Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventures (Part 2)


Click here to read Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventures (Part 1).

So I was able to cross the little patch of water and was soon climbing up the rocky trail towards the top of the hill. K, who was barefoot cuz he thought he’d just go walking along the beach with Gerald and Troy, was walking so slowly cuz most of the stones were sharp-edged.

Halfway up, I looked up and was rewarded with this view:

Uphill, though, the view was most breathtaking.


At the other side of the hill, there’s another beach much like the cove. There seem to be no activity there, though. There was actually no one in sight.

When I asked around, I learned that it is so rocky on that part that boatmen find it hard to go there.

After about half an hour, K and I decided to head back. But we couldn’t help but stop by the cove again for some more photos.


Back at the camp, we were divided into groups. I was put in the group in-charge of cooking together with K, Gerald, and Judylyn. We never cooked, though. We just washed the fishes and pork (okay, they washed it, I just pumped the deep-well thing).

I have never been much a fan of eating so I won’t elaborate on the food. But really, there was so much food. So much, at least, for the 200-peso contribution I gave which included 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner.

After lunch, I killed time at the swing facing the beach. Almost beside me were these boatmen waiting for their passengers to go home.

Most of us slept the afternoon off. But I guess I overslept. I almost missed the sunset!

Here’s my little video of the Anawangin sunset using my Kodak ZX1:

Everyone spent the night drinking aside from me and the other applicant named Ervic. A little before midnight, they started the deliberation. I wanted to watch but the other guest was told not to watch so I didn’t push my luck anymore.

The deliberation finished a little before 3 AM and I was able to sleep around 4 AM, reason why I missed the sunrise.

More time to kill Sunday morning. I tried to go to the little beach at the right side of the cove but the rocks were so slippery and the waves so strong. The boatman I talked to said I should’ve done that a little earlier when it was low tide. But, oh well, I overslept so I missed the low tide.

This souvenir vendor passed by while I was on the swing (again).

I bought this bracelet for 50 pesos. And look, I was darker than the vendor.

It was kinda disappointing when they said we wouldn’t be having a side trip to the Capones Island anymore, just like what was stated in the itinerary. Sayang. I knew it would be long before I could go back there again. And it’s really sayang cuz I saved a lot on this trip by going with the Stallions. When I was planning an Anawangin trip, my original budget was 3,000 pesos, most of which goes to renting a boat. But going with the Stallions had me shell out only (believe it or not) 900 pesos.

After much eating, we left Anawangin for Pundaquit on a pumpboat at around 3:30 PM.

Here’s me with the Stallions applicants:

With the entire group minus 2 (Euflin and Ma’am Mimay):

After about 30 minutes or so, we arrived at the little fishing village of Pundaquit.

From there, we took a tricycle ride back to San Antonio Municipal Hall, then another Victory Liner ride back to Manila. It was almost midnight when I arrived home to the happy barking of my dogs and my Nanay's pork sinigang.

As much as I like traveling, I also like the idea of going home to my loved ones who I know miss me when I'm out.


* Ride a Zambales-bound bus and ask to be dropped off in front of San Antonio Municipal Hall (Victory Liner student fare costs 202.00 as of 05Nov2010. And in case you’re wondering, I was with students so they thought I was one. My bad.)
* Hire a tricycle to take you to the jump-off (25.00 per head with 4 persons max or 100.00 if you wanna hire it for yourself.)
* Trek Mt. Pundaquit to go to Anawangin Cove or hire a pumpboat for a minimum of 1,200 pesos a day.

* There’s no fresh water in Anawangin and bottled water and soda prices are double than their regular prices.
* Toilets are not so nice and you have to fetch your own water from the hand pumps.
* No rooms so you have to bring your own tents if you wanna stay overnight.
* It can get boring. Bring your own entertainment in case your friends slept early or you woke up early and your friends overslept.

Don't Drink & Blog


Last Thursday, on my way to the cinema to watch Harry Potter, something at Penshoppe caught my eyes. It was near the entrance of the store and was staring right at me.

