TRAVEL: Traversing Mt. Cinco Picos to Silaguin Cove, Zambales

Travel Date: February 25-26 2017

Zambales is a province northwest of Manila, about 4 hours away. It has recently gained popularity amongst the younger generation of travelers because of its majestic Cawag mountain range and isolated coves ideal for day hikes, traversing and camping. (For the uninitiated, a traverse is crossing a mountain from point A to point B.)

I have always been reluctant about traversing. The thought of carrying everything with me all throughout the climb tires me out already. But after conquering Mt. Balingkilat (the highest peak of the Zambales Cawag Mountian Range) – Nagsasa Cove – a traverse that lasted 13 hours through a freaking typhoon, mountain-to-sea doesn’t seem so bad after all. The beach at the end feels like a reward after a grueling hike.

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A rocky start.

Mt. Cinco Picos literally means Five Peaks and is part of the Cawag Mountain Range. Because majority of its trail is open, we decided to do an afternoon – night trek. We started at 3pm, crossing dry, rocky riverbeds and grasslands.

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Due to time constraints, we decided to pass through campsite and head straight to peak 1. We reached the first summit at around 730pm, for camp, dinner and socials.

We were the only group in the mountain –  a novelty nowadays when climbing and the reason why I prefer going North (versus climbing around Cavite, Batangas and Rizal). We woke up at 6am to see the wonderful sunrise.

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Unfortunately for me, I woke up with a really massive headache. I had to stay back at camp while two of my teammates explore peak 2.P_20170226_065845.jpg

We weren’t able to scale all five peaks, since this would require two or three more hours (and my hangover was really bad).

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Subic Bay
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Silanguin Cove

Once complete, we broke camp and started the trek down to Silanguin Cove. It was a relatively easy descent, considering my headache. It took us 3 hours to reach the cove, passing by yet dramatic landscapes.

P_20170226_080235.jpgThere were a lot of kaingin or burnt clearing during our hike. Our guide told us it was to make way for wider trails. But do we really need to burn down large chunks of land? Hmmm.P_20170226_092358.jpg

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The water was calm when we arrived… until it started raining. 
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All to ourselves! 

Unlike the more popular coves of Anawangin and Nagsasa, Silanguin Cove is almost isolated. There was only one other group leaving when we reached our resort host. Like the mountain, we had the resort all to ourselves yet again! Curiously, we spotted several yachts docked nearby. Kanino kaya ‘yon?

We had a few hours to spare before going home. We ate brunch, slept and dipped in the waters to cool down. The warm water was a relief to our sore legs. It was the perfect way to recover from the massive hangover (never again!!!) and to end our traverse.

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Team Silanguin

Ingat and see you on the road!

How to get there:

Take a Victory Liner bus bound for Olongapo. (Php 250)

Take the blue jeepney that will bring you to Subic Town. (Php 20)

Hire a tricycle to take you to the jump off point (Php 100)

The hike will require you to have a guide and a contact in Silanguin. To experience Zambales like a local, you may contact Tim or Chie at: +63919 991 5494 or +63998 862 7015 or like their Facebook Fan Page here: https://www.facebook.com/ToyoTim-Travels-1911402095750361/ They specialize in personalized local tours – ideal for solo travelers and small groups.

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com

 

 

 

TRAVEL: Alibijaban, Quezon Province + San Pascual, Masbate

Travel date: 14 -18 December 2016

Alibijaban (A-li-bee-ha-ban). It’s a mouthful. Much like its’ name, it’s also pretty hard to go to. For one, travel time from Alabang to Alibijaban can go up to 10 hours straight. Another: There are no air conditioned buses heading to San Andres, Quezon. Imagine how uncomfortable it can get during summer.

After arriving at the municipality San Andres, going to the island takes about 30 minutes of boat ride crossing the narrow channel separating the island from the tip of Quezon Province.

While the people living in the island already enjoy internet and cable TV, much of its way of life are still very much provincial. Electricity has daily cut-off times, and there are no paved roads. Dogs roam around freely – along with carabaos, tamaraws, chickens and pigs. It is a good mix of simple and modern living.

