Featured

5.01.2017



Conveniently located 3 to 4 hours away from Manila is another coastal town in Quezon that is facing the Pacific Ocean.  In certain months or season, the tides in this eastern tip of Southern Luzon swell up to heights that are perfect for surfing. We are talking about Real, Quezon.



The Pacific Recreation Kamp or The PaRK is one of the resort in the beachfront of Real. The whole area is a camping ground over a bed of soft grass and shaded trees, perfect for pitching tents and hanging hammocks. There are also open cottages and tables for rent, a communal C.R. and shower to make the camping trip more easier. There is also a sari-sari store that can cater all your basic needs, they also sell breakfast meal, grilled hotdogs, and saba con yelo all day.

The sari-sari store that caters to all your basic needs.

Restocking for supplies is easy as the nearest market is just a few minutes drive from the PaRK. There are tricycle driver just in front of the resort (near the sari-sari store) that you can ask to bring you to the market or the further town proper. Fresh stocks of seafood are being sold in the market; they offer the usual fish and squid to a more unusual type of fish (something I forgot the name of).

Campground over a bed of soft green grass.

Getting here is easy since there are buses (Raymond Transit) directly bound to Real stationed at Sampaloc, Manila. On the other hand, private transport can easily take the Manila East road down to Real Quezon. The roads are established and well lit, but extra caution is needed since there are a lot of blind curves along the way. The travel includes a scenic view of the Sierra Madre ranges and Laguna lake.



We, coming form Cavite, entered SLEX via MCX, took the Calamba exit and traveled to Pagsanjan and to Real Quezon, same travel time of 3 to 4 hours. We also advise that 4:00 AM would be the perfect time to leave to be able to get to  Real early in the morning.

Mini half pipe / skate park.

There are a lot activities that can be done here, in addition to just beach bumming. Surfboard, skimboards, and paddle boards can be rented. There is also a mini skate park for the experienced and thrill seeker wishing to try it.

Usual rates

Additional Information:

1. Surfboard Rental

  • P200 per hour
  • P500 half day

2. A beach house can be rented

  • P7,000 whole house
  • P1200 non airconditioned room
3. Raymond Transit has 24 hours available buses bound to Real. Fare is around P200.


4. Sari-sari store is only open up until P10:00 PM

5. The PaRK usually have a lights out rule at 11:00 PM. But they allow small talks beyond time and just be mindful of other campers.

6. ATM machine is only available in Real Town Proper, look for Racquel Pawnshop near the market.

12.11.2016


30 seconds is not enough to show how amazing the experience was. We're extending our Get Lost series to a full minute for this one.


12.10.2016



Here is our Itinerary for Ampucao Ridge a.k.a. Mt. Ulap.

DAY 0
0900 PM - Assembly at Victory Liner Pasay Terminal
01000 PM - ETD Manila to Baguio

DAY 1
0500 AM - ETA Baguio City. Early breakfast
0700 AM - ETD to Baguio Central Mall. Look for jeep heading to Ampucao
0800 AM - Departure to Ampucao
0900 AM - Arrival at Ampucao. Register.
0930 AM - Start trek
1130 PM - Lunch at Ambanaio Paoay Peak (Stonehenge)
1200 PM - Resume trek
0200 PM - Arrival at Gungal Rock, Photo Op.
0300 PM - Arrival at Campsite. Set up Camp
0400 PM - Summit. Watch sunset
0430 PM - Descend back to capmsite
0600 PM - Dinner. Socials

DAY 2
0530 AM - Wake up Call. Sunrise viewing
0630 AM - Breakfast. Breakcamp
0700 AM - Start descent
0800 AM - ETA Burial Cave
1000 AM - Back at Sta. Fe exit
1100 AM - ETD to Baguio. Lunch
0100 PM -       ETD Baguio to Manila



BUDGET:

RT fare Baguio to Manila - P 900 pax (P450 one way Airconditoned Bus)
RT Baguio to Ampucao - P 100 pax
Overnight Guide Fee - P 800 / 10pax (P 400 per day)
Registration - P 100 pax
Camping Fee - P 500 / 10pax
Shower - P 20 pax
Food contribution  P 150
TOTAL = P 1400

If you want a hassle free trip we also recommend the service of Mt. Pulag Edelweiss Tour; they also do Mt. Ulap tour. You may contact them at 09107987005 or 09303631218 for their affordable rates.



