Monday, January 28, 2013


2012 is my most trekked year so far. The past year has been filled with new explorations, new discoveries, new acquaintances and new fulfillments. As I reminisce my numerous treks and trips, all of them are truly worth sharing. I can't just simply identify which among them is/are the best, so I'm giving you my 20 most ecstatic encounters (in chronological order).

1. MT. KITANGLAD CLIMB. A solo climb was really a great year-starter. My 7th climb to the country's top 4 highest peak was like a first time. Though I was treading through the same trail, the experience was totally different from my other climbs. This is my only unguided 2-day climb. I got to meet other hikers, though. This 2-day strenuous climb tested my stomach without rice intake. I only thrived for burger buns, eggs, canned goods and a lettuce clove.  

2. SALAHAPONON FALLS TREK. An unplanned hike to an unknown site is how I describe this trek. This waterfalls is about 100 feet high. Before we kept in touch with the main attraction, we had to undergo river trekking passing through 2 minor but awesome falls. I did one of my most dangerous and a really deadly stunt in this waterfalls.    

3. ILOCOS-CLARK-SUBIC TRIP. This 3-in-1 trip was organized by Journeying Sarah and Olan, The Travel Teller, thus, a less stress travel. This trip let me witness what kind of life our northern brothers have. I got to see the Bangui Windmills face-to-face. I experienced riding in a calesa in a famous Calle Crisologo in Vigan. I witnessed and saw for the first time in Clark how a hot air balloon is launched. I also met the exotic animals in Zoobic Safari, including peacock, camel and white tiger.

4. BATULAO-TAAL-MAKILING CLIMB. This 3-mountain 2-day climb was one of my greatest accomplishments as trekero. Mt. Batulao caught my interest after a fall incident early 2012. Taal Volcano was a great stop after a half-day trek to Batulao. The next day was a real tough one. I climbed Mt. Makiling all alone, unguided. I experienced getting lost, which I usually do. I got rained and feasted on by the record breaking legions of leeeeeeches!  

5. CEBU-SIQUIJOR-NEGROS TRIP. Aside from the wonderful natural attractions, whose curiosity can let pass the fame of Siquijor with its witchcraft and sorcery? Going to Siquijor, one usually passes by Cebu. And since Siquijor is very close to Negros Island, a visit to the Ruins in Talisay City was included in the itinerary.

6. LANUZA, SURIGAO DEL SUR TRIP. Being a member of Tourism Council in my town gave me the privilege to visit the little yet terrible town of Lanuza. An educational trip to its known Homestay Program is just one of the many reasons to visit in this small coastal town. Other attractions include waterfalls, caves, springs, sea turtle sanctuary and the world renowned Surfing Festival.

7. PALAWAN TRIP. The whole world vied for the underground river visit when it was hailed One of the Seven Wonders of the Wolrd. Though I failed in my attempt to join the throng of curious visitors, an island hopping to Honda Bay was an alternative (I don't usually opt for beaches and the sea if not for sunrise and sunset). My long trip was not satisfying until I traveled to the town of Quezon, which is 3 hours away from the capital. My craving for trekking was sufficed by bumping in to Tabon Cave.  I hired a private fishing boat to reach the island where the cave is situated. Literally, I crashed at the already locked gates to the series of caverns in a late afternoon. Hope authorities will not summon me for this.

8. EXPLORING MAITUM, SARANGANI. The little town of Maitum in Sarangani Province offers a lot to visitors. I learned about Maitum jars and its cultural significance to Maguindanaon settlers in the area. I experienced releasing a young sea turtle to its natural habitat. I entered a burial cave, saw giant bats, bought health products and ate the delicious bangsi lamayo. Most of all, I experienced the Pinoy style of rafting--- WATER TUBING.

9. ONE TREK, TEN PICKS. This is one of the greatest explorations I did. And it's just right in my own hometown--- Pangantucan, Bukidnon. Revisiting the majestic Didilusan Falls in a different trail led me to a new discovery. It sometimes pays to get lost. I reached a newly explored Lantay Falls. The river trek to the main falls let me pass through 8 wonderful mini-waterfalls. Thus, that one day trek gave me ten picks!    

10. MT. KALATUNGAN CLIMB. This exciting climb was actually my 7th climb to my playground. The preceding climb was almost two years earlier. Every climb to this mountain has always been unique for me. Each of my 7 climbs has different trails trod. This climb was really challenging and frustrating in the sense that I wasn't able to see the lowlands view because typhoon Habagat pestered Ben, Tintin and me starting from our acrobatic trek in a long open ridge. We failed to view the sunrise too. Truly, it was one of the Misadventures of Tintin. However, we succeeded in our attempt to be the first climbers to camp at the summit.  

