Where to start? Where to start?
I really don’t know where to start. I am still stunned and captured by the astonishing view up way there at Mt. Palay-Palay which is famous for its name Mt. Pico De Loro. It is my first hike actually.
Well, let’s know some Mountain Facts first.
Mt. Pico De Loro Facts
Spanish sea-farers saw an enormous rock formation that resembles the shape of a giant parrot’s beak situated at the forested mountains in Cavite and they named it Pico De Loro.
Mt. Pico De Loro is considered as the highest peak in the Province of Cavite at 664 MASL.
There is a rock formation beside the Parrot’s Beak which is called as the Monolith (monos = single; lithos = stone).
According to the villagers, the Parrot’s Beak is part of Cavite while the Monolith is part of Batangas. These serves as the borderline of the said provinces. It is also commonly used as a signal by sea-farers to turn east to get to Manila bay.
Jump Off Point at DENR Station
We arrived at DENR Station at exactly 6:00 in the morning. It’s still cold and a lil bit foggy. Our group is composed of 5 persons; tito Ramir, (tita) Risa, John Rae (our brother in faith & our official photographer), King and I.
DENR Station is the major jump off point if you’re going to hike from Cavite. DENR regulates Pico De Loro, sila mismo nagset ng rules for the hikers. Overnight is not allowed anymore. They accept visitors from 4:00am until 3:00pm only. The old trail is now closed because it is now private. They said that the mountain is a minor climb with a difficulty of 3/9.
There is a parking fee costs PHP 50.00 for the hikers who bring their private vehicles. Registration fee is a must and it costs PHP 25.00. You have the opt to hire a tour guide or not. The costs of the tour guide is based on your own charm in making negotiations. But please, wag nyo masyadong baratin. Naghahanap buhay lang din sila and they are willing to risk their lives just to protect you. We also buy a trekking pole which costs PHP 10.00 only. Magagamit daw namin yun sobra.
Transcending to Mt. Pico De Loro
It is still foggy and dark when we start our way to the summit. Medyo na-ambon-ambon din that time, maybe because of the fog.
We asked the tour guide if mga ilang oras na lakarin ang mangyayari. And he said, we can reach the campsite in just 2 hours pero yung 1.5 hours dun, walang tigil na lakaran, akyatan at baba. Our first hour was easy. Enjoy-enjoy lang, kwentuhan, parang naglalakad ka lang sa forest.
Sobrang laki nya.
Pero nung na-encounter na namin yung mga 80 degrees slopes & some huge logs. Medyo nagstart na yung challenge.
Picture sa taas, Picture sa baba
And as the .5 hours goes passing by, I’m telling jokes that we should get down na habang maaga pa. But to tell you the truth, I’m kinda exhausted. Habang paakyat kame ng paakyat, nararamdaman kong kailangan ko ng maraming oxygen at gatorade. I need to breathe and have the mind set of “Kakayanin ko to.”
Clear, Cold water streams are available.
We have a long, long, long way pa. I couldn’t tell or imagine if we’re getting closer. Almost 1 hour na kame naglalakad and needed to freshen up. We were surrounded by huge, thick trees kaya di mo masabi kung nasan ka na tapos anjan pa rin yung fog. Medyo pakonti-konti lang magpicture kase focus ma-reach ang campsite. Yung pag-akyat namin sa rope segments, di na napicturan. I guess, pare-pareho ata kame nashock sa maaga nyang pagsalubong sa amin.
Ang bobochog nung anay na itim.
There are some moments na naiiwan kame behind and it is all because of me. Hingal to the nth power! Laklak ng gatorade!
Akyat pa more!
Dito ko sobrang na challenge sarili ko. Di biro umakyat ng bundok. Kailangan mo magtiyaga, magpakahirap at magtiis para makamit mo yung tagumpay. Tapos bawasan ang katangahan para hindi nauuntog sa mga puno na mababa.
At the Camp site
Miraculously, as I checked the time, it’s 8:00 am and we are at the campsite na. Foggy pa din and sabi nila, medyo delikado daw umakyat sa summit and monolith if di mawawala yung fog. So, kame… Sana mawala yung fog. Tapos hugot ni Risa, mahalin mo kase para mawala. Oh diba?
Sabi ni kuya Edwin, our tour guide, maaga pa naman. Magki-clearing pa naman daw. Tapos sabi pa nya, kapag sa summit mahangin, kalmado lang sa monolith, pero kapag walang hangin sa summit, sa monolith malakas ang hangin. Bigayan daw yung dalwa.
