a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Friday, October 31, 2008

One Little Deed, One Big Impact to the World

Lately, I’ve been coming home seeing one piece of plastic bag lying on the cement floor near our gate, most likely thrown by some cretin. I always feel bothered every time I see one, that I can’t resist picking it up so I can properly dispose it in our own garbage can. At first, I was annoyed having to do it because it just reminds me how thoughtless people can be. Have they no care to the world they live in?! Have they lost respect for themselves that it doesn’t matter if their surroundings are dirty because of them? Hayy..such angst..but then I learned to cope with these people…I can’t change people..they need to change for themselves so I decided to look at these plastics I see lying around as opportunities to help improve things around our lil old town. Each time I had to pick one plastic from our gate, I feel happy because that’s one less trash off our streets. You should try doing it... make something good out of bending over. Hehe! Hopefully, time will come when every place is spic and span, like most of the streets in Ilocos...I’m not losing hope..these days, anything can happen…

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hike Love

I am currently reminisicing my previous climbs/travels and I dug some pictures which brings back fond memories. I especially love this one. This was taken this year when me and my homies from our wholesome threesome -  me with my two other buddies - Glee and Ren, climbed mt. Manabu. I insisted on carrying a half-opened buko all the way to the campsite while we proceeded with an uphill trek towards the latter part. I slipped a couple of times but I proudly made it while occasionally cursing at the buko. My buddies kept on laughing at me all the way up.

Here's another one:
How can I forget the climb that reignited my passion for adventure?! This was also the climb that got my heart pumping double time because we had to cross a cable wire suspended more than 10 feet from the river and I wasn't completely over my acrophobia!
Another favorite picture of mine...Our group shot while impatiently waiting for our boat in Pundakit beach. This was the first time I went to Anawangin Cove. This was December 1, 2007.
and here's another one...the trek around Bulusan lake with my friend Jules:
Can't wait to explore more places! Philippines is so beautiful!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jewels of La Paz, Ilocos Norte

The sand is dark brown and the waves we saw made swimming impossible for the faint of heart and defintely scared the wits out of regular people like me. I didn’t see any cottage and if you want to change to dry clothes, you’re going to have to hide under a tree – that is, if you can find one. There are no commercial establishments near the area and on a weekend, we had the shore to ourselves. I love this place.

We arrived here in the afternoon, about two hours before sunset. We had to leave when it started getting dark. Short as my stay was, I had an incredible time here with just me, my friends and the strong waves. We just sat near the shore, under these incredibly smooth pebbles and just prepared ourselves and guts for the strong two feet waves which had the power to scatter our group in different places.

*pictures courtesy of Monette

What Else to See ? The famous sand dunes of La Paz which is within walking distance from the shore. The trike ride to the beach is also filled with fascinating view of trees and hills.

How to get to La Paz ?

I posted some information here :

http://soccerprincess.multiply.com/journal/item/442

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What I Missed in Kwebang Lampas

Kwebang Lampas or KL as I enjoy calling it, is an island in Pagbilao, Quezon. It is a place that has intrigued me for some time because it’s only a couple of hours away (about five hours) from Manila and yet not a lot of people have ventured there.

I was told that getting there would be easy but you really have to plan because of the limited bus and jeepney schedules. My friends from my backpacking group explored the place last September and they haven’t forgiven me for skipping this trip. They even took a group shot especially for me.

With pictures like these, who wouldn’t cry over a missed trip?

The controversial events that transpired on this trip are narrated here : I love what my friends wrote. Please check these out, you'll enjoy reading these:

http://hobohippie.multiply.com/photos/album/60/Kwebang_Lampas_Pagbilao

or

http://digitalpatatas.multiply.com/photos/album/19/Kwebang-Lampas_-_Pagbilao_Quezon_-_Nature_Knights_with_Barf-Bag

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One Day at a Time – The Ilocandia-Benguet Experience


Here’s a rundown on my butt-numbing vacation up northern Luzon. Our original plan was just to go to our friend Monette’s house in Ilocos Norte and swim in Pagudpud but we decided to deviate from the plan and do a little exploring.


