Lilang’s Payag, Liloan,Cebu


Third weekend in a row visiting far-flung restaurants in the mountains of Metro Cebu.

(1) Nanda Cafe

(2) Citylights Camp & Diner

(3) Lilang’s Payag

This time, we were meeting up with a family we haven’t met since the pandemic started. Unyara had a wonderful time since she has an “Ate” to play with.

Waze led us to some sketchy narrow roads once again. Hahaha! It’s very straightforward if going thru Yati road though!

  • Caption from the husband

Watch it at:

Read details or listen at: link.medium.com/Y3E1jKbSlob

We Got Covid in January 2022 (It’s Not What We Expect)


Here’s why:

  1. After 99 weeks of Pandemic, we thought we know what to do when Covid will hit us. However, we were still very clueless on what to do first.
  2. “What to expect when you’re covid positive in Philippines” returns generic results. As a person who learns from experience, I wanted to read testimonies from individuals who had covid. There was none or I didn’t searched enough.
  3. There was nothing written on the expectations for people who will be quarantined because of RT PCR positive result. I was expecting a long manual from LGU.
  4. We thought we have to inform the LGU on our own. We didn’t. We were surprised representative from DOH and LGU visited us on January 28, 3 days after my RT PCR test at a hospital in Cebu City. We didn’t received the result from the hospital itself. Weird.

That’s just some that stood out on the process. However, we were amazed by the experience as a whole. It’s nothing like what we imagined it would be. There’s maybe a big difference from having Covid in 2022 than having it in the previous years.

Contrary to what we thought, being infected with Covid in 2022 was not as bad. We assumed worst. Grateful to God for the favors all throughout. Praying that it would be the same for others too.

There’s no way of telling the type of Covid that we had but we assumed it’s probably the Omicron variant. It affected the entire household, which consisted of 3 adults (2 are vaccinated) and a 3-year-old toddler.

Below is a timeline of our experience. Note that we started our self-imposed isolation on January 18, as soon as we felt that something was up.

  • January 18 (Tue) – I had sore throat, 39+ fever, chills & fatigue. I took a sick leave reluctantly as my body feels really heavy.
  • January 19 (Wed) – my fever was gone, cough and cold followed. Husband develops symptoms same with mine – sore throat, 39+ fever, chills & fatigue. Husband took a sick leave while I resumed with my work. Both of us have been working from home since March 2020.
  • January 20 (Thu) – cough & colds for both of us. Toddler and house help didn’t have symptoms yet.
  • January 21 (Fri) – I had a telemedicine checkup to be sure, as I am immune compromised having Psoriasis. The doctor suggested an RT PCR test to be taken.
  • January 22 (Sat) – toddler had fever the whole day. Managed it with a child approved paracetamol. Monitored her temperature, as well as oxygen thru oximeter.
  • January 23 (Sun) – toddler fever was gone. Had a telemedicine checkup to be sure as toddler has a congenital PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus).
  • January 24 (Mon) – house help had fever. Managed it with paracetamol, liquids and whole day rest. Family went out to have RT PCR test. Testing queue was long. Found out later that the LOA was for a different branch of the hospital. Decided to postpone and do it early the next day.
  • January 25 (Tue) – husband and I have cough still. Toddler and house help didn’t develop cough. My RT PCR test pushed through. We were the only one on the queue for the drive thru testing. Was advised that the results will be 5 to 7 days after. Surprised by the relatively long waiting time for the results but since it was just for peace of mind purpose, it was inconsequential.
  • January 26-27 (Wed & Thu) – Coughing still.
  • January 28 (Fri) – At around 6PM, we had unexpected visitors from DOH and LGU informing us that we have to be quarantined. Our details were collected. They advised us to be in quarantine until February 5, which is 10 days after my RT PCR test. We were given LGU contact number for grocery support and other questions. So far we haven’t reached out to them as we felt we’re sufficiently stocked.
  • January 29 (Sat) – At around 6PM, we were visited by LGU personnel again. They brought us a sack full of supplies and 2 10L mineral water. We were very touched by the gesture. When we opened it, there were groceries: 25kg+ rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, oil, coffee & toiletries. We were wondering if this is standard procedure. We felt very cared and blessed. Thank you so much Brgy Tipolo and Mandaue LGU. We received text info from at least 3 different teams to monitor our progress too. Awesome!!!
  • January 30 (Sun) – Today, our cough is completely gone. We received a text asking fo more details for the medical certificate. Since yesterday, we also started sending our temperature at 8AM and 8PM.

