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


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

Look how happy I was with these lights. 🙂

Dry Morning in Tinagong Dagat

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

Photo ops with the breakfast squad.
Cooking and breaking up camp in progress…

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

Breakfast Time

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

Bye Bye Tinagong Dagat

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

Tribu Iskwatters & Friends
And the husband is back to his jumping spree!

Down to the Dam

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

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

Hello Civ!!!

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

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

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

The Wait, the Ruins and Home Sweet Home

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

Feeling fresh and free!!!

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

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

Talaba for Late Lunch

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

The Ruins

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

This guy’s so in love with me gurl!!! ❤
DIY photo ops around the ruins!

The Ride Back Home

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

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

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




Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek


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

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

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Backpacking IndoChina in 11 Days: What To See & Do in Cambodia

I need to remember how great our adventure was. The thought of just hopping from country to country alone was an adventure in itself especially the border crossings but the best adventure was being able to see the places that we’ve only seen in books or in pictures. So stay with me as I relived our 11 day adventure that started in Cambodia then Vietnam then Laos, and finally Thailand. Yay!!! You can do this too! Maybe even better than we did. 🙂


Today is exactly 2 months since I turn 30 and flew to Cambodia – the starting point of our multi-country escape in Indochina to celebrate  a new milestone. To be honest, I haven’t really had the time to check all the pics and do a cleanup since we return. And sometimes, everything feels like a dream. But I know it’s not because I have pictures to prove it. Plus every now and then, I get messages from strangers commending about our kick-ass and detailed plan too.  I have Trip Zilla to thank for that. 🙂 Just grateful that I could share and inspire others to travel.

After detailing the everyday activities, I still have lots to tell but unfortunately, things happen. When I finally caught up, I got super busy that I felt the need for extra hours just to do the things that I wanted to do. 24 hours is just not enough. But today is a bit different. There’s this little voice in my head that’s telling me that I need to write to calm my raging thoughts. Oh yes, my to dos are still endless but I need this.

I need to remember how great our adventure was. The thought of just hopping from country to country alone was an adventure in itself especially the border crossings but the best adventure was being able to see the places that we’ve only seen in books or in pictures. So stay with me as I relived our 11 day adventure that started in Cambodia then Vietnam then Laos, and finally Thailand. Yay!!! You can do this too! Maybe even better than we did. 🙂

First stop: SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

When you thought of Cambodia, of course the first place that would come to mind is Angkor Wat right? We were there. But to our delight, Angkor Wat is not just a single monumental structure. The place was HUGE. And that’s not all it, Siem Reap was actually home to lots of Angkors or city in ruins. IT WAS MIND-BLOWING. And because the husband is a National Geographic fan, it was like playground for him. For me, every corner is a place to photo shoot. Haha! If we ever come back to Cambodia, we would surely take the 3-day pass. But if you are in a hurry like us, you can just have it in 1 day and visit only the musts. See below our pictures arranged from our first stop to the last.

Day 1 Siem Reap, Cambodia (Currency spent: USD-cash on hand)
-Sunrise @ Angkor Wat
-Bayon, Baphoun, Royal Enclosure, Terraces of Elephants
-Checkout
-Lunch
-Bantay Kdei, Ta Phrom, Sunset @ Phnom Bakeng
-Night bus to Phnom Penh

Second stop: PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

We didn’t really knew much about Phnom Penh. When the husband asked why we would go there, I just answered because the bus from Siem Reap ends there and I want to rest after sleeping on a night bus. But surprisingly, we were able to sleep well on the night bus. Plus when we arrived at our accommodation, we were allowed an early check-in. So having rested, we don’t have a choice but to spend the rest of the day wandering. But what a wander that was. In all of our stops, Phnom Penh’s was the most heartbreaking. At S21, the husband had to asked that we shouldn’t take a selfie because it seems inappropriate. And to my disbelief, I just agreed without 2nd thoughts. We visited two sites from the horrors of Polpot’s regime in Cambodia: Choeung Ek Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S21). We spent the half day in Toul Sleng listening to the history of Polpot’s terror. I was teary-eyed all throughout. Those places are not for the faint at heart. It will really break you. But don’t fret because there’s still other nice places in Phnom Penh too like the Royal Palace and some others that we missed because we’ve stayed at Choeung Ek and S21 too long.

