Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Parrot's Peak

Hiking Mt. Palay Pico de Loro is a big adventure enough, but climbing it with just 3 people - a newbie friend and 2 inexperienced hikers - and no tour guide?  Insane.

Mikee and I discovered that we both like to reach mountain tops so in the middle of his birthday celebration, we scheduled a climb. He brought Carlo and I brought my same-age-aunt Nini (see Like a Mermaid in Batangas).

It was exciting since it was an on-our-own trip because we were the ones who arranged the transpo and everything else.

Mt. Palay, Pico de Loro is located in Ternate, Cavite. It was one of the mountains of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The mountain has 3 peaks and it is very popular for its 3rd peak. You'll see why in a few scrolls.

Bus and tricycle ride.

We met up at 7am at Pagcor in Paranaque near our boarding house. We rode a jeepney (8 pesos each) dropping us at Coastal Road where we rode a bus going to Ternate (82 pesos each). When we reached Ternate, we rode a tricycle (100 each) that brought us at the base camp of Mt. Palay Pico de Loro. The problem is that the road is so steep, so Mikee and Carlo had to push the trike. It's so funny!

Thus the adventure begins!!

We went on a day-hike. I love day-hikes! Too many advantages: just a small backpack would be nice, it costs you a little, and you can tell your parents you'll be home before 12!

FYI new hikers out there: Whenever you climb a mountain, you always pay 20 pesos to DENR.
The happy walking with nature starts. :)

 Then we got tired :) We have to rest. Look at how happy Nini is! Haha! The view of the mountain will really make you feel high. A bonding with nature indeed is bliss.
 Carlo gets tired because he is soooo talkative and bibo. Nini and I just keep on laughing while hiking that we didn't notice the exhilarating experience of the climb. 

 Team Adidas. :)

 Pico de Loro turn right. :>

 Resting while she appreciates the beauty and mystery of nature. Pero feeling ko may iba yang ipinagmumuni-muni nang mga oras na yan.  :)

 The view of the first peak. Splendid.

 The steepness of the steps is not visible in this shot but it really is high. You have to put super extra effort with your legs, so a flexible physique is an advantage.


Team Angas and Team Pretty reached the first peak! ;)

 This is the view of the second peak. 
The real plan is that we climb only the first peak. But when we got there, we're hungry for more. HAHA! We got too excited and we're really having fun. So we said, "just last one peak." So we ate lunch and off we go to conquer the 2nd peak.

Unexpectedly, the second peak was steeper. Gosh, I really thought I will roll downwards!! If you didn't hold on tight to strong grass and pray, you will definitely die. (OA lang.)

 Go Carlo and Mikee!

We're soooo tired. If I'm not mistaken, I felt my knees tremble. But it was worth the experience!

Fulfilled spirits! :)

When we got to the top, this is what welcomed us - the seductive view of the third peak. We thought, no, enough is enough. We conquered 2 peaks already and I am lucky I'm alive, so no more. And also we need ropes to rappel our way to the top, and we don't have ropes, so impossible. BUT NINI! May pinagdadaanan yata that time hahaha. Joke Nini! She insisted on climbing the third peak and we were like, "are you effing serious?" Mikee wants to do it because it will be his first time to climb the third peak despite the fact that it was his third time in Pico de Loro. I and Carlo are the hesitant one. I am scared because, there are no ropes!!!!! What if I die? My mom doesn't even know where I was! But I BADLY wanted to! Then we found out that there are ropes so I went. But Carlo? Hmmm.  


And Carlo decided not to come. There's always a next time brother. :) On the positive side, he could take our pictures! Thanks Carlo! Haha!
The journey to that third peak was no joke. I seriously thought we were going to die. When we reached the base of the mountain, there was the rope. We waited for the people that are going down before we climb up because there is only one way. 
You have to make a big step for you to cross the way. If you miss, you'll fall down the cliff. O_O
After a short while, all the people had come down. We were getting ready to climb up. To our surprise, they claimed the rope! Turned out it was theirs. I was really wide-eyed to Mikee saying "WTF don't tell me we'll go up without a rope?!?!". I told him that I wouldn't do it. But then Nini insisted. "We're here na eh. Sayang naman." Then I thought, "right. If I die, it's Nini's fault." And so we went. I kept on praying throughout the climb. Haha! Fortunately, and thanks to God, we didn't die even without a rope. The exciting part was the rappelling part. I was heavy, and it was hard to hang on to the ropes knowing that if you accidentally let go, you will fall down the cliff. After that, you climb big rocks and seriously, it was the most heart-thumping, exciting and near-death experience I had.   

 I LOOOOVE THIS PICTURE! She was alone and around her were mountain ranges. It felt like different Gods were talking to her.
 Yehey!!! We finally reached the top. And I felt like I'm the strongest man alive! The most beautiful thing about reaching the top is that a big wild bird (I forgot to ask what specie) was circling around us and it was singing! I got goosebumps!
Janine: Tatalon ba ako o tatalon?

