Lost and Found in The City of Guns | Danao Highlands

What better way to burn all the fats I hoarded during the holidays than to embark on a 12km trek and get lost in the City of Guns?

dsc01199
2019… Let’s get it on!

Here’s to more “getting lost” experiences this year!

dsc01264
The gang!

Northern Cebu is slowly making its name in the list of hiking destinations in the province. One of the most popular is Mt. Mago in Carmen, then there’s Lanigid Hill in Liloan, and recently, Licos Peak in Danao. Last year, we started a quest of discovering potential hiking trails in the northern part of Cebu which we are going to carry on this year.

dsc01247
A happy kid!

To kick off this year’s adventures, I went along with some hiking fellows to explore the supposedly Lawaan-Mago route. But we ended meandering back to Lawaan because we couldn’t find a vestige trail to Mago. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad start for 2019.

sdr

I arrived in Danao Transport Terminal a ‘bit’ late. (Ahm, okay, really late.) I came to my companions patiently waiting for me. (Thank you, guys.) Without wasting any minute, because I already did, we took a motorcycle at the back of the terminal to Lawaan. The ride was ninety-percent uphill and butt-aching that our driver had to make a few halts to stretch a bit. It took us more than an hour to reach the Lawaan junction.

sdr
Katkat goals.

After a short prayer and few introductions, we commenced with our hike. Beboy advised us that the first leg would be mostly an ascend through a cemented road. Because it had been a while since I last trek, the first few minutes was arduous. Despite my sluggish pace, I found myself panting. I kept a slow gait until my body had adjusted.

sdr

After almost two hours of walking on the paved road, we reached the junction of Danasan and Magtagubtob. We agreed to take a rest before we carry on our hike. We found a small mango tree nearby where we had our lunch.

Lunchtime has to be my favorite part when trekking or climbing mountains because it’s when we get to know each other more. I learned that Geezelle and James are the people behind the blog GeeMiz. I’ve been reading their corner for a while now, and it was great to meet them in person. After lunch, we debated over what makes the texture of an iced-candy powdery. Tatay Raul fended for cornstarch to be the ingredient that gives the iced-candy a refined taste.
dsc01208

Although, that argument wasn’t resolved, so if you have any idea, please share it with us.

After having enough rest, with replenished energy, we resumed our walk. Still following the barangay road, we passed by some houses and asked for directions to Santican. Not too long, we made a turn into a dirt trail. The trail was relatively an open terrain without foliage canopy but bushes. Favorably, the sun was not too harsh on that day else, we’d all be toasted!

sdr
Oh, no paparazzi please!

After several descending and ascending, meandering through farmlands, we realized we reached a dead end. We tried looking for a possible track but all there was what seems to be a gorge covered by thick foliage. There was no vestige route.

It was already two hours before sundown. Worried that we’d catch nightfall in the forest, we all agreed to turn back to Magtagobtob. Before our final ascent back to Magtagobtob, we made an apropos wrong turn and reached a small household community. We saw a kid and asked which way to the nearest barangay road. He directed us to Lawaan. Albeit steep, it was nearer than Magtagobtob.
dsc01269

Following his suggestion, we took a descend and crossed a river. A sharp ascent greeted us. We strenuously worked our way to the top. We met a few locals along the way. They came from the weekly tabo-tabo in their barangay. (“Tabo-tabo” is a weekly bazaar common in the mountain areas where people trade and buy goods.) They were kind enough to tell us that we’re on the right path. Finally, we reached the road in no time.

Happiness was all over our faces despite failing to reach Mago on that day. We might have gotten lost along the way, but we found something more important.

sdr

We found out that it’s okay to stop when you aren’t sure. We learned that there is no need to hurry because we will get there, maybe not that day, but someday. At least, we have something to look forward to, we have a reason to come back.

 

’til next getting lost adventures!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Reaching Out Beyond Mountains | Hike For a Cause

The heart that gives, gathers. ~ Tao Te Ching

 

DSC_0046[1]

Scenes of my primary years:

I used to live in a far-flung barangay when I was a younger. I spent my primary years in a school 20-minute away from our house. I had to walk back and forth every day with my friends and classmates. I never mind the distance. I loved going to school. I could still remember my excitement at the start of every school year. Probably, why I love the month of June. (The school year starts on June back then.)

On the first two days of school, our teacher would let us write a long list of requirements. I would write it in an old notebook that my mom recycled from the previous year.

Use this old notebook for the meantime. We will buy your school supplies when you have the list,” my mom would say.

I was then excited to go home and show mom the list. 8 notebooks, 2 pencils, crayon… my list went.

Wow! That’s a lot! We don’t have enough money to buy everything on this list,” she would say again. “Let’s buy five notebooks and a pencil. You can borrow crayons from your classmates…blah, blah..

