Tag Archives: mountain

Osmeña Peak

We’re back from our 3-day Cebu adventure. We got to cover more than what we expected that’s why it’s going to be tough to share everything right away. Maybe, we’ll just do it in installments and then summarize everything in one post later on.

This part is about Osmeña Peak, the highest point in the island of Cebu. Situated in Dalaguete, Cebu, the peak is at 1,072.6 meters above sea level. However, it was a very short hike because the jump-off point is already near the peak. Since we were pressed for time, we didn’t get the chance to hike all the way up, and instead cheated with the help of a motorcycle, or habal-habal to get to the hiker’s registration area. (Note: We chartered two motorcycles for two days to get to different parts of South Cebu to cover as much as possible, and we’ll write about this in the coming days).  From there, it took us around 15 minutes to get to the peak.

The entrance fee is just at P20 per person, while there are no fixed fees set for tour guides.

At the summit, you will see some extraordinary “hilly” formations, the shore of Moalboal, and the islands of Badian, Siquijor, Bohol, and Negros. Definitely a must-do when visiting Cebu!

Osmena Drone 001













Mt. Hapunang Banoi

May 14, 2016

Whenever we want to go on a hiking trip but don’t want to travel as far, the province of Rizal is our go-to place. The town of Montalban , which is just an hour away from Cubao, Quezon City, offers different trails going up different mountains, which form part of the Sierra Madre range.

Last Saturday, we hiked Mt. Hapunang Banoi. Just like Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan, the jump-off point is at Brgy. Wawa. Entrance fee is at P25/head, while the services of tour guides are at P500/group. The trail is very challenging and would require climbing sharp rocks. It took us probably three hours to reach the summit (which was definitely worth it) and an hour to get down.

Sierra Madre

Mt. Hapunan Banoi

Mt. Hapunan Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt. Hapunang Banoi


Mt. Mamara, Tinapak River, and Tinapak Cave

March 19, 2016

This trip was planned only around six hours before. After going home from movie night, we decided to meet each other early the next day for another hiking trip.

We were supposed to climb Mt. Daraitan but since we woke up late that morning, we got to Brgy. Daraitan at noon, and the tourism office said we couldn’t anymore. Hence, they offered us an alternative, Mt. Mamara.

The Tinipak River and Mts. Daraitan and Mamara are subject of an ongoing boundary dispute between the municipalities of General Nakar, Quezon, and Tanay, Rizal. For now, the municipalities are sharing profit by require separate environmental fees of a minimal amount.

The trail to Mt. Mamara would require crossing the Tinipak River, which is a scene in itself as it has limestone formations reminiscent of those in Minalungao National Park, Nueva Ecija. When we reached the summit after two hours from Tinipak River, it didn’t feel like Mt. Mamara was just an alternative because of the amazing view it offers, including that of Mt. Daraitan.

After our descent, we passed by the Tinipak Cave, and swam inside. The water was very cold and clear.

If there’s one tip we want to share to others about our trips, it would be to always expect the unexpected and just make the most out of the trip. If by some chance the place you plan to go to is closed, there will always be an alternative; you can just ask around or google.

Watch our video here:

Mt. Mamara

Tinipak River

Tinipak River

Tinipak River

Mt. Mamara

Mt. Mamara

Tinipak Cave

Tinipak Cave

Mt. Mamara Summit


Mt. Ulap

February 7, 2015

This was our first dayhike for the year (Yes, Benguet day trips are possible!). We left Manila at around 12:00 MN of Sunday, and got back in a little over 24 hours.

The Mt. Ulap Eco-Trail was launched just in October of last year. The jump-off point is in the baranggay hall of Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet, which is just a 45-minute jeepney ride (P50 fare) from the terminal in Petron Harrison Road, Baguio City. We spent seven long hours to complete the Ampucao-Sta. Fe Traverse, and got to visit the Ambanao Paoay Peak, Gungal Rock, and the summit of Mt. Ulap. Registration fee is at P100 per person.

It was very cold. News reports say that the temperature dropped to 11.5 degrees Celsius in Baguio City. Fortunately for us, we got to experience Mt. Ulap (which means “cloud” in Filipino) in its literal form as we incidentally climbed on a cloudy day. However, we didn’t get to see some parts of the picturesque view as they were covered with again, clouds. At least there’s a reason for us to go back.

P.S. Thank you to our new friends, who shared the tour guide with us (P400 per group of 10), and gave us free lunch!

