Hi everyone! A lot of good things have happened at the start of 2018 and I have been quite busy handling things from different aspects of my life. Luckily, I had a quick weekend break last January 20-21, 2018 which I spent doing two of my most favorite things – hiking (Mt. Daguldol, my 53rd mountain) and relaxing at the beach!
Elevation: 680+ MASL
Location: San Juan, Batangas
Difficulty: 3/9 Minor Climb
Trek to Summit: 2.5 hours (5KM)
Because many of us have not hiked for quite a while now, this was just the right amount of difficulty to make us remember how it feels to be on the trails again. Just that, it also made us remember the essential things to bring during an overnight hike, only, a little too late. Lol. Read on below for the full story.
Ahh, I missed doing hiking posts. Like always, I shall start with the breakdown of expenses.
|VEHICLE||FROM||TO||FARE||TOTAL PER PERSON (14 pax)||ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME|
|Van||Makati||San Juan, Batangas||Php 8,500||Php 607.14||4 hours|
|TOTAL||Php 607.14||4 hours|
|VEHICLE||FROM||TO||FARE||TOTAL PER PERSON (14 pax)||ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME|
|Van||San Juan, Batangas||Makati||–||–||5 hours|
|DESCRIPTION||AMOUNT||TOTAL PER PERSON (14pax)|
|Guide Fee (Php1,000 overnight, Php500 one way)||Php 500||Php 36|
|Registration Fee||Php 490||Php 35|
|Parking||Php 100||Php 7.14|
SAFE BUDGET: Php 1,000
Day 1: #SANJUANDownTheRoad
The group decided to rent a van for this trip. This was a good thing because the commute to the jump-off was a bit tricky. We left Manila around 11AM and arrived at the jump-off around 3:00PM. It was not until 4:00PM when we began our trek after doing our final preparations. Because most of the guides were already unavailable, we were allowed to only go with one guide – Mang Jose, after all, the trail was pretty easy to read.
For a minor climb, we were surprised to deal with a great deal of assaults at the onset. This made us sweat and catch our breaths almost immediately. After a while; however, we arrived at the first waiting shed (hanging) where we decided to take a quick break to rehydrate.
According to Mang Jose, the assaults at the beginning were nothing compared to the second half of the trail which, according to him, would be more draining. Along the trail, we encountered two men carrying sacks of coconuts, which, according to our guide, will be made into different products such as coconut oil.
Even though the assaults were continuous, it was not as tiring because we were not under the heat of the sun and we got to rest at different waiting sheds along the trail, one of which even had a videoke machine!
According to Mang Jose, the start of the more difficult part of the trail will be where there are a lot of coconut trees. It was not difficult to miss because indeed, there were numerous coconut trees around. The assaults were more difficult in the sense that they were steeper and longer with minimal flat surfaces as compared to the first part. In general, the mountain is safe for trekking because aside from it is not technical to climb, there are also no dangerous cliffs with a deadly fall.
It got dark pretty quickly because we were inside a forest. Unfortunately, some of us forgot to bring headlamps, including myself, so we had to make do with our smartphone’s flashlight. Before reaching the campsite/summit of Mt. Daguldol, we passed by this open area where we saw the city lights of Batangas.
We knew we were already near the campsite when we heard the voices of the other groups. At around 6:30PM, we arrived and found a spot to pitch our tents. The night was cold but bearable – the only thing that made it difficult was the strong wind.
Everyone was excited for dinner because of all the good food that were brought – buttered shrimps, fried chicken, pork steak and the boys’ made up dish – the puchigang (puchero + sinigang). Unfortunately, some of us, including me, forgot to bring utensils and baunan so we had to improvise by using the cookset’s cover and our hands to eat. (Yup, that is what I get for not hiking for several months)
It was not long after when all of us went to our respective tents to get some rest for the following day.
Day 2: #MaLAIYAKaNa
We woke up to a foggy and very windy morning. I was part of the breakfast team and we prepared spam, pancit canton, bread, eggs and rice. After breakfast, we decided to have a little bit of fun by doing Zumba to fully awaken our bodies before dispersing to take photos.
After all the photo ops, we started to pack our things to prepare for the descent. And because the ascent was mostly assaults, it was easier to go down knowing that the terrain was not rolling. It was only the first half that was difficult because the trail was really muddy probably from the fog and moisture.
We only made one stop at the waiting shed with videoke machine where we bought iced cold sodas to quench our thirst before finally proceeding to the beach (because we missed the trail leading to Maambon Falls lol).
We arrived at Laiya beach a little past 12:30PM. And because it was still hot, the others decided to eat lunch first while the rest settled down and changed clothes. We went to a nearby view deck where we took a lot of photos before proceeding to swim.
And because the view deck was also a good photo spot, I took advantage and got several shots in.
It was around 5:00PM when we departed for Manila but not without stopping by to eat some lomi!
The overnight trip was surely a good starter trip for 2018. It also helped that I was with fun and great people that made everything worthwhile and memorable.
Thank you to Mang Jose for taking us safely to the top of Mt. Daguldol and to #SOMO for yet another hike!
Nate for organizing this trip and for being on top of everything.
Rayford and Jervine for looking after me again and for being my trail buddies as always!
Jaze for cooking the spam and three types of eggs (sunny side up, scrambled and omelet) for breakfast.
Mama Yhang and JL for being fun companions when we were all together during the ascent. To JL for introducing ExB songs to me. Hahaha!
John/Cuterz for being very patient in taking photos and for bringing a lot of good food! Happy birthday again!
Sir Black for bringing most of the breakfast goods and for the good laugh before dinner. Did not expect to see a different side of you. Haha!
Fran for all the slow motion videos that we made. Congratulations on your new bag!
Ate Mai, Ate Sunshine, sir Marco and Jeff for being friendly and welcoming! It was a pleasure to meet all of you. Ate Mai, thank you for sharing your sleeping bag with me. Ate Sunshine, thank you for cooking the pancit canton and taking photos of everyone. Sir Marco, thank you for documenting the trip through videos! And Jeff, thank you for being patient in taking photos of us as well.
Here is a video that summarizes our fun summit-to-sea weekend trip:
Video courtesy of Sir Marco and Jervine
Things to Bring – IMPORTANT TO TAKE NOTE OF! Lol
- Change of clothes
- Emergency Blanket
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
- Tissue, wet wipes
- Sun block
- Plastic bags (for trash, dirty clothes, gadgets and to be used as mats)
- Medicine (Paracetamol, Loperamide, Ibuprofen, Loratidine, Phenylpropanolamine HCl/decongestants, etc.)
- Trail Food (biscuits, chips, candies, chocolates, etc)
- Lunch, dinner and breakfast food (talk to your group about the arrangement)
- Bag Rain Cover
- Trekking Pole
- Earth Pad
- Mess Kit (Plate, Spoon, Fork, Cup)
11:00AM – Leave for Batangas
3:00PM – ETA Jump-off. Final Preparations
4:00PM – Start trek.
6:30PM – ETA campsite/summit
10:00PM – Lights off
6:00AM – Cook breakfast
7:30AM – Eat breakfast. Photo ops.
10:15AM – Start descent
12:30PM – ETA Laiya Beach. Swim. Relax.
5:00PM – ETD Laiya to Manila
9:00PM – ETA Manila
It felt nice to be able to hike again. And although I forgot to bring some of the essential things during this trip, I still enjoyed thanks to my hikemates.
True enough, I have slowed down in hiking because of change in priorities but I will always make sure to make time for it whenever presented with an opportunity.
Thank you for reading!