Destination: MT. DAGULDUL — San Juan, Batangas
Jump-off point: Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 5 hours
Nature of Climb: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
Located in southern Batangas is the coastal mountain of San Juan, Mt. Daguldul. Mount Daguldul may have gotten it’s name by describing the grandeur of the range and the abrupt rolling of its slopes.
A good things about Mt. Daguldul is that the guides are organized under the Hugom Environmental Guides Association (HEGA). This means that fees are fixed and they are reasonsable – guides for P400/day and a climbing fee of P30 (as of 2006). The trail starts off at the beach where you will be welcomed by majestic rock formation. Afterwards, you will enter the forest. There are 3 campsites near the summit, namely Campsite 1 (Gulugod-Baboy); Campsite 2 (Niyugan – lots of cocount trees); and Campsite 3 (Anahawan). Usually, the determining factor in camping is the one you reach before nightfall, but these campsites are all within the area which you can explore anyway.
The summit area is windy, as expected from a coastal mountain. Grasslands make for a ‘picnic ground’ feel; there are some rock formations also. In one viewpoint, called Biliran ng Limatik (20 minutes from Niyugan campsite), the nearby mountains such as Maculot (NW), Malipunyo (NNW), and more distant Mt. Banahaw (NE) can be seen; and also Mindoro (and perhaps Verde Island, SE), Tayabas Bay (SW) and a faint island, Marinduque (SSW). Visible also is Naguiling Peak in the same range – a pristine, promising destination.
On the way back, in between Mang Lizardo’s place and the beach, there is a marker that leads to Naambon Falls, just 5 minutes away from the trail. The 25 meters cascade of water falling down a rock face is a must-visit on a trek to Mt. Daguldul. Finally, after the climb, you can unwind in the cool waters of Laiya beach before heading back to Manila.
0600 Take Lipa-bound bus from Manila (Buendia, Cubao)
0830 At Lipa, charter jeep to Brgy. Hugom
1130 ETA Brgy. Hugom; Arrange for Guides. Lunch
1300 Start Trek – Beach Front
1530 ETA Mang Lizardo’s place
1730 ETA Niyugan Campsite, Set Camp
1900 Dinner / Socials
0500 Wake up call
0520 Start Trek going to summit
0540 ETA summit
0700 ETD from summit
0830 Break Camp
0900 Start Descent
1000 Back at Mang Lizardo’s place
1100 Take Naambon Falls sidetrip (1 hr)
1200 Resume descent
1300 Back at Brgy. Hugom; head to beach resorts
1700 Rent jeep back to Lipa or Batangas City en route to Manila
Transportation. Climbing Mt. Daguldul is quite convenient but getting there is quite long and bothersome, consuming up to 5 hours if relying on public transport. Large groups usually take the bus to Lipa (P120), do their market needs there, then rent a jeep from Lipa if with >12 persons. The latest updates place the rental rate from P3000-4000. These jeepneys may be found in the terminals around the town proper, particularly near Robinson’s Mall. Travel time to jumpoff is around 90-100 minutes. Alternatively, one may take a bus ride directly to Batangas City (from Cubao or Buendia) then rent a jeep (or use the regular jeepney service to Brgy. Hugom) from there.
Another alternative – suggested by roi in the message board – is to take a Lucena-bound bus (from Cubao or Buendia), drop off at Candelaria, Quezon, and from there take a provincial bus to San Juan. From San Juan local transport (jeeps, tricycles) are available to the Brgy. Hugom jumpoff.
Private transport utilize either the Maharlika Highway to Candelaria then turning left to San Juan, or using Star Tollway all the way to Batangas City then proceeding to San Juan. Free parking is available at the jumpoff.
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