I couldn't resist.

Keno - Ohayou [Music Video]


Who misses Hunter X Hunter?



One of my goals is to climb Mt. Pulag via the Akiki trail. I know I need to prepare physically for that one. So it will be just a dream for now.

So even if I can't join the KPMS on this climb, I'm posting the poster below JSYK.

I'm sure, though, that even if I'm physically prepared, Nanay won't allow me on this one. December 23rd is already Christmas in our house.



I love animals. And although I'm not a devoted vegetarian as of the moment, I bleed seeing animals as young as these chicks colored, caged, and sold to kids who don't even know how to take care of them.

Some of them end up dead even before anyone care to buy them, and what happens to those bought by the kids, I'll never know. Lucky are those who go to loving hands.

Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventures (Part 1)


I've always wanted to go to Anawangin cuz I've always read and heard so many beautiful things about it. So when I learned that K's third training climb with the MLQU Stallions Outdoor Club would be Mt. Pundaquit with a 2-day stay at the Anawangin Cove, I immediately begged him to ask their president if I could guest-climb with them.

It was a short-notice, though. He informed me Wednesday night (Nov 3) that the club allowed me to go with them; assembly was 8 PM Friday (Nov 5). I immediately canceled my Balagbag Falls day trip with a friend that Saturday. But I couldn't cancel Princess' follow-up CBC that Friday.

And I crammed. The itinerary included a boat ride from Anawangin to Capones Island to Pundaquit on the way home, and I don't know how to swim!

So after bringing Princess to the vet Friday morning (and learning that her RBC's kinda high which might result into a stroke [God forbid]), I went to the mall to buy stuff including a whistle, soccer socks for compression (I over estimated the mountain, it is only 400 something MASL), a box of Ziploc, a headlamp, and a float vest. I know, I'm so paranoid.


It actually fit in my 40L Sandugo backpack with the earth pad, Lock & Locks, and these:

So K, Gerald, and I rode the PNR, which was my first PNR ride. It was SRO, but good enough.

Anyway, only a few of them were at the MLQU grounds when we arrived.

After several trips to 7-11 (I really can't stand waiting and doing nothing), we left MLQU around 10:30 PM for the Victory Liner terminal. All 20 of us had been reserved for the 11:05 PM bus bound for Zambales. It was cool that Victory Liner leaves on time. And it was so cold that I started having a cold halfway through the ride. What's more, most of our jackets were inside our rucksacks which were deposited at the baggage area under the bus. Foolish me, it was my first time to ride an aircon bus since I started traveling and keeping a sweater with me on bus rides had never been something to make a special note about.

But just the same, we arrived in San Antonio, Zambales in one piece (plus a cold for me). It was 3:00 AM. We then took a tricycle ride to the jump-off where we had an early breakfast, use of the bathroom, and a warm-up.

We started the hike at 4:30 AM. It was so dark that those without headlamps were made to walk in between those who had. So nice that I bought one. I actually didn't wanna experience ever again what happened to us in Pico de Loro.

Look! All sweaty in the wee hours of the morning.

It was a friendly trail, almost flat then moderately steep less than an hour into the Anawangin Saddle which is the midpoint of the traverse. It is also the summit, but to better say that you've been to Mt. Pundaquit's summit, you can trek up a little higher to the right to what seem to be a hill on top of the mountain.

It was 6:15 AM when we reached the saddle. It wasn't dark anymore but the sun was still hidden behind the mountains. The mountain is a grassland, and at that point, I could understand why the Stallions wanted a night climb. We would literally toast under the heat of the sun with no tree to give us shade if we climbed during the day.

We stopped at the saddle, taking a break and regrouping. From the jump-off, I was already part of the tail group, actually positioned at the very end of the tail that I wasn't pressured or anything to keep up with the pace. LoL! But then something happened to the leg of one of the members in the tail group making most of the members stop to wait up for him, therefore the applicants and the guests reached the saddle ahead of the members. The applicants should have been in the middle of the team leader's group and the tail group. But since someone was hurt, I was among the first few to reach the saddle. LoL!

