A Little Note-to-Self

16 Nov

Hello there! I apologize for the lack of blog entries. I got back from my trip to Cagayan de Oro City last weekend and have been swamped with work from the day job and freelance gigs. While this will be good for my pocket and savings account (more travel money, yay!), I am a wee bit worried that my being busy will limit the time that I will spend writing about my travel adventures.

So here I am, making this little note-to-self. When I’m determined to do/continue doing/finish something, I usually put that into writing and make it visible for everyone to see. I am more of a visual person, so seeing these with my own eyes help in making me more motivated.

So to the few readers of my little travel blog, watch out for my write-ups on a few Batangas beaches, my CDO weekend and many more! 🙂

All the Way Up Mt. Gulugod Baboy

9 Nov

Don’t let the title of this post fool you – in no way am I a mountain climber. While I am quite intrigued with hikes because of the many blog posts and pictures I’ve read and seen, I know that it’s not really in me to go up a mountain.

Although, I lived for seven years near one of the country’s highest peaks, Mt. Apo. I may have thought about climbing it and drafted a few plans here and there, but I never really got the courage to push through with any.

Here are the few reasons why:

  • I have bronchial asthma. I’m not dependent on any medicines yet, thankfully, but I still bring a stash of anti-histamines and -asthma wherever I go. I also have a handy inhaler, which my friends call my choice of drug as it’s white and powdery. (It’s real medicine for quick relief for asthma attacks, promise.) I get really awful attacks once a year and these really make me feel like I’m dying. But most days, the asthma’s manageable.
  • Because of the above reason, I’m in no way physically fit. The most I can do is walk long distances, but with short breaks in between. I can’t run even if my life depended on it (well maybe I can, when I get an adrenaline rush or something). I even find it hard to lift myself up to a certain height because of my poor upper body strength. I skipped PE classes that required too much running way back in elementary. (It doesn’t look like it, yeah?)

So you could probably imagine the look on my face when my friends thought of going up Mt. Gulugod Baboy on the second day of our Mabini, Batangas escapade this year. You can click on the link above for more info on this mountain that’s gaining popularity among hikers in the Philippines and tourists as well.

The typical jump-off point of most travelers is in Anilao, Batangas. However, Kuya Sande told us that there was a way from Bgy. Malimatoc II up to the mountain. I think it’s a trail opposite that of Anilao’s.

Hello Kuya Sande, Jhoann's cousin and our forever tour guide! He's actually very camera-shy. 🙂

We also asked him if the trail was okay for first-timers like us. He said it was okay, but the path would be slippery and muddy because of the recent rain showers. We said it’s okay, we’ll just be extra careful and he agreed to accompany us! So everyone got excited and decided to go up Mt. Gulugod Baboy the next day.

I didn’t tell him about my medical condition though. Wrong move on my part.

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A Refreshing Dip in a Barangay

8 Nov

In my past three visits to this quaint barangay in Mabini, Batangas, the first destination of the group would always be the cumba, as the locals would call it. It’s a small waterfall located below a vast area of trees that I think are only seen in jungles/forests. You would have to go down a dangerous (well, it was and still is very life-threatening to me) 10 to 15-minute trail just to reach this hidden wonder of nature.

And whenever we’d go there, either it finished raining or it’s about to rain. Maybe Mother Nature was playing tricks on us and wanted our trip down her slope extra special (read:difficult).

This is the starting point of the trail. Told you it was a jungle/forest.

2008 photo. I was trying to look relaxed and happy. Also, that was the year of me doing the "peace sign" pose. Refer to other pictures for further proof.

There were relatively easy parts, and there were areas of the trail where I had to pray for my life and safety.  After going down that trail three times, I still cannot perfectly go down without having to trip, slide down or almost fall.

This was one of the hardest parts of the trail. You would either have to jump (and hold on to someone/thing) or slide down. It's really steep, plus it had rained in the morning so it's all muddy and slippery.

This was from this year's escapade. I would always slip and slide down this part of the trail in the first two visits. But lo and behold, I survived this time! 🙂

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Escapades to Mabini, Batangas – An Introduction

7 Nov

When people talk of Batangas, the common places you would hear from their mouths would be Laiya, Calatagan, Nasugbu and other well-known beach areas in the province. But Batangas has other undiscovered terrain, which definitely makes you feel that you’re out of the city and taken into provincial life. One of those places is Barangay Malimatoc II, Mabini, Batangas, which I have traveled to three times in the past five years.

I first visited the town in 2007, when one of my good friends asked us to accompany her to her hometown. Luckily, school was out for the rest of the year then and I had earned enough money from my English tutoring gig (I love freelancing jobs. ;)) for me to tag along. Plus, my friend enticed us with free lodging, as we could stay in her old grandmother’s house, and unlimited food because of the town fiesta. Who could say no to that?

Me, Eras, Melchor and Jhoann. Pardon the quality of the photo, we didn't have a digital camera back then. Also, old picture is old.

So along with three of my good friends, we ventured off to Bgy. Malimatoc II in Mabini, Batangas.

Getting there is pretty easy, especially if you’re from the south. The bus terminal in Alabang has buses which go to Lipa/Batangas City/Pier. I believe they operate 24/7, so you won’t have to worry about hitching a ride during the wee hours of the day. You then have to get off the diversion road (the bus conductor would know this) and ride a jeep to Gasang.

View from the Gasang, the drop off-point before going to Barangay Malimatoc II

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Wanderlust

11 Oct

Hello there! Welcome to my humble little space on the Internet. Unlike my personal blog, I will be dedicating this one purely to my many (mis)adventures in the city, various provinces within the Philippines, and maybe overseas *crosses fingers*.

As soon as the first day of 2011 arrived, I made a list of my goals for the year. As I’ve always felt wanderlust, one of these goals was to travel more. I wrote in my journal that I have to travel to 5 destinations outside Metro Manila.

So far, I’ve already been to three:

  • Iba, Zambales
  • San Juan, La Union
  • Mabini, Batangas

I will be heading to Cagayan de Oro City in November, so that makes four. Unless I go out of the metro in December (anyone want to take me to Baguio? I have never been there. :D), I sadly won’t be meeting my goal for the year.

Because of this, I have decided that 2012 will be my travel year, with a Laoag trip kicking off in January. I’ve already made a pseudo-list of my travel destinations for 2012, but I feel this list isn’t enough. Hence, the birth of this blog, which will somehow drive me to really accomplish my goal. I am not only accountable to myself, but to this blog and those who chance up on it.

Hopefully I will be able to turn next year into my travel year. I’ll really try and work towards that goal, with you dear readers as my witnesses (no matter how many or few you may be). 🙂

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First few entries will be about the adventures I had in the three places (and other cities in the past) I traveled to, as of today. Some city travels too. 🙂