Mt. Daguldol

Just last week we headed on Pico de Loro for an outdoor weekend. Not even recovering from the sore of this trekking, we decided to explore Mt. Daguldol just one week after the Pico climb.

Mt. Daguldul is situated in Brgy. Hugom, San Juan Batangas facing the coastal lines of Laiya Beach. Almost a five hour trip from Manila. Getting here is relitively easy. Alps Bus in Cubao Terminal fly directly to San Juan for Php 230.00 then take a jeep to Brgy . Hugom for Php 40.00.

An alternative is to take Lipa bound bus in Buendia Terminal and take a jeep from Lipa to San Juan, and take a jeep from there to Hugom.

While on your way to Hugom, you'll pass by a number of Resorts around Laiya, showing that the place is not just a place for hikers but also a melting pot for travelers, tourist wanting to get a taste of beach and adventure.

Laiya beach

We reached DENR station at around 5:00PM. Here is where you'll register for Php35.00 and get a required guide. Guides are now regulated by Hugom Environmental Guide Association (HEGA) and can be rented for Php 350 a day.

Since we started a bit late and normal hike time will require five hours, we already know that we're not gong to be on camp before night falls. We ready our headlamps and commence the ascent. Trail started out on  long stretch of Laiya beach, then a sudden ascent. half of the trek is a small community where the Famed Mang Lizardo used to reside. The locals are very welcoming even let us recharged our headlamp, since some of us just bought their new one on San Juan. They also offers free coffee but we declined and just opted to buy her halo-halo, munching while the night breeze are freezing us to death. From here you'll pass by two chapels and then it's ascent all the way to the camp. Big boulders of rocks will amaze your way up the trail, but since it's dark, we only appreciate it on the next day going down.

There are three campsites on Mt. Daguldol. The Niyugan, Limatik, and the one just near the summit, but everything is a 10 minutes walk from each other. We decided to stay at Niyugan Camp for the reason of proximity t0 the water source. After pitching our tent, eating dinner and a night of social, we called it a day.

Niyugan Camp

Early in  the morning we were woken up by the other group to eager to surmount the summit of Mt. Daguldol. As they break camp, we hurriedly prepare a quick breakfast to recharge our energy and start the hike up to the summit.

Just as expected after six to seven minutes of gradual ascent we were welcomed by a wide field of hills with view of seas beyond. It's like the setting from Lord of the Rings movie. We thought it's already the summit of Daguldol so we spent a lot of time taking pictures and videos, but then our guide had explained that this is the camp near to the summit and the summit is just a few seconds away. We opted to continue.

The summit of Mt. Daguldol is actually one of the high hills near the coast so even if seating on the ground you can see the waves approaching the coast of Laiya. A wonderful sight of the neighboring Sierra Madre and Mt. Lobo looms at far. After a few minutes of appreciating the great view, we started to descent.

After a few more hours we reached the beach of Laiya. We decided to stay at one of the cottages and take a swim. By afternoon locals are gathering up in a hut just near our cottage and invited us to drink with them and we didn't decline the invitation. They offered a home-made lambanog mixed with cold ice and Sparkle (lime soda).

Vendors in Laiya are selling this sweet kakanin that I forgot what it's called.

Just before the night approaches we clean up and go home. Our guide offers a jeep rental that will take us directly to Lipa Terminal where buses bound to Manila are still available even after sunset. We shared the jeep with a smaller group and after an hour we reached the bus station. This is where we all part ways as we were heading to different parts of Manila.


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