Mt. Daguldol Plus Laiya Beach: A Day Guide
Want to climb a mountain and chill at the beach all in one day? Why not? It’s fun and we were able to do it last May. Our trip wasn’t without its share of misadventures, though! Here’s my own Mt. Daguldol and Laiya Beach day guide (plus a bonus expenses post):
* A bit of friendly advice first! Mt. Daguldol is a beginner-friendly mountain, but hiking is a physically strenuous activity. If you have a health concern – like heart ailments or knee issues – then it might be a good idea to get cleared by your doctor first. Better safe than sorry.
WHAT THE PLAN WAS, a.k.a. Our day hike itinerary based on Dencio Travel’s Mt. Daguldol, Naambon Falls, and Laiya Beach blog
0500 am Departure at Alabang
0630 am ETA at Lipa
0715 am Arrival at San Juan
0800 am Arrival at Brgy. Hugom; Register; Hire a guide
0830 am Start hike
1030 am Rest at Kuya Onad’s House
1045 am Resume hike
1230 nn Arrival at the Summit; Photos; Lunch
0130 pm Start descent
0300 pm Rest at Kuya Onad’s House
0315 pm Resume descent
0430 pm Brief side trip at Laiya Beach; Quick dip; Afternoon snack
0530 pm Freshen up
0600 pm Back to Manila
0900 pm Arrival at Alabang
1000 pm Arrival at Cubao
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, a.k.a. Always expect the unexpected
0455 am We’re all at Starmall Alabang in Muntinlupa City waiting to catch the first bus trip to Lipa. I called the ALPS Bus trunkline the night before and the person who answered my call said that the first Alabang-Lipa trip leaves at 5 a.m.
0515 am The bus arrives.
0600 am The bus departs an hour late.
0736 am We reach Lipa’s Grand Terminal. We’re told that the trip to San Juan via Supreme buses take only half an hour and that makes us super happy.
0800 am We depart for San Juan.
1000 am We finally arrive at San Juan. That ride was too long!! I make a quick trip to Jollibee to buy lunch.
1015 am We leave for the Daguldol-Laiya area by tryke. We drop by along the way to that place where you pay the eco fee.
1045 am We arrive at the registration area and are assigned a guide. We ride the tryke again to get to the foot of the mountain.
1100 am Our hike starts. As far as day hikes go, this is late.
1230 pm Lunch at Kuya Onad’s place.
110 pm Our hike resumes.
230 pm The summit, yay!
245 pm Hike back to Kuya Onad’s.
345 pm Buko juice (coconut water) at Kuya Onad’s.
400 pm It starts to rain as we begin our descent. Bonus challenge!
525 pm We reach the foot of the mountain and make our way to the nearest beach resort. It’s a no-frills resort, but we were already so tired at that point. We just needed a spot to relax.
530 pm Snacks, rest, and a quick dip at the beach.
700 pm Shower.
720 pm Back to San Juan via tryke.
830 pm We arrive at San Juan only to learn that the last trip to Lipa had already left. Uh-oh.
845 pm We manage to find a van en route to Lipa. Note that the only reason why it was making its trip to Lipa was because another group had commissioned it: they needed to bring someone to the hospital. We were super lucky to have ridden that van. We would’ve been stranded for the night at San Juan otherwise.
930 pm Back at Lipa.
1000 pm The last Manila-bound bus leaves. It only goes as far as South Station, Alabang in Muntinlupa City.
1103 pm Arrival at Starmall Alabang. (For those who live in the north, there are buses here that go as far as Fairview in Quezon City.)
Notes and tips:
The earliest ALPS bus trip to Lipa from Alabang supposedly leaves at 5 a.m. but – as per our experience – it can depart late. There are other later Lipa-bound trips in Alabang; they leave at 30-minute intervals.
You might want to try the Cubao-San Juan or Alabang-San Juan trips, also by the same bus company. The earliest Cubao-San Juan trip supposedly leaves at 3 a.m. Please call their office to be sure.
Kuya Onad’s place has running water, which means that the toilet is really clean. Double thumbs up!
There are at least three places where you can buy food and basic supplies in Mt. Daguldol: the community that’s at the foot of the mountain, Kuya Onad’s place (it’s the halfway point), and that sari-sari store that’s 5-10 minutes away from the summit.
Hiking Mt. Daguldol was SUPER tiring. The trail was harder than Mt. Maculot’s and might be even harder than Mt. Batulao’s old trail. Don’t let this experience of mine daunt you, though. All I’m saying is that it’s super challenging for beginners, but you’ll make it. 🙂
Note that the last San Juan-Lipa van trip leaves at 7:30 p.m. Note too that the last Manila-bound bus from Lipa leaves at 10:00 p.m. To catch both, and just to be on the safe side, be sure to rent a tryke even before the start of your hike and ask to be fetched from the Daguldol-Laiya area by 6:00 p.m. If you follow our actual itinerary (the one with the delays), then that’ll mean finishing your hike at around 5:30 p.m., leaving you only enough time to freshen up. We didn’t know about that last van trip which was why we still opted to make a side trip at Laiya.
Here’s how you might find the time to relax at the beach and still catch the 7:30 p.m. Lipa-bound van:
1. From Lipa, take a van instead of a bus to San Juan. We belatedly learned that riding a van’s the faster option. This option will save you at least one hour. That’s one hour you could spend at the beach! Savor that one hour, haha.
2. Take the 3 a.m. Cubao-San Juan trip. If it leaves on time, then it should arrive at Alabang by 4 a.m., giving you at least one additional hour. If it leaves an hour late, that’s still okay: you can still follow our original itinerary. There’s definitely time for the beach. 🙂
3. If there are at least four in your group, consider bringing your car instead. This will give you the convenience of leaving when you want to without having to stress about late bus schedules and last trips. This will also afford you the pleasure of spending more time at the beach. Frankly, if I ever do something like this again, I’d push for this last option.
JUNE 28, 2018 ADDITIONAL NOTE: For those bringing their cars, the best and safest bet is probably checking in and then parking your cars inside one of the beach resorts dotting the foot of the mountain first before starting your hike. Some resorts offer rates for those who are just on a day trip, so you can opt for that if you’re bringing your car and just plan to go on a day hike. Please contact the resort you plan to stay at beforehand to be sure.
Some of the beach resorts in Laiya have lovely white sand, but the one we stayed at had rocky shores. It’s best to bring aqua shoes just in case.
So that’s our Daguldol and Laiya adventure in a nutshell. We were glad that we did it though it turned out to be more of an adventure than we initially hoped for. 🙂 What other ways could we have saved time? Do you like day hikes? Enjoy the outdoors and take care!
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Group photo from Germy Belo.
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