Batangas · Mountains · Travel Adventures

Climbing Mt. Gulugod Baboy

I’ve been wanting to climb Mt. Gulugod Baboy ever since I heard of it in 2013. Aside from the fact that its name was intriguing, I would love to enjoy the views of the sea from the mountain top. Unfortunately, due to conflicts in my schedule, I was not able to join my friends who organized hikes there.

So, my friends and I had an opportunity before All Saints Day this year. We thought of camping overnight on the mountain and enjoy stargazing.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy is located at Brgy. Ligaya, Mabini, Batangas. Below is its description according to pinoymountaineer.com.

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

How to Get There
  1. From Cubao, you may ride the ALPS Bus bound to Batangas City Grand Terminal (P165). Travel time is 2-3 hours. If you are coming from Dasmarinas, Cavite, take a van at the van terminal across Robinsons Palapala (P160). Travel time is approximately 2 hours.
  2. From the Grand Terminal, ride a jeepney bound to Anilao or Mabini (P35/person). Tell the driver to drop you off at the tricycle area going to Philpan Dive Resort. Travel time is 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Take a tricycle going to Philpan Dive Resort (P40/person), the jumpoff to the mountain. The tricycle accommodates 3-4 passengers. Travel time is 20 minutes.

Since there were eight of us, we rented two tricycles and hit the streets overlooking the bay. There were neighboring dive resorts and the bay appeared calm and inviting.

At the Jumpoff

The driver dropped us off at the Registration Center beside Philpan Dive Resort in Sitio Siiran in Brgy. Ligaya. We paid P40.00/person for our registration fee. The services of a guide costs P500.00, but since one of our friends had been to the mountain, we decided to go on our own. But since it was lunchtime, we first headed to an eatery offering lomi at P30.00 and together we shared each other’s baon there.:-)

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The Hike

At 1pm, the sky was gloomy and dark clouds hovered over the mountain. There were some rainshowers but it did not drizzle that long. Nevertheless, we continued with the planned hike at 1:30pm.

We followed Kuya Dang, our friend who had been here before, and made an ascent to a trail situated beside the registration area. “Ascent agad?,” everybody exclaimed since the trail was quite steep and slippery. We thought that it was the actual trail, but after some challenging 5 minutes, we found ourselves on a paved road. “Shortcut lang pala!,” everybody grinned. That was one funny move. But according to Kuya Dang, it will take more time if we started at the “real” jumpoff – a paved road which is about a kilometer long. Frankly, it was harder trekking on a cemented road than on soil.

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Little rainshowers poured, then disappeared. Nonetheless, the gloomy sky worked to our advantage since it protected us from scorching heat that easily drains bodily energy.

We passed by Aling Esther Manliglig’s store selling halo-halo, buko juice, ice candy – sweets that would supply the body’s craving for sugar :-). Further, another store situated beside a road sign “Quirino Manliglig Road” sold buko juice at P10.00. This is where the exciting ascent begins.

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I believe in the saying, “never underestimate a mountain.” The mountain appeared small in sight, but it posed a challenge. We got soaked in sweat and panting while carrying our heavy bags. But as we made higher steps, we got more excited as the beauty of nature is revealed. The view of the bay, the islands – they were simply fascinating.

Who would ever thought that you would bump into someone you knew on the same mountain? I met Laurence, a teacher, and two students from our school on our way up while they were descending on the trail. Evidence? A selfie! (haha). She handed me her walking stick, which was a big help in the climb.

There’s always a reward in mountaineering – the breathtaking, magnificent views – especially when you’re near the summit. One of the best views I had was this spotlight effect over the Sombrero Island – the island that looks like a hat.

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Simply amazing! (view of Verde Island passage with Maricaban Islands on the left, and Sombrero Island on the right.
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This tree captures everyone’s attention! (Photo credits: Dang Hernandez)

And since the lower part of the mountain is residential, there were cows grazing at the meadows. It was windy up there, but the weather was fine.

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It was already 4:30pm when we arrived at the campsite. We had a 3-hour trek. But the summit could be reached in 2 hours depending on your pace. Kuya Dang and Kuya Gelo found a place to pitch our tents. It was windy, but not as strong as when you’re near the summit. We had to properly hook the pegs in the ground and position our tents in a way that it won’t go against the wind (or else…). 😀

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From there, we met several hikers: some on a daytour, some stayed for overnight camping, and some had just gotten off a vehicle  from the parking lot near the campsite. Yes, there’s a parking lot now, and it is where the comfort room is situated. We heard campers and hikers getting disappointed at the sight of the parking lot.

The Summit

At 5pm, we left our tents and headed to the summit. It was getting pretty cold as the fog was starting to hover around the mountain. Sadly, we missed the sunset because the fog hid the view.  But with our adventurous spirits, we were able to make the best of every experience on the peaks. Ang saya lang!

