Mt. Maculot: Preparation for the CLIMB

November 30, 2012 was a holiday for most people, but for me, it was a regular day. However, SBCC Hikers planned on hiking that day so I guess it won’t be a regular day at all. I was informed of the struggles I will be facing, the hardships I will be encountering, the joy I will be feeling and the victory I will be achieving. I just wanted to go straight to Batangas and do the locomotion! But I have to do some preparations.

Here are some things I did and prepared for the hiking. (As a first-time hiker, I don’t think I can be a reliable source of Hiking 101. But if you never tried hiking, I suggest that you go and prepare for it! I will list some things that helped me survive. Hope I can help and encourage you! If I can, you can, we can!)


According to our expert climbers included in the group (SBCC HIKERS), here are the things that we had to bring. 

  • ·         Medicine Kit
  • ·         Whistle/Repair kit
  • ·         Trail food – Check. Two meals from Jollibee.
  • ·         Emergency food – Check. TimTam, chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chichiria. Please don’t get my license.
  • ·         Trash bag
  • ·         Head Lamp/Flash Light
  • ·         Water proofing (incase ulanin tayo, wag nmn sana) – Check. My ever cute jacket/raincoat. But I just used it as my cover against the aircon’s power!
  • ·         Trail water(depends on how much water you will consume) I recommend 1 liter of Gatorade and 1 liter of water – Check. Since I just brought 500 ml of each, my ever ready team shared their tank full of electrolytes.
  • ·         Set of Clothes (bihisan pauwe) – Check. Check. Check.
  • ·         Toiletries – Check.

We were not allowed to bring any unnecessary baggage that can slow us down. Also, I knew (or assumed) that the team leaders will bring the items that I did not bring such as the medicine kit, whistle/repair kit, trash bag and head lamp/flash light. I know you have so many things in mind that you want to bring, but trust me, you don’t want to torture yourself. Bring the necessary, the things you REALLY NEED for hiking.


This shouldn’t be an occasional practice, I know, I know. But hey, this must be a good start! Congratulations to us who decided to take a step! My jogging buddies and I jogged around UP an hour each day (for two days. Hahaha. We were busy and tired, forgive us for giving up.) From then on, we exercised as often as we could even after the climb. We wore the right outfits, warmed up, jogged the right way (I hope it was the right way), breathed through the nose and breathed out through the mouth (just like in singing), refrained from turning our heads down to avoid getting dizzy, cooled down and well, ate a lot afterwards. I saw some tips on a blog (, you might want to check it out if you are a first-time jogger.

with my jogging buddies, Ate Jessa and Karen

Kuya Clero said nakakatuwa daw kami kasi kahit magkakaiba kami ng personalities, nagja-jive kami. Tingnan mo, si Karen ay phlegmatic, si Allison ay sanguine, si Jessa mataray. HAHA!


Okay, I admit, I was not able to sleep maybe due to excitement. But it surely slowed me down. It is important to get enough rest to avoid exhaustion before, during and after the climb.


It’ll be a daunting adventure if the adventure occurs within you. Take it out if you don’t want to experience explosion in the middle of the mountain.


To avoid being late and being the cause of delay on the set itinerary, I chose to stay with my team the night before. BONDING PRIOR TO CLIMB =SO MUCH FUN. Being on time = LESS PRESSURE.


I did not do this. My teammates took charge. They searched for information about the mountain from this site. Here was the weather forecast.


Indeed, it was a sunny day. Thank God.


I did pray for this and I was actually excited to experience Him there, up there. It has been my dream to go to a prayer mountain and just talk to Him. But you don’t have to wait to climb before praying. Do it prior to your climb. DO IT NOW. I am telling you, God listens.

 Are you ready to climb?

 "The Climb"

By Miley Cyrus

I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming, but
There’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’
But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, ‘cause

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

 (If I had a diary, I would write about…Mt. MACULOT!)


19 Oct 2013: Sudden trek at Mt. Maculot’s Rockies. Unexpected happens. Foursome weekend. Unwinding escape. Rocky bonding. Soaking in rain. Fierce blowing wind. Muddy walk. Catch-up chats. Exclusive for selfie phone shots. Massive packed-rice. Looking forward for the next TOP. 

