Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mt. Romelo and Buruwisan Falls of Siniloan, Laguna

Amidst reports of unfortunate incidents such as brazen hold-ups, we still decided to explore Mt. Romelo and take a first-hand experience of the said-to-be majestic Buruwisan Falls on top of the mountain. The adventure happened in March, 2013.

From Los Banos, we rode a jeepney bound to Santa Cruz, Laguna. We transferred to another jeepney going to Siniloan. At the town proper, we hired a tricycle to bring us to the jump-off point at Brgy. Macatad, Upland Siniloan.

Jump-off point.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mt. Mabilog of San Pablo City

This is a very late post about our Mt. Mabilog traverse last February 2013. It was a not well-planned climb but we enjoyed the adventure.

From Los Banos, we rode a jeepney bound to San Pablo City. And then we transferred to another jeepney going to Santa Catalina where the jump-off point is located.  There are other jump-off points in other barangays but we decided to use this West Trail at Purok 3 (Sandig). We tried looking for a guide but the locals we asked have their own stuffs to do. And we decided to do it ourselves.

Jump-off point. Welcome HIKERS!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mt. Manabu of Sto. Tomas, Batangas

On a very hot day last February 2013, I explored Mt. Manabu (abbreviation of "Mataas na Bundok"), a mountain situated in Sto. Tomas Batangas. There were two possible routes in getting to the jump-off point in Sulok, Brgy. Santa Cruz. The first one is riding a tricycle from San Pedro, Sto. Tomas Batangas to Sulok. This is a convenient route for those who are familiar with the national highway from Sto. Tomas to Alaminos, Laguna, since Brgy. San Pedro is along the highway. The other one, which we used, was from Lipa City. There were tricycle available in Fiesta Mall and the fare is P100.00 per travel.

Upon getting to the jump-off point, we paid a 10-peso registration fee. There were available guides for a fee. Lucky for us, there were other groups hiking that day. So we just followed them. We started trekking around 10 AM. In the middle of the hike, we overtook the other group and trusted our mountaineer's instinct for the directions. Good thing there were available stores of buko juice and local delicacies, we were able to ask if we need to. Locals were very friendly and what's good is that they provide mountaineers with additional information about the mountain.

Local delicacies available for sale.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Mt. Kalisungan of Calauan, Laguna

We set the 4th weekend of January for our our third climb for 2013 and we decided to explore a relatively small yet prominent mountain in Laguna, the Mt. Kalisungan. It borders two towns, Nagcarlan and Calauan,the latter having the better trail to the summit.

From Los Banos, we traveled to Victoria, Laguna via Sta. Cruz-bound jeepney and then transferred to a tricycle bound to Brgy. Lamot, Calauan where the jump-off point is located. We registered at the barangay hall and negotiated for a guide. "Mang Bino" is the most popular guide and the fee is P400.00 per day. It is advised to take a guide because the trail is very confusing.

We started to trek around 9 AM. The first rest station and can be considered a landmark for mountaineers was a nipa hut. Other rest stations were a big mango tree (midway) and another nipa hut (before the grassland/summit).

Muddy trail of Mt. Kalisungan

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Pico de Loro of Ternate, Cavite

The second weekend of 2013 was a blast as our mountaineering group joined SFC-LB in their Mt. Pico de Loro Climb.  Pico de Loro or “Parrot’s Peak is situated in Ternate, Cavite.

Around 4:30 AM, we had breakfast all together, and then left Los Banos before sunrise. Travel time to the jump-off point, Magnetic Hill in Ternate, was around 3 hours. From Magnetic Hill, we walked for 5 minutes to the actual jump-off point.

MAISOG Mountaineers now ready to trek!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

“Mt. Maculot” & “The Rockies” of Cuenca, Batangas

2013 is an exciting year for me as our mountaineering group aims to conquer 13 summits before the year ends.  Our first summit was Mt. Maculot of Cuenca, Batangas. It is popular to hikers and campers and is a major attraction of the municipality.

