It wasn’t a usual climb for me when I went to Anilao, Batangas last Thursday. Although I admit I miss the mountains as much as perhaps every mountaineer who had been deprived of the chance to climb for quite a number of months, my goal in Mt. Gulugod Baboy was to look for a medicinal plant that we would like to use on my mother as an alternative medicine.
I brought Melford along, who’s now in college, since it really worries Nanay everytime I climb alone. Worry her at this time is the last thing I’d like to do.
I’ve been to Mt. Gulugod Baboy last year with K (sadly, it was one of the many climbs that I haven’t blogged about) so I’m already quite familiar with how to go there and even the trail. K and I didn’t hire a guide even if it was our first time in that mountain last year, just like in all of the mountains we have climbed together. Honestly, we’re so adventurous when we’re together that we even got lost in Mt. Kalisungan and found our way to the summit through a vast area of cogon.
Back to Mt. Gulugod Baboy, I was surprised to see part of the cemented path that connects Philpan to the mountain trail covered in what looked like a landslide. It was confirmed by a very friendly guide named Pabio when we stopped by his store for bottles of Coke.
Up to that store, however, I hadn’t seen the plant I was looking for. I read somewhere that it could be found along the trail but since it bears very attractive upside down flowers, I thought I could find it in front of someone’s house before I reach the actual trail going up the mountain.
Showing Pabio the photo of the plant I found on Google that was taken in Gulugod Baboy, he told me that it was in one of the group of houses in the middle of the mountain. And since I had been up there already, I suddenly remembered the small village he was telling me about.
It was a rather cool ascent. The sun wasn’t that harsh at all, with refreshing wind blowing our sweats away. We reached the small village after a while, and I was relieved that the plant was there in the far side from the entrance, easily recognizable because of its flowers.
It didn’t catch my attention last year because, as the above photo shows, it didn’t have flowers yet at that time.
Good thing the elderly male resident we found lounging there that morning agreed when I asked for a bunch of leaves which I said I would use as alternative medicine for my mother.
Locals are really friendly and kind. I ended up giving one of the kids a bar of Snickers as a token.
After thanking the man, and asking if I could have a branch that I could plant at home on our way down, Melford and I proceeded to the summit. It was almost zero visibility when we got on top and it took some waiting before we could finally have decent pics taken.
After much picture-taking and rest, we started walking back. The man at the small village gave me a small branch and I gave the kid again my last Snickers bar.
Pabio was still at his store when we got back. Famished, I asked if we could have noodles cooked (because Lucky Me Pancit Canton was the first thing in his store that caught my eyes) but he said his house was so far from the store and just offered to accompany us to a carinderia that cooks pancit guisado.
Before the pancit, though, we took a bath in his uncle’s house for P15 per head. Not bad actually for a civilized bathroom with hand shower.
Pabio entertained us with his stories about the mountain and the mountaineers who have hired him as a guide and porter. Over pancit canton guisado, Melford and I came to know this kind and funny soul that I regretted to not having brought him along as a guide during the climb.
He is also a nursing aid graduate so he has first aid skills that could come in handy in the mountain. If you want to hire Pabio as a guide or a porter, you may text him at (+63) 921-2656466. He only charges P350.
By the way, he told us it was really Mt. Pinagbanderahan that mountaineers go to and not Mt. Gulugod Baboy.