So there, after a month of waiting, I’m finally blogging about our Mt. Daguldol Climb. Haha!
I was so charged up with this climb not just because of the multiple offers of this mountain that I’ve been hearing, but because I’m climbing with our Batch 2014 trainees for the first time! I reminisced our first minor climb during our time way last year in Mt. Nagpatong and Mt. Buntis and how eager I was towards mountain climbing. The enthusiasm that our trainees showed during this climb was just so fascinating that I really enjoyed sharing my experiences with them. And yes, it has been exactly a year of climbing mountains after mountains for the Kikay Mountaineer! All by God’s grace! Yeyyy! 😀
We were just 13 in our batch last year and surprisingly for this year, they just doubled our number! Some were not able to join the first minor climb for different reasons but nevertheless, I can say that the whole climb is still awesome and memorable!
The group assembled at the RRCG Bus Terminal in Buendia, Pasay bound directly to San Juan Batangas and left at 0600. It was already 0900 when we reached the town of San Juan. This is also where our rented jeepney will meet us and bring us to the jump off point.
Upon arrival, some of the group went to the nearby market to buy food and camping necessities while I stayed in this restaurant and had breakfast. I was actually looking for some fastfood resto like Chowking, Mcdo, Jollibee, or the likes but didn’t find any. The Cafeno caught my attention for its interior. They made use of broken sewing machines as their tabletop and there were paintings and artworks that are hanging all over the walls of the place. The food is pricey though, as expected. 😀
At the Cafeno
It was a long, bumpy, and very dusty jeepney ride before we arrived at Sitio Biga, the jumpoff point. And unlike with the blogs that I’ve previously read wherein mountaineers had to walk along the shoreline prior getting into the jumpoff point, our jeepney already brought us there directly. There were carinderias there selling lutong bahay ulam at a reasonable price.
Lunch muna with the Yellow Team
After lunch, we then prepared for the estimated 4-hour trek. Prior the climb, we were already advised by some members that Mt. Daguldol is not really that easy for a first time climber since it got lots of assaults although it stands at just 670+ MASL. True enough, it really does. But it got lots of covered stops as well that allow you to rest and take five. The trail passes through a series of forests and woodlands so expect that it’s really shady.
Our take fives!
Some of the stops even got sari-sari stores that sell halo-halo, buko juice, softdrinks, and some snacks.
I was with these cute couple, Rex and Jeny, whom I also met for the first time. They were so sweet that I enjoyed observing them along the trek while Rex supports Jeny the whole time. And since the climb just happened a day after Valentine’s day, probably they still got those romantic blues and this is supposedly their climb date, my thoughts. Made me again realize that the guy that I should be praying for must be able and willing to climb the mountain with me wholeheartedly. Haha! Chos! 😀
Rex and Jeny, my new fave couple
It was indeed a 4-hour trek inclusive of our stops that we were able to reach the Niyugan campsite at around 5PM already. It is huge that got green rolling slopes and very suitable for camping. The view atop is not that spectacular unlike the other mountains I’ve been to but since it’s a coastal mountain, expect that it got that refreshing breeze. It was really windy that when our trainees were preparing for our cookfest activity for that night, the wind was an added challenge.
The view at the summit
One of our annual activities in our organization is the Cookfest wherein our trainees are grouped and they have to prepare a complete set of meal of the cuisine assigned to them. It happens every first minor climb. During our time, I am proud to say that we were the champion here! Wiii! 😀
Our trainees during cookfest
That night was a feast of Mexican, Indian, Korean, and Japanese cuisines. I felt like we just brought in Shangrila’s Circles at the summit of Mt. Daguldol. All of them cooked really well that I, with the judges, were so emotional that we can’t even decide who should win. It was a tough fight between the four groups but sadly we had to choose just one winner and it was the Indian group. 🙂
The sunrise at Mt. Daguldol
What I love about multi-day hikes is the opportunity for me to wake up at the summit and see the captivating sunrise. I’ve always been after the dramatic peeking of the sun as it mesmerizes me. I love how things around of me were just automatically set aside and how I get myself so focus on it as it reveals its glorious fire.
Selfie with Katorse
After our countless photo ops, we then had our breakfast then started to prepare for our descend.
Trese at Mt. Daguldol
The members and the MMS Batch 2014 trainees
Our descent was at a faster pace as expected. Be extra careful as you go down since there are really steep and slippery slopes along the way. Bring your trek poles, they are really of big help. And make sure that your shoes got a really good traction underneath.
My fully loaded bag
Another thing I’ve noticed during the course of this climb was the load that I was carrying. I realized as I descend that my shoulders were not complaining anymore given that I have a 40L load plus my tent with me. I decided not to share load with my tentmate anymore as I am trying to push myself as well in carrying it. I used to be very careful in carrying loads that are beyond what I can carry as I was diagnosed with mild dexteroscoliosis even before I started with mountaineering. My back and shoulders used to get hurt easily even by just carrying my laptop bag. Whew! A year of climbing mountains has indeed improved my condition. Not only that, because I’ve also outgrew my asthma already. I can’t remember anymore the last time I had one. Proofs that I am indeed a better and stronger version of myself a year ago. 😀
At the jumpoff point, Sitio Biga
Our whole descent just took 3 hours that we reached the final jumpoff point at 11AM. Just in time for lunch!We then drenched ourselves in the Laiya Beach alongside afterwards.
At the Laiya Beach
With Ma’am Donna and Sir Al
It was another milestone unleashed for me as I consider this hike as my Anniversary Climb. Indeed it is true as how the saying goes that it is not the mountains that we conquer but ourselves. It was in weakness, in fear, and in deep trembling that I came to realize that I am merely just human and that I needed someone so powerful to fill in those gaps. And until up to this moment, I will always and forever be grateful to the One who gives me the ultimate strength, God. 🙂
Congratulations Batch 2014 for a very successful First Minor Climb! I look forward to seeing you guys conquer yourselves as well! 😀
The Kikay Mountaineer at the summit of Mt. Daguldol
0500 Assembly at 7-11 Buendia near Taft Ave. Pasay City
0600 ETD San Juan Batangas via RRCG
0800 ETA San Juan Batangas, near market place
0830 BREAKFAST, Last call for Palengke
0845 ETD Brgy. Hugom via charter jeep
1000 ETA Brgy. Hugom, REGISTER/arrange for Guides
1030 ETD Jump Off
1100 Start Trek
1300 ETA Mang Lizardo’s House, Late LUNCH
1330 Resume Trek
1530 Lower Campsite
1600 ETA Biliran ng Limatik; Set Camp
1900 Dinner, Socials
2200 Lights Out
0500 Wake Up Call
0530 Prepare Breakfast
0630 Break Camp
0700 Start descent
0900 ETA Mang Lizardo’s House
0915 Resume Trek
0920 Turn right to Naambon Falls
0925 Naambon Falls, Explore
1000 Resume Trek
1100 ETA Hugom Beach
1130 Wash Up
1145 Lunch, Free time
1330 Post Climb
1500 ETD Laiya Beach to Lipa City
1700 ETD Lipa Terminal
1715 ETD Manila
2000 ETA Jam Buendia Terminal
GOING TO DAGULDOL
Fare from Buendia to San Juan 188/person
Jeep Rental 4000
Or take jeep to Laiya 40/person
Then Jeep to Hugom 50/person
Tricycle to Sitio Balkbakan 20/person
To Jump-off, additional350/jeep
GOING TO BACK TO MANILA
Jeep rental to Lipa City 4000/30 person
Bus to Manila125/person
Registration Fee 35/person
Guide Fee 350/10 person
Beach Resort 50/person