Mt. Sa Pari + Mt.Binutasan + Maysawa Falls

August 7, 2016

Major jump off: Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day 2-4hrs
Mt. Sapari 591masl; Mt. Binutasan 562masl
Specs: Minor climb, difficulty 2/9
Features: scenic views, sea of clouds

Mt. Sa Pari and Mt. Binutasan are two neighbor mountains comprising the so-called Maysawa Circuit. While both are nestled in the far-off barangay of Maysawa, Tanay, Rizal, their registration area is located at Brgy. Cuyambay which is roughly a 5-minute habal habal ride away from the jump-off. Dubbed a minor hike, Mt. Sa Pari stands a few meters taller than Mt. Binutasan with an elevation of 591 MASL and 562 MASL, respectively. These two mountains have rapidly gained some attention for their sea of clouds success rate, similar to that of the Mt. Maynoba’s.

I organized this event as I tried to let my co-workers share my kind of hobby to them. We knew as an adventure seeker that this kind of experience brought us an extraordinary fulfillment. The target number of persons didn’t meet few days prior to the event day after I sent an invitational email to all of my colleagues. In line with this, I asked help to one of my friends Sky Chan to invite some of her co-workers to join us. Finally, thanks to her because we were completed. We (with Rick – my S.O.) also invited Sir Ed Borromeo and Dennis Bacarisas to join.

We all met at Jollibee in Cubao Farmers. One thing though, it rained when we departed.

We then arrived at the jump off area in Brgy. Cuyambay. It was still raining. I let them wear their raincoats.

As I noticed, there were still a lot of hikers visiting the area. We registered at the Brgy. and paid P30 per head as a registration fee.

We secured guide afterwards and the fee was like P500 for every 5 persons. Our guides on the image below.

We arrived at the sari-sari store few meters away from the jump off area and I let them drink coffee as their breakfast. Afterwards, we started our trek. We didn’t think taking a Habal-habal at that moment and continue to walk despite of rain showers and muddy trail.

At the middle of the trek going to Mt. Sa Pari, one of the participants was challenged with the muddy trail. She was using beach sandals. I let her use my footwear intended for trekking and I used her beach sandals. I was also challenged using her footwear so I decided to walk barefoot. It was more difficult but thank God I survived this kind of experience and that person was safe.

As we continued our trek to Mt. Sa Pari, the guide told us to not stay too long at Mt. Sa Pari so that we can enjoy the view at Mt. Binutasan and witness their own version of Sea of Clouds. We were somehow hopeless that time because it’s late in the morning and obviously we were not able to witness that anymore.

MT. SA PARI

Mt. Sa Pari got its name from the priest who chose to live there his entire life. As we made our way in the long trail of Mt. Sa Pari, according to our guide, the story behind the exploration of the circuit and its neighbor, Mt. Paliparan, when the issue concerning false claim of land ownership in Masungi has started. The local tribe of Dumagats got upset, urging them to seek other gems in their place which they could promote to tourists and also which could support their local community in terms of generating income. Our guide and the locals believed in the potential of the mountains surrounding their place. Hence, the birth of Mt. Paliparan and Maysawa Circuit.

Mt. BINUTASAN

Mt. Binutasan (from the word “binutas” which means “to make a hole”) was once a virgin mountain not open to the public but because of the project wherein they needed to link this area to another barangay, a path had been made.

This mountain was my favorite among the two. It had a long stretch of grassland in which every hiker could definitely enjoy the beautiful view of this mountain. We met several hikers along our way.

One concern though, please be extra careful going down for the trail was very steep and slippery.

Before heading back to the jump off, we went first to the Maysawa Falls. This was the best place to cool down and freshen up after a long twin day hike.

We continued to go down to the jump off. Few kilometers before the jump off area, there were habal-habal waiting for us. It was amounted to P40 per head.

We then arrived to the jump off area and we washed up.

After a few minutes, we headed back to Manila (Cubao).

