Showing posts with label Mt. Malipunyo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mt. Malipunyo. Show all posts

Mt. Malipunyo Climb 2014 (Part 3)

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Few more minutes and we were able to reach a flat ground for the first time in hours – the first of the three Mt. Malipunyo peaks. Right there, realization struck me – I have been here before. The tagged Mt. Malipunyo failed climb last year wasn’t really a failure after all since I’ve actually been to one of its peaks. Then I’m close to knowing that we actually almost reached Peak 2 too. And it would only take only a little less than an hour before the feat to Peak 3. Only if storm did not throw its wrath on us that day, we could have fully conquered Mt. Malipunyo at the first attempt. Meanwhile, we took a substantial amount of time to rest and energize for that mean time.

I was at the sweeper’s position during the climb but I took the lead after reaching the first peak to contain the excitement I was feeling to set foot at the very peak. As we continued with our clamber, the air started to get cooler and the mountain’s diverse flora and fauna get even richer. I have seen at least eight different orchid types and other rarely seen plant species strategically thriving along the trails. The mountain also offered a wide range of diversity: mossy, grassy, thorny, and even spiral-y trails. The enthralling view started to present themselves as we go further which includes silhouettes of Mt. Banahaw, Mt. Cristobal, Talim Island, the Laguna Lake, and the rest of Laguna and Batangas cityscapes. We were further engrossed with an alternating course of ascents and descents towards the peak. The pacing on the lead was perfect for me, I was gasping at some point but the eerie feel ironically satisfies me. There were lots of short stops here and there to take some good breath and refill our canteens before the final assault bleakly came, along with the promise that sooner or later, we would find our feet finally unable to go any higher at the end of that steep trail.


And there were we, at Mt. Malipunyo’s third summit. We shortly took a moment to appreciate another scenic view of the nearby towns and other mountains atop, before delightedly feasting for lunch. And the inevitable came, the clouds turned into drops and wept hardly upon us even before we’re done eating. We waited for the 30-minute torrential downpour to cease before deciding to tarry down. And it took us another four hours of long walks, unseen tumbles, hard slides, totaling to a slight jeopardy on those wet and slippery trails, before calling it all quits.

Credits: Photos are properties of Bettina Asilo & John Leonard Eseo
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Mt. Malipunyo Climb 2014 (Part 2)

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With the extreme mountaineering adventure the Malarayat range (seven peaks total) has to offer, I dreamed and started my quest of conquering each peak, one at a time. I had the chance to triumphantly reach Manabu Peak last year and have been part of a failed attempt to surmount Mt. Malipunyo few weeks later. Reminiscent of the latter’s unsuccessful stint, I made it a point to go for a redemption climb which happened to be just last weekend tofinally seal that unfinished Malipunyo business.

To prevent some pre-assumed complications, we see to it to find a guide this time who will make things right since we’ve been to a hell of a crappy climb the last time we’ve been to this very mountain’s trails when we decided explore its forest-ness by ourselves alone. We lightly took the locals’ advice that we won’t need the help of a guide for this climb’s purpose, and that going up would be an easy job, which turned out to be the other way around. Tales of troubles aside, what have left now are lessons learned. We’ll not be going up there with no one to accompany us. To cut the long story short, we hired Kuya Rey as our day’s guide. Though he’s not as popular as Kuya Mario among bloggers, wonders presented themselves as we furthered our climb along with him. One striking impression about him is his apparent physical disability being a polio victim. Though this is quite an issue to begin with, it’s fair to give him the benefit of the doubt before dropping any unlikely judgment. The man might prove you otherwise. I had a good chance of exchanging words with him during the early parts of the trail, and though I could not really understand most of the things he was talking about, the eagerness in his eyes to share those things was enough reason for me to listen.

It was exactlynine o'clock when we commenced with the climb. The sun’s deprecatingly ablaze that there was no trace of rain to come unlike our previous attempt when we’re stormed during our way up. It was a gradual walk for the first hour along that familiar wide trail that eventually narrowed down to a grassy one. Intuitively, I took a substantial amount of time documenting things. Until a minor change on the trail – a residue from the onslaught of typhoon Glenda, a landslide along the trail, welcomed us as we walked further. Huge chunks of rocks and soil were substantially eroded altering the landscape of the previous trail.

After passing through it, we continued walking along a long grassy track towards a proverbial stream of ankle-deep water known to be the De Lobo River that swiftly flows from the nearby Rey Falls, named after Kuya Rey himself, by the legendary Sky Biscocho (a popular name in the hiking and mountaineering world). The falls is definitely not comparable to a faucet someone left leaking like the other falls I have been to during the previous climbs, but a fully-fledged falls to the very word itself. The way to it was short but certainly not an easy task. The ridge towards it is too steep that one could not afford to commit a fall of any sort. Extra care is very much needed to claim such a rejuvenating reward afterwards, such an awesome sight to behold.

We continued with the ascent through the thick healthy forest and reached another mini-falls which is still entrailed to the Rey Falls. We had one good rest at the place to condition ourselves for an even daring way up the slopes. Soon enough, we were welcomed by Lipa tress and teka-teka plants which were the primary hindrances during our climb aside from the steep ascent itself. While the excitement creeps down my spine, thorns (or whatever those) were hitting their way thru my skin, unknowingly. It was only later when I realized about the pain they have indelibly caused. The amazing thing was, there were no visible signs left on my skin, but I could feel the intensity of such damn pain.

