Category Archives: BATANGAS

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.

Gain Perspective – Mt. Batulao (811+)

Jumpoff: Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu
LLA: 14.0408 N 120.8011 E 811 MASL Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-4 hours Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 3 with 60-70 degrees assault Features: Open trails, rolling slopes, scenic views of Batangas
( http://www.pinoymountaineer.com)

Only two hours away from Manila, this mountain has been drawing crowds from different parts of the country due to its scenic landscape, open trails and steep slopes.

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Bato Sa Ilao
It is said that there are times when the sun will be seen peeking from in between the rock summits of the mountain. Thus, bato sa Ilao, and as generations passed, came the word Batulao.

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As part of our Nasugbu twin day hike, Mt. Batulao was our second summit that day. We started the trek after taking our lunch at the Km. 83 registration area of Mt. Talamitam. We headed to the Evercrest Golf Course (15min jeepney ride from Brgy. Sampaloc) where a tricycle took us to the jump off point to secure permits and log in at the tourism office.

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Into the Ups and Downs of Batulao

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Even at the start of the trail, the twin peaks are still visible. You will be passing into cogon grasslands and narrow trails with steep slopes. The trek can be exhausting since no cover from trees are available, but the open trails together with the cool breeze from the highlands of Tagaytay will surely give you a boost. The new trail and its 10 camps will give you a remarkable scenic view of the surrounding areas of Batangas and its mountain ranges. There are huts along the trail that sells fresh buko juice and halo-halo. The ascent equals the descent, and is quite a challenge.

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Right in the Moment
After passing several camps, the trek from camp 8 to 10 is the deal breaker. Narrow trails and ravines from both sides are present and safety will always be the priority. The Dinosaur spine is also the highlight of the trek, wherein the daunting trail is narrower and steeper, one wrong move and game over.

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Finally, after an hour and thirty minutes, we reached camp 10, or the highest point in the mountain at 811 meters.

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The uphills and downhills of the trail really teaches you something about life, no matter how fear inducing it can be, just keep on keeping on and once you look back, you couldn’t be anymore proud of yourself.

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Itinerary & Expenses
Mt. Talamitam and Mt. Batulao
Twin Day Hike

0500 Take bus to Nasugbu via Cavitex at Buendia Station (150php/pax)
0700 – ETA Brgy. Aga, get off at KM. 83, then register (Fee: 20php/Guide: 300php/group of 5)
0715 – Start of first climb
0915 – Arrival at summit. Rest.
1015 – Start descent
1100 – Sidetrip at Layong Bilog
1145 – Back at trailhead. Eat Lunch.
1245 – Tidy up, secure guide, then take jeep to Evercrest (Guide fee: 400php/per group)
1300 – ETA Evercrest, take tricycle to jump-off (70php/pax)
1315 – Arrival at Tourism Office, register, no fees to be collected
1330 – Start of second climb to Mt. Batulao
1500 – Arrival at summit, take pictures, rest
1630 – Back at jumpoff. Tidy up (Bath: 25php/pail)
1645 – take outbound trike to Evercrest
1700 – Take bus back to Manila
2000 – ETA Manila

Estimated Budget:

Transportation: 447.50php
Guides and Fees: 700php/4pax + 20php – 195php
Food: 150php
Total Damage: 812.50php, 1000php safe budget.

Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

Go, Carve that Niche,

Rex

Another Atmosphere- Mt. Talamitam (630+)

Nasugbu, Batangas
Jump-off point: Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu (KM. 83)
LLA: 14.1158° N; 120.7577° N; 630 MASL
Days required/ Hours to summit: 1 day / 1.5-2.2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3 with steep assault (100m)
(www.pinoymountaineer.com)

With our bags packed, we planned a Nasugbu twin day hike and the first to cross from the two is Mt. Batulao’s younger sibling, Mt. Talamitam. We reached Brgy. Aga by 6:30am where we are greeted by friendly locals. Upon securing our guide and permit, and finishing a bowl of Goto Batangas, we started the trek.

Rolling Hills
The first part of the trail started by passing through the Aga River, then into forest teeming with towering coconut trees and lush vegetations. After several minutes you will be greeted by the second part of the trail which is a grassland extending up to the summit.

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The summit from the grass filled plateau.

Where Are The Talamitams?
It was said that long ago, this mountain was covered by Talamitam trees, to which it was named after. But today it is nothing but a long stretch of open grassland, with some parts cultivated to grow crops. Cows grazing the fields are present. It is still early in the morning but the trek is starting to be exhausting due to the stifling heat and lack of tree cover.

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Mt. Batulao from afar.

Another Story
Never underestimate any mountain at all costs. Since we are fairly new into climbing mountains, Talamitam was another story. It was hot indeed and upon the 100 meter assault to the summit, sweltering heat is really omnipresent. The ascend to the top is mostly gradual. But that is only until you reach the final assault. With slopes up to sixty degrees, it is the most challenging part of the climb.

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Cogon grasslands.

After an hour, summit!.
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Reaching a new summit and standing on top of it is really a humbling experience.

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Through high altitude gusts, it keeps us grounded.

Into the Cool Waters of Layong Bilog

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The Cascades

The descent from the summit took a good 45mins from our time, and we did a sidetrip into the cascades of Aga River, commonly called by the locals as the Layong Bato/Layong Bilog. We scrambled at some rocks at the side of the river to reach the pool.

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After a quick dip, we had our lunch at the registration area near the highway and prepared for the second summit that day, Mt. Batulao.

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Up in the air

Itinerary & Expenses
Mt. Talamitam and Mt. Batulao
Twin Day Hike

0500 Take bus to Nasugbu via Cavitex at Buendia Station (150php/pax)
0700 – ETA Brgy. Aga, get off at KM. 83, then register (Fee: 20php/Guide: 300php/group of 5)
0715 – Start of first climb
0915 – Arrival at summit. Rest.
1015 – Start descent
1100 – Sidetrip at Layong Bilog
1145 – Back at trailhead. Eat Lunch.
1245 – Tidy up, secure guide, then take jeep to Evercrest (Guide fee: 400php/per group)
1300 – ETA Evercrest, take tricycle to jump-off (70php/pax)
1315 – Arrival at Tourism Office, register, no fees to be collected
1330 – Start of second climb to Mt. Batulao
1500 – Arrival at summit, take pictures, rest
1630 – Back at jumpoff. Tidy up (Bath: 25php/pail)
1645 – take outbound trike to Evercrest
1700 – Take bus back to Manila
2000 – ETA Manila

Estimated Budget:

Transportation: 447.50php
Guides and Fees: 700php/4pax + 20php – 195php
Food: 150php
Total Damage: 812.50php, 1000php safe budget.

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley

Go, Carve that Niche,

Rex