Mountains and Beyond

The Rockies: Mt Maculot Adventure

Batangas is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the best destinations in this province is the famous Rockies of Mt Maculot in the town of Cuenca. At 706 MASL, your eyes will be treated to an exhilarating view of the Taal volcano and the vast lake surrounding it.

Together with my equally adventurous and fun loving friends, we rode a bus from Pasay bound to Cuenca. After listing all our names and discussing our itinerary at the baranggay hall (this is required and must strictly be followed), we rode a tricycle to take us to the foot of the mountain.

I was intimidated at the sight of Maculot from afar. Unlike Batulao, the first mountain I hiked, Maculot looked very steep and forested. A huge mound of greens challenging me from a distance.

A photo courtesy of my friend, Jennifer. The beginning of the trails up mount Maculot which can be seen from this point.
Of course, the obligatory group picture. 🙂

It was literally an uphill climb.

Good thing there were trees and vines to grab. The slopes were mostly steep and slippery.

I love how my friends are always camera ready. Always smiling! And we always have something to laugh about!

This mountain is dayhikable. We climbed for 4 hours, though it can be much shorter… just because we rested a lot!

There were makeshift benches along the way. “Motivation!”,  one of my friends would shout whenever she sees one.

And if “Motivations” are too far off, we make do by resting along the trails, sitting on rocks and tree roots.

Hydrate and make pa cute. 😀
Si Kuya Val. Our very nice “guide” for free. 😀

This mountain peaked my interest not just because of the thrill of climbing it, but for the prospect of ‘knowing’ it. I have read blogs about Mt Maculot which tells of supernatural sightings and even scary stories of ghosts. But all I see when I finally went there was nature, bragging and gracious all at the same time.

Forest trails.

Halfway through, we can already see the view the blogs are talking about.

When we reached the campsite, there were tents pitched and a lot of hikers milling around. We ate our lunch and left our belongings at “7eleven”, the mountain store.

We did our jump shots before reaching the rockies. It’s not advisable to do it on top of the steep rocks.

:

Lo and behold, the rockies!

I was scared at first, I almost didn’t want to climb it. But the adventurous crazy in me won and I did it! We made it!

I was all pumped up when I finally managed to get on top. The wind was cold. The view was jaw dropping. The experience was just precious!

And just when I thought that was it, we did this.

Nothing beats an adventure with friends!

After the climb, we had this meal.

Many are asking why we are taking the risk of climbing mountains. And I always give this answer, “It’s fun”. A kind of fun you won’t get in strutting inside a mall doing your shopping. A kind of fun you won’t get in sunbathing on a pristine beach. A kind of fun you won’t get in partying and getting drunk till the wee hours of the morning. I mean, we’ve all done that, but we want something more. Inside the forests is a different kind of solemnity. On top of a mountain is a unique vantage point to view life. Along the trails is an exciting way of learning. Taking on an adventure bonded me with my friends more than ever. And I love nature. Everyone deserves to see how gifted our country is naturally. And everyone needs to see these treasures to somehow realize we are responsible for keeping it safe, clean, and intact.

I have always drooled at seeing pictures of other places out of the country, until I get to experience my own. There is a certain pride that grew so firmly inside me. I live here. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

Cheers to a beautiful life, Zai.

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