The view of Mt. Batulaoís Twin Peaks when you are on your way to Batangas via Tagaytay, is somewhat majestic. It looks different from the usual Philippine Mountains because it resembles the European Alps though a much smaller version. This is due to its tree-less peak covered with cogon grass making it look more like a snow-capped mountain. Mt Batulao is a famous camping ground for scouts and ROTC trainees. This was due to the fact that it is close to Manila and has wide camping and training grounds.
Climbing Mt. Batulao is one exciting experience. The view of the Taal Lake, the Batangas province, the South China Sea and the surrounding mountains like Talamitam and Pico de Loro will definitely fulfill your visual senses. The small open summit will also encourage you to shout, "I am on top of the word!" Batangas that is. Atop the summit, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is firmly erected similar to the one on top of Mt. Talamitam.
The name Batulao was derived from an annual phenomenon observed by the locals. From the town of Balayan, one can see twin mountains to the east that appear quite distant from each other. But the same scene viewed from Batulao is curiously different. The same mountains seem to move closer. More fascinating is the fact that some time between December 22 and 28 every year, when the sun nestles right in between the two peaks. It creates a scene described by natives as "ilaw sa dalawang bato" (light in between two rocks) or "bato sa ilaw" (light in a rock), from which derived the term Batulao.
Climbing Batulao can be done any time of the year. From Manila, take a bus going to Nasugbu, Batangas. After passing by Tagaytay City, some minutes later you will be passing by a junction then the Evercrest golf course. Alight and enter Evercrest. This is the same route to the Don Bosco Spiritual Center, which is a retreat house run by the Salesians. Follow the paved road, which eventually turns left. Continue with this road and after reaching a major junction, take the one on your right. You will be passing by houses until you reach plantations. Since there are many houses, trails are also numerous leading to these houses and small villages so keep gathering information from houses and from the people you meet along the trail. Camp is usually set up along the lower slope of Batulao since summit is small and has no cover for protection. Summit assault is usually done the next day except if you want to witness the spectacular sunrise. The climb to the peak is via a very steep trail. The upper part of Batulao resembles more of Mt. Guiting Guiting with its jagged saw-toothed peaks.
Batulao is located outside Nagusbu town proper so you are farther away from the beaches of Nasugbu but on your way home, itís better to go either to Tagytay or Nasugbu since buses are very hard to get from Evercrest. You can ride jeepneys to either Nasugbu or Tagaytay. Batulao is also near the national tourist destination, Tagaytay City. On the way home, you will be passing by some towns of Cavite province.
Batualo trails are exposed so wear protective clothing. You will also be passing by cogonal fields so wear long pants. Temperature is bearable although from the summit, its colder especially when the winds are strong. No permit is necessary to climb Batulao. Water sources are not available so bring enough water. Some stores are accessible an hour from the campsite.
|"The Complete Wilderness Traveler is always prepared with adequate clothing, heat conserving survival techniques, and food reserves that require no cooking."
-- Mountaineering - The Freedom of the Hills