We had this same scenario every school year. I couldn’t remember a year which I had the complete school supplies.

DSC_0041[1]

I know very well how it feels like to be the last one to submit your art project because you had to borrow crayons from a classmate. Therefore, you had to wait for him to finish. I know how it feels to recycle your old notebooks because you didn’t have enough. I know how it feels to wear a hand-me-down school uniform. I know how it feels to hide in the corner on lunchtime because your buwad (dried fish) stinks. Believe me, I’ve been through that!

Our family’s income back then was enough to keep our heads above the water. I would felt sad but I never complained to my parents. I knew they were doing their best to provide our needs.

DSC06894

Fast forward to the present:

This is the reason why I always love to participate in outreach programs or similar causes that benefits school children, especially in rural areas. For someone who didn’t have enough before, the idea of giving joy to the students is very gratifying. I’m grateful that nowadays, there are a lot of non-government groups that organizes events to provide school supplies to remote schools. (Something, we never had before.)

Ace and I have tried organizing such events. But mostly, we just support or join other groups. We give support in our small ways, sometimes pecuniary, often we do it by volunteering.

Last weekend was one of those successful causes. We got invited by the OMG (Open-minded Group) hikers to join their Hike for a Cause. It was specifically hosted by Sir Aldrich, Beboi, and Dian, the same group I was with when we scaled Mt Licos. The beneficiaries are the 150 Grade I students of Toong Integrated School.

DSC_0073[2]

When we arrived at Toong Integrated School, we were greeted by a crowd of parents and excited kids. I knew it was going to be exhilarating and fun. The school doesn’t have a wide ground. So we all squeezed in a small area in front of the principal’s office.

Because of the number of kids, there was a confusion at first. We grouped them by section, but most of them didn’t know which class they belong. I reckoned they were not acquainted with their section’s name. Good thing the teachers were there to assist us.

DSC_0074[1]

We had a few games before we distributed our present to them. Each student received a bag which contained some notebooks, pencils, and art materials. Afterward, we gave the kids some snacks to share with their parents.

DSC_0057[1]

The smile that I saw on their faces and the thank yous from the parents sent joy to my heart. It once again reminded me that I am beyond blessed. The happiness that I felt as I watch them comparing what’s inside their bags, and as they shared the hamburgers with their moms, was immeasurable. I received more than what I gave. It’s heartwarming!

DSC_0048[1]

After the program, the hikers headed to AO Farm for lunch. We shared each other’s food while talking about anything under the sun. But as usual, Tatay Raul was the favorite subject. We teased him about his love for food, sweeping food for that matter.

DSC_0082[1]

After replenishing our tummies, we hiked to the highest point of the farm where we cracked a birthday surprise for Tatay and Jonah. We stayed there for a few minutes, just enjoying the green vista of the neighboring mountains.

 

From there, we were to proceed to San Carlos Heights and make our way to Tulong Krus. However, AO Farm fenced the back exit of the farm where we were supposed to take the shortcut way. So, we went back our way and followed a different trail.

DSC_0117[1]

I went home that day feeling happy and content. It’s very nice to know that we can do a lot more than just hike or climb a mountain.

 

Over to you, have you participated in any causes? We’d love to hear from you! 

 

‘Til next time!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

A Letter From Licos Peak That I Wished I’ve Read Before I Scaled Her.

We got scammed last weekend! It’s weird that we’re happy about it.

DSC_0021[1]

Our expectation deceived us once again. But this time, it’s something we couldn’t resent. Last weekend, we scaled Mt Licos in Danao City. We had to admit that we underestimated her. Because we were so eager to meet her, we pushed through our plan even with scarce information. We ended up in a memorable mishap that became an important lesson.

From my firsthand experience, I want to share this letter for those who want to climb the Licos Peak. Read this when you plan to visit her.

DSC_0030[1]

Dear you, 

Before you climb me, I have two requests.

“Don’t underestimate me.”
“Expect neither less nor more.”

When you are ready, I will open my arms for you. I will let you step on my soil. But I have to warn you. On your way to my peak, you will trip and fall. You will scream in pain, and you will feel betrayed.

DSC05248

Should you decide to walk on me, I want you to understand the lesson of my trail. My height might be a joke because I only stand less than 500 meters above the sea. But my path is not easy. I have prepared challenges for you, some of which, you can compare to that of the mighty mountains out there!

So, now let me ask you again. Are you ready to face me?

Dear, don’t fret. I want you to visit me, so I prepared a sneak peek of the challenges along my trail.

DSC_0002[1]

I will let you hold on to small and thin roots so you will learn to value small chances. I will teach you not to trust all the big roots because I want you to make careful choices. My loose soil and stones are the tiny things that will spoil your day. I hope you won’t let them affect you because they will delay your plans.