Day One: Island Hopping

On our first day in the island, our boatman Kuya Randy’s wife, Ate Jen invited us to join her and her friends for the day. It was her friend’s son’s birthday and they were going island hopping to celebrate. We eagerly said yes. There’s no better way to experience a new place than with locals, after all!P_20161215_062649.jpgP1080798.JPG

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Boat 1 (with unli beer and unli food) at the foreground, and boat 2. Guess where I was seated.

We left Alibijaban around 7am for our first destination: Animasola Island.

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Reaching Animasola Island.

P1080815.JPGP1080816.JPGP1080819.JPGP1080823.JPGThe island is about 2 hours away from Alibijaban, and is already a part of San Pascual, Masbate. It features exotic rock formations resembling Kapurpurawan in Ilocos – only smaller and darker.P1080825.JPG

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PAK! Mowdeling!

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P1080851.JPGP1080832.JPGP1080854.JPGP1080860.JPGOur group decided to have our brunch here. We sat on the rocky beach and shared meals and overflowing beer. It was here that I noticed an interesting fact of the Alibijaban life: women can handle their beer better than men.

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I was with my people!
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Found out that Beer na Beer is actually pretty good, even in room temperature!

After enjoying our meal and beer, we moved to our next destination (and my favorite): Tinalisayan Island.

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Unli beer on boat.

P_20161215_115721.jpgThe island has all sorts of beaches you can imagine: rocky, white sand and pebbly!P_20161215_120808.jpgP_20161215_120816.jpg

P1080871.JPGP_20161215_121216.jpgStill part of San Pascual, Tinalisayan has two islands: Malaki and Maliit. Tinalisayan Maliit features a sand bar, camping grounds (with proper toilet) and white sand beach. Ideal time to go is early morning or late afternoon to catch the sandbar.P1080880.JPGWe went Maliit (small) – and it literally was. It took me about 10 minutes to go around. Our host says it is a popular camping site amongst travelers because of its isolation. But due to its size, the island becomes crowded during the weekend.

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With our tummies bursting from good food and our heads dazed with alcohol, we moved to our last island: Isla de Sombrero.

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Approaching Sombrero Island.
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I didn’t take much photo of the place because it was too touristy for my taste.

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Sombrero Island features a long stretch of white sand beach. It has three separate resorts with cottages, vast campsites, beach volleyball and videoke to boot! The place is perfect for barkada or family trips.

While the first two islands we went to were free, Sombrero Island has a stricter policy on entrance fees (very minimal). So be prepared to pay for it should you decide to go there.

After a few photo ops, we decided to leave the island and head back to Alibijaban.

Day Two: Mangroves

Day two was for the Mangroves.P_20161216_111005.jpgP1080920.JPGP1080924.JPGP1080925.JPGThe mangrove site can be reached on foot or via boat. We opted to take the boat for quick tour. The island boasts of having one of the most expansive and unspoiled mangrove forest in the country.

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John Lloyd! No, seriously, his name is John Lloyd.

Camping is allowed in the area. Just make sure you have insect repellant.

Day Three: Beach Bum

Day three was spent building sand castles, exploring the town and bumming on a hammock by the beach. There wasn’t much to do, aside from watching weekend travelers arrive.

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Locals looking for shellfish.

P1080948.JPGP1080962.JPGP1080965.JPGP1080970.JPGP1080974.JPGP1080977.JPGP_20161217_063807_BF.jpgP_20161217_100114_BF.jpgAlibijaban is safe for solo travelers and is ideal for travelers who prefer the peace and quiet of an island life versus the party atmosphere most beaches in Manila offers. Also, the people are so unbelievable warm and friendly. Probably because the island is so small, everyone is literally family. P1080979.JPG

How to get there:

To go directly to San Andres, board SUPERLINES or BARNEY BUS LINES at the Starmall terminal in Alabang. Around 400php.

