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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

Found my lucky charmer back. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ™‚

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

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

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

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pay issue at Elena Resort.

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

Prayer just before getting into Ladlad Resort.

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

Another pay ruckus at Ladlad!

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

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

The forest entrance guided by Mr. Carabao!

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

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

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

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

Hello Little Suckers

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

First major leech encounter here at the creek!

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

Good thing we still have time to pose even after the scare. πŸ˜€
Aside from the leech issue, there’s this-super-need-of-upper-body-strength-parts too. T_T Go, go Miga!!!
More kapyot moments!

Almost 2-Hour Leech Exposure

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

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

Leech Lunch

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

Still 1 hour to go before the no leech area but we were famished so we had to endure.
And as if on queue, just when I put down my bag for lunch, them suckers suddenly appear.

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

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

And Finally My First Leech Touch

Finally, the PLATFORM! Leech-freeee! That’s what I thought.
Cramp stop for Jill but Big Bro is just awesome!

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

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

Next 3 Hours

Water source almost 2 hours away from the Platform.

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

We caught them before they descend to the camp site.


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

Can you see the camp?

Hello Tinagong Dagat

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

Mossy rock just before the camp!
Women pose at the mossy rocks. Missing 2 of the 5 other ladies on the team.
More women photo ops!

R&R at Tinagong Dagat

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

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

Setup camp!

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

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

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

Stargazing Finally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 0 Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello San Carlos City

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

Bacolod City First Timers

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

Day 1 Saturday

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

To The Jump-Off in Patag, Silay City

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

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

The Hospital, Patag (Jump-Off)

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

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

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

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

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

See below the ITINERARY AND EXPENSES, story to follow.


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

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

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

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

Summit to Sea Adventure in Biliran, Eastern Visayas (Day 3) – The Sambawan Paradise

This is the last post of the Tres Marias series but I’m planning to post some realizations and other tips blog soon. Hang in there friends. Hope you had fun reading as much as I had fun writing while re-visiting the lovely memories that we had on this adventure. The husband and I would be on a hiatus this July and August as we will be preparing for our 11-day trip to Southeast Asia come August 20-September 1. We were quite excited as that trip would be our 2nd trip abroad following our Anniversary trip in Hong Kong & Macau last March. Wish us luck friends!!! Till the next post!

The hype of Sambawan wasn’t just a hype, it’s real. It’s the sort of beauty that even a photograph cannot do justice. It’s a paradise that I don’t mind waking up to every single day. The island is peculiarly shaped but since I was rather unadventourous that morning I’ve only visited the main viewpoint. The husband however went to the other end. Ryan, our guide urged us to visit the opposite end. I thinkΒ  no one went. Next time I really would. Gotta come back and stay for more than a night.

4 of the picture-perfect views of Sambawan! The husband’s view is overlooking to where we camp. Liz’s in orange is facing the other end of the island where I didn’t go. My view is to the sea. The last pic w/ Analyn is the cogon-covered path way to the view point.

Day 3
We agreed to wake up at 4 AM but when my alarm sounded, it was still too dark. I noticed that I was sweating so I opened our tent to welcome the morning breeze. After I did so, the cold air put me back to sleep. I woke up just in time for the orangey glow of sunrise. I then called on the others so that we could go together.

The camp site early in the morning.
Early morning views.

To my surprise, the view point is just very near. Ryan told me it was a short trek but I didn’t think it was that short. Haha! There was even a stairs on the way up.

Pictures on the way to the view point.

And of course, Sambawan didn’t disappoint. From the view point, you could see the entire island shaped like a C. The husband said it is a snake shaped island so instead of Sambawan, it would have been better if it was called the Snake Island. But of course, I disagree. An island named after a beast I loathe wouldn’t be a must for me. Haha! I would think that it’s named such because snakes are abundant in them. Lol

I went back ahead of the husband as he wanted to explore the other end of the island. I wanted too as well but I worried that if I stayed too long, we wouldn’t be able to achieved leaving the island as planned.

The husband’s attempt to pose! This is so rareeeeee before but nowadays, it just amazed me how he makes an effort to pose for pictures now. πŸ™‚ He has changed indeed. And I love that change. πŸ™‚
Pictures of the husband’s buddies in exploring the other end of the islands.