DSC_0164[1]

Along the way, you will see trees of different sizes. Be careful which to trust.

These trees are like the people around you. Some of them will help and some won’t. Few of those will lay their branches and will pull you up even if they have to bend. Some will pretend to cheer you up but when you hold on to them, they will break and you will feel betrayed.

DSC_0167[1]

Sharp rocks will welcome you near my peak. These sharp rocks signify your major problems. If you don’t pay attention, you’re likely to get hurt. But if you learn to focus and make careful steps, you will get through them with ease.

DSC04971

My peak is your dream. You will feel accomplished and fulfilled. You will feel proud of yourself for passing my test. The verdant vista in front of you will be your reward. Savor the moment, feel the wind, and calm yourself. Soak into the luscious foliage in front of you. You deserve it.

DSC_0045[1]

But when you think it is over, the wind will whisper into your ear, “It’s time to go down.”

I want you to contemplate on this. Before you continue, how long are you going to stay at my peak? Most of you will wish to stay there, but you will be left without a choice but to go down.

DSC_0042[1]

Your life goes like that. When you are at the peak of your happiness, some things will drag you down. You will try hard to resist it because you don’t want your happiness to end. But, sometimes you will end up defeated.

DSC05086

Please remember this, just because you have succeeded doesn’t mean your new road is wonderfully paved from there. Your test will continue. If you are lucky, it will be easier. What if you are not?

I hope the best for you. But I want to prepare you for the worse.

DSC05133

On your way down, the challenges will appear tougher.

DSC05243This time, you will skid. It will hurt you a lot. You have to slide and learn to accept that you are going down. When it hurts so bad, stop and seek refuge to the trees you trusted in your way up. Hold on to them until you’re ready to move on.

DSC05053

And finally, when you hit rock bottom, look up and give me your last glance. I will wave at you, this time, the pride will be mine.

You will realize that even if you’re back on the ground, you did a great job! You’ve passed my test, and you’re brave enough to go down.

DCIM

Only then you will realize that success is not in reaching my peak. Success is when you are finally home.

Now, my question is… Are you ready to climb me again? 

 

With love, 

Mount Licos

DSC_0019[1]

Personal thought: 

I hope you heard her. Our climb to Mt. Licos was a wonderful misadventure that we’d love to do again. This mountain went beyond our expectations. Should you find yourself at her peak, send my regards. Take care of her because she’s a great teacher. 🙂

How to get there: 

From Danao City, hail a motorcycle in front of the City Civic Center to Barangay Licos. The fare is Php 50/person. The ride will take 30 minutes. From the barangay hall, ask the locals the way to the peak.

Special thanks to Mr. Ericson Batulan for the tips and information.

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Demi.

Came for Casino But Found a Shy Lugsangan Peak | Mountain Diary

Standing at a modest 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is known to be Cebu’s highest point. Everybody is familiar with it because of the wonderful view of Mantalongon mountain range from the top and its easy accessibility to the public.

But last year, another peak that offers a stunning vista of the other side of Mantalongon highland range made a fuss on the web igniting the curiosity of every adventure junky. The mountains around this peak resemble that of the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol with their perfect muffin-like hills. But the fuss was not only because of that beautiful view but the name of the peak itself. I’m talking about Casino Peak now called Lugsangan Peak.

DSC_0018

When the said peak started making a break, it went by the name Casino. Everybody became curious about it. What’s with the name? Is gambling going on there? Outdoor enthusiasts flak the place not only for the view but to discover the story behind that infamous name.

Ace and I were not exempted with that curiosity. We were also excited and we even made several plans to check it out. Unfortunately, we were not able to realize any of those together. His schedule didn’t meet with mine so he was unable to come with me when I visited the place with the Team Bang.

DSC_0041

The Team Bang’s plan to trek Osmeña Peak and traverse to Kawasan Falls made my plan to visit Casino Peak possible. Few hours before the trip, I experienced a personal problem and I had to pull off my plan. I felt frustrated as I counted the remaining hours of our supposed departure. I was arguing with my subconscious whether to pursue the plan or stay home instead.

DSC_0052

And yes! My will to taste an adventure won over. An hour before the agreed meet-up time, I found myself riding a cab heading to the terminal with my friend Abby. My friends Louise, Daisy, and Charlotte also tagged along. Oh, I forgot to mention, on that same day the other year (2016) we visited O’peak, so it was sort of an anniversary climb for us.

We arrived at the terminal earlier than expected. It was my friends’ first time to meet the Team Bang. Louise was especially excited to meet the man behind The Bisaya Traveler blog as she’s an avid reader. When everybody was all gathered, we hopped on a bus to Dalaguete. (See a guide to Osmeña Peak here.)

