Manunggal Camp with a 27 Month Toddler


Despite the pandemic and the still uncertain times, we choose to see beyond and appreciate the outdoors just like what we did on the 1st weekend of 2020 – we opened it on a camp at Sirao Peak with closest of friends.

2020 Welcome Flashback @ Sirao Peak with a 15 Month Old Toddler

Pamilya Outdoor Mandatory Pic before leaving Sirao Peak! So sad that we can’t do it again anytime soon as Sirao is permanently close for visitors. Just thankful that we were able to have this picture.
Pamilya July with Ate Lanie & Uncle AG. This is Unyara’s 2nd camping. She’s just a day before her 15th birth monthsary.
Unyara with her awesome outdoor Ninangs – Ninang Liz and Ninang Maria! We will see them again today! Hurray!
Ninang Analyn’s Familia

Last 2020’s opening the year camp was our only camp of 2020. We didn’t realize how timely it was that time. That’s why, we decided to do an opening of the year camp again for 2021 while it’s still peaceful. And because our favorite mountain is no longer available, we need a new favorite.

Ready. Set. GO!

Unlike our very elaborate meal plans and over OC organizing, since the long outdoor holiday, bringing our own meal has been the norms. We just make sure we have some company and that’s it.

Manunggal in the Rain

It’s our 2nd time in Manunggal but a first in the rain. And like I always say, every camping experience is different especially when the weather is different. I love Manunggal before but I love it more in the rain despite the “landslide” scare.

The invite to camp was sent to “Pamilya Outdoor”. We were so thankful that 2 of Unyara’s Ninang accepted the invite. It has been a while since we saw each other – specifically the 2020 camp at Sirao. Lol After last weekend’s escape, we think that despite the Covid times, we can still insert camping every now and then. Yohoo!

Camping with a Toddler

It’s not really as hassle as people might think. Like her parents, Unyara is a natural. She loves the cold and doesn’t mind getting dirty. She loves to explore and chase animals especially chickens. I think the only adjustment that we had to accommodate Unyara is the carrying but even that is not a hassle at all since I have my trusted baby wear.

Foggy morning in Manunggal!

Look at her clinging to me. When we left the camp, she dozed off comfortably in the baby wear while I was busy catching up my breath uphill.

What are you dreaming baby love?

I can’t wait for the time that she would want to walk but I really don’t mind carrying her for as long as she wants even if it meant missing my good old pink backpack which is already “portered” by Unyara’s yaya. πŸ˜€

Pamilya July represent starting from my cousin in black, the husband, Unyara and me and Ate Lanie! Unyara is still very much in dreamland.

How much is camping in Manunggal cost?

As we took punky (Suzuki Celerio) to carry 4 adults and a toddler, we don’t know how much for the habal2 but the husband refilled gas worth Php500. Overnight parking is at Php60.

There are 2 camp options in Manunggal. If you don’t mind a 10-15 minute walk, you can camp free at Magsaysay monument. It saves us Php100 each because we choose not to option 2 – Camping at the camp provided by Baguio De Cebu Eco Adventure.

Aside from saving, the cliff camp doesn’t look very inviting in the rain. Since the monument is a little below, we assumed it wouldn’t be as cold. The monument camp was perfect as aside from the not-so-cold camp grounds, Nanay Bebang was awesome too. She welcomed us into her home. Hurray!

Thank you Nanay Bebang, Tatay Francing, Ate Rose & family for the warm welcome. It certainly made a difference on a cold camping weekend! Plussss, we are really grateful that camping at your “tugkaran” is freeeeee! Hope to see you again soooooon!

It doesn’t really cost much to have a memorable weekend. Taking the whole family camping is just cheap!!!

Pamilya Outdoor++

Aside from enjoying nature, camping is a venue for me to reconnect with friends. I’m very grateful to God for Liz and Maria’s life. It’s been almost 7 years since that memorable outreach in Camotes back in 2014. I’m so happy that we are part of each other’s personal journey too. They were at my wedding in 2015 and has become Unyara’s Ninangs. Last 2020, Maria introduced us her BF last 2020 new year camp which is now her husband after their union last December 30, 2020.

Missing this empowering women alreadyyyy! Can’t wait for our next camp. I think it’s just right that we don’t chat as much as recalling our adventures is always best done at “socials”. πŸ˜›

Speaking of “socials”, unlike before, I no longer impose on it but we kind of do a “social”. The husband introduced card games. And if I didn’t put Unyara to bed for sure, the favorite “Resistance” would have been introduce.

The husband explaining the rules of “No Thanks”.

As I’m a mom already, I appreciate it a lot how my husband took the lead in sharing his games. It really bonds the group. And even if I wasn’t able to join all of the games, I’m very happy that we still have socials. After putting Unyara to bed and calming her, we asked her supports to stay at our tent while we went back to the “socials” hall where we enjoy talking until the midnight.

Family pix after the little miss’s “sapot” moment
Tent selfie inside our tent.

Goodbye Magsaysay Monument

There were only 5 tents when we set up camp but it grow to 10 in the morning. During dinner, a group of 6 people arrived. And just when we start playing, 4 of Maria’s friends arrived. She didn’t thought that they would be able to join us because of the rain. In all, there were 17 campers at Magsaysay monument.

After breakfast, we broke the camp at 8:30AM. We took a different path back. It was more scenic than the one we trek down to the monument.

Pamilya July with the newly weds!
Mandatory group picture!

By 10AM, we were back at the top. The news that the road was blocked saddened us but only for a while. We used the free time that we have to talk about our past adventures. After 2 hours of talking, Maria and friends decided to walk and scout the road. We followed an hour after.

Group picture before Maria & friends’ departure
Waiting for the road to be cleared!
We really thought they were Brgy people assisting on the road blockage. Haha!

By 3PM, after a lot of prayer and some waiting, we were safely out of the Balamban hiway. Hurray!!! For a video recall of our adventure, watch the video!!!

