> Nomadic at Puso

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Trilogy Hike in Montalban Rizal



Wawa, Montalban, Rizal
March 2, 2018 | Saturday

Mount Susong Dalaga
Mount Lagyo
Mount Parawagan







We were joiners for this newly opened trilogy hike at Montalban, Rizal.
And the event organizer for this day’s hike was Sir Ged Marcos. Way back in 2016, I also joined him for a twin hike at Mt. Binicayan and Mt. Pamintinan. I was alone that time but eventually gained a new set of mountaineering friends!

Shout out to my Team Traverser! I miss you, guys!


This trilogy hike consists of three mountains residing each other:
Mount Susong Dalaga
Mount Lagyo
Mount Parawagan


We started the hike at 5 am after a brief orientation.

And we finished the three mountains at past 12 nn!

Most of our trail-mates are hardcore and fast mover so we needed to catch up with them. No pabebe hike this time. Ha-ha!

Mount Susong Dalaga has a greenish and shady trail.
While Mount Lagyo was a bit rocky like Mount Pamitinan.
Mount Parawagan can be compared to Mount Balagbag in Bulacan/Rizal boundary. It was a long walk and trees for shading are limited. 
But the view up here is nice as you can see some rural skyline.

All views on the three summits offer different amazing perspectives and I couldn't be any happier!


We had our lunch at the jump off area.
By 4 in the afternoon, we already went home.
Thank you Sir Ged for being a nice organizer!

We were tired (because it was trilogy!) but we were thrilled, challenged, contented and most of all the happiest!


Tingloy Island's Masasa Beach for the Birthday Trip



Tingloy, Batangas
Feb. 8-9, 2018



It has become an annual routine for me to go places during my birthdays.
Whether it will be a solo trip, with group of friends or even with complete set of strangers, I would always be on the go!

For this year's special birthday treat for myself, I chose the Island of Tingloy in Batangas.
Based on the reviews that I have read, this kind of trip is for the budget conscious people like me.
For as low as Php 1,000.00 , you can already explore a hidden and not so famed paradise for two days and one night.

I so love tight budget trips!

We left Manila at 5 in the morning by riding a bus in Buendia going to Batangas Grand Terminal.
The fare as of this writing is Php. 157.00.
For more than an hour, we reached the Grand Terminal then we took a jeepney going to Anilao Port where we will ride later on a boat going to Tingloy.
Jeepney fare is Php. 40.00.

Before we rode a boat, we bought food at Anilao market. It is just beside the port and it is highly recommended to buy food there since goods are limited to the island. There's no eatery or restaurants in the island as well.

Homestays and transients are the most common accommodation in Tingloy. I strongly suggest to have your inns near the port areas.
Tricycle fares are a bit pricy.

We chose to have a homestay at Inay Myrna Transient House wherein we paid Php 400 per head. We are only two in this trip and we occupied a room that cost us Php 800 per night.
(sorry, no photos of the house. But it's just a typical Filipino modern house made of bricks for walls and tiles as floors. It has three rooms, large sala, kitchen and two bathrooms.)

The inn was near the port of Pirasan and just a three-minute walk going to Masasa Beach.


Boat fare is Php 100.00 plus Php 30.00 for the environmental fee.

The boat we rode stopped at Tingloy Port and so we have to ride a tricycle going to Pirasan. We paid Php40.00 per head.
We reached the inn at 10 in the morning. The house is complete with kitchen utensils so we cooked for our breakfast.
Electricity there runs from 10 in the morning up to 12 midnights. They have a generator that can be used during electric out.

After we ate for breakfast, we then started to explore Masasa Beach and it didn't disappoint us!



It is truly a paradise.



We made sure that we went to its end point up to its end point. Every area is picturesque and instagrammable!



Rock formations are also a wow!





There are some activities that you may also do aside from swimming and long walks to its shore.
Some inn already offers boat riding for snorkeling and island hopping. Php. 100.00 per head is the fee for snorkeling and Php 1500.00 for the island hopping.

There is also a mountain hiking to its ‘Mag-asawang Bato’ summit. Fee is Php 500.00 for the tour guide good for five pax.

