Yet again, life—in its most pragmatic way— found a means of pulling me away from the blogging world. Normally, I would write my AWOL explanation with a pout. But not this time. The past few weeks have been a delightful pull from the outside world to me and I hope my blogging friends here share this joy too.

Making a difference

My friend Shiela, who is a member of a local trekking enthusiast squad dubbed as “Team Bang”, invited me on a hike for a cause in Toledo City. The event was spearheaded by one of Cebu’s renowned travel blogger, Sir Aldrich Infantado of Bisaya Traveler. I was half-hearted at first because although the adventure-seeker in me was excited, my introvert persona was not. Nonetheless, all these reservations faded the moment I met the warm, friendly team, and the children of Old Bucao Elementary School.

It was a heart-warming experience being able to paint a smile on the children’s faces. They went home not just with a new pair of slippers and 2 kilos of rice but also with renewed hope. The fulfillment in our hearts will always be incomparable.

A time for adventure

After the fun program with the kids, we started ascending to the higher lands of Gen. Climaco. This village in the south sits on a very scenic and peaceful land, it reminds me so much of my very own hometown.

Located in the heart of the barangay is one of their pride, the Malubog Lake, which is aptly named for its thick, dark waters. The sun was getting fiery but we all can’t help but stop and savor the view.

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Tada! Of course, the introvert in me wouldn’t want to miss a chance to snap a shot with a favorite book.

Tagaytay Hill

As we hiked further, we spotted the mounds of Tagaytay Hill from a distance. The mild slopes led us to a striking panorama at the top, we were running and shouting liked kids. This is where we ate and took pictures of ourselves amid nature’s spectacle.

While everyone was busy taking photos, one of us was in deep sleep. Lieve, the poor guy, turned out to be the victim of a prank shot. Lesson learned: Thou shall not sleep! 😀

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A pictorial challenge also commenced between the ladies and the guys. Who do you think won?

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The ladies slaying Metro Magazine’s “siksikan pose”
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The guys portraying a worship to the goddess, “gracefool_wanderer”

Udlom Peak

I’m a natural probinsyana (country girl). I grew up in a village surrounded by mountains, rivers, and hills— and Gen. Climaco is nothing short of these. It felt nostalgic to see the overlooking view of Tagaytay Hill and Malubog Lake from the Udlom Peak. This made me wonder if we ever named our surrounding mountains and hills back at home. Hmm…

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Team Bang is indeed made of fun and friendly people. Happy to have met these new friends: Shiela, Jojo, Jovy, Gelique, Cherwinn, and Team Bang’s infamous ‘Idol’. 🙂

Mt. New Bucao

Our one-day hike was coming to an end as we approached the height of Mt. New Bucao. The climb was getting more sluggish to most of us after hours of long walk under the excruciating heat. Reaching the top though, gave us a sense of relief. A beautiful spot to recollect the day’s excitement.

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Chasing the sunset

Of course a hike wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of the sunset. On our way back, we stopped by at Tagaytay Hill to watch the sun’s descent. The sky was a beautiful mosaic of penetrating light in between patches of dark clouds.

I often travel in pages than places. The mess I got into are written on white sheets, not on my face and feet. And, on most days, I do not take pictures of sceneries but create them with my words instead. However, this group of fun-loving people made it easier for me to experience life in full volume. It was a day filled with laughter and smiles. It was hot and tiring and sweaty but all worth the climb. Thank you Shiela and the rest of Team Bang for letting me join this cause and adventure. Here’s to more! Yay!! 😊☀️🏔📸


For travel tips and how-to-get-there queries, check out Toledo City Hike: An Adventure With A Meaningful Purpose

You can also check out some these IG accounts for more stunning travel photos: @bisayatraveler and @theweekdaytraveler ✌🏿