On this post, we will give you a beginners guide to Mt. Gulugod Baboy. If you are a newbie like me who adores the lush and green mountains but have no plans of actually climbing it, read on, this is definitely for you. We understand that there are for sure tons of guides on how to conquer a mountain, which one to start, and the things to bring and consider when climbing it for the first time. So instead of starting on these areas, let me show you what the summit of Mt. Gulugod Baboy looks like. Would you say “no” to this?
So now that you already have the end in mind, let me tell you the story of our journey along with tips that you might find relevant as a beginner. If it would help you, let me share my own predicaments in climbing a mountain. I dislike the sun exposure, the discomfort, the possible danger, and all the unglamorous state you have to endure before you see the amazing view from the top. Therefore, I feel a compelling need to share my experience to you as a beginner with these predicaments in my back pocket.
What a journey it has been?
Let me frame to you our journey in three main aspects: the call time, our expectations, and the hike to the top.
First, let me begin with our call time. We started very early at 2:00 AM (assembly time) and left in Manila past 3:30 AM. Since we had an organizer for this trip, the same one who also organized our Apo Reef escapade (click here to read more), we therefore had a van for our transportation, but you could just imagine the serenity inside the car once we started hitting the road…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Everyone’s sleeping and maximizing the chance to take that much needed nap before we start to climb the mountain. So you see, the challenge starts very early (literally).
It took us roughly three hours to reach Anilao Batangas. Stretch, stretch and bio break first before we start our hike. But before that, please indulge me in showing you our group photo before my good friend started questioning his choice of wearing WHITE sneakers for a hike!
Now, off to start my first hike ever which will lead me to my second point which is about managing your expectations. The reason why I have to specifically mention this is because, we initially got an idea from the internet that the difficulty level for the hike to Mt. Gulugod Baboy (especially for beginners) is 2/10. No biggie for sure right? So we got ourselves not so prepared for this in terms of our outfit, well at least for our foot wear; wearing either white sneakers or rubber shoes not fit for hiking (I know, please don’t judge us but yes, a slow clap will do). The trail was slippery so it would have helped us if we wore some boots that have a very nice grip on moist soil like Mt. Gulugod Baboy.
Then, when we started the climb, we were not so prepared for the terrain and the soil condition. The hill that we imagined to climb without difficulty turned to be a very steep , slippery, and relatively dangerous terrain (dangerous because there are some loose and pointed rocks on the the way and the trail is narrow). We found ourselves being very cautious of our steps, maintaining our balance all the time, and adjusting the grip on our feet to ensure we won’t slide. Is it dangerous to slip and fall? Definitely! Would you be a gonner if that happens? It’s possible if you’ll hit yourself on a rock or roll over to some pointed branch. So again, this is not what we imagined to be a smooth trail to a hill – definitely not! Now, should we give this a 2/10 rating by difficulty level: yes for experienced climbers but not for beginners. Mt. Gulugod Baboy merits a 5/10 rating for beginners.
Hey, having second thoughts now? Nah, that is something you can shake off your head. Although the terrain is not that easy and comfortable, there are so many aspects of the hike that you can look forward to which leads me to my third point which is the the journey to the top.
Let me start with the air, trust me, it is one of the freshest you can breathe in Luzon. I heard my friend saying:”I felt like my lungs has been totally freed of all the impurities I got in the city”. This was not the exact same words he said but the gist is the same. The soft morning breeze gave us a cool stroke that lifted the drops of sweat on our skin. And as we were reaching the summit, we were greeted with a strong but cold ocean breeze that continuously tossed our hair which gave it a nice flow worth capturing on the camera. Climbing with friends would also make Mt. Gulugod Baboy adventure a memorable one. The hike actually paved the way for us to share more stories as we climbed, be supportive of each other’s “photo goals”, be sensitive of one another’s challenges and needs: it was seeing my friends in a different light. Further, it was really an amazing journey: starting from the base with just branches, trees, grass and rocks to see, then slowly seeing silhouettes of the islands from afar, then seeing a clearer blue sky and ocean with the amazing verdant trees and grasses around. It was an appetizer, main, and dessert so to speak.
The summit would always remind me that the way to the top is not all glamour, fun, and comfort, but when you are on a journey with amazing people, the view from the top is always sweet and stunning!
Photo credit to my wonderful friend Eya for the group photos.
So now that I have already given you the aspects of our Mt. Gulugod Baboy experience, I encourage you to take that courage and make the decision to do your first ever adventure to the mountain. I will assure you, all the challenges are all worth it.
However, I won’t leave you hanging without some bits and pieces of advise that you can bring on your first expedition:
- Invest in a hiking boots. I am saying this because I had to endure sore muscles after; it could have been lessened if I wore a proper hiking boots, so learn from me.
- Start your hike early. The breezy air and the cool temperature will greet you if you start early. However, expect to expose yourself in the bright sun if climb at around nine in the morning.
- Bring trail food, it is helpful to replenish your energy.
- The descent is much difficult than the ascent, stay focused.
- It pays to have someone organize your trip. Okay, we paid 800 PHP, but we didn’t have to worry about transportation, directions, entrance, etc., so we had all our presence on the journey. If you are interested, you can follow our organizer on facebook to see his latest organized events.
- Apply anti-mosquito lotion and sunblock, they are THE absolutely must haves when you hike in the mountain.
- Enjoy the process, feel, breathe, and stay connected to the earth.
Finally, as I close this post, let me leave you with a beautiful quote from quotesgram:
“It is not the mountain that we conquer but ourselves”
– by Edmund Hillary on dulyposted.com
Do you think you are ready now to climb the mountain for the first time?