Pag-alis nung fog, eto ang bumungad sa amin.
View of the Parrot’s Beak from the camp site
And the view was worth the climb. But wait. There’s more. We still have to climb that summit and the monolith.
Trekking to the Parrot’s Beak
As I said earlier, it is the highest point of the mountain. Ayun po yung parang tuka ng loro sa taas, the Pico De Loro itself. We didn’t get some photo ops all the way up there.
Ibayong pag-iingat kasi ang kailangan because of the type of the soil. It is the type of a soil na dry, mabuhangin, madulas…
Isang maling tapak mo and swooooosh! Pupulutin ka sa baba. You need to grasp sa dry ground and sa bamboos na nandun. Good thing, andun si kuya Edwin para sabihin kung san kame tatapak but you really need to help yourself.
It is truly magnificent standing on the Parrot’s Beak. Mapapasigaw ka ng AMAZING! Up there, you will see the overview of the province of Cavite & Batangas.
Yung kasama mo si Forever mo, tapos sabay nyo titingnan yung bato na Forever Alone at mangangakong kailanman hindi kayo matutulad sa batong yun. Char lang!
Ka-Lakbay (Kapatid ko, Kalakbay ko)
Our group are waiting for our turn to climb the Monolith. Hinihintay namin na bumaba yung mga nandun. Photo ops muna.
View of the Monolith on top of the Parrot’s Beak
Pre-Nuptial daw! hahaha
From the Parrot’s Beak pa rin, kapag tumingin ka sa kanan mo. You will see many Islands. Islands of Bataan, Corregidor Island, Fortune Island. Then biglang sabi nung guide namin. Nakikita nyo yung butiki? Then tinuro nya samin.
You will see over there yung Crocodile Island. Mukha talaga syang crocodile in fairness.
Hoping for more adventures with you… Salamat sa pagsakay sa trip ng girlfriend mo.
Never underestimate the Monolith
Game! Babaan na ng Parrot’s beak. Aakyat na ng Monolith. Steep pa rin yung daan. Hawak pa rin ng matinde.
Monolith Up Close!
INTENSE! Nakakaba! We’re gonna climb that rock! Lakas ng loob ang kailangan. Tito Ramir is cheering for me. Kakayanin yan ni zel! And me, I’m telling my mind, Ama, samahan nyo po kame, medyo natatakot na ko. Medyo hintay pa din kame sa baba ng Monolith kase may nababa pa.
Finding Inner Peace
I have no doubt in myself if I could do it. Cause I know if I’m not gonna do it, I will regret not climbing the Monolith. Lets say, ano lang. Ahm… Natatakot lang ako. Lalo na nung naghihiyawan yung mga pababa na hikers din. Yung masasabi mo sa sarili mo, Hala! Bakit sila nagsisigawan. Nakakatakot ata.
At nung nakababa na sila, mukhang tropahan din sila. Siguro kanya-kanyang kantyawan kaya mga napapasigaw. Nakakatuwa lang kasi nung makita ka nila. Pati sila nagchicheer sayo na, Go ate! Kakayanin nyo yan! Ingat lang po! Totoo ngang makakakilala ka din ng mga mabuting kakilala sa daan mo tungo sa rurok ng tagumpay. Nakaka-enlighten lang ng feeling.
OKAY! It’s our turn to shine! Iyakan na este akyatan na! I have to live my things behind para magaan sa pag-akyat. Good thing, I have a small bag. Dun ko nilagay yung important things tapos yung isa kong bag na puro pagkain lang naman laman, yun yung iniwan ko sa baba ng Monolith.
Take Note: You’ll climb the 90 degrees rock without any harness. You just have to hold on tight sa rope. Hindi ka masasalo ng guide nyo. All he can do is to make commands on where you should set your foot on your way up there and tell you to never ever look down.
And yes! Achievement Unlocked! But just so you know, hindi yan parang video game na kapag nalaglag ka, makakabalik ka sa checkpoint mo. Kaya INGAT MABUTI.
We can now celebrate! We do conquer the Parrot’s Beak and the Monolith!
And there’s Kuya Edwin (the one in dark long sleeves)
Behind is the Parrot’s Beak
Lahat ng kaba at takot ko, napalitan ng joy, excitement and amazement on top of the Monolith. It was totally worth the climb! Awesomeness overload!
