MY ACTUAL CLIMB EXPENSES IN PHP
mt batulao is another one of them less-than-a-thousand-pesos climb outside manila. although the cost for the climb may be cheap, i still encourage bringing extra cash in case shit happens.
37.50 = cab to mrt pasay
212.00 = manila - nasugbu - manila bus @ 106.00 per way
60.00 = main road - jump off - main road tricycle ride @ 30.00 per way
20.00 = environmental fee
15.00 = mobile phone charging fee at transient house
20.00 = wash-up fee at transient house
253.00 = food at viewsite restaurant
10.00 = jeep ride from viewsite restaurant to olivares
IDEAL ITINERARY IN MILITARY TIME
|runkeeper's gps tracking of our hike. "runkeeper" is a free application designed for iphone for sports enthusiasts. the green pin shows our jump off while the grey ones show our pauses for breaks.|
as usual, this is the ideal itinerary for mt batulao which we did not follow. i set the meeting place to mcdonalds gil puyat, which is the new branch located at lrt buendia station, to pick up jen and aisa but the main assembly is at mrt pasay mcdonald's where the buses heading to nasugbu are parked.
0500 assemble at mcdonald's mrt pasay; breakfast
0600 etd for evercrest, nasugbu (tagaytay/calatagan bus)
0800 eta evercrest; last minute prep
0830 ride tricycle to elementary school (or you can walk your way which would take you an hour)
0815 eta elementary school; start trek to new trail
1015 eta summit; camwhoring sessions
1030 start descent to camp site
1100 eta campsite; lunch
1200 start descent
1400 eta elementary school; ride tricycle to main road
1415 eta main road; freshen up at nearby transient houses
1515 etd for tagaytay
1615 eta tagaytay; socials
1900 etd for manila
2100 eta manila
HOW TO GET THERE
the most direct route to mt batulao is by riding a bus going to tagaytay/calatagan. these buses are stationed at mrt pasay.
we had fun during the last climb at maculot so we decided to have another climb. i thought this wouldn't push through because of the bad weather conditions the day before but a miracle happened on saturday so i gave it a go. it was nice to have jen back in action. she was diagnosed with sinus trachycardia or fast heart beat which is the opposite of what i have which is sinus bradycardia. both heart conditions are common among athletes with more precaution on the former. she said that the doctor had her stop taking caffeinated food and drinks to stabilize her heart.
jen, despite of staying in manila for almost three years, has not yet adapted to manila so i had to guide her with commuting. i have set mrt pasay as our meeting place but since she has not yet been there, i told her i'd pick her up at mcdonald's gil puyat. since most of us will be there, i have made an immediate decision to change the meeting place. i told everyone that assembly is at 06:00 since this will be an easy climb and i wanted to sleep more at night. at 06:00, i received an sms from jen that she and aisa were already there. i arrived at 06:30 but did not see them so i called and found out that they were at mcdonal's pedro gil! it has been a common mistake for strangers in manila to interchange gil puyat at pedro gil streets because of the word "gil". i gave them the instructions on how to get to my place including the landmarks and we finally met 15 minutes later.
it was joey's turn to show up. at the same time jen and aisa arrived, i received a message from her that's she's already in taft avenue so i am confident that she'll show up soon. minutes have passed but there's still no sign of her so we shot her messages and called her but she is out of reach. i was having bad thoughts that she might have been mugged so i told jen that we'll wait until 08:00. if she won't show up, we'll just cancel the climb and look for her. later, i was able to call her and was surprised that she was also at mcdonald's pedro gil! i gave her the same instructions i gave to jen. as soon as she arrived, we took a cab to mrt pasay to where the buses going to tagaytay are stationed. at 08:00, we left for nasugbu.
we arrived at evercrest at exactly 10:00. we had at last minute preparations at the nearest transient house and took a tricycle ride to the elementary school to cut the time short. we started walking at 10:28. during this climb, i tested the iphone application i have downloaded which is "runkeeper". it was the application that ram used when we climbed maculot previously so i decided to get myself one. the bad thing about this test was i wasn't able to fully charge my phone the night before and was listening to music along the way so i'm expecting a poor battery performance during the climb. while everyone was thinking that siri has no use for the pinoy, i have made good use of her during the entire climb by dictating the climb pacing, the distance and the calories we have burnt along the way.
as we were hiking, kids were offering their hiking services but we refused. however, there's this one kid who keeps trying to lead us the way. being the very shrewd person that i am, i told him that we don't have enough money to pay him so he left us after the first refreshment stop. i noticed later on that jen was lagging behind. i was a bit scared knowing that she had a heart finding so i offered to sweep the team instead so i could check on her. i requested aisa if they can take turns on carrying her backpack which she gladly accepted. we arrived the campsite at exactly 12:00 and it was at that time when i found out that jen was carrying 3 liters of water! she said that it's been quite long since she climbed so she brought a lot of water in case she dehydrates easily. aside from the 3 liters she brought, she also had 1 liter of softdrink!
we continued hiking at 12:30. just 5 minutes before the summit at the new satellite mini store, jen suddenly decides to quit. a pointed to her where the summit was said that there's no point in quitting when she has already reached the summit before. so we took a long break so she could gather her strength. at 13:45, we reached mt batulao's summit and are being toasted at the heat of the sun. thank god for umbrellas! aisa was happy because it is her first climb so she asked me and jen to take many pictures of her at the summit. now there goes another climbing buddy :)
we start our descent a few minutes later because we want a sunset at tagaytay. we arrived at the main road at 16:00, freshened ourselves up at the transient house then road the bus to tagaytay. because of the traffic, we weren't able to have a tagaytay sunset. on the way, the bus crew played an anne curtis and luis manzano film entitled "who's that girl?" which i find really entertaining despite the rub-it-in-your-face product endorsements. we weren't able to finish the film because our food is more important. joey brought us to "viewpoint restaurant" where they have their family dinner often. the serving crew was awesome for being able to serve our bulalo and fried tawilis in a zap. we ended our hearty meal with a bottle of beer each to celebrate valentine's day.
that day was really meant for us to climb on a very fine weather. as we reached manila, we were welcomed by heavy rains. as i was walking in the rain on my way home, all i could feel was gratefulness for letting fate and time permit us to have this wonderful climb amidst the series of unfortunate events.