Day 5: The Grand Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan Enchanted River

“Start the day with breathing life in and exhaling all the worries away”

– Fakir

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Features: Tinuy-An Falls, Bislig City, Hinatuan, Enchanted River, Habal-habal Tour, Surigao del Sur

I woke up heaving with excitement for my 5th day here in Mindanao. Everything I do here makes me feel the utmost freedom I wanted in life. The day will be as amazing as the previous days. I continuously fall in love with this place. After having my breakfast, I called my guide to start my day in Tinuy-An Falls. I read from other blogs that you need to go there early in the morning to catch the rainbow so I decide to go there around 0600. Bislig air is refreshing as Siargao Island. It’s a quiet place and very peaceful.

My guide fetch me at 0615, we started the trip to Tinuy-An Falls. From the main road going to the falls will be a rough drive. It will be a 30 minutes bumpy ride. Road blocks, mud and stone path will welcome you. We arrived around 0700, I am the first tourist of the day. I guess I was too early. I paid the entrance fee for Php 20.00. You can explore the place, swim if you like and get all the pictures you want. My first impression, I was overwhelmed by the grand falls in front of me. Pictures don’t give justice to the beautiful fall in front me. The Tinuy-An falls is very high and the curtains of water gives refreshing treat to the guest.

So at this point of time, Pryde (my camera) decides to kill its manual mode. HAHAHA : ( It was busted for some reason so I decide to get my pictures using my ipad and action camera. Still hopes high and enough cameras to cover my trips, I proceed in exploring the falls area. The Manobo tribes are the land lords so they will your guide if you want to check out the upper curtains of the falls. My guide is as quiet as I am as we go further up. There is a man-made stairs that will help you climb. Kuya guide is very kind to help me when we reach the slippery area. The cold splashes from the falls give me the refreshing feeling.

I reached the upper part of the falls, then swim in the ice cold water. The view was as fascinating as you view it below. Getting into high places relieve my addiction to adrenaline. It seems like all the issues in my life wash away by any scenic landscape in front of me. The love for adventure will definitely continue for as long as I can climb and hike and travel and walk and love this life. Tinuy-An Falls is a beauty you cannot see from its photos. It speaks more glamour in real life than check it out from the photos. It’s too dreamy to capture. To pretty to catch. Too real to get. These are my feelings as I view the wonders of the area. Really cool! Returning back to the main road after the trip, you need to ride into the Tribal Habal-habal which is actually part of the ordinance set in Bislig since they are the landlords of the area.

I made new colleagues all the way from Siargao Island. Upon embarking my way to Enchanted River, Jel’s friend from the DIY is also in Bislig for the same tour. I was just too early and unable to check that she messaged me several times for us to cut the cost of the habal-habal. Sometimes being too early can missed cheap opportunities. So, we fetch Grace from her inn and proceed to Hinatuan. We manage to cut the cost from Php 1000.00 to Php 700.00 which is still a good price. The motorcycle ride to Hinatuan is not a joke; another butt numbing trip for 45 minutes on a endless highway starts again.

We arrived at Enchanted River around 1000, registration fee Php 50.00 and you can explore the entire area which currently manage by the local government. At first glance, I am not as fascinated towards the River. It’s way different from the pictures shown in the internet. The turquoise color is gone and the deep blue abyss is not there. A bit disappointed but our guide said it’s currently not good to look because its high tide. Even the water taste a little bit salty. Since its high tide, river water meets the sea which is the reason why it’s a bit salty. Going here made me sweaty so I take the opportunity to dip into the cold relaxing water.

My high school friend Nilo was here when he globetrot Philippines for his work. I saw several of his photos from here so this made me decide to include Enchanted River as part of my Mindanao backpacking trip. I am a good swimmer but never a good diving. Taking my underwater photos gave me a hard time. This is part of the disadvantage of backpacking alone. No one will take your damn pictures. Good thing someone invented a timer for cameras. Whoever you are, thank you.

We waited for the fish feeding program in Hinatuan which starts at 1200. Grace got a really good spot at the upper portion and I got one on the lower portion. The staff feed the fishes for the next 15 minutes with background music. After the gig, we decide to go back to Bislig for Grace to take her Tinuy-an Falls trip and me to ready my pack. It was a quick day tour for both Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan. I cleaned up back to the hotel and ready my bags to Davao City. I ate roasted chicken for lunch which cost me Php 120.00 with drinks and rice.

