Name: Mt. Pinagbanderahan (Gulugod Baboy Peak)
Elevation: 525+ MASL
Location: Anilao, Batangas
Jump Off: Brgy. Ligaya, Anilao Batangas
Difficulty: 2/9 (Pinoy Mountaineer)
Features: Marvelous view of the coastal lines of Batangas
Gulugod Baboy has been a favorite hiking destination in Batangas for a very long time. Rolling hills, sprawling grasslands and an unobstructed 360 view of the coastal waters that surround the province are reasons why hikers find this mountain too irresistible. Frequented by seasoned mountaineers and a great beginner hike for aspiring newbies, Gulugod Baboy is certainly both a worthwhile challenge and a masterpiece to behold. Diving in one of the country’s rich underwater heaven is also one of the promise to look forward to after the hike since several pebblestone beaches line at its foot and not so distant away is the stunning Sombrero Island.
I can’t help but let out a sigh while basking at the exquisite view that was in front of me. Gulugod Baboy surely didn’t disappoint. The sun was up, shining in all his glory but I barely felt he was there. His warmth subtle, like the lone fireplace in the middle of a winter storm which didn’t do much to take me out of my reverie as I let the mighty wind blow against my face, my ponytailed hair dancing with it. Stunning.. My mind uttered as I thought of never seeing such beauty before. As you may know, this isn’t my first mountain as I have hiked 10 or so mountains before then but it still baffles me how each time I am blown away by nature’s sheer perfection. It isn’t just the view at the peak that surprises me but every single detail there is from the beginning of the hike until the moment I reach the summit. It made me realize that each mountain is unique. They each has their own stories to tell.
While taking in the beauty I was fortunate to be staring at, I remembered how I found the hike too tiring. I haven’t hiked in more than two months reason why my body found adjusting to the physical demand of the hike too difficult. Reaching the summit from the jumpoff should only take two (2) hours the most but us took four (4) hours! It was eight in the morning when we began the hike with each one of us carrying our heavy, lomi-filled tummies. We had light packs as we were only going for a day hike but the morning uncalled for binging added extra pounds to our loads. The hike kicked off with an ascent along a footpath which stretch to about 10 meters. It lead us to an uphill concrete road which stretch to about a kilometer or two of continuous ascent. We took breathers every ten minutes or whenever we find a bench to rest our wary knees.
What I love about this hike was the absence of the slightest amount of pressure. There was no pressure of keeping up with my buddies, of adhering to the given itinerary or the pressure of being embarrassed for being the weakest link in the group. It was just friends having fun and chilling with one another. I didn’t have to act strong as it wasn’t at all needed. I can ask to take breathers everytime my body was about to fail me. I didn’t have to be embarrassed of taking way too many photos whenever I find something interesting along the trail. I can simply be myself and that’s what I treasure most about hiking with the people I know who will have my back no matter what. When it comes to hiking any mountain, I always prefer to travel with the people who will accept my weakness and won’t make me feel ashame of it. Not even a bit.
We rested at a bench just in front of the trail going up. Our young guide told us it was going to be an assault all the way to the summit so we needed to brace ourselves for the arduous task coming. We only had a hearty conversation to fill our hungry souls with. Trail snacks was not even on the menu as we had just eaten. I think for the most part, the only thing we couldn’t live without was water. Anything else can be eased by our shared laughter.
We began taking the assault shortly after we had ourselves enough rest which is exactly an hour since we started hiking. This time instead of the concrete road, we were ascending on a slightly muddly footpath. The sky was cloudy and the sun obscured which I was thankful for as the sun always has been my greatest weakness. The trail of Mt. Pinagbanderahan is as easy as it gets. The only challenging part is the fact that it is a continuous ascent all the way to the peaks. There were steep parts that no abled soul can’t manage. It’s not a technical mountain so navigating skills are not much needed. It was a mountain for everyone, especially for the aspiring mountaineers of this generation.
If along the trail you are about to lose hope as the hike drains you off your energy, don’t fret. You may find motivation from the markers which would indicate how far are you from reaching the summit. Along the trail are four (4) distant local houses. Once you get past all those four, believe me, you are just a few breaths away from the peak. The concrete footpath which was a bit slippery will resume once you reach the 2nd or 3rd house and will abruptly switch to the earthen trail past the village. The ascent will continue until you reach a clearing that will let you marvel at the peaks and the coastlines of Anilao. From there the peaks are just five (5) minutes of an easy assault.