And that's the Anawangin Beach low behind me.

After taking forever, we resumed the trek. Since it was a deliberation climb, the applicants were made to find their way from that point on. The members would leave trail marks along the way, which would test the applicants' skills to read the signs.

So we were divided into three groups again. The members would all take the lead, then the applicants (aside from K and another applicant named Eric) would follow trail after 30 minutes. Then the two guests (I included) with K and Eric (who looked like a high school student, btw), formed the tail group. And we were to leave the saddle 30 minutes after the middle group of applicants.

It was funny, though, that after only a few minutes of walking, we spotted the end of the middle group. So the four of us rested again to let the group ahead of us keep their distance.

It was the most relaxed time of the trek for me. First, it was a descent. As much as others say they hate descents because it hurts their knees or whatever, I love it even more than uphill trekking. Secondly, Eric and K were two of the most behaved applicants and we shared lighthearted talks while resting and walking.

At the foot of the mountain, we again found the other applicants just about to leave after taking a rest. K and Eric started teasing the group on how slow and weak they were. Then K, being the leader of the tail group, decided to take a different trail than the other group was taking. And then we started seeing trail signs. As it turned out, we took the right path to the beach.

After all the rests and stops, we arrived at Mansayon Beach Resort a little before 8:00 AM.

Don't let it fool you, though. Not because there's a so-called resort in the area doesn't mean they have all the amenities you have in mind. They have old-fashioned toilets (no flush), and deep well hand pumps the water of which smelled like kalawang so it's not really potable. They don't have cottages so you really have to bring your own tents if you're staying overnight. I was advised by K to bring my tent so I brought my 4-person dome which I realized was 9 years old already. I wasn't able to take any picture of it at Anawangin but it's the same tent I used at Kwebang Lampas.

When it rained at the camp Saturday night, though, I realized I needed to buy a new one. Water, though minimal and not really noticeable unless you're like me who keeps noticing the weirdest of things, can now seep at the seams.

But before it was night (sorry for the fast-forward), I immediately roamed around after settling. No one wanted to go with me cuz it was stifling hot so I walked around alone.

The cove has such a calming atmosphere that I could just stay there for hours and not get tired of the place. What's actually good about it aside from the natural beauty of the place is that there are minimal tourists around.

Thanks to the person who invented the digicam's timer, I was able to take pics of me even when I was roaming the place alone.

When I spotted the hill to the left of the beach, I knew it was where those amazing pics of Anawangin Cove were taken. I immediately headed to the direction of the hill but stopped and thought twice about crossing that little patch of water going towards the cove.

My reason for hesitating to cross the water? This:

Haha! And the stories that you can't really be too careful when swimming in Anawangin so you have to wear your float vest all the time. Okay, paranoia. But that's me.

I really had to go back to the little store selling overpriced sodas to ask the vendor if it's safe to cross the water on that side of the beach, blah, blah. They said it's safe but that I have to be careful on going up the hill.

On my way to the store, though, I saw K, Gerald, and Troy walking along the beach. I didn't know K followed me on my way back to the hill until I was about to cross the water.

It was waist deep (on my 5'3" height, btw) and the little fishes were ticklish despite the leggings I was wearing under my shorts.

Part 2 of my Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventure to follow.

Click here to read Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventure (Part 2).



Taken October 21, 2010 while waiting for a ride to my sister Leni's house with Angel. It was a busy day which started with a trip to the doctor for me, then an unplanned check-up for Angel. Then I paid BIR at Landbank; went with Angel to SSS; then a little shopping at MOA.

My sister's kids were already sleeping by the time we arrived for a little visit. Juansen was having a 39-degree fever. Jansen, though, woke up to eat the McDo burgers I brought them.

Asian Boy Wants To Be Female Pop Star


I love talented kids, especially those who know what they wanna be as early as 5 years old. Let's just hope, though, that no parent talked him into doing this just for popularity.