Day 1 – October 17, 2008 – Friday
Viva Vigan!
Travel Battalion : 3 and a half girls – That’s me, Connie, Monette and her 6 year old daughter Ira.
1:00 AM – Departure from Manila to Vigan via Partas bus (Fare 645 pesos; airconditioned; no restroom on board but there are about 2-3 restroom breaks); Terminal is in Sampaloc, Manila
Notes:
Travel time took approximately 9 hours
First thing we did was haunt for food! We asked the trike driver and he pointed us to an eatery called Jaizel which is a 3-5 minute trike ride away from the Partas Terminal in Vigan . Food was cheap – costs as little as 35 pesos per variand plus you have to pay for rice which was about 5-10 pesos ; serving size was small though but tasted good enough.
Crisologo Museum
After checking with the food attendant at Gaizel, we rode a trike to Crisologo street, that famous UNESCO Heritage site which has an entire street filled with ancestral houses dating from the Spanish colonization era; The tricycle ride took less than 10minutes and fare was 10 pesos/head ( I was told that it should only be 7.50 pesos each) Each trike can accommodate four passengers
The trike driver took us in front of the Crisologo Museum which is actually an ancestral house of the powerful Crisologo family – the famous of the bunch are Bingbong Crisologo and the late Congressman Floro Crisologo.
I love this museum because you can take pictures and marvel at everything inside it. It’s a museum that feels like home. One of the main attraction that’s inside it is quite gory though – the pants which Rep. Floro Crisologo was wearing when he was gunned down by an assassin who has not been caught until now. He was killed inside the Vigan Cathedral while a mass was ongoing. Try searching for Floro Crisologo in Google and you will find out that he is an uncle of Chavit Singson. You will discover a lot of political drama linked to Floro Crisologo’s death. Chavit Singson was actually one of the suspects in his murder. Juicy huh.
The Crisologo museum is free (but a donation is encouraged – there’s a small box by the entrance where you can drop off your donation ). Museum is open Monday-Sunday 8:30 AM-11:30 am and at 1:30PM-4:30 PM and the warm, witty woman by the reception – Ms. Remy is a loyalist of the Crisologo clan.
You can also buy some souvenirs here. They have the nicest magnets, keychains and picture frames – all sold at tourist friendly prices. You can also buy some shawls, table runners, interesting t-shirts – priced reasonably at 90-150 pesos.
Crisologo Street
Finally! My foot finally stepped on this famous street which has been fascinating me for years. I’m sure you’ve already seen pictures of this place around the net and on tv.
Souveneir Shops along Crisologo – I regret not buying a shawl here. They have hip colors which isn’t very common – neon green and fuchsia and it only costs 120 pesos at 2meters – after bargaining.
Guess what?! They also sell Havaianas here!
Part Two of Day 1 – Hopping to Laoag
From the Partas Vigan bus terminal , we rode the 1PM trip to Laoag ; bus fare was 137 pesos and it took approximately 2 ½ hours
From Laoag town proper – there are several familiar fastfoods like Jollibee, Mc Donald’s and Chowking where you can grab a bite or better yet, take a trike to Saramsam Café to experience Saramsam pasta – that pasta with mangos which I’ve been wanting to eat but wasn’t able to. (Next time my friend..next time).
Bullied by the waves in La Paz, Laoag
La Paz is Monette’s hometown and is also where the famous La Paz sand dunes are (where Panday, the movie was shot – FPJ version) hihihihihi. In the afternoon, after resting for a few minutes and putting down our stuff at Monette’s house, we got a glimpse of the sand dunes and the beach which was just a 10 minute trike ride from their house.
Did You Know : That there are land mines lying around the mountains near the beach in La Paz ? Don’t worry, the sand dunes area is generally safe. I was told that those land mines were set-up during the Japanese occupation. I freaked out when Monette told me because I just watched an episode of I Shouldn’t Be Alive - where one guy accidentally stepped on a landmine in Mozambique and one of his legs got ripped off. We also had to do a light hike trek to get to the beach and thank God that there were no major accidents.
They have some pretty strong waves in La Paz and none of us could get past the shore. I didn’t even try swimming because the waves looked like they were waiting for an annual sacrifice. I knew they were strong waves because I got thrown back to shore several times and this is me we’re talking about, 55 kilos of muscle and fat mass combined. We had a lot of fun though because we just sat near the shore and waited for the waves to lash down on us. The feeling is similar to getting a massage treatment except that you’re all wet. The shore is rocky but the stones were amazingly smooth that you’ll enjoy lying on it.
How to get to La Paz – the cheap way
From Laoag town proper, hire a trike and ask them to take you to the jeepney terminal to La Paz. Trike ride costs 7.50/head and will last approximately 10 minutes. The jeepney from Laoag to La Paz is 16 pesos/head and lasts about 20-30 minutes. I’m not sure if the jeep goes all the way to the sand dunes because we got off at Monette’s house but you can hire a trike once you are in La Paz or like what some people do, you can hire a tricycle straight from Laoag.
Day 2 – October 18, 2008 – Saturday
Pagudpud Day!
From Laoag town proper – there’s a mini bus that goes to Pagudpud town proper and ( you can just ask the trike driver to take you there). The trike ride to terminal costs 7.50 pesos/head
On your way to Pagudpud, look to your left once you get past the Bangui signage and from the road you can catch a glimpse of the Bangui windmills - rows and rows of magnicifent windmills. Also, from your right, after passing the Burgos marker, do watch out for the top layer of the Burgos lighthouse.
We stayed in Saud Beach Resort which reminded me of Coco Beach in Puerto Galera with its uniformed staff. They changed management already and the staff are quite accommodating and courteous. The open cottage costs 500 pesos for a day tour; Entrance fee is 50 pesos for adults and 25 pesos for kids. If you want less crowd, go here. Their food is more than what we were willing to pay for – quite pricey for me – you will be spending 200 pesos or more , so we walked a few meters from the resort and looked for a nice eatery.