Follow BARNEY bus line Facebook Fan Page for inquiries on schedules (They reply!) : https://www.facebook.com/BarneyAutoLines/

From San Andres, ask around for the port and ride the boat heading to Alibijaban. Php 500 (RT, 2pax)

For boat transfer and island hopping, contact Kuya Randy at 0998.275.8413

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Tips:

There are no ATMs in the island, bring enough cash.

If you can, take the first trip from Cubao or Alabang, so you can arrive at the island early to maximize your stay.

Camping is allowed in the island. You can camp beachfront of near the mangroves. Should you decide to camp out by the mangroves, be ready with your insect repellant.

Your campsite may require you to pay an environmental fee of Php 100.

Not sure how much our homestay accommodation is, but we were charged Php3,500 for three nights and three days stay, plus island hopping and mangrove tour. (2pax)

Enjoy and see you on the road!

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com

 

TRAVEL CORDILLERA CHRONICLES: Sagada, Mountain Province

Travel Date: 7-9 February 2016

Date Published: 28 April – 4 May 2016, Issue 367

Visit www.filamstarnews.com for the actual article.

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Title: Surviving Sagada

Sagada has always been on my bucket list. As a kid, the farthest place I’ve ever been to was Baguio. Anything beyond the Summer Capital was a place of mystery to me. To my young mind, Sagada was a foreign land where people looked and dressed differently and have rituals and customs that involved dancing and fire.

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In between clouds at Mt. Kiltepan

Two decades later, my wanderlust for Sagada is still there, further ignited by the cult-movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” (starring Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman), which was set on location. So when a friend said she has a week off from work and had nowhere to go, I immediately set out to plan an itinerary to backpack the Cordilleras for the second time – this time including Sagada.

Arriving there, I felt that all those years prepared me for this moment. Or not.

So. How did I survive Sagada? Let me count the ways:

1. Cardio.

Sagada is a municipality in the Mountain Province, nestled in a valley between the Cordillera and the Ilocos ranges. The town is small enough to be explored on foot – if you have the energy and the stamina for it.

Because of its’ geography, the place is often sloping, so be prepared for uphill walks. Our group got a van to go around. However, we still got a lot of “workouts” in, since most tourist spots involve physical activities. To see the famous hanging coffins, we had to do a hike through Echo Valley.

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The famed hanging coffins of Sagada.

Spelunking in Sumaguing Cave also tested our endurance and flexibility. A more hardcore version of it will be the Cave Connection of Lumiang and Sumaguing. But that one’s for my next visit.

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on all-fours inside Sumaguing Cave

2. Layer

We went there on the coldest month of the year, February. It was freezing, as temperature dropped below 10°C. So if you want to survive 5am Mt. Kiltepan temperature while waiting for sunrise or enjoy a bonfire dinner at Lake Danum at sunset, wear at least 5 layers of clothing. A friend even had to bring the hostel blanket to Mt. Kiltepan. It was that cold.

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Sunset over Lake Danum
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Bonfire gangsta’s at Lake Danum

3. Smile

The first thing I noticed upon arriving in Sagada was the number of tourists. There were a lot! This was kind of a disappointment for me, seeing that in my head, it was supposed to be a mysterious isolated place. The downside of this is that you will have to share your “emo-moment” as you watch the sea of clouds roll over Mt. Kiltepan with a hundred other people.IMG_0081.JPG

On the upside, you will get to meet a lot of people, maybe even find a friend or two. Sagada Pine Café is a quaint little café in the morning that turns into a chill watering hole at night, where a lot of travelers (both Pinoys and foreigners) hang out. Better practice your best smile, your tadhana might be in the crowd. Mine was somewhere else.

4. Talk

I always make it a point to befriend a local or at least talk to them at length. This way, I get to know more about a place than what I find in the internet.

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Inside Sumaguing Cave

Despite the influx of tourists, Sagada still does not feel as tourist-y as, say Bohol, where tour guides already have memorized spiels, and souvenir shops look dingy and frightening. Establishments here are well-maintained, charmingly homey and often offers “specials” such as The Yoghurt House and Gaia Café and Restaurants (vegan food).

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Gaia Cafe was in the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana”. The chair next to me is yet to filled.