11. BOULDERING AT NATIGBASAN FALLS. I have been to CEDAR in Impasugong, Bukidnon a lot of times, but it was during the visit of Journeying Pinay that I experienced bouldering at Natigbasan Falls. Through the help of Ben, we walked below the cascades a day before Pinoy Explorer Aga could show his same experience in a national TV.

12. MINDORO CIRCUMNAVIGATION. Very long land trips and boat rides took me to almost all the towns of both Oriental and occidental Mindoros. I enjoyed shooting myself and the sun in the wonderful islands. I've got to see the dangerous Mt. Halcon. I boated in the angry waves. I passed by the coasts of Puerto Gallera. And the beautiful Tamaraw Falls wowed me.

13. A WEEKEND AT IWAHIG. This trip was just an availment of the P88 base fare of the newly opened Davao-Puerto Princesa flight. This was actually my second trip to Palawan in 2012. Two days in the province isn't really enough to explore its wonders. But thanks to a friend, Jasper Camacho, who not only guided me in firefly watching but also toured me around Iwahig Penal Colony. My weekend was truly unusual being immersed with Iwahig inmates. I also happened to eat crocodile Sisig in Palawan Wildlife Conservation Center. When I left Iwahig, there was a little desire in me to get imprisoned in a place I see as little paradise.

14. EXPLORING MT. CAPISTRANO and MT. PALAOPAO.  I thought these small mountains in Bukidnon are for my eyes only until I conquered their peaks. These mountains are so accessible to hikers. If a hiker asks me where to do a daytrek in Bukidnon, I will surely recommend Mt. Capistrano and Mt. Palaopao. Both have great, nice rockies where I always love doing my daredevil stunts.

15. SAGADA-BANAUE TRIP. My fourth time travel to the Cordilleras seems like a first time visit to my (most) favorite vacation site. I was with a good friend, Pastor Edward. All our experiences are worth the effort and expenses. We have witnessed the Panag-apoy Ritual. We plunged in to the beautiful Pongas Falls. We did spelunking at Sumaguing Cave, visited the piled coffins at Lumiang Cave. We also visited the hanging coffins in Echo Valley where I did a knee shaking stunt. I also did an unguided solo trek to Lake Danum and Ampacao Peak. We passed by the tempting Bay-yo Village and enjoyed the company of the Ifugaos in their grand rice terraces.  

16. MT. ARAYAT TREK. My climb to Mt. Arayat is an unforgettable one since I did it all alone, unguided. Mixed emotions accompanied my trek to the summit of the lone mountain. The news about rebel infestation scared me a bit but the magnificent scenery at the peak covered it all up. A sincere acknowledgement is due to a friend Kleo Marlo Sialongo for giving me a ride from Manila to the mountain's base and back to Angeles City.

17. SEVEN LAKES DAYTREK. The seven lakes of San Pablo, Laguna was one of my dream destinations. Since all these water bodies are located in one city, a daytrek is more than enough to visit all of them. Lake Yambo, my fifth visited lake is my favorite since it is located in a secluded area. I truly enjoyed trekking to this lovely scenery. It was at the sixth lake when my camera tripod lost its balance which caused breakage to my SLR. The seventh lake was photographed solely by my cellphone camera.

18. DAVAO ORIENTAL TRIP. I was lucky enough to have visited the eastern paradise in its full glory just 3 days before the devastation of super typhoon Pablo. I entered the city of Mati early morning with a  glorious sunrise. A very good buddy, Papart Orle, gave me a lift to explore the coastal towns of the province. Every town has different views worth a stop. The roads and landscapes offer a mesmerizing scenery. The waves of Dahican beaches draw in local and foreign surfers. The site that struck me most was the famous Aliwagwag Falls.

19. ZAMBOANGA-TAWITAWI-BASILAN TRIP. It was during my southwestern exploration with Pinoy Adventurista that I experienced riding a Vinta in Zamboanga City. I also reached the peak of my long coveted Bud Bongao with monkeys doing an ambush. The view of Sulu islands from the plane allures me to give the province a visit. A solo trip to Basilan via boat was a very unusual experience.

20. GRAND MOSQUE PILGRIMAGE. My last trip of the year was a fulfillment of a long time dream. When I heard of the mosque a year earlier, my interest to visit Cotabato City sprouted. The grandiose design of the mosque amazed me from afar. A nerve wracking feeling wrapped me when I entered at its gate.


  1. it's my pleasure to travel with you Kuya Tupe in 2012 and of course to climb Bud Bongao with you is an awesome experience! :)

  2. galing nito Peh.....Dami palang travels and (mis)adventures mo.

    1. Tnx, bon. In 2012, I also got acquainted with con tour.

  3. Replies
    1. Binli gamay, earl aron naa pay sunod. Hehe

  4. wui take me with you in one of your climbs...
    sabitera! haha

    thank you for your kind hospitality, I do hope I can return the favor someday. :)

    1. nice to meet you too, nats. your place is one of the best i've been to and the thought of it keeps me wanting to go back