March 2013 - Mt. Malipunyo, (Mt. Malarayat), Laguna and Batangas
Leslie, Rachel and I were already onboard a bus to Lipa, Batangas at around 6 am. We arrived at SM Lipa at 8 am and waited for our other friend, Shazer with his wife, Mikaela, Shazer's sister, Persha and her boyfriend. We took a tricycle to Brgy. Talisay and in 30 minutes, we were already at the jump-off. After we registered, we started trekking at around 9:30 am.
|Puddle of mud along the trail|
Our chaperon for the day was Kuya Mario, the best known Malipunyo guide! He had some stories to tell while we passed through the forest, muddy trails, river boulders and then Ilog de Lobo. We rested at this spot for a few minutes.
|Climbing huge and slippery rock boulders|
Kuya Mario led us to the falls to reach the "Nakamputa" trail, as what they call it, lol. He explained it was the trail the legendary trail master Sky Biscocho took to climb the mountain. When we were already passing through along that trail, we understood why it was called like a f*cking trail, HAHAHA! One wrong move on that trail and you'll meet your savior. We also had to rappel and hold on to tree vines like Tarzan at times. After an hour, we felt so relieved when reached Peak 1.
|Peak 1 with the company|
After chilling in the area for a couple of minutes we continued to reach Peak 2. And then, our the calvary started... RAIIIN! We didn't expect to have an extreme dayhike, however, when climbing a mountain, you have to expect the unexpected. There was a heavy downpour of rain and we were all soaked and wet. In my mind, it will be really challenging from this point forward for all us and intense for our hiking newbie friend, Leslie. Sudden change of plans were made because we planned to do a traverse but decided not to. We might not be able to reach the exit point on time before night falls. We did not have headlamps and we only had 2 flashlights at that time. We finally charged our way up to the summit and at exactly 12 noon, we reached Peak 3.
|Overcast at Peak 3|
Fortunately, there was a clearing at the summit! We had our lunch there, relaxed and stayed there for a long while. Leslie was very very exhausted and was getting worried about our descent. But we managed to have the power back.
|All wet and tired at the summit|
We started the back trail at around 2:30 pm and due to the heavy rains, the trail was muddy, slippery and slowed down our pacing on our descent. We all got our muddy moments slipping down the trail. I almost fell off if not for that big tree roots I was holding on to my dear life. I was the head trail but Kuya Mario was directly assisting Leslie in mid-trail, most of the time but he hurriedly came to my rescue and made sure that we were all safe. Leslie was almost teary-eyed by cause of exhaustion. Our tortoise-like descent continued until pass six and darkness started to cover the skies. Good thing, we were approximately an hour away from the jump-off. However, it was still very difficult to tread on the road and stumble on rocks. I went on without the flashlight and reached the jump-off at 7:30 pm. We were very, very, very tired when we got to Kuya Mario's house. When I finished cleaning up and was waiting for everyone else and the food they were preparing for dinner, I fainted. Everything went black and for a few minutes I did not feel anything. But I knew that Rachel was trying to wake me up and then they put me on a chair. When I opened my eyes, my head still felt spinning and Rachel had a sunflower oil and a bowl of soup. It happened to be that I was starving and got dehydrated because we were in a hurry and did not stop to drink or eat anything. Rachel was a nurse and made sure I was okay at the moment. We fell asleep on the bus heading Manila.