Mt. Arayat



Lyngve had always wanted to climb this mountain. He said this mountain is very interesting. I had to agree on him, checking on the photos, it looks enthralling!

How to get there:

We were staying in a cheap hotel in Angeles City. Woke up 5:00 in the morning and asked the tricycle driver to take us to Brgy. Magalang which cost us 400 pesos. It was a long ride for a tricycle. He dropped us off on the first part of the Station of the Cross.

We had our breakfast for 10 minutes and started the trek around 7:10. We chose to follow the new trail. All we need to do is follow the electric post/pole. There’s no chance of getting lost as long you follow the post. The trail was truly good, I liked it there. Some parts can be steep but easy.

I have read in an article that’s saying Brgy. Magalang is the best way to start the trek to Mt. Arayat, no need to hire a guide because no one’s going to insist. Unlike on the other side, that is Brgy. Bano, people can be really demanding when it comes to guide fees.

It took us less than three hours in reaching the north peak, which is the summit of the mountain. The soldiers asked us to write down our names, and didn't bother to ask if we paid the fee or which way we started the trek. A group of guys arrived 5 mins after us, the soldiers asked them where they started; the guys said they started in Magalang. One soldier said that was not the correct entrance and they had to register in Barangay Outpost. The guys were surprised. I was listening and didn't bother to tell the soldiers the truth. Another group of climbers arrived, and the same thing happened to them.

We took a lot of photos. The weather was perfect. The South Peak is visible from the North Peak; we can even see the rocks on the South Peak. Then we had our lunch, after that, we decided to do the traverse to South Peak. The trail is located at the back of the Nipa House. It was steep down. I was kind of worried we might get lost because there are some confusing trails. The best thing about this traverse is that, there are marks of red, black and white plastic cellophane, which means, that’s the way. You just have to look for it.

Then we reached the rocks after an hour. Wow! You better climb the rocks because you can see 360 degrees the entire Pampanga, Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. Tapulao. The north peak and the climbers were even visible. Love it! Then we continued walking and walking and reached the south peak for less than an hour from the rocks. We continued walking for 20 minutes until we reached the campsite. We can see an extension in our GPS. We checked it out and I guess it was the view deck. Lyngve went further down and up to get on the view deck; I took some photos with a hill on the view. I got envious and asked Lyngve if I can do it myself. Lyngve wasn’t sure if I can do it so he had to accompany me. When I was on the view deck, to my left, it was a steep 1,000m down. It was scary. I think it was the most daring climb I ever did. I had to ask Lyngve to take photos real quick. I thought the wind would blow me off, I’d be dead ugly. But I survived. Haha!

We continued walking. Everything about the trail was perfect. It took us more than 2 hours to reach the foot of the mountain. We took a tricycle (50 pesos) and asked the driver to drop us at the jeepney station going to Angeles City.

Here's a GPS track just in case you need it:

Mt Arayat


EveryTrail - Find trail maps for California and beyond It was a long day filled with fun and excitement. I hope you were able to get information in my blog. Have fun and enjoy!

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Mt. Maculot



Pinoy mountaineer website has always been my favorite website when it comes to adventures. I have been following him when I started to do mountaineering. I saw his report and checked some photos, and whoalah! Something caught my attention, Mt. Maculot. It has three destinations; those are the Rockies, the summit, and the grotto.

How to get there:

From Lipa City, we took a jeepney (near Shakey’s and Jollibee) that is going to Cuenca which cost us 24 pesos each. I told the driver we will climb Mt. Maculot, and yes, he knew where to drop us. It took less than 30 mins and the driver dropped us at the jump off point. We took a tricycle (50 pesos/tricycle) then the driver dropped us in Barangay Outpost to register (entrance fee is 10 pesos each), then the driver continued driving up until the sign going to Mt. Maculot.

We started to walk around 9:00. The first part of the trail was good. It would be too impossible for us to get lost because there were a lot of signs which ways to go. That was so nice of them to put such signs. The most part of the trail was dry but slippery. Good thing there were roots, trees and branches where we could hold on to. We reached the camp site in less than 2 hours. But there were a group of climbers occupying the area so we had to go directly to the Rockies.