Now the dance-off:

Morning Princess


Good morning! Princess just had breakfast.

We're just happy to announce that she had been cleared of bacterial infection upon CBC last Friday at Animal House Alabang. Props to Dr. David Diwa!

Now all we need is to find an Elizabethan collar that would fit her and I can walk her any hour without her licking the street.

Both AH Alabang and Bicutan branches don't have one. Perhaps I should go to Cartimar again.

Traversing Mt. Maculot


Mt. Maculot is a favorite destination for new mountaineers. The Rockies, being the most popular point of Mt. Maculot attracts newbie climbers because of its friendly trail and friendlier height (706+ MASL).

The summit, though, is a little bit higher (830 MASL) and the difficulty depends on which trail you use. As for adventure-seeking newbies, my friend Danilo and I opted for the more difficult traverse by way of the grotto trail.

We set off last September 20, a Monday, leaving the house at 1 am for our much anticipated first climb together. This was his first mountain, and my second - the first being Mt. Romelo in Siniloan, Laguna.

We arrived at Cuenca a little past 5 am, starving. Good thing there was one open carinderia offering stuff to warm our tummies. So we had a big serving of Lomi for only 35 pesos each.

Asking the store-owner for directions to the local church, we reached St. Isidore Parish just when that morning's mass was about to end. Quite admirably, they hold daily masses there at 5:30 every morning. Only a few church-goers were present, though. But it's still admirable enough that they wake up that early just to attend mass.

We passed by this toll gate slash registration area for those wanting to climb.

When we asked for a guide, the Barangay Tanod told us to go to the store beside the Barangay Hall (of Barangay Tico) a lil farther from the gate. The store also serves as an alternate registration area for climbers.

The guide that the store-owner gave us, though, only wanted to bring us to The Rockies. He discouraged us to do a traverse saying that no one does that anymore and there's no more trail from the summit to The Rockies. Little did he know that we knew someone who did a traverse just a month earlier. After sensing that the guide wouldn’t really be convinced to go with us in a traverse, Danilo called his friend (who recently had a traverse). The friend told us to just hire a tricycle to bring us to the grotto jump-off, which we eventually learned was called Barangay Pinagkaisahan.

The locals at Barangay Pinagkaisahan were much friendlier, we didn’t even have to ask for guides. Sensing what we needed, they pointed us to the house where a kid named Denver lived. The kid was ever so ready to be our guide. He wouldn’t even tell us his fee, leaving it up to how much we wanted to give him.

At exactly 7:11 AM, we started walking towards the grotto trail.

The trail has concrete steps. I could just imagine how full these steps could get during the Lent.

But on most parts, the steps were almost made invisible by towering cogon. And it was so bad that I didn’t bring any arm band or leggings to protect my arms and legs.

The stations of the cross were empty but our guide said the locals put religious icons on those stations during Holy Week when lots of pilgrims hike up to the grotto as a form of physical sacrifice. Danilo and I were kinda fast, stopping only to take pics once in a while. At 8 AM, we were already at the grotto.

We took that moment to take more pics, and moreover, to rest. The grotto offers a good view of Cuenca, it was so hot, though, despite the fact that it’s not even mid-morning yet.

We decided to move on, after 25 minutes of rest, to our next destination – the summit.

The trail to the summit was steep enough that I refrain from looking back. I don’t have bathmophobia, it’s just that I knew I’d feel weak in the knees if I looked back down and it’s still a long climb.

Three times, the trail had to be aided by ropes because it was really steep. Good thing I packed light and left the heavy dome tent at home.

We reached the summit at exactly 9:57 AM. The summit, though, didn’t offer any view because it was surrounded with bushes.

This was me with Denver, our 13-year-old guide.

Moving on, we reached the nearby campsite where we had our lunch. It provided us with much needed “refill” and an hour of rest, plus a change of shirt.

At exactly 11:00 AM, we started walking towards The Rockies. The trail leading down was so forested we had to duck and go over tree branches.

