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WHAT A RESPONSIBLE MOUNTAINEER IS NOT

Since my early years, I have been admiring people reaching major summits. I live in a province which is a home to 4 of the Top 10 highest ...

Monday, October 22, 2012

WHO WILL SAVE THE MOUNTAINS?: A TREKKER'S SENTIMENT

A mountaineer is somebody who doesn’t only climb a mountain but also takes care of it. He doesn’t get drunk and breaks wine bottles at the mountain. He doesn’t take drugs in the mountain. He respects and loves the mountain. And he knows he doesn’t own the mountain.

Musuan Peak, the very first on the list of mountains I communed with, is a hiker friendly gentle slope south of Valencia City. It has been an instructional and research site for CMU students specializing in Biology, Entomology, Soils, Forestry and the like. The university has exerted much effort in rehabilitating and preserving its forest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THE MOUNTAINS I HAVE COMMUNED WITH...

The Philippines is gifted with wonderful mountains scattered all over the archipelago. Some are active volcanoes while some are just beautiful landforms, but all should never be underestimated. A boy-out-door like me is so in love with the magical landscapes of this country. Mountains are my first love. And here is the list of the mountains I have communed with (chronologically ordered). Each is featured individually in this blog. Scroll down and take your pick...


Musuan Peak, Maramag, Bukidnon
Unknown to many, Mt. Musuan or Mt. Calayo in Musuan, Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon is one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines. It is a lave dome and a tuff cone. Its friendly 646 meters elevation allows everyone (even kids) to enjoy the grand view of its surrounding lowlands.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MT. PALAOPAO: DECEITFUL YET BREATHTAKING

Mt. Palaopao, another Bukidnon’s rocky mountain visible in the highway of Kisolon, Sumilao proudly stands 836 feet above sea level. The top was once forested while the sides contain several caves and rockshelters which were used as burial grounds during the early 19th century. Now, the mountain is another traditional site for a religious pilgrimage during Holy Week. Its grandiose form catches the eyes of every passers-by. Its scenery draws an avid photographer and an ordinary hiker; its challenging rocky walls allure an experienced mountaineer. But a lot more await an adventurer and nature lover.


DINAGAT ISLAND: AN ISLAND OF DAUNT AND FANTASY

The main island of Dinagat Province, Dinagat measures about 60 kms from north to south. It possesses splendid rock formations, white beaches, waterfalls, caves and bonsai forests perfect for thrill-seekers. The capital of San Jose is the headquarters of Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, Inc. (PBMA) founded by the late Ruben Ecleo. 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BENGUET MUMMIES: A PERFECT "DAY OF THE DEAD" ENCOUNTER

Also known as Kabayan Mummies, Fire Mummies or Ibaloi Mummies, the mummies of Benguet are preserved in the caves of its grand mountains. These are said to be similar to the Inca Mummies of Peru. These were originally well-preserved in Timbak Cave, Bangao Cave, Tenongchol Cave, Naapay and Opdas by the ancient member of the Ibaloi Tribe (Igorot). 



Benguet Mummification, however, was discontinued during the Spanish era. In early 1900s, the mummies were rediscovered. Many were stolen then and later, recovered.

Monday, September 24, 2012

MT. CAPISTRANO: IT'S THE ROCKS THAT RULE

Mt. Capistrano is the most prominent among the small mountains visible in the highways of Malaybalay City. It humbly towers 609.6 meters above sea level. This lovely land form is crowned with magnificent steep, sharp rocks.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

THE ENCHANTED MT. MAKILING

The inactive volcano in Laguna rises 1,090 meters ASL. It has no record of eruption. It is a home to diverse flora and fauna. It resembles to a form of a woman reclining. More interestingly, it is well known for the mythical Mariang Makiling.

The day after my twin climb to Mt. Batulao and Taal Volcano, I was again headed to summit this beautiful mountain. Unlike my other solo climbs this was truly a challenge to solo trekker like me. Yes, I trekked really solo. I had no guide.

THE LITTLE ACTIVE TAAL VOLCANO


Tagged as the smallest active in the world, Taal Volcano towers only 311 meters ASL. It is beautifully situated in Taal Lake, Batangas. It has erupted violently in the past claiming thousands of lives. Up to now, PHIVOLCS has recorded occasional seismic unrest accounted to this little mound.

