As hiking and other outdoor activities get increasingly more popular, trails also get increasingly more crowded. For those looking for a decent day hike near Manila but not the huge crowds of twin “commercial mountains” Mt. Batulao and Mt. Pico de Loro, Mt. Talamitam should be on your Plan B list.
Philippine Day Hikes – Mt. Talamitam with Trail Adventours
Mt. Talamitam is located in Batangas, south of Manila. I hiked with Trail Adventours, and as one of the most professional hiking organizers in the country, they made sure we used private vehicles to get to our destination. Our group was larger than usual, at twenty people including guides.
After a trip just under three hours, we reached the jump-off point of Mt. Talamitam where our Lead Guide Hen Gorriceta expertly acquired us two local guides. He then gave us a short introduction to Trail Adventours, and handed out our personalized IDs – a nice touch, if you ask me. It was also an opportunity for us participants to get to know each other (especially since most who join day hikes are total strangers in the morning and good friends by afternoon!) Assistant Guide Emil Sagabaen then gave us reminders on the “Leave No Trace” principle. This briefing is something I know is missing from a lot of hiking organisers and it’s incredibly important for anyone who’s looking to spend time outdoors.
We then began the trek!
Mt. Talamitam features rolling trails, with slight elevation along the way. For anyone who works out regularly, this hike is literally a walk in the park. There are plenty of locals along the trails, and some of them are selling fresh coconut juice. There are also some farmlands, so be mindful of where you step; there could be a huge pile of cow dung on the trail!
The biggest challenge with Mt. Talamitam is the heat. The vast majority of the hike is composed of trails fully exposed to the heat of the sun. Near the summit, there is a short “assault section”, a steep part where you will really need to work your thighs! The summit isn’t that big, so expect quite a few people to be there. A tip for a good summit photo: take turns with people! Hikers are generally gracious and friendly, just as long as you don’t hog all the time on a photo shoot.
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