Friday, February 22, 2013

hot air balloon 2013

here comes another weekend of everything that flies. i remember attending this event  three times years back. there's always something new and exciting to look forward to this annual event. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

mt pulag summit part two

woke up by my phone's alarm. set at 3:30am. i then checked with my tent mate Rhoel while i was preparing the gears for the trek. "i am staying" he replied. i was not surprised because who wouldn't want to stay and have a longer sleeping time with the temperature still at around 8C.
went out the tent and saw people starting to assemble. Travel Factor coordinators gave the final briefing and did head count. just minutes before we started trekking, i saw Rhoel coming out of the tent in full gear. he was joining us. 

it looked like we journeyed to middle earth. in almost total darkness, we only saw lights that formed the trail to Mt. Pulag's summit. trail was not steep but it was muddy and slippery. at some point, we had to signal the person following us which areas to avoid on the trail.

two hours of walk and stop as we had to make sure that others won't loose trail. the thrill of doing night treks might not allow one to take photos of the trail and won't see much of the view but it entails a different trekking experience. one that i would recommend when you're with a guide.
on the final ascend to summit, Pulag's infamous sea of clouds came into view. whether it appeared or not, the 360 panoramic view of the landscape from Luzon's highest point will always be the best reward for me. 
at times though, there will be just fog from any perspective but still the experience will be unforgettable. on this trek, we had a really good clearing with Mt. Timbak seen on one side along Halsema Highway. 
when people would ask why we love trekking despite the exhaustive treks and risky climbs, the view and the experience of reaching the summit will always be the top reason. the photos would only attest to a portion of the amazing view. it is definitely different to be there. 
but if it's just the view that one would be after when trekking, then one can easily be discouraged. mountains have unpredictable weather condition. but the camaraderie of being together and sleeping overnight on top of the mountain compensates the sometimes unprecedented experience.
it felt less tiring for everyone to trek back to the camp site since the sun revealed the large area of its amazing grassland and the other hills. in just an hour we reached the camp site just in time for breakfast.
my other favorite hilly summits would include Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Batangas, Mt. Tagapo in Talim island, Tinago hills in Calaguas island, Laur Hills in Nueva Vizcaya, Bugalon Hills in Pangasinan and Dingalan Hills in Aurora. 
photo above shows our posterity shot with Conquer Team Travel Factor and the last batch to descend.  

something interesting: 
coming from a father's desire to accomplish one of his bucket list. the Poco family and the some friends decided to trek Mt. Pulag through Byaheng Victory. 

the idea of trekking to Luzon's highest peak came from Tito Rolly's daughter Tricia Poco after their unforgettable trip in Coron Palawan. the entire clan went there and despite the bad weather, they had more time to bond.

from this trip, Tito Rolly appreciated God more after reaching the summit while Tita Anna considered her experience of going through it as the most memorable part of the trek. with a "just go" mind set.

Daughter Tricia and her husband Paolo would most of the time initiate the family's trip. 

Son Louie and his girlfriend Ann makes time to join the family's trip despite Louie's gigs. Louie is vocalist and bassist of the band Bloomfields. 

family friends who joined the Poco family includes Aya, Mia and Renan. 
also on the same jeepney were long time friends Chris, Bang and Vange. they used to work on the same company but they still get to travel once in a while to bond. 

on this trek, Chris and Vange considered reaching the summit as their best experience while Bang on the idea of going through it.

upcoming Byaheng Victory Conquer Mt. Pulag trip:
Mar 2-3, 2013
Mar 16-17, 2013
Apr 13-14, 2013
Apr 27-28, 2013
May 11-12, 2013
for details, check out Conquer Pulag trip packages

Byaheng Victory is a series of group adventures showcasing some of the most awe-inspiring North Luzon destination reached by Victory Liner, the Philippines' premiere bus transportation company.

Through a partnership with Travel Factor, the country's leading adventure travel company, Byaheng Victory brings to life trips that combine the excitement of exploring North Luzon treasures and the highest level of comfort and safety that comes with every Victory Liner bus ride. For the oncoming travel season (November - May), they will be doing tours to Mt. Pulag, Mt. Pinatubo, Sagada, Kalinga, Pangasinan and Zambales. They will also be doing special trips like food tours and Visita Iglesia in Pampanga.

this trip is sponsored by Travel Factor in collaboration with Victory Liner for Byaheng Victory. for more information you check out Byaheng Victory website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


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