When I went back, we started cooking breakfast. Since we had tons of foods left, we had a feast. We had dilis, spam, corned beef and eggs. While we were cooking, the others were breaking up the camp. Over our cooking busyness, we played a game of “Kuan”. Gamz who went in late didn’t get the joke right away. She had the most “Kuan” counts. As for me who’s normally talkative and talk fast had to tone down my speech. I didn’t want to have any “Kuan” count. Haha!

Breakfast time!!!

After breakfast, we gathered up our things and arranged it to the boat. We left just in time. On the way, as promised Ryan took us to 2 spots. The first was a cave. We just caught a glimpsed of it though so everyone wasn’t that hyped. The 2nd was Dalutan Resort. We paid an extra Php20 for entrance but it’s worth it. Some had the time to swim and the others just enjoyed a brief time’s up from the unforgiving heat of our open boat.

Photo ops before we left the island of dreams!
Our partner of adventure – our open boat and some views along the way!

We were supposed to have lunch back at the harbor but as we were not famished yet, we decided to just went to the terminal directly. We declined Ryan’s offer to change at his house. Since all of us wouldn’t fit in at a single van, Liz, Pong, the husband and me rode together at the next van. We were in Ormoc by 4 PM. After a sumptuous meal of lechon, we waited for our ride back to Cebu. =)Β At 8 PM, we were home. It was time to say goodbye to the new faces who have been our companions for the last 3 days. All we have were pics and a life time of memories that would be cherished forever. πŸ™‚

This is the last post of the Tres Marias series but I’m planning to post some realizations and other tips blog soon. Hang in there friends. Hope you had fun reading as much as I had fun writing whileΒ re-visiting the lovely memories that we had on this adventure. The husband and I would be on a hiatus this July and August as we will be preparing for our 11-day trip to Southeast Asia come August 20-September 1. We were quite excited as that trip would be our 2nd trip abroad following our Anniversary trip in Hong Kong & Macau last March. Wish us luck friends!!! Till the next post!

Tres Marias Series:
Day 1
Day 2 – Part 1
Day 2 – Part 2
Day 3

Thank you for reading and I’d love to hear from you. Comment away!!!

Summit to Sea Adventure in Biliran, Eastern Visayas (Day 2) – Part 2 – Descent and Ulan-Ulan Falls

We left the camp in a hurry at 12 PM. 2 hours late for our target. As I was walking away focusing on catching up with the others, I hear Tin shrieked. She was bitten by bees. I asked if she was good, she answered that it was just minor. John who walked behind her was luckily spared. Not long after, I caught up with Liz and Gamz. John & Tin who were behind me said July was behind them so I decided to stop. On a trek, I am most comfortable walking ahead of the husband.

Going down was slippery. I was extra careful but then it happened. For the first time, I lost balance and slipped. The husband was quick to notice and instead of supportive like usual, he was mocking me. Liz joined in. It went on for a while. I tried to fight back but they won’t budge.

Group picture! I was still in good spirits by then. Bottom left picture was taken after I slipped.

Things happened so fast that the next thing I remembered was hitting the husband with my trekking pole. I was as surprised as he was for what I did. I was sorry but I felt he deserved my ire. I then went ahead to get away from him determined to keep my angst alive. Then everything started to turn bad in my eyes. I lost the energy to capture moments or lend people my high spirits.

When we stopped at the last water source, there was a commotion. It was only then that I noticed Charina’s face. Her eyes was swollen. As the others went ahead, the husband offered her antihistamine. Charina, like Tin, was also bitten by bees and she got an allergic reaction to it. I wanted to go ahead but I had to make sure she’s OK. I didn’t want to talk to the husband but that time I had no choice.

Charina stop!

After Charina & Ricco went ahead, I continued my indifference to the husband which was now repentant. When the group stopped at our lunch area, I decided to flee from the husband. I didn’t feel like resting too. The trail starting from the lunch stop started to get harsh. It was a different feeling trekking at the head. I had the chance to take pictures in the front.

The action at the head of the group.

Nomad Falls
When we passed Nomad Falls, Almera asked if we could drop by. I was hesitant but Ryan (the guide) assured that we still have time. Because we were in a hurry the day before I have totally missed seeing the falls. It would have been a pity if we missed it a 2nd time.

As I was readying to go, I didn’t noticed the husband keeping up with me. When we arrived near the falls, Gamz and Almera had their picture taken. After taking their picture, the husband said he would take my picture. I hesitated. He’s really persistent. I wanted to stay mad and ignore him but who could stay mad at someone so kind and understanding? He should have gone mad after I hit him with the pole but instead of being angry at me being angry, he understood my immaturity.