Summer in December at Solea, Mactan


Christmas for us is spent with each of our families. When we got married in 2015, as much as we would like to celebrate with just the two of us, it doesn’t really make sense since our family is just near. Christmas Eve is spent with my family in Uling, followed by Christmas lunch or dinner with the husband’s family++. This year was not an exception despite the pandemic.

Pajama Themed CHRISTmas 2020

And because there were less escapade for us this 2020, we thought of a beach trip for December. The initial plan was to drive somewhere south but since Mactan Resort rates are significantly lower and Solea was suggested as a venue for friend’s reunion, it was a wrap!

Ganisiya gengs with mini-Iannie!

Check out this review of Solea Mactan Resort on Google Maps.

I discovered Google maps review in 2020! Instead of posting in my FB or IG, I started posting my comments of the places we visited in Gmaps. It felt appropriate there as it was intended for reviews. When sharing my main purpose is to have a place to look back where I have been. FB and IG is a good place but it has lost it’s touch for me. Seeing posts of people sharing their vacation and where they have been makes me cringed. I think the months of reading why social media is bad finally got to me. Whenever I saw people sharing, I automatically think that they are bragging or how badly they want for other people’s approval. I maybe am projecting but it doesn’t feel good to be thinking of that while I am still doing what makes me cringe.

Overnight@Solea

We paid a little more than we would usually spend for a room but it was worth it. At 6K, we had a room good for 3 adults with buffet breakfast already. I love the look of Solea too. Escape at any Mactan Resort was not really a thing to me considering that before it would cost between 10-15k for overnight. I would rather go somewhere far with the amount but now I know why.

I’m actually very interested in checking out other Mactan resorts. Already thinking of a staycation for our 6th wedding anniversary. πŸ˜€

What We Did in Solea?

We arrived very late on the 1st day. Check-in was 3PM and checkout was 11AM the next day. Upon leaving, I thought of how nice it would be if we just arrived earlier. My friends were there for the day use which started at 9AM until 5PM only. Since we arrived late, they just actually enjoyed 2 hours of the day use. Despite that, it was still 2 hours well spent. We just focused on swimming for the 2 hours but they stayed until 7PM to consume the consumable part of the 2500 for 2 pax.

When my friends left, we proceeded to dinner. At 1500, the dinner was awesome. The kimchi rice overwhelmed. We took the leftover at our room and ate it at lunch the next day at my brother’s house. It’s super “sulit”.

To cap the night, we visited the rooftop bar to claim our welcome drinks. We had a choice of calamansi and a shot glass of rhum. We took 2 shot glasses and a calamansi. We ordered mango shake for Unyara as well and 2 bottles of san mig apple. It taste very different now after almost 2 years. I was hesitant to drink since Unyara is still very much breastfeeding but what’s a bottle and a shot glass, right?

Goodbye Solea

Whenever we do overnight, the day after was the hardest as most checkout is at 12PM and we usually wake up late. Solea’s checkout was actually an hour earlier. Compared to normal check-in/checkout time, both are 1 hour later and 1 hour earlier so if you want to save time, it’s better to arrive early and just check the place while waiting for the check-in. They have tons of awesome nooks to take pictures on but since we are pressed with time, we just do the basics.

I woke up at 7AM but it still took us until 10AM to be out of the breakfast buffet. After breakfast, we quickly checkout the sea and swam. When it’s almost 11AM, we left the room for checkout without changing. After checkout, we continued swimming and just change at the comfort room. We left Solea around 1:30PM as I have a schedule to meet the contractor in charge of my brother’s house’s renovation.

Pandemic Measures

Measures are in place and even if the resort is big, there are places with crowd still but I personally think that everyone was as careful as we are too. We are very thankful to God for the awesome time. Thinking about that escape now still makes my heart flutter. Praise you Jesus!

3D2N & a Bed of Board Games in Pinamungahan, Cebu


I used to think that summer and board games don’t mix well. Summer is outdoor while board games is indoor but for 3 years now, I have actually enjoyed both at the same time with the Cebu Board Gamers at our yearly summer board gaming escape. The fun started in 2016 at Eazy Vacation House in Sogod, north of Cebu. Last year, we went south to Badian, Cebu. Just last weekend, we went west to MonTeray Farm, west of Cebu. The directions and places are all coincidental like how we started in “Sogod” which means start in vernacular and travelled from north to south to west. If I were to plan the outing in 2019, I would surely pick somewhere in the city so it will be east. Haha! It’s too early to tell though and a whole year to change my mind. Besides, we have Unyara by then so things are bound to change.

Memory Monday

I have so many back logs and unposted itinerary on my Evernote but today I’ll make an exception and post timely. Lol But before the events last weekend and the superb hospitality of MonTeray Farm, let’s do a #MemoryMonday first.

(1) Eazy Vacation House – this was our first overnight trip together. It felt awkward at first to be spending the weekend with them gamers but it actually opened new door of friendships. The house was huge too!!!

(2) Badian, Cebu – Like the first I’m just a mere joiner. With the board gamers, I don’t really like to plan things. Since most of them are introverts, I don’t connect to them as much.

MonTeray Farm

Last weekend, there wasn’t really much to plan since I’ve been to MonTeray already. The staffs & management were really kind and accommodating. Most of our inquiries were answered timely.

Last year, there were 12 attendees. The number was consistent but there were 5 new joiners. Verne, Kyle, Paul, Nina & Ina were turned into Jeff, Lui, Lukas, Kim & Ian. Consistent attendees were me, the husband, Victor, Ana, Je, JP & Lem.