Nice cheap food at Rocky’s EateryTo get there : If your back is on the Saud beach resort entrance, cross the street and turn to your left and walk a few meters. There’s a noticeable sign board of Rocky’s eatery and here you can order food or if they don’t have anything cooked, just buy canned goods from their store and have them cook it for you. Our bill was 250 pesos which included 1 Liter of Pepsi, 6 cups of rice (for 3 girls to share), fried tokwa, 2 small cans of tocino meatloaf, 1 small can of regular meatloaf and I small can of sardines. We were more than stuffed when we left their place. This was actually were Henry Sy used to eat and here you will meet the owner – Ate Helen who is oh so friendly and warm.
VERDICT ON PAGUDPUD : Water in Pagudpud is really very pretty and the people are amazing but there’s tons of resorts and homestays in the area already so I didn't enoy it that much. I was looking for something more remote. I would love to go back though and check out Maira-ira beach or more popularly known as Blue Lagoon.
Day 3 – October 19, 2008 – Sunday
Exploring Baguio Plus Ogling at the PMAers
2:00 AM – from Laoag Partas Terminal, we boarded the first trip to Baguio. Fare is at 466 pesos. This time, only me and Connie proceeded with the trip. Monette and her daughter had to go back to Manila.
8:30 AM – Arrival in Baguio City.
Destination : Tam-Awan Village
To get there the easy way: from Baguio city public market, hail a cab and ask the driver to take you there. Ride will last 10-15 minutes and will cost you about 70 pesos or less depending on traffic. Getting back to the public market is easy – Just hail another cab passing the area or ride a jeep.
I initially thought that Tam-Awan village is in the outskirts of Baguio. The place is actually fronting a residential area. Here’s their website : http://www.tamawanvillage.com
Entrance is at 50 pesos for adults; 30 pesos for students and senior citizens and 20 pesos for children
It has a restaurant, lodging facility, seminar areas, museum and souvenir shop which sells handicrafts designed/made by their artists. You can also buy the paintings in the museum. I got this nice necklace which was designed by Art Lozano and I love wearing it. It gives me great vibes. Ahehehe!
The Finale – Shopping for a wedding dress in SM Baguio
Hehehe! I mentioned in my previous blog that I’m stressing over what to wear in my friend’s wedding this Saturday so to get it out of my work week, I decided to buy one in Baguio. It was also the last day of the mall-wide three day sale of SM so the place was packed. After 1 and a half hour of searching, I finally chose a dress. It’s dark green, goes down to my knees so that my big leg muscles are showing and now, I need shoes to suit it. I got it from Bayo and it’s not actually a formal dress but could pass for one given the right accessories and shoes. It’s so not me and I’m not really excited to wear it but what I love about it is its color and the feel of the fabric, plus the fact that it’s really loose around the tummy area so no need to restrain myself from devouring the wedding feast. Hahaha!
Pizza Vollante – after going around the mall and at the public market, we tried out this 24-hr pizza place in SM Baguio. Connie ordered chocolate milkshake, pasta while I opted for the lemon grass iced tea (tasted like the yellow Halls but I enjoyed it) and shared with her the pesto pizza. Everything was yummy! It was priced like Ave Neto and they don’t charge you with service tax.
Aside from all the wonderful things in Baguio, there’s another refreshing vista for the eyes – the well-toned body of PMAers milling the mall. Sunday is probably their family day or something because we saw a lot of them there. Hihihihi!
What I love About Baguio and Why it’s one of my Favorite Places: The cold weather, the friendly, smiling people even though most of them walk a bit slow, the cheap taxi fares – flag down rate is at 25 pesos, the cheap durable silver and the food! If you drop by their public market, do check out the flavored crinkles by Baguio Pines. It’s good! They sell it in pandan, ube, strawberry and the classic chocolate (3 for 100pesos). I also saw some flavored Lengua. Would you believe the Lengua De Gato now comes in strawberry? I went to Baguio last 2006 and they didn’t have that back then. I love innovation!
By the way, beware of pickpockets in the area.
End of Day 3 – Ride Back to Manila
Connie and I took the 3:45PM Victory Liner bus which was around 467 pesos (basta, less than 470 pesos) for a 6-hour quick ride back to Manila (Pasay-bound). The Victory Liner bus is a 5 minute walk from SM Baguio.
Whew! So that's it. I love the Ilocos region and Benguet as well - there's just so much to see and so many things to learn. I am definitely coming back. One thing that really amazes me about Ilocanos is how they manage to keep their surroundings clean. Amazing! It's something that the rest of the Filipinos should emulate. I also noticed that the woman always look presentable and smart.
Reasons to Go Back to Ilocos : Saramsam pasta in Laoag, Malunggay Ice cream in Ilocos Sur (I now know where to find it. woot woot!), Pinakbet Pizza in Herencia Cafe, Paoay