After Nomad Falls, I was back to my normal self. I wanted to hug & say sorry but I was still mad for his mocking. I didn’t want to forget about it just because he was regretful. While we bathe at Nomad Falls, the others went ahead.

Hello Nomad Falls! Almera was quick to check the falls as soon as we stop!
The stop right before Nomad Falls!
Hello Nomad Falls! And yes, I swam! πŸ™‚

Recoletos and Ulan2 Falls
We reunited with everyone at Ulan2 Falls. Since we were the last, we decided to stop by at Recoletos for picture. Ulan2 Falls was just below Recoletos. I was already OK with the husband but still uneasy with Liz. What she did may seem normal but I have always hated it when people mocked me. Sometimes I fight back but most of the time, its just plain annoying. I understood that people are normally tactless and don’t care much about other people’s sentiments but I don’t want to have myself subjected to that kind of toxic feeling. Like whenever someone calls me fat, it hurts because I don’t understand why they have to rub it in my face. I’m not even that fat. I have a healthy weight. I exercise and I love my curves. Magnifying the insecurity of others is not my game and I expect people to do the same. Sadly most of the time, people are just harsh. And if they are harsh, I need to be harsher.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

I believe what happened was an attack and I don’t enjoy it. People should stop noticing the bad in others. They should focus on themselves instead. I’m not perfect but I’m working hard to improve myself. I don’t criticize people. I don’t speak ill about them but if I did, I’m sure that was just mere retaliation.

Because I wasn’t myself in Ulan2, I tried to stay away from everyone. It was a good decision because after a while they were joking around. Making people look stupid while laughing about it as a group is not my cup of tea. I seek to empower not belittle.

Recoletos and Ulan2x Falls! I don’t have much pictures since I’m still not feeling good.

Back to the Harbor
We were told to be back at the jump-off at 4PM. While walking, I had the chance to confront the husband about what happened. After clearing everything with him, I decided that was enough. That I had to let go of whatever that was I’m keeping. Besides Liz was just an accessory.

Our rides were waiting when we arrived at the jump-off. But instead of riding in 2s, we had to do it in 3s. Pong rode with us. After 5 minutes in transit, the roof of the motorcycle was squeaking. Because our bags were heavy, the roof threatened to give in. Pong and the husband had to use their hands as support. The driver decided to stopped. Pong carried his bag while the husband’s bag was put at the front. As we continue our ride, the roof was squeaking still with only my bag but not so much anymore.

Bye bye Uan2x!

Off to Sambawan
While waiting for our ride to Sambawan, we decided to just have our dinner at the harbor instead. It drizzled while we were eating but instead of transferring, we took out our umbrellas and continued eating. Haha! After a while our ride arrived.

Dinner at the harbor!

It was an open boat with no roof. Everyone was just as surprised as I was. Someone asked Ryan (the guide) if that was our boat and thought that he was joking when he said that it was. People had hesitations whether the 18 of us would fit. I had too but as always, I didn’t let my fear influence everyone. Besides, it was already late to get another boat. I trusted Ryan’s word.

Our ride to Sambawan! It looks scary right?

Fighting Fear with Gaming
After eating, we decided to go. As I waved goodbye to Cha and Ricco, I uttered a silent prayer to keep both of us safe. The weather was not so good and from what I heard, the waves in Sambawan could become merciless at times. When the boat finally moved, Almera reminded us to pray. I forgot if it was me or Analyn who led the prayer. After the prayer, we played games. There were a lot of suggestions but we ended playing “3-6-9”. A lot of games followed after. It was thanks to the games we were a bit distracted.

The ride took almost 2 hours. It felt so long. I think it was my first time to ride a boat at night. It was scary. The dark night and the big waves were recipes of disaster for me. I felt like I was in some kind of shark or horror movie. When the waves got a little too much, I decided to stop playing and focus on the surroundings. I prayed too. And just like always, when I’m afraid, I tend to think of the worst. Then I saw some light at a distance. Relief washed over me when someone announced that we were almost there.

Hello Sambawan
The fear of the ride must have taken a toll. I was both super hungry and super sleepy. After pitching our tent, I wanted to curl up and sleep right away but everyone seems to be in high spirits. The husband suggested that maybe the sea will take my stress away.