Day 2 Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Currency spent: USD-cash on hand)
-Early arrival in PhnomP
-SLA early check-in
-Killing fields 9-12 AM
-Lunch
-Toul Sleng 2-4 PM
-Royal Palace
-Independent Monument
– Buy tix to PP & Laos
-Slept @ SLA

More pics to follow from Phnom Penh soon. I will make time to scour in the coming days and post it in instagram since I’m still having problems with the storage and I don’t have time to tinker the new blog.

Stay tuned!!! We’d love to hear your thoughts of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh as well. Were you amazed at how big the Angkor Wat too? What are the nooks of Angkor Archaeological park that you’ve visited and we missed? How about Phnom Penh, were you as sad as we were upon hearing the stories of Polpot’s terror? Do tell.

PS: Please follow us at our INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK page. We’d love to hear and reconnect to wanderers like you. 🙂

Thank you for reading. May God bless you on your travels.

Cheering on you,
Migo & Miga

2 Days in Bangkok, Thailand (Day 10-11/11)


We arrived in Bangkok at 5 AM via 4 transport transfers from Vang Vieng, Laos. The journey started with a VIP van to Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge where we processed the exit from Laos. As soon as we got off the van, we were ushered by a staff from Soutchai Travel. He gave us instructions on what to do and gave us a sticker. Before getting on the connecting bus, he told us that the sticker will be our identification of the Soutchai staff at the Thailand side. The bus to Nong Khai was quick. When we got off, a staff approached and ushered us at an office near a 7/11. We were given our tickets and instructed to wait for the bus at 8 PM. Since it was still 7PM, we had enough time to eat and bought a Thailand sim. We all thought that we would be riding the same sleeper bus all the way to Bangkok but we changed sleeper bus at Nakhon Ratchasima. At 5 AM, we arrived in Mo Chit Terminal 2 in Bangkok, Thailand. We only paid once for all the rides. The ticket was bought in Vang Vieng via Soutchai travel for 270K LAK, around 1600 PHP.

Taxi to Mahannop
Because it’s very early, there was no other transport in sight but taxis. Unfortunately, the driver doesn’t understand English. When we showed him the AirBNB receipt for the address, he proceeded to call our host to our suprise. But even after talking to Danielle, it took him a while to find the place. From that experience, we decided it is our best interest not to take taxi in Bangkok unless necessary. We will have more control if we take public transports.

Early Check-in Not Possible
When we arrived, our room was not yet available but we were able to deposit our big backpacks so we decided to start our tour early. Started it with breakfast in Bangkok.

Street Food Noodles
Our rule was if we were really hungry, we would not be adventurous and eat in the streets. But when I saw the yummy looking noodles at an alley stall, the rule was forgotten. Good thing the noodles were really good. We just used sign language to communicate.

What we did in Bangkok
Like the previous countries, I didn’t really OC on the itinerary. So I was quite surprised that our place where walking distance with the tourist spots. The blessings and luck were so abundant in this trip. Everything was perfectly laid out. Just thankful. 🙂

Armed with google maps and the husband’s awesome grasp of directions, we went around checking the places in the “Rattanokosin Cultural Route” then did a walking tour to Wat Phra Kaew.


Wat Phra Kaew and The Grand Palace
And like Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace, we didn’t had an idea that the place was huge. We had fun taking pictures and listening to it’s history via the audio tour. Unfortunately, the audio tour is limited to 2 hours only so we weren’t able to listen to them wholeheartedly in between photo shoots.

