I read a tweet somewhere that it is okay to be broke if it is because of traveling, to which I completely agree. If there is one thing I am so willing to spend my money on, it is traveling – getting new experiences, meeting new people, eating new food and trying something out of this world. Doing and experiencing things is a lot better than getting things. And I am thankful for yet another year filled with great memories and unforgettable experiences from so many different places.
January 24 | Mt. Palay-Palay/Pico de Loro, Cavite
My favorite spot at the Mt. Palay-Palay’s monolith. Such a breath-taking view.
January 31 | Baler, Aurora
When you get that sudden rush to get away from your comfort zone, here’s a perfect place to escape. Try surfing while your legs are strong enough to ride the waves. I can’t wait to go back there this year with my favorite people in the world!
February 7-8 | Rock climbing at Norzagaray | Mt. Balagbag
Went on a day hike to conquer all 3 rock formations of Norzagaray, Bulacan– Gorilla, Lioness Back, and Rhino. After basking under the heat of the sun and climbing the steep and sharp rocks, we then decided to go to Mt. Balagbag to set camp.
February 14-15 | Valentine’s Day Island Hopping in Quezon Province- Dampalitan, Padre Burgos > Puting Buhangin, Pagbilao > Borawan, Padre Burgos
With the folks from Alamat Mountaineers– because we missed the sun, the sea, and the sand so much, we headed south and got our own doze of Valentine’s day getaway. It was such a great time to spend the weekend in here with a yummy nachos in one hand and a cold bottle of beer in the other, while digging our toes into the soft, white sand.
March 7-8 | Tinipak River and Mt. Daraitan, Rizal
Forever assault trails! I was silently cursing inside as the trail was steep and straightforward. There were times where I slid and felt out of balance. Talk about coccyx injury that I had to deal with all throughout the climb. Being surrounded by the whole Sierra Madre region gave us a natural high. Truly, this mountain won’t be classified as 4/9 for nothing, thus giving birth to me naming it as the mother of assault.
March 14-15 | Mt. Pulag, Benguet
Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Mt. Pulag’s nature peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
April 11-12 | Pundaquit Beach > Camara Island > Capones Island > Anawangin Cove > Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
It was the time of the year again for another beach escapade and bonding. Many were already going to the beach and enjoying the cool water under the sun so we checked out these five affordable beach destinations that are only 3-5 hours away from Manila.
Because it’s fun to scare yourself, I got my own doze of adrenaline rush at a not-so-known cliff diving spot in Nagsasa cove.
April 22-29 | Enchanted Kingdom > Baguio City > Tam-Awan Village, Benguet > Lomboy Farms, La Union
Seth’s week-long birthday celebration and summer vacay.
May 17 | Mt. Marami, Cavite
The trek to the summit wasn’t that technical and it isn’t that hard either. The only thing that went our way was the distance of the summit as it was as if traversing another mountain. We went through a variety of trails and we had to do river crossing for three times. There were a few assault trails but it wasn’t that hard.
May 30-31 | Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
Nagsasa Cove revisited with some of my friends from Trail Insanity and Alamat Mountaineers.– Our last hooraaah for the summer before the rainy season starts.
June 13 | Mt. Palay- Palay/ Pico De Loro via New Trail (day hike)
Pico de Loro revisited via New trail with the gang of Makati Medical Center (OR and ER Depts.) And YES, that’s US who conquered the monolith together! Such an awesome-saucesome priceless moment taken by Avel who literally trail ran from the monolith to the summit just to achieve this shot.
June 27-28 | Mt. Balagbag, Bulacan
Chill climb weekender.
August 8-9 | Mt. Batulao
Another weekender climb that’s worth the laughter coz of the stories we shared. ‘Though we weren’t able to ascend to the summit on the second day because there was no clearing and it was rainin’ cats and dogs, sure enough that we really had a great time! 🙂
August 15-16 | Mt. Balingkilat traverse to Nagsasa, Zambales
It was a weekend so hot, we carried bundles of water intended just for cooling our heads, literally. It was a journey so scorching we crammed all 14 of us under a very young and small tree just to attain mere seconds of shade. A climb with a heat so intense, a minute unprotected by shade made my drinking water close to boiling (no kidding). This is one of the most memorable climb I’ve had for months during our traverse to Nagsasa cove atop the blazing hot trails of Mt. Balingkilat.
September 5-8 | Cebu Escapade with the Fambam
DAY 1: September 5
Arrival at Mactan AIrport Cebu | Ayala Mall for lunch and some groceries | Lunch at Chikaan sa Cebu (Ayala Mall) | South bus terminal- Ceres bus to Oslob proper (3-4 hours) Check-in at Oslob Hotel Sebastian/ Oslob Payag ni Sebastian | Dinner at “kalye ihawan” (chorizo sticks is a must-try) | Rest/ Sleep
DAY 2: September 6
Breakfast | Whaleshark watching adventure | Exploring Tumalog Falls | Back to the hotel/ Lunch/ Check-out | Back to the City | Check-in at Vacation Hotel Cebu | Dinner at EastWest Restau (The Walk, IT Park) | Rest/ Sleep
Day 3: September 7
Breakfast- Vacation Hotel Cebu | Magellan’s Cross | Sto. Niño Basilica De Cebu | Cebu Heritage Monument | Yap- Sandiego Ancestral House | Lunch | Taoist Temple, Beverly Hills | Dinner- Ayala Mall | Rest/ Sleep
Breakfast | Cebu Guitar Factory | Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Mactan | Back to the hotel/ prepare/ check-out | Lunch at the airport | Flight back to Manila
September 19-20 | Mt. Mariveles/ Tarak Ridge, Bataan
A test of endurance.– The first few parts of the trail were wide and flat, but as expected, there’s always more to the journey. Majority of the climb was filled with steep trails where we had to grab on to whatever we can for balance- tree trunks, stems, vines, grass, rocks, etc. I also had to channel my inner Spiderman several times for a bit of rock-climbing here and there. Was it scary? Yes. Was it fun? Hell yeah!
November 8-9 | Mt. Maranat
It’s good to be back to my mother mountain after almost a year.
December 12-13 | Mt. Ugo Traverse (Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya to Itogon, Benguet)
My 2015 year-ender climb. Mt. Ugo is one of the highest mountains in Benguet and it is is one of the great Cordillera traverse having the entry point in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and an exit point in Itogon, Benguet. This enchanting forest will welcome you with an unforgettable experience of spectacular views andbreathtaking sea of clouds at the summit.
It was indeed a year of great adventures and travels. I am looking forward to another year of continued appreciation of our country’s beautiful mountains, nature scenery, ocean views, and island beaches. You’ll never run out of places to see here in the Philippines so there is no way but drown in heart-stopping and breathtaking life experiences in 2016. So, which places shall I get lost this year?