Thanks God I listened to the husband. The sea was indeed rejuvenating. The others who didn’t swim prepared soup and noodles. It was enough to regain back my energy. After eating, the husband suggested we played “Thumbs Up”. It was a stupid game and I sucked big time. Haha! When I lost, that was my cue to exit. My entire body was screaming in pain too. Sundays after a long trek is just the worst for me. I, of course, wasn’t able to sleep right away. They were noisy and I didn’t want to miss out on anything too. Haha!

The countable pictures I had. Last pic was taken at 12:30 AM. They must have slept around 1 or 1:30AM.

Oh well! Writing part 2 was not what I thought. It’s supposed to be cheesy and more dramatic. LOL Anyway, I must have been just excited to finally finish this part so that I could show just how beautiful Sambawan is. πŸ™‚ Next!!! And no more drama and pole beating this time. LOLssss! Day 3 is just pure awesomeness. We even went on a surprise detour to 2 spots. Weeeeee! And sorry for being a little bit emotional. Now you know how I hate mocking. You mustn’t push my button next time. Huhu! I was actually sad I didn’t have more pics on the 2nd part. I have a hard time remembering too. 😦 I was also regretful because of my bad mood, I didn’t have time to cam-whore at Ulan2x Falls. Hayst!

Tres Marias Series:

Day 1

Day 2 – Part 1

Day 2 – Part 2

Day 3

Summit to Sea Adventure in Biliran, Eastern Visayas (Day 2) – Part 1 – Ascent to Tres Marias Peak 3

After 15 minutes of walking, I caught up with the others. After seeing Cods, I asked him if he can still see Pong. He answered that Ryan and Pong were still busy taking pictures so he went ahead. That irk me somehow so I asked the group to stop. We waited for a while and then everyone got impatient. I was thinking of the worst. After a while Rocco went back to look for Pong and Ryan.

The group was divided. We were already running out of time. Then the husband mentioned that he had a GPS tracker and with that he can lead the group back to camp. I was hesitant to let him go but I had no choice. I didn’t want to leave without Ryan and Pong too. It was a hard choice. Analyn decided to stay too.

The night was peaceful. There was no rain but the howling winds made me thought of one. In my sleepy state I asked the husband to get the food we hanged outside.  He kept reassuring me that the foods were safe and that what I’m hearing was just the wind. I remembered I asked him twice or thrice. He must have been exasperated because he reminded me about it in the morning. Nyahaha!

In the middle of somewhat a long sleep, the husband announced that he would pee and asked if I wanted to. Before going out, I checked the time. It was still 1AM, about 3 hours since I dozed off. On the way to pee, we saw someone sleeping at an open space near our common area. I wasn’t sure if it’s just Ryan – the guide or both of our guides slept there.

When we settled back, I rearranged my sleeping pad which was now my jackets and sleeping bag. Unfortunately, because of my haste, I have forgotten my earth pad. It wasn’t that cold because all throughout the night, I didn’t used my sleeping bag. I only relied with my Sarong as blanket.

June 19, 2016 (Day 2)
My alarm sounded at 430AM but it was only at 5AM that I decided to move. As agreed, I boiled water and called out my group for a light breakfast. The husband and I had oats, slices of apple, milo and boiled egg. John & Tin shared a cup of noodles. I forgot what Gamz ate but Liz and Pong had bread. An hour and a half after, we were ready for the summit. We followed the same trail lineup and before leaving the camp, we prayed for a safe journey still led by Gamz.

Breakfast with the husband and Analyn’s group then the prayer led by Gamz!

The Ascent
The guides warned us of a steep journey. Tres Marias Peak 3 is around 1300+, Aeta Camp is at 900+. They estimated around 2-3 hours with an elevation gained of 400+. Before we left the camp, the rain started pouring. Good thing it didn’t linger but it was enough to wet the ground. The early morning dew and the rain connived to make our assault slightly challenging.

The most beautiful part of Tres Marias was the trail to the summit. Some parts remind me of the the journey to Malindang’s Peak. The trees covered in moss is just breath-taking. On a trek, I am mostly focused on where I am walking so stuffs like snakes or pitcher plants that’s not really in my path or line of sight can go passed me. Good thing the husband is always eager to share his finds. While he’s a natural observer and loves to take pictures of nature, I am mostly interested in people’s struggles.

