A Dream Was Done In Buscalan

Ever had a dream place you really wanted to visit that it took you years to plan and prepare?

We all have our one dream place. Mine, it’s Buscalan.

September 29, 2017

It was around 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon when I started packing for a trip that was long planned. Schedule of our departure? 6:30 p.m. But I still have managed to prepare my things and do last-minute shopping for a good pair of hiking sandals and a toothbrush. Came 7:00 p.m., we were still rushing to the meeting place and as I was expecting, everyone was all in a hurry, too. Good thing, our driver was so patient. We left Manila around 8:00 p.m. Normal Filipino time. The traffic was so bad since it was a payday Friday, and NLEX… you know what it is.

After braving the traffic and as soon as we pass through the expressway, the adventure began. In case you’re wondering, we have availed a tour via Raizen Travel and Tours and if you want a less hassle trip to Buscalan, check out their Facebook page. Sobrang cool ng driver/guide/cook/ka-jamming all-in-one nila! I just forgot his name but he has a great taste in music and that made us more lively inside our van. Grabe yung soundtrip! Mix of OPM, reggae, rock, and 90’s feel good music. Ang saya! We were 12 in the van (minus the driver) and there was never a dull moment because of the non-stop kwento, laughter, and foodtrip. Sa van pa lang, solid na. I was with my boyfriend, friends, friends of friends, and kamag-anak ng friends; and we all turned out to be friends na rin.

September 30, 2017 Around 3:00 in the morning, we decided to take pictures and experience the freezing situation in the highest point in the Philippine Highway System located along Halsema Highway in Atok, Benguet. It is 2, 255+ meters above sea level which makes the whole place chilly; it will give you shivers up to your bones.

Then, we continued traveling our way to Bontoc. When we arrived there, our kuya driver left us for a while with the van to buy some goods for our stay in Buscalan. We spent time enjoying the cold 4:00 a.m. breeze while roaming around the streets of Bontoc proper. The sun was not out yet but the people we met, even the dogs, were so welcoming. Few moments later, we got our way to Buscalan. Going there, you need to drive over steep hills and arduous roadways. We’re lucky that our driver is good in maneuvering because with one wrong move, our van would’ve roll down the slopes. It was such a glorious feeling gradually seeing the view as the sun rise up.

We finally arrived at the jump-off point around 7:00 a.m. The morning was way far from the usual. We unloaded from our rockets and found heaven as we landed. We were surrounded with wondrous rice terraces all over the vicinity. From there, we started hiking to Brgy. Tinglayan. It took us about an hour of trekking to the barangay.

(Photo by Earvin Casais)

with the children of Tinglayan (Photo by Earvin Casais)

Aside from our kuya driver, we were lucky to be accompanied by these local guides – Kuya Kenad and Ate Anyang.

They were responsible for our needs in Tinglayan. Plus, they treated us like their family and helped us live like locals for a day.

Going back, when we finally got to Brgy. Tinglayan, the exhaustion faded as we saw the locals and the whole barangay, and everywhere we go, we hear that “tapping” sound that made us more exhilarated. There were black and pot-bellied pigs all around, and the dogs were so tamed and friendly. The locals are still living their traditional and simple lives, although some were already adapting the technology. But one thing I noticed was that everyone – elders or younglings, male or female; have their own traditional tattoos on their skin. Their way of tattooing is called batok, and the most renowned and legendary mambabatok is Apo Fang-Od. (Others call her as Whang Od.)

Apo Fang-Od signing a book where she’s on the cover

Apo Fang-Od, from the Butbut ethnic group, is a hundred year old mambabatok who still practices their culture and art of tattooing despite her age. According to her, she has no plans of stopping yet as long as her sight and health still ables her to do it. Her grandchildren also practices pambabatok for the preservation and continuity of their tribe’s tattoo culture. I suggest you research more about the people of Buscalan and their culture so that you’ll understand the importance of pambabatok to them.

Apo Fang-Od preparing her weapons of choice (Photo by Earvin Casais)

After having our own breakfast and a thermos-full of Buscalan coffee, our group decided to finally have our own batok.

Grace and Elyang doing their work of art

I was trying my best to endure the pain. I remember playing Tong-its on my phone and amuse myself but, it didn’t worked. This was my first ever tattoo, by the way. I didn’t expect it to be hella painful!!