9.17.2016



It was afternoon when we reached Baguio City, a few more hours and the night stars will start to show up. The weather is colder than usual due to the recent downpour. We alight from the bus we considered our temporary shelter during the 7 hour travel; there was already the usual crowd waiting at the terminal offering guest house for rent and souvenirs for sale.

From the terminal, we traveled to Erickson's place to stay for the night and head to Ampucao the next day. We took our dinner at Good Taste Restaurant near Burnham Park before calling it a day. We prepared everything we need for our overnight trek to the famous Mt. Ulap tomorrow.



The next day, we head to Baguio City market where we heard there are jeeps that could take us to Ampucao for P50 each. The bus terminal is just across the market besides Baguio Center Mall. In the terminal, you can easily ask locals where is the jeep heading to Ampucao. Travel time is around 40 to 60 minutes.

The registration area in Ampucao is near the basketball court. It can be easily identified as there are tarpaulin hanged on the walls, and most people who is planning to climb Mt. Ulap is either resting or preparing for their climb.



We paid the necessary registration fee, and we were assigned with two guides. We did our last minute packing before we start our trek.

Our climb started out good, the weather is not that hot but not yet raining. Although we were already expecting that during the climb or on the camp it will start to rain again. Ampucao Ridge easily became our favorite hike as we are surprised with the beautiful scenery every stop on our way. It was like a well laid show by mother nature. The fog is covering the area, and when we stop to rest, there will be a clearing to show you it's green, lush mountain, pine trees, rock formations and many more. After a few minutes of adoring the place, the fog will cover the scene again as if mother nature is saying "move on, there are more I want you to see".



When we reach camp it was the most beautiful thing to see, it was only us who'll be staying for the night. Our guide explained that the usual weekend would have the whole camp site covered with tents and people, but that day was an exemption.

Just right after we pitched our tent it started to rain, but the rain progresses from a drizzle into a full downpour slowly while the sun is slowly setting and bidding goodbye. One of the best sunset I've witnessed during a rain.

The campsite

The evening was a bit playful as the rain did not stop until we finish our dinner, but luckily we had a great sleep the whole evening.

The next day, the weather is much better, we continue our traverse down Ampucao ridge into a different path.

The summit of Mt. Ulap

A couple of hours and a familiar scenario of small halo halo store resides at Sante Fe, signaling that our trek is almost over.

We continued to embark down the trail as it progress into a small community and the  climb was officially completed. Some of us took a bath before heading to Baguio, while most decided to return to Bagiuo and just freshen up there.

Gungal Rock


You don't have to worry about transportation heading back to Baguio as there is always a jeep waiting at Santa Fe. From here the jeep brought us to the nearest Good Taste Restaurant in Baguio for another hefty late lunch.



We returned to Erickson's place to freshen up. Some decided to roam around Baguio more while some decide to rest and wait for the bus back to Manila.

Itinerary and budget to follow.






9.01.2016



From Buscalan, we traveled back to Bontoc with plans to visit Sagada. We left Buscalan at 12 noon and was able to ride a bus back to Bontoc by 1:00 PM. The travel started out fine, but suddenly the weather turned into a downpour. In Bontoc, we hurriedly look at the jeeps heading to Sagada. After one and a half hour of travel, we reached Sagada at around 3 PM. We were out of our planned itinerary for almost half a day, so we were already expecting to spend less than 24 hours here. To make things worse, the weather is not cooperating as rain continues to pour the entire afternoon. We were able to accept that we cannot do some activities like spelunking, but still, we were able to manage to enjoy our short visit; we list down the things we've done during a rainy day in Sagada. 

DAY 1 - 3:00 PM
We reached Sagada, and decided to first look for a place to stay. After roaming around, we chose the Vallew View Inn, one of the inns in the upper part of the town with a good view of the whole Sagada proper. We rest for a minute as we wait for the rain to at least calm a little.



