Another item from my bucket list – done! Just a week after my Caramoan trip, I explored Mt. Romelo with my Dad, my Ninong, and the rest of their mountain climbing buddies as well as some first timers like me.
Mt. Romelo is situated in Siniloan, Laguna, with an elevation of 300 meters above sea level. Since the hike is given a 2/9 difficulty rating, two to three hours would be enough to get to the “peak.” There is no real summit unlike on other mountains, but Mt. Romelo boasts of waterfalls and rain forests that you can explore near the campsite.
I’d have to say that it wasn’t as hard as I imagined for a first climb. Maybe because there were horses that you can hire, and they can bring some of your things to the campsite. Our tour guide, BJ aka Tago, also helped me halfway up with my backpack. Nonetheless, I enjoyed every bit of my first mountain climbing experience.
Mt. Romelo features waterfalls, so we spent a good part of the trip exploring them. We were able to swim in three waterfalls – Batya-Batya Falls, Buruwisan Falls, and Lanzones Falls.
It was an unforgettable trip – swimming in the cold waters of Lanzones Falls, slipping on some rocks, cooking on small pots and portable stoves, sleeping in a tent and feeling the hard earth below me. I have to say that it was a convenient one, too, probably because Mt. Romelo is a bit commercialized already with stores and cottages and water sources all over the area. Nonetheless, it gave me two great days in which I felt again how it is to be connected to nature by being disconnected from technology. I also had fun with my Dad and Ninong and the rest of the people in the group who were all funny, resourceful and very accommodating.
They were asking me on our trek back to the trail head if I’d join them again. Without thinking twice, I said, “Syempre naman! Ang saya eh. Sama ako ulit.” My Dad teased me about not being a “ganap na mountaineer” and for being a member of the “sakay-kabayo mountaineering club,” but I am challenging myself next time. I promise to carry my backpack for my next mountain climbing trip! It’s two weeks away!