Sunday, November 30, 2014

Baguio Resto Finds: Rancho Norte at Ketchup Food Community

We ate our dinner in Baguio after climbing Mt. Pulag. We opted to try something new so we hired a cab and went to Ketchup Food Community in Romulo Drive near The Mansion, Wright Park and Botanical Gardens (link: here.)

It's called a food community since it's like a compound with different restaurants. These are all home-grown food concepts which makes it more interesting to visit. Wala sa Manila nyan! :)

Wherever you choose to stay, you can still ask for menus and order from other restaurants.
We didn't get to try other restaurants though since we only had roughly two hours to eat 'cause we had to catch our bus back to Manila after.
Their set meals cost P 158.00 with drinks. 
Chopsuey with Bagnet

This wasn't my order but this is the one I liked best. Forever bet ng gulay sa Baguio and the bagnet on top is just the right quantity to balance the vegetables and meat. 
Their sisig albeit having too many onions is also good. Bagnet ginamit nila.
This was my order. 
Bagnet. As in Bagnet lang. HAHAHA. I figured it's not okay to order this at night because the weather is cold and the oil solidifies fast.

Sobrang okay din naman nito (taste, quantity and price) but for more variation and for a healthier me hahaha, I'd go with Bagnet with Chopsuey talaga. :)


After six posts and twenty-two months, my Mt. Pulag dream finally became a reality. :) 

January 2013February 2013January 2014April 2014May  2014, and July 2014

Mt. Pulag is a major climb since it's the highest mountain in Luzon but one of its trail is beginner-friendly so mountain climbing first timers don't have to worry that much if ascending through Ambangeg - Ambangeg trail. 

(Na 3N/2D kapag sinama 'yung travel time from Manila to Baguio vice versa)

Preparation, Baguio, Breakfast, DENR link: here.

Ranger Station, Ascent, Camp 2 link: here.

Jr. Pulag Ascent, Sunset, Freezing Night link: here.

Playground of the Gods/ Sea of Clouds link: here.

Descent from the Summit to the Camping Grounds link: here.

Descent from Camp 2 to Ranger Station link: here.

Hanging Bridge and Ambuklao Dam Side Trip link: here. 

*Darating 'yung point sa buhay mo na wala kang ibang aasahan na tao para dalhin ka sa lugar na gusto mong puntahan. Ikaw talaga ang gagawa ng paraan. Kapag decided ka na may mga darating kang kasama OR 'yung nangyari sa'min, impulsiveness at its finest. Nabanggit lang, umakyat kaagad after a month. Mabuti pa talaga ang mga hindi planado kasi natutuloy. (HUHUHU. SANA PAGBIGYAN AKO SA IBANG BAGAY NA MEDYO KAPAREHO NITO.) 

*May mga pagkakataon na hindi naman pala natin kailangan maging sobrang handa eh. Kailangan lang may idea tayo kung anong susuungin natin para meron tayo kahit basics. Kung sakaling may kulang man, madali na lang diskartehan 'yon. 

*Higit sa lahat ng natutunan ko, walang impossible at He provides. Hindi ko talaga alam kung paano ko napapagkasya ang funds pero napapagkasya ko pa rin. Maraming salamat po. Raket pa po. hehehe. :)

A sign that greater things are yet to come. Hoping... <3

P.S. Nag expect ako na sobrang sakit ng katawan ko the next day pero parang wala lang nangyari. Wala man lang sumakit sa'kin... puso't isip lang nung naalala kita. Toinks. HAHAHAHA. Pero 'yun nga, mag-expect ka ng muscle pain para wala kasi 'yung mga bagay na hinihintay na'tin, sila 'yung mga hindi dumarating. Toinks ulit. :)) 

Surprise us, life. :D

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mt. Pulag Climb: Hanging Bridge and Top Load to Ambuklao Dam!

Pinu-push ko talagang matapos 'to before November endssss. Two more posts left for my Mt. Pulag Series, keri. :))

We went back to the eatery where we ate our brunch on the first day of this trip. We had our lunch there and took a bath at the nearby comfort rooms with no door lock only a stone stopper outside. 

We weren't really intending to take a bath kasi papasmahin kami but when we saw ladies who were drying their hair. Parang kami, "Ligo na lang din tayo?" Impulsiveness level 1 Million. Sana pala habang nasa byahe, nagtanggal muna kami ng rubber shoes.

That was our bath after two days of intense physical activity. Wala e, smells like a baby pa rin. HAHAHA. 

Salamat talaga sa wet wipes that we survived at sorry sa mga paa namin na naabuso.

Sobrang laki ng pinagbago ko this year because I can now bathe and sleep anywhere. Syempre, given na safe! Pero seryoso, life must have been preparing me for something bigger. HAHAHA. YAN! Claim ng claim pa more. More travels and adventures, pls.? Yes? Universe? Yes?! Thanks. :))))

So after doing our thing, we rode our monster jeepney again and we were taken to this Hanging Bridge which name I don't know. 

