Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mt. Marami (405+) ~Paradise Philippines

Maragondon, Cavite

Jump-off point: Brgy. Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite
Elevation: 405 MASL
Altitude gain: 320 meters
Level and days required: Level 1, 2 days
Budget: P400

If Pico de Loro were a blockbuster movie, its sequel would be Mt. Marami, set in the same location and sharing the same characteristics. Matching Pico de Loro's rocky tower are two grand structures, surging up from the slopes: the summit of Mt. Marami, a massive, monumental composite of rocky pillars; and its guardian, the smaller Silyang Bato. The name 'Marami' is of local origin, and is attributed to the 'many rocks' that formed it. Subconsciously, this choice of name is profound, considering the sedimentary nature of the rocks found in Marami. Indeed, in recent geologic past, Mt. Marami below sea level. Silyang Bato, for its part, has a more modern etymology; according to the locals its original name is 'Nagbuo', and was christened with its present name by the earlier mountaineers.

The jump-off point to Mt. Marami is Brgy. Ramirez in Magallanes, Cavite. However, the summit and its environs are under the jurisdiction of Maragondon. It is a 3-hour drive from Manila; passing by the coastal road, onwards to Tanza, then Naic; from Naic a jeepney can take you to Magallanes. Brgy. Ramirez is just 10 minutes away from the town proper. The barangay fits the bill of a classic rural village. At the end of the road, marked with a water tank, is Brgy. Councilor Punongbayan's house. It doubles as the jump-off point. You can arrange for guides here.

The trail begins smoothly; although it poses concerns for both wet and dry seasons. It is severely muddy when wet; whereas sun exposure is notoriously acute when dry. Even so, the views are rewarding. The first landmark is 'Ilog na Kayrayag', a nearby river; next is Bangkaan River, which you have to pass thrice. In both rivers, you have the wade your way -- water is usually knee-deep though with heavy rains, they may swell to forbidding levels. The last river crossing is around 1.5 hr from starting point. A bamboo bridge was in place here, before it was wrecked in April 2007.

The ascent commences after Ilog Bangkaan; and here, there are two variants of the trail. One is the Nuestra Senora dela Paz variant, and the other is the Talahib variant. The former offers frontal views of both monuments (including a close-up of Silyang Bato), and is recommended over the Talahib, even as the latter has a more gradual ascent, and it is the one used by the locals. In both trails, the environment is comprised by woodlands and sections of grasslands.

This trail approaches Marami from the west. Thirty minutes into the Nuestra Senora, you'll encounter a nipa hut, called 'Kapihan' by some. Nearby is the last water source. An hour into the trail is Campsite 1, which offers majestic views of Silyang Bato and Mt. Marami. After one more hour of trekking, the bamboo forest will be reached. After an hour, Campsite 2 appears, in the southern portion of Mataas na Gulod. From here, you will enter another forested part to reach the base of Marami, where a campsite, the one most often used, is located. A ten-minute assault of the summit ensues.

This trail approaches Marami from the south. It uses a "saddle peak" - the slopes of Mataas na Gulod peak on the south side - instead of approaching Mt. Marami directly. Hence the ascent is more gradual. Instead of following the river to Nuestra Senora, you go straight, and after 1.5 hours, you'll encounter a nipa hut. Beyond this, you will see the two structures for the first time. The trails from here on are mostly 'talahib' grassland - the talahib can grow very tall and may obscure the trails. You may encounter grazing cows at this point. Then a campsite will be reached after over an hour, just below the 'Mataas na Gulod'. Afterwards, you will approach Mt. Marami via the bamboo forest. The trails here can get very confusing. After the forest, a clear-cut path to Mt. Marami emerges; and just five minutes of bouldering will take you to the summit of Mt. Marami.

At the summit, rocks, patched with unusual mosses, lichens, and ferns, comprise the scene. Winds are strong and weather is cool. Dramatic views ensue, affording a panorama of the Maragondon mountains, including Pico de Loro, Mt. Mariveles, and even Mt. Banahaw. Dramatic rock formations, set in this beautiful background, create an infinite number of photo opportunities.

Day 1
0500 ETD Manila. Take Saulog bus to Naic (P65)
0700 ETA Naic; take jeep to Magallanes (P30)
0800 ETA Magallanes. Register at police station. Take tricycle to Brgy. Ramirez
0900 ETA Brgy. Ramirez, at Kon. Punongbayan's house. Register. (P20)
0930 Start trek
1000 ETA Ilog na Kayrayag
1100 Cross three segments of Bangkaan River; proceed to Nuestra Señora de la Paz
1200 Have lunch at Kapihan Nipa hut. There's a nearby water source.
1300 Resume trek to Campsite 1
1400 ETA Campsite 1
1500 Reach Bamboo Forest
1600 ETA campsite at base of Mt. Marami summit.
1630 Assault the summit; explore
1800 Return to camp.
1830 Dinner / socials

Day 2
0530 Wake up / sunrise viewing
0630 Breakfast
0730 Break camp
0800 Start descent
1030 Back at Kapihan nipa hut
1230 Back at jump-off point at Brgy. Ramirez
1300 Leave for Municipal Hall, then Naic via jeep
1400 ETA Naic. Take bus back to Manila
1700 Back in Manila.

Mt. Marami is notorious for its labyrinth of trails, waylaying many hikers. Even guides can get lost, as there are no "professional guides" in Brgy. Ramirez; you just ask locals to act as 'guides' for P200-300/day. It would be best to have some experienced hiker to guide your group as the trails are really confusing.

