Nov 24, 2010

Microtel MOA: Run for Fun/DLSU's Greenovation Run

click on the photo for more details

Butuan Accommodation: Single Standard Rooms for Cheap Backpackers

Here is the fruit of my labor in searching for a cheap stay in Butuan. I have called each establishment to inquire for the room rates and basic facilities. I will post a review on the inn/lodge that I will be staying, if ever my itinerary insists me to spend the night in this city.

Beverly Inn
Montilla Blvd.
350/AC, TV, common CR

Country View Inn
San Francisco St. Corner Lopez Jaena
400/AC,CR,TV,double lock

Jet’s Inn
Villanueva St.
450/AC, CR, no TV

Hensonly Plaza Lodge
San Francisco St.

Imperial Hotel
San Francisco St. Corner Lopez Jaena
600/AC, TV,CR

My first choice of these 5 establishments is the Countryview Inn. I will check out the place first, then proceed to the other inns if I find the place unsatisfactory.

What about you? Have you tried any of the 5 inns/lodges that I have posted? What can you say about your stay?

End of November 2010 Long Weekend

I still haven't made a final decision as to the detailed itinerary, but for sure I will be in Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte, and if fortunate enough I might make it to Surigao del Norte on the 27th to the 30th via Lumbia Airport, vice versa.

And this time I promised myself to be super cheap in my trips. No more excessive extravagances, since the fact that I can travel to Mindanao is luxury in itself.

Nov 21, 2010

Major Concern with Minor Solution

Ever since I started my flight mania and the major climbs that went with it…I have neglected the joys of the minor climb. Last year, one month sees me twice or three times in the outdoors. Nowadays, I only have one major climb per month, with a major major expense.

Yesterday I went on a minor climb with several former climb buddies, and I rediscovered the simple happiness of the cheap, inexpensive climb. And I was contented and just plainly enjoying every single moment, something that haven’t felt for the longest time during a climb.

Today I am resolved to go back to my old climbing life wherein I climb AT LEAST twice a month, may it be minor+minor or minor+major.

Happy hormones needn’t be expensive.

Nov 16, 2010

Climbing my way through 2010 (Part 1)

I have been a climber since 2007, with each succeeding year topping the previous one when it comes to the destinations that I have been. In the year 2008, I have observed some friends who shamelessly utilized airfare sale like there’s no tomorrow. And I envied their 2009 cheap escapades. With healthy envy in my heart, I promised to myself that I will also do the same in the coming year…and that was 2010.
 I don’t know if I overdid it, but it felt like my travels drained me of my much needed resources, in exchange for that cheap thrills, and geography lessons in life.  I have to admit that before the year 2007, I really sucked at traveling. I was 25 at that time, and never been to places like Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Pampanga, Bicol region and Baguio, of which most of the normal people at my age would already have been to. In addition to that, I have no idea where in Visayas Cebu is, nor the proximity of the Panay and Negros Islands to each other. Nor what are the provinces in Mindanao, except that for sure Davao is. I never knew the difference between Cagayan de Oro and Cagayan Valley. Now, with thousands of pesos expended, I knew better.

Start the Year Right
To kick off my year in mountaineering, I did a 5-man dayhike of Tarak Ridge rising @ 1130+masl as training for my February double major climb. This is a shoulder ridge of the Mariveles Mountain Range in Bataan. It gained fame more than Mt. Mariveles itself since it is accesible, the famous Papaya River is along the way, and the view above is very majestic as characteristic of an open trail. (January 2010)

Valentines Day Climb
Almost two years and 40 mountains later, I decided to set my foot again to the mountain that had been my first. And this time… on Valentines Day. While some friends are celebrating the hot air balloons on flight in Clark, Pampanga, I decided to do a solo trek with the towering 706masl pride of Cuenca Batangas that was Mt. Maculot. It was nice to be reunited with the mountain that introduced me to the awe that was the outdoors.  (February 2010)

Malapit na...
.... dumilim! That was the joke part of my climb as  I was struggling to hike the Philippine's 5th highest mountain. Amazingly, though the altitude does not differ that much, the sister mountain Mt. Dulang dulang nestles a lush golden mossy forest while Mt. Kitanglad is home to green bonsai trees. The summit is the site for communication towers, since it is the highest place in the whole of Bukidnon (before Mt. Dulang dulang was discovered).

Top 5... finally!
This marks the completion of my conquest of the Philippines' 5 highest mountains. That climb was concluded as the climb of my career, the double major traverse of Mt. Kitanglad to Mt. Dulang-dulang via Inablayan ridge, before I experienced Mt. Kalatungan and its traverse to Mt. Macaupao. But for sure this is included in my top climbs for the year 2010. (February 2010)

Almost there!
Was my thought when we were struck by misfortune in the form of bee stings that my climb buddy got as he was chased by a swarm of those stingers. We were happily descending, congratulating ourselves for Mt. Pantingan conquest, when my friend encountered a swarm of bees flying by... just 2 hours away from the jumpoff. Just the worst of luck. Nevertheless, this is one of my achievement for the year, having climbed the mountain that was part of my "unfinished business" climb bucketlist for the previous year 2009. That climb buddy was well and kicking and was climbing again a week after. (March 2010)

Sleeping Beauty
Better known as Mt. Patukan to the mountaineering world, this sleeping beauty lies and nurses the village of Lubo, Tanudan. The mountain was called as such because when viewed from afar, it resembled the female form reclining on her side. (March-April 2010)

In the Summertime
Burnt trees were everywhere, as became the trademark of every forests during summer.

I have no plans to go back to this mountain for the forth time in a matter of a year, but a climb buddy managed to persuade me to be his guide. I first climbed Mt. Balagbag back in May 2009, and it introduced me to the wonderful sights of the Sierra Madre mountain range. (April 2010)

To the Morning and Beyond
My idea of a fun climb includes Gulugod Baboy as an option. With low elevation trek and a beach sidetrip afterwards, one would not go wrong  in choosing this mountain as a fun hike destination.

Together with a group of new-found friends, we confidently did a night trek, and safely arrived at the campsite at around 12mn. After pitching our tents, we proceeded with the drinking spree which lasted from midnight to early morning. Conversations were about almost anything under the stars.  (April 2010)

Limatik Country
Limatik or blood leech has never been a favorite. This hinders me from climbing several desired destinations like Mt. Natib, and when a chance to climb what was referred to as the “limatik country” during summer, I never passed on the chance. Limatiks are scarce this time of the year, and I was glad I never encountered any. (May 2010)

... to be continued

Nov 14, 2010

Summer 2011 in Batanes: Island Hopping Up North!

I am not your average tourist, I don't spend much on airfare. I choose flights that I can afford, and am willing to pay. Lucky for me, one of my dream destination became a heartbeat away with SEAIR's summer promo. We managed to snag a roundtrip deal for 2 (Php 6,985.00/pax), going to... where else but Batanes!

We chose to have our stay for 7 days, since we intend to visit the 3 main islands Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang. I asked for the package for Dinem Island, but the price proved to be too much for me, since there will be just me and a friend who will share the expenses.

I hope I can do the island some justice when I write a field report next summer. Keeping my fingers crossed for some fun fun fun!