Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mt. Daguldol with Corinthian Architects

The idea to climb for UAP Manila Corinthian Chapter's summer outing was conceived a few months back when we plan for the last quarter of the fiscal years activity.

It's something we haven't done before and I thought would be a nice idea.  We chose a mountain that's relatively easy, since we want to encourage beginners and a location that would allow for other activities.  Our Chapter Treasurer Jared Cruz, suggested Mt. Daguldol in San Juan, Batangas.  I'm familiar with the beach in Laiya, and agreed after being assured that its relatively easy.  I researched on the itinerary from other blogs and thought that we could manage the 2/10 difficulty rating.

I only posted the event invite 2 weeks prior because I was so loaded with work the weeks prior. Since we still have a budget remaining from previous activities, I did not had the event sponsored anymore. I just need to work on the logistics.  Initially, I intended to rent a bus if I have a confirmation of more than 20.  Only 13 confirmed on my event list but including the guests, I will have 24.  Knowing that some would still back out on the day itself, I decided to just get 2 vans that can accommodate up to 30.  I was able to get a rate of 5500 each for 2 days excluding diesel, toll and drivers meals.  It's still a lot cheaper compared to the bus at 21k excluding gas and toll.

The itinerary we used was that from and edited it according to our transportation arrangement.

Day 1 0600 Assembly at KFC Taft for. Buendia 0830 Pick up Levy at Robinsons Lipa 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
Day 2 0500 Wake up call 0520 Start Trek going to summit 0540 ETA summit 0700 ETD from summit 0730 Breakfast 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 Depart for Manila

A few days before the climb we posted the things to bring:

1. Water Containers (Preferably 2 liters per person, water source is abundant in the mountain)
2. Sun Block and Insect Repellant
3. Trekking Sandals or Hiking Boots (No Rubber Shoes or Slippers)
4. At least 3 sets of Light Clothing (Refrain from using or packing Denim garments) Preferably Dry fit clothes and allocate 1 for swimming.
5. Tent, provide tarpaulin undersheeting for moisture protection (can be shared)
6. Food (Dinner and Breakfast only at the camp) & Cooking Equipment
7. Trail food (Jelly ace, nuts, etc.)
8. Head lamp or Flashlight
9. Waterproof your gadgets at cameras.
10. Bring extra cash.

Prior to the event, I was texting  attendees confirming if they have a tent just to be sure we have enough.

Of the 24 guests I was expecting, 16 was present at the meeting place on the day of the climb, and 1 to be picked up in Lipa.

We left around 7:30 in the morning and was in Lipa around 9AM.  We did not stop for breakfast anymore, since some already used the waiting time to grab a meal at KFC.  We arrived in San Juan, around 11 AM, and made a stop at the public market to buy the ingredients for our dinner and breakfast and the supplies we will need.  Before heading to the jump off, Foursquare recommended Marimar Bulalohan for lunch.  Its located at the gas station along the road connecting the highway to Laiya.  They have huge servings and we were able to take with us what was left of the Bulalo, Bopis and Kaldereta.

We arrived at Baranggay Hugom around 1PM.  We were informed that we don't have to trek along the beach anymore, because the road leading to the jump off is accessible by vehicles.  Our guide brought us to a resort where we parked and reserved their cottage for wash up the next day.  After some last minute preparations and hiring porters to carry some of our bags, we started the trek around 2:30 PM.

It was very hot and dry at the start especially at the main road leading to the trail to the 1st station. We were soaking in sweat when we reached the resting hut, but was hopeful that the assault  to  the next station was more gradual.  We were wrong!

My pacing becomes slower and slower as we progress.  I literally am counting my steps and would stop every 10 to catch my breath.  Me, and my climb buddy Daphne limits our rest just until some of our buddies catch up.  We want to see the sunset at the summit.

By this time, I was really looking forward to the Halo Halo Station I've read from other blogs.  I know we were getting near because we can already hear songs from a karaoke emanating from somewhere.  True enough, a few minutes later, we were at the 2nd station.  We passed by a house where 2 climbers from a different group decided not to continue anymore.  I was hoping, that my team would still push through.  We just need to motivate each other.  After having 2 servings of Halo Halo, we were on our way to the third station.

Along the trail is a clearing that offers a view of the bay.  Most parts are forested shading us from the sun, but there are only a few breaks from the assault.  My legs and back are close to giving up by this time, but seeing how far we are into the trek, there's no way I'm giving up.

It took us 3 hours to reach the last resting hut before the Niyogan Campsite.  At this point, we are on the last stretch of the climb.  My motivation is to catch the sunset and lay comfortably in my tent.  We arrived at another stop selling Buko Juice a few minutes later.  That was the Niyogan Campsite, but instead of settling there, we trekked further to a better clearing.  When we reached the area, it was already occupied by a few group of mountaineers.  Although the sunset at this area was breath taking, we decided to push 10 minutes further to the summit, where the clearing is wider and offers a better view of the ocean.  Finally, we found the perfect spot, and settled on our camp area after almost 4 hours of trekking.

After pitching our tent, we immediately started preparing our meals.  One by one, our other companions arrive.   It was already dark when the last of our members reached the camp.

We shared on Hotdogs, what was left of lunch, Sinigang na Corned Beef and Kare Kareng Gulay for dinner.  It started to drizzle as we were eating, but luckily the rain didn't pour.

I was amazed at the strength of my companions.  My former professor is 54 years old, and the others were first timers, but nobody gave up.  Somehow, we took on different roles for the team.  Some went ahead so we can secure our campsite and get started with dinner, while the others supported each other every step of the climb making sure nobody's left behind.  It was really a test of strength and will power, and I think we passed with flying colours.  The rest of the evening was filled with stories of the trek.

We were so tired for socials that only half of the Emperador Light was consumed.

We woke up to a cold foggy morning.  After warming myself with coffee, I volunteered to get water from the source 10 minutes away so we can cook rice for breakfast.  After eating, and picture taking, we cleared the camp so it wouldn't be too hot on our way down.

The descent was faster.  We were stopping on stations one after the other, and it only took us less than 3 hours to reach the Jump-off.  Initially, we were suppose to have lunch at the cottage and order food from one of the Turo Turo in the area, but our accomplishment that weekend was too great that it calls for a celebration.  Instead, I decided to bring them to Sulyap in San Pablo after washing up and having light snack at the beach.

Happy Trekker L-R: Jared, Ana, Eileen, Angelo, Vhic, Gabbie, RAMM, Sheyne, Syoti, Candy, Ryan, Allan, Omar, Ludel, Levy, Alpha, Daphne

We left Laiya at 1 PM and arrived in San Pablo an hour later.  While waiting for our orders, the others took time to tour the property and gallery.  The place and the food was the perfect reward for our accomplishments that weekend.

Photos grabbed fro Sheyne, Eileen and Sir Gabbie's album.

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