Do-It-Yourself itinerary to Mt. Batolusong

 

There are a lot of things that Tanay in Rizal Province has to offer – from food to good people to nature’s gift. But one thing that would make you go back to this laid back town is its mountains.

Big portion of Tanay is actually part of Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the country which runs from Cagayan Valley Region down to CALABARZON. So, it is no doubt that all eyes are on Tanay when it comes to hiking, mountaineering and trekking, the activities that are so much on the trend right now and the activities that make everyone wants to be a tour arranger.

Because I was so much desperate to climb my 12th summit after nine months of not doing the trend, I immediately said yes to my officemate who also happens to be a mountain lover on her own ways. This time, it was in Mt. Batolusong.

I am not familiar with this mountain. Mt. Daraitan is only what I know in Tanay. But yes, it exists and still waits for us to discover its grandeur.

Tanay or more specifically, the drop-off point to Mt. Batolusong is very accessible. It is accessible to the point that our group did not need to rent a vehicle going there but instead, we commuted to the ways the group know. After all, renting a Grandia or Hiace would cost us a lot more.

Here is the table of our adventure going to San Andres in Tanay where the Mt. Batolusong jump-off point is located. We met in Cubao at 11:00PM of Saturday.

Location Mode Damage Time
Cubao to Antipolo Jeep Php 34/head 11:45 PM – 12:30 AM
Antipolo to Tanay proper Jeep Php30/head 12:40 AM – 1:30 AM
Tanay proper to San Andres Tricycle Php500/trike 1:40 AM – 4:30 AM

In Cubao, we took time waiting for jeep going to Antipolo to come because all jeeps were full and there were also many passengers waiting for it.

Antipolo to Tanay was a smooth ride. We just waited for 5 minutes for the jeep to arrive.

From Tanay to San Andres was a different story and this actually tested my patience. When we arrived in Tanay, we immediately quoted by the tricycle drivers of Php500 per trike. We tried to lower it down for Php400 but the drivers said that the way to San Andres is really far and hard.

We reached San Andres Proper at 3:00-3:30 AM. We were not familiar in the place so we trusted the drivers to get us to the place we planned. We stopped over in one of the opened stores in San Andres for a bathroom break and stretching. Then, we continued the travel until we reached this jump off point that my officemate realized was a different one (which was a point to Mt. Maynuba-Cayabu).

Good thing was that the tricycle drivers didn’t not flee off yet so we went back on our way. Little did we know that the store where we had the break was actually the jump-off point to Mt. Batolusong. The sun had started to rise when we got there so we didn’t use the flashlight that some of us just bought for the trip. The tricycle drivers even wanted us to add Php100 but we insisted that it was their failure.

From the jump-off point, we paid these fees.

Environmental/Registration Fee Php40/head
Guide fee Php500/group of 5

We were 10 in the group so we paid Php1000 for that matter. The payment for the guide fee was made after the hike.

The hike

Mt. Batolusong is rated 3/9 in the level of difficulty. The number is low so as expected, majority in the group experienced a smooth hike going to the summit (which is more than 800 ft. above sea level). Tiredness was never been an issue because the views, the sea of clouds, the hikers we passed by along the way and the residents in the mountain themselves gave us that feeling that Mt. Batolusong was worth the hike.

A bonus to these was the two guides we had. One was Kuya Danny who happened to be a Kagawad in San Andres. He didn’t make the hike serious and quiet as he kept on telling stories about the mountain, about his job and about their experiences in creating the path to the summit, among others.

Before we reached the summit (approximately just three meters of climb), I realized why it was called Mt. Batolusong. It is Mt. Batolusong because one has to climb (or in Tagalog term, lusungin, with keyword, lusong) the rocks (bato) to reach the top.

We spent time resting in the summit, we ate our brunch some hundred meters away from the summit, back trailed our way until we reached Sangab Cave where we took time bathing and resting.

Going home

Kuya Danny knows everything that actually made our life easier. He recommended the best way to get back to Cubao.

Here are the fees we incurred.

Location Mode Damage
San Andres to Paenaan Tricycle Php300/trike
Paenaan to LRT Santolan Jeep Php35/head
LRT Santolan to Cubao Train Php15/head

Adding all the expenses, we had a Php504 worth of damage, all-in, exclusive of food.

Try this itinerary and experience Mt. Batolusong.

Bonus!

I discovered when we were LRT Santolan bound, there is another way going to San Andres.

From Cubao, take a jeep going to Cogeo. From Cogeo, ride again a jeep going to Paenaan or if you get to see a jeep going to Palo Alto, that’s much better.

From Paenaan/Palo Alto, ride a tricycle going to the Barangay Hall of San Andres where the jump-off point is located.

It is good to start the hike between 3:00-4:00 AM so that when you reach the first peak, you will have a better site and view of sea of clouds. Also, you wouldn’t want a scorching heat of sun reaches you.

 

(Watch our video here: http://bit.ly/MtBatolusongVideoJune12)

Photo courtesy: Jennie Delmoro and Camae Marayag

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