The Philippines! Mt. Batulao part 3: the Squeeze

The original plan was that we would spend the afternoon at the peak and my companions would descend back before dark and leave me to camp alone overnight. But because of our little side-trip to the old lady’s house earlier, there was only half an hour’s worth of daylight left by the time we arrived.

After pitching my small tent, we stared at it for a long time. Though no one made any comments on the subject, we all knew there was no way on earth we were going to fit in there. By tacit agreement, we did not bother to find out and just went wandering around the vicinity, checking what stuff was available in the store nearby (liquor, soda, noodles, junk-food ..) and lounged around checking the surrounding scenery.

Our campsite was right beside a hill. I climbed it and sat on a rock at the summit transfixed at the western horizon where the sun was putting on a show. The sky was so red, it had made the whole landscape blush. Nothing was spared from its cosmic paintbrush.  Clouds, whole fields, whole mountainsides, tents, people, a dog, a cat, a goat and a couple of chickens– .. everything turned into a surreal purple-red in absolute chromatic unison. It was only around a 10 minute show. And as with all things of sublime beauty and wonder, it was terribly fleeting and you can’t take it home with you to keep. I stayed for a few more minutes and just stared at my shoes before finally descending down the hill while the trail was still visible.

We had dinner in the nearby store where there was some cover from the cold wind steadily coming in from the east. We were joined by other hikers and a cat. It kept getting colder and there was no longer ignoring the inevitable. How were we going to fit in our tent without oozing into each other and merge at the molecular level?

After several experiments in different positions in my tiny blue tent, we finally give up and just hope for the fatigue to do its job and knock us out in whatever position we were in. We chat and chuckle ourselves to sleep, and in that steady descent into the carefree, indifference of slumber, I thank God for tweaking our itinerary and foiling our plans for this trip. In travel, as in life in general, I’d hands down prefer His plans over mine any day.

I just hope nobody farts.

How to get there:

Morning has broken

Morning has broken


The smell of the air here makes you close your eyes


Near the old man’s house


Just one of the many peaks

The Batangas Sky

The Batangas Sky

Oh, give me a home...

Oh, give me a home…

Evening falls

Evening falls



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