Around 1 PM, our host texted that our room was ready but we were still busy exploring. By 4 PM, we had enough. Who wouldn’t? Most tourists will have stayed there for around an hour but we stayed for 5 hours. Just wow! When we left Migo mentioned that a guard commented that he was wondering what we were doing inside since he saw us in the morning until the afternoon. Most tourists stayed only for an hour. LOL


The Rest of Day 1
When we left the grand palace, we were very exhausted so we decided to not walk all the way back. We took the tuktuk and paid 100 BAHT. After checking in, we took a bath and decided that we had enough wander for the day. We slept then went out to dine with a friend. The night ended with us playing board games at a board game cafe just like what we did in Hong Kong.

Bangkok Day 2
We woke up late. By this time, we felt we needed the extra sleep. After checking out and left our bag, we went to visit “Wat Pho” and had lunch inside. But it was evident that we had enough fun since most of our time were spent eating. The husband seeing me exhausted decided we just need to visit the “musts”. After checking some spots, we decided to call it a day and walk all the way back to the guest house. We lingered for a while to charge our phones. By 6 PM, we were ready to go. We rode a bus to the train station bound to the airport.


Bangkok Pics Here!

Osmeña Peak is GREEN Once More!

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


Last July 30-31, the husband went on an All Men trip to Osmeña Peak. And because of its perfect conditions, he felt like blogging the entire journey. This is his first time to write about an experience and I’m quite amazed at how well he writes. This was a first step but I’m not hoping for anything since he kept on saying blogging is not his thing. Oh well. =)

Last week’s trek trip to Opeak was almost perfect. That was my 7th (or 8th) time there, never missing since 2011, so it’s becoming like a yearly pilgrimage for my trekking “career”.

The campsite was not crowded, with just 7 groups camping (just around 20 tents in total in my guesstimate). At the registration, we were guest no. 170+, which is way down from their weekend norm of 450+ throng of visitors (with as high as 1.5k last summer. — this plus the unforgiving El Nino summer heat; no wonder Opeak looked ravaged on random people’s selfie pics at that time. And this sparked the ‪#‎saveOsmenaPeak‬ posts cropping up on trekkers’ statuses).

We experienced a sudden strong downpour at the early evening that made us scrambled for our tents. My 5 year old tent is showing it’s age, the leaks are getting worse. Good thing it just went by quickly. Had it rained all night, I would have been dozing in a damp sleeping bag. The winds were not roaring, which is the usual up there. But we camped in a somewhat sheltered area, so maybe we were shielded from the full brunt. Torrential rains and howling winds is to be expected up there, so overall, it was just pretty mild.

On the hike to Kawasan, the weather was so fine. The sun only showed up a few minutes in between hours. There was only very slight drizzles, no need to bring out the rain gear. It was mostly cloudy all throughout the trek, the perfect trekking weather. On a typical sunny day, I had to do water refills on the water source, but this time, I wasn’t able to fully consume the 2L water I carried for the trek. Less sweat mean less water loss so no need to constantly hydrate.

We started the traverse trek at 8:27AM and ended at 1:37PM. 5 hours and 10 minutes all-in-all, which is the fastest time in my 5 tries on the Opeak-Kawasan traverse trek (one time, we got lost and spent 7+ hours). Total rest time was just 30-40 minutes. We went the wrong way twice or thrice, but it was only a few meters though. It was my 1st time to be the head guide. The locals are quick to point out the right way, shouting “Diri agi o!”. We only encountered 4 other groups on the traverse, most of us merging at the Chapel/Buko rest area. One group did a reverse traverse, starting from Kawasan and going to Opeak. Another group, a couple, just the 2 of them, overtook us on a slippery trail. They were hike jogging like it was paved road (the girl only wearing Crocs slippers), while we carefully navigated it with our shaky sore knees. I admire their endurance.