Important Details:

  1. The registration fee is at P30.00.
  2. The guide fee is priced at P500/5 pax for a day hike and P1,250/5 pax for an overnight hike.
  3. The first jeepney trip to Brgy. Cuyambay departs at around 5:00-5:30 A.M. Thus, if you wish to witness the sea of clouds, consider hiring a van so you can get there earlier.
  4. The last jeepney trip going back to Cogeo is at 6:30 P.M.
  5. The registration area for the circuit is located at Barangay Cuyambay. It is a 5-minute habal habal ride away from Brgy. Maysawa.
  6. There is a water source along the initial part of the trail.
  7. Shower fee is P20.
  8. Habal habal fare to jump-off – P40.00/pax

Itinerary:
12:00mn – 01:00am Meet up Jollibee Farmers Cubao
01:00am – 02:30am  Cubao to Brgy. Cuyambay
02:30am – 03:00am Jump off/registration/guide/briefing
03:00am – 04:00am  Jump off to junction
04:00am – 04:30am  Junction to summit (Mt. Sapari)
04:30am – 06:30am Waiting of sea of clouds (taking photos)
06:30am – 07:15am Summit descend to rest area
07:15am – 07:30am Breakfast
07:30am – 07:45am Rest area to peak 1
07:45am – 08:30am Peak 1 to Binayuyo Peak
08:30am – 09:00am  Binayuyo Peak to Enzo’s Peak
09:00am – 09:20am Enzo’s Peak to Summit
09:20am – 11:30am Summit to Maysawa Falls
11:30am – 02:00pm Lunch and swimming time
02:00pm – 06:00pm  Log out/back to Cubao

Photo credits: Omplongz dela Paz, Dennis Bacarisas, Tats Vi

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Mt. Purgatory Traverse

August 13 – 14, 2016

Mountain Location: Bokod, Benguet.
Trail Route: Brgy. Bobok – Bisal, Poblacion, Pito, Ekip & Karao.
Jump-off Point: Japas, Bobok-Bisal, Bokod, Benguet.
Distance from baguio City: 60 KM for 2 -2.5 hours of travel time.
Climb Specification: Major Climb for 2 or 3 days

Mt. Purgatory is one of the major hikes that I took. This is my second time climbing this mountain. This time, it’s a traditional traverse, from Japas to Ekip. This mountain range has spectacular long mossy forest and pine forest. It has a traverse distance of 26 kilometers passing through 7 peaks. We joined the event of BaseKamp Ligaya on August 13 – 14, 2016. Before, we did a reverse traverse with the fabulous mountaineering group – Putik Mountaineers.

I never planned going back to this mountain but because Rick (my S.O.) never been there, I decided to visit this beautiful mountain again for him to experience a major hike. In addition, my friends also encouraged me to visit it again due to the fact that so many things have changed.

I finally decided to join the event.

The event day. It was raining so hard. My parents didn’t know that I’d be hiking again especially it was raining. I was so concerned with the weather because I know how it felt like hiking while it’s raining and I was thinking also of our safety along our way. But Sir Nabs of Basekamp Ligaya was consistently posting an update on their Facebook Event page about the weather and always assured us that there’s nothing to worry about.

I can still feel the excitement. I can still reminisce climbing Mt. Purgatory, how challenging this mountain is. I can still remember how beautiful this God’s gift. And I can still anticipate the new challenges since I heard that so many things have changed. We took our breakfast first at JangJang’s Eatery.

We aimed to hit three mountains on this one trip, the Mangisi Traverse goes through Mt. Pack or Mt. Banshila (2,290 MASL), Mt. Purgatory (2,080 MASL) and Mt. Kom-kompol (2,325 MASL). Apparently, because of the weather condition, the trail going to Mt. Kom-kompol was not passable. About three hours from Baguio City, the jump off point is located at Japas, Bobok-Bisal in Bokod, Benguet. The trek commenced with a straightforward ascent on unpaved roads leading to the Mangakew community.

By the way, I noticed that the trail going to Mangakew community has changed. There are some parts of the trail are already concrete. In addition, the trail is so muddy and slippery because of a heavy rain.

Foremost, all visitors register in this location and attend an orientation are conducted by a local. We supposedly be having an orientation but we just had like a quick background of this mountain and the trail. As mapped by the Association of Bokod Adventure Eco-Guides (ABADEG) and the Bokod Municipal Tourism Office, the entire Mangisi trail covers more than 21 kilometers from the jump off point in Japas to the endpoint in Ekip.

