Hiking matters #371: Pico de Loro dayhike

One week after our beautiful Maculot hike (Hiking matters #369), Sheena Halili and I organized another dayhike, this time of Pico de Loro. We were joined once again by Japs Grande and Koi Grey, as well as our Halcon buddy Daryl Comagon, Sheena’s colleagues Luis Alandy and Gwen Zamora, and my Los Banos kabayan, acclaimed travel blogger Journeying James. I am leaving for Europe today and I’m very happy that this hike pushed through, despite the threat of habagat which drenched the metropolis the previous days.

We rendezvoused in Naic, Cavite as it was the meeting point between the Metro Manila people who took CAVITEX, and those of us from Laguna who took Governor’s Drive from Carmona. We arrived at the DENR Station at 0845H, registered there (P25/person), and started trekking by 0900H. After a slow start, we hiked at a more upbeat but still relaxed pace, enjoying the forests along the way.

Arriving at the campsite where a second ‘registration’ used to be collected, the compromise I did was to make a donation to the people there since some of us used some of their facilities (benches, toilets). From there, we trekked through the gradual trails that pass through a couple of streams, before entering the dense forest. Luis lost no time in briskly assaulting the forested trails, accompanied by guide dog Manny.

We arrived at the saddle campsite at 1230H, taking a pseudo-lunch break to wait for the others, and we reached the summit at 1340H. Rains came and went, but fortunately, at the summit we were blessed with a clearing that allowed – even if for a short while – nice views of Parrot’s Peak towering above the clouds, overlooking the southern towns of Batangas and Cavite.

Fortunately we did not have to turn on our headlamps for by 1800H we were back at the DENR station. A very nice postclimb dinner at Lolo Claro’s in Maragondon ensued – I recommend this for everyone climbing Pico, Mt. Marami, or Mt. Buntis! Thank you, Sheena, for organizing this hike with me and I look forward to climbing with you again soon together with Japs, Glen, and Luis! To Koi, Daryl, and James, thanks for accompanying us in this dayhike! Hanggang sa muli!

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