We still have 5 days until our last day of quarantine on Saturday, February 5. While we still don’t know of all the steps that will be done to make sure we are Covid free, we are at peace. To be cared like this is something that we didn’t expect. Having Covid has a bad feels until now! We still fear covid of course and don’t want to go through this all over again but knowing how our LGU cared for those who are sick is just heartwarming. Because of our experience, we realized that, there might be hope in the Philippines after all. And as a member of the regular tax paying population of the Philippines, we felt that our taxes has been used wisely. 😀

Manunggal Camp with a 27 Month Toddler


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

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

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

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

Ready. Set. GO!

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

Manunggal in the Rain

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

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

Camping with a Toddler

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

Foggy morning in Manunggal!

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

What are you dreaming baby love?

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

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

How much is camping in Manunggal cost?

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

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

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

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

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

Pamilya Outdoor++

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

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

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

The husband explaining the rules of “No Thanks”.

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

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

Goodbye Magsaysay Monument

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

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

Pamilya July with the newly weds!
Mandatory group picture!

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

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

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

Sirao Peak With A 13th Month Toddler


Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Last weekend, after numerous attempt to take Unyara on her first peak, God finally made it happen. There were initial hesitations as the previous days were raining. Taking a toddler on a trek even if it’s a short 30 minute uphill hike on a rainy day would be a hassle. Good thing, God aligned everything to be awesome. Yay! We trekked uphill without a hitch even if I insisted on carrying my regular overnight load in my backpack plus an additional 8 kg baby weight on my front. I was a little worried going against the husband’s words but somehow, I know I need to check my limits. I wouldn’t be comfortable not knowing.

The Itinerary

Since we will take the short route to Sirao via Ayala Heights Busay, we target to leave at 3PM. Was aiming to be at the peak with enough lights but we arrived at the foot at 5:15 already. Started trekking at 5:20. 20 minutes and lots of breaths later, we were at the peak at around 5:50ish. I was quite surprise that we actually did the climb at 20-30 minutes. I was expecting more as it has been a while since our last trek and I have Unyara as an additional load. I guess you will never really know how strong you are until being strong is the only option.

After setting up our tents, we cooked rice and dined at 8PM with the manok from Snr. Pedro. While we were eating, it drizzled a little but thankfully, it didn’t rain. We continued our catch-up on our tent after our mandatory photo ops.

The crowd was very different from the last time that we camp. They were not rowdy. There were around 20+ tents but it was surprisingly rejuvenating. As I was drifting off to sleep at around 11PM, I was lulled to dreamland by the sound of Christian songs from one of our campmates.

I woke up at 5AM the next day. The weather was cold but it didn’t rain so our body heat and jacket was enough. We didn’t even used our sleeping bags. Unyara was comfortable throughout the night, feeding in between. I made sure to touch her hands and feel the expose parts of her body to check if she was cold. When I got up at 6AM, she did too. As we were preparing breakfast, she was busy as well.

We were the last to break the camp at 730AM. By 8AM, we were ready to go down. This time, I let Ate Lanie (Unyara’s Yaya) to bring my backpack. And yes, we brought Unyara’s Yaya on the camp for support and so she could explore as well.

An hour after, we were back at the police station where we left our car. We bid goodbye to our companion, Unyara’s Godmother, as I thank the Lord for blessing us with an awesome adventure.

What to Bring

When I thought of trekking with Unyara, I thought how hassle it would be to bring milk and extra water for her. Thank God she is still fully breastfeed. I only brought her clothing essentials: 1 overall for sleeping, 1 jacket for cold, 1 pair of TO GO outfit, 2 pair of socks, 2 bibs, 1 face towel, 5 diapers and wet wipes. I was very careful not to overpack. From the list of clothes, only the jacket was used.

For my personal things, I have sleeping bag, tent mat, cookset, slipper, 1 jacket, a pair of clothes and 800ml of water. The tent was with the husband. Ate Lanie has her tent on her bag as well.

