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! 😀

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.

Need to Breathe

3 hours of sleep did not stop me from doing this trip. I arrived home around 10 pm, due to traffic, and I need to do some bailing out agreements so that I can take this weekend getaway.

Most people who work in the metro would take advantage of holidays, long weekends to get out of their routine and travel. Since, I started to work again in the metro where the lowest temperature of the aircon will give you, plus the traffic, beaming lights inviting you to groove with the hip music.

It was not actually a pure weekend getaway, but I opt for an escape of urbanity via volunteer work.

So far, in day 1 of this ‘spontaneous’ trip things and situations before rekindled:

  •  I now fully understand why my hhc wants to go out most of the time. It is soooo cold in an office that all you want to do is sleep or grab a cup of coffee. While, if you’re on the road, you see loads of things (e.g. The fields, birds, Carabao, farmer tilting the land and etc.) will make you feel good.
  •  Going on a trip stimulates your creativity and imagination. – just look at the clouds, how are they formed? Use your imagination to kill the boredom! 🙂
  • There are ups and downside of traveling in daytime.
  • Happy yet unsecured or unsecured yet happy? – would it be mean being happy as you are would make you a selfish person?
  • Sunrise really gives you good vibes. This is really true, I spent the whole week in the metro and living with it made me feel sick and weak, I can no longer see the sunrise since I need to get on and off the bus before it rise or else I need to endure a hunger games like traffic.

Will I hit the road next time? Probably yes, it gave me a sense of direction and re-aligned my perspectives about life which I think no amount of money and even an nth number of books could give.

Mt. Manalmon

Money should not be an excuse to enjoy life!

It was only a day hike but it was more than body aches that I’ve got- new friends, real-life lessons and a free cultural immersion!

Mt. Manalmon- bring it ON!

There were 12 of us with diverse lifestyle, but with same passion and goal for that day-to conquer Mt. Manalmon.

We met at around 7am at the Fivestar Bus station along EDSA in Cubao, and departed on the same for Brgy. Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan. We took local transportation-tricycle from the drop-off point going to Sitio Madlum. There were at least 3 barangays that you will need to pass by and would entail a 45 minute ride.

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Reached Sitio Madlum! Hello Mt. Manalmon.

There are two ways to get into the registration office through the Monkey Bridge or the “balsa”.

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The Monkey Bridge.

Before the real hiking, we were asked to do register which costs us around 70php per head. We have 2 tour guides since we need a front and back guides in case there will someone might get lost.

Upon the orientation, we were asked which trail are we going to take. My friend and I did the talking- we chose the hard one! as if we are already pros.

Our tour/trail guides are Kuya Dong and Kuya Carling who did an excellent job! No one got harmed, nor lost plus we’ve got some trivia about the Mountain.

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Prepared to get wet!

We passed by a virgin stream which was so cold! as if you would like to spend your night there!

Since we took the hard one, we should expect it would be stiff and yes! it was! I thought my asthma would recur during our hike, but it was a mere reaction  that my lungs are working! hehehe..

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The summit.

The hike to summit took only 1 hour and half depends if you have a lot  breaks and capturing moments. When you get into the summit, all the pain, the hardship that you’ve surpassed were all paid! As if you own the world! No one will tell you to do this and that in a snap of their fingers, no pollutants only the nature and the cool breeze!

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Conquered Mt. Manalmon.

All of us were tired, but our adrenalin keeps on telling us we need more! So we indulged ourselves to Bayukbuk cave.

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Bayukbuk cave.

We sweat as if we went to gym and burned some fabs, but we did not. 🙂  If  you are claustrophobic, I suggest try to do some closed-door encounter with your room, lights off, for you to get a glimpse of what is like inside the cave.

The Spelunking experience would start passing by the “male reproductive organ” room, you got the idea what it is like inside that room 😛

Next would be a rappelling down to the music room. It was a bit tough to do rappelling since it rained the day before our spelunking escapade, so it was muddy and the stalagmites and stalactites were slippery aside from the fact that they are sharp.

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Getting ready for rappelling!

In rappelling, you should trust your guide and your body, if they say stretch do it otherwise say goodbye to the world! 😀

This is the music room, supposedly, if you try to tap one of the stones there, you will hear a drummed like echo . I have been longing to climb a helicopter-ladder, I only used to watch those in Indiana Jones movie doing this!

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Helicopter ladder.

Lessons Learned:

It was my second time to do mountain climbing; yet it was another experience that was worth it! It was not a simple escape from urbanity but a mere enlightenment; to act on your dreams and work for reality. I learned it was not tough to change nor explore something new, it would entail courage – yes, but at the end of the day, there will be no regrets, no what ifs. What if I did not join my friend in this weekend getaway? I might regret, – definitely will; what if I don’t allow myself to get used to crowd? A lot or what ifs that I will surely regret or should set as a challenge?

I think this is just the start- that is for sure! There will be more weekend escapades, more mountains to conquer!