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TravellingCup - Blocked on Facebook

I created TravellingCup in 2011, I can personally say medyo mataas na ang nararating ko sa blogging at sa social world. Marami na akong natulungan sa iba’t-ibang aspeto; mapa bundok at byahe man ito. Marami narin akong naging problema na kinaharap at sa kalaunan ay naresolba ko rin ito ng matiwasay. Pero isang bagay ang nagpapakabog nang aking puso ngayong araw na ito at ito ay tungkol sa blog link ko.

In every facebook groups, there are rules and policies; not just facebook, but all the existing organization across the globe. Hindi naman sa nagmamagaling ako, pero ugali ko na talaga ang magbasa nang mga rules and policies in each group before posting my blog post links and photos, as it reflects my comprehension to the rules I read. 

Isang kaibigan natin sa pamumundok ang sumubok na mag-post ng link nang aking blog post sa tatlong mountaineering groups sa facebook. Nabigla daw sya kung bakit hindi sya pinapayagan sa pag-post dahil sa mga restrictions at abusive daw ang mga contents ng blog ko. Lubos kong ikinagulat ang pangyayaring iyon, kaya ako mismo ang sumubok sa pagpost sa mga nasabi nyang mountaineering groups. At totoo nga ang sabi nya, basahin nyo ang nakasulat sa screen cap ko sa taas. 

Lubos kong ikinabahala ang naturang pagtugon ng facebook sa aking blog link. Kaya sinubukan kong tanungin ang iba nating mga kababayan Pilipino; mga kapatid sa pamumundok, kapuso sa pagbabyahe, kapamilya sa pagbaBlog at maging ang mga masugid nating tagapagbasa na nagmumula pa ibat’-ibang panig ng mundo. Ang sabi nila: positibo, nakatutulong sa iba, maganda ang mga litrato, simple, sablay sa spelling at sablay sa grammar. Tanggap ko na ang mga bagay na yan, pero wala akong makitang ABUSIVE ang mga blog post ko!

Sa pagkaka-alam ko, sa mga grupong ito, kadalasan nagla-LIKE, nagtatanong at nagbibigay lang ako ng mga personal na kuro-kuro base sa karanasan ko. Naglalagay lang ako ng link ng blog post ko kapag ito ay tungkol na sa pag-kasira ng ating kabundukan at iba pang likas na yaman. Sa pagkakatanda ko, nakapag post pa ako nung isyu sa pagconvert sa pagiging park ng Mt.Gulugod Baboy, last January 13, 2014 tungkol dun sa mga Basura sa Mt. Cristobal at Bandalismo sa Mt. Batulao naman noong January 20, 2014. Ang PAMBABATIKOS ko sa post na iyon ang pumukaw at kumuha sa atensyon ng mga mambabasa, na kung saan umani ako ng palakpakan. Pagbalik ko mula sa Mt. Mantalingajan climb, ito BLOCKED NA AKO AT HINDI KO ALAM ANG DAHILAN.

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PARA SAYO TO, ADMIN Ka!
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Alam ko kong gaano kahirap mag-maintain nang isang grupo online at alam kong ginagawa nyo ang lahat ng inyong makakaya as moderator at sa ikagaganda ng mga naturang grupo, pero sana naman gayahin natin si ang slogan ng 24Oras ng GMA7. “Walang Kinikilingan, Walang Pinoprotektahan, Serbisyong Totoo Lamang.” Excuse Me Po!  - Mike Enriquez

Ako, bilang isa din sa mga admins ng ibang grupong kinakaaniban ko (well karamihan x-rated sites,) sinisigurado ko ang mga sumusunod: Kapayapaan, Pagbibigay ng respeto sa kapwa at Pagkakaisa ng bawat miyembro. And regarding link posting, bago ako magBLOCK ng isang website or blogsite na pag-aari ng isang miyembro ng grupo namin, sinisigurado kong majority ng mga admins ay nacheck at naverify ang mga contents ng inirereklamong site. Hindi dapat magviolate sa kahit anung rules, hindi dapat makasakit o makaoffend ng ibang miyembro at ang panghuli, “hindi porket nati-threaten ang blog ko ng ibang blog,” wala parin akong kinikilingan – patas dapat ang labanan! ISULONG ANG PERMISSION TO POST, hindi na naka open to all members tapos block link ko – UNFAIR at nangangamoy politika!

Most Difficult Mountains in the Philippines - MIMAROPAs Big 3

“Never underestimate the mountains based on its difficulty rating,” “Never conquer the mountain; let yourself conquer your fears because of the mountain.” I created those mottos because of my personal experiences which result to personal accomplishments.

Toughest, hardest, most difficult, to the highest level: I know that words are powerful, but in this case, that power is not applicable. I have no idea if those words can be used to describe the difficulty of the mountains (especially describing to non-hikers.) I think no one can give the exact description that will fit certain individual’s strength. Actually, I started writing this article in the second week of December 2013, where I am still missing Mt. Mantalingajan in Palawan. Reason in writing? Well, it is to set everyone’s expectations before hiking the Big 3 of the MIMAROPA; and I was getting a hard time writing this, because I was lacking right term or right description on each mountain.

The summit of Mt. Pundaquit in Zambales was my first summit reached and still considered as the most difficult mountain that I trekked (so far, 2013). This mountain has a minor scale in all aspects (trail class, altitude, and what’s not) but still it is on my Top 1 list. I wasn't mentally prepared and I underestimated this mountain because of the ratings given by some hikers and bloggers as well.  "Others found it easy and I found it difficult; others found it difficult and I found it easy." Be Read and Be Prepared!

After that successful climb, although it was a tough one, I used the power of Google in searching more mountains and its difficulties. Then, with different groups, I trekked more mountains in different categories.  After a year of climbing and reading several blogs, I finally decided, “why not the 9/9s?” And talking about the 9/9s, why not the pride of my province – ROMBLON. Please click on the yellow links

Mt. Guiting-guiting in Sibuyan Island, Romblon is one of the most challenging mountains in the country. A lot of hikers who reached the summit of G2 (another acronym for Guiting-guiting), in different weather condition, said that this mountain has its own character, a character that is unique and can only be found here.
For me, G2 is like a gigantic rock fell on the ground. The cracks on the surface of this rock give an amazing but dangerous experience to the hikers. The sharp edges of the boulders are razor like, which can cut the sole of your shoes. There are parts where the boulders are slippery, cliff hanging and 90 degrees assault.

If you are hiking this mountain during summer, be ready and physically prepared! Your one week jogging and regular exercise will be a great help for yourself. During summer, your water containers are essential and absolutely advisable. In rainy season, you need to focus on your security and expect that the trail will be slippery. The mosses and algae can make the surface of the cliff hanging boulders more dangerous. All of your hiking stuff is important. I can personally suggest; you must have your dependable shoes, gloves, and water gaiters. If you can’t handle long-packs, please don’t do it, which might affect you. And in addition to that, your positive attitude is a must!

Next is Mt. Halcon, situated in Baco, Oriental Mindoro. This mountain also got a 9/9 rating in terms of its difficulty. The trail here is much longer than what G2 has. But, G2 still have the technicalities. This mountain still has virgin forest which contains great flora and fauna. The mangyan tribe, who are the guards of this mountain, are preserving the richness of nature. Not only that, Halcon is also one of the mountains which bear horror stories; and I know and/or experienced some.

Hiking this mountain wasn’t easy at all; the unpredictable weather condition was our main concern. In this mountain, your physical strength is very important, that’s why hikers said: “Mt. Halcon is physically demanding.” I thought, we’re almost on its summit, but we’re not; we’re still approaching the base of the gigantic Mt. Halcon. The long trail is composed of river crossing, bouldering, and 80-90 degrees ascending/descending. The blood sucking parasites are additional challenge as well.

It is very essential that you need to observe the weather, as it affects the trail and then the entire journey. Your rain gears, lamps, fine knitted pants and leggings (leech protection) and other hiking stuff are needed. I do suggest, please do water proofing on your gadgets and personal belongings for safety.

Lastly, Mt. Mantalingajan in Rizal, Palawan. Some said that this mountain is the combination of the two mountains above. It contains more than the length of Halcons trail and difficulty by the G2. If Halcon has the stories about ghosts and spirits, Manta (another name) has the stories of superhuman abilities and superpowers. Historically, this mountain has different cultural tribes that serve as the guardian of the mountain. They also have their own and unique belief in their respective communities.

Among these 3 big mountains, I can say Manta has the most virgin forest because of minimal hikers who do traverse. The factors are: location, required days to summit, expenses, fear of malaria and some other things. The trail here is challenging, as it includes: cliff hanging, loose soil, muddy and slippery (because of its rain forest.) Please be mindful and give respect to the tribes residing in the area; they are still using the ancient style in living, so please be careful in making them as subject in taking photos (always ask permission from them.)

Before hiking Manta, I suggest that you need to do more physical exercises, as part of the preparation. Hiker’s positive mentality is also needed during the hike; the long trail and difficulty of this mountain can measure your ability to manage and handle stress. Since some parts of the trail are limatik infested, it is advisable to wear fine knitted fabrics as your protection. Wearing long sleeves and applying insect repellents will be a great help in preventing the hikers from malaria. Hikers must have their own first aid kit, gloves for rock climbing, dependable shoes, rain gears and what’s not.

In general, hiking these three big mountains within my first 1 year and 9 months was remarkable. Other hikers told me that I am lucky that I was able to hike this Big 3 within that range of time, unlike them; they waited for more than five years before completing this MIMAROPAs Big 3. Reaching the summit, seeing the richness of the Philippines, building good relationship with the other hikers, conquering my own fear, discovering new things and ideas; those are some of the achievements.

Bandalismo sa Mt. Batulao

When I was still young, our teachers always remind us during our class: “Wag na wag nyong susulatan o sisirain ang desk nyo o kahit anu mang bagay dito sa paaralang ito! Hindi nyo ito pag-aari at para naman mapakinabangan ng mga susunod na mag-aaral.” They always taught us on how to take care our school in high pitch; and at my age that time, I fully understood their point in this matter. Just last Jan. 19, 2014, during our climb in Mt. Batulao in Batangas, I noticed some hiker’s inappropriate behaviour – and this is all about vandalism. 

Vandalism – according to the Wikipedia, is the behavior attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable.  

I don’t know if these people behind this are first timers or not, but it’s very clear that the organizer/s (if they have) forgot to inform their participants what are the basics and what are the DOs and DONTs during the climb. Aside from security, in case of emergency and others things, this information should be included during the briefing as well.

 Alam kong ang mga papel na sinusulatan  po natin ay galing sa mga kahoy, pero hindi po litiral na ang kahoy ang gagawin po nating papel. May akmang proseso po sa pagawa ng papel mula sa mga kahoy. Tingnan po natin ang image sa taas, anu po ang masasabi nyo? Aminado ako, napakatalentado talaga ng mga Pinoy pag-dating sa paglililok, subalit nagagamit ito sa mali. Ang pag-ukit ng kung anu-ano sa mga puno at sanga ng mga halaman ay ipinagbabawal yan, dahil nasisira ang natural na anyo ng balat at may posibilidad pang ikamatay ng punong ito. 

Magbibigay po ako ng halimbawa: Dati, kapag nadadapa ako at nagkakasugat sa balat, kapag medyo nasa healing process na ang sugat ko, nilalagyan ko ito ng “cebo de macho” para hindi magkapeklat ang malaporcelana kung balat. Ganun din po ang balat ng mga puno, hindi kaaya-ayang tingnan ang mga sulatin na wala namang kapakinabangan.

 Pangalawa, bakit kailangang mag-sulat pa sa mga bato?? Hindi ko makuha ang punto ng mga gumawa nito, wala naman atang involve na life threatening circumstances eh. Sa dami ng mga nakita at nabasa ko, ito po ang pinaka nakakainis sa mga sulating di pormal na nakita ko, ang sabi: “Ako si Mark ng Backte!! I’am Gay.” Sir/Ma’am, eh anu ngayon kung Gay ka, hindi po yun problema; I am Gay as well, hindi ko itinatago yun, hindi ko kailangang ibalandra ang pagkatao ko sa pamamagitan ng mga sulatin na wala sa tamang lugar. Last mo na yan Sir/Ma’am, makunsensya ka!

May mga klase ng bato na kung saan, kahit papano lumalaki pa sila, parang isang “buhay na bato.” Kagaya nalang ng mga stalactites, stalagmites at iba pang bato sa loob ng mga kweba; mariing ipinagbabawal ang pagyakap at paghawak sa ganung klaseng bato dahil ang pawis ng mga tao ay may mga bacteria na pwedeng maka-pinsala sa mga “buhay na bato” na magiging dahilan pa nang hindi nila paglaki.

Sa pagkaka-alam ko, sa mga bundok may mga rules and regulations yan, kasama ang “Bawal ang pagbaba, pagputol o pag-sira sa kahit anung klaseng mga halaman sa bundok.” Kung dati, kapag exam, nagagawa nating magsulat sa palad o sa balat bilang isang kodego (pinag-daanan ko din yan.) Ngayon, wala naman tayong exam sa bundok, bakit po kailangan pang gumawa pa tayo ng mga kodego sa mga bato? Magdala po tayo ng papel, tapos dun po tayo mag-sulat, kung talagang nangangati ang kamay po natin.

Sa mga tinamaan, ALAM NYO NA!
NO TO VANDALISM, YES TO RESPONSIBLE MOUNTAINEERING


HOMORUN 2014

As a support to LGBT community, I am proud to bring this special event. The main purposed of this event is to promote and unite the LGBT community for the acceptance in the society. We all know that the so called "third sex" is still not welcome in the society, in some ways; so this is the perfect time that all the members, friends, families and supporters should unite and to be "as one." COME AND JOIN US!

1. Send an SMS to 0917 707 9662 or 0999 392 6899 in this format: HOMORUN: <FULL NAME> , <MOBILE NUMBER>, <EMAIL ADD.>, <MEET-UP LOCATION>

Meet-up locations to choose from:

Gateway Mall, Cubao
Tri-Noma, Quezon City
Blue Wave, Marikina

*Race packet will be given once registration form is filled up and payment has been done on the spot!

2. Shoot an email to eventbundles@gmail.com with subject: HOMORUN 2014.

3. For more information regarding the whole event, please visit this link: HomoRun2014

 
The sound of the horn signifies the go signal for the run. Everyone crosses the start line and goes through the run route passing by Bases 1, 2 and 3, each symbolizing the objectives of the run. The first one who arrives at the marked line will determine the top 10 participants (e.g. first finisher - race # 2001, automatically, the next  9 numbers from 2002 to 2010 are considered the top 10 participants who will receive special prizes). In this run, it is not important if you know the participant next to you, it is time that each and everyone cheers for each other. Because after all, we are ONE. Aerobics exercises will be conducted while waiting for all runners to reach the marked line. Once all participants are at the marked assembly area, everyone will cross the finish line at the same time.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy - isang matambok na park

January 16, 2014 - Ilang araw na ang nakakaraan nang maglabasan ang mga litratong kuha mismo sa Mt. Gulugod Baboy. Ang mga litratong ito ay nagpapakita kung paanong ang local government ay may hangaring gawing business ang tuktok ng naturang bundok.

This is not the first time that some local government in the country tried to develop a certain trail up to the summit of a mountain. Like the proposed stairway to the summit of the tallest Mt. Apo in Mindanao; last year a lot of mountaineers reacted badly to the said proposal. And now, Batangas already started their construction in developing their very own Mt. Gulugod Baboy.

Ang kapaligiran ay may kanya-kanyang taglay na ganda. May kasabihan nga tau: "Simplicity is Beauty," diba? Pero paano mo ba masasabing ang isang bagay ay simple para masasabi nating maganda?

Ang Mt. Gulugod Baboy ay isang simple ngunit may kakaibang angking ganda. Ang mga asul na kalangitan, ang mga berdeng mga dahon ng iba't-ibang puno, ang mga damo sa lupa at ang malinis na kapaligiran. Yan ang tinatawag na regalo ng sa atin ng kalikasan. Regalong kahit kailan, hindi natin matatanggap mula sa ating mga tunay na kaibigan.