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The fog at the summit
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View of the campsite from the summit
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Solitude…

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The “lovebirds” at the summit. Notice the clouds. It also forms a heart. ❤ ❤ ❤
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The city from the hill at twilight (Photo credits: Angelo Aguiling)
Overnight Camping

Bhem, Ruth and I shared spaces in a dome tent. Good thing, Ruth brought her LED camping light; it emitted a bright light that was helpful enough for us in preparing for dinner in the middle of the cold night. Since we do not have a cookset, we brought our baon – two small containers of boiled rice, chicken-pork adobo (an all-time favorite!), red eggs with fresh tomatoes, canned Spanish sardines, Libby’s sausage, boiled eggs, and home-made longganisa (sausage). Thankfully, we had more than enough for dinner! (except that we do not have hot water and freshly boiled rice). But it did not matter, charge it to experience. 🙂 It was a night teeming with laughter and sharing.

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And yes, there were stars. But it was pretty gloomy; we were not able to do stargazing much because it was cold. At 8:30pm, we decided to rest early in our tents, until we were awaken by strong, cold winds and fog at 10:30pm. The tent was moist from within and as wind slapped unto it, showers drizzled on our faces. The ghasty winds kept us sleepless for hours (haha).

Then at about 11:30pm, a funny thing happened. A family of cows (6 members) visited our camp. We were surprised by several loud “moohs” close to our tents, especially that of Kuya Gelo’s. Ruth managed to shoo them away, until it went to another camping ground and awakened the campers (lol). I just realized that cows freely move around the area even at night. I hope the owners would do something about this concern.

The strong winds did not stop until around 4pm. Yeah, all of us lacked sleep, but we managed to get more sleep after that. At 5:30am, we woke up and prepared for the summit.

The Sunrise

Everything was beautiful from the summit. What a great sunrise!

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Another majestic sunrise! (Photo credits: Angelo Aguiling)
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Photo credits: Angelo Aguiling
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Jumpshot!!! (Photo credits: Angelo Aguiling)
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Marveling at the beauty of God’s creation (Photo credits: Angelo Aguiling)
It was not just the sunrise that is spectacular, the whole experience was.  Every part of our adventure was bound to happen, and together they made a noteworthy story.

At 7:15am, we started to break camp and rushed downhill to catch up with the 10:30am boat trip to Tingloy Island.

Related Link: Masasa Beach in Tingloy Island

Sample Itinerary

3D/2N trip – Mt. Gulugod Baboy, Masasa Beach in Tingloy Island and Sombrero Island

This itinerary is estimated for a group of 10 pax (*expenses are estimated based on the actual as of October 30-November 1, 2016)
Day 1: Mt. Gulugod Baboy
Time Activity Expenses Per head (in pesos)
6:30 AM Meet up at Buendia JAM Bus Terminal
7:00 AM ETD JAM Bus Terminal (Buendia) 165.00
10:00 AM ETA Batangas Grand Terminal
10:30 AM ETD Batangas Grand Terminal (Jeepney to Anilao) (45 mins) 37.00
11:20 AM ETA Anilao, Lunch (own baon), Rest, Prep for Hike
1:40 PM Take tricycle to Philpan Dive Resort (20 mins) 40.00
2:00 PM Start climb (registration fee) 40.00
Guide fee (P400 / 10 pax) 40.00
4:00 PM Set up camp, explore summit, sunset viewing
5:30 PM Prepare dinner
7:00 PM Dinner
10:00 PM Lights out
 SUB-TOTAL 322.00
Day 2: Tingloy Island, Masasa Beach, Sombrero Island
5:30 AM Wake up, sunrise viewing
6:30 AM Mini-breakfast / break camp
7:30 AM Start descent
9:00 AM ETA Philpan Dive Resort
9:20 AM Back at Anilao Port via tricycle (20 mins) 40.00
Breakfast, buy packed lunch at carinderia
Buy ingredients at Anilao Public Market
10:30 AM ETD Anilao Port 65.00
11:15 AM ETA Tingloy Port (45 mins)
Take tricycle to Brgy. Masasa (10 mins) 15.00
11:30 AM Walk to rice fields going to Masasa Beach (10 mins)
11:40 AM Check in at Nanay Rosie’s kubo
        P2,000/kubo for 10 pax 200.00
        P150 gasul 15.00
12:00 nn Lunch
2:00 AM Island hopping tour:
Sombrero Island, Sepoc Point, etc.
P2,500 for 10 pax 250.00
Registration fee @ Sombrero Island 200.00
4:00 PM Explore Masasa Beach
Chillax / walk along the beach
6:00 PM Back to kubo, prepare dinner
7:00 PM Dinner/socials/bonfire
 SUB-TOTAL 785.00
Day 3: Home, Sweet Home (via public boat at Masasa Beach)
5:00 AM Wake up, Breakfast preps
6:30 AM Breakfast, prepare things
8:00 AM Departure from Masasa Beach 100.00
10:00 AM ETA Anilao Port
11:00 AM ETA Batangas City Grand Terminal
        (jeepney from Anilao) 37.00
12:00 AM ETD Batangas City Grand Terminal 157.00
3:00 PM ETA Manila
 SUB-TOTAL 294.00
Total expenses (excluding food, water, souvenir items) 1,401.00

Related Link: Masasa Beach in Tingloy Island

Enjoy your travel in Anilao!
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