Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dayhike of Mt. Daguldol in Batangas

A month ago, I joined my friends in Abot Kamay Adventure Club (AKAC) for a trek to Mt. Daguldol in San Juan, Batangas. It was almost 7 pm when I arrived at Bgy. Hugom, where I registered for Php 35/person. Cellphone signal is very weak at Naambon Resort, so I had a hard time contacting my friends while I was looking for them along Laiya beach.  

I was the last one to arrive in Naambon Resort where we camped the night prior, at Php 100/head fee. Its a 30-minute walk along Laiya beach past the rocky portions on the right side. It was a challenge to trek alone and at night along the rocky beach part, where I believe my Columbia sandals got damaged. Here's a dawn view of the coastline that I navigated from the back of the rocks, as pointed by the arrow.

Mount Daguldol is a unique hiking destination, as its one of the few local mountains where hikers start at sea level, with altitude gain from 0 to 670 meters above sea level. Pinoy Mountaineer has this technical description of the mountain.

San Juan, Batangas
Major jump-off: Brgy. Hugom, San Juan
LLA: 13°40.380N 121°19.160E, 672 MASL (+ 672 m)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 5 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3

We started our trek to Mt. Daguldol at past 6 am, with a Hugom-assigned guide that charges Php 350 for the whole group. From the rocky beach, we entered a small coastal community.

After 20 minutes, the trail started to become steep. Good thing that there are lots of tree cover to shield us from sunlight. 

We crossed several streams and passed a lot of boulders. One of our members tried tasting the water from one of the streams, and surprised to find it quite salty. Farm animals abound on the trail, which is clean and one of the nicest on my experience.

We took a long break at the house near Mang Lizardo's place. By this time, diarrhea started to manifest on some members of the group, which we suspect to be caused by the lemon iced tea from unboiled local water. We arranged our return lunch of 2 tinolang manok (chicken on ginger soup), with the coconut vendor for Php 700.

After about 1.5 hours of hiking, a short break ensued at "burol", a saddle campsite with the twin trees on the right photo. We met a group of 7-8 young hikers at this point, with one very weak guy being carried by another guy on their descent. Their lesson? The weak guy didn't had anything for breakfast, depleting his sugar and energy as a result.

The views here are already nice, with the mountains on the left, and the sea on the right side.

Another 15-minute hike and we reached the summit of Mt. Daguldol. Being a coastal mountain, its not as windy as we expected. It has 3 or 4 peaks which offer mountain views on the north and west portions, and sea views on the south and east portions.

The neighboring Naguiling Peak on the west, which looks very pristine.

This mountain on the northwest side is probably Mt. Malipunyo.

Clouds cover the majestic Mt. Banahaw on the north. A faint Mt. Cristobal can also be seen on its left side.

Tayabas Bay below. The distant Marinduque island should have been visible if its a cloudless day. Both my sandals' soles are peeling away from the upper sole at this time. It took me a longer time to descend, making sure that they would last until I got home that night, which they luckily did.

Verde and Mindoro islands faintly visible on the far sea. Mount Malasimbo near Puerto Galera may have been visible if it was a clear day.

The coastline of San Juan town.

On the middle of these peaks is a natural pond with lots of tadpoles. Local kids seen here wading on its waters.

We arrived back to our lunch venue before 2:00 pm. We are just too tired and hungry to take photos.
During our descent, we saw this hermit crab hiding inside a land snail's shell, near Naambon Falls. I never thought that hermit crab can venture far from the sea, which I estimate to be about 150m above sea level from its location.  

Fare from Alabang to Lipa City is Php 94 via air conditioned bus. Jeepney fare from Robinsons Lipa to San Juan is Php 35, while San Juan to Hugom/Laiya is Php 20, if my memory serves me right. See below the location map of Mt. Daguldol as pointed by the arrow.

Thanks to my fellow blogger and trekmate Gian B. for some of the nice photos above.

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  1. Sobrang funny nung pic mo na may arrow na nakaturo sa sandals mo hahaah!

  2. Nahirapan kaya akong bumaba na hindi dapat tuluyang matanggal yung swelas ng sandals ko. Matigas kasi ulo ko, hindi raw kasi iyon pang hiking sabi sa Columbia, pero pinang-akyat ko pa rin from Batulao, etc. :)