From Summit to Sea: Mt. Balingkilat to Talisayen Cove

Hi! Last May 12 and 13, I went with my friends to a skin-darkening, thirst-inducing and stamina-draining hike to the beautiful but extremely hot Mt. Balingkilat, my 55th mountain.
Mountain Stats

Elevation: 1,100+ MASL

Location: Subic, Zambales

Difficulty: 5/9

Trek to Summit: 5 hours

Each one of us knew the usual weather condition in the Cawag Coastal Mountains, that is, very hot, so we made sure to come really prepared. However, it still holds true that no matter how prepared a person is, the real situation will still prove to be a tad more difficult. Luckily, we were rewarded with the best views at the top which made everything worthwhile. Read on below to know more about this trip.

Continue reading “From Summit to Sea: Mt. Balingkilat to Talisayen Cove”

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Birthday Summit to Sea 2018: Mt. Gulugod Baboy and Sombrero Island

Hi everyone, it took a while for me to finish this blog post because of external factors but as what they say, better late than never!

Last February 25, 2018, my friends and I hiked up a beautiful mountain in Batangas by the name of Mt. Gulugod Baboy, also known as Mt. Pinagbandirahan – my 54th mountain. My recent hikes have been relatively easier as compared to before because I wanted to go back to non-physically demanding hikes. Lol.

Mountain Stats:

Elevation: 520+ MASL

Location: Anilao, Batangas

Difficulty: 2/9, Minor Climb

Trek to Summit: 2 hours

This was my annual birthday hike and as per tradition, the trip has to have a beach side-trip. Read on below for the full story.

Continue reading “Birthday Summit to Sea 2018: Mt. Gulugod Baboy and Sombrero Island”

From Summit to Sea: Mt. Daguldol and Laiya Beach 2018

Hi everyone! A lot of good things have happened at the start of 2018 and I have been quite busy handling things from different aspects of my life. Luckily, I had a quick weekend break last January 20-21, 2018 which I spent doing two of my most favorite things – hiking (Mt. Daguldol, my 53rd mountain) and relaxing at the beach!

Mountain Stats:

Elevation: 680+ MASL

Location: San Juan, Batangas

Difficulty: 3/9 Minor Climb

Trek to Summit: 2.5 hours (5KM)

Because many of us have not hiked for quite a while now, this was just the right amount of difficulty to make us remember how it feels to be on the trails again. Just that, it also made us remember the essential things to bring during an overnight hike, only, a little too late. Lol. Read on below for the full story.


Ahh, I missed doing hiking posts. Like always, I shall start with the breakdown of expenses.

Transportation Details

VEHICLE FROM TO FARE TOTAL PER PERSON (14 pax) ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME
Van Makati San Juan, Batangas Php 8,500 Php 607.14 4 hours
TOTAL  Php 607.14 4 hours
VEHICLE FROM TO FARE TOTAL PER PERSON (14 pax) ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME
Van San Juan, Batangas Makati 5 hours
TOTAL 5 hrs

Other Expenses

DESCRIPTION AMOUNT TOTAL PER PERSON (14pax)
Guide Fee (Php1,000 overnight, Php500 one way) Php 500 Php 36
Registration Fee Php 490 Php 35
Beach Cottage Php1,000 Php72
Parking Php 100 Php 7.14
TOTAL   Php 150.14

 

SAFE BUDGET: Php 1,000


Day 1: #SANJUANDownTheRoad

The group decided to rent a van for this trip. This was a good thing because the commute to the jump-off was a bit tricky. We left Manila around 11AM and arrived at the jump-off around 3:00PM. It was not until 4:00PM when we began our trek after doing our final preparations. Because most of the guides were already unavailable, we were allowed to only go with one guide – Mang Jose, after all, the trail was pretty easy to read.

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Start of the trail. Dirt road with gradual assaults.

For a minor climb, we were surprised to deal with a great deal of assaults at the onset. This made us sweat and catch our breaths almost immediately. After a while; however, we arrived at the first waiting shed (hanging) where we decided to take a quick break to rehydrate.