I am already contented with the long walk and swimming so we didn’t try the other activities plus the fact that we stick to our Php. 1000-peso budget. We thought of it as a challenge. (Ha-ha!)
By 2 p.m. we went back to the inn to have our lunch. Again, we cooked for lunch and then we had a nap until 5 in the afternoon.

We went back to Masasa Beach to witness the breathtaking sunset.




At six in the evening, we already went home to the transient and had a short conversation with our host and her husband. Inay Myrna – the owner of the house that we rented was not around that time as she visited her youngest daughter elsewhere. So Inay Myrna’s other daughter, Ate Janice was the one who welcomed us.

We had our dinner at the verandah.

The couple shared some wonderful stories to us about their other visitors, regular patrons, and how kind Inay Myrna to their guests.

I may truly say that our country is still filled with good, kindhearted people and we Filipinos are really hospitable by blood.

They treated us as a family and that’s one thing I love renting transients. It feels as if we really belong on a family living in that house.

Here’s the contact number of Inay Myrna’s Transient that you may reach:
0950-8703815 / 0905-2606413

During the time of our visit which were weekdays, there’s no other guests so it seems that we rented the whole house. It has a big sala set, kitchen, two bathrooms and three rooms plus a porch where you can have your dinner and you can even rest or even there.
They also offer free videoke and there a separate television also for local channels that you can watch.
We used the television before going to sleep.


At 6 in the morning the following day, we rode a boat going back to Anilao Port. My companion has a work in the afternoon so we took the first trip of the boat.

We didn’t regret riding so early because we witnessed the majestic sunrise and how it beams to the islands that we are passing through. Photos we took will never be enough to show how wonderful morning it was!



You must really experience it for real!

I personally had goosebumps all over while on that boat ride.

Thank you so much Tingloy Island for this very remarkable trip for my birthday. It was another tick on the bucket list for me.

Here’s the breakdown of our expenses:
Bus Fare Round trip: 314.00
Boat Fare Round trip: 200.00
Environmental Fee: 30.00
Jeep from Batangas Grand Terminal to Anilao Port RT: 80.00
Food: 150
Accommodation: 400.00
Total Amount: Php. 1174.00/head

For our food budget, here’s what we bought:
2 kilos of Rice
Assorted Canned goods that good for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Onions, Garlic, Magic Sarap, Cooking Oil
1 gallon of water
Junk Foods
Eggs and we hard boiled it before leaving Manila
Bread and Cheesy Spread
And yes, we didn’t buy any meat or fish.

So there! May you enjoy your visit to Tingloy as much as we did even though we stick on our budget. J
Happy travels!

P.S. Ate Janice sold souvenir shirts to us and we paid it via money remittance as we went home because there’s no ATM at the island and we just brought exact money.

Mount Nalayag and Malabrigo Beach with Malabrigo Lighthouse side trip



Lobo, Batangas
January 13, 2018 | Saturday

Say, Hello to my first adventure for the year 2018!




For this day hike, I was with my friends and we were just four in the group.
We leave Pasay Buendia at 1 am. We rode a bus going to Batangas Grand Terminal. Fare as of this time is 157 pesos.
We reached Batangas GT at 4 am.
Then we rode a jeepney and tricycle going to SM City Batangas. From there, we rode a jeep going to Lobo, Batangas.
We rode again another tricycle going to the jump off area of Mount Nalayag.


We had a short stop at Malabrigo Lighthouse because lighthouses will always amuse me. So I really insisted to the tricycle driver to have a quick stop at this red and white pretty lighthouse. 



No filter photos. Pardon for the rawness. :)



After securing a guide and paying for registration fee, we started the climb at past 6 a.m.

We just started to hike but amazing view already amazed us!



It was only a two-hour hike going to the summit where the famous monolith of Mt. Nalayag stands.

The wind was so strong going up to the Nalayag monolith so be extra careful.



The view of Batangas is extremely breath taking. Congrats again self for another achievement!


We just did a back trail going down.


And included on our itinerary is the beach time!

We passed through again the Malabrigo Lighthouse to have some photo ops inside.



