After throwing ourselves into to a last minute road trip last September 30 to October 1, 2011 as our alternative get away from our postponed Mt. Napuluaun Traverse I was not really intense in doing another hike a week thereafter. But I wanted to climb as many as I could before audit season hits so I signed myself in for Pico de Loro list inevitably.
To give me a better idea of the mountain that I am going to face, I checked it out the web before the climb. Pico de Loro or Parrot’s Peak is considered as the highest point within the boundary of Cavite and Batangas. It got its name from its contour that is similar to a giant parrot perched on the mountain.It is also perfect for first timers since it is considered minor with an elevation around 664 meters above sea level.
Considered as an easy trek and though it is doable for a dayhike our group opted to make it for two days, just perfect forpetiks mode. We were divided into two groups since some of the berks have their work related concerns. First group was composed of Takumi, JR, JM, Lanie,Billy, Rex and me while the second group who did the night trek were Nhan, Albert,Jann, Mes, Odhie and Riz.
First group meet up at 7-Eleven adjacent to SM Bacoor. Originally, we were set to be around 5:00am but it was really raining badly and so expect a massive latecomers like me ( hihihi ). We took a bus ride for P55.00 and after an hour we disembarked along to Ternate Highway.While JR took the lead in fare negotiations since drivers were really scouting it for P75.00, unreasonably high than that of P50.00 we know, we indulged ourselves into a quick breakfast in a nearbycarinderia, getting ready for the trek ahead.
We then took a 15-20 minutes tricycle ride for P65.00 per head and disembarked again at DENR outpost. We then registered for P20.00 per head and after a quick picture taking and few last minute checks we started our ascent.It was a good a start, the weather’s not too hot and is not raining, just almost humid. Thankfully Pico do not shelter ground leeches, as rain and limatiks don’t make a great combo, I’ll tell you.
It was less than an hour trek before we reach camp 1 wherein we then pay another P20.00 registration fee inclusive of free use of toilets, benches w/ cottage that we accommodate during our lunch and running water for refills and cooking. After more than an hour rest, refreshed and energized we went back to the trail.
The contour of the trail and the steep incline as we go along was new to me but it spells the adventure I’d never expected for a minor climb like Pico. We were also welcomed by mud-covered trail and almost always drizzling weather. And mind you, it rained hard the day before and that morning so the trail gets muddier, steeper and unfriendly. I can’t remember how many times I was about to slipped and have to endure the mud all the way through.
Nonetheless, it was a fun-filled climb even though we got lost at the last leg of our ascent. Getting lost was inevitable because of some changes evident from previous storms. We backtracked and found the right trail and it was past 3:00 pm when we finally reached Camp 2. It was foggy and no good views for cameras to take. The weather also suggested an incoming downpour so we readily pitched our tents. Some of the group took a nap after, while me and others huddled ourselves in a circle. It was a soiree of sorts, and as usual we made fun by simply talking about anything, from S’ Takumi’s creepy experience in Mt. Tarak Ridge to just something that cracked out of the moment while waiting for the second group.
Few hours passed and darkness has enveloped the whole camp and intermittent rain showers were already evident when we decided to have our dinner. Good thing we have packed rice pre-cooked at camp 1. Thanks for the great minds of Sir Takumi and Sir JR, we were just relieved from the idea of waiting until past 9:00 pm for dinner ( wala kameng stove, hehehe ).
Yes, it was 9:30 pm when the second group arrived, bringing along with them their own story of being lost on the trail. I couldn’t help but smile for having shared the same experience. And what’s even truly special that night except that everyone made it safe plus two first met SMBerks namely Dean and Tong ( aka aintnomountainhighenough in the forum ), was of course everyone got a fill of Mes’ spaghetti. First time, I have eaten a good meal at the top of the mountain and I couldn’t agree more when everyone said it’s delicious. Because it was!
We capped off the night with GSM Blue and never ending tales to tell during socials that have been extra fun with Jann and Mes as they share their phenomenal story. I didn’t know what time the rest called it a night, the cold has already taken its toll on my skinny frame so I went ahead. It was a raining socials. Nevertheless, it was as FUN.
After our breakfast we made the last leg of the climb, which is going to the summit. We started as JR took the lead and the rest followed seemingly forming a line.
The assault wasn’t that difficult, but need to be more cautious since only low-leveled grass are the ones one could hang on to when going up. And after 15-20 minutes, we were welcomed with another beauty of God’s masterpiece.
Truly, Pico promised a spectacular 360 degree view of adjoining mountains, indented coves and beaches and mountain ranges.
And who will not be fascinated by famous rocky outcrop (tower for some)? This formation calls my human quest for total adventure yet the team agreed beforehand that it isn’t part of our itinerary. We are not yet braced with proper equipment and it might be too risky if pursued.
We just satisfy our hunger from postponed Napulauan Traverse by staying at more than thirty minutes at the top, pictures after pictures, plank after plank, and pose after pose. We were all like models wannabe trying to get our angle for a good bragging pose. As we went down I gave a last hungry look at the daring outcrop. Looking back at it, I know I got an unfinished business here, enough reason to go back. And definitely, I will.
Going down was one heck of giving in to child-like whims and caprices. Why? Singing along the trail and reaching for Mariah’s Through the Rain and Regine’s Tuwing Umuulan, we were like shooting a music video with real rain as background ( NaLSS tuloy si Dean at Tong ). We did some more of a kiddo when Rex and I played habulan along the trail ( san ka pa, feeling lang namen nasa patag kame ), reminiscent of kids who didn’t mind of any, just playing. And I can’t help laughing when he partly bullied those guys we met along for the purpose of finding our soulmates, hahaha.I remember the guy named Darwin, what a cutie!
We also have good times in the falls. The continuous water from above was definitely a sight and seems inviting. The sporadic miniscule amount of fallen water that slightly slaps my face was hard to resist and so with the team who hadn’t planned of taking a dip but gave in. And who wouldn’t give an infectious grin when Rex did a temptation island pose ( Gardo, ikaw ba yan? ) at the rock. Everyone really enjoyed which was evident with the pleasure seen on each faces. Another first I got, this was my first taste of a real falls ever. Hey, haven’t I just enumerated lots of firsts? We were flooding with firsts. Two-thumbs up!
It rained totally just as exactly when we were back at the trail like it congratulates us for such a great climb. And what a great climb indeed!