The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River


As planned the night before, the camp was alive at 3:00 AM. We wanted to be the first batch to leave and hit the itinerary unlike the previous days. Upon waking, I then went to cook rice – and yay! No popcorn rice in all of our meals – proud rice cooker. While waiting for the rice to cook, I asked Migo to watch it for me. As I was packing my things, I heard Liz announced her awe.

“Hala hala, first time ko makakita magcook si Migo!” She was saying after telling the husband how to cook the soup. I expected him to call me but when he didn’t, even if I was done packing, I decided to stay in the tent. It was just soup but it makes me a lot prouder of him. Mountains by mountains, little by little, the husband and I has evolved into the a slightly better version of ourselves.

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Preparing breakfast, breakfast and breaking the camp!
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Taking pictures as I went to visit the other Cebu group.
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Froggy breakfast for them.

We had breakfast at 5:00 AM. By 7:00 AM, we were ready to go. I went to the other Cebu group to check if they were ready as well. It would have been nice to go down together with them. Unfortunately, they were still cooking when I visited their accommodation. They were staying in the small house at the back of the “Templo”. I stayed and chatted for a while and took pictures.

Because we had ample time, while waiting for the head guide to be ready, we were able to pray, had a little stretching and took group pictures.

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Laagurlz and Migo!!!

We left the camp at 7:30 AM. The first few hours of going down were tolerable. We passed through cogon grasses and trails canopied with tall trees & laden with dried leaves. The leaves were slippery. I was so concerned when the husband slipped. Good thing, he wasn’t injured.

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Praying while the others are still breaking up camp! Leaving the camp!

No injuries when he slipped but he wasn’t able to dodge the stings of wasps. There were bees & wasps on the trail. He was bitten by 4 wasps. 2 on his face and the other 2 on his arm. I asked him to take antihistamine immediately. It was his first time being bitten on the trek. While I was busy getting the medicine, a trekker passed by. When he left, the husband and I talked about how fast he could have been to reached us by that instant.

Another hour passed and just as we start the hardest part of the trail, we saw other trekkers. The descent to Mialen river was harsh. It was almost an hour of vertical descent on a slippery path. My feet were both aching but I had to go on walking or risk losing sight of Liz & got lost. I didn’t see any trail signs at that point. When I finally saw a house, relief washed over me. Yay civilization at last!!! We rested at the house for a while then got on our feet.

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Views on the trail…
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Biting leaves to keep the bees away. We were about to pass a beehive.
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Starting the descent towards Mialen river!
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Quick stops on the way down!
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Over exhausted Migo!
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Finally, civilization at last!

Mialen river was very beautiful. I wanted to cam-whored to my heart’s content but seeing the husband’s look reminded me of our exhaustion. Unlike me who can easily trade exhaustion for pictures, the husband is not. I just had one pic and reluctantly move on. I was silent after.

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Hello beautiful Mialen river!

When we reached another part, the husband must have noticed my heartbreak, he offered to take a picture. I was definitely awed. The heavy feeling left immediately. I was flying when we continued and got very surprise when I saw a lot of participants chilling at the riverbank. It was already 11 AM. I was elated when we were told we would have our lunch at the river. We could bathe as well since we would wait for all participants to arrive. Finally time to wear my swimwear!!! The river was just too pretty not to be enjoyed.

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Amazing Mialen river!
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Lunch and swimming!

We stayed for more than an hour then left at 12:30 PM. We walk at a leisurely pace to the store where we were welcomed by cold coke. Chilled and chatted for a while then decided we had our fill. We were at the pick-up point by 2:00 PM. By 3:30 PM, we were “death” bored. We had to fight for a place in the dump-truck that would take us to the official endpoint of the journey – Misamis Occidental Capitol. It was once again an another roller-coaster ride like the once we had at Kapayas.

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Bye bye Mialen river!
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Mialen brgy hall!
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On the way to the store!
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Pick-up stop!
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Malindang survivors!

Bye Bye Oroquieta City
After sorting out how to get our certificates and souvenirs, we left for Ozamis City. We were in a hurry for fear of missing our boat, we decided not to wait for the other Cebu group. We were famished when we reached Ozamis. Since everyone wanted spicy chicken at Jollibee, we asked the tricycle to take us there. At 7:00 PM, we were at Ozamis port.

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Last few moments before going back to real life!

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This is it…one more post to go and Malindang memoirs will be history. Well technically, I am done sharing the journey. I hope you have a good time reading just as I was having a good time writing. Before I totally end this post, I have a quick favor, please! Would you let me know if I misspelled, with wrong grammar or there’s a part where you don’t get what I meant. Before posting I usually read my posts tons of time but maybe I’m just so use to of how I write I couldn’t tell what’s wrong. LOL Quick fun fact: I am most productive in writing when I’m in the jeep to and from work. Before, I used this time overthinking, now I rarely do because I have tons of things to write. 🙂 And for girls, less overthinking means happiness. Wahihi! =)

So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations. Here’s another game, from the crossed out items above, what post did I write about it? Don’t be shy. Comment away. 🙂

Finally,one post to go. Gotta hurry ’cause I can’t wait to tell you just how beautiful Lanigid camp is. Weeeeeeee!

Malindang Posts:
Summary
First Night At Siatog Gamay
Second Night At Siatog Dako
Conquering Siatog Peak
The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River   -> You are here!
Malindang Realizations & More

Conquering Siatog Peak


Malindang range has a lot of peaks (North Peak, South Peak, Mount Ampiro and Mount Malindang itself, which is the tallest at 2404m). I’ve searched & read a lot but couldn’t reconcile everything which is actually better. It means, attending the yearly ascent will probably be different each time.

This year was the 20th Malindang ascent which showcases “Siatog”. Our camps were Siatog Gamay and Siatog Dako respectively. The summit which we had conquered was Siatog Peak. I’ve read a blog about last year’s ascent and it features a different part of Malindang, that of Piduan falls & Piduan valley. Right now just thinking about it makes my heart race with anticipation and excitement for 2016. I’m sure it’s gonna be another trail. Guess I would start to bend my rules of climbing this time. It’s okay to comeback just as long as it’s on a different trail, different peaks and wonders visited would be a plus too.

After reaching Siatog Dako, the husband suggested I took pictures of the camp. I went directly to the “Templo” and was awed by its structure of pure wood. I wanted to get inside but was a little shy since it was already crowded. There was a small house at the back of the Templo. When I went to check on it, I saw a group of trekkers that was seemed to be in a hurry for something. I overheard them talking about leaving for the peak. It was then that I remembered about the cut-off. I hurriedly went back to our camp and was welcomed by a nagging husband who just put up the tent without the wandering wife. Laughter followed. When the humor frittered away, I told them about the group leaving the camp. We hurriedly prepared to take our leave as well.

The ascent to the peak was no joke. We gained an estimated 500 meter elevation according to the husband’s app. As I was scrambling my way to the top, I thought of how slow I must have been if I have my backpack. The trail was wet & slippery cutting through the mossy forest. There were lots of beautiful scenery worthy of my poses but I sensed the husband’s fatigue.

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On the way up with a view of my dismantled pants!

At 30 minutes of the ascent, I was already panting in exhaustion. Yet each time I thought of resting, I would remember the estimated 3 hours ascent to the peak. We weren’t even halfway there so I persevered and pushed myself but on a constant mindset that I cannot push myself too much beyond my limit. Breaking down is always not an option.

We grappled, crawled and climbed unto alive and dead trees. As we went higher, we saw some steps that I thought at first were from the trekkers before us. The husband corrected that they were wild boar footsteps.

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Some picture stops! Find the trail runner! =)
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Lunch break finally with Migo’s annoyed face after saying “last picture na ni ha, kaon sa ta. wala ka gikapoy?”

When we reached a small dried creek after 1.5 hours of walking from the camp, one of our companion call for a leech check break. After a while, I heard the husband’s frantic voice announcing that he just had his first leech. The others went to check as well while I was busy laughing my ass off for the husband’s demise. Then I checked one of my leg. Silence followed. I tried to calm myself when I saw a leech about the same size as the husband’s just above my sock. I announced that I wouldn’t be getting rid of it, the husband advised otherwise so I proceeded to take it off.

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‘Cause we just had our lunch, its time for the leech’s lunch as well! Pfft!

When I pulled the small leech, it stretched, that was when I screamed. I just couldn’t take its grossness. The husband was quick to rescue and pulled the leech. Relief washed over me as the leech was out of my leg. I proceeded to scratch my neck and felt something soft. Yuck!!! The 2nd leech is sucking on my neck like a vampire. Bad, bad leech! Grossssss!

What followed was a long & winding trail to the top guided by the yellow ribbons as trail signs. Sometime in the trail, we noticed how the ribbons were missing. My companions were quick to notice the wood clipped into the bark of a tree. We concluded it was the new trail sign. When we continued our ascent, someone ask if we’ll take the same trail on the way down. We chorused a yes and further wondered why we saw no one going down yet.

