My 5th Climb: Treasure Mountain Experience

The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it.

Herbert A. Simon

Reaching the top of any mountain is a goal reached for me. As for other people, they climb for various reasons — to gain experience, to take their mind away from stress, to challenge themselves, to heal from a broken heart, to be near to God, or to prove that they can make it. For me, my sole reason I’m climbing mountains is to see the stars at night when we do overnight camping, and be in awe of God’s majestic creations. When I reached Treasure Mountain, I was surely not disappointed.

A quick backtrack: Year 2013, my officemates who are part of the Buhawi Mountaineering Club invited me to hike Mt. Pico de Loro in Cavite. I was excited, yet a bit nervous. Back then, I was going in and out the hospital for checkups. I remember I was not able to walk for longer distance without having difficulty in breathing. So, I accepted the invitation to challenge myself and prove one thing: that I can reach the summit with my lungs still intact. I did reach the summit of Mt. Pico de Loro and marveled at the beauty of God’s creation. Since then, I promised myself to join mountain climbing trips at least once a year.

Going back to Treasure Mountain, I cannot consider it a major or minor climb since we have easy access to the summit. My Buhawi friends and I made a commute — van from Cubao to Cogeo (35php), then jeep from Cogeo to Kurambai (46php) in Tanay, Rizal. Once we are in Kurambai, we rode a motorcycle at the trail going to Treasure Mountain (50php) and was dropped off at the entrance of the place. It is actually a private area but the owner took advantage of the place and made it a tourist destination. We paid overnight camping fee (200php/head) and then pitching fee (300php/tent). We don’t have a car, but those who do also have a parking fee (50php). The place is easily accessible by car and reaching the summit will only take you about 15 minutes from the entrance, so I cannot fully say it’s even a minor climb. Hmm, I can safely say you have a 15-minute hike at that.

Once we’re on the summit, we pitched our tents and fortunately, my other Buhawi friends already pitched theirs and were already fixing dinner. I did help a bit, but once it’s dark and the food’s ready, we started our night socials.

It has been a tradition for Buhawi members to introduce ourselves for the getting to know portion. I did introduce myself and was a bit astounded upon realizing that this is already my 5th climb. I already made friends that I only see once a year (only every anniversary climb) and that my introvert self has now become comfortable in their company. (I think it took me three years before I actually memorized their names!).

After the socials, I had time to gaze up at the heavens and talk to God. I thanked Him for a wonderful creation, with the stars so many and I feel like it’s so easy to grab one. The wind’s getting cold, and I was enjoying my alone time. I remembered those times when I cried and I just didn’t feel God hearing my prayers, but at that very moment, I was just in awe at the beauty of the heavens. The moon was so bright, the stars so many and so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off the picturesque view of the universe. I remembered the scenes I’ve read from the book “Every Soul a Star” by Wendy Mass and wondered where could be the North Star, and if the brightest stars were actually talking to me. I just felt peace. I’m hoping for things in my life and at that very moment, I just felt so close to God and felt everything would be alright. I wonder if this was also what Jesus felt whenever He went to the mountain to pray during his time here on Earth πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”.

As the night went deeper into the darkness, I again joined the group for more socials. It was very cold this time, good thing I brought my sweatshirt with me. We shared stories and by around 3am, we called it a night.

Early in the morning, I heard voices outside our tent. I didn’t want to get up yet, but I remembered I wanted to witness the sea of clouds. Treasure Mountain is famous for its sea of clouds so I immediately fixed my things and grabbed my phone. As I went out, I saw the beautiful mountain ranges, without the sea of clouds πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”. Nevertheless, the view was breathtaking so I took some photos. In case you’ll visit Treasure mountain, don’t forget to bring jacket as it’s cold especially at night. 😍

So there. Basically, after the breakfast, we fixed our tents and started our way home. We didn’t have a major nor climb for Buhawi’s 15th anniversary celebration. However, the fact that we met together and shared stories about the mountains for an overnight camping is already a relaxing time for quite a busy and stressful week at that.

