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Ridin’ solo but not alone in Bolinao

Another crazy semester has ended and since my foot is getting itchy  (It is a metaphor for someone who has incessant desire to travel or go somewhere) and no one is available to go with me, I have gone solo for this trip. It had been raining in Manila and I was kinda having second thoughts if I really must go. But then, I checked the weather forecast, Bolinao will have a good weather. It was just a daytour so I guess it must be good. BTW, I joined this organized tour by Ms. Dian Bacain and I paid 850php. She allotted 1 hour and a half for every iti.

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Bolinao Falls 2

Itinerary:

12mn Meet up at Cubao Telus

4:30am Alaminos church

6:20am Bolinao Falls 1

7:30am Bolinao Falls 2

9:30am Bolinao Falls 3

11:30am Sinunangayan Grill

1:30pm Enchanted cave

2:30pm Bolinao lighthouse

3:00pm Patar Beach

4:30pm Tidy up

11:30pm Trinoma,QC

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Rockin’ Mt. Maculot

After having my first ever climb in Mt.Pico de loro in June 2015. This came second in my long bucketlist. Though there are several attempts for me to schedule to climb this mountain,it was only now that I was able to rock this mt.Maculot. Finally, after turning down  numerous invites by several groups by friends because of my hectic sched,Here I am in Cuenca,Batangas.

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It is said thatthere are three destinations in Maculot:summit,rockies and grotto. For this chill climb, we only chose rockies so it can also fit within our time.

Here are some details from pinoymountaineer:

Cuenca, Batangas
Major Jumpoff: Mountaineer’s Store, Brgy. 7 “Siete”, Cuenca
Exit point (traverse): Brgy 5 (to Grotto), Cuenca
LLA: 13°55 N; 121°2 E; 706 MASL (Rockies) / 930 MASL (summit)
Days required / Hours to Rockies / summit : 1 day / 1-2 hr / 2-4 hr
Specs: Minor, Difficulty 3/9 (Rockies); 4/9 (Traverse) Trail class 1-3.
Features: Scenic views of Taal Lake, rock formations, forests

For more info, click Here.

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The registration is at this area. This is also where we met our trail guide,kuya ramil. Too bad this is the only pic I got because I was still sleepy back then.

We just had a chill climb.Our pace is not that fast or slow, just enough.BTW, here is our iti:

3am meet up mcdo tsora

5am Breakfast Slex

6:45am Registration

7am Jumpoff point

8:45am Rockies/Picture taking/Snack

10:00am Start of descent

10:30am Rest and Eat at Campsite

12:00nn Tidy up

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The “Before”Pic at the jumpoff. (Left to right: Ate Chesca,Taro,Me and Carl)

Good thing the weather was really inviting.It is a perfect Christmas gift given 2 days before Christmas itself.  I was really happy that I was able to climb this mountain. I am thankful enough for the good weather that it is not raining to make our trail that muddy, not that scorching hot to make us experience heatstroke, not that windy enough to shake our body towards the cliff, not that cloudy enough so we can appreciate the view. I can say that the trail is relatively easy with lots of resting spots.

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1st Take 5:)

Hiking this side of the mountain will not be boring for those who likes overlooking  views because some parts of the trails would expose the scenic Taal lake.

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Trail

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A wild pokemon appears.Look at who welcomed us.It is a Caterpee! We do not know what this is called though.:))

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one of the nice views with a makeshift  viewing deck

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There are ropes tied on the trees to help hikers.

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We can now see rockies from this view.

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Here is Taro climbing Rockies.

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You have to use your hands here guys:)be careful while doing it if you do not want to fall. Look at how deep you may fall on the right side of the pic.

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After successfully climbing it…

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I’m so proud of you!:))Congratulations for conquering your fear of heights!

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systematic desenstization….Hahaha

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This is me observing Carl while being assisted by our guide Kuya Ramil in that usual Picture taking spot. At the back of my mind, I was thinking if  I would be able to do that.I was the last one to go there.

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In order for you to reach the usual picture spot, you have to go down on these rocks.


Rockin’ it

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This is our Christmas climb or Christmas party of some sort so I told them to put on these:)Thanks guys for cooperating and not being KJ’s.HAHA.

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On the other side….

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Cold(wind) never bother me anyway!haha

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Be careful,ate chesca!:))

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Eating our snacks while enjoying the view.Good thing there are only few groups during this time.It was not that crowded.

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Resting a bit and enjoying the view…

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So I am resting for awhile. I like how it is so serene and peaceful here.

