> Nomadic at Puso: 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Mount Hugom (570 masl): Conquering A Newly Opened Mountain For Hikers

I was invited by friend for the last minute. A week after we climbed Mount Pico de Loro, Mel messaged me that her friends will have a climb the following day to Mount Hugom.

I wasn't familiar with that mountain before. I even googled it but the search engine only says Mount Daguldol which is located at Barangay Hugom, San Juan Laiya, Batangas. So I thought that it was that mountain Mel was telling me. But oh well, I just said yes and confirmed my slot! He-he.
Meet up is at Shell EDSA-Buendia at 5:30.

 At 4:30, I was already there and had my breakfast at Mc Donalds. I even brought something for my lunch later. Later I knew that we will be with Gideon- the Admin of the very famous website among mountaineers.The pinoymountaineer.com 

Yay! I will climb with the famous. He-he. I've been also reading his site and I found it so useful and informative. I truly admire him for he has climbed hundreds of mountains already both local and international. 
Siya na talaga! :) He's quite nice, talkative and approachable. As I observed him climbing, he was effortless. My admiration for him goes deeper. (not on a romantic way!) I just love listening to his chitchats with his other friends who were with us during the climb.

The trail going to the summit of Mount Hugom is rough and steep. I found it hard and it's my hardest so far. You have to learn to depend on trees or plants around you.
"Kapit lang talaga para hindi ka mahulog kasi masakit." (Is that a hugot?)

But the view (as always) is worth it! In the middle of our hike, we can already see the white sand coastline of Laiya beach. We even passed through a green field (as I called it). They were "talahib", I guess.

According to our guide, they have just opened this mountain just last September. Wow! I was truly honored to be one of the few first timers that climbed Mount Hugom.

After more than two hours, we reached the summit.
And we could see more mountain ranges at the back of it. On your front there's a sea view while at your back is the mountain ranges view. Sulit!

We had our lunch at the summit then after not more than an hour we went down.

There's no alternative way going down yet so we passed through again the trail where we climb.
I was afraid to slip so I really became cautious of my steps. Yes, it was hard going down for me but then it was a lot faster.
Thank you to all the guys I've been with for assisting a pabebe climber like me. Ha-ha! It was such a fun and challenging climb. It was an hour I guess when we were back at the base.
As we went down, we took a bath and ate a rice meal before heading home. I didn't put any amount for the expenses because we took a private van and I also have no idea on how much is the registration fee or guide fee. We just paid a certain amount per pax and it was them who did the budget. ;) It was nice meeting new people while doing the thing I learned to love and that is mountain hiking. More mountains to climb!

You may visit www.pinoymountaineer.com for further details regarding this climb.

We reached Manila again at past seven in the evening. We took a dinner at a famous restaurant somewhere in Barangay San Antonio, Makati. The Pat-Pat’s Kamsi. Another first time for me here!
Kamsi is an Ilonggo dish. It is similar to bulalo but then it is sour. So I may say that it is bulalo and sinigang in one.
It’s delicious, by the way!

Mount Pico de Loro (664 masl) achieved!

It's a day hike with all the single ladies.

 The date was Nov. 21, 2015 and we were four girls who will climb Mt. Pico De Loro this day. This mountain is quiet famous. Maybe because it is just an hour away from Manila and I may say that its trail is easy so this mountain is good for beginners.

 At 4 a.m. we assembled at Pasay Edsa-Taft, we then took a bus going to coastal for the bus terminal. At Coastal, we then rode a bus going to Ternate/Naic. As of this writing, bus fare (we rode airconditioned bus that time) is 81 pesos for one way. After an hour we reached the tricycle terminal at Ternate, Cavite. Tricycle fare is 85 pesos per head.

At the jump off, there's a registration fee of 25 pesos per head. It's a choice if you want to have a tour guide or not. Based on what I remember, tour guide fee is 1000 pesos good for four to five people.

We chose not to get a tour guide since there's already an established trail and we won't get lost. (Fortunately we didn't. Yey!) And also, there are a lot of hikers so we don't need to worry. A clear river welcomed us as we started to climb. It was only 6 a.m. when we started the climb and it's not hot since there's a lot of tree.

It was tiring but it was fun! 

I think after more than two hours, we reached the base camp or I may call this as the semi-summit. A lot of stores were there!
We even bought halo-halo that instead of ube, it was caramel on top. It's yummy, I swear!
Photo op was then followed. The view was amazing!

By this time, we got a guide that will assist us to the peak and to the monolith. We paid Kuya Guide fifty pesos per head. Reaching the peak is quite breath taking.

Photo op again!

Then we headed to the monolith.
Since there were a lot of hikers, we have to fall in line for us to get to the monolith.

It took us almost an hour for our turn. It was quite hard upon climbing the monolith wherein we have to do some rappelling. But it was worth it! The view on top was amazing! No wonder, Mount Pico De Loro is very famous.

Photo op again!

We have to fall in line again to go down the monolith. Thank you to all the expert locals who assisted us. Thumbs up for you guys! You do have an amazing job.

We decided to do the traverse so we will be able to see the Kawa Falls. It was another two hours again when we went down and then had our lunch. After we ate, we headed to the falls. Tricycle fare per head is 150 pesos. 

The tricycle will bring us to the falls then will wait for us and then finally will bring us to the bus terminal.
We grabbed the chance to swim at Kawa Falls. Now we know why it was called Kawa falls.

 It was because of a big basin wherein you can swim. After an hour, we changed our clothes, freshen up and we're ready to go home. We even did pass through Kaybiang Tunnel.