Right after my half-day trek to Mt. Batulao, I headed back to Tagaytay and planned how to make use the second half of the day. When I made up my mind, I proceeded to Talisay, Batangas to summit the little Taal Volcano.

THE STEEP MT. BATULAO


Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas is just 811 MASL. Yes, it’s just a small mountain. A 2-hour trek is enough to reach its summit. But 2 hours is never enough to feel and savor the wonders of this mountain.

This mountain shocked every mountaineer when it claimed a climber’s (or a picnicker’s) life early 2012. That was actually the first time I heard of this mountain. And I was really curious about it. Known to be very steep and rocky, a mountain lover like me was really challenged to  experience its tricky trails. 

LOLONG: HOW AN ENORMOUS REPTILE GOT ITS NAME

Every Filipino, for sure, has heard about the world’s largest crocodile in captivity. A Guinness World Records holder, Lolong measures 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) long. Once a dweller in Agusan Marsh in Mindanao Island, this gigantic saltwater lizard was suspected of fatal attacks, killing two people. He was captured on September 2011.

Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde measuring Lolong. Photo by http://newsinfo.inquirer.net   
Personally, I have met Lolong in his enclosure in Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Center in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. He is now one of the tourist attractions in the area. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ONE TREK, TEN PICKS: A WATERY ADVENTURE

Having gone many spots in one trek is not new to me. But this exploration truly induced my astonishment. Ten waterfalls in just a seven-hour dayhike. Yes, believe me! And it’s just right in my hometown.


My trek was not well-planned. I was on a trip to Barangay Pigtauranan, Pangantucan, Bukidnon for an official function. Upon passing through the muddy, rocky, rough road entering to the barangay, I was highly amazed by an impressive white mark lining on the grand walls of Kalatungan Mountains.

MAITUM: THE HIDDEN GEM OF SARANGGANI

The westernmost municipality of Sarangani Province can be travelled 3 hours from General Santos City. A small municipality with big Tourism potential can boast its tourist spots, cultural heritage and local products.

 From Gensan, I took an aircon van to reach Maitum on the afternoon the day before my scheduled day tour. I also arranged the tour with the very active tourism officer, Arlex Narte (0919-373-8007). The town has lots of lodging facilities so affordable for solo trekkers. The silence is ideal for a good night sleep to prepare one’s physique for the next day’s adventure.

Monday, September 17, 2012

SIQUIJOR: MORE THAN JUST MYSTICAL

Siquijor, the third smallest province in the country, is called Isla del Fuego or the "Island of Fire" by the Spanish before. Siquijor Island is considered by many Filipinos to be mystical, full of mysterious and other supernatural phenomena.


This island can be reached by a fastcraft 6hours from Cebu via Tagbilaran and Dumaguete. It was 9pm of Holy Thursday when we docked at its very silent, dark port. I was with my two sisters. Many lodging facilities awaited us to relieve all the fatigues brought by long travel from Mindanao.

LAKE HOLON: A SERENE EXPERIENCE

One of the wonders of South Cotabato drips from the highlands of Salacafe, T'boli. One of the country's cleanest lakes, Lake Holon (Lake Maughan) covers the 104-hectare crater of Mt. Melibongoy (Mt. Parker). 


A very long travel took me to Poblacion, T’boli at exactly 12noon. A habal-habal took me to Brgy. Salacafe at 2pm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MARAMAG FALLS: TRULY WONDERFALL

Maramag Falls



Maramag, the heart of Mindanao, is known for its booming economy. I can strongly attest to that. I stayed there for six years. New structures arise here and there. Large commercial centers, hospitals, schools and banks exist in Maramag.

TREKERO: THE SIMPLE BOY-OUT-DOOR


Trekero is a simple boy-out-door from Bukidnon who loves going places, seeing new faces, observing culture, looking for adventure and communing with nature. He likes sharing thrills from his treks, simple tips from his trips and brief stories of his journeys.
The blogger is not good in writing and doesn’t take excellent photos. He just has simple stories to tell. And he just loves SHARING TALES FROM THE TRAILS…