We all have that dream mountain that we wish to conquer and Mt. Maculot, a mountain situated in Cuenca, Batangas is on top of my list. It has been calling me ever since I started my journey as a mountaineer here in Luzon, and it was last 2014, when I did challenge myself to experience and see its beauty. Big thanks to Nobs, Ralph, Jave, Sir Einz, Clara, Jommel and Corz for accompanying me in this climb and for giving birth to a group we named Team Harkor.
Mt. Maculot or The Rockies was given a 3/9 classification (4/9 for the traverse) with minor specification by PinoyMountaineer. The mountain is known for its breathtaking view of the world-famous Taal Lake and Taal Volcano with scenic and jaw-dropping sceneries along the way to the summit. Climbing Mt. Maculot will require you 1.5-2.5 hours, and just like any other mountains it has its difficulties. There are series of assaults but they are not that technical making it a mountain good for beginners. It won’t also be quite a burden since there are a number of resting stations / 7-11s (stores found on the mountain) found along the trail.
We started our journey with me almost not making it to the trip as I overslept (sorry, it’s just that sleeping is my favorite thing to do next to eating). Anyway, I together with Ralph and Jave made it to our meeting place at Buendia Terminal few minutes late than the planned meet up time, and there we met Corz, Jommel and Nobs. Together, we then boarded a bus bound to Lemery, Batangas. We officially planned on doing the traverse (Rockies-Summit-Grotto) but due to some changes with how officials at Brgy. Cuenca run and officiate those who want to climb the mountain, we opted to just climb the Rockies alone. If before, guides were not mandatory, they are being required now for a certain fee. Not only that, for those who want to do the traverse will have to pay another amount, and it was such a hassle since there was really no system.
We arrived at Cuenca, Batangas at around 8 in the morning, and we waited for Sir Einz and Clara. As we were waiting, we were told of the new policy regarding the fees and the guides. Sidecar drivers were giving us tips on where to go to lessen our costs, and there were few mountaineers who told us that they were going to do the traverse from the Grotto – Summit – Rockies as they were advised that guides were not required, and the registration on that side is only for a minimal amount.
In our case, we decided to follow the new protocol and head to the Municipal Hall to settle everything. We paid 20 pesos each for the registration, and 500 pesos (divided by to our groups’ number) for the guide. For that amount, we were only allowed to go to the Rockies. After registering our names, and after securing a guide, we started our ascent. There were series of assault but we were able to defy it. Taking some necessary rest once in a while, and pushing ourselves to get to the Rockies as fast as we can, alas after around one and a half hour, we reached it.
We stayed at the top for more than an hour waiting for the clearing to happen. It was for us to witness the beauty of Taal Lake, but it was as if it was not our day. We were only given like seconds, and then the clouds went out to cover the surrounding again. Taal may be elusive that time, but we still had one great time.
By the way, it was only my first time to meet everyone in the group except for Ralph and Nobs and fortunately, we all jived well. Everyone was throwing jokes at each other as if we all have known each other for a long time. It was then that I proved that being with people who shares the same passion as you do is really fun.
For those who have plans of going to Mt. Maculot, you may check below details as your guide:
0500 Board Lemery-bound bus from Buendia
0800 ETA Cuenca Muncipal Hall. Walk or take trike to jump-off.
0830 Start trek
1000 Arrive at campsite, head to Rockies
1010 At Rockies / Phot op / Lunch
1200 Start descent
1345 Arrival at jump off point
Bus from Buendia Terminal to Lemery: 147php as of November 2014
Tricycle ride to jump off point: 20php
Registration fee: 20php
Guide fee: 500php per group of 10
Kuya Danny (our guide): 09062156381
If you are interested to join us in one of our climbs, you may check MrBratpacker for schedule and event invites.