Tag Archives: nature

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


4 Reasons Why Day Trips are Awesome

Most of our adventures consist of day trips near Metro Manila, where we are based.

When we started this blog, one of the challenges we dared ourselves with was to get back within 24 hours to show other people that day trips to seemingly far places like Baguio City are possible. Later on, we realized that more than just being possible, day trips are in fact practical. Here are some reasons why:

  1. You get to save money.

Decent budget rooms in transient inns/B&B’s start at P500 ($12) per head. Instead of spending at least a thousand pesos (approximately $25) on accommodation, we prefer getting back home late in the evening, and sleeping on our own beds. This may be tiring for some, but one can always sleep in the bus, or in the car, except of course if he or she is the driver (and that is why sometimes, we prefer commuting but we’ll save it for another article).

  1. You save time.

Other than the financial practicality of getting back home and sleeping in the bus, day trips are also sensible because the traffic is better in the evening. We don’t know if people realize this but usually, in overnight trips, the last day is just reserved for just breakfast and traveling back home. In short, you spend most of the day on the road, and when you get home, you’re still exhausted and just want to lay in bed. For people like us, who have regular day jobs, it would then be so hard to get to work on the next day. Day trips allow us to explore the world around us almost every week, and still become productive for work on the following working day.

  1. You get to pack light.

Since you are just going on a day trip, you don’t have to bring overnight stuff such as nightwear, and towels.

  1. Asking permission from your parents or guardians would be easier.

We don’t know if this applies to everyone but we think parents are more inclined to let their children go on day trips than overnighters. Since some of our readers are students, we believe this would apply. And yes, at 28, Janna still seeks permission from her parents.

Here’s a list of awesome day trips we’ve taken that you should try too. Click the link to redirect you to our blog post on every destination. (We’ll keep this page updated and add more day trip destinations but make sure to check our posts on other non-day trips too.)

  1. Dambana ng Kagitingan & Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bataan
  2. Balatoc Mines Tour & Bridal Veil Falls & Colorado Falls, Itogon & Tuba, Benguet
  3. Hiking Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet
  4. Boac & Gaspar Island, Marinduque
  5. Majayjay Falls / Taytay Falls / Imelda Falls, Majayjay, Laguna
  6. Magdalena: River Rafting, Cliff Diving, and Water Tubing, Magdalena, Laguna
  7. Pagsanjan / Cavinti Falls, Laguna
  8. Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Laguna
  9. MJD Urban Escape Farm, Lucena City, Quezon
  10. Mt. Mirador / Mt. Pinagbanderahan, Quezon National Forest Park, Atimonan, Quezon
  11. Bangkong Kahoy Valley, Dolores, Quezon
  12. Kamay ni Hesus & Kamayan sa Palaisdaan
  13. Hangga Falls / Maapon Falls, Sampaloc, Quezon
  14. Villa Sariaya, Sariaya, Quezon
  15. Hinulugang Taktak & Cloud 9, Antipolo City, Rizal
  16. Angono Art Galleries: Carlos “Botong” Francisco House, Nemiranda Arthouse and Balaw Balaw Restaurant, Angono, Rizal
  17. National Museum: Angono Petroglyphs, Angono, Rizal
  18. Inday Nelly’s Mystical Cave, Padilla, Rizal
  19. Wawa Dam & River, Rodriguez, Rizal
  20. Hiking Mt. Pamitinan, Rodriguez, Rizal
  21. Ten Cents to Heaven, Tanay, Rizal
  22. Masinloc Ecotour: Giant Clam / Taklobo Farm, Bacala Guesthouse, Mangrove Islet, and San Salvador Island, Masinloc, Zambales
  23. Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan
  24. Buntot Palos, Pangil, Laguna
  25. Bantakay Falls, Atimonan, Quezon

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


Bantakay Falls

December 26, 2015

The Bantakay Falls, which still forms part of the Quezon National Forest Park, is just magnificent. Our one-hour trek through the cemented trail, and under the rain was truly worth it.

If you need a place to stay in Lucena City, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns














Aparri, Iguig, Penablanca, Cagayan

November 20, 2015

This was the last leg of our 6-Day North Luzon Backpacking Adventure.

From Santa Ana, we had to get to Tuguegarao City to catch a bus going to Manila. But we decided to ride one of the night-sleeper buses so we could explore more of Cagayan Valley in one day.

In the morning, we hopped on one of the UV Express vans and went to the sleepy town of Aparri, which was two hours away from Santa Ana. We just checked out the Aparri Delta, where the Cagayan River meets the sea, the Aparri Park, a church, and had Pancit Cabagan in a local panciteria.

Then we were off to Iguig, which was another two hours from Aparri, to  check out the Calvary Hills, where life-size statues depicting the stations of the cross lie.

After spending less than an hour in Iguig, we then proceeded to Penablanca, to explore the Callao Caves. We chartered a tricycle (P1,000) because we were pressed for time already.

The beautiful Callao Caves had religious formations, and even had an altar inside. They hold Holy Masses there regularly.

Our Tour Guide also suggested we ride a boat along the Pinacanauan River and wait for the colony of bats that fly out of a cave every 5:30 in the afternoon. Our three-minute experience watching the bats was surreal.

When it was already dark, we headed to Tuguegarao City to get to a bus terminal. Buses were fully booked but after having another variant of Pancit Cagayan (Pancit Batil Patong) for dinner, we were able to ride a bus as chance passengers.

12 hours later we were back in Manila.

If you need a place to stay in Tuguegarao City, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

Aparri Park

Aparri Church

Aparri Delta

Aparri Marker


Pancit Cabagan

Calvary Hills

Calvary Hills

Calvary Hills

Calvary Hills

Callao Cave

Callao Cave

Church inside Callao Cave

Callao Cave

Callao Cave

Callao Cave

Callao Cave




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