Mt. Pulag; A Journey on top of the Clouds

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It is the 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines. I wasn’t able to see its beauty at its finest because of the weather but I’ll surely be back sooner or later. I wanted to see the famous “sea of clouds” but unfortunately I just saw a glimpse of it.  This is an amazing place and one of the reasons why I climb mountains. Inspiringly and spectacularly beautiful plus the amazing bunch of people I got to climb with.

Mt. Pulag I’ll see you again later 🙂

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These are the magnificent rice terraces you can see at the beginning of the climb. It can surely ease your shortness of breath before starting the upward trail.

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The summit with these two amazing people 🙂

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And yes! It’s a rainbow up there, it’s like a dreamlike scenario. Quite pleasing to the eye and uplifting to a weary soul.
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Climbing Mt. Pulag wouldn’t be complete without trying to ride on top of the jeepney, worth the risk. You can see amazing landscapes along the way.

on the way to Mt Pulag

on the way to Mt Pulag

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I got to climb with these tough girls, how amazing 🙂

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As Mt Pulag constantly gains its popularity, the number of tourists and climbers are also increasing. This is actually an alarming scenario, years from now I wonder how this place would look like if people wouldn’t start taking action to protect this lovely gem of Cordillera.

Mt Pulag

Mt Pulag

Expenses and Itinerary:

It’s advisable to go to Mt. Pulag in a group if you want to save money. I’ve been here Dec of 2013,  we were a group of 20. We paid 2k inclusive of ride from Manila to Baguio and vice versa, monster jeepney from Baguio to Mt Pulag jump-off, 3 set of meals and a souvenir shirt.

Day 0:
night trip from Manila to Baguio

Day 1:
06:00 monster jeepney from Baguio to jump-off
lunch and briefing
start trek
Ambangeg-Ambangeg trail =2-3 hrs trek
campsite = dinner/socials

Day 2:
05:00 am = trek to summit 1-2 hrs
summit = sea of clouds if the weather if good
picture taking
back to summit
pack your things and leave no trace
travel to Baguio, sightseeing for 2 hrs then back to Manila

Notes:
There’s a portable toilet at the campsite but don’t expect much.

Things to bring:

The usual camping stuff

tent
headlamp
insect repellant
super thick jackets = really cold
waste bags
cookset
survival kit
first-aid kit

My Love Affair

Caleruega with Mt Batulao as the background

Caleruega with Mt Batulao as the background

Life is all about taking chances, every individual struggles everyday in pursuit of their own happiness. Few might be brave enough to risk everything to achieve their ultimate longings and most might be too weak to fight for their heart’s desires. I wonder whether I belong to the majority or the exceptional ones.

I want to share you something about the man I love. Well, he’s not the most handsome guy in town but he has the most atypical way on how to make his woman special.

He might not be the varsity type and maybe not as strong as one but he has a valiant heart of an adventurer. He can endure the scorching heat of the sun and hike for hours just to be with the woman he loves.

He sometimes is fanciful but he’s a very selfless man. He will give his girl the last drop of water and endure his own thirst. He will give her the last bite even if he’s still hungry. He will give his jacket just to keep her warm and will do everything just to keep her safe.

He might have a bad reputation and has done stupid things in his past but I’ve given him the chance and I love the man I know. Truth is, I don’t care who he was, I care about the person I will mold him to be. I’ve given him my trust and I believe that someday he will be a great man because of me. I don’t care what he does for a living nor how much money he makes, I care about his dreams and I’ll be there as he makes it come true.

People around us may not understand my choices and they’re not entitled for an explanation. They just don’t see what I see, can’t listen as I do. What they know is superficial, they can only understand what their mind can process. They say  I’m stupid and is being blinded by love. They’re totally wrong. I definitely know his flaws, how immature he is, how weak he could be, the dark things of his past and the wrong decisions he made. I know his flatteries and his lies but thing is, my love is greater than all his negative traits and I accepted them all with the aim of helping him change.

Today is our 4th month being together, maybe it’s too early to say that what we have will last forever but who cares about forever anyway? We are living in the present and we should enjoy being in love, marvel at different things and live life like tomorrow is the end.

Burot beach looking good together

Burot beach
looking good together

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Mt. Manalmon

passing the Madlum river through a raft

passing the Madlum river through a raft

Mt Manalmon summit

Mt Manalmon summit

Madlum RiverMadlum River

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river trekking

river trekking

rock diving

rock diving

I crossed the monkey bridge :)

I crossed the monkey bridge 🙂

hiking buddies :)

hiking buddies 🙂

QUICK INFO
MT. MANALMON
San Miguel, Bulacan
Major jump-off: Sitio Madlum, Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel
LLA: 15°15.11’N; 121°1.22′ E; 196 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1 hour
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2
Source: http://pinoymountaineer.com

My Love Affair to Mountains: Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu, Batangas is 630 MASL, with a difficulty of 3/9.

This is my 7th summit and one of the most remarkable climb I would say, misadventures are part of the game but this climb was full of it and that’s what made it challenging. It was supposed to be an easy, minor climb but because of the weather and unexpected events, we ended trekking at night time under the rain. We arrived at the jump off point at around 6:15 pm and started our trek instantly, you can imagine the trail with the rainy weather, it was slippery and muddy. Kudos to Columbia hiking shoes, it never failed me.

