Move Forward – Mt. Gulugod Baboy (525+)

MT. 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)

I don’t know what it is you are going through right now, or what it is that has you feeling stuck in the quicksand of the daily life. But realistically, stopping is not an option, you still have to move forward. You have to. We have to. Climb a mountain and be a new person again.

And This Is My Headstart

The sun is up as we took the Jac Liner bus at buendia that passes through the Batangas Grand Terminal as it heads to the Batangas Port, fare costs 125php. Loaded with food and stories, the journey started, but the trip almost took forever since our ride is running on a 60, and the expected 1 hour and a half trip became a 2 and a half. As soon as we set foot into the Batangas soil, we immediately rode a jeepney going to Mabini, and this is my headstart I said to myself.

The trip took almost an hour before we alighted at the crossing, where tricycles will fight for their life to have you ride their three wheeled spectacle. Going to Philpan Dive Resort was a welcome change, from urban setting of the Batangas City comes the relaxing sight of the Anilao seascapes, several shops you will be passing by are tinkered with scuba diving paraphernalias and also their humble hotels for accomodating water enthusiasts.

Not Quite, What?

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Upon our arrival, we then had our names registered and paid the corresponding fee (35php/pax) imposed by the barangay and hired a guide for the climb at 500php/one way. We honestly hadn’t had any decent research of the place and the mountain that we are going to climb, since they said that spur of the moment trips are always the best. We only relied on a random article we found during the bus ride and a quick guide to Mt. Gulugod Baboy. And we started the climb.

To our surprise, the place is not quite what we expected, we are sure that we are climbing a mountain, but we passed by concrete roads that only took around 30 minutes before our guide said that we are halfway there.


What? Was our initial reaction, then we passed by several houses on the trail selling bottled drinks, ice candies, snacks and even rice meals. The trail was cemented whenever there were steep parts. And getting lost when trekking this mountain should not be feared since it is straightforward and you can still ask the locals of the way up if you become quite hesitant of your direction. Since guides are not mandatory, I suggest you not to hire one, since they overcharge, and the way up is easy to manage.

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It is only after 40 minutes when we felt that we are now on a mountain, since there is only the plants and trees surrounding us followed by a good view of Anilao from where we were walking.


The Good

The sun was really up as we reached the lone tree near the summit that marks the spot that tells you: “Welcome to the Pig’s Spine!.” The trek took almost an hour and it was surprising that after the number of houses littered from the foot to the summit, rolling slopes of green awaits you.


The summit is made up of grassy slopes and several hills without any trees, and the view from each of them is really liberating and exudes the feeling of freedom.


Sombrero Island and Oscar Island is easily seen as well as Tingloy and the Maricaban Island. Moreover, Mindoro from afar is visible with the famous Verde Island.

We then took a rest and had our lunch as our guide left us on our own at the top without even telling us any infos regarding the mountain, the precautions to observe or even a little trivia, good service indeed.

The Bad
This was our first time to see a car on the summit of a mountain, and also of a construction site nearby with erected wooden huts for their workers. And it was dissapointing to witness such a sight.


And again adding to the situation, is that trash is all around, we almost filled our plastic bag of crazy number of stuff from plastic spoon and forks, tin cans, styro packs and plastic bottles. It was humid that time and after a little rest we then descended back.

Hey, Philpan!

It took us around 40 minutes to manage our way down to the jump off point. A good option to rest and tidy up is to stay for a while at the Philpan Dive resort where they charge mountaineers 60php as entrance fee.



You can wash up and rest or take a dip at the beach before heading back to Manila, so we took the latter and had a good swim before tidying up.

The beach does not have any fine sand but more of the pebbles and rocks, but the water was clear and enough to cool you down. It is around mid afternoon when we decided to head back to Manila, and going back was a long trip indeed.


Always be armed of valuable information before doing a trip or hike, since this can make or break your little adventures. What a day it really was, tiring, yes, but enough to fuel you back to your normal self on the following days to come.


Itinerary and Budget


Mt. Gulugod Baboy

Mabini, Anilao, Batangas



0630  –  ETD Buendia, Take Batangas Pier bound buses, alight at Batangas Central Terminal (125php/pax)
0900  –  ETA Batangas Central Terminal
0915  –  Take Mabini-Anilao Jeep (35php/pax)
1000  –  ETA Crossing, take tricycle to Anilao
1020  –  Arrival at Philpan Dive Resort
1035  –  ETA Anilao, register, secure guide, start trek (35php/reg fee, 500php/ guide fee for 5pax)
1130  –  Summit, lunch, take pictures, rest
1300  –  Descend back to jump off
1340  –  back at registration area, log out
1400  –  Philpan Dive Resort, swim, rest
1530  –  Tidy up, take tricycle to crossing
1545  –  Crossing, take jeep to grand terminal
1700  –  Take bus back to Manila
2000  –  Manila

Budget
Transportation:
Bus – 250php (Buendia-Grand Terminal-Buendia)
Jeepney – 70php (Terminal-Crossing-Terminal)
Tricycle – 120php (Crossing-Anilao-Crossing)

Fees:
Registration: 35php
Guide Fee: 250php/pax (500php/2pax)
Philpan Resort: 60php

Total Damage: 750php (800php/safe budget)

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes

Go, carve that niche.

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