I waited for Grace and we hopped into Bachelor Bus bound to Davao City, fare cost Php 300.00 for ordinary bus. The February wind is like a lullaby as we begin our journey. The road trip started around 1700, as we view Banana Plantation and endless greens of Mindanao. This time of my life really change my perspective about travelling this beautiful country. Its broaden my mind and views as we passed by the town after town. There are several bus stops for break and dinner time. As the night time crossed the sky line, I fell asleep and when I woke up we were in Davao Ecoland Terminal. The entire transfer took us 7 hours and it’s worthy. We catch a tricycle to My Hotel to check in but they are fully booked. They refer us to Daylight Inn, we got our double bed fan room for Php 300.00. Same pricing to surrounding inns in Davao, our is near the famous Bankeruhan and other establishment.

Finally, I was able to set foot in the one of the safest place in the world. Tomorrow will be the time to explore Davao City. For now I need to take a rest and have the best sleep.

Touch Down 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.

Day 1: The Journey to Mindanao for 8 Days and 7 Nights

“Plan ahead, pack your bags, secure your tickets and get broke. Live the life you think you deserve.”

– Fakir

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My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Manila – Butuan City – Surigao City – Siargao Island – Bucas Grande – Surigao – Davao City – Samal Island – Davao del Norte – Davao – Manila itinerary.

Features: Manila to Butuan, Butuan to Surigao City, Golden Mile Pension Haus and Transfers

I always wanted to backpack a place I never set foot. In July 2015, I booked tickets from Manila to Butuan and Davao to Manila. I think its possible to set a thousand kilometers road trip in Butuan to Davao. Buses to Davao are all over Mindanao. I got 2 different tickets, no itinerary yet and I will deal with it at least 2-3 months before the trip. I purchase an all-in-fare ticket to Butuan for Php 625.00 and back to Manila for Php 500.00. Later I added check-in baggage for Php 224.00 each ticket to suffice my pack and equipment. Its still pretty cheap so I decide to pursue the dream and wait for 7 months.

Finally, its almost a month before the trip. I check out the timeline, initially wanted to go to Manila – Butuan – Davao – South Cotabato – Davao del Sur – Davao Del Norte – Davao City – Manila itinerary. But, I change my mind because transferring to Butuan to Davao to Lake Sebu will consume so much time. I decide to go to Siargao Island in which I found out that there are several places I could explore in Siargao for non-surfer like me. There is so much that it would cost so much. I decided to have Manila – Butuan City – Surigao City – Siargao Island – Surigao – Davao City – Samal Island – Davao del Norte – Davao – Manila itinerary.

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February 25, it was my flight to Butuan City. I am coughing out loud and caring for a flu for the past days. I went on hiking 1 week ago, prior to that went back from my Bohol trip. I was exhausted and exasperating in excitement that led me to sickness. So I pack my bags, make sure that everything on my checklist are securely put on my pack. My flight was change from 0740 to 13:25 which actually ruin my itinerary. I was supposed to tour in Butuan but decide to scratch it on the list. I went to the NAIA Terminal 3 way too early. 3 hours before the flight I landed in the airport. I thought traffic is heavy because portion of EDSA is closed because its a public holiday.

I just waited and abuse the free internet in the airport, listen to songs until my flight was called for boarding. It was a smooth flight of 1 hour to Butuan City. As I view the mountain range of Agusan, I was mesmerized and its just the start but its already worth it. I got out of Bancasi Airport, van dispatchers and travel agencies are now offering their services. I was starving; I ate in the canteen outside the airport. I order Tinolang Tuna and rice with a drink for Php 80.00. Then hop to the van going to Surigao City for Php 200.00. The original plan is taking Bachelor Bus to Surigao City but the terminal is about 5-10 minutes away from the airport. You need to walk from the airport to the highway and catch a multicab to Butuan Integrated Terminal if you want to catch the bus. Fare is almost the same or the bus is more expensive than van transfer.

