High in Badian!

Badian is located at South West portion of Cebu and 97.60 kms from Cebu City proper.

WOW in Badian

Travel buddy and I were buzzin in for Canyoneering which is a popular activity in Badian. Canyoneering is an extreme sport which includes: trekking, swimming, jumping at several falls. PS: if you don’t know how to swim, no worries as your canyoneering guide will help you to conquer your fears both in water and in heights.

Prior to our trip, I searched online for the backpacker price for doing canyoneering and its inclusions. We were not disappointed by what we’ve got. Through highland adventures (insetlrt link), we’ve got the best price for the activity.

What makes it Amazing?

If jumping at several falls which varies in height/ft., , swimming while staring at the natural rock formations as if you were part of the popular Jurrasic Movie, or trekking several rocks till you hit the last pit stop- jumping 35 ft. tall waterfall does not make you feel excited, then stop reading. 🙂 if in contrary, you feel excited, thrilled and have the guts and the adrenaline rush then scroll down! 🙂

How did we get to Badian from Oslob?

From whale shark encounter and chasing waterfalls #2, you have two (2) options: a. via bus going to bato, then take another bus ride going cebu via barili and tell the driver tl drop you off at Brgy. Matutinao or b. take habal-habal / motorcycle going straight to Badian. In the interest of time, travel buddy and I took option b. We left Oslob by 10isham, just in time to reach Badian by 12ish and up for canyoneering by 1pm. PS: the local government has 2pm cut-off, beyond that time will no longer be accepted to do the activity.

There are a number of groups who do canyoneering guide as their means of living, luckily, ours is one of the pioneers who did canyoneering as a lifestyle and part of their daily lives back then.

The inclusions of your 1,500 php payment for the guide includes the ff:

  • tour guide/ canyoneeeing guide
  • under water camera
  • snack/s + drinking water
  • entrance and environmental fees
  • transportation to and from the meeting point
  • use of dry bag
  • lunch or dinner
  • life vest
The entire activity took us around 4 hours (more), due to my cause of delay tactics! I’m pretty sure once you’re there you’re feet and knees would turn into jellies! But surely, after the activity, you’ll feel like katniss who won the hunger games!
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Mt. Gulugod Baboy

A 48 hour trip to detoxify and be offline  for a day or two while satisfying adrenaline rush and crave for out of the box.

Target Place: Mt. Pinagbandirahan also known as Mt. Gulugod Baboy
Where: Anilao, Mabini, Batangas
Level of difficulty: Some bloggers/mountaineering enthusiast rate this with 2/9.
Hike time: 1-2hours depending on the pacing of hike

How to get there?

Option 1: If you are coming at nearby area like Cavite, you may opt to take a van ride going to Batangas and drop off at Bauan Town Proper. This will cost you around 140 each (from Dasmarinas Cavite)
From Bauan town proper take jeepney ride going to Mabini town proper (20each). From Mabini town proper take tricycle ride going to Philpan dive resort at Anilao which will cost you 40 per person. You will be required to sign up for registration which is 35 each and do sign off once you’re done hiking.

Option 2: Take bus ride from Cubao or Buendia bus terminal going to Batangas grand terminal or Batangas port.
From Batangas grand terminal there are jeepney rides going to Mabini. Either you rent the jeepney and pay 100/90 each 12122524_10205708109561832_7967857725059396427_ndepending on haggling skills.:). The jeepney will pass through Bauan, and Mabini town proper. If you opt to rent the jeep, the driver will take you to Philpan, Anilao Batangas for the jump off.

Register at the Barangay hall which would cost around 35 each and you’re off to go!

There are no stations by the way, unlike the usual hike where you will be able to see trail marks and stations, in Gulugod Baboy there are no signs, no trail marks, just a plain and simple train uphill.

It was a night hike, with 5 of us (ladies) who tried and exceeded our personal limits and defeat the stereotype of being fragile, and vulnerable. Since there were only  two of us who were used in climbing, the rest of the three were newbies, it was indeed a good start.