I always thought of Lighthouses as mysterious, pretty, amazing and breath taking. 



And then hello, stony beach of Lobo, Batangas! I really chose Batangas as my first hike of the year to also see some sea!
It has been so stressful recently and I badly wanted to have some waves on my feet. 



We had the beach as a lively wash off area. 

Even for a short time, I really had a good one!


At 5 p.m., after washing up, we then headed home. Since we are only commuting, we have to catch up with the jeepney’s last trip of 6 p.m.

We took our dinner at SM Batangas and then we’re back to Batangas Grand Terminal to ride a bus Manila bound.
Thank you Batangas for a day of wandering!



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

AETA COMMUNITY IMMERSION AT CAPAS TARLAC



 Here's the article I wrote for Project Bahaghari. This was our itinerary and series of activities that we had during the immersion. (Unedited file)

This is not a perfect write up but still, this moved me and left a teary eye. It was so rare for me to write an article or story that can actually make me cry while I read it.

Congrats, self. I am humbly proud of you.


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Project Bahaghari: Ikatlong Yugto (Paskong Bahaghari)
Sitio Manabayukan, Capas, Tarlac
Dec. 22-23, 2017





This Christmas of 2017 became so meaningful not only for the Indigenous people of Sitio Manabayukan, Capas, Tarlac but also for all the volunteers of Project Bahaghari, sponsors and donors who made this event so possibly attainable. The receiver and the giver has so much things to be thanked for. So, yes, this is literally a win-win kind of situation for both parties. Blessings over blessings, indeed!
Some of us may already know that ‘Paskong Bahaghari’ is one of the outreach events of this humble, youth and non-profit organization named Project Bahaghari. Paskong Bahaghari is an immersion that usually takes two days on far, secluded and mountainous Aeta or tribal communities. We share gifts, clothes, toys for the kids, Noche Buena and grocery package to hundreds of families. Aside from the gift giving, we also provide a short program and feeding. The short program consists of some Parlor games with gifts as prizes, puppet show and sing and dance activities. This is for the kids and of course people who are kids at hearts can also join.
So why are we doing this?
And we think that the answer is simple. We just wanted to color the world with hope and love!

The Preparation.
It was on the second week of November 2017 when the planning for another outreach event of Project Bahaghari volunteers started. Who could imagine that a simple group chat box created would have a great impact on all the people involved for this Christmas project?
Promotional posters, plans, invites, Marketing strategies were then made to raise funds for the 2017’s version of Paskong Bahaghari.
We are beyond grateful to the power of Social Media, word of mouth, and friends of friends that we were able to collect enough funds and donations that we can share this season of giving. We at Project Bahaghari are so honored to be the bridge that connects the needy and the generous people who has something to give.

Here’s the itinerary that we had for this two-day immersion.



Day 1. December 22, 2017 | Friday

Volunteers had a meet-up at Morayta and Cubao simultaneously at 3 a.m.
The group who met up at Morayta went to Capas, Tarlac through a rented L300 van. This van had the boxes of consolidated in kind donations. While the group who met at Cubao went to Capas via public bus.
Upon reaching Capas, Tarlac and having the complete meet up of volunteers, the group was divided again into two. The first group went to the grocery (RCS Capas Tarlac), to buy bulk goods for the Noche Buena and grocery package.
Each Noche Buena package consists of:
1 Kilo Spaghetti Noodles
1 Kilo Spaghetti Sauce
Corned Beef
Luncheon Meat
Cheese
Cup cakes


While each grocery package consists of:
3 pcs. Noodles
Coffee
Rice
Biscuits


The second group went to the wet market (Capas Public Market) to buy ingredients for the feeding program and food for the volunteers.

