Climbing The Mighty Mt. Halcon

Hi everyone! I just got back from my longest and most difficult (Yup, Mt. Amuyao has been replaced) hike in Mindoro, the mighty Sialdang or more popularly known as Mt. Halcon – my 48th mountain.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2580+ MASL

Location: Baco, Oriental, Mindoro

Difficulty: 9/9, Major Climb

Trek to Summit: 19-20 hours

Prior to this hike, I did not have any form of training at all because of recurring leg injuries that I had to rest properly and thus resulted to me having an extra difficult time during the hike proper. Nonetheless, I am really grateful that I was able to finish it. Read on below for the full story of our four days and three nights of exhausting but extremely fulfilling hike.

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Pangasinan Getaway

Hi everyone! This will just be a quick post about my recent trip to Pangasinan with my family. Even though it was just a quick trip, it felt really special because it is not everyday that I get to go on a trip with my family with all our conflicting schedules.

My sister and I planned a trip to Pangasinan since most of the resorts in nearer provinces (i.e. Batangas, Laguna, etc.) were already fully booked. Read on below to know more.

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Mt. Arayat Traverse Dayhike via Magalang – Arayat

Hi everyone! Last Sunday, April 2, 2017, I went with my friends to a pre-climb/training climb in the mountain associated with Mariang SinukuanMt. Arayat which also happens to be my 47th mountain.

Mountain Stats:

Elevation: 1,026+ MASL

Location: Magalang, Pampanga

Difficulty: 5/9, Major Climb

Trek to Summit: 3hrs 30min (Jump-off to North Peak) + 1hr 45min (North Peak to South Peak)

This trip also served as our group’s pre-climb and my training climb for an upcoming major hike. Read on below for more details.

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From Summit to Sea: Mt. Cinco Picos, Silanguin Cove and Camara Island

Hi everyone! My friends and I just recently got back from our trip to San Antonio, Zambales to climb Mt. Cinco Picos, my 46th mountain, and chill at the beach below it in Silanguin Cove with a side trip to Camara Island and Pundaquit BeachYup, we pretty much visited a lot of places and it felt like such a long and relaxing vacation even though we were only there for two days and one night.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 881+ MASL

Location: Cawag, Subic, Zambales

Difficulty: 3/9, Major Climb

Trek to Summit: 4 hours

Even though we only climbed one mountain in Cawag, I still had so much fun considering I have not gone to the beach in so long. Read on below for the story of this trip.

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Climbing the Philippines’ 10th Highest: Mt. Kalawitan

Hi everyone! I just came back from my recent hike to the arguably 10th highest mountain in the Philippines* and my 45th mountainMt. Kalawitan. Up to the last week of the event proper, I was still unsure if I could join because of personal matters but just a day before the hike took place, I confirmed my attendance and was able to join the group. Talk about cramming, right?

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,714+ MASL

Location: Bontoc, Mountain Province/Sabangan, Mountain Province

Difficulty: 6/9 (Basing this on my experience)

Trek to Summit: 9 hours

There were several things that made me struggle during this hike that took place last January 28-29, 2017. Nonetheless, I do not regret joining because more than the exhaustion and pain, I was also really happy with the people I was with. Read on below for the full story of our weekend.

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Year Starter Hike to Mt. Pulag via Akiki-Ambangeg

Hi everyone! Last January 7-8, my friends and I were trekking Luzon’s highest mountain and the Philippines’ third highest mountain – Mt. Pulag. It was also January of 2016 when I first ascended this mountain via the “killer trail” Akiki and descended via Ambangeg. At first, I was still hesitant to join because I already scaled the mountain via the same trails and second, I could not forget how I was extremely bothered by the cold temperature at the top (Sorry Queen Elsa. Lol.). When I was really conflicted, this conversation with my friend helped me decide:

covo
Big words from a little guy. Jk hahaha

Mountain Stats:

Elevation: 2922 MASL (old), 2,926.047 MASL (new)

Location: Akiki Trail – Kabayan, Benguet

Difficulty: Akiki Trail – 7/9

Trek to Summit: Akiki Trail – 10-11 hours

(Edit: Mt. Pulag’s elevation is now at 2,926.047 MASL as declared by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority or NAMRIA last April 4-14, 2016. As proof of this, a new summit marker can be found beside the old one.)

pulag-4
New Summit Marker

 

While there were moments along the trail that made me question my decision of joining, I regret nothing because seeing my mother major mountain again brought back so many happy memories. And like what they say, it will always be a new experience in the mountains no matter how many times you have been there.

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The Great Cordillera Traverse: Mt. Ugo

Hi everyone! Last December 3-4, I did my last hike for 2016 – Mt. Ugo Traverse which also happens to be my 44th mountain. I was really excited for this because of all the great things I have heard from my friends and all the beautiful photos I saw online. Aside from these, Mt. Ugo is also included in my bucket list and having this for a year-end climb seemed like a really good idea.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,150+ MASL

Location: Entry point – Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, Exit point – Itogon, Benguet

Difficulty: 5/9

Trek to Summit: From jump-off to campsite – 8 hours, from campsite to summit – 15 minutes

According to our guides, the total distance from Nueva Vizcaya jump-off to Benguet exit point is around 35KM. And although it was a long trek, it was not as tiring because of the beautiful views present almost all throughout the trail.

Read on below to know more about our experience in traversing Mt. Ugo.

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The Hike to Mt. Damas and Side Trip to Ubod Falls

Hi everyone! Last November 19-20, I went with three of my friends to an overnight hike to Mt. Damas, my 43rd mountain, in San Clemente/Camiling, Tarlac. While this can be done as a day hike, we decided to camp to do stargazing and city light watching.

Mountain Stats:

Location: San Clemente/Camiling, Tarlac

Elevation: 685+ MASL

Difficulty: 6/9 (Major Climb)

Trek to Summit: 6 hours

There are two possible jump-off points going to Mt. Damas, one from Dueg (ideal for those with a private vehicle) and from Papaac. It is said that between the two, the trail from Papaac is longer and more difficult because of the so-called “Cardiac” part which I will discuss in detail later on in this post as our group took on this route.

Even though Mt. Damas is not as high compared to other major mountains, the trail going to the summit offers a challenge to hikers that makes it worthy of its difficulty level.
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Weekend Getaway in Banaue – Bontoc – Sagada

Hi! I was invited to a twin hike to Mt. Fato and Mt. Kupapey last weekend, October 15-16. Unfortunately, due to the typhoon (Karen) that hit North Luzon over the weekend as well, we were only able to climb Mt. Fato – my 42nd mountain.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 1400+ MASL

Location: Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province

Difficulty: 2/9 (This is just my rating. The trail is wide and beautiful with a lot of pine trees)

Trek to Summit: 1 hour

Because we were unable to do the main activity of this trip, climbing Mt. Kupapey, we found ourselves exploring different sites in Sagada instead. This came as a surprise because going here was not part of our itinerary but because of bus and jeep schedules, we decided to take the bus from Sagada back to Manila.

Read on below for the full story.

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The Rainy Hike to Mt. Tapulao

Hi everyone! Over the weekend, I went with my friends to an overnight hike in Mt. Tapulao, my 41st mountain, after more than a month of being away from the trails. I had an idea of what I should expect coming from the stories of my other friends who were already done with this mountain but of course no matter how much I prepared myself mentally, I was still completely caught off-guard.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,037+ MASL

Location: Brgy. Dampay-Salaza, Palauig, Zambales

Difficulty: 5/9

Trek to Summit: 10-12 hours

Easily, Mt. Tapulao has one of the most leg-straining trails because it is 90% rocky/stony. Nonetheless, I am still grateful to have crossed it off my hike list. Read on below for the full story.

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