After lunch chibog time and swim-relax in the river, we headed home at 4:10PM. I scheduled for us to leave at 3PM+ to avoid the wild scrambling for the bus which is a constant issue on these weekend trips. But I worried all for nothing. The 1st bus we hailed was a Ceres aircon bus, and believe it or not, it was almost empty! This never happened before! At 5PM, it’s always full and standing-only, but no, not this time around. Travelers was so light that day, that the seat beside me was empty until Carcar! Imagine that.

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

osm
A green Osmeña Peak is <3. Taken on July 30-31, 2016.

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.

image

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):
Oil
Pinakurat
Salt
Garlic
Onions
Tomatoes
Magic Sarap
Buwad
Bread
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

@Migo:
Tent
Spoon/Fork
Tooth Brushes
Trekking Pole

My first day attire:
Trekking Pants
Souvenir Shirt
Sarong
Cap
Gloves
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.

image

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

A Peak & A Hot Spring in One Adventure


No trek is ever the same even if you’ve done it many times. This was my 3rd trek in Mt. Lanaya. Yet each and every time is a different experience. And if I were to pick the best, nah, I’ll pass. Last Saturday, June 11-12 is as good as the first (2013 via Legazpi – Lumpan) and the 2nd (2015 via Lumpan – Legazpi, same as this trail).

06
Views of Lanaya – the mountain side below and the sea side on top!

It was another great weekend with NCR Trekkers Club at a trek we dubbed as “Freedom Climb” since it falls on the “Independence Day” weekend. It was NCR Trekker’s 8th mountain after Naupa in January, Lanigid in February, Osmena in March, Mago in April, Kandungaw in May and just last weekend, Mt. Babag & Chalet Hills. There were 28 trekkers who joined the adventure that started in Brgy Lumpan in Alegria and ended in Mainit Springs in Malabuyoc just like my 2nd trek, a first with NCR Trekkers in Lanaya.

Like any other trek, it was great but not without hiccups. Thanks to God we were able to triumph over it with no injuries. Great climbs were not meant to be flawless. It had to be flavored with an epic adventure. We had that adventure by being lost. My emotion got the best of me for some time and then it faded when I realized my responsibilities. I had to be bigger than my angst.

From that trek, I realized how hard it is to be the “Sweeper”. It takes a lot of patience and empathy. And as I have always mentioned, I fall short of the two. Still I’m thankful for the experience. It lets me see a different view of the entire trek. But I’m most thankful to the 2 people who are always there to back me up. Without them, no trek would be as good as it always does. 🙂

So here are the 12 things that made this adventure as good as the first 2 experiences:

1. We were able to achieve the “Apas” group for the 2nd time. Hooray!!! In support of the husband’s habitual Friday late nights, we had to adjust accordingly. Last time I was pretty confident with Kandungaw but not this time. Thanks to God I was able to lead us safely to the campsite even if it was a different trail. Haha! =)

01
Apas team starting the ascent at 5:30 PM!

2. We had a better and muffin-free camp. Last time, we camp in front of the cool looking trees but now we were nestled at a small enclosure near the “shortcut”. Our tents are closer compared to the previous too.

02
Checking the camp if it was NCR Trekkers camp. Bottom right pic shoes the “regular group” passing by the previous campsite.

3. Breakfast at the peak achieved again. Yahoooo! This time the team got bigger. Because, we weren’t able to visit the peak at sunset unlike the “regular” group, we had to wake up at 5AM to see the sunrise. We arrived at the peak at 5:30 AM, brought a cook set and a burner. Boiled water while waiting for the sunrise. We had oat meals and fruits.

