hiking, hiking diary, travel

Hiking Diary: Gulugod Baboy

SPRINGTIME (1)

Last Sunday, I finally made it to Gulugod Baboy, a picturesque 525+ MASL hill located in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas. A huge raincloud threatened the whole hike, but it dispersed when we got to the jump-off point.

I said finally because Justin and I already made plans to go to Gulugod Baboy last month, but because of our laziness, we ditched the plan and just opted to stay in bed and order takeout (because why not!) Luckily we were a little motivated to actually do this hike this time around as it’s the first climb of the year and we’ll be with other people. We originally invited three other people to come with us but two of them cancelled and so we’re stuck with Jerson, the dakilang third wheel.

Am I the only one who finds it alarming that we’re constantly being ditched by our friends? Are we not fun to be with??? Anyway, moving on.

First of all, don’t believe it when other people tell you it’s highly recommended to bring a private vehicle to the jump-off point. While sure it’s convenient to bring your own car, commuting to Philpan Dive Resort (the jump-off point) is really easy. The place is highly accessible — you just need to transfer to a jeep or a tricycle. Since I’m a veteran when it comes to that (I mean, I take the bus, the jeep, and the MRT to work), it was pretty simple.

We went to Buendia in Pasay where most of the popular bus lines that frequent the south are stationed. We chose to take DLTB, and the fare to Batangas City only cost us P125 (other blogs say it’s around P160). We were actually behind schedule already and the bus left around 6 in the morning. We got off at the Grand Terminal (the trip took around 1hr and 30 mins), where we were directed to a jeep heading to Anilao.

Fortunately for us, a lot of hikers were going to Philpan. We were able to charter a jeep for P80 per head, and the driver offered to take us directly to Philpan Dive Resort. So, if you’re planning to commute to Philpan, wait for other hikers to arrive and charter a jeep together. It’s much cheaper and saves some time.

After about an hour and thirty minutes, we finally arrived in front of Philpan Dive Resort. Note that you don’t actually have to go in the resort as the registration site is just across the road. We paid P35 each and the kind ladies gave us a piece of paper complete with contact numbers for emergency.

Jerson, Justin, and I all joked that it would be a “petiks” climb so we decided to get lomi first. The special bowl only cost us P45 each (not bad!) After that, we decided to start our hike and headed to the actual jump-off point.

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Do not underestimate this road.

The trail to the peak(s??) started of as a rather steep concrete road. I was out of breath 15 minutes into the trek it was ridiculous. But that’s the thing with gradual ascents — they’re a bitch. Finally, we spotted the dirt trail and followed a couple of newbies. As we got higher, the views got better, and we were constantly taking breaks to take pictures of the big, blue ocean. It was so pretty. There are numerous rest stops along the way, some selling soft drinks and halo halo, but we opted to move ahead. We managed to arrive to the first peak after 1hr and 38 minutes of trekking.

My first impression upon reaching the first peak was “wow, the views are great,” followed by “teletubby land,” and then “no shade!” So do take care and apply copious amounts of sunblock before you climb. Thankfully, the heat of the sun was cancelled out by the strong breeze. Thank you, ocean. ❤

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Views of Tingloy and Sombrero Islands along the trail.

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After taking some pictures, we proceeded to peak two where we stayed for the majority of our time up there. There were a few cows grazing, and the panoramic views of Balayan Bay and this other body of water (I forget) were really nice! Justin took a little nap while Jerson and I took more pictures. Finally, we decided to eat our lunch. Justin and I brought pasta while Jerson brought corned beef sandwich. If the two people we invited went with us, we would’ve had a really nice picnic complete with wine, man.

We chilled a couple more minutes then decided to head to Mt. Pinagbanderahan, also known as the highest peak (525+ MASL). We only spent a couple of minutes there because it was high noon, and we were running out of water. We finally decided to head down and look for something cold along the way. Bye bye, G Babs.

The whole descent took us around 1hr and 30 minutes — much less if Justin paused his timer while we were sipping Mountain Dew in one of the rest stops. I reckon you can actually finish the descent in less than an hour. I was actually a little disappointed when I realized the whole descent was over.

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After a quick change of shirts, we flagged a tricycle to take us to the town centre. This trip cost P40 per head. Once in the town centre, we got on a jeep headed to Batangas City (P30) to take us to Diversion Road. From there, we walked a couple of meters to a DLTB station, which then took us to the Grand Terminal (FOR FREE!) From there, we transferred to another DLTB bus headed to LRT Buendia (P125).

All in all it was a really easy and pleasant hike. Beginners are highly encouraged to try it out, and the panoramic views up there are totally worth it. Don’t forget to bring sunblock or umbrella for a bit of a shade as there’s no tree cover up in the peaks. As for the lomi, you can take it before the hike as a warm-up (what) or after the hike (as your prize). The trail is really easy, although there’s a weird cemented part 15-20 minutes from Peak 1 that was steep as hell.

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HIGHLIGHTS

1. Really nice views – It’s not often you get treated to panoramic views of the bay whenever you climb a mountain, so it’s a really nice change from all the green that I am accustomed to.

2. Friendly locals – The jeepney driver who took us to Philpan Dive Resort was very nice to give us a discount (he originally charged us P100 per head). The kind ladies at the registration booth were also very “titas of Batangas” lels and didn’t charge me anything for changing my clothes in a bathroom. They were also kind enough to give us additional instructions re: where to get a jeep and stuff.

3. Cheap – One of the biggest surprises is how much the trip to Gulugod Baboy each cost us. I only spent P500, and that includes the bus fares, the Mountain Dew, the lomi, and other transpo fees.

EXPENSES:
Bus to Grand Terminal, Batangas City – 125php
Bus to LRT Buendia – 125php
Registration fee – 35php
Special Lomi – 45php
Mountain Dew – 20php
Jeep to Philpan Dive Resort – 80php
Trike to Town Centre – 40php
Jeep to Diversion Rd – 30php
TOTAL: 500php

4. Accessible – Gulugod Baboy is highly accessible whether you are going there via private vehicle or public transportation. The fares are reasonably priced, and it’ll only take you around 2 hours to reach Philpan Dive Resort. If you managed to finish the hike early, you can even go diving in one of the many resorts in Anilao.

OVERALL RATING: 9/10 as in definitely would go back with a picnic basket and a Coleman with a nice bottle of wine. Perfect for a chill day hike or quick getaway from the chaos of Manila.

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