Reaching Heights: Mt. Pico de Loro

Growing up in a rural area, I can consider mysef as an automatic environment lover. I have always loved greens and how the blue sky contrasts with it amidst the browns, reds, pinks and yellows exuded by the natural hues of the fields in the countryside. Though city lights relax me, the power of nature is much stronger whether it be the beach or the forest.IMG_9079 (2)

This year, I commit myself to be more adventurous and try more exciting stuff (read: going beyond my comfort zone) and this is me doing it. Together with my two trusty girlfriends, we conquered one of the nicest summits in the Philippines – Mount Pico de Loro.

Mount Pico de Loro is a dormant volcano in Cavite province on the island of Luzon,Philippines. The mountain rises to an elevation of 664 m (2,178 ft) above mean sea level and is one of the ancient volcanic features of Bataan Arc. Although the major jump-off of the mountain is at Ternate, most of its area is under Maragondon. Its summit is shared among the boundary of both the province of Cavite and Batangas. It is the most notable mountain at Mounts Palay-Palay–Mataas-na-Gulod Protected Landscape and is considered as one of the two prominent mountains of the protected landscape together with Mount Marami. It features a monolith or a natural 60-meter rock column beside its summit which is the major attraction of the mountain.

A bit of a trivia: Pico de Loro was first named by Spanish sea-farers which means “Parrot’s Beak” as its pointed summit resembles the shape of a parrot’s beak from afar and it is commonly used as a signal by sea-farers to turn east to get to Manila Bay.

Thanks Wikipedia for this info.

The trail is relatively easy and is fitted for semi-beginners like us. We did not commision a guide from the foot of the mountain to the camp site. We did however get one climbing up the monolith. We wanted to hike up the Beak but time did not permit us.

Below is a collection of photos of the things that I found interesting. I used my 50mm and US zoom lenses in taking them. IMG_8983 (2)IMG_8987 (2) IMG_9010 IMG_9011 (2) IMG_9012 (2) IMG_9013 IMG_9025 (2) IMG_9026 (2) IMG_9028 (2) IMG_9029 (2) IMG_9036 (2) IMG_9037 (2) IMG_9050 (2) IMG_9054 (2)  IMG_9087 (2)IMG_9168 (2)

IMG_9194 (2) IMG_9201 (2) IMG_9204 (2) IMG_9206 (2)  IMG_9207IMG_9195

IMG_9095 (2)

IMG_9172 (2)

It was a total of more or less 4 hours of trek with log barriers and steep trails but as you can see, the scenes are all worth it. We were afraid when we went up the Monolith because the land was made of rock and there’s not much to hold on to but boy the fulfillment of reaching the top was unexplainable. The feel of the wind embracing me was liberating all my troubles seemed to have flown away from me.

It is a bonus too that you’ll get to meet friendly co-wanderers that are always ready to give a helping hand or a friendly chat to light up the mood when the hike gets a little nasty. I’m falling in love with the community and the culture actually and this is for sure just the beginning of my journey with the mountains. We’re on to our next hike!

To find out more about Pico de Loro Hike, please refer to the following blog which helped us a lot when we were planning this trip: http://www.pinoymountaineer.com.

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