Mt. Daguldol — A Summit To Sea Experience

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Itching to hike on a busy work week. me and my friend went a on summit to sea adventure to the coastal part of San Juan, Batangas and hiked the not so popular peak of Mt. Daguldol in Brgy. Hugom. It’s a two to three hours travel from Manila with various transfers to different types of vehicles.

We rode a bus bound to San Juan, Batangas from Alps Bus Terminal Buendia station. On a weekend, they usually leave at around 3AM but because it’s at the middle of the work week, there are few passengers going to San Juan so the bus left the station at 4AM. It’s a 2-hour bus ride from Buendia to San Juan. If you’ll be sitting on the left side of the bus, you’ll be able to see the view of Mt. Banahaw.

We reached San Juan by 6AM, we want to start our hike as early as possible, we hailed a tricycle going to Brgy. Hugom, fare is around Php350.00 and is good for 4-5 persons, but since there’s only the two of us, we decided to split expenses with other passengers going to the barangay. Along the way, there’s a mandatory stop over for tourist where you’ll pay Php 20.00 each a ecological fee for the town of San Juan. It’s a 20+ minutes tricycle ride, and once you’ve reached Brgy. Hugom, you’ll be transferring to another tricycle going to the trail head of Mt. Daguldol where you will be acquiring your guide and pay a registration fee of Php 35.00 each, the trike ride from barangay to trail head is Php 100.00 per trike which is good for 3-5 persons.

After a multiple ride transfer, acquiring guides, registration, and hike preparation, we started hiking the mountain at around 7:30 AM. Most part of the trail is consist of gradual assaults and rocky terrain. We passed by a number of houses and mini-stores, which are active mostly on weekends, when there are hikers visiting the mountain.

During a conversation with our local guide, he mentioned that the number of hikers drop a percentage when some parts of Batangas were struck by an earthquakes, which made visitors worried. If you are planning to hike Mt. Daguldol, and there’s an earthquake experienced nearby San Juan and/or Laiya, you better contact a local to know the conditions and if it is safe to hike the mountain.

Moving forward, we reached Mang Lizardo’s place at around 9:30 AM, they are offering meals that cost Php 40.00 to Php 50.00 per meal. We ordered 3 sets of sinampalukang baboy which we will be eating once we got back from the summit.

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Mang Lizardo’s Place

Trekking to the summit, we passed by huge sets of boulders, this can be your landmark that you are 10 to 20 minutes away from the summit. We then reach the summit of Mt. Daguldol at around 10 AM, took some quick rest, ate some snacks, enjoyed the view, photo ops, and then went back to Mang Lizardo’s place for our sinampalukang baboy. The summit of Mt. Daguldol is a grassy slope where you will see its neighboring mountains like Mt. Nanguiling, Mt. Lobo, Mt. Banoi, a view of Mt. Maculot can be seen from a far.

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At the summit of Mt. Daguldol, with views of Mt. Nanguiling and Mt. Banoi at the background.

After 15 to 20 minutes of downhill trek, we reached Mang Lizardo’s place and munch in with the meal they prepared for us, I must say that it is one of the most delicious meal I eaten after trekking a mountain on a warm summer day.

We reached the trail head by 11:30 AM, since we still have some spare time, we decided to take a dip at the beach which is just 5 minutes away from the trail head. We did not pay the Php 100.00 entrance fee since we were backed by our local guide, Kuya Ireneo, and we are not getting a cottage.

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Some rock formations at the beach.

It was a pebble beach with nice clear water with number of fishes swimming with you. But the care taker of the resorts should really conduct a beach clean up along the area to preserve and/or improve the condition of the place. There are a lot of floating trash near the shore which are total eyesore to the visitors of the place. When I come back to this place, I’ll be organizing a mountain and beach clean up and let the locals know how important it is to keep the are clean.

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We trekked to this cliff and was surprised with the amazing view on the other side.

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We explored the long stretch of the beach, and found some interesting areas to swim. There’s even a spot there that seems to have some similarities with the sardine run activity in Moalboal, Cebu. There are also rock formations where you can enjoy solemnity and nice ig worthy backgrounds.

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Things That I Like

  • The hike was good and can be recommended to beginner hikers.
    • The trek is considerably beginner friendly with gradual assaults. It’s a 3/9 hike and can be hike 2 to 3 hours going to summit and 2 hours back to the trail head.
  • A beach side trip.
    • With its proximity to the beach, you can enjoy swimming with your hike buddies on a day tour, or go on a beach camp to enjoy more of the beach.
    • There are number of beach resorts where you can stay overnight. Most of them asks for entrance fees which starts from Php 100.00.
  • Friendly local.
    • Our guide was friendly, the locals up the mountain are friendly, and the people at Mang Lizardo’s Place are friendly.

