Entry Point: Mr. Roy Manuzon Residence
Elevation: 724 MASL
Hours to summit: 3 hours
Specs: Minor climb
Difficulty: Backtrail 2/9; Traverse 4/9, Trail Class 1-4
Batong-Amat gains its popularity from the hikers since it was opened to the public last year. A three to four hours drive from Manila the mountain is located at Brgy. Puncan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. It became then one of the favorites or beginner and occasional hikers. Batong-Amat is more popularly known now as Mt. 387. The area covers 387.9 hectares of the 65,000 hectares of the Talavera Watershed Forest Reserve and that were its name derive from. Mt. 387 dubbed as the Chocolate Hills of the North because of the grass-covered mountain ranges resemble the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Apart from the view, other attractions that you can visit were Batong Amat Peace Park, the intriguing ‘Lover’s Tree’ and the cold refreshing water of Aloha Falls.
HOW TO GET THERE VIA PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
- Take a bus bound to Isabela or Tuguegarao (3-4 hours | Php 330)
- Drop-off at Brgy. Puncan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija near Iglesia Ni Christo
- Walk across to Sir Roy Manuzon Residence
September 29, 2018 (Saturday Night)
09:00 pm – Assembly at McDonald’s Greenfield.
10:00 pm – ETD to Brgy Puncan, Caranglan, Nueva Ecija
September 30, 2018 (Sunday)
03:00 am – ETA Brgy Puncan, Caranglan, Nueva Ecija
03:45 am – Registration & Briefing
04:00 am – Start Ascend
05:00 am – View Deck
06:00 am – ETA Summit (Batong Amat)
06:30 am – ETA Lovers Tree
07:00 am – Start Descend
09:00 am – ETA Jump off
09:30 am – Start Trek to Aloha Falls
11:00 am – ETA Aloha Falls
12:00 Noon – Lunch
01:00 pm – ETD to JOP
04:00 pm – ETA Jump Off Point
05:00 pm – ETD to Greenfield
10:00 pm – ETA Greenfield
I have joined the day hike to Mt. 360 organized by Team Yapak Mountaineers on September 30 2018. We left Greenfield District, our meet up place at 11:00 pm. We had three stopovers. The final over was in a Shell station in San Juan, Nueva Ecija. We arrived by 2:48 am.. There are convenience stores such as 7/11 and food stalls along the area where you can eat. They serve silog, goto and cooked meals. After our early breakfast we continued our road trip until we finally reached the jump-off.
By 4:00 am, we had our registration, paid the mandatory fees and had a short orientation. There are also food stalls at the jump off where you can eat or have coffee. You can ask them to cook or advance order your food for lunch after the hike.
It was still dark when we started the hike. The group has decided to do traverse hike. This is the reason why headlamp or flashlight is required.
As we continue the hike we were welcomed with tall grasses, bamboos and trees. The view was very nice as the sun started to rise; the field was filled of greens from the grass and different plants covered with yellow from the golden ray of the sun. It was an easy trail. Once you passed the foot of the mountain it will just be a walk in the park.
We reached the summit by 7:15 am. It gave us a glimpse of the ‘chocolate hills’ view like scenery for a while. But it was eventually covered with fog. Cool wind blew from time to time. We rested and had photo ops before we proceed to the ’Lovers’ Tree Camp’. This area is an open filled where in it gets really hot during summer. It is recommended that you wear rash-guard and bring umbrella if you don’t want to get sunburned. Make sure to put sun block as well.
The Loves’ Tree is the camping site with a lone, beautiful pine tree. As per the guide not so long ago, two strangers met for the first time on the same spot which started their love story. The couple eventually became lovers after their first meeting under the pine tree. After some photo ops we have rested for a while before proceeding to our final destination – the Aloha Falls.
There two ways to get to Aloha Falls. The first option is going backtrail. This is highly recommended for beginners. From the jump off you can take a 4×4 truck that will bring you to Aloha Falls. However if you are up for a challenge you can opt to do traverse. Just a reminder if you decide to go traverse you have to prepare yourself. Bring pair of gloves, tons of patience, endurance and perseverance. As I have mentioned earlier this is what our group have decided do.
We started to descend before 9:30 am. The trail going to the falls is indeed challenging. I was steep, tricky and treacherous. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated since there is no enough trees to cover you from the heat of the sun. Packing light is advantage. After roughly 45mins of trekking the steep trail we have finally reached Aloha falls.
Approaching the falls give us a refreshing feeling especially after dipping your tired feet to its cool flowing water. Aloha Falls is roughly 82 ft high. The cool flowing water is being store in a wide basin that can get deep up to 7 ft. We stayed there until 1:30 pm.
Typically a 4×4 truck pick up the hikers from the pickup point up to the jump off. However the road is not available during of visit therefore we have to walk again. After roughly 45 min of trekking and river crossing we finally reach the road where a truck is waiting for us who brought us to the jump-off point. We paid 10 pesos each.
Shower rooms are available at the jump off were you can wash up for a fee of 15 pesos. After the wash up, we had our late lunch before we head back to Manila.