I'm not scared of heights but I was a bit frightened to walk here simply because I was thinking of my cellphone. HAHAHA. 
I don't know what this place is called nor where does the hanging bridge leads to but it's very scenic. Everywhere in Benguet is scenic, you just have to go down your car or anything that you're riding on to enjoy the view more.

OR! Choose to top load your jeep. 
We were asked if we want to top load the monster jeepney and not surprisingly, we responded with a yes.

This is another first time for me. Sobrang enjoy. :))
Driving through the mountains and cliffs is love. HAHAHAHA. 
Selfie from the jeep. Just because.
This is a view from the road.
 I think this is already a part of the Ambuklao dam. 
Didn't get to see this on our way to Mt. Pulag because I was sleeping all the time then. HAHAHA. 
This ends our top loading adventure. 
Emo- emo din sa Ambuklao for a picture and then we headed to Baguio for dinner and to buy some souvenirs.

Destination matters but who you are with while traveling matters more. I was saving this quote for someone but pwede na gamitin, hahanapan ko na lang siya ng iba. hahaha.

Two of my girl friends and I joined a group tour and we knew no one (aside from each other and our expedition leader whom I've met during my Pico de Loro climb) prior to the day of departure in Manila.

At the beginning, we were like, "Okay. Tatlo lang tayong babae."

Then another arrived but she was with her office mates so she knew almost everyone there.

Anyway, to cut the story short... I think aside from being able to reach the summit of Mt. Pulag and to witness the majestic sea of clouds, what made this trip more special and more enjoyable were the people whom we climbed with.

Sharing stories with people you've just met, hearing words of encouragement from them when you're really close to giving up, offering their hands/help when you find it hard to ascend and descend, playing logic games on our way back to Baguio (each game took me forever to understand though), and laughing hard when someone shares his corniest "baon" na joke are other moments of our Mt. Pulag climb that are also worth remembering. 

Forever thankful for this two-day adventure.

Hindi naman siguro kasalanan sabihin na, more more more. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mt. Pulag Climb: Descent from Camping Grounds to Ranger Station

A panoramic shot of the clouds + mossy forest + grassland summit. 
We told ourselves, "Descent will be easier."

Nalagpasan na namin 'yung mahirap na ascent eh, ano pang hindi namin kakayanin?
Turns out we were right because the descent was really easy compared to the ascent (except for some uphills na kinailangan namin magpahinga sandali). It was also during that time that I got to appreciate the view from the mossy forest. The mossy forest looks like a scene taken out from fairy tale but I don't think I'm willing to do a night trek in the area. Hehe 

Then, may nakasalubong kaming climber whom we greeted and told us, "Ang ganda na ng mga ngiti oh, naka sea of clouds na kasi."

Kuya, HUHUHUHUHU, totoo. :))) Grabe, kung alam lang niya hirap na hirap na hirap din kami nung paakyat.
Walking through the fog felt like the mountain is applying ointment on my body to relieve the ache and to prevent the body ache that I might feel the next day. It also felt like a goodbye embrace that the mountains gave us.

And since we were walking at a leisurely phase, I was reminded of Genting Highlands in Malaysia that time. They look the same; mossy forest and fog. Only this time, it is more 'cause we trekked our way down rather than just ride a cable car.

Konting NatSci: Mossy forest is also called cloud forest. Since the moisture from the clouds/fogs are effectively retained, there are abundant mosses covering the ground and other vegetation.  
Mixed emotions at the sight of the pine forest.

Unlike the temperature and the shade in the mossy forest, there are lesser trees in the pine forest so the trail is unshaded. 
We rested for a while here. 

One of the effects of mountain climbing? You couldn't care less where you're seating as long as you get to sit.
Almost back to where we started...
This time though, we're better and stronger persons.
Our Ate porter/guide.

One of the people that I am thankful for during this climb. Hehehe. 
Lahat ng pagod, ng hirap, ng lungkot (paminsan) napalitan na lang ng ngiti pagkakita namin sa ranger station. Parang charger. Parang electric shock. Bigla kaming nabuhay ganyan. HAHAHAHA.

Maraming Salamat sa dalawang araw na marami mang hirap ay puno pa rin ng masasaya at magagandang alaala. :)

Hindi naman siguro siya magtatampo na ang tagal ko siyang pinangarap tas nung naabot ko na, iniwan ko na lang ng ganun ganun, noh? 

Ang tagal mong pinangarap, gagawin mo lahat ng paraan para maka-akyat.

Ang gagawin naman ng bundok? Aalagaan ka habang nandun ka at gagamutin ka sa paraang alam niya. Ipapakita rin niya sa'yo 'yung mga lugar na magaganda, itutulak ka niya para lumabas ka sa comfort zone mo at papatunayan niya sa'yong you're capable of achieving a lot of things kung gugustuhin mo lang. Lahat ng 'yan ginagawa niya nang walang hinihintay na kapalit.

Pero sa kabila ng lahat ng 'yon? Iiwanan mo pa rin naman siya. Kasi may iba kang buhay at may iba ka pang gustong puntahan.

