Jump-off point: Brgy. Poblaction, Cuenca
LLA: 13°55’15″N; 121°2’30″E; 706 MASL
Days required / Hours to Rockies: Half day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-3
The new elevation of 706 MASL reflects the consensus of GPS and altimetry measurements at the Rockies. The “Special Concerns” section was expanded to include information on transportation and logistics. Since the Rockies seem to be in a relative state of cleanliness, Mt. Maculot has been removed as a mountain of environmental concern. Finally, the blogger’s recent Maculot climbs have been linked to this main page.
Mt. Maculot is one of the most popular daytrip destinations. It is so popular that on weekends and summer months, there is a sari-sari store at the campsite. This mountain, at the heart of Batangas, is known as a landmark for locals and travellers alike; it is easily identifiable because of its abruptly terminating east side – forming a cliff that is challenging for rock climbers and breathtaking to everybody else. Others describe the shape of the mountain as ‘igloo-like’.
At 830 MASL, the mountain has three destinations: the grotto, the peak and the rockies (706 MASL). These can all be covered by a traverse dayhike. Most climbers head to the Rockies. This rocky formation stands beside Taal Lake, creating a scenic view, encompassing the whole of Taal Lake including the world-famous Taal volcano; as well the plains of Batangas. From a distance looms, on opposite sides, Mt. Makiling and the Tagaytay Highlands. If you follow Batangas Bay to the South you can see Maricaban Island, and beyond that, Mindoro’s Mt. Halcon. The climbing time is variable; experienced climbers can reach the Rockies in a matter of two hours. From the Rockies, one can continue to the peak (830 MASL) or the Grotto on the other side of the mountain. You can also do the traverse vice-versa, starting off at the Grotto and ending at the Rockies. The Grotto area is grassy, but it then the trail becomes forested until it reaches the summit – and down. Either way, the trails are steep but Maculot is one mountain where you can stay the visual rewards are really worth the effort.
0400 Board Lemery-bound bus from Buendia or Cubao (~P130)
0700 ETA Cuenca Municipal Hall. Either walk or take trike to jump-off
0800 ETA jump-off point, start traverse.
0915 ETA Grotto, take pictures
0930 Set out for the Peak via Forested Trail
1200 ETA Summit. Lunch.
1230 start descent to shoulder Campsite and Rockies
1430 ETA Rockies; Take Pictures
1500 ETA Start descent to Mountaineer’s store
1620 ETA Mountaineer’s store; Tidy up then head back to the highway for Manila-bound bus
0600 Board Lemery-bound bus from Buendia or Cubao (~P130)
0900 ETA Cuenca Muncipal Hall. Walk or take trike to jump-off. Pay P10 registration fee.
0930 Start trek
1115 Arrive at campsite, head to Rockies
1130 At Rockies; take pictures
1200 Return to campsite for lunch
1230 Start descent
1400 Back at jump-off; tidy up then head back to the highway from Manila-bound bus.
To get to Cuenca from Manila, you can take a Lemery-bound bus from bus terminals in Cubao (MRT3: Cubao; LRT2: Cubao) or Buendia (LRT1: Gil Puyat). Travel time is about 2.5 hours. Alternatively, one can take a bus to Lipa, also from Cubao or Gil Puyat, then take a jeepney to Cuenca (P24). Ask the bus or jeep to drop you off at Poblacion (town center) along the highway. From there, you can either walk to the jumpoff or take a tricycle. The tricycle will detour you to the Barangay Outpost where you can register, get their contact number for security purposes, and pay a nominal fee (P10~20).
You can ask the Barangay Outpost for guides; sometimes, the barangay kagawads themselves offer their services.
There are no permits required in Maculot and it is generally safe, even for beginners. During April weekends, however, there may be too many climbers. The Rockies is quite small and can only accommodate around 30. Although it takes less than 10 minute, the trail from the campsite to the Rockies is very steep. Beginners must be assisted during this leg of the trip.
***Extracted from Relax Extremely Daring Mountaineers Archives
- Mt Daguldol Day Hike (manonglakwatsero.wordpress.com)