When the sunset came, the blue sky changes into orange while the mountain ranges from afar, creating a beautiful shadows on the horizon. Ang pagod na naramdaman sa pag-akyat ay nawawala sa gandang nakikita at sa bawat pag-ihip ng presko at malamig na hangin ay sobrang nakakarelax.

Mt. Cristobal, ginagawa ng basurahan?

January 12, 2014 - Sampu kaming (kasama ang aming guide na si Kuya Lito) umakyat ng Mt. Cristobal sa probinsya ng Quezon. Ang pag-akyat na ito ay isang dayhike-traverse na kung saan nagmula sa Dolores (ascend) at Tayak Hill (descend.) Sa unang dalawang oras ng aming pag-ahon, ang hangin ay sadyang malamig na halos katulad ng Mt. Batulao, marahil siguro dahil sa hanging amihan at ang nagbabadyang LPA sa Katimugang Luzon. Ngunit habang tumatagal, mas lalong lumalakas ang hangin na may kasama pang mist, at nang lumaon naging malamig na ulan na ito. Ang trail ay nabasa at naging madulas, pero hindi ito ang naging problema namin sa pag-ahon. Hindi rin nagkaroon ng magandang clearing sa Jones Peak. At sa aming pagbaba; dulas, putik, sugat at lamig ang aming naranasan, pero maligaya parin kami sa kakaiba naming karanasa. Sadyang naging mapagbiro ang Mt. Cristobal sa amin sa pagkakatong ito.

Akala ko ang panahon at ang madulas na trail lamang ang nagpasama sa kalooban namin noong mga panahon iyon. Ngunit nang marating namin ang crater ng bundok na ito, nasulyapan namin ang isang bagay na nagpasama sa aming kalooban. Ang tumpok-tumpok ng basurang kinabibilangan ng mga plastic, lata, bote ng alak at kung anu-ano pang bagay na hindi nabubulok. Base sa appearance ng mga basurang ito, marahil nasa mahigit dalawang lingo na ang mga ito nung iniwan ng mga taong tamad magbaba ng kanilang pinagkainan.

Mukhang nakakalimutan na natin mga Sir/Ma'am ang Principles of Mountaineering, anu po? Hindi po ako magsasawang ulit-ulitin kung anu-ano ang mga ito. Ito ang mga sumusunod:
  1. Take nothing but pictures,
  2. Bring nothing but memories,
  3. LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS,
  4. Kill nothing but time.
Ayan oh, naka all caps pa yan huh, siguro naman, hindi ko na kailangang itranslate ang mga yan sa tagalog para maintindihan nating lahat, kahit yung No. 3 lang. Hindi na tayo mga bata mga Sir/Ma'am, kumbaga eh, "fully grown" na po tayo at alam na po nating ang pagkakaiba nang nakasasama at nakabubuti sa ating kalikasan.

Mga Sir/Ma'am, pag umaakyat naman po tayo ng bundok, wag naman po nating dalhin ang katamaran na ugali natin sa mga bahay po natin, anu po? Kung nagiging ugali nyo pong maghagis ng mga basura sa mga kanto, kanal at kalsada; bat hindi nyo po punuin nalang ng basura ang mga bahay nyo, nang hindi na kaya nakakaperwisyo ng kapawa. Sa mga organizers at Team Leaders naman po, bat hindi nyo po ugaliin ang 101% clean up before descending. Ika nga nila eh: "Responsible Mountaineeering" tama po ba? ANG MATAMAAN, SALATIN NYO NALANG PO ANG BUKOL.

Para naman sa ibang gaya-gaya mountaineers, wag na po nating dagdagan pa yung isang tumpok ng basura sa mga trails, bawasan nalang po natin kahit "konti lang." Basahin nyo po ang nakasulat sa picture sa kaliwa, ansabee? "Hindi man tayo maging bahagi ng solusyon, Huwag naman sana tayong maging bahagi ng problema, BASURA NATIN, BITBIT NATIN." Saludo ako sa mga miyembro ng grupong nagmamay-ari sa tarp nayan, sana ipagpatuloy nyo po mga Sir/Ma'am. At sa ibang grupong aakyat sa kahit anung bundok, gawin po natin ang lahat na ating makakaya. Apply po natin ito, para sa ikagaganda ng ating kapaligiran at magandang kinabukasan.