Reaching the dining or eating area, we turned left and went straight ahead. That’s how we reached the Rockies for 5 minutes. Be careful because there is a part where we had to climb a rock. Lyngve accidentally hit his head, ouch. Yes, it hurts. It was bleeding but not bad. The view was oh lala! Heaven! We saw the entire Taal Lake as well as the Taal Volcano. How cool is that?
We went back to the campsite, had our lunch and took a short rest. On the opposite side trail of the rockies, we followed the trail going up to the summit. What I didn’t like was the overgrown grass, which I ended up having some cuts. But that’s the life of mountaineering. Getting dirty, dead nails, cuts, blisters, name it! However, the advantage part is that I was able to see the world, healthy lifestyle, great bonding, experience, and new friends. We reached the summit in an hour. Nice walk.

Then we decided to do the traverse. There were 3 trails. The one we took from the campsite, the middle part trail and the one to right, right beside the summit. So we were wondering which trail was correct, either the middle part or the one beside the summit. I told Lyngve we should take the one beside the summit. He said it was the poo area. So we took the middle part trail, the trail was very established. We were walking and walking, but it was dead end, urgh! We had to get back to the summit. We tried to investigate. The trail right beside the summit should be the trail going to the grotto. It was late; we had no time to get to the grotto. We decide to descend to the campsite. We wasted 3 hours of our time.

From the campsite, we took another rest. I was disappointed. Sometimes, getting lost is natural, so be it. Then we descended. It was a little bit hard because it was slippery. The fun part was I had to use my ass and slide down. It was dusty everywhere. We reached the foot of the mountain in less than 2 hours.

The exciting part of mountaineering is that, we don’t know what will happen. Expect the unexpected.

Here's the GPS track just in case you need it:

Mt Maculot

EveryTrail - Find the best hikes in California and beyond

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Mt. Batulao



I was really hoping to climb this mountain because when I saw the trip report of pinoy mountaineer, I was fascinated by the view. Got some information about it and I think it is time for me to give an update as well.

How to get there:

From Tagaytay City (because we were staying there), we took a jeepney in Olivarez going to Nasugbu. There were few buses passing by but we decided to take a jeepeney (23 pesos each). It took us an hour to reach Nasugbu, and then we asked the driver to drop us in Evercrest. From the evercrest, we took a tricycle for 25 pesos each. The tricycle driver did not drop us to the jump off point; it was a new trail going to the jump off point, then from the jump off point to the summit.

We chose the new trail. At the starting point of the climb, I fell in love with the mountain. The view was perfect. No doubt why people love to drop by and climb the mountain. The entrance fee was 20 pesos each. Walking thru the new trail, we saw some marks about the numbered peaks. Some parts of the trail can be scary because it was too narrow but Lyngve was there to support me so it was no big deal. The trail goes up-down, up-down. With this kind of mountain, you better wear sunblock, caps and long sleeves if you don’t want to get sunburn. It took us 1 hr and 50 mins to reach the summit! Yepey! We did it. The view was fantastic! We saw the entire Batangas and Tagaytay City, Pico de Loro and Mt. Maculot were also visible. Perfect weather, perfect climb. We stayed at the summit for an hour. Had our lunch at the summit and took some photos. After an hour, we just followed the trail located at the opposite side of the new trail, which is the old trail. There was a steep part which we needed to use the rope. It was cool. What was so disappointing was that, a caretaker told us that there were climbers during the weekend that left tons of garbage. Wow I can’t believe they were polluting the nature. Why can’t they bring back their own garbage? It’s not cool at all. Stupid people should stay away from the mountain! Having a caretaker and paid 20 pesos for the fee doesn’t mean you have the right to throw your garbage. So pathetic!

When we reached the campsite of the old trail, still we saw tons of garbage, good thing we were able to bring a black bag and decided to collect and clean the campsite. When we reached the Bahay-Kubo, I told the caretaker that we already cleaned it and perhaps they can keep the garbage we collected. Then we paid another 20 pesos for the entrance fee of the old trail. It took us less than 2 hrs to reach the jump off point. We were not in a hurry, we were enjoying the trail.

Back to Evercrest, we waited for 5 minutes for the jeepney to take us back to Olivarez.

