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.
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.
We are thinking of bringing Unyara to Osmena Peak or Kandungaw Peak but maybe next year. 🙂
46 volunteers participated. 32 of which trekked from Baogo to Upper Langob, 11 rode the jeepney and 3 on the service vehicle provided for the event. The gift boxes were divided up amongst the 2 vehicles.
Assembly for the trekkers was at Gaisano Talamban at 9:00 AM. By 10:30, after a little GTKY (Getting To Know You) and prayer, 28 trekkers proceeded to Baogo via Motorcycle. The remaining 4 trekkers caught up with the rest at the mini-falls after lunch and at the store.
At 11:00 AM, the trek started after the warm-up and assignment of group leaders. There were 5 mini-groups led by Kring, Elijah, Edulleen, Dianne & Joshua.
At 1:00 PM, while the trekkers were having lunch at the mini-falls, the jeepney with the riders left the assembly area at JY Market.
At 1:30 PM, the trekkers arrived at the Basketball Court. 30 minutes later, the riders arrived. The program proper started after the registration of kids.
At 2 PM, the jeepney arrived with the gifts and the riders. Registration of the kids followed. The program proper started with a prayer led by Ray Llesol followed by a quick GTKY exercise for the trekkers & kids led by Analyn Sarte.
To foster camaraderie & friendship between the kids & trekkers, the group was divided into 4 teams. They were tasked to name their team and present a group cheer. After almost 30 minutes of practice, the 4 teams were ready.
They presented in the following order: Mocking Jay, Face Stylers, Team Onyok and Team Pura. The judges were Diane’s group. Team Pura emerged as the best among the 4 competing teams. After the competition, distribution of gifts followed.
The kids were given a bag with school supplies and a loot bag with goodies. 62 bags with school supplies were given. 40 adults received a gift basket.
The program ended with the closing remarks by Mr. Herbert Villarante, after the awarding of the cheering competition winner and the 2 most active kids.
THE TREK RESUMED
The outreach ended at 5:00 PM just in time for the Fiesta Novena. 6 of the participants went home aboard the company ride with the remaining gifts. The others went on to visit Sirao Peak while the others stayed at the foot to camp for the night. The remaining items were scheduled to be distributed to the children of the utilities staff and security guards of NCR.
Thank you to all those who supported the event. Till our next outreach. 🙂
Day 01: December 10, 2015 – Putting in the contents of the Gift Bags
Day 02: December 11, 2015 – Wrapping the gifts & picture takings
REMAINING GIFTS HAND-OVER
December 16, 2015
THE AMAZING TEAM
Jay – Adviser; Tats Abellana – Preps Manager; Kring Julio – PRO; Analyn Sarte – Finance; Merriam Camposo – Registration; Arnold Jerodiaz – Documentation Site Visit: Jay Chan Transpo: Tats Abellana, Jay Chan Shopping Team: Kring Julio, Analyn Sarte, Merriam Camposo, Charmaine Balmes, Tats Abellana, Randy Patalinghug Food Team: Michelle Cuandot, Evan Abenoja, Joshua Bacalso Packers: Kring Julio, Analyn Sarte, Merriam Camposo, Tats Abellana, Randy Patalinghug, Michelle Cuandot, Joshua Bacalso, Carlyn Malingin, Camia Resnera, Ciedel Abuyog, Chaola Velarde, EmJay Sayco, Michelle Dan Sitones, Cee Jay, Lau Sanchez, Chi Dinoy, Arvil Benlot, Rio Lagura, Eloise Enriquez, Elaine Elorde, Keila Verano, Aimee Villanueva, Kat Toylo, Rachel Cruzpero, Aldriech Pierras, Dianne Nuevo Photographers: Arnold Jerodiaz, Michelle Cuandot, Edulleen Talledo, Norman Salomon, Mark Julio
It’s undeniable that Sirao Peak is one of my favorite mountains. Not only because it was the site of the husband and I‘s engagement but a lot more. This weekend as part of my birthday celebration, re-climbed the mountain with the husband and a friend. It was my 6th visit but I loved how every time I did, something is always different. This time, the weather was a bit me-ish with my on/off cloudy disposition. 😀 Also this was our first visit that we are finally Mr. & Mrs. Julio. It was also our 86th monthsary.
Here are my reasons why climbing Sirao Peak never runs out of style:
It’s very accessible.
From my previous escapes, we always start our journey at Gaisano, Talamban. Last week, we started at our exit point, Ayala Heights, Busay. The good thing about climbing Sirao is that whether you start in Budlaan or Busay, both are very accessible. The only difference is that it’s a bit easier if you start in Busay since it would be downwards to Budlaan. Last weekend, we had just that because I wasn’t feeling very well. Demn running nose & headache.