03
Breakfast at Lanaya’s Peak! Hello Rey – our unexpected guest. 🙂
04
Group pic sans Junji’s team who chose sleep over sunrise at the peak!
05
Another group pic at the seaside. The pole was quite useful as a camera stand. 😀

4. We had an unexpected “recruit”. While waiting for the bus to Alegria which was surprisingly populated when we assembled at 11AM, I saw a familiar face – a neighbor from our condo. He was as surprised as I am for seeing each other. He commented that he never thought of me as the adventure type. Haha! Oh well, everyone’s 1st impression of me. Thus the blog to prove them wrong. 😛 It wasn’t long before he got comfortable with the rest of the group. His stories of Tres Marias and Guiting2 entertained us while we are waiting for our turn. He was supposed to join a group in cleaning Kanlaob river but to our surprise, he ditched them when they got off in Alegria. Lol He is indeed one of a kind. He’s a great addition to my already quirky group. Hehe

08
While waiting for our turn. We spent 1.5 hours waiting. Left at 12:30 and was in Alegria at 4:30 PM.

5. Socials assignment continued. This time it was Barbie who started it. Thanks to him, we had wine to pair our laughter with. No #hugots this time but instead, we were looking back on our trekking adventures. Happy to have known 1 who is really a first timer. I just hope Lanaya wouldn’t put out her flame. Lanaya can be pretty tough for a first timer. 😀

09
Dinner time!
10
Socials started at 8:30 PM followed by a game of “Werewolves”!

6. “Werewolves” with 27 people was a ruckus but still fun! I still can’t get over the fact that all the werewolves were from the “Apas” group and my guests. Haha! Well mostly, all the roles really: Barbie – the Scapegoat, Jane – the Seer, Didit – the Little Girl, Cha – the Defender, Migo – the Nurse, Werewolves: Liz, Ziel, Dee, Marvin & Ricco. Only me, Junji & Rey had no roles, hepless “Villagers”. Van2 was the witch. Last time 4 all girl villagers survived with me as the most annoying villager. Haha! Now almost half of the villagers were saved. Thanks to the most “ichusera villager” of all time – Bujoy. Being friends with influence get her so far indeed.

11
Remaining villagers, the survivor!!!

7. Call time was almost achieved with a 30 minute delay. We left the camp at 8:30 this time. Kandungaw was an hour late so it’s an improvement.

12
Breaking up camp and cam-whoring while waiting.
13
Finally a group picture!

8. No major injuries despite the fact that it rained when we went down to Legazpi. We had hiccups with some guests. A shoes needed a medic. The sole falls out and she was having a hard time. And another almost had cramps.

14
Going down the almost vertical descent!
15
Medic shoe break for Leizel!

9. We got lost for a while but eventually angels were sent to lead us to the right path. We were already famished when we arrived at Mainit Springs by 1:30 PM, 5 hours after we started.

16
Bottom right peak is where I left my bag to scour for the lost sheeps.

10. I learned a great lesson. One that I would cherish. My respect for “Sweepers” have grown immensely. After that ordeal, I swore never to be on the tail again but thinking about it now makes me want to be a sweeper again. There’s just so much in a trek that you could only see when you are seeing it at the back. 🙂

11. We were able to put up LNT sign again. This time we put it on the trail.

18
This trek’s LNT champion is Van2x supported by Jumz plus our new overnight joiners.

12. From what happened last weekend, I was more fired up to implement that “ribbon” thing or put up signs on the trail. It is important for the guests to be aware of the difficulty of the trail too. Next time, we should be firm in implementing that the inviter should tell their guests about the nature of the trek. We are all for fun and sometimes, thinking of the safety of other people can suck the fun away. Each and everyone needs to treat each other as companions too. It is supposed to be a rule to be mindful of the one in front and behind you on the line. NEVER lost sight of the one in front of you and ALWAYS check if you have the person following you is still around. If that simple rule isn’t followed then problems will arise. We are not on a race, we are on a trek. Well, we can always do a race if we don’t have neophytes.

But all is well that ends well. Mainit Spring is still rejuvenating but unfortunately, Montañeza falls was closed down because of some rock issues. There’s the dispute of the road too. We had to pay Php5 to exit. It’s weird. And when we finally reached the highway, most buses were full. We had to squeeze in at a full bus. Good thing a lot of them got off at Alegria. Wew!