It was raining when we started the trek, we had no raincoat or any protection from the rain but still we kept going. We passed through an unstable trail on the latter part of our trek, it was dark and the right trail wasn’t visible anymore. I wasn’t even prepared for a night trek, no headlamps whatsoever; I still visualize the scenario of me holding a basic cell phone with a flashlight on my right hand while my left hand was struggling to pass against the tall grasses. It was indeed a challenge, a part of my mind was thinking, I could have stayed at home and enjoyed the comfort of my own bed yet I instantly came to the realization that this is what I love to do and the challenge uplifted my spirit to keep going.

with the ANITO mountaineers

with the ANITO mountaineers

After all the hardships, we arrived at the summit at around 8pm. It’s not the end of the drama cause even setting up the tent gave us headaches. it was my first camping, so you would imagine the drama.

mt. Talamitam

mt. Talamitam

view from the summit of Mt. talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam

freedom :)

freedom 🙂

sunrise at Mt. Talamitam

sunrise at Mt. Talamitam

sunrise at Mt. Talamitam

sunrise at Mt. Talamitam

My Love Affair with Mountains; Mt. Batulao

My soul is inextricably intertwined  with nature. How I miss the relaxing smell of trees and  the soothing sound of a rushing creek. I yearn to dance with the wind while I extend my hands drowning with its glory. I’m dying to see how clouds fashionably change its forms and how the shadows play with the vast, grassy land. How I long to embrace the rays of the mighty sun and feel its heat towards my pale arms. I would trade a sumptuous meal just to have a cold, sweet taste of a spring water. My love, just the thought of these simple pleasures you bring makes me tremble with excitement.

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

And yes, I wouldn’t care getting scratches from conquering a giant rock. I dare to feel the nasty pain from being bitten by ants. I would take the risk of multiple falling just to surmount your splendid mountains.  I wouldn’t mind being burned by the sun just to witness your spectacular beauty. When will I be reunited with you? How I wish to have longer days, longer days to spend with you.

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

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Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

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Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

A Mt. Batulao

And if someday I’ll be given the chance to meet that someone who shares the same passion as me, I will never let him go. 🙂

My Love Affair to Mountains; Mt. Maculot

Here’s a haiku I wrote for the love of nature 🙂

Place where I found love

It melted a frigid soul

In the summertime

Mt. Maculot Rockies

Mt. Maculot Rockies

Mt. Maculot Rockies

Mt. Maculot Rockies

Mt. maculot

Mt. maculot

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Mt Maculot

Mt Maculot

My Love Affair to the Mountains ; Mt. Daraitan

Daraitan is a trekking destination nestled within the Sierra Madre mountain range in Tanay Rizal.

Mt. daraitan is my 5th summit and the second most challenging so far next to my Mt. Makiling climb. It was supposed to be a river trekking and spelunking as what Brgy. Daraitan is known for but we eventually decided to go for the summit though it is not unanimous because we have two first timers in the group.

Getting there:

It was the last week of May. Our meeting place was at Teletech Roxas at 4:30am but of course we left the office at past 5:am. It was approximately a 2hrs drive from pasay to Brgy. Baras Tanay Rizal where we had our car parked at the house of Jeruel’s friend who had been very kind to us. She volunteered to drive us to Tanay market where we rode a jeepney going to Brgy. Daraitan. It was past 8am and the next jeep bound to Brgy Daraitan was  leaving at 9 am so we needed to consider several options. We then rode a jeepney going to Brgy. Sampaloc, fare is 26 pesos which lasted for 30-45 minutes ride. From there, we rode a tricycle for a price of 50 pesos per person. We initially thought that it was expensive but latter on the ride we realize that 50 pesos seems underrated because of the never-ending rough road. After an hour we reach Brgy. Daraitan, the jump off point, we had our registration at the Brgy. Hall for 20 pesos each and we had a guide for 500 pesos. Our plan would be to climb the summit then afterwards trek down to the famous Tinipak cave.

Sierra Made Mountain Range

Sierra Made Mountain Range

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Getting started:

We started our climb at approximately 10:30 AM. I would say it is not a frequent destination for mountaineers because the trail is not yet established. There were no ribbons showing directions, if we climbed by ourselves then we had a fat chance of getting lost. The trail was rigid and mostly ascending, abby and beth who are both first timers were verbalizing their dismay and were even saying that it would be their first and their last climb. I admire their courage though; they carried on til we reached the summit at about 2:15 pm. The view from the summit is not very rewarding, I wouldn’t recommend it for first time climbers. The view from the top doesn’t requite the hardships in climbing. However, it was very beautiful in my eyes; the mountains, trees, everything bring peace to my heart. There’s a familiar bliss I couldn’t explain every time I reach the summit, even just the thought of climbing brings a strange excitement to me. Of course it wouldn’t be complete if we don’t have our pictures taken. After a quick rest and picture-taking, we decided to trek our way down.

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Traversing down:

We traversed to the other side of the mountain, it was pretty easier going down and our pace was faster. We ran out of water so we were dreaming of drinking cold sodas and a litre of ice cold water along the way.  After 2 hrs of trekking down, it rained and we were soaking wet, good thing we were approaching our destination. We caught a glimpse of hope when we saw nipa houses on the way. We were literally running down and at last we stopped at a sari-sari store where we had our sodas and we ate our leftover from our packed lunch.  The sweetest mountain dew I would sayJ. We rested for a while before we finally went to the Brgy hall to log out and proceeded to lovenel’s house in Angono to wash up.

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Dinner at Ang New No.

And yes it was a reward after the long hours of hiking, we had a dinner at Ang New No,a new restaurant in Angono Rizal. It was a birthday treat of lovenel and we had plans of celebrating it here beforehand.  The meal was delightful; they served a good food with a cheap price. I would recommend this restaurant for certified foodies out there.

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What to Expect ; Travel costs

Pasay to Angono vice versa = P100 per person for the gas

Tanay Market to Brgy sampaloc vice versa = P26 p x 2 =  52 pesos

Tricycle going to Brgy Daraitan vice versa = P50 x 2 = 100

Registration fee = P20

Guide fee = P500 / 6pax =  P83

Overall travel expenses =  P355 , packed lunch not included.