A Remarkable hike

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Reached Top at 8pm

It was indeed a remarkable hike for one of our friends who got tired at the start of the trek. She’s not use with long walks and even have a heavy bag with her. Pack light as the norm for backpacking and hiking was validated. While suffering from cramps, and difficulty in breathing, we kept ourselves calm as there’s no room for back-off and not having mental alertness. Luckily, while on our way to the top, a family of 5 were at our back waiting for their turn to be on their way to home. Unknowingly, Kuya Randy (our guide), became helpful in a thousand reasons. He was able to carry our friend’s bag and her 4ltrs of water and accompanied her as she walked bit slower. He also managed to gave us a nice spot on top where we set-up our tent and be prepared for the next day.

Nightmares

October 11, around 1am, we were suddenly woke up by soft rains yet, a bit strong winds hit o12074499_10203707140637522_2006758066096682189_nur tents. There was also hustling sound that made one of our friend more scared than ever she’d been. Certainly, It was a scary early morning as we don’t know when will the rain stop and if our tent is suffice to beat the strong wind. Personally, I was thinking of how the team would descend in a sticky and muddy trail? The rain last for 30 minutes and we go back to sleep only to find out that it was already early in the morning as the sunrise saying hi to us.

12118659_10205708100281600_6835207906858791226_n Sunrise or Sunset?

We have seen the sunset the day before while we were on hike the mountain, as we woke up, we were greeted by the fog as zero visibility waves his hand saying hello! The feeling was surreal, as we climbed and reached the peak (note: the camp site is not that far from the peak), the feeling of a winner sets in. Winner in terms of conquering your personal inferiority, stress at work or home, feel independent and responsible for your own well being ( as no one will care if you got caught in  the middle of the night with  a dog bite- of course that is a bit exaggeration), a dose of positivism lingers till you no longer know the word pessimism and negative vies.

Time to Descend or Wait till Dawn

We left the camp site around 7am and started our way to the trail again. We met Kuya Randy again as he guide and assisted us on our way descending. As expected, it was a sticky, muddy and full of challenging trail awaited us. One of our friends got her shoes broken due to the mud, in result, she walked the trail barefooted. The descend took us 2 hours, as it was not that high mountain. We reached the jump-off by 9am.

Sidetrip

One of the perks of doing hike is to explore more of the place and even the community. It was a nice community by the way, as we planned to booked a nice boat ride to one of the islands in the nearby area. A trip to sumbrero island cost us a fortune, instead, we opt to take the not so popular island- Oscar’s Island. The cost was around 500 each (for group of 5) as we rented a boat and traveled for 45 minutes. We did a quick stop at Sumbrero Island before heading to a much crystal clear beach.

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High at Sumbrero Island

A feeling of relief, that anything can be conquered, and beat any challenges ahead of me. Let’s wait and see for the next trip! 😀

Recharged Peens

It has been 7 months since our placement has ended in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. 7 months of rekindling our experiences, our counterparts, our host homes and what keep us busy at the moment.

#Clingypeens

So strange, that I took the courage to ask for my boss if it would be possible to take an half day break, and he affirmed. With high conviction and determination, I rushed to meet those  who have been my sister, brother, a friend, a special friend, a close friend and for sometime a foe, for the past 3 months of placement. As if social media does not suffice ourselves with the usual hello how are you, I found myself being energized again. It is so strange that for the past few weeks I have been down and yet just seeing these guys physically and having a nice chat made me feel as if our placement just ended yesterday. I am sure it is not only me who feel that kind of ‘kick’, I am certain my lil bro’s, sistah’s and even our PS’s, felt the same way.

Out of the box Peens

I haven’t use that phrase “out of the box” for quite sometimes. But with these guys, it was as if in a snap I could think a lot ‘out of the box’ ideas, spur of the moment thing and voila!

Celebrating an advance birthday party with a co-volunteer with a bang of cake, pizza, chicken and of course drinks, was a de ja vu.

I certain believe that there were no accidents in life. Perhaps one of the reason that I love my work at the moment is because I am being inspired by my external clients, In development world- the community. People will not judge you if you wear a shirt, a jeans and a backpack. People tends to give you positive vibes aside from the sunlight.  A simple chat could create a beyond the surface level of friendship, of trust and certainly a friend to call in time of need.

