Mt. Ayaas + Mt. Sipit Ulang Day Hike

#yagitChronicles

These two mountains – Ayaas and Sipit Ulang are just one of the few hiking destinations for nature lovers, adventurers, beginner and intermediate hikers and “hugot” aficionados.

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Blades of gold and green  Tall Cogon/Kunai grass coats the top of the mountain. Their blades dance with the wind under the bright sun; a fine weather when we got there.

Its proximity to the metro makes it a good candidate for a twin day hike and its very established trail makes it very popular for both intermediate and new hikers.

Classification by Pinoy Mountaineer (Mt. Ayaaas):
Minor climb
Difficulty: 3/9
Trail Class: 1-3

Classification by Pinoy Mountaineer (Mt. Sipit Ulang):
Minor climb
Difficulty: 3/9
Trail Class: 1-4

Budget : <1,400 Php per head (Group of two)

Itinerary: 

4:30am   Meetup Farmers, Cubao (beside Jollibee)
4:45am   ETD UV Terminal to Eastwood, Rizal (Alight at Total Gas Station)
5:20am   ETA Eastwood, Rizal, (Ride Tricycle to Brgy Mascap)

Just across the street where you alight , you will see a queue of tricycle waiting for passengers tell the driver you are going to Brgy. Mascap.

Tricycle fare is 150 pesos (one way).

5:45am    Arrival at Brgy. Mascap Brgy. Hall (Register)

5:56am    Start Hike to Mt. Ayaas

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Trail to Mt Ayaas is mostly “leg works”. You’ll rarely use your arms and hands except for holding on to some woody vines or small trees for balance.

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Few shots along the way: A speck of red on a sea of blue and green, still stood out among the three.

Along the way to Mt. Ayaas summit, you will pass by series of banana plantations. Other crops are also planted along the way.

7:35am    Mt. Ayaas Summit

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If there’s one thing I like best about Mt. Ayaas, it’s got to be the Summit and the trail near the summit.

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Another hiker pose for a picture #stolen

Wide portion of the mountain is blanketed with tall grass and when you arrive at the summit, scenic view awaits. there are very few trees at the summit so you can see the rest of the neighboring mountains like Mt. Hapunang Banoi and Mt. Pamitinan.

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Few shots along the way : Cogon grass everywhere!

The metro is also visible from the top with all the towering buildings which really looks so tiny when viewed from afar. One thing I don’t like in the view is the haze of the metro – this gray blanket of smog covering the city. So I suggest you focus on the “greener” side where mountain ranges extends like chains of interconnected summits as far as the eye could see.

8:00am   Start descent
8:55am    Arrive at Brgy. Proper (have some rest and snacks at Sari Sari Store)
9:05am    Start trek to Mt. Sipit Ulang
9:10am     Jump off Mt. Sipit Ulang
9:30am    Traverse “Super Trail” limestones ( take some pictures along the way)

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Makeshift footbridge along “Super trail”

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Braving the perilous way to this pointed slab of limestone, we gathered our courage to get to this spot.  “Emo mode”

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Braving the perilous way to this pointed slab of limestone, we gathered our courage to get to this spot. “Emo mode”

10:10am   Rest, buy snacks from Aleng nag titinda (Yup, May Tindahan, mahal though. Pero tandaan walang mahal sa taong uhaw. )

10:21am   Arrival at summit, Buy snacks (Again!), Queue starts

Chill under the tree near the summit
Picture taking at the summit
Picture taking at the “summit of the summit”

There’s quite a lot of hikers already when we arrived in the summit. Well not much. Problem here is every group is allotted at least 15 minutes for picture taking. Imagine this, We are 6th in line so 15 minutes x 6 do the math. That’s how long we waited just to have climb the summit.

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The kunyare nahihirapan faces (pero di nga mahirap talaga mga tsong tatalas ng bato!) Mas matalas pa sa dila ng kapitbahay mo. De jk lang!(No room for hate here)

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Finally! Almost in the “summit of the summit” part .

Good thing there’s a lot of shade in the waiting area. Not just shade. Some good samartan built a long wooden bamboo chair in a tree nearby. So chill you must. Habang nag hihintay..

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Hogging all the space, this monster took all the chair for himself. Kidding! I found a good place too. ( we call him the monster of code review because he always see bugs in your code then makes you revise your scripts. Geez! )

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At the summit of the summit. They call it the “Sipit”.

When viewed from afar, the summit looks like a crab’s pincer thus the name “Spit Ulang”.

