Bolinao Pangasinan Backpacking Itinerary 2 Days / 1 Night

JeiManlalayag Edition

 

Day 1

0300 Call Time

0400 ETD Home

0430 ETA Five Star Teminal

0445 ETD Bus bound to DAU Pampanga

0600 ETA DAU Terminal

0605 Meet up with PNJ

0630 ETD Dau Terminal: Catch the bus bound to Alaminos

1100 ETA Alaminos City

1130 Early Lunch at Alaminos Food Court

1230 ETD Alaminos City

1330 Bolinao

1400 Hire Tricycle for Bolinao Day Tour

1430 Complete Supplies in Flee Market or Bolinao Market

1500 Start Bolinao Day Tour

1515 Enchanted Cave

1545 Wonderful Cave

1630 Bolinao Rock Formation

1700 Bolinao Lighthouse

1730 ETA Patar Beach

1800 Rent Cottage and Set up Tents

1830 Prepare Dinner

1900 Dinner / Socials

2200 Lights Out

 

 

Day 2

0500 Call Time

0530 Prepare Breakfast (Boodle Fight)

0600 Breakfast

0700 Explore Patar Beach / Swimming

0900 Wash up / Purchase Souvenir / Prepare for Bolinao Falls Tour

0930 ETD Patar Beach

1100 ETA Bolinao Falls

1115 Register and Pay Entrance Fee

1130 Explore Bolinao Falls

1300 ETD Bolinao Falls

1330 ETA Bolinao Poblacion

1345 Purchase Dry Goods

1400 Late Lunch at Adora’s

1500 ETD Bolinao (We missed the Bolinao – Manila Bus)

1600 ETA Alaminos City

1700 ETD Alaminos via Five Star Bus

2100 ETA Marquee Mall Bus Terminal

2200 SM Pampanga

2300 Home in Pampanga: Return trip to Manila the next day

PS: You can take the Bus bound to Cubao if your residing in Manila

ETA from Alaminos to Cubao is 5-6 hours. Add 1 hour from Bolinao. 24 hour in 1-2 hours bus interval are available in Alaminos City.

1700 ETA Alaminos

1200 ETA Five Star Terminal

 

See you later PIRATES!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Patar Beach and Bolinao Falls: Friendship Goals

 

“Treasure the friends you have since you were young. As they are the most precious people that can insult and love you at the same time”

  • Fakir

Features: Patar Beach, Bolinao Falls, Bolinao Market, Adora’s and Bolinao Town

 

The cold December breeze put me to sleep inside my sleeping bag and the tent I borrowed. I can hear the waves of the sea that seems to sing lullaby. I woke up early in the morning, early riser as ever. I sleep well and the cold air welcomes my morning. I start to deal with our breakfast meal, cooking rice, preparing the left overs from last night dinner and staring to the vast shoreline across our cottage. My friend Nilo joined me afterwards and we start to cook our food. We decide to put up a boodle fight breakfast for our OFW friend Pher and his girlfriend Lee.

 

 We cooked scrambled eggs, tuyo (dried fish), corned beef and pre-heat our left over sinigang. Served with hot chocolate and coffee. We are in happy land us we are all woke up and dig in our morning. The sun rise after the cloudy yesterday to our satisfaction. After we ate, we decide to explore the white pebbled sand of Patar Beach. The shoreline stretch in the Northern part of the Philippines. The water is crystal clear and waves are bit rush since there still storm rummaging the South. The sand of Patar is very pretty, its not as fine as Panglao nor Boracay but it does have its own glory.

 

We goofed around the beach, swim and take endless pictures until battery life had gone. Our service tricycle is already waiting for our next stop. BOLINAO FALLS. After dipping to the cold blue water and experience the sun. We decide to wash up to go to our next adventure. Showering in Patar public bath house cost Php 15 – 20.00 with unlimited water source. HEHE. As we dress up for our next adventure, we settle our bill and purchase our souvenirs at the entrance. Shirts cost from Php 120.00 – 350.00 in which you can haggle, I purchase my batik (dyed) shirt and refrigerator magnets.

 

We rented our tricycle service for Bolinao Falls for Php 800.00. We started to hit the road around 0930, the sun beaming happily and the journey just started. From Patar Beach going to Bolinao Falls road experience is bumpy and long. It will take at least 1 hour ride. Since it rained yesterday, the road to the falls is mud dirt. Concrete roads are not yet fixed and we need to take off the tricycle several times and push the tricycle out of the mud. We missed the Bolinao sign-age so we got lost that actually prolong the ride. We back track the mud-fill road. Until we finally we can go down and stretched our legs and backs.

 

We trail down for 1-2 minutes, paid for entrance fee which is Php 50.00. Cottages are for free, I failed to asked if they are free if its peak season. Most of the fee we had are deducted because its off peak. Few tourist are roaming around. According to the locals during the summer which is from April to June. The entire place is jammed with tourists like a market sale. I appreciate less people, quiet places and abundant with good food.

 

Upon reaching the falls, I am in 100% awe but it was a stunning place to view. The water is cold and refreshing while the endless 4 – 5 layer falls is heavily pouring down on its creek. You can jump the cliff off if your daredevil enough but I learn my lesson. I attempted a cliff jump before and I was pulled down by water which leave a traumatic experience. I can do it again for as long guide will be there to pull me out of the water or if it just a simple cliff diving.

 

We take pictures and videos all over the falls. I tried to jump off from a tree going to the deep creek part which is exhilarating. The adventures seems to be endless. If your going here its best to bring PICNIC LUNCH or SNACKS that can be enjoyed with your family, love ones and friends. After getting all the pictures we needed. We head back to Bolinao Town that took us at least 30 minutes to reach. We purchased our dried fish and fish sauces.

 

We supposed to go back to Alaminos to have the HUNDRED ISLAND tour because gale warning is already lifted. But due to emergency back home, we need to go back early. So we scratch the deal and just take our lunch at ADORA’S. Famous restaurant in Bolinao which serves cooked local cuisine, snacks, halo-halo and all types of pancit (noodles). After our heavy lunch, we head out to the bus station and we missed the afternoon Bolinao – Cubao bus. HEHE. There is only one available ATM in Bolinao which will cut your money from Php 30-50.00. Better be prepared and ready your cash before going to Bolinao depending on your budget and number.

 

We hopped in to a van going to Alaminos to catch another bus bound to Manila that took us another 1 hour of travel time. Reaching Alaminos we catched the bus bound to Cubao, settle for another 3-4 hours bus ride to home. We paid Php for the fare to Marquee Mall in Dau Pampanga to head back home I am still on leave at work and will take weekend with my family so I decide to join them back home. Traffic is heavy in Tarlac because of ongoing road repairs. We reached Pampanga around 2100, left Alaminos at 1700.

 

We took another jeep to SM Pampanga via NLEX then take another jeep to Sta Ana Pampanga to head back home. Due to the recent rain, our area is severely flooded, my friend and his girlfriend cannot make it home. So its another pajama night for the 3 of us. We end up our Stormy Trip to North happily regardless if we when home wet. We still think we are wild and over the decade of friendship, this is how we celebrate! Travel with friends if you have time and thank them for staying beside you even if you are crazy and doom.

 

LET FRIENDSHIP LAST PIRATES! SEE YOU AGAIN!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Bolinao Pangasinan: Backpacking Friendship

Cherish the moments with people who support and love you beyond imperfection.”

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Bolinao Rock Formation

  • Fakir

Features: Bolinao Pangasinan Backpacking, Enchanted Cave, Wonderful Cave, Bolinao Rock Formation, Bolinao Lighthouse, Patar Beach, Camping and Tricycle Tour.

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Jei, Pher, Lee and Nilo (Left to Right)

It was time of the year where I meet my high school buddies and have our annual trip. We are celebrating decade of friendship, we choose to celebrate in Bolinao, Pangasinan. Amidst the uncanny weather condition due to the recent December typhoon, I manage to convince our friend Pher which is a balikbayan (OFW) from Dubai to spend the weekend with me and Nhey. The south is being bashed by rain and winds so we decide to go to Northern Philippines to avoid the rainy weather. Another chasing the sun in Ber months, an episode of catching the rays of the sun under extreme weather.