This un-tourist-y feeling of a very tourist-y place is unsettling for me, and I mentioned this to our guide. He says it’s because all businesses are locally owned. By law, outsiders can’t buy properties in Sagada nor can they open businesses. This is to maintain the culture of Sagada while creating opportunities for livelihood for the locals.

Another fact I discovered: majority of the Igorots in Sagada are Anglicans. In the 333 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines, the Spaniards were unable to penetrate the Cordilleras because of the remoteness of the place. So when the American Episcopal Missionaries came to the country in the 1900s, they went straight to the mountains to instigate their faith in the Igorot culture.

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St. Mary Episcopal Church

Would my younger self love it had she been with me to Sagada? I’m not really sure, since she expected fire dancing and rituals. I, on the other hand, would want to explore every nook and cranny of the town, and learn more about the culture and people. While the biggest setback for me is the number of tourists there, I feel that Sagada still has gems hidden under its beautiful surface.

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No fire rituals, just beautiful people and crazy adventures.

Ingat and see you on the road!

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com  

TRAVEL CORDILLERA CHRONICLES: Tappiya Falls in Batad, Banaue, Ifugao

Travel Date: 5-7 February 2016

Date Published: 14-20 April 2016, Issue 366

Visit www.filamstarnews.com for the actual article.

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Beyond Batad: Falling in Love with Tappiya Falls

“Yesterday didn’t feel touristy. Like we were just exploring as we went along.”

That was how one friend described our short Batad trip. Batad is a small town in the province of Ifugao, about 30-minutes of tricycle ride away from Banaue Town Proper. While the former remains the most popular tourist destination, Batad has been gaining attention from travelers because of its majestic and unspoiled Amphitheater Terraces and Tappiya Falls. Located in the valley, the waterfall is about an hour’s trek away from the edge of the Batad ridge.

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The cluster of houses at the top is where the jump-off to Tappiya Falls is located.

It was raining when our group crossed the great terraces. The slippery paddies challenged my balance and core strength (which is nearly non-existent!). It was a choice between falling in a mud bath with freshly planted rice stalks or a bone breaking seven-foot drop on the other.

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Close encounter with the terraces.

After the strenuous and stressful hike jumping from one unstable rock to the next, we finally reached the edge of the terraces. We took a much-needed rest at a small store to revive our energy. A few steps from the store is a narrow stone stairway that serves as start-off point of the trail.

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Batad from the other side.

We started the trek down the slippery steps, which was surprisingly easy to navigate. However, I would hold back on underestimating the trail – and any other trail for that matter. As a personal mantra, I always follow the ABC of traveling: Always Be Careful. While the way to Tappiya Falls is well established, it IS narrow and steep. Just one wrong step can cause you to fall off the ravine.

If walking through Batad Rice Terraces gave one the option of falling over a muddy pool or dropping on a rocky seven-foot plunge on the other, traversing the route to Tappiya Falls gave us only one scary option: falling off a deep watery gorge to our right. The rocky wall on the left became my best friend, holding on to it as I carefully trudged the slippery path.

DSC_0107.JPGOn the plus side, the view, as always, was stunning. The gorge is truly spectacular, with the river snaking away from the waterfall and the lush green forest framing it.

Finally reaching Tappiya Falls, we marveled at its imposing and powerful beauty. From its apex, the water rushes down at about 70 meters high. Our guide told us to stay by the banks as the strong current might swallow us. I decided against taking a dip in the falls because of this (I am not a very good swimmer). But the water was inviting, especially after the sweat water-work of our descent. I decided to just go for it, carefully balancing my way on the rocky floor of the riverbank.

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Contemplating if I’m going in or not.

DSC_0110.JPGThe water is freezing cold, my body needed to acclimate a bit before I can actually relax and enjoy the water and the view. The 30 minutes we spent frolicking and enjoying the peace of the place was worth the one-hour hike we did to reach it.IMG_4681.jpg

We had no concrete plan for Batad. We even had to cut it down from an overnight stay to a day-trip because of the rainy weather. But that leg of our 7-day backpacking trip was definitely a highlight of our Cordillera tour.

