1st Philippines Independence Day (Freedom) Climb – Remembered

There is nothing special for this year 2018. But I just realized that one of the celebrations I did for Independence Day (June 12, 2009) of my country (almost 9 years ago) was not published here in this site but was partially posted in my old blog site which focused in featuring solely of my country Philippines. This time, I just wanted to remember and celebrate even in simple ways that my country got its own sovereignty more than 100 years ago, to be exact, its celebrating 120 years of Independence Day since 1898 today.

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The mountaineering group that I belong was invited and selected to join Independence  Day Climb or Freedom Climb last June 2009. And we are assigned to climb Mount Maculot located in Batangas. And our group successfully completed the climb for the celebration.

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In this post, I collected all the previous posts that I created from my old site. A reminder to myself that there was part of my life that I got a chance to raise my country’s flag in the mountain together with other mountaineers around the country on a special occasion, the days to celebrate Independence Day. The post is not describing chronological order of experience, but a mixed one.

“Taal Lake At Different Perspective”

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Photos above were captured during the 1st Annual Freedom Climb happened across the whole country. These were taken after starting to trek Mount Maculot from the jump off area. The lake seen here is Taal Lake, the view is another perspective of the lake since I have photos captured of Taal Lake came from Tagaytay City in Cavite. This time, photos taken from the base of Mount Maculot. These were captured last June 13, 2009 – Saturday in the afternoon.

Think Green But Using A Rubber?

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The photo above was a capture of sleeper I brought and used at the summit of Mount Maculot. The picture was taken last June 13, 2009 during the night where the group was having fun at social activities.

One thing struck my mind in this sleeper, well there was a written message “think green planet”. It seems the message and the sleeper convey contradicting ideas. “think green planet” leads to taking care of environment while the sleeper was made using a rubber material which appears to have issues againts the safety of environment.

Post For A While

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Here are some of the photos with a human or people concept. I never used to take pictures of people, but there are moments that I myself tend to do it naturally like the moment that we are waiting for the public jeepney that will bring us to the jump-off area of Mount Maculot, before the climb formally started and while resting in the middle of the trek.

Jump-off Area – Cuenca Batangas Municipality Building and other Municipal Government Offices

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This is the place where we prepared ourself before climbing Mount Maculot. The mountain behind this building (which cannot be seen in this photo) is Mount Maculot itself. This is the municipality building of Cuenca, in Batangas province.

Looking Beyond Batangas And More

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The photos above are some scenery that can be found while trekking Mount Maculot in Batangas. The climb held last June 13 to 14, 2009 as part of our both fun and historical first freedom or independence day climb.

Amazing Outlook of Taal Lake From Mount Maculot

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While climbing Mount Maculot, this was one of the best or I can say the most stunning view I ever see while trekking the mountain. By just looking into it, I can feel that I can see beyond what I can. And the wonderful color of the lakes made me feel I am seeing a paradise that so near on me.

Mount Maculot Marker

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This is the mountain marker which can be found facing the rocky part mountain of Mount Maculot. We found this when we descent the mountain partially to transfer to rocky part of the mountain. This photo was still part of freedom climb held last June 13-14, 2009.

The Maculot Trail

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Here are some of the photos that I was able to capture while we started trekking the Mount Maculot. The last picture shows the mountain itself.

The Maculot Mountain Itself

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Mount Maculot from a far, after we reached the bridge that we are going to cross before reaching jump-off.

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Mount Maculot Mountain

Here are some photos of Mount Maculot, the mountain that we climb for the 1st Freedom Climb held across the whole country. Photos are still part of my photo collection captured last June 13-14, 2009.

Taal Volcano In The Middle Of The Lake

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The above photos captured before darkness after reaching the summit of Mount Maculot last June 13, 2009. These were taken when I tried to view the rocky part of Mount Maculot which I will showcase in another day.

