Gulugod Baboy, which literally means “pig’s spine,” is a range of minor peaks (525 meters above sea level) located in Barangay Anilao in Mabini, Batangas. Anilao is more famous for its dive spots but the nearby hills are also a popular hiking destination that’s easy enough to be tackled by newbie climbers.
Life is easy on Gulugod Baboy. It takes an hour, a couple of hours on a slow pace, to get to the peak. The gentle slopes allow for a gradual climb without busting one’s lungs or knees. There are convenient stopovers for halo-halo and soft drinks along the trail. It gets hot on the open trail but you can choose to start hiking late in the afternoon to avoid the midday sun.
The rolling hills look like a rundown version of Rakuh a Payaman, a perfectly gorgeous pastureland in Batanes. The greenery is still beautiful but there are large patches of burnt grasslands and bare spots indicating that a few too many human feet have been there. Cow dung and pieces of garbage litter the sprawling campsites. The cows can get a little too friendly and may “knock” on your tent at night but a good whack on the tent wall or a shooing noise is enough to scare them away.
Gulugod Baboy Day Hike
Anilao, Mabini, Batangas
April 7, 2013
Easy hike, perfect weather, beautiful views.
I can’t remember the last time I was this ecstatic on a climb. Actually, I don’t think I have ever been this ecstatic on a climb. And I swear we’re not on crack.
Credits: Des shot the video. I did rudimentary editing on Youtube. Jet, Karen and I were obviously awesome onscreen. Lee Jay was off-cam doing something slightly more dignified.
Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas ranks with Batulao and Pico De Loro in popularity as a hiking destination in Luzon. The traditional trail is short and easy enough for beginners, and it offers a magnificent view of Taal Lake. I heard the sunset there is also beautiful but I haven’t had the chance to see it yet.
We kicked off the New Year with a twin day hike of Pico De Loro and Batulao. I was with the usual suspects, Jet, Fred and Ed, along with Bal, a mountaineer from Davao who guided the guys on their Mt. Apo climb last year.
This was supposed to be an ambitious day hike of the “Nasugbu trilogy:” Pico De Loro (traverse from Cavite to Batangas), Talamitam and Batulao. These are the three mountains located in the town of Nasugbu in Batangas although Pico partly lies in Cavite as well.
We didn’t have a great weekend, Allan and I. I was having a miserable time at work and he was going through some serious drama in the romance department. Our plan to do a Maculot-Manabu twin day hike on Labor Day couldn’t have come at a better time. Life was crappy at the moment and we needed to sweat out the angst. Mac was supposed to come with us on the Maculot hike but he got busy guzzling gin and lambanog until sunrise. (Save your complaints, Mac. Sabi ko naman sayo ilalaglag talaga kita. :D)
The first time I climbed Pico De Loro was three years ago, back when I was still a clueless newbie at climbing mountains. This is not to say I’m a kickass mountaineer now but my 23-year-old self was a walking disaster even on the easiest of trails.
Pico De Loro in Ternate, Cavite is one of the most popular mountains for beginner climbs. It’s only three hours away from Manila, the trail is fairly easy and the view at the peak is pretty amazing. There is also the challenge/bragging rights of climbing the parrot’s beak, the towering rock formation right next to the summit which happens to be the perfect site for dramatic photo ops.