Things That I Don’t Like

  • Expensive shower fee!
    • A shower fee at the resorts near the beach will ask for Php 70.00 shower fee which is absurd, and the nearby houses’ shower fee’s cost Php 50.00 which will get you a nice meal at Mang Lizardo’s place.
    • Good thing, we went back to the barangay where we found a cheaper price for the shower. It is at the front of the trike terminal, a house selling ukay-ukay stuff. They are collecting Php 35.00 for a shower fee. They literally have a nice bathroom with toilet bowl with bidet, and a shower, which I think compensates with the price they are asking compared to the not so nice shower area near in some resorts near the beach.
  • Some rude beach resort staff.
    • Since we were looking for cheaper shower are, we asked some of the resorts staff on how much they will charge us for a quick bath, and when we showed them that we are somehow disappointed with the overpriced fee they are asking, they replied to us on a rude manner. Totally not good for tourism.
  • Beach Trash
    • Beach resort owners should have the initiative to make their place clean, to make it more presentable to visitors. You know, clean beach attracts many visitors, and if your resort is full of rubbish, less tourist will be visiting your place.

How To Get To Mt. Daguldol

  • Ride a bus going to San Juan, Batangas, in our case we rode a bus from Alps Bus Liner, they have terminals from Buendia (Php 191.00) and Cubao (Php 198), bus leaves at 3AM earliest but can leave at 4AM if there are less passengers, especially on a weekday.
  • From San Juan, ride a jeep going to Brgy, Hugom which cost around Php 35.00 to Php 40.00. They are usually around at 5AM earlies. If you are on a hurry and there are no jeepneys around, you can opt to ride a trike going to Brgy. Hugom for Php 350.00 up to the barangay, they can also bring you to the trail head for Php 400.00 to Php 450.00. The trike can accommodate 3 to 5 persons.
  • From Brgy. Hugom, there are trikes that will bring you to Mt. Daguldol trailhead for Php 100.00 per trike, can also accommodate 3 to 5 persons.

Alternate Route

Buendia — Lipa — San Juan — Hugom
Alabang — Lipa — San Juan — Hugom

Day Hike Itinerary

02:30 AM — Meetup at the bus terminal
03:00 AM — ETD to San Juan, Batangas
05:00 AM — ETA to San Juan, Batangas
05:45 AM — ETA to Barangay Hugom
06:00 AM — ETA to Trail Head, register
06:30 AM — Start Trek
09:00 AM — ETA to Mang Lizardo’s Place
10:30 AM — ETA Summit
11:00 AM — Start Descent
01:00 PM — ETA Trail Head, explore the beach, swim, enjoy
04:00 PM — Back to San Juan
09:00 PM — ETA Manila

Overnight Itinerary

DAY 1
02:30 AM — Meetup at the bus terminal
03:00 AM — ETD to San Juan, Batangas
05:00 AM — ETA to San Juan, Batangas
05:45 AM — ETA to Barangay Hugom
06:00 AM — ETA to Trail Head, register
06:30 AM — Start Trek
09:00 AM — ETA to Mang Lizardo’s Place
10:30 AM — ETA Summit
11:00 AM — Start Descent
01:00 PM — ETA Trail Head, explore the beach, swim, enjoy
04:00 PM — Set Camp or rent cottage
07:00 PM — Dinner/Socials
10:00 PM — Lights off

DAY 2
05:00 AM — Wake Up, watch sunrise
05:45 AM — Prepare breakfast
06:00 AM — Free time, swim, enjoy
10:00 AM — Back to San Juan
03:00 PM — ETA Manila

Expenses

Php 191.00 — (Bus) Buendia to San Juan
Php 350.00 — Trike to Brgy. Hugom, good for 5 persons for Php 70.00 each
Php 20.00 — San Juan ecological fee
Php 100.00 — (Trike) Barangay Hugom to Trail Head
Php 400.00 — Guide fee
Php 35.00 — Barangay Registration
Php 50.00 — Meal at Mang Lizardo’s place
Php 198.00 — San Juan to Cubao

Total budget per person for a group with 5 members — Php 630.00 to Php 665.00
Safe Budget — Php 1,000.00

Hiking Notes

  • Last trip of bus from San Juan is at 6PM, so better leave Brgy. Hugom as early as 3PM to 4PM to catch the last trip.
  • Have your clean up bath at the barangay for a cheaper shower fee, look for the house with ukay ukay stuff. They charge Php 35.00 for a shower.
  • There’s a water fall called Naambon Falls, but it only sheds water on rainy seasons.
  • Summer hikes may dehydrate you, bring at least 2L of water with you.
  • Contact Tatay Ireneo if you are planning to hike Mt. Daguldol (0905 836 5708)

So there you go, it was a really nice escape in a middle of a stressful week. We will surely explore the neighboring mountains of Mt. Daguldol and also visit the beaches nearby.

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