Ampucao-Sta. Fe Ridge

Janna Nikko




Nikko Janna


Nikko Janna Mountain



Ambungao Paoay

First Peak





Janna Nikko



Nikko Janna

Nikko Janna


Gungal Rock


Nikko's Miss Universe

Mt Ulap

Mt. Ulap


Sta. Fe

We Survived Mt. Ulap

Mt. Ulap Summit


Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat & Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

December 20, 2015

We had only the afternoon to explore the historical province of Bataan, having left Manila at around noon. We headed to the Dambana ng Kagitingan, a memorial shrine dedicated to the brave Filipino and American soldiers, who fought during World War II. We were surprised to see the 92-metre high cross, which also has a viewing gallery inside.

Thereafter, we went to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a heritage park, which showcases mansions from the Spanish era, which were dismantled and subsequently reassembled.

Dambana ng Kagitingan

Dambana ng Kagitingan

Dambana ng Kagitingan

View from Top

View Deck

View from Mt. Samat

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Dinner at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Adams, Ilocos Norte

This part was the best part of our trip. We’ve never had any other experience like it before. Read until the end to know why.

We didn’t really know where to go on Day 4 of our trip until the night before. If you would recall, we allotted one whole day for Bangued, Abra but finished early (after just three hours) and was able to do the Vigan trip on Day 1, too. Thus, we had an extra day in Ilocos before heading to the Cagayan Valley.

Upon googling other places of interest in Ilocos Norte, we were intrigued by this little town called Adams.

Adams, Ilocos Norte, is a one-barangay 5th class municipality. It is the sixth smallest town in the Philippines considering population, as it has only 1500 inhabitants.  According to some writers, it was named after the Biblical character Adam, as the place is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden.

Commuting to Adams is very different. There are no buses, jeeps nor tricycles going there, as the area is mountainous, and the narrow road is rough. We got there by riding separate motorcycles, and the ride from the highway to the town proper took around 45 minutes.

When we got to the town proper, we were greeted by policemen, who were very hospitable and helpful. We found out from them that the town boasts of zero crime rate. They advised our motorcycle drivers to tour us around the town and bring us to the jump-off point of the Anuplig Falls, one of Adams’ 18 waterfalls.

After visiting the Lover’s Peak, the view deck, the hanging bridge, we checked out the winery and juicer, which sells fresh export-quality Lemon-Grass, Grapefruit, and Bugnay Juices and Wine. The fruits are of course grown in the rich town.

Then, we trekked for an hour with our guide to get to the 25ft. high, roaring Anuplig Falls. The trek was quite challenging but the view all throughout was magnificent. You could see the peaceful town and hear the birds chirping, and the wind blowing. After cliff diving (which was very scary), and swimming for an hour or so, we went back to the town proper to get our things, which we deposited with the police. Then we rode our motorcycles again to get back to the highway.

The view from Adams would make one believe that indeed there is a God. What made is believe more in God was how he helped us get through weird surprises on our way back to the highway.

During the middle of the trip back to the highway, Nikko’s motorcycle had to stop, as one of the wheels was running flat. Janna, whose motorcycle went first, didn’t know about this, so when she got to the highway, without the sight of Nikko, she got scared that something might have happened to Nikko. After 30 minutes, Nikko and his driver resurfaced at the highway, narrating that they had to borrow a motorcycle from a random town native.

Also, while it was already getting dark, we waited at the shed for a van to get us to the next town to get money from the bank/ATM, as we only had a few hundreds left.  After paying our tour guides/motorcycle driver, we were left with only P80, which we thought was enough for us to get to the next town. However, we found out that we were P20 short, as the fare getting to Claveria, Cagayan Valley, was P50 from where we were. It was just great that there was a good Samaritan, named Mang Ronnie, who overheard our problem and gave us P50. Indeed, God always makes things work.

P.S. When we got to the rural bank in Claveria, the only ATM in town was offline. Without having any money left (as we gave the last P30 we had to the tricycle driver who took us from the highway to the rural bank), and without having any Plan B, we waited for about 30 minutes and prayed hard that the ATM go online. Then, our prayer got answered, and thus had money to get us dinner and to continue the second half of our road trip.

Adams 001

Adams 002

Adams 003

Adams 004

Adams 005

Adams 006

Adams 007

Adams 009

Adams 010

Adams 011

Adams 012

Adams 008


We had the chance to tour North Luzon via public transportation from November 14 to 21, 2015. Since both of us are government employees, we had work suspension from Tuesday to Friday due to the APEC summit. We also took a leave on Monday, giving us nine consecutive vacation days.

Since we are fond of doing spontaneous trips, our itinerary was planned only two days before, not really being entirely sure if it was feasible. We also didn’t book anything in advance because we’re kind of risk averse. All we knew was that we wanted to visit the Ilocos Region and the Cagayan Valley by commuting, and that we had to be back two days before the next working day.

On the day of the trip, we decided to squeeze in Bangued, Abra as part of our trip, and that it be our starting point. Abra is a landlocked province in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Its capital, Bangued, is only an hour away from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. We chartered a tricycle for P600 to tour around Bangued for half a day. We were able to visit the Victoria Park or the peak of the Cassamata Hill, which gave us a good view of the province. The tricycle also took us to the Tayum Church, the Bangued Cathedral (St. James the Elder), the Calaba Bridge, the Don Mariano Marcos Bride, and the ancestral House of former senator Quintin Paredes.

Bangued is also known for miki, its indigenous noodles and so we tried it out at a local panciteria, which our tricycle driver/tour guide recommended. We look forward to visiting the town again during its miki festival, which is held every February.

Victoria Park Cassamata Hill

Mama Mary

Tayum Church

Tayum Church

Calaba Bridge

Calaba Bridge

St. James the Elder Church / Bangued Cathedral

Don Mariano Marcos Bridge

Quintin Paredes' Ancestral House

Quintin Paredes' Ancestral House

Quintin Paredes' Ancestral House

Abra Miki

More details about our trip in the coming days. In the meantime, please find below our itinerary for this 6D/7N Backpacking Trip:

November 14, Saturday (10:00 pm) – Departure from Cubao, Quezon City (Partas Bus)

November 15, Sunday (5:00 am) – Arrival in Bangued

November 15, Sunday (6:00 am to 9:00 am) – Bangued, Abra Tricycle Tour (Victoria Park or Cassamata Hill, Calaba Bridge, Mariano Marcos Bridge)

November 15, Sunday (10:00 am to 11:00 am) – Travel to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur by Mini-bus

November 15, Sunday (12:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Vigan City Tricycle Tour (Saint Augustine Parish Church  or the Bantay Church, Bantay Bell Tower, Baluarte, Hidden Garden, Cristy’s Loomweaving, Pottery, Calle Crisologo, Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle or the Cathedral of Vigan, Town Plaza)

November 16, Monday (8:00 am to 11:00 am) – Travel to Laoag, City, Ilocos Norte by Bus

November 16, Monday (12:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Laoag City, Batac, and Paoay Tricycle Tour (Laoag Sinking Bell Tower, Malacanan of the North, Paoay Lake, Paoay Church, Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, Museo Ilocos Norte, Laoag Sand Dunes)

November 17, Tuesday (8:00 am to 10:00 am) – Travel to Burgos, Ilocos Norte

November 17, Tuesday (11:00 am to 12:00 pm) – Burgos and Bangui Tricycle Tour (Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Bangui Windmills)

November 17, Tuesday (12:00 to 2:30 pm) – Trek to Kabigan Falls

November 17, Tuesday (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Pagudpud Tricycle Tour (Pagudpud Arch, Timangtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, Dos Hermanos Islands, Blue Lagoon, Saud Beach)

November 18, Wednesday (8:30 am to 9:30 am) – Travel to Pancian, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte via tricycle

November 18, Wednesday (9:00 am to 10:30 am) – Travel to Adams, Ilocos Norte via motorcycle

November 18, Wednesday (10:30 am to 11:30 am) – Adams Motorcycle Tour (Lover’s Peak, Hanging Bridge, Viewpoint, Winery)

November 18, Wednesday (12:30 pm to 3:30 pm) – Trek to Anuplig Fallss

November 18, Wednesday (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm) – Travel to Pancian, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

November 18, Wednesday (6:00 pm to 7:00 pm) – Travel to Claveria, Cagayan

November 18, Wednesday (9:00 pm to 1:00 am) – Travel to Nangaramoan Beach, Santa Ana, Cagayan

November 19, Thursday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm) – Palaui Island Hopping (Cape Engano, Punta Verde, Punta Verde Falls, Crocodile Island, Anguib Beach)

November 19, Thursday (7:00 pm) – Reached San Vicente (642 km) marker

November 20, Friday (8:30 am to 10:00 am) – Travel to Aparri, Cagayan

November 20, Friday (10:00 am to 11:30 am) – Aparri Tricycle Tour

November 20, Friday (12:00 pm to 2:00 pm) – Travel to Iguig, Cagayan

November 20, Friday (2:00 pm to 2:30 pm) – Iguig Calvary Hills

November 20, Friday (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm) – Travel to Penablanca, Cagayan

November 20, Friday (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm) – Callao Cave

November 20, Friday (5:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Pinacanauan River Boat Ride and Bats Watching

November 20, Friday (6:00 pm to 6:45 pm) – Travel to Tuguegarao City

November 20, Friday (9:00 pm) – Departure from Tuguegarao City (Florida Bus)

November 21, Saturday (8:00 am) – Arrival in Sampaloc, Manila