To the beginners, I suggest you climb this beautiful mountain. You will surely enjoy the climb the same as we enjoyed it. Have fun and don’t forget not to throw your garbage on the trail. Help us maintain the beauty of nature. Deal?

Here's the GPS track just in case you need it:

Mt Batulao


EveryTrail - Find the best hikes in California and beyond

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Taal Volcano



From the picnic grove, we saw the majestic beauty of Taal Lake as well as the Taal Volcano. We decided to do a short hike to Taal Volcano. There were a lot of offers; one guy said it would only cost 1, 200 pesos, others would say 1, 500.

This one guy offered to bring us to Taal Volcano for only 1,500 which include the tricycle (back and forth), cottage, entrance fee, life jacket and Bangka. It was a good deal. The next morning around 6:00, the guy said that the 1,500 pesos payment doesn’t include the tricycle. We were stunned because the agreement yesterday includes the tricycle. We told him we will not do the hike if he will charge us extra 300 pesos for the tricycle. So driver said it’s ok not to pay him 300 as long as we continue the hike. Weird! To the tourist, make sure you remember what you have agreed; otherwise this kind of person might ask for more fees.
We drove down to the resort, it was steep and the road was zigzag. We registered and took a Bangka crossing the lake to Taal Volcano. The lake was rough. I didn’t know that a lake can be rough as well. Jeniecel and I got wet. Nice shower. It was a 15-20 mins Bangka ride. We arrived there around 7:20. I saw the horses, cute. I want to ride a horse, so as Jeniecel. The guy said it will cost us 4, 000 for the 4 of us including the guide. But we don’t need a guide because we know how to do it ourselves. We told the guy it should only be 500-800 pesos/pax for the horse including the guide so he should not fool us. The guy offered 2,000 pesos, half the original price, we were laughing. The guy asked for the fee which was 50 pesos each. But the office was still closed. I told him we will pay when we get back. We walked and walked. One guy was following us, offering his horse for only 1,200 for me and Jeniecel. I negotiated the price for 1,000 pesos for the two of us. The guy agreed.

There were guys waiting for us with their horses. Cool. Now we were smart enough to leave those overpricing guys. Instead of paying 2, 000 pesos, we ended up paying 1,000 pesos for 2 the horses including the guide for me and Jen.
The weather was sunny. The horse ride was fun. It was dusty, good thing I was able to wear black tshirt, tights and shoes. It took us 30 minutes to reach the topmost part of the volcano. WOW! The view was striking. Good thing it didn’t rain. We can smell the acid coming from the volcano. We stayed at the small store and rested. The lady vendor gave us some information about the volcano.

From the store, Lyngve decided to go on a different direction to check the other side of the volcano, so we followed him. The trail was very established with overgrown grass. Now that was a perfect spot! We took a lot of photos and enjoyed the view.
Then we met this couple, a Filipina and a foreign guy (I have no idea with his nationality, it doesn’t matter). We were talking about the amount we paid for the horses. The Filipina said they paid 2,000 pesos for 2 horses including the guides, and the guides were even demanding for snacks when they reached the top of the volcano. The lady said she was pissed off of how demanding these guys can be. We told the couple that we only paid 1,000 pesos for 2 horses including the guides. The lady was in shocked and so as the guy. The guy asked why the guys had to rob him. We told them that it depends on how they negotiated the price. The lady said she will complain for this but the guy said she shouldn’t do it because they are having fun anyway but the lady insisted. When we reached the foot of the volcano, the lady asked us to be their witnesses and that we have to tell the head office that we only paid 1, 000 pesos. We promised those guys (the guides) that we are not going to tell anybody that we only paid for that amount. So I told the lady we are not going to say anything to the head office about the price we paid. It is not our responsibility, and that’s how we negotiated. It is also their obligation to check on the internet how much they should pay to avoid overpricing. We are not going to put those guys in bad situation all because of their silly nitpick. Whatever has been agreed on their side, they should stick to it. We were just so good when it comes to negotiating prices. The lady walked out and I bet she was upset with us. Not our problem. We swiftly went to the Bangka to avoid them. When we were crossing the lake, Lyngve told me we forgot to pay the entrance fee. Holy cow! It’s too late, we were on the Bangka.