When both group were done buying all the things needed, we then rented a jeep that took us to Kap’s house. Travel time was about thirty minutes.
Gladly and feeling grateful, the grocery offered us a free truck delivery of the goods up to Kap’s house.
We deeply thank Kap for warmly welcoming the whole group on his humble home. He also assisted us on renting 5 units of 4x4 trucks that took us and all the goods that we brought to the mountains of Sitio Manabayukan.
It took us an hour to reach and meet the lovely indigenous people of Sitio Manabayukan. Aside from the rough yet flowery road, river and greeny mountains that filled our eyes, locals didn’t fail to amaze us. They also warmly welcomed us, waves are unlimited and kids surrounded us with plastered smiles on their faces.
We had their church as our temporary base camp. Donations and goods were unloaded from the trailers and then when everything was settled, we had a brief orientation of what would be the other activities for the rest of the day.
Some of the volunteers were assigned to prepare the lunch, some still cleaned up the base camp, while the others happily played with the kids.
By three in the afternoon, we had our late lunch. We didn’t notice time as we were filled with many things to do and this whole amazing experience!
At past 4 p.m., we headed to the river because it’s bath time! It was a short trek going to river and some kids accompanied us. 
After an hour, we went back to the base camp, to dry ourselves and change clothes and started the interview. Volunteers were partnered and each team must interview at least three families.
Through this activity, we felt closer to the families we are going to help, understand more their hard situation and we also had the chance to laugh and cried with their real life stories shared.
If you were going to ask every volunteer who conducted the interviews, for sure, each one has moving stories to tell, and will let you feel that we have so many things to be thanked for. We are a lot fortunate than these poor families living in the mountains of Capas, Tarlac.

Some of the realizations we had that we wanted to share to the world:
For the families living in here, rice is a luxury item and eating three times a day for is already considered a lucky day.
When the water’s river is high during rainy season and tropical depressions, they can’t go downtown to buy food and they will just be contented on edible plants they can harvest anywhere. Most common food that they can depend on are root crops. 
One of the families we interviewed has an income of Php. 2,000.00 per month or 67 pesos per day. As we compute, this is not enough for the basic needs for five members of the family.

But despite of all of the hardships they are going through every day, families here have only simple wishes – and that is to be complete and healthy during their meals.
Having their kids finish school may be already considered as a very ambitious dream, but they still strive to make this come true. Most of the parents haven’t finished or even didn’t had the chance to experience learning so they hope that their children will be able to step out of this hard life they are currently going through by graduating from school.
And we in Project Bahaghari are one with their dreams! We also pray and wished that these kids will be able to finish school and have a better way of life someday because they all deserve it.

At 6 in the evening, we had our dinner first before proceeding with the repacking of bulk goods. We packed 100 Noche Buena package and 100 grocery package.
We also sorted the donated clothes.
Our light supply was only limited but that didn’t stop us from doing things that we needed and wanted to do at the same time. The community doesn’t have stable electrical supply. They depend on the solar panels. 
By 10 pm, we were already done with the packing. Empty boxes spread on the floor of the church served as our sleeping mats. Before going to sleep, we had again a brief orientation of what will be the activities tomorrow. And then all the lights were off. This was a long and tiring yet worthy and happy day.
Time to sleep for we need energy at tomorrow’s main event.



Day 2.  December 23, 2017 | Saturday

The sun wasn’t up yet but volunteers were already awake to prepare the food for breakfast.
Other volunteers cleared and cleaned the base camp.
When breakfast was ready, we prayed and thanked God for everything that we have and for the time that we were able to share our time, love and effort as gifts for these native people that we learned to love in just a short span of time. We filled our stomach first and then later on our hearts will be filled with so much gratitude and happiness.
At 8 in the morning when everyone’s already settled, we had the distribution of claiming stubs for the grocery and Noche Buena package.
We guided the families to fall in line properly. Kids line are separated to parents’ line. 
After the stubs distribution, we then had our program proper. Kids and parents went inside the church.
Some of the volunteers assisted on the program while the others helped in preparing the food for feeding.
Kids enjoyed the parlor games prepared for them. Even the parents joined on some parts of the game. Prizes were given to the winners. Some of the prizes were toys but they were more than happy when our prizes for them are packs of rice, instant coffee and powdered chocolate drink.
After an hour, feeding time followed.
We prepared pancit and macaroni soup for them. Families went home and got back quickly just to get their eating bowls. Some of the volunteers served the food. Then some volunteers served as marshals so there will be a proper line up while the others prepared for the final activity - the distribution of goods.