Even if the mist becomes selfish for not sharing the view at the top, it is still worth the climb having an ultimate bonding with the best ones and getting gripped with my new hiking shoes. 

d’9tails :

eto yung barkadang nabuo dahil sa kasipagan. nak ng! dahil ng overnight group study. bakit d’9tails? sham kase kame. tapos may napasabit na isa. si initial D ang surname. OO, KULANG KAMI SA PHOTO NATO! ansaya lang ng makatagpo ka ng barkadang makukulit at isip bata. pero takot mapabayaan ang pag aaral. TOUCHED SILA? naku hindi. di naman marunong mag-tumblr mga yun e. hahaha!

Mt. Maculot Adventure

Finally. A time to write about Mt. Maculot. I am not good in writing about experiences so I don’t know if I can make you feel how awesome the trek was. Let me tell you this: THE TREK WAS SO AWESOME! If you haven’t tried hiking, it’s about time that you do. Of course you have to prepare and pray for it just like what I did. I prepared for it, believe me, look here! There were some struggles, laughters and other crazy things that happened during the hike. Some things must be left untold though. (Hahahaha, Kuya Clero.)

I am not going to give you details about Mt. Maculot, Cuenca Batangas, or every single fuss about it because you can access those from this site. I just want to share things that amazed me in so many ways.


The Officers

Team leader 1Jessa Ordiales

Team leader 2: Lhizzie Lara

Mid Man: Jovan Jotojot

Tail: Clero Matocinos

Spiritual Adviser: Ptr.Nathaniel Edillo

Prince CharmingJopet Siscar

Muse 1: Maria Karen Tan

Muse 2: Jan Allison Alberto

Here’s the set itinerary and the changes made and some ramblings and somethings in me.

Mount Maculot Itinerary (Nov 30, 2012)
0200 Wakeup and Cubao-bound from SBCC

~Not true. We did not wake up. We did not sleep at all and that’s the truth. Oh how hard it is to be over-excited.

0300 Board Lemery-bound bus from Buendia or Cubao (~P130+) 

~I think we went to the bus station at 4 AM and the bus almost left us. We ran from the overpass towards the bus and I almost got hit by a running snatcher. He was being chased by some police officers, who apparently chased the snatcher just for the sake of chasing him but not actually chasing him because chasing him won’t do them good. Formality sake, that is. And so I saw Ate Lhizzhie, our team leader, who was not supposed to be there but was there to surprise us. The Master Hiker was with us! During the bus ride, I, well we, tried to sleep. I and some “we” were not able to even be half asleep. I was totally awake and I didn’t know why. Did I drink a CUPOKOFI? No I didn’t! Did I drink a CUPOTEE? No I didn’t. Then what’s the MATTAH WITH MEEEEE. Restless, restless.

0600 ETA Cuenca Poblacion - Highway. Walk or take trike to jump-off. 

~What’s the meaning of ETA? Every Trek is Awesome? We rode the tricycle until we reached Rockies, up up and away. Naahh. Only up to the house of spa. Well it’s not actually a spa, but it felt like a spa after the tiring but fulfilling trek.

We arrived earlier than expected.

After doing our own thing, we warmed up then prayed. I loved the pink hat I was wearing courtesy of Maria. Did I ever mention that I loved pink? Cutie cutie little pinky.

0630 Start trek 

~I am going to list some things that I learned during the actual trek (For some reason, writing it in paragraph seemed so messy.) But since those things will make my post a novel, I shall post it here instead.:) I just want to say, it was a humbling experience. I enjoyed every part of it.

0815 Arrive at campsite, head to Rockies 0830 at Rockies; take pictures 

Documentation was the best part. We captured beautiful spots and of course, beautiful people. Ahem. The Rockies made my heart drop. I was so astonished. Oh Lord. How did you do this? Don’t tell me, I’ll just be in awe of what You’ve done. I won’t understand anyway, but thank You.

And by the way, one of my pictures was featured in Bogart the Explorer! I know, I wasn’t the main focus, and maybe, many people ignored me sitting by the rock and basked on the beauty of the place instead. I know, I know. But hey, I am so flattered. He used my photo!

0900 Return to campsite for lunch 

Everyone had food, shared food, and ate food. After that, we had an impromptu nap time. I was really exhausted. Everyone was. I had no sleep and the hike was a strength absorber!