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The photos above were captured last June 14, 2009 during the time we raised the Philippines Flag in the rockies of Mount Maculot as part in Independence Day Celebration.

The mountain part that can be seen here is the Taal Volcano lie in the middle of the lake.

The Critters At Mount Maculot

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Butterfly, Bug, Grasshopper, Millipede and Centipede

 

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Meandering At Kings Canyon’s Wilderness

My second day was mixed of Kata Tjuta, a bit of Uluru and Mount Conner. So far I was floating in satisfaction and fantastic scenery and experiences. At first, I thought that the group’s next destination was just nearby until we spent more than two hours in the road. It was like the same feeling during my Day 1 trip, I felt the time passed was too long but in reality it was not. Before arriving to Kings Creek Station we passed a beautiful scenery of George Gill Ranges located at our right side while we were on our way to Wattarka National Park from Lasseter Highway. I really enjoyed the scenic views for some time since it is a long mountain range. At that very moment while enjoying the scenery, I felt that part of the world like heaven in a sense that it was a peaceful moment of my life.

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At Kings Creek Station

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Our Tour Bus

 

Camels found at Kings Creek Station

We reached our destination, the Kings Creek Station and Kings Canyon was just around the corner. I remembered, our tour guide mentioned that our second and last night accommodation was an upgrade from the first one. He told us that from swag, we were upgraded to tent, a tent with bed. With that thought in mind, I expected that the tent is not the same tent I used in my hiking adventure, because a bed will not fit on it. We got off the bus and noticed that we stopped in a gas station, we walked around the area and familiarize ourselves in the place.

The good thing about the place, it has store that you can buy basic things needed in the outback and even gifts or souvenirs. Then we passed the shower rooms and bathrooms. We walked to the area and found the version of the tent that I was thinking. Then, I realized that the tent that our tour guide was referring to, was called safari cabin. Two single bed are fit in a cabin. Therefore we have to find our partners for each cabin and I found mine but apologies as I can’t recall her name right now.

After we took our stuff from the bus, we arranged ourselves at the cabin and made ourselves comfortable. I arranged my bed and my stuff, then, I went out to help the group for our dinner. That night, all of us in the group were helping out. Another thing that I noticed was that our tour guide knows a lot about food. Even we have members in the group that are vegetarians, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner were not been an issue to him. I learned something about food wrapping. Learned that having stuff to fill in the wrap, you are ready to fill in yourself without really cooking. Another thing that I discovered was cooking using charred wood. There was a bonfire area just near from our cabin which also used for cooking. I was familiar with cookware, pans or pots used for cooking but the new stuff for me was pots where it’s lid has a portion on its top area where you can  place burned wood wherein the heat was not only coming from the bottom of the pot but also on its top to make cooking easier and faster. It was an amazing stuff that I discovered and a very important cooking pots or basins when you wanted try to live in the outback.

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Bonfire

 

Cooking Basins

That night, we prepared a lot of food. Maybe because it was our second and last night together in the outback. I snapped the idea because it made my feelings gloomy. We still have the next day for the last adventure. We cleaned-up the kitchen and the dishes we used in preparing and cooking our food.

Maybe because it was our last night together, most of our group did not sleep immediately after the dinner. We sat around the bonfire we used in cooking for our dinner and we started talking together. At that moment in my life in front of bonfire at the outback together with the people I had been with for the past two days feel like a familiar feeling, though we’re all still strangers personally but I felt it was like home. I knew that it may not or may take longer that moment to happen again, and every bit of it, I treasured the moment in my heart and my mind. We spent hours in front of bonfire and then, one by one were saying good nights. I was one of the last person to stand away from bonfire and went to the cabin.

I felt relaxed when I returned to the cabin and in a matter of minutes I was dreaming. I walked up early in the morning, had our breakfast, cleanup the dishes and ready for the last day adventure. For our third and last adventure, I was still excited because we were scheduled to walk and trek around Kings Canyon. One of the canyon I saw was a long time ago and that time I was inside the rocky mountaineer train which was Cheakamus Canyon in Canada. I felt excited and inspired to see and experience Kings Canyon.

