Wednesday, January 23, 2013

conquering mt pulag part one

there were several adventure trips listed under Victory Liner and Travel Factor's partnership but it was an easy choice to pick Conquer Pulag. to see the grassland of Luzon's highest mountain would be enough reason why one should return. the sea of clouds was just a bonus.
a good rest from Manila to Baguio and a full meal breakfast at Sab-atan restaurant in Baguio  made us all set and ready for the trek. the trip from Baguio to Kabayan along the Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya road gave us the opportunity to meet fellow trekkers. on our group included three friends Chris, Bang and Vange, the Poco family with their friends, and Rhoel, editor of Choose Philippines.
all the way to DENR, where the orientation was conducted, weather was really good. when we reached the ranger station, fog started to cover the mountains with the drizzle that came with it. had our last pack check and a quick lunch before we started trekking. 
i brought with me Red Nook, my 45+10L Act Lite Deuter backpack. majority of the space was composed of a thick blanket, one big jacket, one hoodie, an earth pad plus the essential trekking gears and gadgets. brought a liter of water and extra liter for community water. tents were provided by Travel Factor.
i decided to do speed-trek or as one would call ratrat thus i joined the coordinators. along the trail i met fellow travel blogger Kara of Travel Up who trekked a day ahead of us and was already on her way back. almost the entire trail was muddy as rain poured the day before.
though Mt. Pulag is considered as the highest mountain in Luzon, Ambangeg trail is still considered as a minor climb. reason is the trail's jump-off altitude is already at 2,500MASL (estimate). so the trek from there to camp 2 is roughly just 200meters (estimate) and to the summit by 422meters (estimate). that's even lower than the trekking height of Gulugod Baboy (525meters) in Mabini Batangas.
trail slowly ascends with very minimal parts of assault which most trekkers might not even consider as assault. but because Mt. Pulag is already at high altitude, one would easily be exhausted even on an almost plain trail. note: high altitude begins at 2,400MASL.
we reached camp 2, the coordinators immediately set camp while there were already other groups at the site. rain started to pour so i settled down my bag and took a sleep. after an hour i woke up and it was still drizzling. my camera easily got moist by the cold took few shots and took a nap again.
after some time, i was awaken by the noise of a number of people which came from a nearby hill at the back of our tent. i noticed that the sky was now clear. people were actually rushing on that hill as a rainbow was formed. 
that was the closest rainbow that i have seen. it was just below the hill near camp 2. so near and small that one can actually go from end to end. for a certain time it actually looked like a welcome arc to trekkers who were still arriving. 
weather on that day was really erratic. few minutes after the clear sky, fog started to cover the camp site again. it was a great experience of being in Pulag on such condition. we were able to see its different facet.
among its most notable feature are its wide hilly grassland. what makes it even more unique were the dwarf bamboo which covers majority of the area. from afar, one would actually think that these were just cogon grass.
by around 5:00pm, the coordinators already served an early dinner. this was because the foggy environment would make the area darker in an hour. this was a really good move. everyone lined up and enjoyed eating camping style.
it was already approaching sunset, sky turned reddish. this added more drama to the place including the latrines on one end of the camp site, which instantly became a favorite subject as a silhouette.
night ended with a mini social activity joined by few guests as majority decided to stay on their tents as it was getting colder. slept by around 9:30pm. just on time for an early trek the next day.

morning trek to summit coming on the next post...

something cool:
on this trip, i was joined by Rhoel Fernandez, editor of Choose Philippines. he is among the people behind the successful campaign of ABS-CBN to support the Department of Tourism. it was his first time to trek Pulag and enjoyed the trek despite the challenges of trekking the muddy trails. among his most memorable experience is his trek to peak 2 and meeting other people on this trek.



upcoming Byaheng Victory Conquer Mt. Pulag trip:
Feb 9-10, 2013
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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

to luzon's highest point

opening the year with an adventure tandem with the country's most innovated adventure tour group Travel Factor and the efficient and reliable Victory Liner. this time to trek Luzon's highest peak Mt. Pulag on the coldest month. it's just three days before we leave and this has been one of my most anticipated trek this quarter.
returning to old trails doesn't matter much as the experience will always be something different. like last year, i started the year trekking Mt.Timbac Luzon's third highest point. so for 2013, this will be my travel kick-off for 2013.

what i look forward to:
- new friends on trail
- camping out at Luzon's highest summit
- the thrill of the trail 
- to celebrate my fifth year in travel blogging via eskapo

something new:
just last month, i noticed that Travel Factor has released an IOS app and i immediately downloaded it. the app will serve travelers to access tour packages and important information which includes Byaheng Victory trips. one can download it for free over Apple App Store. two thumbs up to Travel Factor!








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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