DSC_0020

While we were riding a motorcycle going to Osmeña Peak, the rain started to pour. The road was covered with thick fog and the ride was freezing cold. When we arrived at the registration area, we did not waste any more time and started our hike after paying the necessary fees.

We already expected a foggy sight at the peak because of the weather. We didn’t stay long there because it was starting to get crowded. We had a short prayer at the top led by the Idol Wanderer and started our trek to Casino Peak.

DSC_0042

We took a shortcut from the foot of O’Peak and passed by a cabbage field. Later on, we followed a concrete road that led us to the registration area of Casino Peak.

To my surprise, the sign said it’s Lugsangan Peak and not Casino. The man who was assigned at the registration enlightened us about the change of name. The owner of the land going to the peak is named Ka Seno thus the name Casino, however, the name sounded indecent and gave a bad impression. So they changed the name to Lugsangan Peak. Lugsangan is the barangay where the peak is located.

DSC_0046

That sounds pretty interesting though.

The climb to the peak was not that hard. But the muddy trail made it dangerous and slippery. We also had to be cautious with the sharp rocks on the way.

The view from the top was breathtaking. It was windy and cold and we were standing only on slippery rocks with high cliffs on each side. I was amazed at the same time my legs trembled as I tried walking on a narrow rock. (I’m sure, Ace wouldn’t let me do that if he was there.)

23659545_1759862587391131_7987996494138401324_n

The fog was thick because of the unfriendly weather. We were all seemed teased with the beautiful scenery as the wind blew and clearing the fog. But the murkiness just wouldn’t go away.

The mounds surrounding the peak was like a shy little girl having second thought whether to show up or not, a little girl wanting to play peekaboo.

23658364_1759862517391138_7704229100644996696_n

As I sat in one of the sharp rocks, the situation made me ponder some things.

My life is full of failed expectations of myself, my family, and people around me. And sometimes, with me trying so hard not to fail, I forget to live in the moment. I sometimes forget to admire the journey. I have high hopes and all I see are those. I get too excited to see the silver lining that I failed to appreciate the things that made it glitter.

24058813_1764174410293282_2362424267607134239_n

And I was there. Sitting, hoping and waiting for the sky to clear up. And I realized, I wasn’t there because of the view. I was there because of the journey. I was there because I want some adventure. I was there because I want to make new friends.

In the end, I realized, I was actually there to learn.

DSC_0062

Over to you, what life experiences made you ponder things? What experiences taught you BIG lessons?

 

‘Til our next diary!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Feeling High In Mt. Kan-Irag (Sirao Peak)

So, the adventure continued and we’re feeling so high…

The higher, the closer to heaven.

22279797_1715574225153301_4902808406645629339_n
Ace and Demi in Mt Kan-Irag

We feel high…

We felt high… when we learned we were climbing Mt. Kan-Irag through Budlaan.

We felt high… despite the gloomy weather the day before our adventure.

We remained high… although there were only five of us who showed up on the day of our scheduled jaunt.

22195710_1713044892072901_3612889934848467885_n
Ace and Demi in Budlaan Falls

We felt high… when we started trekking Kabang River and witnessed the mightiness of Budlaan Falls.

We felt higher… when we bathed in the flowing water of Kabang river.

22279741_1715573051820085_9212635704120306930_n
Sirao Peak

We still felt high… just by eating isaw, and chicken feet bbq for lunch beside a basketball court.

We felt higher… when we continued our quest to the peak of Mt. Kan-Irag.

22195962_1715565515154172_2050679460579872104_n

We felt high… seeing our national animal taking a dip in a muddy puddle under the scorching heat of the sun.

We felt high… as we took a short break and rested our bodies in the grassy field.

22221902_1715572705153453_3237036939867304706_n

We felt higher… when a mother cow chased us and saw her sexy baby posing elegantly in front of our camera.

22228472_1715576511819739_593681296256713684_n

We still felt high… though our paced slowed down because our bodies were already exhausted.

We felt high… even though we had to take a lot of short breaks to regain our energy.
22228279_1715566655154058_6242281533863587753_n

We felt even higher… when we reached the shoulder of the peak and saw the city below us.

We felt high… as we enjoyed the wonderful view and pointed the trail we passed through.

22195582_1715575891819801_4402893075847566993_n

We felt high… as we realized we’re just a dot in this vast universe.

We felt high… as we contemplated on mundane things that we missed to notice below.

22196460_1715575485153175_9138317287528514384_n

We felt higher… when we were welcomed by the blooming flowers of cogon grass which brought us to a different world.

22141198_1712543248789732_4743382816162202531_n

We even felt higher… as we started walking and making our way through those grass that are taller than me.

22196164_1712543138789743_5914947265147988623_n
A beautiful paradise.

We felt SUPER high… when we finally reached the top and saw a beautiful paradise below us.

