Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Conquering the Roof of Visayas: Mt. Kanlaon

Two weeks ago, I joined the 9 participants and 2 guides of Trail Adventours, to climb Mt. Kanlaon for three days via the Guintubdan trail. Initially, I arranged with Mr. Angelo Bibar my own permit and a guide to do a solo traverse via the Mananawin-Guintubdan trail. But I realized that it would be boring, so I joined the party of Trail Adventours, even though it will cost me more.


Mt. Kanlaon is the highest mountain and most active volcano in the Visayas group of islands. Pinoy Mountaineer has this technical description of the mountain, with my own revision:

MT. KANLAON (GUINTUBDAN TRAIL)
Negros Occidental

Entry & Exit point: Guintubdan, Ara-al, La Carlota City
LLA: 10°24'44"N, 123°7'55"E, 2435 MASL (#27)
Days required / Hours to summit: 3 days / 8-10 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 3

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Afternoon Delight in Bacolod City

After our 3-day hike of Mt. Kanlaon, I asked the climb organizer to drop me at Robinsons Mall in Bacolod City, along with my trekmates who also have a flight to catch at 8:20 pm. Since we have almost 4 hours to kill before we go to the airport, I decided to buy pasalubong first at the mall.


To relax a bit while thinking of what I should do next, I decided to have coffee at Cafe Bob's just outside the grocery. I asked the lady at the counter what light snack will go well with their brewed coffee, and she suggested their chicken empanada. It was indeed a good match, as the reheated empanada is a winner. Total food bill is about Php 80.

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Pleasant Travelers Pension & 18th St. Palapala

On my first night in Bacolod, I stayed at Pleasant Traveler's Pension House along the 13th Street. Its walking distance from Lacson St. where many restaurants and hotels can be found.


From the Ruins, I boarded a Libertad-bound jeepney and told the driver to drop me at 13th Street. The landmark is the cluster of bars named Sorrento Piazza.
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The Ruins of Talisay City, Negros Occidental

Straight from Silay Airport with a mountaineer's backpack, I went to the Ruins of Talisay City, just two weeks ago. Actually, I plan to visit it after I drop my luggage first at the Pension House, but the Nyala tours van from the airport does not pass Lacson St. and it stops at the old terminal. By the way, Nyala tours van charge only Php 35/person, compared with the regular airport vans that charge Php 150 per person.


Since the drop off point is already near the Ruins, I boarded a Bata-bound jeepney, then transferred to a tricycle that goes to the Ruins at Php 20 fare per person.
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dayhike of Mt. Daguldol in Batangas

A month ago, I joined my friends in Abot Kamay Adventure Club (AKAC) for a trek to Mt. Daguldol in San Juan, Batangas. It was almost 7 pm when I arrived at Bgy. Hugom, where I registered for Php 35/person. Cellphone signal is very weak at Naambon Resort, so I had a hard time contacting my friends while I was looking for them along Laiya beach.  


I was the last one to arrive in Naambon Resort where we camped the night prior, at Php 100/head fee. Its a 30-minute walk along Laiya beach past the rocky portions on the right side. It was a challenge to trek alone and at night along the rocky beach part, where I believe my Columbia sandals got damaged. Here's a dawn view of the coastline that I navigated from the back of the rocks, as pointed by the arrow.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuna Grill, Kabayan Nelson, & Blugre Coffee


General Santos City is also a food haven for tourists. Being the country’s tuna capital, tuna dishes are something that should not be missed. So on our first night at the city, we tried this touristy restaurant Tuna Grill along Pres. Quirino Avenue.


Judging from the picnic-style tables on their photos, it has a casual ambience, though they also have air conditioned dining areas with more formal setup.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lake Sebu and Zipline above its Waterfalls

After breakfast on our second day at GenSan, we proceeded to Lake Sebu, the name of the town with many lakes and waterfalls. Its more than a 2-hour trip with lots of transfers, yet its all worth the time and effort.


From Amigotel, we rode a tricycle to Bulaong bus terminal to board an airconditioned Yellow Bus to Koronadal City (formerly known as Marbel). Fare is Php 75/person.
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Amigotel & Wet Market in General Santos

One of the least expensive lodging options in General Santos City is Amigotel. Located at Cagampang Extension, it provides easy access to public transport and malls.


Room rates are very affordable, while amenities include only bath soap. On our first night, we took the bigger matrimonial room at Php 610/night. The building and fixtures are old but clean.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bumming at Gumasa Beach in Sarangani

Right after dropping our luggage in Amigotel at General Santos City last month, we asked a tricycle to drop us at the van terminal beside KCC Mall, to get a ride to Glan, Sarangani. We like to see their white sand beach in barangay Gumasa, where resorts dot the coastline.


Past 8:00 am when we arrived at the van terminal, and waited for at least 30 minutes for our van to get full with passengers. 
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Orient Buko Pie of Los Banos, Laguna

Orient Buko Pie in Los Banos, Laguna is the number one buko (coconut) pie for me. It has the right sweetness to it, and full of coconut meat, unlike other brands with lots of flour and extenders. Even after 2 days, the pie does not dry out, and still delicious. 


Price as of last month on their store is at Php 150/whole pie. Usually there is a long queue on their store along the national road, but its worth it. I bought 2 pies one Saturday afternoon, and they are all finished at home before Sunday lunch time.

See my previous personal ratings of buko pie brands here.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Getting Fishy in GenSan's Tuna Fish Port

During our second day at General Santos City last month, I made sure to include a visit to their fish port, to see their booming tuna industry. This 32-hectare complex contains ice-making plant, various freezers, water pumps, market centers, bank, even a small food court with barber shop for workers.


From Amigotel, I boarded a trike from the market across, for less than 30 minutes of travel. Fare is Php 20/person at a trike that could fit 6 passengers, like a can of sardines. I was seated with 5 fishport workers who are already wearing white rubber boots. The guards at the fishport complex asks for an identification card of visitors, who won't be allowed to enter if they are wearing sandals or short pants.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Opposing RA # 10175, the Cybercrime Law

Tomorrow may be the end of absolute internet freedom in the Philippines, specifically the freedom to express one's opinions, whether through blogs, forum sites, social networks, etc. This is because RA # 10175, otherwise known as Cybercrime Prevention Act, takes into effect on 03 October 2012.


I was trying to get a soft copy of this new law, and found one here. From what I've read from the web, these are the highlights of the law as follows:

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