Wayback Wednesday: Backpacking Indochina

Every time I got notification that TWL’s stats has spiked, I would feel guilty as it has been a while since I posted. Today, someone messaged about the “Indochina” trip bringing positive feedback to our itinerary. It warmed my heart. It has been almost 2 years now. I wonder when we will get the chance to do a kick-ass trip again. Hmmm! While at it, I thought of searching the word “Backpacking Indochina” in google.

I’m surprised that TWL make it to the 5th list. Hurrayyyyy! No wonder my stats are spiking every now and then. 🙂 I wonder how my other posts fare. Maybe next time. LOL I’ll think about burning my backlog soon. Hahahaha! #BloggerProblem

Changes From Asia Travels

54 days until 2017 but here I am still stuck with the lessons from this year’s adventure. Who wouldn’t? Everything easily excites me before but these days I feel more relaxed and just thankful for the wander-less weekends. All I want to do is rest, binge-watch on TV series and have endless laughter and conversations with friends. But this time the conversations were no longer about me. I feel so blessed that all I wanted to do is just share and make other people feel the same. 🙂

Here are the noticeable changes since coming back from the trip:

  1. Appreciating down times. Before, being busy was everything. Now, I make it a point to just say “Yes” to the things that matter.
  2. Lie-lowed on Facebook. I couldn’t imagine a time that Facebook would be an option. Being the social butterfly that I was. Haha. Now I only checked it for notifications and messages. I still take pictures but I rarely post them anymore. My reason for over-Facebook-ing was to update my friends of what’s going on but on the trip, I realized that it was really more about me. And I think I have enough. 🙂
  3. Seeing the value of good influences. My heart is overflowed with  a new drive – to be able to do things with a renewed purpose. After the trip, the idea of not spending the weekends on a trek, trip or playing for fun was so absurd and boring. Now it was actually rejuvenating. I hope to be spending more of it with family and in a ministry soon. God willing. God has always been nice that I wanted to give him back the favors. 🙂

There’s still more but let’s just stick with 3 for today. Don’t worry, you will be reading some adventure still but might not be that frequent. What you will read more are the lessons that I’ve kept over the years. I’m still thinking on a best way to tell it to you. But if you have questions about anything, do drop me a message. 🙂


I’m 30! Hurray! So How Did My 3030.5 Go?

So I actually couldn’t remember the exact date that I aimed for 3030.5, but I will look for it soon because I know I have written it somewhere in my “million” blogs. Haha But it has to be somewhere before 2012, maybe it’s in 2011. That time when I was having a quarter life crisis. To make the story short, I got OVER it because of wanders! Hurray!!!

Though it was just a spur of the moment aim to take my depression away, I was super amazed that I almost achieve it. WOW.

So what’s 3030.5 really? It’s an aim to visit 30 places in my hometown Cebu, 30 provinces in my home country Philippines and 5 countries. It might seem like a small achievement now but when I made this dream, it was BIG.

It’s just amazing how I have transformed when I stopped feeling like a victim of fate. When I started to embrace and be contented with what I have, everything falls into place. God really is amazing. It is true that everything happens for a reason. Right now, I’m seeing all the bad things in my life as something to be proud of.

If you are reading this and feeling like there’s no hope for a better future, trust me, there is. Just keep holding on and try to see the good in the bad. 🙂 And before I turn this post into one of my “Notes2Self” series, see below the progress of a dream.

Cebu Total Been To? To Travel % Traveled
Mun/Cities 53 35 18 66%
Philippines Total Been To? To Travel % Traveled
Luzon 39 10 29 26%
Visayas 16 7 9 44%
Mindanao 27 6 21 22%
82 23 59 28%
World Target Total Been To? To Travel % Traveled
Targets 30 7 23 23%

35.23.7 – Overachieved the Cebu and world. Yay! I lacked 7 provinces in the Philippines. 😀 Now I have a new target. =) Weeeeeeeeeee! #FeelingBlessed

How about you? What was your reason for traveling? Did you ever aimed for something about travel and achieved it without really thinking hard about it? Do share! After my epic Indochina adventure, a thought hit me. I wanted more from this blog. I want to share, inspire and know more like minded people. I still don’t know how but if you do, feel free to share it to me. Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!

