Receive all updates via Facebook. Just Click the Like Button Below...

Join us on Facebook

Please wait..10 Seconds Cancel

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cavinti Laguna Travel Guide

Cavinti Laguna is a town along the Sierra Mountain ranges.  It has a small total population of roughly 20,000 people.  It's main industry is agriculture.  It is currently a third class municipality.  There are a few resort, restaurants and schools in the area.  It is also equipped with electricity and connectivity.  Public transport is available in getting to and around Cavinti.  Locals are very friendly and hospitable.

The town's name came from the Tagalog expression, "kabit sa binti". The Aetas, the early dwellers of the land, performed a wedding ritual in which the groom chases his bride to the riverbank and during that time, the audience cheers by shouting "Kabit sa binti, kabit sa binti!" 

Cavinti Laguna Map

Cavinti Laguna Climate
The climate in Cavinti Laguna is dry from March to May and wet during the rest of the year.  Temperature can range from 21 °C (70 °F) to 27 °C (81 °F).

Cavinti Laguna Budget
The Budget for a Baguio City Trip  ranges from 1,000 php (for day trips) to 4,000 php (for overnight trips loaded with resort and outdoor activities).  Budget allocation may include:

Accomodation (Where to Stay in Cavinti Laguna) - Budget is from 500-2,000 php per person
Activities
Food - Budget is around 100-400 php per meal if you don't BYOB (bring your own baon)

   Restaurants:
  • Coco Cafe in Lago Fishing Village (Brgy. West Talaongan) - (632) 330-5740  | 4048763 (63906) 318-LAGO
  • La Cucina De Caliraya in Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort (Brgy. East Talaongan) - (632) 723-0781 | (0998) 555-8394
Souvenirs (Pasalubong)
Transportation

Public Transportation

  • Bus (Regular) To and From Sta. Cruz Laguna - ETA 2 1/2 hours
    • Cubao - HM Transport - 180 php
    • Pasay/Buendia/Gil Puyat - 140 php
      • Jac Liner
      • DLTB
      • Greenstar
    • Jeep from Sta. Cruz Laguna to Cavinti Laguna - ETA 50 minutes - 25 php
  • Within Cavinti Laguna
    • Jeep (Minimum Fare is 8 php)
    • Tricycle (Minimum Fare is 10 php/person)
Private Transportation via car from Manila
  • SLEX: Take the Calamba exit going all the way down to the town of Pagsanjan. Upon reaching the public plaza of Pagsanjan, you either turn right from the municipal hall heading to the municipal proper of Cavinti or turn left taking the Lumban-Caliraya route.
  • Eastern Route (through Antipolo or Tanay, Rizal): Turn right upon reaching Municipality of Mabitac-Famy going to the direction of Pagsanjan, passing through the towns of Siniloan, Paete, and Lumban.  When you reach Brgy. Bagong Silang, Lumban, you either make a u-turn and start ascend going to the direction of Caliraya Lake or go straight to the Pagsanjan Hall and start ascend going to Cavinti Proper.
Cavinti Laguna Sample Itinerary
  • Daytrip
    • 4:00 am: Bus to Sta. Cruz Laguna 
    • 6:30 am: Jeep to Cavinti
    • Tricycle to 1st Stop: Kalakal–Pandan Sambalilo Weaving and Handicraft Center
    • Tricycle to 2nd Stop: Breakfast at Bumbungan Eco-Park
    • Tricycle to 3rd Stop: Cavinti Underground River and Cave Complex
    • Lunch at the Cave Complex
    • 4th Stop: Picnic merienda at the Japanese Garden
    • 5th Stop: Sunset Viewing at Cavinti Spillway
    • Tricycle to Sta. Cruz Laguna 
    • Final Stop: Aling Taleng’s Halo-halo 
    • Bus to Manila
Hope this Travel Tripsters Cavinti Laguna Travel Guide Helps!
(Last Update: January 17,  2016)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mount Pulag: Hiking Down Ambangeg Trail (Photoblog Entry)

Because we left the Babadac Ranger Station at dawn, we didn't really know what we were passing through.  It was only when we were going down that we were appreciate the beauty of Mount Pulag.