Is Sirao Peak Good For A Toddler?

Yes it is but take my word with a grain of salt. Going up Sirao Peak on a rainy day is slippery. Please consider checking the weather when you schedule a trek with your toddler.

What’s next?

We are thinking of bringing Unyara to Osmena Peak or Kandungaw Peak but maybe next year. 🙂

Here’s our social posts from the trek:

Posted at my IG: https://www.instagram.com/kringjuly/

Posted at Unyara’s IG: https://www.instagram.com/unyaraseresa/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5VLMxFnb3h

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


The morning in Tinagong Dagat was cold but dry. When we slept last night, there was a canopy of stars but I half expected the rain still. Thanks God, the ground was only wet from the morning dew. Yay!!!

Look how happy I was with these lights. 🙂

Dry Morning in Tinagong Dagat

We plan to wake up at 5 AM but the cold morning was just too nice to be wasted. At 6 AM, the camp was finally awake. The early risers were already preparing breakfast so we took our time cam-whoring and cleaning up our tents. It was our last cooking schedule so there were a lot to cook. As soon as I was free doing my personal stuffs, I volunteered to cook the eggs – scrambled ala Kring.

Photo ops with the breakfast squad.

Cooking and breaking up camp in progress…

I never cook at home but when trekking, I cook if given the chance. Haha! But I try not to. I like to wash the dishes more. 😀

Breakfast Time

It took us about 2 hours to get ready for breakfast. The sun had already shone brightly on our part of the camp so we moved to the shady area. After, eating and cleaning up, we continued breaking up the camp and was ready to go by around 9.

Bye Bye Tinagong Dagat

After the photo ops, we left the camp at 9:30 AM after prayer with no warm up still. Descent is my favorite part of the trek but I wasn’t prepared with the almost 30 minutes uphill trek at the start. I was out of breath when we reached the top but the guide’s assurance that the next parts will be down hills restored my energy.

Tribu Iskwatters & Friends

And the husband is back to his jumping spree!

Down to the Dam

There were hard parts in going down that it’s hard to imagine if we trekked it uphill. I was especially fascinated in the dam part of the descent. Following the dam canal was both fun and dangerous. When the guide told us that it’s gonna be an hour way following the dam, I was excited.

When we stopped at the river at the start of the dam, the husband borrowed a powerbank to continue his GPS to record the trail. Instead of waiting, I went ahead thinking there would be a space where I could wait for him. Unfortunately, beyond the river was the canal trail. There wasn’t any space for waiting. As I was concentrating on my steps balancing over the canal, I kept thinking of the husband. It would have been awesome if he was with me. I regretted why I went ahead.

Hello Civ!!!

As I was about to cross a dead creek, I heard the husband calling my name. Relief washed over me. Yes, I’m brave and all but I’m braver when I’m with Migo. It was a sweet reunion and my energy was replenished. I suddenly had the energy to take pictures again. 🙂

Found my lucky charmer back. 😀 Adik lang. Low energy dayon if di magsunod ug lakaw. Hahaha

We continued the trek after a quick stop at a low lying dam canal where I wet my hair. After around 30-45 minutes, we were out of the forest at 1:30 PM. Yay! Civilization at last!!!

The Wait, the Ruins and Home Sweet Home

While waiting for our ride, we had snacks. To freshen up, I plan to just change clothes but one of our trekmates mentioned that we could actually take a bath at a nearby house for free. Yay! I wasted no time and got ready for the bath as I feel really icky for trekking on my period. T_T

Feeling fresh and free!!!

Everyone got busy chilling on the wait. 2 of our trekmates went to check Campuestohan. If not for my period, I would have gone swimming with them too. Maybe next time.

At around 3 PM, our ride arrived. But before leaving, we walked to the entrance of Campuestohan to have our souvenir pic.

Talaba for Late Lunch

I have been craving Talaba for the longest time but the husband wouldn’t drive me to Liloan. There wasn’t any fresh talaba restaurant in Cebu that I know of too. Sad, sad story but thankfully, we were able to visit Mercy’s Talabahan before proceeding to our side trip – The Ruins. A bowlful of Talaba is only Php 50 to my amazement. I really had my fill and even wanted to add but the husband forbade me as he thought I had more than enough. Huhu!

