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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