Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mt. Daguldol | My First Climb

To climb a mountain is one of my biggest dreams ever. You know I have done a lot of long road trips, explored a number of astonishing caves, bathed on many white sand beaches, walked miles of distance just to visit structures of historical importance, but I never had the chance to bring myself on a mountain's peak. And so, December 28, 2011 is the date to be remembered, it is the date that I finally conquered my first mountain.

Mt. Daguldol is the mountain now close to my heart. With the company I was with and the awesome side trips we ventured, it surely was a memorable first climb.

Day 1 - December 28, 2011

It all started early in the morning of the 28th of December 2011, the four of us traveled to San Juan, Batangas aboard the first trip of RRCG Bus (I really have no idea that there's a bus in Buendia-Taft that will travel direct to San Juan, Batangas).
| RRCG Bus Line offers trips direct to San Juan, Batangas via Ibaan. It would only cost P188 (as of 2011) from their terminal at the corner of Buendia and Taft Avenue. Travel time would only take 2 hours.   
At around 8AM, we reached the town of San Juan, alighted somewhere near Puregold, and from there we walked to the jeepney terminal located near the town market. We were after the first trip to Brgy. Hugom but we arrived a few minutes late. We had no choice but to wait for the next jeep to get filled with other passengers - sigh - at least we have some chocolates to nomnom while waiting. Finally, after more than 30 minutes, our jeep left for Brgy. Hugom, yehey.

I fell asleep almost the entire travel time. What I remembered is that we passed by a series beach resorts (yup, we passed by San Juan's famous Laiya beach). Then by 10:10 AM, we arrived at Brgy. Hugom.

We headed first to the Barangay Hall for the registration, we knocked but it seemed that no one was inside. A man approached us and directed us to a house at the back of the hall. There, we paid the necessary fees and hired the mandatory guide.

college buddies / fellow lakwatseros and lakwatsera
During the registration at Brgy. Hugom
Before we started the trek to Mt. Daguldol, we first filled our growling stomachs with cheap food from the carideria found along the way. Adobong Chicken, adobong pork and adobong atay are among the ulam of choice. "Adobo day ata," I asked myself. They also have a singang na isda which actually tasted like paksiw, haha.

Chicken Adobo for early lunch
- The Trek -

At the Beach

At 10:52 AM, the four of us with Mang Lizardo (our guide) started the long, strenuous trek on the stretch of Laiya beach. Along its coast are various rock formations, marvelous and massive, shaped by the powers of nature. Instead of fine white sand, debris of hard corals, shells, pebbles and smooth rounded and flat rocks fill the shores of Laiya. Thirty minutes was spent before we reached the first sitio - Sitio Biga - at the foot of the mountain. We were able to sit and rest for like 5 minutes, in front of a sari-sari store at Sitio Biga. We hadn't started the ascent yet but I was already feeling a bit worn-out. We continued the walk until we reached Sitio Catmon, and there we started the ascent.

rock formations of Laiya Beach
magnificent seascape
coral debris at the shore

The Ascent

I remember Mang Lizardo told us upon reaching the foot of Mt. Daguldol, "baka gusto niyo muna magpahinga, paakyat na tayo sa bundok". But the four of us, excited and confident, refused to stop and by 11:30 we started the climb.

Fifteen minutes after the non-stop hike, we reached the first resting station. I was so dead tired, exhausted, worn-out, drained, and weary! My feet were aching badly, (still aching as I am writing this article) and I was panting to the max. Every minute, I kept on asking Mang Lizardo how far are we still from the summit, but I always get the same answer, "malayo pa". We only rested for 5 minutes before we continued the trek.

From this point (1/4 of the total climb), I am dead tired already.
"I don't think I can make it," I told myself while listening to my heart beating fast. Less than 15 minutes and again, I dropped my bag and rested at the ground (nahiya naman ako sa mga kasama ko, kaya go na lang ng go kahit masakit na ang mga hita ko).

Mang Lizardo also pointed the trail that will lead to Naambon waterfalls.

By 12:30 PM we reached another resting station, and as always, I was panting and my heart was pounding. We again asked Mang Lizardo and he told us that we're nearing the half of the trek which is his house (owmaygad, wala pa pala sa KALAHATI, e sobrang pagod na ako).

"Merong malamig na softdrinks sa bahay ko," Mang Lizardo added. That's just wow, we want ice cold soft drinks!