Then we reached the resort and the tricycle driver was still there. We drove back, unfortunately the chain had a damaged and we had to get another tricycle (8 pesos each) to go to the jeepney station. We were in a jeepney (supposed to be 45 pesos each), but the jeepney wasn’t full yet. We were waiting and waiting for more passengers. Couple of guys said we can start the jeepney ride but we have to pay 80 pesos each. Everyone has to agree otherwise the jeepney will not leave. People were so upset because they keep on insisting for it a hundred times. I almost nagged him. We had no choice; we had to start the jeepney ride. Weird, because the jeepney was able to pick more passengers as he was driving. But still we had to pay 80 pesos. I hated it.

Anyways, we were back safely in picnic grove. It was a very nice experience. Again, to those who are planning to travel, make a research, check on the prices, don’t forget to negotiate; otherwise you’ll end up like the couple I stated above. Have fun!

Here's the GPS track just in case you need it:

Taal Volcano


EveryTrail - Find hiking trails in California and beyond

3:50 AM | Posted in , , , , , , | Read More »

Tagaytay City



One of my bucket lists is Tagaytay City. I have seen beautiful photos of the said city. So I asked Lyngve, why not visit Tagaytay? Good thing he agreed on my idea. Jeniecel, a friend of mine decided to join. Welcome aboard! 

How to get there:

At the corner of LRT1 EDSA Station and MRT3: Taft Station, you can find a lot of buses going to Tagaytay. We took the ordinary bus for 60 pesos, 2 hr bus ride. When we were almost there, I can feel the cold breeze. Wow, I didn’t know it was cold in Tagaytay. The three of us got some colds, tsk. Tell the conductor and/or driver to drop you in Olivarez. From there, we looked for a restaurant. Yes, we were hungry. From Olivarez, take a tricycle to Picnic Grove for only 60 pesos/tricycle. We chose to stay at Mar Herminos Homestay. It was a good place to stay. For our room, it costs us 1,500 including the television, aircondition, hot and cold shower, and free use of gas stove and cooking utensils. The owner Mar Hermino was really accommodating. If you don’t have time, you can even ask him to cook for you. Believe me they don’t ask for an extra fee for cooking, he only charges the amount he spent for the ingredients. Jeniecel got a fair price for her room that was 700 pesos which includes a television and an aircondition.

What we did:

1.People’s Park in the Sky

a.From picnic grove, we took a tricycle for 60 pesos. It tooks us 10 minutes to reach the park. The view and weather was great. It was Sunday so we expected that there would be a lot people in the park, and yes, we were right. Pretty crowded but still, worth the travel. From the park, we took a jeepney going down to the jeepney station for 8 pesos each then we took another jeepney to drop us back to picnic grove for 10 pesos each.

2.Visit Picnic Grove

a.The entrance fee is 50 pesos each, don’t throw it; you need to show the ticket when exiting the park. There can be a lot of activities like horseback-riding, zipline, picnic with the family, kite flying, and roaming around following the staircase. It looks like we were in the Great Wall of China. We wanted to try the zipline but there were a lot of people lining up to do it, so no thanks, forget it. After roaming around, we went to the Souvenir Shop and bought some tshirts, and snack. They have everything you want. You can try to negotiate the price.


3.Visit and climb Taal Volcano

a.I will be having a different blog about this. It’s too long so please refer to my Taal Volcano Blog. Thanks!

4.Visit Puzzle House

a.What amazes me is that the one who combined the entire puzzle is the title holder of Guinness World Record for having the most puzzles created. Entrance fee is 100, pretty expensive though. It is also a resort with swimming pool and beautiful building. There’s also a farm of pineapple. Nice!


Well I hope I was able to help you with this. Have fun in Tagaytay and don’t forget to blog about it. More information, much better!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask or email me at emilyngve@gmail.com
Have fun!

3:42 AM | Posted in , , , , | Read More »

Mt. Hibok-Hibok (1,332 m)


Camiguin

I have always been wanting to have a holiday in Camiguin all because of their sweet lanzones. Finally I am here. They are not just famous with their lanzones, but they are also popular in terms of mountain. Mt. Hibok-Hibok is one of the top destinations here in Camiguin. Since we are an avid fan of mountains, we never doubt in climbing the mountain.