Below is a recap of the activities in pictures:

Itinerary & other details:

Room/night: Php500/night (Dorm room – minimum pax – 12 up to 16)
Total:

Php12000

Itinerary:
Friday, June 15
  • 1000AM – Cebu City Departure
  • 1100AM – Lunch in Jollibee, Naga
  • 0230PM – Checkin
  • 0330PM – Chill & Tour
  • 0400PM – Games
    • Azul (Kring, Ian1GW, Jeff, Ana2GW)
    • Carcassone (Victor, JulyW, Lukas, Lui, Je)
    • Dixit Pairs (KJ, KI, JV-W, LL-W,Lem)
  • 0630PM – Dinner (Php1570)
  • 0800PM – Game Time
    • Nations (JeW, July, Lem, Victor)
    • Party (Kim, Ian, Lui, Lukas, Ana, Jeff)
  • 1100PM – Heavy Game Time
    • Scythe (Kim, Ian, Lukas, Ana, JeffW)
    • Power Grid (Je, JulyW, Lem, Victor, Kim)
  • 0330AM – Light’s Off
Saturday, June 16
  • 0800AM – Breakfast – individual
  • 10AM – Games
    • Glassroad (KringW, Ian, Victor, July)
  • 1100AM – Lunch (Php2800)
  • 0100PM – Games
    • Keyflower (VictorW, Lui, Jeff, Lukas, Ian)
    • Empires of the void (Kring, Lem, Je, Kim, JulyW)
    • Splendor (Ian, Victor, Jeff)
  • 0400PM – Swim Time/Game Time
    • Swimming (Kim, Ian, Kring, Victor, July)
    • Carcassone (LemW, Ana, JP, Lui, Jeff)
  • 0600PM – Game Time
    • Celestia (IanW, Kim, Ana, Victor, Lem)
  • 0630PM – Dinner (Php1610)
  • 0800PM – Game Time
    • Terraforming Mars (Je, Jeff, Lui, Ian)
    • Pandemic (July, Kring, Victor, Kim) – August WIN
  • 1000PM – Chill Time
  • 1030PM – Bonfire
  • 1200AM – Time’s Up
    • NiggaW (Lui, Lukas, Victor, Jeff, Kim, Lem)
    • Chinese ( Kring, July, Ana, Je, Ian, JP)
  • 0130AM – Dixshots
Sunday, June 17
  • 0900AM Breakfast – individual
    • Azul (AnaW, Jeff, Victor, July)
  • 1100AM – Checkout
  • 1130AM – Farm Tour
  • 0100PM – Departure
  • 0147PM – Lunch (Fresh Ocean Restaurant)
  • 0320PM – Departure
  • 0530PM – Cebu City
Attendees by Car:
  • July – Kring, Je, JP
  • Victor – Lui, Lukas, Lem
  • Ian – Kim, Ana, Jeff
  • Cancelled – Verne, Paul, Nina, JV, Roel
Notes:
  • No food and drinks corkage
Played Games:
  • Azul (Kring, Ian1GW, Jeff, Ana2GW)
  • Carcassone (Victor, JulyW, Lukas, Lui, Je)
  • Dixit Pairs (KJ, KI, JV-W, LL-W,Lem)
  • Nations (JeW, July, Lem, Victor)
  • Party (Kim, Ian, Lui, Lukas, Ana, Jeff)
  • Scythe (Kim, Ian, Lukas, Ana, JeffW)
  • Power Grid (Je, JulyW, Lem, Victor, Kim)
  • Glassroad (KringW, Ian, Victor, July)
  • Keyflower (VictorW, Lui, Jeff, Lukas, Ian)
  • Empires of the Void (Kring, Lem, Je, Kim, JulyW)
  • Splendor (Ian, Victor, Jeff)
  • Carcassone (LemW, Ana, JP, Lui, Jeff)
  • Celestia (IanW, Kim, Ana, Victor, Lem)
  • Terraforming Mars (Je, Jeff, Lui, Ian)
  • Pandemic (July, Kring, Victor, Kim) – August WIN
  • Dixshots (Lem, Jeff, Je, Victor, Kim, Ian)
  • Azul (AnaW, Jeff, Victor, July)
Meals:
  • Dinner – Php1570 (131/pax for 12pax)
    • Pork BBQ (80/order) – 240
    • Utan Bisaya (120/order) – 240
    • Garlic Chicken (210/order) – 420
    • Pancit Canton (185/order) – 370
    • Rice Platter (100/order) – 300
  • Brunch – Php2800 (255/pax for 11pax)
    • Crispy Pata (450/order) – 900
    • Tinolang Manok (500/order) – 1500
    • Rice Platter (100/order) – 400
  • Dinner – Php1610 (135/pax for 12pax)
    • Chicken Inasal (12 pcs) – 460
    • Pork Bellyy (3 orders) – 510
    • Utan Bisaya (2 orders) – 240
    • Rice Platter (4 orders) – 400
  • Lunch – Php3450 (190/pax for 12pax)
    • 3 Calamares – 675
    • 2 Sizzling Squid – 450
    • Clam Tinola – 470
    • 2 Chop Suey – 510
    • 2 Grilled Ribs – 510
    • 1 Shrimp Garlic – 235
    • 4 Platter Rice – 600
Expense:
  • Room 12,000
  • Food 9430
  • Total: Php12,940 (1786/pax approx.)

Compared to the other escapades, this was the most relaxing so far because we didn’t prepare our own food. We just ordered from the restaurant. We even have off the menu requests. I highly recommend MonTeray farm in any activities especially team buildings and outings. Wilson and Kaye are very awesome hosts. We really felt loved and cared for. The staffs are superb too especially Cring2 & Herms. Would love to come back soon. πŸ™‚

Bacolod – Boracay: A Back to Back Birthmonth Adventure


UnlikeΒ last year in Indochina, we didn’t plan to splurge on my birth month but when God blesses you, He will bless you with much. This 2017, lots of surprises came our way. These trips are included.

Because we were traveling together with the husband’s sister who is taking a month off work from being an OFW, our expense were very minimal. If it were up to us, a traditional birthday dinner will do considering the unplanned expense due toΒ Mama’s hospitalization. But God’s awesomeness doesn’t end there. He not only allowed me to travel for my 31st birthday but He also gave me the chance to celebrate it with a mini-outreach at Josefa Recio Therapeutic Center (no photos to protect the mental patients). The gifts from my generous friends were converted into cash to buy foods for the mental patients who were at the center. Happy to be blessed to bless others. πŸ™‚ I could go on yapping about God’s awesomeness these passing months but this blog is not for that. Go to myΒ personal blogΒ if you want to read about God’s faithfulness.

