Travelogue: Mt. Gulugod-Baboy , Anilao, Batangas

Monday, February 08, 2016

Hello there! So how’s the first month of your 2016? We hope you’ve been keeping your new year’s resolution religiously.(haha) Speaking of resolutions, Shine and I promised ourselves that this year, is a year of exploring for both of us. Every time we get the chance, we will try to go somewhere we haven’t been to. It doesn’t have to be in a faraway place or expensive getaway, just anywhere new and exciting. So, determined as we are in making this resolution a work in progress, we started our journey in exploring new places. Last week we planned a short trip to Batangas, to spend a day away from stress and also to photograph something unique. We researched ahead and saw this hiking destination for beginners in Anilao called Mt. Gulugod-Baboy which literally means. “pig’s spine” because it is shaped like it from an aerial view. It is an easy climb which is very recommendable for beginners like us. And so the next day we head out, packed our bags, excited for a new adventure ahead.

How to get there?
Via private vehicle:
We drove from Sta. Rosa, Laguna to Batangas city via SLEX which took us about an hour or so to get there. We have no idea how to get there, good thing our car has GPS coz if not, it would take us forever! So if you plan to have a trip similar to ours, make sure to bring a car that has GPS or rent one if you wish.
Via public transportation:
If you’re commuting from Manila here’s how to get to the jump-off point of Mt. gulugod-baboy:
  • Take a bus bound for batangas pier, tell the bus conductor to drop you at the grand terminal, it would take about 2 hours and it will cost php 160/head. 
  • Then from the grand terminal, ride a jeep to Mabini, travel time will be around an hour, which costs php 35/head. 
  • Once you arrived at Mabini, ride a tricycle to Philpan Dive resort, which cost you php 40/head. 
  • Philpan Dive resort is the jump-off point of the trek.

Tip: if you have a big group it will be much more convenient to hire a private vehicle, it will be cheaper plus you can already relax in the car after the trek.

When we finally arrived at Philpan Dive Resort, it was already noontime so we parked our car and headed to the shore to have a glimpse of the magnificent view of Anilao waters. The water is very clear but it’s not a typical white sand beach, but a unique rocky shoreline so we didn’t really took a dip. Instead we just ate our lunch (a.k.a baon, #budgettrip) by the shore. For this trip, we brought our own food that way; it would lessen our expenses.

What are other expenses we need to pay?

The resort has cottages which you could rent for 300 pesos and a 60 pesos entrance fee per head. As for us, we didn’t pay any entrance fee instead; we just paid 50 pesos for the parking fee and didn’t even bother to get a cottage because we had a comfy seat inside the car to rest on after the trek, which cost us lesser dime compared to the commuting visitors.

Are tour guides recommended?

We didn’t hire a guide because the trail is visibly worn-out by trekkers which you could follow if you are a first-timer. Other than that, there are also markers and signage to guide you along the way plus, the locals are also very friendly which you could ask directions from. But I think the possibility of getting lost at the trail is at 5% because as what I have said, it was a pretty easy trail. We recommend to go by yourself and just follow the trail. But it is also a good thing to hire a guide if you have an abundant budget because it would somehow help the locals earn their living.

Tip: If you are on a tight budget, a wiser idea would be, follow a guided group ahead you. (^-^)

As we reached the top we we’re speechless, the view is stunning and the breeze was so refreshing. We ate our snack at the peak overlooking the entire city of Batangas, its coast lines, pristine waters and even a glimpse of the infamous Taal Volcano from afar. Of course we took advantage of this moment to take pictures and we took hundreds of them.

Is it allowed to camp at the summit?

There are trekkers who brought with them their sleeping bags and tents so the answer is DEFINITELY YES! If you wanted to breathe and soak in more to the view of Mt Gulugod-Baboy, there is a camping ground at the summit. For our trip, however, we decided to just have a day trek.

After soaking in the view, we decided to descend at around 5 PM hoping to catch the sunset at the seashore. 

On the way down we thought we’ve seen everything, that I never bothered picking up my camera but I was wrong. We were just on the right time at the right place when the sun was about to set boasting it’s alluring and magical golden rays. So I hurriedly pulled off my camera from my bag to capture this magical moment. We went on a different route going down so we managed to stumble upon this path that resembles somewhere Bilbo and Sam would have passed through on their way to Rivendell (hello Lord of the Rings fans! If you know what I mean).

We arrived back at the Philpan Dive Resort just in time for the last ray of sunset and it was even more magical. We waited for it to finally set from the horizon and drove back to our own places.

The trip was really worth the money and time especially if you’re going with someone special. Its a nice quick getaway that will not leave your pockets empty afterwards. So if you’re looking for a good bonding session / stress relief for you and your companion or want to try mountaineering, reserve a weekend to Anilao and get ready for a one of a kind adventure.

Our Total Expenses for this trip?

Gas --------------------------------------- 300 php (from Sta.Rosa - Anilao and vice versa)
Toll Fee --------------------------------- 300 php back and fort
Snacks----------------------------------- 50 php
Lunch ----------------------------------- 0 php (since we brought our own baon)
Parking fee ---------------------------- 50 php
Registration Fee ---------------------- 35 php each

Total: 770 php OR 385 php each!

PS: We also did a travel video for this trip. Check it out here:  #Travelwith7thbliss to Mt. Gulugod-Baboy

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