#ReforestTheRoad — by Fredd Ochavo

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Calling out all trail runners who frequently visit Mt. Balagbag to be a part of the #ReforestTheRoadinitiative on that mountain. This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to volunteer in the ongoing tree planting and tree nurturing activities on the roads that were constructed there without the approval of DENR and MWSS. These roads have encroached the boundary of Ipo Watershed and are causing soil erosion. Trees were cut and vegetation was cleared to make way for these roads. Because of these, the water that is stored in Ipo Dam becomes heavily silted.

In August of last year, customers of Maynilad Water suffered because their water supply was cut off for days in spite of the heavy rains in Metro Manila. Maynilad blamed the high turbidity level of the water in Ipo Dam. It became too difficult for them to treat the heavily silted water coming from Ipo Watershed. We do not want this to happen again that is why we are doing what we can to bring back the forests of Mt. Balagbag that some people are destroying. It is very clear that the culprit of the murky water supply in Ipo Dam is the deforestation of the mountains in Ipo Watershed. We, therefore, need to do something about it.

If you want to plant trees at the #ReforestTheRoad sites on Mt. Balagbag to help ensure that Metro Manila will have a steady supply of clean water, just send us a message and we can give you seedlings of native trees for FREE. All you have to do is pick them up at our mini tree nursery along Commonwealth Avenue in East Fairview, Quezon City. Aside from planting, you can also contribute by pulling out grass and vines that choke the seedlings we planted last year together with DENR and other volunteer groups. Weeding will help the seedlings have a higher rate of survival.

We cannot visit the sites on a regular basis so it will be good if there will be more volunteers going there on days that we cannot. This is for all us anyway. This is for Metro Manila’s source of water.

RUN FOR THE FOREST, RUN!

GREEN IS GOOD!!!

 

Travel Guide: Mt. Mariveles — Tarak Ridge’s Sweet Assault

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We’ve been wanting to hike Mt. Mariveles popularly, know as Tarak Ridge, since early 2016, it is when I was new to hiking. Then early this year, we decided to celebrate our friend’s birthday to this mountain.

We started our trek at around 4AM. Trek up until papaya river is just a smooth rolling terrain, so everyone of us still manage to have a consistent pace. We passed by the house of Nanay Cording, we registered and gave her some supplies and then we proceed trekking to Papaya River. There are different trails that are going to the summit, but we took the normal trail most hikers are following.

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After almost two hours of trekking in the dark, we reached the Papaya River. There are still campers sleeping when we got there so I advised my team to tone down their voices. We took a nice rest before we commence the assault going to ridge, then to the summit.

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Starting from Papaya River, it was a gradual assault then after few minutes of hiking up, it became a direct assault that is almost 90 degree angle the will require you to hold on to the roots and push yourself to be able to move forward (or upward). It was almost an hour ascent till we reach the ridge that also serves as a camp site for most hikers. At the ridge, you will see an amazing view of Bataan and its neighboring island like Corregidor.

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Screenshot at Aug 25 21-25-55

We continued our hike going to the summit after a few minutes of rest. It was almost a 30 minute assault before we reached the summit. We took time to appreciate nature before we descend our way back to Papaya River to have our lunch and to swim a little.

Suggested Itinerary

Day Hike

  • 0400 – Assembly time at Bataan Transit Cubao station
  • 0430 – ETD Bataan Transit Cubao terminal
  • 0730 – ETA Alas Asin Barangay Hall. Register
  • 0800 – ETA to Aling Cording’s hut. Register and give donation.
  • 0820 – Start trek
  • 0940 – Arrival at Papaya River. Take early lunch.
  • 1000 – Start ascend to the Ridge
  • 1145 – ETA Tarak Ridge.
  • 1300 – Start descend
  • 1400 – ETA Papaya River
  • 1520 – Back at jump off. Wash up. Eat.
  • 1700 – ETD Jump off
  • 1730 – Back at waiting shed. Ride bus going to Pasay/Cubao
  • 2030 – ETA Manila

Overnight Hike

Day 0

  • 0200 – Assembly at Makati
  • 0215 – ETD Makati to Bataan Transit Cubao
  • 0245 – ETA Bataan Transit Terminal

Day 1

  • 0300 –  ETD to Mariveles, Bataan
  • 0600 – ETA in Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles
  • 0605 – Breakfast at Alas-asin
  • 0630 – Registration at Alas-asin Barangay Hall
  • 0645 – Start Trek! 🙂
  • 0715 – Stop-Over at Nanay Cording’s
  • 0730 – Start Trek to Papaya River! 🙂
  • 1030 – ETA Papaya River
  • 1100 – Lunch at Papaya River
  • 1130 – Rest, Fill all water containers
  • 1200 – Start Trek to Tarak Ridge
  • 1700 – ETA Tarak Ridge (Set up Camp)
  • 1730 – Wait and watch sunset at Tarak Ridge
  • 1830 – Dinner/Socials
  • 2000 – Lights Off 🙂