Then, after lunch, our group was the first one to line up for Apo Fang-Od. While waiting, we couldn’t keep our excitement to ourselves.

When I saw her, grabe. Para akong nakakita ng tala na bumaba sa langit.

Oh ang matamis mong ngiti.. (Photo by Earvin Casais)

She was sitting on a stool, patiently giving everyone the three dots they deserve. Gusto ko siyang yakapin at isayaw.

My turn came and the pain I felt in my first tattoo was nothing compared to pain I felt as she continuously tap a Pomelo’s thorn – dipped in liquid charcoal ink, with a piece of wood, into my skin. I literally could feel every prick to my bones. But it was all worth it!

Manjamarah, Apo Fang-Od

We were all given the three dots which is actually Apo Fang-Od’s signature. It’s such an honor to be carrying it with us forever.

Evening came, we were lucky to be invited to a feast and witnessed one of their tribe’s tradition; a wedding ritual.

There was a couple who just got married and everyone was celebrating by dancing their tribal dance. Female tourists were asked to join if they want while the men from the tribe gracefully gong their traditional percussion instruments. And yes, I danced with them. It was such a great feeling!

We ended the night with a smile on our face and a feeling of excitement for the next day.

October 1, 2017 Our last day in Buscalan. We were welcomed by this breath-taking view.

Heaven on Earth!

We spent the whole day roaming around Brgy. Tinglayan; exchanging stories with the locals, taking photos for memories, and savoring this piece of heaven on earth.

While my friends do their thing, I also made the most out of our remaining hours in Buscalan. I decided to have another tattoo, this time, on my back.

After lunch, we started packing up and slowly accepting the fact that we are leaving this amazing place. At 12:00 noon, we descended heaven and went back to reality. My heart was full of memories from that dream trip that I will treasure forever.

Indeed, a dream was done in Buscalan.

September 30, 2018 A year later.

I still plan on going back to my dream place and do the things I haven’t tried because we only had ample time when we were there. I only took few photos because I said to myself that I will enjoy every minute of this trip. Buscalan is one of the many places perfect for a much needed technology and stress detox.

(L-R): Remus, Earvin, Onad, Gerwin, Giselle, Mae, me, Wenjie, Ate Anyang (local), Nikko, and Enteng.

If I were to visit Buscalan again, I’d still choose these people who were with me because we all share the same craziness. I will just invite some of our friends to go with us next time.

Now this. I couldn’t believe that I have survived the uphill hike and the pain of having the batok not knowing that I was 2 months pregnant that time.

Yes, people. Nobody (including me) knew that I was already carrying my little one inside me when we did all that crazy, fun adventure. Kaya pala ibang level yung pagod at kain ko ‘nun. I am just thankful that nothing bad happened to us.

I am planning to go back to Buscalan with my little one, maybe next year, when he could walk already and run free with the pigs and kids of Brgy. Tinglayan. I can’t wait for it!

If it isn’t too much to ask, you may want to watch my Buscalan Travel Video to see more of this trip.

Also, I will blog about my batok and its meanings. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to ask me. And I highly suggest to include Buscalan in your bucket list now!

*All photos are mine and Earvin Casais (as stated in the captions).

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Baguio 2016 Birthday x Photo Dump

It is less than 24 hours before I turn twenteen-three and as a way of making a blog comeback (as if I matter to you haha), here’s a photo dump of my birthday celebration last year.

I’ve decided to spent it with my loving friends/travel buddies. We call ourselves, The Quickies, because we are composed of 3 pairs of lovers. And now you know why we’re called as is. *wink*

So, where’s the best place to (literally) chill and cling here in the Philly? Yes. BAGUIO!

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(I just realized, my last travel post is in Baguio also. Guess I love that place so much!)

We spent a my birthday weekend strolling around the city. I have been to Baguio for 3-4 times last year but still, it never fails to surprise me with new places and corners to find.

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succulents

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Sheila x Sheena

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~artsy shot

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<3

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Feeling F4

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“Agawan ng Bato”

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3 Maria

One way to budget your trip to Baguio is to rent a transient house. Here, you could save up so much because you can cook your meals and usually, the rate is way cheaper and per head. I recommend JB’s Transient House because the owner is very accommodating plus the house itself is complete, clean, and comfy.

