Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mt. Bungkol Baka

San Jose, Tarlac
Major jumpoff: Sitio San Pedro, Brgy. Iba, San Jose
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 3-4 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
(Source: http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2008/12/mt-bungkol-baka-551.html)


Angel Cawaling
Jovy Duremdes
Liz Honrade
Weng Topasi
Deepee Piano
Ivan Laurence Ignacio
Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.
Ralph Flores

Mamai Elejorde
Ghei Agoncillo
Jean Alvarado
Mon Sarmiento
Mau Mauleon
Paul Sarte
John Louie Baccay
Chester Dean Umali
Raymond Esto

"The Shoulderbaggers" in 
Cow's Hump
By: Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr

The group assembled at Victory Liner in Cubao, Quezon City and left Manila for San Jose, Tarlac at around nine in the morning. So far, this is The BP's climb with the biggest number of participants surpassing the Mt. Pulag Ultimate Summer Adventure in April of 2011.

The Journey Begins...

The group hired a jeepney which brought them to the major jump-off - Sitio San Pedro, Brgy. Iba in San Jose, Tarlac. The trail guide was accommodating enough. He allowed the group to have lunch under his roof and to wait for the rain to stop before starting the trek. As it rained, the trail became muddy and slippery.    

River crossings was part of the expedition to Bungkol Baka. The group also found several streams along the way with leeches everywhere.

At the Campsite...

It took almost six hours before the group had reached a surface which they made an emergency campsite. The slippery and muddy trail was a major factor why the group got behind the schedule. It was already dark when the tents were fixed by the boys while the girls worked hand in hand preparing dinner.

Because of the strenuous ascend, everybody preferred to sleep early and to rest that evening; looking forward to the assault to the summit on the next day. Socials was out-of-the-window.

Assault to the Summit...

The assault to the summit was enjoyable. Everybody enjoyed the climb to the grassy hill which led them to the summit.

 The Landscape...

Reaching the summit gave a proof - that Mt. Bungkol Baka has something to offer. The view was a real treat!

It was another successful climb for The BACKPACKERS, who were glad to have reached another summit with "The Shoulderbaggers".

Jean, Ivan, Ralph, Liz, Mamai, Dee Pee, TL Mong, Louie, Heinz, Mau, Mon, Paul, Angel, Jovy, Chester, Ghei, and Weng.

Notes from The BACKPACKERS Lead, Ivan Ignacio:

***My first Tarlac mountain.. I learned that there's a lot more! (mt. tangisan, mt. kawayan and the notorious MT. BINILAT!)

***For 2011, this is so far, the expedition with the most number of participants (17), bumping May's Mt. Pulag (16)

***Because this was our first, it was the first time, the Backpackers were off by 100Php in the budget computation (whew!)

***This is the first BP or Shoulder Baggers climb with NO SOCIALS! No alcoholic drink opened during the entire climb! We were dead tired at the six hour assault!

***By concensus this is so far, the hardest climb with the Shoulder Baggers, 5-6 hours trek to and from campsite... BP's hardest was the 11-hour descent trek in Mt. Arayat

***A lot of leech sightings!!! DeePee was bitten by two!

***Emergency camped when it was already dark, but we still managed to conquer the summit the next morning!

***This is the first mountain where I pitched Marcelino - the big tent! Pwedeng magparty sa loob!!! =D

***The verdant hills and mountains around were a spectacular sight!

***Thanks to Kuya Johnny and Kuya Ben (guide)

 Photos by: Jean and Mong, Ivan, and Paul 
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