Sunday, September 23, 2018

Hiking Goals | Achieving "Pilipinas 1-2-3"

The year was 2013. I was only 21... young, spirited, full of passion and carefree. I had a decent job, but earning too little, maybe just enough to fund the daily needs of a corporate slave. But who would have thought? That the young, spirited, passionate and carefree me would be able to complete the so called "Pilipinas 1-2-3".


For those who are not familiar, "Pilipinas 1-2-3" is the term coined by the Philippine mountaineering community to collectively name the three mountains, highest in each island group in the Philippines. We have Mt. Pulag (2,922 meters above sea level) for Luzon, Mt. Kanlaon (2,435 meters above sea level) for Visayas, and of course, Mt. Apo (2,956 meters above sea level) for Mindanao.

Given the beauty and prestige in hiking the three mountains, it is very likely for many, especially the budding hikers or mountaineers who look forward to explore all the mountains of the Philippines one day, to really aspire for the summit of Pilipinas 1-2-3. 

So how did I achieve it? I was only 21, earning too little, passion at energy lang 'ata ang puhunan ko.

location of Pilipinas 1-2-3 on the map of the Philippines. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Making the Most of Being a Full-Time Adventure Blogger

As you know, being a full-time adventure blogger can be a lot of fun. From climbing the highest mountains and exploring the lowest caves, to travelling around the country and making amazing new friends, there are few more enriching and fun ways to spend time. On top of it all, you get some amazing opportunities sent your way, being able to make money and travel for free whilst pursuing your hobbies.

However maintaining a blog like this whilst living an incredibly active and physically demanding lifestyle can be challenging, and it's important to approach your life with a sense of balance and the right attitude. Here are some tips on how to make the most of being a full-time adventure blogger.

Set Your Routine

Source: Pixabay
When you're blogging your adventures full-time, it's easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you have a lot planned (and a lot of mountains to climb). Although this blog can make the life of a dedicated mountaineer seem pretty carefree and spontaneous, it really is anything but. It's best to break everything down into a proper routine well into advanced, like anyone else with a full-time job would do. Schedule in the right times and dates for your climbs sure, but also remember to schedule in writing time, photo editing time, emailing time and of course, downtime.

Make the Most of the Freebies

Source: Pixabay
Anyone who has aspired to be a full-time blogger will be well aware of some of the freebies and bonuses you can get if you do it well. Don't be afraid to embrace these as a fun perk of the job, whether it's free climbing products, plane tickets or even snack boxes! In the digital age, most websites offer bonuses to just about anyone, from shopping sites offering free accessories, to online casinos offering free spins, so get into the habit of snatching up all the freebies you can! Don't be afraid to reach out to companies and people and see what they can offer you, as you might be pleasantly surprised.

Learn to Switch Off

Source: Pixabay
The full-time blogger lifestyle can be pretty hectic, but learning to say no as an essential part of the craft. Especially when your content regularly involves physically-demanding treks, you need to make sure you're getting plenty of downtime, as us adventurers don't exactly live on a 9-5 schedule like normal people do. Sometimes you just need to remember to switch your phone off, lay back and forget about it all for a bit.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Top Hiking Tips for Couples

Do you know which part of the body is most important for the traveler? It's his legs! After all, our legs bring us to meet new impressions and unforgettable adventures. If we treat them casually, our entire "tourist life" will quickly end. And if you go hiking with your beloved (you can find her here:, you need to be twice as attentive and tidy. A joint hike is the best time to get closer and get to know each other better. This is a kind of meditation - during the campaign you do not think about anything annoying, but only about the world around. If you have the opportunity to share this magical moment with your loved one, be sure to use it.

Today we have prepared a small selection of tips on how to protect your legs during a hike and not spoil the impression of adventure. Use this information as a memo before every hiking campaign!

1. Choose the right shoes for the hike. It should be good trekking boots (or even mountain boots) for the appropriate categories of routes: for trekking you can take a softer and lower, even special sneakers, and for mountain hikes you need something more serious.

2. When buying shoes in the store try them on the socks in which you will travel. The longer you are in the store, the better it is: you need to walk for at least 5-10 minutes to understand that you really are comfortable with them.

Shoes must be worn, especially hard shoes. Let you look silly in the city in trekking boots, especially in summer, but this way you will really save your trip: your feet will get used to new shoes, and the chance to rub the calluses or knock down your legs will be much lower.

3. Choose the right socks, and try to walk in them before you start your adventure. In the last route, it was because of my socks that I almost rubbed myself a callus, but I managed to change them in time, and it was just a band-aid. Do not use cotton socks. Special socks for trekking remove moisture from the foot and support the thermal climate inside the boot.

4. Use at least two pairs of socks throughout the day, changing them: the legs should remain dry. Wet feet greatly increase the risk of calluses, as the skin of the legs becomes softer.