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Of course, you should reserve a day/night for the ukay, pasalubong and market time!

But first, picture!

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happy family

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mandatory hahahaha aminin nyo!

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soul sister 4 lyf

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That ends the Baguio photo dump that I have been keeping for a year now!

So, it’s my birthday in a few hours and my resolution is to make blogging a habit just because. I know that are a few (and sometimes, none) who read my blog and whoever you are, THANK YOU.

Time to get drunk and make the most out of my last hours as twenteen-two! Teehee!

xo,

She

She Bangs

Hello, Universe!

I’ve been on hiatus for several months and I kind of feel bad about it. I seldom post on my social media, too. But disconnecting from the cyberworld feels good, tho! Months passed, I didn’t missed any chance in every occassion or happening in my life because admit it, posting on social media is so time consuming that you don’t notice you’ve already missed some of the highlights. You got my point, right?

Anyway, I also regret not sharing with you what have gone through in my life. Cheret! Wala naman talagang masyadong ganap sa buhay ko! Hahaha! I just went on a “potato couch” mode. I pigged out a lot hoping that I would reach 50kg before the year ends. (I’m currently 40kg now.) My social life contains drinking alone in my room while jamming with Bob Marley. I also stopped joining contests and that sucks! But, I had a chance to redecorate my room and I will share it to you soon!

Mmm.. What more?

Ahh! I cut my hair and had some bangs. Also had my braces on.


So that’s it!

Will try to blog more often, my dear moonchilds! (Feeling ko talaga may mga nagbabasa ng blog ko! Hahaha!)

P.S.: Stay tuned for my next travel posts!

Weekend in Baguio

I have been meaning to go to Baguio for some time now because the last time I went there was when I was 8 years old. So, last April 1, which is my boyfriend’s birthday, I decided to treat him to a weekend trip to Baguio. It was also April Fools Day that day and my boyfriend thought that I was just making a prank. After my class, we immediately go to Baguio with my cousin, Ate Erika. Yes people, we have a third-wheel with us because me and my boyfriend are not yet allowed to go somewhere. Boo yah! Lels

We buzz off at 12:00 mn that night to catch our bus that left around 1:30 a.m. Because Victory Liner is so mainstream, we rode at Genesis Bus instead. The fare is 445 php and 366 php for students. We arrived in Baguio around 7:30 a.m. and it was, of course, a chilly Saturday morning.

My Ate Erika asked me if we could stay at a hotel just to leave our things there. Good thing, one of our cousin sent me an ad of a transient house. I contacted it right away. They were accommodating, but slow and vague in giving directions. We got lost finding that cheap transient house that we have to take two cabs just to get there. UGH WHAT IS HASSLE

But in all fairness sa transient house na ‘yun, pwedeng-pwede na! It’s clean, spacious, and is good for big families and squads who like to stay in Baguio without spending too much. Their 24-hour rate is 250 php per person which includes free use of their kitchen (utensils, water heater, refrigerator), their veranda and roof deck which will let you enjoy the view of the city. Panalo na ‘teh! Too bad, I wasn’t able to take some photos of the transient house but I highly recommend it! If you’re interested, you may contact them at 0916-6125934 and look for Ate Wilma. They’re located at Upper Quezon Hill Turning Point. You may opt to ride a jeep going to Quezon Hill in a terminal opposite to Burnham Park or just ride a cab directly.

My original plan was to tour the whole main part of the city within a day but, we got so relaxed in the transient house that’s why we were able to start our tour at half-past 12 noon already.

Our first stop was in Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. It’s a long stairs with 200+ steps that would lead you to a shrine and a church of Our Lady of Lourdes. We had a peaceful time praying there despite the number of tourists that day.

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This church is so beautiful that I want to be married here someday.

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Drama ng lola niyo lol

Next up is the abandoned Diplomat Hotel located just near the grotto. You may choose to walk but I would suggest taking a cab going there because it’s uphill and there are only few jeepneys passing the old hotel.

As we entered the hotel’s huge gate, I felt like I was in a horror film. Hahaha!

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Currently with Mama

As I write this post, I am currently talking with my Mama via Viber.

