Aside from the buko break, trekking w/ NCR trekkers is a different experience compared to my other climbing groups because for twice now, we wrapped up the climb at a body of water. The Hambubuyog climb started & ended at Inambakan Falls. This climb was supposed to start & end at 2 different falls but unfortunately, we weren’t able to proceed as planned to Cambais Falls.
However, we still ended at a body of water in Malabuyoc. What set it apart is that we were able to enjoy both cold & hot water in one place. Yay!
Hello Mainit Springs
Upon crossing the river after 15 minutes of walking from where we had our bukos, the cottages & tables of Mainit Springs were the first indications that you have arrived.
It was passed lunch time so we were all famished that I thought of just buying cooked food. But the group insisted on cooking so we did. Nadia and Ads led the cooking. While on support mode and to sate my hunger & glutonny, Nalyn & I bought Indian mangoes. The salted shrimp was so yummy I ate 3 mangoes. Lol
Like the previous, we had rice blooper again. The combination of heat & thin cooksets burnt the rice turning it into brown. 😦 Good thing there were extras, we didn’t have to eat the brown rice. 😛
I was hungry but when it was time to eat, I lost some of the appetite. I was so sure the 3 mangoes took all of it away. It seems it wasn’t just me who ate little because there were leftovers.
After eating, Chaola volunteered to wash the dishes. Yay! While waiting for her, Kat, I & the others cleaned the table. Because Kat had some personal dilemma, she was left at the cottage. Poor Kat! Another reason to go back to Mainit Springs.
When we arrived, before we were allowed to settle at our cottage, we were ushered to a small hut beside the entrance. There we were asked to logged in our name & were given an orientation about the place. We paid Php 20 each as well for the entrance.
There were 7 falls. I was planning to picture everything but when I was actually there, I had totally forgotten about it.
I was pleasantly surprise at the beauty of Montaneza falls. Unlike the other falls I’ve been to that has an open space, this one is conveniently hidden at an enclosure. The rocks lining up its sides were astoundingly beautiful. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve told myself that it would be nice if I had a cam that can capture just how high those rocks were.
Each nook was picture perfect. I could see myself camwhoring at every corner but since the human tripod was not around, I just lingered a while & take photos for the blog.
The 7th falls was off limits due to falling rocks but I didn’t know really how they count the falls. Haha! Next time, it might be nice if they put some indication. 😀
You could pass the springs on the way to the falls but it would be nice to take a dip at the falls first. It would save you time for the shower which is a requirement to bath in the springs.
There were 4 falls with varying temperatures. The hottest spring is at 42 degrees celcius, then 36 and
then around 20s. Because I am always a bit on the crazy and confident type, I tried the hottest first. For a normal person, my tolerance to heat is pretty abnormal but it was just too hot.
When I transferred on the 2nd pool, it was tolerable, it was hot as well but pretty tolerable. I dipped my legs first & was so surprised that it turn pink. I was so happy and joked that I might stay in the water longer to retain the color. 😛
I swam and stayed in the 2nd pool. The hot water was very soothing. After a while, I decided that I was OK and took my chance at the 1st pool. And yayyyyyyy….the 2nd pool must have put my body in a state where I could already tolerate the 1st pool. I only dipped twice though afraid that anytime soon I might get a heart attack ’cause my heart beats like crazy. After trying on the 1st & 2nd, some of my companions decided they had enough, so we ended our time with the spring, gathered our belongings, ready for the shower.
Goodbye Mainit Springs
After everybody has done showering we left Mainit around 4:30 PM. We were told that the “habal2x” drop off was still 15 minutes of walking but we enjoyed talking so much that we didn’t noticed the drop off and walked up to the high way instead. 😀 By 5:30 PM, we were on a Ceres bus bound to Cebu City. 🙂
If you missed the start of this post here it is. Till the next adventure…not a mountain this time but canyooneering in Badian. Yay! First “Try” post this year. What are my other “try”s? See wakeboarding in Camsur, ATV in Mayon.
After catching our breath at the house, our other companions were still nowhere. I decided to survey the trail or the lack of it. There was one but it was hidden by a twig you’d thought otherwise. The husband was very adamant in going but I insisted. Doing nothing at that point was out of my options since the sun was already setting. If not for the 2 other trekkers who vouched to go, I wouldn’t have pursued.
