Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

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

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

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Novice’s Journey to A 6K Feet Mountain

At about 6, 243 ft above sea level, conquering Mount Cuernos de Negros (Talinis Peak) was no easy feat for a neophyte mountaineer.  But what push me to pursue such a venture? The reasons were forgotten…what remains is a sweet triumph of being able to endure an almost 18 hours walk in the rain, the one day extension at the mountains and more hardships that (maybe) every mountaineer has to experience.

Mt Talinis

It was supposed 2 be just a 2 days and 1 night adventure. But in the mountains, time is always an enemy. On the way down at 4 hours away from the end of the trail, the sun was preparing to set, forcing us on a night trek. It was our first major climb and most were not prepared of the dangers of night trekking so when the guide suggest we set up camp, we agreed. The issues and concerns came after.

How do we survive another night? The foods were running out. What would we ate for dinner and breakfast the next day? Our families expects us to be home on a Sunday night, wouldn’t they panic if we’re not home as scheduled? More and more issues came…and then resolved. 

From that setback, we’ve learned how important it is to always have an extra. In the mountains, often assumed that the worst will happen. It is not being pessimistic. It is just a way to survive.

At the unexpected extension camp. Oh yeah, we were still in high spirits despite the setback. Be a PESSIMIST…but don’t let it control everything…a little OPTIMISM is always healthy!

This climb was an initiation to the mountaineering world. It was a first major climb so I didn’t know what to expect.  Didn’t want to be caught of guard so here are things I did to prepare myself. It might be worth a read if you are interested to be part of this world. 🙂

  1. READ what you are going into. There’s a whole world of information in WWW. You can’t just jumped into the water without knowing how deep it is right? Well, maybe you can if you know how to swim. But even so, knowing how to swim wouldn’t save you from the sharks that lurk in the water. Haha!


  1. PREPARE. If you read things about mountaineering, there are suggestion on what to do to prepare. Follow it. Be physically and mentally prepared. Schedule jogging sessions. Enroll in the gym. Do the yoga. Do everything that will make your body fit for the strenuous activity.exercise

  2. ANTICIPATE. Get excited. Get into the mood. Being excited at something radiates a good aura in you. The more you think that doing a climb is FUN, it will really be FUN. Think of the things you will see when you reached the top. Think of the views of the trail. Think of how nice it is to be with friends.

And aside from the 3 above…no matter what happens on the trail, accept it as part of the adventure. Also, don’t bring TOO MUCH stuffs. Bring only the once that you will need. No more lipsticks for me…and powder…and mirror. Haha! Even seemingly weightless things may weigh more than you think when you are going uphill.

So now…let me tell you the story with the collages I have of the climb…

Start of the climb
Start of the climb
Up...up and away!
Up…up and away!
Cramp stop. One of our friend got cramps.
Cramp stop. One of our friend got cramps.
The victim!
The victim!
View stop...and cramp stop laters.
View stop…and cramp stop laters.
Water source. Wish I didn't bring too much water.
Water source. Wish I didn’t bring too much water.
Lunch stop @ Lake Yagumyum.
Lunch stop @ Lake Yagumyum.
On the way to the camp site at Lake Nailig..
On the way to the camp site at Lake Nailig..
Porn stop?! See the de-formed tree...
Porn stop?! See the de-formed tree…
Another stop!
Another stop!
Just before the 80 degree descent...
Just before the 80 degree descent…
The 80 degree trail...SCARY!
The 80 degree trail…SCARY!
Setting up our first night camp!
Setting up our first night camp!
The yummy dinner! WOW!
The yummy dinner! WOW!
Climbmates and tentmates!
Climbmates and tentmates!
Breaking up camp to prepare for the summit.
Breaking up camp to prepare for the summit.
Bye bye Lake Nailig. We didn't have the chance to have our group picture taken at the summit because it was too small.
Bye bye Lake Nailig. We didn’t have the chance to have our group picture taken at the summit because it was too small.
River before the leech infested trail...
River before the leech infested trail…
The sulfuric river! Smelled AWFUL.
The sulfuric river! Smelled AWFUL.
The ranch. Our extended campsite.
The ranch. Our extended campsite.
The reward for extending one night...haha! A dip at the  twin falls. Not bad!
The reward for extending one night…haha! A dip at the twin falls. Not bad!
The day after! Getting ready for the real "leech" attack.
The day after! Getting ready for the real “leech” attack.
Taking a bath on the trail down...
Taking a bath on the trail down…

Please stay with me on my adventures towards conquering as many mountains as I can. Let me know your thoughts on the comments below. 🙂

Talinis Series: PrologueFirst 4 Hours, Next 4 Hours, The Summit, The Leech Saga

The Leech Saga

I hurt my foot while descending the summit but I had no time to dwell on the misery. To  keep me sane, I just put on my battle self…meaning the edgy, maldita and moody me. Well, that’s my definition of battle! We left the magical Nailig at around 12:30. We just entered the forest again when I realized that my glasses was missing. There was no way I’m going to leave without it so I told them I had to go back. Pong accompany me. There was a tricky cross to the campsite so Pong offered to get the glasses. I’m happy he found it…unfortunately, it was broken. I don’t know who did but I’m convinced the boyfriend unknowingly broke it. 😐 I was pretty pissed with the broken glasses that I focused myself on the path. No pictures were taken until about an hour of walking. 
Description from right to left. That’s the view of the Sulfuric River – our target destination. The pissed me. Our first longer stop. The boyfriend posed for the camera..pretty pissed too.
After about 3 hours of walking from Lake Nailig, we reached Sulfuric River. The smell was awful but the view was magnificent. The guide told us we should never take long because we were super behind our schedule.
The Sulfuric River Photo Shoot. See my attire? I was told that after the sulfuric river, the leech saga will start. I’m pretty afraid of leech so I make an ULTRA effort not to expose any of my precious skin. :PAfter 15 minutes of walking, we finally reach the half of the trail – the Rancho at 4:30 PM. The first thing I did was to check if I have “alimatok” on my clothes. I was pretty paranoid. Yay! I was leech-free!  On our schedule, we were supposed to reach Rancho earlier for our lunch. While everyone settled thinking of a quick rest and lunch, the guide disrupt the peace by saying we might need to camp there. I was like…”ooooohhhh no!”.

We still have an estimated 5 hours trail to conquer. It’s already 4:30 PM. We didn’t have our lunch yet. Given the preparation and lunch, the estimated time we could leave the Rancho is after an hour…add it to 5 hours, we  were expected to reach the city at 10:30 PM. The guide discussed the perils of night trekking especially that not all of us have headlights. The group discussed and reached a consensus…we have to stay for another night. But we have a problem…we don’t have any food left. How do we survive the dinner and the breakfast the next day?!

Because it’s nearing dinner already, we decided that we won’t eat lunch. Our lunch will be our dinner. Then for breakfast, fortunately some of us brought extras. Yay! When the decision was finalized, the guide told us to set up our camp immediately if we want to visit Twin Falls. Everyone was quite delighted upon hearing the revelation. Finally, we can have our bath for the day.

Twin Falls. To reach twin falls, we have to brave a 15-minute steep and slippery path. But after seeing the raw beauty of the falls all of our angst turned to glory. We didn’t stay long though because we don’t want the dark impaired our path on the way back.

My tent mates seemed to have a consensus to sleep early that night while others we’re busy playing cards right beside our tent. The noise didn’t affect our dreamland time at all.

The next day, we woke up and prepare early ready for the final leg. And after continuous walk, we reached the final stop around 4 PM. =)

Talinis SeriesPrologueFirst 4 HoursNext 4 HoursThe SummitThe Leech Saga

The Summit

The summit was breathtaking. You could see the campsite, Lake Nailig and another lake. The guide told us it was Lake Danao. Unlike the other summit I’ve been (Osmeña Peak), Mt. Talinis summit is so cramped. There was no space where we could have our group picture so we just content ourselves in batches.
I’ve never been afraid of heights or anything except snakes…but I let the chance to climb the summit tree pass. Maybe, next time. Besides only a few have tried. I don’t want to appear as if I was braving death by doing so.
We gathered our pack before climbing the summit, ready for pickup after. It was an hour climb…an ultra uphill battle. The ground was wet and slippery. I can’t remember the number of times I stopped to catch my breath. Each time hoping, the steep terrain would stop.But it never did. Climb…climb..and more climb!
When finally the guide announce that we’re almost there, I was exhilarated. Finally!!!
We didn’t stay at the summit long. After some shots, we decided to descend. We had our group shot at the camp site at around 12:30 PM. was bye-bye Lake Nailig.
Up Next: The Leech Saga
Talinis SeriesPrologueFirst 4 HoursNext 4 HoursThe SummitThe Leech Saga

The Climb: Next 4 Hours To Paradise

After the well-appreciated rest and lunch break, we were back on the trail at 15 minutes to 3 PM. This time, we were in hurried steps considering our almost 3 hours schedule lag. Despite that, the boyfriend and I still managed to document our way.