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From Butuan Airport to Surigao City will take a cruel 5-6 hours travel time. The van is stopping to pick up passengers which prolong the entire trip. I slept several times, asking if we are near yet its still far. Good thing that the place is too damn beautiful where the mountain range is meeting the blue waters of the sea. I could not agree no more. It’s night time when I arrive at Surigao Integrated Terminal. Some tricycle drivers offer service from the terminal to the Centro (downtown) for Php 50.00 but I decide to take the multicab instead for Php8.00 to Vasquez Street where most inns are located. I did not booked for one so I walk in to Golden Mile Pension Hauz.

Unfortunately their fan room for Php300.00 is under construction. Then it started to rain hard so I need to take immediate shelter. I haggle for their rooms since I will be staying for a good 8 hours. From Php850.00, they gave me the air-conditioned room for Php550.00. I am exhausted and starving from the trip. I walk around, found barbeque restaurant Zouk. Order myself rice, grilled chicken wings and chicken innards with carbonated drinks for Php78.00. Dig in, pay and went back to the hotel to call it a night.

I woke up around 0400, drink coffee and some of my biscuits. I arrange my pack then left the hotel then catch the first trip to Siargao Island. I was again way too early because I am too eager to reach Siargao. I have lots of activities to do in the island. I want have fun after the road trip that doesn’t seem to end. I will right the entire Siargao Island travel on my next blog. There is more in this island that won’t fit in this entry.

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Road 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.

Mt Ulap Overnight Camp Guide




“Just live even though it’s not extraordinary’

– Fakir

Features: Mt Ulap Experience, Budget, Itinerary and Overnight Review

pine-tree-forest

Where is Mt Ulap?

The Benguet Province mountains and trail never fail to amaze our hiking group. The weather and picturesque scene make us go back from time to time. We plan our group climb a month ago and it was a huge success. Checking out blogs for overnight camping trip is hard. I want to share our experience climbing Mt Ulap. The mountain is located in between Ampucao and Sta Fe, Itogon Benguet which is 45 minutes – 1 hour away from Baguio City. Surrounded by pines trees that gives the wintry effect. Peak season is during the summer months. Hiking groups and travel agencies are all over the place throughout the year. Our climb was on September 16 – 18 2016 which is rainy season. Trail is wet and clearing is up to the weather.

back-packer

How to go here:

Buses to Baguio City are very common in Cubao and Pasay Area. We catch our bus at Victory Liner Terminal in Cubao regular bus fare for Php 450.00 and Deluxe bus for Php 750.00. Traveling from Cubao to Baguio City takes around 5 – 6 hours with stop over in Tarlac and Pangasinan.

You can take your private vehicle from Manila to Ampucao or join travel agencies at your own convenience. I checked agencies and they offer Php 1400.00 – 1800.00 per pax. It’s an all in tour with Baguio City side trip and van transfer which good for 10 – 16 pax.

My group prefer a do-it-yourself itinerary so that we can maximize our hiking time and our own budget. We have complete hiking gear like tents, camping stoves, cook wares and other climb essentials.

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Hike duration and Camping

Our climb is a bit treacherous due to the weather, light rain and fog compensate our pacing. It took us 6-7 hours before reaching the campsite. Traversing from Ampucao jump-off to Sta. Fe via Philex ridge. The trail is wet but in good condition. It’s not slippery and the view is majestic. The Pine forest is really spectacular. Going up and down within the ridge is difficult especially if you have full pack behind your back. My pack weigh around 15 – 20 kilos a little bit uncomfortable for a woman but physical training pays off. We have our rain gears like ponchos, good hiking shoes and dri-fit clothes. For rainy weather condition, technical clothes help a lot. Even though they are expensive, my shoes and clothes keeps me warm all throughout the climb.

The trail is consist of 5 segments. The ridge is commonly known as Philex Ridge but the locals want to correct it. They call it Ampucao – Sta Fe Ridge. The first segment is called Ambanao Paoay which means GREEN FIELD which is 1788 masl. Second is the infamous Gungal Rock at 1814 masl. Unfortunately due to the rain, we don’t have clearing for the spectacular view. Third will be the SUMMIT of Mt Ulap at 1846 masl, we skip the summit part and trek back the following day. From the camp site to the summit it takes around 15 – 30 minutes up. We had a clearing this time and the scene is just WOW. Upon descending, the fourth segment will be Pong-Ol Burial Caves. Last will be the Sta Fe Jump off. Traversing from Sta Fe is bit rigorous, if you have advance physical fitness then you can traverse from Sta. Fe to Ampucao. Registration is still in Ampucao Barangay Hall.