Day 2

  • 0400 –Wake-Up Call
  • 0430 – Start Trek to Summit
  • 0500 – Wait and watch sunrise
  • 0600 – Start descent to Tarak Ridge
  • 0620 – ETA Campsite
  • 0640 – Start descent to Papaya River
  • 0930 – ETA Papaya River
  • 0945 – Have fun at Papaya River 🙂
  • 1030 – Lunch at Papaya River
  • 1100 – Have fun at Papaya River 🙂
  • 1200 – Start trek!
  • 1430 –ETA Nanay Cording’s
  • 1500 – Back to Jump-Off. Wash.
  • 1600 – ETD Mariveles to Manila
  • 1930 – ETA Cubao/Manila 🙂

Expected Expenses

  • Php 272.00 – Bus Fare Cubao to Mariveles
  • Php 272.00 – Bus Fare Mariveles to Cubao
  • Php 40.00 – Registration Fee
  • Php 20.00 – Fee at Wash Up Area.

TOTAL BUDGET: Php604.00

Guide Fee: Php 900.00/Group (OPTIONAL)


How to get there

  • Ride a bus bound to Mariveles, either Bataan Transit or Genesis Bus
  • Tell the conductor to drop you off to Brgy. Alas Asin
  • Register to the barangay and start your trek
  • Contact Numbers

Contact Person

Nanay Cording – 0917 472 3978

Reminders

  • Be sure to be prepared if you plan to hike this mountain.
  • If you can bring some grocery or anything for Nanay Cording, please do. You’ll be paying nothing when you register at her place. Just for courtesy, please give her something.
  • Conserve the Papaya River
  • Bring your trash with you
  • Clean as you go

 

Photo Credits

  • Lala De Guzman
  • Katrina Barrameda
  • Robinson Jabagat

Travel Guide: Mt. Lubog 923+ MASL

I’ve been wanting to climb Mt. Lubog for a long time and for it to be part of my 2017 project, The 100 Mountains Project. So I joined a group of hikers that is set to climb Mt. Lubog on a date that I have a free schedule.

Our group is composed of 11 awesome hikers, and we met each other at Commonwealth Market, this is where the terminal to Brgy. San Isidro is located and also where the habal-habal we rented waited for us.

When we arrived at the jeepney terminal in Brgy. San Isidro, we immediately transfer to a habal-habal which can accommodate 4-5 passengers including the driver. Expect a 1-2 hour bumpy ride from the terminal to the registration area, so bumpy that we need to get off the vehicle multiple times and push it up just to pass by those deep gaps on the trail.

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After that excruciating ride, we reached the registration area where we met up with our guides and register ourselves. Few minutes later, we started our long journey to the foot of Mt. Lubog.

It is about 1-2 hours foot journey going to Sitio Lubog, the place where the real hike to the summit of Mt. Lubog will start. The trail from the registration area to the main jump off is bearable, rolling hills with few assaults. There are some water sources that you’ll be passing by, so if you ran out of water, just ask your guide to stop and fetch water to the sources.

After almost 2 hours, we reached Sitio Lubog, we took a few minute rest, bought some drinks and snacks at the store which open that time and then continued for the final assault going to the summit.

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Prepare yourself for a continues rocky assault going to the summit. The trail is composed of sharp rocks which can be so slippery during rainy seasons, so be mindful of your steps and be cautious all the time.

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We reached the summit within an hour and the rock formations on top welcomed us with its astounding beauty. Even though we did not have a clearing that time, we still enjoyed taking photos with the rock formations on different sides and angles of the summit. On a clear day, you’ll get a view of Mt. Oriod and other mountains of the Sierra Madre.

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We went down after almost an hour of appreciating the summit’s beauty, and then reached the jump off in less than an hour. We then proceed to the Blue Lagoon, where we had our lunch and rest. We did not stay for a long time because it was raining hard and most of us wanted to reach the registration area.

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The Blue Lagoon

After 1-2 hours of trekking, we finally reached the registration area. We had some snacks, coffee and noodles while we wait for our other team members to arrive at the area. When the whole team arrived, we rode the habal-habal again going back to the jeepney terminal. It was a super bumpy ride again, but we where thankful that none of us got hurt and we were all in one piece when we reached the jeepney terminal. From the jeepney terminal, there are jeepneys waiting for you that will bring you back to Commonwealth Market.