When we woke up, we had devotion led by Pastor Nathan.


Romans 8:37 
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Yes indeed, we are more than conquerors. Conquerors achieve success with their own strength. More than conquerors conquer anything with the help of God! God does the work. Amazing.

0930 Start descent 

‎”Climbing is optional but going down is mandatory.”~Anonymous

But according to Ate Lhizzie, going down is also optional. We should give everyone a chance to decide for themselves. I rest my case then.

Guess the shoes and the missing shoes

During descent, I experienced knee ache. Thank God I survived going down, or else, I will be staying there for the rest of my life! Again, I enjoyed every part of the descent with my team.

1100 Back at jump-off; tidy up then head back to the highway from Manila-bound bus
Wohoo! We survived going down! I just wanted to take every single dirt off my body. It was a refreshing experience. I will do it all over again if I could!

*subject to change without prior notice (flexible tayo eh!)

This was the small note at the last part of the itinerary. Indeed, we had some changes. But change is good. Here was our reported time:

Akyat: 1 hour, 42 mins

Siesta: around 20 minutes

Pababa: 1 hour, 22 mins

 Not bad for 3 first-timers (right Maria and Pastor?) and good job n-timers (Ate Jessa, Kuya Clero, Jovan, Jopet and Ate Lhizzhie) for guiding us! It was such a joy hiking with you. I am looking forward to the next hike with you SBCC Hikers. More than conquerors, lezgo!

Thank you Mt. Maculot for letting us experience your beauty. Thank You, Lord, for creating this.

Photos by Karen Tan, Jovan Jotojot, Lhizzie Lara

 (If I had a diary, I would write about…Mt. MACULOT!)


Mt.Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas

My second hike and we did not reach the summit, the grotto or even its famous Rockies where you have the most wonderful view of Taal Lake - we only reached the camp site. My friends and I did a night trek here and unfortunately we got lost and had to back down to the mountains jump-off point for safety reasons. We were lucky enough that the folks who live at the jump-off, let us stay at their nipa hut, so we camped their, had our dinner and socials.

I am still hoping to climb Mount Maculot and hopefully soon! Just to reach the Rockies and enjoy its view.

What I learned from Mt. Maculot

It seems like I can’t stop writing about Mt. Maculot from preparation to actual hiking. That’s right, right there! Here are 10 learnings that I think I learned and I hope I can apply in the future. Some were still related to what actually happened.

Pray and prepare

I did some preparations. If I did not jog prior to climb, I don’t think my body can survive. I also prayed prior, during, and after the climb. We all need God’s protection.

Communicate with your team

Everyone worked well with each other. No one complained (not a complaint I can think of) and everyone was cooperating and communicating with each other. Here are some lines I can remember:

JESSA: Pakita nyo si Jopet, nasaan si Jopet, nawala si Jopet. (Jopet is the youngest. If Jopet was missing, everyone has to stop and wait for his face to show up. That’s how much we love our bunsoy.)


MARIA: Mag-ingat kayo, madulas.

JOVAN: Guys, madulas daw! (at biglang nadulas)

MARIA: O, nakita niyo naman.

JESSA: Hahahahahahaha

(after taking 5 minutes of rest…)

CLERO: Okay take 5 ulit! Kakastart ko pa lang!

And the likes. We tried to communicate even if it was hard to breathe while speaking and hiking. Kuya Clero, the Tail, made me laugh so hard every time he cracked a joke! Haha. You should hike with him and have a trek that you will never forget!

Care for the welfare of others

So, there were two team leaders who led the way. I loved how they led us. They were so caring and I saw their strength and leadership every step of the way. Ate Lhizzie even helped one of us by carrying Maria’s bag! Amazing. How did she do that? I mean, she was literally bringing almost three of her! Being self-centered was not an option. If one only has 500 ml of gatorade, share. If one can’t continue, help. We are one body and for you to reach your destination with a strong team, help each other. I appreciate the midman Jovan, the Pastor Nathan, the Escort Jopet and the Tail, Clero for being such gentlemen and helping us and guiding us beautiful ladies.

Be a follower before being a leader

You need to be a follower for you not to get lost and to stay on track. Submit to authorities. They know what to do. When they told me to breathe, I breathed.

