Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bayukbok Cave Adventure

Sitio Madlum, Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan

Night Spelunking

"The adventure didnt stop after we finished climbing the 3 peaks of Bulacan. Since we are The Backpackers, we normally have some side trips after the main event (100 islands after Team Building in Pangasinan, Harbor View after Mt. Marami trek in Cavite,etc). But this time, it's a more challenging one. We did night spelunking, which according to our guides (Madlum Association), first time that will be experienced by their visitors/trekkers. We started the caving with Rappelling. And I have to admit, I really had a hard time finishing this task coz I really hate trusting my life with a piece of long & strong rope (remembering the rope in Toreng Bato in Pico de loro). Then we are welcomed by big spiders, sounds of snails (Gary), beautiful rock formations and stalactites. This is far more difficult than the first caving we had when we did the Men's Room. One wrong step and you'll die (or you'll be lucky enough if you will just break a bone). But seriously, for me this night spelunking is the most difficult among all the things we did for the entire two days." ~ Ralph Flores

Sunday, May 29, 2011

THREE PEAKS: Mt. Manalmon

San Miguel, Bulacan

Third Challenge: Acing Mt. Manalmon
By: Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr
A view taken from Mt. Manalmon's peak.
"Third peak is the nice and easy Mt. Manalmon. For me, this is the most beautiful among the three peaks that we conquered. This is actually my third time here in Mt. Manalmon." ~ Ivan Ignacio

As what has been mentioned previously, the descend from Mt. Bagong- Bali was manageable.  It was quite a long trek though, from the foot of Mt. Bagong- Bali to our first major stop before climbing Mt. Manalmon.- the river. And, we had to bear with another set of crossing-the-river phase.

THREE PEAKS: Mt. Bagong Bali

San Miguel, Bulacan

Second Challenge: Be Among the Firsts at Mt. Bagong- Bali
By: Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.

From left: CONTZ, YORK, Gwen, FRANK, Andie, Marion, HEINZ, Clue, Weng, ANGEL, IVAN, LIZ, RALPH, Alex [In CAPS: The Backpackers]

"As per the Madlum Association, we are the fourth team to conquer this mountain. Good job Backpackers!" ~ Ivan Ignacio, The Backpackers Lead 

It was a very challenging course for all of us. It started soon as we were completely off Mt. Gola's elevation and back to the relatively flat surface of the earth. A lot of crossing-the-river challenges, muddy, rocky, sloping, and sometimes dangerous trails. And all of those (?) in almost total darkness of the night! many got tripped, slid, and got soaked.


San Miguel, Bulacan

First Challenge: Traversing Mt. Gola
By: Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.

Team Backpackers and Friends

May 19, 2011 - The group met up and gathered at ES Transport Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City; when completed, boarded a bus bound for Cabanatuan. The travel from the terminal to Brgy. Kamias in San Miguel, Bulacan ate two hours of our Day One. Noontime was a pleasure seeing our nice guide again, Kuya Al (who was also our guide when we had our first Madlum adventure). And, good thing that a jeepney, which took us to the jump-off at Sitio Madlum of Brgy. Sibul, was already waiting for the group. It parked in front of an eatery where everybody bought his lunch meal.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Three Peaks Challenge

The Backpackers:
Contz Cirujales
Liz Honrade
Ivan Laurence Ignacio
Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.
Ralph Flores
York Advento
Frank Aguilar

Angel Cawaling
Marion Macapagal
Gwen Recalde
Weng Topasi
Clue Fajardo
Andie Yardan
Alex Santos

Mt. Gola > Mt. Bagong-Bali > Mt. Manalmon 
San Miguel, Bulacan

Survivors of The Three Peaks Challenge:  
The BACKPACKERS and Friends
By: Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.

From left (back row): YORK, CONTZ, Gwen, Clue, Weng, Andie, FRANK, and Marion; (front row) RALPH, LIZ, Angel, IVAN,  HEINZ, Alex
[In CAPS: The Backpackers]

The first time The Backpackers had a taste of true adventure as a team in Madlum (see our blog "Mt. Manalmon and the Big Five Madlum Adventure" posted Sunday, April 3, 2011) was on March 31 to April 1, 2011. We had a perfect blast back then so all of us agreed to bringing more Backpackers and friends to Madlum to experience what we had - mountain climbing, caving, swimming, Tyrolean traverse, and zip line.

Mt. Marami

Maragondon, Cavite
Jump-off point: Brgy. Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 4-6 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3

(Source: http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2007/09/mt-marami-405.html)

The Backpacker Couples:
Ivan Ignacio and Angel Cawaling
Ralph Flores and Liz Honrade

Celebrating Love: A Couples' Climb at Mt. Marami 
By: Ivan Ignacio

Couples Ivan and Angel, and Ralph and Liz at the peak of Mt. Marami

This double date idea started after our Mt. Pulag trip when we felt that the Cordillera trip was cut short and quick that we had to endure our city life again.

Liz wanted a challenging hike.
Ralph wanted a couples climb.
Angel wanted to travel.

...and I wanted to introduce them to the mountain that made me miserable back in 2009 (http://ivanoutdoor.blogspot.com/2010/11/mt-marami.html)... one of the most agonizing climbs I had in my whole mountain climbing career.