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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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    Mt. Pinatubo: Weekend Escapade

    Mt. Pinatubo

    The volcano’s eruption on  June 15th 1991 was truly a nightmare; it caused several earthquakes which resulted in the collapse of summit and the creation of caldera. It was a nightmare that surprisingly left us a beautiful crater lake.

    For this trip, we had a package deal from Majestic Mount Pinatubo which costs Php 1900/person. Foods, snacks and van rental are excluded but they have a public van from Manila going to Tarlac and vice-versa. The 4×4 ride made it quite pricey.4x4 ride

    rocky road Trekking Mt. Pinatubo doesn’t necessarily need to camp out since it was just a 2 hours trek, excluding the 1.5hr 4×4 ride. Expect the trail to be bumpy because it was badly damaged by the eruption and sometimes you have to cross rivers so it’s better to wear a wettable shoes.

    crater lake

    Reaching the crater lake will make you see the worth of all your effort and sweat. Though swimming in to the lake has been prohibited since 2013, the breathtaking view of the crater lake will leave you in awe. The surrounding is really wonderful and peaceful!

    fun

    group pic

    shore

    We were lucky enough that the weather is nice and cool during our trek. 🙂

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    Mt. Batulao: Traverse Day Hike

     

    Mt. Batulao

    Mt. Batulao is located at Nasugbu, Batangas and is 811 meters above sea level. The accessibility, the 360 degrees breathtaking view of Batangas and the amazing landscape of the mountain makes it one of the perfect getaway from city. It is also one of the top mountains for beginners.

    new trail

    Mt. Batulao have two trails, the Old and New trail, which gives you an option on which trail to take first. Our group took New to Old trail which I think is easier than the other way around because if you took Old trail first, you have to climb through boulders.

    rapelling

    mt. batulao

    We may have encountered challenges such as muddy trails, leg cramps, steep slopes and long walks under the scorching heat of the sun but overall, everything went good because the trail is so easy that you won’t get lost. I suggest to buy a bamboo stick for Php 10 as your trekking pole if the trail is muddy, it will make your trekking easier!

    We immediately ordered Halo-Halo upon reaching the summit. Yes! they sell Halo-Halo at the top of the mountain! Something to enjoy while resting after a long walk. 🙂

    Halo-Halo

    The usual group photo and photo ops when you reached the summit 😛

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    So here’s the part where we have to rappel down via Old trail. Some locals just ran on it like a ninja while we struggle our way down! Unbelievable!

    rappel

    After rappelling down, we had another long walk going back to registration area. That’s all for Mt. Batulao! Personally, this is my easiest day hike and I like it there because they sell Halo-Halo. Haha!

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