Sirao Peak Funtrek With Office Ladies

It’s more fun…trekking with more friends indeed. 🙂 The weather was perfect for a climb, and everyone honored the agreed assembly time before 9 AM. For the first time, the boyfie and I arrived in Gaisano Talamban 15 minutes before 9. Haha!
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Having fun playing 7Ate9 – card game in mathematics. 😛
 While waiting for the others to be done with breakfast, some played card games. By 9:45, we had our group picture, prayed for a good weather and a no injury climb, then walk to Sunny Hills for a motorbike ride to the jump off in Baogo.
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Group pic before leaving the assembly area.
 At 10, we were ready to trek but not before we had the “family” portraits per group. Since we were many, I decided to divide the groups into 3 manageable groups w/ OICs in each group. The head group headed by the trail lead, the boyfie Migo. Middle group by me, the self-proclaimed photographer of the event. The tail group headed by Liz and swept by Angel.
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 Our phase was relaxed but since it’s been six months since our last visit, the boyfie and I didn’t know that some of the trail’s difficuty got worse. Good thing, no one was injured while trying their best to trek on 3 major challenging parts where we need extra care in crossing.
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On the trails before the arduous parts. 😀

The Challenging Parts

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On the way to the river. The first hard part where the group take turns in trekking with extra care. Pic 6 shows Te Noela and Biboy supporting Xyna across the slippery slope.
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After the first challenging part, comes a more challenging part. Another slope with an even slippery trail that ends in an orchard. While waiting for the others to cross, pic 6 shows the triumphant trekkers who just had their share of crawls. 😀
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Another challenging trail after the orchard! This is on the way to the river!
Lunch stop at the clearing after crossing the river
We reached the falls at 11:30 but since some opt not to see it, it has been decided to have lunch at “The Manggahan”. We were there at 12:15. We had lunch, some rested while others played. The group were divided while playing. The tail group coached by Van2x and Arsenio played Super Circles. Head and middle group coached by Analyn played 7Ate9 and Spot It. And then, the boyfie, keeping track of the time told me to announced it was time to go at 1:15. They suggested to have it at 1:30. By that time, some opt to rest for 15 minutes while those who were to energetic opt to play “The Resistance” where Nadia became the ultimate “Spy”. Haha!
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Photo break in the orchard after braving the challenging part 2.
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Lunch break at “The Manggahan”!
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Crossing the river!
We finally left at 2:00 PM and was at “The Store” 15 minutes after enjoying the extra kick of cold soft drinks.
At 2:45, we were ready to conquer the mostly uphill trails. We had 4 major rest or picture breaks before starting the summit ascent; in the mango tree with the nice city view, the bamboo, at the plum tree then at and the grassy place just before starting the cogon laden pathways.
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Other challenging tasks!
 During our visit in June, the cogons were high and green, yesterday it was brownish with specks of black ash indicating it has been burnt. No information was gathered why it became so but me thinks it’s because of the hot weather? Hmmm!

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Group pic at Sirao Peak. Ladies. Gentlemen. Group pic at the clearing before Ayala heights. Waiting for the ride to JY!

Then finally, at 4 PM, we reached Sirao Peak as planned, indicated in our itinerary. Wew! That was some trek. And it wouldn’t have been that great if the trekkers, both seasoned and first timers, weren’t that great as well. It was everything I optimistically think it would be – a funtrek!

We stayed in the peak for almost an hour, taking in the views, enjoying the air and mostly cam whoring! And then it was time to say bye-bye. Some suggested we’d wait for the other trekkers in our company before leaving but the sun was threatening to set already. So we opt to leave according to plan but as we were about to, we saw some office mates arriving. We had a quick picture then catch up with the others who went ahead. By 5:15, we saw the clearing. Another group picture and merry making then off we resume walking in the road to Ayala Heights with an extra excitement for the buko and sweet corn in a nearby store.

