MT. BATOLUSONG (MAPATAG & SUSONG DALAGA)
Major jumpoff: Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal*
LLA: 645 MASL / 780 MASL
Days required / Hours to destination: 1 day /1.5h (Mapatag); 3-4 (Susong Dalaga Peak)
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Grassland slopes, views of Laguna, Rizal, and Quezon
The thing with night treks is that you won’t be able to see what lies ahead of you, for it is dark, but as the easy morning dawns on you the following day, you’ll see with new, better eyes.
For the Night is Dark and Full of Frogs
It was really late in the afternoon when we arrived in Cubao to catch the Cogeo bound jeeps. Though the jeepney ride was all good, one can still opt to take the UV express vans which is way more faster. Light rains welcomed us as we arrived at Cogeo Gate 2 after almost an hour of travel. We made some final supply run for our dinner before we got to the Mall of Antipolo which is on the right side after passing Jollibee. Arriving at the far end of the Mall is where Sampaloc bound jeeps are located, last trip is usually at 7pm.
Almost an hour of jeepney ride along the winding roads of Tanay before we alighted at the Batangasan/San Andres Arch. From here we took another tricycle ride going to Brgy. San Andres Tourism, the ride took 15mins. Upon arrival we were received by Kuya Derek, the tourism officer, we paid for the corresponding fees and met with our guide and off we go.
The trek started by 8:15pm, we initially passed by the San Andres community before we hit the rice fields. Frogs were everywhere and be careful not to step on them by chance since it is dark. But the highlight of the walk is the lone tree at the center of the paddy that is flocked by fireflies, the tree is in ever glow and it was really uhm ..magical (it really is).
After 30 minutes we arrived at the first water source and is also where the incline of the mountain increases. The trek was only gradual and again took us another 15minutes before we arrived at the last water source, it was all foggy up in there. The last assault will only be 5 minutes before we reached the Duhatan Ridge campsite. What surprised us is that the sea of clouds is now present and is just waiting for the sun to touch its billowing sea of cotton.
We set up our camp and prepared our dinner before we called it a night.
We woke up real early just to catch the milky way but to no avail, the moon was beaming high up in the horizon that the band was not visible. We had our campsite to ourselves so we had an early morning coffee and the clouds are now thicker and flowing than ever.
We had been to Mt. Pulag just last week but we failed to witness the sea of clouds at the rooftop of Luzon, but who knows that you don’t really have to go far enough just to witness such a phenomenon when all along Rizal province has it all for you.
Islands in the Sky
Around 6:20am we started our trek to the Rangyas Peak, we reached the Mapatag Plateau by 6:55am and the clouds were like the sea, and the once mountain tops became islands floating in this sea of flowing white.
Batolusong came from two words, “Bato” and “Lusong”, back in the days the mountain is called Batonglusong because of the presence of a rock formation near the river that resembles that of a stone rice mortar.
After a little rest at the Mapatag Plateau we then continued at the Rangyas Peak. And we were back at our campsite by 7:30am.
We descended back after breaking camp and did a little sidetrip at an underwater cave called the Sangab Cave that is around 20mins from the jump-off.
We got back at the tourism hut by 9:00am and prepared for our next mountain. The Mt. Paliparan Circuit.
Budget and Itinerary:
Mt. Batolusong/Duhatan Ridge/Mapatag Plateau/Rangyas Peak – Overnight Camp
1735 – Cubao take jeep/fx bound to Cogeo Gate 2 (26php(jeep)/46php(fx)- per pax)
1835 – Arrival at Cogeo Gate 2, supply run, take jeep bound to Sampaloc (42php/pax – terminal located at Mall of Antipolo)
1900 – ETD to Sampaloc
1945 – Alight at Batangasan (Brgy. San Andres Arch), take tricycle to Batolusong Tourism (120-100php per trip/3-5pax)
2000 – Register, secure guide
●500php – dayhike, 1250php – overnight
●20php – duhatan ridge + 20php – rangyas peak
2015 – Start trek
2045 – 1st water source
2100 – 2nd water source
2115 – Arrival at Duhatan Ridge
0330 – Wake up, Catch Milky Way, Sea of Clouds, Sunrise
0620 – Start trek to Rangyas Peak
0640 – Tibag
0655 – Mapatag Plateau
0705 – Arrival at Rangyas Peak
0730 – Back at Duhatan Ridge
0750 – Campout, start descent
0847 – Arrival Sangab Cave
0900 – San Andres Tourism Office
0930 – Take tricycle back to Highway
– Alternately take tricycle to Brgy. Cuyambay if it will be twihiked with Mt. Paliparan on Day 02(200php/trip)
Budget for 3pax:
Total Damage: 656php/pax (safe budget: 800php/pax)
• San Andres Tourism Officer – Sir Derek ( +639360100628)
• Tourism is open 24/7, guide is mandatory.
• Guides are available at the tourism hut, you can not get a specific person to guide you since they are queued.
• For more info you can also contact our guide Kuya Lito Aran (+639360100042)
• Cogeo bound jeeps pass by every 30mins, and one can try Pico De Pino’s Lomi and many more.
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley
Go, carve that niche,