Suggested Itinerary

  • 04:00 –– Meetup at Commonwealth Market
  • 05:00 –– ETD to Brgy. San Isidro Jeepney Terminal
  • 06:00 –– ETA to Brgy. San Isidro Jeepney Terminal, transfer to habal-habal
  • 08:00 –– ETA to Registration Point (Caingalan), Register, Guides
  • 08:30 –– Start trek going to Sitio Lubog
  • 10:00 –– ETA Sitio Lubog, prepare for summit assault
  • 11:30 –– ETA Mt. Lubog Summit
  • 12:00 –– Start Descent
  • 12:45 –– ETA Sitio Lubog, Lunch
  • 14:00 –– ETA Blue Lagoon
  • 16:00 –– ETA Registration Area (Caingalan)
  • 18:00 –– ETA Jeepney Terminal
  • 19:30 –– ETA Commonwealth Market

How to get to Mt. Lubog (Commute)

  • Ride a jeepney bound to Brgy. San Isidro at Commonwealth Market.
  • Transfer to Habal-habal going to Caingalan (Registration Area)

Budget and Expenses

  • Commonwealth Market to Brgy. San Isidro –– Php 25.00 (Php 50.00 Roundtrip)
  • Habal-Habal –– Php 1,000.00 (Roundtrip, can accommodate upto 5 passengers including the driver)
  • Guide Fee –– Php 500.00 (1:6 Ratio)
  • Registration Fee –– Php 50.00

TOTAL BUDGET PER PERSON FOR A GROUP OF 4 MEMBERS: Php 475.00

Contact Persons

Kagawad Peter Idala –– 09284647447 / 09074913840, please make sure that you contact him before hand because he will be the one who will be arranging your habal-habal ride to and from the jeepney terminal of Brgy. San Isidro.

Sidetrips

There are some caves, waterfalls, and lagoons that can be part of your sidetrip, just tell your guides in advance.

Conlcusion

Hiking Mt. Lubog can be very satisfying especially when you will have a clear view of the surrounding mountain ranges from the summit. It was one of those long treks that can make some newbie hikers reach their limits. Prepare yourselves to the bumpiest ride you’ll ever have, and keep holding on for you not to fall. 😛

A traverse going to Mt. Balagbag is possible, just make sure you coordinate with the right persons, and also make sure that you have a ride back going to Tungko from Licao-licao.


Special thanks to Sir. Daneth Obongen for sharing the contact persons and budget breakdowns for this itinerary. He is hosting some budget friendly hikes, you can check him out if you are interested to join his fleet.

#OnTheList: 5 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k!

First off, this post has nothing against Coldplay or people who are willing to pay for the VIP price ticket to watch their concert. We too are fans of the band, we’re just listing at least 5 travel destinations that you can visit with that amount of money, so cheers and let’s get started!

1. Mt. Pulag, Benguet

#OnTheList: 10 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k! Mt. Pulag
View of the Sea Of Clouds from the summit of Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag, the highest peak of Luzon at 2,992 MASL. It is one of the most popular weekend destination of most hiking enthusiasts and mountaineers because of the majestic view if offers. One of the main reason why hikers flock to this mountain is because of its magnificent sunrise plus a view of the sea of clouds. It is also coined as the “Playground of the Gods” by most hikers.

There are a lot of travel groups and organizers who offers a two to three day tour/hike to Mt. Pulag ranging from Php 2,000 to Php 3,000 depending on the trail you want to take. But if you want to do it as DIY, you must at least form a group of 10 for a less expensive trip. Budget for DIY trips from Baguio city ranges from Php 1,500 to Php 2,000 depending on the number of members in your group.

Hiking Mt. Pulag is via reservation basis, allowing only 500 hikers per day for all of the trails. So you might want to call the tourism office to reserve your slots before going there.

Budget:

  • Php 2,000.00 – Php 3,000.00


Contact Number:

  • DENR – 09196315402


Expenses:

  • Guide Fee – Php 500.00/guide good for 1-5 persons, additional person is Php 100.00. Maximum of 10 persons per guide.
  • Registration Fee and Orientation – Php 225.00 per person
  • Monster Jeep Renta – Php 7,000 to Php 8,000 and can accommodate upto 18 persons. You can ask the DENR personnel for contact numbers of their accredited jeepney rentals.


