MT. GULUGOD BABOY

October 30 – 31, 2016

GULUGOD-BABOY
Anilao, Mabini, Batangas
Jump-off point: Philpan Dive Resort, Anilao, Mabini
LLA: 13°42’55″N; 120°53’43″E; 525 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2
Features: Scenic views of Batangas Bay and Balayan Bay (www.pinoymountaineer.com)

Three weeks before this long weekend (All Saint’s Day), my significant other and I decided to do an overnight camping. We never got a chance to do one prior for the reason of his conflict schedule and he only has one day off in a week. Whenever we do like a quick outdoor adventure, we always make it as quickest as possible like mountain day hike. Sometimes, we invited friends to join us.

Here came the 30th day of October, Sunday, we started packing up our stuffs and we went out by 10am. By the way, we started our journey from San Mateo Rizal as where we live. We had our challenges started already along our way. It took us one hour just to exit Batasan Road. Normally, it would only take 15 minutes to exit. But because of collision happened, it resulted to heavy traffic.

We arrived at Alps Terminal in Cubao and took the Batangas Pier bound. Travel time was 2 hours when we arrived at the Batangas Grand Terminal. We got off at the said terminal and took jeepney bound Mabini, Batangas. We spent one hour travel period by then. When we were at the port already, the jeepney driver brought us to the tricycle terminal at Mabini and dropped off to Philpan Dive Resort. The trip was like a 30-minute travel time.

Finally, we arrived at the Pinagbanderahan Registration Area in Philpan Dive Resort, the jump-off area.

We checked our time, it was like 4pm. We spoke with the DENR person, we paid P40 per head as the registration fee and she offered guide. Having a guide is an option; the fee is P500 for dayhike and P800 for overnight. We opted not to take guide and follow a certain group ahead of us instead to guide our way. But we highly suggest you to take guide for beginners, big groups and to help the community for the conservation and protection of the mountain.

Here came the start of our journey. The trail was not quite as what we expected. We were certain that we were climbing a mountain. But we took roughly 30 minutes as we passed a concrete road. There were locals along our way selling refreshments like buko juice. They were even selling some bottled drinks, ice candies, snacks and some locals were selling rice meals. It was really amazing. Our way was concrete but it was very steep. Your breathing and endurance will be challenged. We took small steps at the time to save our energy as we were exhausted already because of our transportation experience prior. Good thing was, locals were very kind and accommodating. Whenever we greeted them, they responded abruptly and encouraged us that we could make it to the summit.

We then arrived at the real trail.

It was very steep again and our steps were seriously not baby anymore. We were seriously challenged. There was no mud but it was very slippery. I therefore conclude and as I always believe, there’s no easy way to reach the mountain, each mountain has its own difficulties, qualities and beauty, and it takes preparation, determination, hard work and sacrifice. No mountain really breaks what I really believed in.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy (Pig Spine) was really a good mountain to stay for an overnight camping. As we approached the trail of this beautiful mountain, it took us 2 hours to finish the trail all the way to the camp site. Along our way, when looked back, you would see the plants, trees that surrounded us followed by the perfect view of Anilao Sea.

It was almost dawn and we were already using our flashlight as we tried to find the best spot for our tent-pitching. We were surrounded by thick fog and we couldn’t almost see everything around us, even the cow’s poo (its everywhere). It was indeed very cold. There was only thing that we can see that time, which is the gorgeous sunset view covered by an awesome cloud formation.

We pitched our tent at the campsite. We fixed our things and made ourselves ready and prepared our stuffs to cook dinner. The wind is touching our faces and its making us difficult to ready our dinner. Until it’s ready.

After we had our dinner, we tried to have a conversation with our campers. You would hear other groups of campers enjoying their time with their friends. I think they were also having a drinking session. We took a rest afterwards while watching the stars and we had our sleep.

We woke up 5:30am as we were awakening by the sound of the wind blowing. We went outside and we were surprised of the sun in which is hiding, smiling and it was like the sun is trying to greet us “Good morning and welcome to our home – let me hug you”.

The summit is made up of grassy slopes and several hills. The view is really perfect and the feeling is freedom. It’s really unexplainable until you experience it. We went up to the next summit higher. We were waiting for the sun to completely come out and welcome us. And finally, the sun totally came out and we embraced it. We took so many pictures. We thought of a perfect shot while the sun is present.

From the summit, you would see how gorgeous everything down there that created by God. The perfect gift that a person could ever receive.

The green grass, docile dogs and cows, the air that kisses you all the time and the vast of sea. Sombrero Island and Oscar Island are easily seen from the summit as well as the islands of Tingloy and Maribacan. Locals are offering tour packages pertaining to the said islands. We asked about the package. If you’re planning, the boat rental as of today is P2, 800 per 10 persons and additional P150 for the entrance fee once you’re already at the island.

One thing that saddened us, there’s a cemented area not too far from the camp site in which you would noticed parked cars from the tourist. In addition, there were trashes elsewhere. We picked some of those up. Please be mindful of your trashes and always observe LNT – Leave No Trace Policy for the next generation.

After a few minutes, we went down. Again the trail was like slippery again and we made ourselves very careful going down. Until we reached our tent and prepared our breakfast. As we took our breakfast, we noticed that hikers were starting to gather up to the summit. I believe, they were day hikers. Some overnight campers were starting to break camp as the sun was really shinning so bright and it touched our skin so bad. We fixed our things. Came 8am, we went down afterwards. We finished the trail going down by one hour with confidence. We greeted all the people we encountered. Hi y’all. Nice to see you along the trail. Shout out to Sir Aldrin whom we met and surprisingly we already met him during Mt. Purgatory event of BaseKamp Ligaya.

We went to Philpan Dive Resort but we decided not to rest in there instead we tidy up by going back to the registration area.

There were comfort rooms in which you can wash up. The fee is P25. Philpan Dive Resort is actually a good option to tidy up and rest for a moment after a hike. Entrance fee now is P100 per head. You can wash up and take a dip at the beach before heading back to Manila. The beach didn’t have any fine sand but more of the pebbles and rocks, but the water was clear and enough to cool you down.

Ricky and I headed back to Manila but we decided to go to the one of the famous churches first in Bauan, Batangas. But before that, we ate a very much known Lomi.

Ahhh, it’s really rewarding.

After we went to the church, we arrived at the bakery in which we bought Bonete.

It tastes so good.

Finally, we headed back to Manila. T’was a perfect way to spend day offs. It was tiring but it’s all worth it.

Itinerary

Day 1
11:00am – 12:30nn Assembly
12:30nn – 01:00pm Alps Cubao
01:00pm – 03:00pm Batangas Grand Terminal
03:00pm – 04:30pm Jeepney to Philpan
04:30pm – 05:00pm Philpan
05:30pm – 07:30pm Ascend
07:30pm – 09:00pm Campsite;Dinner
09:00pm – onwards Socials/Lights out

Day 2
05:30am – 06:30am Ascend to Summit/Photo Ops
06:30am – 07:30am Breakfast
07:30am – 08:00am Break camp
08:00am – 09:00am Descend
09:00am – 10:00am Tidy Up
10:00am – 12:00nn Side Trip
12:00nn – 01:00pm Lunch
01:00pm – 02:00pm Side Trip
02:00pm – onwards Back to Manila

Expenses per Head

*Bus Fare (Alps Cubao to Grand Terminal) VV – P167
*Jeep Fare (To Tryk Terminal) VV – P37
*Trycycle Fare (To Philpan) VV – P40
*Guide Fee (Optional) – P500
*Wash Up Fee – P25
*Jeep Fare (Side Trip) – P7 Minimum
*Lomi – P30