22141088_1712543448789712_1090588897428847119_n

We felt high… as we rejoiced because we finally reached the peak.

We felt higher… while looking at the clouds and identifying the shapes they formed.

We felt high… talking about life and past experiences.

22195742_1715565585154165_2583131937685664765_n

We felt higher… while dancing to beat of the infamous Despacito and the Shark Song.

22221897_1715574918486565_5318069420113072903_n

We remained high… even until the sun started to set painting the sky a different hue. Even higher… as we argued whether the hue was pink or orange.

22140741_1711702155540508_981863134038685472_n

Truly, Mt Kan-Irag being the highest peak of the city’s highland, made us feel high as we scaled her wonderful trail. Even looking and reviewing the photos we took during our trek make us feel high. No wonder why most outdoor souls who are always hungry for adventure love to go back to her peak.

Should we come back, too? We’d love to.

’til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

 

 

Scaled (700+ MASL) Mt Mago With a Toddler | The Boundary Climb

collage-1499880552207
The Boundary Climb.

One gloomy Saturday, together with our good friend Niña, we decided to do the boundary climb to Mount Mago in Carmen, Cebu. Because of the last-minute decision, I asked my sister’s husband who happens to live in Carmen, to take us to the jump-off point.

We were already in their house when he told us that no one could look after my niece, Ahkirah. Without hesitation, I said we’re going to take her with us. And off we go!

kida
The motorcycle ride.

We never expected an hour butt-aching ride to the jump off point. The road was slippery because of the other night’s rain and fog.

When we passed by Durano Eco Farm and the Lhuiller’s Farm, the temperature dropped lower than expected which meant we were already in a higher altitude. We saw a lot of pine trees and vegetation that only grow in cold places, too.

IMG20170701160753~2

After we passed by the Lhuiller’s Ranch, we had a quick stop over at an intersecting road separated by a perfect muffin-like hill. While waiting to ease the pain on our behind due to that painstaking ride, Niña and I agreed to climb the little hill with Ahkirah.

received_1602785283067002
Free!

And oh, I don’t know how to describe how we felt but we wished to just stay at the top and end our jaunt there because it was just AMAZING!

received_1602785749733622~2
Soaring high!

The top of the hill is denuded perhaps because of the recent dry season. The soil was red, like really red. While we were on top, we called Ace and Dan-Dan to climb and see it. We felt like we were already on the top of the world. The colors around were so rich and fulfilling to the eye. I, personally, admired how the colors green, blue, red and white complimented each other.

DSC_0083~2

We arrived at Barangay Santican which is the jump off point of the trek. The person who was assigned to list our names for registration was not around, instead, we were given two young lads to guide us to the boundary.

IMG20170701114659~2

We immediately started our hike after Ahkirah devoured one hanging rice. We walked through a fully established trail but it was muddy because of the rain on the previous night. Ahkirah, on the other hand, walked for few minutes and asked to be carried because it was muddy and she was having a hard time walking. We took turns in carrying her. And when she has rested her feet enough, she also asked to be put down and walk by herself. Now, I see a future adventurer in her.

IMG20170701110553 (1)~2
Hindi pa ako pagod, bes. Siya lang naman napagod eh.

Few meter from the jump-off point, we passed by a couple of houses and eventually, grassy slopes.  Although it was cloudy, I thought the weather was with us because it was not hot.

IMG20170701114016~2

We had to stop for short breaks to regain energy. Actually, the hike was not very draining because the trail was pretty established and the hills are not too high.

DSC_2273~2

The only problem we had, I guess, was the amorseco grass that clings to Niña’s and Ahkirah’s pants and shorts. Ahkira complained that it was itchy so we had to make a few stops to remove some of them so she can walk with ease.

DSC_2274
Buti pa ang amorseco, clingy at nag stay.

But those clingy grass did not make our trek less enjoyable. We were rewarded with a wonderful sight of the grassy slopes, green with envy.

20170702_193330_20170702193721843
Look at that wonderful verdure! Made me want to stay here and paint.

After almost two hours of trekking through valleys and plains, we finally arrived at the boundary sign. Imagine being in three towns at the same time?

IMG20170701124513~2
I feel awesome~~~!!!

I couldn’t forget Ahkirah’s face when I told her she did it! She was very happy and ecstatic as she ran towards me in the boundary sign with her dad following her.

IMG20170701124612 (1)~2
Yes! You did it, baby!!!

I bet her dad was very proud because I am. Considering her age and her inexperience, surviving that two-hour journey was indeed a BIG accomplishment for a two-year old kid.

received_1603039766374887~2
Congratulations, Kida!!! Tita is very proud of you.

