The cold months of 2014 is almost fading and since it is holiday and works and schools will be observing the yearly Chinese New Year celebration, I decided to organize a day hike event in Mt. Batolusong located in Tanay Rizal. Though I only have two of my friends to join me in this climb, I am really thankful to both of them for making this event a successful and amazing experience.
Khriz and I are just neighbors that we decided to meet around 5AM and go straight to eat our breakfast and have our packed lunch too in McDo Taytay Market. Since Rhea will be coming from Antipolo, the three of us had Ynares Gym to be our meeting place where we hired tricycle which took us to Cogeo Market. Approximately 7AM, we hit the winding road to Brgy. Sampaloc and after an hour of chilling ride we have reached Batangas where Habal-Habal drivers lead us to San Andres’ Barangay Hall (beside a covered court) for registration and securing of guide. Upon registration, we learned that we are the only hikers that morning and no sign of other mountaineer will be present that day. (We’re the
King Queen of the World!)
It is almost 815AM when we start our trek and pass a wide area of rice fields and mini streams which lead us to the entrance of Sangab Cave. Because of the current height of water inside the cave, we didn’t have the chance to explore it as planned in our itinerary so we just let go of the idea and start taking photo ops. A number of streams are connected to Sangab river along the way as we continue our assault and pass some narrow trail. Fortunately, the early cool breeze is still in the air that even though the sun is scorching hot, we managed to reach the woods, survived the slapping of tall cogon grass in our face every time the strong wind blows in full strength, and eventually reach Duhatan Ridge. Duhatan as the name implies, is an area where Duhat trees grow and their shades really gives a good spot for a break and enjoy the view around Tanay. Mapatag Plateau is very visible that we decided to stay in Duhatan Ridge for about fifteen minutes knowing that we can reach the summit before 12 noon.By 1130AM, we approached Mapatag Plateau where hikers usually camp and just 10-15 minutes to the “so-called” summit of Batolusong. Our guide, kuya Barlon, point out that a fence surround the area and up to that moment, there is still no established trail to reach Susong-Dalaga which is very visible in front of us. We decided to eat and share our packed lunch when we are already satisfied with our “summit photos”. (Ha Ha Ha)
Completing our meal gives us another energy for our next exploration that day. Around 1230PM, we started our descent and take the Kay-Ibon Trail to visit Kay-Ibon Falls. Though some part of the trail is slippery, it is more easy than the one from Barangay San Andres and transportation is very accessible since it is along Tanay Highway. We crossed some small streams and after an hour, we heard the flowing water and from that instant, we knew that we are almost near our destination. Kuya Barlon suddenly made a left turn and viola! (Liguan na!!!) A very refreshing moment after the long hours of hike! We our indeed very proud when our guide told us that we are the first group (that he have served) to complete a Mt. Batolusong traverse and able to visit Kay-Ibon Falls for a very short time. (Don’t know if that was a joke but we considered it as a compliment. Proud of you girls!)
Overall, this hike makes our Chinese New Year a memorable one!