Mt. Babag: A test of endurance

Standing 752 MASL and with its reputation as a good training ground for major climbs, we thought that this is the best mountain to test our limits and endurance.

Mt Babag is accessible from Busay or from Guadalupe. Because we wanted to pass through a more challenging trail, we decided to ascend Mt Babag from Guadalupe. Guadalupe is also more accessible compared to Busay.

We met at the Guadalupe church around 8:00 AM and had our breakfast. There are a number of carenderias in the area so no need to worry in finding food for your breakfast and lunch.

Beside Guadalupe church is a number of habal habal drivers that will take you to Sitio Napo.

I guess people in trekking gears is just a normal sight for them since they already knew where we were headed the moment they saw us.

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After a 15 minute ride, we arrived at what seemed like a dead end at Sitio Napo.

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It was raining when we arrived so we put our raincoats on first, made sure all our important belongings were waterproof, and when we were all settled, started the trek following the Napo main trail.

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We can already see the famous array of communication towers from there which gave us encouragement that the peak is not far ahead and we will get there in no time.

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The trail is decent and there are parts that are already cemented. It is not flat though so you really need to defy gravity and walk upwards. 

The trail never seemed to end and there were times we stopped for a few minutes to gasp some air. Our almost two months hiatus affected our lung capacity that much.

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I constantly found myself catching my breaths and regretted that I did not prepare for this trek.

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Mt. Babag is not an easy mountain to conquer, so preparation before this trek is very important so you can endure. You should make sure that you have a big lung capacity or else this trek will be a real struggle for you.

We then arrived at a chapel where we decided to take a rest.

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Apparently, the trail we took before getting here was just a warm up and this is where the real struggle begins.

We continued our trek and climbed a now steep trail. There were loose soil on some areas and even swarm of ants along the trail.

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Trees and plants are surrounding the area so you have something to hold on to while climbing this steep mountain.

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Planting and farming must be the main source of income for most residents here since there were a number of farms we passed by.

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We passed the Sapangdaku river where we stayed for a few minutes to wash our feet and face.

Ahead is the Lower Kahugan spring where the trail splits into two, the Kahugan and Busan trails.

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There is also a pipe where fresh spring water flows, more like “tubod” water, that locals managed to put in the area. Most of us did not try drinking the water from that pipe because we have stomach issues but this water is safe to drink, I guess.

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We were supposed to take the Busan trail but the kids looking over the flower farm did not allow us to pass through, so we opted to follow a different trail.

From that point on, we did not know what trail we took and just trusted the application in Ralph’s phone that this unknown trail will lead us to the peak of the mountain

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This mountain is really steep and now I know the reason why even the endurance of the strong mountaineers get drained here.

We could feel our muscles tighten up and we were having a hard time finding the rhythm of our breathing to our pace. We even resorted to eating the salt we carried with us  to help relax the muscles of our legs.

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After a while, we found an opening that led to the peak of the mountain. From there, the RCPI towers are already very visible. Just a few meters and we will finally reach that mountain peak.

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The towers are already barricaded and there are satellite stations in the area that were not there before (ABS-CBN, CCTN, and TV11).

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At the peak lays a cottage where trekkers can rest and enjoy the view.

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19452788_1578589358819007_2485235829290502445_o.jpgWe rested there for about an hour and started our descent to Busay.

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XIAOYI

Going down is easy because there is a decent road that will lead you straight to Mountain View resort. Temple of Leah is also around the area so you can visit these places if you still have spare time.

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We decided to eat and rest at a small sari-sari store near Temple of Leah and headed to Mountain View to ride a habal habal going to JY Square Mall.

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XIAOYI

Luckily, a pick up multicab passed by and we decided to hitch. We reached JY around 3:30 PM and headed home.

There was one thing I learned after climbing this mighty mountain, to never underestimate any mountain peak and preparation for every trek is very important. I never thought that this mountain will test my endurance and will drain the energy out of me.

One thing that I also appreciate about this climb is the budget. We spent less than 100 pesos (excluding the food) for this trek. Saan aabot ang 100 pesos mo? Well, that money can take you to the peak of the mighty Mt. Babag.

HOT TO GET THERE

Ride a jeepney going to Guadalupe Church (either from Ayala Terminal or in front of Land Bank of the Philippines office beside Sto Rosario Parish).

Beside Guadalupe church are habal habal drivers that will take you to Sitio Napo.

After a 10 – 15 ride, you will arrive to Sitio Napo which is the jump-off point of the trek.

WHAT TO BRING/WEAR

  1. Packed lunch
  2. Trail food
  3. Water (at least 1.5L)
  4. Trekking shoes/sandals
  5. Raincoat
  6. Extra shirt
  7. Leggings or trekking pants
  8. Money
  9. Salt (to prevent muscle cramps)
  10. First aid kit
  11. Sunblock

ITINERARY

8:00AM – Assemble at Guadalupe church
9:00AM – Habal habal ride to Sitio Napo
9:15AM- Arrive at Sitio Napo
9:30AM – Start trek
12:30PM – Arive at the peak
1:30PM – Peak to Busay
2:30PM – Busay to JY Suare
3:30PM – Arrive at JY Square

EXPENSES

  • 7 Pesos – Fare to Guadalupe
  • 20 Pesos – Habal habal fare to Sitio Napo
  • 70 – 100 pesos – Habal habal fare from Mountain View to JY

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TIPS

  • Bring enough water with you.
  • REST. This trek will test your endurance so it is very important that you have enough rest.
  • Bring first aid kit. Mt. Babag is so steep and has loose soil in some areas. One wrong step and it will send a trekker down the slope.
  • PREPARE before the trek. Jog or do exercises that will help expand your lung capacity.

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