Then we had our first major stop after an hour of continuous walking, climbing and crawling. It was definitely a leap to our previous 30-minute pace. I fondly remembered that place as the “porn site”. It actually took me a while to realize what they were smiling about. Haha! See the hole in my picture above, we had to go through that to reach the porn site.
The guide give us about 5 minutes to rest then we continued. The path this time is covered with roots. It was too risky that the boyfriend didn’t have the chance to take a picture. After 15 minutes the path ended with a beautiful tree and a scenery. Well, time for photo shoot again! 😀
The 80-degree descent came after. We were told to give each other a meter distance because the path was so steep. Kuyacoy offered to take our picture. Yay!
Kuyacoy kept the camera for the rest of the trail so the boyfriend (and I) wasn’t able to take a picture along the way. After about one and a half hour, we reached Lake Nailig at around 6 PM.
The lake was so magnificent. It took all my pains away. Upon reaching the camp grounds, I then picked a place for our tent. The others wasted no time too. Work while the sun is still up!
Dinner was served at 8 PM, as always courtesy of the BRB guys. Because I can’t cook, I volunteered to do the dish washing with Banky and the boyfriend as supports. They fetch water from the lake. I was too late to realize that the lake is mostly rain water so it’s unlike ordinary water. I was puzzled why despite my efforts to scrub the utensils with detergent, they’re still slippery.
After dinner, some had fun dancing to Momo’s music. I was too tired to join. Then, the rain came. That was my last record. I don’t know what happens to the others after.
Up Next:
The Summit
Talinis SeriesPrologueFirst 4 HoursNext 4 HoursThe SummitThe Leech Saga

The Climb: First 4 Hours

Our host was already at the port waiting, when we arrived at Dumaguete around 2 AM. We were told to rest until 5:30 AM. I didn’t get rest though. I was so excited I dragged the time.  When the alarm sounds, I quickly gather my clothes and took a bath. As I was putting on my face powder, thunder and rain came. I was hoping not to hear from them.

Oh well, this is it. Rain or shine, we must proceed.

While waiting…pictures2x!
While waiting for the others to get ready, I proceeded to my favorite activity – picture taking! Haha! And because I was so amazed at how my getup turn-out, I pissed the boyfriend with my annoying getup pictures again. 😀
Minimal skin exposure! =D
Then the Jeepney arrived. We had breakfast at “Connies Silog Meals”. I’m glad they served foods other than “-silog”. I had “nilat-ang baka”.
Breakfast at Connie’s!
Then we’re good to go. We reached Dauin, the starting point at around 8:45 AM. It was raining. After some preparations and a prayer, we started the long journey towards our lunch stop – Lake Yagumyum. It was expected that we would reach there in 4 hours. We started our journey at around 9:00 AM.
Let the hunger games begin!
I expected a long walk not a long climb. Exhaustion weeps over me after 10 minutes of braving the muddy uphill battle. But seeing everyone struggling to move despite the heavy breathing, I kept my pace. Another 10 minutes…then another 10…and we had our first stop.
First stop!
The boyfriend had an aberration!
I can’t remember how many times I stopped to catch my breath. Each time, I asked myself how on earth did I get there. What was I thinking?! And if only I could go back…I amused myself by taking pictures. I make it a point to take a picture every time we stop. I want to remember the place, the time, the number of stops we had and everything about the journey. It may be annoying to most, but it’s only in pictures that I cannot forget.
2nd Stop!
Banky is still alive, awake, enthusiastic!
Just after our 2nd major stop (see picture above), Banky had muscle cramps so we had to stop at a rock on the edge of a ravine.
Waiting for Banky Stop!
I got bored waiting so I went back some meters away from the ravine just so I could take Banky’s souvenir pose. 😛
Kaya mo yan, Banky!!!
When Banky was able to stand, we were back on track. Adrian (the guide) opt to carry Banky’s back-up so as not to strain his injured foot. I offered to carry our cloth tent. After almost 20 minutes, we reach an amazing point – the ridge (I mispronounced it as rej). We took pictures and admire the view. Banky’s foot got crampy again.
After the ridge, we had some minor stops. Found a water source and had our water bottles refilled. Then finally, we reached Lake Yagumyum! Lunch at last. =)
Nature Spring Water!
The boyfriend was super hungry that when I asked him to take a picture, he nagged. 😦 I wasn’t able to take a picture of our lunch. Anyways, at this point in time, food is so much better than pictures so  I oblige. I just had my fill of memories after my stomach is filled.
Up Next…
The Climb: Next 4 Hours To Paradise
Talinis SeriesPrologueFirst 4 HoursNext 4 HoursThe SummitThe Leech Saga
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