After a while, we saw someone coming from the opposite direction. It was the trekker who passed us on the way up. “Hi! Duol nalang mo mga 15 minutes. 1.5 hours ra man diay padung taas!” He announced. We just smiled.

“Mga 1 hour pa guro ta kay ga trail run man to siya.” I said when he left. 10 minutes passed, another group from the opposite direction arrived. They said we’re very near already. With renewed vigor, we hastened our strides. Finally, we were almost there.

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Almost thereeeeeeee!

Siatog Peak is covered by trees with only a small opening where you could take pictures and see some views. The viewing platform was crowded when we arrived. There were makeshift benches on each side. The other was full and the remaining one wasn’t that strong to be seated safely. I decided to wait at the entrance while the others were still busy taking selfies. I had a quick chat with another trekker from Cebu. We briefly introduced ourselves but too bad I forgot her name. Ohhh me!

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Siatog Peak viewing deck!
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Liz’s bro on the platform!

Then someone announced that we should get on the platform carefully since it is not that robust. It is advised to do the picture taking one by one as well. When I saw a group took a groufie, my heart was pounding. I silently prayed to keep them safe. I didn’t have the heart and will to remind them again of the peril.

When it was my turn, the platform was indeed scary. It would shake even at the slightest movement but that didn’t stop the husband and me to pose for our Mr&Mrs pic. Malindang was our first major climb since we got hitched in March 2015. We got engaged in Sirao Peak in June 2014, a week before our 6th anniversary as Migo&Miga.

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Migo&Miga’s first Mr&Mrs major climb! =)
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Miga taking a pose & got shaken when Migo decided to join her on the platform!

We didn’t stay long in the peak. We left as soon as we were done taking pictures. Maria’s team went ahead but since going down was much more tolerable, we caught them on the trail. We went down from Siatog Peak together and had tons of laugh from our misfortunes. Zach & Char won the bid for most slides. The husband almost had a “Mystica” moment. I, on the other hand, pricked my finger of the pin that I put on to hold my pants together. Silly me forgot to check my pants before wearing. Good thing Liz noticed or else I would have gone around with a hole in my pants. It would have been another one for the book of Malindang’s stories.

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The proof of our commitment to the mountains and each other. Char!
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Tree action on the way down!
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Caught up with the rest of the guys!
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Everybody is busy holding on while I took a click!
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Almost at the camp! Victory kiss for Migo! Weeeeeeeee!

Our ascent took 2 hours. Descent was 1.5 hours. By 3:30 PM, we were safely back in Siatog Dako unaware of the leeches that awaits our return to have their dinner. Pfft!

Thank you for staying with me on this 4th post of the series. I hope you have a good time reading my memoirs of Malindang. I have a quick favor, please! Would you let me know if I misspelled, with wrong grammar or there’s a part where you don’t get what I meant. Before posting I usually read my posts tons of time but maybe I’m just so use to of how I write I couldn’t tell what’s wrong. LOL Quick fun fact: I am most productive in writing when I’m in the jeep to and from work. Before, I used this time overthinking, now I rarely do because I have tons of things to write. 🙂 And for girls, less overthinking means happiness. Wahihi! =)

So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations. Here’s another game, from the crossed out items above, what post did I write about it? Don’t be shy. Comment away. 🙂

Finally, I am down to 2 posts to go. Need to catch up ’cause this weekend we’re going to a new destination again – Lanigid! Weeeeeeee! Excited for the reunion of my outside climbing group. Our last climb was just before the wedding, Canlaon – our 2nd time.

Malindang Posts:
Summary
First Night At Siatog Gamay
Second Night At Siatog Dako
Conquering Siatog Peak-> You are here!
The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River
Malindang Realizations & More (January 25, 2021 Notes: Sad that I didn’t get to writing this post. Huhu)

Sweet & Short Journey to Siatog Dako (Last Night)


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Group pic before leaving the camp. Pic c/o Zach.

In all of my major climbs, day 2 was always the harshest. Each time, we’d be spending the entire day walking with our heavy packs to reach the next camp. 8 hours of walking with your heavy pack is not an ordinary ordeal. Sleeping early the night before is the best preparation. We did just that and was up at 4:00 AM to prepare our breakfast.

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Breakfast & breaking camp!

We were maybe the first to sleep but when we started breaking camp at 6:30 AM, one other group were already waiting. Commendable! It was maybe why we decided we’d wake up at 3:00 AM on our last day just so we could descend earlier and not miss our boat. By 7:30 AM, we left Siatog Gamay, 30 minutes late in the itinerary.

It rained sometime in the night so our stuffs were wet and muddy. We were both busy preparing breakfast and taking some muds off while laughing over the experiences after we turn the lights off. Bruce, Charm & Zach had a “froggy” moment while Liz & John got leech. I didn’t knew Maria & Hannah’s story but I feel it was only me who’s out of the thrill since the husband was busy making sure the water wouldn’t get into our tent. Ah quite the sheltered wife! Apart from the occasional snoring of our neighbors, I was well rested.

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Praying before leaving the camp and some views along the way!

In the morning we chanced upon one of the organizer. We asked about our next camp and was elated upon knowing that Siatog Dako is only 3 hours away. Not bad. He must have seen the look of confusion in our eyes as if asking what we’d do with the remaining half of the day.

Turns out, reaching camp 2 was not the main event of the 2nd day. As soon as we were done setting up camp by 10:30 AM, some 30 minutes after we arrived at Siatog Dako, we were told to leave to Siatog Peak immediately. The half of the day or as estimated 6 hours of it will be spent conquering Siatog Peak. They call it an “Alpine” assault. We were given 11 AM as the last call. If we arrive beyond 11 AM, we wouldn’t be allowed to summit anymore. That was enough to fire us up because no matter how great the journey, it just wouldn’t be complete without a peak in it. Instead of 3 hours, we reached the camp at 2.5 hours of walking through the mossy and leech infested Malindang forest.

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Foggy view just before the rope descent. Pic c/o Zach.
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Views along the way and the group pic after the rope descent!

The 2.5 hours in the forest was highlighted by a rope assisted descent towards a dried creek by 9:00 AM, approximately 1.5 hours of walking from Siatog Gamay. It was the first time our group got together for a picture. After the descent, we were back to our mini-groups. When my group arrived at Camp 2, Maria’s group was already setting up camp right at the entrance of Siatog Dako. And for the first time ever, I had the husband’s permission to take pictures saying “Miga, wa pa man ka’y gibuhat, pagpicture-picture didto kaw!”. I took the offer seriously and took a lot of pictures. When I got back, he was done setting up camp and nagged why I didn’t come back sooner. Haha! Oh well! He should have told me specifics. 😛

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15-20 minutes away from Siatog Dako!

Siatog Dako had a bigger space than Siatog Gamay, maybe that’s why they were name such. The camp has 2 houses. The bigger one was called “Templo”. Being not so-meish, I wasn’t able to get the whole story why it was called “Templo” but from what I heard, it was a place of worship for the Subanens, the local tribe in the area. One of our guides is a Subanen but I wasn’t able to ask if his people were still using the “Templo” for their actual worship. Toilets and waters were available as well. For the first time on a trek, the husband was able to take a bath. I only wash my hair because I didn’t want to wait for the long queue. Still, it was refreshing.

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Because there were 2 houses, some participants didn’t setup camp & stayed at the house which got me a little envious. Just a tad bit because if we were able to stay in the house, we probably missed our cheesy leech stories. We had some leech stories on the trail but most of us got leeched while we were preparing dinner. I had my 3rd leech moment while cooking our rice. See an excerpt below of my 3rd leech moment. As for the 1st and 2nd, it will have to be compiled with all the other leech stories of my group. Wait for it!!!

“Kringy, nagdugo lagi na imong tiil. (Kringy, your toe is bloody.)” Liz said.

“Ha? Wala man ko nasamad gud! (Sure? I didn’t hurt my toe!)”

“Hala! Gi alimatokan seguro na! (Whoah! Must be leech again!)”

And it was leech indeed. That foul gross creature didn’t even had the heart to close the wound properly! When I went to check my toe pinky, it had a small puncture. It grossed me out so much that taking a picture was forgotten. From then on, I went into a total leech paranoia to the point of not getting inside the tent without checking a lot of times if I was indeed leech-free.

After we got back from conquering the peak (which would be the next post) at 3:30 PM, we settled a bit and started preparing dinner by 5:00 PM. It was then that my 3rd leech moment happened and most of the rest of the groups leech moments. We had an early dinner again. Our group had sardines overload – much to my delight and Migo’s disappointment (Trivia: Migo hates fish!). Good thing we had pork adobo or else Migo would have gone on a hunger strike. Sardines with tomatoes and odong with sardines were just not his type. Maria’s team had ampalaya with egg and buwad with tomatoes. Migo & I retired earlier than the others because they were still cooking carbonara. Unlike the first night, our call time was now updated to an hour earlier – 3:00 AM to be the first group to leave the camp.

