Mt. Ulap

Mt Ulap is a new mountain getting a lot of attention from all hikers – newbie, seasoned hikers or hardcore hikers. You can enjoy the beauty by simply doing a dayhike. This was featured in Lakbay to Love movie of Solenn Heusaff and Dennis Trillo. So before it became congested and to cure my weekend boredom, I joined the hike of Trail Insanity (c/o Rox) and paid Php 500 for this trek inclusive of dinner plus side trip to Baguio. The fee is lower since I’ll just meet them here in Baguio since I live here. It doeszn’t matter if I have no friends on the trek. Travelling solo made me an independent, confident woman and at the same time, it gives me a chance to meet new friends.

I was so excited for this trip to have my instagram worthy photo at the famous Gungal rock. I woke up at 4am and met the group at 4:30 am at Loakan Airport Arc. We had to stop and wait for another participant at PMA. After few minutes, our group is complete and we’re on our way to Mt Ulap. We arrived past 5am at Ampucao National High School where you need to register and get your guide.

We started the hike at 5:30am and ended the hike by noon time traverse to Barangay Sta Fe. As usual, we are last to arrive the peak together with my new friends – Lher, Ruth and Emz. I enjoyed hiking with these three ladies since we always have time for photo op. We enjoyed the view and talk about a lot of things. Just like me and Bim, they met each other and became friends during a trip only. Then they became travel buddies.

Here’s my photo diary for this trek and some important information.

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pls read 🙂

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Trail Map

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Team Mt. Ulap – Trail Insanity

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let’s start the trek 🙂

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ah! mornings like this ❤

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sea of clouds

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approaching Mt. Amabanao Paoay

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view from Mt. Ambanao Paoay

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twin mountains

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trail to Mt. Gungal

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the hills are alive 🙂

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trail to Mt. Ulap

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at Mt. Gungal

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another breath taking view

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finally, reached the top of Mt. Ulap

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Going down 😦

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Shower Time! for a fresher you 🙂

What do you think about this blog? Leave me a comment or email at roanguerrero@yahoo.com. Thank you! 🙂

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Beyond Baguio

With the completion of the Pangasinan portion of TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan- La Union Expressway), the trip to Baguio from Manila via Kennon Road is only 3 to 4 hours. It’s  fast and easy so every weekend, lots of tourist goes to Baguio not only due to cold weather but also to see the famous tourist spots in the city. But did you know that there are other places that you can visit beyond Baguio City?

Here are my top five (5) spots that will surely make your weekend to Baguio more exciting:

1. BALATOC MINES, ITOGON BENGUET. Learn and experience the life of a miner. This is just 30 minutes away from Baguio City. This can be reach via private car or public jeepney bound to Balatoc-Acupan located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 24/pax.  Tour Fee is  Php 250/pax with certificate. It’s a 2 hour tour inside the tunnel where you learn about the stages of gold mining while wearing the proper safety gear. You can contact them at 09212990169 or visit their site at http://www.facebook.com/balatocminestour. Make sure to contact them first since it was closed last November due to the typhoon.

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miner on duty

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Balatoc Mines

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learning about mining

2. DAYHIKE AT MT. ULAP , ITOGON BENGUET. Lose some calories by doing a day hike to Mt. Ulap (4 to 6 hours trek). Here you’ll see the stunning views of mountains, pines and grassland ridges and even burial caves. This is just 40 minutes away from Baguio City. This can be reach via private car or public jeepney bound to Ampucao located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 32/pax.  Just ask local directions on how to reach Ampucao Barangay Hall where you need to register and secure a guide. Better if you hike with your friends so you can save some cash on guide fee.

Mt Ulap EcoTrail Text Lines: 09284831113, 09217292726 &09182788625

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the famous rock…say NO to vandalism

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3. CHASING WATERFALLS: BRIDAL VEIL FALLS & COLORADO FALLS, TUBA BENGUET.  You can visit these falls before going up to Baguio since it’s located at the border between Camp 1 and Camp 2 Kennon Road. But if you’re in Baguio already, ride the public vans located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 70/pax. Just tell the driver to drop you at Twin Peaks, Colorado Falls. Then after hiking at Colorado, you can either walk or ride a tricyle (Php 15) to go to Bridal Veil Falls.

No hike required to reach Bridal Veil Falls, you can actually see it from the highway and can see it closer by crossing the hanging bridge. There is no fee, just bring your swimwear and enjoy the cold water.

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Bridal Veil Falls

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some local boys having fun at the falls

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Just 5 to 10 minutes away from Bridal Veil Falls is the Colorado Falls at Twin Peaks. It’s a 27-tier waterfalls. There’s a “no trespassing sign” so I guess it’s closed now. Make sure you get a local to guide you on your hike/trek since the trail is not that good. You need to cross the hanging bridge, rivers and climb huge boulders. Take extra careful, just one wrong move and it’s game over.

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Colorado Falls

4. KLONDYKE HOT SPRING, TUBA BENGUET. It’s  a small beautiful resort located at Camp 1. You’ll reach this first before going to Baguio via private car. But if you’re in Baguio already, ride the public vans located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 70/pax. Just tell the driver to drop you at the resort. This is a perfect place to relax. Entrance Fee is Php 100/pax.8

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Hot Springs 🙂

5. MT STO TOMAS, TUBA BENGUET. This is one of my favorite place to do hiking even before the famous “Forevermore” TV Series. Make sure not to miss the Sto Tomas Reservoir, radar and the bedrock. You can get here via private car, or rent a taxi (Php 300/hour) or public jeepneys located near Hotel Veniz (fare: less than Php 50/pax).