After eating their meals, the families then lined up again outside the church to finally get their Noche Buena and grocery package, toys and clothes.  Volunteers already know their designated areas of distribution and thankfully, it was a fast and smooth flow of gifts dispersal.
When the distribution was finally done, we then prepared to go home bringing the wonderful experience we had on this immersion.
Christmas is truly Christmas when blessings are being shared.
We deeply thanked everyone who has been part of this project.
To all the donors and sponsors, to all our family and friends who supported us and to all the people who spread the word, shared our campaigning posts, thank you so much! Words will never be enough to thank all of you.

Angao, Aeta! Wuhoooooo!

Maraming Salamat po!


-Project Bahaghari Team


Holiday Hike: Laiban, Rizal (Mount Lubo, Mount Ngusong Kabayo, Mount Tangwa and Laiban Falls)




Nov. 30, 2017 | Thursday
Laiban, Tanay, Rizal




Thank you to Travel Guide for the itinerary that we got for this trip.

It was holiday – Bonifacio Day so we took the chance to spend our off from work on a day hike at Laiban, Tanay, Rizal.
Our itinerary for this day:
Mount Lubo
Mount Ngusong Kabayo
Mount Tangwa Peak
And traverse to 4 Laiban Falls.

At 3 am, we had the meet up at Jollibee Farmers Cubao and we are total of six in this day hike.

Once completed, we rode a jeep going to Cogeo. Beware of dispatchers and tricycle drivers who will encourage you to take a tricycle instead of jeep going to Sampaloc, Tanay. They will try to haggle with you a minimum of 500 pesos per trike.
Please be informed that jeepney going to Sampaloc, Tanay starts at 2 am (or even earlier). You just have to wait and walk further going to the overpass at Cogeo. Much better to walk going to their terminal.
Jeepney fare will only cost 55 pesos per head. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Mayagay 1. From Mayagay 1, wait for habal-habal that will take you to Barangay Laiban.

We reached the jump off at almost 6 am and started the hike. 

It was an easy trail and you can reach the three peaks (Mount Lubo, Ngusong Kabayo, Tangwa Peak) in a span of two hours. 

At Mount Lubo Summit:




At Mount Ngusong Kabayo:


 At Mount Tangwa Peak:



We had the traverse trail and we passed through the 4 legit falls of Laiban. On the first falls, there we ate our lunch.





At 4 or 5 pm, we were already back in the jump off.
I would add on the list this Laiban adventure on my most favorite hike! The views from top are all great and I highly recommend this hike!

  
Here’s the itinerary and expenses that we got from this blog: www.itinerary.ph
 Thank you and credits to owner. 
  • Cubao to Cogeo — Php 24.00 (Php 48.00 RT)
  • Cogeo to Mayagay 1 — Php 55.00 (Php 110.00 RT)
  • Mayagay 1 to Brgy. Laiban — Php 100.00 (Php 200.00 RT)
  • Registration Fee — Php 100.00
  • Guide Fee — Php 500.00 (good for 5 pax)

Suggested Itinerary (Average Pacing)

  • 0300 Meetup Cubao
  • 0400 ETD to Cubao to Cogeo
  • 0430 ETA to Cogeo
  • 0500 ETD Cogeo to Mayagay 1 (Martessem)
  • 0600 ETA to Mayagay 1, Ride habal-habal
  • 0630 ETA to Brgy. Laiban
    • Register
    • Secure guides
  • 0700 Start Trek
  • 0800 ETA Mt. Lobo
  • 0900 ETA Mt. Ngusong Kabayo
  • 0930 ETA Tangwa Peak
  • 1000 Start descent to Laiban Falls
  • 1130 ETA Laiban Falls Layer 4
    • Lunch
  • 1200 Proceed to the other layers
    • best to swim at the Layer 2 of this waterfall
  • 1400 Trek back to Jump off
    • Wash up, eat
  • 1500 Back to Mayagay 1
  • 1530 ETA Mayagay 1
    • Wait for Jeep to Cogeo
  • 1700 ETA Cogeo
    • Ride jeep to Cubao
  • 1830 ETA Cubao