Mt. Pico de Loro: Conquering the Monolith

The monolith. I’m the one in blue!

Pico de Loro, also known as “Parrot’s Beak” is the highest point in Cavite. I’ve been living in Maragondon for about five years back then but I’d never really heard of it until my sister climbed it with her friends which encouraged me to try it for myself. It took me three attempts before I finally reached the monolith.

1st climb: June 21, 2014

at the first station, 1 hour trek from DENR
The first time, I did it with my college friends after graduation on June 2014. The jump-off point was just 7km away from our house so we had my parents to take us there by car. We had no idea what to expect and were in no shape at all but we pursued because we wanted to be ~adventurous~.

 

swimming by the falls, matching outfit with Jacob hihi

 

exhausted, i think i was carrying a big tupperware of adobo here

 

The old trail we had included a side trip to the falls which got us excited that we headed there first, not knowing that we’d take 4hrs to the camping site. The trail was already too difficult for us (due to our lack of physical fitness) that we had to stop every 30-45 mins. to rest and eat and whine. Our food was also packed as a group which made it very hard to carry. ~10 gatang na kanin, adobo, nilagang itlog. Nagbakasyon ata kami.

 


‘maakyat din kita.’
first summit pic when I told myself that I’d come back for the monolith
going down from the summit
 Following our itinerary, we headed to Boracay de Cavite and stayed for the night. Our bodies were in so much pain but we still tried to play frisbee.
catch!
spectator lang coz my legs hurt

After that horrible weekend adventure, my body hurt so bad for almost a week. I swore I wouldn’t do it again. Ever.

2nd climb: April 3, 2015

It was Holy Week when I spontaneously invited my cousins to climb it with me since it we really had nothing to do. I went to Pico de Loro for the second time together with 2 of my cousins, my sister, and father.
I was surprised to find out that they had a new trail. From the DENR station, there was a pavement leading to a rocky trail with a small river to its right. This trail was way easier that the first one, like we were just climbing a steep path directly to the top as opposed the first trail that had more flat segments.
me, ate cyd(cousin), tatay, ate rayji(sister), and kuya xymound(cousin)
The climb to the summit was more difficult this time because it was sandy, making it slippery with every step. There were a lot of loose rocks and crumbly pebbles. We reached the summit at around 10am but the queue to the monolith was already long. Booooo! So yeah, I failed to reach the monolith for the second time. But the surprising thing was that my body didn’t hurt like the first one. I realized that I was just physically unfit.
Hay, sayang.
wearing my father’s socks and my mother’s shoes because my things were in qc
3rd climb: May 24, 2015
Then came May, just a month after, I asked my father and cousin to come with me for the 3rd time. However, my cousin got sick and my father couldn’t make it. Good thing my officemates were also going so we just all went together.
When they got to our house in Maragondon at around 3am, they didn’t have any packed food. I was like, “This is Maragondon! Our 7-11 doesn’t even have packed lunches.” So we went back to Naic, ate breakfast, and ordered our packed lunches.
We got to the DENR at 6:30am and started our adventure at 7:00am. All of us were somehow physically fit since our office gym opened 2 months prior to this climb. We got to the summit within 2 hours.
Summit view of the monolith, seated at my usual spot
Being there early, we had the chance to reach the monolith as there were no queue at all! Awyis. So together with my friends, we went down the other side of the summit to the foot of the monolith.
just below the summit
This was when one of them said that they didn’t want to pursue anymore because they’re getting scared. Also, this was when I was already getting pissed off because I really wanted to reach the monolith no matter what. Good thing I got them to follow me.
at the foot of the monolith, no more turning back

 

buwis-buhay
Actually, at this point, things were getting extreme. This was the only part of the whole hike which scared me. In order to climb, I had to hold on to a thick, old rope while reaching a high rock with my left foot. It’s either you carry yourself or you try to really, really reach that rock. As for me, I had long legs. In addition to this task, I had to keep my weight to the right of the big rock because if I don’t, I’d literally fall to my death. Bangin, ading.
success with the rope
After climbing the rope, we then had to rock climb up as shown above. It was a one-way policy so we had to move quickly in order to give way to people going down. Also, the view was overwhelming and scary at the same time.
some french guys we met at the monolith

the final rock before reach the top
finally conquered the monolith!

 

Only the 6 of us pursued the monolith; 2 were left at the summit.
view from the monolith
summit view from the monolith
And I finally did it! I reached the monolith on my third attempt. The view from every angle was breathtakingly beautiful that I couldn’t put it into words enough to explain how exceptional it was. I heard my friends say thanks for forcing them to come up and not miss the chance. Yay!
I didn’t regret having to climb 3 times just to get to the monolith. Each climb was a different experience worth putting into my story basket. This is why I encourage you to overcome you fears of the unknown and try to exceed yourself just like I did!


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