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Our guide said that the trail is different during the summer months (April – June). The entire ridge is dry with hues of green and brown. Our terrain is foggy, wet, cold and hasty. Stranger Things effect scene. Eerie and dark. Regardless, the entire hike is fun, difficult and tiring which is part of your climb experience. The Benguet trails never fail to amaze me. Climbing in a cold temperature lessen the difficulty unlike hiking during warm days. Water consumption is lesser. Well, this is me. Some people might have high tolerance over dry and hot trails.

We reach the wet and muddy camp site. The saddle camp site is in chaos of puddle and rain water so we decide to move near the sari-sari store. There are no available flat surface for us because it was weekend and full of crazy campers like us. Our guide clean up our camping ground and we manage to set our shelters. There tables and chairs available in the camp so you can comfortably eat or cook your meals. This site will be much appreciated during dry hike. We had fun even though its wet and wild.

descending-of-the-sons-of-mt-cloud

Difficulty LEVEL for me: 5/9

Budget as of Sept 2016

Cubao – Baguio City Bus Fare: Php 450.00
Victor Liner Baguio City Terminal to Central Mall Taxi: Php 51.00
Baguio City – Ampucao Jeepney Fare: Php 31.00
Guide Fee Overnight: Php 800.00 good for 8 – 10 pax (Php 400.00 Dayhike)
Camping Fee: Php 500.00 per group
Registration: Php 100.00 per pax
Porter: Php 500 for 20 kilos (add Php 50.00 per kilo)
Shower: Php 20.00 per pax
Sta Fe – Baguio City Jeepney Regular Fare: Php 50.00

Jeepney Rental from Sta Fe Jump-Off to Baguio City: Php 1000.00 good for 15-18pax (We rented PUJ going back to Baguio City because some of my hiking mates are in a hurry)
Baguio City – Cubao Bus Fare: Php 445.00

the-view-at-the-summit

Souvenirs

T-shirts: Php 200.00

Ref Magnets: Php 25.00 – 50.00

Key Chains: Php 10.00 – 200.00

Wood Trekking Pole: Php 30.00 – 200.00

OUR GROUP BUDGET FOR 8 PAX

Registration Expense: Php 2700 with porter
Camp Meals and Drinks: Php 1200
Transpo All in: 8700

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Budget per pax: 1600 – 1800

Our budget includes breakfast at Good Taste in Central Mall which is open 24/7. We complete our supplies in Baguio City Public Market. We bought ingredients for our Tinolang Manok and buttered Broccoli/Mushroom for dinner. Bought eggs, bread, coffee, spread, rice, condiments, butane gas and etc. We also bought group supplies like garbage bags, tissue, drinks and group water. The entire budget cut for Php 1200.00 which is splurge, you can cut it to Php 800.00 – 1000.00 depending on your needs.

We hire a porter because some of us are newbies in terms of camping. Porter one way cost Php 500.00, it will be your choice if you want someone to bring your packs. There are souvenir shops along the way selling shirts, ref magnets and key chains. A store/sari-sari is available in the campsite. They sell coffee, instant noodles and cold drinks. Transferring around Baguio City, we hired cab to transfer us from the Bus Terminal to Central mall for Php 51.00 which is good for 4-5 pax. We all know that taxi drivers in Baguio City are known for being nice and they give exact change. This is also included on our group budget.

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Sample Overnight Itinerary

Day 0

2200 Call Time Victory Liner Cubao
2300 ETD Manila

Day 1

0500 ETA Baguio City (Victory Liner Terminal
0515 Center Mall
0530 Breakfast at Good Taste
0630 Secure supplies in Baguio City Market
0800 ETD Central Mall
0900 ETA Ampucao Barangay Hall
0915 Register (Secure Guide and Porter)
0930 Hiking Preparation
1030 Start Trek
1330 ETA Ambanao Paoay
1530 ETA Gungal Rock
1730 ETA Camp Site
1800 Prepare Dinner
1900 Socials
2200 Lights Out

(Take 5 – 10 for 10-15 times. Hehe!)