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Long Road to Cagbalete

Last weekend was a bittersweet reunion with my backpacking group – ECOFBackpackers Pinas. We set off to explore this beautiful island to bid farewell party to one of our members - Gay. She will be exploring an employment opportunity overseas and would be gone for two years. Waaa…Gay was the one who introduced me to the world of backpacking and I had just gotten to know her at a slightly deeper level, a year ago when we climbed Mt. Manalmon last year. She will surely be missed and she announced that there’s no way, she’s leaving town without a farewell backpacking trip.

Our chosen destination was Cagbalete Island in Mauban Quezon which is now becoming popular as an excellent beach hideaway, an antithesis of the famous Boracay. As usual, I got everything polished before our journey and based from what I dug from several blogs - getting there would be a breeze.

There were 6 of us in the group – most of them, I haven’t seen in months – and there’s Tristan – who I met for the very first time after years of hearing stuff about him from Jules. With the exception of Erwin – all of us were former members of our old college mountaineering club and we somehow stuck together over the years.

We convened at 10AM at Wendy’s Buendia. Well, that was original plan but Oli – who is fashionably late as always showed up an hour later. (note to self : Always set meeting time an hour earlier for Oli..ahehehe).


Four hours later after leaving Manila, we were still on the road - with grumbling stomachs and a vague clue where the heck Mauban is, the jump-off to Cagbalete. We were racing against time just to catch the last trip of the boat from pantalan and we could not afford to waste any time. After several minutes though, we were all rallying for a stopover to grab a quick late lunch. Our choice was Resty’s in Lucban. It’s a nice eatery beside the Parish of St. Louis Bishop. Me and Jules shared a pancit habhab – a famed local pasta. It only costs around 55 pesos and it was more than enough for two! I also ordered LONGSILOG (it tasted good but kinda icky because I think they used internal organs for the meat). For dessert, I grabbed some turon from a vendor outside the eatery. Opps, did I just say grabbed? I meant, I bought turon..Hehehe! Anyway, after that hearty meal, we proceeded with the long muscle aching drive. None of us were familiar with Mauban but after an hour and a half of driving, we finally reached the Taino ancestral house – owned by the same family who manages Villa Cleofas where we will be leaving Tristan’s beloved van.

We arrived at past 5:00 PM and it took about 45 minutes or so calling out to the caretaker to let us in (he’s super nice btw), grabbing our stuff, and buying some supplies before the boat ride.
Taino Ancestral House
We took a tricycle from the ancestral house to the pantalan – ride lasted 7 minutes or maybe even less. We learned that the last trip of the passenger boat had already left and our best option was to hire a private boat.

We then negotiated with some muscular heavily tanned guys at the pier for a boat ride to Cagbalete. It took about an hour of waiting for the boatman to arrive. It cost 1,500 one way (I think that boat can carry 8 people all in all or maybe more). It was already past 6pm when we boarded and it was really dark. It was a good thing that me and Tristan brought our headlamps. I was quite excited because it was my first boat ride at night! Yihaaa!