Moving on, Bacolod and Boracay were not on our list of must gos. For us, Boracay is just beach and Bacolod, what’s in Bacolod? But the trip convinced us that there’s more to Boracay than beach and there’s really something in Bacolod worthy of checking.

Below are the list of things that surprises us on our Bacolod – Boracay visit:

1. Bringing a car on a road trip to Bacolod is not that expensive.

Ever since we had punky, a road trip outside Cebu was in mind but we were never really that serious until the option presented itself. Road trip in Bacolod? Why not! The husband was incharge of the research. He noted that there’s only a few available articles online about it so we were not sure how much to pay until we arrived in Toledo Port. We only paid Php1025 pesos for Punky (our baby Suzuki Celerio) including the driver via FastCat. We chose FastCat because unlike LiteFerries, the travel to Bacolod is only an hour. Passenger fare is at Php150.

2. Going to Boracay from Caticlan involves multiple transport.

Compared to our previous pre-planned travels where we OC everything, we didn’t researched Boracay to bits. So when we arrived in Godofredo Ramos Airport we were pleasantly surprised at the number of rides we took to reached Boracay. Going to our accommodation in Watercolors, we booked a transport tour for Php2500 for 4 pax. From the airport, we were met by the tour personnel then ushered to rode a van to the port then a speed boat for 5 minutes then another van. The 5-minute boat ride baffled us. Why didn’t they build a bridge instead?

Going back to the airport, we commuted. We only spent Php980 in all. Rode a tryke to the port for Php180. Paid Php700 at the port: Php75 for the fare and Php100 for the terminal fee. Then another tryke to airport for Php25/pax. It was a good thing we tried the non-arranged transport. Now we know how much to allocate for a DIY transport to Boracay.

Total travel time from the airport to Boracay Station 1 is around 1 hour.

3. Staying at 2 different accommodations in Bacolod was strategic and comfortable.

On our first night, we planned to stay at Mambukal but it was fully booked so we stayed at M02 Westown instead. From San Carlos, we drove to Murcia to visit Mambukal then had a late check-in at M02. Had we stayed in Mambukal, it would have been out of the way to visit the city center at night. We rested after check-in then had dinner at Mercy’s Talabahan near the city hall. We then strolled and took photos of the city hall after.

Breakfast was included at the accommodation. After eating, we did an early checkout and attended the 10AM mass at San Sebastian Cathedral. We visited The Ruins after and stayed until our stomach screamed food. We arrived at Chicken House at 130PM. Had we arrived a little later, we would have missed eating there as they closed at 2PM and opened again for dinner time. After lunch, we were ready for Campuestohan Highlands Resort – our 2nd accommodation for the trip.

CHR was big and suprisingly, their rooms are not that expensive. We stayed at log cabin for only Php3300. We took the good for 3 person room and paid Php300 for the extra person. What’s good in staying at CHR overnight is that you get to experience a Baguio like feels in the morning.

4. Choosing an accommodation in Boracay Station 1 was worth it.

When we knew we were staying at Station 1, we were surprised. It was pricey but worth it. We stayed at a room with own balcony and mini-dining while the husband’s sister and mom is at the adjoining room with bath tub. Nighly rate is at Php7500/room. We stayed for 2 nights for a total of Php30K. The staffs were great. We were provided with welcome drinks and fruits plus good night chocs for 2 nights.

Aside from the superb accommodation, compared to Station 2 and 3, Station 1 was laid back. The beach was wider and not too populated. The beach walk from each stations was one of the high lights of our Boracay visit.

5. Both trips were still fun and relaxing even if we didn’t OC on the itinerary.

We didn’t have a full blown itinerary for these trips. We just picked the places to stay and did the activities that were available. In Mambukal, we just enjoyed the hot spring. Since it was raining, we missed to visit the falls and the boat ride. Same thing happened with CHR, we were only able to experience the wave pool and bubble swim for some minutes before we checked out. When we arrived at 4PM the previous day, the weather was cold. We were only able to take pictures before the attractions closed at 5PM. Had we known, it would have been better if we arrived early. Yet even if we were not able to do the activities, staying at CHR was already awesome. The whole resort is an eye candy. The pictures we took were enough. πŸ™‚

Popularly known for it’s party atmosphere, what we had in Boracay was not what we expected. Contrary to what we believed, there’s actually something in Boracay other than the parties. The beach was awesome and staying at station 1 totally changed our view. We actually want to visit Boracay again. πŸ™‚ Read our Boracay post to know why.

Mind-stretching Monday @ Dice Kong Board Game Cafe


Looking for an idea to spice up your 1st night of the working week? Why don’t you join the Cebu Board Gaming Society(CBGS) Game Night at Dice Kong Board Game Cafe in Axis Vibo Place, Escario, at the back of Burger King and on top of Senor Kimchi. Gaming starts at 8 PM.

So what will you play?

Dice Kong Board Game Cafe has a lot of games to choose in the game library but sometimes CBGS gamers bring some too. As a start you might wanna get your mind energize by playing Spot It and other dexterity games. Then get your mind blown on a little strategy with Splendor and Ticket to Ride. 

[Played inside NCR Cebu Game Room] Women In NCR playing Splendor. This game is good for 4 only so the ladies played in pairs. 2 heads are better than one style.

Game library at Dice Kong. Taken on Table Top Day 2017.

Why board gaming is fun?

There are tons of reasons why board gaming is fun. Try a game of Splendor, Ticket to Ride and Survive with your friends to discover. πŸ™‚  If Yoga is for the body, church services for the soul, board gaming is an activity for the brain. It is also an awesome way to bond with friends.

What can you do at DK Cafe?

Aside from playing board games, you can also mingle with other people who enjoys stretching their mind. The cafe also serves yummy foods for snacks or meals so you don’t have to worry anything except your wallet.

Image may contain: food and text
Photo grabbed from DK FB Page.

What is Cebu Board Gaming Society?