How to get there:

We took a bus from Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan. All buses bound to Butuan City will stop and pass Balingoan Bus Terminal. It is a five-minute walk away from the port but we were in a hurry so we took a tricycle that cost us seven pesos each. The weather was bad, people are lining up to get a ticket and it took us 2 hrs to get one. There are daily boat schedules to Camiguin Island but since the weather was bad, the coast guard wasn't sure if they would allow boat to sail to Camiguin. Two hours later, the coast guard had decided that it would be safe for a boat to sail, everybody was happy. While on the boat, the wind was strong, causing the boat to wiggle from left to right. People were screaming, including me, some were puking and some were crying. I thought it was the end of my life. Luckily, the captain was able to control the boat.

Arriving Benoni port was a chaos, everybody hurriedly took tricycle and multicabs. We didn't know what to take. There was this guy, Kuya Rey (09061436284 for transportation and reservation of accommodation) offering to take us to our chosen hotel (Ardent Hot Sprint Resort) for 30 pesos each, and so we hopped in. We arrived Yumbing. Kuya Rey offered to have a look into the hotel that he is working, Paguia Cottages (800 pesos per night), I said no because we want to stay in Ardent, but he insisted so Lyngve checked it. After five minutes he said the room looks nice, and so we stayed there. When I saw the room, it looks clean, big and worth it. I like it! The room has wifi as well, so what more can I ask for?

The next day, we went to DENR to get a permit. We took a tricycle from Yumbing to Mambajao (10 pesos each), then we took another tricycle from Mambajao to the DENR office (8 pesos each). We were assisted by Mr. Robert Rufino. He said that guide is mandatory to climb Mt. Hibok-Hibok. For the guide it should only cost 1,200 pesos maximum back and forth. I think the price here for a guide is a bit overpriced. I have been climbing mountains in the Philippines and the normal rate is 500 pesos per day. But for Mt. Hibok-Hibok, they are asking for 1,200 pesos for a one day climb. They should correct this one. The next morning, we texted Kuya Rey to drive us to Ardent so we can start the climb to Mt. Hibok-Hibok. We had our breakfast in Ardent and asked for a guide. The receptionist and the guy who appeared and volunteered to be our guide said that the normal rate for the guides would be 1,500 pesos back and forth. We were stunned. I told the guide that DENR had informed us that we should not pay more than 1,200 pesos for the guide, otherwise we can file a complaint to those who are insisting to ask for more. This guy and the receptionist insisted that we should pay 1,500. We negotiated the price, asking for non-licensed guide for 1,000. The guy said he will call someone to guide us. So we waited and waited, the guy did not appear so we decided to climb without a guide. We broke the first rule.

We started the trek around 7:30 and reached the summit at 11:45. On the very first part of the trail, we were not sure which trail to follow, so we had to investigate. I was never worried if we get lost because we were using GPS tool. Whatever happens we can just do back trail. We were wrong, so we did a short back trail. Luckily, there was a local guy and we asked him where is the correct way to reach Mt. Hibok-Hibok, he gave us the instruction and we followed every word he said, the rest of the trail were just so easy to follow even if they made new trails because of some fallen trees. When we reached the summit, it was foggy/cloudy and the wind was strong. We had our lunch at the summit. Stayed at the summit for 20 minutes, took some photos and enjoyed every moment on the summit. Then we descended that took us 3 hours and 15 minutes. This time I was fast. Normally, I hate the part of descending the mountain because I have to control my legs so much that it caused me to have sore legs. Well I guess it was the songs I played during the descent made me forget how tough it would be when going down. Lyngve was even surprised of my improvement, yepey!

Here's the GPS track just in case you need it:

Hibok Hibok


EveryTrail - Find the best hikes in California and beyond I highly recommend this mountain especially to those who are first timers. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at emilyngve@gmail.com

11:01 PM | Posted in , , , , , , | Read More »

Camiguin



Ever since the world began, I always wanted to visit Camiguin to taste the famous Lanzones. Finally, we’re here! Gosh, I even tried to join contest writing about Camiguin to get a free ticket for 2, unfortunately I didn’t win. Not bad, it wasn’t my time yet. Anyway, I will give you some detail how we get there.

