By: Darwin Fernandez | Touchdown Express
Located in Cuenca, Batangas, Mt. Maculot is this giant of a mountain that welcomes those who are new to the climbing experience. The beauty of the scenery, the difficulty experienced for every new climber, the calmness of the air, the pressure from underneath its vegetation, its mere size of green and brown, nothing too intimidating that a rookie mountaineer can’t handle.
Setting foot as a Mountaineer’s Store in Brgy. 7 “Siete”, Cuenca you’d be welcomed by people with that very probinsya-feel and that smooth Batangenyo accent that’s so fun to listen to. You’d want to stay in the place a little longer bearing witness to the simplicity of their living, far from the gasoline-fueled lifestyle of Metro Manila, though just a 5-hour bus ride from the metro, the place is a truly rural area with just a comfortable amount of modern city.
The mountain itself is as kind as its people, with a steepness that is challenging but is a climb offered to those who are just getting to know the hobby of mountain climbing; filled with rocks, mud, dirt, vegetation, and an ascending trail that is the perfect fit for those who are just fantasizing about what it would be like to climb a mountain; tiring, painful, dirty and in the end, extremely satisfying.
To sum up in numbers, the trail to its campsite and the instagramable area referred to as The Rockies is approximately 706 Meters Above Sea Level (MASL), while for experienced climbers who are in for the challenge, the summit is 930 MASL.
Nothing anyone can’t handle. As long as you’re with their guides– who are commendably equipped with first aid gear– it would only take a day to trek in about 1 to 2 hours to the Rockies, and 2 to 4 hours when headed for the highest point.
Ranked by Pinoy Mountaineer with a Minor Difficulty and a 3 out of 9 ratings, it’s perfect for a mother-nature centered barkada outing.
The locals are very protective of the mountain however, it’s far from a true virgin mountain. Trash is visible along the trail and an organization seemed to think they did the mountain a great favor by putting up placards along the trail but it only added to the pollution of its environment.
The mountain has potential with its amazing view of the Taal lake and the area of Batangas, it just needs a stricter system, and guidance from experts to maintain the beauty of its form as well as preserving its natural appeal.