Nature-ral High

Nature-ral High
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail

November 9, 2017

Mt. Mabilog hike with side trip to Lake Pandin. A good hike for beginners

Okay, it's been a while since my blog had activity. As most you may have know I had twins last year and it took a lot of toll of my time specially allotting some spare moment into writing. And after losing one of the twin, it took my life into oblivion. 

Anyway, back to my latest entry. Being very busy the past months, I can only afford to do dayhikes (or daytrips to some). With hiking booming like mushrooms here in the PI, the near mountains in Manila are crowded during the weekends. We were trying very much to find alternatives. Luckily, we were able to find a mountain in Laguna which is relatively not so high and is beside a lake. The mountain is Mt. Mabilog whichs is situated beside lake Pandin. 

The hike is quite short and easy. You would only need an hour to reach the summit, yet the view is mesmerizing. You can see Mt. Kalisungan, Mt Cristobal-Banahaw from a distance. Looking down you can see the twin Lakes of Pandin and Yambo. We were the only hikers that day and I think this mountain is good to bring people who are new to the mountains. 

But the biggest bonus is lake Pandin. You can hire a raft for a few hundred pesos and go to the middle of the lake. The lake is very clean and very nice for swimming. If you had a lot of time, you can even cook or grill in the middle of the raft. 

The trail

The trail are mostly covered with trees and lush greens

Lake Pandin and Mt Banahaw seen from the trail

A clearer view of Mt Banahaw

Lake Pandin , the crater beside it is lake Yambo

A closer look at the 2 lakes

Of course,  a climb would not be complete without my signature headstand at the summit

We luckily saw a Mantis at the summit.

Group pic with the guides

Another group pic

Lake Pandin, albeit also the trail head

We hired a raft and went into the middle of the lake. Here is where we had our lunch

We also ventured for a while to lake Yambo. Pandin is much clearer but is smaller

Ahh so nice to have a dip!

There are a few fish cages with tilapia. This is the first time I saw red tilapia, specially alive.

March 10, 2017

Mt. Ugo via Ambasa trail - Mt. Ugo on another perspective

Similar to my Kibungan Trek, this hike was also taken last year and again because of my busy schedule and the coming of the twins, I was not able to blog this. This will be another photo blog with a few details the I recall from memory. 

This was Gianne's first multi-day hike (3 days). We did not hire any porters.

There is another trail in Mt. Ugo other than the popular Kayapa-Itogon traverse. 
This trail is called the Ambasa trail as the trail starts in sitio Ambasa
The trail is more pristine and is rarely use, proof is that dry leaves cover the trail, which sometimes are also covered in grass.
One famous site seen along the trail is Mt. Marikit. The guide told us the story on how the mountain got its name but I can hardly recall, and yes the mountain is climbable.
Another famous trail mark of the mountain is the "7 steps" which are seven steep slopes and flat ground which looks like seven stair flights for giants. 
West summit of the Mt. Ugu is part of this trail, until our trek I never thought that this peak exists.

Trivia (from the guide):
  - Former name  of Mt. Ugo is Mt. Umugaga which means first to see sunrise ( on all the mountains in the place)
  - Mt. Ugo got its name from the word "Ugo-an" or to slith the throat
  - The summit site of Mt. Ugo is where the head hunter tribe Busul do their throat slitting
  - One of the famous Busul victim was the Spanish Secretary General Juan Cito
  - There was once a tri-partite marker in the summit that points to the direction of Pangasinan, Benguet and Nueva Viscaya. This marker was stolen/broken down as treasure hunters thought gold was buried underneath.

Map of the Mountain Regions. Since these are montainose region, wonder how many regions needs to be discovered.

The traditional KM0 marker photo

She was so happy to be so close to a pine trees. And look how pristine the trail is

Traditional Ibaloi house

This will be our lodge for the night. 

More bridges

Mt. Marikit on the background, and yes it is hikable.

One of the popular "Seven Steps"

Another one of the "Seven Steps"

One of the good place to take a photo. A view not found on the tradtional Kayapa-Itogon traverse.

Our guide Ramsey!

Beautiful flat ground that looks like a park

West Summit view. On plain eyesight Pangasinan can be seen.

On our route to the main summit

Traditional summit head-stand

Summit group photo

Bushfire or Kaingin

Another local Ibaloi house at Lusod where we had our second night stay