ATV Adventure

January 13, 2020

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Capas ATV Adventure

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Masungi Georeserve

July 26, 2016

 

How is it that this beautiful piece of land is just 1.5 hours away from crazy Metro Manila? And I mean acres of lush greenery, healthy trees and the unique rock formations that created the name Masungi – from the word Masungki which means ‘spiked’ in English (pertaining to the spiked limestone landscape seen all over the the conservation area).

Masungi Georeserve is a discovery trail with paved steps up & down the mountain, sturdy white ropes made to look like large hammocks and hanging bridges overlooking the whole area.

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The company taking care of Masungi (Blue Star Construction & Development Corporation) and the foundation body of Masungi have taken real good care of this place and the whole trek was very organized. We barely saw other people even if we knew there was a group ahead of us and after us. Our guide, Kuya Ruben, would coordinate with other guides regarding our pace and location, making it appear as if we had the whole place to ourselves!

There is a long waiting list, so you must book very well in advance. We had to wait for 4 months. Fortunately, the weather that day was perfect. It rained the night before our trip so the ground was cool and we started at 7 am so the sun was about to shine and it wasn’t that hot yet. It took us 5 hours in total (mostly because of all the picture taking). I highly recommend this mini adventure. The Php 1,400/person fee was truly worth it. 👍🏼 (oh, and it comes w a light snack and some water & juice too!) ☺️

Sadly, there is a land dispute happening now between Masungi and the local government of Tanay, Rizal. Apparently, the local government is supporting these land grabbers. Hopefully there will be a fair resolution in court soon. #SaveMasungi 🌳

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Trekking Taal

August 3, 2015

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I have been to Tagaytay numerous times and have always admired the beauty of the Taal Volcano from afar. As the early morning sun rises & shines, you’ll see it sitting silently with the lake as its blanket. Just yesterday, a usual lazy Sunday turned into an adventurous one. My friends and I drove to Lipa, Batangas and decided to finally check out & trek the volcano.

From an area called Mataas na Kahoy, we hired a banca for P 2,000. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the volcano from Lipa (the usual & most common route is actually from Tagaytay). We got a young guide for P 500 & he had a small horse, or more like a donkey, together with him. Little did we know that we were actually going to walk on a horse trail going up to the look out point. Anyway it was not that bad, just a few horse shit along the way. The trek up the lookout point was fairly easy, about 30-40 minutes of walking. But from the lookout point going down the crater, that was a bit tricky. The soil was so slippery because of the small loose pebbles and if you’re not wearing proper hiking boots, you have to do it slowly or you might slide and injure yourself. It was a good (or should I say not so good) 20 minutes of trying not to slide down and wishing the wind would come visit and say hi. We were sweating like crazy as there was no breeze at all. When we reached the crater, we rested for 15 minutes before heading back up the lookout point. The water in the crater was too hot for a dip, you could barely swim in it. So we just ended up taking a few photos & chilled for a bit.

Trekking Taal is quick & fairly easy. A fun trip out of the city w family or friends. Just make sure to bring a lot of water (it can get really hot) and some cash. Yup, there’s a P 50 entrance fee and it’s P 50/drink on the look out point in case you want a cold soda or two.

Climbing Mt. Batulao

January 23, 2015

Earlier this month, my boyfriend, my best friend and I climbed Mt. Batulao, a popular destination in Batangas with only 2,661 feet in elevation. It’s an easy climb, according to bloggers and true enough, it only took us 2 hours to get to the peak, and around an hour to get back down to our car. Before all that though, we woke up extra early so we could have breakfast at the popular Breakfast at Antonio’s. It was around 8 am when we arrived at the restaurant. The sun was shining, the cool Tagaytay breeze was very enjoyable and the food was simply delicious.

Breakfast at Antonio's

Breakfast at Antonio’s

The view from the restaurant is the famous Taal Volcano, sitting silently on its lake.

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

After our yummy brekky & coffee, we went to KC Hillcrest to park our car. According to some blogs, the tricycle ride from Hillcrest to the starting point of Mt. Batulao costs P 20 per head. However, the tricycle driver charged us P 100 total instead of P 60 (for 3 people). Perhaps he ripped us off (because we had a foreigner w us) or they really increased their rate. In any case, we chose not to ride the tricycle going back. The distance is actually short so we just walked it.

Moving on, we hired a guide (we tipped him P 500 because he was really nice) to help lead the way. Actually, you can just do it yourself since there are tracks already but if you want to feel more safe, it’s good to hire a guide and also help support their livelihood. From what I know, the fee for the guide is only P 300.

Mt. Batulao is quite scenic. It’s hilly, grassy and picturesque.  We were lucky with the weather because it was nice and sunny and the January weather is just perfect for hiking.

Up we go!

Up we go!

with our guide

with our guide

The view from the top (which is Peak 10) is nice but it’s much more scenic when you are hiking up and down the other peaks.

At the peak

At the peak

From Peak 10

From Peak 10

Refreshments at the top

Refreshments at the top

All in all, it was a good workout. A great outdoor activity which you can do with family and friends. It’s only 2 hours away from the city and you get to pass Tagaytay for some yummy breakfast. Our next goal is to climb Pico de Loro. I heard it’s a more difficult hike and a long one too. Can’t wait for the next adventure!

Climbing Mt. Pulag

January 21, 2014

Mt. Pulag is the third highest mountain of the Philippines. With 2,922 meters above sea level, it is considered to be the highest peak in Luzon. It is a popular adventure destination known for its sea of clouds, as seen below.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t actually get to see that. Such luck that my friends and I chose a weekend that unexpectedly was the coldest temperature recorded in Baguio for the past 5 years. Imagine it was 8 degrees in Baguio and we were up in the mountain trying to survive an almost below zero degree temperature with insane wind chill.

Because of the strong wind, our tent seemed like it had a life of its own and while the 7 of us were all cuddled up trying to distribute body warmth to each other, we all tried to sleep it through. We hardly slept though and patiently waited for our 4 am call time. Some friends decided to stay in the campsite because of the uncomfortable weather. But the rest decided to brave it through. After about 2 hours of hiking in the dark, we finally reached Peak 2, the highest peak of the mountain. By this time, my fingers were frozen and instead of rejoicing (WE MADE IT!), we silently and patiently waited for the sun to rise. But it was too foggy… too cold… and sadly we didn’t get to see or feel the sun. After 10 minutes, we all descended and couldn’t wait to get out of the cold.

This whole trip was such an experience… and I will never forget it, my very first climb : ) I know it would’ve been different if the weather had cooperated. But it is def memorable not because of how easy and doable it was, but because of all the imperfections and all our triumphs over it. Mt. Pulag is so beautiful and the whole climb was definitely fun especially with great company around. I would definitely do this again and hopefully see the grand peak view Mt. Pulag is known for.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos we took on the way up the camp site and down to the ranger station. Big thanks to Miguel of Yabag Mountaineers for helping us organize our first Mt. Pulag weekend.

CLIMB A MOUNTAIN ✓

Our deluxe bus from Manila to Baguio

Our deluxe bus from Manila to Baguio

The bumpy jeepney ride from Baguio to Pulag

The bumpy jeepney ride from Baguio to Pulag

Hike up the campsite

Hike up the campsite

Campsite # 2

Campsite # 2

Waiting for the sunset

Waiting for the sunset

Singleton keeping us warm

Singleton keeping us warm

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag

packing up

packing up

half of the whole crew

half of the whole crew

Mt. Pinatubo

February 17, 2013

Drove up off road with a 4 x 4 truck and hiked up Mt. Pinatubo, a volcano with a lake on the crater. Beautiful adventure with friends.

 

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