All of us jumped into the bus and drove towards the canyon. From Kings Creek Station we reached the parking area. Our main activity was to walk within the canyon. We followed the Canyon Rim Walk track with estimated of 3 to 4 hours of walk and trek. Our tour guide gave us a warning that the initial part of the trail is called a “heart attack” hill because we have to climb a steep and rugged steps (stairs) which he mentioned as 45 degrees. This means the climbed in that stairs will be a bit of exhausting.

 

Scenery enjoyed while resting after the heart attack trail

We walked a bit until we reached the uneven stairs. I saw the trail and I saw that it was a bit of steep climb. I knew it was a quite challenging climb because even though there’s a rugged steps, for me it’s more challenging to climb a stair than climbing with your own steps. When I did the climbed, I remembered that I was catching my breath. I looked-up and checked if the last step of the stair was almost near. I rejoiced when I saw that I was almost at the top of the stairs. The warning given by our guide was right, it was a heart attack climbed. It was not that really difficult like my other climbs that I had, it’s just that everyone were pushed to follow the steps of the stairs. So there’s a bit of time than I rested to recover my breathing. When we reached the top, we stopped a bit so everyone in the group will be gathered again. What I saw at the top excites me because I knew that we were exploring a canyon in the red center of Australia.

 

Our tour guide explaining something about sand dunes and rocks

When everyone were at the top area after the heart attack trail, our tour guide started to tell something about the canyon and its sand dunes. He mentioned that there were other trails available in the canyon and we were taking the trail that will finished just after lunch time. Next, we enjoyed the walk within the canyon wherein I just realized we were actually walking in the weathered sandstone domes that looks like the Lost City when we were at the other side of the canyon.

 

Snapshots while walking in between of weathered sandstone domes  which called Lost City of the canyon and while resting a bit not that far from the heart attack trail

We walked, ascended, then we repeated the process until we reached the famous lookout within the Canyon – Cotterrils Lookout. The said lookout gave us a chance to see 365 degrees of the canyon. We had a wide view of the Kings Creek and the overall scenery of weathered sandstone domes. In the said lookout we spent time here for photos and funny posts that our guide suggested us to do as our memories of the canyon.

 

Around or near Cotterrils Lookout

 

Cotterrils Lookout

 

While at Cotterrils Lookout

 

Lost City like scenery from Cotterrils Lookout

 

Kings Creek

Our walk in the canyon allowed us to discover the area of the canyon where there was a spot that was similar to Bungle Bungle (included in my list to see in Western Australia – I hope I will got a chance to tour around that state).

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The Little Bungle Bungle within the Kings Canyon

After enjoying the scenery of the sandstone domes, our trek within the canyon continued. We reached the wooden stairs and we descended and followed the track. Next we crossed the bridge. Then, we reached a gorge between cliff. While following the track after the stairs we saw what they called Garden of Eden because it serves as oasis where there are natural spring waterholes and has different plants around the area.

 

The Wooden Stairs and Bridges

 

Garden of Eden

 

Before we climbed up at the other side cliff we rested at the Garden of Eden near the oasis. Aside from us, other visitors stopped there too and there were few young male teenagers who jumped off in the oasis and enjoyed their swimming. While we’re resting our tour guide gave us some snacks that the whole group shared.

After resting we returned in our track and we climbed up the wooden stairs. When we reached the other side of the canyon, it gave us a chance to see the canyon in a different outlook or perspective. The part of the canyon that we just walked by and passed by, we were able to see it from the other end what it looks like. The rock domes are more notable compared to when we were walking along with it.

 

While climbing at the other side of the cliff

 

Rock Domes

 

In between Rock Domes

 

Waterhole

At the top we saw the oasis in a different angle even and the same with Kings Creek. Our walk continued. After sometime, we saw the part of the canyon that showcase another view of weathered sandstone. That weathered sandstone from a far looks similar to Old Aztec City that is why it is being called as Lost City.