5. Properly lace up the shoes: do not overtighten the laces, squeezing the blood circulation, but do not let the shoes hang on the leg. The boot should fit tightly on the leg. This, first, reduces the friction between the legs and shoes and, as a consequence, the chance to earn corn during the campaign, and secondly, saves your ankle from injury, in case of incorrect placement of the foot. Especially often you start to stumble or tuck your foot at the end of the day, or descend from the top, for example, when fatigue begins to affect your attention.

6. Rest your feet. Even at short stops during the passage of the route, remove your shoes and socks, remove the insoles, allow your feet to cool and breathe. Well, at least untie your shoelaces.

7. Check the accessories for the shoelaces on the shoe: sometimes it can press on your feet or rub even through the boot material. At home, before the hike, you can bend or adjust the fittings with pliers, if you feel uncomfortable.

8. In the first appearance of signs of corn, glue on this place perforated patch, try to replace the sock, insole, if corn appears on the foot or heel, tighten, or, conversely, slightly disperse lacing.

9. If the callus continues to grow, use special plasters for calluses: with a soft pillow and a cut under the callus, or plasters "second skin". Personally, I want to recommend Compeed plaster company Johnson & Johnson.

10. You can not pierce the corn to avoid infection because a wet callus is, in fact, an open wound.

I hope that the information I have shared with you will help you get through the whole route according to the traffic schedule, and you will pay attention only to the delightful nature that will surround you.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tanay Adventure | Cave, Waterfalls, and a Lighthouse

Amid my self-imposed hiatus from hiking mountains (kinailangan ko talaga magpahinga sa pag-akyat matapos ang napaka-habang dayhike sa Mt. Pinatubo via Sapang Uwak), a friend invited me to join their day trip in Tanay, Rizal. She told me they were planning to visit a cave, a waterfall, and a lighthouse, all in one day. Pinag-isipan ko itong mabuti. Then I realized, I am a mere mortal with an adventurous soul, so how can I ever decline such opportunity to go outdoors and be adventurous.


Sunday - April 27, 2014

Tucked in the shadows of the Great Sierra Madre is the humble town of Tanay. A place that is home to many outdoor adventure destinations which are fast becoming popular recently, especially in the social media. Among those attractions frequented by visitors are Calinawan Cave, and Daranak-Batlag Falls - happens to be our destinations for the day. Actually, matagal nang kilala ang mga destination na ito, even way before facebook conquered our lives, pero ngayon ko lang sila mapupuntahan.

So our group of spontaneous travelers, upon the invite of Ms. Dezzy, showed up at our meeting place somewhere in Shaw Boulevard-EDSA Crossing one Sunday morning. The town of Tanay is pretty much accessible from Manila via the public transpo parked at EDSA-Shaw Crossing. There are vans, FX and jeepney, pili lang kung alin ang gusto niyo. But for us, we opted to ride a van (P70) and alighted at Tanay Public Maket.

Since it was still quite early, we had our breakfast first in a karinderya somewhere at the town center then hailed tricycles to bring our group of 9 to Calinawan Cave, our first destination for the day. And as usual, I was extremely excited.

this way to Calinawan Cave

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mt. Pinatubo via Sapang Uwak | The Long Way Up

Because reaching the crater of Mt. Pinatubo via the famous Capas trail is too mainstream, we decided to take the much longer, and more physically demanding route (via Sapang Uwak Trail). Para maiba lang. Who would have thought, this unpopular trail offers not only a brand new experience of Mt. Pinatubo, but also a total different perspective of the crater lake. Up to this date, that view of the Pinatubo lake from the crater rim is one of the best sceneries I ever witnessed in my life. Totoo yan, peks man! 

Being a common site for many trail running events, Sapang Uwak trail is actually more popular to trail runners than regular hikers. Its 28-km trail length has long been a challenge to all sorts of adventurers. Usually, hikers would give it one day up to Patag Campsite, spend a night there, continue to the crater the following day and descend the mountain that same day. Giving it a total of 2 days of an adventure.

But not so very long ago, I participated in an event arranged by Sabit-Sabit mountaineers, which aims to hike Mt. Pinatubo via Sapang-uwak trail in just one day. I know, that 50+ kilometer (balikan) in a day sounds a bit absurd, but the fact that a few groups have already done it in the past encourages me to bite this crazy idea. Bahala na si batman.


Sunday - April 6, 2014 

A van full of adventurous souls left Manila at around 12 midnight. The catch is, if we want to finish early, we must as well start very early. Organizers of the hike have made the necessary arrangements with the Sapang Uwak Tourism prior to our hike so getting to the jump-off point went pretty smoothly. Meron kasing check point en route to Sapang Uwak Village. No permit would mean illegal entry, thus bawal tumuloy.

It was 3 in the morning when we arrived at Sapang Uwak Village, and right away we began hiking. Accompanying us were 2 aeta guides from the village. By the way, Sapang Uwak is an aeta village. 

The trail was rather friendly during the first few hours of our hike. It was a long open dirt road with a seemingly never ending series of uphills and downhills. The sun hasn't pierced the dark sky just yet so I was kind of clueless how the environment looked like on the early parts of the trail.

Two hours into trekking, the sun finally showed up, revealing the distinct contour of Mt. Arayat.


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