I can’t really describe the feeling!
Buwis buhay shots!
We stay on top for about 15-20 minutes, take time to appreciate the view, and realized that we already did it! Selfie everywhere!
Kung may Daddy-Long-Legs, sya si Uncle-Long-Legs… (Tawa kayo dali!)
My dearest Uncle & Auntie
And the greatest matanglawin photographer (hahaha thumbs up!)
Ang alalay/hugutan ng lakas ko…
Our tour guide give us a tip that we could go to a near beach and freshen our bodies there. So there, we started to go down the Monolith. Sisiw na lang! Para ka na lang nagrarappelling pababa. Joke! Take extra precautions pa rin.
See you sa baba!
Exactly 12 noon, we eat our packed lunch. Take a little rest. Then after one hour rest, we started to descend. Kuya Edwin said, that it’ll be 45 minutes lakaran na lang pababa.
But as I checked the time, 2:30 pm na ata kami nakababa. And its because of me pa rin. Sa pababa ako nakaramdam ng sobrang muscle cramps. Pero sabi naman nila, not bad for a newbie to trek like that.
Thanks to Kuya Edwin! Saludo ako sa kanya. Bundok ang sinusuong nya, kumita lang para sa kanyang pamilya. Sobrang napakabait nyang tao. Marami syang kwento. Tapos mahilig magsoundtrip sa daan na nakatulong para gumaan pakiramdam namin. Isa din sya sa mga nagboost ng lakas ng loob ko sa tuwing sasabihin nyang, Kaya yan ni maam, relax na relax yan oh! So I will recommend to you this guy.
Climbing this mountain is very challenging as well as exciting. It’ll be a victory for you to climb this mountain
Katungkulan Beach (Side trip)
So there’s this beach that you can go to make you feel refresh. They call it Boracay De Cavite. It is a Marine Base and protected by the Philippine Marine Corps.
There’s an entrance fee of PHP 100.00 and if you’re planning to make an overnight, the fee is PHP 200.00. You have an option if you’ll take a cottage or you want to stay under the shades of trees. We took the latter part.
By the beach
We want to get over there, but don’t know how.
Love and Respect Mother Earth
Always remember the Leave No Trace Principle.
- Take nothing but pictures
- Leave nothing but footprints
- Keep nothing but memories
Getting to Mt. Pico De Loro
By Private Vehicle:
Take CAVITEX Expressway until Kawit Exit from North or if you are from South, take Carmona Exit. Drive all the way down to Ternate. Take the main road all through DENR Station of Mt. Pico De Loro. There is a 50 pesos parking fee.
By Public Transportation:
Take a bus bound to Maragondon/Ternate Cavite, there’s a bus terminal at Coastal Mall, Parañaque or Alabang South Station. Fare is 82-85 pesos. Get off to the town proper. Hire a tricycle to take you to DENR Station. Our tour guide said that you can make deals with tricycle drivers to take you to DENR Station for 85 pesos only.
5:00 ETD Leave by Bus bound to Maragondon, Cavite.
6:30 ETA Arrival and breakfast for 30 minutes. Eateries are open in the tricycle terminal.
7:00 Hire a tricycle to take you to DENR Office for registration.
7:45 ETA DENR Office for Registration. Registration Fee (Php 25.00).
8:00 Start Trek
10:00 ETA Saddle Campsite
11:45 ETA Summit, Lunch, Photo Op, Scaling the Rock Monolith
13:00 Start descent, backtrack to DENR Station.
15:30 ETA to DENR Station forwash up.
16:30 Take tricycle back to Ternate then take bus back to Manila.
20:00 ETA Manila.
Option 2: Traverse to Nasugbu, Batangas
13:00 Start descent to Nasugbu-Ternate Highway
16:00 ETA Nasugbu-Ternate Highway, Options to take early dinner, hire tricycle to Nasugbu-Manila bus terminal or hire Tricycle to pass the Kaybiang Tunnel back to DENR Ternate for wash up.
19:00 If from DENR, hire tricycle back to Maragondon Bus terminal
19:30 Last bus trip to Manila leaves at 7:30 PM
Php 200.00 Tricycle fare from Maragondon to DENR Station in Ternate, Cavite. Fare can be shared from 3 up to 4 passengers. This is a fix fare, try to negotiate.
Php 25.00 DENR Registration Fee
Try to negotiate.
Php 80.00 Bus ticket fare to Coastal Mall, Parañaque