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April 15, 2017

Mt. Capistrano | A Beginner's Perspective

View from the top of Mt. Capistrano, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
If you are a beginner who landed on this post to find some idea if you can make it at the peak of Mt. Capistrano, I am answering you with a BIG "YES!" So don't doubt anymore and make up your mind to trek that wonderful mountain. I am  a beginner myself, an underweight and has a fear of heights. But I still made it in spite of me.


Together with my sister and my boyfriend, we hiked the said mountain on a Maundy Thursday. Our trip was made easy from Cagayan de Oro City to Malaybalay City because we joined a packaged tour courtesy of Vacation Pro for only Php 650. I know that we can have it cheap if we didn't avail of that packaged tour, but we preferred a hassle-free travel.

According to the itinerary, the hike should start at 6:30am. Due to some delays, we were late by 41 minutes! For me, it would have been better if we started on time.



The first obstacle which I thought was easy as walking around a park, was the climbing of the stairs. According to a blog I read, it has approximately 330 steps. Well, ascending on that number of steps was actually exhausting with this unexercised body of mine. My advice to everyone, don't hurry and reserve your energy.



Our second obstacle was the steep slope without concrete stairs but has a rope. It would be extra hard without that rope. Whoever thought of putting that, I must say that he's a hero. 😇

 

What I found scary and for me the real obstacle, was the climbing of a steeper slope without a rope! I was totally scared and I was doubting myself if I can make it. What gave me motivation to persevere were the people whom I met coming from the top. I saw old people, fat (no offense here) people, children and people who had no proper trekking attire, but still made it. And I was like, "You can definitely make it Jill!"

 

I was resting from time to time. If I had the chance to hold on to a sturdy tree, I would give myself a break and lean on it, then gather some courage to climb some more. There was a time that I felt like fainting. I drank some water and ate a chocolate. I guess it was the chocolate that helped me recover.

 

I admire my sister with this adventure. She surprised me of her bravery and endurance. If you already notice, I wasn't carrying a bag while she did! I spared myself from taking loads so that my energy won't be easily depleted. Yet my younger sister managed to carry one with some of my stuff in there, like my bottle of water and my 330 ml Gatorade.

 

It was easier to climb on rocks. When you reach this point, you have the right to worry less because it is safer to step on this. It wasn't also an exhausting part. Due to several number of people descending, we had to stop to let them pass. Thus, giving us time to rest. I like those people coming down. Some lent us their hand, pulling us so that we can climb. Others gave us words of motivation like, "You can do it!" and "You're almost there!"

 

When we were already surrounded by large rocks, I knew that we were so near to the top. Real smiles were showing from my face. Yes, the previous ones were fake because deep inside I was nervous and shaking.

What a great relief when I arrived at the top! I felt so strong and brave! 

 

 

Of course, pictorial is a must, always! The disadvantage of too many people is that it's hard for you to take a wonderful shot. Also, if you wanted a spot, it was already occupied.

 

At the top, we were surprised of the presence of vendors. You can have a cup of noodles at the top of Mt. Capistrano! I asked a girl how much the fish cracker cost. She said P10. If you buy that at our store, it is only P6. Indeed, you can expect that the price is more expensive because of the double hauling cost.hehe Another advice, don't bring too much food because you won't consume it all anyway.

 

More pictorials after eating snacks and before going down. By the way, it took us 1 hour and 34 minutes to reach the top. Not bad for beginners, right? 😂😂😂

 

The descent took faster. It was scarier though. I used my two hands while going down, especially on those steeper slopes. Of course, using just your feet is possible. But I wasn't confident that I won't topple, so I imitated Spiderman, my favorite superhero. 😅😅😅

It was a wonderful experience. Even until now, I'm still overjoyed by the fact that I made it and was able to see a breathtaking view. I'm completely sure that this is not my last adventure with trekking. This is actually the beginning. I'm excited for more. 🤗🤗🤗


August 05, 2016

Bucas Grande Island Tour Part 1 of 3

I do believe that before exploring farther away from home, it is imperative of us to travel to a place nearer to where we reside. For one, it is cheaper and more accessible. Claver, Surigao del Norte is just a 6-hour land trip from Gingoog City. Hanggayabon Port in Claver is where you ride a pump boat going to Sohoton, Bucas Grande Island. When we travelled there, we left in Cagayan de Oro City around 11PM and arrived at the port around 5:30AM the next morning.

Actually, I only heard of Sohoton only this year. I told my sister of my plan of going to Surigao, specifically in Siargao one of this days. She then suggested to me of visiting to Sohoton. She even showed me a blog about a tour to Sohoton which peaked my interest of going there. It is easy to go to this place because as I said, it is near from where I live. I don't need to wait for a promo air fare since I don't have to ride an airplane. Me and my boyfriend have agreed that our way of celebrating our anniversary is to travel to new and beautiful places. And yes, I was the one who decided that we'd go to Surigao del Norte for our second anniversary. Since it was my wish that will be granted, I was the one who looked for a packaged tour going to the place; and gladly, I found a good one and I directly contacted the administrator.

Well, without so much blabbering, here's what we experienced of the tour. :)
It's a rare & beautiful view.



As we road a pump boat, going to our first destination, we were already being awed by the beauty of Bucas Grande Island. That peaceful sea which is surrounded by several green islets is spectacular view.

Our first stop was the Bolitas and Crystal Cave. It was my first time ever in my life to enter a cave. Even though I am not a fan of caves, there was this inside of me screaming, "Finally! Finally, I got to be in a cave after seeing them just in the television!" 
Taking a selfie before entering Bulitas Cave. :)

Before we entered, we payed Php50 for the entrance fee (it was excluded of our payment to the packaged tour). We were obliged to wear caps to secure safety and each one of us brought flashlights, which were provided by them.
Ready to go in.



We were lead by a lively teenager who had so much to say about the cave. It was so dark inside that flashlights were of help. I was amazed by the crystal-looking stalagmites and stalactites. Some of them form figures like dogs and other creatures. The guide told us to avoid touching the crystals so that they will keep on shining. Well, I'm not really sure but that was what I heard. Once you touched it, you won't see its sparks again. The crystal will die.

We didn't stay that long in the cave. It was hot in there and it seemed like the place was short of oxygen. And besides, we were excited for the main event! :)

January 23, 2016

Before Wearing Braces

Ever since college, I already wanted to wear braces. Why? It was because of the gap or space on my front teeth. It was not a long gap, but a gap that would bother me much. I got silently pissed to myself whenever I saw my image in a picture, a smile showing the gap of my front teeth which left a dark line in it. Or even looking on the mirror, I would sometimes give myself a big smile that supposedly would make me happy but would end up giving me a little frustation of my many imperfections.

I wanted braces back then to put my teeth into the right places, but having it was very expensive. As a student who only depended from other people for finances, I surely couldn't afford for braces. I had this roommate who used to wear one and I asked her how much she paid for it. She said Php50,000. And I was like, "That expensive??!!". She then responded that she paid for it for three years, like an installment with downpayment. Still, I found it extravagant. My mother will surely not pay for such a luxury. Well, that was the first time that I got knowledge of the cost of wearing braces.

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