Organized Event:

We are having our Mt. Pulag Year-End Climb this coming December 28-29, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 2,799 inclusive of transportation, all fees, dinner and breakfast. You can find more details by clicking this link: Year Ender — Experience Mt. Pulag


2. Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

#OnTheList: 10 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k! Nagsasa Cove
A less than 30 minute trek in Nagsasa Cove where you can see a really nice view of the Island. Best for sunrise and sunset watching. Entrance fee here is Php 40.00

One of the best beach getaway my friends and I have been to is the Nagsasa Cove in Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. It’s just a chill and laid back getaway for the weekend just to be far away from the stress in the city. For a budget for Php 1,800.00 ALL-IN, we get to enjoy a relaxing and fun weekend getaway.

There’s not much to do here but to just relax, swim, play with the waves, cliff jump, and visit Capones and Camara Islands. If you are a more adventurous type of traveler, you can hike Mt. Balingkilat traversing to Nagsasa Cove.

Budget:

  • Php 1,500.00 – Php 1,800.00


Contact Number:

  • Jesus Bansales III – 0920 274 4651 | 0977 321 7900
    You can contact Sir Jess if you want to visit and camp in Nagsasa Cove. You can also choose among the other two coves, the Anawangin Cove (the more crowded and commercialized one) and Talisayen Cove.
  • Van rental – 09063395064 | 09178618672
    In all of our trips, we are renting vans from them. If you want a convenient transfer from your place to Zambales, you can contact them for van rentals.


Expenses:

  • Van rentals can range from Php 8,000.00 to Php 9,000.00
  • Nagsasa Tour ranges from Php 500.00 to Php 650.00 per person inclusive of everything you need in the island, entrance fees, round trip boat transfer and island hopping.
  • Food sharing is up to you, our group shared Php 300.00 to Php 500.00 per person for supplies and cooking materials.

3. Mt. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal

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The famous rock formation on top of the summit where most hikers take a selfie.

A popular day hike destination in Tanay, Rizal which is just 2-3 hours away from Manila. A quick escape from the busy streets of the city. On top of the summit, you’ll see a wide view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and a bonus sea of clouds if you’ll do a night trek and if you are lucky enough to witness it.

Tinipak River is also one the main attraction in this places, usually made as a side trip of most hikers by doing a traverse from the summit of Mt. Daraitan. You’ll also get a chance to see the beautiful rock formation in the river, you just have to pay Php 25.00 as entrance fee which is used to maintain the place. If the weather condition is good, and the current is not that bad, you can also take a dip at the natural pool inside the Tinipak Cave. Though they are limiting the amount of time to stay here for 15 minutes due to the number of people who wants to experience it.

You can check our travel guide to Mt. Daraitan for a more detailed blog: Travel Guide: Mt. Daraitan

Budget:

  • Php 500.00 – Php 700.00 for a day hike

Contact Number: 

  • Head Guide (Willy): 0906 953 3470


Expenses:

  • Guide fee – Php 500.00 good for 1-5 persons
  • Registration fee – Php 20.00
  • Entrance fee to see the Rock Formation – Php 25.00
  • Van Shaw to Tanay – Php 70.00 to Php 90.00 (1.5 hours of travel)
  • Jeep from Tanay to Sampaloc – Php 26.00 (45 minutes)
  • Trike from Sampaloc to Extraction point – Php 100.00 per person (30 minutes)
  • Raft to cross the river (Optional) – Php 10.00


Organized Event:

We are having a day hike to Mt. Daraitan this coming December 04, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 700.00 inclusive of transportation and all fees. You can find more details by clicking this link: Dayhike — Mt. Daraitan


4. Mt. Ulap in Itogon, Benguet

#OnTheList: 10 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k! Mt. Ulap
Parallax view along the trail of Mt. Ulap

A fun chill day hike in Benguet which offers a picturesque view the Cordillera’s mountain range. A relatively easy hike which can be recommended for first time hikers. You will get to experience a breath taking view while trekking to the summit and a chance to see the sea of clouds.

One of the main attraction in this mountain is the Gungal Rock which serves as the landmark of this mountain.

Budget:

  • Php 400.00 to Php 500.00 from Baguio

Contact Number:

  • Brgy. Ampucao Tourism – 09989589549

Expenses:

  • Registration Fee – Php 100.00 per person
  • Guide fee – Php 400.00 good for 10 persons Php 800.00 overnight
  • If you are going to camp, you’ll need to pay addition Php 500.00 for the camping fee


Organized Event:

We are having a day hike to Mt. Ulap this coming December 17, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 1,200.00 inclusive of transportation and all fees. You can find more details by clicking this link: Dayhike — Mt. Ulap


5. Buscalan Village in Tinglayan Kalinga

Apo Whang-od

Experience a traditional culture of the Butbut tribe in Kalinga. Relax and enjoy the company of the villagers and learn new things from their cultures and tradition. Wake up to the wonderful view of the mountains. Take a dip to the chilling waters of the water falls. All that for a budget of Php 3,000.00 for a ground of 5!