How to get there:

From Cagayan de Oro, we went to Agora bus terminal and took a bus to Balingoan. Wow, it was a boring 4 hrs ride. From Balingoan, we took a tricycle to the pier because we were in a hurry. It was just a 3 mins ride, and 5 mins by walking. When we arrived at the pier, a lot of people were lining up, waiting for ticket officers to show up. I asked the security guard what’s going on because there should be 3 ferries going Camiguin. The guard said some were defective, and they are waiting for the coast guard if they would let the ferry sail to Camiguin. Crap, bad weather. Lyngve said the sea looks fine, so I trusted him. We waited for an hour and there you go, we got a ticket (170 pesos each plus 2 pesos terminal fee/pax). The ferry looks old. I didn’t mind. What I hated when on a boat is the rough sea. Some were puking, some were crying. What? Here’s what happened, the ferry ride was horrible. It was moving and twisting from left to right. I hate amihan! Amihan is a Filipino term which means wind coming from the sea. I thought we were going to sink and die. Good thing the ferry survived. Everybody was in a hurry to get down and grabbed motorcabs and tricycle.

We were too late to get in a cheap and shared cab. A guy named Rey (+639061436284), offered to take us to where we wanted to go for 30 pesos each. Long story short, we decided to stay in Paguia Cottages (800 pesos per night).

What we did:

1.Visit the old volcano
2.Visit sunken cemetery
3.Visit the old church
4.Climb Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Timpoong
5.Visit ardent hot spring
6.Visit white island

Please contact Rey (+639061436284) so he can drive you to where you want to go. Negotiate the price. It’s all worth it.

White Island

We were just so lucky that the weather was good after days of non-stop raining. We hired a small banka in Paguia for 400 pesos back and forth. Around 6:00, we started to sail, took a lot of photos and enjoyed the sun. The white island looks like a horse shoe from a distant. From there, if you are lucky, you can have Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Timpoong as the background. It was breath-taking. I love Camiguin. I can’t believe we stayed there for a week!

If you have questions, feel free to ask or email me at emilyngve@gmail.com
Have fun enjoying the nature!


3:33 AM | Posted in , , , , , , | Read More »

Mt. Puting-Bato



The island of Samal has also some interesting spots. One of those is the highest mountain in the island which is Mt. Puting-Bato. There are a lot of reports which includes the wrong elevation of the mountain. But that was our theory about the wrong elevation. Lyngve and I had decided to climb and measure the mountain. The receptionist said it will take 2-3 hours to climb the mountain but we told her that there is an alternative way which takes 15-30 mins only, but she didn’t believe us.

How to get there:

From Bluewaters Resort, we took a habal-habal to reach the town of Penaplata (80 pesos/habal-habal), and then we took another habal-habal to Tayapoc where the mountain is located. First, the driver asked for 400 pesos but we ended up to 300 pesos including the waiting time.

The first part of the road was fine but when reaching the second half was a little bit rough. It was a bit slippery and some part of it is steep, in which Lyngve has to go down and wait for the driver to get him back. The trail was good. Even kids can do this. There were 2 trails. We decided to take the most visible one where we can see the entire Davao City 360 degrees. It would be too impossible for us to get lost, just follow the trail and for sure you’ll get to the summit. When we were almost to the summit, the gate was closed. It says “We are open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holiday”, we went there by Thursday, bad luck it is. We were looking for an alternative way. None, urgh! I tried to check into the wooden gate, gotcha! The wooden gate was not close. I had to remove a single wood and there you go, we’re in! We hurriedly went to the summit and took some photos. The view was awesome! It’s really beautiful. We measured the elevation; it’s 540 meters about sea level. Now we we’re right about the wrong information in the websites we checked. We stayed at the summit for 10 mins. Before we went down, we left 20 pesos for the entrance fee; at least we paid the fee. Then we went down using a different trail, which was more established. Wow, we didn’t notice it on the other side, but from this side, we can definitely see it is more established.