And then…heartache at 6:00 PM. No more buko and sweet corn. Huhu! When asked, the vendor told me that on non-Sundays, they usually don’t cook corns 30 minutes before 6 anymore. Huwaaaaaaah! Imagine the disappointed look on my face. When the disappointment settled down, I realized I have another problem. How do I get us out of there? We were 23. We need 11 motorbikes and I don’t see any jeepney around. Hmmm! And then I thought of walking down to the nearby house in the road. When I pass by the house just before reaching my target, a lady asked me where I’m off to. I told her my problem. And…viola! She offered her 2 rides. I am so blessed and lucky indeed.

I wish I took a picture of us in the ride but it was in the boyfie’s pocket already. Haha! For a motorbike price of Php50/person, we hailed 2 multicabs. 11 in the other cab, and 12 in our cab. Me thinks it’s more comfortable than the motorbike since I was able to talk to them on the long ride to JY square. Special thanks to Ate Tessie for the offer. Hoping to have that ride again when we come back next time. 😀 Unfortunately, I opt not to get the contact. LOL

And then it was time to go home and rest. The others who were famished went to dinner at AA’s – our last stop for the day that started in Jollibee in Gaisano Talamban.
I still have more thoughts but keeping it in as a beautiful reminder for our next funtrek to be scheduled. Hopefully, most will still enjoy nature as much as I enjoyed it. There is no greater happiness than to be able to share something that you love to your friends. 🙂

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Group pics at stops. The store. Manggahan. Plum Tree.
Special thanks to the following people for being a real backbone on this event. In no particular order after #4:
1. July – Migo, the boyfie, who despite being a pessimistic nagger still supports me in a somewhat scary undertaking. Haha! I have always been a girl who believes that everything will turn out the way I planned it and the goodness of people. Still he insists, things could happen so he have me prepare that waiver. LOL Anyways, that was good too. 🙂
2. Liz-zy – For everything. 😛
3. Maria – For everything and coming despite the celebrity-hectic schedules as well. Haha!
4. Angel – For being one of the optimistic supporter and going with us despite her group’s event as well. 😀
5-7. Analyn, Charina (& Ricco) – these gengs who have always been with me since Ganisiya days. 🙂
8-9. Nadia (& Randy) – the ultra active couple who expresses their support no matter what. LOL
10-13. Camia, Fredelyn, Kathleen, Nikka
14-16. Te Noela, Xy-na (& Biboy)
17-20. Power couples Ebeb (& Charlie), Newly weds Meriam (& Way2)
21-22. Vanessa (& Arsenio)
16 ladies (2 non-NCR), 6 lads (2 NCRs)

Special Note: There’s an NCR organization “Women In NCR” or WIN but this event is not organized through it. Haha! I just find it unsettling even if we are still NCR Women but unfortunately only some of us are WINs so…I hope you get the message.

This is an event brought about by a love for trekking and just sharing it with others. 🙂 Freelance but picky since we trek with FUN only. Hahaha! If you want a more competitive and contest-like trekking, this is not for you. 😛

Why I’ve Been On A Hiatus?

My last adventure post was exactly 2 months ago today – the last of the Apo series. After that was a new adventure that I didn’t get to finish. Haha! Oh well, it’s maybe meant for another time…another down time perhaps ’cause right now, I’m on yet another adventure. A different one! Something that I’ve been dreaming my whole life. Because of that I’ll once again go on a hiatus…for a long while. I’m hoping that you’ll still be here when I return. But before that let me take you to the 2 places I’ve visited and enjoyed last month Sirao Peak and Siquijor.

Trek to Sirao Peak
14 June 2014 

This was the boyfie and I’s 4th trek to Sirao but a first without our mountaineering friends, and the weekend before the 6th Anniversary. The trek was part of the whole week anniversary celebration featuring our activities over the years. We started in a movie date at our apartment, then trekking to Cebu City’s closest and most accessible mountain – Mt. Kan-irag.

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And Sirao will never be the same again. 🙂 The activity was supposedly my idea, I didn’t know the boyfie was cooking his own as well.

