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! 🙂

Day 1: Negros Oriental Eco Tour :-)

Despite the storm and me being alone on this trip, it didn’t stop me explore Negros Oriental.

I contacted several tour agency in Dumaguete but most of the tour package are beyond my budget. Good thing, I stumbled on the page of WPG Philcan Tours (http://philtraveltours.com). Their tour package is in USD but I still tried to contact them. To my surprise, Gord (owner) replied to me and he was very accommodating and willing to help me out on this trip with affordable budget. If you have plan to visit Negros Oriental, you can contact him via email – gord@traveltours.com or call him at 09154881914.

My guide – Kuya Jong2 pick me at the Gazeebo Pension House. We will be going to Dauin for snorkeling and Casaroro Falls via tricycle.

with Manong Tricycle driver

with Manong Tricycle driver

Unfortunately, due to the typhoon which brought big waves made it so impossible or difficult for me to go snorkeling. I’m a bit disappointed since I’m not able to see the fishes. 😦

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overlooking Apo Island

overlooking Apo Island

no swimming! :-(

no swimming! 😦

After a few photo op, I told him that we can just go to Casaroro Falls. It will be difficult to go there via tricycle so we decided that I’ll just ride on his motorcycle. It’s not a big deal for me since I used to ride motorcycle with my brothers in Subic.

There are so many beautiful sights along the way so I can’t resist but to take some photos. I usually have more than 1000 photos on any of my trips. Am I addicted to photos? 🙂

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At last, we’re here! There’s a stairs going down to Casaroro Falls. But to may dismay, I still can’t see the magnificent falls at the end of the stairs. You need to take the difficult (for me) trail and trek for another 20-30 minutes to see the falls. I didn’t push to do the trek since my guide is not familiar on the trail. So I was disappointed again….

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Seeing that I’m so disappointed, my guide told me that he’ll bring me to a better falls for free. So we went to see “MALABO FALLS” at Valencia. It is popularly known as Pulang Bato Falls due to the red color of its rocks. Locals say it is the presence of iron minerals that made the rocks turn red.

we're here!

we’re here!

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Pulang Bato Falls

Pulang Bato Falls

I actually enjoyed my visit here since I had the chance to swim. Just a short walk from the entrance is the man-made stone-lined swimming lagoon that is fed by small ‘falls’ cascading down the walls surrounding the lagoon.

spot the mini me :-)

spot the mini me 🙂

Then if you go down, you’ll see the picnic area and another waterfalls where you can jump and dive.

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swimming time

swimming time

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And then the main waterfalls.

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The way to Malabo Falls let’s you pass the highway where you can see some steam vents spewing out hot sulfuric smoke.

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Then off to Tierra Alta Residential Resort. It felt like I was in Greece. I love their Greek inspired clubhouse & pavilion, lighthouse and lagoon type infinity swimming pool. I could live here! 🙂

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It was a bad start but ended nicely.

March 10, Day 3: Lost in Summer Palace

After our sumptuous meal at Wangfujing, it’s time to see the famous Forbidden City. We just walk towards the entrance since it’s near. To our surprise, there is a very very long line going to Forbidden City. Plus so many … Continue reading

March 9, Day 2: The Great Wall of China

When I was a kid (well, I’m still kid at heart 🙂 ), I love reading history books. I’m always fascinated on how people built the Wonders of the World such as the Pyramid of Giza and The Great Wall … Continue reading

DIY: Mt. Pulag Trek via Ambangeg Trail

Finally, after almost seven (7) years living in Baguio City, I was able to climb Mount Pulag, the third highest (used to be second 😦 ) mountain in the Philippines, next to Mount Apo and Mount Dulang Dulang last February 22 to 23 (Sunday to Monday). We didn’t hike during weekend since lots of climbers are visiting Mt. Pulag during Saturday and Sunday. Around 700 hikers climb the mountain during that weekend..so it’s very crowded at the peak.

Mt. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,922 meters above sea level. The border between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain’s peak. Highlights of the climb includes the montane forests and the grassland summit with its “sea of clouds” phenomenon. There are four major trails up the summit: the Ambangeg, Akiki, and Tawangan trails from Benguet  and the Ambaguio trail from Nueva Vizcaya. These trails are managed by the Mount Pulag National Park, under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  Be sure to make reservations for your hike at DENR. They will no longer allow hike with no reservation due to the increase of hikers going to Mt. Pulag.  We took the Ambangeg trail, the easy trail and a two day trek only. Perfect for beginners! I had no muscle pain after the trek and was able to heels at work — so far, my Mt. Pico de Loro trek is still the hardest. But this climb is special, as this became a one day trek (8rs up and down the summit).