Buscalan is almost a 19 hour travel from Manila, so if you love long commutes and enjoys transferring from one mode of transportation to another for almost one whole day, this destination is for you.

One of the main reason why people from different parts of the globe visits Buscalan is  because of the living legend, soon to be a National Artist (hopefully), Apo Whang-od. Believed to be the last “Mambabatok” (traditional tattoo artist) of her generation. She offers traditional tattoos to visitors for a price ranging from Php 200.00 to Php 1,000+ depending on the size of the tattoo. She is accompanied by here grand daughters/nieces Grace and Elyang.

Budget:

  • Php 2,000 to Php 3,000 group of 3 to 5 persons


Contact Person

  • Guide Gilbert – 09084792012
  • Guide Oliver – 09397741477
  • Guide Raffy – 09279853681


Expenses:

  • Manila to Baguio – Php 455.00
  • Baguio to Manila – Php 455.00
  • Baguio to Bontoc – Php 195.00
  • Bontoc to Baguio – Php 195.00
  • Bontoc to Buscalan – Php 100.00
  • Buscalan to Bontoc – Php 100.00
  • Homestay – Php 250.00
  • Registration Fee – Php 75.00
  • Guide – Php 1,000


Organized Event:

We are having a tour to Buscalan next year January 13-15, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 1,200.00 inclusive of transportation and all fees. You can find more details by clicking this link: Year Starter — Experience Buscalan


So there you go! These are some of the destinations you can visit if you are thinking twice on whether you should buy a VIP ticket to Coldplay’s concert, or just go to places you’ve never been before, explore and learn new things from you adventure.

It’s up to you, just do the things that makes you happy and don’t let other people dictate you on your own happiness. Live the life you want to live and be happy on whatever the result may be.

We’ll be adding more destinations in this list in the coming days so stay tuned for our updates. Cheers!

Discover Cagayan Valley’s hidden treasures!

Cagayan Valley is more than just Palaui Island hopping and beach bumming. These are the awesome but lesser known locations in Cagayan that will help satisfy your adventurous soul:

Duba Cave: I think a more appropriate name for this cave is The Bat Cave. This is a submerged cave that has an enchanting appeal. We had to use ring floaters led by our guide to enter this cave. Since the water is high at this time of the year, our guides deemed it unsafe to take us to the end of the cave which has a waterfalls. We waited until 5pm to witness the circadian flight of the bats which was really amazing! We had the best seat in the house for a really close encounter with their flight as we waited for our guide to retrieve my gopro which fell in the 5-meter deep water inside the cave. All is good. 🙂

Blue Water falls and cave: I lost count of the numerous cascading waterfalls that we passed as we headed to the Blue Water cave. As soon as we reach a picture-perfect spot we would overlook a falls one after the other and we reacted with increasing awe and excitement each time.

The cascading falls ends at Blue Water cave. Well, actually it extends inside the cave. Most parts of the cave, if not all, is submerged in flowing water with some areas having strong current and and some have still water that only god knows how deep. We managed to reach the area of what they call “Olympic Pool” (water basin literally as big as an olympic pool) which took us about an hour out and back.

There’s this small waterfalls hole on the at the Olympic Pool wall which has to be climbed/entered that leads to the cave’s 1st pitch. You’d have to do a seemingly endless swim and a 13.5m vertical climb before reaching this area (appx. 2hrs) — this is what we’ll go back for on a summer because currents are too strong during non-summer months!

Lipit Canyon: I have a theory that this was a former cave that was literally cracked open from the ceiling! The narrow stream is walled with formations just like what you see inside caves! This is a 5km stretch that has to be swam (flowing water, some parts has strong currents) to reach the caves at the end. They have around 5 caves in the area. Again, it is best to do this during summer.

Sierra Cave: this lesser known cave just sits beside Callao Cave. This is not really open to public though… The cave’s entrance and exit has locked gates which is only accessible to SMOC (Sierra Madre Outdoor Club) members. Thanks to the hospitality and generosity of the SMOC president and senior member, we were privileged to enter this cave. (Without us even asking for it! Yey! It seemed like having bonus level in a computer game. Hehe).

They have closed this cave to avoid having the same fate of the dead (but still wonderful) Callao Cave. They plan to open this in the future, but with closer monitoring and control of tourists.