Trip to Siquijor
20-22 June 2014 

Siquijor has been on our travel list for a long while that got bumped too many times. Then one day, the boyfie said he’s planning the trip. Boy, you should have seen the look I had when he told me. That was before Sirao Peak, as I was thinking about it now, Siquijor must have been his decoy. I was too excited to finally be able to visit Siquijor that I didn’t notice his clues. I actually thought of not pursuing Sirao since a friend invited us to what I think a much more fun adventure in Osmena Peak. The boyfie lashed out for changing my mind. Glad I stayed put. Haha! I wonder what happened if Sirao didn’t happen. Hmmm!

Siquijor (Tagalog pronunciation: [sikiˈhor]CebuanoLalawigan sa SiquijorTagalogLalawigan ng Siquijor) is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayasregion. Its capital is the municipality also named Siquijor. To the northwest of Siquijor are Cebu and Negros, to the northeast is Bohol and to the south, across the Bohol Sea, is the island of Mindanao.

Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country, in terms of population as well as land area (after Camiguin and Batanes). For a time it was part of Negros Oriental.

During the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines, the Spaniards called the island as Island of Fire (SpanishIsla del Fuego). Siquijor is commonly associated with mystic traditions that the island’s growing tourism industry capitalizes on.

I knew beforehand that Siquijor is small but I only felt it when we actually motorbiked almost half of the island.

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Migo and Miga’s 6th Anniversary Day 0 (20 June 2014)

Itinerary:
0900 South Bus Terminal
0930 Dmgte bound via Aircon Ceres Bus (Fare:205/pax)
1330 Bato Arrival
– Snacks: Bingka
1345 Bato Departure via RORO (Fare:70/pax)
1430 Tampi, San Jose, Negros Or. Arrival
1500 Dumaguete Port Arrival
1515 Tricycle to downtown for lunch
– Lunch @ Foodnet
– Snacks
1600 Siquijor Bound via GL Shipping Lines (Fare:140/pax, TF:15/pax)
1715 Siquijor Arrival
– Rent motorbike (350/day) c/o Aipee Dongon 0927 263 3983
– 3 liters Gasoline (150)
18:15 ETA Lorna’s
19:00 BBQ Dinner (135)

We arrived in Siquijor via Cebu-Dumaguete-Siquijor route. For comfort, we opted to ride the Ceres bus from South Bus Terminal bound to Dumaguete then took a ferry to Siquijor. The boyfie already booked a place in San Juan, Lorna’s End Of The World. I actually laugh when he said the name of the place, thinking it was another one of his jokes.

When the ferry arrived at Siquijor port, I get the same aura when entering Bantayan Island. The port was almost the same. A crowd of tricycle drivers greeted us just when I caught a glimpsed of the church. I was pretending to have a closer look just so they won’t insist. We didn’t have a ride to San Juan but I didn’t want us to hop with anyone and then regret for paying too much. I saw a somewhat trustworthy looking guy. Later I would know that his name is “Aipee Dongon (0927 263 3983)”. He showed us a cardboard with tricycle rates. We were surprised that a trip to San Juan cost Php 250. He must have seen our faces so he offered an alternative. Renting a motorbike would only cost Php350/day, I was all in for the cost but waited for the boyfie to react. We owned a motorbike at home but it’s been a while since his last drive. I saw him nod with reluctance. When I asked him again, his answer was already with confidence. Wew! It was my turn to shy away.

“Safe ra gyud kaayo mag-drive diri sa Siquijor, Mam.” Kuya Aipee said then did a quick run through of the roads and states of the entire province. I was sold.

He had the boyfie tried his motorbike and when it was all good, he asked us to wait to get a new bike. The boyfie tried the new bike as well but in the end, Kuya Aipee lets us take his own motorbike saying it was new compared to the other one. Thanks, Kuya Aipee. 🙂

Renting the motorbike was probably the best decision, we learned later. Siquijor’s spots were really just within the road plus there were signs and everything to lead you from place to place. We were more mobile and free because we had our own ride.

