The scorching sun of March battered our heads as we walked from one trail to another, finding respite under the shade of trees and bushes.
There were some notable differences from two years ago when I had the opportunity to walk the trail up Mt. Talamitam. Back then, the farms at the foot of the mountain was teeming with corn stalks, the grass were abudantly green, cows littered the slopes, herders rode on horses while dogs darts around and the foot traffic is almost non-existent.
At the top were talahib and the 360 degrees view of Batangas and it’s nearby provinces. One can see Mt. Batulao, Pico de Loro and Mt. Maculot in the distance.
Fast track to 2015, the farms had been plowed, numerous trails had been made maybe to adjust to the climbing traffic, the cows (what were left of the lot) were emanciated, no horses and dogs to be seen, a shed was built at the summit – a respite, weekend climbers were abound chattering amidst that afternoon heat and a tindero is camped at the summit offering cold soft drinks.
The sister mountains of Talamitam are still there proudly rising amidst that flat landscape of Batangas.
From one of our guides, the two barangays that lay claim to the mountain had closed the dispute into one barangay managing the registration fees as part of barangay ERA (no receipts though) and the other providing the guiding services. On the surface this seems like a win-win situation for now. Despite the concerns which plagues the mountain, it was good to know that a certain system was established to cater to the climbing wanabe’s which seems to exponentialy grow each day, giving veteran mountaineers chills up their spine.
I also learned that another trail to the summit will be opened. It will snake its way on a forested ridge – a part of the mountain ridges. The canopy of leaves would provide climbers with shade lessening the exposure to the sun. It sounds like a good idea if they close all existing trails for the mountain to at least recover from foot traffic.
In my understanding the idea is still being cooked by the minds of those looking to commercialize and compete with the rising visitors of Mt. Talamitam’s neighboring mountains and is being eyed to be implemented this summer.
Amidst all the issues and concerns, it was still good to be back on Mt. Talamitam’s summit with its talahib joyfully swaying with the wind.
6am – from Buendia, ride bus (DLTB, JAM and others) bound to Nasugbu, Batangas
9am – arrived at Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu, Batangas. Sign the monitoring log, arrange for a guide, eat breakfast, buy pack lunch, water and trail foods
10am – start climb
12nn – reached the summit; eat lunch (garbage in, garbage out), take in the 360 view, photo ops and rest
2pm – descent to jump off
4pm – wash off at the river
5pm – to Tagaytay for sumptuous dinner of Bulalo, Sisig and Tawilis
7pm – catch a ride bus back to Manila
9pm – arrived at Buendia
Php 120.00/pax (one-way) or less – Buendia to Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu, Batangas and vice versa
Php 20.00/pax- registration fee
Php 200.00 – 300.00/guide- guide fee
Php 150.00 – meals, water and trail food
As of 01 March 2015.#
Bulalo, sisig and tawilis is surely a sumptous dinner. Thank you guys for the pleasurable weekend.