It does seem that summer is the best time to visit Baggao, but during non-summer months the cascading water falls is in full glory! They might not be as appealing as they are during the rainy season. So might as well got there now and go back for the summer! 🙂

Itinerary Cagayan Valley (Baggao, Peñablanca, Sta. Ana) travel adventure during the APEC Holiday, November 17 to 21 (5D4N)

Day 0: Duba Cave | Laglagto River

0800 – ETA Tug (coordinate with SMOC for guides and transpo; rented van going to San Jose, Baggao)
0900 – Breakfast – Fefang’s panciteria (60-90php / Pancil Batil)
1000 – off to San Jose, Baggao
1130 – check in @ Country Inn
1230 – off to Laglagto River & Duba Cave
1800 – circadian flight of the bats @ Duba Cave
1830 – go back to hotel | dinner

Expenses:

guide: 500php
salbabida: 320php for 4pcs
entrance fee: 20php/pax (10php laglagto, 10php duba)
gears: (helmet & life vest) 40php/pax
transpo: rented van from TUG to San Jose – 1,500php
transpo: rented pick-up from country inn – 600php RT
Country Inn – 1,200php/night for 2
Day 1: Blue waterfalls & cave | Lipit Canyon

0530 – breakfast @ Country Inn
0630 – off to Blue Water falls & cave via rented van
0745 – eta jump off
1030 – lunch @ blue water cave entrance
1130 – explored cave until “Olympic Pool”
1230 – off to Lipit canyon
1300 – ETA Lipit canyon
1500 – back to Country Inn via rented van

Expenses

rented van RT – 2,000php
Blue Water entrance fee – 20php/pax
Country Inn – 1,200php/night for 2
Tip: bring packed lunch from hotel (for yourself, the guides and driver)

Day 2: Sierra Cave & Callao Cave

0630 – breakfast
0730 – ETD to Tug-Callao via rented van
1000 – ETA Sierra Cave
1100 – exit Sierra Cave / wash up @ river side of Callao Cave
1115 – enter Callao Cave
1230 – exit Callao Cave / change clothes
1330 – Lunch @ RGT Bulalohan
1445 – ETD to Sta. Ana
1815 – ETA @ Sta. Ana – Eden’s Lodge
2000 – Dinner

Expenses

guide – 600php
rented van – 2,500php (Baggao-Peñablanca-Tuguegarao)
parking fee – 30php
Callao Cave entrance – 20php/pax
public van from Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana – 180php/pax
Eden’s Lodge – 1,200php/night for 2 (with AC and hot shower)
Day 3: Island Hopping

0530 – breakfast
0700 – start of island hopping

Cape Engaño
Punta Verde – Batatubot Falls
Anguib beach
Puzo Robo – via van (less than 10mins from Anguib Beach)
Crocodile Island
1630 – ETA an departure from Port San Vicente (picture @ last KM marker
1700 – ETA Jotay for merienda
2000 – Dinner

Expenses

3500 boat + 50/pax day pass + 20/pax environmental fee
cape engaño – 600php for 2 guides
punta verde – 100php for 2 guides
punta verde – 100php for 2 guides
anguib to pozo rubo RT – van 800php (Sir Arnold’s brother own the van) – you can opt not to go here
Pozo Rubo entrance fee – 50php/pax
tricycle to eden’s – 120php
Eden’s Lodge – 1,200php/night for 2
Day 4:

Flight to Manila

van to Tug – 200php/pax
terminal fee – 150php/pax
Net expense per pax for a group of 6 = appx 5,325php
Exclusions: food, tip for guides and drivers, manila-tuguegarao-manila fare

TIPS:

There are different tour packages offered by CV Traventures for a hassle-free Baggao tour. Please coordinate with SMOC – Ma’am Karen, who will tirelessly help you out and respond to all your queries. 🙂
we’ve been renting transpo since it is more convenient. They don’t have a standard rate for this, but they offer the best price they could so be generous. (Wag na tumawad. Support local. Nahihiya pa sila magsabi ng price sa amin. Don’t forget to include their meals (and the guides’ as well) because they pick you up really early in the morning and wait for you the whole afternoon.
during your dinner at Country Inn, ask to have your breakfast served at your desired time in the morning and order already for your packed lunch. (Look for Chris – sobrang maalaga. Hehe)
it is best to do caving in Baggao during the summer, but if you also want to enjoy the waterfalls go there during non-summer months. (Pwede naman balikan depending on the activity that you want to do)
when you contact the referred persons please mention my name and that we’re the group who went there during the APEC Holiday. 🙂
Notes:

Sobrang ganda po ng Baggao. I hope when you go there you keep it as it is. LEAVE NO TRACE.
This is an adventure so be ready to go hiking, river crossings, swimming, spelunking, rappelling, drenching in bat poo and pee, encounter wild animals inside the cave (don’t harm them, mas takot pa sila sayo kesa ikaw sakanila) and many more. Enjoy lang and keep safe smile emoticon
Salamat sa group na biglaan ang pagsama sa amin at sobrang game lang sa pagpapaubaya ng itinerary sakin (kahit kailangan nila gumising at bumangon ng maaga. Haha) more adventures to come Edmon, Mark, Dex, Joel.

