Monday, November 16, 2015

Mt. Maculot | Changes and Updates 2015

It's been a while since I last hiked this "infamous" mountain, it was December of 2013. Back then, guides weren't mandatory, and yeah, the summit was not bald as it is right now. So much has changed in past 1 year and 11 months.


Sunday - November 15, 2015

I've managed to hike Mt. Maculot several times before, from doing the easy day hike to Rockies to doing a traverse from Grotto. Check out my blogs in the following links:
Mt. Maculot Traverse: Grotto to Summit to Rockies 1.
Mt. Maculot Traverse: Grotto to Summit to Rockies 2.
Mt. Maculot Rockies via Old Trail
Mt. Maculot Rockies via New Trail.

But now that I'm back after almost 2 years not hiking Mt. Maculot, I've noticed changes in the mountain.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tech solutions for the modern mountain climber

Although I think one of the greatest things about going mountain climbing is feeling free and far away from the trappings of modern life, there can definitely more than a few occasions when a little technology can come to the modern mountain climber's aid.

Whether it be the latest mapping app, an online gaming tool, or even a fun camera gadget, it seems that there's a limitless supply of tech that can help supplement a mountain climber's exploits.

Navigation tools

Obviously it's incredibly important for anybody going up into the mountains to know how to navigate with just the bare essentials of a map and a compass. But there is an increasing range of tech solutions that have helped me find the most magnificent vistas too.

I've found that one of the hardest things to overcome in this regard is the lack of mobile signal in remote locations. Although many of the world's most famous mapping apps such as Google Maps have recently released an offline mode, they aren't best suited to mountaineering.

This is where apps such as Motion X step in to use GPS technology to provide an incredible amount of accurate information regardless of what kind of terrain you are climbing.

Tech for downtime

Of course, mountaineering isn't always about being out on the go. It's also essential to gather a little time to recuperate. If you're lucky enough to find yourself in a mountain cabin with an internet connection, then the Lucky Nugget Casino site can provide hours of entertainment playing slots games with a range of attractive bonuses that can all be accessed from a mobile device so that it should liven up even the most intense snowstorm.

And I've found that it's always good to have lots of entertainment options whilst I'm waiting for my legs to recover from the last hike, which is why the Sandisk Connect Wireless Stick is perfect as it can hold hundreds of movies and TV shows. And more importantly, it can be accessed via Wi-Fi so that anyone can enjoy their chosen media from a mobile device, rather than carrying a bulky laptop up and down a mountain.

Documenting your adventures

I'm sure I'm not alone loving to share my mountaineering exploits with friends and family when I get back home. And whilst there has been a plethora of gadgets that can take photos and video via a body-mounted camera, few are as instantly usable as the likes of the TomTom Bandit that can provide pixel-perfect footage that I've even managed to edit on my mobile.

And finally, I'm always hyper-conscious of making sure that all of my tech is fully charged up. So rather than carrying round an endless supply of power adaptors, I've streamlined the whole operation with the likes of the Power Mod All-in-one Travel Charger that has the bonus feature of being 75% faster than most chargers – and therefore gives me much more time for the mountains!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mt. Sicapoo | Catching the Penguin of Ilocos Norte

I haven't really fully recovered from the jam-packed Ilocos trip we just had one week ago, and yet, here I am again, aboard a bus bound for Ilocos Norte. (Kung may spare time kayo, please do check out my blog about our Ilocos trip in this link). But I won't be visiting any touristy beach nor an aged heritage building, for in this episode of my life, I will be on a mission to reach the highest peak in Ilocos Region.


Day 1 - January 31, 2014
Gasgas River to Balbalitok Campsite

It was still very dark, and everyone seemed still sleeping when we arrived in Laoag City. Masyado pang tahimik. We were to meet with our hired jeepney somewhere there but we can't get through his phone. Tulog pa ata si kuya. So for the meantime, we had breakfast and bought our packed lunch as well in a well-known fast food chain, bilang siya lang naman ang bukas sa mga oras na iyon.

By 6 o'clock, our jeepney service finally arrived. We're all set and excited. Solsona here we come.  

Welcome to Solsona. Who would've thought that this humble town in the outskirts of Ilocos Norte is the gateway to Mt. Sicapoo, the highest in the whole of Ilocos Region. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ilocos Sur | An Accidental Fiesta in Vigan and A Big Big Church in Sta. Maria

On the last leg of our Ilocos Adventure, the two of us found ourselves in the old districts of Vigan. Not only did we see the aged houses of Calle Crisologo, but we also witnessed, accidentally, a fun and colorful local fiesta. Swerte! Aside from that, we also passed by a huge church in the nearby town of Sta Maria.

This post is the 4th and last part of my Ilocos Blog Series. For the Pagudpud leg of the trip check this link, for Burgos-Bangui leg of the trip click this link, and lastly, for the Laoag-Paoay-Batac part of the trip follow this link.


Day 3 - January 22, 2014

After three days of going through and around the well known places and not very well known places in Ilocos Norte, we finally came to Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur. Sa wakas, we entered the southern leg of our Ilocos backpacking trip.

It was past 6 in the evening when we got in the central plaza. There were so many people, loud sounds were being played, and colorful lights illuminate almost every aged structure around the place. It appears that something was going on, and we're totally clueless about it.

City Hall of Vigan

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ilocos Norte | Old Stuffs from Laoag, Paoay and Batac

During the first two days of our Ilocos trip, we indulged ourselves mostly to nature's wonders. But this time, as we reach the third day of our trip, our country's great and dark past shall be rekindled. Not only natural gems do Ilocos Norte keep within its boundaries, but also rich history that survived the test of time. 

This is the third part of my Ilocos travel series. Follow the wonders of Pagudpud in this link, and the marvels of Bangui and Burgos in this link


Day 2 - January 21, 2014

After seeing and experiencing so much of Bangui and Burgos (you better check out my blog about our trip in those places, see this link), we decided to travel south to Laoag, the province's capital city. I've been to this place maybe a couple of times already, in fact my grandma (mother's side) is from this side of the planet, but honestly, I still haven't seen or toured around the place.

Unlike the bustling Metro Manila, Laoag is still pretty much a laid back city. Not a hint of a hectic life can be observed from the locals. The atmosphere was friendly, and most people would smile, especially to us who obviously look like outsiders. There was no language barrier as well since the people here speak Tagalog fluently.


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