwang Mabinay (half way to Bacolod)..
Get off the bus at Mountain Valley Guest inn 2 in Bulwang Mabinay. The guest inn is on the right hand side of the highway 6 km before Lumbangan proper. Watch for the many billboards advertising the guest inn as you travel toward the guest inn.
Fly on Air Philippines or Cebu Pacific Airline non-stop from Manila to Dumaguete City—or ride a ferry that will take you Manila to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. When you arrive at either the airport or the seaport, simply walk out from the airport or sea port to the main highway and flag down a pedicab (a public utility tricycle). Instruct the driver to go to Ceres bus terminal. From the airport, expect to pay at least 30 pesos to go to the Ceres bus terminal (if you flag down a tricycle on the national highway). If you hire a tricycle at the airport terminal, expect to be ripped off for 100 to 300 pesos for the same short trip. From the seaport, expect to pay 8 pesos to the Ceres terminal. If you have more than one piece of luggage, you might be charged somewhat more.
At the Ceres buss terminal take a bus going to Bacolod via Mabinay. The guest inn is on the right hand side of the highway 6 km before Lumbangan proper. Watch for the many billboards advertising the guest inn as you travel toward the guest inn.
Travel by Over Land on Negros Island
Take a metered taxi to the south Bacolod bus terminal and take an air conditioned Ceres buss heading for Dumaguete via Mabinay.
Get off at Mountain Valley Guess Inn 2 in Bulwang, Mabinay. The Guest Inn is located on the left side of the high way 6 km after Lumbangan Proper.
Take a pedicab tricycle to the Ceres bus terminal (8 peso fare) and then take a Ceres bus going to Bacolod via Mabinay. Get off the bus at Mountain Valley Guest inn 2 in Bulwang Mabinay. The guest inn is on the right hand side of the highway 6 km before Lumbangan proper. Watch for the many billboards advertising the guest inn as you travel toward the guest inn.
Info & Reservations:
Cell phone Number: 0906-510-4000 or 035-226-3154
(from outside of Philippines, dial 63-906-510-4000 or 63-35-226-3154)
Q-PARK @ Compostela, CEBU
The 200-hectare complex located in Compostela is a project of the family of Norberto Quisumbing, Jr. and the Norkis Group. Has a Boy’s Camp, a Girl’s Camp, a rest area, the Nativity Cave, the Stations of the Cross and a Heroes Hill. Open free to the public daily from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In its anahaw-roofed kiosk are life-size portraits of Philippine presidents and Filipino statesmen. Surrounding the center of the kiosk is a pond full of koi, for “an ecological ambiance.”
The latter, about a hectare in size, is the only place that is open only by invitation or by request and in its space is a tribute to the unknown soldiers, the OFWs, the awardees of the Filipino Foundation from 1986-2003.
The lazy way to get there is by request, because this means park superintendent Rudy V. Enriquez and project engineer Victor Maldo will be around to guide you.
– One gets to Q Park by going from Cebu City, north to Compostela. Somewhere in Barangay Magay, to one’s left, is a sign that points to Q Park.
– One enters this road and, after traveling about five kilometers, one sees the entrance of Q Park. It’s a steep, uphill climb to Heroes’ Hill from where Enriquez and Maldo take you around the park in a four-wheel drive golf cart.
– They take you downhill, pointing out the road up to the Boys and Girls’ camps, and coming to a small, tree-lined clearing we stop. Here, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, Holy Mass will be said at 3 p.m. (except Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday).