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My First Hike Experience

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but our selves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first ever blog. I am Diana, mom to Cheska and Chester and is now 5 months pregnant to our third child.

Aside from eating and watching K-dramas, I also love travelling with my family and friends. One of the most memorable experience I had is my first ever mountain climb with my workmates. As a newbie, we chose the beginner-friendly trails of Mount Balagbag.

Background

Mt. Balagbag is located in Sitio Balagbag, in the city of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. It has an elevation of approximately 777 metres above sea level and encompasses the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal. It is part of the Sierra Madre mountain range that offers a surreal view of some parts of Makati and the rest of Metro Manila. The trail is very easy and wide, and Mt. Balagbag is also a favorite of mountain bikers. Although locals recall a past when the mountain was covered with trees, it is now barren, and hikers who will trek it during summer will find sun exposure as the only difficulty in this trek. Hence, dim trekking (hiking very early in the morning or late afternoon) is recommended.

The Climb

Our hike to Mt. Balagbag started at 4:00 PM from the jeepney terminal drop off point in Licao-Licao. We reached the registration site situated up in the hills after a 30 minutes hike from the drop off point. Since we decided to go for a late afternoon hike and we are an all girl group, we seek assistance from Kuya Noli our tour guide. The climb was exhausting because we came right after office hours and long walks but we manage to enjoy our selves with the beautiful sceneries and magnificent landscapes.

All smiles as we start our hiking adventure.

It was almost 7:00 pm when we reach the camp site. The road up there was too dark even under a full moon that seems like we are in a horror movie . There was not a single light post in either side of the road and houses were a little distant from one to the other. But as I was with my jolly and fun loving hiking buddies, the climb had been full of laughter.

The mesmerizing city lights of the metropolis

The following day, we woke up early to see the sun rise and finish the hike to the summit. The wind was so wild but it never hinder us from adoring the breathtaking scenes specially the mountain ranges. After enjoying the view, we start trekking down the mountain because it can be very hot when it’s sunny as there are not much trees that can cover us from the heat. Mt. Balagbag is also known for its falls, so we never missed the chance to experience the cold water of Kaytitinga falls. In deed, it has been a memorable and fun experience for me and my friends.

Majestic view at the Summit
The Sacred cross and Kaytitinga Falls

Tips and reminders

  • Check the weather before hiking.
  • Bring lots of water.
  • Slather on sunblock to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Bring an umbrella. You’ll be needing it if you start past 9 am.
  • Bring face towel as you’ll be perspiring a lot.
  • Bring insect repellent.
  • Collect your own garbage from hiking and camping.
  • Follow the LNT (Leave No Trace) principle.

Diana Baran

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