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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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mountains

Ka Treasure Water Terraces Mountain Resort: A humble place to de-stress

Making a name in social media is Argao’s very own Ka Treasure Water Terraces Mountain Resort. The place is known for its natural water terraces formation that resembles Abra’s Kaparkan Falls. With its picturesque tiered pools backdropped by nature’s greenery, one could not help but say their oohhs and aahhs.

But more than its immersive view, what makes Ka Treasure interesting — at least for me — is its humble beginnings. What began as a couple’s farmland dream led to the discovery of a hidden gem. The young owners, Sam and Mary Ann, are ordinary Argawanons who once decided to trade urban living for a life in the mountains. Who would have thought nature has more in store for these two?

Since April 2021, Ka Treasure has been a thriving getaway spot for Cebuanos and non-Cebuanos alike. Guests are given two booking options: day use or overnight stay. James and I decided to book a Friday night so we can enjoy the pools before the busy weekend where there are more people.

For now, Ka Treasure only have three cottages for overnight stay, eached priced at Php 1200 for two people (500 per excess head). Camp-loving individuals can also bring their own tent and pay Php 300. Meanwhile, day users just have to pay Php 100 for adults and Php 50 for kids.

Like Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort, Ka Treasure’s waters come from a nearby spring. Through their DIY project, the owners improved the limestone terraces and cleared the area for better experience. Guests can choose from the 14 pools which range from 2ft to 8ft in depth — with the lowest tier being the deepest.

There are also two mini falls connecting the water from the top tier to the lowest. Usually, more people play around in these areas to get a free massage from nature. Obviously, James spent most of the time here. 😂

As for me, I’s say the best time to dip in the pools is early morning (6 am to 7 am). On a good weather, the cool water + the warm sunlight set the perfect mood for that #sunkissed vibe. 🤩

For food concerns, their resto offers simple silog meals where you can order from 6 am to 7 pm. No corkage fee for those who want to bring or cook their own food.

Animal lovers will also be glad to know that this mountain resort has four dogs and a cat. The youngest puppy is named Terraces and is the people-pleaser of the gang. But guests need not worry since at daytime, the pets mind usually their own business. They are also quiet at night.

Overall, Ka Treasure is indeed a very humble place to de-stress. It is a place for those who want to immerse in nature and let the fresh water wash away your unnecessary thoughts.

P.S. The road to the resort is under construction and can only accommodate motorcycles. This mountainous part of Argao has no network service but they offer piso WIFI connection or an all-day connection for Php 75.

Remembering Mt. Apo: Part 1 (A fantasy turned reality)

Luck — a force that brings fortune or adversity. One that causes good or bad things to happen. Some people get good luck handed to them; some get a second chance. Some get it by pure coincidence while others have to work their ass.


Most hikers, if not all, dream of climbing Mt. Apo. At 2,954 masl, it is the highest point in the country. The closest any Filipino could get to the sky. So naturally, my friends and I want to set foot on it too. But we all know what happened in 2019.


Fast forward two years later, with the lingering global pandemic and political turmoil, here we are back at the airport, on our way to the same land. We were one of the few groups climbing Mt. Apo before its annual closure. Save the best for last indeed.

A fantasy turned reality

Coming along were familiar faces from our Kala-Wiji climb, with the exemption of our two SMS (tito) heartthrobs, CJ and sir Arc, Zan (who was still hangover with his Palawan trip), and John (who found love in the sea). Despite this, the fun continued since we finally got to climb with the SMS big three, Chiarra, An and Sandy (who were back in Mt. Apo for revenge), Kim ( the munyeka behind thestrollingmind), Analyn (the songerist behind themountainpoet), and Karl (the passionate PT behind karliciouso).

Our original route was supposed to be via Sta. Cruz – Bansalan Trail. However, as it has been two years since our first registration, Bansalan LGU “lost” our papers and won’t honor our downpayments anymore. We thought we’re doomed for misfortune since we’ve had this this kind of plot twist before, but I guess it’s true when they say that “a bit of bad luck is a blessing in disguise.” Our new route was through the Sta. Cruz – Century Tree trail circuit. Finally, a chance to see the majestic Lake Venado!