Ah…people’s struggles…there’s a lot of action on our journey to the summit. Every time I climbed my way up a tree or crawl my way down a trunk, I would think of how beautiful this must be if captured. And as if the husband read my thoughts, he offered to video me. Unfortunately, he commented after how it makes the climb look easy while I was doing it. Hmmm! That comment is almost the same in my other endeavors like Muay Thai or Zumba. People always think I’m doing it lightly. And somehow, it makes me wonder if I’m really not putting enough effort into them. O_o

Photo stops on the way to the peak!
The husband in action!
Hello Pitcher Plant!
And of course me! πŸ™‚

The Peak
We reached the peak after 1.5 hours+ of ascent. Like Alto, it is surrounded by trees. But the trees can be climbed. Unfortunately, there was no clearing. All we could see was fog. The guide told us that it was maybe because we were noisy. I tried praying for a clearing but not that hard. Haha! For me, a clearing would be great but it’s not a must. When we climbed Alto last year, there was no clearing too.

And because, we were the last to arrived, everyone was already busy doing their own stuffs. At first I thought the peak was very small since the line was queued at the entrance. It wasn’t. I don’t know what’s holding the line though. When it was our turn, I got busy taking pictures of everyone taking pictures. Haha! The peak was spacious but there wasn’t enough space to comfortably do a group picture. After 30 minutes of allowing everyone to do their own thing, I insist on a group picture but that was only after I climbed the highest tree.

It was cool to be on top but the swaying kept me from taking a clear selfie. It didn’t help that the husband was pressuring me to go down because he wanted to climbed too. Haha! And of course, I got envious because he had a nice selfie despite my pressures. LOL! We only had 1 group picture at the peak since it’s very hard to squeeze all of us. I didn’t insist on having more and let Rocco take the picture of us instead of Cods since he was on the other end.

Everyone’s busy!
My view from the top of the tree!
The husband’s cool selfie from the highest tree and my victory pose at another tree!
The mossy trees!
Finally a group picture! πŸ™‚

The Descent
At 9AM, we were ready to go down. We only had 1 guide to the summit so it’s a must to stay together. I ushered Ryan to go before me but he was still doing something so I left Ryan in Pong’s care. The other’s were in a hurry ’cause we were way out of schedule already. In the itinerary, we should be back at the camp by 9AM. As we were leaving, John noticed a weird path. We literally had to crawl under a tree trunk. He asked if it was the right path but I just remembered a lot of crawling so I said yes. Turns out, it was a short cut. Haha! With that confusion in mind, I focused on keeping up with the rest of the group in order not to cut the line.

After 15 minutes of walking, I caught up with the others. After seeing Cods, I asked him if he can still see Pong. He answered that Ryan and Pong were still busy taking pictures so he went ahead. That irk me somehow so I asked the group to stop. We waited for a while and then everyone got impatient. I was thinking of the worst. After a while Rocco went back to look for Pong and Ryan.

The group was divided. We were already running out of time. Then the husband mentioned that he had a GPS tracker and with that he can lead the group back to camp. I was hesitant to let him go but I had no choice. I didn’t want to leave without Ryan and Pong too. It was a hard choice. Analyn decided to stay too.

I was afraid but I didn’t want my fear to cloud my judgment so instead of losing my temper, I silently prayed to keep both groups safe. I forgot to pray for Analyn and I. Haha! When it was silent, Analyn and I took a selfie. I just wanted not to think of anything bad. I told Analyn that we must timed our wait. If after 15 minutes, Rocco wouldn’t come back, we wouldn’t have a choice but to catch up with the others.

But thanks God, we didn’t wait too long. Relief washed over me when I saw Rocco. And once again, I lost the energy to nag. When I looked at Ryan, he seemed a little scared, but of course, I didn’t say anything again. I forgot if that was the time he said that who would want to be lost. Haha! All I could think was how grateful I am they were found.

When we started walking, Pong explained what happened. Turns out, Ryan was not the cause this time. Pong owned it but since Ryan’s lost moment was still a hot issue the day before, most focused on Ryan and his tendencies for adventure. πŸ™‚

After a while we caught with the rest of the group. I was surprised for keeping up with them that fast. I asked Ryan to go forward to the head group. Analyn, Pong and I stayed at the tail. We spent the rest of the descent talking about life and love. LOL

My very minimal pic going down and the brunch!

