Trekking up both Talamitam and Batulao is not really a big deal, many people do it and some even add up Pico de Loro to make a ‘Nasugbu Trilogy’. Personally, though, my concern is making the most of my time and when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to go for a Talamitam-Batulao dayhike today.
I was joined by my longtime hiking pal Jan Pambid and his friends Jason, Christian, and Jennifer. Also with me was Javier Cang, a college student from Ateneo. We rendezvoused in Tagaytay Crossing, then convoyed towards Sitio Kayrilaw – the usual jumpoff for Mt. Talamitam. We started trekking at 1010H.
The trail – or shall I say trails – of Talamitam is notorious for being confusing, but the most of them actually end up on a plateau on which the peak of Talamitam stands; in this plateau, you can actually see the outline of the trail and using it for orientation. On the other hand, behind you would be the span of Mt. Batulao – this is the reference point for the return trip, which can also be quite confusing.
Anyway, by 1057H we were confronted with the peak of Talamitam, which we assaulted briskly – fortunately the heat of the sun wasn’t as overpowering as I remembered it to be, the last time I climbed Talamitam. We reached the summit by 1115H, 65 minutes after we started trekking. The views were nice – of Batulao on one side, and of Pico on the other. Between them, the plains of Nasugbu, and beyond, the seas.
On the way back, we decided to take a different route, which is actually more straightforward, less muddy, has nice views of Talamitam River, and exits directly to the highway just a kilometer past the usual trailhead. The descent took less than 40 minutes. After some buco juice, we set out to Evercrest for our next destination, Batulao.
Some people might wonder about the situation in Talamitam regarding the dispute between Nick Wijangco and the locals. I didn’t get to talk to Sir Nick this time but I think Talamitam is in better shape right now, with cleaner and greener trails (the locals even encourage hikers to bring seedlings and plant them in the mountain – we took some and planted them – and I think this is a good idea). Plus, it is much less crowded than neighboring Batulao, where we continued our day’s adventure (See Hiking matters #194).