Inclusivity is the key

Our placement was simultaneously being conducted in other parts of the country. Cabiao for disaster risk reduction management, Cebu for deaf community and Bohol for environmental sustainability. Seeing volunteers from Cebu-deaf community, I found myself as blessed and at the same time challenged. These deaf volunteers wants to make a change in their own way, while I, on the other side, keeps on questioning things if not moaning.

One of the speakers said, ‘if you are having a lot of negatrons consider volunteering, it will give you tons of electrons to be on the beat.

Can I be a Volunteer again?

Anxiety, excitement and mixed emotions caught me right then and there when I met the next batch of volunteers for Cabiao.

I want to tell loads of stories about our experiences, our moans, hardships, down days, the awesome socials we had, our endless exploration of the this small town. But after my endless stories, I stopped and reckon, I should not deprived them of the learning’s that this small town gave me, my counterpart and the rest of the team had.

It was not as easy as one two and three to go back, face the past, and moved on. But what I’ve got from this weekend getaway? It was the realization of the ff:

  • There will be strange feelings that will just pop out of the box- there was this feeling of deja vu, from the matching up to traveling from Phil rice to Cabiao. I still remembered how anxious and nervous I was when the counterparts was revealed.
  • Things will never be the same again.- this is true, when I went back to my host home, I felt as if I am a guest in their house. Yet, when I talked to my host ‘brother’ not ‘father’, he told me that I am still welcome in the house.
  • It is overwhelming to see the new batch of volunteers who will continue what we have established. Some as I had an opportunity to talk with and shared some stories has feelings of anxiousness and if not worry about the standard we established. Well to be honest as well, I told them to just be ‘yourself’; at the end of the day, expectations just come and go, but who will enjoy this journey? Is for them or for you to cherish?
  • Cabiao has been my second home- I never felt that kind of feeling of being secured even if I am not in my own “home”. Perhaps, this small town gave me the sense of belongingness of being a “tourist” yet being a local at the same time.
  • I had a great volunteer experience with great supervisors- I never thought that my “out of the box” attitude that I had would be made possible because I have a supervisor who is not selfish to tame if not put me in a box of doctrines. He even encouraged me and my counterpart to do things that we want to do, but of course within the limits of being “responsible for your own actions”. I could not think of a single word to describe my supervisor who kept on telling me to learn via experience, since “you know the rules, you can now modify it”.
  • Half-hearted- I don’t know if I really wanted to pursue MBA or MCD, which way it would be, I’m not yet ( I think) ready to pursue any masteral degree for this year, but definitely I will take one.
  • Security over happiness and vice versa- when I was in the small town of Cabiao, it gave me the sense of being secured and happy both at the same time. So why is it, I am living near the metro where the life line of the businesses sets in and go would made me feel inferior?

There are loads of questions and uncertain answers, with uneasy feeling of how will I bang it on. But here I am typing in this keyboard over the papers and numbers of the work for tomorrow. All I will think of is how Cabiao made me a better person.

Mt. Manabu

1st Month of the Year, 2 Summits, 3 Different Outdoor Activities and 4 out of the box experiences.

A university fellow and I started doing this (mountain climbing) since last year (2014) marking our journey away from the norms set forth by our challenging, dynamic and heterogeneous society. This is a series of entries about our lives, our journey outside our usual routine; however, as much as possible, we wanted to capture every single detail of our journey in a particular place. Hence, this entry about eat, swim and climb came into existence.

It was early morning of the 2nd day of the 1st month of the year and we started working our way to Batangas with my university friend. It heavily rained the day before our ultimate backpacking experience started.

Climb for a Cup of Coffee

Mt. Manabu is known for having free civet coffee for the mountaineers who would try to conquer it. As both of us were on our hype of trying out new things, we opt to take the challenge aside from the pile of mud that would stick on your shoes. Since I am a certified coffeeholic, I did not deprived myself to descent without trying one of the most expensive coffee in the world- the Civet. Once you reached station 5, you’ll going to see a humble hut that is open to all mountaineers, and you’ll meet tatay Tino who takes care of few alamids (civet) and will offer you an unlimited access to this amazing coffee.