This is probably the first time that we talked about some things so deep. She opens up about her regrets in life, her missed chances, and wishful thinkings. I have never heard mom talked about these things to me. Never in my wildest dreams would I thought of us exchanging stories which is so personal and, I repeat, so deep. I’m feeling awkward right now but I kind of feel great also.

Hearing my mom rant and confess about life, like what my best friends do, is so peculiar. But one thing I realized at this moment is that, I am having a bestfriend in her. I should have wrote ‘regaining a bestfriend’ instead of ‘having a bestfriend’ but, that’s the truth. Me and my mom have never treated each other as bestfriends but rather, as mortal enemies. I was really a daddy’s girl until I found out something about my father. (That’s another story to tell.) Ever since my mom went to Canada, and it is almost 3 years right now, I have learned (not actually) to live alone and free. How ironic it is that when we got separated from each other, we actually became close. It is true at absence makes the heart grow fonder. We are so far yet so close (if that makes sense.)

So yeah, we became so close. I can now open up anything to her, even my lovelife. Well, not really. We still argue but it’s more of a debate now. I always thought of it as a maturity thing; that we’re both getting older that’s why we can now deal with a lot of things without too much drama. I can now tell jokes to her directly without worrying if she’ll take it seriously. We are bestfriends, finally!

At this very moment, my mom opens up about praying for a daughter during her late 20’s instead of praying for a man to be her partner for life. She doesn’t want to get married. I know, she’s strange. But, it all makes sense to me now why my mom and dad still act like bestfriends. They are really just friends. No more, no less. Hands up to them! Hahaha! But seriously, I salute mom for that! She’s such a strong and wise woman!

My mom always told me that I should always be kind. And again, it all makes sense to me right now because that’s what I am doing. I thank my mom for instilling me those values.

She’s making plans right now. I’m loving it but at the same time, it is somehow, pressuring me. Huhubells *tries to change the topic*

There are some moments in my life when I just wonder if, am I really worthy to be my mom’s daughter? I am not even as intelligent and kind as her. She was a perfect daughter to my grandmother but, me? I feel like, I am not even a good daughter to my mom. I honestly feel so guilty for all the times that I disappoint her and even up to now, I know I am still a burden to her. I can’t even.. :(

I always pray that I could repay my mom and all the things that she did to me; to us. I hope that as I grow older, I could learn how to be like her. I could imagine how fortunate my future child/children would be to have a grandmother like her! I thank the universe for gracing me my mom! Maybe I was so kind in my past life that’s why I deserve to have a mother like my Mama.

A woman who is so dedicated, focused, passionate, kind, courageous, generous, God-fearing, loyal, and responsible – that’s my mom and I can’t wait to be like her when I grow up.

I miss her so much that I even edit this photo of us. I’m so cray because I miss you like crazy, mom! Lels labo ko but not my editing skilzzz oha hahahaha!

Hello from us in Banff! lels

I love my mom more that anything else in the world. Thank You Lord for giving me her more than what I deserved.

I can’t wait to see my queen soon!

700-Peso Budget-Friendly Day Trip and Hugot Travel Guide to Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls: Highly Recommended Para sa mga Sawi sa Puso at Pera

Summer na ‘teh! Sa’n gora mo?

Me and my friends have been planning to go for a day trip somewhere near Manila. Nakakaloka na kasi yung traffic saka yung polusyon sa Maynila kaya bago mag-start yung 3rd trimester namin, we decided to go to Tanay, Rizal to visit two of their wondrous tourist attraction – Tinipak River and Daranak Falls.

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(Read our Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls travelogue here: Part 1 & Part 2)

Before planning a trip, it is necessary to make a research on how to get to a place and what to expect there. Alamin mo muna lahat para hindi ka mag-mukhang tanga. Ito yung mga panahong puwedeng mag-background check nang hindi nasasaktan, ‘di tulad nung pag-background check mo sa kanya, may sabit pala. Sakit ‘no? Anyway, as we were making a plan, we have read some travel blogs but we did not totally relied on them. Mahirap nang magtiwala kaya, we decided to make our own DIY trip instead.

