PICO DE LORO (Mt Palay – Palay) Maragondon, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas
Major jump-off: DENR Station, Magnetic Hill, Ternate, Cavite
Minor jump-off: Ternate-Nasugbu Highway, Nasugbu, Batangas
LLA: 14° 12.855 N; 120° 38.785 E; 664 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 2-5 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Distinctive spire at the summit, forests, scenic views of Cavite.
Mt. Palay – Palay or commonly known as “Pico de Loro” is one of those beginners friendly mountains. Since I’m just a beginner I really want to visit this magnificent mountain , monolith and the scenic views of Cavite from the peak.
“It was not the mountain that we conquer but our selves” -Edmund Hillary
It was May 17,2015 (Sunday) when we decided to go on a dayhike to Mt. Pico de Loro. This time we had a friendly brother hood and a good friend of mine “My Panyero” who will join us on his first hike. The meeting place was at 7-11 Trece Martires City Cavite at exactly 4:30am (supposed to be) but since it was his first time, due to his overflowing excitement he wasn’t able to had an ample sleep the night before that (Hahaha). Panyero and Sis Belle arrived at the meeting place at around 5:30am (Next time tulog maaga ha Hahaha…Just Kidding). Anyways, we proceed to a jeep bound to Naic Cavite luckily we don’t need to wait that much (apat na lang ata kulang lalarga na). We paid the amount of Php 22.00 / person for the fare.
Most of my perks I invited was asking me whether we do have a service that will bring us to Pico. Everytime I’m telling them that we will just go to commute most of them declined my invitation. As we go along with our journey, base from the blogs I have read after we arrived from Naic we need to take a bus from there that will bring us to Ternate and after that a trike that will take us to DENR jump off point. Surprisingly when we arrived from Naic a friendly tricycle driver offers us a ride directly to the DENR jump offpoint with a reasonable amount. I just smiled and state to my mind “The best ka talaga LORD umpisa palang di mo na kame pinababayaan”. We grab the oppurtunity with the amount of Php 100.00 / person. Personally if you will look on him physically (mukhang astigin si Kuya) but as we go along on our way I had a chance to talk to him (Mabaet naman pala sya). This only reminds me of one thing “Don’t judge the book by it’s cover”.
We arrived at the jump off point DENR station at exactly 6:40am because of his kindness we gave an additional amount on the said fare (Bigtime Galante!!!..Natutuwa lang kame sa mga taong hindi mapagsamantala). From the DENR station we prepared ourselves and paid the registration fee amounting to Php 20.00 / per person. Logged our names on the logbook and buy our “Tantanananan!!! “Mahiwang Tungkod” (Hahaha). We also ask how much will be the guide rate, I was shocked when I saw the price (Hahaha) di ko nalalagay di ko kasi sure kung yun ba talaga. But since with the guidance and advice of one of our dear brother Kokoy he told us that the trail was very much well established so there we are not afraid na “maligaw”. Before we proceed to go along we always ask for HIS guidance and divine grace Panyero Wangzkyy lead the prayer. After our prayer we are now ready to proceed with our hike this is the first time I went on a hike without a guide. We left the jump off point at around 7:10am. It’s just a matter of lakas ng loob (Hahaha) and prayers as always .
Pico de Loro offers a trail that is full of wilderness. There are a lot of trees on the beginning of the trail which will protect you from the heat of the sun. I feel also awesome when I’m just hearing the sound of the wild birds chirping and some singing insects welcoming us to their place, such a nice music to your ears. Free from the noise of an annoying city and a stressful traffic. On his few steps Panyero seems to be fine but with just a couple minutes later (if I am not mistaken just 10minutes of walking) he demanded for a short break. Maybe he was a bit surprise about the trails (Hahah kahit ako mismo medyo nagulat). We pause and take a break for a while knowing Sis Belle she doesn’t need a break that much (Hahaha mas halimaw pa saken un umakayat nang bilis pa maglakad).
I was looking on the trees who’s taller than me at first. This time I will make this trees as my landmark or unit of measurement, if we are still far from the peak these trees will be taller than me and their shades will cover me from the heat of the sun. But if these trees will become fewer and the sunlight will hit my skin this only means one thing we are getting higher and higher and closer to reach the summit (Taba ng utak ko..Haha..Wala kasing guide na tatanungan.. Hahaha). At first Panyero still talking. We had a conversations with one another, sharing some funny moments with one another and laughing all together (tamang kulitan ,biruan, kwentuhan at tawanan pa). But as we move along and proceed to move forward we seldom talk and the laughter seems to fade (Hahaha…Nagsasave na ng energy). I am wondering what’s on my Panyero’s mind, Is he mad at me??(Hahaha). I broke the silence when I ask him if he is still fine?. He just smiled and replied “Bakit ko ba naisipan sumama tulog pa sana ako ngayon Panyero, Bakit dito mo ako dinala?” (Hahaha) I just laughed and said “Kaya mo yan Panyero malapit na tayo”.