 

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Kings Creek

 

The other side of the wall of the Kings Creek in Kings Canyon

 

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Lost City in Kings Canyon

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At the top, we spent more time for photos, selfies, groupies with the wonderful scenery that surrounds us. And then, our tour guide announced that we will start descending the canyon. We started our walk and followed our guide. With that moment, I know that once we reached the ground, that’s the last moment that I will have with the canyon. Probably with other people it’s just another canyon to see and visit, but for me the outback as a whole was another world for me that I may not be seeing again, but the place gave me a lot of memories because I was given a chance to discover and explore them in a short period of time. I somehow thinking that if I am not an IT (Information Technology) by profession I maybe a geologist. It may be an interesting profession.

When we touched the ground, we had our pack lunch and we headed straight back to Alice Springs where we started our 3 days adventure in the outback. I spent another night in Alice Springs and returned to Melbourne the next day.

Below are some photos that I still have after reaching Alice Springs and on my way back to Melbourne.

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Back to Alice Srings

 

With Wallabies

 

Alice Springs Airport

Note:
This is the 3rd or last part of my travel post and the continuation of my adventure of the Red Center in Australia. It takes a while for me to finish the post as I am overwhelmed with so many places that I traveled to and half of the post was done last year and now I got a chance to finish it up as I also tried to remember everything not only from photos and but also from all the experiences that are still in my memory.

Here are the other 2 posts from Australia’s Red Center which already published.
Uluru / Ayers Rock
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Beyond Our Reach : Overlooking the Other Summits and Peaks at Mt. Tangisan

Beyond Our Reach (Post#2) : Overlooking the Other Summits and Peaks at Mt. Tangisan

When climbing the mountain, one of the moment that I really appreciate whether in the trail or at the summit of the mountain is the view where you can see lots of summits or peaks from other mountains. I will be always amaze with the scenery. With that in mind, those beautiful peaks of other mountains seems to be so close yet so far and beyond my reach. But with endurance even the things we thought impossible sometimes become possible. Photo snapshot last July 2012 during the side-trip climb we had after outreach activity done by the mountaineering group in San Jose, Tarlac.

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Life Of Others : Wilson Promontory – Crimson Rosella

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Life Of Others (Post#1) : Wilson Promontory – Crimson Rosella

During the tour in Wilson Promontory National Park, one of the things I enjoyed while at the parking area was being up close and personal with the birds specifically Crimson Rosella (parrot native in Australia). This bird is commonly found in forests, parks, and farmlands. The young one has green with red patches and the mature one has red and blue with a patch of blue on their throats. I observed that they don’t afraid with humans and they easily approached you if you have foods with you. Snapshot captured last May 2014.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Saturday’s Critters – February 20, 2016

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Mount Kinabalu

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#20): Mount Kinabalu

My first formal climb happened in Mount Kinabalu which became my way to be a member of mountaineering group in my country through my colleague at work. This mountain is the highest mountain that I ever climbed even though I haven’t reach the summit and only reached the hotel (Laban Rata – 3200+masl). Cannot forget my first climb experience and had been an eye opener that even I had difficulty on this climb I really love mountains. Photo captured last September 2008.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Mount Marami

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#18) : Mount Marami

I remember the climb we had on this mountain, it was the hottest climb experienced I had because we set the trek during summer season in my country. All of us emptied our bottle and we were struggling as all of us felt hydrated. It was good thing that it happened when we were on our way to descend the mountain. We saw a water source under a tree along the way and using water filter from one of our group we survived until we reached the jumped-off point again. The scenery is above is what they called Silyang Bato (Rock Chair) of Mount Marami and captured last April 2011.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Mount Paldal (Paldal Mountain)

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#9) : Mount Paldal (Paldal Mountain)

When we visited South Korea last June this year, we never realized that we trekked a mountain because of our eagerness to walk around Hwaseong Fortress and my senior mother able to climb the mountain with us. The photo above was one of the scenery within the fortress and its surrounding area to witness at the top of the mountain while we were at SeoJangdae (Western Command Post) Area inside Hwaseong Fortress.

