The BACKPACKERS Adventures features the Group and its members' adventures - mountain climbing, traveling, nature tripping, random outdoor and backpacking activities, and even just touring around local cities. Our goal is to spread the word that the Philippines is a beautiful destination. Nonetheless, our travels abroad aim to help fellow Filipinos as they plan to visit foreign lands to enjoy and to experience different cultures.
It all started when six officemates decided to try a different weekend escape: Mountain Climbing. Initiated by Ivan who soon became the Lead of the group, he led the small climb party on an expedition to Mt. Pico de Loro. Everyone enjoyed the experience that they requested for another climb the following month, including their other officemates in the journey. The larger group conquered Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Batangas. Here, they vowed to do this once a month as an escape from their busy lives in the metropolis. The group of friends went on conquering summits after summits. Until BP Jovy requested for the group to have an official major climb. Mt. Arayat in Pampanga was the target. It was the traverse section that tested the physical, mental and emotional strength of the group. They got lost in the wilderness of the tricky mountain. Despite the struggle, it was in this major climb when their friendship, trust and mechanics as a group in the wilderness were tested. In turn, it solidified The BACKPACKERS as a group. This gave rise to The BACKPACKERS Pioneers: Liezl Keith Honrade, Contessa Cirujales, Jovy Duremdes, Franklin George "King" Aguilar, Henry "Heinz" Alvarez Jr., Ralph Flores, York Garette Advento, Dennis "DeePee" Piano and Ivan Laurence Ignacio. Despite triggering the enthusiasm at Mt. Pico de Loro on November 2010 and conquering their first major climb on March 2011, The BACKPACKERS celebrates their anniversary every 11th of December which was the Pioneer's first climb together.
The BACKPACKERS Pioneers continued their thirst for adventure conquering Madlum Park in Bulacan, Mt. Pulag in Benguet and Mt. Marami in Cavite. The first official open climb happened on May 19, 2011 during their Three Peaks Adventure. The group conquered three mountains and one cave in one weekend: Mts. Gola, Bagong Bali, Manalmon and Bayukbok Cave. They had seven guests, four of which became inducted in the group two months later. The group had a memorable Mt. Maculot experience when they got lost in its forest. They had their first emergency camp as a group along the slope of the mountain. But this incredibly made their bond stronger and their focus and resolve in the outdoors as a group better. As the quote says, Experience is always the best teacher. This unforgettable hike has since been dubbed as Mt. Macu-LOST. Six BACKPACKERS (Ivan, Ralph, Heinz and Angel, Weng and Mon who were guests then) came back after two weeks for the successful Mt. Maculot Resbak Climb. Realizing that they also triggered the mountaineering passion in some of the guests, The BACKPACKERS held the first ever induction climb on July 2011 in Mt. Tarak; a major climb in Mariveles, Bataan. The BACKPACKERS Batch Two was born and they were: Angelica Cawaling, Rowena "Weng" Topasi, Marion Erika Macapagal and Ma. Cristina "Clue" Fajardo.
The third season of The BACKPACKERS started with a bang with a trek to Mt. Bungkol Baka in Tarlac. There were nine guests who named themselves 'The Shoulderbaggers', a spin off of the group's name. Three of the 'Shoulderbaggers' leveled up and got inducted in the group several months/years later (Ghei, Mau and Mon). The biggest adventure of the year for the group was when they held the Northern Mindanao Adventure; exploring Camiguin; including a chilling climb to Mt. Hibok Hibok, Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. Their Whitewater River Rafting adventure in Cagayan de Oro became the number one adventure for the group that year. The following month, they conquered San Antonio's Big Five: Mt. Pundaquit, Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, Capones Island and Camara Island. The adventure with the most number of participants happened during their first ever Friendship Climb in Mt. Pico de Loro on November 2011 (a year after the Pioneers climbed it). There were twelve guests. Two of which (Bogs and Mon) were recognized as official members during this adventure and three (Anna, Chons and Percy) became official members in the next months. (This record was later beat by Mt. Banoi and then Mt. Humalophop) BP Marion spearheaded an outreach activity during the same month and they organized an outreach for the kids in an unfortunate area in Quezon City. It was called the Be Loved Give Love Project; the very first outreach activity of The BACKPACKERS. They celebrated their First Anniversary Party with a Masquerade theme. Aside from their beautiful gowns and handsome coats, they wore masks during the party. They had a Chirstmas climb-slash- muddy hike in Mt. Manabu in Batangas before their major climb the next month. They completed the hike to Mt. Cristobal via traverse section from Quezon to Laguna and welcomed new members to their growing family. The BACKPACKERS Batch Three were: Meriliza "Bogs" Hernandez, Felimon Sarmiento Jr., Chona Zosa and Percival Rivera. BP Chons became the first official BACKPACKER to not have a direct relationship or connection with the existing members.
The BACKPACKERS found their trusted adviser and dubbed godmother in the form of Mommy Emily Peralta who organized her birthday bash on January 2012 in Makiling Highlands Resort. The easy Mt. Balagbag was conquered the following month with a pajama party socials' theme. Summer became a busy month as there were several unofficial trips conquering waterfalls and ecoparks in Laguna. BP Heinz spearheaded a climb for the students of UPLB in Mt. Makiling with the other BP's assistance. The first BACKPACKERS Hirit Sa Tag Init series was formed during these summer months and they hiked Mt. Samat, enjoyed Puerto Galera and conquered three Benguet mountains: Mts. Sto Tomas, Cabuyao and Pulag. All guests in Mt. Samat became official BACKPACKERS inducted in Mt. Pulag. The BACKPACKERS Batch Four were: Annalyn Aujero, Desiree Eve Maano, April Kay Bedana and Christine Santos. Their grand induction climb venue, Mt. Pulag, ranked as the number 1 adventure of the group in 2012.
