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

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

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

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! 🙂

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. 🙂 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! 🙂

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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂
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. 😀 I just wanted a post for day 2 but a lot of things happened worthy of note. 😀

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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, participants 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 trek with 5-10 minutes break before crossing the river. This part has the most “buhis-buhay” moments.  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. 😀

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! 🙂

Tres Marias Series:

Day 1

Day 2 – Part 1

Day 2 – Part 2

Day 3

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).

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! =)

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.

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.

Breakfast at Lanaya’s Peak! Hello Rey – our unexpected guest. 🙂
Group pic sans Junji’s team who chose sleep over sunrise at the peak!
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

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. 😀

Dinner time!
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.

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.

Breaking up camp and cam-whoring while waiting.
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.

Going down the almost vertical descent!
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.

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.

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!!!

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

Climbing With A Purpose @ Mt. Babag, Cebu


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.

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!


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. 🙂


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.

NCR Trekker’s guest (July) putting up the LNT sign at the big camp.
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.

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.

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. =)

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

NCR Trekker’s Multi-Peak Escape in Kandungaw, Maloray, Dalaguete

On the edge of Kandungaw's Peak!
On the edge of Kandungaw’s Peak!

In preparation for a major climb this June, NCR Trekkers went back to one of the countable town to town trek in Cebu – Maloray, Dalaguete to Sohoton, Badian with an overnight camp at the foot of Kandungaw Peak. 25 adventurers joined the trek, 13 of which were NCR trekker members. Compared to the “foggy” visit in November 2015 with no clearing, this time the great Kandungaw finally revealed all of it’s splendor.

From L-R, T-B: (1) Group pic at the front of the wall (see the star). (2) Our tents with the great Kandungaw’s back in the background. (3) The husband posed at the heart of Kandungaw. (4) Me on top of Kandungaw.
Up close with the 2nd peak connected to Kandungaw.
Up close with the peak opposite Kandungaw. It’s the best peak of all for the brave at heart. Getting up on a loose soil while scrambling your way to the top and getting down on a vertical descent with rocks. Must climb!

Kandungaw, like it’s neighboring peak, Osmeña can be accessed via Mantalongon, Dalaguete. From the bus stop at Mantalongon Market, you will have to hail a habal2x (motor) to the jump-off at Maloray, Dalaguete. The hike to the peak is short but coupled with mostly ascents. On a clear day, you can see the tip of Kandungaw on the ride to the jump-off and in the ascent. With our usual pace and picture stops in between, we reached the peak after an hour.

The manmande steps to Kandungaw. A view of the wall. And climbing through the entrance of the campsite.
One more ascent and finally, hello campsite.
From L-R, T-B Peaks surrounding the camp site: (1) Not fit for climbing. (2) For the brave peak. (3) Connected to Kandungaw Peak. (4) Kandungaw Peak – it does look like a lion to me!

Hiking up the trail to Kandungaw, you will be amazed at the wall-like mountains that would greet you after enduring the oversize man-made steps. Beyond the wall where Kandungaw stands as it’s highest point, is the campsite conveniently tucked at the heart of 3 other smaller peaks. 2 of the peaks offered amazing views and should not be missed. A stone-throw away from the camp is a house.

Climb-able peak’s view at night!

Like every other NCR trek, there were socials and this time, everyone participated. After dinner, the usual get-to-know-you and #hugot lines started, with Lanz (NCR Trekker’s Most Active Villager on our first ever Werewolves game in Lanigid) kicking it off. The favorite game of “Werewolves” followed with 24 players. AJ, the club president, moderated the game which ended at 12 AM where 4 all women villagers emerged as the victors defeating 3 women and 2 men werewolves.

NCR Trekker’s group: The riches led by AJ, the squatters led by Lanz and the free spirits (Me, Migo & Liz) and all of us gathering together for the socials!

The night was peaceful with no rains but the fog covered the peak at 5 AM. It drizzled a bit as well stopping us to see the sunrise at the peak. We were afraid not to catch a clearing so we decided to bring our breakfast to the top while waiting.

Breakfast at the peak achieved while waiting for the clearing! Yayyyyy!
The adventures of Migo&Miga! Thanks to our photographer, Liz of!
Playing with the sun at the peak opposite the main peak of Kandungaw!

We broke camp and left Kandungaw around 9:30 AM just in time for a strong rain to fall. Unlike last November’s climb, we didn’t backtrack, we traversed to Badian led by an NCR member who’s a local in Maloray. After an almost 4 hours trek, 2 of which were under the rain, we arrived at Nanay Rosa’s house just 5 minutes away from Sohoton Elementary School. We left Nanay Rosas’ at half past 3 and were exhausted. Pressed for time, the planned side trip to Lambug Beach did not push through.