Home : Mount Apo

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Home (Post#4) : Mount Apo

The above snapshot was  Mount  Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines located between Davao City and Davao Del Sur in Mindanao region. I captured this photo after climbing the mountain which lasted almost 4 days last March 2009.

My story related to Mount Apo climb can be found in another post:
Mount Apo and the Boulder Challenge

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Gulugud Baboy Mountain

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#4) : Gulugud Baboy Mountain

Gulugud Baboy Mountain was the first mountain that I climbed in my country which located in Mabini in Batangas Philippines. Year 2008 was the year that I was reminded how I really love mountains. The climb was my first fun climb and second mountain that I trekked. Gulugud Baboy Mountain climb left so many memories for myself and for my group that I joined in. The trek happened last October 2008 and the snapshot was during the sunrise that we waited at the summit of the mountain.

 

Remembering Gulugod-Baboy Mountain – My First Fun Climb

This story was written to remember my first fun climb since I joined the mountaineering group. Like what I said from previous blog a year ago, after my first and major climb, the next thing is fun climb…(well most of you will think, that is weird, you climb the major climb first then fun climb next?). Well, I am just telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
My first fun climb held in Mabini, Batangas last Oct 25 to 26 2008. And the lucky mountain we climbed was Gulugod-Baboy Mountain. As far as I remembered, the group met at 7/11 in Pasay,Rotonda where the bus to Batangas is stationed. We traveled by bus from Pasay, Rotonda until we reached Batangas City, then we rode jeep until we reached the jump-off area in Mabini, Batangas near Anilao.
The great thing about the jump-off area are the wonderful view that it offers. I saw some beach from the ground and the beautiful sea that seems no end.
 
 
Here are some seaside snapshots I had while staying at jump-off area.
While waiting for other member in the group that will join the fun climb, we took our lunch near the jump-off area. While having lunch, rain fell. And since rain fell, this means, the trail will be muddy or slippery. But rain will not be the reason to stop mountaineers to go for the climb.
For this climb I met other members of the group and honestly to tell you, I have so much fun meeting them and it’s really great to know them.
As much as I remember, on this first fun climb, I experienced new things about climbing. Comparing my first and major climb to this climb, I realized that it’s not good to compare it, because each mountain have their own uniqueness, have their own features and challenges. My experiences when I climbed Mount Kinabalu were far way different when I climb Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
For the photo above, I capture some part of the area where the rain already falling…
See the heavy clouds?
Here are the views that can be found while climbing Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
These are also the photos that the sky seems to be unfriendly for the mountaineers
because it means one thing…its going to rain (we are lucky, the rain is in far from us)
Gulugod Baboy Mountain is just small mountain (has 500+ masl altitude) compared to Mount Kinabalu (with more than 4000+ masl). I cannot forget my experience while trekking this mountain. First we took the semi-steep small road which partially cemented that time, then we rested few minutes before taking the rough trail. For this climb, I will remember when the only thing I can hold on to were just grass leaves that I don’t know if these leaves can handle my weight. There were many times that I slipped away because the track were muddy. It’s just a good thing that my trekking pole was there to helped me. We passed grasses even taller than me.
When I reached the top, the feelings were wonderful and the amazing view from top was worth to see after such exhausted climb in few hours.
 
