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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜€
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. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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

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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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