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!
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.
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.
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.
The Challenging Parts
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!
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.
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!
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. 🙂
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
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. 😛
Unlike my previous Osmeña camp, that Saturday night was cold but no rains. It was so cold, I opt to miss the socials. While the boyfie played the “killer game” with the group, I watched “East of Eden”. Halfway through the movie, the boyfie went back to tell me he will teach them “The Resistance”. When he left, I dozed off. Despite the howling winds, I slept soundly. At 5:00 AM when the alarm sounded, I was already in high spirits. Because it was still cold, I chose to use Pong’s burner instead of waking up Liz. Turns out, she was just waiting for me as well. Haha! Liz and I prepared breakfast while the boyfie is still in dreamland.
While the others are preparing to go, we went to the summit again with our packs. By 0830, we started our trek to Kawasan.
Keith and the boyfie have trekked to Kawasan but it didn’t saved us from getting lost still. Good thing, there were locals who eventually lead us to the right path.
We got lost countless of times but the worst was our first, just before reaching Bugtong Basketball Court. The wrong path was very slippery and dangerous. We were walking on a steep slope. When it finally ended, we had to climb up a hill side. Because I climb up first, I managed to take a video of the others as they go up the hill. It was quite an adventure, one worthy of a major applause.
The trail varies from roads, farmlands, forests and grasses. When we reached Candiis Barangay Hall, my feet is already sore. Good thing we were walking on a road already. 30 minutes after, we stopped at a waiting shed. Keith informed us that a water source was nearby. Turns out it’s still 10 minutes away from the shed. Haha! That was 1 hour passed lunch time already but nobody mentioned that their stomach is grumbling. Wew!
Another 30 minutes of walking on the road and finally we reached Sanlagan Brgy Hall. From here, the group was divided. The others went on the short trail while we continued on the somewhat hard core trail. Another “lost” moment again. We missed the exit for the road to Kawasan, we instead follow a road that, as the locals said, will lead us to Matutinao. Still in Badian but we’ll miss the Kawasan source. I don’t know how much time we spent on that because everybody was in haste. I was a little worried as well.
To sum everything up, the traverse to Kawasan was quite an adventure. I was tired but not too tired thus I was surprised of the muscle pains in my lower body. It was unexpected. Everything was aching. From my waist, butt, legs and torsos. But it could be because I haven’t been climbing as much since our Apo last year as well.
If asked if that trail was for beginner’s? Nope. I don’t think so. But I’m quite excited to come back. I think I just found a new “Sirao”. I’d love to memorize this trail. Everything about it is just exciting especially that it ends in a cool, cool swimming in Kawasan. Just my cup of tea! Yay! Hopefully, I wouldn’t be as battered next time. 🙂
Without the lost moments, it was still a long walk to Kawasan Falls and not an easy venture even for a somewhat seasoned trekker, much more to beginners. My heart goes out to the girls who had to endure that trail for their first adventure. 🙁 Now I am more fired up to bring them to Sirao Peak. The beauty of the trail is comparable but surely not that arduous of a journey. Still, it’s up to them to erase the bad memory and try once again. 🙂
Last last weekend’s adventure in Naupa pales in comparison with last weekend’s trek, January 30-February 1, 2015 in Osmeña Peak. It took us 6.5 hours to reached Kawasan Falls. We were lost, slipped, crawled and missed a meal yet despite that, everybody was still smiling and in high spirits. My estimate is that out of 17, there were only 7 who has prior trekking experience. Salute to them first timers!!! The boyfie and I started our hobby in Osmeña as well but without a traverse to Kawasan. I wonder if it made a difference if my first trek was a hard core. What you think?
Day 01 Camping At Osmeña Peak
7:00 Meetup At 7/11 Near USJR Main
8:30 At Mantalongon Minibus Terminal
– Travel time
12:00 Mantalongon Market Arrival
– Lunch, buy supplies
13:00 Start Trek
14:30 ETA Osmeña Peak Camp
The first day was easy and comfortable. Meetup was at 7/11 beside USJR Main. From there we walk to the gas station where the minibus bound to Mantalongon is parked. This was my 3rd(the boyfie says it’s 4th but I don’t have posts to remember so…) climb but I never knew there was a minibus that would take us to the market directly. It was convenience and savings at Php100, and definitely better than the motorbike.
3.5 hours has elapsed and was spent sleeping on the ride. It was exactly 12 when we reach the market. Just in time for lunch. Keith instructed us to find lunch and meet back in front of Erma’s store after 45 minutes. By 1, we were in our way.
Because we were somewhat a large group, it was divided. Keith and 5 others went ahead while the boyfie, Liz and I went with the big group. The sun was rather cooperative. It was sunny but not too hot. Just my favorite weather. I can skip, take a picture and pose. 😛
Despite the boyfie’s nagging for taking too much pictures when I’ve been there countless of times, I still took more pictures. LOL For me, no trek is the same even when you are in the same place.
