Showing posts with label Baguio City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baguio City. Show all posts

Mt Pulag: The Initial Assault

It took us time and effort – from planning for the perfect date, the necessary arrangements, budgetary considerations, and the availability of ourselves, to finally make Mt. Pulag no more a dream. For some time, we were stuck on those waiting games for the stars to align and make this long overdue Pulag climb happen.

Months swiftly passed since the planning stage and the next thing we knew, we were finally climbing those very trails of that magical moss of a forest garden of floral blooms and green lush of pine trees across that sea of northern Pulag clouds. The climb per se was an easy feat as the trails were pretty clear and downright easy to recognize. But the catch – it’s unseasonably cold, with the subtle brisk of crisp air turning into a brisk wet wind swirling down on us and the trails.

While occasionally gracing ourselves with some stops along the way to catch some breath, the temperature was further dropping as well. In between the biting cold, far ahead of us were those towering pines and woods, merging into the green distance on the slopes as if it goes on forever. Then the next thing happened; the microclimate spoke of rain showers, and true enough we had sporadic rain showers. But we continued walking those moderately slippery terrains hoping to soon reach our destination.

Soon it was time to stop as we set foot to where we were supposed to stay the night. We reached the designated camp site, luckily with the sun still up. We were able to take some photos before celebrating the climb with a sumptuous meal to end the day. In no time, tents were pinched, dinner’s served and we were more than good to go for the precious sleep. Soon it was dark, though my clock just read 17:30. And in no time I fell asleep and found that peace in all the world I badly needed.

Round Up: North Roads

For the past few days of good fortunes spending moments over those northern mountains were countless paths we’ve drove thus far. And while my heart was still at hype chasing each and every trail and highway, my pocket’s already running dry and the clock’s madly ticking like a bomb. Unfortunately, there came the time to finally move out, hit the road back home, face the real world at large, and make a little more money to feed fancy tours such as this. And as we jumped over that Baguio-bound Sagada bus few hours before the noontime, I could have once again imagined those roads I needed to pave just to be that far.

Talk about those butt-numbing – 5-hour roadtrip from Los Baños Laguna to Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, 4-hour ride to Solano Nueva Vizcaya3-hour journey to Banaue2-hour stint to Bontoc, and 1-hour topload trudge to no less than that place called Sagada.

And just as planned, the rosary trail I dreamed was realized. From there we crossed the deathly roads of Halsema, the winding roads of La Union, Pangasinan and Pampanga, the busy streets to Manila, and finally at home to Los Baños Laguna. 

We always want our hard work to mean something. And with this, I’m sure I did not fail.


Northern Trip Retrospects

The long ride along the deadly Halsema Highway from Sagada to Baguio City is an adventure in and on itself -- the teeming moss, ferns, and pines along the quiet mountainsides, the rice terraces down the sidelines, the interesting faces of men and women basking under the wide open skies, add the fact that somewhere along the way, comes Philippine Pali, the highest point of the road somewhere in Cattubo, Atok Benguet. The trip was a freezing one with cool breeze with fogs tempting to be felt, smell and even taste, almost blanketing the roads to null at some bends of the way.

As it gets to the afternoons during the ride, more and more concrete infrastructures appear along the roads signaling that Baguio was already somewhere near. And a little more than an hour, we dropped to the busy streets of the esteemed summer capital and walked to the crowdedly abused Burnham Park. Some more strolls around the raped park with heavily lined up food stalls, we decided to finally leave the mountains and descend to the plains as soon as darkness crept in. We hopped on a bus bound to Dagupan but decided to drop off to San Fabian to beach the night.

Two swift hours later and we’re finally there. For the longest time, I haven’t had my feet experience the sweetness of the sands and the salty touch of the South China Sea runs. So there, beach please. I went for a night swimming (or wading) despite the raging waves in the middle of the rusty dark. Not long after, just wrapped things off to call it a night.

The next day, it was time for another goodbye to push through with the next stride. Before leaving things down, the long stretch of the furious sea by the night has already calmed down, so might as well greet it along with the parsimonic sunrise. Unfortunately, there was nothing spectacular about the place, more than as the usual thriving place for people living around, contrast to what I remember about it during my childhood times. The place used to be a paradise to me, but sadly, it seemed to lose its charm in more than ways I expected it to be. Other than the fine black sand it still has, all the good things it has, are already gone.

The next stop was no less than the Dagupan City which is famously known to be the home of the best bangus. And why not, bangus for breakfast.

After the quick dine, we’re fast-paced off to the next stop – Lingayen, Pangasinan. As usual, the bantering Capitol was always pleasing to the eyes. Well it’s not awarded as the best provincial capitol for nothing. Few steps away from it comes the history-telling park/complex, as the gulf was a main vantage site during the Second World War.

Fret not, you don’t need to take too much time from that stop since a little more further will give you this much-more thrilling scene:

Also planned to have another side trip to Calasiao, and eventually to my hometown, but time (absent from work, anyone?) and cash (just have enough) weren’t on our side. So that concluded those 4 (or 5) days of having a taste of a portion of paradise up north. Another long ride to Metro Manila and further down to Laguna, we just arrived right on time.

PS. oh North, I sorely miss you right now.


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