Day 2

0600 Wake up time
0700 Prepare breakfast
0800 Trek to summit
0830 Summit
0930 Trek back to Summit
1000 Breakfast
1030 Break camp
1130 Start descend
1330 ETA Pong-Ol Burial Caves
1400 ETA Sari – sari Stores, Rest
1500 ETA Sta Fe jump – off
1530 Wash up
1630 ETD Sta Fe
1730 ETA Victory Liner Terminal
1800 ETD Baguio City
1200 ETA Manila

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You can tour around the city parks or have drinks in bars along Session Road. You can adjust your itinerary accordingly. Our itinerary is for chill and fun climb.

Credits to Katherine Joyce Villados iPhone LOL! And Mama Sarah Monterey shots.

Thank you Mapagmahal Mountaineers (Sir Al, Nolan and Bene), Yapak Mountaineers (Sarah Monterey) and Balanghai G (Gel-gel!)! Till next G! SOYA!

High five 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.

Reminiscing Puerto Princesa: The Palawan Adventure

crocs farm groupie
The wintry air of the Ber months is killing my forever summer attitude. All I want to do is to stay indoors, watch all dvds I have at home and eat while bumming out. It was November when my Gall Bladder was removed due to stone. Home bound for a month, nothing to do but to sit and wait for the wound to heal on my abdomen. After that I went back to my day work, resume my life in the city and got an invitation to explore the wonders of Palawan.
selfie with cros
Palawan is one of the province I want to visit to the beach, biodiversity, world famous under ground river and the exotic food. I got a discounted plane ticket from a friend, waited and I was bound to fall in love to the city which is so prime and sophisticated. Our flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa took about 45 minutes.
love in bakers hil
Good weather welcomes us in the city, waited for 10 minutes for the van who transfer us to our inn (Mariane Inn). Since I was an extra head for a group of 3, I only pay for the extra bed for Php 400.00 / $9.00 per night. There are many inns and hotels available in the city.
balinsasayaw sign
balin menu
We started the tour by exploring the cities finest. We lunch out in Balinsasayaw Restaurant, grilled chicken with unlimited rice for Php 99.00 / $2.00 per order. We order the infamous and pricey Bird’s Nest Soup which is actually a plain soup for me which cost Php 400.00 – 500.00 / $9.00 – 11.00 per bowl. After having the heavy meal I needed for the day.
birds nest soup
We rent a tricycle that will tour us in city. For a group of 4, we rent it for a whole day activity Php 800.00 / $18.00. Head out to Crocodile Farm, I was amazed that enormous reptiles are existing. The wonders of nature, the biggest crocs I’ve seen can eat 10-15 children. There were simply gigantic and were still. There are different types of rooms and areas for all kinds of Philippine Crocodile.
croc farm sign
crocs pictorial
crocs on water
The nursery, the adults, the picture taking area and souvenir booth you can explore. Entrance fee cost Php 50.00 / $1.50 which is good enough because the farm is very well maintain and the animals seems to be on a very good condition.
croc mouth selfie
crocs
After checking out of the farm, we head out to the Baker’s Hill. It was a free entrance park where you can view the greenish field of the city. It was a city minus the skyscrapers. I ordered their famous hopia as my pasalubong to my family and friends.
bakers hill sign'
Bakers hill view
chin in bakers hill
They have delivery as well so you can order then make them deliver it to your hotel before going back home. The hopia were killers, too tasty and too delicious I bought 15 boxes on my way back.
mitras ranch with horse
mitras ranch
We dropped by Mitra’s Ranch, again FREE entrance. It is like teleporting to Picnic Grove in an instance, you can also try their horse back riding and picture taking is a must. After the ranch gig, we went to the souvenir shops to get those mandatory I love Palawan shirts and other stuff you can buy.
mitras ranch nigh view
Price wise it was too much to spend it in Mercado and Island Souvernir but cheaper shirts are actually available in San Miguel. I bought pearls and my ref magnets in there. 50% cheaper in Mercado! You need to buy here!
kinabuch signage
crocs sisig
Buying souvenir on your first day will actually omit the rush feeling if you are going to do it on your last day. To maximize the time think the things you want to bring after experience you have in Palawan. It was an exhausting ay trip, I found myself nestled in Kinabuch’s to have dinner. The food offering is mixed culture from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao dishes. To the exotic found in the corner of this island.
kinabuch dinner
sunugba
tamilok
We ordered Crocodile Sisig which made the impression. Then, I tried fresh Tamilok (mangrove worms) in spiced vinegar. Sinugba with fish paste and steamed eggplants which captures my mouth. The mouthwatering dishes killed the night very happily. Day 1 in Palawan is another UNLOCKED ACHIEVEMENT for the Manlalayag in me!
baby crocs
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.

