Metro Manila · A Hike in Batangas
Get off the couch, climb a mountain, breathe fresh air, enjoy the panorama of Southern Luzon, swim in the sea, relax in a cozy ressort, be back in Manila in the early evening – the Megacities team conquered Mount Gulugod Baboy and found out that the province of Batangas is the perfect destination for a day trip.
For Megacitizens without private cars, getting to Mount Gulugod Baboy is already a little adventure. The trip offers the opportunity to get to know all major public transport vehicles of the Philippines: it takes a two-hour bus ride (just enough to finish the movie on board), a 40-minute jeepney ride and a 30-minute tricycle ride to arrive at the foot of the mountain.
A steep road goes up the mountain for about a kilometer before the trail leads into the forest. At that point our little hiking group is already panting and sweating – time for a break with some homemade ice candy or a huge cup of Halo-halo. The following hike through the light forest takes about an hour. It is quite a steep but harmless incline (apart from occasional slips on the dusty pathway). The view over the sea and the offshore islands is getting better with every step, compensating us for for the struggle in the mid-day heat and motivating us to make it to the top. Thankfully, there are several huts on the way, saving us from dehydration by providing cold water and soda. Many visitors actually choose the healthier option to climb Gulugod Baboy in the late afternoon, camp there over night and go back down sometime in the morning. Doing so, you can experience a marvelous sunset and sunrise.
The top of Gulugod Baboy is windy and grass-covered, with only a handful of cows and goats snoozing in the meadow. Three peaks are waiting to be climbed, each one providing a stunning 360 degree view of Batangas Bay and City, Maricaban Island, Mindoro and some smaller islands, as well as Mount Makiling in the distance. Supposedly you can even see the southern outskirts of Metro Manila when the air is very clear.
Back on the foot of the mountain, we are sweaty, thirsty, hungry and a bit tired. Thus we decide to spend some time at one of the cozy resorts which are just a five to ten minutes walk away. We jump into the sea, have a good meal with cold fruit shakes, and relax on comfortable deck chairs until at five pm it is time to head back to Manila.
Bring at least 1.5 liters of water per person, some food, solid shoes, some extra clothes, a towel, flip-flops, and swim wear. Commuting from Manila to the mountain and back costs roughly 500 Pesos.
- 07.30 AM Get a bus from Manila to Batangas.
- 9.30 AM Get a jeepney from the bus terminal going to Anilao/Mabini. Tell the driver you want to go to Philpan Dive Resort and he will drop you off where you can take a tricycle.
- 10.00 AM Take a tricycle to Philpan Dive Resort (should not cost more than 100 Pesos).
- 10.30 AM Register at Philpan Dive Resort (20 Pesos) and start your hike. It takes round about one and a half hours to reach the peak of Gulugod Baboy.
- 14.00 PM When back from hiking, reward yourself and relax in one of the resorts nearby. We can recommend Aquaventure Reef Club. Spending a day there costs 550 Pesos per person, but it is consumable. When you reach the main street at the foot of the hill, turn left and walk for 5 minutes until you see the resort's sign.
- 17.00 PM (at the latest) Take a tricycle back to Anilao, get a jeepney to Batangas, and get a bus to Manila.
- Around 20.00 PM Arrive in Manila