Sunday, November 2, 2014

Christmas in October #GiveLove

(TheBACKPACKERS #GiveLove in Ifugao 2014)

It was exactly a year ago when majority of TheBackpackers and some very close friends made one of the most heartwarming adventure of 2013 in Ifugao Province. In coordination with the KaEswela, they have spread happiness by giving school supplies and sports equipments to students throughout some schools located at the remote but beautiful Mt. Humalophop

Every aspect of it was memorable. From the preparation of donations to climbing Mt. Humalophop up until the distribution of the donations to the schools were definitely an event to remember in the hearts of all those who participated. 

Conducting an outreach program is not new with TheBackpackers. In fact, we conducted several outreach events spearheaded by different BP members such as BP Marion, BP Chons and BP Ivan. During that time we refer to it as an outreach but as time passed by it evolved into the term "GiveLove" meaning conducting an outreach. This GiveLove usually happens in the month of October.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mt. Mabilog, Bunga Falls and Underground Cemetery


(Hirit Sa Tag-Ulan)

It was supposed to be an overnight climb for TheBackpackers event in September but due to the recent typhoon “Mario” that struck the metro which caused fear and concern to the participants, we decided to cancel the overnight event and changed it to a dayhike event. Luckily, the event can be achieved in one day.

According to our President, BP Heinz, this was the first time in our almost four years of existence to conduct a dayhike event. I must say, although cheaper and convenient, I still prefer overnight event whenever I am with TheBackpackers and here is the story on why.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River

Return to the Mountains
(Unang Hirit sa Tag-Ulan)
It has been seven (7) months since TheBackpackers had their official climb and it was the induction climb at Mt. Damas last January 2014. From February to July, we have visited different provinces not to climb but to explore their well-known beaches. However, we all know that despite those beautiful beaches and relaxing experiences, we will still go back to our first love and that is the pain of ascending, the slippery and muddy trails, small crawling inserts, leg breaking descents…in short, we miss body pains!

But on a serious note, we will always go back because of the experiences, the breath-taking views, the different stories shared, meeting new people and most importantly, the people within TheBackpackers. This is our home, this is where it all started and this is where our family will always go back.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dampalitan Beach, Puting Buhangin & Kwebang Lampas and BORAWAN Island

The BACKPACKERS' Huling Hirit sa Tag-init 2014 BORAWAN ISLAND

By: Nickson Garcia

This may have been the longest summer series for The BACKPACKERS (aka BP) when as early as the month of February we started with our yearly "TheBackpackers  - Hirit Sa Tag-Init" series. 

On February, five (5) Backpackers and friends went to the beautiful Residencia De Riego, Sampaguita Beach in Anilao, Batangas where a supposed Tingloy Island escape turned out to be a weekend turnaround that resulted to a must read story. On March, BPs went on a series of cave expeditions in Biak na Bato National Park at San Miguel Bulacan and Nueva Ecija's Hidden Gem, the Minalungao National Park where we had a memorable socials courtesy of "JunJun moves" and "Jen's breakdance". Also in this month, six (6) BPs went on the long awaited Sagada, Mountain Province adventures. The month of April, featured the Season 2 of the much anticipated Survivor (Backpackers vs Loved Ones) and BP's Nickson and Isabel's legendary Mt. Guiting-Guiting Traverse in the Island of Romblon. And just last month of May, The Backpackers participated in a nationwide "Clean Up Drive" at Mt. Romelo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Episode 3: Their Legs Are Longer

Previously on Survivor Pangasinan:

The tribes were given a catalog where they had to choose two out of ten items as reward. Malabobo's Rexie and Resty wanted the Lucky Strike cigarettes so bad but Marion and Liz shut them down. Joyjoy grabbed victory for the Amorong Tribe when she won in a showdown against Resty of Malabobo. Amorong Tribe won bread & jam and cold Sprite. Rexie tried to recruit Resty in his alliance (with Leah and DeePee) but Resty's door seemed close for any negotiation. In the Immunity Challenge, poor performances from the Malabobo Tribe may have shifted the momentum in favor of Amorong. And once again, Joyjoy managed to grab a win for her tribe when she won against Chons in the fifth round of the challenge. Back at Malabobo Tribe, almost everyone was gunning for Leah except her three person alliance. But when Marion decided to give way, The Backpackers promised to stick together before ousting her. Marion became the second person voted out of the game. Fourteen are left. TWO PEOPLE will go home this episode.