Iniisip ko tuloy na ganung pag-ibig pala ang dapat: isang pag-ibig na mapagparaya. Isang pag-ibig na hindi ka pipigilan na gawin ang mga gusto mo, isang pag-ibig na aalagaan ka kapag nandyan ka't yayakapin sa pag-alis mo, at isang pag-ibig na magibibigay sa'yo ng lakas tuwing aalalahanin mo. 

Kagaya ng pag-ibig na namamagitan sa mga umaakyat ng bundok at mga bundok, hindi naman kailangan na laging magkasama eh. Ang mas mahalaga ay 'yung koneksyon ninyong dalawa.

Nagustuhan mo ba ko? Babalikan mo ba ko? 'Yan 'yung mga tanong na hindi na kailangan tanungin ng Mt. Pulag sa'kin. 

Hindi ko pa man masagot kung kelan basta alam ko sa sarili kong babalik ako. At alam ko rin na kahit matagalan at magbago man ako, tatanggapin pa rin ako ng budok. YAN. :))

Sabi nga sa quote, "So when people leave, I've learned the secret: let them. Because, most of the time, they have to. Let them walk away and go places. Let them have adventures in the wild without you. Let them travel the world and explore life beyond a horizon that you exist in. And know, deep down, that heroes aren't qualified by their capacity to stay but by their decision to return. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mt. Pulag Climb: Descent from the Summit to the Camping Grounds

"Let yourself move to the next chapter in life when the time comes. Don't remain stuck on the same page." 

This is a quote that seems relevant to this post and for other things na niri-ritwalan ko ngayon. Shems. Shems. Shems. :)))) Lahat na lang ba, gusto ko?! Sana hindi pa napapagod ang universe. Hahaha!

After staying for almost an hour at the summit, we descended. Alam mo 'yun, no matter how hard it was for you to reach the summit and no matter how much you dreamt about it, you can't stay there for the rest of your life eh. 'Yun 'yung constant sa'tin, movement... :)
Sobrang daming clouds. Grabe. Lakas talaga maka-dream come true. 
Take your breath awaaaaaaaay.

The only sad part about it being an item in a lot of people's bucket lists is that it would be difficult to maintain the mountain as it is. New trails are created and it is something which is not supposed to happen. It was even mentioned in the DENR orientation that trekkers should walk in single file just so they won't create new trails but as we were descending, we saw a lot of trails. :( Pwedeng nagmamadali kaya nakakapag-overtake 'yung iba, pwedeng kasi madulas 'yung existing. Tsktsk

Lahat kasi ng lugar may carrying capacity and even though may effort naman sila para ma-regulate ang climbers, 'yung mountains hindi agad siya nakakarecover, nasisira 'yung dwarf bamboos saka marami pang trail na nagagawa instead na dapat isa lang. I'm not perfect. Humawak din ako sa damo nung descent kasi natatakot ako masubsub so... kung bawat araw may mga kagaya ko, edi makakalbo na 'yung grass kakahila, diba? 

Leave none to minimal impact when mountain climbing. 'Yan dapat talaga 'yung practice eh. 
Mossy forest, grassland and the rolling hills of Mt. Pulag.

It was during the descent that I was able to look around. Dun ko lang na-realize na ang scary pala nung ibang parts ng trails kasi maliit lang 'yung daanan tas bangin pa. HAHAHAHA. Ge. Ginusto ko 'to eh. 
The rolling hills of Mt. Pulag National Park, the "endless" and "heavenly" sea of clouds, everything - everything was a sight to behold.

The moon didn't leave us. <3
Then we reached the part of the trail where it's just mist everywhere. Fog siguro din 'yan. IDK. 
Malabong sun.

Even the sun wants a silhouette shot. 

And there was also a part of the trail where there are a lot of spider webs in the dwarf bamboos. 

The grassland summit was just 1.5 km from this marker? Woah! That has to be my longest 1.5 km ever. Parang 15 km eh! 

Still foggy but we're already near the Camping Grounds.

Sa mga lugar na ganito ka dapat magtatanong at magi-isip ng sagot, "Ano nga ba ang buhay?" HAHAHA. Lakas maka-emo. Di maka-picture kasi baka madulas, di rin makapagkwentuhan kasi isang tao lang kasya sa daan. Haaaaaaaaay. <3 Loved the foggy/moist surroundings pa rin. 

Also my first time to see a white rainbow/ fog bow. 

Noah's Ark ang peg? I'd take it as a sign po, God. :) This fog bow shall symbolize HOPE and the GREAT THINGS THAT ARE TO COME. *fingers crossed*
Just so you'd have an idea how cold it was... parang nilagay sa ref 'yung tubig pagbalik namin sa tent.

We ate the most delicious instant noodles and sky flakes for breakfast.
Morning Dew

Mount Pulag is the summit in the left and the rest that are almost the same height are summit 2, 3, and 4 if I'm not mistaken. <3
Panoramic Shot

Clouds, Mossy Forest, Grassland :)

Konting NatSci: The "great divide" of the mossy forest and the grassland is called the tree line. It is defined as the edge of the habitat where trees can no longer tolerate the environmental conditions.
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