Many times along the way, my mind wandered, scaring the hell out of me by thinking of horror/thriller movies like Wrong Turn & Chain Saw Massacre. My guess was that one or two of my companions were thinking the same. We were silent all throughout probably trying to grasp every sound that would meant danger in the midst of the covered trail.
When we reached a clearing, my heart felt at ease for a while. After everyone in the group gathered, we discussed on what to do. Should we wait for the others there or continue? The decisions were divided. We reached a consensus to just continue but leave a trace for our companions to see.
After the clearing, the path has growned narrower at an edge of a cliff exposing a somewhat open space a far. By that time, the moon was high above us.
Then we reached another clearing. I was always expressing how it could be a campsite. I didn’t want to go on anymore. I wasn’t tired at all but the stress of walking in the dark took a toll. I was hungry as well. All I wanted at that point was to set up camp and prepare dinner.
“That must be the campsite. We seemed so near.” I heard from the trekkers before me. It warmed my heart a little but the angst returned when I realized that was all we’ve been feeling from the start, yet here we were, almost 2 hours after, and the campsite was still nowhere.
When we reached of what seemed to be a local’s path, most of the trekkers went to the right. I decided to survey the left with Nadia before me. She was scared, so was I. But at that point, my want to settle overpowered all the fears I had. But the path went on and on. We were a little far from the others so we decided to go back.
The husband called me from the top of the small hill above the path. I hurriedly reunited with him and the others. The husband told me that there was a place where we could camp but basing on the blog, we could see the chapel on the camp site. The chapel was nowhere.
There was a commotion again. I somehow lost my temper because even at that point, they were still willing to wait. It was already 7:00 PM. People must have misunderstood me then but I only want to be safe and prepared while waiting. I didn’t want to do nothing. I was hungry and cold. We have tents & everything in our bags. Why were we waiting? We didn’t know what happened to the others, wouldn’t it be better if we just do what we could while waiting? What if they arrived too late? Or not at all. And more what ifs.
I am Miss Optimist but in the mountains, I often thought of the worst. So for me the best approached would have been to camp & prepare our food while waiting. From that experienced, I realized that on a big group, there should always be a Plan B for cases like that. Everyone should have been in synch on what to do. Good thing the weather was good but what if it suddenly rained? It was cold. Maybe I was just taking too much at heart by what happened to Neptali Lazarus, a mountaineer who died at Mt. Halcom due to hypothermia.
Minutes after we settled down & argued what to do, we saw a flicker of light from a far as if signaling us. We noticed another light as well, we assumed it was the Chapel. It seemed near but no one knew the way. People were once again divided. I was one with the group who opt not to go. We stayed put and waited. Arrgh! Waiting & doing nothing was a worst feeling so I kept on budging the husband. Then, Tat, the leader of the 2nd group arrived but Sir Jay wasn’t with them.
Unfortunately, Tat & his companions didn’t knew the way as well. So he contacted the guys which were already at the camp. Thanks God to cell site! Haha! They replied that where we were right then was just very near. They have been to were we are and can vouched that it was safe to walked to the Chapel. Upon knowing it, everyone got ready to go while the husband & I re-packed our bags. We were taking out our burners & cookset by then. 😀
The way to the Chapel from I-do-not-still-know-what-peak-was-that was really easy & straightforward. Because my headlights were dwindling, I had to put them off and relied on the moon. It was my first time to trek on the moon light. We had a night trek in Apo but it was very dark & scary. Everything was in pitch black darkness if you turn off your headlights.
The texters told us it was some 30 minutes walk, but lo and behold, we only spent 15 minutes. Upon seeing the Chapel relief came over me. The husband was quick to set up camp while I started preparing our stuffs for cooking. And finally at around 9:00 PM, we had dinner. We didn’t mind that our cooked rice was a little uncooked. Pfft! I was still unfit for cooking rice but good thing we have Nadia. 🙂 She has become our official rice cooker. 😀
After dinner, we washed our stuffs in the chapel. Most retired early for the night while Migo & I stayed to basked on the moonlit night for a while.
As planned, we only distributed water for breakfast. It was a first time and I find it quite nice. We were able to save time by not cooking. Each member had a choice of breakfast as well. The husband and I had oats. We were ready by 8 AM but took some time waiting for the other group who have managed to enjoy the night thus woke up late the next day. But it was OK since I it gave us ample time to cam whore.
