Thursday, January 17, 2013


As promised, this is the continuation of my climbs for 2012. Majority of the list would be the major climbs that I had. 


Mt. Kalawitan was the first major climb I had for 2012. Imelda invited me on a short notice to climb this mountain and I was only able to give my final confirmation days before the actual climb date. Mt. Kalawitan was new name to me so before the climb I researched more information about it. I learned that this mountain is the new top 10 in terms of elevation in the Philippines bumping off Mt. Amuyao in the rank. It is my goal to climb all the top ten mountains in the country. Ive scaled Mt. Amuyao in 2007 but if this is the new top ten, then Mt. Kalawitan should be added to my bucket list and marked with a check. I really enjoyed the climb with its scenic views and trails. As indicated in my post on Mt. Kalawitan, this was a kickoff for all the climbs in 2012. 

Full details of my Kalawitan climb here - >


It was my second time to be on this mountain but on both occasions, I was able to spent it with my OLAY family. It was my secod visit but I was able to do a lot of firsts that time. It was my first time to take a plunge at Papaya River and enjoyed every moment of it. It was also my first time to summit it as on my first visit, we were just contented in staying at the campsite area as we were already contented with the views from that point. This also led to further explorations in the area and some distance from the summit and we were surprised that this mountain has a lot to offer. With a number of mountaineers attempting to climb it on that day , we were also the first group to arrived on the campsite area as opposed to my first visit in which we were one of the last groups as we started almost noon already. Being the first group to had arrived, we set up our tents inside the forest area which was a first for us and it was a very good location just in case of rain and protection for our tents in case against strong winds. Climbing with my OLAY family is always LOVE. 


One of the unforgettable things I had with my first visit to Mt. Makiling was my encounter with the Limatiks. It was a bloody battle with these creatures. Since then, I always hesitated to climb this mountain until I agreed to do a dayhike traverse from Sto. Tomas to Los BaƱos with Sir Daile and Mike O. The experience changed my perception about the mountain and I can confidently say that I would be willing to be visit this mountain any time.  On my second visit, I won the battle over the limatiks as they were not able to suck even a small amount of blood from my body. 

Full details of my Makiling Traverse here - >


Most major climbs outside Metro Manila are carefully planned months in advance but this climb to Mt. Apo was an impromptu one.  I woke up one day and I miss my climbing buddy from Bukidnon, Sheng and the mountains of Mindanao so I called her that we need to climb together again to which she also agreed in a heartbeat. We decided to climb Mt. Apo via Kapatagan - Kidapawan trail. It was our second time to be in this mountain but the godfather of the Philippine Mountains welcomed us with open arms as we were offered with a perfect weather all throughout the climb. 


Mt. Pulag is dubbed as the playground of the gods and famous for its breathtaking views and scenic clouds. Now why would I post a photo of mine from the DENR? Simple. We didn't have a clearing that time. On my first visit to this mountain, it was all hands down for me as I was able to witness the beauty of Mt. Pulag.  It was almost three years after that I decided to visit this mountain as some of the friends I had are itching to visit it because of the stories they have heard and the photos they saw online. Last year's visit was Anna's second attempt to climb Pulag but still failed to see the its grandeur. Her first visit last November 2011 which was my second one did not also lived up to her expectations as it was raining all throughout the climb. I even kid her that she might have "balat sa pwet" thats why it was always a fail for her and she would just laughed on it. She is planning to climb Pulag again this year and I am really crossing my fingers tight that she would finally see what Mt. Pulag is famous for. 


Everytime I remember this climb, I couldnt help but laugh on the misadventures that we had. Tayak Hill was just a product of the failed attempt to climb Mt. Cristobal. We intended to do a Cristobal Dayhike Traverse since we started late from the jump off and we were running in circles at the foot of Cristobal since Sir Daile who was our lead could not remember the correct path going up. We just then decided to abort the Cristobal climb and kill time at the summit of Tayak Hill. When the locals saw at the registration area saw us on the way down, they said , " Ang bilis nyo a." We just answered in all smiles, " Naligaw po kasi kami." And that was very classic. 


This was the revenge of the failed climb. I first ascended Mt. Cristobal way back October 2007 and doing a comeback after almost 5 years would be very nice. We did a dayhike traverse on this mountain starting from the Tayak side and it proved to be challenging. When I climbed this in 2007, it was an overnight climb and we descended the trail going to Tayak and not ascended through it. The trail from Tayak  was a continuous ascend to the summit and we finally reach the summit after almost 4 hours. Doing this as  dayhike and from the Tayak side was daring but it was very rewarding. 