pulag
Rocky Trails across the Dwarf Bamboo Slopes

pulag
Dwarf Bamboo Slopes


pulag
Forest Leading to Camp 2
Camp 2 with Restroom

Mossy Forest pulag
Mossy Forest




pulag
school girls I met along the way at the way board either to Grassland summit or Lusod Trail
pulag camp 1
Camp 1
camp 1 pulag
Steep Trail from Camp 1

Muddy Rocky Trails Along the Mossy Forest
Pine Forest Nearing Ranger Station pulag
Pine Forest Nearing Ranger Station
pulag pine trees
More Pine Trees

Is this a cactus?
mount pulag
Terrace Plantations
habal habal pulag
100 php Habal Habal which my friend Steph availed of
Porter carrying his load
Porter carrying his load

Cordillera Mountains and the Plantations
Cordillera Mountains and the Plantations
bokod benguet
Livelihood for the Bokod Benguet Community
The view makes all the effort worth it! We Travel Tripsters hope to come back again. Perhaps, on a tougher trail than Ambangeg Trail.

Related Posts:
Ultimate Prepation Guide for Mt. Pulag
Mount Pulag DENR Registration: Hiker's Orientation
Camping at the Babadak Ranger Station: Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hike to the Summit (Peak 3) to Watch the Sunrise
Mount Pulag: Chasing the Sea of Clouds

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mount Pulag: Chasing the Sea of Clouds

After the sunrise at the peak, we all went down to chase the sunrise under our guide Ate Levita's aid.

mount pulagI thought we were tired but I guess just seeing the view of the mountains and grass land.

mount pulag
On the way, we asked each other if we're really up to chasing the clouds.  Everyone agreed.  My friend Steph said just go and she'll be fine behind.  Steph and Ate Levita had become pretty close at this point.  They even called each other on first name basis.  According to Steph, Ate Levita is a farmer on weekdays and Porter on weekends.  But since there is a shortage on guides, she became ours.  She is very nice.  She even volunteered to carry Steph's things for free.

mount pulag
With full spirits, the guys went on.

mount pulag

mount pulag
The trail became narrow and the grass become taller. 

mount pulag
Steph and Ate Levita were left behind so they can just wait for us.

mount pulag
Ate Levita advised us to follow the Lusod trail.

mount pulag

We did as instructed.

mount pulag

We passed by this flag.

mount pulag
Until we reached a dead-end.  Too late... we were too late for the sea of clouds.  It has already passed by.  But, since we're already there.  We took a group photo with the beautiful backdrop of the Cordillera Mountains and the blue skies

mount pulag
We regrouped with Steph and headed our way back to Camp 2.

mount pulag
Heading back is when we really got to see the vegetation of Mount Pulag.

Related Posts:
Ultimate Prepation Guide for Mt. Pulag
Mount Pulag DENR Registration: Hiker's Orientation
Camping at the Babadak Ranger Station: Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hike to the Summit (Peak 3) to Watch the Sunrise
Mount Pulag: Hiking Down Ambangeg Trail

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mount Pulag: Hike to the Summit (Peak 3) to Watch the Sunrise

At around 12:30 am, we all woke up and prepared for the hike to the summit of Mount Pulag. We were told to bring only those essential for the hike.  We left all our other belongings on our tent.  When we met our Above the Clouds tour guide at the Babadak Ranger Station, we were assigned our tour guide Ate Levita.  We were the last group to depart from Ranger Station.

mount pulag camp 1
Ate Levita in Blue Jacket on the Left
Since we were a big group of 11, we had implemented an implied watch your buddy system. Matt led our group.  All the boys in the group were gym-fit so they were really fast.  While, the girls were on the back part.  My friend Steph couldn't keep up with the group we went on ahead as she was with Ate Levita.  There were a lot of other hikers all towards the same goal as we were so just rode witht he foot traffic.  It was quite impossible to get lost.  

mount pulag camp 1

It was total darkness with only the moon and our headlamps as source of light.  Most of what I saw was only the muddy trails because that's what I'm watching out for.    By the time we reached Camp 1, we thought Steph had already given up.  Because we stayed there for a 10-minute rest and still there was no sign of her.