It’s a group of people who shares the same love for board gaming. They are a regular group of gamers who frequently meetup and play at Dice Kong every Mondays & Fridays.

CBGS gamers @ Table Top 2016.

CBGS gamers in black w/ the reversed logo print @ Table Top Day 2017.

How can I be a member of CBGS?

Just be bold enough to be the first to say Hi and express interest to join the regular game night. Once we warm up and enjoy playing with you, then that’s it. πŸ™‚

What else can you do at the game night? 

Aside from playing with CBGS gamers, you can also aim to finish the Dice Kong Journal. It is a small booklet in which you can collect stamps once you are able to finish a quest. You get rewards once you complete a quest category.

Start with the easy list. You can target 1A, 1B and 1K first. πŸ˜€

So what are you waiting for? See youuuuu soon! If you see me, please don’t be a stranger. I will be happy to welcome and teach you a game if I can. πŸ™‚

For questions and concerns, drop a comment below and I’ll answer you as soon as I can.

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek


Just last weekend, the Negros trilogy was finally complete when we experienced the leech-infested forest ascent to Tinagong Dagat. There are 3 popular mountains in Negros Island: Canlaon, Cuernos De Negros or Talinis and Mandalagan or Tinagong Dagat that are trekking must climbs.

While writing the adventure in Mt. Mandalagan, I realized that 2 of the mountains were trekked twice. Talinis in 2012 and then last Feb. Canlaon was last 2015 and then 2012. If it was just me, I wouldn’t want to go back. Once is enough and there’s still a lot of mountains to go so I’d want every major climbs to be different. But after 2 double takes, I realized that trekking a mountain twice is not all that bad.

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

  1. Every trekking experience is different. No trek is ever the same. 
    (2012) We missed Lake Yagumyum on our re-trek since we start at a different trail. It was raining when we started but the re-trek in 2017 was very humid.
    Entry point: Brgy. Bediao, Dauin | Exit point: Brgy. Apolong, Valencia City

    (2017) After lunch at Nug-as Rancho. We weren’t able to pass here in 2012.
    Entry point: Brgy. Malongcay Dacu, Dauin | Exit point: Brgy. Apolong, Valencia City
  2. You have the avenue to connect to more trekking friends. 
    (2012) Team BRB with only 3 girls.

    (2017) Team NCR Trekkers with 5 girls already! Hurray! More women trekkers please. By this time, the 2 girls I was with in 2012 is now busy with motherhood. Wondering how many of these women will be with us if there’s a re-trek years from now? Hehe
  3. You will be be able to check whether age has made you better in trekking or not.
    (2017) At Rancho camp but this time, it is part of the itinerary. In 2012, we were forced to camp here.

    (2012) Enjoying the Twin Lake after the emergency camp.
  4. Chance to experience a different trail and/or different weather conditions.
    (2012) A foggy Canlaon slopes. We weren’t able to summit due to heavy rains.

    (2015) A super clear view of Canlaon – super blessed after all the fogginess on our 1st trek.
  5. Trekking is not about how many peaks you’ve been to. It is about the experiences that you have accumulated in the journey.
    (2012) We walk away from the peak on the same path in 2015 but it still feels like I’ve been trekking on it for the first time.

    (2015) Now a pink rain cover for me. πŸ™‚ Haha!
  6. The 2nd trek can be less strenuous because you now have a rough estimate of the distances. 
    (2012) Rainy Canlaon!!!

    (2015) Answered prayers!!!
  7. The more major treks you have regardless of the location are training ground for a bigger goal – say Guiting-Guiting or Mantalingajan or maybe, Everest. The more you do long distance and multi-day trek, the more you are equipped for more difficult trails.

That’s our 7 reasons why we re-trek. How about you? Do you want to re-trek? What are your reasons for re-trekking or not? Let us know of your re-trekking experience too in the comment below. πŸ™‚

The Leechy Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan, Negros Occidental Day 1/2


Right after finishing the fees, we got ready to go. Excitement were evident as we almost forgot to pray and do a warm-up. Good thing someone brought it up. Since there was no space on the road, we decided to just pray and do a warm-up as soon as we find a spot.

The uphill road! With no warm-up, this was a struggle.

The trek to the actual start was a pain. It was about 1 KM of uphill struggle from the hospital to Ladlad Resort. I was having a hard time that even the witty #hugot signs on the way wasn’t able to take my mind off the breathlessness. In my thoughts, I was silently regretting why I pursue the trek. With my reverie, I didn’t notice the group took a left turn inside “Elena” Resort. And as soon as I caught up with the rest, I hear them complain about the entrance.

Pay issue at Elena Resort.

Pay Trouble Round 2: Remember the entrance fee at The Hospital? Elena Resort asked us to pay just by passing through. It was only Php20 but we were disappointed. Why is this necessary? We are just passing through.

Prayer just before getting into Ladlad Resort.

So the guide led us out as if sending a signal that there’s another way. Before proceeding, we first gathered in prayer. And I loved my new role – the prayer leader. Glory to God for the newfound confidence. Thank you Lord!

Another pay ruckus at Ladlad!

Pay Trouble Round 3: We thought that there’s really another way to pass through without paying but when we went into “Ladlad” Resort, same thing happened. We were asked for entrance just by passing through. Yet unlike “Elena”, “Ladlad” settled on a bulk payment of Php100 for 14 pax not including the guides. To settle hastily, Pete owned up the payment.

So what’s happening? Why were we asked with multiple entrances? What’s the permit for? The permit should have covered it. Yes, the entrances were not big but was it legal? Surprise payments are just uncool.

The forest entrance guided by Mr. Carabao!

We walked right away as soon as we were done paying. Beyond “Ladlad” resort was a small clearing and then into the forest.

Asa dapit magsugod ang leech kuya? (Which part will the leeches appear Big Bro?)

Someone asked as we inched our way farther from the clearing. The guide answered that it has started already. My heart dribbled. The face your fear moment has finally began.

Wild, wild wet. That’s why leeches love it here maybe?

