1st Philippines Independence Day (Freedom) Climb – Remembered

There is nothing special for this year 2018. But I just realized that one of the celebrations I did for Independence Day (June 12, 2009) of my country (almost 9 years ago) was not published here in this site but was partially posted in my old blog site which focused in featuring solely of my country Philippines. This time, I just wanted to remember and celebrate even in simple ways that my country got its own sovereignty more than 100 years ago, to be exact, its celebrating 120 years of Independence Day since 1898 today.

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The mountaineering group that I belong was invited and selected to join Independence  Day Climb or Freedom Climb last June 2009. And we are assigned to climb Mount Maculot located in Batangas. And our group successfully completed the climb for the celebration.

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In this post, I collected all the previous posts that I created from my old site. A reminder to myself that there was part of my life that I got a chance to raise my country’s flag in the mountain together with other mountaineers around the country on a special occasion, the days to celebrate Independence Day. The post is not describing chronological order of experience, but a mixed one.

“Taal Lake At Different Perspective”

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Photos above were captured during the 1st Annual Freedom Climb happened across the whole country. These were taken after starting to trek Mount Maculot from the jump off area. The lake seen here is Taal Lake, the view is another perspective of the lake since I have photos captured of Taal Lake came from Tagaytay City in Cavite. This time, photos taken from the base of Mount Maculot. These were captured last June 13, 2009 – Saturday in the afternoon.

Think Green But Using A Rubber?

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The photo above was a capture of sleeper I brought and used at the summit of Mount Maculot. The picture was taken last June 13, 2009 during the night where the group was having fun at social activities.

One thing struck my mind in this sleeper, well there was a written message “think green planet”. It seems the message and the sleeper convey contradicting ideas. “think green planet” leads to taking care of environment while the sleeper was made using a rubber material which appears to have issues againts the safety of environment.

Post For A While

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Here are some of the photos with a human or people concept. I never used to take pictures of people, but there are moments that I myself tend to do it naturally like the moment that we are waiting for the public jeepney that will bring us to the jump-off area of Mount Maculot, before the climb formally started and while resting in the middle of the trek.

Jump-off Area – Cuenca Batangas Municipality Building and other Municipal Government Offices

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This is the place where we prepared ourself before climbing Mount Maculot. The mountain behind this building (which cannot be seen in this photo) is Mount Maculot itself. This is the municipality building of Cuenca, in Batangas province.

Looking Beyond Batangas And More

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The photos above are some scenery that can be found while trekking Mount Maculot in Batangas. The climb held last June 13 to 14, 2009 as part of our both fun and historical first freedom or independence day climb.

Amazing Outlook of Taal Lake From Mount Maculot

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While climbing Mount Maculot, this was one of the best or I can say the most stunning view I ever see while trekking the mountain. By just looking into it, I can feel that I can see beyond what I can. And the wonderful color of the lakes made me feel I am seeing a paradise that so near on me.

Mount Maculot Marker

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This is the mountain marker which can be found facing the rocky part mountain of Mount Maculot. We found this when we descent the mountain partially to transfer to rocky part of the mountain. This photo was still part of freedom climb held last June 13-14, 2009.

The Maculot Trail

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Here are some of the photos that I was able to capture while we started trekking the Mount Maculot. The last picture shows the mountain itself.

The Maculot Mountain Itself

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Mount Maculot from a far, after we reached the bridge that we are going to cross before reaching jump-off.

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Mount Maculot Mountain

Here are some photos of Mount Maculot, the mountain that we climb for the 1st Freedom Climb held across the whole country. Photos are still part of my photo collection captured last June 13-14, 2009.

Taal Volcano In The Middle Of The Lake

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The above photos captured before darkness after reaching the summit of Mount Maculot last June 13, 2009. These were taken when I tried to view the rocky part of Mount Maculot which I will showcase in another day.

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The photos above were captured last June 14, 2009 during the time we raised the Philippines Flag in the rockies of Mount Maculot as part in Independence Day Celebration.

The mountain part that can be seen here is the Taal Volcano lie in the middle of the lake.

The Critters At Mount Maculot

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Butterfly, Bug, Grasshopper, Millipede and Centipede

 

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Picture Frame : Sunset Sailing

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Picture Frame (Post#1) : Sunset Sailing

Sunset sceneries are common subject for photographers as it depicts different colours of the sky and it is the time of the day it influence photographers to be inspired to take shots of unique sky views. Most of the thinkers, philosophers, ideologist, artist and even common people used sunset scenery to think about life and the world around us. Sunset usually used as symbols of life of humanity which can refer to successes, accomplishments, achievements and even legacy of people, it also used to represent ages, time or end of someone or something.  In other perspective, it means peace. Whatever sunset means to us whether its good or bad, we know that after dusk, the dawn will follow which symbolizes a new start.

