|our bday climb!|
I have been planning last year to start 2012 with a mountain climb however there were already several trips planned for the first quarter and it might not be practical and money-wise to climb. Last year I also told myself to at least go out once a month, good thing that our bday month is free and we have not set any plans yet. I have been following several climbing group for the last few months and comparing them. As much as I want to do DIYs, I personally believe that climbing a mountain would be a different thing and that’s when I decided to join with wowtrippers’ mt. gulugod baboy hike and swim trip.
|sulit ang pawis!|
Everything was for P1500 which includes transportation fare to and from mt. gulugod baboy and a snorkeling side trip to Twin Rock Marine Sanctuary, this also includes dinner on the first day and breakfast the following morning. Wowtrippers also sets a pre-climb meeting but we were not able to join due to work schedule and because Jalaman the all around man (our super awesome guide/cook/errand runner/everything) loves us he did the pre-climb meeting online.
We have joined a trip like this before when we hiked Mt. Pinatubo early last year and you don’t have any idea who you will be with and if you’ll enjoy being with them, everything will be charged to experience. Jayjay and I were already at the meeting place 30 minutes before the meeting time, we don’t want to be a cause of delay. Every time that a person with a big bag will come in I was already thinking that they’re part of our group. When Jalaman arrived he told us that we’re 22 in the group but the other half was already on their way to Anilao. When we were already complete I was surprised to see that most of the group looks like hard-core mountaineers, from their bags to their attires. I already felt comfortable as we’re with full-pledged mountaineers who have the experience.
We arrived at the jump off point at around 11AM good thing there was a carinderia where we had our lunch, we also ordered lunch for tomorrow so we will just pick it up for the snorkeling side trip. We also met the other half of the group – the Meralco boys. It turned out that we were only 5 girls in the group. We head to the information area and had our names registered. The information center has a parking lot for those who wish to bring their own car and a CR (pero naloka ko me malaking bintanang walang tabing!)
We started the climb at 2PM (kung hindi naman kami nagpapakamatay db, katirikan ng araw). The sun was shining super hot and bright which was much better than hiking under the rain. The first part of the climb was a steep cemented road we were only on the first turn but I was already breathing hard and when I look at Jayjay he was already sweating hard haha! considering that we have been running for a long time now.I think ¼ of the group were mountain climbers and they were telling us to take our time and not to hurry and I really took my time I stop every time I felt like my lungs was about to explode (OA ko noh!) I told you I don’t want to be the case of delay and don’t want to collapse in the middle of the road.
It was not yet “officially” the start of the trail but the view was already breath taking. On my front is the mountain and at my back is the seacoast of Anilao Batangas and on my side is the love of my life (pak! Naman!alko na ang in love…).
|nabigla sa pagod = obstructed view|
At the end of the cemented road there were stores and porters offering their services for $350 and none of us took one. We had a good rest stop here as one of the Meralco boys almost passed out and he has become the content of the jokes for the rest of the climb. And that’s when I saw the trail leading to the summit it was steep! I mentally prepared myself and checked on Jayjay if he’s ok and he was like a child smiling sheepishly with his new toy. In ordinary days of our not so extra ordinary lives Jayjay is on his most irritable stage if he’s sweating but that time he embraced his sweat hehe. And this was one of the reasons why I love forcing him to try and join an adventure like this with me. I have known him for so long that I already knew what he hates and likes but every time that we’re on a trip there’s always a new side of him that appears (naman! Ako na talaga ang in love).
|this is it!|
We started the assault and we have not climbed that far yet and I could already feel my legs burning it was a steep trail and when I saw Jalaman with his super big backpack/kitchen and the others with almost the same big bags, I realized that my backpack would look like a pouch bag next to theirs and I got excited and was inspired to reach the top, I did not come all the way here not to see the summit. That’s when I remembered that when I was in high school there was a time that I dreamt of being a mountaineer and I told myself that I will join a mountaineering club when I reached college sadly there’s no such group in college.