When you’re hurt, seek help

You have to tell others when you are hurt and ask for help. You can help yourself by seeking help. I, during the trek, felt pain on my left knee and my team helped even if they have burdens to carry.

Be Careful. Very Berry Kerpol.

The mountain is kind of steep so you must always hold on to something. Every step is a step towards danger or safety. Choose wisely. Make sure that your shoes won’t put you to danger. Avoid Limatik. You know what Limatik is? 

Fortunately, none of us encountered that. Instead, this small creature accompanied us.

Don’t worry, no one was harmed.

Stay positive

Negativity will only weigh you down. I appreciate Maria’s positivity even though she went through hardship. Her smile brought joy to my heart. You have to endure every hardship and pain that trekking may bring. Also, Kuya Clero’s comedy acts made us positive all the way. Everyone’s laughing throughout the trek. Everyone’s joking and having a good time. Now that’s the best part of trekking.

Take a Break. Take a chit chat.

We didn’t forget to take breaks. Every time Ate Jessa said “TAKE 5!”, we’d sit and drink and breathe and of course chit chat. Taking 5 was such a big help, which made me realize, it is not good to overwork yourself. Slow down, have a break. Breathe. But it is also not good to just stay rested for so long. Once you get the rest that you need, (believe me, 5 minutes is enough), move forward.

I won’t give up on….hike…even if the skies…

Never give up! It will help if you encourage one another. Some parts of the mountain were really discouraging…and steep, slippery even not wet. There were some moments when I just wanted to stop, but still, I kept on hiking and I did it! We did it just like Dora the Explorer!


Yes, rejoice! Hi-five your teammates! Pat them on the back! Hug yourself and say, hey, you did it. Rejoice!


Beautiful, isn’t it?

Tara na, akyat tayo!

(If I had a diary, I would write about…Mt. MACULOT!)


Aside from experiencing this adventure THANKING LORD OUR GOD is the main reason why we did this. :) 3am ang meet up sa MCDO (para maiba naman) around 5 am na nung mag start kami mag lakad papuntang bundok (akala kasi namin pag baba ng jeep ee bundok na paakyat HAHAHAHA) GANADO PA NUNG UNA pero habang tumatagal habang tumataas ang inaakyat namin nauubos din ang energy HAHAHA buti na alng pag akyat WORTH IT ang lahat ang ganda ganda ng view at ANG LAKI LAKI NG TENT may VIP room pa. SI JOENA ang mag pinaka maraming SIGAW hahaha mga 9835 yung bilang ko =)) sunod si mau bali lumamang lang si joena ng 56 HAHAHAHA ako ang pinaka ADVENTUROUS, well ganun talaga LAKING BUNDOK hahahaha bukod sa mga sigaw na masakit sa tenga e paramihan din ng DULAS papa baba ng bundok. MAS NAKAKAPANG HINA ANG PA BABA KESA SA PATAAS PERO MAS NAKAKAPAGOD ANG PATAAS:) ang saya saya ko ang dating bundok na KINATATAKUTAN ko pag dumadaan kami e NAAKYAT KO NA hindi lang yun NAIKOT KO PA ANG HALOS BUONG BUNDOK HAHAHA the best talaga si papa GOD! :) - MT.MACULOT, ROCKIES, CUENCA, BATANGAS CITY

Mt. Maculot View Resort, binubuo ng tatlong swimming pools at isang jacuzzi para sa pribadong paggamit, isang hanging bridge para sa isang araw at ang napakagandang view ng Mt. Maculot at Grotto.


Ito ay matatagpuan sa paanan ng Mt. Maculot sa Brgy. Pinagkaisahan Cuenca, Batangas.


Mt. Maculot (Groto - Summit - Rockies) Climb


Cuenca, Batangas
Major Jumpoff: Mountaineer’s Store, Brgy. 7 “Siete”, Cuenca

Exit point (traverse): Brgy 5 (to Grotto), Cuenca

LLA: 13°55 N; 121°2 E; 706 MASL (Rockies) / 930 MASL (summit)
Days required / Hours to Rockies / summit : 1 day / 1-2 hr / 2-4 hr

Specs: Minor, Difficulty 3/9 (Rockies); 4/9 (Traverse) Trail class 1-3.

Features: Scenic views of Taal Lake, rock formations, forests

Posting date: August 9, 2007

Last updated: February 10, 2012