Hello Little Suckers

When I hear the guide’s statement, I felt my heart skipped but I couldn’t care much as I was already panting at that time. In my thoughts, my consistent steps were more important than minding the leeches. But is it?

First major leech encounter here at the creek!

We had our first major leech encounter at the creek. The husband asked me if I saw any leeches on him. I said no but as soon as I turned around, one of our companions shriek as she found one leech on the husband’s face. The husband then looked at me with a quizzical expression. Of course I was sure there was no leech when I checked. Sneaky little suckers!!!

Good thing we still have time to pose even after the scare. πŸ˜€

Aside from the leech issue, there’s this-super-need-of-upper-body-strength-parts too. T_T Go, go Miga!!!

More kapyot moments!

Almost 2-Hour Leech Exposure

After a while of walking through the leech-infested forest, the shriek had become normal. I saw the husband getting braver in taking out the leech on his own. And maybe because he’s so sweet, he was also a leech favorite. There were 2 more instances of leech landing on his face. And thankfully, maybe because we were all paranoid, the leeches never succeeded in sucking our bloods. We took them out before they were able to penetrate on our skins. Everyone participated in looking at each other’s back for leeches, very commendable companions indeed. All hail Tribu Iskwatters!!! Thank you so much for being an awesome comrades!

Don’t let my smile fool you. πŸ˜€ Hadlok na kaau ko ana na naay leech sa akong sapatos. Leech paranoia!

Leech Lunch

At 12 PM, I was famished. I kept asking the guide if we were halfway. He said were not even to a quarter yet. As I checked the time, I realized we’re only just walking for about 2 hours. The total estimated time was 5-6 hours but at the rate of our pace, we were behind. We were supposed to target eating at “The Platform” where the leeches were gone.

Still 1 hour to go before the no leech area but we were famished so we had to endure.

And as if on queue, just when I put down my bag for lunch, them suckers suddenly appear.

We only took a 30 minute lunch break. While eating, we were still on the lookout for them little suckers. We left the lunch site at 12:30, by 1:00 PM we arrived at the platform. Surprisingly! Relief washed over me when the guide announce that the leech trail ends at “The Platform” and that we were half way thru after almost 3 hours of walking.

Kamang gyud tehhh!

The women were leech-checking on the background. Sweet!

And Finally My First Leech Touch

Finally, the PLATFORM! Leech-freeee! That’s what I thought.

Cramp stop for Jill but Big Bro is just awesome!

Every time a leech attached itself to me, I would quickly asked the husband to get it off me but after “The Platform”, we relaxed. It was then that I almost had my first leech blood. Good thing I noticed right away as it attached on my right middle finger. Since the husband was far, I had to pluck the leech myself. It was so soft it grossed me out but I feel brave to have done it. Hurray! Miga version 2! Braver and leech-remover! LOL

The countable selfie with the rest of the group since we were on the tail. Poor Migo & Miga. I mean poor Miga and awesome Migo for the all out support!

Next 3 Hours

Water source almost 2 hours away from the Platform.

The next half of the journey was leech free but noticeably harder. More steep ascents. There was even an almost vertical climb that sucked all my energy away. We passed by a water source and then it was more uphills. By this time, I was already very exhausted. No more pictures until the overlooking part when the guide said that the camp is just an hour away.

We caught them before they descend to the camp site.

RELIEF and REDEMPTION

When the guide showed us the view of the camp, my energy suddenly surged back. I imagined the future happiness and has totally forgotten the past exhaustion.

Can you see the camp?

Hello Tinagong Dagat

However, the descent to the camp is not at all easy but you will totally forgot all the pains the moment you step into the ultra big camp site. It’s maybe the biggest camp that I have been to and the prettiest too. We step into the end of the camp at around 4:30 but we camp to the other end. It took us some time to reach the other end.

Mossy rock just before the camp!

Women pose at the mossy rocks. Missing 2 of the 5 other ladies on the team.

More women photo ops!

R&R at Tinagong Dagat

The Camp!

And while the husband got busy putting up the tent, I busied myself checking on leeches haha. And yes, it’s PINK domination! Hahaha

I planned to rest immediately as soon as we finished putting up the tent but surprisingly, my energy has gone back to normal when we were done setting up camp. Instead of resting, I just took pictures instead. But because Tribu Iskwatter men were awesome, dinner was prepared by them so I had the chance to doze off. Yay! Thank you so much again Pete and friends!!!

Setup camp!

We were then woken up for dinner. After dinner, we did socials led by Gil where “our motto” was the headache of the night. It was an awesome way to bond and get to know each other more. Of the 16 people including the guides, we only knew 5 (Van2x, Carl, Gil, Jill, Pete). But after the socials, our bond strengthened more as we played “Werewolves”. I’m once again the dispensable “Villager” who surprisingly survived until the very end. Yayyyy! The villagers won over the 2 cunning wolves, Jill and Pete.

Lights off at 10 PM right after a game of Werewolves and agreeing to miss the Sulfatara. I’m all for missing it as waking up at 5 AM was too much. It would have been awesome if we camp there for 2 nights to have ample time to visit Sulfatara for half day then rest and play in Tinagong Dagat. I don’t mind camping there for two nights really.

Plus there’s an awesome tent light too. USB-powered lights? Buy it with us for only Php 1200.

Stargazing Finally!

Despite the unprepared body and the threat of leeches, the trek to Tinagong Dagat was awesome. God has indeed blessed us with so much. No rains as we trek and camp for the night. For the first time, we were able to use the stargaze functionality of our tent. Tinagong Dagat was Tn2’s first major camp. Hurrayyyyy!

And before dozing off to dream land, I murmured a prayer of thanks to Father God for being so awesome and prayed for a safe descent. And yes, prayer granted the day after. Stay tune on my next and last post for Tinagong Dagat. We went to “The Ruins” too! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing and reliving my memories of Tinagong Dagat.

Till the next post and please if you have anything to say, comment away. πŸ™‚

The Leechy Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan, Negros Occidental Day 0/2


So What Do You Think is The Story of How I Ended My Hiatus?