There were several houses halfway thru the trail, we had a rest stop in one of the houses and they sell halo-halo for P35, ice for P5 and soft drinks for P9. I asked the girl who’s selling the halo halo how they were able to bring their fridge up here she just smiled at me maybe she was thinking that I was just joking but I was serious, the trail was steep and was so small that you have to stop and let the person going down pass by it was like a one-lane traffic. I think there were 3 houses that you will pass by on the trail and the last house we pass by there was an old man who told us that when we go down we can leave our plastic water bottles to him so he can sell it and that’s what we did when we went down the following day, we also left him the bottles of gin hehe.
|halo halo for sale|
|few more steps|
We continued with our climb and after the high grasses and coconut trees we entered a clearing and I had one of my O-face moments, the view was breath taking I even jumped! Mt. Gulugod Baboy is not that high it is a 2/9 difficulty climb but we almost had a 360 degree view of Batangas, Toto and Elton told us that it’s not yet the peak and once we reached the summit it’s much even better. With an amazing view like this who would pass the chance of camera-whoring, I won’t! Even Jayjay clicked it all the way. From there I can already see figures of the others who were already on the summit.
We reached the summit at around 4.30PM, true enough the peak of Mt. Gulugod Baboy was much better, it was a 360 degrees view of Batangas bay and other mountains. It was amazing. I thanked God for giving us beautiful nature like this and for keeping us all safe.
|thank you po lord|
Good thing we were the first group to arrive and we had a nice camping ground we pitched out tents beside the bushes to protect us from the wind and there’s a trail going to the back where you could pee (with matching tabi tabi po). Jalaman and Irene also started preparing our dinner, confirmed they’re truly hard core mountaineers. Jalaman’s backpack was truly like a kitchen, he even has 4 gallons of water in there! They told us to bring 1 liter of water each for food preparation and washing foods and dishes is not the trend in mountain climbing (sensya na first time pa lang po). They have burners and cooking utensils and guess what we’ll be having for dinner – kalderetang chicken and chopsuey! Yup you heard it right (astig db! Haha! Amaze na amaze ako promise! At walang sukat ang pagkain eat all you can hangga’t meron pang pagkain). Donna, Rod and I helped Irene in preparing the food, Jalaman had to cook the rice in 4 batches making sure that we’ll have enough because we’re a big group. While preparing for the food to be cooked, we enjoyed the sunset and took pictures to our heart’s desire, I even borrowed my sister’s camera for this trip because I’m sure that I’ll consume my camera’s battery.
|our community for the night|
|inside our new baby|
Then it’s dinner time not bad! I told you Jalaman is an all around man. It was like a family dinner where you talk about what happened to your day, stories about one’s family, work and hiking experiences were shared and all laughed about Christian’s almost passing out earlier and he was being teased by Doc Jun (he’s a pedia) that’s he’s only acting and only fishing for attention. Then one of the meralco boys said “ang sarap ng afritada!” and we all laughed hard (kaldereta ung ulam kuya!).
|kaldereta po ito at hindi afritada|
After eating we make sure that all the trash were placed in one area which we will also bring down as the saying goes leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures, this is also to ensure that Mt. Gulugod Baboy will maintain its beauty and for other people to enjoy as well and according to Kuya Jake there are dogs in the area that looks for trash and scatters it. With boys composing ¾ of the group and a girl who drinks (oy hindi ako un ha hehe) no one would want to end the night without a sip hehe. Surprisingly no one of the boys brought alcohol (can you believe that!) Actually I also forgot I got excited with the climb that I forgot to bring or to even remind them. Toto was teasing Jalaman how he can pass this moment without a drink and he knows the mountain and the houses he can easily go down and bought then Jalaman asked who will contribute, I right away gave him money (P200 lang naman inabot ko) told him it’s me and Jayjay’s bday treat and without any hesitation he immediately stood up and tagged Dan to join him, 30 minutes later they were back with Ginebra San Miguel (astig talaga ni Jala! Bow kami sayo!) Jayjay and I were thinking what if it’s a different group, would they go down in the dark just to buy drinks. That’s when we decided that on our next climb we’ll join Wowtrippers again.
|super enjoy socials!|
|inumin ng tunay na manginginom aru!|
The following day we woke up to a beautiful morning, we had our coffee, bread and macaroni soup (astig talaga db) then we fixed our tents and cleaned our camping ground. We had our group picture and a lot more of picture takings hehe and I thanked God again for such a beautiful gift, this is one of the reasons why I always want to go out to see these beauties that he gave to us.
|amazing sun rise!|
Going down was a totally different story I felt like falling and will roll down with my head first, Donna slipped 4 times according to her. I was very careful with my steps and told Jayjay that he can laugh at me if I fall. Thankfully neither Jayjay nor I slipped and it only took us almost 1 hour and 30 minutes going down.
Another memorable and enjoyable experience for Jayjay and me, this will not be the first and last mountain climb we’ll do, that’s for sure. We’re already craving for more!
|madaming salamat abay!|