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Migo & Liz missed the shot because they’re lining up to take a bath.
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Dinner & leech-y time!

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Thank you for staying with me on this 3rd post of the series. I had a question on my first post as to where I had my first leech moment, to those who answered at Camp 2 got it wrong because as you’ve read, I had my 3rd at the camp. So where really IS my first leech moment happened? Stay tuned to know where that gross leech had its taste of my precious blood. Pfft!

So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations.

Malindang Posts:
Summary
First Night At Siatog Gamay
Second Night At Siatog Dako -> You are here!
Conquering Siatog Peak
The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River
Malindang Realizations & More (January 25, 2021 Notes: Sad that I didn’t get to writing this post. Huhu)

Malindang Ascent to Siatog Gamay (First Night)


Day 0 (THURSDAY) November 5, 2015
Despite taking a day off on the day of the trip to Ozamis, the husband and I were still running out of time. At 2 PM, I was on my way to M&M Condo to drop the bulb requested by the guest. I was on my toes for constant fear of being stuck in the afternoon traffic. But when duty calls, we had no choice but to. It seems the heavens were on me that day ’cause by 4 PM, I was at the house ready to pack my bag for Malindang.

Despite thinking ahead of what to bring, I was still slow because I make sure I am comfortable in what I would wear to the point of wearing everything and checking myself in the mirror.

“Miga, you’ve been at it for an hour now. Are you sure you are in a hurry?” The husband commented. That was when I realized the time. I stop fidgeting and settled for 2 shirts and a pants. A pair for sleeping then reused the pants for going home with the remaining shirt.

When my personal stuffs were in, that was when I realized I left the borrowed burner in the office. I panicked. It was already quarter to 6 PM. Migo pacified me and suggested to just bring our broken burner then told me to ask Analyn if she could pick-up the burner. He suggested to have her drop it in Pier 1 and will just pay for the taxi. Ah such an expensive mistake! When I called Analyn, it was decided that I will just pick-up the burner myself from her.

At 6 PM, I was on the taxi to IT Park. When I told Liz my predicament, she told me to just let it go. The traffic was heavy and she doubted I could make it back in time. With a heavy heart, I obliged and just bought our dinner at Jollibee drive thru instead. My hopes are all pinned in our broken burner which was fixed by Migo but untested. That was our first mishap – forgotten burner.

MV Filipinas Iligan
We were all aboard on time. Our beds were perfectly planned by our very eager trip planner, Liz of LitratoKo. All in lower bed, a row away from the Female CR at the 3rd floor of Cokaliong’s MV Filipinas Iligan. We saw other trekkers, at least 2 groups, bound to Malindang as well. We briefly exchange pleasantries with them, had our dinner and dozed off.

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Yun oh — Cokaliong’s MV Filipinas Iligan took us to Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental!

Day 1 (FRIDAY) November 6, 2015
We were already up before the boat could dock ashore and on our feet when it finally landed. We were supposed to ride a motorbike to the bus terminal but we saw a tricycle where we could all fit in. Some of our backpacks were tied in its front, top and back. We paid Php20, P5 higher than the motorbike for the 15 ride to the bus terminal.

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From L-R: Migo&Miga’s back at the back of the tricycle. Miga enjoying the doves in Ozamis City port. The girls sans me on the ride to the bus terminal.
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Agora Bus Terminal. Just had to take this pic of this couple for Migo&Miga #RelationshipGoals!

Misamis Occidental Capitol
From Ozamis, we rode for an hour to Oroquieta bus stop. We left Ozamis at 6:30 AM. From there, we took another tricycle ride for 10 minutes to Misamis Occidental Capitol – the official starting point of our journey in Mt. Malindang.

The organizers were already there when we arrived. They were quick to entertain and open the registration even if it was still 30 minutes early for the scheduled 8:00 AM Registration in the event itinerary. Thank you so much Sir Marc and company for accommodating the very eager participants. Early birds!!! Yahooo!

On the registration, we were given our IDs and signed a waiver. We then look for a Carenderia to eat. We saw one beside the Hall of Justice. Later after breakfast, “Hall of Justice” became our inside joke which refers to the comfort room. At this point of the journey, the hall of justice is very crucial to our survival. 😉

At 8:45 AM, we were all gathered waiting for the other participants to register. It was then that Liz introduced the last member of our group, Zach, who just arrived from an 8-hour bus trip from Cagayan De Oro.

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Registration ongoing and cam whoring after!
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Breakfast, more camwhoring & settling down while waiting for the others to register!
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Finally in the mini-dump with other participants!

Start of Trek
At 10:00 AM, the participants left the capitol aboard a mini-dump truck. By 11:00 AM, we arrived at the jump-off where one of the organizers had a short orientation. Shortly after the real journey begun.

The trail was open and the sun was high up. It was a hot and tiresome journey even if the ascent was minimal. Our group were one of the first participants to walk. 45 minutes after, we were free from the scorching heat of the sun and into the woods down the river where we had our lunch. I was quite surprise to see a handful of participants already. I didn’t noticed that many who walk passed us.

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Group picture before starting the trek!
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All set and ready!
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Saw these kids and a school sign on the way! The kids were carrying books!
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Trail views and some stops along the way!

Lunch at the river
After settling down, I proceeded to take pictures. The river was pristine. I was a little shock when I saw some participants refilling their bottles at the river. Liz said she even drank directly. After lunch, I went to check the itinerary and noted the time to reached the camp site, 5 PM. I overheard people talking that it would still be an estimated 4 hours walk to the camp. We left the river around 1:15 PM and if the hearsay was true, we’d reached the camp at 5 PM. At the back of my mind, I know we had to double time. It won’t be nice to walk in the dark in case we fail to achieve the estimates. Not a fan of night trekking!

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Finally lunch at the river. Yahooo!
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Migo refilling my bottle. 🙂
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Trail pics from the river to the camp!

Siatog Camp
But lo and behold, we were at the camp at 3:30 PM. Happy to have cut off our trekking time to 2 hours instead of 4. Weeeeee! And what made me even happier were the guava trees around the camp. They were so full of fruits. Siatog Gamay camp had a house, water source and toilets too. Isn’t it the grandest camp of all? Well, for me, any camp with water and toilet is grand. With that, we survived Day 1 and celebrated it with a sumptuous dinner at 6:00 PM. Liz’s (our) team prepared pork menudo, fried chicken and knorr soup while Maria’s team had pork humba, potato mojos and cucumber salad. And while the others were still having dinner, we turned our lights off at 7:30 PM.

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Camp 1 at last! Siatog Gamay at 3 PM! What a pleasant surprise!!!
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View of the other campers!
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Water and guavas are abundant!!!
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Our menu of the night! 🙂
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Happy to have been on schedule. 🙂

So I told you from my summary post of what to expect right? Unfortunately, Day 1 was rather uneventful. But I forgot to mention above our 2nd mishap – we forgot to bring oil & other spices. Thanks to Maria’s team. We were at their mercy for spices. Haha! And one good thing…remember our broken burner, it is still working! Weeeeeeeeee! Just super happy!!! All is well on the first day. The real ACTION begins on the 2nd day….watch out!!!

So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations.

Malindang Posts:
Summary
First Night At Siatog Gamay -> You are here!
Second Night At Siatog Dako
Conquering Siatog Peak
The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River
Malindang Realizations & More (January 25, 2021 Notes: Sad that I didn’t get to writing this post. Huhu)

Mt. Malindang in 3 days & 2 Nights via Kanawanan – Mialen


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And the yucky leeches on Migo and I’s leg. Pffft!

What was the most striking thing that happened to you at this climb?

Maria asked as we were waiting for our ride to Misamis Occidental Capitol, the last stop of Malindang’s 2nd Pasungko Climb last weekend November 6-8, 2015. Everyone weren’t able to answer but the ones who did summed it all. Leeches and slides stood out.

No longer a leech virgin.

The husband’s comment as we were telling our companions our leech story. Because we were very far apart in the trail, we had to update them of the exciting things that befell us. Since day 1, we already hear stories about leeches. I cringed each time. The husband teased. He assumed I have already known about the leeches in Malindang. Unfortunately, I didn’t cause I was too lazy to read the entire blog about Malindang. Ohhh me!

But after being leech-free while all the others were bitching about it, I was slightly hoping I would never have to endure the experience, especially the same with one of our companion who has  been a leech favorite (guess who!). But as they say, a climb in Malindang wouldn’t be complete without it. Yay to me (rolling eyes)!

