Mt. Maculot: Groto, Summit and that thing called Rockies

Another amazing proof of God’s fantastic work of art — the nature! πŸ˜€

Before the year ends, I was really looking forward to climb another mountain — my 8th mountain, which happened to be Mt. Maculot.

Mt. Maculot is located in Cuenca, Batangas, Philippines, more than 2 hours away from our place — Rosario, Cavite.

Having a schedule of climb in the last quarter of the year might be quite frustrating because: (1) the weather is unpredictable – Ber months in the Philippines were considered rainy season so there’s a high chance of re-scheduled hike; (2) since it’s rainy season, though the actual day of hike is sunny, you will still find yourself on a muddy trail.

But I would still choose this quarter over the first or second, which is summer, because: (1) when we say “summer in the Philippines” it means having a practicum on hell, it means experiencing Hell a bit πŸ˜› ; (2) the 4 mountains I’ve conquered were done during summer and there were lots of hikers, so mountains were so crowded during that season.

Before the schedule, I did a little research about Mt. Maculot, and some bloggers said thatΒ  it falls under “for beginners” category but quite difficult, especially the part called…

“Rockies”

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

And so, I was expecting something difficult than the mountains I’ve conquered, which are all “for beginners”. But to tell you honestly, it isn’t hard to climb. The “Rockies” is just like the “Monolith” of Pico De Loro or maybe easier than it, at least for me.

Another thing which made it easier than some of the mountains I’ve experienced is primarily because there are ropes to hold on to on every steep trail you’ll encounter.

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We started the trail at around 9:30AM and used the jump off point located in Brgy. Pinagkaisan. The first part of the trail is actually a place for Visita Iglesia and has Stations of the Cross. Devoted Catholic visits the place to pray until they reach Groto, if they don’t wish to climb Mt. Maculot’s summit anymore.

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Photo by: Paul Michael

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As far as I remember, there are 13 Stations until you reach…

“Groto” – the final station.

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What’s amazing with Mt. Maculot is that they encouraged hikers, along with the tour guides, to pray before they start the trail. And that’s very important, I must say. πŸ™‚

Here are the viewsΒ  we captured as we climb the top:

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We reached the summit, or rather, I reached the summit at exactly 1:10PM. (I always take a break and takes lots of pictures of amazing spots of each place/mountain I visit, so that was quite a slow pace compared to others. Slowly but surely, it is. :P)

At the summit, be prepared to witness such beauty that only God can make. πŸ˜€

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This number was a result of group effort, intending to have a cheaper amount of expenses on this trip. πŸ˜€ (Congrats and thank you, guys!)

If you think reaching the summit is the highlight of Mt. Maculot’s climb, then I’ll prove you wrong. πŸ˜›

After quite some time of rest and picture taking (and waiting for me :l), we went down to “The Rockies”, yes, the one I mentioned above. But before that, we ate lunch, not at the summit, but somewhere near the Rockies — maybe 5-10 mins. away from it. There is also a store located at that area which offers Pancit Canton Instant Noodles; yes, they will cook it for you.

And at 2:30PM we headed to the Rockies and what a wonderful masterpiece is the view above it (rhyming?!):

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Photo by: Paul Michael

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Photo by: Paul Michael

(Some of the photos here at the Rockies were captured by our tour guide. :D, even I let him used my cam because he already know the perfect angle for the shot at each spot. πŸ˜€ )

We stayed at the top of Rockies maybe more than an hour or almost 2 hours… I lost track of time.

The next thing I remember was we were on our way down the mountain few minutes before 5:00PM. By the way, we did a traverse, or else, we wont be able to experience that Rockies and the beauty surrounding it.

I spent almost an hour going down from that spot (where we ate our lunch) to the exit point, which is Brgy. Siete. The trail going down is pure going down :D. The very reason why you can reach the bottom in less than an hour. I reached the exit point at maybe 5:55PM.

We paid our (2) tour guides P100 each, which made them a total of P1,600.

And here’s the budget breakdown for this trip (16 pax):
138 – van transpo papunta
10 – registration fee (Brgy. Pinagkaisahan jump-off)
100 – tour guide fee
138 – van transpo pabalik

P386 Total (each)
Note: We rented a van for our transportation.

Itinerary:
(Expectation)
5:00AM – Tejero, Cavite
5:20AM – Shopwise Imus (Another pick-up point)
7:00AM – registration / gear up
7:30AM – start of trek
11:30AM – summit
12:45PM – descend time
4:00PM – bottom
4:00PM to 4:30PM – cleaning time
4:30PM – Back to Tejero
7:00PM – Tejero

(Reality)
5:00AM – Tejero, Cavite
5:50AM – Shopwise Imus (another pick-up point)
8:50AM – Registration / gear up / orientation
9:20AM – start of trek
1:10PM – summit (my version)
2:30PM – Rockies
4:45PM – Trail on the way to bottom
5:55PM – Exit point
and the rest is history…

Things to bring:
water (lots of water ;p)
extra clothes
packed lunch
trail snacks (bread, etc.)
energy bar (like chocolates or something sweet)

There you go… πŸ˜€ And here’s the video footage of our adventure at Mt. Maculot:Β vimeo.com/245492631

While here’s a bonus picture of something to look forward at the top of Rockies:

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photo by: Allysa Salud

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