While breaking up camp, the Baby’s dad went to our camp with the baby. I was finally able to confirm if they own the blog. And yes, they own it. Pam, which I knew later arrived and finally were able to exchange conversations offline. Had the chance to ask the name of the cute & adventurous little fella as well. Her name is Asha. They are such a beautiful family and of course very unique. No ordinary parent would expose their 2-year old baby to trekking but if Migo and I have one, we would surely do the same. Hats off to you guys. Migo & I are very excited to have our own and be like you. 😀
Leaving the camp, we followed the road already but still very eventful. Got a local angry by getting water, lost & hitched hike a government truck bound to Inambakan. The ride was very bumpy & scary. But of course, it was very timely ’cause if we didn’t had that blessing, we would have spent 2 or 3 more hours down to Inambakan Falls. And finally we were back to Inambakan, ready to cook lunch & celebrate our rice cooker’s birthday. Yayyyy!
Early this year a friend had just known about my trekacapes so she asked me if I am interested to join the trekking club in our company. I was hesitant for reasons but I left my options open.
By February, my celebrity sched had finally stabilized. I then schedule a climb for my women friends. It has always been my desire to encourage more women to enjoy trekking as much as I do, cause sadly I only have countable ones who do.
It was very fortunate that the club has a scheduled climb of the same destination. Since, it was my first time to organize a climb, I was very uptight & careful. The club’s trail wasn’t our usual path to Sirao Peak. I didn’t want to bring people on a climb not knowing what to expect so we went on our separate ways.
But despite not being able to join them, I have observed that the club & its members is quite agreeable. I decided that I will join on the next mountain.
Last weekend, May 30-31, Mt. Hambubuyog was that mountain – my very first climb with NCR trekkers. 🙂
Like most of the club’s climb, it was a big crowd. I wasn’t able to join the pre-climb meeting and was assigned my own group to manage. I’m very thankful that my team were all very cooperative and supportive. By Wednesday, we were all set and ready. Sleeping arrangements & meal plans were done. 2 of the original team weren’t able to make it but good thing the plan was flexible.
On the way to Ginatilan, Cebu
The call time was 5:30 AM. But we decided it would be best to have it 30 minutes earlier. I really thought no one would bother arriving as early as 5:00 AM. But boy, I was wrong. Still very groggy by 5:00 AM but receiving Charm’s message took it all away. The husband noticed my haste and for the first time, he woke up on his own. By 6:00 AM, we were on our way to the terminal of which most of my team were already waiting. Dutifully, the husband agreed to buy our breakfast at 7/11 while I went ahead to reunite with the others.
At 7:00 AM, we were on a non-AC Ceres bus bound to Ginatilan with a fare of Php 162. The expected time of arrival was 4 hours after but we were 15 minutes early. Upon arriving, some proceeded to buy stuffs at the market while we hired a “habal2” to take us to our first stop of the day – Inambakan Falls for Php 25/person.
The falls mesmerized me. I’ve known about it for quite some time but didn’t bother the details. I’ve never been to Barili’s Mantayupan falls but from the pictures the two seem alike. The water looks very inviting but I had to stop the urge to swim.
I was on a swim gear but when the husband told me he wouldn’t be swimming, I changed my mind. After we settled down & surveyed the place, my eyes caught a fascinating view, that of a group of what seemed to be trekkers as well. One of their guy companion was not carrying a backpack but a most unusual baby carriage mounted on his back. The husband then pointed out that they might have been the owner of the blog he chanced upon. Me thought it could have been the visitor of my blog.
Inambakan falls has an entrance of Php 10. It was cheap but that doesn’t mean the garbage in some areas are tolerable. The place is nice but it could have been better. Hopefully on my next visit, I wouldn’t be seeing those trashes.
After lunch, we had a little siesta while waiting for the others to arrive. By 1:30, we left the falls and followed a path off to Mt. Hambubuyog.
The Hot Part
The other group with the baby left before us. After some 15 minutes, our group followed. We decided to be on the middle. As a blogger, I need pictures and it’s always my favorite to be on the tail or the middle where I could capture almost everything.
The first part of the trail was uphill towards the bamboo where we had our first longer stop. After catching my breath, I then took pictures. Some minutes quickly passed, we then decided to resume trekking but halted because one of our companions got dizzy. Sir Jay, one of the NCR trekking pioneers was quick to give Analyn something to smell on. When I looked at her, she was pale. I wanted to offer to carry her pack but quickly realized that I shouldn’t. In the mountains, it is a must to survive on your own. The husband has always pampered me, though it’s sweet, I sometimes think it makes me weak. Good thing he doesn’t does it often though.