Before I start telling you the exciting things that happened in Malindang in the next posts, here’s a game for you dearies, try guessing what day I had my leech moment. I’ve given you clues already. Is it day 1, or maybe day 2…or day 3? The winner can ask me any favor as long as it doesn’t involve money. Haha! Don’t be a co-co and join the fun. Weeeeeee! Comment now or forever hold your peace!!! Note that only blog comment will be considered.

So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations.

This was my 2nd climb with other trekkers in the Philippines, the first was awesome, this one was more awesome since I now have the husband to share it with. And of course, I still have Liz and the Laagurlz was almost complete with Maria. Knowing Maria’s friends were plus2x. Bruce is cool. Hannah is chill. Charm is charming. Liz’s Bro John was an added support. And of course…Zach. Who would forget Zach?! Certainly not I who have seen him do all sorts of sliding positions and some other funny memories (of leeches). It was a great climb. I didn’t have any regrets for not being sociable because in doing so, I was able to accumulate more stories from my group. Listening to them yap about their encounters with other participants was also heartwarming. Sometimes, seeing people through other’s eyes are better. Happy to have done it this time. Cheers to Maria for being the social butterfly of the moment. 🙂

Would I join another open climb again? Yes I would. CERTAINLY. The lessons and realizations you will have will make you question everything that you believe. 🙂 Cheers to more freelancing moments. Much thankful to Lizzy Marie for introducing me into this exciting world of “social climbing”. Bwahaha! See the snaps of the entire experience…and of course your clue. 😛

01 capitol
Yay to early birds! We were the first to register so we got ample time to have breakfast, took pictures and chill before leaving to the jump-off!
02 day 1 ride
Group picture on our ride to the jump-off! It wasn’t so full at the time I took the picture.
03 camp 1
Cozying at Camp 1 (Siatog Gamay). We setup camp right beside the toilet. Water is very abundant!!!
04 camp 1 whole
Siatog Gamay camp is not only abundant with water but with Guava trees as well. We busied ourselves eating guavas while waiting for dinner. Setup camp at 3:00 PM! Early camp means early dinner as well. ❤
05 just after the rope moment
On the way to camp 2 Siatog Dako. Picture taking after the rope moment.
06 camp 2 01
Hello camp 2, Siatog Dako! We were camp right at the entrance of the camp site that was very abundant with leeches. Ewwwww!
06 camp 2 whole
Siatog Dako is not only abundant with leeches but with water as well. Toilets are available too. And for the first time on a trek, I was able to wash my hair. Some of my companions and Migo took a bath. 🙂 There were 2 houses. Some of the participants didn’t setup camp because they were staying at the house…if we only knew…we wouldn’t have to endure the leech infested camp. 😦
07 01
This was our first major climb as Mister&Misis. 🙂 Our moment at the peak! Yahooo!
07 on the trek moments 2
Slide action on our way down back to camp 2! Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of Zach’s moments & Migo’s almost split moment!
08 group
Group picture at the camp 2 with the laagurlz who brought these strangers turned friends together.
08 on the trek moments
Trek moments on the way to the hardest & cruelest part of the trail…the eternal descent to the river. I couldn’t count how many times I tripped because my feet were killing me. Liz had to check on me almost every minute. So sorry Lizzy!
09 enjoying the river
Erasing the bad memories of the descent by enjoying the river. Wow! Our super early getup time was all worth it. We were able to enjoy the river. And of course, I was able to use my swimming pieces. Haha!
10 day 3 ride
Since day 1 we were always ahead of the itinerary. Expected arrival was 5:00 PM, we were at Siatog Gamay at 3:00 PM. Day 3 was no different. At 1:30 we were already at the store in Mialen, expected was at 2:30 PM. We waited almost 2 hours for the pick-up. When it arrive, the participants were uncontrollable. I had to run and put on my “Merida” stunt to get to the truck fast. Totally forgot that Migo was with me. Glad he was able to catch up as well. Our group all did. 🙂 And what followed was a grueling ride to the Capitol. It was both scary & funny…much much scarier than the Kapayas thrill. Just wow!
after climb moments
After climb moments! 🙂 Malindang survivors! Weeeeeeeeeee! It was time to bid goodbye!
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There were 80 registrants but according to the checkers, there were only 50 who arrived. From the 50, there were a few people who stood out in memory. Intrigued? They will be featured on my next posts. 🙂

Climb Details c/o of the Organizers

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Our trail…a total of 46 kilometer walk from Kanuwanan to Mialen!
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Event flyer!
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The super chic souvenir. Because we had to let go of the socials, we weren’t able to pick them up. Excited to receive them from Zach!
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Our IDs! BRB represent! On the next open climb, I may have to use just “Freelance”. I will tell you the reason on the next posts.

Malindang Posts:
Summary -> You are here!
First Night At Siatog Gamay
Second Night At Siatog Dako
Conquering Siatog Peak
The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River
Malindang Realizations & More (January 25, 2021 Notes: Sad that I didn’t get to writing this post. Huhu)

Climbing Mt. Mauyog & Camping in Mt. Manunggal, Balamban, Cebu


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The birthday boy on top of Mauyog!

It was maybe 2 years ago when I made a list of mountains to be conquered locally within Cebu. That time, I’ve had more outside of Cebu climbs than within. To increase and explore Cebu more, along with Kapayas, Mauyog and Manunggal were on that list. But as time flew like my other lists, they were forgotten.

When NCR Trekkers decided to climb Mt. Mauyog last July 25-26, I was very excited. I remembered the list. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on my side. I’ve been on an on/off sickness for the month of July and August. The decision to let go of exciting activities was so hard but I had to. What made it more sadder was one of my closest manghud-from-another-mama was celebrating her birthday on that trek. I wanted to be there. But everyone was strongly against it. I just had to let go.

My hibernation was killing me but I felt that resting was the only option I had. The day after my birthday despite not feeling too well still, on the invite of a close friend, I decided that I had to break free. That climb really helped me to get back on track. To make up for the times lost due to sickness, I planned to catch up with what I missed.

Catching up was hard. I’ve been into a lot of organizing but planning a trek just had that added stress. I had BRB before and now that they have mellowed, NCR Trekkers adopted me. Sadly, they’ve been there already. I would have continued loathing and dumped Mauyog totally if it wasn’t for Liz. The husband is always supportive in everything but when it comes to us trekking alone together, it’s a no-no. He had his reasons and though I don’t completely understood them, I supported it.

Lately, I don’t fancy over planning that much anymore so as long as I have the basic, I’m good. But the husband kept on bugging me to check this and that. As usual, his negativity and backup-up thoughts annoyed me that I almost cracked and abandon the plan. Good thing I didn’t pursue it. I wouldn’t have known how beautiful Mauyog is. 🙂

3 Happy Pigs!!!
3 Happy Pigs!!!

Mauyog – Manunggal via Sunog Trail

September 05-06, 2015

Expense:
120/pax V-Hire Ayala to Cantipla
150/motor Cantipla to Awayan (2 motor/3 pax = 100/pax)
500/group Guide (Robinson 0907 928 3940) Awayan-Mauyog-Manunggal (500/3= 167/pax)
120/pax V-Hire Manunggal Corner to Ayala
Total: 507/pax

Itinerary:
Day 1
9:30 ETD Cantipla via V-hire
11:00 ETA Awayan
12:00 Lunch on clearing before Sunog Gym
13:00 Mauyog foot, left backpack
13:40 Mauyog Assault
15:00 ETD Manunggal via road
16:40 Manunggal
17:00 Setup Camp
19:30 Lights Off

Day 2
05:00 Prepare Breakfast
07:30 Break Camp
* 749 steps to Memorial Bldg
08:30 ETD Manunggal
10:30 ETD Van to Ayala
11:30 ETA Ayala

Meals:
Day 1 Lunch Packed
Day 1 Dinner Cream of Mushroom Soup, Pre-cooked Chicken heated on top of rice
Day 2 Breakfast Soup leftover, Fried leftover rice, Curry noodles & Spam
Day 2 Lunch is back in the City @ Rico’s Lechon

Despite being an hour and a half late, keeping Liz fuming while waiting in Ayala terminal, we were able to reached Manunggal before sunset. Started our trek at Awayan where we met our guide, Robinson. He is a 4th year HS student of Tabunan Integrated school who sidelines guiding on the weekends. We started crossing on a river and in order not to wet our shoes, we had to take them off before crossing since there was no bridge or stones to hop into. We were lucky because we were able to say hello to Robinson’s parents and younger brother as well.

The Robinson's Family with the Sr. & Jr, the Mom & the youngest brother who was too shy for the camera!
The Robinson’s Family with the Sr. & Jr, the Mom & the youngest brother who was too shy for the camera!

The 3 eager trekkers posing with their shoes getting ready to start the ball rolling!!!
The 3 eager trekkers posing with their shoes getting ready to start the ball rolling!!!