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. 😀 I really do hope I don’t forget anything though. 🙂 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.  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. 🙂

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. 😀

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.


Trekking Tips: Rice Planning

Probably the hardest part for me in a trekapade is meal planning. For years, I’ve always wanted to be able to estimate properly. More often estimating just how much rice we need to bring is a headache.

So today, I took my way out of my already jampacked sked to do what I have always wanted to do.

Note that all measurements are based on our Kovea Hard 23 cookset.

  • cup is hard 23 cup
    1/4 rice = 1.5 cup
    1.8 Hard 23 = 4 cups rice (5 cups water)
    1 Hard 23 = 2 cups rice (3 cups water)
    6 cups = 1 kilo
    3 cups = .5 kg

Yesterday I started refining the meal plan for Tres Marias. I estimated to be cooking 6 cups of rice for 8 pax. We are 7 in the group but we need to allocate 1 meal for the guide. Our meal planner estimated everyone to bring 3 cups of rice. I wondered just what it meant to bring 3 cups? I wanted to translate it in kilograms since lately, I’ve become obsessed in weight management.

I was quite happy that after the measurements, I found out that 3 cups is equal to half of a kilogram. Each meal we would be cooking 6 cups which means it’s a kilogram. What’s more amazing is that this 6 cups can be accommodated by our 2 cookset. The big cookset of 1.8 can cook 4 cups while the small one can cook 2 cups. Ah! These little things just make the OC me happy. Haha!

But one thing I’m not sure though…that is whether a kilogram is enough for 8 people. Haha! Well, that’s my next goal. Lol Find out just how much to cook for a specified number of people. Hehe

Aside from how much rice we would need, we can get the estimate for how much water too. Lucky for Tres Marias, water won’t be a problem. 🙂 Oh well, till my next trekking not-so-Eureka moment. Lol

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Do You Have A “Peakery” Account?!

One day sometime last year, I stumbled unto peakery.com! But it was only yesterday that I realized how amazing it is. 🙂 The itch to conquer mountains lead me to peakery. Today, after almost a year of inactivity, I was finally able to log all my peaks and summit. Yay!!! Unfortunately, I have 2 peaks not listed yet, Mauyog Peak and Kapayas Peak. I tried adding but it has this latitude & longitude data. I find it a hassle. Haha! So there, I’ll just wait for someone to finally add it. 😛

In all, I’ve been to 17 peaks & 28 summits! Wow! I never realized it until now. What amazed me more is that I just realized that I’ve been to Sirao Peak 6th times already. And a whole lot more realizations. For someone who wants to remember and list things, Peakery is my thing.

I’ve been hooked at the lists as well. From now on, I’ll make it a point that my major climbs will be in this Philippine Ultra List. Right now, I’ve been to 3 (Apo, Pulag, Canlaon). I am at 10%, 3 out of 29. I wanted to add some local listings but unfortunately there was none. I hope they’ll have it soon.

Already have a peakery account? Please add me, http://peakery.com/users/kringjuly/! See yeah! And ohhhh…I’ve been very addicted to list lately and I’m very thankful to have the following list ACED. Weeeeee!


Have you been to another mountain in Cebu not in my list? Please let me know. Thanks!

For now this is still my To Go list in Cebu:
Mt. Lanigid, Liloan
Mago Peak, Carmen
Chalet Hills, Busay
Manghilao Peak in Danao, Cebu
Bocaue Peak, Babag
Mt. Lantoy, Argao


As of_20150929

5 Reasons Why Climbing Sirao Peak Never Runs Out Of Style

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.

Migo&Miga wearing the couple shirt with their names and anniversary date.
2015/08/21: Migo&Miga wearing the NCR Football turned couple shirt with their names and anniversary date.

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.

2014/06/15: Our much-loved just engaged pose seating at the rock in the peak overlooking the city.
A page from our Engagement photobook.

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.

2013/03/02-03: My first Hello Sirao visit!
2013/03/02-03: My first Hello Sirao visit!
2013/03/02-03: My first Hello Sirao visit!
2013/03/02-03: My first Hello Sirao visit!