And continuing our goal, the sign ready to be posted at the shed on the peak’s shoulder. Lanz’s group owned the task!
The adventurers!!!

To end this post, we will be inviting everyone to participate in the National Cleanup Day wordwide led by PinoyMountaineer on June 4, 2016. A lot of groups in Cebu will be adopting a mountain. Don’t miss this opportunity to give back to nature. We will be adopting Mt. Babag on that day. It’s a day trek only. If you wanna join, drop me a comment below or see “Get Involve“.

Do more than appreciate the beauty around you. Don’t be a freeloader, take time to care and give back to Mother Nature. Book your calendar, June 4! Please pass the word to all adventurers. Let’s join our hands together!!!

* The main group composed of 18 pax followed a different itinerary. This was the “apas” group itinerary composed of 7 pax (me, migo, liz, jane, didit, barbs, kara).
Day 01
10:30 Assembly in Osaka Terminal
* The long wait is due to the bus.
* Late arrival and departure.
13:00 ETD to Mantalogon
16:00 ETA in Mantalongon
16:30 ETA in Maloray (Jump-off)
17:30 ETA in Kandungaw Camp Site
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Socials & Game of Werewolves
00:00 Lights off

05:00 Call Time
05:30 Breakfast Preps
06:00 Breakfast at the peak
07:00 Photo Ops
09:00 Break Camp
09:30 ETD to Sohoton, Badian
13:30 ETA in Sohoton
15:30 ETD to Badian Proper
16:00 ETD to Moalboal
16:30 ETA in Moalboal v-hire Terminal
18:00 ETD to Cebu City via hired v-hire
20:30 ETA in Cebu City

PHP100 Bus fare from Osaka to Mantalongon
PHP50 Habal2 from Mantalongon to Maloray
PHP60 Habal2 from Sohoton to Badian Proper
PHP15 Tryke from Badian to Moalboal
PHP180 V-hire to Cebu City
Total: PHP405

Lunch – eat at Osaka Terminal
Dinner – cooked rice & hungarian usage

Breakfast – noodles, milo, bread & fruits
Lunch – cooked rice & corned beef

More Purposeful Climb @ Mago Peak, Carmen, Cebu

The plight of Osmeña Peak has been heartbreaking to us who have seen it’s beauty before trekking has become somewhat mainstream. It’s sad and disappointing. Lately, more and more beautiful mountains or spots in Cebu has fallen into the hands of human nature – selfishness, carelessness and no love for the environment. We’ve seen some and are greatly affected thus aside from our main purpose of encouraging our office mates to enjoy and experience nature via trekking, NCR Trekkers has added a new line in our mission: to help what we can in keeping the beauty of every place we visited. Last weekend, we visited Mago Peak for the first time and was astounded by it’s beauty.

LNT sign posted by our NCR Trekker champion of the month, Gamz!

In living up to our mission, we posted an LNT sign to a post on the way to the peak. We wanted to put it in the peak but it had nothing to tie the rope on. Aside from posting an LNT sign, we aimed to clean the camp site and the vicinity of the mountain as well. Fortunately, Mago Peak is still clean. We are hoping it will stay clean forever.

Participant’s in this weekend’s activitiy! 7 day trekkers and 13 overnighters of which 13 are NCR employees and 7 guests. Official photo ops at Mago peak. – Pics from Sanberth aka Nognog.

A plea to those who can read this post and be enticed to visit, PLEASE, PLEASE be responsible enough to follow the LNT ethics. If you don’t know about it, I strongly suggest you should know. It’s time we start caring for our environment. Don’t be JUST a mere spectator and bitch about what’s happening. Be an agent of change and PLEASE, DO SOMETHING if you ever saw anyone breaking the code. 

This weekend’s climb is NCR trekkers’s less populous activity with only 20 participants in total of which 13 are NCR employees and 7 are guests.  13 enjoyed the overnight at the camp near the boundary marker. The peak was not fit for camping since the grass were just burned. We chanced upon a local who told us the reason why the grasses needed to be burned.

Yip that’s fire in there. Some parts of the mountains on the way to Mago is burnt. That’s not of course fire due to carelessness. The local said, the fire was intended to make way for new grasses to grow. The cows no longer eat old grasses, they have to be burn so that new ones will grow and the cows will like to eat them again.

Road to Santican, The Jump-Off

Mago peak is almost an hour ride from Carmen Public Market via habal2x. The fare was quite steep but it’s worth it. The ride is really long and be prepared to have muscle pains on your leg. The road to Santican was uphill with most parts under construction. The view was nice though. You can pass a road with some pine trees. You can catch a glimpse of Lhuilliers’ richness too.

View on the road. Took this on the 2nd day. I was too scared to take snaps on the way since I am very concerned with my safety in the habal2x ride.