Pantalan as the sun was beginning to set

The Best Part of the Journey – In Search of Villa Cleofas
After 30 minutes of cruising the shore, rain started to pour and we had to hide beneath this huge tarpaulin. The scene made us all look like prisoners trying to escape the juicy navy guys. Rain stopped about 10 minutes from Barangay Sabang in Cagbalete Island- Our jump-off to Villa Cleofas where we will be spending the night. We planned on having the boatman take us directly to the resort but he had no idea where it was. I don’t know if that was true or he just felt lazy to bring us there.

It was already past 7:00 pm and we ended up doing a night trek from where we docked. I stayed behind everyone because I had the headlamp. Tristan who had the other headlamp was leading the trail. We got a lot of curious and surprised stares from the people in the community as we walked down the alleys. I was just thankful that they don’t sleep as early as the people from other provinces because at least we can ask for directions. Finding the trail wasn’t that hard because everyone pointed us to the right direction. It started off with a cemented path from the barangay then as we made our way nearer to the beach, the cemented street disappeared and we found ourselves entering a foresty area. There were several signs pinned on the trees leading to the resort.

As if the dark terrain wasn’t enough, we had to dip our feet in about 5-10 inches of muddy water. The rain flooded some parts of the trail and we had no choice but to walk on it. Since I was luckily wearing flipflops with gold straps – I had to remove them and go barefoot because it was sticking deep into the mud and I was fearful it would break. I was quite nervous because I might step on something and injure my foot. With a silent prayer, I took baby steps – hoping that the muddy trail would end soon. It took us about 15 minutes navigating through the muddy water and into another small community where we had to wake some people up because we thought we found the resort. It turns out we took a wrong turn and we were in a residential area. We woke up and surprised this family of three but they were nice enough to point us where the resort was. Another 5 minutes and we emerged at the coast and we were welcomed by a surreal scene of extremely calm water.

We were all awed by what greeted us. There was the moon lighting our path, the sand was soft and almost white and the best part of all was that there were no one else. Villa Cleofas still wasn’t in sight and we decided to rest and take some pictures. The wind was comfortably blowing at us – caressing our tired bodies.

We finally arrived at our home for the night after another 10 minutes of trekking the beach and we were warmly welcomed by the caretakers. We learned that we had the whole resort to ourselves and instead of setting up tents, we opted to rent an open cottage. They charged us 1000 pesos – good for 6 people and they provided us with comfortable mattresses, pillows and mosquito nets. We also had the option to turn on the generator but we had to pay extra so we chose to spend the night with nature, our headlamps and battery operated speakers to play Oli’s wonderful music collection. Being an old soul – I turned in early after cleaning myself up while the rest of my homies drank, smoked and talked. I heard bits of their conversation during the few occasions I managed to wake up but I really couldn’t bear myself to join the gathering. I felt so sleepy! The few times I woke up was when the wind stopped blowing and the mosquitoes started feasting on my face, my legs, my arms, every exposed part of me, when I heard my homies laughing at me because I slept early and when Tristan’s alarm went off at 4:00 AM and played rock music..wahh!

The Morning After
Since I got a good night’s rest, I woke up at 5:30am and caught a glimpse of a beautiful sunrise. It was really amazing. There were tons of clouds over the sun as it started rising and it looked like a scene where you normally see angels descending from the heavens.
We all slept outside the bedroom; Couldn't resist the breezy air
As if my evening sleep wasn't enough, I slept on this hammock too for my morning nap. Villa Cleofas has set up hammocks under the trees where you can lie down and relax for eternity
Swimming Blues
I really wanted to swim but I couldn’t because it was super low tide – low tide to the extreme! I’ve never seen anything like it. The water level is so low, it didn’t even reach my thighs even if we already walked 30minutes from the shore. I tried doing freestyle but my hands keep brushing off some sand so I decided to walk.

Island Hopping – On Foot
The only great thing about a low tide is that you can actually go island hopping on foot. From the shore, we walked towards another island – about 30 minutes away from the resort. It’s not a sandbar, it’s really another island with rock formations, it’s own sand and this certain specie of plant. Since me and Jules were the only ones who made it, we separated and occupied the opposite sides of the island and took a few moments of silence. During those few moments, I peed to my heart’s content, played in the small puddles of water around my part of the island and did some role playing. I even sang A Moment Like this by Kelly Clarkson. I don’t know what got into my head. I don’t even like that song but at that time, I felt it suited my emotions. Hehehe! Actually, I was imagining He was there and I was telling him how I felt. On the second scene I imagined that he and this other guy were with me and they were telling me how glad they were I brought them to this place and that they think I’m so cool..hahahahaha! I was pretty sure I could have lasted a few more other hours just imagining stuff but Jules called on me and we decided to head back. Should you decide to go to Cagbalete, this island is a must visit. I love it here. I wish I can buy it. It disappears during the high tide though so it’s best to come here in the morning – before 8:00 AM. It’s directly across Villa Cleofas.