When Analyn regained her bearing, we resumed trekking. From the house near the bamboo, there’s no more trees or coconuts to protect us from the heat of the sun. It was so hot it makes me remember how I struggled climbing Lanaya. Quickly, I hastened my stride to find shade.
Shade. Walk. Shade. Walk. Repeat. That’s the cycle until we reached redemption – the road. I was sweating all over. The husband then offered me his seat & announced, to my dismay, that we had just walked around 1.5 kms according to his GPS. Ohhh!
We stayed on the road for a while then resume trekking. While walking, someone pointed his finger to a faraway mountain saying that Hambubuyog was at the back of it. I was tonque tied. Oh no! Guess this was not some easy trek after all.
The End of the Road
We followed the road to its end where a house & a big mango tree stood. There we caught up with the other group with the baby taking a rest. They took some time enough for the husband & me to noticed that we knew 2 of their companions – a guy whom the husband had just known from his last week’s all men climb in Sirao Peak and a girl that we both knew as a friend of our board game mates. Wew! Small world indeed! But not only that…remember the blog? I will get to it soon.
When all of our companion’s arrived, we geared up to follow the other group but not after we had info of where to buy coke. It was a hot day so the clamor for cold drinks was extra strong, unwavered despite knowing that the store would be an offset to our route.
It took a while before our call was answered by “Nanay”. She was outside. Upon confirmation that cold drinks were available, everyone flocked to her store inside the house. I was one of the late goers. When I went inside the house, I was amazed at Nanay’s busyness. She was really busy giving the orders & giving change from the money that she just put on the table.
When I had our 1 liter of coke, ice & ice candy, I went out & reunited with the husband waiting at the Bermuda grass beside the house where the trekkers sprawled giving in to their thirst.
And of course, the coke wasn’t enough. Sir Jay asked if Bukos were available. Yay! They were. I was so full but BUKO, oh well, nothing is impossible. Tons of fun we had at that stop, in between eating Buko, drinking coke & taking pictures. Sir Jay was breaking the Buko for everyone.
The time quickly passed to 5:00 PM. I was concerned. From the way it looked, we were still way far from our destination. One of the trekkers got an information from Tatay about a shortcut that would just took as an hour. It was very timely. We didn’t know the way but were told to just remember 2 things. First was to walk towards the coconut tree on top of the hill and the 2nd was to walk towards another tree after the hut, which was at that point, very miniscule.
The HARD Part
I didn’t sign up for this – me thought while going up a hill with obviously no path. The husband kept on asking if it was the right way since we were walking on a corn field. The soil was loose & rocky. It would gave in if we put too much pressure on each stride. I looked around if there was another path but there was nothing so I kept on following the crowd.
On the house after the corn field, we caught up with the baby group (short for the group with the baby since I would be talking about them some more from here on) taking a rest because they got lost. I saw the Dad way up the hill beyond the house. He seemed to be looking for something. Me thought he was checking if there was really a path towards the coconut tree.
After enjoying the view and catching our breath, the real hard path begun. Aside from walking up on a loose soil, we were now literally grappling our way through a steep slope with nothing to rely on but the loose soil & our balance. Hats off to the rookies who experienced it. They just had their first taste of what it really was to conquer mountains – facing your fears, calculating your step & being aware of not just your safety but with everyone else. I took my time waiting for the person before me to cross the slope totally and then, I ran. Yes, I ran. I realized that if I took too long on a loose ground, I would slide. If I ran, I am only putting less pressure on it. But of course, it’s not for everyone. Me and the hubby has seemed to develop this technique over time. In the mountains, it is always a must to do what you habitually do. Never do anything you are not sure of.
Ohhhh! I have been planning for just a post but isn’t this too long already? I started writing this since Monday, on and off, on the way to work. Haha! Keeps me unbored. 😛 Today is Friday. Hmmm! The unperks of enjoying the trek so much, you tend to spill all the details. Haha! ‘m sorry but you have to wait for the next post about what happened to us after the hut beyond the coconut tree. It got really thrilling & fun from then on. 😀 Tidbits: we got somewhat lost and eventually arrived at the camp by 8:00 PM. Wew! I hate night trekking but it was especially lighter that night. The moon is brighter than my dwindling headlights. 😀 See yeah!!!