Monday, July 30, 2012

Mt. Kanlaon: The Highest Summit in Visayas

Mountain climbing is my passion. I've been to the highest summits of  Luzon and Mindanao before  so this  time I decided to climb the Highest summit in Visayas with an elevation of 2,435masl located in Negros Occidental.

Mt. Kanlaon is one of the most active volcano in the Philippines. Prior  the  climb, a permit together with the filled up registration forms and waivers duly notarized  must be secured from the  DENR-MKNP superintendent.  Registration Fee is  Php300.00 per person. You may choose from these trails:  WASAY to  GUINTUBDAN, a 3 -day climb, GUINTUBDAN trail entry and exit, a 2-day climb. 

Day 0: We took an evening  flight from Davao to Cebu and a bus ride  from south bus terminal to Dumaguete City. After we bought our food and everything we needed for the climb, we left Dumaguete City and took the Ceres Bus bound for Bacolod via Mabinay, . It was the first time that I traveled on a daytime and  I was amazed by the spectacular views of the Province of  Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. 

After five hours of travel we stopped at the Junction and  took another bus to La Carlota City.  It was already dark when we arrived in Barangay Ara-al,  La Carlota. We met  our Guide and rented a house for us to stay for  the night. We were all excited to climb the next day.

Day 1: It was very cold when we woke up but I still decided to take a bath in a freezing cold water. After preparing our breakfast and packed lunch we started the trek at 6:30am. The trek took us around six hours before we reached the campsite.  We were 30 minutes away from the  summit but the guide didn't allow us from going to the summit because the clouds  were covering the peak.   We decided to trek the summit the next morning.

Day 2: Wake up call was 5:00am but the whole place was still covered with fog. We have no choice but wait until the fogs will disappear because the guide told us that it was dangerous if we can't see the trail clearly. While waiting we had our breakfast and prepared our packed lunch. We waited until 9:00am but the weather is still the same. We had no choice but to go back.

Although we haven't  made it to the summit but the climb is still worth it. Thanks to my travel buddies Kristina Corpuz and Mario Lopez for the  great company.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Food trip at "Santander, Kainan ng Bayan, Inato lang, Ihaw-ihaw"

 Last July 14, 2012  Davao Bloggers  in cooperation with Davao City Tourism Office held a day tour entitled "DAVAO LIFE IS HERE DAVAO BLOGGERS DAY TOUR". Participants were divided into four groups and I was able to join  "The Calinan thrill -seekers" group composed of 10 bloggers and  photographer. Here's the last   part of my blog:

Before we headed back we had our last stop at "SANTANDER, Kainan ng Bayan, Inato Lang, Ihaw-Ihaw" owned by Barangay Captain of Tugbok Mr. Angelico Santander. They served different dishes of Hito (Catfish) and native chicken at a reasonable price. All you have to do  is  buy live Catfish  per kilo and have it cooked.  You may choose from their variety of dishes like Deep Fried Hito, Adobong Hito, Sinigang na Hito, Ginataan na Hito, Grilled Hito, and Paksiw na Hito.

Deep Fried Hito (photo courtesy of  Joshua S. Alfelor)
Adobong Hito (photo courtesy of  Joshua S. Alfelor)
Ginataan na  Hito (photo courtesy of  Joshua S. Alfelor)
Grilled Hito (photo courtesy of  Joshua S. Alfelor)
Sinabaw na Hito (photo courtesy of  Joshua S. Alfelor)
It was an experience full of fun. Thanks to  Davao Bloggers Association, Davao City Tourim Office and Smart Communications.

 The Calinan Thrill-Seekers Group!!! (photo courtesy of Joshua S. Alfelor)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DAVAO LIFE IS HERE: Sul Orchids and Malagos Garden Resort

Last July 14, 2012  Davao Bloggers  in cooperation with Davao City Tourism Office held a day tour entitled "DAVAO LIFE IS HERE DAVAO BLOGGERS DAY TOUR". Participants were divided into four groups and I was able to join  "The Calinan thrill -seekers" group composed of 10 bloggers and  photographer. Here's the second  part of my blog:

After we visited the japanese historical sites our next stopover was at "SUL ORCHIDS" a five hectares orchid farm  located in Tugbok, Davao City. To those who loves orchid it is a place you must  visit here in Davao City. They have many varieties of orchids like Vanda Strap, Mokara, Denrobium and many more.

Lunch was served at  "MALAGOS GARDEN RESORT" located in Brgy. Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. After a sumptuous buffet  lunch  the resort gave us the opportunity to tour around the resort. We made a visit at the Goat House, Fed the birds, released some butterflies and made an ocular inspection to their cottages.