Since it rained the day before we climbed this mountain, expect to have an unfavorable fog along the way aside from the trade winds that comes with the yuletide season. A cup of alamid coffee was the perfect thing to do once you reached the half of the hike, unless otherwise, you want to spoil the entire climbing journey.

Enjoying our first cup of Civet Coffee.

Enjoying our first cup of Civet Coffee.

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Climbing is not about the Summits Conquered

Climbing buddy and I always takes time to climb a certain mountain. We don’t want to climb for the sake of climbing, but it is more of a personal thing. “it is not the mountain that you conquer but your fears” as what have been mentioned in station 2 of this hike. We were supposedly opt to descend on the 7th and 8th station, yet, since it was really foggy at that time, we opt to take the same path we had earlier and we don’t want to compromise our lives just for the sake of having an entry and pictures about this.

Unlimited Fresh Water

On our way descending, we decided to clean our shoes (muddy), in the running stream. It was like a melted ice water freely flowing to the bottom of the mountain. While trying to remove the mud that stocked on our shoes, we’ve seen how people were not able to maintain the “naive” feature of nature. We kept on practicing the outdoor ethics, yet there are still groups of people who don’t care about sustainability and development which made me think, it is just a facade to climb for personal reasons or it is just an implication of a more complex role?

The Summit

The Summit.

Volunteer work

Away from comfort zone for the next three months without even knowing what will happen- only a  hint that it will be a life-changing experience and opportunity for the participants. Willing to take the challenge to change the world? We’ll see.
On the assessment day, it was a fun yet challenging event. We were six (6), who have nearly the same background. We got our imagination travel at its finest and worked out too much to address various dilemmas in the placement.
Time came that we need to face the reality; work that was left, defense for MA, facing the world of underemployment and or unemployment, buzz of mobile phones, the buzzzzz of cars during rush hours and people who were in hurry to beat the time when they go to work.
I did not expect that I would be shortlisted for the programme; though, questions arise, I set them aside. What is more important for me right now is how will I able to maximize all the support and even the trust that was given to me by the organization and even my family.
It was a tough decision to tell to my parents that I will be out for 3 months. knowing our family being close to each other, we find these things as a serious one already.
Expectations..
To make this entry short, I will limit it into three (3):
1. Self-discovery and personality development
– I just read in an article via online  by Thomas G. Fiffer emphasizing on ” stay only where you are valued”. It made me think that if I want something to change and even the way I do my routine, I should find myself in an organization wherein I am and/will be valued not because I can be underpaid but because I am capable of making a difference. Moreover, self-discovery and soul searching does not happen only once, it is an everyday routine and learning to love who you are is at most important.
2. A chance to change the world
– i have this fetish dream of eradicating poverty in the world, those poor countries will have an access to a world class medication when get sick, children will go to school and eat three (3) square meals a day, and there will be no poor in any country.- – – –  that was before I enter the university and understand that the real world is not working in synch with the facets of the academe. why is that so?  is it really possible to end the world with no poor? can we really make it that all the new born children will have an access to world-class medical facilities and even practices regardless weather they came from urban or rural?
3. Re-aligned perspectives
– I could still remember the first instance that I was able to talk with an indigenous tribe in my grandma’s hometown. It was quite absurd at that moment that I want to talk a lot to a stranger, asks various questions from how are they able to bring the baskets above their heads and still able to cross several rivers, tedious long walks and even the most frightening of all-when their tummy aches. They must endure the pain in return for a can of sardines a kilo or rice which upon returning home will be consumed by all the family members. That was the time I realized how lucky I am to finish my degree and even have a job.
Yep! I have a job, but my body still craves for more, more adventure, more things to see, more sceneries and more people to chat with. My mind and body keeps on telling me to let it go.. like the popular disney movie, it does not matter anymore, (for me) if I am earning big bucks or waiting in vain. This trip or should I say field work will be a test of character, of someone’s personality, will you take the challenge to change the world? Let’s see!