mt pulag camp 1

Since the boys were so eager to move on, we went on to Camp 2Camp 2 with an elevation of 2,730 MASL offers a nice view of the stars.  But, we didn't have any time to stay because we had to reach the summit before sunrise. 

mt pulag camp 1
There were some campers at Camp 2 who are still cozy though.  As we left Camp 2, the guy pointed look, there are already people who reached the Summit (Peak 3).  A little later, we could already feel see daylight coming out which pressured us to go one faster. 

mt pulag
Finally, we reached Peak 1 with an elevation of approximately 2,800 MASL.  The group was split into two and we lost communication with each other.  The boys went on to Peak 2.  While we, the girls, rested here.

mt pulag peak 1
Before the sun emerged, we were all glad to see Steph with Ate Levita.  After around 15 minutes of waiting, we finally saw parts of the sun revealing itself int he middle of the sea of clouds.

mt pulag peak 1
It slowly went up.  The sea of clouds withdrew further and the Cordillera mountains showed itself.

mt pulag peak 1
The coolness dissipated as the sun warmed the atmosphere.

mt pulag peak 1
We didn't know where the boys were so we had to stay put and enjoyed the view while waiting for them.

mt pulag peak 1
Beautiful right?

mt pulag peak 2
From Peak 1, we could see Peak 2 but not the Summit (Peak 3).  It only takes approximately 25 minutes from Peak 2 to Peak 3.  I kind of regret not going for the Summit but I was dead tired and hungry so I opted to save my energy for the way back.

mount pulag
Check out my muddy FILA rubber shoes.  It survived!

mount pulag
Some of us slept while waiting.

mount pulag
Steph indulged herself with her trail food Mc Do's 2 day-old burger that she brought all the way from Manila.

mount pulag
As the sun got up, we were reunited with the boys.  We asked them what was in Peak 2 and they said, there's a sign of Peak 2 and you feel like you're closer to the clouds. 

mount pulag

The boys were asking Ate Levita where is the sea of clouds?  Ate Levita said it wasn't here.  If you want we can chase the sea of clouds although it might be too late...

Looking back, I would have preferred if we left earlier.  I don't see the reason why we have to wake up later, push ourselves without any stops and then be late for sunrise.  Perhaps on my next trek to Mount Pulag, I'll depart from the Ranger Station at 11 pm!

Related Posts:
Ultimate Prepation Guide for Mt. Pulag
Mount Pulag DENR Registration: Hiker's Orientation
Camping at the Babadak Ranger Station: Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Chasing the Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hiking Down Ambangeg Trail 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Camping at the Babadak Ranger Station: Sea of Clouds

From the DENR Office for registration and orientation, we reached our destination - Babadak Ranger Station (a.k.a Ambangeg Ranger Station) in less than an hour.

mount pulag ranger station

Major jump-off: Ambangeg Ranger Station, Bokod, Benguet
LLA: 16°34’58?N 120°53’15?E, 2922 MASL (#3)
Days required / Hours to summit: 4-5 hours / 1-2 days
Specs: Major Climb | Difficulty 3/9 | Trail class 1-2
Trail system: Grand Cordillera Trail, Section 3
Features: Sea of Clouds | Dwarf Bamboo Slopes | Mossy Oak Forest

For those who will take the Ambangeg Trail, this is the major jump of point.   For us in the Above the Clouds Tour group, it also means our camping site as we were given this notice prior to the trip "starting last February 2015, Mt. Pulag park management decided to close camping sites (Camp 2 and 3) in order to help Mt. Pulag recover from all the years/months of intense human activity due to the spike in tourism." I have yet to certify this content because when we reach Camp 1 and Camp 2, they were a lot of campers there.  Camp 3 is for the campers who will take the Akiki Trail.
mount pulag ranger station
Hello Carabao!
fter our bags were unloaded from the jeep, many from the group began to set up their tents.  From our group, Matt and Andrew were also setting up their tent.  The rest of us are puzzled.  Silently, I was thinking "Here?  Really?  Beside this carabao and his carabao poo?".  Fortunately, my cousin Angelo and King King voluntarily went up to hike a bit to search for a better alternative.  A few minutes later, they called to tell us to go up because they found a good spot.  By this time, many have set up their tents.  Matt and Andrew were already testing the comforts of their tents.  Since all of us wanted to camp elsewhere, they had to ask the staffs to transfer their tents to the new spot as well.  Before we left, we witnessed the carabao attack one of the tents so they had to move.