What to Visit in Romblon - Daigon 2013

December 23, 2013 - Odiongan is a town located in Tablas Island in the Province of Romblon. This is the town where I grew up and got my education. It is an honor for me to witness an event called Daigon 2013. Daigon is a local word which literally means: "A Christmas Carol," so it is more on music. This program was created by the local government of Odiongan participated by different Baranggays and their officials.

The floats assembled at Brgy. Tabin-Dagat, beside the “Parola,” passing ESTI, straight ahead, then left turn by the corner of MLhuiller in Brgy. Liwanag. Then, straight to the street going to Brgy. Dapawan, left turn to the Street passing the New Market area, then took the highway in CocoVille area to the Plaza. The convoy was led by the Police Patrol Car.

 Governor Firmalo was also present on the event. He was wearing the golden gown with a crown on his head (please see the photo above) he was with his daughter Trina.

What to Visit in Romblon - Mountain Spring Resort

This trip wasn't planned so well, because I was still sleeping when my sister arrived in our house. So what I did were: washed my face, ate suman, got my goggles and swimming cap, and also go my personal stuff. I even forgot to drink my coffee. I was together with my sis, her husband, their son and daughter, and my youngest sister.

Mountain Spring Resort is located in Brgy. Rizal, Odiongan, Romblon, Philippines. It is one of the top resorts in the town of Odiongan that has an amazing ambiance. Covered with green flowering plants and trees that is really refreshing to everyone’s eyes. The cool wind that blows the branches and leaves creates relaxing sounds.

This resort has great facilities; the pool that gives fresh and cool water that came from spring, the wide conference hall that is perfect for any type of occasion, the mushrooms like cottages were pretty and artistic. The landscapes were perfectly handcrafted which make sure that the visitors would enjoy the nature. The entire resort is in the middle of a mini forest, so expect a relaxing visit!

HOW TO GET HERE:
From Odiongan Port, by the gate, you can charter a motorcycle going to Mountain Spring Resort. This resort is famous to every driver in the town. In the entire town, motorcycle (single or habal-habal) is the major mode of transportation.

From Tugdan Airport, you can take a jeep bound for Odiongan, travel period is within 2 hours. Drop off point is at Odiongan Public Plaza or Odiongan New Market. From those two locations, you can charter motorcycle to this resort (just tell the driver.)

Olympus Super Macro

December 23, 2013 when I accidentally discovered the "Super Macro" feature of my Olympus Tough camera. I know that my Tough series have that amazing feature, but I didn't mind that, it's been a year now when I got this set and I thought I was using all the features perfectly, but I was wrong.

I am not a professional photographer; but I love taking photos of mountains, beaches, plants, flowers, insects and other nature related landscapes. When I tried taking Super Macro shots, the first shot seems to be stunning and vivid; so I did my second and more photos. The outcome seems to be great! 


Violeta is a flower that almost spread on our backyard. I love this flower because of its gorgeous features. It actually measures 1cm or less and honestly, I was getting a hard time taking pictures of this flower using just the basic settings of my digicam. But in this shot, look! Violeta seems to be huge and the details, colors and the focus are really great. 




The flower on the left is actually from a grass, which I don't know its name. It is much smaller than the Violetas; but as what you can see, the color is really pure. The shape and the details on the center appear to be the highlights of this shot!






This black beetle on the left, in terms of size, is totally small. It feeds on the leaves of the white flower (above.) The focus on the beetle is amazing and the leaves details are still good. Super Macro is unbelievable but it’s really true. I am enjoying it with butterflies, ants, grasshoppers, spiders and other cute insects.





Early in the morning, every time I wake up, these orchids seems to be very welcoming. The dew on the petals are like crystals and are like a diamonds in the sky.




Super Macro” feature was interesting. It can create great shot that focuses on the gorgeous details of little but amazing things. Discovering this camera feature is such a majestic gift this Holidays. I’ll include “Super Macro” in the category section of this blog; so that on my next journey, you’ll see the difference of my first shot to the latest shots! Hope to see improvements and discover more on this field.

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