2014 was a great year. I’ve been to different places, tried out new things, met a lot of new friends and learned some very valuable life lessons. And now, as we replace those old calendars with new ones, remember the things that worked for us – the ones that made a good impact. And keep them, as much as possible.
For me, it was the travel and the adventure. So for 2015, I’m looking forward for more.
It was the first weekend of the new year and I was on my way to Batangas with some friends for a day hike at Mt. Talamitam. After all the festivities of the past holiday season, there’s no better way to start the year than burning those gained pounds while having a date with nature.
Mt. Talamitam is a mountain in Nasugbu, Batangas. It is named after the talamitam trees which used to grow on the land. Standing at around 630 meters above sea-level, it is one of the easier mountains to climb around Metro Manila. The hike to the summit normally takes 1.5 to 2 hours, just right for beginners. It is rated 3/9 in terms of difficulty according to pinoymountaineer.com
- Notes : How to Get to Mt. Talamitam – Take a bus Bound to Nasugbu,Batangas. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Sitio Bayabasan. Fare costs P214 from Pasay (MRT-Taft) Terminal.
We reached Sito Bayabasan past eight in the morning, where we logged our names in at the monitoring station. Getting a trail guide is not mandatory, but since it was only our first time here, we decided to have one. Getting lost was the least of our priorities.
- Notes : There is no standard rate for a tour guide, but visitors usually give a minimum of P300 for a day hike.
After prepping up ourselves, we headed our way to the registration station, which is more or less a twenty-minute trek from the monitoring station. Here we had to log once more and paid a fee of twenty pesos each.
The trail to the summit has two distinct portions : the forest and the grassland. The first part starts from Sitio Bayabasan to few hundred meters past the registration station. This portion is mostly covered by a variety of tall forest trees. There is also a point where we needed to cross the river on an improvised bamboo bridge.
Meanwhile, the second part is an open grassland which stretches from the end of the forest all the way to the summit. There are very limited trees to cover you on this part of the trail. The sun could really beat you up during summer. However, this is where your visual feast starts. Enjoy the stunning view of the neighboring Mt. Batulao and vast green fields of Nasugbu.
The ascend to the top is mostly gradual. But that is only until you reach the final assault. With slopes up to sixty degrees, it is the most challenging part of the climb.
Those extra pounds I gained really took a toll on me. I felt a little soreness on my leg muscles after. Good thing the assault stretches for only a hundred meters.
Reaching the summit for every climb is always a great feeling. Standing tall on top of Mt. Talamitam gives you a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. To your south, is the towering Mt. Batulao and Taal Lake. On the other side is Mt. Marami saying hello and Mt. Pico de Loro peaking from not too distant. Everything else is a sea of green.
After having our lunch and rest at the summit, we started our descent. Since it was only a little past noon, we decided to go on a sidetrip to a hidden gem resting just on the footsteps of Mt. Talamitam.
Layong Bato, also known as Layong Bilog is a deep and wide portion of the Galo River near Brgy. Aga. Here, the locals and visitors can take a dip and relax on the cool river water.
Descending from the summit to Layong Bato takes about an hour. And getting there means crossing through Galo’s rocky riverbanks.The rocks can be slippery, so always watch your step.
When we reached Layong Bato, there was no doubt in my mind that I’ll take a splash. After battling the sun for several hours on Talamitam’s grassland, it’s not too bad to have a nice refreshing swim to end a day of adventure.
- Notes : If you don’t how to swim, stay on the the shallow portion or better yet, don’t bother getting into the water.
Mt. Talamitam Dayhike Itinerary :
0530 Depart Pasay Terminal to Nasugbu, Batangas
0830 ETA Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga. Log-in at Monitoring Station
0845 Trek to Registration Station
0915 Start ascend
1030 ETA Summit. Take rest and lunch.
1230 Descend to Layong Bato
1330 ETA Layong Bato. Take pictures, swim.
1430 Trek back to Monitoring Station.
1500 ETA Sitio Bayabasan. Rest and clean up.
1530 Take bus bound to Manila
1830 ETA Manila
- Notes : Contacts – If you are planning to hike Mt. Talamitam and you need a guide, or you simply have some question. Contact the leader of the tour guides, Paul Bausas at 09299695759 or 09351387642
- Notes : Budget – Estimated budget for a group of 4 person is P600 each (includes transportation, registration, food and guide)
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