TBJ TRAVELS: Pantene #DoItAllHair Diaries: Mt. Pico De Loro Hike + Sights + Preparation

Just like traveling, I never understood why some are into hiking until I tried it myself through Pantene's #DoItAllHair Dare series; another experience added to my bucket list and a new learning has been realized: Hiking, more than for the physique, is a great exercise for the mind and emotions too; there were times when I wanted to give up, but the promise of a seeing nature's grandest beauties and of course, my fellow, helpful co-hikers encouraged me to finish the trek!

Below is a chronicle of my first- ever hike at Mt. Pico De Loro, some first- hand tips that will be useful to you in your hike, and the trekking musts that I brought with me.

For starters, Pico De Loro or Mt. Palay Palay is a dormant volcano located in Ternate, Cavite, but also spreads throughout Maragondon, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas; it was called as such by the Spaniards when, while approaching shore, noticed that it is shaped like a Parrot's beak. By hiking standards, difficulty of the climb at Mt. Pico De Loro is 4/10.

Nearby attractions: Kawali falls, Nasugbu Beach, Pico De Loro cove

My trip was arranged through an agency that organizes mountain treks in the top trekking spots in the country, Travel Factor.

The night before the trip, I prepared the following must- have items:

Extra shirt, bottoms, socks, and underwear
Bath Essentials (Soap, facial cleanser, shampoo, and conditioner)
Trail Mix (to fuel me during the trek)
Water Bottle (to be filled up with water before the trek)
Gloves (optional)
Sunglasses (when you get to the top)
Antibacterial Cream/Alcohol/Bandaid (for cuts and wounds)
Medicine for headache/nausea
Wet Wipes and Pocket Tissue
Plastic (for wet clothes)
Scarf (optional)

I'm not a Beauty Blogger for nothing. Below are the products that consisted my "Trekking Makeup look" for that day:

Shiseido UV Protective Liquid Foundation- my HG foundation when it comes to extreme activities because it acts as makeup and skin care at the same time by providing great coverage, super duper amazing waterproof finish, and SPF 45.
Inglot AMC Brow Liner Gel- this mountain hiking- proof brow product kept my brows on fleek during the entire hike!
Benefit The Porefessional Agent Zero Shine Powder- This long- wearing powder's good oil- absorbing properties boosted the already great staying power of Shiseido's sunblock.
Stila Stay All Day Bronzer- This long- wearing bronzer kept my cheeks contoured the entire trip! :D
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara- this sweat- proof, waterproof, and sebum- proof mascara is my favorite thing to wear because it stays on like cray!

Of course I had to prepare my skin and hair for the hike too; I'll be exposed to aging elements such as the sun and drying elements such as the wind so I prepped my body in the shower with the following products:

Pantene Hair Fall Control Shampoo- 'cuz you'll never know when someone will need to hang onto my hair during the trek lol. Thankfully, there was no one.
Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner- I knew that when I get to the top, the wind will mess up my hair big time so I used this conditioner to help me detangle my locks easily.
Olay Total Moisture Body Wash- This is the only body wash that lets me live without lotion because it's very moisturizing; I didn't want to wear lotion during the treak because I knew I'll sweat a lot.
Olay Total Effects Foaming Cleanser- to keep my face moist and hydrated.
Daylong Liposomal Spray (Not in the photo)- my favorite sunscreen as of late because it can be used on the face and body, plus it's very, very lightweight!

TIP: Pack light!

Let's begin our trip!

Our meeting place was at McDonald's El Pueblo, Ortigas. Meeting time was 3:30 A.M. It was an early climb; I was told that treks usually start really early in the morning for safety purposes, perhaps.

Ternate, Cavite is a 3- hour trip from Manila via CAVITEX or Aguinaldo Highway. We arrived at the DENR Outpost at Mt. Pico De Loro (the jump off point of the trek) around 6:00 A.M. It was a pretty quick trip because our driver was a probably a speed car racer in his past life (lol) and the roads were traffic- free. Oh, the advantage of leaving early!

I digress. At the base of Mt. Pico De Loro are eateries, shower rooms, and bathrooms where you can prepare yourself before the hike; There's a parking area here for cars too.

By 6:30 A.M., the tour guide gathered us already for a quick briefing. Our guide is a local and he lives at the DENR Outpost; he also owns one of the eateries in the area. He's got a cute, white dog who goes with him during the trek and helps him keep an eye on the hikers! How cute!

The ascent will last for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours going up the base camp (3 kms. from the outpost), another 30 to 45 minutes up the summit, and another 45 minutes to 1 hour up the Monolith; of course, these will depend on the length and volume of rests that the guests will take. The ascent will last for 3 1/2 to 4 hours; same for the descent. We were given IDs and encouraged us to inform the guide should we need to rest or go back to the outpost.

TIP: Fuel yourself with food, but don't stuff yourself with Carbohydrates as it will make you feel heavy. Eat more Protein instead to keep you satisfied, but feeling light.

