Moving to the actual climb, the jump-off starts at Barangay Nagtaruntong, Lobo, Batangas. Early on the trek you will see rice fields on the mountain side. The water supply for this rice fields are from the rivers coming down from the mountains. This is the reason several rivers needs to be crossed during the trek. The initial part of the trail is rolling on a low elevation. There are also several houses along the trail albeit situated far apart.
|Not just on the trail, but the entire city!|
|At the jump-off|
|Mountain and rice fields, what else can you ask for!|
|Rock/Cliff beside the trail|
The more steep ascent will start after around 3 hours of the hike. What I like about this mountain is the there are a lot of trees and is very clean. I did not see any trace of logging or slash-and-burn farming. The reason behind is that the locals love the mountain. They believe the mountain will start to "crash" (land slide) if trees are cut down. Since there are a lot of trees, 80% of the hike is actually covered from the sun. I also believe that hikers rarely go here, the trail is very pristine. There are even parts of the trail that is not recognizable at all. So be sure to get a guide to avoid getting lost.
The mountain also has a big camp plus the summit has a good view of the surrounding area. From Nagpatong peak there is actually a way to traverse Bangkalan peak. We did this on our reconaissance climb ( a month before this climb). It took us around 1.5hours to traverse on a lightpack.
This mountain is very rewarding. This is now one of my favorite mountains close (sort of) to Manila. One thing worth noting also here is that the locals is very kind. We took a bath in one of the Barangay officials house, and did not want us to pay. Very much different from a commercialize mountain. Where in every move you make, there is a fee.
|Domesticated yet wild (not roped horses).|
There is even wild goats, and cows
|Punyeta! I mean Ponsetia flowers (hihi)|
|♪♪ Billanggo ♪♪|
|Saw this going up, as if there is light coming up from the sides of the island.|
The pic does not gives justice to the actual scenery
|Bangkalan peak as seen from Nagpatong peak|
|The open area is the rice fields at the start of the trail. We actually took the river path (valley) going up,then go around the mountain to the left.|
|Sunset is always mesmerizing at the top|
|Campsite is very large and the grass is good for tents|
|Make shift kitchen|
|MRC Outdoor Club!|
|The guide has difficulty with the camera, apologies|
|Lobo coastline, part of the verde island passage. Its really good to know that the planned|
mining here was stopped. The ecology would really had been affected
|Batch 2 Trainees. Congrats guys, you are stronger than I imagined.|
|After a sweaty hike, its good to have dip in the river|
|We saw a snake on the trail. Heads up, it was preparing to strike|