It was so much fun. We started hiking back to where we came from before the dark welcomes us. We were so hyper, especially Carlo. He is just so funny and cute! As always, it was easier to hike down, but unexpectedly, the dark was early to come out. SUPER SCARY! We were just 4 young spirits, and we were in the middle of nowhere, with our 2 flashlights - one big flashlight by Mikee and one nokia fone flashlight by me! Haha! I am getting too scared because I really felt that somebody is beside me, and I saw shadows passing by my flashlight. Good thing Carlo is bubbly enough to distract me from scary thoughts. Mikee is now quiet, which is unusual. Then I remembered he is sensitive to spirits!! The moment we reached the base, we looked at one another with eyes communicating saying "naramdaman niyo ba yun?". Then everyone started running and screaming towards the base camp! Hahaha. It was super scary and super funny! If you can just imagine how we felt, being alone in a vast scary and mysterious place as a mountain.

We rode the tricycle afterwards, rode the same bus heading to coastal and we rode the same jeepney.
All in all:
8+82+100+100+82+8 + (20)=400 pesos! :)
Bring your own food!
Imagine how 400 pesos could change your life?

Start planning your trip and experience the super fun travel in Mt. Palay, Pico de Loro.
Don't forget your ropes! Or not. ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Like a Mermaid in Batangas

One day my dad and his uncle Lolo Ong got bored so they decided to go fishing the next day. They immediately told me and the family to pack up foods and things needed for the trip (fishing rods, baits, swimming clothes, etc). After packing we fired up the van and we went straight to Matabungkay, Batangas.

When we arrived, I was thrilled to discover that the entrance to the beach was only 5 pesos per head! The cottages cost around 500-1500 per day. Why so cheap?!

At first, I didn't like the beach because of the many Balsas (cottages) floating near the sea shore and it was really awkward since I'm so maarte. I'm still suspicious about the price, so I decided to just stay at the cottage and have a long catch-up chat with my pretty Tita Queenie. :) Later I found out that the beach is actually clean. The sand is gray-ish that's why I thought the water was filthy but it's actually clear you could see through it!

And what's a trip to the beach without a henna tattoo? We went to the nearby henna shop and have our upper back sides done. The tattoos originally costs 100 pesos each but because we used our bargaining charms, we are able to get it for 50 each.;)

Kuya doing my henna.
The fiery heart and the bright sun. Fierce, eh?

We got bored so we thought of continuing our chit chat in the middle of the sea. We rented a paddle boat that costs 300 pesos per hour.

Can't wait to dip our feet into the waters!

A beautiful view behind a beautiful girl. Perfect!
We fed the fishes with the bread we brought. ♥ Those fishes are reaaaallly lovely. They are colorful and magical. :)

Our plan was to actually just stay at the boat, chit chat, and just feed the fishes but we are vulnerable to the water calling us so we ended up having a long swim at the wide open sea. Great thing our Kuya guide has extra goggles in his boat. Snorkeling it is! :)
A picture filled with love. HAHA!
Oh look at those beautiful blue creatures!
I am no doubt a mermaid.
More fishes weeee!

Enjoying our impromptu swimming under the sea. We're actually above a huge rock in that picture but if you try to swim across the rock, it was super deep! :) It was really one of the most fun and wonderful experiences of my life.
Nini and our paddleboat.
Too busy to care! I just wanna swim!!

Grab your bags and head straight to Matabungkay, Batangas for a very cheap yet fun adventure trip! Don't forget your goggles! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mountain + Beach = A Perfect Summer Getaway (Mt. Daguldol and Laiya White Sand Beach)

It was finally summer vacation and my feet are itching again. My first stop: a trek to Mt. Daguldol and a swim to the white beach of Laiya, Batangas with my Achian Society Family.

Achian Society. 
Before we reach the foot of Mt. Daguldol, we have to take a long walk by the white sand beach and it was really hard to do with our heavy backpacks making us sink through the sand lol.
The trail going to the base of the mountain.
When we reached middle of the mountain, we unfortunately have to stop because one of our members had an asthma attack. We had to stay for the night and assemble our tents in Mang Lizardo's place. We will have to continue our trek the next morning.
Bebe Maan on our way to the top the next day! 
The view of the mountain

Team work! Our boys were such gentlemen.

Maan and Kuya Japs - Our group leader.
Look at that happy face despite the exhaustion and sandals straps breaking. Wanna be on top? Deal with these shizzes.
Kuya Victor about to conquer the solemn mountain.

As I feel the touch of the mountain breeze, thoughts of beautiful magical things came into my mind. I WASN'T EVEN KIDDING.
Hurray for Bebe Maan for her 2nd mountain conquered!
We are so grateful because we arrived just in time before the sun rises. It was an exquisite view.
After a few minutes of staying at the summit, we decided to trek back immediately so that we could spend more of our remaining time at the white sand beach.
A lizard was sold to Kuya Japs by this little boy for 400 pesos. What a bargain! 
About to leave the mountain... 
...only to welcome the white sand beach :D

Ain't them happy adventurous pretty ladies?

Some infos from Pinoy Mountaineer
Private transport utilize either the Maharlika Highway to Candelaria then turning left to San Juan, or using Star Tollway all the way to Batangas City then proceeding to San Juan. Free parking is available at the jumpoff.
Logistics. The HEGA (Hugom Environmental Guide Association) is the official guide service in Mt. Daguldol. The most recent updates place the daily fee at P350; there is also a P35 registration fee per person.

Be on top! :)