YES to a tandem weekend of hiking and hitting the beach!
On a fine, sunny Saturday, we went to Batangas with the intention of hiking the less popular Mt. Hugom, but the Barangay office informed us that it has apparently been closed to the public indefinitely because someone already owns the property (whut). So we ascended Mt. Daguldol (672 masl) instead. It’s all uphills and forests, and the terrain hardly has “lost in nature” feels because there are many locals (offering shade! and halo halo!) living along the trail. The summit is a rolling hill that has a bit of a view of the blue sea, which gives you enough motivation to get back to the jump off fast enough to enjoy sunset along the beach.
After the hike, we drove for about 10 minutes then pitched our tents at Laiya Coco Grove’s camping site, which we initially found a little expensive at P600/head. But it turned out to be worth it – the CRs were clean, had strong water pressure, and were actually cozy, the dining huts have lights and outlets, and after a day of pretending to be rugged mountaineers we craved our LTEs and chat apps, in-denial workaholics we all were (we all used to debate in college, and I don’t know if that’s a factor). Our dinner spread: Angus beef patties, cognac, roasted chicken, grilled zucchinis, wine. So good.
The next day, we had enough time for a sunrise swim and lunch at Cafeño before heading back home to our moms for Mother’s Day.
Enjoy the video recap below!
All photos by Ranie Catimbang
BATULAO (811 masl) – It’s one of the most popular hike destinations in the Southern Tagalog Region!
And with good reason: the “new trail” is basically a traverse through 12 mini-peaks that offers a scenic, sprawling view of Balayan Bay and even Taal and Mt. Maculot on a clear day. Continue reading “Walking on the ‘Dinosaur Spine:’ Mt. Batulao, Batangas”
Mt. Ulap (Ampucao-Sta. Fe Ridge) in Itocon, Benguet offered quite a few firsts for me – cold-weather hiking (in the PH at least), camping at the base of a summit, and at 1856masl, it’s the highest local peak I’ve reached so far.
We traversed this “Mini-Pulag” last weekend, when the temp reached at least 10 degrees Celsius (but felt like a 6), and there was a dense, delicious fog that permeated the trail. (“Forks!” said Justine. I completely missed the Twilight reference). Continue reading “Mt. Ulap, February 2017”
With my meager travel experience, Siquijor isn’t top of mind when recommending beach or getaway destinations in the Philippines. But thanks to a work trip, I discovered that it deserves more attention, especially for those who are seeking adventure-filled itineraries.
I’m filing an official story this week and here are some of my outtakes (will update this post with excerpts once the article is published). Scrolling through all the photos we took again, for inspiration. Continue reading “Postcards from Siquijor”
Father’s Day, June 19 – 24 hours awake for another working weekend with a pickup truck and an SUV. This time, we followed an adventure-loving family around Taal and Tagaytay. I had completely overlooked the part of our shot list which mentioned a 45 minute hike so I showed up in dark jeans, slip-ons, and had zero sunscreen – the view was worth the sunburn though. We also had stopovers at Asia’s largest stone church (been here at least four times already), an unnamed back beach, and of course, steaming bulalo. Continue reading “Taal Crater Lake, June 2016”
Our last hurrah for the summer was a short but very fulfilling trip to Cebu! It was my first time here and I am glad to report that I was able to pack in our 2.5 days with the good stuff. I thought I’d make a video 🙂 Hope you enjoy.
Continue reading “Bantayan Island in Cebu, June 2016”
Masungi Georeserve is only 30 minutes away from Marikina. It is a 1600-hectare property where the PH’s only exposed Paleocene (50-60 million years old!!!) rock formations can be found. Since 1996, it has been painstakingly restored, protected, and prepared to help people appreciate our country’s biodiversity and to inspire them to protect our environment as well. There are issues concerning its ownership at the moment but am inclined to side with the development company currently in charge of it now as their model aims to mix conservation and empowerment of the immediate community. Continue reading “Masungi Georeserve, May 2016”
San Juan, La Union – a veritable surf town, a paradise for backpackers, and a very accessible getaway for those who want to ride waves, relax, and slow down time for a little bit, for a little while, or forever.
It wasn’t hard to understand why so many people I know (friends, co-workers, people I stalk on Instagram) have fallen hard for this place. On the weekend we headed there, the swell was barely present, but we managed to get a couple of hours of lazy waves. Next time, we’ll make sure to check out those wave forecast websites. Continue reading “La Union, April 2016”
Went to Ilocos with a few good friends two weekends ago. At one of the northernmost provinces of the Philippines, we found good food, scary waves, icy mint waters, and a breathtaking awareness and gratitude for nature’s Creator.
More photos after the jump! Continue reading “Norte, February 2016”
Yesterday, we went a for a quick day hike to Mt. Balagbag, a 777masl Sierra Madre peak situated between Rizal and Bulacan. Its proximity to Metro Manila (just an hour or so from Novaliches) and wide, easy trail make it perfect for a half-day itinerary when you just want to make a quick escape for the weekend. Continue reading “Day Hike to Mt. Balagbag”