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#WorthIt

It gave us everything we expected and more: from a challenging hike through heavily forested trail to crossing the 2,000 year-old world wonder; dipping in the cold waters of Tappiya Falls and the much needed isolation from the rest of the world, we indeed became “one with nature” in the truest sense. The short day spent here was enough for us to fall in love with Tappiya Falls and Batad.

Read about Batad and know how to get there here.

Ingat and see you on the road!

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com  

TRAVEL: Bontoc Take 4 + Exploring Mainit Hot Springs

Travel Date: 28 October – 1 November 2016

For the fourth time within a span of one year, I went back up North.

The entire trip was technically last minute. Initially, I planned to do a second attempt at summiting Mt. Pulag then head to Buscalan afterwards to get my third and final tattoo from Grace. But for one reason or another, I cancelled out on everything and decided to do a solo trip around Bontoc instead.

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Kids of Pulag (Bokod)

Having recently been devastated by typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima), most roads were closed due to landslides and damaged bridges. Instead of one long bus ride from Baguio, travelers had to cross a footbridge and transfer to shuttles upon reaching Sabang.

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Temporary footbridge made by the locals

In Bontoc, I went back to Maligcong to visit a good friend of mine to kick-start a library project for her homestay.P_20161031_073531.jpg

Feel free to start your own #BookStay Project to help remote villages have their own library!

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Ate Vi’s adorable daughter
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My Maligcong family

I stayed in Maligcong to revisit Mt. Kufafey and have another attempt at exploring the rice terraces. But as luck would have it, it was once again Te-er, a local holiday that prohibits people from entering the terraces as the spirits “cleanse and bless” the area.

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Remember Sumamalangyan from my first Mt. Kufafey climb? The dog without a name apparently has two: Misty / Lava
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Misty / Lava / Sumamalangyan enjoying a good tummy massage.
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I wonder when I can explore you.

From Maligcong, I went back down to Bontoc to visit another friend there.

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Cafe Davana’s new offering: Cinnamon Rolls!
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With Karyll, my first friend from Bontoc.

After chatting up with my friend, I left Bontoc to check out another village I haven’t been before: Mainit.

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Bontoc Town Proper as seen from the jeepney heading to Mainit.

Mainit is a small village about an hour away by jeepney from Bontoc Town Proper. It passes through the small village of Guina-ang via rough roads. The village is famous amongst the locals for its hot springs. Mainit in English means “hot”.

Reaching Mainit, the jeepney stops at a community basketball court. From there, I hiked for a couple of minutes to reach the small mountain community.

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The shaded pool and the open pool (far right)

There are two man-made pools in the village. The hot spring nearest the biggest pool had a small stream coming out of it. The locals placed tubes to direct the water from the hot spring into the pools.

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Also doubles as a laundry pool.

Water from the hot spring actually flows throughout the village, making it hot and humid. A few steps from the pools, I saw another hot spring with a more powerful burst of water.

Screen Shot 2016-11-25 at 10.33.14 AM.pngThey say that the location of the springs changes from time to time. It is believed that the village of Mainit stands atop a dormant volcano.

The village was eerily quiet when I was there. After enjoying a few minutes dipping my tired feet in the pool, I decided to go back down to the basketball court to catch a jeepney back to Bontoc.

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Friendly Mainit kids.

The travel back to Bontoc was a bit of an adventure. It was already 4pm and rain started pouring. With no network signal and the last trip to Bontoc gone, I had to walk for about an hour towards the only hotel in the village. Once I got there, the person manning the place was charging me Php 1,500 for a night (almost 30USD), which was waaaayy beyond my budget.

I decided to wait out by the road, praying to hitch a ride. I was resigned to staying overnight when a group of local teenagers saw me and asked why I was there. After telling them my situation, they asked if I wanted to join their trek down to Bontoc instead. I said “Of course!” and joined the group until we reached Guina-ang where my friend was finally able to pick me up.

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Like I always say, people form the North are the nicest! Thank you, Jane for saving me!
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Karyll and cousins. Thanks for picking me up!