But the sights were so cool I had never seen anything like these.

The heart:

Around 45 minutes later, we were rewarded with our first sight of The Rockies. It’s that part covered with clouds to the right of the pic.

Then we had to pass by the cogon trail and the grass was again taller than us. The trail was actually almost not there anymore. So that’s what the first guide we talked to at Brgy. Tico was saying. But our little guide seemed to really know where he’s going cuz no matter how thick the cogon was, we didn’t get lost.

At 12:00 noon, we were already at The Rockies camp site. Imagine the heat! And it was quite a dismay that trash (even though collected in one place) were just left there by previous campers as if a garbage truck would come passing by and get them.

Then we headed to see The Rockies. It was the middle of the day; scorching hot, the 1 liter I brought with me was almost gone. Good thing Danilo brought 2 liters and was kind enough to share.

We were having second thoughts on whether to climb the rock formation or not. It seemed so steep from afar and there seemed to be no trail. But since we were already there, I decided to give it a try. We just agreed that we shouldn’t force it if we felt like its beyond our capabilities. After all, there’re only the two of us and the kid guide. We couldn’t really risk it if it proved to be a very technical assault.

But then we were surprised to find out it was very easy. Steep it might be, but it’s a very friendly ascent. But being above The Rockies in the middle of a very sunny day was no fun. At one point, we started hearing something popping inside Danilo’s sack. He opened it and found out it was his mineral water bottle getting deformed due to extreme heat. So before we suffer from heat stroke, we decided to take quick pics and head back.

Now that’s supposed to be the Taal Volcano behind me. LoL! Really hard to take pics in the middle of a sunny day especially with point-and-shoot cameras.

Pics turn out to be either so bright or so dark.

We left The Rockies at 1:05 PM. Still many hours to kill but there’s nothing much left to do up there, aside from the fact that we almost don’t have water anymore.

One hour and 10 minutes was all it took for us to reach the first stop over – the U.W.A.C. (Unified Wanderers Adventurers Club).

Being a Monday, they don’t have anything to offer but colas and mineral water, not even the “Banana Ice” I have so many times read about on the interwebs. But we were able to wash-up for a fee of 15 pesos per pail of water, and eat the boiled eggs my mother woke up early to cook that day.

There were no one else at the stop-over and since it was still very early to hurry up, we took some time to rest our aching muscles. But since I’m a person who gets tired of a place (aside from my house) so easily especially when there’s nothing to do, I had to keep going 45 minutes later.

Now, this was the first time we saw this sign since we started the climb in Barangay Pinagkaisahan. Lovely road. I won’t call it quaint, but it’s definitely a very simple town. Sometimes, I can’t help but wish for a life this simple.

Anyway, we reached Cuenca town 3:25 PM where we took a jeepney ride to Lipa. By 4:15 PM, we were already eating as much as our tummies could take at Jollibee Lipa. It was a tiring day after all, and even fast food tasted like heaven.

Bus to Alabang left at 5 PM and we literally slept all throughout the 2-hour ride. I was home by 8 PM. It was by far the earliest I went home after a day-hike.


* Ride a bus to Lipa (Php77.00 from Alabang)

* Take a Cuenca-bound jeep (Php23.00) and asked to be dropped at the town proper

* Walk or take trike to the Barangay Outpost of Barangay Tico for registration Php10.00

* If you’re going to The Rockies and you need a guide, you can get one at the store near the Barangay Hall (the store also serves as an alternate registration); but if you’re going to the Grotto, go straight to Barangay Pinagkaisahan and go get your guide there.

* If you’re doing a traverse, better get a guide at Barangay Pinagkaisahan. From personal experience, no guide in Barangay Tico wants to do a traverse. Better yet, ask for the kid named Denver at Barangay Pinagkaisahan. The kid is initially shy, but becomes friendly after a while. We gave him Php600 for the traverse.

* Don’t forget to bring extra food for the guide(s).

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