I am always a beach guy without the beach body and I never liked hiking (of course I had no idea this view is waiting for me, I just placed it here to capture your eyes in finishing my blog laughs).
“I don’t have the time for it”, “I just don’t like exhausting my muscles and sweating profusely” were my reasons why I didn’t partake with friends whenever they schedule a climb. Some of you (with brows raised) would ask, “Then why blog about it?”
Simple. I thought, “Oh my god, look at that view, you look like my next mistake.” That would be a deadly mistake so be careful guys!
After my first official twin day hike, I had a change of heart. I learned to love hiking in less than 12 hours (setting aside the gallons of sweat I excreted, multiple cuts I endured, sore muscles and dead toe nails).
Stay with me as we climb and quickly escape to the peak.
Peaks of Mt. Pamitinan (+426 m) left and Mt. Binacayan (+424 m) right.
To do that, I will need a lot of help. Good thing my wanderjunkie, Daryl, basically did everything – itinerary x expenses x few reminders prior to the climb. She really pushed me to give hiking a go and I wouldn’t wanna see her efforts put to waste.
The original group of 10 hikers was trimmed down to just the two of us. I can’t blame them for backing out due to rescheduling and erratic weather.
Compromise was our ever young and fit, ate guide. You can call her Myrlyn. And yes we were older than her.This escape was a lot of surprises… Can’t wait to see what’s installed for me.
Since I was on a night shift, Daryl and I agreed to meet at the office when my shift ended at around 5am Saturday morning. We hopped on the bus that took us to Cubao. Dropped by McDonald’s for a takeout breakfast and aboard an FX (with Eastwood sign) that will take us to then Montalban, now Rodriguez, Rizal. Took tricycle instead of jeepney to Brgy. Wawa (jumpoff point) since we were running late.
Local guide was required for the climb and after registering at the DENR office, we’re good to go. We started the ascend at quarter past 8 am. I could only hope for a trail as inviting as this hanging bridge.
And look at this lovely trail. I said to myself even though I had no sleep and drank a few beers (after my shift as I waited for Daryl; hashtag defensive), I would be able to keep up. I mean, this stairway to heaven, why would I not, right? Plus I have two lovely ladies as my guide. Couldn’t be any luckier than that.
I was wrong. Zoom in to my face.
So wrong I was already contemplating on how on earth will I reach the summit, let alone another mountain! But that’s not who I am as a person, I finish what I started. With no gloves on together with my very comfortable running shoes, I pushed myself further. And my shoes died after.
Myrlyn ate guide paved us the way to what seemed like an uncharted territory. Daryl, on the other hand, taught me some basic mountaineering etiquette. For one, always greet co-hikers you meet along the trail. A quick “Good Morning/Afternoon, Ingat po” wouldn’t hurt. To my astonishment, we did encounter a couple of hikers descending, “If they reached the summit, so can I.” The trail was comprised of assaults below and bouldering above.
Be fully equipped, should you decide to conquer these trails – pack light, wear elastic and comfy clothes, slip on hiking shoes/sandals, thick gloves will be handy, prepare trail food and bring enough water. We reached summit at around 10:15 am, oh boy, the evergreen Sierra Madre washed my weariness away.
I’m on the edge of glory.
And here we were at summit 1 Mt. Pamitinan, casually laughing our worries off.
“Wait for me, wait for me!”
All smiles at summit 2 from these two gorgeous girls while I squeezed in my daily crunches slash fixing my cap. Yes we’re the crazy trio who laughed out loud the whole time we’re climbing – shouting acronyms to the hikers we met along the way PMYT to ate who’s having a hard time rock climbing – Push Mo ‘Yan ‘Te; SYL to confused kuya – See You Later among others. I even heard them murmuring as we passed, “That chick’s their guide?” and then I will look at them – “Why? Do I look like a guide to you?” Of course in a friendly way! No harm done – we’re just enjoying our climb 🙂
We decided to descend at around 10:45 am and reached the Mt. Hapunang Banoy junction at around 11:15 am. Since we started the climb late, we decided to change the initial plan. Besides, Daryl got curious of that protruding rock (zoom in below) waving at us as we climb – Mt Hapunang Banoy (+460 m) it is! Itinerary x expenses listed below.
We descended further from the junction and had lunch at the local tindahan instead, we had trail food but I begged to buy ice cold buko juice there (sorry na). By the time we finished lunch, the sky turned dark and let out its angry roars. I was hesitant since I was already stuffed and ready to hit the sack. But Daryl won’t back down. She said, “If this weather proved to be a hindrance halfway to our ascend then let’s go back. I just didn’t want to quit when we haven’t even tried it out yet.” And she’s right. F yeah let’s do it.
We started ascending again at 12:45 pm and were welcomed by slippery, muddy trails, plus zero visibility cliffs. We didn’t get the chance to take as much photos cause we’re dripping wet. Those slippery, sharp, 90 degree assaults and sharp limestone were the hardest parts of the trail. It took us about one and half hours to get to the peak. Blame it on the weather, better be slow than sorry.
Then again, the view was worth the risks! Thank God for clearing the sky when we climaxed to the peak.
Let’s take a closer look…
We descended at around 2:30 pm and reached jump off point by 4:30 pm. Since we’re all wet and dirty, Myrlyn insisted on having a quick shower at her crib with no extra charge. What an angel!
I’m ready for more harder trails. Til next time! Peace out!
Itinerary x Expenses
August 29, 2015
5:45 am Bus (SM North to Cubao) – 12
6:00 am Take out breakfast at McDonald’s – 40
6:15 am FX to Eastwood Montalban – 50
8:15 am Tricycle to Brgy Wawa (jump off point) – 20
8:30 am Register at DENR – 2 (yes, just 2 friggin pesos)
8:45 am Ascend: Mt. Pamitinan
10:15 am Summit
11:15 Mt. Hapunang Banoy junction then descend to local tindahan
11:45 – 12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 pm Ascend: Mt. Hapunang Banoy
2:30 pm Summit
2:45 pm Descend
4:30 pm Jump off point
4: 45 pm Freshen up at Myrlyn’s
6:00 pm Tricycle to terminal – 30
6:15 pm Van to Cubao – 50
9:00 pm Cubao…let’s call it a day
Ate guide Myrlyn’s fee: 800 (400 per pax)
So call her maybe:
I shelled out approximately PHP 800 for one whole day x twin day hike (I have added my trail food and additional transportation costs). The more hikers, the cheaper it gets!
All photos taken were courtesy of thewanderjunkie. Do check Daryl out, I mean the blog, not her.
Stay tuned to my next escape!