My exciting day ended with an awesome sunset road trip down Bontoc. The view was certainly the cherry on top.

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Guina-ang Village

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Drinks at Cable Cafe to end the day.

Watch this video summary of my Maligcong – Mainit adventure!


Ingat and see you on the road!

How to get there:

From Baguio, head to the slaughter house to catch the first trip to Bontoc at 5am.  Php 212

From Bontoc Town Proper, get off near the market and ask around for the jeepney heading to Maligcong for Mt. Kufafey, Php 20; or Mainit for the Hot Springs, Php 40. Ride top load for the best experience.

You can also opt to hike Mainit from Maligcong. Ask Ate Vilma for a guide. It takes about 2-3 hours, depending on your pace.

Where to stay:

In Maligcong:

Vilma’s Homestay can accommodate solo traveler and groups. She cooks the most delicious meals and provides unlimited Kalinga coffee and mountain tea. Rate: 300 php / Breakfast: 50php, Meal: 90php per. Like her FB Fanpage.

In Mainit:

There are no hostels in Mainit yet. I recommend doing this as a day trip.

Tips:

There are no ATMs, so bring enough cash.

Always ask for trip schedules before heading out.

Read about my first Mt. Kufafey climb here. 

 

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com 

TRAVEL: Maligcong Rice Terraces + Mt. Kufafey + Mt. Fato + Bontoc

P_20160612_121234.jpgTravel Date: 10-13 June 2016

Bontoc is like the Cubao of Cordillera. It is the entry point to famous Norte destinations such as Banaue, Sagada and Buscalan. Bontoc was just a stopover, a waiting-area for a greater adventure – at least for me. That was until Mt. Kufafey.

Having experienced the overcrowding from Mt. Kiltepan and Mt. Pulag, I was hoping to find a less-touristy climb for my next Norte adventure. I came across Mt. Kufafey from a blog that listed alternative sea-of-clouds mountains. I tried to read up more about the mountain, but there were only a few blogs posted about it late last year. If you have been reading my previous blogs, you’ll know that that is practically a go signal for me.

Armed with prayers and what little information I gathered about the place, my friend and I left Manila on a Friday night, around 9pm.

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Favorite mode of transportation. Bus ride 1 to Baguio.
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Bus ride 2 to Bontoc

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Bus > Airplanes

Two bus rides and 13 hours later, we finally reached Bontoc.

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Across the Municipal Tourism Center is a cafe that serves the best cakes!
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I always stop by this cafe every time I’m in Bontoc Town Proper…
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For a serving or two of this yummy cake + Kalinga Coffee

After a quick lunch at a nearby carenderia (eatery) and the best dessert, we walked around to look for the jeepney that will take us to Maligcong, but not after goofing off with some of the locals. P1080309.JPGP1080310.JPG

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Jeepney ride from Bontoc Town Proper to Maligcong takes about 30 minutes.

VILMA’S HOMESTAY

There are two home stays in Maligcong: Suzette’s and Vilma’s. I initially contacted Suzette’s but they were fully booked during that weekend. But like most locals I know from the North who all have a strong sense of community, she eagerly referred me to the newly opened Vilma’s Homestay.

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Ate Vilma’s Homestay started operation just January this year. This quaint two-storey house is conveniently located right before the Favuyan turning point in Maligcong, a few steps away from the jump off point going to the rice terraces and Mt. Kufafey.

MT. FATO

P1080337.JPGWe were supposed to do a straight twin hike the next day, but because we were on a 4-day getaway, we decided to take things one at a time. After a few hours of rest, Ate Vilma called in Kuya Henry to accompany us to our first Maligcong mountain: Fato.

Fato is the lesser known mountain in Maligcong.”Fato” in the local dialect means “Bato” or rock, and was named because of the huge boulders at the summit. The view might not be as impressive as most Cordillera mountains, but the trail is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. The trail is wide, and mostly covered by pine trees, pretty much how I imagined forests in fairytales are supposed to look like.

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One of the best things in Mt. Fato: the wild mushrooms! The mountain has an abundance of it, and we were free to take as much as we can. Our harvest ended up as our dinner (along with other viands that Ate V  prepared. WE LOVE YOU, ATE V!!!)