Trek Proper

Duration of trekking to Mago Peak is around 2 hours with numerous stops. We needed it since it’s very hot. Everyone was clamoring for the next shade which were very countable. The vast brown mountains reminds me of walking through Pulag. On our first uphill climb, on top of it is a tree, from there we could already see the peak.

The first longer uphill trek!
This tree provide relief from the scorching summer hotness. We could already see the mountain where the peak is from here!
The view from the tree. See the trail on the mountain slopes, yes that’s part of the trail to Mago. This view is my favorite!
Last hurray till the peak. The arrow represents the camp site near the boundary marker of Carmen, Tuburan and Danao. The star represents the electricity post where we tied our LNT sign. Just 5 minutes from the post is Mago Peak.

Overnight Camp

Mago peak is both good for overnight or a day hike. When we reached the peak at 4:00 PM, we had our group picture and decided to camp on another site. Our plan was either to camp near the boundary or go back all the way to the tree. But the tree is still a long way up so we settled near the boundary.

The camp site! We had our official group picture on top of the hill at the background of the camp. The view was really nice from up there.
Top is setting up camp! Bottom is breaking the camp!
Extended view of the camp. Top right picture has the post where we put the LNT sign. Bottom pictures are views of the camp from the hill.

The food, socials and more

Like always, trekking with NCR trekkers is both rewarding in body, mind and spirits. The 13 trekkers enjoyed the full moon in Mago knowing and learning from each other, listening to horror stories, breaking and strengthening new friendships by playing “Werewolves”.


In keeping up with the mantra of creating quality trekkers rather than quantity, everyone is encouraged in preparing the food and helping cleanup after. It’s our dream for every NCR trekker members and guests to know how to prepare, cook and clean up. We not only enjoy the outdoors but learn whatever we can as well.

Group pic at the boundary marker before going down!

Mangitngit Falls

We ended the event at a dip in Mangitngit falls, a newly opened tourist spot in Carmen. Much of it was still under construction though but still enough to refresh our bodies before heading back to reality…home.

Preparing lunch at our exclusive spot in Mangitngit. We transferred the table here just so we could roam away from the crowd.
Mangitngit falls is off limits this time since an accident happened weeks before. We can only take a picture of it.
Overnighters minus Sanberth who ditched us before Mangitngit falls, Didith and Dena who left after lunch.


Day 1
8:00 Participants started arriving
(Waiver & attendance signing while waiting)
9:00 ETD from North Bus Terminal
(This is departure time, no more allowance.
If you are responsible with no Filipino mindset,
you can arrive on the dot.
For those who are not, arrive early.)
09:05 Actual departure from North Bus Terminal (Yehey! NOT Filipino time…almost!)
11:00 ETA Carmen Public Market (LUNCH)
11:45 Actual departure to Brgy Santican
12:00 Last batch of departure to Brgy Santican
– Distribution of IDs
13:00 ETA Brgy. Santican
(Registration @ Brgy Hall)
(Pre-camp briefing)
(Prayer & warm-up)
13:30 Start trek
14:30 ETA of water source
(No water this time. It’s dried up!)
15:15 Foot of Mago Peak
16:00 ETA Mago Peak
(Not feasible for camping since the grass are burned.)
16:30 Day trekkers start to descend (back trail)
17:00 Setup Camp near the boundary indicator
17:45 Day trekkers arrived at jump-off
18:00 Prepare for dinner
(Pinoy dinner for 13/pax: 2 lechon manok, 2 packs of dilis in tomato, 7 cups of rice)
18:30 Socials
19:00 Day trekkers arrived at Carmen Public Market

Day 2
05:00 Wake up call
05:30 Actual Waking Time
(Breakfast Preps)
07:30 Breakfast
(Not very ideal, the sun is high up and it’s very hot.)
(Continental breakfast for 13/pax: scrambled egg, hotdog, sardines w/ egg, corned beef, spam, 2 loaves of sliced bread)
08:30 Break Camp
09:00 Trek start
10:45 ETA in Brgy. Santican
11:00 ETD to Mangitngit Falls
12:00 ETA in Mangitngit Falls, lunch preps
13:00 Lunch
(Modern lunch for 13/pax: tuna w/ cabbage, spam, sobra for breakfast, 7 cups of rice)
15:30 ETD from Mangitngit falls
16:00 ETA in Carmen Public Market
18:00 ETA in SM City, Cebu via mini-bus

Expenses individual:
P40 Bus from North bus to Carmen Public Market
P100 Habal2x from Carmen Public Market to Santican Brgy Hall
P100 Habal2x from Santican Brgy Hall to Mangitngit Falls
Php50 Entrance in Mangitngit Falls
Php50 Mangitngit Falls to Carmen Public Market
P40 Mini-bus from Carmen Public Market to North bus
Total: P380.00

Php200 Table in Mangitngit Falls (dividided by 12)

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