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Take five!

According to Mang Jose, the assaults at the beginning were nothing compared to the second half of the trail which, according to him, would be more draining. Along the trail, we encountered two men carrying sacks of coconuts, which, according to our guide, will be made into different products such as coconut oil.

Even though the assaults were continuous, it was not as tiring because we were not under the heat of the sun and we got to rest at different waiting sheds along the trail, one of which even had a videoke machine!

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Regrouping at one of the waiting areas (there is a house behind us in this photo)

According to Mang Jose, the start of the more difficult part of the trail will be where there are a lot of coconut trees. It was not difficult to miss because indeed, there were numerous coconut trees around. The assaults were more difficult in the sense that they were steeper and longer with minimal flat surfaces as compared to the first part. In general, the mountain is safe for trekking because aside from it is not technical to climb, there are also no dangerous cliffs with a deadly fall.

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Start of the second part of the trail (Look at all the coconut trees!)

It got dark pretty quickly because we were inside a forest. Unfortunately, some of us forgot to bring headlamps, including myself, so we had to make do with our smartphone’s flashlight. Before reaching the campsite/summit of Mt. Daguldol, we passed by this open area where we saw the city lights of Batangas.

We knew we were already near the campsite when we heard the voices of the other groups. At around 6:30PM, we arrived and found a spot to pitch our tents. The night was cold but bearable – the only thing that made it difficult was the strong wind.

Everyone was excited for dinner because of all the good food that were brought – buttered shrimps, fried chicken, pork steak and the boys’ made up dish – the puchigang (puchero + sinigang). Unfortunately, some of us, including me, forgot to bring utensils and baunan so we had to improvise by using the cookset’s cover and our hands to eat. (Yup, that is what I get for not hiking for several months)

It was not long after when all of us went to our respective tents to get some rest for the following day.


Day 2: #MaLAIYAKaNa

We woke up to a foggy and very windy morning. I was part of the breakfast team and we prepared spam, pancit canton, bread, eggs and rice. After breakfast, we decided to have a little bit of fun by doing Zumba to fully awaken our bodies before dispersing to take photos.

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Good morning from the Zumba-ready group!
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Some photos at the top! Happy birthday, John!

After all the photo ops, we started to pack our things to prepare for the descent. And because the ascent was mostly assaults, it was easier to go down knowing that the terrain was not rolling. It was only the first half that was difficult because the trail was really muddy probably from the fog and moisture.

We only made one stop at the waiting shed with videoke machine where we bought iced cold sodas to quench our thirst before finally proceeding to the beach (because we missed the trail leading to Maambon Falls lol).

We arrived at Laiya beach a little past 12:30PM. And because it was still hot, the others decided to eat lunch first while the rest settled down and changed clothes. We went to a nearby view deck where we took a lot of photos before proceeding to swim.

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Laiya Beach Chillin’!

And because the view deck was also a good photo spot, I took advantage and got several shots in.

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The little girl enjoying the revitalizing setting!

It was around 5:00PM when we departed for Manila but not without stopping by to eat some lomi!

The overnight trip was surely a good starter trip for 2018. It also helped that I was with fun and great people that made everything worthwhile and memorable.


Thank you to Mang Jose for taking us safely to the top of Mt. Daguldol and to #SOMO for yet another hike!

Nate for organizing this trip and for being on top of everything.

Rayford and Jervine for looking after me again and for being my trail buddies as always!

Jaze for cooking the spam and three types of eggs (sunny side up, scrambled and omelet) for breakfast.

Mama Yhang and JL for being fun companions when we were all together during the ascent. To JL for introducing ExB songs to me. Hahaha!

John/Cuterz for being very patient in taking photos and for bringing a lot of good food! Happy birthday again!

Sir Black for bringing most of the breakfast goods and for the good laugh before dinner. Did not expect to see a different side of you. Haha!

Fran for all the slow motion videos that we made. Congratulations on your new bag!