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Since I am Manila-based and they are living in Pampanga, we decide meet up in DAU Terminal to be chance passengers bound to Alaminos or Bolinao. Fare from Manila to Dau cost Php 132.00. We are able to complete the group of 4 around 0630, hopped in to the bus bound to Alaminos (non-aircondition) fare price cost around Php200.00. One of the most irritating bus ride of my life. After entering Tarlac proper, the bus did nothing but stop/go. There is no express public bus to Pangasinan, you need to be patient with the run around of public transport system especially if you ride a non-aircondition bus which fare is less expensive apart from AC bus. I recommend you to ride the AC bus it cost more but a lot faster that non-AC. It will save you so much time.

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We arrive in Alaminos at 1100, the cloudy sky line of Pangasinan greet us warmly. We had an early lunch in Food Court Alaminos, taste the great Pangasinan / Ilocano dish. We want to explore the Hundred Islands National Park so we rent 2 tricycles which cost us Php 80.00 per ride. Unfortunately, gale warning is not lifted even though there is no signal warning in Pangasinan. A total waste of time since terminals in Alaminos Bayan should be aware so I feel scammed by the drivers. NOT HELPFUL AT ALL.

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So we went back to Alaminos, transfer to van to Bolinao which cost Php 50.00. Apart from eating we haven’t started the trip, the sky is getting gloomy and drops of water started to fall. I am still praying for clear sky because dragging your friends with your adventure while a typhoon is ongoing, guilty feeling lingers. We only have this little chance of being together since we have long distance relationship so we need to push this plan further. The van dropped us in gasoline station where his kumpare Kuya Rey will tour us in Bolinao. We decide to start the trip and closed the deal at Php 700.00 for a day tour in Bolinao to Patar Beach.

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Before starting the tour we stop over to flee market to complete our camping supplies. I already brought my camping gears and equipments, we need the food and drinks. After getting all the supplies we need to last the night in Bolinao, we proceed on our tour. The rain is softly kissing my lips as I back ride in the tricycle. According to Kuya Rey, Patar is pretty far from the Poblacion. We reach Enchanted Cave is 1-hour time.

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First stop, ENCHANTED CAVE. My friend always want to go to Hinatuan Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur. But since we don’t have the budget for airplane tickets, I decide to go to Bolinao for this attraction. Entrance fee cost Php 150.00 and Parking Fee is Php 20.00. The entrance fee surge from Php 50.00 to Php 150.00, pricing change when summer 2015 arrive. As per the cashier they change the pricing to upgrade the resort. The fees are way too much, other tourist destination don’t charge that much because it is supposed to be for free.

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Anyway, the cave is spectacular. Clear turquoise water welcome us, the artificial lighting did not do good but enchanted cave is still amazing. At the time we are there, the water is 10-foot deep, according to the caretaker it can take up to 15-foot if its high tide. The water is cold and refreshing after the long travel time from Manila. This officially kick our day tour. We spend at least an hour swimming and taking pictures before deciding to move on to the next cave.

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Second destination, Wonderful Cave. I accidentally drop my sling bag which carries my dslr camera and tablet. Disappointed to learn that it damage the lens of my beloved camera and my tablet got a nicked. REALLY SAD FACE HERE. Nevertheless we resume the tour, we haggle for the entrance fee since we will just look around for a few minutes. We are able to cut the fee from Php 100.00 to Php 70.00 which might will not be applicable during peak season. Comparing it to other sight seeing cities, Bolinao is not yet administer properly by the tourism office because the caves are owned by private persons.

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The cave is pretty much the same with enchanted cave but the latter is more formidable in terms of facility. Enchanted is more on business tourist spot while wonderful is quiet. Its already 1630, we still need to check out 2 more spots before proceeding to Patar Beach. I was quite disoriented about my broken lens. HEHE! Still need to continue, we spend a good 15 minutes here then went to Bolinao Rock Formation.

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Bolinao Rock Formation, supposed to be we are route to Cindy’s Cave but Kuya Rey informed us that the cave is a bit mysterious. I was a freak when it comes to ghost stories and spiritual events. We passed the last cave and proceed to the Rock Formation. Entrance fee cost Php 80.00, we haggle again since we are not staying here. We were able to pay for Php 50.00 each and explore the site. The rockies can be compare to the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Ilocos Norte, although the rocks here are black while the Kapurpurawan have smooth white marble formation.

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We had fun here because the view is spectacular. The high tidal waves that bumping to the rocks made an awesome view. There are moments when the storm bring so much life to certain places. This is the best moment to capture the rapture of the waves against the high rocks that play as barrier to the entire Rock Formation shoreline. Indeed a worthy place to visit on your next rainy season adventure. We took a lot of picture and videos, stayed at least an hour. At 0530 we move to Bolinao Lighthouse to view the sun set.

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Last part of the day tour, Bolinao Lighthouse. The sun is now embracing the sea and the sky is on fire. The lively yellow orange ball of fire is now bidding farewell to its day. It was the perfect time of the day to be at the Bolinao Lighthouse, free entrance and if the caretaker is available you can actually get inside it. Unfortunately, the caretaker already left since its almost night time. We just settle on taking our moment while viewing the beautiful sunset. The night sky easily spread, then we proceed to Patar Beach to rest. The day tour is a success even though we embarked with turmoil onset of the tour.

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Reaching Patar Beach. The waves are stronger and the cold wind is giving chill to our spines. I brought two tents to occupy so that we can save on our budget. Table rent will only cost Php 300.00 for the entire night but my friend have another thought about staying outdoors. He still check-in to one of the Nipa Hut with bedroom and receiving room which is good for 4-6 pax. The overnight rental is Php 1500.00, the cost is lower because its off peak season.

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We set our packs down, rest a bit and start to cook our dinner we bought over the flee market. We have Pork Sinigang and Grilled Pork, some booze to share and life to talk about. It seems like our friendship matures over the years but we are still the same people. We are happy to reunite once more and bit by bit we are able to fulfil some of our life goals. Truly, backpacking with my high school buddies is great and the experience that will last. Its about time to sleep, lights, camera, out.

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Day 1 is done with a blast. I will write another review for our Day 2. Exploring Patar Beach and Bolinao Falls.

Sojourn to our next trip Pirates!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Manabu Peak and Mt Maculot Twin Hike

“The great outdoors can push the limitations of your physical prowess to its utmost power

– Fakir

Features: Manabu Peak, Tatay Tino’s Free Coffee, Hiking, Camping, Twin Climb, Mt Maculot, Day Hiking and 2 Mountains in 2 Days

The Beautiful Kitanglad Range

 

How to be a weekend warrior? Its the time of the year again where most of our annual vacation leaves are already used. We do no longer have sufficient time to go far away from home and work. Some people have one day rest but for others we have two. Good thing I work with two rest days which happen every Saturday and Sunday. I need to come up with a climbing activity that will over power my dull weekends at home. It was 2 months now since my last climb so I decide to go on a camping trip with a fellow hiker and office mate.

Manabu Trail

Manabu Trail

I decided to grant the wish of Chey to climb Mt Maculot and Camp in Manabu Peak as our orignal itinerary. We are supposed to be five in the group but before we take off we were down to two. So me and my friend Chey decide to continue our trip to Batangas. Off to Araneta Center Cubao around 0900, we completed our supplies and hopped into bus bound for Batangas City. We took off in Lipa-Tramo Exit. Fare price Php 132.00 from Cubao to Lipa-Tramo Exit.

The infamous coffee and Tatay Tino

The infamous coffee and Tatay Tino

From the toll exit we ride jeep to Lipa Poblacion for Php 8.00. Then take another jeepney to Fiesta mall for Php 8.00. We reached Fiesta Mall around 1230 so we took our lunch before we head to the jump off. We ride tricycle from Fiesta Mall to Manabu Jump-off for Php 100.00. Register in the Barangay hall for free and you can leave any amount as donation. We reached the jump off, it was warm and you can smell the mountain. We rest for a bit before we begin to ascend.

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The Dawn in the Camp Site

Starting around 1400, guides are not required in Manabu which is a good thing. Trail is visible but challenging if its your first time. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT, make sure you trek the clean trail and you were on the right track if your still ending up seeing the trail sign. Trail sign in Maculot is a map of all stations printed in tarpaulin. Providing where you are in the trail, this serves as the navigator if you did not hire a guide.