Let's climb!

At the bottom part of the mountain is a rocky stream; I've never seen a stream in my life so this one's a real treat. The water's cold and great for freshening up, but it's not potable. The water from the stream is what the showers at the outpost use! Very mineral- rich!

We passed by the New Trail; there was once an Old Trail that DENR decided to close down. The way to the top is just a series of trees, trees, and more trees, plus plants, plants, and more plants. The view was so serene and it really soothes the soul. The place is also unadulterated as it's protected by DENR. I've been so busy the last few months so this stroll in nature is a very welcome distraction!

The path is pretty challenging, especially for a first- timer like me, but thank God I've been engaged in exercising for 2 years now, consistently. There were a lot of levels and most paths were pretty steep and sloping, and I needed not only lower body strength, but upper body as well. This trek gave me a whole- day, full body workout!

After 2 hours, we've reached the Base Camp and my, what a view it gave us! The base camp gave us a view of Cavite, Batangas, the coves, and the neighboring mountains.

To complete the trek, one must climb the Summit, but this is optional. So did I dare to finish the trek?

Hell yes!

The summit is 664 ft. above sea level and this is the way going up; It is FREAKING steep and kinda' slippery due to the small and crushed rocks that fall down the path that it came to a point wherein I had to crawl up already.

TIP: There are locals that will assist you in your ascent and descent at the summit. Just give them a tip afterwards.

After 30 minutes, I reached the Summit! WOOT! I've never felt so accomplished in my life! Btw, I have slight Acrophobia, but when I got to the summit, I didn't mind because the view was majestic and breathtaking that I've completely forgotten about it!

Here's the monolith, which is a bit smaller in terms of height compared to the summit. The thing is, the line to the monolith may require you to wait for a minimum of 2 1/2 hours, depending on the number of visitors who want to climb it because there's only one way to get to the top plus the top portion can't accommodate that much people. It's also a risky climb because you have to rappel all the way up and down with just a rope-no harness whatsoever to support you so one must be pretty fit or experienced to climb it.

There are waterfalls around the area such as Kawali Falls, which is located at the border of Batangas already; it's a 1-hour and 30- minute walk from the Monolith. There's another waterfall that we were supposed to make a side trip to, but we learned that it is privately- owned already. WTF.

Hiking is fun with friends!

So that concludes my first- ever mountain hike! Mt. Pico De Loro is for the moderately active to really active people. My willpower was improved by this experience, I am humbled by the vastness of nature, and I have never been this appreciative of God's greatest gift to mankind, which is nature.

TIP: Commit to a workout regimen a month before the trek to prepare yourself for the physical demands and challenges of it.

I enjoyed my first hike so much because it's a totally new experience and I loved the physical challenge; I enjoyed it so much that I hiked again a few weeks after at Taal Volcano! I will muse about that soon. For now, go to PANTENE PHILIPPINES on Facebook to see the rest of the #DoItAllHair dares.

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8 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Yay! You made it! My brother feels sick (when he got home).He went trekking here without any preparations that you mentioned. I think it's nice to experience this kind of hobby for us to explore our mountains di ba? Sometimes, I feel tired with those same buildings and malls.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience climbing Mt. Pico de Loro. This is one of the things I have put in my bucket list too. Yeah, I need some serious training too so that I can do this. I also love the flatlay of the things that you packed prior to the trip, the products that you used that's going to help you with the trek . Can you suggest what exercises to take prior to mountain climbing? Thanks Ms. Martha.

  3. I really wanted to hike, but I am afraid of heights! And the pack light thingy I don't think I'll be able to do that LOL.

  4. I have tried hiking just once pa lang. It was exhausting pero fun. Lalo na kapag kasama ang friends. :) I love to see streams and trees too. nakakarelax. medyo nakakatakot lang at first, pero pag matagal na, nasasanay na din. But I remember getting wounds from hiking. Haha

  5. Congrats on your first hike Ms. M! I wanna try that also, especially when we do it with friends. it would be more fun! such a beautiful view. :)

  6. I have experienced hiking a couple of years ago for our company team building activity.We climbed at Mt. Palay Palay. I didn't know that the Pico De Loro that i have been hearing nowadays was the same mountain that i have climbed. Thanks for letting me know that! I guess we took the old trail that you've mentioned was already closed down. When we reached the summit, the company's team building games started. I didn't saw the Monolith. Hiking was fun but hard since it rained the night before we went there so it's very muddy and slippery. When we are on the way home, two of our buses had accidents. One fell of a bridge at Ternate and the other stumbled on its side. I'm thankful that i went home safe.
    I'm happy for your great outdoor adventure, Ms. Martha!
    Kudos for reaching the top!

  7. Me and my friends are also planning to hike at Mt.Pico this summer. I've been bugging them for quite a while til they got too annoyed that they approve. because I believe adventures and exploration should be part of everyone's bucket list. Haha. Oh well, we have the same Tumblr. I got mine at Ebay.


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