After an hour of walking Sis Belle said that she heard an “Ice Cream” from a distance. I’m starting to get worried are they having some sort of hallucinations?(Hahaha). But as we continue move foward Sis Belle was right there is one locals who’s selling a cold and refreshing ice cream in the wilderness. For an amount of Php 20.00 each “Hindi namin palalampasin yung mga pambihirang pagkatataon tulad neto Hahaha”.
From this place also we saw Mt. Batulao from a distance. We took a short break and take few a photos from there we also ask Manong Ice Cream na kunan kame ng pictures (Hahaha).
On the other side of it we already saw the summit or peak of Mt Palay – Palay (Pico De Loro).
This is the first time we saw the summit. We all feel recharged and forget that we are tired after we saw that awesome view that seems inviting us to go there. We took some photos of it as usual and start to proceed with our hike. But this time we are not just walking we are running forward and excited to reach the summit as soon as possible. Panyero and Sis Belle also is now having a thing I personally called the “Adrenaline Rush” – a force that motivates yourself to move forward behind your limits after you saw a “Wonderful God’s Creations”. In a short while we already heard some hikers from a distance whos taking some rest. We already in the base camp. From here you can now take a closer look of the summit and the monolith. I’m a bit a disappointed when we reach the base camp not with the view but with some of those fellow mountaineers “na matitigas ang ULO”. Base from the blogs I read overnight stay is still not applicable in Pico De Loro. But when we arrived we saw a group of mountaineer who’s spent their night on the base camp and arguing on a DENR representative (Haaaay Nakakalungkot isipin na marame paring mga “PASAWAY”.
We just continue to enjoy the view from the base camp. With just a few moments later one of the locals ,a guide to be exact offers us an assistance if we want to take the monolith. Manong (I forgot his name Haha) will be the one in charge of helping us to reach the monolith because I badly want to climb on it. Since we don’t have any idea how the monolith will be going take we hired him without any given price,( I mean kame na lang daw bahala magbigay sa kanya Hindi naman daw talaga sya nagbibigay ng presyo).
And also we will be having a photographer to take a picture of the three of us (Hahaha). After 2:07mins of hiking and pahinga we finally reach the Pico De Loro’s Summit. Nice view, magnificent sceneries, and most of all an AWESOME GOD that we had. Such an honor to witness this wonderful creations that GOD has given to us. Thank you Lord for giving us the chance.
After a few pictures and time to enjoy the magnifecent view I suggested to them that the monolith will be the next to take. At first Panyero Wangzky and Sis Belle is having some doubt if we can be able to reach the top of it. After convincing them in a short period of time because if there are many hikers or tanghali ka na nagumpisa mag hike you will not be having the chance na akyatin pa ang monolith sa dame ng hikers. But on our part since we are just the third group on that day coming from DENR jump off (I just dont know ilang group yung nanggaling sa Nasugbu Jump off). So i just explained to them that not all of the first time hiker in Pico will be having the chance to take the monolith, now since we already had the chance to do that eh “Palalampasin pa ba natin”?
Finally pumayag na rin sila (Hahaha sa wakas). Since panyero is afraid of heights he will be the one who’s Manong will be helping a lot. There are also some sweet moments of the two of them. I just forgot to take a picture when they are “HHWC” (Holding Hands While Climbing)(Hahaha). Before you reach the monolith you need to climb on the edge of it where you will be using a rope. Not to mention but you need to take this rope seriously no room for mistakes (Mahuhulog ka lang naman at pwde mong ikamatay kapag nagkinulit ka at nagpasaway). It takes to much lakas ng loob kung medyo kabado ka sa mga ganitong sitwasyon.
You will be romancing the wall like panyero did para malampasan mo yung mga ganitong buwis buhay stunts. According to Manong the Monolith can accomodate up to 25 persons. If you will be just going to take the monolith on your first time I strongly suggest that you need a Guide for your own safety purposes. After a short while we already reached the top of the monolith. We take few pictures from there as usual, enjoy the magnificent view and thank HIM for giving us the chance to witness his creations. After a couple of minutes Panyero call our attention for the Dubsmash video clip he prepared (Dubsmash oh come on??..Haha..). I personally not that much interested with that but since na convince ko sya na umakyat I just joined him na lang sa trip nya.(Napilitan Hahaha..Joke lang). I’m a bit surprise with the result of the Dubsmash Vid Clip. But unfortunately di nya pala nasave(Hahaha).
