Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Adventure-ful Day at Sitio Madlum

Our adventure in a place called Sitio Madlum at San Miguel, Bulacan offered us not only a mountain to conquer but a lot more activities like river crossing, rock climbing and spelunking. All of which really satisfied our gusto. It's like putting down a group of birds with a single blow.

Last February 12, I suddenly found myself tripping somewhere in the province of Bulacan. Thanks to sir Sony of for inviting me in this adventure-ful trip at Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan.

Crossing the River: Monkey Bridge Style

To experience the thrill of adventures that the Sitio Madlum could offer, one must cross the river first. And based on what I've seen around, there are 4 different ways in crossing the great Madlum River:
 1) Ride a raft - for a fee of course (P5 one way)
 2) Zipline - again for a fee (I forgot the price)
 3) the Monkey Bridge - thrilling and fun
 4) walk by foot - the effortless way
Madlum River

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Climb Itinerary | Mt. Daguldol with Sidetrip to Naambon Falls and Laiya Beach

Our Climb
Date: December 28-29, 2011
Mountain: Mt. Daguldol
Jump off: Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas
Difficulty: 3/9 Minor Climb, 672+ MASL
Climb: Overnight Camping
Budget: P800

view from the higher campsite

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Climb Itinerary | Mt. Mariveles (Tarak Ridge) Dayhike

Our Climb

Date: February 4, 2012
Mountain: Mt. Mariveles
Jump-off: Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan
Difficulty: 4/9 Semi-major Climb, 1,006 MASL
Climb: Dayhike
Budget: P650.00

Tarak Peak

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mt. Mariveles (Tarak Ridge) | Tramping the River and the Ridge in a Day

From the time I was exposed to this so called "mountaineering", all of my weekends starting from the second week of January has been occupied by this addictive activity. In fact, I have hiked 7 mountains already and these were all done in 7 consecutive weeks (ang adik lang noh?). And just like how Doc Gideon described the young mountaineer in his essay (please read this essay, it's inspiring), I can't help myself but to brag each successful hike in my FB page (you may check there my album Kabundukan for my mountain photo collection).

In this post, I will share my fun experience in my 5th mountain, Mt. Mariveles (Tarak Ridge), with the authors of one of my favorite blogs about mountaineering. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Philippine International Pyromusical Competition 2012 - UK and Spain

Oh yes, here comes again the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition. It actually started last week (Feb 11), but due to some school related stuff, I was not able to watch it. It was South Korea and Malta which made the dark night blasting with colors.

It was just so great that I made it last night, after climbing Mt. Tagapo in Isla Talim, battling the rush hour traffic and jogging the length of EDSA from Pasay Rotonda to MOA, I made it to the second week of the competition. This time it was UK and Spain that made the fire dance with the music.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Faro de Punta Capones

Faro de Punta Capones, or simply Capones Lighthouse, is what the Isla de Gran Capon (Capones Island) has been harboring for more than a century already. Up until now, this lighthouse serves the ships that are entering and leaving the busy ports of Manila and and Subic, as well as the ships that sails to China.

old photo of Faro de Punta Capones, date unknown.
photo source here.
The square light tower, as well as the keeper's house, were constructed mainly from red bricks. Tindalo wood was used for the floor, galvanized iron for the roofs, molave and nara for the interiors and volcanic stones for the chairs. The materials for the light - lantern, optical parts and friction belt - were all imported from France.

The island's location though had caused delays to the lighthouse's construction. Strong current around the island had prevented the building of a proper docking area for materials that were being shipped from Manila. The high prevalence of monsoons in this part of the country had also caused interruptions to the lighthouse's building progress. It took seven long years before it finally served its function on 1890.

1893 image of Faro de Punta Capones
photo soure here.
Through the years, harsh weather conditions have caused the deterioration of the whole farola. Only the light tower has remained in good shape, as it is being maintained by the Philippine Coast Guard. But the rest of the building - the keeper's house and the whole courtyard - was left to rot.

Batang Lakwatsero managed to visit this lonely sentinel on the 22nd of January 2012 with a bunch of travel-loving friends. The whole place is in a sorry state. Read his experience with the Faro de Punta Capones in this post.

only the the light tower and its new lantern remained in good shape
back of the lighthouse. 2012
the front of the lighthouse.


Farola Series

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mt. Pinatubo | Beauty of the Mighty Destroyer

The Mighty Destroyer

More than 2 decades ago, terror was spread across the rich land of Central Luzon. Terror that was caused by the destructive 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Giant boulders, flowing lava and suffocating gases were unleashed by a mighty volcano. It left many families homeless, destroyed millions worth of properties and ended numerous lives. It seems that nature took vengeance to mankind.  However, it did not end there, soon after the explosion, heavy downpour of rain came in. Ashes spewed by the volcano mixed with the raging flood, creating a lahar which destroyed anything that blocked its path.