Ate Mai, Ate Sunshine, sir Marco and Jeff for being friendly and welcoming! It was a pleasure to meet all of you. Ate Mai, thank you for sharing your sleeping bag with me. Ate Sunshine, thank you for cooking the pancit canton and taking photos of everyone. Sir Marco, thank you for documenting the trip through videos! And Jeff, thank you for being patient in taking photos of us as well.

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ka-#SOMO. Thank you!

Here is a video that summarizes our fun summit-to-sea weekend trip:

Video courtesy of Sir Marco and Jervine


Things to Bring – IMPORTANT TO TAKE NOTE OF! Lol

Clothes

  • Jacket
  • Change of clothes
  • Raincoat/Poncho
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Slippers

Toiletries

  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Tissue, wet wipes

Essentials

  • Alcohol
  • Sun block
  • Plastic bags (for trash, dirty clothes, gadgets and to be used as mats)
  • Medicine (Paracetamol, Loperamide, Ibuprofen, Loratidine, Phenylpropanolamine HCl/decongestants, etc.)
  • Powerbank
  • Trail Food (biscuits, chips, candies, chocolates, etc)
  • Water
  • Lunch, dinner and breakfast food (talk to your group about the arrangement)
  • Money
  • Bag Rain Cover
  • Flashlight

Miscellaneous

  • Trekking Pole
  • Cookset
  • Stove
  • Butane
  • Tent
  • Earth Pad
  • Camera
  • Mess Kit (Plate, Spoon, Fork, Cup)

Itinerary

Day 1

11:00AM – Leave for Batangas

3:00PM – ETA Jump-off. Final Preparations

4:00PM – Start trek.

6:30PM – ETA campsite/summit

10:00PM – Lights off

Day 2

6:00AM – Cook breakfast

7:30AM – Eat breakfast. Photo ops.

10:15AM – Start descent

12:30PM – ETA Laiya Beach. Swim. Relax.

5:00PM – ETD Laiya to Manila

9:00PM – ETA Manila


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Little girl’s 53rd mountain

It felt nice to be able to hike again. And although I forgot to bring some of the essential things during this trip, I still enjoyed thanks to my hikemates.

True enough, I have slowed down in hiking because of change in priorities but I will always make sure to make time for it whenever presented with an opportunity.

Thank you for reading!

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Climbing Mt. Pigingan

Hi everyone! This post is a bit late but I shall do my best to narrate our experience last October 28-29 in climbing Mt. Pigingan, my 52nd mountain and my comeback hike after three months.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 1,328MASL

Location: Dalupirip, Itogon, Benguet

Difficulty: 4/9

Trek to Summit: 4 hours

It was such a refreshing feeling to be able to go back to the Cordilleras again. And although I have slowed down from hiking, I am glad to have been able to remember the exhilarating feeling of reaching the summit. Read on below to know more about this hike.

Continue reading “Climbing Mt. Pigingan”

Adventures in Alberta, Canada

Hi everyone! I have not written in a long time because I was busy enjoying my so-called ultimate vacation of 2017 which happened last June 8 – 24, 2017. I just came back from a trip to Alberta, Canada which, for me, is one of the best vacations I have ever done.

Because it was a long-time dream of mine to be able to visit Canada, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to get a tourist visa when I found out that my parents were planning to go this year. Luckily, my application got approved and so we proceeded to buy plane tickets.

It was a long time coming but finally, it happened and boy was it worth the wait.

I have nothing but love for Canada and this post will tell you all the reasons why.

[Disclaimer: Long blog post ahead]

Continue reading “Adventures in Alberta, Canada”

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.

Continue reading “Climbing The Mighty Mt. Halcon”

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.

Continue reading “Mt. Arayat Traverse Dayhike via Magalang – Arayat”

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.

Continue reading “Climbing the Philippines’ 10th Highest: Mt. Kalawitan”

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:

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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.)

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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.

Continue reading “Year Starter Hike to Mt. Pulag via Akiki-Ambangeg”

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.

Continue reading “The Great Cordillera Traverse: Mt. Ugo”