LEECH, no pre-climbs and the threat of menstrual cramps were 3 of my major concerns in trekking Mt. Mandalagan. Yet despite the reservations, my will is bigger than my fears. We already missed Mandalagan in 2013 because I was on a company trip in USA and the then-boyfie-now-husband didn’t want to go without the annoying me. Sweet! So without further ado when the opportunity presents itself, I shared it to the husband. Since I received Christ, being a good and submissive wife has become a goal. Nowadays, unlike before, instead of deciding on my own right away, I consult my husband (aka Migo) first.

Migo has been wanting to resume trekking for a while but I have been too busy with other things. Our company trekking club went to Tres Marias on the Freedom long weekend but he understood that I needed to rest and recuperate now that the events at work has come to an end. He had fully supported my June hiatus, the social media sabbatical and my desire to pursue Jesus in his own ways.

So when he expressed the desire to join the trek to Mandalagan, I agreed despite my fears. Thanks to a good friend for sharing the info and to another friend who responded positively to our interest.

So the story of how I ended up going to Mandalagan despite my hiatus is a love story. People trek mountains for different reasons. As for me, it has always been love. My love for adventure and my love to my oh so awesome husband who empowers me to face my fears – this time, LEECHES in Mandalagan.

Will get to them leeches later but first…let me take you back to…

Day 0 Friday

The plan was to meet at North Bus Terminal at 3:30PM so we took a leave to prepare. We plan to pack earlier but as usual, we ended up cramming and even forgot to charge our powerbanks which makes the husband very uncomfortable.

Since the bus leaves at 6PM, we decided to leave the house at 4PM to charge some more. But that too wasn’t enough. It led to the husband’s comical search for power outlets every place we went. This has been our mishap last trek too. I hope this wouldn’t happen again. Must add in the list.

Somebody is happy upon seeing the charging station at North Bus Terminal.

We were the last ones to arrive at 5PM. We didn’t really know who we are going with but when I saw 3 other familiar faces, I felt at peace. I don’t really mind trekking with strangers but there’s comfort in familiarity. Unlike before, I didn’t went into full mode chatterbox, which happens rather often lately. Nowadays, I find it more appealing to just wait for people to talk to me than do the reaching out first. I still love connecting to new people but now with reservations. I don’t want to come off as a show-off and a braggart which was mostly tied to friendly and extroverted people. 😦 But the change was not really about how people will see me, I have been over that already, it’s because of my desire to learn how to listen more than talking. Jesus values listening more than talking so I’m trying my best to learn the art of observing and listening first before opening my mouth. It was only when the bus left that I asked for the names of those that I met for the first time.

The trip to Toledo City took more than 2.5 hours. Migo dozed off while I spent my time writing on my personal blog. I expected it to be posted before the signal went off at Naga but the words just kept on coming. Thankfully, it was done just before the bus stopped at Toledo port.

After receiving our ticket and terminal fee, we were told to be at the ferry by 9PM. Since it was already 8:45, we all agreed to buy takeout at Mcdo. We were at the ferry by 9PM uncomfortably munching on our takeouts and somewhat regretting why we didn’t buy burger instead. The seat numbers weren’t followed so we ended up taking the bench next to the trash can and too close together. Pfft!

Hello San Carlos City

The ferry ride took almost 2 hours. Because I didn’t want to drain my phone, I decided to sleep but the seat was very uncomfortable so I only managed to dozed a little. We arrived in San Carlos City at 11:15 PM. 15 minutes after, we went back to the bus and it departed to Bacolod City.

Bacolod City First Timers

This was our 3rd trek in Negros Island. When we trekked in Mt. Canlaon, we arrived in San Carlos City and then Canlaon City. For Mt. Talinis, we arrived in Dumaguete City.

Day 1 Saturday

I was quite surprised with Bacolod especially the big and airport feels Ceres Bus Terminal. We arrived at the old Terminal at 2AM. We waited for our other companions and then rode a tryke to Ceres Bus Terminal where we catch a short rest before the terminal operation resumes at 5AM.

To The Jump-Off in Patag, Silay City

The bus terminal was awake at 5AM. After washing our face and enduring the cold at the airconditioned comfort room, we were ready for the next stop: Silay City. We arrived in Poblacion, Silay at 6AM after 30 minutes of travel from Bacolod City. We settled and had breakfast at #HugotSizzlers.

Patag is still an hour away from Poblacion. To save the fare, instead of hiring a private vehicle, we utilized the commuter jeepney instead. We only pay for Php45 for the trip but we had to wait 45 minutes for the jeepney to be filled.

The Hospital, Patag (Jump-Off)

The jeepney left at 8:15. By 9:15, we were at the hospital where we got our guides. We haggled to only have 1 guide as 2 of our companions were from Negros and they are quite familiar with the trail. Unfortunately, the tourism insisted that we should have 2.

Compared to other guide fees which was mostly Php500/day, Tinagong Dagat guide fee was Php750/day. We were already uneasy by the guide fees more so when they asked us to pay for the entrance fee, we were baffled why we had to pay when we only went their to get guides but they insist that we should pay. T_T

We thought that was our only “pay” trouble. We thought wrong. Stay tuned on the next post as we finally start our trek and leave the Hospital but before ending this post, let me tell you a story about the hospital.

About the Hospital. Back in 2013, I remembered one of our hiking friends told us that the hospital was kind of haunted. I was especially excited to see it. To my surprise, the hospital was now turned into rooms for the guests who want to swim at the pool beside it. Hehe! No more ghost feels for me. Lol

An Overnight Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan via Patag – Campuestohan Traverse


See below the ITINERARY AND EXPENSES, story to follow.

ITINERARY AND EXPENSES

Day 0
Permit/Fax: Php300

The Adventurers before leaving the camp.