There was some changes since I’ve been there. The way up was already paved and cleaned. The log book was new as well. We listed our names but no fees were collected. A friend tells that there was a Php10 entrance last time they were there. But maybe it was waived on that day because of the fiesta? Hmmm! Not sure. LOL
The sun was still up and shining after we set up camp so for the first time, I was able to go to the rocky mountain opposite the peak. The views were definitely cooler on that part. 🙂
Then comes sunset. It was so cold that I opt to miss it but glad I change my mind. From the peak, I was able to capture some sunset views and the entire camp. There were 8 groups on that night.
I was really planning on a single post but then it’s almost time for game night so Day 2 on the next post. See you. Let’s end this post with a somewhat prenup posts c/o of Lizzy.
The beauty of the smoking lake greeted us the next day. It would have been fun to have played with it longer but the schedule won’t allow it. Compared to the previous climbs, Apo’s last day trail was the most rigorous. Left the camp around 7 AM, an eternal descent followed.
It was a clear day but the guides kept reminding us how erratic the weather these days. We need to hurry or else be stranded in rain. The thought of crossing 6 rivers pressured me to hasten each stride. And each countable stop, I kept on asking how far do we have to go. Downhills were a friend but that time, I thought otherwise.
It was a almost a race. The stops were minimal and short. The group was divided into teams again with the guide leading the pack. Before reaching Mainit Spring, one of our companion got cramps. And just when I’m about to say my words of wisdom, I tripped and slipped on the rock. It was painful. I feared that I too would have cramps. It could have been a first if I did.
After 7 hours of walking, we finally reached the last river crossing at around 2 PM. We were famished. The others were already eating when we arrived. Since it was the last stop before the ride, we settled matters with our new friends who have been very helpful throughout the entire journey – our guides.
Before the climb, our estimated budget was 450/day/porter but the actual was Php400/day/porter. It was our first climb with porter and we were a bit generous and happy, so every team decided to settle with 500/day/porter. And to make it easier for the boyfie and his friend, we gave Php 700 each for us three to our porter, Ronnie.
And finally it was goodbye, Apo. I was restless on the ride to Davao City. My body was aching but I felt that something was missing. I later realized that the anticipation and excitement of the climb that occupied me since the start of 2014 was making me restless. When it was gone, I felt lost and goal-less. 😛
And that’s it. Apo has become a history. I kinda feel a bit of inadequacy on this last post. I wanted to write and tell you more but words are not my friend today. 😐 Oh well, next time perhaps.
We don’t have a schedule yet but Dulang2x might be next on the list. Yay! And while waiting for that new adventure, I’ll re-visit and update you with my Pulag and PamTarZam (Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales) travels. Stay with me. 🙂
To be promised forever on top of Apo crossed my mind but didn’t linger. There’s so much to do in the peak and proposing is not on the list. But sans engagement, it didn’t stop the boyfie and I to enjoy a free prenup session. Yay! Here are some of my favorites!!!
Now it’s not only the mountain that we look forward to conquer…Credits to the photographer Dea! Visit her blog to see more of her photos. Yay!
From the start, sunsets and sunrises are not really that appealing. It was maybe because I had other things to marvel about. Everything in the entire journey is already beautiful. What more would I ask for? And then Pulag. Oh yeah, Pulag again. Who would forget Pulag?! Certainly not me, when most of my outlook on mountaineering were crushed and gone with the wind upon it’s slopes. After this Apo series, I’ll definitely dig into the abyss and relive the biggest adventure that I thought I’d had – Pulag. Now back to Apo.
Only 6 of us were able to experience Sunset at Kidapawan peak but Sunrise at Davao peak was different. Although we went in separate batches, only 2 missed the spectacle. Despite the numbing cold of around 8 degrees, we indulged in the beauty that only the top of the mountain has to offer – an unobstructed view of the sun’s majesty. We cam-whored on the lights, the sunrise itself and the daylight. And when every angle and pose were caught, we descended to prepare breakfast. Eating was the only definite activity of the day since on our itinerary, we were supposed to stay on the peak for 2 nights but there were voices of concerns.
After breakfast, it was confirmed that the group would no longer stay at the base camp, the last night of the journey will be Lake Venado – estimated to be 4 hours away. The boyfie and I was kinda excited so we finished packing ahead of the others. While waiting we fill our almost battery dead cameras with more stress. It was then that I noticed Kuya Tindero on the sides.
When everyone was done packing, we took our BRB Shirt picture. I was happy we were able to do this. Although I was kinda hoping we’d have the group picture in the peak. Next time I’ll impose. For now, ain’t it grand? Our first picture with the same shirt on a climb. Hooray!!!
And…it was time to go. I looked up at the peaks again. Smiled, feeling very proud of myself. I did it without a hitch. Thankful, because I have the most supportive and understanding team of all. Excited for the next trail was mostly downhill – my favorite.