mount pulag ranger station
After our firm insistence to camp elsewhere, our tour guides agreed provided that we also hike back down for our dinner.  We agreed.  We then hiked on our chosen camp site which involved crossing this little wooden bridge. 

mount pulag ranger station

When we arrived, there was already another tour group camping at the site.  See the simple tent on the right with a orange canvass?  That's their tour guide cooking their meals.  

mount pulag ranger station
While waiting for our rented tents, our camp site became foggy and it drizzled.  We brought out Raingears (2-pieces and 1 piece poncho)  and covered our stuff with garbage bags to protect them from the rain and moisture.

mount pulag ranger station
Unfortunately, my friend Steph and I were the last to have our tent put up so we were invited by these guys to have some cover.  Too bad I forgot to get the name of their tour group.  They were really nice.  On Day 2, they even offered us some Hot Sopas which we had to decline because we have our own meals.

mount pulag ranger station
The orange tent is a tent for 3.  The rest of the tents are a tent for 2.
Because it was drizzling and we were soaked, everyone decided to take a nap as soon as our tents were pitched.  When we woke up, the fog and drizzle has already cleared.

mount pulag ranger station
The back of our camp site has a stunning view of an ocean of clouds and fog overlooking the green fields.

mount pulag ranger station

The coolness was so comforting.  And, the air was so fresh.  I wish I could wake up to this every morning of my life. 

mount pulag ranger station
We were surrounded by tall green grass, pine trees and the sea of clouds rolling over the Cordillera Mountains.

mount pulag ranger station
After our pictorial sessions, the clouds slowly disappeared. 

mount pulag ranger station
We decided to hike down to the  Babadak Ranger Station and see what they have there.

mount pulag ranger station
Mt. Pulag Da-Guhan Store became our official tambayan store for hot drinks, cigarette breaks and rest room.

mount pulag ranger station
Instant coffee has never tasted so good!  It warmed us up from the cool weather.

mount pulag ranger station

There were other stores around the area too.  You can buy meals, coffee or rice wine.  You can also rent tents, sleeping bag, stove and cookset.

mount pulag ranger station
Everyone has their own favorite store.

mount pulag ranger station
And, their preferred pay rest rooms and shower rooms.

mount pulag ranger station
Friendly respectful native kids!
Some even opted to just camp and set their tents outside houses at the Ranger Station.

mount pulag ranger station
At night, we only have the full moon to light upon us.  We didn't have a starry view like those in the upper camps.  We went down for dinner with the aid of our flash lights and head lamps.  Matt led the group down.  But, Steph and I went down a bit later.  We got a little lost finding our way down.  Good thing some guys camping there pointed us to the right direction.

mount pulag ranger station

It was my first time to be inside a tent.  I discovered that I have a bit of a claustrophobia.  I had to breath out of the camp tent once in a while.  I also found it too cramp to sleep on.  In the middle of the night, my stomach also grumbled so I ate some Nova JalapeƱo inside my tent.  To my surprise, my friend Steph woke up from the smell haha! =p  When I got out of the tent, I was surprised to see that they are now more tents at our sight.  I guess some from our group also transferred they during the day.  I didn't get to sleep anymore since call time is nearing.

Pros for Camping a the Babadak Ranger Station
  • Easy food and drink replenishment
  • Clean pay restrooms and shower room
  • Availability of equipment rental and assistance in set up
  • Sea of clouds view
  • Comfortable and manageable temperature
Cons for Camping a the Babadak Ranger Station
  • Not entirely in one with nature
  • No stars or constellation view
Related Posts:
Ultimate Prepation Guide for Mt. Pulag
Mount Pulag DENR Registration: Hiker's Orientation
Mount Pulag: Hike to the Summit (Peak 3) to Watch the Sunrise
Mount Pulag: Chasing the Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hiking Down Ambangeg Trail