Freedom climb at Lanaya is another one for the books but I would love to go back via Legazpi soon even if I have to pay the exorbitant price. Hehe! And ohh, did I mention I was having muscle pains in the leg. Wew! That was indeed a great pre-climb for Tres Marias. Hopefully, no more muscle pains on Friday. I’m very excited nowww. Tickets are ready. Yay!!!

17
Finally cozying at Mainit Springs!
19
Migo and Miga getting ready to go home!
view1
Kandungaw-like view of Lanaya. The big rock before the peak!
view2
#OOTD pic at Kalo-kalo peak!

Climbing With A Purpose @ Mt. Babag, Cebu


Mt. BABAG

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

I heard a lot of hearsay about Babag’s difficulty. It was one of the few mountains in Cebu with a lot of continuous and steep ascents making it very ideal for preparing a major climb. Since all my treks have been day treks, I wouldn’t know for sure just how difficult Babag could be with my usual pack. It has been OK for now. Tired but bearable.

We were supposed to join as a club to a local Cebu mountaineering group in cleaning up Mt. Kan-irag. But as we were checking the list, there were at least 2 other groups who’d do the same. Because of our number, we decided to change our destination and enlist.

There were 3 mountain nominees and Mt. Babag won. It was very ideal since no other groups were listed. A week before the climb, some members expressed fear when the story about the cobras that escaped in Cebu Zoo resurfaced (searched for news article but I couldn’t find one). Even with our assurance that it’s generally safe and no cobra incidents were reported, the news continued.

At our pre-climb, we announced to everyone about the “cobra news” and opened an option to those who were afraid. It was too late to change the mountain already.

Surprisingly, majority of the registrants opt to join Mt. Babag still. Only 11 who had prior schedule in the morning joined the new group that would go to Chalet Hills directly. The Babag group started in the morning while the Chalet group started in mid-afternoon.

BabagChalet
Babag group: divided into 3 sub-groups Head, Mid & Tail led by Tats (NCR Trekkers Adviser), AJ (NCR Trekkers Pres) & Kring (NCR Trekkers Secretary) respectively, Chalet group led by Analyn (NCR Trekkers VP)!

Because it was a cleanup activity, a give back to the community and not just for fun, NCR Cebu provided food for the participants. Php 5600 were given. Babag group was provided a 1-pc chicken from Jollibee while Chalet group had Red Ribbon Mamon and Zest-o juice.

Babag group was a big group of 54. To manage the group well and to cater to those who are late, it was divided into 3 groups. Each group was scheduled to leave at 15 minutes interval. Head group was led by Tats, mid-group was led by AJ and the tail-group was led by me. We were the last group to leave the church at 9:30 AM.

01 Orientation
Lunch & ID distribution before the orientation!
02 Group Pic
Babag group was divided into 3 sub-groups: Head, Mid and Tail. Head group led by Tats (NCR Trekkers Adviser), Mid group led by AJ (NCR Trekkers Pres), Tail group led by Kring (NCR Trekkers Secretary).
03 Warmup
Warm-up at Napo Basketball Court!

At 10 AM, we started the cleanup and was at Manuel’s Manggahan at 12PM. After an hour the trek resumed. We were at RCPI towers after an hour and a half of walking.
We had a long stop at the road to the towers. After we had our rest, we went to the towers, had our group picture and proceeded to Chalet Hills.

04 Cleanup
Tail group in action on the way to RCPI towers!
lunch time
Lunch time!

CHALET HILLS

We arrived earlier than expected. As planned, we waited for the Chalet group. They arrived after 30 minutes of our rest time.

While we were waiting, some wanted to play but to my dismay, it took a lot of my convincing powers. And personally, I don’t want to play as well so I leave it as is. Haha! I am actually not missing much since I can always play on our overnight treks.

