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    Majestic Tinipak River and Mt. Mamara Day Hike

    Hiking is now one of popular outdoor activities and a weekend getaway nowadays. So I’ll have to remind everybody, including myself, that do not hike in mainstream mountains a day before the holiday because there will be too many people!

    We originally planned to hike in Mt. Daraitan but since there were too many people at that time, we were not lucky enough to be with the 300 people that were allowed to go up.

    Good thing, we were still able to hike Mt. Marmara and Tinipak River which are also located in Barangay Daraitan, even though it’s crowded as well. Personally, I haven’t heard about the Mt. Mamara so I did not have any idea about its difficulty and what to expect at the summit.

    Tinipak

    Before you reach the starting point of Mt. Mamara, you’ll get to see and enjoy the Tinipak River first. The Tinipak River is characterized by cool clear waters, amazing rock formations and colorful stones by its banks; most of our time was spent taking photos near the river and on top of the rock formations. It was a 30mins walk from Brgy. Daraitan to the campsite and another 5mins walk going to the start point of Mt. Mamara; at the same time, it is the part of the river where you could swim around.

    me 3

    Our hike from the starting point of Mt. Mamara up to the summit took us almost 2hrs and 30mins because we had to stop most of the time to give way for those hikers going down. The mountain is not yet developed and upon reaching the summit, I’m a bit disappointed about how crowded it was and there’s nothing much to see! You wouldn’t think of it as the summit. There wasn’t enough space to sit so most of us had our snacks while standing. I hate to say it, but the view doesn’t worth our climb at all… While going down took us only 1hr and 30mins.

    There is also the Mamara cave, however, it was also crowded. We had to wait for the five groups to be finished (30mins for each group) before our turn so our group decided to skip the cave for us not to go home late and just go swim around Tinipak River.

    Expenses: Tour guide – Php500 | Environmental Fee: Php25

    © Allysa Pajarillo

    © Allysa Pajarillo

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    Mt. Manalmon: Day Hike And More Adventures At Sitio Madlum

    We went to Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan by a private car but if you prefer to commute, there are buses in Cubao that are bound to San Miguel, Bulacan. Arrived at Sitio Madlum around 10:30 AM; packed the things to bring for our day hike, left our extra clothes inside the car then we headed to registration area immediately. Glad that I’m with two people who have been there for three times already so they already know the way around. Expenses will be at the bottom of this post. 🙂

    Upon arriving in the registration area, the officer informed us about the new rule: No Permit. No Entry. Thankfully, even though we do not have a permit, they allowed us to hike just for this time because we were obviously not aware with the new rule.

    RegistrationRules

    The tour guide gave us an option if we want to start from Madlum Cave or hike the Mt. Manalmon first. We chose option 2.

    It was a short hike from registration area to Mt. Manalmon’s peak (1hr the outmost), the trail is good for beginners. Well, if you find the hike too short, there are also other mountains around such as Mt. Gola. 🙂 There is a small cave that serve as an entrance to Mt. Manalmon’s trail and we also had to go through the strong current of the river. We rest and had our snack at the peak while enjoying the strong wind and the beautiful view.

    Summary

    Mt. Manalmon

    At exactly 1PM, we went down from the peak then headed to the river where we spent some time to swim. There are also cliffs around where you could jump off into the deep parts of the river.

    River

    From the river, we headed back to the registration area to rent headlights for our next activity – spelunking inside Madlum Cave – something tick off my bucket list! Since spelunking requires you to use both hands… and your whole body, we thought of leaving our mobile phones inside our bags in the registration area, so we do not have a photo of our spelunking moments. Haha! We have now a reason (an excuse) to go back. 😛

    For adventure seekers, you’ll love this Monkey Bridge where you have to go to the other side by walking on wire! But only if you are brave enough to do it because there is another option, use the normal bridge. Haha. Also, they do have a harness now unlike before. Can you imagine yourself walking on a wire without a harness? I might have chickened out!

    money bridge

    bridge

    Too much adventure in one place for a day. For my last hike for year 2015, it was one heck of an experience!

    Expenses for group of 4:

    Registration Fee – Php 40 (Php 5/person)

    Tour Guide – Php 500 (Php 125/person)

    Headlight rental – Php 30/person

    Wash room – Php 10/water gallon (bought 2 gallons per person)

    Total expense per person: Php 180 🙂

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    5 Days Trip Around Surigao

    We availed a package for our 5 days trip around Surigao and the first thing that I have noticed with our itinerary is that it takes up a lot of time to travel around Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte. Availing a package tour made our trip more relaxing since van rental and accommodations were already included. Package details can be found at the end of this blog post. 🙂

    Day 1: Enchanted River, Tunuy-an Falls and La Entrada Resort

    bancasi breakfast

    Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines have a direct flight from Manila to Bancasi Airport (Butuan City). Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by car rental drivers so I guess if you plan to have a DIY trip, you could easily rent a car/van. 🙂

    Our tour guide let us taste their Toasted Siopao while driving our way to D’ Home Maker’s Cafe to have some breakfast before we head to Hinatuan Enchanted River. Butuan City to Hinatuan took us 3 hours of travel time.

    Enchanted

    Rain poured heavily minutes after we arrived in Enchanted River so no fish feeding for us! 🙁 Before we go to swim, we had lunch at Sibadan Fish Cage Resort which is just a short boat ride from Enchanted River. What’s fun about Sibadan is that you could swim with the stingray named Brenda and feed the big fishes!

    sibadan_2

    Sibadan

    Even though we did not experience the fish feeding, I’m still amazed by its bluish clear water and also curious about what’s inside the underground cave of Enchanted River. Nothing much to do though, we just spent an hour swimming around the river before going to Tinuy-an Falls.

