It has always been a dream for me to hike a mountain but no matter how many times I try to convince myself, I never get enough courage to pursue such goal. I always have these strange thoughts that I am not fit enough for a mountain hike and that fear always pulling me back. Like what they usually say, you will never know what you are capable off unless you decided to break the boundary and try it. And so, that’s what I did last July.
In celebration of the 4th National Mountain Clean up day organized by Pinoy Mountaineer, I was lucky enough to be part of one of their local groups who went to Mount Talamitam in Nasugbu Batangas for the said clean up drive. Ours was lead by Yabang Outdoors.
The National Mountain Clean Up Day is an awareness campaign that aims to remind the public about the importance of having a clean mountain. This campaign mostly involves cleaning activities and is being held simultaneously in different mountains in different parts of the Philippines. This is being done in cooperation with local government units and non government organizations who are joining forces to make this valuable environmental campaign possible.
Mt Talamitam is located in Nasugbu, Batangas. It can be found just beside the more popular Mt Batulao. Mt Talamitam is actually considered as Batulao’s younger sister which offers an equally mesmerizing scenery. According to the story from their locals, Talamitam got its name from “talamitam trees” (mitam trees) that used to grow abundantly on that place. I did some research though about the certain tree but I cannot find any information or even just images to prove that this tree really does exist or how it really looks like but I discovered an interesting story that there was once a tree on mountain’s summit that shines like star during the night, hence the name talamitam (tala means star and mitam is the tree’s name).
Regardless of the name’s origin, it was pretty sad that it is not longer living up to its name. We were welcomed by a luscious green scenery and started our trek in a forested trail but the summit was quite different. It is very serene indeed but the trees are not really that overwhelming as I expected it would be.
Before we started our journey, we were introduced to some representatives from LGU and gave us a brief details on what we are supposed to do and things we should avoid during the trek. Each of us were given with a garbage bag so we can all pick up any garbage we will encounter along the way.
We crossed a small river and passed by a forested and muddy trail. Luckily, the weather was really cooperating with us that day so it wasn’t really challenging for all of us to pass the trail. Mount Talamitan is ideal for beginners like me. The difficulty level is only 3/9 which is manageable to anyone even without any hiking experience.
One of the notable mountain peaks you can spot from Mount Talamitam is from Mount Batulao.
After passing through the woodland, we are now welcomed by this wonderful scenery. The plateau for me is probably one of the most engaging parts of our journey next to the summit. It’s a huge grassland with minor assaults and it feels like you were in New Zealand or something. You can only spot less trees though but you will encounter a lot of cows and horses along the way. There’s also a small store where you can buy fresh Buko juice!
One of the Instagram-worthy spot of the grassland
Mount Batulao on the background
Our journey continues and we can spot the summit of Mount Talamitam from afar.
There were some areas in Mount Talamitam that are quite deceive. There were boulders you can step on and with right angle, you can capture photos that will make it look like you are standing on a cliff or in a higher ground (with Mount Batulao as your background)
The path that will take us to the summit
See that small bump from afar? That’s the summit!
Does it reminds you of that iconic scene from the Sound of Music? Yes, I am getting that insane idea while trekking this area and I was imagining myself singing the song haha. Kidding aside, this is indeed a picture perfect moment. You can feel the wind breeze and embrace distinctive grass scent while marveling the visually striking atmosphere!
Just few more walks to reach the final assault to the summit of Mount Talamitam
We had another quick stop over before making it to the final leg of the assault. There was another small store nearby where you can buy some snacks and cold drinks. There’s also a comfort room too.
My gosh, it this heaven? lols
I don’t know what kind of grass is this but you can spot them almost everywhere!
We also learned that horses are like the only means of transportation here. The cargoes are being carried by these horses all the way to the top.
Just few more steps!
My fellow National Mountain Clean Up Day Volunteers. Let’s not forget the part that this hike was made for a great cause, making this first hiking experience more memorable to me!
Photo Op with the Summit
By the way, you should not miss that delicious Halo-Halo from that mini store on the summit!
You can also spot the Lubang Group of Islands (Occidental Mindoro) from the summit of Mount Talamitam
Same as the peak of Pico De Loro of Maragondon Cavite
It was indeed a great experience for me. I have learned a lot from this first hike and this is definitely not the last!
Things You Should Know Before Going to Mount Talamitam
► There is a registration fee of Php50/head (Updated as of 2017)
► Registration is done at Brgy Aga
► A guide is required and you must pay Php400/10 pax (it’s a fixed rate so you still have to pay the same amount even your group is less than ten)
► An additional Php300 will be collected if you are going for a Traverse hike
► Make sure to wear proper hiking gears
► Wear sun protection as it can be extremely hot in the area as there are less trees to give shades
► The hiking will take more or less 2-3 hours
► It is possible to hike both Mount Talimitam and Mount Batulao within the Day (You can also do it with Mount Apayang)
►You can also have a side trip to Layong Bilog River
How to Get to Mount Talamitam
►If you are coming from Manila, you can ride a bus bound to Nasugbu. DLTB Bus (Buendia) and BSC (Pasay Taft) have direct travels to Nasugbu. Ask the conductor to drop you off at Km 83. You can spot the signage of Mt Talamitam Jump Off Point from there.
Where To Stay in Batangas
►Batangas alone has many other great places and attractions to offer! If you are planning to stay, you can check the list of Affordable hotels in Batangas here!
We decided to take our lunch at Layong Bilog River and I’m going to share more about that in my next entry/. For the mean time, feel free to watch my Mount Talamitam Journey video below!