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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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mountains

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

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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.

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(Mis)Adventures: Scaling the Mountains of Naga

February has always been special for me— not because of Valentine’s Day but because it’s my birth month. Rumors say that most of the weird ones are born on February and, though I may not completely agree, I have to say they got some of it right. In fact, one of them was weird enough to make the list below. 😉

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As a part of my #GrantMyWishThisFeb, I asked my all-time katkat buddy, Shiela, for a Naga adventure as a gift. Naga City is blessed with gorgeous hills and mountains, and it’s a shame that I haven’t set foot on its trail yet. Gladly, she was kind enough to give in to my request. Haha.

After my Bohol escapade we had our Naga adventure all planned out. Shiela and I managed to convince our officemate, Spencer, to come. I originally asked to chase only four peaks, Pangilatan Peak, Magdook Peak, Mt. Naupa, and Kabalas, but Shiela wanted to add Mt. Kabuwan to the list. So off we go.

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Thanks to these two for granting my wish. 😉

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Cambugsay Healing Hills: Your pit stop in this road called life

We are all mosaic of broken little things, a patchwork quilt of mistakes and missed takes. Some people hide in the hems of denial while others try to embrace these flaws. Some run off to silence, others turn to noise. We’ve heard songs, read poetry, seen art about healing. But do we ever truly heal?

I ended my 2017 fleeing to Binabaje Hills for a sweet escape and I realize there is no better way to welcome the new year than to spend it in the cradle of mother nature. Tucked in the fringes of Alicia is another agri-eco space that is slowly making its name in the tourism scene. Cambugsay Healing Hills, located in Brgy. San Pascual, is a convention of beautiful rolling hills and still waters from the Malingin Dam.

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Spell SERENITY.

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