The trek continues on open and pine tree-forested trails. After passing the Bangtinen campsite, at the junction of Prospect, we entered a long trail of mossy forest.

The cool forest and dense greenery countered the continuous ascending trail to Mt. Pack and Mt. Purgatory.

The summit of Pack is approximately three hours from Mangakew. It is flat and affords a view of the towns of Benguet on one side and Nueva Viscaya on the other. A marker conveniently distinguishes the two provinces’ boundaries from one another. Entering the mossy forest once again, the viewpoint of Mt. Purgatory is reached roughly after 1.5 hours from Mt. Pack.

Wooden railings line the area and a makeshift shelter provides respite to climbers. We had a tough experience because of a bad weather. There’s a strong wind and heavy rain that made it difficult for us to pass the trail. We reached each summit one at a time.

The last stretch of the day’s trek is on the Bakian trail where the beloved limatiks make their presence felt. If camping or staying at the Bakian Primary School, it is another 1.5 hours from the Purgatory viewpoint. Toilets and running water are available in this area. It is highly advised that if a group stays here for the night, a donation be extended to the school (for the use of the facilities). Otherwise, the vast campsite at Mt. Tangbaw is the next option and is only half an hour away. Sir Nabs actually reserved a stay in Bakian. Near Bakian primary school, there were rented houses. I noticed it costs like P500 per night.

As we arrived to our stay, we immediately fixed our stuffs and let ourselves dry. We were somehow upset because all of our things were got wet though we put it inside the plastic bag. We hung all of our clothes inside and let it dry.

After we fixed our things, we took a bath. Since it was raining, the water was extremely cold. Well, even if it’s not raining, the water here is always cold. I thought I can’t get through it but I made it. I might get sick.

Before we end this day, we had our dinner. We cooked sinigang, hotdogs and fried eggs.

 

We had our socials initiated by Sir Nabs. He gave us souvenirs like buff, paracord, etc. We even had our event shirts and bag tags.

The second day of trekking commences with a quick ascent to the grassland summit of Tangbaw.

Supposedly the towns of Benguet should be visible at this point. Again, the weather is still the same and the mountain covered by thick fog. We didn’t go to Mt. Kom-kompol because the trail was not passable. Finally completing the Mangisi trail, the descent brings climbers out of the mossy forest and into a breathtaking pine tree-forested and narrow rocky trail that is characteristic of a typical Benguet hike.

The seemingly long descent ends at Ekip proper where we freshen up at one of the local’s houses. We paid like P20 to tidy up.

We arrived at the Bokod Municipal Tourism Office and got our certificates. It was really rewarding as we finished this trail. Though it was difficult, all of us especially Rick and I were so thrilled of this experience.

The ABADEG and the Bokod Municipal Tourism Office have done a splendid job of organizing tourism and climbing activities in Purgatory. Please meet our awesome guides.

We’re back to Baguio City and had our dinner at the Hotel 456. Sir Nabs treated us dinner.

Finally, we headed back home and took our rest.

This adds as our memorable mountain expedition together with Rick and new friends that we met.

Peaks and Campsite

Mt. Mangagew ( a.k.a Mangakew) 1705 MASL. The first village after hiking from Japas Jump off.

Mt. Pack (a.k.a Banshila) 2310 MASL. One of the highest mountains in Bokod: one of the mossy forest covered mountains of the municipality.

Mt. Purgatory 2100 MASL. Formerly known as line 7, it was once a spar tree site ( jump pole for tramline): named Mt. Purgatory because of its purgatory – like characteristic of coldness, waterless, darkness ( due to thick vegetation) and feeling of isolation as described in Holy Bible.

Mt. Bakian Location of one of the villages along the Mt. Purgatory trail; here Bakian Elementary school is the main landmark. It has few houses with store and water source.

Bayoyo Campsite. It is new location of the campsite around Bakian – Tangbao vicinity. It is wide grassland and is very much proximity to water source.