Breaking Camp
Despite the setback of another lost moment, we arrived at the camp around 1030AM. But since we just had a light breakfast, we decided to eat before going down. Over the meal, I asked them why we caught up with them so fast. There was some hesitation. I forgot who that was who told me the full re-cap.

The husband had an accident but good thing it was only minor. There was a pointed branch that could have cut his side if he was big. The stress might have gotten to me at that point because I snapped and nagged at the husband for being careless. People were defending him but I, like always, never listened. There was some pause then everyone got busy breaking up camp. Now I realized why they were having 2nd thoughts of telling me in the first place. Haha! We were on our way down at 12PM, 1.5 hours late in the itinerary with stress thoughts of not being able to have time to enjoy the falls that we decided to miss the day before.

Breaking camp in progress!
And of course, our mission continues! We asked the guide if we could post it here though. πŸ™‚
The adventurers!

Stay tuned for Day 2 Part 2 – the descent back to jump-off. The adventures and mis-adventures continued while the drama thickens. People got bitten by bees. I, for the first time, lowered my defenses and had an “explosive” slide which earned the husband my ire and pushed me to be on the head group which led me to decide to stop at Nomad Falls. Some saw snakes. And finally, the longer stop at Ulan-Ulan falls and the epic journey to Sambawan. πŸ˜€ I just wanted a post for day 2 but a lot of things happened worthy of note. πŸ˜€

While waiting, feel free to guess what happened next. Haha! Did Ryan got lost again? What do you think the husband did to have earned my wrath? Who were bitten by bees? Who were able to see snakes? What’s more beautiful Nomads or Ulan-Ulan Falls? What makes our Sambawan journey epic? Oh well…anything can happen. πŸ™‚

Tres Marias Series:
Day 1

Day 2 – Part 1

Day 2 – Part 2

Day 3

Summit to Sea Adventure in Biliran, Eastern Visayas (Day 1) – Overnight Camp in Tres Marias

After 15 minutes of walking from lunch site, Pong called out that our Ryan was nowhere. The group stopped and Ryan, the sweeper guide went to look for our Ryan. On a climb with every stops, I never put my bag away from my shoulders since because of its weight I would spend energy putting it back on. But I was so worried about the worst for our Ryan. The husband had to remind me to stay put. I realized that at that moment, the only thing I can do is pray. And I did. Thanks God that after a while, Pong announced that Ryan was found. When I saw him, the relief took away my want to nag. Haha!

What’s an adventure without a ‘real’ adventure. If we had let the fear of snakes get in the way, we wouldn’t have known how beautiful Tres Marias is. She’s indeed a beauty worth the risk. June 18-19, 20 adventurers, 6 of which are NCR Trekkers and the rest are guests, reached and left Tres Marias 3rd and highest peak with a triumphant heart after 12 hours of trek. It was amazing that by 2:30 PM on Day 1, we were already at Aeta Camp setting up camp. We had a lot of take outs but the best of them all was the feeling that we have a home in the wilderness with strangers that quickly became friends and trusted allies. That alone was worth all the pains. πŸ™‚

June 17, 2016 (Day 0)
The adventure started on a boat trip to Ormoc via Roble’s Theresian Stars. The boat departs at 10 PM but as early as 8 PM, participantsΒ started arriving. By 9 PM, everyone was in. We were safely settled at the boat 15 minutes later. Everyone started dozing off as soon as the boat departs Cebu.


June 18, 2016 (Day1)
Immediately after the boat docked at Ormoc at 5AM, we left the boat and rode on the van to Naval. Because we couldn’t fit in at a single van, the head and the tail group went ahead. The mid waited for the next van. While waiting, we bought some puto and hot drinks at a stall outside the port.



The trip to Naval took 2 hours. By 8AM, we were reunited with the groups who went ahead. We had breakfast at the carenderia beside the terminal then we met with Ryan and Rocco, our guides. As I was eating, I noticed the yummy lechon across the street. With the husband’s support, I bought a quarter for our pack lunch. That must be the reason why I’ve been so excited for lunch. Haha!

The Trek
By 8:30 we depart for the jump-off via motorcycle with a unique Biliran’s style. We arrived at the jump-off 30 minutes after. The trek started at around 930AM after the usuals: orientation, prayer & warm-up. The prayer was led by Gamz and warm-up was led by John. As planned, the big group was divided into 3 sub-groups. Analyn led the head group with Cha, Ricco, Almera, Ryan, Didit and Jane. Yours truly led the mid-group with Migo, Gamz, Liz, John & Tin. Pong was part of the mid-group but like the previous climbs, his heart is of the Sweeper. Tail group was led by Cods with Rose, Aying, Jeni, John & Eric.