After feeding our eyes and souls with the refreshing sight around, we ate our lunch to replenish our tummies. After a while, the clouds above us became darker. As much as we wanted to stay longer, we couldn’t risk soaking in the rain with Ahkirah.

DSC_0104~2

But as we started to descend, the wind seemed to have blown the clouds away. 😀 Which was a really good thing, so we didn’t have to hurry home.

DSC_2272~2

We were given a good chance to bask in nature and take photos to remind us of the beauty of the place. Ahkirah had a great time running in the field while we were happily watching.

DSC_0117

You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is calling… so, get on your way!

DSC_0119~2
Ahkirah at Mt Mago.

When we arrived at the basketball court where we left our motorcycles, the rain started pouring heavily, as if heaven waited for us to find shelter. While waiting for the rain to stop, we had fun watching some kids feeding bananas to a little monkey in a sari-sari store across the basketball court.

20170702_190623~2

As soon as the pouring stopped, we headed home feeling contented and happy with our experience.

Just when we thought our jaunt had enough surprises…

20170702_192859~2
Sea of clouds!!!

As we passed by the red hill where we stopped on our way to the jump-off point, a sea of clouds showed up to complete our AWESOME experience.

IMG20170701153223~2
Drifting away.

We were so amazed by the sight of it. Words of amazement and gratefulness were all we uttered. We stared at it until it started drifting away before we realized to take a photo.

IMG20170701152858~2
Sea of clouds bidding goodbye!

Although we were unable to take a photo of clouds floating near us because we were very consumed by the sight, the picture of it is painted in our memory and that’s what matters most.

received_1603039146374949
Hooray for the wonderful experience!

Our worthwhile experience is something no words can really define — not even this thousand-word post. Mt Mago is not a mountain of struggles and not for people who wanted it extreme. But for a two-year-old kid’s first trekking experience? It is something she’d treasure forever. And if she forgot it, I will never get tired telling her how she scaled a 700+ Masl mountain for two hours when she was only a two-year old. 

IMG20170701124035~2
I did it! — Ahkirah

Should I come back? Definitely!

Thank you for reading this long story about our boundary climb to Mt Mago. We appreciate it. So, how did we survive our trek with a two-year old child? You can read our post about the tips and lessons on how to survive a trek with a toddler.

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi and Ahkirah.

We Survived Our First Trek With a Toddler. | Tips and Lessons

Love her, but leave her wild. ~ Articus, To Kill a Mockingbird

DSC_0119~2
Ahkirah at Mt Mago.

Two weeks ago, we ticked off another thing from our bucket list — trek with a toddler. Since Ace and I started scaling mountains, it had been our ‘wish‘ to bring our kid(s) with us. As adventurers who value the outdoors, we believe that kids learn life’s little lessons quickly when they are on an adventure. Although we are not blessed with one yet, it did not really bother us because we have nieces and nephews whom we can bring anyway.

received_1603039766374887~2

 

First things first. Friends, meet my sister’s two-year old daughter, Ahkirah. She is the brave soul whom we took with us during our Boundary Climb to Mt Mago two weeks ago.

Like most of our ‘first‘ experiences, the said climb was unplanned and spontaneous. Admittedly, we also wondered how we could survive it, but we did!

received_1603039146374949
Ahkirah and Demi at the boundary! Hooray!

Here are few things we did to survive it:

  • Never hurry. Let the kid explore.

Kirah toddles a lot. She stopped at anything that interests her. We stopped to pick some wild flowers, we stopped to count the butterflies, we stopped to watch domesticated animals along the way. Knowing that it was her first trekking experience, we let her do just like that. We didn’t want to make her first trek a traumatizing one, instead, we want it to be an adventure that would inspire her young soul to do it again and again. 😀

received_1602785283067002

  • Bring out the kid in us.

We know that kids get bored quickly. Thankfully, the mountain has a lot of things to entertain the kid’s eyes. However, leaving it to the mountain is not enough. When she got tired, we sang nursery songs and made up funny stories.

IMG20170701110553 (1)~2

  • Cooperate.

No matter how slow our pace was or how many times we stopped, that one and a half hour climb to the boundary is truly exhausting for Ahkirah. We took turns to carry her when she didn’t feel like walking anymore.

DSC_2273~2

  • Take short breaks.

Whether we’re traveling with a kid or not, breaks are essential for trips and excursion to give our muscles enough time to relax and regain energy. But we have to limit our breaks into three minutes so we won’t feel more tired.

IMG20170701153223~2

  • Stay hydrated and munch on trail foods.

Food is life, water is ‘lifer‘. 😀 I mean, as much as food is important, water is more important. Due to the lack of planning, we only brought 4.5 liters of water with us. We forgot that there was no water source near the summit. We already consumed everything before our descent. Thankfully, we passed by a small community and ask for some refill. As for Ahkirah, we also let her munch on chocolates and sweets.