The first part of the hike involved a steep ascent to the jump off area. This was also where Kim, who’s on her first major, learned the value of preparation and pre-climb. With the weight of fullpack working against the unending assault, she made the good decision of opting for a porter.

We reached Sitio Colan, an ancestral domain of the Bagobo-Tagbawa tribe, at 12 noon. There, we had our lunch and orientation with the DENR. Quarter to 2 pm, we started our ascent to the first camp at Tinikaran I.

An hour later, we passed by a farming community where we were met with mist and fog. The sky was gloomy with a hint of rain. Soon enough, it did. With our rain covers and rain ponchos on, we continued the hike to a forested trail that serves as the entrance to Mt. Apo’s forest cover. It was past 3 pm when we reached the first rest area, Basakan E-Camp.

Quarter to 4 pm, we reached the Bugha-anan site — a stopover station along Sta. Cruz trail that is famous among bisaya hikers for its colloquial meaning.

Another hour later, we passed the Big Rock E-camp. The rain had gotten lighter at this point but our enemy is the fading light. Dusk was rolling in. We needed to get to Tinikaran I before the sky turned pitch black because (1) there were other groups climbing Mt. Apo and we need to secure a good spot to pitch our tent; (2) we need to get as much rest as we can for challenging the second day.

At 6 pm, we reached the campsite. It was dark and we were just as wet and muddy as the ground. Pitching our tents on a cramped space was a challenge, but we were thankful still that it stopped raining.

So… if I were to sum up our Day 1 in one word, it would be YES! Yes, this is finally it. Yes, we’re climbing the country’s highest. Yes, no more plot twist (and hopefully no coming bad luck). Yes, we’re all hungry and happy and a lot of things in between.

Until next time! Stay tuned~ 💛

P.S. Also check out this full blog from Junji of wanderingfeetph. 🤩

Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls

With the world in utter chaos today due to COVID-19, we are reminded of our mortality — our vulnerability despite having played like gods over other creatures. As death threatens to knock on our doorsteps, we realize the value of living.

To live, not merely exist. But have we made the most of life?

Continue reading “Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls”

Kala-Wiji Chronicles: Part 2 (Surviving Mt. Kalatungan)

Have you ever got that feeling when you know exactly you’re about to do something big? It’s like all the small moments pile up into something bigger and you find yourself saying, “No going back now. This is it.”

That was how we felt on the dawn of November 22. After all the plot twists and yesterday’s rain, we’ve probably seen the worst possible scenarios. Things seemed less daunting now and we’re ready to do what we’re meant be doing. That is to climb Mt. Kalatungan.

Kalatungan Mountain Range has an estimated area of 55,692 hectares that is bounded by the municipality of Talakag on the north, the municipality of Lantapan and the city of Valencia on the west, and the municipality of Pangantucan on the south. Mt. Kalatungan, it’s highest peak, is now officially the 5th highest mountain in the Philippines at a height of 2880 MASL.

Continue reading “Kala-Wiji Chronicles: Part 2 (Surviving Mt. Kalatungan)”

Kala-Wiji Chronicles: Part 1 (The Plot Twists)

We all handle plot twists a little differently. There are those who sit meticulously to plan their next steps. Others don’t give a second thought and just hope for things to work out. There are those who stop dead in their tracks and try to muster the courage to make things happen again. Others can’t handle the change and run away. We can be planners or takers. Drifters or runners. We all put ourselves out there. Sometimes it’s full of regret, but most often it’s full of surprises. Just like this recent hike.

To end the year 2019, my friends and I decided to climb the Philippines’ highest, Mt. Apo (via Sta. Cruz – Kidapawan Trail). We had our activity booked, our itinerary mapped out. Everything was in order for the coming November 21 to 23 — or so we thought.

After months of rehabilitation from the recent El Nino, Mt. Apo reopened its trails for climbers. However, we received a news that travel agencies, guides and tourism office reached an agreement that there will be no more exit to Kidapawan Trail starting October. LGU Kidapawan has declined all exits from Davao. This was our first plot twist. We were given two options instead: 1) opt for the Kidapawan entry and exit [backtrail] or 2) opt for the Sta. Cruz – Bansalan Trail. Despite our anticipation of the majestic Lake Venado in Kidapawan, we chose the latter for a better experience.