Kuya Iping, our habal2x driver chats that this river separates Cebu City & Balamban. Right now, we were still in the Cebu City side - Awayan. The other side is Sunog which is already part of Magsaysay, Balamban.
Kuya Iping, our habal2x driver chats that this river separates Cebu City & Balamban. Right now, we were still in the Cebu City side – Awayan. The other side is Sunog which is already part of Magsaysay, Balamban.

After an hour of walking, we decided to have lunch at a clearing, an hour away from Sunog gym. The trail was mostly uphills where you will see locals’ houses every now and then. When you reached Sunog gym, you will then follow the road to the foot of Mauyog.

I think this has to be Liz signature pose...oblation! Feel the air!!!
I think this has to be Liz signature pose…oblation! Feel the air!!!

Photo ops just before the clearing where we had lunch!
Photo ops just before the clearing where we had lunch!

Migo's lunch time seat!
Migo’s lunch time seat!

On the way up after lunch.
On the way up after lunch with the view of the Mango tree where we ate our baon!

Yay! Water source! Bin refilling our bottles!
Yay! Water source! Bin refilling our bottles!

Finally time to rest...10 minutes away from Sunog gym!
Finally time to rest…10 minutes away from Sunog gym!

Roof of the gym and the house with the store where Migo & I eagerly shared a bottle of Mirinda to quench our thirst. Yay! This marks the next part of our trail, following the road to the foot of Mauyog.
Roof of the gym and the house with the store where Migo & I eagerly shared a bottle of Mirinda to quench our thirst. Yay! This marks the next part of our trail, following the road to the foot of Mauyog.

We left our backpack at the store and proceeded to climb the peak of Mauyog. Just like every assault, it was mostly uphills and since it was raining in the morning, it was very slippery. We were extra careful in each strides.

Up, up they go as I struggled to breath in between my strides! Ah! Uphill just sucked!
Up, up they go as I struggled to breath in between my strides! Ah! Uphill just sucked!

The winding road!
The winding road!

Hello Mauyog!
Hello Mauyog!

The husband taking a pose with Mauyog when we arrived at the foot.
The husband taking a pose with Mauyog when we arrived at the foot.

Finally it was time to part with our pack! Yay!
Finally it was time to part with our pack! Yay! Liz & I’s pack stayed together while the husband was placed on the other chair.

Before we reached the peak, we pass through a clearing. Robinson said other trekkers camp there. It looks cramped but maybe if the grasses were cut, it would look better. We stayed for some time to harvest guavas. A lot of guava trees grow in the clearing. Most of them are bearing fruit. I have this thing for wild guavas and so is Liz. We climbed a tree while the husband stayed on the ground. He was not a fan.

Robinson posing under the guava trees!
Robinson posing under the guava trees!

Halfway there!!!
Halfway there!!! The husband chilling while Liz & I are busy with the guavas.

After a while Robinson said it might be good to just get more guavas on the way down so we proceeded to the peak. Liz kept talking she would ate her guavas at the peak. I planned to as well but as usual, the view got me so excited. All I could do was marvel and take pictures of the beauty of Mauyog. It was just amazing. Feeling so proud that we all did it. 🙂

Happy kids on top of Mauyog!
Happy kids on top of Mauyog!

Migo & Miga poe!
Lovers in Mauyog!

The very cool formation of the peak!
The very cool formation of the peak!

And but of course...me!
And but of course…me!

Going up and down the peak from the clearing was quite tolerable except for that part where we had to climbed up and down a rock. The rock was wet and slippery. Robinson tied rope for us to hold and supported us. Going up was easier than going down.

We stayed in the peak for a while. On the trail, the sun has always been shy but it shone brightly while we were on top giving us a fogless view of the beauty down below. After the rope part, Liz asked Robinson if we could go ahead to the guava clearing. On the thought of guavas, I bolted my way downwards. Haha!

While we were getting more guavas, the drizzle started. I commented just how lucky we were for not getting this on top. We all decided it was time to go. I obliged since I already have a pocket full of guavas too. 😀

Migo & Lizzy while waiting for their turn to go up!
Migo & Lizzy while waiting for their turn to go up!

Robinson setting up the rope!
Robinson setting up the rope!

When we reached the foot, Mauyog was already covered in fog. We took our group picture and proceeded to resume trekking after buying some stuffs at the store.

We left the foot of Mauyog at 3 PM walking through patches of cemented and uncemented road with alternating up and down. The uphills were hard. Robinson kept on offering to carry my backpack. I might have looked very pitiful but I wasn’t that spent really or maybe it was my pride that kept me from giving it to him. Haha! After almost 2 hours of walking, we finally arrived at Manunggal. By 5 PM, we setup camp and bid goodbye to Robinson.

Our goodbye pose to the already foggy Mauyog!
Our goodbye pose to the already foggy Mauyog!

We were the only campers in Manunggal. After settling down, we prepared dinner. By 7:30, we decided it was time to rest. The husband didn’t have games with him. I wasn’t expecting we’d reached the camp that early as well so I didn’t thought of it. We called it a night, my earliest lights off so far. Haha! At 9 PM, I was awakened by voices. Another group has arrived. It was a restful night. By 5 AM, I was up and energetic. Weeee! We were ready to eat our improved breakfast menu with fried rice, spam, soup & noodles by 6:30 AM.

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Hello Manunggal!

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Setting up camp!

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All set and ready!

The camp in Manunggal was beside the memorial monument. You will need to walk a foot path downwards from the new memorial hall. Yesterday, while going downwards to the camp, the husband asked if I counted the steps. I told him we would count it on the way up. It was quite a fun exercise. We’ve managed to go up in 20 minutes and surprisingly I didn’t quite feel the uphill strain.

We left Manunggal at 8:30 AM via the executive road and walked leisurely while stopping to some guava trees on the road. There were so many guava trees that Liz had a plastic for her harvest. By 10:30 AM, we were out in Transcentral hiway. Luckily, we were able to ride a van almost immediately. Lunch was at Rico’s lechon. Our yummiest lunch after the trek ever!!!! Weeeeee!

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Group pic before leaving Manunggal camp!

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The long and winding road to Transcentral hiway!

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Liz posing for the view with her plastic of guavas!

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More guava trees along the road.

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Coke stop. Still an hour away from the hiway!

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And then finally…were out in the open!

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The V-Hire passed by right after this pose!

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Because the 4th pig wasn’t able to join us, our lunch menu was jeopardized. It’s alright, we had a much better feast. 😀

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The adventurers!!!

Till the next mountain!!! Yayyyyy!

Climbing Alto Peak in Ormoc City, Leyte


The camp was alive at 6 AM, everyone was busy preparing for breakfast. The schedule to leave for the much-anticipated Alto Peak climb was at 8 AM. We were told to prepare our gloves & all cause it’s gonna be an uphill battle. And what a battle indeed.

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Liz is cooking while Ann is…hmmm!

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Menu of the day! Buwad, soup & pork with hunt’s!

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BREAKFAST!!!

Pre-Climb Preparation
We left the camp at 9:00 AM. Like the previous day, we started with a prayer led by Ms Ai. But unlike the previous day, she delivered it in vernacular this time. Warm up exercise followed by the amazing Gwen. I expected the exercise to be almost a routine but turns out, our exercise for Alto was a little different from what we had at Janagdan.

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Spot the water source!

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Group picture first before everything else!

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Warm-up exercise!

We left our big bags at the camp. We only brought our assault pack with our lunch, snacks & water. I underestimated the water at Janagdan, so I aimed to have 1.5 liters of liquid this time – 1 Nalgene of water & a 500 ml Pocari sweat. But ekkkk! It was still not enough. Drinking Pocari didn’t quench my thirst. It made me want to drink more water. Lesson learned from Ms Cha: just bring water! Drink ionized water before the trek, not on the trek.

On the Trail
We had the same lineup from the Janagdan climb. COAT trekkers (except Ta Ma who were with us), Ann & Hyra on the head group while Cristine, Haiz, me, Liz & Ta Ma on the tail group with the organizers Ms. Ai & Ms. Charo. Each group has their own guide.
The trek started with a 15 minute walk to the base of Alto Peak from where we had our camp. When we finally reached the entrance to Alto’s glory, the head guide told us to be very careful up hill since there’s a lot of itchy & thorny plant around the trail. We should look where we put our hands on. On that note, I looked at my new gloves (another hubby surprise) hoping it would be strong enough to keep my pretty hands pretty. Haha!

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Pose just before starting the hard part!

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Tail group!

From the entrance where an “Alingatong” plant stood, the real challenge begun. Compared to Janagdan where we could hold on to something, the trail to Alto had nothing. The bushes & grasses lining up the trail was either too big or too small for us to hold on to. I managed to hold one but got very scared when I saw a hairy worm just above my hand. And needless to say, I became paranoid. From that point, I relied on my knee power. And for the first time ever, the bruises and scrapes I had conquering Alto was record breaking. It was too many to count.