Manabu Sunrie

Manabu Sunrise

Two months of no hike, running or gym training. I lose weight for the past few months because of appetite lose and stress surrounding me. Going back to the mountains with someone which is very fit makes me feel weak. My pack is killing me, my lungs will burst any time and my body is about to split in half. Assaulting becomes harder and as we move station by station. I can feel my hips and legs are fading away from my body. It was painful and glorious at the same time.

Sunrise and Me

Sunrise and Me

We reached Tatay Tino’s kubo which is the STARBUCKS in this mountain. Giving free brewed coffee which is delightful. It will wake you body up to continue once last draw to station 6 where the camp is located. My legs are getting weak, no sleep and heavy backpack. I had 2 coffee cups, it was too delicious not to drink. Tatay is very accommodating to hikers in which he is respected as the land lord of this mountain. Leaving the coffee behind, continuing this climb. I need to make it in the summit otherwise I will roll over from its slope. I am tired, weary and sweaty. Sun sets in which we are able to marvel along the trail. Such a beautiful sight even though I am about to die.

Camping in the FOG site

Camping in the FOG site

We reached the camp site around 1730, vast camping ground that can accommodate 20-30 2P tents. We found our spot, set our camp and started cooking our dinner. We missed our hiking friends from Balanghai G and our friends from Yapak which have their own endeavours. I cannot keep up with the group I founded because I will keep of seeing the person I hated the most. We missed our friends who are reluctant now in terms of climbing and have set their priorities. This is mostly our conversation on our socials. We are unable to mingle with other hikers because we are tired. So we put our lights out around 2100.

Balanghai At SUMMIT

Balanghai At SUMMIT

The mist of dawn made it very cold. The wind is howling as I woke up around 0300. It still dark outside, sleep was good and the temperature is getting low. I waited for the sun rise because I cannot go back to sleep. Hundreds of memories keep on flooding my mind. I had the best year in terms of climbing. Manabu will be my 17th climb and Maculot will be my 18th. The sun is about to shine, the yellow orange light is coming and the sight is tremendously pretty. The sunlight that touches my old damp skin gives warm. I wake up Chey from her slumber for us to reached the summit which is 5 minutes away from the camp site.

Mt Maculot Summit

Mt Maculot Summit

Manabu summit have cross made by the locals. The space is a bit smaller that can only accommodate 20 – 30 people at large. Since it was weekend, several hikers were as mad as we are. Jam packed summit, it was. We all watched the beautiful sun rise which is very marvellous. It was once of the best sun rise I ever seen at the top of a mountain. After taking all the pictures we need, we descend to take our breakfast. We ate and break the camp.

Mt Maculot Rockies

Mt Maculot Rockies

I want to go down early to taste the delicious coffee at Tatay Toni’s. Heavy meal then barako coffee will make your day. We need to energize before climbing Mt Maculot. The smell of coffee created an ultimate euphoric feeling, its like waking up from a good dream. We continue the descent with a happy mood. The day will be long for the two of us. We reached the jump-off around 1000. Then freshen a bit before taking off to Fiesta mall via tricycle.

Me at Rockies in Mt Maculot]

Me at Rockies in Mt Maculot

We hopped into jeepney bound to SM Lipa to catch another jeepney to Cuenca route to Lemery. Fare Fiesta Mall to SM Lipa is Php 8.00, Manabu jumpoff to SM Lipa via tricycle just add Php 50.00. From SM Lipa to Cuenca Poblacion fare is Php 25.00, then take another tricycle to Barangay Hall to register and to get your guide. Guide fees varies depending on the type of climb.

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Shoe Selfie

We chose to climb from Summit and the Rockies for Php 500.00. The popular guide fee is Mt Maculot Rockies for Php 400.00 minimum of 5 pax, all in excess of 5 pax cost Php 50.00 per pax. Maculot Traverse cost Php 800.00. Overnight Rockies Php 1000.00, Traverse 1500.00 and Rockies-Summit cost Php 1200. Adding pax for overnight climb cost Php 100.00 per pax. We left our packs in the bath house at the base of the mountain, brought only the things we required on a day climb. Tricycle from Cuenca Poblacion to jump off cost Php 20.00 per pax.

Rockies Trail

Rockies Trail

The guide fee is really expensive if your hiking alone or for 2 pax. According to our guide, if its a returned climb you can waive off the guide since the trail is easy to track. The guide fee info looks like a menu from a restaurant. HeHe. We started our climb around 1300, it was tough and painful. My lungs are breaking into pieces and sweat is like rain in June. I am totally feeling weak because of the humidity. Its been 2 months from my last hike, then 2 mountains is really killing me. We reach the camp site is 2 hours, rest a bit and continue to climb to the summit.

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The summit have wild grass everywhere at the start of the assault. You need to wear long sleeves and pants to prevent scratches from talahib. From the camp site to the summit in good pacing, you can reach it in 30 minutes. We reached the summit, eat our lunch and take all the photos at the top. A good 15 minutes passed, we decided to go down to the Rockies. The usual climb starts from Rockies to the Summit but the Rockies is overcrowded so we decide to trek the Summit first before proceeding to the Rockies Part.

The view is scenic

The view is scenic

Rockies is a ridge from the camp site which is about 15 minutes away. The trail is a bit technical, it will be a difficult terrain for first timers. My stamina and endurance are depleting is fast paced, on this part I am panting regularly. For my energy to last, I am no longer muttering words. We reached the top of the Rockies around 1600, marvelled ourselves to the beauty. The sun shines adorably against Taal Lake. You can view the Malarayat Range, Taal Volcano and Mt Makiling. This mountain is very popular, now I do no long wonder why.

Panorama of Manabu Peak

Panorama of Manabu Peak and Kitanglad Range

We ascend around 1700, no break or rest. Trekking down from Rockies to the jump-off took 1 hour. We reach the bath house, water from their reserved is already drained. So we move to another bath house and the long line started. I am extreme exhausted, hungry and smelly. After taking our turn to the wash room, we immediately hopped back to Cuenca Poblacion to catch a jeepney back to SM Lipa for dinner and hopped into a bus bound to Manila. Fare cost Php 30.00 from Cuenca to SM Lipa.

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We ate in Mang Inasal SM Lipa for unlimited rice. HEHE. After the heavy dinner, we catch the bus to Manila around 2100. We reached the city around 2300, tired but happy from our 2 days itinerary. Reaching my bed after the tiresome 2 climb in 2 days with 2 person and 1 experience of a lifetime.

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SEE YOU ON OUR NEXT CLIMB PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio and Nilo Canlas Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Sorsogon: Inner Beauty of South

“Awaken your soul to the joy and peace of this world. Learn to take the road of sound and calm towards achieving GOALS”

– Fakir

Albay – Sorsogon Solo Bicol Itinerary

Features: Tricycle Road Trip, Irosin, Bulusan National Park, Falls, Dancalan Beach, and Mateo Hot Spring in San Benon

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The escapades in Albay are delightful. The food, locals and the tourist spots are melting my heart away. I started very early, checked out in Magayon Hotel around 0430. Full packed to Sorsogon, I went straight to Legazpi Grand Terminal via tricycle for Php 40.00. I arrive in the terminal too early, bus bound for Sorsogon are not available at that time. Since its off-peak season, bus coming in and out of Albay don’t follow schedule. I waited for 2 hours before a bus bound for Sorsogon arrived.

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I hopped into the bus from Albay to Sorsogon fare cost Php74.00, this is an ordinary bus. You can also take the bus to Matnog, Sorsogon if you are bound to Irosin. The bus left from Albay around 0600, with various stop over the driver drop me off in Sorsogon, Sorsogon intersection where I took jeepney to Irosin for Php 50.00. On my way to Irosin, haciendas and beautiful farm homes are built in between hectares of Koprahan or coconut plantation. The place is luscious green, have fresh air to breath and a developing love for South.

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The trip to Sorsogon proper to Irosin took 2 hours. I arrived in Irosin Public Market, waited for my friend and was drove off to rural barangay. The peaceful life in rural place like Irosin will catch you your. I want to live in this quiet place, at least 2 or 3 months. Leaving the buzzing sound of the city life. I wish I can turn my life down here in Manila, drove off far from the hassle of traffic and nosy people around me.