IMG20170701124612 (1)~2

  • Embrace dirt.

Get ready to get dirty! Because getting dirty is an adventure itself. We came for dirt, heat, and mud and we got it all. Afterall, the dirt can be washed away, but the memories will last a lifetime.

IMG20170701124035~2

  • Always encourage.

Paulo Coelho once said, “Only children believe they’re capable of everything“. But I think, behind every child who believes in himself is someone who believes in him first. I noticed, Kirah becomes more determined to walk farther when we tell her that she could. During our entire hike, we never fail to encourage and praise her for doing a great job.

DSC_0117

And lastly,

  • Teach kids the LNT (Leave No Trace) Principle

Teach the kids so it won’t be necessary to teach adults. I carried a plastic bag with our trash on it on our way back home. Ahkirah asked me why I brought garbage with me, I answered and explained to her the importance of not leaving our trash in the mountains. I reckoned she understood it and I admire her inquisitive attitude. 🙂 It is important to start teaching the kids about caring the nature no matter how old they are. Afterall, it’s for their own future.

IMG20170701152858~2

Children are not things to be moulded, but people to be unfolded. ~ Jess Lair

 

We hope you find these tips and lessons helpful. Stay tuned for our Boundary Climb to Mt Mago story in a later post.

Over to you. Have you trekked with a kid before?

 

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Finding Love at Lanigid Hill | Pre-valentine Climb

dsc_0426

Every mountain is, rightly considered, an invitation to climb. ~ Henry Van Dyke

Situated in the far-flung barangay of Liloan, Cebu is a hill which is perfect for first-time climbers or for those who just want to get a dose of greeneries. They call it Lanigid Hill.

dsc_0412

After a month delay of our plan to climb Lanigid Hill, it was finally realized last Saturday. It then served as a pre-valentine climb. Climbing with me were my single friends hoping to find love on top. 🙂

dsc_0442
Feet forward.

The hubby was not able to come with us because he went biking with his friends. So it was my first venture without him, sort of ‘the girls’ climb’.

dsc_0393

We rode a motorcycle at the old Liloan Public Market and paid 100 pesos each. After a 30-minute of almost an uphill ride, we reached Mulao’s barangay hall. There we registered our name and paid the Php10 environmental fee. After few minutes of warm-up we then started our trek to the hill.

dsc_0389

The ascent was a bit easy but enough to get those sweats flowing. For first-time trekkers like Gichelle, it was a strenuous one because of the steep slope and loose soil. But she made it! (Clap, clap!)

dsc_0395
Me and Louise.

Some of the plants along the way had been cut off for the wood to make charcoals which is the locals’ main source of livelihood. But we think, they’re also planting new ones to replace those.

dsc_0401

After 20 minutes of ascending, we finally reached the top of the hill. And this view of Mr Sun greeted us. He’s very up but the wind beat his heat.

dsc_0409

For office people like us, the kind of moment at the top is priceless. With all the lush greeneries and thick vegetation in the area we can’t help falling in love.

My girls, indeed, found love on top. 

dsc_0419

After few hours at the top, we agreed to go down and have a quick visit to Mulao River. You might want to check out our adventure to this wonderful river on my previous post.

How about you? Have you been to this hill? How was it?

We hope you enjoyed reading this post!

‘Til our next adventure.

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

 

 

We Woke Up and It’s 2017!!!

aceanddemi

Wow! Look how the days go by. It was like yesteday was 2016 and we woke up realizing we are halfway the first month of 2017!

Where have we been, by the way?

We were actually just around but life got busier after the holidays that we didn’t have the chance to have a sneak peek at our corner, and we’d like to apologize for that. Things just went out of our control.

Anyway, here we are trying to catch up with everyone of you. And we are very excited to share what we have been up to these days.

We know this year’s gonna be very awesome. To start that awesomeness, we climbed a mountain on the very first dawn of the year!

e
First dawn of 2017. 

There’s this mountain near our place that gives a wonderful view of Camotes and Mactan islands. We’ve heard from our ancestors that catching the first sunrise of the year brings good fortune and luck and it invites good vibration for the whole year. Common, there’s no harm in trying, afterall, this is ADVENTURE!!!

Off to the mountain we go!

b
The gang!

Together with our cousins, we energetically climbed the mountain at 4am. Our friend Louise and her siblings went with us, too. We brought with us the left-over from our Media Noche.

a
Patiently waiting with Louise.

It was 5am when we reached the peak but there was no sign of Mr Sun because it was a bit cloudy. We waited for few minutes and voila! Mr Sun was up! The first sunrise of 2017!!! We caught it! 

d
Mr Sun is up!

We ate our snacks and had a little chitchats on the top. Around 7am when we decided to go down because the ray was getting hotter.

c
For the good vibration! 

