Mt. Daguldol — A Summit To Sea Experience

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.

Travel Guide: Twin Hike — Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam

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Mountain Ridge of Mt. Batulao casted with the lights of the sun as it rises

Yesterday, December 20, 2016, me my friend went on a quick day hike to Mt. Batulao. We started our trek at 5:30 am and reached the summit before 7:00 am. We are both trail running enthusiast so we ran through the ridges of Mt. Batulao to the summit. We stopped by along the trail to take photos of the breaking dawn and appreciate the cool breeze atop of the ridge. When the sun peeks from the horizon, it shines light to the rolling hill of Mt. Batulao giving us a nice view of the landscape while the shadows of the nearby peaks cast over us.

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We reached the summit before 7 am, giving us more time to appreciate the view on the summit. We’ve had a great clearing that time, and a beautiful view of the sunrise and the 360 view of Batangas and nearby towns.

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We descended down by 7:15 am and reached the jump off point before 8:00 am. We then first have a quick breakfast and then took a trike going to the highway. It’s still too early to go home so we decided to Sitio Bayabasan and take a quick view of the Mt. Talamitam.

We rode a jeep near Evercrest going to Nasugbu, we alight at Sitio Baybasan. The jump off point of Mt. Talamitam is just near the highway and can be easily seen. We registered at the registration area, pay the registration fee and started our trek at exactly 9:00 am.

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Mt. Talamitam is an open field, so trekking at 9:00 am is tiring one. It was hot that day so we took a rest every 10 minutes of walking. The most exhausting part of hiking this mountain is the final summit assault, passing by tall cogon grass that blocks the winds on the trail, making the trek hotter and tiring. Luckily, there are huts built up there so we took a rest again before commencing the final 5 minute assault to the summit.

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We reached the summit at 10:15 am. On top of the summit, you’ll see the view of Batangas, and it’s nearby towns, the landscape of Mt. Batulao, Mt. Makiling, Pico de Loro, Mt. Marami, and it’s neighboring mountain Mt. Apayang.

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We descended down by 10:30 am, since the trail is going down, we decided to ran going to the jump off point. We passed by a store selling fresh buko juice, bought one, and took a 5 minute rest. We resumed our trek and we reached the jump off point before 11:00 am. We rest for a while and then washed up ourselves then proceed to Tagaytay to buy some Rowena’s Tart for pasalubong.

So, to conclude that, we did an unexpected twin day hike of Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam. If only my friend don’t have an appointment to attend at the afternoon that time, we could have climb Mt. Apayang and make this hike a trilogy climb. But then, this was  a great hike recommended for those people who have limited time for adventure. And hey, we hiked on a weekday so there’s just the two of us enjoying the view at the summit.

How To Get to Mt. Batulao

  • Take a DLTB bus bound to Nasugbu, Batangas at the terminal near Buendia LRT station.
  • Get off the Evercrest Golf Club, of just tell the conductor to drop you off to the highway going to Mt. Batulao.
  • Then ride a trike going to the jump off point. It is a store where you can eat, buy souvenirs, and leave your things. Just make sure you bring your valuables with you.

Expenses at Mt. Batulao

  • We did not hire a guide since we already know the trail, and guides are not required anyway. We took the New Trail to the summit and back to the jump off point. So, no guide fee.
  • There are three registration areas at the new trail, some mountaineers call them toll gates. First toll gate asks for Php 20.00 registration fee, second one and third one will ask for Php 30.00 each. So new trail will cost you Php 80.00 per person. This are all one time fee, so if you’ll do a back trail to the new trail, and they asked you pay again, tell them that you are already paid upon going to the summit.
  • Trike to and from Mt. Batulao jump off is Php 30.00 each if you are a group of 4-5 person. Since there are only two of us, we paid Php 100.00 for a trike, so that would be Php 50.00 each for us.

How To Get to Mt. Talamitam from Mt. Batulao

  • From Evercrest, ride a jeep or a bus going to Sitio Bayabasan. In our case we rode a jeepney going there. A 15 minute jeepney ride enough for a quick rest before taking off for a twin day hike.

Expenses at Mt. Talamitam

  • Guide is also not required here in Mt. Talamitam since the trails is established and there’s somehow no way to get lost. In case you will encounter any trouble, or you got lost at the trail, they will be giving you their contact numbers which you can call in case of emergency
  • Registration fee is only Php 40.00 per person
  • Jeepney fare from Evercrest is Php 12.00, if you’ll take a bus, ordinary bus fare is Php 10.00 and air-conditioned bus fare is Php 25.00

Total Expenses for Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam Twin Day Hike

  • Bus Buendia to Evercrest — Php 111.00
  • Trike to Mt. Batulao jump off — Php 100.00 for two persons (Php 200.00 if roundtrip) Php 30.00 per person if group of 5
  • Batulao Toll Gates (New Trail) — Php 80.00
  • Jeep to Sitio Bayabasan from Evercrest — Php 12.00
  • Registration fee at Mt. Talamitam — Php 40.00
  • Bus going to Manila — Php 120.00*

Total Budget for two persons is: Php 563.00*

* May vary depending on where you will get off
** If you want to buy pasalubong in Tagaytay, bus fare is Php 56.00 (air-conditioned), then the fare going to Manila will be less than Php 100.00

Suggested Itinerary

This itinerary is devised for groups less that 5 persons, and can do some running along the trail.

