Here's a glimpse of my 20 most remarkable journeys of 2014.
1. TREK TO MIGKARAMAGAN FALLS
A lazy Saturday led me to the foot of Mt. Kalatungan in my hometown. It was almost noon when I reached the place. I planned to visit Lisihan Falls but my guide insisted to visit the unknown Migkaramagan Falls instead. Ignorant of both, I followed where he led me. He also took me to Anikap Falls where a cavern hides beneath the cascades of a roaring water from the mountains.
2. TREK TO PULANGUI RIVER
I was looking for a spot to take my self pre-nuptial shoot. An unaware friend brought me to Pulangui River and Crystal Spring in Maramag. I enjoyed new activity. When I brought my then fiance and took photos using a tripod, people were really wandering what we were up to.
3. THE BEGINNING OF A LIFELONG JOURNEY
Came my wedding day with a touch of tribal motif. I really dislike wearing a barong or americana outfit so I opted for a plain white longsleeves at the church and a 3/4 camisa at the reception. The venue was adorned with tribal crafts. Every member of the entourage was free to wear any outfit of his/her choice with tribal accents. A boodle fight meal was served. I and my bride wore trekking sandals symbolizing the beginning of our lifelong journey.
4. REFRESHING AT LAKE SEBU
Lake Sebu never keeps me bored. I and my lifelong travel mate visited Lake Sebu and took time exploring the other attractions of the place. We also visited the Weaver of Dreams, Lang Dulay.
5. BASKING AT OKLAHOMA ISLAND BEACH
I find the remote island of Misamis Occidental a wonderful getaway spot so I and my wife took an early summer vacation to this private Island Resort.
6. HOLY TREK TO MT. KALATUNGAN
My playground Mt. Kalatungan is always exciting to trek. This time I did it guided solo. Though pestered by rain, my effort was all worth it. I got to see wonderful views even for very short a time.
7. CONQUERING SUMALSAG CAVE
A simple yet difficult spelunking site, Sumalsag Cave is a two-hour traverse trek in a barangay of Manolo Fortich. A river flows from the beginning up to the outlet of the cave. This cave also has diverse interior forms and structures which let me crawl, jump and walk like a duck. Another unique feature of the cave is that you cannot pass through the exit without immersing yourself underwater.
8. EXPLORING MARAGUSAN, COMPOSTELA VALLEY
Maragusan is a real relaxing town of Davao Region. It is enveloped by hills and mountains. Multiple waterfalls mesmerized me during my short visit to the place. Hot springs and highland resorts also add to tourist's delight.
9. TREK TO CINCHONA FALLS AND BONDING WITH RAFFLESIA
A trek to Brgy. Kaatuan, Lantapan, Bukidnon is all worth a remarkable experience, from visiting an old Japanese houses, cinchona reforestation project, Philippine Eagle Sanctuary, multi-tiered waterfalls and the giant flower---RAFFLESIA.
10. TREK TO KULAMAN FALLS
A real solo trek to Kulaman Falls in Portulin, Pangantucan, Bukidnon was really challenging. Having a very poor navigational skills, I lost way many times and arrived the place for two hours. After enjoying exclusive ownership of the falls, I found the right trail home and arrived in less than an hour.
11. COOLING OFF AT DAHILAYAN FOREST PARK
Dahilayan Forest Park is not just a place for adrenaline rush with its amusement amenities but also a great place for cooling off with its naturally cool climate and eyesoothing scenery.
12. REVISITING BONTONGON VALLEY
This paradise is truly amazing, BUT... you can reach here by passing through hell. The way is so difficult passing through 3 rivers. Two days stay is not enough if you want to get even with difficulty of reaching this far flung place.
13. ANNUAL TREK TO SAGADA AND BEYOND
My annual trek to Sagada and Cordilleras always seems the first time. 2014 is my fourth visit to the coldest mountainous part of the country. I passed by Baguio, met my friend at Buguias and delved in to the wonders of Sagada. We exited at the scenic Banaue Rice Terraces. Excitement wrapped my system as if I haven't been to the place once.
14. VISITING MINALUNGAO NATURAL PARK
After visiting the Cordilleras, I happened to have spare time before flying back to Mindanao so I took time to visit this wonderful river park in Nueva Ecija.
15. CELEBRATING KAAMULAN FESTIVAL
A Bukidnon citizen like is still excited everytime Kaamulan is at hand. Kaamulan 2014 was truly special since it was celebrated along with the 100th founding anniversary of Bukidnon.
16. SUMMITTING MT. KIAMO IN KIBALABAG
I happened to visit Brgy. Kibalabag, Malaybalay for an official function. Truly unplanned, I just spotted a mountain tempting my itchy feet. After I learned the name of the mountain, I hired a guide to take me to the summit and be fully acquainted with the height. Funny, my guide was not a guide. We spent a lot of hours deciding which way to take. After hours of wandering, we reached the summit with flourishing pitcher plants of many kinds. The wonderful feeling at the peak and the view of the lowlands were among the price of the bruises, cuts and the long walk.
17. EXPLORING THE MULTIPLE FALLS OF KIBALABAG
Kibalabag, Malaybalay is gifted not only with marvelous landscapes but also, waterfalls and springs. The barangay is the source of Malaybalay's water supply. It's waterfalls are just close to the main road. And you can actually do falls hopping to three major falls in a day.
18. WATER ADVENTURE AT LAKE APO
The serenity of Lake Apo is truly endearing. Aside from scenic view, I truly enjoyed kayaking and picnicking on a floating cottage.
19. EXPLORING KOFNIT CAVE
This cave exploration was really meaningful. I joined the Takladtamig Onse, an outreach event initiated by Friends of Holon and Melibingoy (FHM) conducted in a remote barangay of Lake Sebu. The main event was giving of basic goods to the residents. Tree planting was also done. Caving was just actually a bonus.
|Photos courtesy of: Tina B. Cantos of ilovepilipinas.com, Louie Pacardo of nomadperspectives.com, Nanardx Zee of ilovesouthcotabato.com and Aszer Montibon.|
20. THE BIRTH OF MY FUTURE TRAIL BUDDY
Before the year ended, my little boy finally arrived to meet me and his proud mother. SIDHANT was born normally healthy. He and my wife will be my future trail buddies. A solo trekker in me will soon have buddies to share the experiences with. After all, everything in life is worth sharing with the ones you love.