I was not yet born by that time, but by just listening to the stories and watching footage of this of this grim past really horrifies me, and I really feel sorry for the victims of this catastrophic event.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oh Yes I'm In Love

My love for her is getting stronger and more pleasurable. She has become my inspiration, living without her would only mean one thing - total incompleteness. She's the power that keeps my engine going, the fuel that keeps my fiery heart burning. My crookedness becomes more severe and deadly, I'm addicted to her. She's my drug, the ecstasy that makes me high.

I'm a fool, I know, a confused kiddo trapped in a hopeless romance. But after dating her, with no fail, for 6 consecutive weeks, my love for her soars up in the sky (quite literally). Each meet up is a total different experience. She's always at her best, she never fails to amaze me with her enchanting beauty.
I hope I can meet her again soon.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Itinerary | Mt. Pundaquit-Nagsasa-Capones

Our trip
Date: January 21-22, 2012 (2D/1N)
Destination: Mt. Pundaquit-Nagsasa-Capones (San Antonio, Zambales)
Budget: P1,700.00
Trippers: 8

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Capones Island and the Old Farola

Aside from the secluded coves such as Anawangin and Nagsasa, Capones Island has also been one of Zambales' famous destination. But unlike the coves, this island is visited not for its beach (Capones beach is rocky and the waves aren't that friendly) but for the ruined light station it harbors on its western tip.

Finally after an hour of sailing from Nagsasa, our boat approached the vicinity of the bone-shaped Capones Island. Everyone was excited to set feet on the shore. Our boatman then asked us if we'll still be visiting the lighthouse, we answered yes, of course. At first they were hesitant because we left Nagsasa late, but the adamant us managed to convince them in the end.

Welcome to Capones Island
approaching the island

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nagsasa Cove: Camping, Stargazing and Beach Bumming

 Day 1 - January 21, 2012

Our adventure continues as we sailed from the beach of Anawangin to Nagsasa Cove. We chose Nagsasa Cove over the Anawangin Cove because of the the following reasons: 1) Nagsasa Beach has a larger, wider beach perfect for beach bummers, 2) it is less popular than Anawangin but it offers a more stunning mountain backdrop, 3) the number of campers in Nagsasa is significantly lesser than the more popular Anawangin Cove.

Stunned by the great scenic views of rolling hills, high mountains, and awesome cliff formations, the 30 minutes boat ride from Anawangin to Nagsasa turned out to be one of my favorite boat rides ever.

ganda no?
eto pa, maganda din.
andaming bundok, iba't ibang kulay, parang masaya mag mountain hopping sa Zambales
Hello Nagsasa Cove

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mt. Pundaquit | Traverse to Anawangin Cove

For the first time, I celebrated my birthday outside the bounds of Metro Manila. It was an action-packed 20th birthday trip (thanks to my ka-lakwatsas). Part of this weekend adventure was to traverse Mt. Pundaquit (my third mountain) to Anawangin Cove.   

Three hours after boarding Victory Liner's earliest trip to Sta. Cruz, Zambales (04:00 am), I, together with a bunch of adventure-loving friends, arrived at San Antonio - home of Zambales' famous coves and island beaches. As soon as we alighted the bus, Mang Mike, our contact in Brgy. Pundaquit, waved and called our attention. He already hailed three tricycles that will bring us to Brgy. Pundaquit, the main jump-off point to our first destination - Mt. Pundaquit.

Our plan was to eat first our breakfast then buy all the necessary stuff for our overnight camping - food, drinks, coal, etc. - at San Antonio Market before we proceeded to Brgy. Pundaquit. Having no choice, the tricycle drivers waited for us for more than an hour (tricycle regular rate is P30 per head, we paid an additional amount because we made them wait for us for more than an hour).

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Unexpected Duty and TV Appearance

Last February 1, 2012 has been a very busy day for me - I became an Intramuros Tour Guide in the morning then a Wannabe Celebrity at night.

Tour Guide at Your Service

I've done this duty of being an Intramuros tour guide quite a few times already, thrice to be exact, but last wednesday (my fourth) was a different one. A friend and co-blogger, James Betia of, asked me to guide him and his friends inside the walled city (it again tested the history-geek in me). I admit, I'm a Carlos Celdran slash Ivan Man Dy wannabe, guiding foreigners/tourists around Intramuros is a job that I think I would love. It's just that I'm too shy to step up to this tour guide level, I'm just a simple guy with a big heart for history and culture. 
James toured Intramuros as part of his ISANGDAAN Journey, a backpacking challenge around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days, which commenced last Wednesday. I'm flattered and honored to be part of his journey.


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