Mt. Daguldol

Mt. Daguldol is a mountain which stands at 670+ MASL (meters above sea level) located at Batangas. We chose the mountain because it’s  only a few minutes away from the beach.
This was my first hiking experience and it was awesome!

Day 1:
Meet up at Jollibee C5 Southbound with the team. We had a quick breakfast before heading to Batangas via a UV Express we rented for the trip.

Upon arrival at the tourism office, we paid for the environmental fee and hired a tour guide which is required for the climb. We parked at a barangay near the mountain and started off the climb upon packing up our trail food and other important supplies.

First few minutes on the trail and I’m already nom-ing at my trail food. I’m quite nervous because:
1. It was my first time2. I did not have enough or any cardio training at all, prior to the climb3. I have low stamina on cardio4. I had an experience in passing out during a street dance back in high school which kinda left me a trauma and made me believe that I’m weak5. It was hot!

Mt. Daguldol’s has a trail class of 1-3 and a difficulty level of 3/9. The trail does vary from a walk-in-the-park to I-think-I’m-gonna-die (or is it just me?!) There are certain times when my legs feel like burning and I felt like giving up. Thankfully, the team is patient and well-coordinated. Eating chocolates and drinking alot of water also helped in gaining back my energy. We had alot of mini stops during the third quarter because the trail began to get steeper and harder to climb. What I like about this mountain is it has lots of trees which means lots of shade for us.

Ban (Thea’s younger brother) almost got his shoe broken, fortunately Wesley is ever-ready! Also, thanks to Yellie for her Biogesic when my head started thumping.

Well, well, one thing I knew is for sure. Whenever someone tags you along on a “minor climb”, you better do your research and expect the unexpected!

There were three pit stops along the trail. One of them serves halo-halo, perrrrrfect for the hot weather during the climb! Some sells food as well, so you do nit need to worry if you did not bring lunch or dinner. We were supposed to visit the falls but were not fortunate enough to see it.

To be able to know we are near to approaching the summit gives us hype and energy to finish the climb. Thanks to Wesley’s watch showing how many meters we currently are above sea level. During the climb, I realized and appreciated a few things:

1. Philippines is beautiful.

2. The culture set among hikers are inspiring; they are responsible and polite to locals and (strangers) fellow hikers.

3. We must preserve the beauty of nature to the best we can.

4. Human damages nature.

5. We are blessed to be Filipinos.

Upon reaching the summit, I could not believe I made it! The summit was all green with grasses and there were horses and trees and lots of shade. It was stunning! My first thought was “Wow! Parang New Zealand!” (“Wow! It’s like New Zealand!”) But then I realized, “No. This cannot be compared to New Zealand or anywhere. Philippines is uniquely beautiful.”

We set up under a huge tree for lunch. IT FEELS SO GOOOOOOOOD to finally eat and drink and rest our backs on soft green grasses under the shade of a tree. Some slept and some explored the summit after lunch. We took photos and watched the glory of the surroundings. It was the first time I’ve been that high on my single effort. (Since I have been to Burj Khalifa which is the tallest building in the world, but by elevator. Haha.) The beauty of the adjacent sea and island was profound. It was one of those moments when you will just stare in awe and thank God for His wonderful creations.

After about an hour or so of resting, we continued to descend the mountain. The ascend took four hours, while the descend took two hours only. It’s easier and harder at the same time. Now it’s my knees that are feeling funny. We were separated from the other half and found ourselves lost for a while on the last parts of the descend. It was funny since we were not so sure where to go and everybody was blaming Wesley. Hahaha! We eventually found our way to the parking place and then headed to the resort. Ahhhh finally a glorious bath!

The others started preparing food for the team. We ate mostly of grilled pork, hotdogs, eggs (and others I forgot about).

After dinner, some of us went to the beachfront to just lie down on the sand and watch the stars. It was a bit cloudy that we were not able go get a decent photo of the stars. Nevertheless, our first day was amazing!

Day 2:

Beach dayyyy!

I was quite disappointed of the beach because of the water. 🙁 The sand was white and the waters were blue but was a bit dirty due to human trash and has a noticeable different color. In order to reach a cleaner bluer part, you will have to swim a little farther. Which is a little problem since not everyone from the team can swim. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the beach time and took alot of photos. 😛

It was such a fun experience. To climb a mountain is now ticked off my bucket list! I’ve seen one of the Lord’s majestic creation and witnessed more at it’s peak. I’ve met and made new friends and shared stories with each other. I’ve realized things, and was hit by a hard truth.

They said climbing a mountain can change you. I did not believe in it until I experienced it first hand. It was one of those milestones in my life. I could never forget about this trip!