I was exhausted but restless. When the Chalet group started cleaning, I joined them. I needed pictures for documentation as well. It was a chance to explore the hills too.

05 Cleanup
Chalet group in action at Chalet Hills!

We cleaned the vicinity of the big camp and the small camp above it. To be honest, I never expected Chalet Hills to be that beautiful. Because it was just a hill and is very accessible, I didn’t have the desire then. It all changes when I realized I could bring my un-trekking friends camping in there. I should do it soon. 🙂

BABAG MEETS CHALET GROUP

GroupPic
The participants at Chalet Hills after the cleanup taking a pose before the final announcements.

After Chalet group was done cleaning, I pushed for the group picture since I noticed the Babag group’s bored face. To my (2nd) dismay, nobody wanted to move again. Phew! A test of patience indeed. I actually thought of just letting go of the big group picture. But of course I had to. I sensed some annoyance but I hope they would understand the value of documentation since it was after all a company-sponsored activity. We were not there simply to enjoy but to fulfill a responsibility. I need the pictures as proof. And is there a better way to show that it was a successful event than by pictures?

I may had some slight annoyance but overall, it was another kick-ass event. Thankful to God that despite the dangers of cobra and this, we were all safe. We were able to carry out our regular mission to spread the awareness of LNT by posting signs on the 2 camps of Chalet Hills. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find an appropriate place to post our sign in Babag so we put everything in Chalet Hills. This was our 3rd sign since our first sign posted in Mago Peak.

BigCampLNT
NCR Trekker’s guest (July) putting up the LNT sign at the big camp.
SmallCampLNT
NCR Trekker’s guests (Norie & Jay) putting up the LNT sign at the small camp.

But of course, I am especially proud because the husband was one of the champion. He was quite handsome with the cleanup shirt as well. ❤ Thanks to Maria. It was supposed to be mine but Migo said it was too big for me. Just so happy he wore it. Liz was not able to join the cleanup 'cause she went with Maria to clean Kandungaw.

MigoMiga
Migo wearing the cleanup shirt and me wearing the Ambassador shirt.

After the final announcements, most left. Regular trekkers stayed until 6 PM enjoying the sunset. Finally had our chance to cam-whore too. Thanks to Wandering Soul Scamper for the lovely photos.

IMG_8582
This one is my favorite. Totally captured the playful me and the ever-supportive husband. 🙂

A Year of Adventure w/ NCR Trekker’s Club


The first with NCR Trekkers was a blast and every trek thereafter. Today I aged 1 with the club. It has been quite an amazing journey. I was able to scale most of Cebu’s trekking destinations and learned a whole lot about mountains and people. Because today is my 1st anniversary, I will answer 10 questions for our newsletter “Anniversary Special”. LOL I am quite excited to be in it. 

1. Tell me something about yourself!

Kring in a Nut Shell (copied from The Wanderfull Life‘s About Page)
So sometimes I really find it hard to introduce myself since I almost want people to know ‘everything’ about me at once. Haha! But most of my friends will not believe me if I say I’m having a hard time talking since I’m always bubbly. They call me an extrovert but I start to believe I am more of an ambivert. I love people. Kindness, bravery and team work makes me cry. If you wanna know more of my inner wiring, I have a thought blog here.

I work as a software engineer and help manage our little rental business on the sides with my husband, Mark. We call each other Migo & Miga. We got married in 2015 at a whimsy little celebration of which we DIY-ed everything. He’s the wind beneath my wings. Without him, I wouldn’t have known how amazing it is to travel. Like many Filipinos, my salary for the first years at work were for the family. I rarely had anything left for myself. Known to be thrifty yet he goes gaga over me to the point of paying all my early trips. We started trekking and board gaming as a couple in 2011 after 3 years of being in a roller coaster relationship. I can be very jealous and volatile when it comes to love life. But Migo made me better and made me the best version of myself.:) Need more cheesiness, here’s a blog about Migo&Miga.