What I liked about these photos are the boats passing under the sun and  the red-orange colour of the sky. Looking at the photos, I feel the tranquility of the place and calmness of the moment. Photo is part of collections from summer outing in Canyon Cove at Nasugbu Batangas last March 2011.

Return To The Mountain – Mount Batulao Climb

Before my climb in Mount Batulao last January 2015, my last formal climb in my country home was October 2012 when we climbed Mount Hibok Hibok in Camiguin Island. The main reason I was not able to join mountain climbing with my group was because I was away from my country for more than 1.5 years due to assignment work abroad. In those times I tried my best to discover some places as I missed climbing mountains. Since I can’t climb mountains as I don’t have gears and all of my mountaineering stuff were back home, I still tried to join some tours and activities that involved mountains.

When I returned to my country and after long holidays last December 2014, one of the member in the mountaineering group where I am belong, sent invites to join a fun or minor climb through social media where we are connected. The said climb was the first climb that I did outside the climb of my mountaineering group. I decided to join the climb as I really missed climbing and I missed mountains. And since it was not a major climb that requires preparation, I confirmed my attendance to my friend that I will join the trek.

Mount Batulao is located in Nasugbu Batangas. Since it was my first time to climb that mountain, I agreed to meet the group in Mc Donalds near in MRT Taft Station as there is bus terminal nearby that goes to the said place. We took a bus that goes to Nasugbu Batangas. We agreed to meet at 5AM and then we left the bus terminal past 6:30AM. From the terminal, we passed Coastal Road, Aguinaldo Highway and stayed in that highway until we reached Oliveros Cavite. In the junction of Oliveros, we turned right and passed Tagaytay. It’s almost 1.5 hours has passed until we arrived at Evercrest Golf Course in Nasugbu Batangas which our drop-off point.

We stopped at the front of Evercrest main entrance where the bus dropped us so that the group can prepare and buy some foods for the hike. In half an hour we started our journey to the neighbourhood near the base of the mountain. And on our way I saw the mountain from a far and never realised how beautiful the mountain is. I tried to remember why I haven’t climb Mount Batulao before since my group set a lot of schedules in the past to climb the said mountain but as far as I remember it is always conflict in my schedule.

We were nine in the group, three of us are belong to the same mountaineering group and the rest are friends of the person who invited us in the climb. In nine people, only two were men, the rest were ladies. Most of us were new and rookies. I considered myself as rookies as its been years the last time I climbed, that is the main reason I prefer to join minor climbs.

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–Snapshots of Mount Batulao near at Evercreat Golf Course

From the main gate, we passed the Golf Course Building and walked quite distance as we reached the neighbourhood at the base of the mountain. Along the way, I saw a lot of small stores where you can buy immediately anything (I am referring to food), which means there is no way you will be hungry.

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–View on the way to the neighborhood at the base of the mountain

Little by little we slowly go upward. And while on the trail my friend told us that, there are two trails available in the mountain, they call it “Old Trail” and “New Trail”.

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–Some snapshots at the surrounding area of Mount Batulao

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–Mount Batulao from a distance

When I saw the mountain, it was a good thing that we set the climb at the right time as we had great weather condition, since it was January it was not warm nor hot as the mountain trail is open trail where it is a grassy mountain and only few trees are existing along the trail.

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–At the trail

We continued climbing and while we do that, we saw some small huts and houses made by bamboo where there are some stuff available to buy such as foods and drinks.

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–Snapshot while trekking the mountain

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–Surround areas with nearby mountains

Our plan was to climb the summit through “Old Trail” and then we will descend using the “New Trail” which means its a traverse climb. When we set the climb it was long weekend, though we only plan for a day hike, I never expected that there were too many trekkers that also climbing Mount Batulao. I saw a lot of people and the trail were full of climbers. It was the first time that I witness such number of people in the mountain, as I used to climb mountains where only my group is in that mountain at that time of the climb or just together with one or two groups and nothing more than that. I can understand why too many people climbing the said mountain, aside from the long weekend and it is also near in Metro Manila. The mountains altitude is around 811+ masl (meters above sea level) which most people categorise the mountain with easy to moderate climb.

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–Mount Batulao

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–The Trails

When we reached the corner of the trail that will separate the track of “Old Trail” and “New Trail”, at first I thought that the “Old Trail” seems that 75% of it is easy aside from the tracks thats near the summit. “Old Trail” track seems just gradual walking and a little bit of ascent up to the camp site where we need to pay P20 pesos for registration and to the summit.