After that Manong gave me Medicinal Plant. He said that it is good if you’re having stomach cramps. I also ask kung pwede ba ako mag uwe he said yes kaya nag uwe ako samen. But until now hindi ko na sya nakita (Hahaha).
After taking some photos we decided to go down to give the other hikers the chance to experience the view from the monolith. If you were planning to hike in Pico De Loro don’t dare miss the chance to take also the monolith. It’s just like “Shooting two birds with one stone” (di ko sure kung yun ba yung exact words basta yun na yun..Hahaha…)
“Climbing Upward is Optional, going down is MANDATORY (narinig ko kay Idol Rommy Garduce). So which means if we need to be very careful on our way up, we must also very much careful on our way down.
Thanks God we are safe on our way moving down. And we need to celebrate that Victory with a cold refreshing HALO – HALO. Compared sa Halo Halo ng Mt Batulao mas masarap to (Hahaha sorry for the comparison). We also had enough rest on this place ate our snacks. Manong is offering us to take the traverse trail which will take us to Nasugbu Batangas. He said that the trail will be much easier compared to the ascending trail that we had. Honestly i really wanted to take the traverse but im just concerned with the additional expenses (Tag Kuripot Hahaha). After explaining our sides we just come up to a decision that we will just be taking the traditional trail on our descend.
After almost 30mins of rest we decided to move forward back to the DENR station. We need to take the summit again for us to be able to do that. There are already plenty of hikers on the peak. And most of them wasn’t able to take the monolith because there is too much hiker who’s also climbing it. I guess you will still be able to do the monolith but you just need to wait for your turn. Lucky for us we are already done with it.
The heat of the sun is already starting to penetrate our skins so we move faster. On our way descending from the summit the we are starting to feel some sort of traffic due to some hikers on the ascend and us on our descend. To lessen the traffic since they will be accompanied with Manong, I decided to take the lead and just wait for them at the base camp. There are also some part of the trail which Pico De Loro offers a natural face powder (Alikabok hahaha). After a few minutes they are already on the base camp. We settled the payment to Manong I asked him again how much will be the charge of his service he refused to answer. So kinulit ko na lang sya at sinabe na baka maging Barat yung maibigay namen…Haha..Natakot siguro sya at sinabe na commonly if he will just be guiding from base camp to summit and monolith most of the time Php50.00 per person only. So at the end of our conversation we asked him if Php150.00 will be enough he just smiled and said yes. But since Panyero and Manong was having sweet moments during our climb Panyero gave him a tip that he will never ever forget a big amount (Hahahaha….just kidding).
Before we left the base camp we took some photos from there. And it was also the time when Panyero realized na hindi nya Nasave Yung Dubsmash namen….Hahaha..(Sad Face). So we need to retake it again (AGAIN?? HUWAAT!!! HAHAHAHA). Im trying to insert the said dubsmash on this blog but I’m having a hard time because of an unknown format error. Well anyways maybe I’ll try it on a PC (i’m just using my phone writing this blog).
Anyways after a short picture taking we proceed back to DENR station because we have another scheduled practice of Choir at 3pm so we move faster. I already don’t have enough water to rehydrate myself. Failure on my part to buy when we are still on the base camp. Reminder no accessible water on the middle of the trail (just an ice cream). Next water resources will be before you reach the base camp so be sure to bring enough water. As we take our descend we just took the trail for about 1hr and 30mins (1:30). We managed to get back to the DENR station before 12nn. After fixing ourselves and cleaning our dirty feet and change outfit we are now ready to roll out and eat our luch.
We decided to take a single ride on our way back to Naic. Instead of riding a trike that will only take us to Ternate and a bus that will take us to Naic we just asked how much will be the fare if it will take us directly to Naic manong driver said it will cost Php 120.00. We agreed on the said amount and bound to Naic for us to have our lunch.
We decided to eat have our lunch at Jollibee Naic. After our lunch tumambay muna kame dahil cancel na rw yung practice namin ng CHOIR. After our tambay we decided to went home and managed to be back at Trece before 3pm.
I would like to personally thank my Akyat Buddies Sis Belle, Panyero Wangzky , Manong Guide and Most of All My Best Buddy For Life Our Almighty God!!!!! To GOD ALWAYS BE THE GLORY!!!!! Thanks for this wonderful day full off new and great adventure…Until next Hike guyz…See you on our next adventure…This is your friendly Lakwatserong OSO signing off……Peace Homies!!!!!