I’m also a frustrated writer or novelist, you can read some of that here. Aside from that I’m actually trying to learn how to write in a sort-of-reporter writing at a blog I created at work on my first year of being an Ambassador in our company.

So in a nut shell? Hmmm! I am a lot of things in one and easily get excited in almost everything. At my worst, I am self-righteous. At my best, I seek to empower people to explore and live the life they want regardless of the societal norms. Everything is just possible.

“Live. Believe. EMPOWER.” is my guiding principle.

2. How do you find trekking?

Everything in trekking is AWESOME. It’s tiresome but addictive.

3. When do you learn that you love trekking?

The husband and I started trekking together in 2011 at Osmeña Peak but we got really hooked in 2012. That’s when we started aiming for major climbs (Talinis, Canlaon).

4. How long would you want to be on trek?

For as long as I can or shall I say, we can. I’m brave and all but without the husband, I’m less braver. Haha!

5. If you are given a chance to trek anywhere of your choice? Where and when?

The Himalayas or just below it!!! Everest would be nice but I don’t wanna die trying. Haha! So I’m just aiming for a trek in Nepal’s villages. 🙂 We are targeting 2-5 years from now but it all depends on our plan to produce little Migo or Miga soon. Nyahaha! Or maybe when we are older and richer? Hahaha! But anything goes really.

6. How’s trekking with NCR Trekkers in one year?

AWESOME!!! I’ve trekked to almost all destinations in Cebu. My network of outdoor friends tripled or quadrupled. But the best takeout I have was having the confidence to organize a trek. I have always been an organizer but there was something about trekking that makes me afraid to commit. This time was different. Maybe it’s the thought that I am not alone in the journey. =)

7. What’s the best thing you love about trekking w/ NCR Trekkers?

Everybody is having fun. Trekking with them is always a FUN TREK. We laughed. They do “hugot” lines. They are absolutely game in playing almost anything but right now they are hooked with “Werewolves”. They are also supportive in responsible mountaineering.

8. How does it feel to be part of the fast growing outdoor community?

Pressured. Haha! Outdoors has somewhat become mainstream now. By introducing a lot of people to the wonders of outdoors, we may be tipping the balance. As much as we try to propagate responsible mountaineering, we can’t always track everyone to be doing the same. Sadly, people are natural dummies and only cares about themselves. I am pressured to let everyone we have converted to love the outdoors to care for the environment too. Trek not only for the pictures but for mother nature as well.

9. If you could change one thing about this trekking phenomenon, what could that be?

A standard operating procedures for all mountains in Cebu should be implemented. I kind of hate at first about organizing a trek in Mt. Kapayas since the Municipality of Catmon is very strict about it. But right now, seeing what happened to other mountains in Cebu, perhaps other government should all follow Catmon’s lead.

10. What is your message to all the aspiring individuals who wanted to be adrenaline junkies?

Go for it and quench your thirst. Do not listen to that inner voice in your head telling you, you can’t. Because YOU can. You and I are NOT very different at all. I’ve been with the mountains for about 5 years now but each trek is still the same. I still feel out of breath on ascent and grateful for descent. If there’s one thing that has changed over time with each peaks was the thought that whatever hardships I experienced in reaching the summit, everything will be forgotten when it all becomes a memory. =)

3pEAKS
Here’s a picture of me in my 3 favorite mountains in Cebu. =)
Seeing Beauty Beyond

“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.”- John O’Donohue

Musings of a Nobody

Because when no one is listening the only thing to do is just keep talking.

Times with Kai

Adventures with little feet

The Misis Blogs

Sharing with you my journey as Misis B. 😊

Kalinga Ni Nanay

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Psalm 24:1

Life with Psoriasis

A Day in the Life of a NEW Psor Warrior

alaine adventures

on minimalism, motherhood, and the stories in between

great life ahead:-)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

%d bloggers like this: