Reveling in the Rockies

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ON A HIGH at the Rockies of Mt. Maculot

I’m hesitant to write about my travels because 1) I suck at articulating my experiences and feelings 2) I don’t have beautiful photos to make up for my bad writing 3) I am lazy. But some people have been urging me to start blogging about my trips so I figured I’d give it a try. Besides, today is WRITE-SOMETHING MONDAYS (which I just started last week hehe) so here goes an entry about our Mt. Maculot Climb last Saturday. Luckily, my officemate (one of the people encouraging me to start a blog) lent me her Canon S95 so I was able to take some nice photos, but I ran out of batteries by the time we reached the best part of the hike. More on that later.

HOW TO GO TO MT. MACULOT / HOW TO GO BACK / EXPENSES

This is a must for travel bloggers I suppose. For all I know, you’re only reading this for directions (and if that’s the case, I apologize for my long intro).

(1) Ride a Lemery-bound bus. Go down at Cuenca town proper. Our bus of choice was Jam Liner (Kamuning). We left the terminal around 6:38 and got to Cuenca past 9AM. P155/person.

(2) From Cuenca town, ride a tricycle to the jump-off point (P20/person), pay the registration fee along the way (P20/person). At the registration area, they’ll assign you a guide.

If you’re only going to the Rockies and you’re a group of 5 or less, it will cost P400 for the guide.

(3) Going home, just go back to Cuenca town proper via tricycle. If it’s still early, you can ride a jeep to Lipa Grand Terminal and ride a Manila-bound bus there. In our case, it was late in the evening so the jeepney driver told us to just wait for a bus in “Calabarzon”/ Star Toll instead of Lipa terminal. Cuenca to “Calabarzon” is P22 per person. We had a difficult time finding a bus in “Calabarzon”, so we took a shuttle to Turbina (P45) and rode a Cubao bus there (P87).

There ya go. What else??? SOME TIPS:

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One of the gorgeous views on the way up. But believe me, the best is yet to come!

(1) Maculot is full of surprises. The views keep getting better! It’s super tempting to take plenty of photos but please save your camera batteries. Don’t waste it on selfies along the way because believe me, all the selfies you need should be taken at the Rockies. I had one major regret during our Maculot climb: draining my camera during the hike and failing to capture the view atop the Rockies.

I think that’s my most important tip: DELAYED GRATIFICATION / PATIENCE / SELF-CONTROL. Limit your picture-taking on the way up. Wait ’til you get to the Rockies. Or just bring extra batteries!

(2) Perfect timing! It’s a very good idea to go the Rockies in the late afternoon. You’ll get to bask in the beauty even more when it’s not too hot, plus the late-afternoon sun adds drama to the view and you can take photos bathed in beautiful light. The Rockies rewards climbers with a 360-degree view of Taal Lake, Batangas towns and surrounding mountains. Thank God one of my climbing companions was wise enough to limit her camera usage during the hike so her camera had enough battery when we got to the Rockies.

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Kuya Nilo, our guide, on a “buwis-buhay” spot (actually 80% of the Rockies is danger zone. One wrong step, you can die).

(3) We started climbing down after sunset. Trek was a lot shorter because we barely stopped to catch our breaths  / take photos (unlike the hike up). It’s advisable to bring a flashlight or head lamp if you’re planning to follow this itinerary.

(4) Give a generous tip to your guide especially if you’re doing sunset at the Rockies followed by a night hike.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I still have a pretty incurable hangover from the Rockies experience. The place was heaven on earth!

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Spot Mt. Makiling on the right!

Where to next? 🙂

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