You can do a day hike on a half day.
Last weekend, we started our adventure after lunch. Rode a “habal2x” from JY square to Ayala Heights for Php75/pax. Since we were only 3, the husband had to ride alone. We just split the bill to 3 so we each pay Php100/pax. Started our trek at 1:30 PM. By 5:30 PM, we were in Budlaan. It was a leisure pacing and we stayed an hour enjoying the winds at the peak.
If you are in top shape, you could also do it in 3 hours. Like what we did on our engagement. Started at 3 PM in Budlaan, exited in Ayala Heights by 6 PM.
Day hike or overnight is both enjoyable.
I’ve had 2 overnights in Sirao & 4 Day hikes but every time is a different experience. Despite climbing it frequently, I still have untried trails – the river trekking from the falls and the long way that pass through a small lake.
Overnight in Sirao is quite a conditioning experience for a major climb as well since the trail from Budlaan is mostly uphills.
The views are changing depending on the season of your climb.
The distinctive beauty of Sirao is the Cogon laden path just before reaching the peak if you started in Budlaan. Last week, since it’s now rainy season, the Cogons are in its healthy green glow. Last time, it was brown.
It’s not OVERCROWDED and TRASHY yet.
Despite being very accessible, luckily Sirao Peak has remained somehow unspoilt. There was never a time on an overnight where we have been forced to camp out because it was too overcrowded. The camp wasn’t that big but enough to accommodate a max of 15.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Challenging Parts
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!
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.
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!
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. 🙂
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
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. 😛
By trying to learn to blog non-me-ishly, I (might) have missed some juicy and unforgettable moments on the climb this weekend. So if your up for a compacted detail of my adventures, just visit “The Wanderfull Life” otherwise continue reading.
If you have forgotten what happens to last last month’s climb in Mt. Lanaya, go visit it again. I might be blabbering some things related to the last climb.
Are you ready? Hope you are cause I can’t wait to tell you about it. 🙂
I was really excited about the climb. Been reading about Kan-irag since it was announced as official. But then things happened. By the first week of February, I was chosen as one of the candidates for our company’s US training. It was tagged as ASAP so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to join the climb. I was transferred to night shift. And unfortunately, I was having a hard time adjusting to that change.
I wasn’t really into the US travel thingy because I am having problems with my name. But then as the processing progresses, the chances of me getting that illusive visa became clearer. Instead of happiness, I got scared. I’ll be missing a lot if I go. I was in a state of conflict…wondering how would I adjust to a new environment, taking some preventive steps on missing people and lots and lots of things. Being not good in abrupt changes, I actually made the necessary measures to prepare myself for the travel. And just when I thought I was ready…the news came out. The travel was cancelled. And…a heavy load was lifted in my shoulder. Finally!
And that’s where the problem with pursuing Kan-irag climb start. I was happy the travel was cancelled but then I started to have headaches…more unwanted feelings followed. It must have been the disappointment so to get even with myself, I wanted to deprive me of something I wanted so much. Thinking it would take me back to where I once been before the US travel came. Sort of a wake up call. (Yes! Yes! I do this all the time. Punishing myself for something I’m not in control. Tsk!) I was wrong. I might not know if I’d be happier if I really cancelled it but right now…that climb was my saving grace.
Why saving grace? Because if you remembered at Lanaya, I spoke of how I slowed the group. This time, non of those happen. I was quick and energetic. Taking each stride with the thought of reaching the peak as fast as I can. I feel limitless. I’ve thought of a number of reasons for that sudden burst of energy. One of those is maybe the happiness of being able to continue trekking…my old bag..and the new activity – badminton TTHs. We also joined the SM 2 SM fun run so more or less, my body was in perfect shape. I hope I’ll be that energetic in climbing Mt. Pulag too. Wish me luck.
And finally, Kan-irag…
Meet-up was in Jollibee at Gaisano Talamban at 8:45 AM.And because I just decided that we would continue the trip when I woke up that Saturday morning, Migo and I were in a rush. I was not feeling very well. I know I wouldn’t be my usual self, so I decided to detached myself from my closest friends in the group.
Then the journey started. Little by little as the number of steps accumulated, the heavy feeling went away. I was almost back to myself when I reached the camp site. We were early by almost an hour. The sun was still up and the heat was biting. I had Migo setup camp immediately. After settling down, the cook set owners proceeded to prepare dinner while the others capture the view…and our first sunset at a camp site…EVER!
