Let’s not get piggy: Mt. Gulugod Baboy, Mabini, Batangas

I tried looking back at all the climbs I had in the last six months and realised that none of them was as chill as last weekend’s. Thanks to master-planner, boss Anna P., our ragtag team of libag-eating, kaladkarin, mountain noobs summited Mt. Gulugod Baboy and managed to spend an afternoon horsing around, eating excessive amounts of spicy squid at Sombrero Island.

Mr. Gulugod Baboy

Basic Data

Jump-off point: Philpan Dive Resort, Anilao, Mabini
LLA: 13°42’55″N; 120°53’43″E; 525 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2

I think this mountain (or hill) is suited for trail running (now, if only I had a pair of light, mid-range Salomons)–you have no slippery rocks, a lot of mild ascents, a nice paved road for a headstart, and some dogs / goats / cats you’ll meet along the way to keep your cardiac muscles all cool. The take-off is so benign that some guys say you can even drive up to the first peak with a 4×4 but hey, where’s the fun in that!

It’s easy to get excited if you get a view like this after just 10 to 15 minutes of hiking. The peak promises more–a perfect picture of the Balayan and Batangas bays, a fraction of the Verde Island Passage, and this tiny island the shape of a hat (or a boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant, whichever works). But, as you can see, we were all for some sort of delayed gratification, so we made a lot of stops. And took photos. 😀

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There are a few things, though, that didn’t quite sit well with me, cute animals aside. The amount of traffic and trash (mineral water bottles and straws in particular) in this mountain is rather alarming. I asked our guide if there is someone, some organisation who cleans up every now and then, and she said, none, the mountaineers do the hauling (but this is something I didn’t see, and some “mountaineers” might just be doing the opposite).

If you are considering a quick day hike at Mt. Gulugod Baboy, I encourage you to bring some extra trash bags and do some cleaning.

Imagine if they close the mountain up if the trash problem goes out of control–this view would be off limits to you.

Sombrero Island

It’s a 30-minute boat ride from the jump-off, a popular side-trip to the underwater-loving Anilao peeps. Truth: nothing to do here but chill, chill, and drink some beer. Some online guides would say you can go snorkeling and that’s fine, but the waves get pretty damn intimidating in the afternoon. By intimidating, I mean they crash hard and move the boats by meters.

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Cottages can be rented at P800.00 each. There’s also a changing room / CR nearby, but no shower. As expected, the keepers also collected a P200.00 fee per head and we don’t know this fee goes, but let’s all hope it’s for the conservation of the island. 😀

Up for a  similar itinerary? You can do this in a day between 4 AM to 9 PM, but brace yourself (I was so tired I fell asleep eating chicharap, when we were on the way home). And finally, here’s a photo of the crew. Next time, we’ll have a tarp with a legit logo. Haha!

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