Mountains: Mt. Batulao Solo Day Hike

I was seeking for Solitude, some Me time. Being an introvert isn’t really that easy in this day and age of social media, yes it does take out the energy from me when I browse these “highly interactive sites”. But honestly, what triggered me the most to find solitude on top of a mountain was my recent heartache. It was something big for me, having just recovered from one after five years and finally allowing someone to break into it again with big risks was was quite a venture for me. It was painful.

I thought God would hear me better up there closer to him, that he would hear the pain of my bleeding heart that took a chance again. I was hopeful that someone would care for me even just for a little while, the same way that I care for this person. It was true for a while, but then everything suddenly changed. There were no more I miss yous, I love yous and I can’t wait to see you. There was just coldness that bit the air.

And so with a breath I decided, tomorrow I’ll climb a mountain. By my self. It was a good day to hike, a weekday when most of the trails are void from the traffic of people trying to get to the same spot where you want to be. A perfect time for solitude.

It was a little past three in the morning when I left my house. Got my self on bus, bound south of the island that I live in, yes this island boy with a broken heart is traveling alone. From Buendia I got off at Evercrest in Nasugbu, Batangas the jump off point. I could have taken a tricycle but I was there to do some healing and it felt like walking is good for healing. It was a good 2.5 Km walk.

At the entry point to the trail, there was this table setup with people manning it asking for hikers to take guides, but I’ve done my research and what they’re doing isn’t really sanctioned by the authorities. So as they tried to convince me to take a guide, I pretended to dial my phone talking to someone and walked around. When I came back they hastily told me to pass through and that I didn’t need a guide. Well I guess my drama worked.

They say that Batulao is great for beginners like me, the trail is easy to read and that the mountain is not that hard to scale. I thought that walking alone in a trail would give me the time and space to think about what had just happened to me again. Tanga nga eh (I’m an idiot, I know).

I started tracing the trail and true enough it was easy, I came across a few hiker saying hellos and good mornings to each other. I wasn’t really in the mood to be friendly, I just wanted to walk with my earphones stuck on my ears pumping music that just wrests my heart and the pain it feels. Then again I was in the mountains, I didn’t want to be rude so I obliged – I gave a little smile and greet them back.

There were resting stations –where you have to pay a fee- where groups of hikers spend time while some camp. The feeling of loneliness was reminded to me as I observe. I paused, breathe and moved on to my journey.

I took the old trail going up which was a bit more challenging compared to the new one. It was a welcomed challenge, to feel the pain physically hoping that when that pain is gone the pain in my heart would be taken away with it. Assaults, ravines and cliffs stood before me, but with faith in my heart that I can survive I walked pass through them.

On my way to the summit I got acquainted with hikers taking the same trail. Two girls and a guy with a girl who’s of best of friends. They invited me to join them, they were a fun group and for a moment I forgot about my heartache as we traverse this seemingly infinite trail to the heavens.

The summit. My goal, the sanctuary that I am longing for is now here. I see the sea of green below me reminding me of how powerful My God is. I am silenced by its beauty and magnificence, so I just sat stare at his creation. I whispered a prayer talking to my God asking him to enlighten me and grant me a strong heart to get through this. The wind was blowing a gentle cool breeze as the sun was shining mightily making it bearable. It was a good hour of contemplation, reminiscing and thinking of what had been, could have been and should have been. It seemed like an hour was not enough, I wanted to stay longer but if I do I might put my self trekking in the dark.


The trek going down back was more scenic than the ascent, the peaks of the mountain bade us good bye as we take a step at a time. It was just beautiful to meditate and talk to God ask for strength and enlightenment on top of a mountain. It does make you feel closer to God not because you are closer to the heavens, it is because from there you’ll see the power and magnificence of God through his creations; A hug to my heart and a kiss on my head.

As I reach the foot of the mountain back to where I started, God has blessed me with new friends. My heart may not have healed instantaneously but I sure felt that Someone is there looking at me, making sure that each challenge that my heart faces is something that I can over come.

As I write this monologue my heart still has pain, still has a pinch that reminds me that I am alive. I know it may be long before I forget about the risks that I have taken, the sacrifice that I willingly gave but surely every time that I go up the mountains I will be embraced by His undying love for me.

 Mt. Batulao
Nasugbu, Batangas
811+ MASL
Jump-off point: Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu
LLA: 14.0408 N 120.8011 E 811 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-4 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 3 with 60-70 degrees assault
Features: Open trails, rolling slopes, scenic views of Batangas

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ian dela pena

iandelapena, the person behind the blog brownmantrips is a yuppie living in the metropolis who believes there is always something good to see everywhere in the world. This is his depository of travel memories for his not so good and maybe soon to fail memory, thus the travelogues in this blog.