20: Popping the Adventurers Cherry

Number 20, Out of town trip with young pips in our clan, that’s what it said in my bucket list and last May 2014 we were able to accomplish it by conquering the highest peak of Cavite, the Pico De Loro.

Our group just resting on the camp site

Our group just resting on the camp site

I know I’m an adventurer, in every aspect of the word.(ehem) 😉   Ergo my bucket list is not the usual one you’ll see, I made sure I put a rather an unconventional naughty twist in it.. something I’d really would like to try before I kick the bucket.  (but of course I wont tell you guys which one is it)

So going back, last May we were able to go out-of-town with only us, the young generations in our clan. You see I came from a tight-knit family and we usually go out in groups, with my aunts, uncles, young cousins and so on and so forth with us. It’s not a bad thing though, I do enjoy it but I really want it to be only us yuppies this time, eight hormonally driven 20 plus years old, bawling around out in the skirts of Metro Manila.

We met in Mindanao Avenue, at my friend’s apartment at around 12 mn, we had some chat, talked about our transportation plan which includes taking a bus ride to Baclaran, then another bus to Naic/Ternate route and then a tricycle ride through Magnetic Hill to the drop off at the DENR office.

The whole trip has been pleasant, it was still dark and most of us are just trying to grab some shut-eye. The ride to Magnetic Hill was a different story though, it was 3 am and the place is dark with a new moon high above the skies. It was amazing looking at the white orb surrounded by a dark sheath, that is covered by some puffy clouds that seems to blend well with the sound of insects and the angry motor that shrieks VROOOOOMM! as we go uphill.

As soon as we arrived at the DENR office, we paid our dues and got ready for the early trek. There was another group who will also traverse in the dark, and according to my cousins gf, Christian Vasquez was there. Well sadly, my eyes  is not reliable to distinguish anyone that is not in a 2 meter radius, so I’ll just have to see his handsome face at the campsite. (hintay lang bebe)

It was past 4am when we started trekking, it was really dark with thick woods surrounding you, and roots and even bigger rocks paved the trail. Now I know I am not clumsy, really I’m not! believe me!.. but yeah I slipped a few times, screamed some more when I thought an insect got me and knock my head in one of the big trunks. It was all laughs though, I think the more slapstick mistakes we do, the less daunting our trek in the dark becomes.

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After sunrise, we were able to meet a few mountaineers going down. I just love how friendly the vibe is when you get to meet them halfway in the trail. “Ingat po kayo”,  ” Good morning!”, “Konting tiis pa”,  “Hi!” were exchanged by everyone. Aww it made me feel queasy inside.. hehe

Anyway, after 3 hours we finally arrived on the campsite, most of us are beginners so reaching the campsite was like hallelujah! It was 7 am already, the place was cool with the sun beaming its Vitamin D induced rays.

Found a place to lounge, between the grass and some rocks and ate like a pack of wolves. The trek just drained all of my energy, and we know the campsite is just the pit stop, the summit is way up above us.

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After we had our hearty breakfast, and some group selfies (pikchur pikchur), and with ABS-CBN’s summer ID song, “Kayang kayang kaya kayang kayang kaya” we started out trek to the summit.

Shoot! I brought the wrong kind of shoes, it was an uphill climb with only grass and dead trunks to hold on to. We literally have to crawl just to go up. The ground is not stable enough to walk unto, unless you have super spiky shoes or Spiderman’s ability to latch unto things and never fall.

Deym! going down will be a nightmare, since both sides are cliffs. YIIIKES!! I saw some people who just stop in the middle of the trek and gave up, but heck NO! I’m an adventurer right? its time to pop the PICo cherry!

After roughly 20 minutes of climb, Alas I’m at the top of the world!! err.. top of Cavite. hihi 😀

The summit was amazing, it’s about the size of a studio apartment (just do 3 flips and you’ll surely fall) but the view is incomparable. You can see Batangas, Tagaytay and the Pico De Loro Cove Beach Resort; from the summit you can also rock climb the 90 degree Parrots Peak. We stayed there for 15 minutes and all those time we were looking at that monolith, that seems to say,

The summit, the campers and the view.

The summit, the campers and the view.

“Come hither and conquer me” , it was so tempting, but we don’t have any rope, gloves nor the proper shoes. So we just have to decline and promise to ravish her next time.

The Monolith, or better known as The Parrot's Peak

The Monolith, or better known as The Parrot’s Peak

 

Around 10 am, we started our climb down the mountain, stopped over at the rest site and grab some fluids and biscuits, then finally go back to DENR to catch a tricycle that will take us back to the bus station, then to the city to grab some lunch.

Eight tired but extremely happy yuppies slept like the dead in a bus going to Baclaran, it was amazing how we were able to get ourselves to catch an MRT ride from Taft then to Trinoma, just to get home. I’m sure tomorrow everyone will be walking as if were newly circumcised or have a big pus between our thighs, but hey it was fun and surely it wont be our last.

 

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TRES. Climb on top of a mountain

Yep, I always wanted to climb a mountain, I tried urban trekking before in Tagaytay but its different when you do it in the province where the air is cool, the people has a different dialect and everywhere you look screams NATURE.

Last 2011, Me and several of my cousins went on a trek to Hanginan, Southern Leyte. It was a site of pilgrimage since there is a chapel on top of the mountain. I actually wrote about this on my other site  CLICK ME

We got ready early in the morning and made our way to the foot of the mountain before the sun is way up high, it was one of those fun climbs we usually do, the difference this time is we really climb to the top, and were hoping for spiritual satisfaction and guidance.

