I was sick these past days and I needed something to boost my energy. Also, I just wanted to start my 2018 right.
So on the first weekend of the year, I decided to hike a mountain. Yes, my overweight self finally decided to reunite with nature, trails and summit. Mt Ulap in Benguet was my last hike more than a year ago, then after that I stopped. I didn’t know why, all I could remember was I got busy with the new job because I really wanted to focus on it first. I had some travels in 2017 but mostly beaches. So then I gained more weight. The overweight travel blogger dude just got bigger and heavier. Hahaha!
This 2018, I will definitely be back reconnecting with nature and experiencing the thrill of reaching the summit. I’ll just go for minor climbs first then hopefully progress further.
In my quest for the mountain to climb, I saw an event by a friend, Mhy, to Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu, Batangas. I knew Mhy because I already joined one of her events in the past, so I decided to join again. Mt. Talamitam was perfect for me, because I read a lot of blogs saying that this is just an easy, chill climb.
We met at 3AM at Edsa Mandaluyong then we traveled for a few hours to Nasugbu. The jump-off point going to Mt. Talamitam is just along the Nasugbu- Tagaytay road. Since we were traveling early in the morning, we had some difficulty spotting that small road. If you’re going to there DIY, just ride a bus going to Nasugbu, then tell the kundoktor to drop you off at Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu. They know that.
We just had our morning coffee and breakfast first. After talking to our guide, we started the climb.
The Climb to Mt. Talamitam
We passed through a bridge which made the hike a bit more exciting. Be careful while crossing it, because it’s just made of bamboo.
Then the trail got more challenging after that. It’s just the same usual trail within the forest. There are parts that are very steep, but still manageable. I was the last. I’ve always been the last in every climb that I joined. Hahaha! I’m slow, painfully slow in hikes because of my weight. It’s harder because I always experience shortness of breath. So I really need to take my time. Good thing that Mhy and my new friends were very understanding. They would always rest to wait for me. Hahaha!
Hiking a mountain would always remind you about your health. It’s the perfect activity to actually listen and feel your body. Every shortness of breath, body pain and struggle is a reminder of every extra rice you’ve consumed in your life. Hahaha!
After that, we were welcomed by this spectacular view of wide rolling hills or gradual slopes filled with trees and animals like cows and horses which definitely made the hike more enjoyable. I really liked this part of the hike, though it was a long walk.
At this stage, this will give you a feeling that everything is going to be easier. You’ll think of every travel blog saying that Mt. Talamitam is just easy, recommended for newbies and a perfect pabebe climb. Hahaha!
You’ll take a lot of pictures because of the beauty that surrounds you. If you’ve been stuck in the city for a long time, you’ll definitely enjoy this part of the trail.
It was so enjoyable, I could feel that the summit was nearly approaching. Exciting.
Then you’d realize that the walk is becoming longer and tedious. At the far end of the plateau, I saw this huge and obviously steep towering mountain. It turned out that it was the summit.
And I was like, what?! Hahaha!
So you know what happened next? A huge struggle for me going to the summit. It was already 10AM so the sun was up, which made the hike a lot more exhausting. Plus the trail was really steep. This is what the mountaineers call, The Assault.
Good thing, Mhy was also taking it slow. But I know she was just looking over me which I really appreciate. She’s the kind of organizer that will really make sure you’re okay and safe. (contact details of her travel events, below this story)
The Key Chain and the Summit
It was just a few steps more going to the summit, but my exhaustion was starting to take a toll on me. As I was resting for a while, a group of young people were starting to descend greeted me with their warmest smiles and gave me a key chain.
I look at it and there are bible verses written, I started reading.
It says, “Faith can move mountains.”
It felt like I was recharged, given that extra energy to move forward and reach the summit. When I finally reached it, I witnessed this awesome view of nature that I missed for a long time.
The thrill and that feeling of reaching the highest point of a mountain suddenly came back to me. It’s true that sometimes society can make you feel less and inadequate, but when you’re on top of a mountain you instantly have this confidence and belief in yourself that I am more, than I can do more.
And the best part happened when I saw halo-halo. There’s a halo-halo vendor on top of the mountain! Yes, at the summit. Wow! Hahaha! I didn’t care if its costs 50 pesos, I bought one and savored the best halo-halo experience in my entire life! That’s not an exaggeration. Only those who hike mountains can understand that. Hahaha!
It was also a chance to bond, chat and laugh with my new friends. We stayed at the kubo for a while, ate our lunch and chill, until we decided to descend by past 11:00 AM.
Going down can also be very challenging as all the pressure and weight can really put a strain on your legs and knees. But just like hiking a mountain can teach you, no matter how hard and painful it is, you have to move on, you have to move forward.
