I thought it was only global warming that’s ruining our summer getaway. The unpredictable pouring of rain made us cancel our Sagada trip and my long awaited Calaguas trip in Camarines Norte due to typhoon Dante. And now even this swine flu pandemic was making its presence when my supposed to be trip to Puerto Galera with Carlitos and his family from Australia was postponed due to safety reasons. It’s a good thing I have a long list of lakwatsa to choose and finding an alternative hadn’t been a problem. With only three hours of preparation, I found myself stuffing my backpack with the usual trekking gears and charging my camera past midnight when I decided to join the trek to Mt. Daguldol. Thanks Bryan for providing me the details at the wee hours of the morning, your insomnia was a big help.
The call time was at 3:00am at Jam Transit Terminal in Kamuning but I went straight to Lipa, Batangas from Alabang and opted to meet the group at Jollibee near Robinson’s Lipa. There were 25 of us who joined this climb organized by Mountain Talk and as usual I was a sabit climber again knowing only 5 friends from this trip. After our breakfast at Jollibee, we rented two jeepneys going to the jump-off point in Barangay Hugom and had a short stop-over at the local market to buy some supplies. My only concern at that time was the overnight accommodation since I didn’t bring my own tent. It’s a good thing Ivy was willing to share her tent with me. Being a last- minute trip and all, I was surprised to learn that the trek has a beach side trip and the campsite was in a one of the beach fronts along Barangay Hugom.
It was such a treat starting our trek along the shorelines of different resorts going to Aling Linda’s beach house. Her beach house offers rooms for overnight accommodation as well as campsite for trekkers. We were supposed to have our breakfast here but we were already way delayed on our suggested itinerary so started our trek already after leaving some of our things at the beach house. The enticing beach and the hammock under the two-story native hut didn’t help much to motivate me to scurry to the summit. But I didn’t want to miss the waterfalls in the mountain either so it was all worth the effort.
We left the campsite around 11am and started the four hour assault of Mt. Daguldol. It was supposed to be a minor climb with 3/9 difficulty but I doubt it if it’s just a 3 right Othello? Half way through the trek, I was already having the old familiar mantra in my head that this will be my last climb ever and I would never climb again after finishing this one. Oh well, maybe for that week, that would be my last. I even thought I was hallucinating when I overheard someone saying there was a Halo-halo store nearby. Now this was the kind of joke that can cause trouble. It is something you don’t want to hear especially when you are hungry and exhausted. But I was still keeping my fingers crossed that it was possible to have Halo-Halo in the middle of the mountain with no electricity. Alas! There was halo-halo indeed owned by Mang Lizardo – a famous friend of many mountaineers. There was another group of trekkers preparing their lunch at Mang Lizardo’s place when we arrived. The aroma of the canned goods they were cooking smelled extraordinarily delicious. I guess that’s what happens when you are dead-tired and you still have two more hours to summit before having lunch.
The cold refreshment at least gave us renewed strength. We reached the summit in no time and the pictorials continued with group shots, solo shots, rolling shots and endless jump shots. With less than an hour of rest, we decided to go down and for some reasons everyone was in a hurry and the four hours of arduous hike became two hours. Maybe it’s the beach, maybe it’s the waterfalls, nah maybe it’s getting dark but whatever it was I didn’t want to be left behind so I was also scurried down even almost running downhill. The downside of it was that two of our members had cramps while one had a minor accident on our way back to the campsite. It was almost dark but the rest were still at the waterfalls. Unfortunately, one of our friends had a minor accident at Naambon Falls when a small but sharp piece of rock fell on his foot.
But the weary feet, aching muscles and minor set backs were all forgotten temporarily when we got back to our campsite finally refreshed and full of Vamp’s sinigang and inihaw na tilapia. Of course a climb wouldn’t be complete without the traditional socialization so the night ended with a performance from our resident performers Jose Kamote and Macalinao Jr and the laughter and funny antics shared by everyone with the company of Johnny Walker, Tanduay and thanks goodness they didn’t open anymore those 4 bottles of Matador and pass the time instead taunting Ton Ton and his babes.
The next day was spent on the beach and the continuation of photo shoots. It was the morning of Pacman’s fight so I was glad Aling Linda has TV so I just waited and waited and waited for that fight to come. Well, so much for suspense as Tatay Kris’ nephew spoiled the ending for us who watched the fight live. This climb was another memorable experience for me as I got to reconnect with old friends, meet new friends, conquer another mountain and got to experience the beauty of nature again. This will definitely be my last climb… for this week at least.
Mt. Daguldol Itinerary (May 2-3) Day 1 0300 Call Time Jam Transit Terminal for Lipa 0330 ETD for Lipa via Jam 0600 ETA Robinson’s Lipa – ETD Jeep to San Juan 0645 ETA San Juan, arrange transportation to Barangay Hugom 0700 EDT to Barangay Hugom 0730 ETA Barangay Hugom, quick breakfast and arrange for guide 0745 Start Trek 10:30 ETA Mang Lizardo’s Place 12:30 ETA Niyugan Campsite – lunch 1330 Resume trek to summit 1330 ETA Summit – explore the place 1430 Start descent 1500 ETA Niyugan Campsite 1600 ETA Mang Lizardo’s Place 1700 Beachfront and Camp at Nanay Linda and Tatay Kris(night swimming) Day 2 1500 Wake up call 0600 Prepare breakfast 0700 Breakfast 0800 Swimming, enjoy the place 1100 Prepare lunch 1200 Lunch 1300 Break camp 1330 ETD Barangay Hugom to San Juan 1400 ETA San Juan 1500 ETA Lipa 1530 ETD for Manila 1800 ETA Manila Essential Gears and Equipments Backpack (Built for Mountaineering) Sleeping bag (Optional) Flashlight/Headlamp (with extra batteries) Mess kits (usual lunch kit, spoon, fork, cup) Trash bags Personal medication / First Aid Kit External alcohol or any disinfectant Trail Water Off lotion or any mosquito repellant 1 pair of camp slippers 3 sets of clothing Trekking Shoes or Sandals Cap/ Bush hat Arm Warmer Leg warmer or Tights or Leggins Trekking shorts or Pants Poncho or Umbrella