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The Unforgettable Pico de Loro (Mt Palay-palay)

Pico de Loro Conquerors 

Excited. That's how I felt before climbing the monolith in Mt Palay-palay, popularly known as Pico de Loro or the Parrot's Beak, located within the boundary of Batangas and Cavite. Who would not be? Seeing all those inviting pictures of the view from the internet, we were all totally looking forward to have our picture-perfect photo from the monolith. I even bought another shoes for trekking, a week before the climb, so I would be all set for our adventure.
Pico de Loro - mini me
Our group composed of travel bloggers, new friends and a friend from college is a mix of occasional and first time climbers. It was just Kaiz, fellow travel blogger, who is the only mountaineer and have been to Pico de Loro several times already. And that's a plus to us since the DENR do not actually provide guides. You just have to trust on the ribbons on the trees or markings on the stones along the way.

For our travel itinerary and expenses during this dayhike, click here.

Trail during the ascent

Yep. Trail involves trees' roots as our stairs. Haha

I personally thought it would be easy reading some blogs about the level of difficulty and such. But I was very wrong.

Starting our trek, it was okay from the so-so ascends to plains and descends. It was when we reached the continuous ascent part after the grass land and going to the camping site, that I was always trying to catch my breath and mumbled on not having a daily exercise.

Travel and new found friends catching our breath!

Oh yeah! Look at that summit!

I concluded that ascends are always, always difficult. I even reflected how true that is in real life situations. Haha

When we finally reached the  camping site, the spectacular view of the monolith and the summit was just so rewarding. All those times I was creating an excuse whenever I missed to take a picture during the trail, I told myself that I was saving it for this part. Excuses. We immediately had our solo and group pictures and after the 5-minute break, we ascended to the summit.

Lovely monolith. Just lovely.

View from the summit

It was really inclined and we carefully tried to grab any bamboo or plant to help us get up and catching our breath at the same time. As if that was not difficult enough, we were met by this more inclined slope where grass is our only friend and soil, similar to sand, are slippier to step on. So we try to get up holding and praying that the grass roots is strong enough to hold us. It was just sad that two from our group wasn't able to take it, so they decided to go back halfway to the summit.

It was just wonderful to reach the top because 1) the difficult ascend is over and 2) the view was spectacular! After some selfie and group shots, the brave six now went to the monolith.

Coves in Batangas. Looks pretty from the summit.

On our way to the Parrot's Beak

It was told to be difficult, so yeah, we were faced with really difficult downward slopes, dangerous walking on the rocks, instant rappelling on the rocks (lucky that someone left the rope), and fighting against looking down and the fear seeing how high you actually are from the ground (of course, i looked down anyway). But the top was very, very rewarding. It was like nothing is impossible and the doubts you have with yourself are erased. Self-confidence was gained because in a moment you are on top of everything else in Batangas and Cavite. 

It is especially exciting because of the thrill of how we look like on our photos taken from the other side, the summit. Big thanks to Kirk for taking the beautiful monolith photos. Truth be told, I kinda tweaked my photos to have a "solo" shot. I was that desperate. Haha

But as much as how difficult it was to rappel upwards, it was much difficult downwards because my legs and arms were shorter than the usual who uses the rope. Gratefully, some friends we were with during the climb to the summit went with us and assisted. That assistance was very much needed especially when Kiki's feet slipped from the rocks! That made our hearts stop for a second.

Well, hello there! Zoomed in from the summit!

Our descent from the Monolith

We went back to the summit and the camping site with minimum difficulty and had another break before heading for our descent. The only comment I have was that the trees and rocks at Pico de Loro has loads of carvings or vandals. It makes me sad how some people seemingly has their own need to imprint their presence. I mean hello, that is what pictures are for. Why vandalize and ruin the natural beauty?

Anyway, I thought our descent was smooth and okay until Gino and I realized that we were lost and found an unfamiliar unpaved road where no sign of human presence. It was a another loooong tale. And until now, I do not have the right words to express how grateful I that we found our way back.

The brave six. Happiness on top of Parrot's Beak.

The ascent, the summit, the monolith, and the panicking descent--- Pico de Loro taught me a lot and gave me an out of the ordinary adventure that I never thought I'd surpass.

Elal of The Shades of Grey Travel and Photography
Elal is a traveler, student of life and photography enthusiast who wants to experience and capture what is raved and not raved about. For more about her travels, subscribe here, email at, or visit her portfolio.


Unknown said...

galeng elal!

Unknown said...

galeng elal!

Elal Lasola said...

Thanks ahmster!


I'm really glad to meet all of you! Instant friendship! Haha


I'm really glad to meet all of you! Instant friendship! Haha

Elal Lasola said...

It was great to finally meet you. See you soon!

May said...

The pictures are amazing! We planned a Pico de Loro trip one summer pero di natuloy! I hope I'll manage to climb it (first time mountaineer!).

Will check your itinerary details so that we can plan. Thanks for sharing!

Elal Lasola said...

Thanks May! :D I hope you have a guide going there. Ingat :)

Jess said...

I'm glad you made it back! It looks like a tough climb, but the pictures seem worth it.

Elal Lasola said...

@Jess: So thankful! Yep, the pictures were really inviting when I was searching for it even before the climb :D

Elal Lasola said...

@Unyol: Sa summit? Mahirap din eh. We're lucky may rope na iniwan papuntang monolith

Ellen Bernardino said...

That's amazing! you're such a brave girl!

Elal Lasola said...

@Unyol: Yung bandang may ascent pa denr. Oo, learned it the hard way HUHU

Elal Lasola said...

@Ellen: It was the cruelest hour of my adventurous life! Hehe

salaginto said...

inggit na inggit lang ako

Elal Lasola said...

Chino, sana matuloy ang overnight rayot! :D

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