    Tinuy-an

    Tinuy-an Falls is said to be the little Niagra Falls and the widest waterfall in the Philippines. It was already getting dark when we arrived in Tinuy-an Falls and the waterfall was strongly splashing but you could still see how beautiful the little Niagra is! 2 hours away from Tinuy-an Falls, we have finally reached the famous La Entrada Resort where we had our dinner and spent the night.

    La Entrada

    Day 2: Britania Group of Islands, Cagwait and Cinnamon Island Resort 

    Started our day with an island hopping! Britania Group of Islands is composed of 24 islands and islets but we managed to visit Hagonoy, Naked and Boslon islands only. Snorkeling is not part of the activity since there’s nothing much to see under the water.

    Spacebar

    After 3 hours of travelling from La Entrada Resort, we stopped over at Spacebar Beach Resort which is known as the Boracay of Cagwait – where we rest, enjoyed the beach for a while and had lunch because our next destination will be at Hayabangon Port which is 4 hours drive away! Then 45 minutes boat ride from the port, we have reached our final destination – Cinnamon Island Resort.

    cinnamon

    Cinnamon Island Resort is located in Bucas Grande, Socorro. Cinnamon is called such because of the cinnamon trees that grow in the island. They also served cinnamon tea which for me, it taste like cinnamon blended with peppermint. 🙂

    Day 3: Sohoton Tour

    The tour consists of going to Tiktikan Lake, Hagukan Cave, Makukuob Cave and Sohoton Jellyfish Sanctuary.

    Tiktikan Lake

    12241492_10205465377539983_917263160359584953_nWill need to trek for about 5 minutes from the cottage before you could see the Tiktikan Lake. The lake water is calm and surrounded with forest trees – a very serene view. Water creatures such as big fishes and crabs also live here.

    © Jila Reyes

    Swimming in the lake is not advisable but don’t worry, there’s a diving board near the cottage!

    Hagukan Cave

    The guide said that we should be there during low-tide because the entrance of the cave gets submerged during high-tide. But what we did is different, we dived to get inside the cave! When inside, you’ll hear a snoring sound as the water slams into the cave. The ample light coming from the entrance of the cave makes the water luminous green color.

    Makukuob Cave

    Inside the cave awaits majestic stalactite and stalagmite formations so don’t forget to wear a helmet for safety. Once you’re inside, the only way out is to jump off the cliff!

    Sohoton Jellyfish Sanctuary

    JellyFish

    © Erika Arcamo

    My first time touch a real jellyfish! 🙂 They are stingless, slimy and cute. Haha. The best time to visit is from April – June. Just a reminder, do not lift the jellyfish out of the water because they easily dry up and die.

    Day 4: The Board Walk at Cloud 9, Siargao and Ronaldo’s Inn & Resto Bar

    We packed our things early in the morning because we will now transfer to Siargao. It was a 2 uncomfortable hours boat ride from Cinnamon Resort to Siargo. We checked in Ronaldo’s Inn first before proceeding to our most awaited activity, surfing!

    Cloud9

    surf

    © Jila Reyes

    The Board Walk at Cloud 9 have the best access and views of the famous Cloud 9 surf break. The weather was bad so the waves are strong and heavy but not bad enough for us not to surf.

    Pizza

    We also tried the three layered cheese of Avenito’s Pizza! Yum <3

    Day 5: Siargao to Bancasi Airport

    Pasalubong day and a short side trip at Bood Promotory Eco-Park in Butuan City wherein they believed that the first blood compact happened. No planned activity other than that since most of our time was spent for travelling back to Bancasi Airport.

    Package details:

    You may visit this site to check their packages or you may contact directly our tour guide Kuya Philip through this number: 09985590527

    For our package, it was Php 8,950/person – foods, accomodation and transportation included. Price may change depending on your itinerary or accommodation requests. 🙂 If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!

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    Weekend at Quezon City

    I was invited in a photoshoot by my cousin’s friend, Kuya Jay Exiomo, for his personal project “Metro Manila Diaries”. I’m still happy for being part of this project, spreading the beautiful and historical parts of Metro Manila. You may check his wonderful works in his travel blog Pusang Gala. 🙂 P.S. You might drool over his beautiful shots and the places he had been to!

    Photos were taken in some of the famous places around Quezon City: Quezon Memorial Circle, Maginhawa Street and UP Diliman. Below are some of his shots:

    Quezon Memorial Circle

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    I was still in High School the last time I visited Quezon Memorial Circle and as far as I can remember, there were only parks and sari-sari stores around. I’m amazed by how much it has changed! There were now interactive museum, restaurants, court, fitness equipment, and a lot more! We need more city parks like this, please. 🙂

    Maginhawa Street, UP Village

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    I bet no one gets hungry here in the famous food street, Maginhawa Street. lol. Photos were taken specifically at StrEat and Cat Cafe Manila. Instagram-ish stores that offers a different variety of foods, who wouldn’t want to come here? 🙂 It may be scourging hot outside but I don’t mind, I could chill here any time!

    UP Diliman Campus

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    The home of UP Fighting Maroons. Best place to have any photoshoot theme, jog and train, stroll, eat street foods or just relax over the weekend. The sun light, forest like surroundings – UP Diliman Campus will make you feel like you’re far from the busy city. You’ll love everything about here.

    So aside from Kuya Jay’s photos, I also have my own random photos. Haha!

    Touring around Quezon City made me realize that each city has its own beauty and history that I need to learn and to know more. 🙂

    Click here for Kuya Jay’s photoshoot blog post. 

    Looking forward for more photoshoot, random photos and weekend like this! Hope you had an awesome weekend like mine! 🙂

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