All the Way Up Mt. Gulugod Baboy

9 Nov

Don’t let the title of this post fool you – in no way am I a mountain climber. While I am quite intrigued with hikes because of the many blog posts and pictures I’ve read and seen, I know that it’s not really in me to go up a mountain.

Although, I lived for seven years near one of the country’s highest peaks, Mt. Apo. I may have thought about climbing it and drafted a few plans here and there, but I never really got the courage to push through with any.

Here are the few reasons why:

  • I have bronchial asthma. I’m not dependent on any medicines yet, thankfully, but I still bring a stash of anti-histamines and -asthma wherever I go. I also have a handy inhaler, which my friends call my choice of drug as it’s white and powdery. (It’s real medicine for quick relief for asthma attacks, promise.) I get really awful attacks once a year and these really make me feel like I’m dying. But most days, the asthma’s manageable.
  • Because of the above reason, I’m in no way physically fit. The most I can do is walk long distances, but with short breaks in between. I can’t run even if my life depended on it (well maybe I can, when I get an adrenaline rush or something). I even find it hard to lift myself up to a certain height because of my poor upper body strength. I skipped PE classes that required too much running way back in elementary. (It doesn’t look like it, yeah?)

So you could probably imagine the look on my face when my friends thought of going up Mt. Gulugod Baboy on the second day of our Mabini, Batangas escapade this year. You can click on the link above for more info on this mountain that’s gaining popularity among hikers in the Philippines and tourists as well.

The typical jump-off point of most travelers is in Anilao, Batangas. However, Kuya Sande told us that there was a way from Bgy. Malimatoc II up to the mountain. I think it’s a trail opposite that of Anilao’s.

Hello Kuya Sande, Jhoann's cousin and our forever tour guide! He's actually very camera-shy. 🙂

We also asked him if the trail was okay for first-timers like us. He said it was okay, but the path would be slippery and muddy because of the recent rain showers. We said it’s okay, we’ll just be extra careful and he agreed to accompany us! So everyone got excited and decided to go up Mt. Gulugod Baboy the next day.

I didn’t tell him about my medical condition though. Wrong move on my part.

Buwis buhay! (Life-threatening)

*Note: That’s just the transliteration of the phrase. According to Google Translate, buwis buhay in English means “lifetime tax”. Haha.

We woke up at 5am the next day and ate a hearty breakfast. We had then changed into comfortable clothes and packed a few items to bring – water, face towels, alcohol, tissue, camera(s), crackers, fan. I had brought along my trusty medicine stash, just in case something comes up. We had also brought a bag filled with salt. Jhoann’s uncle was pretty superstitious and he insisted that we bring it to ward off unnecessary elements of nature.

After a few trips to the bathroom, we then started on our new adventure.

The first part of our trail involved going up a pretty steep, cemented road from the house.

Starting the hike! It was still a bit chilly, hence the jacket. I kind of regretted bringing it.

We really didn’t look like hikers. I mean, look at what we were wearing! And only Jhoann (the one in pink) was wearing closed shoes. Funny t0o, when people would pass us by and ask where we’re going, the look on their faces would depict either shock or pity upon hearing our answer.

I remembered we just kept going up and up and at some point, I was getting tired and dizzy, probably due to the change in altitude. We managed to stop over at a little shack near the road and luckily for us, the owners knew Jhoann. So they gave us cold water and allowed us to rest for a while. (Somehow, Jhoann knows everyone from Barangay Malimatoc II and some from neighboring barangays.)

Notice my face (trying to look "okay")

We then climbed up and down, left and right, until we reached the end of the cemented road. Now this is where I literally feared for my life, safety and sanity. The path was now made with land, so it was muddy, slippery and had water puddles  scattered around.

Proof that this part was really scary? We didn’t take photos. We were too concentrated on staying up and alive. It was that bad that the boys took off their slippers as it was easier to walk barefoot. I kid you not.

After this part, we were able to stop over a sari-sari store to rest. We bought coke and food, and had our water bottles refilled. It was going to be another buwis buhay trek up.

Looks easy? Think of these steps with lots of mud and slippery grass

At long last

After about two hours of trekking, we finally, FINALLY saw a field of grass. This was somehow our sign that we were nearing the summit. And the view was beautiful there, much more when we reached the top.

I’ll let the photos speak for me, but even these are not enough to aptly describe how I personally felt on top of that peak.

This greeted us before we went up to the peak. We all wondered how it got there.

The wind was really strong then.

Going up!

Look at this awesome view 🙂

It was breathtaking and I could say that all that hard work and near-death experiences we went through just to get to the top were absolutely worth it.

More photos!

On top!

From another perspective. Still awesome.

🙂

My constant companion in all Bgy. Malimatoc II travels (and in future travels too?) 🙂

Thumbs up for Mt. Gulugod Baboy! 😀

Of course, jump shots were in order. We were extra careful!

Fight? 😉

It was really hot and bright, that's why I can't see the photo on Lulu's LCD screen.

Going all Meteor Garden 😉

That's my friend, Joseph. I was at the summit and he went down exploring and doing the tourist pose.

They went along with him. 🙂

I’m still alive so I guess my first experience as a hiker wasn’t that bad. It was easier to go down, however I joined the boys in taking off my slippers on a muddy part of the trail. Had a lot of blisters and random cuts and bruises on my legs afterwards.

This bit of adventure was really tiring and it tested my endurance, strength and will power (not exaggerating here). Again, all that hard work paid off. Not a lot of people can say that they climbed Mt. Gulugod Baboy wearing pambahay (house) clothes and having zero climbing experience.

I’m glad I’m one of those people. 🙂

Asked the other travelers who camped out at a nearby site to take this group photo. 🙂

Feeling awesome 🙂

*

There are a lot of groups and tours that offer scheduled climbs to Mt. Gulugod Baboy. If you’re interested, Google is your friend. 🙂

If you happen to be in Bgy. Malimatoc II and would like to try out the trail that we did, hit me up in the comments section or send me an email. Maybe I can be of help.

Some photos grabbed from Jhoann (we seem to be the designated photographers in our group. ;)).

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6 Responses to “All the Way Up Mt. Gulugod Baboy”

  1. heartlikeacanvas November 13, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    Am loving this travel blog! ❤

  2. gayE @ Pinay Travel Junkie November 16, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Wow! What an amazing accomplishment for you. Congrats 🙂

    • ramblinglittlegirl November 16, 2011 at 2:58 am #

      Oh wow, hi Gaye! 😀 *fan girl moment* Can I just say that you’re one of the travel bloggers who served as my inspiration in starting my own travel blog. 🙂

      OT: It is an amazing accomplishment for someone like me. I’m still thinking whether I’ll start adding other mountains for my future travel destinations, but who knows? 🙂

  3. chyng December 14, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    i have an officemate, every weekend nagsosolo climb sya dito. now looking at the view on top, now i understand. ang ganda sa taas! Ü

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Washed Up in Mabini, Batangas « Off she goes! - January 3, 2012

    […] a cemented road. It was still pretty steep, but it was definitely easier than the climb up and down Mt. Gulugod Baboy.  2007 trip, at the start of the trek […]

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