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
Source of details above: Pinoy Mountaineer
In search of a place to climb and swim after, my long-lost climbing buddy decided to organise a climb here. It was way back in 2009 when we first went here. Due to schedule availability, we didn’t manage to follow our planned itinerary. The group met up in Lipa where we took a jeepney going to San Juan. It’s roughly an hour and half ride. From San Juan, we took a jeepney going to Brgy Hugom. 1st trip leaves 4am and the last trip leaves around 8pm. This may still vary according to one of the jeepney driver depending on the demand especially during holiday.
Upon reaching Brgy Hugom, we tried to secure a guide however we were told to go straight to the registration site near the Jump Off. We walked along the shore till one of the local guides approached us. Since it was a bit late already, though it was planned to camp at Niyugan Area, we decided to just set camp right near the jump off close to the sea and asked our guide to get us before dawn.
The cottages are quite pricey so we haggled until we agreed to pay 130 pesos/head instead of the 150 pesos initial offering. While I pitched the tent, the rest prepared for dinner. We had Chicken Afritada! Yum! It was followed by a quick social before lights off. The calming breeze made us sleep outside our tents.
Around half past 4 in the morning, we packed all our things and prepared for an early day-hike.
We left our stuff at a local store and just brought with us food and water for breakfast. We passed by a local store and bought coffee for just 5 pesos before officially starting the hike.
For the security and safety of all hikers, every group are required to secure a guide and pay a minimal registration fee. The trail is well established and by looks of it, it hasn’t rained for a very long time.
Along the trail, rest areas are provided and maintained by the local guides association. Trek here may take around 2 hours or more depending on one’s capability and the weather condition. Locals also sell soda and Halo-Halo here.
Locals here also sell Copra. (Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut. Coconut oil is extracted from it and has made copra an important agricultural commodity for many coconut-producing countries. It also yields coconut cake which is mainly used as feed for livestock.) One of my climbing buddy even tried removing the dried meat from the husk.
Considering the weather, we had a few stops. When we reached the Niyugan Area, we were surprised to see the below. Kaingin is now being practiced in the area. (Kaingin is a technique of clearing land by slashing and burning underbrush and trees and plowing the ashes under for fertilizer)
Just before we resume, the rain started to fall. We hoped it would stop soon but it only got worst. To make the most out of our climb here, we decided to just continue and took pictures before heading down.
We were supposed to have breakfast at the summit but because of the rain we decided to have it at the last resting area before the summit. We had sizzling hotdog, corned beef and packed food. Feeling a bit cold, we also had coffee.
Just after an hour or so, the sun was out again. Campers started going down. Not to have difficulty going down, we hurriedly packed our stuff and left. Half of the trail became muddy because of the rain. Half remained dry. It only took us half of the time going down.
Back at Mang Lizardo’ place, we rested and took a dip in the water.
We tidied up and looked for a ride. Luckily another group rented a jeepney going back to Lipa and offered to share a ride. We only paid 150 / head. Not bad!
After around 2 hours we finally reached Lipa and took a bus going to Cubao.
For a detailed guide on how to get here and the expenses as well as a suggested itinerary, click Mt Daguldol Itinerary & Expenses
- Balanghai group in Mt Daguldol (lakatnidudung.wordpress.com)