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After I digging my breakfast prepared by my friend, we started our day tour in Irosin. I need to take that photo in front of the monumental welcome structure of Irosin. This is the gateway of Luzon and Visayas. Matnog is near the place were the port is located. Transporting buses all over Luzon to Samar or Leyte. Someday, I will go on another road trip to Samar and Leyte to see San Juanico Bridge. We went to Bulusan National Park to see the lake and take a lot of pictures. Unfortunately there was movie shoot that time, the whole place was rented by the production in which we are prohibited to enter.

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Still we continue on our road trip, we went to Nasipit Falls. Entrance cost Php 10.00 were you can swim over the fresh cold water spring from the mountain. There were torrential rain because of the typhoon hitting in the North so the place is full of fallen leaves. I took some picture then we were on the road again for our next G. On our way to Dancalan Beach Resort still here in Bulusan, Sorsogon. We stopped in the middle of the highway which actually put me to my inner peace. The highway which is constructed in the mountainous part have this scenic top view of the entire Bulusan shore line. It was just beautiful and right I away, I fell in love again.

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We reached Dancalan beach at high noon, dark clouds still forming. It was low tide to the entire diverse shore is showing its glamour. The coral reefs are flaunting their colorful formation. I guess the entire Danacalan Cove is 10 times larger than Anawangin Cove. It was kilometers of white sand and rock formation. I guess summer here will be an EPIC LEISURE. The entrance cost Php 10.00 and nipa hut rental is Php 30.00. CHEAP DEAL ALERT!

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Camping is also suitable or you can rent a room ranging from Php 500.00 – 1000.00 which are huge enough to accommodate an entire family or 5-10 pax. Fresh seaweed is free of charge so you make that delicious PAKO SALAD. Before we went to the beach, we bought ingredients and rice for our lunch. We grilled pork and hotdogs plus a bottle of beer. I don’t usually drink but I need to toast for this day with a friend who actually treated me very well in her hometown. Truly grateful for giving me the ride here in Sorsogon.

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The tour in Bulusan and nearby town is unexpected. The swirling wind and continues rain make this little town solemn. After the trip to Dancalan Beach, we went straight to San Benon where the famous hot springs are located. We docked into San Mateo Hot Spring, entrance fee Php 20.00 and nipa hut rental is Php 100.00 that can accommodate at least 10-15 sitting capacity.

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After being restless from series of hoping from one public transport to another, its time to take a nice dip into the HOT SPRING. Imagining those hot springs from Japan, steam coming out from the pool and you can have hard boiled egg from the source of water. You can choose a pool to dip, the warm, the hot and very hot jacuzzi. I dip all available pool and immensely got BURN from the jacuzzi. It was very hot, I think 40-42 degrees hot tub. The spring made my muscles relax and comfortable after 3 days of soul-searching Bicol region.

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My one day affair in Sorsogon is truly remarkable. From the Manila to the outskirt of Albay and the accidental trip to Irosin make this trip such an experience to my traveling career. Going back to Manila leave happy thoughts. Since this way out of my itinerary, night time reached Irosin and jeepney route to Sorsogon last trip left. I packed my bags, prepare to hitch any passenger bus from Matnog Port. Bus route from Samar / Leyte bound for Manila.

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It was 2300 in the evening when I was able to hopped in the Bus. It was one of the uncomfortable trips of my life. Since the bus is not full, most of the seats are being used as beds so I settle nearly behind the vehicle. So much bumps and the air-condition is in lowest possible temperature. Stop over in Camarines Sur after 3 hours travel, my neck is incurably painful and my back is killing me because it too cold. Good thing the conductor and driver ask me for Php 500.00 from Irosin to Pasay City. The fare usually cost Php 900.00 – 1000.00 which save me almost half of the budget. I will never ride that bus company again.

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The trip is almost over, the experience was quite an adventure. Going solo on a road trip creates so much memories and bunch of travel idea. Learning the ways of backpacking and the lesson of the in0/out of going on trip. To initiate trip accordingly based on experiences by other people, especially reading too many travel blog can be very useful in exploring this world. Backpacking like this open my mind into more possibilities of traveling solo.

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Sometimes you need to go on impulsive trip, decide where to go. Make sure you have internet and get all the information you needed. Take the bus with your pack and travel with style!!

See you again PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

ALBAY: Day Zero, Road Trip to Bicol

“Let the sun kiss you in summer, let the rain embrace you in storm season, let the wind brush those weariness from the cold ber days. Two season of LOVE” – FAKIR


Albay – Sorsogon Solo Bicol Itinerary

 

Ultrabus seats are very comfy!

 

Features: Solo backpacking, Ultrabus, Daraga City, Legazpi City, Magayon Hotel, and road trip to Albay

Do the things that reward your hard work. What do you do on your spare time? On your vacation leaves? School vacation? G with the gang, drink in a pub, party here and there or do you travel? I got another 2 days off the from work plus 2 days plotted leave. Two weeks before getting approve, I got sun-kissed from hiking escapades. Summer is over, July brings the dark clouds all over the country. Frequent rain and thunderstorms. I wanted to go to Kalinga to get a tattoo from Whand Od but Typhoon just enter PAR 2 days before my trip. Changing itinerary in 2 days time from North to South transpired.

 

Along the way in Quezon Province

 

My SOLO adventure to the South begins, here I come Albay!!

I want to see Mayon, the famous perfect cone. Come out of my shell when it rains and explore farther away from the city. A dream backpacking trip; butt numbing road trip, new backpack and bag of nervousness. I can hear the beats of my own heart, its deafening the hell out me. I am nervous, it was my first 12-hour road trip. My friends were discouraging though but I never let them enter my mind. So I found myself full packed and traveling to Araneta bus terminal going to ALBAY.

 

Somewhere in Naga City

 

Off peak season, bus schedule on the internet are not followed. Instead of catching the 0600 trip, I ride in ULTRABUS Manila to Samar route. The ticketing officer advise me that they will drop me to Daraga. On my itinerary, I am supposed to take off in Legazpi Grand Terminal. Oh well, I am here and I will never go home. (While mustering explicit words inside my head, I am way out of my IT!)

 

Famous Sili of Bicol. Red spicy hot chilis!

 

I was early, thinking I can catch an earlier trip. I ate, drink, puff, pee, repeat three times. Around 0800 the bus filled with passengers and loads to Visayas. The bus is not full so I got a row for myself and my pack along side. Driving along EDSA going Southbound, I texted my ICE (In Case of Emergency) people to grant me best on my trip.

 

Magayon Hotel window view. Php 200 per night fan room.

 

It is important that someone know where you are if you are planning a SOLO trip, you don’t want your family or friends worry. So tell them your whereabouts!

The bus made its way to South Luzon Expressway. The vibe of this trip is causing goosebumps and nausea so I decide to sleep it off. Ultrabus wifi service is indeed excellent and the seats were comfortable enough to doze off. I woke up after three hours, we’re in Quezon Province highway. The seashore against the dark skies. I ate snack while being accompanied by my phone music playlist. It was surreal to travel a long way. Alone yet so exciting for my itinerary in Albay. To see the beautiful Mayon Volcano.

   

 

Its idle time again, slept for the next 3-4 hours. I woke up for a bus stop over in Naga City. Time check, 1700. The sky slowly gaze the night-time as I sip a cup of instant coffee from the vendors. Stretching my legs and arms, done with bathroom breaks. This trip is now sinking into my head. As we go further South, I did not sleep and watch over my window while heading to Albay. From Naga City, it took another 3-4 hours before I soundly arrive in Daraga City. The old Provincial Capital, in the middle of the night standing on a higher ground was the Daraga Church. The busy street of Daraga makes me want to go for a 5 minute walk.

 

Bed in Magayon Hotel in Legazpi Albay

 

I asked around on how to get to Legazpi City, 24 hours jeepney transportation is rotating in the entire city. After my walk, I ride to Legazpi to look for an inn to stay for 2 days. The streets are quiet and clean, smoking is prohibited in most part of the city. As I took off from the jeep, I walk around to check for my hotel. It was a sudden halt to know that the hotel where I am about to stay is no longer in service due to renovations so I need to find a new place to stay in.