It wasn’t long before dinner was ready…probably our earliest meal on the trek. Yay! The food was good. “Spam” never failed us again. And the new addition of “Campbell” soup was just amazing. It was the best meal ever! I would be looking forward to more meals like that. Haha! Adding one reason to why I climb. Ahaha!
After the meal, the group formed a circle and played games. We played 3 in all. The first game was called “King’s Cup”. I was so proud for not being able drink alcohol as punishment. Wish I never blurted it out. By the 2nd set, they made it their goal to punish me. Damn! I hate them for that and lost my cool. Later realized it was just a game. Ahaha! And thinking that being the last to be punished was luck enough brought me back on track. LOL The 2nd game was “Samyuko2x”. It’s played by clapping every 3,6 and 9s in a number series. Ohhhh! I aced again. Haha! I forgot the name of the 3rd game. Maybe because I was very horrible at that. I hate memorization. Grrrrr! And my direction deficiency was magnified. I just can’t get it right. I was happy that game didn’t last long. 😛 And then dreamland.
The next day we woke up around 6 AM, just in time to greet the sunrise. I then tag Migo to do my favorite part of the climb…picture taking. Ahahaha! Then breakfast was served. Then off we bid Kan-irag goodbye. 🙂
For improvements The climb was almost perfect except for some things:
1. Allocations. Migo was so annoying to keep on reminding everyone that some people were not able to give the allocated 1 liter for the group. Damn! To solve that, I’ll volunteer to be the checker for these things. I’ll collect the food and the water…then I will also be the one to distribute the trash. The trash distribution would be…just return what was shared, this time…empty. Also, an amount for common usage like butane should be collected. Will have to ask the cook set owners how much they would need for this.
2. Tasks. Again some roles were not followed. There was no time keeper. The only visible and working roles are the head and tail. Something should be done with this. Also, the cooker and dish washer. Despite not owning a cook set, everyone should take turns in cooking and dish washing. Will have to ask someone to facilitate this.
Others Will I couldn’t ask for more. It was everything that I hope for…maybe even more. Weeeeeee! To end this post, go and browse the pics I have at the other blog because I will only be posting my solo pics here. Ahahaha!
Who would have thought that in the bustling heart of metropolis lies such a beauty? Talking about Sirao Peak or popularly known as Mt. Kan-irag in Cebu City. In less than 4 hours via Sitio Budlaan in Talamban or 1 hour via Ayala Heights in Busay one can enjoy the view that this mountain has to offer. It is one of the mountains in Cebu that is very accessible from the capital which offers an unobstructed view of Mandaue City and Lapu-lapu City on the other side, and the grand mountains of Talamban on the other.
As part of the BRB’s preparation to conquer the 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines, last weekend the group head to Mt. Kan-irag for its 2nd pre-climb activity. Due to it’s close proximity to the city, most climbers visit the mountain in one day. BRB had it overnight to practice bringing in packs for more than a day trekking.
KAN-IRAG FALLS–MT. KAN-IRAG 2-DAY TREK
09:00-10:00am Assembly @ Julies, Sunnyhills
10:00-10:15 – Habal-habal to Jump-off
10:15-12:00 – Trek to Falls (Baogo Trail)
12:00-02:00pm – LUNCH by the falls, Swimming
02:00-05:30 – Trek to Kan-irag Peak
05:30-06:30 – Sunset, Pitch Camp, Luto Dinner
07:00-12:00am Socials, Lights Off
06:00-07:00am – Wake up Call / Breakfast Preparation
07:00-08:00 – Breakfast /
08:00-09:00 – BreakCamp / Cleaning the Campsite
09:00-11:00 – Trek to Ayala Heights
11:00-12:00pm – Habal-habal/jeepney ride to JY Square Mall
Home Sweet Home
Nobody was injured and got cramps. Reached the camp site an hour earlier than scheduled.
It was like a broken record. I kept on saying how different and beautiful the trail to Sirao Peak was. It’s almost a combination of all the trails I’ve been. From the clean path used by locals, to the grassy and almost abandoned perhaps walked only by mountaineers, to the falls, to the rocky terrain that ended in a green meadow with cows and mango trees up to the cogon-like-grass-laden path that leads to the peak…everything was just perfect and put together. It’s like the trail was there to be marveled and enjoyed…like candy treats to a candy addict child. Glad I didn’t cancel the climb as planned because I wasn’t feeling very well. With that climb, I was able to save myself. And perhaps, it save me from taking out “mountaineering” on my hobby list. 🙂
Let me tell you more of the story with the collages of my favorite pics of the climb. Enjoy!