The entire trek to Aeta Camp was divided into 3 according to our major and somewhat long stops. First part was the trek to Recoletos Falls. Ulan-Ulan Falls was just below Recoletos but we need to go down and back up again. After confirming that we will back track tomorrow, it was decided to just visit the falls later. There was a shed near Recoletos and after 30 minutes of walking, it was a relief to rest. Some took the time to take pictures while some decided to catch their breath.


Second part was from Recoletos to our lunch stop. It was a 1.5 hours trekΒ with 5-10 minutes break before crossing the river. This part has the most “buhis-buhay” moments. Β We were supposed to eat at the last water source but we were famished. The guide told us it’s still 30 minutes away with some ascent so I had to make the call to eat. It was also already 12PM. We had some time to rest after lunch time but I didn’t had the urge to rest. I was afraid that anytime a snake would crept up on me. Haha!



3rd part was when we left the lunch site to Aeta Camp. The guide told us it would be 3 hours away with mostly ascents. Hearing this, I was quite worried. 3 hours of non-stop ascent could become 5 hours at my pace. It was already 1PM when we left, plus 5, we would reached the camp at 6PM. But maybe by some miracle or maybe the fear of snakes makes us all in our best selves, we reached the camp at 230PM even with the thrill of Ryan’s lost moment. πŸ˜€

After 15 minutes of walking from lunch site, Pong called out that our Ryan was nowhere. The group stopped and Ryan, the sweeper guide went to look for our Ryan. On a climb with every stops, I never put my bag away from my shoulders since because of its weight I would spend energy putting it back on. But I was so worried about the worst for our Ryan. The husband had to remind me to stay put. I realized that at that moment, the only thing I can do is pray. And I did. Thanks God that after a while, Pong announced that Ryan was found. When I saw him, the relief took away my want to nag. Haha!

This was my 7th major climb but a first that I am one of the organizers. Whatever happens to the climb is my responsibility so I always make sure I had everything covered. The trek in Lanaya sent me on a sour mode when we were almost lost so I had to stress the importance of proper distance in between hikers. Unfortunately, it failed on Ryan. I was just so thankful Pong noticed he was gone right away.

After the Ryan scare, we continued on our trek. At 2PM, we arrived at a small clearing. I took some pics and decided to join Charina and Ricco at the head to talk to the head guide at that day, Rocco. 20 minutes passed, we reached another small clearing. This time I took an attendance pic of everyone then joined Pong in the tail. By 245PM, me, July and Pong reached the camp. Most were already selecting a place to setup camp by then.

Top-Right, Bottom-Left: Waiting for Ryan; And he was found. Me with the Rocco, Ricco and Charina!
Attendance Pic!
Few minutes away from the camp…and then hello camp with my scratch! Pfft!

Aeta Camp
The camp was quite small. Good thing we were able to setup all our 12 tents. But there were areas that are prone to water but we had no choice but to setup camp there also. We had just enough space left for socials. It would have been best if we brought hammocks instead of tents.


We had an early dinner and by 7PM, everyone was gathered for the socials. I started the socials in a simple format of name, company and profession. The additional was a recall of a memory of their first major climb and if it was their first, what’s their expectations. I was quite surprised to know that almost half of the group were on their first major climbs. I was simply amazed because our pace was commendable. We had less stops and was 2.5 hours early for our target time to camp.

Because we had an early start, we had time to do a 2nd round of “Werewolves”. It was a night for “Werewolf” since they won at both games. Since we started introducing the game, I was always part of the humans. Unfortunately for that night, my silent wish was granted. And I somehow regretted that I wished to be one of the bad guys. It was just so stressful. I had stress in 2 sides, from the remaining players and the spirits. I cracked on the last few rounds and had to remind the spirits their place.

After the game, I was exhausted. I felt somewhat sick so I spared myself from more stress by not joining the 2nd round. I made myself the spirits police so that what happened in the first game would never happen again. On the 2nd game, “Werewolf” won still with Jane emerging as the sole wolf at the end of the game. It was still early but I was already exhausted. I decided to sleep then I overheard them talking about a glowing plant. My want to sleep overpowered me. I didn’t even noticed what time the husband dozed off.