 

Me in Embarcadero Legazpi City

 

Equipped with hotels listing, I walk around to find the cheapest decent inn I can get. I enter a nice hotel but their fan room is fully booked that night. Still on foot, I reached Magayon Hotel. There are few fan rooms available so I settle the booking and got my keys. Magayon Hotel Fan Room cost Php 200.00 per night! CHEAP DEAL ALERT! Common CR for the toilet and bath. A nice little room with cable tv, fan, single bed and pillow. It doesn’t have sheets, good thing I bought my sleeping bag with me. A must have for SOLO TRAVELERS.

  

I took a bath after that 12 hours trip, change and out for dinner. I ride tricycle to Embacadero de Legazpi for Php 25.00. I thought the place will be livelier since its arcade center for pubs and restaurant. To my dismay, most of the restaurant stop taking orders. One bar open with local band performing, I passed because I don’t even drink. I walked out Embarcadero back to the main city, I went to a street in front of a construction site for SM Legazpi. I saw kiosks selling food so I did not hesitate, took my seat and ordered chicken / chicken intestine barbeque, rice and soda for my dinner. The kind vendor gave extra rice because they were about to closed

   

Ihaw-ihaw in Legazpi Street

Day Zero ended peacefully with rain pours in my head as I walk back to my hotel. I decide to put myself in slumber at 1130. Tomorrow will be the start kicker of my adventures in BICOLANDIA!!

  

Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

The Kuripot Backpacker: I WHIP my SHOESTRING TRAVELS

“Adventure doesn’t have price, it has grand memories to share and to remember. The most unforgettable experiences are always PRICELESS”

– Fakir

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Features: Budgeting, Financing, Cheap Deal Alert and Traveling in Shoestring Expense.

Most people I know are asking me if my job or writing pays well that I can go to expedition. Traveling is being connoted as expensive hobby. Only for the people who are rich and have the time to spend on going out instead of committing themselves to their day job. I think its a wrong manifestation, I believe that anyone can go out and escape from the town under low budget. I am very stingy when it comes to financing my climbs, backpacking and most of my camping trips. Massive research of places, calculating the risk and the expenses will be the main subject of the trips I have.

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Mt Arayat Traverse Repeat Climb under Php 1000 budget from Manila

Splurging if its a dream travel or trimming down the cost depending of my money’s ability. I spend time calculating several times, weeks before my trips before deciding on touring. The usage of internet will serve as an advantage to your travel ideas. The cheapest climb I ever had is day hiking in Mt Tagapo in Binangonan, Rizal that cost me Php 250.00 with 5 pax on the group. We hire a guide and it was near my place. Traveling doesn’t mean going on a plane ride, nor hopping in for a butt numbing road trip. If you like doing something you wanted to do, plan ahead and you will get there soon.

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The Camiguin Island Experience under Php 2000 budget from Cagayan de Oro

The cheapest backpacking trip I had is my Albay-Sorsogon trip which cost me less than Php 4000.00. Going solo is not as expensive as you read out from articles and travel blogs. I love what I am doing that is the reason why I plan based on my pocket’s ability. Sometimes, fortunate events will be given to you in the most uncanny situation like what happened to me in Sorsogon.

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Masasa Beach in Tingloy Batangas under Php 1000 budget from Manila

I take advantage to plane ticket sale or buying ticket that won’t be used. I went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, my friend’s boyfriend is unable to attend the trip. They sell the ticket for Php1000.00, room share for Php 300.00 per night and cutting the expense by touring with group packages. I take advantages of the offer that come across, quickly deciding if its a good buy or not. Palawan will always be a worthy purchase after all. Hehe.

Burot Beach in Calatagan Batangas under Php 1000 trip from Manila

The large body of water in the Philippines will make you crave for endless summer. Going to the beach is fascinating, best way to relax and get away from the busy streets of the city. Go on a beachineering trip of your life. I spend less than Php 1000.00 going to Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas because I want to try camping in the beach. The ever solitary life I have, beach trip alone but I never had a dull moment with myself. I always find amusing things to do with my limited budget.

Lignon Hill in Legazpi Albay during my Albay-Sorsogon Trip under Php 4000 budget

I joined travel agencies for my Ilocos Trip for Php 3800.00 in 2014 which include the entire tour, van service and accommodation. I just brought my pocket money for food, souvenir and entertainment. My trip to Banaue-Sagada is also booked via touring agency which cost Php 3300.00 for 3 days and 2 nights with tour, spelunking, trek to the falls, van service and accommodation. First time in Baler cost me Php 2300 in 2014 for 2 days and night, returning trip only cost me Php 1500.00 for DIY itinerary and birthday treat of a friend. Those barkada package can give you the ultimate adventure of your life and memories to share with your friends. Drag them along with you or join as solo. Regardless, a trip is still a trip even if you hire someone to deal with the itinerary.

Nagsasa Beach in San Antonio Zambales under Php 1500 budget

 

If you don’t have the money to spend with mountaineering gears or equipment. Find a group who would likely lend you their gears for you to experience hiking at its best. You can always find someone who is willing to help a friend to full fill their life long dream to travel. There are ways if you know someone who do something that make you want to try. This world is limited if you allow yourself to put an end to something you never tried to start with. I am once a dreamer, never believe that I can go to the places I went to. But I overcome the fear and at the present time I am enjoy writing about the travels of my life.

Cagsawa Ruin in Albay, still part of my Albay-Sorsogon Trip under Php 4000 budget

If you want to travel, pack your bags, plan your trip and go elsewhere. Buy the cheapest ticket you can get, travel at least once a year. Get out your safe zone and explore the world. If you will save Php 20.00 per day for all the weekdays of the year, you will have Php 4800.00 that you can used to an adventure that will be kept for life. There are several agencies that offer cheap deals. Explore the world, treasure the memories and mind you that traveling is not always for the rich people. It is for everyone, just plan and budget it depending on your trip.

Escapade in Underground River Tour under Php 7000 budget for 3 days and 2 nights in Palawan

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 Make friends along the way or be with your family. Cut the splurge by being a cowboy who can sleep in a tent, couch or a cheap hostel. You will not sleep in your tour, you need to walk to see all the sight seeing places, run if your catching time and take a nap on that long road trip. If you have the money to spend buying a new gadget or expensive food. Don’t reason out that traveling are for people who have more money than you do. This is the best time to start exploring. When it comes to traveling there are no poor people, old, no gender. We all have the extra time, money to spend (no matter how little your funds) and places to go.

Tukuran Falls in Oriental Mindoro under Php 3000 budget for Manila-Puerto Galera Mindoro Weekend Getaway

Please feel free to asked me on saving money for my trips or how I funds my trips efficiently. Comment below or contact me on my email!!

Maculot Rockies Photo under my Php 1500 Manabu-Maculot Climb

See you again PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Bukidnon: Whirlwind Romance in Dahilayan Adventure Park

“Go to places you wanted to go. This time no excuses allowed” – Fakir

Dahilayan Adventure Park Tickets

Dahilayan Adventure Park Tickets

Features: Dahilayan Adventure Park in Manolo Fortich (Longest Zip Line in Asia, Base Jump and Drop Zone

Part 3 of our Cagayan de Oro – Camiguin – Bukidnon Backpacking Trip: Beast Mode Itinerary

Running with heavy load on our backs we reached Agora Terminal in Cagayan De Oro City around 1300. Dahilyan Park will close at 1600. The time constraints made us decide to cancel the trip. Truly saddened me, this Park is included on my lifetime bucket list. Arriving in the terminal made the decision worst. Again, haggling for taxi ride to Manolo Fortich was difficult because the porters are maddening me enough. I let my sister do the talk, I am fidgeting, starving to death and weary that we might not be able to reach Bukidnon in time.

Safety harness for the shorter Zip Lines

Safety harness for the shorter Zip Lines

We were able to close the taxi deal for Php 1200.00 for the three of us. Settled and secured by the driver that we will be able to travel in one hour. This will be the most unsettling taxi ride of my life. I don’t want to get mad but…. First, we need gas for the vehicle to run, it took 10 minutes to refuel. Second, the driver don’t know the way to Dahilayan Park in which he need to stop and asked around. Third, there is no TRAFFIC and the car is running around 20-40 kph. It took a lot of toll to keep concentrating and praying that we will make it under these circumstances.

