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”
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”
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”
Still from my Nepal notes. An anecdote that didn’t make it to my final drafts.
Mountaineers are not very superstitious people. At least not in the traditional way that other athletes are, with their lucky socks, best shoes, fortuitous days, or pre-game rituals.
Henry, a longtime member of the UP Mountaineers, is telling me this, as we make the gentle, sloping ascent on a trail towards Chumoa, one of the first stopovers on a hike through Nepal’s Sagamartha National Park. It’s the traditional route that hundreds of hikers and trekkers take every year to reach the popular destinations that dot the Himalayas: Base Camp. Gokyu. Lotse. And of course, the great mighty Everest.
As it is, he goes on to say, in the realm of endless steps, gorges, cliffs, ledges, precipices and summits, to put your faith on an object would be pointless.
Why, I ask, and he explains further: shoes can wear and tear after a rigorous trek or two; gear can break along the trail or be left behind. The weather can take a turn for worse without warning. Preparation can be mastered to an art. But there will be no such thing as a “perfect climb.” There can be no lucky day, pair of socks, pre-climb ritual that can protect you from what nature is or what it wants to be.
A mountaineer is always at the mercy of what surrounds him; he is merely passing through.
If you’re wondering where to go next, Nepal – home to 8 of the tallest peaks in the world – should be on top of your list.
This South Asian country is a mountainous region that shares borders with China and India. Located in the Himalayan range, Nepal is the home of the mighty Mount Everest (called Sagarmatha in the Nepali language).
Nepal’s luscious terrain is not just for veteran adventurers. Whether you’re a hardcore backpacker or a leisure traveler craving a different experience, Nepal will amaze and inspire you.
ALMOST KISSING THE HEAVENS. Photo by Adrian Portugal
Still gathering my thoughts for the longer pieces I have to write. But I need to buckle down and get the words rolling out ASAP. Because it was a work trip after all. 🙂
But I’m still enjoying looking and looking at the pictures (and resting). Also, still down with “Khumbu cough.”
Will get to it tomorrow. In the meantime, posting the paragraphs I came up with on Facebook:
NEWFOUND FRIENDS. See you on the trail
Just last week I was a girl who has never ran more than 5k, never done a day hike, never gone trekking, and never climbed a single peak. This week I got to do all of that in exponentials – 3 days of non stop hiking, up and down mountain trails, reaching up to 3800masl in sometimes single digit celsius weather.
Everyone (including myself!) was skeptical and apprehensive!
Fortunately, Porch and I got our editors’ blessing (and loooong list of bilins) and on we went with the warmest, funniest, wisest, and most inspiring group. Sad to be parting ways with them and missing the rest of the expedition (as if and also I have a story deadline haha), but now I am a girl who is looking forward to seeing you all again on the trail soon! Super grateful for this opportunity.
WAY TO NAMCHE. Photo by Elaine Tima
Currently traversing a portion of the Great Himalayan Trail, trekking and hiking all for the sake of a story. I have pushed myself to the limits physically for this trip (which was a fortuitous blessing in the first place). I am learning new things about Nepal, mountaineering, Sherpa life, and the majestic things that God is capable of creating. Humbled and inspired to be here. Excited to share more when I get back home and I finish writing my piece. 🙂