The afternoon after Marion got voted out, the remaining Malabobo Tribe members were relieved. "I appreciate the fact that Marion gave way for us, and that she made us swear to look after each other in this game," mentioned Heinz.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Episode 2: Just One Stick of Lucky Strike

LAST WEEK on Survivor Pangasinan
Sixteen castaways were divided into two tribes, the Backpackers became the Malabobo Tribe and their Loved Ones became the Amorong Tribe. Amorong Tribe won the first Reward Challenge and a chance for individual immunity. Erwin of Amorong Tribe won immunity necklace and in a surprising twist, he won a second one for his Loved One, Rexie of Malabobo Tribe. These Immunity Necklaces can only be used in the first tribal council participated by their respective tribes. At Malabobo Tribe, Leah formed an alliance with DeePee and Rexie. Malabobo Tribe won the first Immunity Challenge making Amorong puzzle solvers Sheryl, Chino and Ryan vulnerable of being voted out first because of their weak performance in the challenge. Sheryl pitched in to the group to vote out the youngest people in the tribe first. The tribe seemed to follow Sheryl's lead, and in the first Tribal Council, JOSH SALTIVAN was ousted in a 5-3 vote against Joyjoy. He is the first person voted out of the game. Fifteen are left, who will be voted out next?


After Josh's exit, the Amorong tribe were called just outside the tribal council area for the season's second reward challenge. Joyjoy narrowly escaped tribal council. In an interview, she confessed, "I was very nervous when my name was mentioned at tribal council. It was a very scary feeling. I did not want to be the first one out. Luckily, it was Josh and not me."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Episode 1: I'm Gonna Beat My Wife

The sixteen castaways of SURVIVOR PANGASINAN: Backpackers vs Loved Ones


The BACKPACKERS version of Survivor is back! This time, the crew and contestants were taken more than 300 kilometers away from the metropolis: in the province known as the land of salt, where beautiful islands and countless majestic beaches can be found. PANGASINAN

Saturday, May 10, 2014


But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.” ~ Mitch Albom

by Ivan Ignacio

This week, we celebrate an important occassion and honor 
an important person in our lives - our Mothers!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Villa Balinmanok Private Beach

Want to spend your summer in an exclusive exquisite and beautiful paradise? The BACKPACKERS did when we went to Dasol, Pangasinan as part of our Hirit Sa Tag Init for 2014!


Dasol, Pangasinan is a third class municipality in Pangasinan. It is one of the numerous towns in the province blessed with magnificent beaches and islands. It is approximately a five to six hour drive from Manila.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mt. Guiting Guiting (Traverse) Part 2

(the descend from Mt. GUITING GUITING TRAVERSE climb)

            G2 399 woke up at around 6:00am. It was a rainy night but we felt blessed that it did not happened during our ascend. We have an hour to prepare because according to our itinerary, we should be starting by 7:00am. Due to last night’s hard rain, my trekking shorts were all wet and what was left with me is the one I wore during sleep. I know I would not be comfortable with it but I have no choice but to wear it. I also wore my raincoat for my leg protection. After a prayer, led by yours truly, our journey to descend Mt. Guiting Guiting (G2) began.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mt. Guiting Guiting (Traverse) Part 1

(the ascend to Mt. GUITING GUITING TRAVERSE climb)

This is Part 2 of the Holy Week (2014) in Sibuyan Island.

April 17, 2014 (Thursday), the day we’ve all been waiting for since December of last year. The day when we got the chance to conquer one or if not, the most difficult climb in our young mountaineering careers. The day wherein we knew that our body would be placed to the extreme limit. Almost everyone was nervous and at the same time excited. This is it! We’ve waited for this and we wanted this. This is our journey to Mt. GUITING GUITING (“G2”) TRAVERSE.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sibuyan Island, Romblon (Lambingan Falls and Cantingas River)



It was August of last year, when The BACKPACKERS had a climb at Mt. Pinagbanderahan wherein we had a guest mountaineering group called I.S.G. or the Integrated Solid Group, composed of Sean Roa, Mon Fajardo and Vic Del Rosario. It was a night of scary and at the same time, wacky socials that will never be forgotten. Again, they were our guest at the rainy Mt.Pico De Loro 2013 request climb. By that time, The BACKPACKERS already had a connection with them and their company.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

SAGADA: Sumaguing Cave Connection

An Enchanting Underground World
Sagada and the Lumiang - Sumaguing Cave Connection

By Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.

A light through the darkness
I have realized it long time ago, but this is the first time that I am putting it in writing. Certainly, it is an idea that is most welcome among groups that have higher level of adventure appetite, but I would like to convince everyone to try it at least once in his life!

The most common answer that you would get if you ask people what comes first in their minds when they heard of "summer" is "beach!" But if only they have felt how it's like submerging in its waters, how more refreshing the air that comes out from its mouth is, and how more exciting it is to explore, they will come to realize that summer does not only mean "beach". BUT, as I have mentioned earlier, only those who are more adventurous will be the ones to try it. I am referring to "SPELUNKING!"

