It would be easier to climb hills and mountains when you got friends to cheer you up when you seemingly breathed your last air. It would be nicer if friends are there to poke you around and say hey ‘Push” “Move on” “Guys tara na!” yeah sure they’re the best encourage(r) =/. It would be more fun if friends are there cracking thousands of personal jokes to everybody. Sabi nga nila you can’t be pikon in the mountains and island. Why? You can’t walk out! Hahaha… where will you go anyway? Lol…
Mt. Gulugod Baboy is special for me. The friends whom I met just last January and February treated me a surprise for my 25th birthday…. Naks’ ‘teary eyed’ hehehe… it was very touching for me at least. Ok ill talk about it more later.
The original Binondo Girls (oh where’s Kaiye, Endette and Gelai?)
Mount Gulugod Baboy is an easy climb. Most experts says that its difficulty is 2/9. It lies at the southern tip of Luzon at the Mabini Peninsula on Batangas. They say it’s like a playground with rolling hills and large open grass area. At the peak you will see the formation/shape of the peninsula of Mabini thus offering a great view of sunrise and sunset. If you think there are a lot of “pigs” in the area because of the it’s name “Gulugod Baboy” think of it no more hehe… Pigs actually don’t have to do with the mountain. The word “Gulugod” means spine and Baboy mean Pig. The mountain actually has two peaks. First is the “Pinagbanderahan Peak” which is the highest peak and most probably you will climb here as well as we do and the “Gulugod Baboy Peak” The latter is visible from Pinagbanderahan and from there you will be able to see the pig spine or “gulugod ng baboy” shape.
How to get to Mt. Gulugod Baboy:
- Take a bus in Cubao or Buendia heading to Batangas City. Tell the driver to drop you in the Terminal. Batangas has only one terminal so you will never get lost. Travel time is 2 hours.
- From the terminal take a jeep going to Mabini. Jeep’s last stop is in Anilao, yes the famous diving spot. Travel time 45-60 minutes.
- From Anilao take a tricycle going to Philpan Resort. And there after paying the fee you are ready to go =)
From Batangas Bus Terminal, you can charter a jeep going to Philpan Resort. The barker will actually offer you this when he knew that your group is going to Mt. Gulugod Baboy. Charter will cost Php800 but you can haggle it upto Php600. The deal was there will still be passenger up to Anilao and the driver will still pick up passenger. That’s fine with us. Then don’t forget to charter the driver on the next day going back to the terminal if in case you will camp on the mountain.
Everything started with a joke for our group. Since there are two groups one is in the south and one is in the north we decided that the two groups to meet up separately and then meet each other’s group in Batangas Terminal. Me, Keneth, Mina, Dharzie and ate Sharon met in Buendia while the group of Claire, Jayvee, Kat and Natz met in Alabang. Our group’s call was at 5AM, yes 5AM at Buendia Terminal (McDonalds) and as usual that wasn’t the case because most of us are from the north. When we realized that that was our case; me and Mina are from QC, Dharzie is from Rizal, Kenneth is from Mandaluyong and ate Sharon is from Pasig; we said to each other “Bakit di nalang sa Cubao tayo nagkitakita eh mas malapit pala tayo dun?” hahaha… then we all laugh and hop the bus.
It was around 9 or 9:30 when we reach Batangas Terminal and as expected the Alabang group came there ahead of us. After a couple of minutes of obligatory talks and introduction, because some met each other the first time there, we went ahead and hop the jeep and started to haggle for the charter.
It was like around 10:30am when we reach Philpan Resort. When the jeep dropped us there Kenneth began to talk to the driver for the charter back to Batangas City. Kenneth was in charge of communication. Daming Load nyan eh hehe… At the Philpan Resort, well not actually the resort but its just a landmark for the jump off point, we were immediately approached by a man to get our fee for climbing the mountain. I am not just sure if he’s really from the government. But since according to what we have read there is really a payment of Php20.00, so we didn’t question him. Then another man came this time to ask us if we wanted to do a side trip in Sombrero Island and Oscar Island. He’s charging us Php2,500. Way cheaper than the one we asked in Anilao Port that charges us Php5,000. At first the Php2,500 deal is covering the two island but when he called the owner of the boat it turned out that Php2,500 is only for Sombrero Island. We haggle of course but to no avail.