The sweaty and scared cat

The sweaty and scared cat

Selfie on 800m Zip Jump Off

Selfie on 800m Zip Jump Off

Heaven granted our wish, we made it before the park closure. The idea of chasing something and might missed the chance to be with something that you wanted for a long time will actually kill you softly. The stress washed out after arriving at 1430. I still enjoy the view of the Kitanglad Mountain Range and the Pineapple plantation on our way. Even though I am worried sick of the entire road trip. LIFE IS WONDERFUL!!

800m Jump Off

800m Jump Off

Gates are still open, we were able to get our tickets to try all the amazing killer amusement on this Park. I selected the ZipZone Zip Challenge Package for Php 1200 which includes 800m, 320m and 120m zip lines. Also includes the Base Jump and Drop Zone. The weather in Manolo Fortich is comparable to Tagaytay. It was cool and breezy. Pine Trees all around the place and it was the right place to chill. We need to finish all the “ride” in 1 hour and 30 minutes. The feeling of wanting to puke lingers for a while.

This is the view when you do the ZIP

This is the view when you do the ZIP

First to try, longest zip line in Asia. We ride the multicab going to the highest point of the park. Zigzag and off the pavement road make all of us shiver. I can feel the relentless nervousness of my sister Bakeks and her love team Chris. Sweaty palms and chills on our spine. Were all geared up to FLY.

THE WHOLE NEW WORLD Feeling

THE WHOLE NEW WORLD Feeling

We came across a group of 5 so I decided to partner up with one of them (flying with stranger) LOL!! Bakeks and Chris are my ever travel buddies, we started this in 2012. As precautionary measure by this couple, I am always the guinea pig. To jump in a cliff, to dive, to swim the dark murky water, to eat the exotic delicacy, to parasail, to goof around and to zip! Grab by one of the staff, as they connect me to the WIRE. They just toss me and then I AM FREAKING FLYING. I am singing in my mind “A WHOLE NEW WORLD”. Its one of the most amazing things I’ve done in my life. It was rejuvenating and I THANK THIS UNIVERSE for giving us the beauty of the Kitanglad Range. The experience that I will treasure the most. Absolutely AWESOME TO LIVE THIS LIFE!!!

800m Zip Line Drop Off

800m Zip Line Drop Off

Next in line, The Base Jump. A 8-storey structure built near the entrance, equipped with helmet and harness. We climbed the stairs and reached the “jump off”. Literally to jump before 8 storey, height and determination. I can feel my knees were oddly shaking when we reach the start. I can do it without hesitation and I can feel my own NERVES! HAHA! My sister is about to die, her hands are cold as ice and here lips were BLUE. I ask her if she wanted me to go first but I was very proud of her that she decided to go FIRST. It was brave of her to try the deal before me. She was ready to jump in three, two, one. But, she decided she can’t do it so she asked the staff to push her instead. She doesn’t want to jump because she feels like killing herself. After her inner turmoil, its my turn to jump off. I can feel the sweat running inside my jacket, my underarms are really SWEATY due to nervousness. I want to end it so after the rope is pulled up, I was connected. In THREE, TWO, ONE. JUMP FOR LOVE!!

Base Jump Tower

Base Jump Tower

Base Jump Video Jei

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It was exhausting me mad but the beat of adrenaline gives me additional energy to move on our next adventure. The Base Jump gave me the power to attempt more extreme amusement like sky diving and bungee jumping. Next will be the shorter zip lines, the 320m and 180m. In a seated position, I made a selfie video doing these zips. They are fun enough that you will want to laugh all the way. I am pretty much having fun in here. This will be one of the best park I ever gone into. Coming here all the way from Manila was the best trip decision I ever made in my entire travel career!!

Bakeks Base Jump

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We are all in the mood to be joyful after those fascinating zip lines. We went to the Drop Zone area to end our day. You can ride solo or dual, so me and my sister tag along for this ride. The DROP ZONE facility was made in the middle of a coy fish pond. HOW MESMERIZING! You can feed the fish while waiting. There were 2 groups ahead of us, the group who is trying the drop is now in different warp zone. Ahaha! Screaming their lungs out before the wires which pull them higher and higher. As I write this, my hands started to sweat because I remember the feeling of being pulled meter by meter from the ground. To our surprise, the rider will be the one who is going to pull the TRIGGER to swing you down. TOUGH ORDEAL!!

We deserve this POSE

We deserve this POSE

The group ahead of us are actually on the fainting stage. I feel good about it, I don’t have acrophobia I love going to higher places, I hike 16 mountains and I trek highest point on every city I visited. I love being at the top, it seems like presenting the beauty of the world. The appreciation and the thrill of going up is like flying even humans don’t have wings. It was our turn, Bakeks hands were cold, blue lips and weak knees. I feel incoherently sane, the lasting feeling excitement is dwelling very well with my nerves. Geared up and safely connected to be a HUMAN PENDULUM.

Drop Zone Video

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Slowly moving up, the water seems to get far away until we reached the high-end. So I was the one assign to pull the TRIGGER TO SWING. Briefed by the staff about the guidelines and precautions. We were now seeing the lush pines and greens while being hang in between wires and ropes. The staff counted, 1….. 2….. 3….. PULL!!!!!! First attempt was not a success because it was hard to pull. My sister is breaking sweat and I’m deafened by her shout. I actually forgot to shout because I can hear the buzzing sound on my ear due to her screams. Hehe! After trying 3 times. CHAAAARAAANN! Damn that dive!! We dive into the ground almost 180 degrees which caught my breath, I forgot to scream again! Ahahaha! After plummeted down, swing to the right. Then swing backward, I was able to pull out that SHRIEKED I deserve!! It was a good 2 minutes of being a HUMAN SWING.

We SURVIVED Drop Zone!!

We SURVIVED Drop Zone!!

CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!

Successfully finishing all our rides before 1600, we walk back to the entrance. Still full with adrenaline, I was calm by the halumigmig (mist) from the pine trees. I deserve the walk in silence and feel the scene. This time, the feeling of WISH YOU WERE HERE already vanished from my system. All I can think about is the next travel I will have across this beautiful land. Someday, across the whole world. I have a DREAM, that dream is coming true. I graduated from the EMPTINESS OF TRAVELS. Evolve into someone who want A LIFE EXPANDED by experience. I was glad for this trip, this made me want to visit more provinces. With or without companion. The SEARCH FOR MY SOUL is over. I found my soul lingering to the happiness of being a travel maniac.

How to be a Human Swing

How to be a Human Swing

Indulging with these extreme rides is over. We went to DAHILAYAN FOREST PARK to try the LUGE but it’s already closed at 1630. So we decide to go back to Cagayan de Oro. We haven’t eaten yet a good decent meal coming from Camiguin Island so we are all starving. We reached Agora Terminal CDO around 1800, check-in online via Cebu Pacific website to save time checking in manually in the airport. After getting our print out, we head to POLDO’S LECHON for our combined breakfast/lunch/dinner meal. Taxi from Agora to Poldo’s took 10-15 minutes for Php 80.00.

Groupie in Base Jump

Groupie in Base Jump

The smells of cooked meal made my mouth water. I want to eat and drink, we ordered ½ kilo of lechon. BTW, Sarsa/Mang Tomas/Liver Sauce is not available here to our dismay. Unlike in Luzon, Lechon and Sarsa have the best relationship. Here, you need to dip that crispy lechon skin in soy sauce and vinegar. I will bring Mang Tomas when I travel in Mindanao next time. HEHEHE

Dahilayan Adventure Part Pines and Me

Dahilayan Adventure Part Pines and Me

The scent of Pine Trees

The scent of Pine Trees

After our meal, we head back to Agora via Public Jeepney for Php 7.00. Then duct in a SUV to Laguindingan Airport for our 2140 flight to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Van fare cost Php 120.00, again after haggling to the driver and bunch of porters. We reached the airport in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Another delayed flight due to air traffic, 3 hours delay this time. I got my sarong and sleep in the passenger area, too tired to get stress from delayed flight. We reached NAIA around 0100, took taxi to Victory Liner for Bakeks and Chris last ordeal and head back to Pampanga. As for me, I ride a jeepney to Baclaran, catch the Bus to Shaw then catch a Jeepney to Pasig. Arriving safe in my apartment, this trip is now gone.

