Friday, December 28, 2012

Peninsula Mountaineers in Mt. Talamitam

The 18th day of November brought me to my 3rd summit on 3 consecutive weekends. This time, its another tree planting hike on Mt. Talamitam with the newly-formed Peninsula Mountaineers. Our group is composed of 20 veteran and newbie hikers, who share the passion of enjoying the outdoors and doing community service as well.

We left Peninsula Manila by 4:00 am, arriving at Barangay Aga in Nasugbu, Batangas by 6:00 am. The leader of the guides in the area, Mr. Ted Calimag, joined our pre-climb briefing after we arranged our registration fee, guides, and tree seedlings. The local white dog in the area (I forgot his name) also joined our hike, because we give him food from time to time, hehe.

Since the rainy season had just passed, we were directed to plant the tree seedlings near the river, for higher chance of survival. The nearer location of the planting area saved us from bringing the seedlings up at the mountain's saddle.

We planted seedlings of local tree species like narra, acacia, alibangbang, etc. Its quite frustrating that there is no talamitam seedling, which used to grow on the slopes of this mountain where it got its name. The advantage of this planting location is that its near a water source, so some guys were able to water the planted seedlings before we left.

Our group enjoyed the activity, despite the trash eyesore in the river.

The sun's hot rays added more to the hardship of the hike, especially to the newbie hikers. If not for the nice views and sharing of stories, it would have been more difficult for them to reach the summit. Photo opportunities added more fun to the hiking activity.

We reached the summit at about 8:15 am, where we rested, took more photos, enjoyed our food, including the "ice drops" sold by the vendor who arrived later at the area.

We were blessed with a nice weather and clear day. The neighboring mountain of "matandang gubat" on the left side of the photo looked better, than during my first hike in the area.

Looking at its right side or northwest portion, we could see the faint monolith of Pico de Loro.

Turning clockwise to the southeast, I'm guessing that its Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas.

Mt. Batulao sits on the south side, right in front of the trail view. I was lucky to catch a langay-langayan swiftlet on the photo.

Our guides who took our group photos.

By 9:00 am, we started our relaxed descent, to avoid the sun's punishing heat. After changing our shirts at the jump off point, we proceeded to Tagaytay for our post-climb lunch celebration. We were all hungry on a dining hut in Mer-Ben's restaurant, that I was not able to take photos of the food spread before the "storm". Many thanks to our Hotel Manager who subsidized our lunch feast!

Now, my co-Peninsula Mountaineers are bugging me when and where would be our next hike. :)
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