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.

2013/03/02-03: My first Hello Sirao!
2015/08/21: My latest Hello Sirao!

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.

2015/08/21: Hello Mr. & Mrs. Julio!

My Sirao escapades:
006: Mar 02-03 [BRB] Kan-irag Climb
009: Apr 26 Sirao Peak (Day Trek)
008: Feb 08-09 Sirao Peak
011: June 14 Sirao Peak (The Engagement)
015: Feb 07 Sirao Peak ~ (Fun Trek w/ NCR Ladies)

Where should I go in Southeast Asia?

Where to go in Southeast Asia? – a question that has been nagging me since. I have always wanted to travel, explore the world and break free. But financial & other things prevented me from just packing my bag & pursue the dream. I had too many things on my mind but travelling at least in Asia remained on the list. Someday, sometime, I know the desire would burn brightly…

About to become Mr&Mrs. Julio. Preparation picture at Summit Circle, Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City!

Just last week, it finally hit me. It’s been almost 2 months since the wedding and we don’t have a plan for our honeymoon trip yet. Haha! The honeymoon is not mandatory but our 7th anniversary celebration is. We have to go somewhere. It’s a must for it to be outside the country and just the two of us. We already have countable trips with friends. This time, I want it to be just me and him.

Wanna see this in Cambodia. Pic from sheknows.com!

But considering our 7th anniversary is on June already (23 days from now to be exact), this trip might not be fitting at all. I can try but I feel I have already exhausted my super power efforts by organizing our DIY wedding in just 1.5 months. This trip will happen but not anytime soon.

Wanna photo shoot in Buddha park in Laos! I
Wanna photo shoot in Buddha park, Laos! Pic from visit-mekong.com!

Being the overly controlling me, I need to be prepared. And it always amazes me how things just fall into place. Yesterday, I bumped into an FB feed from We Are Sole Sisters of an eBook about travelling in Southeast Asia. Without a second thought, I emailed right away. 😀 Oh well, one thing about me, I am a person who always do things here & now. I don’t do tomorrows. I make it a point to do the things I can today…no tomorrows.

Wanna visit the floating market in Thailand. Pic from http://travel.allwomenstalk.com/
Wanna visit the floating market in Thailand. Pic from http://travel.allwomenstalk.com/

Lo and behold, I received the eBook today. I was too excited and browsed at it immediately. It was just wow. The eBook is enough to hype me up to continue my plan to travel and explore SEA.

Wanna feel the water of Pongua Waterfall in Vietnam! Pic from http://www.worldvisitingplaces.com/
Wanna feel the water of Pongua Waterfall in Vietnam! Pic from http://www.worldvisitingplaces.com/

From it, I realized that since I cannot afford to travel for more than 2 weeks, I may need to focus my itinerary on Indochina (comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, and West Malaysia). It was short but very concise. At once, I was able to pickup the things that I needed to do on each country…where to stay & eat.

Can’t wait to have my own version. Hopefully, Indochina in 10 days. Crossing fingers. Interested? Go grab a copy of SEA ebook from We Are Sole Sisters.

Go GRAB a copy NOW!

Thankful For The Hundred Thumbs Up!

My first 100! Thanks a LOT for being one of them. 🙂

It’s not much but I wanna remember that today I reached my first 100 followers. 🙂 I have always been a fickle minded blogger…transferring from one platform to the other, changing blog names, blog address and all that. I clearly didn’t mind about followers and likers.

I write for myself. I easily forget things. When I do, I would always feel the emptiness for not being able to do anything nice. I am afraid of just existing…to live day today mundanely.

I still write for myself now but with an additional vision to bring people to live their lives out of the usual box as well. There’s just so much to do in this world. And I believe trekking and travelling is out of that box.

Being liked  & followed, for me is somehow a testament that I have slowly reached my vision. 🙂 And I thank you for being one of those people who gave me the thumbs up.

Yay! Toast to more years in the blogging world. Looking forward to being in my 60s, still trekking & travelling and of course, sharing the experience. 🙂

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Adventures with little feet

The Misis Blogs

Sharing with you my journey as Misis B. 😊

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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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