Calderetang Kambing, Vegetable Salad, Grilled Chicken and One of the Specialty of Malagos Garden Resort " Pineapple Ricotta"
Malagos Farmhouse Fruit Wine also called "BIGNAY"
There are a lot of things to  do when you visit  Malagos Garden Resort. They have facilities for  swimming, trampoline, waterball, kids zipline, Calesa ride,  horseback riding and some sports activities. They also have a bird show every weekend. An overnight stay at the resort would be a great idea for groups and families.

Malagos Garden Resort Standard Room 
 Malagos Garden Resort Superior Cottage Room 

For inquiries you may call Malagos Garden Resort at (082) 221-1545, (082) 2240173 or 09176252467.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Last weekend members of  The Davao Bloggers  in cooperation with Davao City Tourism Office held a day tour entitled "DAVAO LIFE IS HERE DAVAO BLOGGERS DAY TOUR". Participants were divided into four groups and I was able to join  "The Calinan thrill -seekers" group composed of 10 bloggers and  photographer. Here's the first part of my blog:

"D'Japanese Tunnel Hotel and Family Resort" located in Matina, Balusong Diversion Road. The tunnel was built in 1942   by the Japanese with the length of 8.9 kms. but today it can be accessed up to 150 meters.  Inside the tunnel were life size replicas of Golden Buddha and Japanese Soldiers.

replica of  japanese soldiers
 replica of "The Golden Buddha"
The resort has a swimming pool for kids and adults,  restaurant and function rooms for wedding, baptismal and conference. One of the best getaway for families and friends. For bookings and reservations you may contact D'Japanese Tunnel Hotel and Family Resort  at (082)299-0975, (082)2950678.

Pool area for kids and adults
 D'Japanese Tunnel Hotel room

Next stop for that day was in Mintal known as "THE LITTLE TOKYO OF DAVAO CITY"  were we met up with the Barangay Captain Raymond Bargamento. It was my first time hearing the history of Mintal and I was amazed by the history itself.

We visited  Mintal Historical Markers in Mintal Elementary School where the "OHTA KYOZABURO"  memorial site which was made in honor of Ohta Kyozaburo a Japanese entrepreneur who was one who invested in Davao City.  Old remains of  ruins of Japanese school structures and the ruins of  Japanese Pyramide can also be found. We also made a visit to Japanese Cemetery,  Irrigation Canal, and Old Japanese houses.

                                                            Ohta Kyozaburo Memorial Site


                                                          OLD JAPANESE  HOUSES

Watch out for the continuation this story as we explored Sul Orchids Davao, Malagos Garden Resort and our our last stop at Santander, Kainan ng bayan, Inato lang Ihaw-ihaw.  Special thanks to SMART  for providing us pocket wifi.

Monday, July 9, 2012


When it comes to Luzon Trip, I am always incharge in buying tickets,  making itineraries and arranging  accommodations for the group. This time, its a 2 days tour to Hundred Islands and Mt. Pinatubo.

When we arrived in Manila our hired  two (2)  aircon van were already  waiting for us at the airport. Together with my 19 outdoor buddies from Manila and Davao, we departed NAIA 3 at 1:30am and arrived in Alaminos, Pangasinan at 6:00am. 

Our first stop was a day tour in Hundred Islands in Barangay Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan  which is composed of 124 islands at low tide and 123 islands at high tide but only three islands were developed namely Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. Everything went well except that after lunch our tour operator called us asking if we will pursue our trip to Mt. Pinatubo for the next day since it was closed for the day due to heavy rain and no assurance if  we could get the chance to climb the next day. 

Late Lunch in Dagupan City

After our tour in Hundred Islands, we had our lunch in Dagupan City and had our meeting for any back up plans for the next day activity but we can't make a final decision since we have different decisions. It was a headache for me. Our dinner and overnight stay was sponsored by  NIA Office in Tarlac. We are so thankful for their warm  accommodation. Our group decided to have a tour on the next day in Tarlac. 

AT NIA Office, Tarlac
Dinner at NIA Office
But, thanks to my friends Tina, Cheryl, Marj and Tupe for pursuing to Capas, Tarlac the next morning and when the weather was nice they give the climbers a go signal  to trek Mt. Pinatubo. We were so happy since it was our main target why we were in Manila. The 4x4 vehicle ride took us around an hour via skyway and the trek is thirty to forly minutes depending on your pacing.  The trail was easy even kids are allowed.  In the end, everything turned out right and we were back to Manila with satisfaction in our faces.

4x4 vehicle ride

with Mr. Juan dela Cruz

A Kid Aeta you will meet along the way

Journeying Sarah at the majestic crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo
Photo credits: Keir Ashley Lim, Olan Emboscado, Caroline Espejon and Ophelia Casel