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BTS..haha…If only I can really rest there longer..

..Hahaha..I did not know we have this picture.Thanks to kuya Ramil.

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We have to sit down  unless we wanted to be blown away by the wind and go to the underworld.

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Fantastic view.Thanks Lord!


Thanks to kuya Ramil for guiding us and assisting us in our hike. I would also like to express my gratitude for the courage of getting my cap after it was blown off by the wind at the mountaintop.I thought I won’t be able to wear it again. I ll probably try out traverse soon.

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Also,Thanks kuya ramil for being an excellent photographer! Fully aware of what sceneries the hikers want in the picture. Haha


Start of descent…

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That’s where we came from.

If you are going to ask if the shower area is near from the jumpoff and the parking area, well, i must say yes. This means, you can carry a smaller bag and leave your extra clothes and things. Depending on how much you consume water, i think 1L may suffice. There is also a store in the campsite.

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They have many cubicles for shower. It is clean. You have to pay for that square gallon.(15php each.)

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They also have tables and  videoke here.:))


Yearender adventure

I am beyond elated for being able to have this adventure in Maculot. Thanks to Carl,Taro, Ate Cesca and Kuya driver.At least, i can cross this out off my bucketlist. In the event that I will be invited to be here again in the future,  i would not hesitate to go and experience it once more.

This is a good way to cap off my 2016. Thanks to everyone who traveled with me this year. Thanks to those organizers and friends who made these possible.  I may not be able to remember all your names; but at least, I am glad that in one way or another we have met each with the same passion of exploring the  beauty  made by our creator!

There may not be a perfect itinerary. There may be experiences that are beyond our expectations that may have led into disappointment. In the end, it is within us that transforms these experiences into a valid sources of learning.

With all of the great joy and astonishment or whatever good vibes feelings that we have over the places we have been, may we not forget that this nature, to whom we share our existence,is also God’s creation that we must take care and preserve.

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Let us all put our hand’s up for more adventures and opportunities for 2017!Hooray!!!

Done—-Rz:)

Photo credits:

Other pictures are from Carl’s and Taro’s camera.

Camera used: Ip5,SLR,digicam,supremo4k

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Mt. Tilos

This is actually a late blog for my adventure in Batangas. I went out with my  med mountaineering buddies, Floyd, Me, Carl, Mika,Nikko.  It was only after some free time after our mind-boggling midterm examinations that we were able to go and reunite with our dear mother nature. This time I,together with my new set of group, headed to Brgy. Malabrigo in Lobo. Our original plan was to hike Mt. Naguiling/Lobo.  I thought Lobo is just one mountain. Little did I know that this area in Batangas is named Lobo. ( You can see the other mountains of lobo Here)

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Reasons such as: availability of the trail guide that time; the incidence of injury happened the previous hike to the said mountain and the advice of the personnel in the tourism office, made us decide to climb Tilos instead. The lady personnel even asked us if we are beginners because we might have a hard time climbing. Well, it still depends on the type of person but I do not recommend this to people who are new to hiking, especially if they are so keen with the views of the summits. Nevertheless, trekking this mountain offers the view of Mt.Nalayag, Verdes Island and Malabrigo beaches. The trail consists of woodlands, grassland and forests.

 

 

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So this our “Before” picture.(From Left to Right:Floyd,Me,Carl,Mika,NIkko)

I usually research before the climb(which I also believe you must do too ). I was not really able to read much about this mountain. First, I did not have much time. Second, we changed our plans. But since we are already here, we just submitted ourselves to the challenge and do the research afterwards. BTW, here is the mountain profile from Sermontaineer that we only happened to know afterwards. (For more info: click here)

Major jump-off: Purok Malvar, Brgy, Malabrigo Lobo, Batangas

Elevation: (610+MASL) Kogonan Ridge, (640+masl ) Summit

Hours of Climbing: 5 to 6 hours

Days of Climbing: 1 Day

Alternate trail: Boulders Trail

Specs: Major Climb

Difficulty: 6/9

Trail classes: agricultural terrain, rocky channel, woodland trail, forested trail, grassy trail, boulders trail

Features: tropical dry forest, scenic views, coastal view, exploratory, bouldering

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Well, it is indeed refreshing and surprising to know that there are rare plants that can be seen there.Too bad we were not able to appreciate because we did not know what we really have to take note . And Tilos was actually a “road less travelled”.  It something that is really not in the mainstream list of mountains-you know, being able to experience something uncommon.Others would not even know that this landform even exists.I am a bit proud of myself because no one knows that this is a major climb with a difficulty of 6/9.