Take extra care if you want to try climbing the “sipit” there’s very few foothold and the rock is realy sharp. So careful.

11:45am   Start descent

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A good place to rest. Cool and shady.

12:05pm  Back to jump off

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Photos along the way:  Some hikers stacked up some rocks along the river side.

Pay guide fee ( 500 pesos for each Mountain)
Lunch
12:55pm  Brgy Mascap departure via Tricycle
1:25pm    UV to Cubao
2:40pm   Arrive at Cubao

Expenses:
FX from to Farmers to Eastwood and vice versa: 100
Guide fee: 1000
Tricycle from Eastwood to Brgy. Mascap and vice versa:300
Environmental Fee : 50

Total: 1450 per   person 

*minus the “maluhong” Jollibee prior to commute.  Eh masarap ang peach mango pie eh bakit ba

Doing a solo twin day hike here is quite expensive because minimum rate is 500 pesos per mountain so as much as possible hike by group so you will spend less.

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Exploring Jomalig Island

#yagitChronicles Jomalig Island is a paradise located at eastern most side of Quezon province. It’s been only a few years since the island rose to fame. Flocks of tourists both locals and for…

Source: Exploring Jomalig Island

Exploring Jomalig Island

#yagitChronicles

Jomalig Island is a paradise located at the eastern most side of Quezon province. It’s been only a few years since the island rose to fame. Flocks of tourists, both local and foreign, take the challenge of going in to this far flung Island of Quezon every year.

Sand types of Jomalig

To reach Jomalig, you have to brave huge waves and at least six hours of boat ride so you really have to pack with you a great amount of patience. This should not be a show stopper though because there’s always a reason why treasures are hard to find. And in fact, it is not just the destination that makes your travel more fun. It is also the commute that makes your trip extra memorable.

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Must try #1 Feeling sailor : On the deck of a 100-seater passenger boat from Real to Patnanungan. Huge waves constantly pound the hull which raises the boat’s bow a meter up.

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Must try #2 Feel the soft sand of Fish Sactuary: What awaits in Jomalig Island is far from a good trade to all those waiting hours trying to reach the Island

Jomalig island reminds me of Siquijor. You can explore the whole island within one day – pick a route left or right via habal-habal. You will not worry aabout getting lost.

Going around by habal-habal will cost you 600 pesos. This is the standard rate for a whole day (motorcycle plus driver).

When you hear Jomalig island, you’ll probably think of Banana Beach, a strip of  long beach with a big I *insert heart here* JOMALIG spelled-out. Most tourists never really tried exploring the whole island since they leave after staying a night or two in Banana Beach.

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Must try # 3 Mandatory photo with I LOVE JOMALIG: Banana Beach

Seeing only this portion of the island is like reading only the prologue or the front cover of a book.
There’s so much more to this island waiting to be discovered. We went around the whole island to see what Jomalig is really about and I was amazed how diverse this island is.
We have beaches of all kinds and colors! From white to gold, from fine to rocky-Jomalig has it all.
So without further ado. Here are the gems of Jomalig. (click the pictures to enlarge)

Golden Beach (Sitio Sadong, Brgy. Casuguran)
This is the golden beach of Jomalig. As the name suggests, its sand boasts of a beautiful golden hue.
Golden Sand Beach is located at Sitio Sadong, Brgy. Casuguran.  This part is not the best place to swim but is still worthy to visit. Check this out when you find yourself in Jomalig.

Fish Sactuary (Sitio Landing, Brgy. Talisoy)

There is an outpost in the elevated portion of this area where there is someone usually manning the place. Going down, there is a hidden beach and a cluster of big boulders which when you go on top can offer you a really nice view of the majestic place. Be careful when climbing these rocks though – because they are “slippery when wet”. Don’t forget to go down the beach. Sand on the shore is really amazing. Your weight makes your feet sink in the softness of the sand.

You can snorkel here. Watch out for small sharks – or so our guide said.


Lingayen Cove (Brgy. Casuguran)
There is also a hill you can hike. On top, you can see two coves. Locals call this place Magasawang bato. This one is one of my favorites! Here is the scenic view of the place.
Unlike other beaches in Jomalig, it is not within a particular sitio. It is till in Casuguran though. You can swim but you should not go too far. Waves are big, water is deep and the current is really strong.