 Here are the afternoon before sunset views I caught after reaching the camp
near the summit of the mountain
After reaching the top of the mountain near the summit, we also had a chance to witness the sunset view. With this kind of seeing sun is slowly hiding itself to people, the feeling so ecstatic. Sometimes you will think, how world is so fascinating with just having that moment.
Sunset Views
This first fun climb was also the first night having a great time with the group. I got a chance to get to know them for real. The group called it “Socials” where some secrets revealed, some information gave away either by just telling it through jokes or even in a serious way. There were lots of fun and laughter that made me feel that night will not be over. In that social activities with the group, I also had a chance to introduce myself to the group and my reasons why I like to climb.
This is the famous lonely tree branch – a significant mark used as a proof commonly
by mountaineers as evidence that they reached Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
Here is the summit of the mountain – where my group made their important jump shots
Its getting dark ..
Even the group had so much fun over the night for social activities, everyone still able to wake up to witness the sunrise from the summit. And I am one of them who trek the trail to summit immediately to glimpse the sunrise for a moment.
The moment – Sunrise
After enjoying the rising sun from the summit,

here are the photos around the Gulgod-Baboy Mountain Summit

I truly treasure my experience in this climb, as second mountain to climb I knew for myself, that I still have lots to learn in mountaineering.

Mount Kinabalu – A Wonderful Challenge

I just like to share my first and formal experience of being mountaineer. I remember when I was in college, there was a mountaineering club in the university that I wanted to join in, but when I tried to talk to my college friends and classmates, they were not into it and not interested in hiking a mountain. Because of the situation, I thought I am the only one who likes it, because of that I never tried it out. Time passed, I graduated in college, now I am working and after six years, I met a good friend who is an active mountaineer.

He mentioned to me the plan that he and his group will be going to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia on September 2008. After I heard it, I told him, “Can I join the hike?” And he said “Sure, but Mount Kinabalu has an altitude of more than 4000 meters above sea level. Do you think you can do it?” And I said, “I can try to  and I will prepare for it”. That was the start for me to go for the things that I really wanted to do from the first place. Maybe before I was not pushed enough to go for what I like to do and now that I have a chance, I am grabbing my opportunity to do it.Before this major climb, I reminisced my last climb during my last year in college. We hiked Mount Santo Tomas in Baguio and I knew in my heart that I enjoyed the hike. I remember that the trail we used to reach the peak of the mountain was pretty straight forward and there were not so much hurdles to hike the mountain. All I remembered and I cannot forget was before we were able to reach the peak, there were raindrops falling and the wind gets stronger that I almost think wind can blown us away. But I knew in myself that I like hiking and the experience was a good adventure for me.Now I am going to tell my climb experiences in Mount Kinabalu and I am telling you, it is not been easy for me.Mount Kinabalu is the 20th world-famous mountain based on height and its beauty. Is it the highest mountain in South East Asia. It is located in Sabah, North Borneo Malaysia and the climb was held last Sept 21 to 24 2008.Day 1 – September 21 (Saturday)

The schedule flight to Kota Kinabalu from Clark (or Macapagal) International Airport is 4:45 PM. The group met at 8AM in Jollibee at St. Francis Square near in SM Mega Mall in Pasig since the bus going to Clark Airport is stationed here. From there, we traveled from Pasig to Clark from 9AM to 11 AM. Since our flight will be later in the afternoon, we used our waiting time inside the mall and we had our lunch there. While looking around the mall, I remembered that I have to buy a raincoat. While looking for a raincoat I remembered that I forgot to bring my head lamp that I will be needed for night trek.

Around 2PM, we went back to the airport. While waiting in the line to enter at the airport entrance, I prepared my passport and e-ticket, to my surprise I printed a wrong e-ticket (this made me nervous). When its my turn to present my passport and e-ticket to the entrance officer, I told him that I printed the wrong e-ticket and I asked him, “where I can request to print my e-ticket?”, the officer led me to the right direction. During this time, I thought I will not be able to travel and not able to go to Malaysia. I am glad that the office where I had my flight booking is open and they were able to print it. After I got my e-ticket, that’s the only time I was relieved. My mountaineering group inside the airport is waiting for me and they are all smiling at me after they saw me (I felt that they also relieved that I had my e-ticket and I will be able to go with them with this challenging adventure).