I’m happy to share with you our DIY Tanay trip that cost us less than a thousand pesos only! Take note that this DIY trip is budget-and-student-and-commuter-friendly. Friendly rin ‘to sa mga sawi at nagso-soul searching. Fees and fares may change without prior notice. Oo, maguguglat ka na lang, nagbago na pala ang lahat.

Itinerary, Fees, and Fares:

0300 – From Recto, take a jeepney to Cubao. (17 php) Then another jeep to Santolan. (10 php)
0345 – Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) at Santolan. Ride a jeep to Shopwise, Antipolo via Antipolo-Simbahan route. (23 php)
0430 – ETA Antipolo. Jeep to Tanay via Tanay route. (32 php)
0600 – ETA Tanay. Upon reaching the town, tricycles are going to be all over the place. Pag-aagawan ka nila. Dito mo mararanasan kung gaano kasaya at nakakaimbyerna ang pag-agawan. Ride one to Daraitan. Fare is 100 pesos per person, one way. Maximum passenger is 6.
0730 – ETA Brgy. Daraitan. Short orientation at the barangay hall. Kasama na dito ang pagbabawal sa pagkitil ng buhay. Alam ko ‘teh mahirap, pero hindi lang sa kanya umiikot ang mundo kaya itigil mo ‘yang drama mo.  Magbayad ka na lang ng environmental fee for 20 pesos each.
0745 – Start trek to Tinipak Cave (a.k.a. Maytuntong Cave). Pay entrance fee (20 php) and bridge fee (5 php).
0830 – ETA Maytuntong Cave. I-explore mo yung cave. Malamig sa loob lalo na yung tubig. Maaalala mo kung gaano na siya kalamig sa’yo.
0900 – Back to river. Swim/take pictures/rest. Yes, rest. Ipahinga mo naman ‘yang puso mong pagal na sa kakaantay sa hindi na darating.
1100 – Lunch at the camping ground. Eat your sorrows away.
1200 – Swim/take pictures/rest.
1300 – Trek back to barangay hall.
1345 – Barangay Hall. Pay tour guide fee (500 pesos, maximum of 10 persons per group.)
1400 – Depart for Daranak Falls. Ride a tricycle for 100 pesos each, one way. Max. passenger is 6.
1500 – ETA Daranak Falls. Swim/take pictures/snack/rest. Puwede kang magrenta ng salbabida (50 php/each) para ‘di ka malunod kapag na-fall ka sa falls. Or rent a cottage for 200-300 php.
1700 – Tidy up. Mag-ayos ka para di ka niya ipagpalit lalo.
1730 – Head back. Kapag mahal mo, babalikan mo. Chos! Take a tricycle to Tanay. (50 pesos each. Max. passenger is 6.)
1800 – Depart for Manila.
2100 – ETA Manila. Back to normal. Balik sa reyalidad.

Budget estimation: approximately 700 php per person for a group of 4. Kaya ‘wag mo nang planuhing pumunta mag-isa kasi masasaktan ka lang.

How to get there:

via Santolan – Antipolo route

  1. Ride a jeep/lrt to LRT 2 Santolan Station. (25 php)
  2. Take a jeep to Shopwise, Antipolo via Antipolo-Simbahan route. (23 php)
  3. From Antipolo, take a jeep to Tanay. (32 php)
  4. Trike to Brgy. Daraitan. (100 php per person. Max. passenger is 6.)

via Starmall Shaw Blvd. route

  1. Take a van to Tanay. (70 php)
  2. From Tanay proper, ride a tricycle to Brgy. Daraitan. (100 php per person. Max. passenger is 6.)

Tips:

  • Go in groups. This way, you could minimize your individual budgets. Again, wag mo nang planuhing mag-isa kasi masasaktan ka lang. Basta, masakit mag-isa.
  • Go here during weekdays so you could enjoy the place all by yourselves and avoid the crowd.
  • Tour guides in Tinipak River/Daraitan are mandatory. Wala ka na namang choice. Aw.
  • To maximize your trip, start as early as you could so that, you may follow the scheduled itinerary. It is advisable to visit Tinipak River first before heading to Daranak Falls.
  • Bring your own packed lunch. You may opt to buy your lunch at the camping ground. The foods and stuffs there are sold at a reasonable price.
  • Wear a good pair of trekking shoes/sandals. Avoid wearing slippers, chucks, and sneakers because some of the trails might be slippery especially when you climb over/crossover some of the boulders and rock formations. ‘Pag nadulas at na-fall ka, literal na masakit dahil sa mga batong babagasakan mo. Pero alam ko naman na wala nang mas sasakit pa sa pag-iwan niya sa’yo. In my case, I just wore my flip flops because I don’t want to bring my bulky shoes and wet it since I would go for some dip. If you will choose to do the same, just be extra careful. At ‘wag mo ‘kong sisisihin ah!
  • Always observe the “Leave No Trace” policy.
  • Don’t scream and shout. Kahit malwag sa dibdib ang pag-sigaw at paglabas ng feelings, ‘wag dito kasi makakabulahaw ka pa. Umakyat ka ng summit, dun ka maglabas ng feels para mas dramatic.
  • Be courteous and friendly with the locals. Huwag kang mag-alala, hindi ka nila babalewalain. Hindi sila tulad ng ex mo na hindi pinansin yung nararamdaman mo.
  • Bring some candies for the kids there. You’ll see a lot of them walking for hours, every morning, to school. Nagtatiyaga sila para maiahon ang sarili nila in the future. Do the same. Iahon mo na sarili mo, girl!
  • Huwag ‘kang pabebe! Hindi ito ang lugar para sa mga tulad mo.
  • Just go and enjoy. Dito, malaya kang maging masaya. Don’t deprive yourself sa happiness na mararamdaman mo kasi dito mo lang ‘yan maaatim.
  • Be careful. Ingatan ang sarili na masaktan sa kahit anong paraan. Quota ka na sa sakit, ‘teh! Tama na.

If you’re planning to visit Tinipak River and/or Mt. Daraitan, I highly suggest Tatay Celso to be your tour guide. Hindi ka niya hahayaang mapahamak at masaktan tulad ng ‘pag-iingat ng tatay mo sa’yo. You may reach him at 09275362873.

So, there! I hope our DIY Tanay travel guide may help you to move on. Masaya magpakawala minsan kasi makakapag-isip-isip ka. Good luck sa trip, if ever! Sana na ma-realize mo na panahon na para mag-move on at kalimutan na siya. Keri mo ‘yan!

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment. Sasagutin kita. ‘Di kita papaasahin. Also, don’t forget to watch our Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls documentary below and read the travelogue here: Part 1 & Part 2

Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls: The Journey Part 2

After our trip to Tinipak River in Daraitan, Tanay, we immediately went straight to Daranak Falls which is also located in the province of Tanay, Rizal.

Daranak Falls is approximately an hour away from Tinipak River. Tricycle fare is also 100.00 pesos per person. We arrived  there around 3:00 in the afternoon.

There is an entrance fee of 50.00 pesos. Upon entering, I noticed that the place is currently undergoing an improvisation because there are undone cottages located just beside some bodies of water and trees. I, myself, have reservations when it comes to improving some of the natural places like this because it may cause some destructions and pollution due to the civilization and all. But if there are consequences, there are also advantages when improving some tourist attractions especially in the economic and tourism matters.

Anyway, the place was crowded but it didn’t stopped me from being astonished when I saw the falls. It was so majestic!

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I fell for this falls!

Since we’re running out of time because the place closes at 5:00 p.m., we swam and enjoyed the cold waters of the falls. We rented two lifebuoys for 50 pesos each because some of us doesn’t know how to swim. According to the lifeguards, the falls measures at 15 ft. deep maximum.

Since we opted not to rent a cottage which costs 200-300 pesos depending on the location and size, although not advisable, we just left our belongings in a corner where we could guard it easily.

We were really in awe seeing this beautiful place! I hope the crowd and the management won’t ruin it.

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Avvy

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Madame Bhena

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Hello, me!

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Cat and mouse – Bhena & Meryl

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FFUUUU

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My girlzzz

So there! This sums up our side-trip.

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If you’re in Tanay, you don’t want to miss visiting this place. To maximize your trip, you may opt to go to Tinipak River first then go to Daranak Falls after like what we did.

Will do another blog post for the complete itinerary and travel guide of out Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls adventures. Stay tuned! Char.