Around 4 o’clock in the morning last January 5, 2013, we left from Los Banos and took a public ride to Crossing, Calamba. We then transferred to a Lipa City-bound jeepney at the Calamba Terminal. In Lipa City, we asked for directions going to Cuenca, Batangas. When we finally reached Cuenca, we rode a tricycle to the jump-off point.

Mt. Maculot viewed from Cuenca, Batangas Public Market.

Biotrekker's Magdalena Adventure

"Biotrekkers" is a group comprised of researchers working in BIOTECH-UPLB who love to travel and try nature adventures. Last July 14, 2012, we took a break from doing academic researches and visited Magdalena, Laguna. The trip was organized by Jeffrey Tamayo and Emil Lat.

Our first stop was in Magdalena Church. We were welcomed by Sir Raffy, municipal councilor of the said town. He gave us some information about Magdalena and then toured us inside the church. We learned that Magdalena is one of the favorite locations of local film producers, especially the old yet amazing structure of the church. Thus, it was called "Hollywood of the Philippines." It was a familiar sight 'coz I was able to watch Fernando Poe Jr.'s action filmms.

In front of the municipal hall, just across the church, was their own version of "Walk of Fame" where we had the chance to pose.

Walk of Fame.

Municipal Hall at the background.

After that appetizing sight of the church and plaza, we craved for more Magdalena experience. We headed to our next destination: the "One Race White Water Rafting." It is a relatively new tourist destination in Magdalena, Laguna.

Lucky for us that we are the only group that day, we were told that we can extend our time and enjoy swimming after rafting. Before proceeding to the actual site, we were briefed by Kuya Raffy about what to expect, do's and dont's, and a little bit of Magdalena trivia. From the briefing area, we rode a jeepney and then walked for 10 minutes. The fun and excitement then started. In front of us was a wild river with lots of rapids and large rocks distributed all throughout.

On our way to the Jump-off.

Let's say Hurrah!

Biotrekkers go with the flow.

Smile Biotrekkers :)

After the breathtaking rafting, we took a rest and had a boodle fight for our lunch. Our next activity was swimming. For safety reasons, we were told to swim just near the dam. Despite a very small area, it was still an exciting one since the water current is really strong.

Taking a rest after rafting.

Boodle Fight. Yummy!

Our Magdalena experience is one of the best trips I had and definitely I'll be coming back here someday.

Biotrekkers with Kuya Raffy (right-most)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chemists Face Lematics: The Mt. Makiling Adventure

They say that your ELBI life wouldn't be complete without experiencing the lematics of Mt. Makiling as you reach for the summit of Peak 2. True enough, a number of friends responded when we organized a trek to the area.

Two days before the climb, we attended a briefing organized by the UPLB Mountaineers whose members also served as our guide during the actual activity. Majority of us were first-time hikers, thus, we badly needed their expertise. Thanks to UPLB Mountaineers for doing that for free :). At least we had the idea on what to expect.

Come January 30, 2012, around six o'clock in the morning, a total of 18 hikers and 3 guides gathered outside DL Umali Hall. Interestingly, hikers were chemists, chemical engineers, and food technologists. We divided our group into thee. The lead group was led by Engr. Randel Dualan, the mid group by Engr. Mark Anthony Badua, and sweepers was led by me. After fifteen minutes, we started to walk going to forestry.

UPLB Mountaineers led the way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Back to Back Trip to BOHOL

After Cebu Trip, I had a back to back visit to Bohol. The first one was with my two siblings last September 25, 2012 and two weeks after, it was with my parents. On the first visit, we stayed at the Taver's Pension House in Tagbilaran City. The service of the hotel was good and the location is convenient because it is situated in the city center where establishments, malls, and food chains are readily available. On the second visit, we stayed at the Alona Tropical Hotel in Panglao Island. The place is very relaxing since it is nature-inspired and is on the beach front.

Alona's Tropical Hotel, Panglao Island