This was my first solo climb and exploration. I was just wanting to climb then and was missing the mountains of the north so I gave in to the calling.  With just courage and printed information of the mountain from Pinoymountaineer website, I attempted to climb Osdung and it proved to be successful.

Full details of my Osdung climb here - >


Wrapping up the list is Mt. Bulusan. Last October 2011, I was in Bicol because i climbed Mt. Masaraga and Mayon. October of last year I was in the same region but this time, I scaled the active Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon. This was one of the invites of Imelda which I am glad I agreed to join. The weather was not so perfect during our climb but the experience and the chance to meet new friends was something I treasure. This climb made me do try kayaking. Ive mentioned before that I am no fan of the water and since everyone was willing to do the kayak, I was pressured to also do it. The only safety net that I had was my life jacket which somehow boost my confidence. After successfully crossing the Bulusan lake, I found myself doing it again and again. 

25 climbs for last year on 14 mountains. It was an average of approximately 2 climbs per month. These were my climb statistics for 2012. I may or may not exceed this number this year but I am always looking to forward to climb because apart from the adrenaline rush, it is a life statement for me. 


Friday, January 11, 2013


I mentioned in one of my shout outs in Facebook that I would update my blog more often this year with my travels and adventures. I would like to start today but I don't really know what to write as I haven't been anywhere yet in the first 12 days of 2013. I wanted to hike earlier and write an account about it after but with a tropical depression lurking around, I decided that it would be best to just stay at home and just bum around. I am not a fan of rainy days and to maximize this gloomy weather, I forced myself to log into the computer and I am trying to squeeze my brain cells now on what to write as a an opener for my blog this year. 

I paused for several minutes before I could start this paragraph and had decided that I would want to recap all my climbs for 2012.


In reference to my previous blog, I have mentioned that Mt. Batulao is my playground. 2012 is a testimony to that as I welcomed last year with a climb on that mountain. I logged in a total of 5 climbs last year with different group of people with each visit. Further, I decided to end the year with a climb on the same mountain but taking a traverse from Old to New Trail.


A tie to Mt Batulao in terms of the number of visits last year would be Mt. Maculot. The accessibility of this mountain from my home explains it. Also, the commanding views of the lake and the rockies always take my breath away. I would also like to point out that in several occasions, I had the chance to meet new friends on this mountain who share the same passion for outdoors as I do. Thats why I would like to dubbed this mountain as a friendship mountain for me. 


Runner up to Mt. Batulao and Mt. Maculot would be Pico De Loro with three visits last year. What I love about this mountain is the view of the parrot's beak from the summit. It also offers a different adrenaline rush to the courageous ones who would like to scale its beak which I experienced when I first scaled it way back 2008. I would like to be on top of it again but I guess I would need to rebuild the courage I once had. It's waterfalls is a perfect sidetrip when you just want to take a dip and cool down.


Completing the top three would be Mt. Manabu with two visits last year. The cross on  the summit is the famous landmark of this mountain. Everytime I scale this mountain, I am always reminded of how I started mountaineering because its neighboring mountain which is Mt. Malipunyo was my first mountain and can be seen from Mt. Manabu. What i enojoyed the most though on climbing this mountain is the free coffee from Mang Pirying which showed the warmth hospitality of the locals in this mountain. 


This neighbor of Mt.Batulao is also a good choice for dayhike but it is recommended that you do the climb very early in the morning so that you dont feel the scorching heat of the sun. Last year, I scaled this mountain but it was the first destination of our double dayhike with Mt. Batulao. Although it also offers picturesque views , the only holdback that I have in revisiting this mountain are the rules and regulations of the locals at foot of the mountain that somehow have a negative impact on the mountaineers and visitors. 

For 2012, I was also able to do 2 double dayhikes. The first one was Talamitam- Batulao. It was my warm up and training climb for my Mt. Apo Climb last year. The second one was Maculot-Manabu. I shared it with new friends that even though they are newbies to the mountaineering, they proved to be the next generation of "halimaws"

There are still 9 more mountains in the list but I would like to highlight them in the part 2 of my climbs for 2012. Aside from the fact that my computer seems to have latency, I need to prepare first for my date later on.