As we go along the way, the scenic view at the both sides of the tricycle was also breath taking. Aside from the mountain ranges, there's also a long shoreline and we even saw some islands. Truly our country is a very gifted one in terms of water and land forms.
It was before sunset when we reached the bus terminal. Bus fare going back to Manila is also 81 pesos. After more than an hour, we were then back in Manila.
I therefore conclude that Mount Pico de Loro is really a must see and must hike mountain. It's worth the climb!

Happy Climb! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Laguna (2 Falls) Adventure

October 31, 2015

For this day we had a trekking going to some of the falls in Laguna. As some of us may know, Laguna has several falls and some of them remained hidden as of now. Example of them are the Hulugan and Talay Falls located at Louisiana, Laguna. It has been only introduced to the public two months ago (according to our local guide).

Our  meeting place was at Mcdonalds Cubao near LRT station. At 5 a.m. we then rode a bus going to Sta.Cruz, Laguna. 
It has been a 2 and a half hour ride including the traffic.Fare was 138.50 pesos per head as of this writing.

At Sta.Cruz, Laguna, we then rode a jeep going to Lucban, Quezon. We told the driver to take us at Louisiana Laguna where the Hulugan Falls located.
Fare was 30 pesos.

What made this jeepney ride special was that we were on its top! It was a first time for me and I may say that I really enjoyed it!
It has been raining during that time so we got wet but we didn't mind it.
After thirty minutes, we reached Louisiana.

We had a stopover at Kapitan's house for registration. We had a payment of 10 pesos per head and we also took 2 local guide.
And the trek started! 

At first, I thought that it would be easier than a mountain hike but I was wrong. It was a hard trek plus since it rained, the land was muddy. Oh yes. Slippery when wet! So the struggles are for real.

After more than hour, we finally reached Hulugan Falls. Yey!
After the photo op activity, we didn't miss the chance to experience its cold water. 
There's a cave beside the falls and there we put our things. We also had a lunch there

At 1 p.m., we headed our way to the second falls- the Talay Falls. It was also an hour trek. Talay falls is smaller than Hulugan Falls. 

We also had a swimming time and photo op there.

Going back, we have to cross a river. And that river was connected to Hulugan Falls.

Along the way, we saw the top of Hulugan Falls and it was pretty amazing!

At past 5 p.m. we were back near the Kapitan's house to freshen up.

We paid our local guides 500 pesos each.

It was dark already when we were all done freshening up.
We still have to walk for about one kilometer before reaching the main road. The street was a total darkness. And it's creepy! Happy Halloween, guys! We were all alone walking in that dark and empty way.

According to residents there, last trip of jeepney going back to Sta.Cruz Laguna is7:30. Luckily, we did had a chance to catch it.

And it was a home sweet home. At 10 p.m., we were back in reality.

Thank you Lord God for keeping us safe all through out the trip. It was really a fun adventure indeed.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mount Manalmon and Mount Gola Adventure

Sept. 25, 2015

Happy holiday!

It was Friday and since we don't have office work for this day, we then decided to have an adventure.
Our destination was Mount Manalmon in San Miguel Bulacan.
Our meeting place was at Mc Donalds Cubao at 3 in the morning.
We were nine in the group.
We rode a bus going to Cabanatuan. It was a three hour ride. Fare as of this writing is 117 pesos one way.
We reached San Miguel Bulacan at 7 in the morning.
We then took a tricycle going to Biak na Bato or Barangay Madlum. One tricycle cost us 200 pesos good for 4 people.

We crossed a bridge and parallel to it is the monkey bar.

We took a tour guide and he is Kuya Dong.
At 7:30 after some briefing and negotiation, we were then ready for a mountain climb, trekking, river crossing, swimming and spelunking. But of course, before anything else, we had a group prayer first.
We passed through Madlum Cave before reaching the Madlum river.
 Yes it was a bit scary crossing that river because we heard several stories about it.
Thank you God for we have crossed the river safely.
We reached the summit of Mount Manalmon after more than an hour. Mount Manalmon is 160 MASL.
Mount Manalmon is also accommodating overnight campers. It has a wide camp site.
The scenic view on top was breath taking. We can see the Madlum River and also some of the neighboring mountains of Sierra Madre.

Photo op was then followed. He-he. 

We also hiked the mountain on its front, the Mount Gola.
Before reaching the jump off, we have to cross again the river.
We reached the top of Mount Gola for about an hour too. Just like Mount Manalmon. It is 160 MASL also.
We took our lunch at the summit.
Then when we went down, we swam on the river. Yey! It's swimming time.
After our swimming activity, we were back to the main jump off. We prepared ourselves for Spelunking.
We took the bridge again and climb for another mountain. For in this mountain that I don't know the name, is the main entrance for the Bayukbok cave.
It  was our first time to enter a cave that was so hard to pass through.
After maybe two hours, we reached the other end and it was almost sunset. We entered the cave clean, we went out like a mud person. hahaha.
Some of our friends crossed the monkey bar. But I chose to wash up already. There's a bathroom and the water costs 10 pesos per 5 gallons.

At 7 in the evening, we were ready to go home.
We paid Kuya Dong 800 pesos. 600 pesos for the two mountains that we hiked and 200 pesos for the caving.
We then ate dinner at a nearby restaurant along the main road before going back to Manila.

Trully this Mount Manalmon adventure was one of a kind and very much unforgettable for me. Specially the spelunking or caving. Buwis-buhay it was! But then it was really a must try. It was just like a step higher, out of the comfort zone. :)

Photo credits. :)