The sun has risen and our skin seems to absorbed all the heat down to our cell! We decided to stay in the jump off point because of the scorching heat and had our lunch and teas each and everyone of us.
One of the Stop Overs
The climb would have been easier if the weather was favorable. As a result we were stopping after every assault. We were buying everything that will quench our thirsts and would fight the heat. Thankfully, we climb as a team. That’s how the much experienced climber had instilled us. It was a climb of friendship. I like the fact that these experienced climber were always waiting for us. They were giving us ample time to climb and breath every spot we see.
We had a buddy. A climbing buddy of sort. And of course as Gelai instructed, Clair and I – the self proclaimed Travel Buddies – can’t go together because according to her we might get lost and might lag behind. Hahaha… Can’t blame her because of our experience in Mt. Batulao. My buddy was Natz. Kat for Mina. Ken and Jayvee went ahead because we were so slow. Joke. They went ahead because they had to assemble the tent. And the more experienced climber Dharzie and Mam Sharon was our sweeper.
All the sweat, thirst and muscle pain was worth it when we reached the rolling hill which are the trademark of this mountain. The green surrounding was as refreshing as the ice cold water we were craving while on the trail. Yes they were right Gulugod Baboy was like a playground for extra adventurous people like us (?) hehe… All the hot humid was turned into a cold wind colliding into our skin that makes it more pain quenching.
The sun was waving its goodbye. And the day favorite by all was saying hi. It was the most dramatic time of the day where the horizon will be at its finest. Giving each expectators a puzzling question what will it look like. The master painter will slowly reveal its grand piece different from the other day. The word wasn’t a surprise, its an awe seeing God’s work. Combining the calm sea, the perfect formation of the clouds and the radiant color of the sun ahhh it was as perfect as Him – the Master Painter.
For some reason I felt so dramatic as the sunset. Not because the climb was my birthday climb but because of the simple question I asked to my travel buddy Claire. Everybody went down to prepare for the night but me and Claire seems can’t get enough of the view. So without any word we stayed and pose some more and stared at the horizon until I asked a simple question. From a simple question of mine which was answerable by a complicated situation the conversation went up to relationship to expectation. I just can’t tell here what we had talk about all I can say is it was a good talk. A good talk is the window of realization.
Claire and Me (Jherson)
The sun and the clouds seems playing on the sky giving us a picture worth looking at for more than we could expect. The rays of the clouds colliding with the bluish sky was making an aurora like astronomical experience.
My Birthday Climb
This wast the highlight of the climb but it really surprised me thus it was for me. Hehehe… As I have said This was my birthday climb but during the climb I really didn’t felt like it was a birthday climb for me… Hehehe… (Drama =/) I have seen Gelai’s birthday climb blog post and she has a cake. I didn’t saw any signs of or anything of similar for birthdays. Claire even suggested while we were having lunch to buy something for me because it was my birthday climb. Its actually alright if there was a cake or nothing for me its just that u saw Gelai’s birthday climb that she has a cake… (are you convince of what I am saying? hahaha)
Then the touching moment came. I have a cake!!! hahaha… It was after dinner and we were preparing for our socials when Jayvee pulled out on his bag a small box. When I saw it I knew its my cake… haha… it was very touching because they care to surprise me. And hey we just met a month ago. I really do not celebrate my birthday but my 25th was very well celebrated.
My Morning in the Mountains
The Fog. This was a rare moment according to kuya Dom (Dong Ho). So I assume that this was God’s gift to me aside from the sunset. hehe
Manila (Buendia) to Batangas (Bus) = Php120.00
Batangas to Philpan (Chartered Jeep) = Php67.00
Philpan to Batangas (Chartered Jeep) = Php67.00
Batangas to Manila (Bus/Cubao) = Php140.00
Total = Php394.00
Trekking Fee/Mountain Fee: Php20.00
Food and Groceries: Php167.00 (Chip-in), Dinner Php150.00
Side Trip to Sombrero Island: Boat Php278.00, Island Fee Php150.00
GRAND TOTAL: Php1,159.00
The expenses provided here are estimates but base on actual price. Expenses may vary as to the number of people on your group. Our side expenses such as soft drinks and halo-halo bought while on trail wasn’t included.