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Welcome to Mt. Sto Tomas

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love the mountains 🙂

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Mt. Sto Tomas Reservoir

So next time you go to Baguio, make sure not to miss this.

 

 

What do you think about this blog? Leave me a comment or email at roanguerrero@yahoo.com. Thank you! 🙂

 

 

 

Baguio’s Hunted House: Diplomat Hotel

Diplomat Hotel is an old abandoned former hotel located at Dominican Road, Baguio City, Philippines. It is famous for being a haunted place. Here’s some history:

The Dominican Order in the Philippines decided in May 1911 to construct a vacation house on top of what was later called the Dominican Hill. It was a 17-hectare property the Dominicans acquired from the previous American owners. Construction work was believed to have started in 1913 under Fr. Roque Ruano and the building was inaugurated about two years later on May 23, 1915. To take advantage of tax exemptions, a school called Collegio del Santissimo Rosario was opened in June 1915 but due to the very small enrollment, the school closed two years later and the building was reverted back to the original plan of setting up a vacation house.

During the 2nd World War, Dominican Hill was occupied by refugees fleeing from the Japanese Army Liberation Forces. Later the Japanese forces bombed the refugees out which resulted in extensive damages to the main structure and the surrounding area. Reconstruction work started in 1947 and was completed in about a year.

Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired ownership of the property in 1973 and remodeled thoroughly the interior into a 33-bedroom hotel but still retaining the unique and distinct personality which was earlier established by the Dominican friars. Even the large white cross on top of the building was retained. The hotel was managed by Tony Agpaoa, a Baguio-based entrepreneur and faith healer whose guests were mostly his patients from Europe. Diplomat Hotel ceased operations with the death of Agpaoa of a heart attack in 1987 and has since been closed to the public.

I’ve been in this place for several times to give tour for my family and friends who visit me from time to time. Yeah, the place is eerie…but I didn’t see or felt anything unusual! Good thing, I have no six sense…but a sick sense as my friend Lei used to tease me when we went there.

Before, you can actually go up and take photos at the cross, but due to the renovations made for the 2013 Cinemalaya Indie Film (The Diplomat Hotel), it’s now prohibited.

 with my good friends – Alelie “Lei” Guevarra, Magdalena “Lecat”  Trapse and Maria Rouchella “Ching” Adap.

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Aside from the hotel, you can also see the Guinness World’s Largest Ten Commandments Tablet beside it which was inaugurated last Oct 2011. This is to remind people of the best behavior that we should have.

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What are you waiting for? Come and visit Baguio! 🙂

BenCab Museum

BenCab Museum is a must see spot in Baguio City. Why? This is just the museum of Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (famously known as BenCab) who is awarded as our National Artist in the Philippines for visual arts (painting) last 2006. It’s just BenCab who is the best selling painter of his generation of Filipino artist.

First, you’ll be fascinated by the wonderful arts at the museum.

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Then you can relax at the garden. Ah..just wanna sleep here! 🙂

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For more information, visit their official website: http://www.bencabmuseum.org.

Camp John Hay: Historical Core

Did you know that Camp John Hay used to be the major hill station used for rest and recreation by the United States Department of Defense employees and their dependents. Although it was officially designated as a communications station. It was named after Roosevelt’s Secretary of State, John Milton Hay when President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order settling aside land in Benguet for a military reservation under the United States Army on October 25,1903. Thanks Wikipedia! 🙂

Now Camp John Hay is one of the famous tourist attraction in Baguio. So what to expect  when you go to Camp John Hay Historical Core?

1. The Bell House was named in honor of Gen. J. Franklin Bell. The house was originally the vacation quarters of the Commanding General of the Philippines. It was General Bell who essentially transformed Camp John Hay into a major military resort. Today, the Bell House serves as a modern museum of colonial architecture and lifestyle. A portrait of John Milton Hay is set at the center of the living room, while the walls adorn images of Camp John Hay history.

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2. Bell Amphitheater, this structure was also designed by and named in honor of General J. Franklin Bell. It’s an auditorium that can seat four thousand people throughout which a whisper can be heard. This is now being utilized for religious services, concerts, lectures, theatrical performances and other forms of public entertainment. Indeed, the Amphitheater serves as an engineering marvel; no wonder that this site offers the perfect backdrop for all occasions.

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2. History Trail. Take a walk under the pine canopy while learning the 100-year history of Camp John Hay through the History Trail. The winding path along the flower beds beside the Bell House has history boards that post the highlights of Camp John Hay’s story. The trail is a 30-minute stroll that ends at the Bell Amphitheater.

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3. Liberty Park.

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4. Treetop Adventure. If you’re an adventure junkie, be sure to visit this place. Visit their website for the full list of adventures (packages) and price – http://www.treetopadventureph.com. 

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5. Cemetery of Negativism. See my post at: https://journeywithroan.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/camp-john-hay-cemetery-of-negativism/

Camp John Hay: Cemetery of Negativism

The Cemetery of Negativism is the symbolic burial place of negative behaviors & attitudes. This can be seen at the Camp John Hay Historical Core. I really had a great time as I walk along the path and amused by … Continue reading

Baguio City Flower Festival (PANAGBENGA Festival)

One of the famous festival in the Philippines is the annual Panagbenga Festival (Blooming Flower Festival in English)held at Baguio City. I’m very lucky that I can witness this event every year since I work here. It’s a month long festival … Continue reading