I couldn’t remember how many times I’ve paused, mesmerized by the beauty of the lake a far. Each stride brings me more excitement to gaze upon it’s beauty…no longer in bird’s eye view. It must have been the reason why we reached the lake around 2 hours or less from the estimated. Had I known that a bottle of coke and banana cues were waiting for me when I arrived, it would have been much faster.
And because Lake Venado didn’t disappoint, I hurriedly took my team for a stroll and picture taking.
We ended the night eating together with non-canned or pouched goods courtesy of Team Musni. Yay! Camp Venado wasn’t that cold compared to the base camp and to this day, I still wondered why we didn’t play together after dinner. I’m sure it wasn’t because of fatigue. We reached Venado at 2 PM, we’ve been resting the hours after that. Hmmm! I’ll ask them on our next climb. 😀
And as for you…hold on to the last part of the series! I hope to tell a great tale about Kidapawan river. Also, may I ask a favor? Let me know if you want to know more or you’ve been overflowed with too much information alright?!
The beauty of Apo encompasses no other. I realized it on the 2nd day while going through an uphill battle towards a seemingly endless mounds of white rocks popularly known as “The Boulders”. It was just so beautiful, other worldly and simply awesome, makes me think of Essos (Game of Thrones where Dainerys is). Haha! The yellowish patches of sulfur, the smoke on the side and the fog makes it more beautiful but dangerous. The fog sometimes cover the ribbon-ed path, forcing us to stop and wait until it goes away, letting us continue. Hearsays tell of a mountaineer that forced its way despite the fog got lost in the boulders. We were never told to stop but is it not common sense to do so?!
0530 Wake up
A good night’s rest always makes a difference. I woke up inspired and ready to start the day with preparing breakfast only to be stop by the thought that I don’t know how to light the burner. And as if by heaven’s grace, the owner of the burner drops by. Hooray!
0730 Tinikaran Break Camp
After breakfast, we proceeded breaking up camp ahead of the others. But because we’ve been slow packers, they catch up almost immediately. Around 8 AM, we were ready to conquer the said to be the hardest part of all – The Boulders.
0800 Trek to boulders
The path were mostly covered with trees, the ground was still moist with dew thus slippery.
2 hours after, we reached a dried creek – an entrance to the boulders. The group stop by in awe of the smoking mountain.
We continued our journey until our stomach grumbled. Had lunch at a clearing in the middle of the rocks.
0100 White Sand
After lunch, the guide assured us that we’re halfway thru. Reaching white sand is our salvation from the boulders.
The view of white sand was picturesque so the group took the time to cam-whored.
0230 Apo Base Setup Camp
I was still in high spirits upon reaching the camp so I wasted no time, have my team setup our tents and prepared an early dinner. It was super cold but the heat of the sun balances it. After we’re done, we prepared to climb the peak.
0400 Kidapawan Peak for sunset
We weren’t actually able to see the sun set because of the clouds! Anyhoo, it was still a beauty to behold. We waited until the wind was chilly enough and hurried back to the camp. When we reached the camp, I cooked soup and had an early dinner. After preparing to sleep, the group called to play our favorite game – The Resistance. After 3 rounds or so, we called it a night.
Here are some of my favorite pics and panoramas of Day 2!
Last year’s Pulag via Akiki really changed my over-all disposition towards every climb. Nothing is easy in the mountains. And despite my preparations, I still feel uneasy and inadequate so when the group brought up porters, despite wanting to own all the glory in conquering mountains, I agreed. But right after our team’s grocery, I realized I may not be load less after all. But compared to Pulag’s 15 kg backpack, carrying just my personal things and water (around 6-8 kg) was certainly a relief. And maybe because I’m in top shape with the regular Zumba, I wasn’t that tired throughout the entire trek. For the first time, I wasn’t spent on the first night in a major climb. Hooray!
Overall, I felt that our group has improved. Even the first timers were noteworthy. We were fast, the walks are long and rest stops were short. Having porters for each team has also help not only in carrying foods but also support. In previous climbs, I am always pressured to be faster to catch up but this time because we have our own guide, I took my time.
I didn’t really like the group separation to teams but it turned out best unto our advantage. The boyfie and I has always been slow with packing so it helps that we could cook and eat earlier to pack first before the other team does. 😀 And because of that team-ing, I have acquired a new confidence in cooking. I could finally say that I have become a true mountaineer. Yahoooo!
And so much for my blahs, I know you’d like to see some action…so here’s my amateurish photos, pardon the blurs in an effort to document the details. Day 1 trail consists mostly of just trees and grass. The real Apo action begins the next day so stay tuned!!!
APO DAY 1 TIMELINE
0730 Flight to Davao
* Reached Davao
* Hello to our guide, Kuya Charlito
0900 Breakfast stop at BCJ Kambingan
1100 Sta. Cruz Registration
1130 Shell break while waiting for the ride to Kapatagan
* Lunch and bought supplies at Kapatagan market
* Ride to Culan – start of trek, meet porters: Ronnie, Jun2, Axel, Loyd and Edel
* Walk an hour to basketball court where we organize the load for porters