My First Twin Hike: Mt. Apayang + Mt. Talamitam

Two Sundays ago, I did a Mt. Apayang and Mt. Talamitam solo hike. Doing a twin hike was not part of the plan. Actually, hiking that weekend wasn’t planned at all. But I had been getting too many negative vibes in the office that I felt the need to de-stress again even if the weekend before that, me and my officemates did the discovery trail at Masungi Georeserve. I remember being too enraged one day that I got through the 89 steps of the MRT Shaw overpass without being winded. I tried inviting friends to climb with me that weekend but I guess a very short notice doesn’t work for them. Not having a companion didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

I have done it many times so on Saturday afternoon while working on my blog post about Masungi Georeserve, I started reading blogs about Mt. Talamitam. I was considering Mt. Sawi in Nueva Ecija but Mt. Talamitam is nearer. I didn’t have to read many blogs because the first blog I opened had a lady guide during their hike in Talamitam. What’s more, the blogger also put their guide’s contact number in his post. I called up the guide immediately and booked a hike with her the following day. She told me it would be better to start early (around 6 or 7) in the morning because it can get too hot on mid-day. I told her I have a hard time getting up early but I will try.

Of course, I wasn’t able to get up early.  I got to the bus station below the MRT Taft station at around 6:30 am. The BSC bus which is bound for Nasugbu, Batangas was about to leave when I got there so I boarded immediately. I got to the jump-off point to Mt. Talamitam at 9:00 am. The jump-off point is just along the Nasugbu-Tagaytay Highway at Sitio Bayabasan, Barangay Aga. My guide, Ate Merlyn was already there waiting. After signing up in the logbook and paying the registration fee, we started the hike. Because we started past 9:00 am, it was already hot. As I have earlier mentioned, I was supposed to hike Mt. Talamitam only. But after finding out from my guide that it isn’t that difficult to do the twin hike if we do Mt. Apayang first because the first part of the trail has tree cover, I decided to do it as I was already there anyway. We first passed through the residential area until we got to the river. We crossed the river through the bamboo bridge.

The bamboo bridge

After the bridge was a woodland and past this was a vast grassland. From this point, you can enjoy the view of Mt. Batulao, as well as that of Mounts Talamitam and Apayang. I am very lucky to have Ate Merlyn as my guide because aside from being very entertaining (she has lots of stories during the hike that makes you forget how exhausting it is to hike under the heat of the sun), she also knows how to take a picture, knows where the best spots are and tells me how to pose for a good picture.

Mounts Apayang and Talamitam

The “tingin sa malayo” pose with Mt. Batulao as the background

The “Ama Namin” pose

From the vast grassland, we got to the trail of Mt. Apayang where the first part is thickly vegetated with bamboo trees. Past this, however, is just a trail full of talahib. There are no trees at the summit of Mt. Apayang but there is a hut where you can take a rest. When you get to the summit of Mt. Apayang, you have to sign up in a logbook and pay Php 20 registration fee.We rested in the hut for a few minutes. The group who were there with us asked me why I was alone. They asked me if I was broken-hearted. It was my guide who answered them and told them that a broken hearted person doesn’t do twin-hike, she does trilogy hike. She was referring to a girl she guided before who did Mt. Batulao + Mt. Talamitam + Mt. Apayang hike. The interesting part is that during her hike, the girl met a guy that soon became her boyfriend. The guy is a seaman who was also hiking solo, joined them and assisted the girl in the difficult parts of their hike.

At the summit of Mt. Apayang

From the summit of Mt. Apayang, the hike to the summit of Mt. Talamitam takes about 25 minutes.  The trail doesn’t have tree cover and is full of talahib. At the summit of Mt. Talamitam, you’ll find a vendor selling halo-halo, boiled banana, hard boiled egg and cold drinks.

My guide told me to do this pose. She said that’s how Angel Locsin posed for a picture when she was in Mt. Talamitam.

I’m pointing at the summit of Mt. Apayang, again my guide’s idea

With Mt. Batulao as the background

With the best guide I have met so far, Ate Merlyn

From the summit, going down was a bit difficult because the trail can get a bit slippery. One must be very careful so as not to trip on the loose soil. We finished the twin hike in less than five hours even if we had to stop many times to catch my breath because it isn’t easy walking under the heat of the sun.

I loved that during our hike, we didn’t encounter too many hikers. Unlike other famous mountains, the summit of Mt. Apayang and Mt. Talamitam are not crowded. My guide said hikers usually start early so by the time we got to the summit, they have already descended.

Me with the cook of the delicious bulalo… Eating bulalo was the best reward after the exhausting hike.

Mountain Stats:

Mt. Apayang

Height: 662+ MASL

Difficulty: 3/9

Mt. Talamitam

Height: 652+ MASL

Difficulty: 3/9

How to get to the jump-off point:

Take a Nasugbu-bound bus at the bus terminal below MRT Taft Station or at DLTB Buendia bus terminal. Tell the bus conductor to drop you off at the jump-off site of Mt. Talamitam at Sitio Bayabasan in Nasugbu. This is along the highway.

The jump-off site to Mt. Talamitam

Expenses:

Fare from Taft to Sitio. Bayabasan- Php 124.00

Registration fee for Mt. Talamitam- Php 45.00

Registration fee for Mt. Apayang- Php 20.00

Guide fee for the twin hike- Php 800.00

Meals- Bulalo (good for 3 people) + 2 cups of rice for me and my guide + 1.5 L Coke (they don’t have small size) – Php 335.00

Fare from Brgy. Bayabasan to Buendia- Php 129.00

Guide Contact Info:

Merlyn Merida- (+63)908 329 8050

Tips:

  • If you can, try to start early.
  • Bring lots of water.
  • Slather on sunblock to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Bring umbrella. You’ll be needing it if you start past 9 am.
  • Bring face towel as you’ll be perspiring a lot.
  • Get Ate Merlyn as your guide. You won’t have a dull moment with her as she has lots of stories and you won’t be needing your selfie stick because you have a photographer who also tells you what pose to make.
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