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We are a small group of hikers (8 hikers – Efren & wife Joy, Mac2 & wife Maribel, Jeff & girlfriend Maryfe, Mernie and me) from Baguio. They are my colleagues at Moog with their partners. We hired a jeepney to get us from Baguio City to Mt. Pulag Ranger station (cost is PHP 8,000 or $177). We left the meet up place (Caltex Station near Victory Liner Station) at 6:10am and arrived at DENR at 9:00am for our orientation. It took us two hours as we had to eat breakfast and sidetrip at Ambuklao Dam. 🙂

Breakfast at Pinkan Jo Eatery

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Side Trip – Ambuklao Dam

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Orientation at DENR (need to pay PHP100/pax or $2/pax). We thought we are the first to arrive but there are three (3) groups doing their orientation already. So we had to wait for our turn. You can also reserve your souvenir shirts already and get it after the trek. I bought a shirt, a refrigerator magnet and got myself my Mt Pulag Certificate.

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There are three camping site at Mt. Pulag (Camp 1, 2 and 3). But since it’s been raining a few days before, Camp 2 is closed since it’s muddy. It was only closed last Friday. Camp 1 can only accomodate 4 to 7 tents so the first group got the spot already. And then, Camp 3 it’s for the hikers who will be taking the Akiki Trail. So we have no choice but to camp at the Ranger Station. You can actually choose if you want to do homestay or put your tents (camping fee is PHP50/pax or $1/pax).

Camp 1

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Camp 2

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Overlooking – Camp 3

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We arrived at the Ranger Station at 11:10am. You need to pay PHP80/pax for the environmental fee and guide fee PHP120/pax. We will start our hike to Mt. Pulag Summit at 1:00am (Monday morning). It’s still a long day for us so we had our afternoon nap  so we have energy for the very early morning trek.

Thanks to Jeff and Maryfe, they bought and cooked our dinner. It was so cold so make sure you bring thick clothes (sweater, thermal shirt & pants, gloves, bonnet). I had to wear 4 layers of clothes and still catch a cold. We slept at 9:30pm but woke up at 11:00pm since I can’t breathe due to colds. Good thing, I bought my medicines.

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We started our trek at 2:00am. We had to leave Mac and his wife since he is not feeling well. It’s ok since this is not their first time to visit Pulag.

When we started the trek, I had to stop and remove some of my sweaters since it felt so warm. I also continue to sneeze as the temperature changes (hot — cold then hot). After almost 30 mins, we arrive at Camp 1. Get some short rest and starts walking again, arrived at Camp 2 at 4:00am. Sorry, no photos during this trek as it’s too dark. We had our headlights and flashlights on to be our eyes.

After 3 hours of walking and sneezing (I have colds huhu!), we finally arrived at the summit (5:00am) and waited for the sunrise. It’s too cold so had to wear all my sweater and gloves again.

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Sadly, I didn’t see any sea of clouds. Good thing, we have this time elapsed video from one of the hikers — Bong Bajo “Prelude of Dreams”. Enjoy! 🙂

After staying at the summit for almost two hours, it’s time to go down and enjoy the beautiful sites.

Can’t resist not to stop and take lots of photos.

Grass Land

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Mossy Forest/ Pine Forest

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Arrived at Ranger Station at 11:00am.

Side trip at Daclan Sulfuric Spring.

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Back in Baguio at 5:00pm. 🙂

Trail: Baguio – Ambuklao – DENR – Ranger Station – Camp 1 – Camp 2 – Mt. Pulag Summit

Hike to Mt. Sto Tomas (now as Sitio La Presa)

Sitio La Presa is one of the famous tourist spot now in Baguio City. Thanks to Forevermore– our local TV series which was shoot in this area. The amount of tourist have increased tremendously due to this series. It’s good … Continue reading

Dayhike at Pico De Loro

It’s another long weekend for me last July so I booked myself and my colleague Mernie for a day hike   to Mt. Pico de Loro via Travel Factor. It says that this is good for beginners (like me) and expert … Continue reading