Roll Call (from Left):
Harold, Pete, Kathy, Alfred, Rhea, Kring, July, RJ, Jill, Van, Carl, Andoy, Shie, Guide 1, Guide 2, Gil

17:00 North Bus Terminal
– Be early to secure a seat.
17:50 Departure to Toledo
– Fare/Pax: Php375 via Ceres (w/ CR)
20:30 Toledo City
20:45 Get off the bus
– Told to be back at 9PM so we just bought take out at Mcdo.
21:00 At the Ferry
21:30 Departure to San Carlos City
– Ticket and terminal fee was provided by the Ceres conductor before leaving the bus. Things were left at the bus too.
23:15 Arrival in San Carlos City
23:30 At the bus, departure to Bacolod

Day 1

02:00 Bacolod Old Terminal
02:45 To Ceres Northbound Terminal
– Fare/Pax: Php30 via tryke
03:00 At Terminal
– Sleep until 5:00 AM (Preps)
05:30 To Silay
– Fare/Pax: Php16 via Ceres Bus
06:00 Poblacion Silay City
– Breakfast @ #Hugot Sizzlers
– Wait for Alfred. Permit was forgotten.
– CR breaks
– Buy lunch pack at Mercado.
07:30 At jeep to Patag (Commute)
– Fare/Pax: Php45 via passenger jeepney
– Waiting for other passengers
08:15 Jeep Departure
09:15 Hospital – Tourism
– Guide Fee: Php750/day
– Guide Fee/Pax: Php250
– Entrance: Php10
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Platform
16:30 Tinagong Dagat
18:00 Dinner Preps
20:00 Dinner
20:30 Socials
22:00 Lights Off

Day 2

05:00 Wake up call
06:00 Breakfast Preps, Break Camp
08:30 Breakfast
09:30 Left Tinagong Dagat
13:00 Campuestohan
– Food Share/Pax: Php87
15:00 ETD to Bacolod
16:00 ETA in Mercy’s Talabahan, Bacolod
16:30 ETD to Ruins
– Fare/Pax: Php150
17:00 The Ruins
– Entrance/Pax: Php100
19:00 ETD to Ceres Terminal
– Fare/Pax: Php25 via Tryke
– Dinner
– Fare/Pax: Php410 from Bacolod to North Bus via Escalante – Tabuelan
21:00 ETD to Ferry
23:30 ETA Ferry Port
– Fare/Pax: Php130
00:00 ETD to Tabuelan Port
03:00 ETD to North Bus Terminal
05:30 Home Sweet Home

EXPENSES
Permit/Fax: Php300 paid 1 to 2 weeks before the trek
Fare/Pax: Php375 from North Bus to Bacolod City via Ceres (w/ CR)
Fare/Pax: Php30 from Bacolod Bus Stop to Ceres Terminal via tryke
Fare/Pax: Php16 from Ceres Terminal to Silay City via Ceres Bus
Fare/Pax: Php45 from Silay City to jump-off in Patag
Guide Fee/Pax: Php250 paid at Hospital
Entrance Hospital: Php10 paid at Hospital
Food Share/Pax: Php87 group food sharing (Day 1 Dinner, Day 2 Breakfast, Lunch)
Fare/Pax: Php150 from Campuestohan to The Ruins
Entrance/Pax: Php100 The Ruins
Fare/Pax: Php25 via Tryke from The Ruins to Ceres Terminal
Fare/Pax: Php410 from Bacolod to North Bus via Escalante – Tabuelan
Fare/Pax: Php130 Ferry from Escalante to Tabuelan
TREK TOTAL: Php1928

Additionals:
Day 0 Dinner Php100
Day 1 Breakfast Php50
Day 1 Pack Lunch Php50
Day 2 Snacks Php100
Day 2 Late Lunch Php150
Day 2 Dinner Php50
ADDITIONALS TOTAL: Php500

GRAND TOTAL: Php2500 (total estimated max budget. Just bring Php3000)

GUIDE DETAILS (Guide is provided by Tourism office on the day in Hospital, Patag, Silay City)
Note: 1 guide per 10 pax, in excess mandatory add 1 guide
– Guide Fee: Php750/day/pax

H(e)aven in Hagnaya, Cebu


I’ve lived in Cebu all my life and have once aimed to visit each municipalities and cities and enjoy what they have to offer. Been to quite a handful but not in the north. If I were to choose, south is always the place to go. Yet last holy week for 3 days starting the Holy Thursday until Black Saturday, I was enjoying a little piece of h(e)aven in the north.

Hagnaya Beach Resort in Hagnaya, Cebu was the venue of the successful Citichurch’s Recharge Camp 2017.Β The resort is nice but below are reasons why you should add and checkout Hagnaya Resort for team building and summer getaway:

  • The place is huge with lots of amenities for team building activities like basketball, pingpong and billiards. With over 250+ participants, the resort was still surprisingly spacious.

  • The place is pretty and picture perfect. Upon entering the gates, the first view that you will see is the well-manicured park with 4 huge animal replicas surrounding the fountain. Across the park is the social hall that can accomodate maybe 200-500 seated guests. Walking toward the sea from the gate, you will pass by the pool, rooms and then the restaurant. There are about 20+ rooms in different sizes.

  • Beyond the restaurant where Recharge camp 2017 meals were served is a long stretch of baywalk – the perfect spot for sunrise and photo ops.

  • It is kid-friendly. Overlooking the baywalk is a mini-park with swings and seesaws that will make children happy and adult alike.

  • The food is awesome. The camp meals were served in buffet and not once did I feel unsatisfied.

So that’s the main reasons why you should check the resort plus if you are like me who fancies sleeping in the tent, they have a space for camping too. Who wouldn’t fall for that?

Aside from being recharged by the camp activities, the place has recharged me too even if I wasn’t able to swim. Walking in the baywalk at sunrise is the best part of staying in the resort. πŸ™‚

So what are you waiting for? It’s summer friends. It’s the perfect time to getaway. When you do, put Hagnaya Resort on top of the list. You won’t regret it!!!

While at it, you could also check my learnings at the recently concluded recharge camp. It’s really not bad to enjoy but it’s more rewarding to enjoy with God’s presence. Hurray!!!

Cheering for your perfect escape,
Kring

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"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

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