Beast Mode Itinerary DONE!!

Beast Mode Itinerary DONE!!

This shall end our CAGAYAN DE ORO – CAMIGUIN – BUKIDNON TRIP.

SO LONG PIRATES!!!

Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio and Jereca Custodio Copy Right

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Mt Binacayan and Mt Pamitinan: TWINNING CLIMB

“The SWEEPER on mountain trail is responsible that no one is LEFT BEHIND. The STRONGEST and the TACTICIAN”

Stare all the way down at the top of Mt Pamitinan Peak

Stare all the way down at the top of Mt Pamitinan Peak

Left to assist the weak and making sure that everyone on the hiking group are in line with the itinerary. The sweeper is a leader which aids those who have lesser physical power because in the trail, no once should fall behind regardless of time constraint.

The Seafarer and the Step Crawlers!

The Seafarer and the Step Crawlers!

I have nowhere to go. I want to climb and hike this weekend but most of my friends are not into the mountains. My trail friends have different schedules, rest days or just busy. I’ve got nowhere to go. Surfing the internet makes me dumb, too much running makes me ill and staying in my apartment kills the hell out me. I want to go out but nowhere to go. Bumping to a friend in facebook about their schedule climb, I immediately jump into my usual impulsiveness and join their group for this twin hike.

the Trail Life like no other. Mt Binacayan diversity

the Trail Life like no other. Mt Binacayan diversity

It was very unusual for me to start the climb on a Sunday morning. I usually go out of the city every Friday or a Saturday. I feel dumb and shit for days now, losing the will to continue my workouts, my runs and my family. Affected by some sort of personal decision and wasted energy, I want to climb to feel the never-ending happiness. That FEELS though. I cramming with my life, as an idiot, I need to settle my education, finances and my freaking life. But for today, I will climb and make new friends out of it.

Parkour plus Hiking is equals to this selfie. DISCLAIMER: Mike is a Pro Parkour Enthusiast

Parkour plus Hiking is equals to this selfie. DISCLAIMER: Mike is a Pro Parkour Enthusiast

The edge of the world. (Not really extreme, angle shot)

The edge of the world. (Not really extreme, angle shot)

After contacting my friend from previous work, decided to join their climb. I was too eager that I woke up midnight of Sunday even though the call time is around 0400. I was too early. HEHE. I packed my things, chugged all the water at home, left early and eat all the energy. From Pasig to Cubao, I ducked in and ate my big breakfast. I went to Jolibee Farmers, then wrong branch, went to the correct one in the Mall.

Mt Binacayan Rockies Trail

Mt Binacayan Rockies Trail

I met the Gang, introduce my babbler shit out of me and tried to mingle. I do no longer want to be the HATE person I was. I want to be nice to this trail people. I remember my trail gang, Balanghai G and Yapak. It makes me sad not to be with them. It was my first time to hike with other group. I miss the team spirit and the excitement that caters a hiking day.

Bold Boulders of Binacayan Trail

Bold Boulders of Binacayan Trail

We were able to hopped into our FX to Wawa Montalban, renting the entire PUV up to the DENR building. I met Kuya Albert again (The Hugot Guide), I want him to guide us through. I’ve known him from my previous venture in the Rodriguez Range, Mt Hapunang Banoi day hike. We wait for a couple of minutes for our last pair of guest climbers, registered in DENR and barangay hall. Morning in Rodroguez is nostalgic, the dew from the forest makes the trail wet and muddy. At last jump off, killer pavement jump off.

Unlimited Rock Formation in Mt Binacayan

Unlimited Rock Formation in Mt Binacayan

I wasted energy by talking so much. Sorry guys, I just missed talking to a person. I had my walls, pc and keyboard for a long time. The HAKBANGGAPANGHAGPANG troupe made their way, hitting Mt Binacayan. The pavement road which is part of the trail kick me into my gut. Sweat is pouring all over my body after 10 minutes of climb until we reach the muddy uphill trail. So this is it. This is the world I currently committed with.

Jeimanlalayag meets HakbangGapangHakpang Gang

Jeimanlalayag meets HakbangGapangHakpang Gang

The slimy mud makes the trail difficult to trek. We don’t have the usual pep talk, LNT advise, the prayer or the group warm up. Maybe, I miss the old day but they are now long gone. Moving forward, after catching up with the mud track, we reach the boulder part. I am not particular with boulder and rockies. I am the sandy, dusty and dry hiker. I want dry ground from the surface rather that sedimentary rocks and stones. I feel like touching the rocks will break them into dust and it makes me sentimental when I feel like destroying something from nature.

Anyway, the rockies trail is still magnificent. This trail was open a year ago, one of the mainstream peaks because its near Metro Manila, 3/9 difficulty and the summit is glorious. The scenic view from the boulders is really enticing, no wonder hikers from all over the place are running through the trails of Rodriguez. We were able to complete the journey to the summit after 2-3 hours of trekking, endless selfies and human traffic. The rocks are sharps, it will be best to wear gloves, shoes, long pants and long sleeves to avoid getting scratches or serious wounds. The summit view is worthy and thus we descend are way back to start a brand new trail.

The Summit of Mt Binacayan

The Summit of Mt Binacayan

We started to trek around 0630. We managed to go down around 1200, rest, lunch time, videoke??! and rest room time. It was Sunday but the place is full with other groups, trails were jam-packed. People from different part of the region were here to explore the 4 open trails in Barangay Wawa: Mt Ayaas, Mt Hapunang Banoi, Mt Pamitinan and Mt Binacayan. Other newly open trails for Rodriguez notably from pinoymountaineer.com itinerary, Mt Lubog and Mt Sipit Ulang. I managed to trek Mt Ayaas and Mt Hapunang Banoi on previous occasions which I haven’t yet reviewed. I will review them once I got the inspiration and some sort of will power to arrange! Sorry!

Get dirty and rowdy!

Get dirty and rowdy!

Mt Pamitinan View from its Rockies Trail

Mt Pamitinan View from its Rockies Trail

So after relaxing for a bit, we decide to continue the trek to our second mountain for the day. Mt. Pamitinan, even though our guide gave us warning that many hikers were still up there and trail traffic was linger. Feeling STRONG and EMOTIONAL, only 5 out of 11 from the group decide to continue. Still feeling beat, I mentally struggle because the heat of the sun suffocates me.

Mt Pamitinan: Peak 1

Mt Pamitinan: Peak 1

My ultimate weakness when it comes to hiking is the heat and humidity. It builds up from my lungs down to my legs. Heavy breathing, I feel like melting slowly to the ground. I became weary that I am being left behind, this time pacing is really slow. I can feel my sticky cold sweat from my head down to my back. I need cold wind to pacify the vertigo otherwise I might collapse any time.

Twin Hike Trail View as we Ascend with Power

Twin Hike Trail View as we Ascend with Power

Pamitina Peak One Shoe Photo OP!

Pamitina Peak One Shoe Photo OP!

The trail for Mt Pamitinan is familiar because this is also the jump off for Mt Hapunang Banoi. Since, I aware of the trail. I also know the difficulty for the first 30 minutes. It was tiring, 30 minutes of muddy assault. On this journey, I learn that discontinuing my physical fitness training actually loosen my legs and lungs capability. I promised that once I’m back to the city, I will regain my power and strength. I don’t want to feel weak again. In which I did. While writing this review, I manage to increase my mileage when it comes to running, cross training with biking, indulging to swimming and strengthening my core.

Mt Pamitinan Summit

Mt Pamitinan Summit

Our guide is right, there were several hikers on the junction box. We were able to encounter 5-7 groups going down to their next mountain, resting or really wanted to go home! Reaching the junction trail to Pamitinan and Hapunang Banoi, there were other groups resting because trekking up or down. We also rested for a bit. We were out of itinerary so it we need to hurry before the sun sets down. Around 1500 we trail up to the summit. The rockies started again which slows us down, its a WAY TICKET TO THE SUMMIT. Another group of hikers were going down, we need to stop and give way and vice versa. So it took us a little bit of time before reaching the 1st peak.