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The Alingatong plant guarding the entrance. We were told to be very careful with this plant since it has stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact.

The 90 degree Climb
We were told that there would be some rope action but being me, I totally forgot. I only remembered it on our snack stop when Ms Cha mentioned that we were drawing near to the 90 degree part. And of course, it excites me more. I’ve never had a climb with a rope part.

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Pose while waiting for our turn in the 90 degree climb!

We took our turns on going up. I was supposed to timed it but forgot again. Being excited is really bad for me cause I tend to lost focus. When it was my turn, my heart dribbled. I muttered a prayer, shouted to Cristine to take a picture of me. And then up I went. Cristine commented about how quickly I scrambled to the top. I must have been really hyped up to be able to do that.

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Getting ready for the climb!

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Took a picture immediately after reaching the top! Can you see the rope?

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Lizzy’s triumphant pose!

The beauty of Alto Peak started after the 90 degree ascent. From that point, it was just breath taking. I literally took a picture every stop I had in going up. Because I took too long in taking pictures Liz went head of me this time.

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Spot Haiz & Cristine!!!

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Lizzy making her way to the top!

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This is me getting comfy seating on a tree on the edge of Alto. It doesn’t look so menacing here but it is.

The trail was winding & menacing. We needed to catch up with the others to make sure we are on the right track. But they are nowhere near so we just took our time. After a while of walking Liz blurted out what I was feeling since after the 90 degree ascent. The views that we saw were already enough to justify every bruises and scratches that we had. I asked her if she wanted to have lunch already because at that point my stomach was growling. Glad that Liz didn’t took my suggestion ’cause after 5 minutes, we finally saw them.

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The view from the top!

The Peak
It wasn’t quite what I imagined. I expected an open space just like the peaks of Apo, Pulag & Canlaon but it was more like the peak of Talinis. It wasn’t an open space. The peak was with plants on it. We ate in a small space. And what baffled me was the fog covering the view. I really thought that it was about to rain but the sun was very hot when we finally left the peak. From the blogs, I’ve read that the clearing in Alto peak is very rare. Most of the time, fogs will cover its peak. Should have prayed for a clearing just like in Canlaon. Oh well, maybe next time! 😀

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Lunch at this small enclosure in the peak. I was feeling so hot all over that I had to take off my enclosures. 😀

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Group picture before leaving!

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Ohhh! We’re stepping on Alto!

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The foggy view with Ta Ma!

Going back to the camp
Unlike Janagdan where we traversed to the exit, in Alto, we went back to the same trail. I have always favored going down than up but it was especially hard this time because my legs are already sore. But guess what? I just learned how to numb myself from the pains. Talk to your trekmates about your lovelife. Haha! That’s what I did. Lol Haiz & I exchanged stories. And it wasn’t very long before I noticed Ms. Ai catching up on us. She wanted to hear our stories. Haha!

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Cristine & Haiz maneuvering their way down!

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Lizzy balancing on a tree with the pitcher plant!

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Waiting for the others to go down the rope!

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Haiz posed before going down!

Going down seem quicker than going up but the time is actually just the same. We were reunited with the others at the camp site at 15 minutes before 3 PM. We waited for another 15 for Ta Ma to arrive. When she did, we left the camp site, now carrying our big packs, back to the junction where we started our Alto Peak journey.

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Haiz with the Alingatong! Yay! We’re finally back!

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Lizzy & Ms. Ai feeling relieved that we’re finally done with the annoying part.

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Yay! Group almost all in!!!

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On the way to the junction!

The Junction
Ms Cha mentioned about the coke & watermelon waiting, but since the 5 minute estimate to the peak turned 50, I started to take her words with a grain of salt. But lo and behold, same as yesterday, cokes & watermelons were waiting for us again. Yay! But no ice this time.  When I heared them talking about how the boys were there waiting for us since 11 AM, I immediately assumed the ice melted while waiting for us. Poor boys…and poor us because our coke is not cold anymore. Haha!

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Another coke & watermelon moment! Wow! I could get use to this. 😀

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Happy Ladies!!!

Off to the pickup
The military truck was supposed to pick us up at the junction but Ms Ai related that for some reason, they just have to wait for us in the residential area which is estimated to be almost 2 hours away. I wasn’t quite sure if it’s 2 hours exactly since this time, I was busy talking to Cristine. Haha! Oh well, I tend to get lost  track of time when I am talking so.

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The ladies are in a hurry to go back to the pickup!

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Had to run to take them a front picture!

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Yay! I’m finally out of my cap!

Bye bye Alto Peak
When I saw the truck, I felt an overwhelming feeling. This is it. Our journey with Alto has finally ended. I turn around, look at Alto once more and muttered a silent prayer. Thank you Lord for keeping us all safe!

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Amazing trees!

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Another amazing trees!

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Lettuce farm!

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And ohhh…we finally had to say goodbye! Alto looks so faraway now!

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Our ride!

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Lizzy, me & Cristine!

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The beautiful sunset!

Story of the 2nd night camp at Lake Danao, the celebratory dinner with Lechon (roasted pork) and our socials to follow. That and our heartfelt messages & dresses as well. 😀

All Women Climb Series:
Summary: MFPI All Women’s Climb (TO POST)
AWC Day 1 – Climbing Mt. Janagdan in Ormoc City, Leyte
AWC Day 2 – Climbing Alto Peak in Ormoc City, Leyte -> You are here.
AWC Day 3 – Camping at Lake Danao, Ormoc City  (TO POST)

Climbing Mt. Janagdan in Ormoc City, Leyte


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Group picture before going down the mountain to pick-up our backpacks at the junction.

Ormoc-bound Via Wonderful Stars

Fello trekkers from Cebu bound to MFPI All Women's climb as well.
Fellow trekkers from Cebu bound to MFPI(Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Inc) All Women’s climb.

Liz & I boarded the 10 PM boat ride where we saw a group of what seem to be headed to the All Women’s climb as well. After the confirmation, we tag along but was separated inside the boat. We were 9 in all. 5 were from COAT (Scarlet,Joy,Gwen,Mich & Ta Ma) & 2 free lancers (Ann & Hyra).

I was so surprised at the Tourist accommodation, beddings can be borrowed. Liz got us a lower deck bed, we were very comfortable & was sound asleep 30 minutes after the boat departs Cebu.

Ormoc Arrival

View from the
View from the “Wonderful Stars” upon arriving in Ormoc City!

We were reunited when the boat arrived in Ormoc and were all famished. We proceeded to look for an open Carenderia at around 5 AM. After eating, we gathered at the tourism office waiting for our ride & the other participants.

Happy to have found a carenderia that is open at such an early hour.
Happy to have found a carenderia that is open at such an early hour.

As scheduled, the ride arrived at 6:00 AM. And to my amazement, it was a military truck complete with military escorts. Wew! Feeling VIP. 5 trekkers completed the list; 2 were the organizers Charo & Aileen; The 3 were Kristine, Haiz & Carl. At 7:30 AM, we left for a 30 minute ride to our jump-off of the day, Brgy Cabintan.

Our pick-up for the day that would take us to our first stop - Brgy Cabintan!
Our pick-up for the day that would take us to our first stop – Brgy Cabintan!

Start of trek to Lake Janagdan

Praying for a safe trek!
Praying for a safe trek!

Warm-up exercise!
Warm-up exercise! And that’s me in the red pants & blue cap. Yay! Courtesy of Kuya Guide!

At 9:00 AM we start the trek with a prayer led by one of the organizer Ms. Aileen and a warm-up exercise led by COAT(Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team) member, Gwen . It was definitely a good choice ’cause the way up ahead was no joke. The warm up exercise has been a great start-up.

On the way to Mt. Janagdan
On the way to Mt. Janagdan.

The tall grasses covering the pathways
The tall grasses covering the pathways.

Liz maneuvering her way up. I had to hurry to take a picture.
Liz maneuvering her way up. I had to hurry to take a picture.

We were scrambling our way to the top against trees, loose paths & slippery leaves. It would have been an ultimate disaster if I have my 12-kg back pack with me. We didn’t really know before hand that we’d be trekking to Mt. Janagdan without our big backpacks. But despite the less load, I still feel battered but as usual, the view makes up for every bruise & itchiness earned on the way.

Happy faces despite the uphill battle. Survivor look!
Happy faces despite the uphill battle. Survivor looks!

Cristine climbing over the tree. Guess what I did? Climb or crawl?
Cristine climbing over the tree. Guess what I did? Climb or crawl?

Liz balancing her way up the tree just so she could take a selfie. WOW!
Liz balancing her way up the tree just so she could take a selfie. WOW!

The Lake Janagdan

Hello Lake Janagdan after 2 hours! My face doesn't look so hungry but I AM! That was some CLIMB!
Hello Lake Janagdan after 2 hours! My face doesn’t look so hungry but I AM! That was some CLIMB!