DAY 2 - 5:00 PM
The weather gave us a window of opportunity to further check the town. It's almost night time, but the daylight is still up. We first look for something to eat, and decided to try The Yogurt House. We enjoyed the sweet confectioner along with the drizzling rain. Like most restaurants in Sagada, food are a bit pricey, yogurt prices range from P80 - P100.

Sagada Yogurt House
One of their original best seller: Yogurt with Honey

DAY 3 - 6:00 PM
We checked St. Mary the Virgin Parish and the nearby Calvary hills. We met Ate Rose, a guide who offered to take us to the hanging coffins and Echo Valley; we hesitated for a bit, but after assuring us that we will be able to witness them before dark, we agreed. The trek was short and quick, but we moved with caution since the trail was muddy and slippery due to the recent rain. Ate Rose's  stories regarding Sagada and the Echo Valley made the hike more interesting. She explained that we were her last tour for the day, as she already had plans to go back home due to the bad weather, but luckily we were able to catch up with her. Guide to the Echo Valley and hanging coffins is P200.

The famous hanging coffins

DAY 4 - 7:00 PM
After our tour in Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins, we went back to town to seek for a group whom we can hitch along going to Kiltepan Peak. Luckily there was a group of visitors (whom we first met at the jeep ride on the way to Sagada) who were also looking for someone to  join them and complete their group who'll be going to Kiltepan Peak the next day. We decided to meet early tomorrow to witness the famed sunrise and sea of clouds of Kiltepan.

Echo Valley. Taking a look at the town proper.

7:30 PM
We looked for a place to have dinner. There are a number of restaurants you can choose to dine in. We decided to try Sagada Lemon Pie House. In addition to their  famous lemon pies, we also tried some of their meal dishes. Price of their food ranges from P150-P200 each.




8:00 PM
After our dinner we bought some chips and drinks to one of the groceries in the market. We brought it back to our accommodation and decided to just rest up and enjoy the night. It was almost midnight when we saw that there was a bonfire in a nearby Sagada Homestay Inn and Diner, We decided to go outside, enjoy the cool night breeze in front of the fire pit.

St. Mary Virgin Parish

DAY 2 - 4:00AM
The sun was not even up, but we were already bundled up on layers of clothes, walking the empty street of Sagada to meet with our group for the Kiltepan sunrise. We waited for the van we hired that will take us to Kiltepan, and after a few minutes he showed up. We were one of the few who first came to Kiltepan Peak, but little by little as the sun is nearing to rise, people were also starting to flock the place. By the time we had a good view of the sun and sea of clouds, there were already a hundred of people in front of us.

There are a number of people flocking Kiltepan Peak to witness the sunrise.

We were unable to get a good picture of the sea of clouds, but luckily, our guide/van driver made a detour to one of the nearest highway in Sagada. He said it is a surprise where we were going next, and only a few people knows of the place. We stopped on the side of the highway where there is a clear view (same view from Kiltepan) of sea of clouds and sunrise. He said that we were lucky to witness the sea of clouds due to the downpour last night; if he knew we wanted to see the sea of clouds he could have just suggested to skip Kiltepan and just go directly here.

Sea of clouds in the less crowded highway

DAY 2 - 6:00 AM
We went back to our accommodation to pack our things. We want to catch up the 7:00 AM bus ride back to Baguio and continue our journey. Before heading to the bus station, we first took a breakfast at Sagada Homestay Inn and Diner. Meal prices ranges from P100 to P200. After our breakfast we hurriedly ran back to the bus station to catch up the ride to Baguio, hoping to roam around Baguio before we head back to Manila.



If you are wondering if you can enjoy Sagada under 24 hours, then my answer is yes. We might missed some outdoor activities here, but the stay was very enjoyable and relaxing enough that we decided to intentionally opt it out and reserve it on our next visit. The rain might added up to the shortening of our time spent here, but it did help out big time to cap our very quick Sagada trip with a bang. What I like most about Sagada, in addition to it's numerous attraction is that the place is like a small traveler's village, (I think Sagada is smaller then Bonifacio Global City), you can easily roam around and  meet a lot of people and make new friends; add the gloomy cold weather that day and you have this tiny home-y feeling while away from home.

Schedule of trip to, from, and around Sagada:



More Pictures: