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Batang Hamog Mountaineers | 4th Aniversary

Batang Hamog
After a year, here we are again, celebrating our 4th years of friendship. 2014 is something that we can proudly share and inspire others. This year we changed our concept. Instead of creating effort for a summit celebration, we created an outreach program at Sitio San Martin, Cawag Resettlement, Zubic, Zambales. The primary aim of this program is to share and giving back all the blessings to our aeta friends in the area.

This event was planned during our Freedom Climb 2014 on the summit of Mt. Mabilog.  Since we are focusing on giving school supplies, few weeks ago, we asked help from our friends for support. Some friends gave financial support; some gave school supplies, slippers, and umbrellas.

Batang Hamog
Our meeting was in EDSA Central. When we arrived at the meeting place, I easily saw those huge backpacks and plastics filled with those solicited supplies. While waiting for the other participants, we maximized our time by sorting the supplies according to what was planned.

We chartered an 18-seater van. Total number of participants were 16 (including the driver) so, the biggest challenge was the space in the van, but it wasn’t a problem. We left EDSA Central at around 11:45AM heading to the north. While on the way, everyone was energetic while sharing different jokes, foods and different stories from the past, present and the future. Passing on NLEX and the highways of SBMA was a bit easier and faster. We arrived at Zubic, Zambales at around 3:15PM. For the first time, we had our lunch break at Jollibee, para maiba naman. We also met our contact person and guide in the same area.

After lunch, headed by our guide, we proceeded to the Baranggay Hall of Cawag, Zubic, Zambales and registered our group. After few minutes, we continued driving to Sitio San Martin. While on the road, we saw the gorgeous ranges of Zambales, Mts. Cinco Pincos and Balingkilat. The area is covered with grasslands and the fresh air was so relaxing. Story said that during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, some aeta tribes ran and opted to stay in this area, so they call it “Cawag Resettlement.” The local houses are made up of bamboo, wood and pawid.

Aeta Community
Tribes in the PhilippinesIt took us less than an hour to travel from Zubic to the resettlement area. After getting off the van, we set up the supplies in one of the houses in the area, near the highway.  The program started by an opening remark given by Janneth and then followed by the distribution of supplies. Instructions given to the beneficiaries were clear and there was no language barrier. We were able to give out 40 sets of school supplies, slippers and umbrellas. The entire program lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes; so by 5:15PM, we left the area and proceeded to our next destination -> Malagawa Island, Palauig, Zambales.School supplies

Magalawa Island
Since it was already dark and we still need to buy our supplies for our dinner, socials, breakfast and lunch for our overnight stay in the island. We bought our supplies at Puregold in Iba, Zambales. From Iba to Palauig, travel time is less than two hours. Our van was parked at the Luan port situated in the private area owned by Radyo Veritas. From the port to Malagawa Island the travel time is only 10 minutes. At around 10PM, we finally reached the island, pitched tents and prepared our dinner. At 11:30PM, we started our PARTY PARTEEEY!! It was unlimited PARTY, but I took a rest at around 4AM, while the others were still having their heart to heart talk.

I woke up at around 5:30AM and the others were still having their socials. The skies started forming a great horizon with the orange shade. We prepared coffee and chocolate with bread for our breakfast. We also waited for the arrival of the fishermen in their village, to buy fresh sea foods like fish, squid or crabs.

Magalawa Island
The sunrise was was awesome, good thing that we were able to witness that gorgeous sun rise; before leaving Manila, the weather forecast said that a tropical depression will enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) passing Eastern Visayas to Northern Luzon on that day, but everything seemed to be fine.

White sand near Manila

best sea food
We rented one cottage for 500 pesos, and then pitched our tents (200 pesos per tent) beside the cottage. When a guy informed us if we’re interested to buy fresh sea food; Te Bing and I went to the fishermen’s’ village. There were lobster, squid, fish and some other sea creatures; we chose two pieces squid weighing two kilos for only 200 pesos. When we’re back to the cottage, the others were still sleeping in their tents. We started preparing our food for our lunch. After the preparation, we spent our time on the beach; it was our socials part two. As the sun rays touch the shore, it makes the sand even whiter.
Beaches in the Philippines
Photo above was taken at the sand bar located on the shore of Armada Resort. This is one of the best parts of Magalawa Island. The water seemed to be a mirror with the perfect reflection of the blue sky. While we were walking on the white sand, I was bringing my umbrella; my SPF100 lotion wasn’t enough because the sun was really hot and it can even destroy my flawless skin.

TAKE NOTE: Before leaving Armada Resort, the care taker approached us and said: “Ma’am/Sir, bawal po talagang kumuha ng mga pictures dito sa Armada Resort pag dun ho kayo nakacheck in sa Ruiz Resort, pero okay lang sakin, wala naman yung anak ng may-ari eh.” Nung una hindi pa nagsync-in agad, kasi nakafocus ako dun sa Ma’am and Sir, siguro nalito lang sakin si Kuya. But sad to say that the owners of the Armada limits their area to the visitors of Ruiz Resort. At take note, magkapatid pa pala yung mga care takers nila huh. I am not so sure if that policy applies to the visitors of Armada to Ruiz Resort.

Boracay Island
Cottages and rooms at Ruiz Resort are for rent (photo above) at the back of the rooms are six communal bath rooms with available water faucet each. But water is limited because they only have two water tanks and the care taker needs to fill those up using motorized water pump; as alternative and in case of emergency, you can use the poso five meters away.

The care taker’s house is located at the back of the resort and they have store where you can buy your needs. You can also visit the fishermen’s village beside Ruiz Resort, where larger stores are located. Pero wag naman kayong mag-expect ng mga products from Duty Free and some other supermarkets nationwide; they only have the basic commodities like: Toblerone, Cadbury, Ferrero, Hershey’s Kisses chocolates, Johnnie Walkers Black Label, Blue label, Smirnoff, Jack Daniels. Basic commodities, puro alak at tsokolate??? Yun lang kasi kadalasang pasalubong sakin eh, aside from key chains. Pero syempre joke time lang yan, pag may nakita kayo sa tindahan, swerte nyo.

Pagudpud White Beach
When everything was already done; from the preparation of our lunch, swimming and walking by the beach, it’s time for my favorite part – lunch break. After lunch, the same thing, bonding by the beach while the sun was really hot. At 2PM, we started our final preparation and settled all the fees. Then by 3:30PM, we left Magalawa Island.

Happy 4th Year Anniversary BATANG HAMOG MOUNTAINEERS! Being with these people is such a great experience. Next plan is an overnight stay at Mt. Pinatubo. Hoping for the reality of this plan.

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