Before reaching the jump off point, the team decided to take a dip in the river at the foot of the mountain. I really wanted to swim but I was just too exhausted and my legs were still aching so I decided to stay beside the river, watching my buddies enjoy.
Lomi of Batangas
When we reached the jump-off, we rested for a while, took a shower then we decided to have our lunch at a Lomi Haus in Nasugbu.
When you’re in Batangas, don’t miss this chance of tasting their lomi. It was satisfying and also a perfect way for you to talk and bond with your friends. We had a great time eating and laughing at the same time.
Verdict and Lessons
This is my way of going back to the mountains. After hiking Mt. Talamitam, one of my biggest lessons is never underestimate a mountain. Though, a lot are saying that Mt. Talamitam is easy and chill, don’t believe them. Still, prepare yourself by getting proper exercise and never expect that it will be easy. We all have different levels of fitness and all, so if you know you’re newbie or going back to the mountains after a long hiatus, do you work by preparing yourself and never expect that all will be a walk in the park.
Most importantly, enjoy the beauty of nature. Based on my experience, being closer to nature is like reconnecting to yourself and to the High above. It’s a wonderful experience for everyone. So see you all on our next climb!
Mt. Talamitam DIY Expenses and Itinerary (Travel Guide)
How to get to Mt. Talamitam
Before when the old Coastal Mall Terminal was still open, It was easier to go to Nasugbu. Just ride a bus from Edsa going to Coastal Terminal, then ride a bus going to Nasugbu. The drop off point is Sitio Bayabasan (Km. 83). Fare is about PHP 120.
Since a new Grand Terminal is still under construction, it is easier to just go directly to the terminal of bus companies and ride a bus going to Nasugbu.
DLTB Bus Terminal in Buendia has daily trips going to Nasugbu. Ride a bus there bound to Nasugbu, tell the conductor (kundoktor) that your drop off point is Sitio Bayabasan, Barangay Aga. Fare is PHP 111.
Via Private vehicle / Car
Take the South Super Highway then exit at Sta. Rosa, then go straight to Tagaytay. Turn right and go straight until you reach the Tagaytay Nasugbu Highway. Go straight ahead until you reach Km. 83 at Sitio Bayabasan as the jump off point to Mt. Talamitam.
Mt. Talamitam Expenses and Budget
Registration Fee – PHP 40
Guide Fee – PHP 300 to PHP 500 (This is just the minimum fee. If you are a big group and the guide has been a great help to keep you safe in your hike, please give some additional fee. How much? It’s up to you.)
Shower Fee – PHP 20
Bus Fare – PHP 120 (x2 for round trip)
Food – PHP 100 ( or bring your own baon)
Mt. Talamitam Itinerary
3:00 AM – ETD Manila
6:00 AM – ETA Sitio Bayabasan (Jump off)
6:30 AM – Coffee and breakfast
7:30 AM – Start of hike
10:30 AM – Reach the Summit
11:30 AM – Start to descend
2:30 PM – ETA River Side trip (Layong Bato River) Swim and Photos
3:30 PM – Back to Jump off Point
4:30 PM – Rest and Shower
5:00 PM – ETD to Manila
5:30 PM – LOMI Time
6:00 PM – ETD to Manila
9:00 PM – Back in Manila
Mt. Talamitam Travel Tips
- Although many are saying that Mt. Talamitam is just easy and perfect for newbies. Again, don’t underestimate the mountain. Still, prepare and never expect that everything will be so easy.
- Don’t worry when you arrive at the jump-off point there are people there that will assist you to have a guide. They have a system at assigning guides to the group of climbers.
- There are parking lot at the jump off area. But I suggest that you go there early, so you can have a good spot.
- You can do this climb through DIY, but in case you’re looking for an event organizer, I highly recommend Mhy of Mhy’s Adventours (Facebook Page) Join her travel events and contact her at 0997-542-1500. She will really make sure you’re okay, safe and entertained. I mean she will make you feel at home, even if you’re a solo joiner or a couple.
- You can also do a twin hike. Climb Mt. Talamitam then traverse passing through Mt. Apayang. This mountain is very visible at the summit. If you wish to do the traverse, guide fee is about PHP 800.
- Don’t forget to experience the delicious Batangas Lomi.
Mt. Talamitam Facts
- Talamitam Height: 630 + MASL
- For Traverse to Mt. Apayang: 662 MASL
- Jump-off Point: Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu / Mt. Apayang is Nrgy. Mataas na Pulo
- Mt. Talamitam Difficulty: 3/9
- Trail Class: 1 – 3 with steep assault going to the summit (100m)
- Specs: Minor Climb
- Dubbed as the “Little Sister” of Mt. Batulao
- Named after the Talamitam trees that used to thrive on its surface
Source: Pinoy Mountaineer
Mt. Talamitam Map
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