  • 02:30 — Meetup DLTB Buendia bus terminal
  • 03:00 — ETD to Batulao (Evercrest)
  • 04:00 — ETA to Evercrest, take a trike to Jump off Point
  • 05:00 — ETA Jump off point. Prepare to start trek
  • 05:15 — Start Trek
  • 05:45 — First Toll Gate
  • 06:10 — Second Toll Gate
  • 06:30 — Third Toll Gate
  • 07:00 — ETA Summit
  • 07:15 — Start Descent
  • 07:50 — ETA Jump off point, rest, eat breakfast
  • 08:15 — ETD to Evercrest
  • 08:30 — ETA to Evercrest Ride Jeep to Sitio Bayabasan
  • 08:45 — ETA Sition Bayabasan, Register, prepare to start trek
  • 09:00 — Start Trek
  • 10:10 — ETA Summit
  • 10:30 — Start Descent
  • 11:15 — ETA Jump off point, rest, wash up, eat lunch
  • 12:00 — ETD to Manila or side trip to Tagaytay or wherever.
  • 16:00 — ETA to Manila if no side trip with not so heavy traffic along Imus and Bacoor.

Hiking Notes

  • For a faster pacing, just bring the essential things with you, like water, phones, and wallets, plus your cameras. Better if you have hydration packs with you rather than bringing your whole backpack with you.
  • If you want to make this a trilogy with Mt. Apayang, it is possible, you just have to pay additional Php 20.00 at the jump off of Mt. Talamitam

So, that’s it! A fun twin day hike for a half day! 😀 Hoping for more adventures this coming 2017! Cheers!

Travel Guide: Mt. Batulao (811+ MASL)

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Dreaming of climbing Mt. Guiting-guiting in Romblon? Do you know that there’s a mountain in Nasugbu, Batangas that offers a little G2 like experience, like the knife-edge. The trail of Mt. Batulao is consist of gradual assaults that can be very muddy on rainy seasons. Trail gets a bit steep and slippery near the summit which requires extra caution. There are ropes that can help you climb those steep slopes easily.

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Mt. Batulao offers an spectacular view of Cavite and Batangas, and beautiful landscape surrounding the mountain. There are two major trails in this mountain, the New Trail and the Old Trail. These trails can be combined for a traverse climb.

For only 2-3 hours drive from Manila, Mt. Batulao has been a famous hiking and camping destination for most hikers. Enthusiast who are looking for quick day hike challenge, climb training, or chill night camp, considers this mountain as one of their options.

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Local guides are not required, but advised for beginners especially when the trail gets very muddy. Rate of guideship is Php 400 – Php 500.00 a day for a group. There are also a lot of registration fees collected along both trails. Our group took the New Trail and we encountered three registration areas. The first registration costs us Php 20.00, they said that it will be used for the construction/maintenance of a church in their barangay, the second and third registration area costs Php 30.00 each, they collect these fees so you can pass by their private property. If you are planning to take a traverse from New Trail to Old Trail, prepare for more registration areas along the Old Trail.

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Nonetheless, Mt. Batulao is a great and beautiful mountain recommended for those hikers who are looking for a quick day hike adventure with a close range to Manila.

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Suggested Itinerary (New Trail)

02:30 AM — Meetup Bus Station
03:00 AM — ETD to Nasugbu, Batangas
05:30 AM — ETA Evercrest
06:00 AM — ETA Trail Head, Start trek
07:00 AM — First Registration (Php 20.00)
08:00 AM — Second Registration (Php 30.00)
08:30 AM — Third Registration (Php 30.00)
09:30 AM — ETA Summit
10:00 AM — Start Descent
12:00 PM — ETA Trail Head, Wash up
01:00 PM — Back to Manila or Sidetrip to Tagaytay, eat Bulalo, buy pasalubong
05:00 PM — ETA Manila


How to get to Mt. Batulao

  • Ride a bus going to Nasugbu, ask the conductor to drop you off to Evercrest Golf Course
    • San Agustin Bus Terminal (Cubao) — Php 135.00
    • DLTB Bus Terminal (Buendia-Taft) — Php 111.00
    • Coastal Mall Terminal (Pasay) — Php 104.00
  • From Evercrest, ride a trike going to the trail head. You can opt not to take the trike but I suggest you ride one because it can be a 1-1.5 hours trek from Evercrest to trail head.
    • Trike — Php 30.00/person


Expenses

  • DLTB Buendia to Evercrest, Nasugbu, Batangas — Php 111.00/pax (Php 222.00 RT)
  • Trike to trail head (Optional) — Php 30.00/pax (Php 60.00 RT)
  • Guide (Optional) — Php 500.00/12 = Php 45.00*
  • First Registration — Php 20.00
  • Second Registration — Php 30.00
  • Third Registration — Php 30.00


Total expenses:
Php 407.00**

* Php 41.67 rounded off to Php 45.00
** Expected budget for new trail with one guide and rode trikes from Evercrest to trail head round trip. Can be lesser than Php 407.00 if you’ll choose to not to hire a guide and walk from Evercrest to trail head.

Mannquin Challenge at Mt. Batulao

Travel Guide: Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam, located in Nasugbu, Batangas is easily accessible by any means of transportation. A chill climb suited for beginners for a budget under Php 350.00* from Manila.

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How to get there

Ride a bus from Coastal Mall South Bus Terminal going to Nasugbu, Batangas.
Tell the conductor to drop you off to Sitio Bayabasan
Expenses

Costal Mall Bus Terminal to Sitio Bayabasan — Php 120.00
Guide Fee — Php 300 (You can opt not to hire a guide if you already know the trail.)
Registration Fee — Php 40.00
Sidetrip to Layong Bilog River

Entrance fee – Php 20
Shower fee – Php 20

Can also be done as a Twin Hike traverse to Mt. Apayang
More info here.