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
Have fun!

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

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