Mt. Tangbao 2200 MASL. It is where Tangbao view point is located, a great view of parts of Bokod and Benguet Mountains are present on clear days.

Taken from the official website of Mt. Purgatory’s ABADEG

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The itinerary for the Mangisi traverse is as follows:

Day 0

21:00 Van to Baguio City

Day 1

02:30 ETA Baguio City
03:30 Depart Baguio
05:00 Breakfast (along the way)
07:00 Arrival at Japas jumpoff point at Bobok-Bisal, Bokod
07:45 Registration and orientation
08:45 Start Trek
09:00 ETA Mt. Mangakew
09:30 Resume trekking
11:00 Bangtinen campsite (5 km)
12:30 Arrival at Mt. Pack (8 km); take lunch
13:00 Resume trek
14:30 Arrival at Mt. Purgatory (10.5 km)
16:00 ETA Bakian Village; stay overnight inside the school
19:00 Dinner at campsite and socials

Day 2

05:00 Wake up call
06:00 Breakfast; break camp
08:00 Start trek
08:30 ETA Mt. Tangbaw campsite (14 km)
09:00 Start descent
12:30 End of trek at border of Brgy. Ekip (21.5 km); wash up
14:00 Sign out at Bokod Municipal Hall
14:30 Depart for Baguio
17:00 ETA Baguio City; dinner
20:00 Head back to Metro Manila

 Thank you BaseKamp Ligaya

Photo Credits: BaseKamp Ligaya Facebook Page, Omplongz dela Paz

EGGciting Adventure Family Fun Run 2016

November 06, 2016

I was informed by my significant other, Ricky that he took advantage of the free race kits offered by Miss Nikka of Team Guerilla Race Marshalls. Miss Nikka posted the said privilege on their Facebook team page. I am also part of that page and we used to be trained as one of the marshals of Guerilla race before. Due to time constraints we became inactive of the said group. Kits being offered is for Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run. It was scheduled initially on October 16, 2016 but because of the weather condition, it was rescheduled on November 06, 2016.

I could feel the excitement in me when Ricky got two (2) free race kits. I would be able to run.

Here came the day of the event. I was so excited due to the fact that I had no training or run for 5 weeks now. I woke up by 2:30am. We went out to the event by 3:30am. We arrived at the Seaside Mall of Asia (MOA) by 4:30am. We immediately went to the registration area to get our free kit. We finally got it after we were assisted by one of the marshals who was very accommodating.

Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run was the first-ever event in celebration of the World Egg Day. It brought to everyone by the Guerilla Race together with the Philippine Egg Board and The Good Egg Advocacy of Sarimanok.

Other activities were Eggciting mini egg hunt, Eggciting Dance Fitness, Eggciting Health Consultation, and many more. This event aimed to promote One Egg a Day Awareness most especially for families. The good thing as well, all finishers got their finishers’ medal.

Podium finishers got their awards.

At first, we were under the impression that the race would start by exactly 5:00am for 10k, followed by the other categories. For some reason, the race started by 6:00am. For me, it’s good as well because we were able to visit all sponsors’ tents to participate on some of their games. We were able to take pictures as well at the photo booth. While doing all of these stuffs, we were listening to the program too.

As we listened to the speakers of the program, according to the Philippine Egg Board Association, consumption of one egg daily helps in weight management, provides muscle strength and prevent muscle-loss, it helps the brain function better, it’s good for the eyes, and contributes to healthy pregnancy. The egg contains 6 grams of quality protein and other nutrients such as iron, Vitamin A, D, E, B12, folate, choline and lutein. It also contains the healthy fat Omega 3.

Below listed were the event categories and details:

We ran 5 kilometers (Km). It was a good event. It had so many marshals everywhere that guided us along our way. They directed us as well on where to get the eggs. There were egg hunting event. Every two eggs found, there’s a corresponding prize. I got two along the race and they gave me a mug in exchange of those 2 eggs.

Runners brought their families on the event and looked very happy and enjoy on what they were doing.

The kids were enjoying as well as they had their own program for egg hunting, games, coloring and face painting.

The organizers had their oath taking for an egg a day. Egg toss.

Team Run Direction (TRD) had their dance number.