If you haven’t climbed a mountain, maybe this is the time to challenge yourself and experience the beauty of nature. πŸ™‚

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Trip to Bohol

I had the opportunity to visit the beauty of Bohol last year, where I’ve seen the Chocolate Hills in person, chilled in Panglao Beach Resort, and toured the Bohol Bee Farm, where I’ve tasted the very delicious iceΒ cream.

Since I’m on reminisce mode, let me share to you my journey and pictures (no filter) of my travel: πŸ˜€πŸ˜

 

Bohol Bee Farm: Buzz Ice Cream

 

Bohol Bee Farm: Ocean View

 

Panglao Island: Public Resort

We found a place to chill here without paying too much! I think we only paid less than a hundred bucks for the entrance fee.

 

Bohol: Chocolate Hills

We went there 1st week of October 2016 and at that time, the hills were not so chocolatey.

 

Ancient Church

I forgotΒ the name of this church but it is one of those churches during the year that was affected by the great earthquake.

 

So there. I’m trying to document all my previous travels so pardon me if some are dated years ago. But heck, I enjoyed life by traveling once in a while so I wanna have some documentation to inspire others, and that includes you!

πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Coron Escapade

Back in February 2016, I had one of the most memorable vacation in my life. It was when for the first time, I traveled with my family for a 4-day, 3-night bonding.

 

Day 1

We arrived early at Coron and were picked up by the crew of the hotel where we stayed for the duration of our stay. Originally, our tour package included a city tour around Coron which involves trekking to the City’s hilltop. Thinking my mom would have a hard time doing this activity, we changed itinerary: 3 days for island hopping and then a day for rest in the city. 

So there. By 9am, we were ready for our island hopping. I forgot the names of the islands we visited, but one thing is for sure: they have pristine white beaches, and untouched beauty that one would be so giddy to explore. 

In the afternoon, our tour guide stopped in the middle of the sea,  only to join other boat guides in their party showdown. Loud sounds and a party playlist exploded in my senses. The other guests were also hooked. This was just the 1st day and I was enjoying my stay.

Day 2

For most of the day, we visited the shipwreck sites and had some snorkeling. We also made some new friends along the way. 

Here’s some of our sumptous lunch that included fish, seafood meat, and veggies.


Day 3

Our last day for the island hopping included some trekking at the Kayangan Lake, and another swimming exercise at the Lagoon. We didn’t forget to have the famous shot by the sea, though. πŸ™‚

This is by far my favorite groufie shot. πŸ™‚

The tide was high and we had rough seas here. Yet, we managed our winning smiles in both photo.

Lastly, when you see a pig by the beach, you’ll know your stay will be an enjoyable one.

Our Coron escapade was really an enjoyable one. If you happen to visit the Philippines, don’t forget to see those world-class beaches and islands in Busuanga (Coron), Palawan. Aside from island hopping, you can also do a Safari Tour and a City tour if you’re the nature and forest type of person. πŸ™‚

Kidapawan time escape

Yesterday, I traveled from GenSan via Digos to Kidapawan City, North Cotabato to meet Sir Noel, our Sales representative for DIWA in that area. I am going to present GENYO e-learning program to the parents of Notre Dame Kabacan and it’s such a long ride just to get here — alone.

 

I am a foreigner in this place, if you may call it, since this is my 2nd time here but my 1st time to tour around. I’m from Laguna and for the entire 2 years I’m here in Mindanao, only GenSan is the place I can travel on my own – well, when I say I knew the spots. ^_^

 

Anyway, they say I’m a braveheart. Knowing I’m not really from here and I travel alone in a “dangerous place” — well, that term is only due to previous terrorism attempts but not, I can say, true because I arrived safe and sound, they say I have the courage. Well, for me, I’d say it’s adventure to learn on your own and explore the world.

 

So this is it. During my 2-hour tour around the city with Sir Noel, I was able to take pictures of some of the landmarks of the city and especially the most common mode of transportation — tricycle.

My room