Mountaineering, Sports

Mt. Gulugod-Baboy: A First-Timer’s Account

Located in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas,Β Mt. Gulugod-Baboy stands 525 meters above sea level. It takes about two hours to reach its summit so a day hike is possible (although camping overnight is better). Because of its minor difficulty – an easy climb with a rate of 2/9 – Mt. Gulugod-Baboy became a popular destination for beginner mountaineers and hiking enthusiasts.

Mt. Gulugod-Baboy’s location is also known for its rich marine sanctuary so adventure junkies go diving or snorkeling after the climb. This is becoming a GB staple, adding zest to an exciting overnight trip. Be sure to pack your swimming gear so you can fully enjoy the sea.

From Cubao (Quezon City), ride a bus heading to Batangas City. Alight at Bauan Diversion then ride a jeepney to Mabini until you reach the road to Philpan Dive Resort. Ride a tricycle here to get to the jump-off. If you are climbing with a big group, you may hire a jeepney from Bauan Diversion to take you to the jump-off point.

Mt. Gulugod-Baboy suggested itinerary:

0900 bus departure from Cubao to Bauan, Batangas
1130 jeep from Bauan to Anilao
1200 lunch at Anilao
1330 tricycle from Anilao to Philpan (near jump off)
1400 start of ascent
1600 pitch camp, prepare dinner
1800 dinner
2100 sleep

0530 sunrise, prepare breakfast
0600 breakfast, break camp
0800 start of descent
0930 buy lunch at canteen near jump off
1000 boat ride to Sombrero Island or Dive and Trek marine sanctuary
1020 arrival at Sombrero Island or Dive and Trek marine sanctuary
1100 lunch
1400 boat ride to Philpan or nearby resort, shower
1530 tricycle to Anilao
1600 jeep from Anilao to Bauan
1630 bus to Manila

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Ecstatic. That is how I felt while packing for my first climb. I lost count on how many times I checked my things. Everything was scattered on the floor so I could see if I missed anything. It was just a fun climb, an overnight trip, but you know how every firsts makes anyone nervous and excited at the same time.

We were off early morning to Cubao, Metro Manila’s center for provincial bus terminals. We boarded a bus bound for Batangas, a province in South Luzon about two hours away from Manila. It was a sleepy ride mainly because I had a hard time shutting my eyes the night before due to excitement. I was going to climb my first mountain, Mt. Gulugod-Baboy. My goal was to see if I would like mountain climbing and eventually include it in my travel plans.

We reached the jump-off through a chartered jeepney, making it easier for a group of less than twenty. We did a last-minute check on our supplies and when all was set, our team leader signaled the start of the trek.

The first thirty minutes were challenging. The cemented uphill road from the jump-off point to the soil path sucked my energy that I gulped tremendously from my water bottle. I have to build my endurance – run double time in the city, perhaps – if I want to climb mountains.

We paused several times for cold soda and trail food. I took each stop to look out onto the sea. The sight from above was an excellent motivation to push myself. The thought of swimming the following day was enough to help me reach the summit.

We pitched our tents, cooked our food and readied ourselves for a cold night. Lights were turned off after social; the moon and the stars were our camp guards. It was a beautiful night.

Mt. Gulugod-Baboy fired my interest in mountain climbing. It pushed me closer to the ground and made me appreciate the strength and beauty of nature even more. It brought me a sense of accomplishment, knowing that what I have conquered is not the soil I am treading but only my self.

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