So far, I was able to go spelunking with my Group in Bayukbok, Biak-Na-Bato, Cagnituan, and Pinagrealan. They all satisfied my craving for adventure. But to be underground for four hours, exploring these two enchanting caves in Sagada gave an experience that brought my love for caves to the highest level.

Read on and virtually join us, The BACKPACKERS, as we course through Lumiang - Sumaguing cave connection.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SAGADA: St. Mary's Church, Cemetery, Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins

Sagada and Its Treasures Within Reach
By Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.

Ivan, Ralph, Sheryl, Liz, Heinz, Angel and April

Still in the chartered van, we looked for George Guest House as soon as we reached Sagada. Our BP Lead Ivan was able to reserve its two (2) penthouse rooms weeks prior our travel; so the only thing that we needed to do was to re-confirm the rates and to know if we could stay in just one room on day two and onwards because it's big enough for 6-7 persons anyway. For our first night in there, couples (Ivan and Angel; and Ralph and Sheryl) took one room while Liz, April, and I occupied the other.
The four-story George Guest House

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Road to Sagada

Six BACKPACKERS signed up for the Sagada Summer Escape! Accompanied by our one and only beloved guest Sheryl Dalagan, we boarded the bus at Ohayami Station on Night One. We traveled together for thirteen hours - from Manila to the Great Cordilleras to discover the treasures of this town nestled approximately fifty thousand feet high. But before getting off to Sagada, we had the chance to pass by some interesting spots as well. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Call For Help


The BACKPACKERS are knocking on your kind hearts to help Ms. Shane Alberto who is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, stage 5. What makes it more sad is that Shane is fighting not only for her life but for the life of her second child. She is 6 months pregnant and her focus right now is the chance for her child to be born and see the world. The doctors told her that she needs to undergo daily dialysis. It's 3,000Php per session which her family admits they can't afford. Cutting it to at least 3 sessions per week and there can be a chance of saving the life of the baby inside her. 

Below is Shane's letter to The BACKPACKERS and to everyone who can help:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Minalungao National Park

Discovering Nueva Ecija's Best Kept Secret
by Ivan Ignacio


After visiting Biak Na Bato National Park in San Miguel, Bulacan, The BACKPACKERS and friends hopped inside our service en route to the province of Nueva Ecija. Everyone's curious on what to expect in our second destination: Minalungao National Park. Along the way, we picked up BACKPACKERS Isabel, Nick and York who were not able to make it early that day. Hey, the more the merrier!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pamitinan Cave, Mt. Pamitinan and Wawa Dam


It has been two months since my last climb and because I backed out at Mt. Damas last January, it made me more eager to climb mountain again. A week prior to 23rd of February, I together with some BPs planned to climb Mt. Pamitinan but due to some reasons, all of them backed out. On the morning of 23rd, I was inform by BP Isabel that she can’t make it and instead gave the number of Amber whom she informed about the planned climb. I immediately texted Amber and asked whether she is still interested to pursue the climb, in which she responded positively.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Biak Na Bato National Park

The BACKPACKERS and Friends 
Welcome Summer of 2014
by visiting two wonderful National Parks 
in Central Luzon!

First Stop: Biak Na Bato National Park, San Miguel, Bulacan

by Ivan Ignacio

March 1, 2014 - we say goodbye to the cold, windy and rainy months and start March with high hopes that we would finally get the summer party vibe started! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Residencia de Riego


There were so many things going on with the group during the first half of the month - birthday surprises and celebrations, basketball games and unlimited sessions in the metropolis. Despite these, we still managed to plan and execute an event for the love month - beachineering in Batangas.

Five BACKPACKERS went on this relaxing trip - 
Angel Cawaling, Anna Aujero, Marion Macapagal, Heinz Alvarez Jr and Ivan Laurence Ignacio

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mt. Damas

The BACKPACKERS started the year 2014 with a very memorable and challenging major climb in the province of Tarlac

We held a one-of-a-kind induction rite on top of the mountain where we officially welcomed new members to the BACKPACKERS family

by: Ivan Ignacio

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Anniversary Party 2013

Third Year Anniversary Party:
Elegance in Paradise

2013 is a year worth remembering for The BACKPACKERS. We maneuvered through several obstacles and overcame challenges as a group, and we made it through. We traveled to many places, conquered many summits and held memorable events all year round. Our anniversary is on December 11, 2013; but because of the pre-booked Bohol adventure, we had to move the celebration during the yuletide week. And on December 28, 2013, the paradise of Park, Rest and Dine Restaurant in Baras, Rizal witnessed the elegant transformation of The BACKPACKERS without our hiking apparels and backpacks in a night of fun, excitement and bonding.