Going Home
Port of Barangay Sabang in Cagbalete Island
The route going home was not as eventful as our journey to Cagbalete but I can’t say it was boring. To get to Barangay Sabang, we had to go back the same way we came which meant walking through the series of muddy trails again after having taken a bath. The trek back took about 30 minutes, a few minutes faster than we did the previous night. We saw a water pump after we emerged from the woods and we eagerly washed. I get to pump water for Erwin and Tristan. bwahaha.

We boarded the public boat on our way back which was a new experience for me as well. I haven’t ridden that kind of boat. It’s slightly bigger than the normal outrigger. It was docked a few meters from the shore and we had to ride a smaller boat so we can alight the public boat. It also has a small restroom in case of emergencies. Hehehe! I thought I wouldn’t get wet but after a few minutes of cruising, I felt water splashed over me. Word of warning – Avoid sitting near the back of the boat!

Cagbalete Island has its own charm – its turquoise waters, cellphone signal and friendly folks but Anawangin Cove in Zambales still has my heart. I guess I should go back to Cagbalete and give it another shot. The best part of the trip was that I get to spend time with my friends and overcome inconveniences and challenges with them. Instructions on

How To Get to Cagbalete Island :
Via Public Transportation:
Just a tip - if you plan on taking the public boat - make sure you get there an hour before the scheduled trip. The boat from pantalan (in Mauban) to Cagbalete Island only has two trips for the entire day:
Mauban to Cagbalete - 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM (not sure if this is daily)
Cagbalete Island to Pantalan - 1:00 PM (Last trip, I'm not sure what time is the first trip back)
*Fare is 40 pesos/head as of October 12, 2008.
Boat ride lasts for about 45minutes.
*Ideal Budget for this trip : 1,500 pesos plus bring your own food.
Expenses Per Head : Via Public Transportation
Lucena Lines Buendia to Grand Terminal Lucena
200
Lucena to Mauban Town Proper
70
Trike from Villa Cleofas Ancestral house to Pantalan
7
Mauban Port to Brgy. Sabang
40
Entrance Fee - Villa Cleofas
30
Camping Fee - Estimate/head
150
Total Expenses - Going There
497
Going back :
Sabang to Mauban Port
40
Trike from Pantalan to Villa Cleofas Ancestral House
7
Mauban Port to Lucena
70
Lucena to Manila
200
Expenses/head
814

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mt. Cristobal – The Second Time Around

Over the weekend, I participated in a tree planting and climbing event in Mt. Cristobal, Quezon province. I first explored this beautiful mountain last January 2008 with another group and the return trip turned out just as memorable and fun. I really like the terrain of this mountain. It provides a feast of challenging up and down trails, boulder-hugging affairs, slippery cemented trails and some thrilling parts where we had to cling to roots to get to the other side while glancing over a cliff.

The pictures below are all from Anne (thanks Anne!). I didn’t take any. :P

Montelibano's Resthouse - this is located approximately one hour from where the van dropped us off. From the nearest barangay to here, the trek is about 45 minutes of upward trails.

With Anthony and Dhang...at past 1:00 PM, the light trek felt grueling




My and Anne with the seedlings..We planted the seedlings, a few feet away from the trail. 


Dinner time. We reached the campsite near the crated after 3 1/2 hours of trekking from Montelibano


Victim#1 - Danno dripping wet from the trek back to Montelibano's rest house...lucky for  some of us, we got here before rain started pouring.


And here's lucky Victim#2 - Edchi. Both he and Danno came prancing to Montelibano's house dripping wet from the rain while singing some girly song. It was such a funny sight that everyone got teary-eyed from laughing


Clean at last! This was at the Bato resort - about 45 Minutes away from Mt. Cristobal jump-off. This is a cheap, nice resort where you will have the option to swim in the pool or in the man-made river. Oh, look at my jersey - I love it. This is what our team is wearing for the 2008 office inter-site football tournament

Homeward bound


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