After an hour, we were back on the road with the habal-habal driver. Drove back to Penaplata then to the Bluewaters resort!

Here's the GPS track just in case you need it:

Puting Bato


EveryTrail - Find the best hikes in California and beyond If you have questions, feel free to ask me or email me at emilyngve@gmail.com Have fun!

3:26 AM | Posted in , , , , , | Read More »

Samal Island



They said that Samal Island the fastest growing tourist destination. So then we decided to visit this island. I always have heard about this island, that it’s beautiful, relaxing and worth the price. My boyfriend was the one who made all the research. It’s so funny because he is the foreigner and I’m the local. Well, he does best when it comes to research.

How to get there:

From Davao City, we took a taxi and asked the taxi driver to drop us to R. Castillo and Cabaguio St. where passengers will be riding the Island City Express Bus (25 pesos each including the ferry boat). We waited for 5-10 mins and the bus arrived. We were transported by a ferry boat. It took us 15 mins and there you go, we reached the beautiful island of Samal. The conductor dropped us at the gasoline station. We took a habal-habal (maximum 60 pesos per habal-habal, don’t give more than that). We stayed at Bluewaters Resort. The resort has infinity pool. It looks really decent, clean; the room is big with television and veranda (1,500 pesos per night, good for 2 persons). When we were about to check in and pay for the room, Lyngve forgot to take out some money. We asked the receptionist where we could find an ATM. She said there is metrobank at the town proper. We took a habal-habal again and asked the driver to drop us there. He did, but it was a small bank with ATM. Lyngve tried many times but the bank doesn’t accept any international visa card. We went to another bank but it was offline. The security guard said that the banks here don’t accept any international visa card. Holy cow, what to do then? We decided to go back to Davao City so we can take out some money.

We wasted 3 hours of our time searching for banks in Davao City. Good thing there was BDO near the pier, whew! Before you go to that island, make sure you got enough money, especially If you are a holder of an international visa card, otherwise you’ll end up like us.

We did a lot of stuffs, swimming like there’s no tomorrow, climbed Mt. Putting Bato (will have separate blog about it), and we roamed around some areas of the island. Wow, the island is quite big.
If you have questions, feel free to ask or email me at emilyngve@gmail.com
Have fun!

3:15 AM | Posted in , , , , | Read More »

Mt. Matutum (2,286 m)


General Santos

Days had passed after a failure attempt of the highest mountain in Jagna, we decided to climb the highest mountain in General Santos. They said General Santos is a critical area because of the terrorist. Hmmm, I don't think so.

How to get there:

We took Cebu Pacific Air from Cebu City to General Santos. Got a taxi and cost us 300 pesos. Arriving the city proper, I felt safe and secure. So whatever the rumors I have heard about General Santos that it is a dangerous place,they're all wrong. We stayed in Hotel Filipino for 1,200/night. The hotel seemed overpriced but we were too lazy to find more hotels.

The next day we went to Tupi. We took a tricycle and asked the driver to drop us to the bus station going to Tupi (8 pesos each). We took a bus from General Santos to Tupi for only 40 pesos each. We went to the Municipal Hall but the lady had informed us to go to Tourism Office which is located at the right side of the Municipal Hall. When we were in Cebu, we had a contact person named Mr. Sanico (0910)389-4941 and we asked him that we will be arriving in Tupi to ask a permit to climb the mountain. He said we can go to his office anytime. So when we arrived there, the permit is already prepared. We were assisted by Mr. Rolly Tutor Visaya, he was so kind to us and did the best service for us. He gave us some information about Mt. Matutum and gave some advice as well.We paid 150 pesos for my permit plus 250 for Lyngve's permit. We were informed that the guide will only cost us 500 pesos back and forth. Wow! It was the cheapest service ever for a guide.

From Tupi, we took a bus going back to General Santos. The next day, we took the same bus and asked the conductor to drop us at crossing Polonuling. We took a habal-habal for 150 pesos. It was a 20 mins ride. While riding on the habal-habal, you will see huge farm of Pineapple owned by Dole. We stopped in a small village under B'laan Tribe. The guy inspected our permit and introduced us to our guide(code number 27).