While writing this blog I would like to note that two things I learned on that day. First, list down all the items that I have to bring on the climb and second counter check many times the backpack if all my stuff are already on it.

Clark or Macapagal International Airport
View from my window after I woke up from a nap during the travel
from Clark Pampanga to Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu from the plane
Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Around 3PM in the afternoon we were inside the waiting area of the airport. Around 4 PM, our plane arrived. Almost 5PM, plane took off and we landed in Kota Kinabalu at past 6PM.

After we arrived in Kota Kinabalu, the group discussed the lodging or hotel that we can sleep in for the night before the climb on Sunday morning. Lodge was not really a big issue because after we found a cab that will drive us to the city center of Kota Kinabalu, it’s fairly easy to find lodging for backpackers. After we found the lodging, the group just had dinner and all were setup to sleep for the next big day.

Day 2 – September 22 (Sunday)

We woke up at 5AM. The group prepared, then headed to the cab station that will drive us to the jump off area of Mount Kinabalu. We rented two taxi cab for the whole group and we started to travel at 7AM. While on our way to our destination, we had a chance to see the beauty of Kota (“Kota” means city) Kinabalu, we also stop in Mount Kinabalu lookout viewpoint where we experienced to see the beauty of the mountain from a far. All of us are amazed on what we saw. And I myself realized and asked myself, “Is this the mountain that I am going to climb? Can I really climb that mountain?” I cannot believe myself either and along the way, I am fighting and convincing myself that I can do it.

Mount Kinabalu from a far (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Mount Kinabalu View while we are on the road

Mount Kinabalu from lookout view-point (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)

Mount Kinabalu peak from lookout view-point (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)

Mount Kinabalu from lookout view-point

Next, we pickup our three guides for our trek. Then, we drove to the jump off station. Before we start our climb proper, one of our guide made an orientation and explained the trail path that our group will take. Mount Kinabalu has two trail; Misilau and Timpohon trail. The group plan is to ascend the mountain by Misilau trail and descend it through Timpohon trail. During the orientation, our guide gave us our packed lunch which was part of our reservation paid in Laban Rata, a hotel near at the peak of the mountain where we are going to stay for the night before trekking the final trail to the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

Views while on our way to jump off area

Mount Kinabalu (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)

Entrance to Kinabalu Park (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)

Misilau Trail jump off site


Trails to Mount Kinabalu Peak

We started our climb at almost 11 AM. The journey had begun. While climbing the mountain, I had a lot of experiences. The great thing about it was seeing the beauty inside and outside the mountain. Mount Kinabalu is a protected mountain, and most of our trails were covered with towering trees that was why we were not bothered by the sun rays.


Some trail pictures (photos above copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
View while trekking the mountain (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Trail View (photo copyrighted by Susan Reyes)

During the trail, we experienced rain from some point of the mountain. And I cannot forget the part wherein its raining and the trail was some kind of muddy, then there were lots of irregular stairs that we need to take. At that point, I hated stairs (but I have to deal with the stairs whether I like it or not). During that time, wind was powerful and I felt the cold because my jacket was wet due to rain even I used my raincoat. After climbing of more than seven to eight hours, I had some difficulty to climb the mountain. But I know I can still climb. But I brought a lot of water which adds to the weight of my backpack. Our team lead in the climb, asked me. “Can you still carry your backpack?” And I said, “Its ok, I think I can”, but what he did was asked one of the guide to get my backpack and port it from there to hotel. I did not object maybe because I am tired too. And I can see that it’s also the same thing felt of my group about me. Another three hours passed before we reached the hotel. To be honest, I am the last person to arrived the hotel. All of my group member were asking me if I was ok and I said to them that I was fine. For me that was both wonderful and difficult climb that I had.



some of the views to see while climbing the mountain


one of the view that we found while trekking the mountain



amazing views that we passed while on the small bridge


The hanging bridge

View from the hanging bridge
(photos above copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)

Laban Rata hotel for what I know is located between 3200 to 3300 meter above sea level (masl). I never realized that I was able to climb more than 3000 masl. When I arrived at hotel, that was almost 10PM. And the next climb proper to the peak of the mountain will start around 2:30 AM (I am thinking, how many hours of rest before that time).


Laban Rata Hotel
Laban Rata Hotel – where we stayed before trekking the final summit of Mount Kinabalu
(photos above copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)

During the dinner, the group discussed that we were all surprised of long hours of trek and all of us chanted that was really tiring and difficult climb. I can see in my team, that all of us had a great deal with Mount Kinabalu. We were thirteen in the group and only three people decided to climb up to the peak of the mountain that night. I myself, decided not to force to go to the peak. I am really tired and I know I can if I had enough time to rest, but four hours was not enough for me to have another climb. After the dinner, the group went to the room then went to bed with a decision that most of us are not going to climb up to the summit.

Day 3 – September 23 (Monday)

Around 1:30 AM, I just felt the team lead of the group woke up and tried to ask the sleeping group, who will be the other to join him to go for the summit. And then, one by one were starting to moved around and woke up. And I heard them that they were decided to go. Out of 13, 10 decided to go. And I am not one of them. Then, there was a part of me telling me to try. I can go back to the hotel if I can’t really make it.

The group that will go for final ascent left the hotel around 2:30 to 3AM in the morning. Then, I decided to follow, after that, when I got out I felt the cold wind in my body and in my face. And tried to follow the trail together with other two co-mountaineers in the group. Then, I brought my oxygen canister, because I know that air in the summit will be thinner and will be difficult for me to breathe. Then, I started to climb again, but few meters from the hotel, my oxygen canister fell and I had to look for it. Then, I become skeptical if I will go further or not. I think twice and got confused. After I saw my oxygen canister from the ground I tried to continue the climb, few minutes I felt difficulty in breathing and I realized that I have to stop. I have to stop trying and go with others. I thought that I am so much tired and I have more than 6 kilometers to descend (I need to reserved that energy). I went back to the hotel and on my way back, I told the couple mountaineers (they decided to go to the summit too) but when they saw me, they went back to the hotel with me and decided not to go further too.

At the room, there was a part of me that I wish I can go to the summit. But, I know my self limit. And be realistic that when I got outside, I felt that its hard to breathe. We slept few hours and woke up after hearing that the group arrived from the summit. 5 out of 10 (decided to go to the summit) were able to reached the summit. Some reached the other peak of the mountain. I congratulated all of them, because I know that at least some of the group were able to finish up to the summit of the mountain. We had our breakfast and started to descend the mountain.



Inside the mountain while descending it (there was fog)

Carson Falls in Timpohon trail

We were able to catch up the lunch (which serves as our lunch/dinner) that day. And then rest for a while before going back to the city. Our guides gave us our climb certificate. My certificate indicated that I was completed the 3500 masl climb and for me that was really awesome. I know that Mount Kinabalu highest peak is 4095 masl. I am still proud of myself that I able to climb a mountain with that altitude. For me it was an achievement.

Mount Kinabalu is a beautiful mountain for me. It has a very friendly trail especially the Timpohon trail. While we were on our way descending the mountain, we saw a lot of tourist taking that trail to climb the mountain. Unlike Misilau trail, we just saw two which tried to descend the mountain.

Mount Kinabalu has amazing peak and the shape of the peak is really fantastic. One of the mountaineers in our group able to capture lots of pictures at the summit after reaching it. And after I saw them, the view were really panoramic. How I wish I was able to reach the summit too. But I can try to climb the mountain again next time if there will be another opportunity.

For a beginner like me my team recognized and told me that I was pretty good during the climb.

Because of all experiences I had in this mountain, I will never forget “Mount Kinabalu”.