The Ruins

Our last stop was the Ruins so we were once again carrying our  big packs as we checked it out. Good thing, it wasn’t that big and despite the number of people, we were still able to find a place to chill. There wasn’t really much to do at The Ruins but there are tons of places to take pictures. The views are very instagrammable.

This guy’s so in love with me gurl!!! ❤

DIY photo ops around the ruins!

The Ride Back Home

At 7 PM, we left the Ruins and rode a trike to Ceres Terminal where we waited for our ride back to Cebu at 9 PM. The bus was via Tabuelan. As the bus left the terminal, there was happiness in my heart. It was another awesome experience for the books. Just thankful for Tribu Iskwatters for the company. Looking forward to more treks with them.

And…I don’t mind going back to Tinagong Dagat as we missed the Solfatara. 😀 Besides, we’ve trekked the other 2 mountains in Negros twice so it’s only fair to climb Mt. Mandalagan again. Right?

Thank you so much for your time. I hope you had fun reading as much as I enjoyed writing. I might have missed some details but I’m leaving it out for you to discover. 🙂




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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 😀

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. 😀 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. 🙂

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 0 Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello San Carlos City

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

Bacolod City First Timers

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

Day 1 Saturday

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

To The Jump-Off in Patag, Silay City

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

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

The Hospital, Patag (Jump-Off)

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

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

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

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

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


See below the ITINERARY AND EXPENSES, story to follow.

ITINERARY AND EXPENSES

Day 0
Permit/Fax: Php300

The Adventurers before leaving the camp.

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

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

Day 1

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

Day 2

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

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

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

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

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

29 Cebu Trekking Destinations You Shouldn’t Miss


I have this uneasy feeling of numbers not ending in “O” but if I keep looking for the last entry that would make this list a 30, I’m surely gonna end up putting this post in a draft indefinitely. You are welcome to guess just how many unfinished posts in my drafts right now. Phew!  So before you start going through the list, make sure you keep tabs on the entries. Who knows, your favorite trekking destination might be the one to complete me…I mean my list. LOL

So here we go…let’s start with…

The 14 Destinations We’ve Been To Sorted By Proximity from Cebu City

Braced yourself because what you are about to read are excerpts of the climb stories. Prepare to be taken 2 years backwards since 2015 was our best Cebu trekking year. We were supposed to take a leave of absence from adventuring this 2017 for the baby project but because of hormonal adjustments, we might have to re-align our plans. In 2016, we didn’t do much of local trekking as well since travelling abroad was our priorities. At the start of this year, I was also busy leading our 1st company wide fitness challenge.

By June, things will gonna change at work. I’m planning to leave my post as an Ambassador and will try to push going in the office for work only. This list will be the next goal. Yay! As I was doing this, was quite surprised that the trekking destinations in Cebu has grown. I ended the 2015 on a photobook of my 10 Cebu Trekking destinations. Added 4 in 2016. 🙂

Group A: Northbound from Liloan to Catmon

04 R Lanigid

On my first visit in Lanigid, I have cited 10 reasons why you should. In February 2016,  I’ve visited twice and find more reasons why it’s fast becoming my favorite. 🙂 1. It can be day-trekked half-day. Last February 24, 2016,  Cebu Charter Day Holiday, along with 2 other NTC officers and 3 friends, we went to… Continue reading

The plight of Osmeña Peak has been heartbreaking to us who have seen it’s beauty before trekking has become somewhat mainstream. It’s sad and disappointing. Lately, more and more beautiful mountains or spots in Cebu has fallen into the hands of human nature – selfishness, carelessness and no love for the environment. We’ve seen some and… Continue reading

03 L Kapayas

The beauty of Mt. Kapayas’s peak is famous so are tales that scares neophytes from wanting it on their “to climb” list. Last September 24, 2015, Sunday, I must have been thinking too much about how hard it is that I was a little disappointed. Contrary to how I thought it would be, Kapayas was just perfect. It’s… Continue reading

Group B: Central which does not involve going to South Bus or North Bus Terminal

We visited as part of the cleanup climb last June 2016.