The event had Zumba session after the race.

And finally, the most-awaited Awarding.

This event was very memorable for me because I got a podium finish. I ran 2nd place 5K for Women category. It was such a great feeling and was very thankful. According to MyRunTime page, my personal best time is 32:45. I am hoping that I could still improve my PR.

After the race, we got our loot bag. It was really overwhelming. There were so many freebies.

Big thanks again to Miss Nikka for the free racekits.

Photo credits: The Good Egg Page, Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run Page, Bicolano Runner, Omplongz dela Paz

MT. GULUGOD BABOY

October 30 – 31, 2016

GULUGOD-BABOY
Anilao, Mabini, Batangas
Jump-off point: Philpan Dive Resort, Anilao, Mabini
LLA: 13°42’55″N; 120°53’43″E; 525 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2
Features: Scenic views of Batangas Bay and Balayan Bay (www.pinoymountaineer.com)

Three weeks before this long weekend (All Saint’s Day), my significant other and I decided to do an overnight camping. We never got a chance to do one prior for the reason of his conflict schedule and he only has one day off in a week. Whenever we do like a quick outdoor adventure, we always make it as quickest as possible like mountain day hike. Sometimes, we invited friends to join us.

Here came the 30th day of October, Sunday, we started packing up our stuffs and we went out by 10am. By the way, we started our journey from San Mateo Rizal as where we live. We had our challenges started already along our way. It took us one hour just to exit Batasan Road. Normally, it would only take 15 minutes to exit. But because of collision happened, it resulted to heavy traffic.

We arrived at Alps Terminal in Cubao and took the Batangas Pier bound. Travel time was 2 hours when we arrived at the Batangas Grand Terminal. We got off at the said terminal and took jeepney bound Mabini, Batangas. We spent one hour travel period by then. When we were at the port already, the jeepney driver brought us to the tricycle terminal at Mabini and dropped off to Philpan Dive Resort. The trip was like a 30-minute travel time.

Finally, we arrived at the Pinagbanderahan Registration Area in Philpan Dive Resort, the jump-off area.

We checked our time, it was like 4pm. We spoke with the DENR person, we paid P40 per head as the registration fee and she offered guide. Having a guide is an option; the fee is P500 for dayhike and P800 for overnight. We opted not to take guide and follow a certain group ahead of us instead to guide our way. But we highly suggest you to take guide for beginners, big groups and to help the community for the conservation and protection of the mountain.

Here came the start of our journey. The trail was not quite as what we expected. We were certain that we were climbing a mountain. But we took roughly 30 minutes as we passed a concrete road. There were locals along our way selling refreshments like buko juice. They were even selling some bottled drinks, ice candies, snacks and some locals were selling rice meals. It was really amazing. Our way was concrete but it was very steep. Your breathing and endurance will be challenged. We took small steps at the time to save our energy as we were exhausted already because of our transportation experience prior. Good thing was, locals were very kind and accommodating. Whenever we greeted them, they responded abruptly and encouraged us that we could make it to the summit.

We then arrived at the real trail.

It was very steep again and our steps were seriously not baby anymore. We were seriously challenged. There was no mud but it was very slippery. I therefore conclude and as I always believe, there’s no easy way to reach the mountain, each mountain has its own difficulties, qualities and beauty, and it takes preparation, determination, hard work and sacrifice. No mountain really breaks what I really believed in.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy (Pig Spine) was really a good mountain to stay for an overnight camping. As we approached the trail of this beautiful mountain, it took us 2 hours to finish the trail all the way to the camp site. Along our way, when looked back, you would see the plants, trees that surrounded us followed by the perfect view of Anilao Sea.

It was almost dawn and we were already using our flashlight as we tried to find the best spot for our tent-pitching. We were surrounded by thick fog and we couldn’t almost see everything around us, even the cow’s poo (its everywhere). It was indeed very cold. There was only thing that we can see that time, which is the gorgeous sunset view covered by an awesome cloud formation.

We pitched our tent at the campsite. We fixed our things and made ourselves ready and prepared our stuffs to cook dinner. The wind is touching our faces and its making us difficult to ready our dinner. Until it’s ready.