Happy to have finally reached our destination! Yay!
Happy to have finally reached our destination! Yay! Ms. Ai with her welcoming pose!

Lake Janagdan is a crater lake occupying the caldera of Mount Janagdan, a dormant volcano in the north-central part of the island of Leyte.  Despite the dry season, the lake was amazingly still full of waters

After 2 hours of walking, enjoying the view and catching our breaths, we arrived at the lake.  We had lunch, some bathe, others decided to sleep while the remaining enjoys exchanging stories. I was with the others who decided to sleep. It was really a better choice considering our next stop is still 5 hours away.

Lunch time!!!
Lunch time!!!

Swimming time for Haiz, Cristine & the organizer's Ms Ai & Ms Charo.
Swimming time for Haiz, Cristine & the organizers Ms Ai & Ms Charo.

Chika time for COAT pipz while nap time for Hyra and me, of course after I took the picture. :D
Chika time for COAT pipz while nap time for Hyra and me, of course after I took the picture. 😀

Views on the way to the junction (exit point of the Janagdan Trek)

And Haiz was quick to turn around when I said
And Haiz was quick to turn around when I said “Picture”! This was the path in between Alto & Lake Janagdan. I wish I had a drone to capture just how amazing standing in between these 2 majestic creations of God. Priceless!

Me with the lake!
Me with the lake!

Anne with Alto Peak!
Anne with Alto Peak!

I had to endure the fear of falling dawn the slope just so I could have this picture. :D
I had to endure the fear of falling down the slope just so I could have this picture. 😀 Ohhh it seems like I’m touching Alto Peak!

Peak-A-Boo!
Peak-A-Boo!

Cristine balancing on the tree!
Cristine balancing on the tree following Haiz!

The trek against trees evolved from medium to high when we left the lake. We were no longer just grappling on the trees this time. We were walking, balancing, hugging and some more with the trees. It feels like Talinis but in a higher level. In between, tree grappling, we are also endangered by the very unstable pathways of grass, roots & loose leaves. Despite being battered, we were easily amused of Alto Peak’s view in the right & lake Janagdan on the left.

I drank all my water after I took this picture. Wrong move. :P
I drank all my water after I took this picture. Wrong move. 😛 Looks could be deceiving indeed. It seems so near yet it was still an hour away. Waaaaaaaaaaaa!

Redemption! COKE!!!
Redemption! COKE!!!

When we left Janagdan, I only have some half glass full of water & consumed it all when I finally saw the target road only to be mortified that it’s still about an hour away. oh well,I should have brought 2 liters instead.

The Junction & the much needed surprise!
I constantly thought of water along the way & was repeatedly offered by Kristine who was ahead of me in going down. Despite being very thirsty, I politely declined since she was almost out of water as well. My feet was already aching but I know I had to hasten each ride to finally get a hold of my water in my big backpack. And then I saw the rode again. I was more pumped up. Then I heard them talking about the coke waiting for us. I really thought it was a joke. Haha! Super thanks to the surprise ’cause it really brought my energy back. Coke with ice & watermelon is a very fitting tribute to our wavering strengths. 😀

So what's the commotion all about...again?
So what’s the commotion all about…again? That’s a sulfur mountain on the background!

Lizzy enjoying the watermelon!!!
Lizzy enjoying the watermelon!!!

And I heard them right. It wasn't my imagination...COKES! Ahhh!
And I heard them right. It wasn’t my imagination…COKES! Ahhh!

Happy women after drinking coke & eating watermelons! Ready to camp for the night.
Happy women after drinking coke & eating watermelons! Ready to camp for the night.

Big thanks to NULOC (Nature Unlimited Leyte Outdoor Club) boys for the surprise. <3
Big thanks to NULOC (Nature Unlimited Leyte Outdoor Club) boys for the surprise. ❤

First Camp at the foot of Alto Peak ( There’s a water source! Hooray!)

Reunited with our big packs!
Reunited with our big packs!

On the way to the foot of Alto Peak!
On the way to the foot of Alto Peak!

The camp!
The camp is very near!

Settling in for the night!
Settling in for the night!

When we are all rejuvenated, we proceeded to the camp which is still 2 hours away. 🙂

Just some highs on today’s trek:
1. I realized how easy it is to trek upwards with just an assault pack.
2. On the way down to the junction from the lake, I was amazed at our pace. We were walking 3 hours straight with almost no major stops.
3. There were so many cameras. I love how I have captured them on mine & me in theirs.
4. I just realized that this trip is not just an Alto Peak Climb but a Janagdan Climb as well.
5. They made me realize that this is a sort of a freedom climb since this is my first time climbing without the Mister. 😀

Low lights:
1. Should have brought 2 liters of water instead of 1.

Itinerary:
Day 0
22:00 Ormoc bound via Roble shipping (Php550 ticket, Php 25 Terminal Fee)

Day 01
05:00 Breakfast at Carenderia just outside the pier. (Php 100 packed lunch included)
06:00 Assembly @ City Tourism Office
07:30 Off to Brgy Cabintan
08:30 Preparing assault pack
09:00 Start of trek to Lake Janagdan
11:00 Lunch at lake
13:00 Left lake bound to junction to pickup bags
16:30 At junction enjoying cold coke & watermelon
18:00 Camp for the night

COAT (Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team) campers in colorful tents!
COAT (Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team) campers in colorful tents!

Us, Haiz& Cristine & The Organizers!
Us, Haiz& Cristine & The Organizers!

The best part of camping in Alto Peak Foot - the water source!!!
The best part of camping in Alto Peak Foot – the water source!!!

Getting ready to munch on our menu of the night - Odong & fried chicken c/o of Lizzy. This time, we were eating an unpopcorned rice. Yay! I'm getting good at cooking rice. Weeee! PERFECT!!!
Getting ready to munch on our menu of the night – Odong & fried chicken c/o of Lizzy. This time, we were eating an unpopcorned rice. Yay! I’m getting good at cooking rice. Weeee! PERFECT!!!

All Women Climb Series:
Summary: MFPI All Women’s Climb (TO POST)
AWC Day 1 – Climbing Mt. Janagdan in Ormoc City, Leyte -> You are here.
AWC Day 2 – Climbing Alto Peak in Ormoc City, Leyte
AWC Day 3 – Camping at Lake Danao, Ormoc City  (TO POST)

Climbing Mt. Babag For A Sunday’s Trek


In preparation for this week’s activity in Alto Peak at MFPI’s All Women Climb, last Sunday, May 17,  despite the Mister’s subtle protest, Liz & I decided to pursue our plan to condition ourselves. I initially wanted to be on a full gear mode bringing in the stuffs that I’m supposed to bring at Alto but decided I would be better off without it. Good thing, I change my mind because I have spared myself from the pressure of keeping up with the rest of the guys. 😀

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Liz & I are still determined even if it’s just the 2 of us but still very happy to have these guys with us yesterday. From L – R: Liz, Portia (Liz’s LDI friend), Me, The Mister and Kuya Ali.

My first time in Babag was a little battered because I was carrying some foods for the outreach hosted by another local mountaineering group in Cebu, this time despite joining a group who will be having an outreach again in the same place, we were just free loaders. Thankful to Sir Jorge and Sir Jing for letting us trek with them. Without Liz’s resourcefulness, we would have added to Kuya Ali’s heartaches in Mt. Babag by being lost the 2nd time. Haha!

What’s A Day Trek in Babag Feels Like

Ohhh it was super fun…I felt energized and so full from eating A LOT! Haha! The Mister kept on mentioning how I ate a lot. It was therefore trek eating for me. But gluttony aside, trekking to Babag is easy when you have less things on your back. Unlike the first time, at about an hour from Napo Basketball court, we reached the manggahan where most trekkers stop for lunch, to the Mister’s utmost surprised. He even commented how easy it was which hurts me a little ’cause I was really having a hard time last trek.

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Lunch stop after an hour of walking from Napo Basketball Court.

Because it was too early for lunch, we decided to just chill. We took a siesta from 11:00 – 12:00 PM. The Mister and I climbed and slept in the 2nd floor of the mango tree, Liz & Portia in the ground and Kuya Ali settled in the 1st floor.

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Liz is dozing off to her dreamland!

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The Mister & I cozying up atop a Mango tree.

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Portia balancing up sleep!

We had lunched then left the Mango tree stop at 1:00 PM, leaving our new found friends behind to finish their outreach planning. I saw them arranging the school supplies before leaving. We were on our own after. But before we left, Sir Jorge told us that the path towards the flowers were closed but there is a new path. We just had to follow that & make sure we are on an uphill climb.

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The sign posted in the closed path.