After we sent Louise and her siblings home, we talked to our cousins and told them that good fortune does not come from catching the first sunrise of the year but from hardwork and our disposition towards life. We just hoped they get it and live with those words.

We don’t really know what is ahead of us. Part of us maybe hopeful about the good luck that the first sunrise brings but we don’t want to rely on that. We still have to work hard. Afterall, we hold the pen and we write our own story.

Life, we believe is not a finished story on the book that we should follow. Rather, it’s a blank page of the book, we still have to write the story.

Here’s to hoping and praying for a wonderful ahead!!!

‘Til next time!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Mt. Naupa, Naga | The Climb

Stop talking about your mountains and start climbing.

We just did!

We’ve heard so much about Mt. Naupa from some of our friends from the blogosphere. It just ignited our curiosity and yeah, just last Saturday we decided to see what the fuss is all about.

dsc_0339

With a staggering height of 584 meters above sea level and ranked as the 8th highest mountain in Central Visayas, one cannot question it’s popularity.

So, let’s see what Mt Naupa has to offer:

Our original plan was to start the climb at 5:00am to witness the sunrise but we sadly missed it because we came late. (Filipinos, yah know.) Anyway, we took a bus from South Bus Terminal and got off at Tungkop, Minglanilla. From there, we rode a motorcycle to take us to Brgy. Cogon. And we started our trek from the chapel where kids are waiting to offer themselves as guide to the mountain.

dsc_0351

We had William and Kent, both thirteen-year old as our guides. These kids really knew what they’re doing because according to them, they climb the mountain every weekends. They even knew how to entertain us and they served as our photographer, as well.

dsc_0298
Kat-kat pa more!

We made a research about the mountain, beforehand. We had to make sure the climb would be easy because we didn’t have any minor climbs but Osmena Peak.

The climb to the mountain is indeed for beginners. The trail is easy and pretty established. Except during rainy days, the soil could be muddy and slippery. The kids said, the climb will not take an hour if we have regular pace. After 45 minutes, we arrived at the campsite.

dsc_0249
Let’s get those feet rested.

We had a few minutes rest and ate our snacks at the campsite. The view from there was already stunning. We couldn’t help taking photos with all the lush greeneries around.

dsc_0272
It’s a plane, no, it’s a bird!

Oh, and we almost forgot…we climbed Mt Naupa together with these three cool sisters — Louise, Daisy, and Ann. These three are awesome! (More climb, girls!)

dsc_0261
The gang on the losse!

When we thought, this is the only campsite… the kids told us that this is just the lower campsite. Now, that made us wonder where is the mountain we’re trying to conquer.

The upper campsite is this hill behind us…. 🙂

dsc_0287
Upper campsite as our backdrop. 

There are no trees to give shade when the sun would be scorchingly hot except this small make-shift hut made from bamboo and recycled tarps. But it looked broken and no longer taken cared of. 😦

So, where is Mt. Naupa?

dsc_0314
There is Mt. Naupa! 

When we reached the upper campsite, the kids told us that Mt Naupa is the eminent mountain in the area. We asked them if we could climb it, but they said it would be dangerous because it’s rocky and the soil is loose. So we have to just settle on the camp area and just look at the mountain while it’s standing proud in front of us. Sigh!

dsc_0322
It’s better in the mountains. 

We were just fortunate to have the mountain solely. We were able to take pictures to our contentment. We even had the trending “mannequin challenge” at the top which was posted on Facebook by yours truly (if you’re following us).

After an hour of resting, the sun started to get hotter… we decided to pack our things and go down. When another kid came and told us that there is a waterfall near. Us, feeling hot and wanting to take a dip in a cold water, immediately headed to the falls following the kid.

dsc_0343
After 3 mountains. 

We came across corn fields and other forms of vegetations. The first 30 minutes was fun and full of talking… when we noticed we already passed three mountains and we did not arrive to the said falls yet. Guess what???? Yeah, you’re right.

We were lost!!!

And yeah, it’s another story! (ahahah) Know what happened on our next entry. 🙂

Despite being lost and going around all the mountains in Naga, Cebu…we still went home with CONTENTMENT and FULFILLMENT in our heart. These pictures may not tell you how happy we were with our adventure we know in our selves, we had so much fun!

 

Expenses: (Below are the general expenses, food expense is not included for you may have different preferences.)

Bus fare: Php60/person  (minimum for airconditioned bus) 

Motorcycle Fare: Php50/person (going up)

Motorcycle Fare:  Php50/person (going down)

*Guide Fee: Php300/5 people (according to guests’ account)

Bus Fare: Php60/person (airconditioned bus) 

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as we had fun climbing Mt. Naupa. Stay tuned for our next entry.

‘Til next climb!!!

Love, Ace and Demi