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Mt. Maculot
Province:  Batangas
13° 55.241N   121° 02.513E
Listed in Gallery:   Mountain Peak

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Mt. Maculot is one of the most popular mountaineering destinations south of Manila. It is a favorite because of its well-established trail, wide campgrounds, fine views atop and ?just enough? degree of difficulty. Its main attraction is the Rockies, a rocky outcropping overlooking Taal lake and its popular little volcano. It takes a bit of rock climbing skills to reach the top of the Rockies, but definitely the effort is well rewarded by the breathtaking vista above it.

The campsite is located atop the mountain?s shoulder. It is usually busy on weekends so don?t expect much privacy. Winds can be strong to moderate and it can be quite chilly at night. The summit is another hour away from the campsite, although an alternative trail (the grotto trail) can be taken, traversing the mountain from the other side and then descending to the shoulder campsite. Views from the summit are obscured by forest growth and there is minimal camp space available.

Mt. Maculot?s popularity has unfortunately brought about alarming levels of pollution up its slopes. Too much unregulated and irresponsible camping has resulted in plenty of garbage left all over the campgrounds. Refuse such as empty gin bottles to abandoned fire rings litter the place. Little is being done to address this environmental concern. Moreover, the mountain has yet to come under the protection of the DENR.

How to get there:

Take a Tritran/Jam bus bound for Lemery. Alternatively, you can take any bus going to Batangas Pier and alight at the Lipa Public Market; Take the jeeps going to Lemery. Once at Cuenca, get off at the town ?arko? or arch. There are tricycles that can take you to the registration store (where you register your party and pay the fee of P5 per climber) and further on to the Mountaineer?s Store, where the jump-off is located. You can purchase last minute necessities at the store, also known as ?tindahan ni Ka Manuel,? particularly water as there are no reliable water sources above.

The trail is fairly easy. The physically fit can reach the campsite in about an hour. A leisurely pace of two hours to camp, however, is normal. There are two forks along the way. The first fork has the right path going up the mountain. DO NOT take this path as this leads to the plantations tended to by the locals. Take the left path instead. A few meters is another fork, where you need to go right to continue up to the campsite. The left path leads to Taal Lake.

Much of the trail is still covered by forest. The last part though is through open cogon fields. Be sure to be prepared as it can be very hot on a sunny day. Start your hike about mid-afternoon so as to escape the searing heat, since the campsite is totally exposed to the sun. Oh, and there?s a store at the campsite?selling Coke, halo-halo, and of course?bottles of gin.

Please help preserve the environment. Practice the Leave-No-Trace way.

Waypoint narrative by: Jay_J 2004     follow Jay_J on Facebook