 

This is our Itinerary:

3am Meet up, Mcdo T.Sora

3:30am Meet up with other friend in UST area

7:00am Breakfast at Jollibee

7:45am Arrival at Lobo,Registration at Tourist Information and Registration Area

8:30 or 9am(?) Register and coordinate at Pasalubong/Tourism office (We had to wait for their office to open)

9:00am Register at NBI

9:40am Start of Trek

(12:00 Grassy Ridge with a view of the sea)

2:10pm Summit

2:45pm Start of descent

5:00pm End of trek

5:15 pm Malabrigo Lighthouse

5:30pm tidy up and dinner at a friend’s house near the pasalubong office at Lobo.

8:00pm Return to Manila

10:30pm QC

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This is the Tourist Information and registration area.Sorry FLoyd and NIkko.haha..This is the only pic i got.

It was actually a long trek(8hrs). There are some tall grassy parts and forest trails. It seems as if that the previous hike on this mountain was already a long time ago since the trail guides had to cut the grass with their itak’s and make our own trail. True enough, the last hike here was April or June of this same year.

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On the side note, you really have to be careful not to get close on the edge of the newly-cut trails because even if it is just covered with grass or weeds beneath it was already a cliff. Additionally, if your skin is sensitive, make sure you cover your face and extremities enough because of the tall grasses. I remember my face had abrasions from a grass with spikes that was on my way. I tried to remove it but it only clung deeper. Haha..scary thought.But thanks to kuya trail guide, we were able to remove it.

 

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I asked kuya why this mountain was called Mt. Tilos, he said it’s because it is the tallest among the mountains of Lobo when you look at it from the sea. If you are after the view, you may appreciate it an area of a slope or ridge open clearing in the area of cogon grasses.This  offers the view of Malabrigo beaches and Verdes Island.  Too often than not, many new and even old hikers get their excitement from looking at the views from the summit that they make their pace speedy enough to reach it in no time. That is why many people keep on asking “Are we there yet?” Well,Mt. Tilos is one of the mountains(so far) that taught me to enjoy and appreciate the journey more and not to be so hype with the destination.

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Kogonan Ridge

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We reached a grassy slope open viewing area there. There is also an area where you can already see Nalayag rocks (You can see the monoliths). There are also boulder of rocks which offers a picturesque view.( I am sorry if I am not that particular with the names  though.)The summit(640masl) is covered with trees so it was shaded. There was also an excavation there. If my ears and memory serves me right, then it is for mining. I am not sure if what I heard is correct because what I am really focused on was the view. I wasn’t able to take a picture of it.

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Forested summit.Here we are at last!:)

For you to appreciate the view, you have to climb this tree so you can reach this makeshift viewing deck. It looks scary and not that stable. But it is manageable. You need some great deal of balance so you won’t fall. You have to be careful not to fall because you will really fall very deep. At first, I was hesitant to try it but since I was already there and I did not want any regrets of not being able to see what was to be seen there. Plus, Nikko already tried it first, and he was able to go down alive (Haha), so why not,eh?

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This is the view from the treetop.

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Makeshift  viewdeck. I was assisted by kuya.He told me to remove my footwear.Thanks for this great shot,kuya:)

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Just like I said I was able to do my research after our hiking. I have learned that Mt.Tilos’ summit has no clearing and thus, it is not considered the main attraction. It was in the Kogonan ridge.

 

On the latter part of our hike, we had to walk on rocky trails. Even if I brought 2L of water, I still got tired thatI was beginning to lose balance. I didn’t expect it was going to be a really long hike for all of us. Some of us ran out of water so thanks to the freshly opened buko juices we found along the trail. It took us around 8hours.(Including rest and picture taking, of course)  I could say, this is the first time that I became exhausted from hiking. It seems to be endless. Haha. Good thing, one of my buddies assisted me on the last parts. (Thanks Floyd).

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After the trek, good thing we still had time so we went to check the historical Malabrigo lighthouse. It was not open so we just stayed outside.

 

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This is where we end our trip. We paid and thank our kuya guides.(I forgot their names because this was already a late post. But they are nice.)

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AS for our dinner, thanks to nikko’s good friend, Tina. They are very nice and accommodating. They also let us use their bathroom to tidy up. After this, we went back to Manila.

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So that happened to be my first major hike.Another tiring yet happy day it is!Once again, Thanks to God for he guided us and made us safe. He let us experience his wonderful creation. Til next time,folks!-Rz