Burot Beach going SOLO

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View from the tricycle going to Burot Beach.

Summer is love. April is FREEDOM. It’s been a while since I went on a trip all by myself. After 3 months of long exhausting hours at work. Finally, my 5-day vacation leave was approved. 3 days before my leave I plan to go to Marinduque but because of the Storm Chedeng, all plans need to be cancelled. I settle myself finding a serene beach to accommodate my insanity. Then, there was BUROT BEACH. A day before my leave I quickly sort out my itinerary. I went to Calatagan, Batangas Philippines long time ago. It was 4 years ago, I remember the agony of the long drive during that time. I was impatient back then and traveling doesn’t suit my lazy butt.
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Me. Selfie Queen.

With lingering feeling, I exhausted searching for a perfect IT plan A, B and C leading to one of the biggest accomplishment in my life. I bought my own cook set and burner for this trip which I will use in the future for my hiking escapades. The night before I travel, I cannot sleep. Worrying all night on what to do on my first ever camping beach trip. I woke up very late, very late from itinerary. Started packing things, last-minute shopping and breathing my way out to the real backpacking experience.
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My Camp with neighbor. Yes we have similar tents! 🙂

Late like 5 hours late from my schedule trip. I set off my foot around 1130H from Pasig City, arriving in Taft Avenue around 1200H. The terminal station going to Nasugbu is at the back of Mcdonalds and Dunkin Donut. Later I learn than there is a van terminal going straight to Calatagan at the back of Kabayan Hotel, also in Taft, Pasay. I load myself to the bus going to Lian, Batangas because the bus to Calatagan will take ages before arriving in the terminal.
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Sunset. Very serene while I cook my dinner.

After 4 grueling hours in the bus that did nothing but to fetch passengers I arrive in Lian, Batangas. The Pasay City-Bacoor-Dasmarinas-Silang-Tagaytay City- Nasugbu ride with wailing children and snoring co-passenger I was able to find a jeepney going to Calatagan. From Lian to Calatagan it will take less than an hour. I took off the jeepney, got myself 4 gallons of water and ride on a tricycle going to Burot Beach.
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This is waist high water and you can still see the bottom part.

 I arrive around 1730H, the heat of the sun settled down and there was no space for me to pitch in my tent. People from the Metro come down south enjoring the holiday and long weekend but I manage to get a good spot for myself. I forgot that I did not eat breakfast and lunch because I was late on my schedule itinerary. After pitching my tent and things down, I cook my food canned mackerel in Sinigang (Sour Stew) and rice. I got too tired to roam around, I am still observing my fellow campers. I am still worried to leave my things behind but my neighbor campers have chit-chat with me. I met a traveling couple Kuya Alex and Ate (I forgot her name) which are adorable to supply me things about the area since they arrive earlier than I.
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Beach Bumming starts now.

I walk around near the shore after eating dinner to see plastics and garbage from other campers. It was disappointing that these people doesn’t know the principle of LEAVE NO TRACE. They have no respect to the nature, sooner or later this beach will be wasted because of those people who don’t know how to take care of the environment. I got a plastic full of garbage 30 minutes after I walk around. Kuya Alex told me that there are people who are managing the garbage but I don’t feel its enough. There will be no garbage at all if people know how to pick up their own trash.
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Cove end, this rockies are real star!!

I got tire and sleepy around 900 so light up. I woke up because my fellow campers are partying like there is no tomorrow. The noise irritates me, I was there for solitude, to relax and forget the buzzing noise of the metro but these people manage to ruin my night. I decide to read my comics while breathing in the air from the sea. Around 200H i fell asleep again, call it a night and had a restful slumber (thanks to the ear plugs I bought). I woke up around 600H, the breeze of the sea welcomes me. It was low tide when I arrive but the water went up in the morning. It was a wonderful sight, a smile on my face and prepare to face mt beach activities. A cup of coffee fill in the early morning cold air.
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700H, took my own risk pack my phone and ipad to my ever trusted bag, zipped my tent and went on a long walk to the shore. I went to the series of stone forming the cove and took unlimited selfies. The water is very clear and clean. It seduce me to dive and swim like a fish. After walking around the beach shore, I cooked my breakfast (corned beef with egg and fried rice). 800H, I swim the vast clear blue sea. I enjoy my beach bumming activity even though I am alone and everyone is looking at me amusingly.
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Breakfast in the sand..

