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Showing posts from December, 2012

Post Climb Side Trips in Baguio City

One of the things I look forward to when hiking in the Cordilleras is the stop-over (even if it's just a short one!) at the bustling city of Baguio. Despite some traffic, mountainsides encroached with buildings and houses, I remain charmed with its weather, people, art and cuisine , oh especially the cuisine! :) 

After a tiring but enjoyable hike in Bokod, Benguet (post here), I joined blogger friends Ivan and James on another adventure around Baguio. 

First Stop: 
From the Victory liner terminal, we walked a few blocks until we got to Upper Session Road to check out Mt. Cloud Bookshop.It is located within the same vicinity as Casa Vallejo, a boutique hotel and one of the oldest structures in Baguio built in 1909. It is a haven for booklovers who find delight in browsing through rows and rows of books, carefully considering each option before buying it and relishing it in quiet nooks. 

The ladies by the cashier area are so amiable. They allowed us to put our backpacks beside the coun…

Year-End Hike : Mt. Purgatory Traverse

Dubbed as the Mt. Purgatory traverse and approximately 30 KM in length, this very long trail in Bokod, Benguet allows you to see three peaks - Mt. Pack, Mt. Purgatory and Mt, Kom-kompol. Terrain is rolling, non-technical and enchanting with thick mossy forests and a lot of pine trees.  :) 

The naming of Mt. Purgatory as such is attributed to Durham Hale Bennett, a logging superintendent for Benguet Consolidated Inc. (now known as Benguet Corporation), a pioneer in the Philippine mining industry. The mountain was a former site and the place, due to its location and the difficulty it took to get there was how it got its name.  
Together with hiker friends, Ivan, James, Gideon, Coby and company, we scaled three  2,000+ MASL peaks/view decks, all of which are part of the trail. We hiked Mt. Pack, Mt. Purgatory on the first day, then Mt. Kom-Kompol the following morning.  On a clear day, these three  show views of nearby communities and mountain peaks. From Mt. Kom-Kompol, you can even see t…

Top 3 Unforgettable Adventures for 2012

Happy holidays everyone! 
This year was all about focusing on three things that I'm passionate about, eating, hiking and writing which is why it was easy to pick out these three adventures that made my year. Not to disregard other trips which were just as amazing, but these are the adventures ticked off from my bottomless dream list. 
1. January - 2 Days, 6 Peaks

Along with 8 other outdoor enthusiasts, we hiked 6 peaks around Batangas and Cavite in one weekend. 
On the first day, we started in Lipa, Batangas, entering the trail at Mt. Malipunyo, made our way to Biak na Bundok & exited in Sto. Tomas, Batangas via Mt. Manabu. The following day, we hiked Pico de Loro in Ternate, Cavite, made our way down to Nasugbu highway, hiked Mt. Talamitam and ended with a night trek in Mt. Batulao. 
It was not really the feat of reaching 6 summits in two days that made the experience unforgettable, but being able enjoy several mountains, not thinking about where to camp and which food to prepare…

Twin Day Hike with Trail Adventours

Over the weekend, I joined blogger friends,  Gideon (Pinoy Mountaineer) and (Ivan Lakwatsero) on an adventure dubbed as the Twin Day Hikes which entails hiking two different mountains on a single day. It was organized by Trail Adventours, a Filipino company specializing in bringing its clients to mountain trails; Gideon served as the guest team leader. This was actually its fourth installment, with the previous ones held over at Mt. Batulao & Mt. Talamitam (#1), Mt. Maculot & Mt. Manabu (#2), and Mt. Tagapo & Mt. Sembano (#3). 
This time, we did Mt. Kalisungan in Calauan and Mt. Mabilog in San Pablo, both located in the province of Laguna. 
Mt. Kalisungan (760+ MASL)- From what I was told by other hiker friends, the trail is steep all throughout. However, since our pace was relax and the ground was dry which made ascending easier, it turned out to be an easy hike, albeit a very humid one. I thought I was going to consume all my water. :P 
The jump-off was at Barangay Lamot,…

Mt.Tagapo Day Hike

After a year, I reunited with Baklay 123, a friendly and fun outdoor group I met along the trail,  while doing a solitary hike in Mt. Maculot on Independence day.  On November 30, a holiday here in the Philippines, we set off for Mt. Tagapo, a mountain located in  barangay Janosa, Binagonan, Rizal. 
Around 6:30 AM, we traveled 1.5 hours via a hired van from Star Mall in EDSA-Crossing (950 Pesos, good for 18 pax with day packs). We shared the ride with another group of hikers we met at a nearby 7 Eleven store. The driver brought us directly to Binagonan Port where we rode a charmingly shabby and sturdy boat to Barangay Janosa (8:30 AM trip, 30 Pesos). The boat was packed with passengers, mostly locals, but we managed to secure good seats near the anchor which afforded us with generous views of islets, huts on stilts, fish pens and other barangays along Laguna de Bay. 
Birds flew over at the back of the boat as though it was part of a flock. Instantly, I felt tempted to nap all day and…

Bear Grylls and my 2013 Bucket List

Having gulped my third cup of coffee (intense brews, I must say), my thoughts are currently soaring around the universe. 

Not exactly ideal when I have a writing deadline. 

So while I'm trying to pacify myself,  I will share a bunch of random stuff as well as my bucket list for next year. 

Random Sharing :
1. Are you a fellow fan of Bear Grylls? Watch this hilarious video as he takes English comedian Miranda Hart on an adventure at the Swiss Alps. While Bear is an outdoors expert, Miranda is quite the opposite and has no idea on kind of challenges she'll be facing. ("Her idea of an adventure, is a stroll in the park, followed by a latte" - nothing against people who enjoy this really, I think it's nice.)

Well, it's always interesting to watch people go out of their comfort zone. :)

2. I've reached a point in my life when I have stored enough happy memories to embark on a trip down to memory lane every now and then. I find myself frequently digging up old photos…

National Art Gallery, Philippines

As I was running late to meet two blogger friends,Lauren and Marky, I skipped lunch and rushed to get to the National Art Gallery.  After signing my name on a logbook, I turned to the musuem staff, "Ate, san ang mga kainan nyo dito?" (Where are the restaurants?). The lady stared at me, looking unsure of my state of sanity. I know it's not exactly the type of question one asks when there are far more important works of art around than my stomach's yearning. I had to repeat the question before she gave a heart-crushing reply - "none". I contemplated for a few seconds, Lauren and Marky where still MIA, shall I take a cab to Taft Aveue and grab a bite? 
But the desire to see the Spoliarium prevailed. Created in 1884 by national artist and hero, Juan Luna, it served as an entry to Madrid Art Exposition where it won him a gold medal. It explicitly shows the scene inside a spoliarium, the basement of a Roman Colosseum where perishing gladiators are dumped.