sightseeing the quote of the month (JULY 2016)

"See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security." - Ray Bradbury

5 Days Solo DIY Trip to Best White Sand Beaches near Panay Island

Malalison Island (Antique), Gigantes Island (Iloilo), Boracay Island (Aklan) and Carabao Island (Romblon)
July 07 to 12, 2016 

My 49th solo backpacking trip, 2nd local long travel after Babuyan Islands trip last May 2016 and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary from arrival to departure. Also, this was my 62nd (Antique) and 63rd (Romblon) provinces to visit on my quest to conquer the 81 provinces of the Philippines.

Panay Island is a triangular island in the Philippines located in the western part of the Visayas. It is about 160 kilometres across ranking the sixth largest of the islands in the country. It is divided into four provinces: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo, all in the Western Visayas Region. 

5 Days Solo DIY Trip to Best White Sand Beaches near Panay Island (Gigantes Island)

5 Days Solo DIY Trip to Best White Sand Beaches near Panay Island (route map)

Morning Trip to Taong Putik (Mud Men) Festival 2016

24-June-2016 Friday in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, Luzon, Philippines

"Pagsa-San Juan", known also as the Pista ng Taong Putik (Mud Men Festival), is a tradition conducted every 24th of June at Barangay Bibiclat, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. This festival is celebrated in honor of San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist). Devotees apply mud and cover their body with dried banana leaves as tribute on their origin, act of penance and a symbol of humility.

There is another popular tale which tells that Japanese soldiers were about to execute all the suspected guerrillas in the town of Bibiclat because they have killed 13 Japanese soldiers. The relatives of the suspects went to the church to pray. While praying, it rained hard and the Japanese stopped the squad to set the guerrillas free. The villagers danced in joy and played in the mud for being so thankful. Residents attributed this miracle to Saint John the Baptist and vowed to pay a feast day by wearing costumes patterned after his attire but by using native materials.

TAONG PUTIK FESTIVAL 2016 MORNING VISIT DAY-TRIP ITINERARY;
​24-June-2016 Friday
0030H ETD Home; transportation to Cubao 32
0130H ETA Five Star Bus Terminal 185
0345H ETA Cabanatuan; breakfast 82; tricycle to Brgy. Bibiclat, Aliaga 100; St. John The Baptist Church
0530H Mass 
0700H Procession
0800H walk to highway (2.5km); bus to Cabanatuan Terminal 27; breakfast at McDo 99
1030H ETD Cabanatuan 185
1400H ETA Cubao; transportation to Home 25
Budget Total: PhP 735

Morning Trip to Taong Putik Festival 2016 in Brgy. Bibiclat, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija

Afternoon Adventure to Masungi Georeserve

19-June-2016 Sunday from Antipolo to Tanay, Rizal Province, Philippines

Afternoon Adventure to Masungi Georeserve is the last part of our Rizal Province Day-Trip adventure and the highlight with a side trip which is the Morning Visit to Pinto Art Museum.

SOME POINTERS IN VISITING MASUNGI GEORESERVE;
1. It is highly recommended to visit this place with private vehicle as it is very hard to commute.
2. Book very early and must be in a group with 7 to 14 members.
3. Admission fee costs PhP1,400 with around 4 hours for the full-round visit.
4. Free 1li drinking water, use of backpack and binocular is provided during the trek and free snacks after.

How to Go to Masungi Georeserve;
Masungi Georeserve is accessed from Garden Cottages along Kilometer 45, Marcos Highway, Rizal, by the municipality of Baras’ boundary with Tanay. Garden Cottages is located at the right side of the Marcos Highway road after Foremost Farms and Palo Alto in Baras, Rizal, if coming from Metro Manila. Take note to only take Marcos Highway and avoid the Manila-East Road if coming from Metro Manila. The latter is a significantly longer route.

MASUNGI GEORESERVE WITH PINTO ART MUSEUM DIY DAY TRIP ITINERARY;
​19-June Sunday
0530H ETD Home; transportation to Shaw Boulevard 53
0700H ETA Greenfield Shaw Boulevard; hired UV Express for day trip 335
0730H ETD Shaw Boulevard
0900H Pinto Art Museum 200 (1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Subdivision near Ynares Center, Antipolo) 
1100H ETD Pinto Art Museum; Lunch 80
1230H ETA Masungi Georeserve 1,400 (Garden Cottages along Km 45, Marcos Highway, Tanay)
1330H Masungi Georeserve Trek Start
1730H Masungi Georeserve Trek End; free snacks 
1800H ETD Masungi Georeserve
1900H ETA Shaw Boulevard; dinner 95; bus going home 53
Total: PhP 2,216

Afternoon Adventure to Masungi Georeserve (Sapot)

Morning Visit to Pinto Art Museum

19-June-2016 Sunday from Antipolo to Tanay, Rizal Province, Philippines

Morning Visit to Pinto Art Museum is the first part of our Rizal Province Day-Trip adventure and a side trip to the major event which is the Afternoon Trek to Masungi Georeserve.

