Ternate, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas
Major jump-off: DENR Station, Magnetic Hill, Ternate, Cavite
Minor jump-off: Sitio Fronda, Brgy. Papaya, 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
A storm was brewing that weekend, but we still pushed through with the planned hike to reach Pico de Loro then to be followed by a traverse to Nasugbu Batangas. The weather was really fine that day and it was also the team’s preparation climb for the upcoming Mt. Cristobal major climb at Dolores, Quezon the following week.
All Is Well
We met up at the Coastal Mall bus station and catched a bus en route to Maragondon, Cavite. The trip took almost an hour and a half until we reached the place, then hailed a tricycle to take us at the the DENR Ternate jump-off. All is well, we said, the weather was as good as it gets, and we are on high hopes that it will continue that way. The trip took another 30 minutes.
Walk. Walk. Walk.
Last preparations were made after securing our permit and logging in our names and we started the trek. The first part of the hike was a dry river trail before reaching the forested area of the trail. It was a pleasant hike: diverse flora that provides covering, and bird songs were heard throughout the hike.
After almost an hour of hike, we reached the campsite with scattered bamboo trees all around. We proceeded to the view point of the mountain before the final assault at the highest peak of Mt. Palay-Palay at 664 meters above sea level.
The Formidable Monolith
So we continued with the steeper ascent to the summit, we passed by the grotto with its steep cliff.
More commonly called Pico De Loro, a distinctive spire at the summit of Mt. Palay-Palay. It got its name from the spanish colonizers who saw this prominent feature as they reach the country aboard their galleons and from afar resembles the beak of a Parrot, and thus, Pico De Loro. There was no clearing that time, not a good time for a monolith photo. But all is well, we will still scale it.
It Gets Better
A descent from the top is necessary to reach the foot of the rock spire.
To reach the top of the rock, you will encircle it from the back, a rock face is the first part wherein you have to pass a rope segment, a little scrambling, and you are on top of the world.
And finally, on top of it. No clearing but winds surging past you and rain drizzles make this a lot more exciting.
Post Climb Binge
Then the weather started to be quite unforgiving while we were on top, battering winds and rain. So we then decided to proceed with the traverse before we got all soaked up. Then the traverse came, it was a slide fest all along. Rain was pouring all the way down that made the descent a little bit more challenging, what we really need before setting foot at the devil’s mountain. Upon reaching the Brgy. Papaya jump-off at Nasugbu, Batangas, we rode a tricycle to the town proper, tidied up and had a good post climb dinner at the Tagaytay twin lakes.
We had a good sample of Murphy’s Law that day, that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But all is well.
Itinerary & Expenses
Mt. Palay-Palay/ Pico De Loro
0500 – Take bus to Ternate, Rizal at Coastal Mall Terminal (90php/pax)
0730 – ETA Ternate. Take tricycle to jumpoff (80php/pax)
0800 – Arrival DENR jump-off point, Register (25php/pax)
0800 – Start trek
0945 – ETA campsite
1000 – ETA summit.
1030 – Scale Monolith
1200 – Start descent to Nasugbu-Ternate Highway
1345 – ETA Nasugbu-Ternate Highway, Brgy. Papaya Jump-off, take tricycle to Nasugbu (150php/pax)
1430 – ETA Nasugbu, tidy up, take bus bound to Tagaytay (40php/pax)
1530 – Post Climb Meal, Twin Lakes, Tagaytay (95php/pax)
2100 – ETA Cubao
Guide and Fees : 25php/pax, no guides were hired but if you want to hire one: 1000php/10pax back trail, 1500php/10pax Traverse
Total Damage: 880php – 1200php safe budget
“Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Go, Carve that Niche,