Sobrang salamat din sa SMOC (Ma’am Nida, Sir Francis, Ma’am Karen, Ma’am Joan and DJ) na hindi kami pinabayaan at nag assist all throughout out stay in Baggao and even in Sta. Ana. God bless these people. 🙂

Contact number/s:

Van: Kuya Renz – (0935) 497 9750
Kuya Victor – (0915) 948 0469
Boat operator/owner: Sir Arnold Peralta – (0915) 467 0964
Country Inn, San Jose: (0917) 685 2837
Eden’s Lodge – (0917) 881 5129

More photos here!

Mt. Balagbag: A Chill Overnight Hike

Looking for a chill overnight hike that is just few hours from Manila? Look no further, Mt. Balagbag is the best mountain to hike with your friends.

Mt. Balagbag with an elevation of 777+ MASL can be hiked within a day. Hikers opt stay overnight here and enjoy the scenic view of the city lights. Some trail runners also choose to have their training here during dry season.

There’s no chance to get lost here because the wide trail is so established, you can even hike at night.

Silhouette shot during sunrise in Mt. Balagbag
Silhouette shot during sunrise in Mt. Balagbag
Morning at Mt. Balagbag
Morning at Mt. Balagbag
Panda and Mia
Panda and Mia
Daybreak at Mt. Balagbag
Daybreak at Mt. Balagbag
Horizon of the city
Horizon of the city
The sun rising up
The sun rising up
The sun rising up
The sun rising up
Tatay Sito at Ipo River
Tatay Sito at Ipo River
Mia with Panda at Ipo River
Mia with Panda at Ipo River
Instax shot of our group at the river
Instax shot of our group at the river

How to get here

  • From Cubao, ride a bus going to Tungko.
  • Alight at Jollibee Tungko and the ride a jeep going to Licao-licao
  • From Licao-licao you can already start your hike to the registration or you can opt to ride a trike going to the registration area. I suggest you start your hike at Licao-licao because from the registration area, it is just 20-30 mins away to summit, so enjoy the hike from Licao-licao to summit if I were you.

Expenses

  • Cubao – Tungko: Php 55.00 (Bus)
  • Tungko – Licao-licao: 27.00 (Jeep)
  • Registration+Fee: Php 30.00
  • Optional: Trike from Licao-licao to school: Php 30.00

Travel Guide: Mt. Talamitam

Mt. Talamitam, located in Nasugbu, Batangas is easily accessible by any means of transportation. A chill climb suited for beginners for a budget under Php 350.00* from Manila.

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How to get there

Ride a bus from Coastal Mall South Bus Terminal going to Nasugbu, Batangas.
Tell the conductor to drop you off to Sitio Bayabasan
Expenses

Costal Mall Bus Terminal to Sitio Bayabasan — Php 120.00
Guide Fee — Php 300 (You can opt not to hire a guide if you already know the trail.)
Registration Fee — Php 40.00
Sidetrip to Layong Bilog River

Entrance fee – Php 20
Shower fee – Php 20

Can also be done as a Twin Hike traverse to Mt. Apayang
More info here.

Travel Guide: Mt. Manalmon and Mt. Gola Twin Hike

If you are looking for a chill hike near Metro Manila, San Miguel, Bulacan is the right place for you. Mt. Manalmon and Mt. Gola is best for chill hikers and beginners. You can hike these two mountains half day and then you can explore and go spelunking in Madlum Cave and Bayukbok Caves.

We first hiked Mt. Gola, which almost at the same level as Mt. Manalmon (196+ MASL). We reached the summit in less than 2 hours. It has an easy trail, just need to be careful with sharp rocks. We descended after 30 minutes and the we proceed to Mt. Manalmon.

Mt. Manalmon has more little assaults than Mt. Gola, and it will give you a better view of Mt. Arayat from afar. We reached the summit also in less than 2 hours, took some photos and descended after 30 minutes.

We still have plenty of time because we finished both mountains at around 11 AM. We decided to have lunch first and then we went straight to Bayukbok Cave 1 & 2.