"Sit down and enjoy the view"

“Sit down and enjoy the view”

The is also spectacular. Dreamy. It smells SUCCESS. Its LOVE. Its HOPE. Yeah, I was the relentless broken soul and heart. Cutting my crap out, we were able to reach our 2nd Peak in no time, after waiting 10-20 minutes before the group ahead of us went down. The Summit can only accommodate 5-10 persons otherwise, in excess of the number will fall off the cliff. LOL! Never mind the hundred selfies, I was worn out and haggard!!

 Success is BETTER on GREATER HEIGHTS


Success is BETTER on GREATER HEIGHTS

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Time checks 1600: time to trail down. The wind came from the west, breezy and bringing dark clouds. Then, it started to rain. We slowed down due to the group which is ahead of us. As a courtesy when it comes to hiking, climbers should give way to those who have faster pacing. We need to acknowledge the fact that hiking is not a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis.

Thumbs Up for this DAY!

Thumbs Up for this DAY!

If a person have a greater strength, you need to allow them first and make them ADVANCE either trailing up or down. DONT BE A NUISANCE to other hikers. Anyway, we were able to advance further. Rain water washed out all the thirst I had. It’s almost zero visibility on the trail head. We reach the foot bridge from the jump off around 1730. It’s still raining hard due to thunderstorm but we don’t mind because we were able to finish damn hike.

The Marikina River

The Marikina River

The FEELS of twinning climb is really unbearable happiness. I realize that hiking still make wonders on my soul-searching heart. I just love the mountains. The view from the above. The refreshing terrain. The adventure. The life.

Day hike using a long back pack.

Day hike using a long back pack.

Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Albay Tour: Day One in Bicol

“Create memories with random people in random places.”

  • Fakir

Albay – Sorsogon Solo Bicol Itinerary

Features: Daraga Church, Cagsawa Ruins, Kawa-kawa Hills in Ligao City, Bigg’s Diner, Lignon Hills, 1st Colonial Grill and Legazpi City

Supposed to be Mt Mayon View

Supposed to be Mt Mayon View

I woke up feeling happy from a good night sleep. Call time 0430, refresh from my slumber. The Mayon’s Peak is resting behind clouds from the window of Magayon Hotel. The sullen dark morning sky cast on my second day in Albay. I got up, took a bath and went out. Next to the inn is a bakery (Papay Pandesal) that sells Malunggay Pandesal, I bought 5 pieces of bread and head to a Carinderia in front of the hotel. I need to eat before starting my day, ordered Pansit Bato for Php10.00 per plate and instant coffee for Php10.00. After digging my simple meal, I arrange my pack then the rain pours outside for 15-20 minutes before heading out.

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Pansit Bato, Malunggay Pandesal and 3 in 1 coffee

Pansit Bato, Malunggay Pandesal and 3 in 1 coffee

I ride a jeepney to Daraga for Php 10.00, from the market to Daraga church I walk. The old church was a replica of Cagsawa Church which was smashed by volcanic eruption of Mayon. The Daraga Church stands proud and mighty in a higher ground casting PRIDE all over Albay. I can imagine Mayon’s Peak if only the sun shines brightly. The clouds still hide the magnificent perfect cone of Mayon so I settle myself getting photos of the church. I arrived here while a funeral mass is being held. It was awkward to take photos while people around me were mourning. RAIN AND FUNERAL STARTED MY DAY.

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Daraga Church Facade

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Whenever I visited a church, I leave a wish for my family or for a friend. I bought coffee while waiting for the mass to be finished. I saw several touring groups, off-peak season trip could be enjoyable if you do not want heads on your photos or wanted to have a quiet trip. Sipping coffee over the view deck of Daraga Church made me want to write more about my travels. Getting all the photos I wanted, I set foot to my next destination.

Daraga Church

Daraga Church

Cagsawa Church Ruins. I ride a jeepney to Ligao City from Daraga for Php 8.00. It was Saturday so the municipal office is closed, I asked around and was able to get proper transportation information from a local. The driver and co-passengers were too helpful to assist me on my tour. The jeepney driver drop me off in Cagsawa, I ride a tricycle together with a couple, fare Php 8.00. WALK INSTEAD OF TAKING THE TRICYLCE, it will only take you 5-10 minutes to get you there. I arrive in the RUINS, still no sign on the Mayon Peak.

Cagsawa Ruin in a Cloudy Day

Cagsawa Ruin in a Cloudy Day

Registration fee cost nothing but you can donate. I took several photos, guides are offering ATV rides and trick shots. I was not interested with ATV ride because rain started to pour. So I enjoy taking photos and my SILI (Chilli) Shake. Sili Shake cost Php 55.00 and bought a souvenir shirt for Php 200.00. Souvenir shops are available in Cagsawa, after taking my photos I decided to move on to my next trip.

Trick Shot in Cagsawa Ruins

Chili nd Mango Shake

Chili and Mango Shake

Ligao City. From Cagsawa it will take 45 minutes – 1 hour to Kawa-Kawa Hills. Kawa means Cauldron, from the top it looks like a giant kitchen pot. I drop off from the jeepney ride, take tricycle for Php 8.00 and hike up to the hills. It still cloudy and cool enough. Kawa-kawa hills famous for its sunflowers which blooms every March or summer. Since I travel in July, unfortunately NO SUNFLOWERS.

Cagsawa Ruins Bell Tower

Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao City

Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao City

I hike up and finished the station of the cross, made my wish after lighting my wish candles. I wish for someone’s father to heal and a good health for me this year. The pavement path is built for people, this place is often visited during the Holy Week in which statues based on the station of the cross were built. After the trek, I have sili ice cream for Php 10.00, a touring family asked me questions about my solo trip. They were amazed that someone can travel alone. Hehe

One of the Stations of the Cross in Kawa Kawa Hills

Inside the Kawa Kawa Hills

As I walk back from Kawa-kawa Hills, I saw a tourism center which was a Project of the late Jessie Robredo. I got free leaflets about Albay tourist destinations. Then, take the tricycle to the highway for Php 8.00. From Ligao City, I went back to Daraga (jeepney fare Php 40.00). I slept for a good 30 minutes, drop in Bigg’s Diner in Daraga for lunch. Bigg’s Diner is Bicolano’s famous fast food chain. Their cheeseburger is meaty with dripping cheese on it. I enjoy their crispy fried chicken. It’s the usual diner in a cozy interior. The meal cost me Php 168.00.

View at the top of Kawa Kawa Hills

View at the top of Kawa Kawa Hills

Dirty Chili Ice Cream

Dirty Chili Ice Cream

After lunch, I went ahead to my final trip. LIGNON HILL, I took jeepney for Php 11.00. It takes 10-15 minutes from Daraga to Lignon Hills. I trek up from the jump-off (Department of Education Bicol). It will take a good 30 minutes – 1 hour way up to Lignon Hills. Registration fee cost Php 20.00, then you can try their zip lines. I did not take it because I got tired. I just want to feel the view. There is no sign of Mayon’s Peak after whole day of waiting. I am still grateful that I manage to come along here and enjoy my day trip in Albay.

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I welcome myself at Lignon Hill

I went back to Magayon Hills to freshen up and have dinner. I decide to dine in First Colonial Grill which is famous for their original Sili Ice Cream. I ordered Bicol Express and rice which boils inside my mouth. If you are not fan of spicy food, Bicol Express is definitely not for you. Sili ice cream have 3 levels of spiciness. I selected Level 3, to my surprise it was very good until the cold melted into your mouth. The chili flavored will kicked in and it feels like betrayal. LOL. Dining in the elegant restaurant that can cost you Php 300-500. This meal cost me Php 368.00.

Path to Lignon Hill

Lonely at Lignon Hill because I did not see Mt Mayon

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Lignon Hill. Background is the Aiport Runway

My sumptuous meal made me want to rest. Since, night life in Albay is not like in Cebu or Manila. I went back to my room in Magayon Hotel. A friend from Sorsogon, message me about my trip. She suggested to me to visit her in her hometown. I agreed because my Day 3 is bound for Sorsogon for some beach loving. Initially, I wanted to go back in Naga City, to try wake boarding but going further South is definitely a good idea. I ended the night with a warm smile and prayed for good weather.

Original Chili Ice Cream at 1st Colonial Grill

One of the famous fine dining restaurants in Albay

Sorsogon Trip Review will be next!

SO LONG PIRATES!!

Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.