I got hook into the water for 3 hours and the heat of the sun is protruding. I decide to break my camp and go home. There are available toilet and shower rooms which are very basic. Free flowing water that is scalding hot you can get some to drink coffee. I manage to break my camp successfully and took my final shot of the place. It was high noon when I decide to leave the cove back to Manila. 1230H I arrived in Calatagan Poblacion to take the bus but the bus did not arrive within an hour of waiting. So I decide to take the van from Calatagan to Pasay City.
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A kiss from me. Having fun in the sun.

The traffic is inevitable, the trip is good from Calatagan to SLEX (South Luzon Expresswaty) but after exiting the toll. Massive traffic welcomes us aboard. It was 1 hour of traffic before we arrived to the terminal. I am exhausted and hungry. Grab a hotdog in 7/11 and take another bus ride going to Robinson’s Galleria and take another bus home. All in all the entire transportation took me 5 hours back home. Tanned by the sun, tired from the trip and hungry. I can still feel the excitement, I am way too happy for my successful trip to Burot Beach.
Expenses:
Pasay City to Lian Batangas: Fare Php 152.00
Lian to Calatagan Bayan (Town): Fare Php 30.00
Tricycle Bayan to Burot Beach: Fare Php 150.00 Solo / Php 60.00/pax
Tricycle Entrance: Php 10.00
Burot Beach Entrance Fee: Php 130.00
Tent Space (if you are bringing you own tent): Php 30.00
Tent Rental : Php 150.00 for 2 persons
Going Back Expenses:
Tricycle Bayan to Burot Beach: Fare Php 150.00 Solo / Php 60.00/pax
Van from Calatagan Bayan to Pasay City: Fare Php 180.00
Pasay City to Robinson’s Galleria Bus (AC): Fare Php 18.00
Robinson’s to Home: Fare 12.00
Budgeted Food for Solo: Php 300.00 to Php 500.00 ( based on consumption)
My Budget Cost: 500.00 which includes the butane, food, toiletries and snacks on the way
Total Cost: Php 1700.00 to Php 2000.00 for solo
Budget Tips: Bring friends to cut off the cost of the tour. The more the cheaper. Try to haggle with driver.
Sample Itinerary: (I adjusted my Day 1 for 4 hours. Hehe)
Day 1
430 ETD from Pasig City
500 ETA  Taft Pasay City Bus Terminal
530 ETD Bus Terminal going to Calatagan
0815 ETA Lian, Batangas 0830 ETD Lian Poblacion to Calatagan Bayan
0915 ETA Calatagan Bayan
(Alternative Route: Van from Taft Pasay City at the back of Kabayan Hotel to Calatagan: Trip 4-5 hours)
930 Complete Supplies
0945 ETD Calatagan Poblacion
1000 ETA Burot Beach
1015 Secure Camp Area and Pitch Tent
1100 Prepare Lunch
1300 Free Time (Swimming, Beach Bumming, etc)
1500 Meryenda
1700 Prepare Dinner
1900 Dinner and Socials
Day 2
600 Wake up call
630 Prepare Breakfast
700 Breakfast
730 Free Time (Swimming, Beach Bumming, etc)
1000 Wash up
1100 Break Camp
1200 ETD Burot Beach
1215 ETA Catalgan Poblacion
1230 ETD Calatagan to Taft Pasay City
1730 ETA Pasay City
You can adjust your time while in the beach. You can snorkel and island hopping to Puting Buhangin for Php 100.00 minimum of 5 person. If you are solo you can go with other groups but I decide to stay in the beach.
It was fine time to explore the world. With or without someone to accompany you. Once in a while go on a solo trip and be happy by yourself. Engage your self to the nature and environment.
See you on our next trip!!!
Jei 09/04/2015