Don’t forget to watch (in HD) our Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls travelogue!

READ: Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls: The Journey Part 1 here.

Tinipak River & Cave x Daranak Falls: The Journey Part 1

Summer has finally arrived! It’s time to hit the waves and swim in cold waters. Beachin’ (OMG so inappropriate usage of word but nvm hahaha) is always fun especially during summertime but since there are limited shades that could protect you from the sun while you’re swimming in the sea, you don’t want your skin to be burnt. So, I have tried another way of staying cool while enjoying and getting to travel during the summer vacation.Why not try spelunking, river trekking, and/or lave in falls?

Last March 4, me and my girl friends went to Tinipak River in Tanay, Rizal. We have been planning to go to an adventure since we were all getting bored with the urban life. Naks! Hahaha!

The night before our trip, we all met up at Bhena’s resort house in Antipolo since it would be easier for us to commute to Tanay, Rizal because it’s only an hour and a half to go there. After two hours of power napping, we left Antipolo around 5:00 in the morning. We rode a jeep nearby Shopwise Antipolo to Tanay, Rizal. As I’ve said, it took us an hour and a half until we arrive at a public market in Tanay. Just don’t be startled because upon reaching there, a lot of tricycle drivers are going to scramble just to get you as their passenger. Mararamdaman mo na ang feeling ng pinag-aagawan. Nakaka-overwhelm na nakakaimbyerna! Hahaha! It would take you another hour or two to reach Barangay Daraitan and I must tell you, the struggle to get there is real!

The first part of our tricycle ride went smooth because of the province’s shipshape highways. Although the fog and cold morning breeze makes it hard for us to move because we were literally chilling.

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Cold and foggy Friday morning

Then we entered a thoroughfare that will lead us to Barangay Daraitan. The next part of our tricycle ride got us butt-hurt, literally, because we had to endure that 11 km long, rocky, and bumpy road just to get to our destination. Ugh #flatpwet #waleynapwet HAHAHA

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Rocky road

We stopped awhile to pose with this stunning background.

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Some mountains from the Sierra Mountain Range in the background

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Sure this province has the most sturdy tricycles in the country!

We had passed through a lot of sitio/s before we reached Barangay Daraitan but during our bumpy tricycle ride, I have noticed that a lot of children there were just walking their way to school. I pity them for their everyday agony yet I salute them for being so patient and determined. We have met 3 of those students and got to interview them to feed our puzzled minds.

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Mt. Talamitam x #SmartBroTrips

Earlier this year, Smart Communications held a contest in their Instagram account. Followers were asked to post a photo while hiking or on a trip. I joined the contest and luckily, I won! And it is a hiking trip courtesy of Smart, in partnership with Trail Adventours. I was so excited about this trip because it is my first legit hike ever!!!

Last January 30, it was a Sunday, we went to Nasugbu, Batangas to conquer one of the mountains there which is the Mt. Talamitam. Mt. Talamitam (630+ masl) is considered as one of the easiest trail (3/10) for beginners and it is dubbed as Mt. Batulao’s younger sister. It offers a wondrous, 360 degree scenic view of Nasugbu and Tagaytay, and adjacent to it is Mt. Batulao.

We left in Manila at 4:30 am and arrived in Tagaytay at 6:30 am. It was 7:30 in the morning when we arrived in Nasugbu and started to trek. It took us almost 2.5 hours to trek up to its peak and 3 hours to get back to our drop-off point because I sprained my ankle while going down and it is so painful!!! But anyway, I still enjoyed the whole experience although I was ranting about how exhausted I am while trekking. I remember telling my boyfriend, Onad (btw he’s there with me), that I couldn’t do it any further so he should just leave me and I’ll wait for him to come back like a scene from a teleserye. Labo. Hahaha!

Enough for the talk, now I present to you some of our photos taken with my iPad. I really feel the need to buy an action camera for all of my future trips this year. Any sponsors out there? Hahaha! Enjoy some of our photos.

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Our trek has just began. We still look fresh here but starting to get exhausted because of the steep and rocky trails.

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Fellow hikers. Naks! I’m one of ’em hahaha

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Ate girl, baka po yan. Baka suwagin ka. lol

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After almost an hour, we finally reached half of the summit. And yes, people, we’re still going to climb up there. Ugh yoko na

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It’s so windy and sunny at the same time!

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Met my ex here too lels HAHAHAHA

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My boyfriend is kind of bad at selfies but I like this one

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“Hello from the upsideeeee”

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About to pose for a buwis-buhay pic pero di ko keri yung hangin. Tinatangay ako. Hahaha

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Thank God for camera timers!

Finally! After 2 hours, we have reached the peak! Yay!!! I’M SO PROUD OF MYSELF! HUHUHU HAHAHA

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Hi baby! WE DID IT!

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I was about to smile so big here but the wind and sun is invading me so here’s a fail photo lol

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Tambayan at the peak

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WE. DESERVE. THIZZZ!

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Hello from 630+ masl! My Trail Adventours Mt. Talamitam hiking buddies!

We stayed at the peak for 30 minutes only because we have seen some dark clouds from afar and it looks like, it’s carrying heavy rains. We’re avoiding the muddy trails if ever.

Minutes after we left the peak, I got my ankle sprained. It was the worst thing that happened to me that day! Good thing was, one of the adventure guide/coordinator of Trail Adventours has bandages with him. He applied first-aid on my ankle and the rest of our descend went so bad. My boyfriend carried me all the way down from the peak. My poor baby! I just kept thanking him and apologizing throughout his suffering. Ha! I never, I mean, we never want to experience it again! So much hassle!!

We arrived at the drop-off point so pissed, exhausted, “hangry”, and feeling so unpleasant but all these turned into good when we saw an enchanting river at the foot of Mt. Talamitam, called Layong Bato.

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My tired and ugly-looking feet ft. my hairy legs (wala kayong pake kung bakit hairy siya lol). They are overused due to many adventures. Hahaha!

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Crowded :(

There you go! To sum it all up, I had an epic, wonderful, rollercoaster experience. I have been wanting to climb a mountain and I just did it! The whole view – from the hills, grasses, trees, up to the clouds and sky; just so perfect! I never felt that close with nature! Now, I’m craving for more of these! This is the kind of height that I’m not afraid of.

This trip would never be possible without Smart Communications, who sponsored us; the nice and very accommodating coordinators of Trail Adventours; the lovely locals of Nasugbu; and my ever supporting boyfriend.

Next stop.. SOMEWHERE! ANYWHERE! Hahaha! We’re going to conquer another mountain by the end of this month so please tune in! I’m also thinking of putting up some travel guide with my future adventure posts.

I’m ending this post with a short mv of our Mt. Talamitam trip. Please do watch it in HD. Enjoy!

If you have questions, just feel free to message me or better yet, check TrailAdventours.com for more information about our trip. You may also visit Smart Bro Trips website to know their upcoming trips.

*This is not a sponsored post.

Hello

It’s me.

I was wondering if you missed me?

It’s been so long, cyber world.

Okay. I know I have been a lame human being this past few years. I have been so out of line. But, despite of all the whatever-happened-to-her (as if anyone cares) shits and all, I’M FINALLY BACK!!! *throws confetti* *sweep it all by myself after*

Okay, again. The only thing that hindered me from updating this blog and pursuing to improve it is because, I don’t have a fully-working/reliable laptop. Babaw ko ba? Hahaha! That’s just it! Although I have a tablet and a notebook, I still feel the need to blog on a laptop para mas nerd ang datingan. De joke! Kidding aside.. I really missed writing!

The last time I blogged was in 2013. I didn’t know why I stopped. Although, I have been dropping by when I feel like, but right now, all I want is to be back on track.

Wait.. Medyo malabo ‘tong post na ‘to, but nevermind!

All I wanted to say is that, I’m going to try my best to update with my life. You, guys, don’t know how awesome my experiences are! I have been travelling for free, a lot had happened with my life, and I can’t wait to share it with you! I hope that all the universe will conspire in helping me to become more responsible.

So there! If you are reading this, I owe you a big ‘thank you’ for sparing your time in reading this nonsense and full of grammatical error post. Hahaha! I promise to write better in my succeeding blog posts. Thank you for stalking. Ooops no! Hahaha! Thank you, dear reader, for keeping up with me.

And because of that, I’m sharing a sundae with you.

  
Cheers! ❤️