Season Five of The BACKPACKERS found the gang very busy despite the rainy months that cover it. Starting off with a Rewind Climb at Mt. Gulugod Baboy: the mother mountain of The Pioneers on June 2012. It was followed by minor climbs in Mt. Talamitam in July, Mt. Sembrano in August, Mt. Banoi in September and Mt. Tagapo in October. Mt. Banoi became the adventure that year with the most number of participants: 13 BPs and 12 guests. (Four of these guests became official members several months later) It is also where they had their first foreign guest: Ignacio aka Nacho. BPs Weng, Angel and Mon became organizers of unofficial trips in Mts. Balagbag and Manalmon, opening the outdoors to the other people who wish to try it. The farthest trip that year happened in October when the group wandered through the beautiful islands, caves and beaches of Leyte and Southern Leyte. Two outreach activities were held in our We Care, We Share project spearheaded by BP Chons and Be Loved, Give Love Season 2 spearheaded by BP Marion. Finally, we inducted five individuals who shared the same passion in our major climb in Mt. Tapulao in Zambales. The BACKPACKERS Batch Five were: Bianca "Alexi" Sy Ceyson, Gi-Anne Marie "Ghei" Agoncillo, Resty Ritualo, Mark Nickson Garcia and Gerald Ternola. BP Alexi became the very first website follower who became an official BACKPACKER. Due to conflict of interest, Gerald became the first person that the group had to let go.
Season six opened with The BACKPACKERS participating in PLUS' (Propelled by Learning via Unbridled Synergy) ABC+ benefit gig. BPs Tin, Weng, DeePee, Ghei, Chons and Marion the performers who represented the group. December of 2012 when they held their second anniversary in Ascott Hotel with a Wild, Wild West theme. BP Liz was awarded as The BP of the Year, succeeding BP Ivan who was BPOTY 2011. A year ender climb in Mt. Batulao in December was complemented by a year opener climb in Mt. Daguldol in January. The group had its official redemption climb in Mt. Maculot on February. It was the same month when they also conquered Philippines' highest mountain: Mt. Apo via Kapatagan - Kidapawan traverse. This stint to the grandfather of all mountains in our country became the top adventure of the group for 2013. The Hirit sa Tag Init 2012 started with a nice climb in Mt. Humarap in Laguna. It was then followed by a memorable major climb via Mt. Ugo traverse where the group welcomed three people to their family. The BACKPACKERS Batch Six were: Ray Mhar "Mau" Mauleon, Reggie "Kenji" Revoltiado and Wilson Albert Galapon. It was during this induction when we also started giving love to the small communities in the mountains. Partnering with KaEskwela and National Bookstore, we gave supplies to the children of Domolpos Elementary School in a quaint community in Itogon, Benguet.
The longest season perhaps was season seven which started with the group's incredible version of the popular reality show: Survivor in Survivor Zambales: Backpackers vs Guests. A guest, Yna Kaisan "Kaye" Bulaon, won the game but everyone walked away as winners with this once in a lifetime adventure. Two castaways who played for the Guest Tribe became official BACKPACKERS several months after. The group welcomed the rainy season with their Mt. Tangisan climb in Batangas. In July 2013, they gave love to even greater heights in their Mt. Humalophop climb and outreach in Hingyon, Ifugao. They were the very first mountaineers to visit this beautiful mountain. BP writers Marion, Heinz and Ivan joined in the Bloggers' Conference of international star Apl.de.Ap. It was followed by several more adventures: Mt. Pinagbanderahan in Quezon, Mt. Pico de Loro in Cavite and Mt. Balagbag in Rizal. Four BACKPACKER girls Liz, Jovy, Marion and Ghei explored the heart of the Philippines: Marinduque. This was followed by three more faraway destinations: Cebu and Leyte during the ocular for the typhoon Yolanda victims, Leyte in our Project Albuera and Bohol tour and beachineering in December. The Albuera, Leyte Project became the longest, most stressful but most successful outreach activity that The BACKPACKERS had organized. Tapping several big corporations and organizations, they were able to move a mountain of donations for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. To celebrate the very fruitful and overwhelming year, the beautiful women and handsome men of the group gathered in a night of Elegance in Paradise during the third year anniversary of the group in Baras, Rizal. This was the first anniversary party held outside Metro Manila. BP Heinz succeeded BP Liz as he became the BPOTY 2013. January of 2013 when the group finally welcomed four new additions to the family in a major climb in Mt. Damas. The BACKPACKERS Batch Seven were: Leah Nogoy, Ma. Isabel Fonte, Rexie Vergara and Onireves "Gino" Trinidad. They were the most active regular guests of the group during this season.
The BACKPACKERS has been to a lot of places and has introduced some of Philippines' most exciting and wonderful destinations. From breathtaking mountains, magnificent beaches, amazing nature trips, and even just touring around local cities. In a sense, the group has been through a lot as well. But one thing is for sure, The BACKPACKERS will never stop exploring as they continuously build lasting friendships and beautiful memories together.