Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Climb 2013: Pico De Loro

This is my second time in Pico De Loro but this is the first time that I've climbed Pico while there's a typhoon signal raised in the area. Thus there are very few photos I've captured due to heavy downpour and wind. If you want to see scenic view from the summit, I suggest you visit my first blog entry about Pico.

Ternate, Cavite
Major jump-off: Magnetic Hill, Ternate
LLA: 14° 12.855 N; 120° 38.785 E; 664 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 4-5 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3

Centuries ago, the Spaniards aboard their galleons to Manila Bay noticed the form of a giant parrot, perched in the forested mountains in Cavite. They named it "Pico de Loro" - "Parrot's Peak" Today, mountaineers who visit Pico de Loro discover that it is as enchanting as its name. High on Cavite's highest point, they could behold the rocky tower that the Spanish sailors once saw as the parrot's beak, and they could gaze towards South China Sea where the galleons once sailed, all the way to the historic island fort of Corregidor. Gusts of sea breeze reach the peak, refreshing hikers after a four-hour climb. The peak's rocky outcropping is dramatic, and sharply contrasts with the plains of Cavite and the waters of South China Sea.

When the weather improved a little, we decided to climb up the summit. However, a few moments when we reached the summit, a new dark clouds were moving on our direction and a few seconds after the clouds enveloped us, heavy chilly rain fell together with high winds. We decided to just climb down from the summit and got ready to go down the mountain.

On our way down the summit, there was a mountaineer shouting to her friends who were up in the summit to get back to her. We found out that she was holding her friend's camera and she didn't have a dry bag to keep it from getting wet. Good thing that I had an extra Ziploc in my dry bag which I gave her. Lesson learned, always have an extra ziploc or plastic with you for water proofing.

This is how the summit looks like when the dark clouds engulfed it.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Travel 2013: Mt. Banahaw Getaway

Mt Banahaw is not yet fully open for public (esp. Mountaineers). The Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered the closure of Banahaw from public last 2004 to allow the nature to heal the damages it got from the hikers. To experience Banahaw, my mountaineering family stayed in one of the resorts there to relax and unwind over one of the weekends of July.

 We stayed at Nature Villa Banahaw resort. We got a good discounted price of our stay via coupon. The place is great for relaxation. The bedroom has huge windows and the beds are arranged beside the window so you are close to nature. So close that you can hear the wind, singing birds and the leaves falling right outside.

My T20 Family

There offered us a tour around Mt. Banahaw. They showed us the sacred sites there where people from different sects pray and meditate.

If you want to go away from the city and get closer to nature, we recommend Nature Villa Banahaw. Turn off your mobile, laptop and tablet and stay there over the weekend, relaxing and reading books. Also they cook really good food...

Climb 2013: Mt. Manalmon

My second time to climb Manalmon. We first went there August of 2011. We did a night trek going up the camp site and stayed there for the night. The mountain is very easy to climb (~30mins) that only few people decide to do an overnight climb. But that was not the case for us, we had a pregnant mountaineer who wanted to climb the mountain one last time before she gave birth to his first child.

San Miguel, Bulacan
Major jump-off: Sitio Madlum, Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel
LLA: 15°15.11'N; 121°1.22' E; 196 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1 hour
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2

Part of the historical Biak-na-Bato National Park is an outdoor destination called Mt. Manalmon, in San Miguel, Bulacan. Although merely a hill, strictly speaking, Mt. Manalmon possesses novel landscapes, including those of Madlum River, whose rock formations compensate for an otherwise unremarkable environ. Also, nearby sites such as the Bayukbok Caves (a 2-hr exploration from the River) and Madlum cave (historical due to an 18th century relic) can be coupled with a trip to Mt. Manalmon to maximize the Biak-na-Bato experience. Also, complementing Mt. Manalmon is another elevated ground called Mt. Gola; instead of turning right at the bifurcation, going left would lead to this peak, which is also a good vantage point.

Extra Activities in Manalmon