There are a lot of sights to see on the way, from the rice fields and the farmers, the music of early morning harvest or planting? I have no idea. I just saw people on the other side. We saw a lot of kids, small, minutae, key-chain like kids who were smiling and running after us without underpants. Were chuckling as we welcomed them and gave them some of our snacks on which they accepted and ate heartily. We even have to divide the biscuits because a little one told us as he wipe his snot from his face, with teary eyes, that some of the bigger kids wont share.

Awww.. ok ok I have more biscuits 🙂 don’cha cry.

Going back, the view is just awesome! from the other side you’ll see fields, on the other the vastness of the blue sea with the cool  wind sweeping in your face. The scenery will surely make you realize how blessed we are to have such gifts.

We were able to finish the climb for two hours, then prayed in the chapel, tried the local delicacy and sweets before going down. It was tiring but the experience was memorable since, we made that journey for our grandma’s health, we had a lot of laugh along the way, our ivory skinned got a bit more tanned (LOL ivory?! ) just kidding, Ok our caramel brown skin got even darker.. were mocha now. (my cousin likes to call it choco chip) 😀

Anyway we promised this wont be the last, although were reaching 30’s now and married life is looming,  hopefully we get to have a few time to spare and bond once again.

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Some of my cousins and aunts at the port of Cebu
bakasyonista kuno 😉

Dos. See a dolphin/ whale show

When I was a young girl I never really dreamed of being a nurse, nor being a part of the medical community. I was interested, heck I love to look at pictures of amputated people in our medical encyclopedia.. but it never really occur to me to have that as a career. You see when I was young I wanted to become a Marine Biologist.

I dreamt of studying under sea creatures, the different plants and the layers of the soil and the types of ecosystem that a body of water has. I enjoyed reading science books, especially oceanography. I was really into that stuff! Looking back perhaps the inclination is brought about by watching Free Willy a dozen times :p I was nine years old then and I’m already working my arse off just to learn about those.

But of course time changes everything, we grow up and reality sets in; There’s just no way my parents would let their first-born be a researcher,  aside from financial instability, the opportunity for that kind of job in my country is a dead ringer.

Even though I didn’t become one, I still dreamt of seeing those creatures.. so you could just imagine my delight when I found out that a dolphin/whale show has been established here in my country. Heck I have always been scared that Shamu will die without me seeing one like him.

Last 2011 as soon as I got home from my three-year work in the Middle East, I planned to go to Subic and see them for myself, the creatures I had been dying to see since Willy got famous.

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I know that’s not a whale shark, It’s a dolphin! but there was a whale in the show and I was too transfixed to get my cam while he is performing. Ergo no photo, my fascination with whales resulted me to forget to take that shot.

He demands my full attention.

Aside from that I get to see other sea creatures, Yay! (haha) I know know, you must be probably laughing at me, on how silly I must sound to you guys, but remember I wanted to work with these animals since I was nine and you have no idea how it feels to actually see them eye to eye.

Its like having your first kiss, the shock and excitement is palpable.Image

The show consists of a presentation about conservation then a whale and dolphin show and then the sea-lion show, and the last would be the other wildlife show. Kids would love this I’m telling you. it’s a good start for them to love the environment and the ecosystem, and maybe they might want to become a marine biologist as well 😉

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me, sis, mom and cuz 🙂

UNO. Travel abroad by myself

Well as I’ve pointed out it’s a done ‘ish? since I wasn’t really able to visit the main city and I just stayed in my hotel room most of the time and eat out at the nearby restaurants. It’s not really the perfect timing for a relaxing getaway trip, its more of a I’m-tired-sleepy-hungry-monster who just wants to kick back in my hotel room.

Anyway, traveling alone is fun. Chatted with a lot of people while waiting for our hotel concierge to pick us up. the driver is friendly and shared stories of how he enjoyed his stay in Brunei. Climate is awesome, I love it in there, not too hot, not too cold and as what the driver has said.. they don’t usually have any strong typhoons coming in. The drive from the airport to the hotel has been breezy, although I wasn’t able to see any major buildings or architecture ( I think this airport is strategically situated outside of the city  to deter traffic volumes) I had fun taking quick snaps of the roadside while the driver tell tales of great places we should go to.

45 minutes later we arrived at the hotel, it was a clean, nice looking hotel, perhaps a 3 star. I forgot the name though but they offer good service and the employees are nice.As soon as I get to my room, I just kicked back and slept. It was only during lunch time that I woke up and started to check out what my room has to offer. A soft, white plush double sized bed, 21 inch tv with cable, hotpot, hair straightener, coffee, tea, mugs, shampoo and a whole lot of toiletries that I can’t stop sniffing just to make sure that It wont destroy my natural scent. LOL ( I’m afraid of the unusual organic products ) 🙂

After the smellathon, I went for a walk outside of the hotel, Chinese restaurants swamp the area, although there are an ample number of Turkish to Arab restaurants as well. I dine in on Chinese resto, I want to try the Peking that the father and son was having on the next table but the size of it put me off.. I’m not that hungry to eat the whole thing, so I settle for some soup, chicken with rice and dumplings on the side. It was a great meal 😛 my tummy was so happy.

After meal, I thought of going to the main market but since I was so tired and sleepy and well, I can’t find a driver to drop me off.. I just settled for a hibernation until 6 pm comes in, and I got ready for the airport.

Hopefully next time I get to see the sights of Brunei.. I promise there will be a next time.