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MT. KUFAFEY

We woke up early the next day, around 3am. I was so excited for this climb because the few photos of it I saw from the internet looked really awesome! But as always, photos never really give justice to the actual thing.

I took so many photos and videos, already imagining how I would edit it and all. But as luck would have it, my SD card failed me. Meh. Means, I have to go back. 🙂

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THE PEOPLE (AND DOGS)

What really got me about Kufafey are the guide dogs, the most famous of which is Kunig. On the day of our hike, Ate Tina, Kunig’s owner was booked. I thought we won’t be able to see the famous dog. But when we reached the summit, there were three guide dogs in total: Kunig, Wednesday and this girl:

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Me: Ate Tina, ano pangalan nito? (What is this dog’s name?)  Ate Tina: Sumama lang ‘yan!   (He just joined us)    Me: Hello, Sumamalangyan!
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Wednesday, Ate Tina, Kunig and Sumamalangyan
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Kunig!

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Our sweet host, Ate V!

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MALIGCONG RICE TERRACES

Aside from hiking Mts. Fato and Kufafey, travelers can also opt to walk through the Maligcong Rice Terraces. We weren’t able to do so during our visit because there was a local holiday called “Te-er” that restricts entering the terraces.

So to pass time, we decided to go around town and talk to the locals.P1080560.JPGP1080564.JPG

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Lula Elena and Lula Magdalena. Despite the language barrier, we spent a good hour and half just laughing and getting to know more about their culture.

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Look who I bumped into: Sumamalangyan! I love the white spot on her right eye.
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Sumama din siya sa amin. 

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Ate V and Sumamalangyan

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BONTOC

We left Maligcong that same afternoon, to spend the night in Bontoc. Rode topload and got rained on, as always.

After checking in a random hostel, we crossed the street to my favorite bar of all time: Cable Cafe. P_20160612_204924_NT.jpg

We had a couple of bottles to give us the confidence to jam with the singer on stage.

Lashing #pub #karaoke

A video posted by Angela Kuizon Go (@ladysuader) on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:34pm PDT

Met more locals the next day, while waiting for the Baguio-bound bus to leave.P_20160613_061554.jpgP_20160613_062239.jpg

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Etag: cured meat in salt

P_20160613_060934.jpgHaynako, Norte. Mahal talaga kita. 

Ingat and see you on the road!

How to get there:

From Baguio, head to the slaughter house to catch the D’ Rising Sun first trip to Bontoc at 5am.  Php 212

From Bontoc Town Proper, get off near the market and ask around for the jeepney heading to Maligcong. Ride top load for the best experience. Php 20

Where to stay:

Vilma’s Homestay can accommodate solo traveler and groups. She cooks the most delicious meals and provides unlimited Kalinga coffee and mountain tea. Rate: 300 php / Breakfast: 50php, Meal: 90php per. Like her FB Fanpage.

Tips:

There are no ATMs (as usual), so bring enough cash.

Watch out for wild mushrooms, which you can ask Ate V to cook for you. Just make sure it’s not poisonous!

Tour guide rates (1-4 pax)

Mt. Fato: 300php  / Mt. Kufafey: 500php

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com

EAT: Rich Peanut Butter

I don’t like peanut butter.

But when this charming security guard came up to me offering me to try his special homemade peanut butter, I couldn’t say no. Especially when I saw that the label of his product has a Peanut Security Guard (PSG). HAHAHAHA! Adorable!13987124_10154491437532962_1566108507_o.jpg

I forgot about the bottle I bought until this morning, when I had it for breakfast.

And can I just say: this made me love peanut butter!!!

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It’s super creamy; the sweetness is just right; and I also like that it’s very spreadable – store bought peanut butters are usually too thick to spread and almost always have no oil.

Where to find it:

Ask the first jollijeep on Rada St. coming from Legaspi St. in Makati about the security guard selling peanut butter. (I can’t mention the name of the bank where he is assigned).

Php100 for a big bottle.

Happy eating!