The boyfie with the motorbike at Lorna’s entrance.

For 2 days, we rented the motorbike for Php600. We arrived at Lorna’s without a hitch. And was very amazed how silent the road to San Juan is. We just saw countable motorbikes and never saw any jeep at all. It seems Kuya Aipee was not saying what he said just so we would rent the bike after all. 😀

At the front of Lorna’s.
Sunset in San Juan, Siquijor!

The sun was about to set when we reached Lorna’s so the first thing we did was cam whoring on San Juan’s sunset with Talinis Peak in the background. We had dinner by the boulevard eating barbecue with the locals. We slept early opting to greet each other a happy anniversary earlier for the planned tour the next day.

Migo and Miga’s 6th Anniversary (21 June 2014)
Motorbiking around Siquijor

Itinerary:
0800 Breakfast @ Lorna’s
0945 Begin Tour
Lazi Balete (10 donation)
1100 Lazi Convent, Museum entrance (20/pax)
1130 Cambuhagay Falls
– Parking (10), Snack (35)
1300 Lunch @ Lazi, Port, Noynoy Eatery
– Snack
1400 Salagdoong (15/pax)
– Motor Parking (10)
1700 Maria Souvenir Shop
1800 End Tour
2000 Anniversary dinner: Bubi’s Restaurant @ Royal Cliff (540)
2130 Game Time: RFTG, Carcassone
2400 Light’s Off

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Migo and Miga’s 6th Anniversary Day 2 (22 June 2014)

Itinerary:
0830 Breakfast @ Lorna’s
0930 Beach Swimming
1100 Bye Bye Lorna’s (1080)
– 2 days stay (300/day)
– 2 breakfast (360)
1130 Capilay (30 gas)
1200 Siquijor Port (Red Cross Donation 4)
1350 ETD Dumaguete via Ocean Jet (210/pax)
– Souvenir 100
– Lunch 105
1445 Dumaguete Port, ride to Ceres Terminal
– Tricycle to Sibulan
1515 Sibulan Port
1530 Cebu bound via Pump Boat (Fare:35/pax, TF:10/pax, TF: 2/pax)
1600 Santander Arrival, tricycle to hiway
1630 Cebu City Bound via Ceres Liner

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We spent a total of Php 5298 for the entire trip so around Php 2600 per person. It was quite cheap compared to our other escapades. 🙂

Contacts and References:
Where we stayed:
Lorna’s End of the World
Owner: Lorna
Contact Number: 0927 381 6377
Lorna’s was a little different from the boyfie’s reference. Then I learned from talking to Ate Lorna that their home caught fire last 2012 that’s why it was different. Ate Lorna was very kind and accommodating. If we’re going back to Siquijor, I would surely still stay there. The room was supposed to cost Php 500 a night but the CR drainage was stuck so Ate Lorna gave it to us for Php 300. Yay! We didn’t mind taking a bath at the common CR at all.

Our Transportation:
Motorbike
Owner: Aipee Dongon
Contact Number: 0927 263 3983
See description’s above!

Around the web:
http://www.thelonerider.com/2010/apr/siquijor/skindiving.shtml
http://www.senyorita.net/2013/03/camp-bandilaan-conquering-siquijors-highest-peak/
http://www.senyorita.net/2012/06/luxury-resort-hopping-in-siquijor/
http://wanderingdylan.com/2013/03/06/how-to-get-to-siquijor/
http://wanderingdylan.com/2011/03/28/places-siquijor-part-1/
http://wanderingdylan.com/2011/04/03/siquijor-places-part-2/
http://www.adventurousfeet.com/2013/12/part1-trip-to-siquijor-day-1-sta-monica.html
http://www.adventurousfeet.com/2014/01/part2-trip-to-siquijor-day-2-things-to.html
http://thetravellingdork.com/archive/siquijor-do-it-yourself-itinerary-travel-guide/

Overall Description of Siquijor:
IT’S A MUST VISIT! 🙂

Have you been to Siquijor or planning to go? Let me know on your comments below. Thanks!