- Mt. Pinagbanderahan is the local name of this mountain. Pinagbanderahan means “where the flag was hoisted”. Legend says that a battle took place within this mountain and the victor’s flag was hoisted on one of its peak after the battle was won. Historical accounts on the other hand mention about a Japanese warplane crashing in one of the peaks and thus to commemorate, a flag was hoisted in Pinagbanderahan peak.
- Gulugod Baboy is the name of one of the peaks of Mt. Pinagbanderahan. It was derived from the peak’s structure that resembles a pig (baboy) when viewed from Pinagbanderahan peak.
IMPORTANT TIPS AND TRAVEL INFO
About the mountain:
- Try to minimize the impact that you bring to this mountain. Avoid leaving your trash i.e. plastic bottles and wrappers. The locals of Anilao don’t even have the proper waste disposal facility to take care of their own trash. Let’s not add to their worry any further.
- Gulugod Baboy is part of the ongoing problem and sad truth about our mountains. Plastic trash are all over the place. Local houses along the trail have been a storage of plastic bottles. Please, don’t be a part of the problem. Take your trash with you and dispose it properly once you get back to the city or to your home.
- Getting to and from the jumpoff/registration and Mabini Hwy can only be done through a tricycle.
- From the summit, if you don’t want to hike back to the registration area, you can hire a tricycle to take you back to the town proper or to your chosen resort if you are to visit the beaches there which is priced at P150.
- Don’t stay too late. Passenger jeeps traveling back to Batangas Grand Terminal from Mabini can be hard too find during the hours past 8PM. Alternatively if you miss the last trip, you can take a jeep back to Bauan or to the junction. There will be plenty of passenger jeeps bound to the Grand Terminal until 10PM.
- Taking a tricycle back to the Grand Terminal is also one of the other options but it can be too costly as it is priced at P400 for 4-5 people.
- There are plenty of beach resorts in the area such as Phil Pan and Planet Dive Anilao if you are more into diving. The latest craze is the Manta Ray Dive in Sicilian Reef which we missed since the locals are not too familiar with it.
- If the coastlines of Anilao doesn’t appeal much to your liking, then you can visit the nearby Sombrero Island for a more fun adventure. Boat is priced at P2500-P2800 for 10 people.
HOW TO GO THERE
- Ride a Batangas bound bus in Buendia/Cubao Stations and alight the bus in Batangas Grand Terminal (Fare: P160).
- From there, ride a jeep going to Anilao and get off at the Philpan-Mabini Junction (Fare: P35).
- Ride a tricycle going to the registration site of Gulugod Baboy (Fare P40).
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES AND OTHER ESSENTIALS
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES||Roundtrip Bus Buendia/Cubao - Batangas: P314
Roundtrip Grand Terminal - PhilPan: P70
Rountrip Tricycle Philpan-Registration: P80
Registration Fee: P30
Guide Fee @ P500/4: P125
Lomi & Drinks: P75
Total Expenses: P694
|SAMPLE ITINERARY||0330 Assembly Buendia/Cubao Stations
0400 ETD Batangas Grand Terminal
0500 ETA Batangas Grand Terminal
0600 ETA Phil Pan Junction
0630 Register Site. Breakfast.
0730 Start Trek
1000 Summit. Photo Ops.
1100 Start Descent
1300 Jump Off. Lunch. Beach Time.
1800 Pack Up. Travel back to Batangas
|THINGS TO BRING||-2L Water
-First Aid Kit Inc Personal Meds
|WHAT ARE THE FEES||FARE
-Bus To Batangas: P157
-Jeep To Phil Pan: P35
Guide Fee: P500
Registration Fee: P30
|CONTACT PERSON||***will be updating soon.|
OUR ADVENTURE CAPTURED
People have different reasons why they do what they do. The same goes with climbing mountains. We all have our reasons why we keep on reaching those summits. Why our hearts cry for another moment marveling at another stunning peak. Some wants to test their skills. Others simply don’t want to be bound by limitations. There are some who at the very beginning have fought alongside the environment and the preservation of this earth’s gifts. No matter what our reasons are. Beyond the bonds that were strengthened by unimaginable challenges. Beyond the unforgettable moments shared with new found friends is the birth of a brand new perspective that compels us to be aware and more responsible towards this world that is our home.
There you have it folks. Hope to see in you the trail. Until next time. Ciao 🙂
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