The most challenging part of this adventure is the spelunking. We first explore the Bayukbok Cave 2 because it is a little easier that Bayukbok Cave 1 but cave 2 has more crawling and sliding. Bayukbok Cave 1 is more challenging because there are rappelling and helicopter ladder trails and more crawling and sliding.

After finishing the cave, we descended back to the jump off point and rest, some of us swam to river and crossed the monkey bridge and did some photo ops.

We’ve had so much fun and this adventure is really worth it!

Here’s a suggested itinerary if you are planning to go here for a day trip adventure.

PS: You might want to hire a private van if you are a group of 12-15 members so that you will not have a problem finding a ride back home.

Suggested Itinerary
0300 Cubao – Jollibee (Farmers) (Assembly)
0400 ETD to San Miguel Bulacan
0730 ETA Brgy. Kamias, San Miguel; take tricycle to jump-off
0800 Arrive at jump-off; register and get guides at community
0900 Start trek
1030 ETA summit of Mt. Manalmon; take pictures
1100 Start descent
1200 Back at community; lunch
1300 Visit Madlum and Bayukbok Caves
1530 Swim at Madlum river
1700 Back at jump-off; proceed back to Brgy. Kamias
1740 ETD Manila
2000 ETA Manila

Expenses
Guides (Required): Php 300.00/Guide/Mountain
Caving: Php 40.00/Pax/Cave
Parking Fee: Php 25.00/Van
Registration Fee: Php 10.00/Pax
Van: Php 5,000/van can accommodate 15-16 pax

Update There’s an additional Php 20.00 fee before you can proceed to the jump off/registration area. This is being mandate by the local officials.

Guides:
We had 4 guides since we are 32 pax.
4 Guides (Php 300.00 x 2 Mountains) = Php 2,400.00
Php 2,400.00 / 32 Pax = Php 75.00/pax
Additional Php 40.00/pax/cave. Since we visited 2 caves, that would be additional Php 80.00/pax for two caves.
So our total guide fee per pax is Php 155.00

Transportation:
We hired two vans since we are a big group. The price of the van we hired is Php 5,000.00 each, so That would be Php 10,000 for two vans that accommodates 16 pax each.
So, Php 10,000.00/32 = Php 312.50 + the food of the driver (Php 150.00/driver = 300)
Total cost of transportation + Driver meal = Php 325.00*/pax

Grand total of our expenses/pax
Guide Fee + Transportation Fee + Registration Fee = Php 490.00*

Van Contact Number
Van For Hire – +63 906 339 5064

How to get there via public transportation
Take any Cabanatuan-bound bus from Cubao or Pasay (Baliwag Transit, ES Transport, and Five Star Transport).
Tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan. Fare is around P130.
Then from Brgy. Kamias, you can take a tricycle to jumpoff at Brgy Madlum (P200/tricycle, max 4 persons). This trike trip takes 40 minutes.
Food
There are food being sold at the jump off.

Tips!
Secure a permit at least 5 days before the activity date. You must send your letter of intent with the names and contact numbers of the participants. You can send your request to the following email addresses:

sanmiguelbulacan1874@yahoo.com
rrboyflorencio@yahoo.com
m.a.d.l.u.m.inc@gmail.com
Wait for the reply of the Municipality of San Miguel Bulacan or the Municipal Tourism officer for the approval of your permit or you can call these numbers to follow-up your permit:

0447640154 – Municipal office of San Miguel Bulacan,
09053726148 – Boy Florencio (Municipal Tourism Officer of San Miguel Bulacan)

Please Inform them if your permit has been approved. You can call these numbers to make your arrangements before entering the park:

09195746470 look for Mr. Carlito (tata Carling) Carpio President M.A.D.L.U.M. Inc.
09434440033 look for Mr. Rexel Marketing and Promotion officer M.A.D.L.U.M. Inc.

That is all! Have fun and remember the LNT rule!

Note from the Municipality of San Miguel, Bulacan
As per municipal instruction, minors are not allowed to climb mountains so only those of legal ages will be permitted to climb. Intoxicating drinks are not allowed, and of course dangerous drugs and other illicit substances are strictly prohibited. If there are strong rains or typhoon, the permit issuedis automatically cancelled and deferred to another date for the safet and welfare of all concerned.

Another destination in our place is a part of Biak na Bato National Park accessed through R. Magsaysay National Road going to barangay Biak na Bato. It is a nature heritage and historical place to visit. It has man-made improvements there too. Our local products such as minatamis, i.e. yema, pastilyas, ube, and others are store-available along our highways plus the crispy chicharon. Restaurants can be found also along Cagayan Valley Highway