Stay tuned for Day 2! πŸ™‚

Tres Marias Series:

Day 1

Day 2 – Part 1

Day 2 – Part 2

Day 3

Trekking Tips: What To Bring

Trekking Cebu, Trekking in Cebu, Trek Cebu, Cebu, Trekking Tips, Trekking, Philippines

Almost every climb, especially majors, I am faced with the same struggle – what do I bring? I’ve made a lot of checklists but unfortunately being “me” got buried with all the other lists in my notes. Haha!

This dawn as I was packing and making sure I don’t miss anything, I listed them all. πŸ˜€ I really do hope I don’t forget anything though. πŸ™‚ Please if you notice anything missing, ping me right away.


1-4. Clothes: Trekking/Swimming, Sleeping, Going Home, Undies
5. Slippers
6. For Wet Plastic
7. Sleeping Bag
8. Assault Bag
9. Storage Bags
10. Pillow
11. Eye Mask
12. Ear Pads
13. Head lights
14. Glasses
15. Contact Solutions
16. Rain Coat
17. Umbrella
18. Fan
19. Lunch Box
20. Water Bottle
21. Cup

Personal Stuffs:
22. Headlace
23. Pony tail
24. Lipstick
25. Comb
26. Puller
27. Mirror
28. Shampoo
29. Wet Wipes
30. Tissue

Depends on the trail, Tres Marias has plenty of water so I’m only bringing this much plus a 1L Nalgene full of water too.
31. 1 L Water
32. .5 Gatorade
33. Belt Bag:
34. Camera
35. Candies
36. Tickets
37. IDs
38. Wallet
39. Ballpen
40. Chair
41. Group Food (by assignment):
Magic Sarap
42. Burner
43. Cookset (Kovea Hard 23)
44. .5 kg rice inside cookset

Thanks @JumzChino for the reminder:
NCR Trekker’s Stuffs
45. Attendance & Waiver
46. LNT Sign
47. LNT Sign Rope
48. Club Tarp
49. Event Tarp
50. Participant’s ID

To follow up:
51. Med Kit
52. Rope

Tooth Brushes
Trekking Pole

My first day attire:
Trekking Pants
Souvenir Shirt
Arm Sleeves
Trekking Shoes
Comfy Socks

The biggest lesson I learned thus far when it comes to weight was when we climbed Pulag back in 2013. I was at 15 kg. Going up Akiki with such load was harsh. I was literally sick on the first night. But it wasn’t because I brought too much personal stuff. We carried 4L of water and our food were mostly canned. It took most of the weight.

After Pulag I was more mindful of the weight I’m carrying. I made some adjustments on how much clothes to bring too. Before I always had an everyday change of clothes until the husband commented on it. I was still stubborn saying I need to change clothes everyday for the pictures. Haha! But after Canlaon, I started implementing the clothes set. The husband suggested to only have a set of trekking which can be used for swimming too or you can bring a set for bath, a set for sleeping which will be used throughout how many days you will be sleeping and the last set will be for going home. To save some more space, you could also use the sleeping as going home set.

15 kg was my limit in 2013, I wonder if it changes now. I weighted my back last night at our scale and it shows 15 kg. Huhu! I wonder what makes it heavy waaaa!

The best weight I had was in Apo. I had 8 kg or less with just my personal stuffs.Β  We were 15 and was divided into 3 food groups. Each group has their own porter guide. It was very efficient but the only drawback was it made us divided. We didn’t cook and eat together.

Going forward, in every climb to follow, I will try to implement weight management. By September, we will have our 2nd major climb for the year at Nangtud. Reading blogs about it terrifies me. It will surely be one of my toughest climb yet. Pinoy Mountaineer rated Nangtud as an 8/9. Huhu! Anyhoo, I still have some months to spare till then. For now, I have Tres Marias. πŸ™‚

Wish us luck and blessing tomorrow. Pray that we may be away from harm and the snakes will be friendly. Huhubells.

Here’s an unrelated addition about our trek tomorrow. πŸ˜€

There will be 20 of us divided into 3 food groups. No porters. Head group is led by our NCR Trekker VP, Analyn. Me at Mid-group. Cods at Tail Group. That’s the line up of our trek too.

Cod’s group will likely be the fastest so they are at the Tail. My group has the medkit and the documentation so it’s easier to check in between groups. Analyn’s have Ryan to shoo the snake. One guide will be at the head and a other at the tail.


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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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