Camping at Lambingan Hills, Tanay, Rizal

Camping at Lambingan Hills

My friend Ruby’s quest to go camping at Cagbalete Island was called off due to our mishap of missing the boat thus we set another trip to fulfill her dream of camping – bonfire, marshmallows, coffee and friends.

After 8 months of lockdown, tourism gradually opened and we planned our next destination. Originally, we were supposed to go to Mt. Gulod but it was raining hard so our guide referred us to Lambingan Hills instead.

Lambingan Hills is located at Cayumbay, Tanay, Rizal which is around 2 hours away from Manila. We were picked up by a private van at 1PM and arrived around 3PM.

Upon arriving at the area, we were checked for temperature and listed our names and numbers for contact tracing. We waited for a few minutes for the rain to stop however we did not see it stopping anytime soon so we went to proceed with the climb.

Since it was raining hard, our trek going to Lambingan Hills was very challenging. Be very careful during the rainy season as the path gets slippery and muddy. If this was a sunny day I think it would only take 5-10 minutes to reach the top.

I lost track of the time since we moved up very slowly. There are kids here playing around and they helped us carry some of our things. Once you reach the signage, you are near the area.

We pitched our tent however it was raining hard with strong winds – Typhoon Quinta is fast approaching! The tent will not withstand the typhoon thus we rented a hut to keep us sheltered through the storm.

After setting up our hut, we went to take pictures.

We stayed in our hut throughout the night and just had coffee, snacks, played scrabble, talked about goals and future, listened to songs. It was a very fun night despite the bad weather. πŸ™‚

Since our quest for camping and bonfire has been ruined by the typhoon, we will be setting another tour to get this fulfilled! πŸ˜€

Morning came but still Typhoon Quinta battering us with heavy rain and wind. My DJI Osmo Mobile 2 and Tecno Spark 5 Pro were tested by the rain as well. Despite all that, they are still working great! πŸ™‚

We had our final picture at Lambingan Hills with their famous signage I ❀ Lambingan before going home.

Since this is a private tour, our expenses were a bit up. We were only 6 so the transpo cost is a bit expensive. Imagine having 18 pax with the old normal, transpo would only cost 222 pesos each roundtrip πŸ˜‰ DIY budget would cost less than 1k.

That’s it for our Lambingan Hills story! πŸ™‚

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Mt. Batolusong – Embrace Me Under the Big Sky

Recently, Utada Hikaru announced she’s releasing a new song called “Oozora de Dakishimete” (Embrace Me Under the Big Sky) in July. The song is a tie-in with Suntory water commercial in which she was shown hiking. Check out her photos/videos here: http://www.suntory.co.jp/water/tennensui/utada/. Seeing her photos and watching the commercial reminded me of the time I hiked Mt. Batolusong.
My officemate Liz invited me to hike Mt. Batolusong in Tanay, Rizal which is approximately 2hours from Manila. For 500 pesos, it includes transportation (Ortigas – Tanay – sidetrip – Ortigas), guide fee, registration and environmental fees. Fair enough.
We all met at Eton Cyberpod in Ortigas at 2AM. Bought water, trail foods and some meds (Diatabs for me xD). As usual, 2AM is not 2AM since some were late. We reached Tanay, Rizal around 4:00AM.
I won’t forget the old man wearing all white and riding a white horse who suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I thought he was The Reaper and gave me a mini heart attack. Wew. The driver asked him some information and he guided us to Barangay San Andres, the jumpoff for the hike.
TIPS
1. Bring lots of foods
2. Bring lots of water and keep yourself hydrated
3. Bring extra clothes
4. Rest if needed
5. Some areas have signal, you can post ATMs haha
6. There are natural flowing water in some areas and you can refill your water supply. Ask your guide to confirm if it is potable.
7. For the sidetrip, you can opt for some food trip or go swimming after the hike. There are tons of resorts in Tanay and Antipolo.
All right, let’s get the pictures talkin!

Mt. Batolusong Just about to hike

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Roughly an hour of hiking, the dawn is breaking. Raul for Absolute Drinking Water xD

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Looks like a painting ❀

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Photo Opp

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
witnessing the sunrise

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Breathtaking view. Too bad there’s no sea of clouds!

Mt. Batolusong
Team Mt. Batolusong, just halfway there!

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Right now, surely, you’re looking at the same sky somewhere~
Nishino Kana

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
The sun is up but still cold

Mt. Batolusong
At the grassland

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Just taking my time to appreciate all the wonders of our nature

Mt. Batolusong
My friend Coi having fun while hiking

Mt. Batolusong

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
More more grass

Mt. Batolusong
Because hiking is incomplete without a jump shot! πŸ˜€

Mt. Batolusong
Finally seeing the summit!

Mt. Batolusong
Beautiful flower

Mt. Batolusong
Team Mt. Batolusong : Mission Accomplished! Summit Reached!

Mt. Batolusong

Mt. Batolusong
View from the summit and the other one having Laguna de Bay at the background

Mt. Batolusong
I love the clouds, feels like I can reach them!

Mt. Batolusong
Rest! Staring at the clouds, feeling the wind, smelling the grass!

Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Mt. Batolusong
Embrace me under the big sky! ❀

Mt. Batolusong
Of course, take a chance to dip in the mountain waters, so refreshing πŸ™‚

Mt. Batolusong
Going home. Highway is just a few steps away πŸ™‚

Wawa Dam – A Quick Getaway For 150 Pesos

Looking for a quick and cheap getaway this weekend? Checkout Wawa Dam. Located just 1.5 to 2 hours away from Manila, it offers a lot of activities – from the casual walk-in-the-park to the extreme ones – surely, everyone is going to have a great time here.

Wawa Dam is a legendary and historic site. Legend has it that a giant named Bernardo Carpio split the mountain into two (Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan). Historically, the site was used as a hide out by the revolutionary leader Supremo Andres Bonifacio. Lastly, the local government of Rodriguez has the Wawa Dam in their official seal.

GETTING THERE

Travel time is around 1.5 to 2hrs.

Commuting
From Cubao / SM North / Trinoma ride a UV Express van going to Eastwood Montalban. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Eastwood Ministop. Fare is 50 pesos. Ride a jeep going to Wawa for 8 pesos.

Alternatively, from Cubao / SM North / Trinoma you can ride a bus/jeep going to Litex. Ride a jeep going to Montalban Town Center and another jeep to Wawa. This is much cheaper (15+20+13=48 pesos) but a bit of a hassle πŸ™‚

Private Vehicle
From Cubao / SM North, drive all the way to Commonwealth Avenue, turn right at Litex Road and follow the signage to Montalban Town Center. Head to the town plaza and follow the signage to Wawa Dam. You can see jeepneys going to Wawa so you can have them as a guide.

Alternatively, from Cubao / SM North, drive all the way to Commonwealth Avenue, turn right at Sandigan Bayan and follow the signage to San Mateo. Turn left at Banaba and follow the signage to Montalban and Wawa.

TIPS
– Wear slippers / trekking sandals
– Bring foods and drinks πŸ™‚
– Stay safe!
– Do not litter

WHERE TO STAY
Cottages are for rent ranging from 150 pesos to 500 pesos. If you’re a small group and not here for swimming, you can just stay at the rocks or buy at the stores and sit there to rest πŸ™‚

FOOD
No baon? No problem! There are lot of sari-sari stores here and not overpriced either. There are also eateries for heavy meals and bakeries too. Some houses offer paluto for a fee.

ESSENTIALS
There are comfort rooms here in case you get a tummy ache or you need to pee. Signal is also strong and gets weak when you get farther the dam.

ACTIVITIES

Photo Op– we all know you’re coming here for this! πŸ˜› There are also prenups being shot here.

Date – if you’re both into nature or adventure, why not.

Picnic – a lot of families, specially residents of Montalban, are always up for a picnic here.

Videoke – there are videoke machines so if you have some P5 to spare, go for it xD

Swimming – of course there’s water, swim all you want! Just be very careful since some parts are deep (bilang lalim) and rocky.

Biking – if you have your gear, go join the bikers. Wawa to Timberland in San Mateo is the most common route πŸ™‚

Motocross – Yes! I sometimes see them passing by here. Not sure if this is a regular thing.

HikingΒ – Wawa is home to Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan, and Mt. Parawagan. I suggest you come here at dawn so you can be at the summit by sunrise. Mini sea of clouds πŸ˜€ Guide fee is 500 pesos per group.

Rock Climbing – Yep, be Spiderman for a day πŸ˜‰

Here are some of the pictures taken using my Samsung NX2000, Nikon V1, and Supremo 4k.

pamitinan protected landscape

Welcome to Pamitinan Protected Landscape!

wawa dam bikersBikers taking a break

banana cue meryendaMy personal favorite : banana cue. P10 only :) I can’t find my halohalo pic sorry T_T

wawa dam souvenirsSome souvenirs. Some sell tshirts but I was intimidated by the crew so I did not take a picture haha

 wawa dam fishFishes and Hotdogs. You can have them cooked/grilled for a fee.

wawa dam fruitsFruits for sale

wawa-dam-rocks-2

wawa dam rocksHalfway to the Dam you’ll be greeted with this view.

wawa dam rocksVisitors of Wawa Dam – some are bikers and some are here for swimming

wawa-dam-falls-8wawa-dam-fallswawa-dam-falls-2wawa-dam-falls-3wawa-dam-falls-4wawa-dam-falls-5wawa-dam-falls-6wawa-dam-falls-7Up close Wawa Dam. This is the most favorite part of many people. I love the gush of the water and the breeze here will cool your summer! Cottages are in place and you can stay for 150 pesos πŸ™‚

wawa-dam-rafting-2wawa-dam-raftwawa-dam-raftingView from the watch tower. You can rent a cottage and rafts too!

wawa-dam-cottageCottage for rent.

wawa-dam-autumnAutumn feels in Wawa

wawa-dam-motocrossMoto

wawa damView from the bridge featuring Wawa’s shallow waters. Go for a dip!

wawa-dam-rockswawa-dam-shallow-2The other side which features cottages and families having picnic

wawa dam bridge

Kids jumping from the bridge and swimming

wawa dam rock climbingRock Climbing

wawa dam pamitinan caveOn our way to hike Mt. Pamitinan. Bat Cave hmmm.

pamitinan cave bat cavemt pamitinan summitmt pamitinan viewmt pamitinan summitmt pamitinan peakAlmost at the summit! The breeze here is super!

mt pamitinan summitMy friend Coi with the buwis-buhay pose.

mt pamitinan summitCoi at the summit of Mt. Pamitinan.

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