And it was indeed closed so we went ahead to the exposed path. Then a local kid passed by, when asked, she said we were on track. And up we went. We had some minor confusions on which path to take but we eventually been leaded to correct path. Yay! After an hour of walking up hill, we reached RCPI towers. And I thought that was it. Ohhh boy, I haven’t been warned. It took us almost 3 hours to finally reached the last leg of our adventure, Temple of Leah. But this time, we were walking on a cemented road. We actually had a choice to hail a habal-habal but decided walking is better. 🙂

In summary, here’s our itinerary:

07:00 Assemby at Guadalupe Church
08:45 Ride a habal-habal to Napo basketball court (10/person)
09:00 ETD to Manuel’s Manggahan
10:00 ETA Manuel’s Manggahan, lunch and chill
13:00 Resume trek to RCPI Towers
14:00 ETA RCPI Towers
17:00 ETA Temple of Leah

Comparing this trek to my last trek, the loads will certainly make a difference. Last time it took us 2 hours to arrive at Manuel’s.

Highlights of the Trek:

  1. Because we only brought water & packed lunch, our pacing were stable despite the almost 80% uphill trail.
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2. The tree platforms at Manuel’s is just so cool. Makes me want to pursue my dream of building my own but where? Haha! And of course, the buko & mango were very tasty. The Mister was complaining because we spent Php 95 for I consumed 2 bukos and a mango. Hahaha! Buko is at Php 25 each and the mango is at Php 10.
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3. Despite the seeming light trekking, my body aches after, which means, the conditioning was successful.
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4. And I was finally able to visit Temple of Leah. Yahooo!
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Itinerary Spin-Offs

Because it was my first time to complete a trek to Babag, I just realized that there are more trek itineraries that you could do to make it more fun & adventurous.

  1. Day trek entrance in Babag, then proceed to Sirao peak, down to Budlaan as exit.

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View of the Chalet camp from the road.

  1. Overnight camp at Chalet via Babag, exit at Mt. View.
  2. Overnight camp at Sirao via Babag, exit at Budlaan.

Well, that’s what I could think of for now. I’ll add more soon. Happy to have find a new funtrek route for my fun club. But certainly not as fun as what we had in Sirao last time.

*All pictures courtesy of Kuya Ali.

Sirao Peak Funtrek With Office Ladies


It’s more fun…trekking with more friends indeed. 🙂 The weather was perfect for a climb, and everyone honored the agreed assembly time before 9 AM. For the first time, the boyfie and I arrived in Gaisano Talamban 15 minutes before 9. Haha!

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Having fun playing 7Ate9 – card game in mathematics. 😛

 While waiting for the others to be done with breakfast, some played card games. By 9:45, we had our group picture, prayed for a good weather and a no injury climb, then walk to Sunny Hills for a motorbike ride to the jump off in Baogo.

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Group pic before leaving the assembly area.

 At 10, we were ready to trek but not before we had the “family” portraits per group. Since we were many, I decided to divide the groups into 3 manageable groups w/ OICs in each group. The head group headed by the trail lead, the boyfie Migo. Middle group by me, the self-proclaimed photographer of the event. The tail group headed by Liz and swept by Angel.
participants
 Our phase was relaxed but since it’s been six months since our last visit, the boyfie and I didn’t know that some of the trail’s difficuty got worse. Good thing, no one was injured while trying their best to trek on 3 major challenging parts where we need extra care in crossing.

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On the trails before the arduous parts. 😀

The Challenging Parts

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On the way to the river. The first hard part where the group take turns in trekking with extra care. Pic 6 shows Te Noela and Biboy supporting Xyna across the slippery slope.

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After the first challenging part, comes a more challenging part. Another slope with an even slippery trail that ends in an orchard. While waiting for the others to cross, pic 6 shows the triumphant trekkers who just had their share of crawls. 😀

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Another challenging trail after the orchard! This is on the way to the river!

Lunch stop at the clearing after crossing the river
We reached the falls at 11:30 but since some opt not to see it, it has been decided to have lunch at “The Manggahan”. We were there at 12:15. We had lunch, some rested while others played. The group were divided while playing. The tail group coached by Van2x and Arsenio played Super Circles. Head and middle group coached by Analyn played 7Ate9 and Spot It. And then, the boyfie, keeping track of the time told me to announced it was time to go at 1:15. They suggested to have it at 1:30. By that time, some opt to rest for 15 minutes while those who were to energetic opt to play “The Resistance” where Nadia became the ultimate “Spy”. Haha!

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Photo break in the orchard after braving the challenging part 2.

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Lunch break at “The Manggahan”!

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Crossing the river!

We finally left at 2:00 PM and was at “The Store” 15 minutes after enjoying the extra kick of cold soft drinks.
At 2:45, we were ready to conquer the mostly uphill trails. We had 4 major rest or picture breaks before starting the summit ascent; in the mango tree with the nice city view, the bamboo, at the plum tree then at and the grassy place just before starting the cogon laden pathways.

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Other challenging tasks!

 During our visit in June, the cogons were high and green, yesterday it was brownish with specks of black ash indicating it has been burnt. No information was gathered why it became so but me thinks it’s because of the hot weather? Hmmm!

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Group pic at Sirao Peak. Ladies. Gentlemen. Group pic at the clearing before Ayala heights. Waiting for the ride to JY!

Then finally, at 4 PM, we reached Sirao Peak as planned, indicated in our itinerary. Wew! That was some trek. And it wouldn’t have been that great if the trekkers, both seasoned and first timers, weren’t that great as well. It was everything I optimistically think it would be – a funtrek!

We stayed in the peak for almost an hour, taking in the views, enjoying the air and mostly cam whoring! And then it was time to say bye-bye. Some suggested we’d wait for the other trekkers in our company before leaving but the sun was threatening to set already. So we opt to leave according to plan but as we were about to, we saw some office mates arriving. We had a quick picture then catch up with the others who went ahead. By 5:15, we saw the clearing. Another group picture and merry making then off we resume walking in the road to Ayala Heights with an extra excitement for the buko and sweet corn in a nearby store.

And then…heartache at 6:00 PM. No more buko and sweet corn. Huhu! When asked, the vendor told me that on non-Sundays, they usually don’t cook corns 30 minutes before 6 anymore. Huwaaaaaaah! Imagine the disappointed look on my face. When the disappointment settled down, I realized I have another problem. How do I get us out of there? We were 23. We need 11 motorbikes and I don’t see any jeepney around. Hmmm! And then I thought of walking down to the nearby house in the road. When I pass by the house just before reaching my target, a lady asked me where I’m off to. I told her my problem. And…viola! She offered her 2 rides. I am so blessed and lucky indeed.

I wish I took a picture of us in the ride but it was in the boyfie’s pocket already. Haha! For a motorbike price of Php50/person, we hailed 2 multicabs. 11 in the other cab, and 12 in our cab. Me thinks it’s more comfortable than the motorbike since I was able to talk to them on the long ride to JY square. Special thanks to Ate Tessie for the offer. Hoping to have that ride again when we come back next time. 😀 Unfortunately, I opt not to get the contact. LOL

And then it was time to go home and rest. The others who were famished went to dinner at AA’s – our last stop for the day that started in Jollibee in Gaisano Talamban.
I still have more thoughts but keeping it in as a beautiful reminder for our next funtrek to be scheduled. Hopefully, most will still enjoy nature as much as I enjoyed it. There is no greater happiness than to be able to share something that you love to your friends. 🙂

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Group pics at stops. The store. Manggahan. Plum Tree.

Special thanks to the following people for being a real backbone on this event. In no particular order after #4:
1. July – Migo, the boyfie, who despite being a pessimistic nagger still supports me in a somewhat scary undertaking. Haha! I have always been a girl who believes that everything will turn out the way I planned it and the goodness of people. Still he insists, things could happen so he have me prepare that waiver. LOL Anyways, that was good too. 🙂
2. Liz-zy – For everything. 😛
3. Maria – For everything and coming despite the celebrity-hectic schedules as well. Haha!
4. Angel – For being one of the optimistic supporter and going with us despite her group’s event as well. 😀
5-7. Analyn, Charina (& Ricco) – these gengs who have always been with me since Ganisiya days. 🙂
8-9. Nadia (& Randy) – the ultra active couple who expresses their support no matter what. LOL
10-13. Camia, Fredelyn, Kathleen, Nikka
14-16. Te Noela, Xy-na (& Biboy)
17-20. Power couples Ebeb (& Charlie), Newly weds Meriam (& Way2)
21-22. Vanessa (& Arsenio)
16 ladies (2 non-NCR), 6 lads (2 NCRs)

Special Note: There’s an NCR organization “Women In NCR” or WIN but this event is not organized through it. Haha! I just find it unsettling even if we are still NCR Women but unfortunately only some of us are WINs so…I hope you get the message.

This is an event brought about by a love for trekking and just sharing it with others. 🙂 Freelance but picky since we trek with FUN only. Hahaha! If you want a more competitive and contest-like trekking, this is not for you. 😛

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great life ahead:-)

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

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