We started the trek around 11:00 and reached the summit at 16:00. There are a lot of leaches on the very first part of the trail. I hate leaches so when they hear me screaming, they know what's going on with me. It took us 2 hrs to arrive face one, a huge open area where you can eat your lunch or you can even camp there. It was raining so we decided to continue the trek. We waited until the rain stopped. We had a ten-min lunch and continued the trek. The second and last part of the trail was a bit tough. There were fallen trees and big stones that we needed to pass thru. My body was really flexible that Lyngve told me I look like I am from a circus, silly! Well, it was not easy, it caused me sore legs and backache. Then we reached the summit with fogs or clouds on the view. It was only the three of us at the summit. We took some photos, pitched our tent and changed some dry clothes. At night it was cold and raining. The next day, our guide informed me that he was not able to sleep because his tent became a free swimming pool. I felt sorry for him. This is the second climb I experienced that our guides were not able to sleep because the water gets inside their tent. Who in the world would like to sleep in a cold and wet tent, nobody! I suggest that DENR and/or DOT must provide good tent, sleeping mattress and sleeping bag to the poor guides and porters. These guides and porters are the ones representing the beauty of the mountain so I think that they deserve to be treated good and get the best trekking equipment.

We descended at 8:00 and reached the foot of the mountain at 14:00. I was so slow this time because of my sore legs. It was a non-stop descent. It was raining and to make sure we won't freeze, we had to keep moving. When we arrived at the water source, the guide offered me to ride a horse for 50 pesos, so I did. It was fun! It was my first time to ride a horse. Back in the small village of B'laan tribe, we paid the guide 1,000 pesos instead of 500 pesos. He was nice to us and he deserves to get more than 500 pesos. We took a habal-habal for 120 pesos. From crossing Polonuling, we took an ordinary bus to General Santos and paid 30 pesos each.

It was a fun filled of experience. Dead nails, sore legs, backache, stiff neck, cuts, bruises, adventure, new friends, great bonding with Lyngve, healthy lifestyle, name it! It was awesome!

If you have question, feel free to leave a comment or email me at emilyngve@gmail.com


10:23 AM | Posted in , , , , , , | Read More »

Mt. Mayana (870 m)


Jagna

My bf told me that he wants to climb the highest mountain in Bohol which is located in Jagna. He said that it would be so easy to climb the mountain because it is just a small one. High or low mountain, I would always have the passion to climb a mountain.

How to get there:

Take a fast craft ferry from Cebu City to Tagbilaran. You may take ocean jet or supercat (daily). We chose ocean jet and departed around 2:15 pm. It was a 2-hr boat ride, not boring at all. We arrived late in Tagbilaran so we had to stay in Nisa Travelers Hotel which is located across the BQ mall. The ambiance is nice, price is (1,200 pesos/night) with complimentary breakfast, and the staffs are friendly. The next morning, we went to the bus terminal (the tricycle driver asked for 30 pesos fare for both of us). We took the bus going to Jagna that cost us 60 pesos each. We stayed in Idea Pension House and Garden Cafe (700 pesos/night good for 2 persons) in which majority of the staffs where deaf. The next day we hired a habal-habal for 120 pesos/each back and forth plus 50 pesos/hr waiting time.

Arriving at the small Brgy. Of Mayana, the driver informed us to get a guide (we paid 100 pesos) so we won't get lost, and so we did. We were walking in a muddy trail. I felt sorry for my white shoes. I thought that we would be walking on a fine trail, I was wrong. So yeah my white shoes became black. Long story short, arriving almost 10 meters away to the summit, I asked the guide to ask permission first to the security guard at the summit because I was thinking we are trespassing a private property of Globe and Smart Communications. So the guide did, after 5mins of waiting, the guide gave us a bad news, saying that we are not allowed to reach the summit because we don't have any permit. A bad day it is but we don't have any choice but to go down. At least we were 10 meters away from the summit, I think that was enough, but it would be best if we really reached the summit.

To those who are planning to climb the highest mountain in Jagna, you better get a permit first otherwise you'll end up like us. Have fun and enjoy!

If you have questions, feel free to email me at emilyngve@gmail.com

10:15 AM | Posted in , , , , , , , | Read More »

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