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Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Together with some friends, I took a bus to Baguio at around 11pm Friday night. 5-6 hours later, we set foot in Baguio City, met with the jeepney we rented to take us to Benguet Province so we can climb the 2nd highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Pulag.

Our jeepney

I enjoyed the view...

There were rivers,

The Ambuklao Dam,

lotsa mountains,

and just some of them rice terraces.

After about 2 hours of the roughest, dustiest roads (we looked like we had loose powder on our faces and our backpacks had turned to brown),

we reached the DENR office where we were required to register.

and watch a 15-minute video

on leaving no traces

We were also briefed on the history of Pulag, ongoing projects to sustain it, what to expect during the climb, do's and dont's, etc. After all that, we got back on our jeepney for another 2-hour ride, which was even bumpier.

We arrived at the ranger station, where we met with Lino, our guide.

Then we started our trek to Mt. Pulag. The mountain is divided in three parts. During the first part of the trek, you'll come across the pine forest, then the mossy forest and lastly, the grasslands (which I'll show pictures of later).

I don't know if this moss is really white or it turned white because of the cold.

Me and my friend, Aina, stopping to rest.

My mountaineer friend, Jun and our guide for the climb, Lino.

We finally reached Camp 1 and I was already soooo tired mainly because the backpack I brought with me was the biggest and heaviest I've ever had to bring to any climb. And maybe because I'm so out of shape.

It started to get cold after Camp 1 and so I wore my fleece jacket.

A couple more hours later and we finally reached Camp 2, where we will be spending the night.

So we pitched our tents,

and dropped our jaws at the always beautiful sunset

and did I mention that I owned the cutest gloves, ever?

It was soooo sooo cold! And I think that's still an understatement! I had on a pair of dri-fit leggings, warmers, trek pants, 2 pairs of my thickest socks, a shirt, a fleece jacket, a rain jacket, a pair of gloves, a bonnet, plus the hood of my jacket and I was still freezing. Smoke/fog would actually come out of my mouth as I talk. Moving around was very difficult and right after dinner, I confined myself inside the tent and fell asleep. But I didn't sleep very well, and neither did Aina and Gea, who I was sharing the tent with. We kept on moaning and shivering and I found myself waking up and sitting up a few times during the night just to feel my legs, to make sure they didn't suffer from frostbite (haha! paranoid!).

We woke up at around 3:30am and prepared for the assault to the summit. And yes, it still felt like I was trapped inside an icebox!

I kind of look like an exterminator, don't you think? Hehe!

Headlamps or flashlights were very much a must-have during the assault to the summit as it was still very, very dark. It was raining and we reached the summit 1.5hrs later. I was a little disappointed because we didn't see the sunrise. The sun was hiding behind the clouds plus the fog was really thick. But I did catch the sun, eventually.

It was only during the descent that we got to see and appreciate the scenery we passed going to the summit.

Mt. Pulag's grasslands

When we reached the campsite, we posed for some pictures.

When we got back to the ranger station, I was sooo relieved to change into dry clothes and my super comfy sandals

And I just passed out inside the jeepney.

Conquering Mt. Pulag was a truly wonderful experience. I'm so happy I did it! I finally did it!

Have a great week, everyone :)

about moi

Loves the beach, wishes she had more time and money to travel, recently got hooked to climbing mountains, reads anything she can get her hands on, frustrated writer, adores her 3-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tashi, constantly needs caffeine, wonders when she'll quit smoking, and will most likely die due to liver complications from drinking too much (if the cigarettes doesn't get to her lungs first). Can't live without accessories especially big, dangling earrings, shoe freak (aren't we all?), sucker for discovering hole-in-the-wall restaurants, will ingest anything spicy, enjoys giving and receiving massages, addicted to Friends, Sex and the City and CSI, goes gaga over kids, dreams of being alone with Jim Morrison and smoking a joint with Bob Marley. Would love to party with Gwen Stefani, shop with Patricia Field, write poetry with Maya Angelou and have Sting, Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain and Bono over for dinner.

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Platform Wedge Sandals by Michael Kors
Semiprecious chain earrings by Cynthia Dugan

Semiprecious chain earrings by Cynthia Dugan
Thump by Oakley (mp3 player and shades in one!)
Thump by Oakley (mp3 player and shades in 1!)

quotable quote

"Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds."
~William Shakespeare, Sonnet cxvi

in my book bag

I Know Why the Caged 

Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


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