After we had our dinner, we tried to have a conversation with our campers. You would hear other groups of campers enjoying their time with their friends. I think they were also having a drinking session. We took a rest afterwards while watching the stars and we had our sleep.

We woke up 5:30am as we were awakening by the sound of the wind blowing. We went outside and we were surprised of the sun in which is hiding, smiling and it was like the sun is trying to greet us “Good morning and welcome to our home – let me hug you”.

The summit is made up of grassy slopes and several hills. The view is really perfect and the feeling is freedom. It’s really unexplainable until you experience it. We went up to the next summit higher. We were waiting for the sun to completely come out and welcome us. And finally, the sun totally came out and we embraced it. We took so many pictures. We thought of a perfect shot while the sun is present.

From the summit, you would see how gorgeous everything down there that created by God. The perfect gift that a person could ever receive.

The green grass, docile dogs and cows, the air that kisses you all the time and the vast of sea. Sombrero Island and Oscar Island are easily seen from the summit as well as the islands of Tingloy and Maribacan. Locals are offering tour packages pertaining to the said islands. We asked about the package. If you’re planning, the boat rental as of today is P2, 800 per 10 persons and additional P150 for the entrance fee once you’re already at the island.

One thing that saddened us, there’s a cemented area not too far from the camp site in which you would noticed parked cars from the tourist. In addition, there were trashes elsewhere. We picked some of those up. Please be mindful of your trashes and always observe LNT – Leave No Trace Policy for the next generation.

After a few minutes, we went down. Again the trail was like slippery again and we made ourselves very careful going down. Until we reached our tent and prepared our breakfast. As we took our breakfast, we noticed that hikers were starting to gather up to the summit. I believe, they were day hikers. Some overnight campers were starting to break camp as the sun was really shinning so bright and it touched our skin so bad. We fixed our things. Came 8am, we went down afterwards. We finished the trail going down by one hour with confidence. We greeted all the people we encountered. Hi y’all. Nice to see you along the trail. Shout out to Sir Aldrin whom we met and surprisingly we already met him during Mt. Purgatory event of BaseKamp Ligaya.

We went to Philpan Dive Resort but we decided not to rest in there instead we tidy up by going back to the registration area.

There were comfort rooms in which you can wash up. The fee is P25. Philpan Dive Resort is actually a good option to tidy up and rest for a moment after a hike. Entrance fee now is P100 per head. You can wash up and take a dip at the beach before heading back to Manila. The beach didn’t have any fine sand but more of the pebbles and rocks, but the water was clear and enough to cool you down.

Ricky and I headed back to Manila but we decided to go to the one of the famous churches first in Bauan, Batangas. But before that, we ate a very much known Lomi.

Ahhh, it’s really rewarding.

After we went to the church, we arrived at the bakery in which we bought Bonete.

It tastes so good.

Finally, we headed back to Manila. T’was a perfect way to spend day offs. It was tiring but it’s all worth it.

Itinerary

Day 1
11:00am – 12:30nn Assembly
12:30nn – 01:00pm Alps Cubao
01:00pm – 03:00pm Batangas Grand Terminal
03:00pm – 04:30pm Jeepney to Philpan
04:30pm – 05:00pm Philpan
05:30pm – 07:30pm Ascend
07:30pm – 09:00pm Campsite;Dinner
09:00pm – onwards Socials/Lights out

Day 2
05:30am – 06:30am Ascend to Summit/Photo Ops
06:30am – 07:30am Breakfast
07:30am – 08:00am Break camp
08:00am – 09:00am Descend
09:00am – 10:00am Tidy Up
10:00am – 12:00nn Side Trip
12:00nn – 01:00pm Lunch
01:00pm – 02:00pm Side Trip
02:00pm – onwards Back to Manila

Expenses per Head

*Bus Fare (Alps Cubao to Grand Terminal) VV – P167
*Jeep Fare (To Tryk Terminal) VV – P37
*Trycycle Fare (To Philpan) VV – P40
*Guide Fee (Optional) – P500
*Wash Up Fee – P25
*Jeep Fare (Side Trip) – P7 Minimum
*Lomi – P30