SOME POINTERS IN VISITING PINTO ART MUSEUM;
1. Admission fee costs PhP200, PWD for 180 and 100 for Students with valid ID.
2. Opens daily from 9am to 6pm except Mondays . 
3. Full-round visit can be done on average of 2 hours (advance booking is not required). 
4. Picture-taking for personal use only, no flash photography is allowed.

How to Go to Pinto Art Museum;
From LRT Line 2 Santolan Station, take a jeepney or UV Express bound for Antipolo, Tanay or Teresa. Get off at Ynares Center. Take tricycle and ask to drop at Grand Heights Subdivision (Pinto Art Museum is not famous yet to local drivers). Address is 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights, Antipolo. Phone 02-6971015 and email pintoartmuseum@yahoo.com

MASUNGI GEORESERVE WITH PINTO ART MUSEUM DIY DAY TRIP ITINERARY;
​19-June Sunday
0530H ETD Home; transportation to Shaw Boulevard 53
0700H ETA Greenfield Shaw Boulevard; hired UV Express for day trip 335
0730H ETD Shaw Boulevard
0900H Pinto Art Museum 200 (1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Subdivision near Ynares Center, Antipolo)
1100H ETD Pinto Art Museum; Lunch 80
1230H ETA Masungi Georeserve 1,400 (Garden Cottages along Km 45, Marcos Highway, Tanay)
1330H Masungi Georeserve Trek Start
1730H Masungi Georeserve Trek End; free snacks 
1800H ETD Masungi Georeserve
1900H ETA Shaw Boulevard; dinner 95; bus going home 53
Total: PhP 2,216

Morning Visit to Pinto Art Museum (The Pinto Academy)

Mt. Makiling (1,090masl) Traverse Day-Hike (Sto. Tomas to Los Baños)

12-June-2016 Sunday in Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

MT. MAKILING TRAVERSE GENERAL INFO:
Entry point: Sitio Jordan, Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas         Exit point: UP College of Forestry, Los Banos, Laguna
Elevations: Peak 1 (900masl), Peak 2 (1,090masl) and Peak 3 (1,020masl)
Hours / Days required: 5 to 8 hours (local guide is required)
Classification: major trek with difficulty level of 5/9 (roped segments)

Mt. Makiling Traverse Day-hike on wet season is my 2016's 2nd local major day-hike and my 2016's 6th local hike. This adventure is preceded by  Mt. Mariveles Range Traverse Extended Day-Hike just 2 weeks ago.

MY OBSERVATIONS DURING MT. MAKILING TRAVERSE DAY-HIKE;

(1) There are 60 stations marked through-out the course. 30 stations from DENR Station (Sto. Tomas) ascending to Mt. Makiling summit (1,090masl) then another 30 stations from this summit descending to Makiling Gate (Los Baños).
(2) Lunch time can be done in Station 15, Peak 3 (1,020masl) is in Station 18, Summit is in Station 30 and Agila Base is in Station 11.
(3) Roped segments became more challenging starting from Melka Ridge (Haring Bato) up to trail before the Station 18 (Peak 3). It's like rock rappeling and good thing it was still sunny during our ascent or else it will become more dangerous and slippery during rainy hours.
(4) Lots of "limatik" (leech-type) in rainforest area especially in Stations 15 and 30, and descend trail to Agila Base. I have encountered 5 "limatik" on my raincoat/hand which I finger-stroke immediately and 1 full blood-sucked on my right lower leg.
(5) I think there is an average of 8 hours to finish the entire traverse (60 stations) from Sto. Tomas to Los Baños. We did it by around 7.75hours with rain fell hard after we reached the summit; having a very muddy, very slippery, "limatik"-infested trail on descent to Station 1.
(6) Motorbike back ride (habal-habal) can be availed on descent from Station 11 (Agila Base) to Station 1 (Makiling Gate) at Php100 one-way, around 5km semi off-road. This will save you to trek 1.5hr with 10 stations to skip. Jeep is available too for group.
(7) There are only 2 bathroom (1 each for male/female, PhP20 fee) at the Station 1 Makiling Gate so be there as early as possible to avoid the very long queue.

Mt. Makiling (1,090masl) Traverse Day-Hike (Station 30 Peak 2 Summit) 
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