For another fifteen minutes we reached Mang Lizardo's Place.

welcome to Mang Lizardo's place, where they sell the best softdrinks.
tarps of the mountaineering groups who conquered Mt. Daguldol
Pan-shot of Mang Lizardo's Place, the half-way spot.

"Aaahhh" the taste of the best ice cold soft drink ever. We rested again for 20 minutes while enjoying the ice cold drink.   

Mang Lizardo stayed at his humble house and had his nephew, Kuya Ugus, to guide us to the summit. Also with us was Kuya Ugus' dog.

the trek continued
We came across some grazing cattle, huge boulders, and small waterfalls. The view of Verde Strait and the Island of Mindoro were now seen.

The trail was becoming more muddy as we near the summit. As in your foot would sink deep on the mud.

By 02:10 PM, we reached the last resting station (30 minutes away from the summit). After 10 minutes of rest, we continued the trek.

We passed through an extremely muddy pass where our feet sank badly. I can even hear the squirting sound on every step that I made on the mud trail. A few more steps and vwalla, welcome to the summit.

ugh, I love the feeling of mud!
there it is, the glorious peak I'm dreaming of!

Follow the story here: Summit


Mt. Daguldol Climb (2D1N, December 28-29, 2011)



  1. good thing maliliit lang bags nyo (aside from one), hindi masyadong mahirap ang trek... and the famous Mang Lizardo pa ang nag guide na inyo... nice! more climbs to come Ivan! enjoy the natural high on a mountain top! I warn you, this is addicting... hehehe! :)

  2. yihaa to the first climb! medyo may thrill pala to kasi di pa umabot sa summit. abangan namin.

  3. congRAAAAtulations!!! First Climb! Sama sama na tayo sa next hike! Marami pa ko hindi naakyat!

  4. @anonymous, oi enteng haha ganun tlga para may epek.

    @mervz,anong hndi mahirap. haha, ansakit nga ng paa ko hanggang ngayon e. haha.. at ang legendary mang lizardo tlga ang guide namin haha..

    @dom, salamat kuya..

    @dermin, taralets, I'm actually crving for more!

  5. wow! sa batangas area din ung first climb ko:) sa Mt. Batulao. I wanted to climb Daguldol too mukang maganda ung trek ee. haha! akyat lang ng akyat. tama yung mervz nakakaadik umakyat ng bundok:)

  6. congrats sa first climb. keep climbing. see you on the trails. :)

  7. Congrats sa unang akyat mo, Ivan. I am happy to see you hitting the trails!

  8. PS

    I so know how pleasurable it is to have the feet bedraggled with mud. I feel so connected to the earth that way. :-)

  9. Congrats Ivan! Mt. Pinatubo na ang next! Tapos Mt. Pulag!!! :D
    Lol at the best softdrinks, pangit ba sa ibang tindahan? Hahaha. But yeah I got what you meant.

    So at least now I know two things if ever I decide to climb the same mountain:
    1. If the guide asks if we want to rest at the foot of the mountain, say YES.
    2. Don't wear fashyown boots.

  10. Your so fortunate to have been guided by Mang Lizardo personally. haha. very good man. He even offered us to stay at his house because he can afford cold drinks daw. siya lang daw ang me ref sakanila sa daguldol. anyways. more mountains pa ah? hehe

  11. sir, tanong lang po. di ko kase alam kung tama pag kakaintinde ko, sorry. pero diba jeep from san juan public/town market to brgy. hugom. so dun na din yung jump-off tama ba? or may sasakyan pa ulet papunta sa pag sisimulan ng trek? may climb kase kame sa bundok na'to sa nov. 24 eh mga beginners lang kame. hehe. nagugulumihanan lang ako. salamat ng marami. laking tulong ng blog mo sir. :)


    1. Baba kayo mismo sa Brgy. Hugom, yun na mismo yung jump-off. Hindi na ulit kayo sasakay, dulo na yun ng San Juan, hanapin nyo lang yung brgy hall then doon na kayo mag-register :)

    2. salamat sir. malapit na matapos yung IT na ginagawa ko. sa wakas. salamat ulet ng marami sir. guluhin nalang ulet kita pag may mga tanong pa ako. hehe :)


  12. Magkano po yung total expenses going here? magkano rin po pag may side trip?? thanks:D:D



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