Little Boracay (Deliza, Barangay Apad)
This one is the gem of all. Little Boracay has fine white sand and a swimmer friendly beach. The shore is lined with coconut trees which gives the place a nice tropical island feel. When we went to the Island, it is littered with sea weeds but this does not spoil the beauty of the beach. It’s still unbelievably breathtaking with all these sea grass everywhere. I wonder why there were lots of crows on the area.
In Little Boracay, you can easily notice two distinct colors – turquoise and deep blue. The turquoise color indicates the shallow portion while the deep blue the deeper part  so be mindful when you swim. When viewed from the shore the water is a really sweet sight – Turquoise and Deep blue.
Just 50 meters from where this picture was taken comes a nice surprise – cheap lobsters!  What else can you ask for? Great view coupled with cheap and delicious food… Im in heaven!
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A photo with the Habal Masters


Canaway Islet Sitio Pitisan, Brgy. Bukal
Canaway islet is perhaps the most interesting among this group of beaches. Unlike the other beaches mentioned, it does not have a deep portion where you can swim – unless you go a lot farther from the shore. However, it has the most interesting set of rock formations.
First one is the Pawikan (I call it Boulderbasaur).
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Must try #4 Ultimate pawikan experience: Jump shot on Boulderbasaur Pawikan Rock formation

Here are some pictures from Canaway Islet:
Guess where GOT got its inspiration for the Iron Throne? I can’t say for sure, but he look at this rock formation!
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Must try #5 try the Throne: During Low tide this rock formation as well as the Pawikan is accessible.


Sand Bars, Brgy. Gango (I repeat it is Gango not G*go. Careful la.)
Jomalig Island will not lose to those other islands that brag about sand bars. In Jomalig there are two long strips of sand bars depending on the time of the day. To see these sand bars you have to be there at around 1:30 or 2 in the afternoon.
It’s peaceful here. I actually slept while floating and found myself being carried away by the current (word of warning kids, don’t sleep int the waters!). This is just one of the sand bars in the area. There is another one just a hundred meters from this point.

When in Real
I will not post the complete itinerary since I would like to focus on what is on the island. Also the route that we had was not the usual option so there 🙂
You can leave a message or comment if you need help I’ll gladly answer your questions if I can. 🙂
From Real, we took a tricycle to Sony port.
Note: There are other ports in Real, but those who want to go to Jomalig, this is where you should go. Another port is  Ungos port, the main  fish port of Real. Passenger boats here are bigger but the route is from Real to Polilio and vice versa
In Sony Port we boarded a boat to Patnanungan Island. Fare is 300 pesos.
There is a passenger boat scheduled to depart every day at 11 30 am.
There is only one boat per day unless there is an occasion when many people come and go to Patnanungan. Plan your travel wisely so you’ll catch this boat.
Back when there are still no restrictions to cargo boats and small passenger boats, travelers board cargo boats to get to Jomalig. Usually boat fare to Jomalig via cargo vessels is 50 pesos per person. But when we went to Ungos port, coast guard was there for inspection and instructed us to ride a passenger boat to Patnanungan instead for safety reasons. This is only for our safety so we just went on with what was suggested by the coast guard. From Patnanungan we rented another boat to Jomalig.

Where to stay: 
Two choices: camp near banana beach or stay in resorts.
One resort in Jomalig Island which was operating for some time now is Tejada’s.
Some details: 
Room rate is 500 per night good for 2 persons
Hammock or tent rental is P150.00
If you have your own tent, you don’t have to pay for pitching.
Contact Person: 
Ate Joby
09282960103
You can order food in Tejada’s for only 100 pesos per person. Each meal is usually good for two.
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Must try # 6 food trip : Don’t miss this dish from Ate Joby! This is a must try! This is served with a big fish, drinks, and an ample serving of rice.

Must try #7 Chill : I happened to stay at the beach front at 9 am. It was a peaceful morning. You can feel the stillness of the island. Everything in this island is slow. The golden sand extends far from where I stood in the shore. The crashing waves of blue and white was a really nice contrast to the warm color of the sand. Silence of the island was occasionally broken by singing of birds, the rhythmic hammering of workers from a far and the creaking of the hinges of wells.
Photos below were not enhanced. No need for editing.

—-fin—

Credits to my co-island explorer Kristine who took some of the photos included above.

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Falls Hopping in Laguna Talay + Hidden + Hulugan + Aliw

EVERYBODY FALLS IN LINE #yagitchronicles Two of my officemates were on leave for a week and when I asked them what their travel plans are, both of them said “tambay lang sa bahay” (will…

Source: Falls Hopping in Laguna Talay + Hidden + Hulugan + Aliw