MT. GULUGOD BABOY: Day Hike + Side Trips Itinerary

Knowing when to step back and to remotivate ourselves amidst the busy life that is in the phase of adulthood is paramount. It can be finding new places, developing hobbies, or enjoying things that will put everything back into proper perspective and keep us laser-focused all the more for the tasks ahead. However, in reality, we keep saying that we don’t have enough time, especially for leisure. We grind a job or two just to make ends meet and to save a portion of our hard-earned money for future purposes. But, why are we earning and saving for the future when we have the present moment waiting to be seized? We may have individual journeys to fulfill but the principle remains simple and it hit me all the time: work-life-balance. As Heather Shuck accurately said it, “You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”

That’s why I found myself all excited when a friend of mine invited me to join his team on their next adventure, an activity that requires good fitness and endurance for it is quite an intensely demanding physical recreation: mountain climbing and trekking. I could have opted for easier and more comfortable way of “regaining motivation”, but the idea of doing something I’ve never done before really appealed to me. So I did a little research and geared up like any first-timer would. I’ve had never been so thrilled for the longest time.

We went to Mt. Gulugod Baboy which is located in Southern Batangas, a peninsula infamous for the diving hubs of Anilao. There are three peaks in the range: The first is 470 meters above sea level (MASL), the second is 485 MASL, and the third is 525 MASL (the third, being the highest, is recognised to be the real Gulugod Baboy). Its name was derived from “pig’s spine” because of the hills’ contours that’s quite evident upon seeing it from afar. Although a lot of bloggers would say that Mt. Gulugod Baboy is good for beginners, with reviews suggesting difficulty of 2/9 and a trail class of 1-3, I would advise anyone to never underestimate it. It was not an easy trail from the foot of the mountain, The first part was a paved road but extremely steep. There were benches available along the way where we rested for a while before we transitioned to another steep ascend, joining a herd of goats heading to the same direction. Good thing that I did my assignment, I purchased a pair of trekking shoes permitting tight grip on the ground and hiking leggings protecting me from blades of tall grass. We stopped once in a while to capture every moment of the hike, we basked in the warmth of the sun that’s partially hiding behind the clouds, we even climbed the welcoming trees and pondered on the few kilometers before we hit the peak. I don’t know whether Mt. Gulugod Baboy is really a tough mountain to climb or I was just a beginner, but what mattered to me was I seriously prepared for it. We can ease the impending difficulty if we prepped up prior to the battle.

Don’t get me wrong, there were moments during the climb that made me want to stop. I was having a hard time catching my breath, my heart’s pounding against my chest, not to mention my legs which struggled to keep up, about to fail me anytime. But when I saw my companions taking and enjoying their time, I was motivated to keep moving forward. Unlike me, they were no beginners. But like me, they have bodies functioning the same way as I have. They might be equally fatigued as I was, but they persisted anyway. So that’s what I did, I marched on and was very determined to witness the surprise awaiting us at the summit.

Lo and behold, The astonishing view at the pinnacle of the mountain is all worth the effort in climbing it. The stretch of trees and neighboring mountains from afar, the horizon where the sky and sea meets, as well as the cool breeze that gently brushed our skin warmed our hearts and relieved all the weariness we had from the hike. That moment I realized that during the times when we’re feeling demotivated, when we think that whatever we do seems pointless or heading off to nowhere, are the times when we need all the pushing to strive harder. We may not understand the situation we get ourselves in, but eventually the purpose prevails. So whenever you feel tired or uncertain, always choose to see the bigger picture by asking yourself, “where is this leading me?”. Always look up and don’t give up, for the view is always beautiful at the top. That’s my realization that has become my motivation, and I’ve never been the same ever since.

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MT. GULUGOD BABOY: Day Hike + Side Trips Itinerary