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–Mount Batulao and its summit in a much closer look

On our way to the camp, it came to me that as we approach the camp site I had a clearer view of one side of the mountain and for me it looks like the mountain are keep on getting bigger and taller which made me think that the climb gets harder and harder.

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–Camp site at Old Trail

We reached the camp site, we had break and had our lunch. While at the camp I tried to glimpse the trail to the summit. And while looking at it, I kept wondering how difficult the mountain will be if we started our ascend. We knew that after the camp site, the trail will be all assault.

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–Old Trail and the Summit

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–New Trail

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–Old Trail and approaching the summit

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–One of the peak in Mount Batulao

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–Looking towards Calaca Coal Power Plant

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–Old Trail to the summit

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–One of the peak of the mountain and Balayan Bay

Our assault started and we took a break every time there some space where we can rest for a while but there was a long queue along the trail because of too many people trying to climb and reach the summit of the mountain and within that sole reason, we have to wait, until we reach the part of the trail that we need to rappel. At first, we waited and then our group decided to climb the trail without the rappel, we just used our bare hands and feet.  I was almost at the top and then I hesitated in my steps and from there I asked help from someone to give the rope to me so I can finish my climb in a steep part of the trail. After such treacherous trail, we continued our assault until we reached the summit.

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–The New Trail

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–Looking Towards Calaca and Balayan Bay from the Summit

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–Looking Towards Binubusan from the Summit

At the summit, it was breath taking scenery, I always feel the same feelings every time I am in the summit of the mountain. There are lots of people in the summit that is why all are trying to sneak some shots without having a photo bummer. We took a break at the summit, had some snacks, took individual and group photos.

IMG_3609 IMG_3609–New Trail from the Summit

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Then, we decided to descend the mountain and since the trail are at the side hill of the mountain, the tracks are quite tricky and need careful steps for safety. The trail is also slippery even though it did not rain, the challenge is the trail with not so much friction that will hold people to stand firmly. All people either go down while sitting or knee bend just to be able to move forward. There’s nothing to hold on so much. Most men near in our group while descending were helping women.

We also reach the trail where there’s rope as well and we need to go down using ropes. There were many part of the trails that’s really challenging until we passed those parts. That’s the only time we got relaxed as we knew the next part were all easier.

We passed the trail where the Old Trail and New Trail meet again. Next, we continued our walk descending the mountain. We did a little break in one of the hut store. After that, we finished our trekked almost before it gets dark. We stopped at the neighbourhood area after long walks to get some showers. And the group reassemble again after taking showers to eat something before we decided to separate our ways as our adventure finished.

For me the climb is a mixture of fun and quite challenging climb during the ascent and descent of the mountain as there are both steep part of the trail which requires rappelling, well different things can be really experience in the mountain.

Until the next climb (I hope I can join another one again…)

Home : Canyon Cove

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Home (Post#17) : Canyon Cove

As my country is an archipelago, and this means we were surrounded by islands and beaches. When we say beaches, for most Filipinos it means swimming excursion. Canyon Cove is just one of the beach that covers the edges of Nasugbu Bay in Batangas province. I had a chance to visit this cove through company outing and this was the place it was held last April 2011.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Mount Maculot

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#13) : Mount Maculot

It was first freedom climb in my country and my mountaineering group has been assigned to Mount Maculot. Mount Maculot has rockies part where its overlooking are Taal Lake and Taal Vocano. During the climb, I discovered a panoramic view along the way and for me it is a breath-taking scenery. Photo captured last June 2009.

Home : Taal Lake and Taal Volcano

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Home (Post#6) : Taal Lake and Taal Volcano

Taal Lake surrounds the Taal Volcano which located in Batangas province in my country Philippines. Taal Volcano is a volcano island which erupted a long time ago that resulted for its crater lake. I captured this photo after attending Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) last May 2009 at one of the restaurants overlooking in Tagaytay City, Cavite

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Gulugud Baboy Mountain

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#4) : Gulugud Baboy Mountain

Gulugud Baboy Mountain was the first mountain that I climbed in my country which located in Mabini in Batangas Philippines. Year 2008 was the year that I was reminded how I really love mountains. The climb was my first fun climb and second mountain that I trekked. Gulugud Baboy Mountain climb left so many memories for myself and for my group that I joined in. The trek happened last October 2008 and the snapshot was during the sunrise that we waited at the summit of the mountain.

 

Name Of The Place : Mount Maculot

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Name Of The Place (Post#4) : Mount Maculot

The photo above was captured while we were on our way to climb Mount Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas in Philippines. The climb was the First Freedom Climb held in my country and Mount Maculot was assigned in our mountaineering group which happened last June 2009.