Few more minutes and we were able to reach a flat ground for the first time after hours.. the first of the three peaks.


Credits: Some photos are owned by Bettina Asilo
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Mt. Malipunyo Climb 2014: Flora and Fauna

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One of the distinguishing characteristics of Mt. Malipunyo in Talisay, Lipa City, Batangas, is the high diversity readily noticeable through its trails, as previously reviewed on some blogs online. With this knowledge before hand, I was quite excited to capture all these shits in mind, especially with our failed Mt. Malipunyo climb last year which refused me from keeping a watchful eye on this aspect. And with that previous failure, I learned that high expectations are really a tricky thing as the chances for disappointments are also higher. So I set my mind on the neutral state and not expect too much. Fortunately, I did have a good time fulfilling the plan but alas, failed to complete the job as the camera at my hand wasn’t able to extend its life up to the very peak. Nevertheless, majority of my expectations and anticipations were fairly justified.


Our Mt. Malipunyo story comin up..
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The #13PeaksFor2013 Project

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All those spontaneous climbs and risky moves during hikes that I did with friends and alone were an evidence of how 2013 turned out to be big time in the realization of my huge fascination for discovery and thrill of adventures, with all those grains of sweats, aching knees, and gasping breaths, all the more. And as I look back at those days on beguilingly elevated lands across the clouds, I’m doing this countdown of my best mountain-y encounters one by one.

13.Mt. Maculot (January 13). They say nothing beats the first time. But then, the seemingly unending treat with every trail I walked from then on makes this at the bottom. Surely the intricate rock formations at the Rockies and the glorious view of a piece of Taal Lake on the sidelines were a win, but then, way to go. There were more of these on the latter climbs.

12. Tayak Hill (May 8). Long walk and a minor climb if you wish. And the deafening silence up there was more than perfect for those who seek peace or solitude in the midst of an open air way above the nearby Laguna towns. The adventure’s still there, minus a huge chunk of that element called danger which probably made the climb less exciting. Nevertheless, the 360 degree view on top with the gloomy view of the devil's mountain in the background is still no less than exceptional.

11. Mt. Manabu (February 16). After that record-breaking 54 minutes to reach the summit with minimal breaks along the trails, this turned out to be one of the most tiring ones I did thus far... which greatly reminds me of how healthy my knees once were and how much weight I have gained from then on. Mountain climbing is a test of mental strength. The first thing that needs to be done is believing that you could be up there. And it’s another thing to be there with that time pressure challenge and yet still with your eyes not missing the grandiose feast. 

10. Jubilee Hill (February 2). Fifteen minutes was all we needed to complete the course. But the whole thing was still memorable in many sorts. In case you’re wondering where it’s located, it’s that hill with bright cross when you happen to see yourself in a night at UPLB.

9. Mt. Romelo (April 11). ..and Buruwisan Falls of course! There is this great deal of pride about trekking at least a portion of the infamous Sierra Madre range and visiting the painfully beautiful but deadly-once-you-come-closer Buruwisan Falls. Though the place has been heavily visited nowadays, it's still a great feeling in knowing that as natural wanderers, we place that flag of pride of being into some place most people do not have a chance of seeing at all.

8. Mt. Kalisungan (January 26). This hike would never be complete without Mang Bino, my all-time favorite guide as of this date. His meekness with each of his tales related to the mountain – from Agot Isidro to Yamashita treasures were one for the books. The last time I heard, his house at the foot of the mountain was burned. Hope he’s fine.

7. Mt. Mabilog (February 23). Getting lost is more fun in Mt. Mabilog, and there were just too many lessons I learned out of this hike – in between those trials in the trails and the joys in very step. Needless to say, getting lost, sometimes mostly define my experience of the outdoors. And there's nothing more surprising than that feeling of refreshment made possible by Lake Pandin, after all those uncharacteristic events that happened that day.

6. Mt. Batulao (November 2). There are basically 7 things I like the most about this mountain. I’ve said it before and I won’t say it again.

5. Mt. Malipunyo (August 21). Honestly, I think I technically failed the #13PeaksFor2013 project because of this failed climb. If my knowledge serves me right, we were only able to reach the first of the mountain’s 3 peaks due to a terrible encounter: stormy howling winds, heavy-pouring rains, thunderbolt and lightning (very very frightening me!) – name it. Indeed, it’s not always a sunny day as we climb, and no matter how much we think and prepared we are, there will come a time when we are faced with so much of what we can take that the best thing to do is to just walk away, for the mean time. After all, getting to the peak is optional, but going home is mandatory. Plus, the mountain will not go anywhere, and there will always be a next time.

And talking about next time..

4. Pico De Loro (January 18). Well this could easily climb the list if we were able to successfully conquer the Monolith. But as they say, there’s always that right time for everything. And trust me, there really is.

3. Mt. Balungao (December 30). The last one I had that year. Dramatically on my very own province. With my beloved high school friends.


2. Mt.Zion (December 26). Just because I climbed it alone. I knew the risk but I had to take it. Because ultimately, the greatest risk is not taking the risk at all.

1. Mt.Makiling (November 16). I was able to climb this mountain twice that year but the second time’s definitely the sweeter. It was a climb with a cause – a climb I’d be glad to do all over again for a cause I wish would never ever happen again.


**The #13PeaksFor2013 Project is a concept I promised to fulfill by conquering 13 mountains in one year, given a limited resources as an inexperienced hiker. 
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