To start with, I would like to dedicate this feature blogging to my old friends whom I used to be with every weekend to explore the wonders of nature. Regardless the distance and difficulties to reach the hot spot, the eagerness and desire to conquer and set foot on the destined place will always prevail. The spirit of oneness and brotherhood that I will always treasure being with them.
|KASAMA | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
Paul Egonia, our leader slash researcher slash coordinator slash treasurer- accountant set a two days - one night land water adventure in Quezon's farthest province which is Atimoan. Atimoan is one of the gateway cities going to Bicol and other neighboring southern provinces of Luzon.
|Cross Road | Credits to Edward Calugtong|
Ahead of time, Paul briefs us regarding the place that we will explore. In line with the said event we bought gears and proper mountaineering clothes as well as borrowed tents and cooking tools. It seems the preparation speaks for the extreme journey that we're bound to experience and I'm too excited to know the itinerary plan as well as the full background of the Place.
|Off to the Registration Area | Credits to Edward Calugtong|
First in our List is the famous. Mt. Pinagbanderahan, to get there, we ride Bus off to Lucena Grand Terminal for about 4 - 5 hours. From there we transferred to a jeepney bound to Atimoan approximately 2 hours land travel. Lucky us that the driver dropped us off to the registration site of Quezon National Forest Park. It's almost 3 o'clock in the afternoon when we've reached the place and we immediately changed clothes and started our trekking.
Mt. Pinagderahan was declared a National Forest Park during the American period and as per reading some accounts in the internet, the name of the said mountain literally means “where the flag was hoisted” during the world war 2 revolution the American, Japanese and Filipino flag was raised here and for more details visit the link here. It is also, a well protected area with towering century year old trees and lots of unknown species of plant to me. A little bit of trivia that I've heard from the locals there, that up to these present time treasure hunters believes that the Yamashita Treasure was buried and hidden somewhere in this Mountain and along the way, deep excavation will be seen.
|Wonderful Forest indeed | Credits to Edward Calugtong|
For less than an hour we've reached the view deck and peak of the Mt. Pinagbanderahan. The local government constructed and built cemented pathway and staircase for convenience of tourist and alike.
To see the perfect panoramic view of the said Mountain we climb in a rocky portion somewhere in the peak and just in time we've seen in our own naked eyes the grandness of Mt. Pinagbanderahan. The leafy forest, the massive rock formation and nearby Mountains – Mt Banahaw in the West and in the Southern direction the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro will be seen. I am overwhelm, superb scenery beyond compare.
|Sierra Madre Range | Credits to Edward Calugtong|
|Trippers | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
|Staircase | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
Time check pass 4 in the afternoon, we decided to descend back in the baseline to plan with our next activity and somewhere in the forest we've tried to explore a small cavern and took the moment to have group photos, indeed I've enjoyed the thrill of darkness.
|Inside a Cavern | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
|Night Trek | Credits to Paul Egonia|
We've touched the ground of the registration area around 5 in the afternoon. While having a snack we're coordinating with some locals there that we're off for an overnight stay in Bantakay Falls. At first the owner of the jeepney was hesitant to charter us to the drop off area of the said falls but due to our aggressiveness and passion for exploration the driver agreed to our plea.
He's kind enough to hand us over to his cousin whom familiar with the place. I forgot to mention, we will be having a night trek and it's all our first time to do it. Challenge accepted, we waste no time and pursue our hiking activity with headlamps and flash lights in our hands. I'm personally excited
Having limited lighting's we walked slowly and followed our tour guide vigilantly.
To be honest, it's a little bit creepy trekking at night time but it adds up the excitement what will lays ahead of us.
|Happy Birthday Dude | Credits to Edward Calugtong|
To ease up the situation, we throw funny punch line with each other’s while some of us including myself slide in the river and some muddy parts.
Approximately 3 hours of trekking and we’ve reached the campsite of Bantakay Falls. We paid our tour guide 300 pesos and he reminded us to just follow the trail going back to the main road. We immediately set up our tent and prepare our late dinner. Brotherhood
Paul surprise Arem with a cassava cake with candles and we shared out our foods.
To end the exhausting day we jumped into the cold water of the river with just our underwear, just a manly trip here. We talked for a while to unwind and relax our body from the whole day journey and after a while we headed in the tent to call it a day.Sleeping time.
|Initiative | Credits to Paul Egonia|
|Eating Time | Credits to Paul Egonia|
The trauma begins here...
|Thinking | Stress/ Depress | Credits to Edward Calugtong|
I woke up early and since my friends were still asleep I've decided to cook rice for them. While setting up the butane and the portable stove the unexpected incident had happened, the turns of events took in a flash; next thing I knew, the campsite was burning. I shouted and called the attention of my group mates and they've helped me to stop the fire. Thanked God
Up to these days, I'm still upset with that freaky accident of mine.
|Lost | Credits to Paul Egonua|
Going back, since I burned our cooking set we ate wafers and sip water for breakfast. What a morning rush to start the day.
We pursue locating Bantakay Falls we left the campsite and just bring our important belongings. At first we took the wrong course off to the said falls and we've followed the other trail and after quite some time we've heard the rushing of water. According to pinoymountaineer.com the said waterfalls measured at 80 feet plus.
Several steps from our location Bantakay Falls will be seen. We trek a little bit closer till we arrived at the baseline of the falls. Enchanting falls! Right there and then I was charmed with the place. We've stayed in the big trunk of a dead tree near the water. I took the opportunity to assess the coldness and deepness of the basin of Bantakay Falls. I must say that we all enjoyed the place aside from the main falls there's also mini waterfalls in the area that Arem framed using his dlsr.
|Bantakay Falls | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
|Group Picture | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
We headed back in our campsite to cook for our lunch. We used the available resources we had and I am very sorry to each and every one of them.
|Paul in Action | Credits to Arem Gelogo|
|We're near |Credits to Paul Egonia|
After eating and packing up our tents and bags. We've began our trekking by groups. While walking we've noticed some treacherous parts where we've trekked the other day. Just saying.
Upon our arrival in the main road we've asked a store there if we can change clothes in their bathroom and they've allowed us to used their place with fee. Agreed.
By turns we took a bath and ate some snacks. When we're all ready we've waited for a bus bound to the Main Terminal and we're all off to Manila.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is one of my most memorable and embarrassing travel event in my life but today we've just laugh with it every time the incident is brought up. I recommend this tourist spot to everyone to visit the said places we've been and share to me your own personal experience. Thanks for reading my blog and hope you do enjoy traveling with me.
|Jollibee Lucena Grand Central Terminal | Credits to Paul Egonia|
How to get there: From Buendia ride a bus bound to Lucena Grand Terminal for 210php. Jeepney off to Pagbilao is 50php
Registration fee: 20php
Jeepney bound to Bantakay [rent] - 800php/ 6= 150pesos each
Tour guide - 300php/6 =50pesos each