And just when we thought there’ll be no more hurdles, a series of shocks followed. By mid-October, an earthquake swarm struck the province of Cotabato. This raised our initial unease because it might trigger the active volcano that we were planning to climb. Unease turned to fear when successive tremors jolted Davao where Mt. Apo is. That was the last straw. By November, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Davao Region and Davao LGU announced the closure of Mt. Apo until further notice.

When you’re in a bad situation, are you going to back out, wait or figure out a solution?

Continue reading “Kala-Wiji Chronicles: Part 1 (The Plot Twists)”

Quick and dirty tips to staying dry… on the trail

Most people like things wet but definitely not during a hike in the mountains. From slippery trails to soggy socks, getting wet might just not be one’s idea of fun. And while keeping up-to-date with the weather forecast has proven advantageous, nature has its own playful tricks.

But before we admit defeat and put on our sulky faces, there are actually many ways to face the cold spells coolly. It just requires a little extra precaution. As they say, staying dry is easier than drying out.

1. Before ticking off you gear list, take care of its carrier — that is you and your backpack. Take time to do research (bahala’g masuko si Cynthia Villar) on how to protect yourself and your backpack from rain cheaply and quickly.

Make sure you have your rain cover. If you do not have waterproof jackets and pants, you can always opt for the cheaper rain poncho.

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Team Buwad!

Continue reading “Quick and dirty tips to staying dry… on the trail”

Mt. Talinis: Where expectation meets reality

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Do you prefer hiking with a specific group of people or do you like seeing new faces? At its core, mountain climbing is not just about reaching the top. Most often, what matters most are the experiences and memories we shared along the trail. And admit it, when you look at those instagrammable photos, your mind travels back to the conversations, big or small. Those candid laughter, comfortable jokes and banters, little slips, unguarded expressions, and many more.

This is why WHO you go in the mountains with counts. Friends or strangers, each has its pros and cons that can make or break the success of any climb.

If this was two years ago, I would avoid any chance of meeting new faces. But the mountains had taught me the beauty of building connections… in nature and in people. So now I don’t mind — at least not much. Continue reading “Mt. Talinis: Where expectation meets reality”

LIGID trail: Licos to Lanigid

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At the foot of Licos Peak

Not long ago, Team Buwad (James, An Jurvel, Shandy and I) headed north to visit some of its waterfalls. This time, James took us to what he called the LIGID trail, a moniker for the hike starting from Licos Peak in Danao, traversing to Mulao River in Compostela, and exiting in Lanigid Hill in Liloan. Along with us are Shiela and Bryan.

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Today’s guide

Continue reading “LIGID trail: Licos to Lanigid”

Alto Peak: A Jungle Parkour Adventure

It is a lot easier to attribute the cityscape when you think of parkour. The rails, the stairs, the ramps and the elevated structures easily became hotbeds for the nascent enthusiast. But how would you feel about parkour in the forest floor?

I’ll tell you what— joie de vivre.

But before we head onto the climax, let’s start with the [not so] easy walk.

I have been hanging out with random hikers in Cebu and I could say that this group of people– put together to face the heights of Ormoc– makes a colourful weekend. Spearheaded by Shiela and Kevin, I along with Jovy, Idol, Ate Sherlyn and Paul were present from Team Bang. Meanwhile, Phil of Laag Bisaya led the pack with Chiara, Rell, Loche and Hardi. The nomads, on the other hand, were nothing short of dull with Shikienah, James, An Jurvel, and Shandy on the troupe.

Upon arriving at Ormoc City port, all 16 hikers from Cebu were geared with excitement for the major weekend escapade. After a quick breakfast and last-minute shopping for our trail and camping essentials, we set out on an hour-long drive to Brgy. Cabintan where we met our guides, Kuya Oheng, Kuya Danny, and Efren. Also joining the fun were two harkor hikers from Leyte, Dave and Ryan.

Continue reading “Alto Peak: A Jungle Parkour Adventure”

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