04 L Babag

Mt. BABAG This was my 3rd day trek in Babag and the 2nd trek with a purpose. The first was an outreach climb in December 2014 where we made at least a hundred kids happy. The 2nd was a Sunday trek as a pre-climb for a major trek in Alto Peak. I heard a lot… Continue reading

The day after our eventful day trek to Bocaue was an awesome Sunday – the last weekend of January. The husband spoiled the Miga by giving in to her cravings of green banana and salted fish. My, my…yumminess and movie is love. Everything is perfect until she moves her legs. Uh-oh!  The pains which were… Continue reading

01 R Sirao Peak

April 1st – or April Fools’ day is celebrated around the world last Saturday but to the amazing Women in NCR (WIN), no fooling around since together with Boom Boom Pow and Suweighsize Squad, 2 teams from ITS Fitness Challenge (IFC), they went to conquer the popular Sirao Peak in Busay, Cebu City led by NCR Trekker’s Club… Continue reading

02 L Manunggal

02 R Mauyog

  • Mauyog, Balamban (1) – No Camping Space (can be trekked paired with Manunggal)

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… Continue reading

Group C: Southbound from Naga to Ginatilan

05 R Naupa

It hasn’t been a while since knowing that Mt. Naupa has become a mountaineer’s destination. Seeing pictures of other mountaineers of the campsite puts me in awe. I wanted to be there and experience the beauty for myself. So last weekend, January 24-25, we finally took the time to climb Mt. Naupa as part of… Continue reading

01 L Osmena Peak

Less crowded Opeak. Perfect hike weather. No-hassle travel. I can attribute these serendipitous conditions to 2 things. First, there was a typhoon brewing in Luzon that weekend. And second, there’s currently a moratorium for canyoneering activities, which is a large tourist draw. With these two combined, it might have repelled the usual weekend warriors away. This seems like a Schadenfreude moment, 2 unfortunate events led to my perfect weekend trek situation. hahaha… Continue reading

Dalaguete has always been known for Osmeña Peak but unbeknownst to many, there is another camping destination that can be reached via Dalaguete too. NCR Trekkers visited Dalaguete again last November 28-30, 2015, this time the mighty Osmena was not our purpose but the less trodden path that leads to Kandungaw Peak in Maloray, Dalaguete.… Continue reading

05 L Lanaya

No trek is ever the same even if you’ve done it many times. This was my 3rd trek in Mt. Lanaya. Yet each and every time is a different experience. And if I were to pick the best, nah, I’ll pass. Last Saturday, June 11-12 2016, is as good as the first (2013 via Legazpi – Lumpan)… Continue reading

03 R Hambubuyog

The Pre-Climb early this year a friend had just known about my trekacapes so she asked me if I am interested to join the trekking club in our company. I was hesitant for reasons but I left my options open. By February, my celebrity sched had finally stabilized. I then schedule a climb for my… Continue reading

The 15 Destinations We’ve Planned To Go Sorted By Proximity from Cebu City

This 15 trekking destinations should keep me busy starting June. Yay! But will need to focus on just one trekking in a month since I will start planning to join a ministry in Citichurch too. Plus, unlike before, the husband and I planned to at least have a weekend every month to just laze around. Want to join us on our treks, comment below or message me in Facebook. 🙂

Group A: Northbound from Liloan to Catmon

Manghilao, Danao

Group B: Central which does not involve going to South Bus or North Bus Terminal

Jaclupan Trail

Group C: Southbound from Naga to Ginatilan

Calbasaan, Minglanilla

Puting Bato, Toledo

Tagaytay Hills, Toledo

New Bucao, Toledo

Bandilaan, San Fernando

Lantoy, Argao

Tiposo Peak, Argao

Takliad, Argao

Merkado’s Peak, Dalaguete

Bandera Peak, Dalaguete

Casino Peak, Dalaguete

Ablayan Peak, Boljoon

Your Turn: Did I miss your favorite destination on the list? Let me know on the comment below to be added. Also, our group are always welcoming to new adventurers. Don’t hesitate to drop me a hello to be added on the notification list. Climbing mountains is always fun with everyone. 🙂

PS: If you see me in the mountains, don’t hesitate to say hi. I would love to know more adventurers like you. 🙂

Always,

Kring (Get to know me more!)

Academ PTA

Academ Institute Inc., A.P. Cortes St., Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu

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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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