Wear protective clothing because some of the plants and grasses are irritating to the skin. Also, sun exposure is very strong so be guided accordingly. During the rainy season, the trails are muddy. However, even then the trails are benign. Only standard precautions are needed for most parts. However, Ilog na Kayrayag can swell to a point when it cannot be crossed. This could make you 'stranded' at one side of the river; you would have to wait for level to descend. This happens often during the rainy season; hence PinoyMountaineer recommends Mt. Marami as a summer destination. The views would be much greater then.

Kon. Felicio Punongbayan has an agreement with the municipality of Magallanes; you have to register at the police station first before going to the barangay. You may contact Kon. Punongbayan at +639213627008. Cellphone signal is sporadic, but strong in the summit and campsite areas.

Wild boar meat is a favorite delicacy of the locals in the vicinity of Mt. Marami; wild boar roam the forests whereas deer have retreated to denser jungles.

Average trek time is 5 hours. Interestingly, the water in the rivers and streams are milky white. However, when the rivers swell, it becomes murky brown. This is also the time when locals would go to the banks and try to catch some fish.

Mataas na Gulod was a more prominent landmark before the "discovery" of Mt. Marami. Its elevation is probably around 300 MASL. Speaking of elevations, the circulating elevation of Mt. Marami at 840 MASL is a gross overestimate. It might probably be referring to feet instead of meters, as 280 MASL would be a valid estimate using satelite data. The 405 MASL used in this IT is from the author's own measurement.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mt.mayon~ itenerary bicol

Mayon has had forty-seven eruptions in recorded history[citation needed]; the first recorded eruption was in 1616, the latest (prior to 2006) being a mild outpouring of lava in June 2001.

The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814. Lava flowed but not as much compared to the 1766 eruption. Instead, the volcano was belching dark ash and eventually bombarding the town with tephra that buried the town of Cagsawa—only the bell tower of the town's church remained above the new surface. Trees were burned; rivers were certainly damaged. Proximate areas were also devastated by the eruption with ash accumulating to 9 m (30 ft) in depth. 2,200 Albay natives perished in what is considered as the most lethal eruption in Mayon's history.

Mayon Volcano's longest eruption occurred on June 23, 1897 which lasted for seven days of raining fire. Lava once again flowed down to the civilization. Seven miles eastward, the village of Boracay was buried 15 m (50 ft) beneath the lava. In Libog, 100 people were declared dead—incinerated by steam and falling debris or hot rocks. The other villages like San Roque, Misericordia and Santo Niño became deathtraps. Ash was carried in black clouds as far as 160 km (100 mi) from the catastrophic event. More than 400 persons were killed.Samuel Kneeland, a professor and a geologist had observed the volcanic activity five months before the eruption. Kneeland was amazed with the beauty of Mayon:

At night the scene was truly magnificent and unique. At the date of my visit the volcano had poured out...a stream of lava on the Legaspi side from the very summit. The viscid mass bubbled quietly but grandly, and overran the border of the crater, descending several hundred feet in a glowing wave, like red-hot iron. Gradually, fading as the upper surface cooled, it changed to a thousand sparkling rills among the crevices, and, as it passed beyond the line of complete vision behind the woods near the base, the fires twinkled like stars, or the scintillions of a dying conflagration. More than half of the mountain height was thus illuminated.

No casualties were recorded from the 1984 eruption after more than 73,000 people were evacuated from the danger zones as recommended by scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.Pyroclastic flows killed 77 people, mainly farmers, in Mayon’s last fatal eruption in 1993.


0700 Breakfast at hotel.
0830 Make travel arrangements at hotel or take public bus from Legazpi to Mayon Resthouse.
0930 Arrive at Tabaco. Proceed to Mayon Resthouse.
1000 Make arrangements for accomodations at the resthouse.
1030 Register at PHIVOLCS as a precautionary measure.
1100 Spend the rest of the day picture-taking.

0500 Breakfast. Final check of supplies and equipment.
0600 Jump-off point at PHIVOLCS Station through tropical forest.
0800 Wade through sea of undulating talahib grass with razor-sharp edges.
1200 Arrive at Buang Gully. Gaze at magnificent panorama unfolding before you.
1215 Take left fork of the gully to reach the transition line at 1,921 m.
1315 Reach transition line, pitch camp and have lunch. Afternoon for rest, picture-taking and preparing for final ascent.

0600 Breakfast.
0700 Start off on rock scrambling to reach cliffs girdling Mayon.
0900 Scale cliff at 2,210 m and continue to summit over loose cinders and lava.
1100 Reach summit.
1130 Descend to camp.
1300 Lunch at a convenient spot along the way.
1330 Continue towards camp site.
1500 At camp, rest after exhilirating conquest of Mayon.

0600 Breakfast.
0700 Begin descent through Buang Gully and talahib area.
1000 Re-enter forest portion.
1100 Set foot on PHIVOLCS Station and report arrival.
1200 Lunch at resthouse. Prepare for departure.
1400 Return to Legazpi.

MT. LABO itenerary ~Camarines Norte

via Sitio Butan, Brgy. San Isidro, San Lorenzo
Camarines Norte

Mount Labo is a compound volcano at the NW end of the Bicol Peninsula
in SE Luzon, SW of the city of Daet. The forested 1544-m-high
andesitic stratovolcano is surrounded by numerous andesitic-to-
dacitic satellitic lava domes. Mid-Pleistocene eruptions beginning
about 580,000 years ago formed lava domes on the northern side of the
complex. The present edifice was formed beginning about 270,000 years
ago, and flank lava dome emplacement took place from about 200,000 to
about 40,000 years ago. The latest activity from Mt. Labo produced
pyroclastic flows from the summit cone about 27,000 years ago.
Thermal activity in the form of hot and warm springs continues, and
Mount Labo has been the object of an extensive geothermal exploration

The Kadlagan Outdoor Shop and Services, the 1st and leading outdoor
shop in the Bikol Region, has the tradition, system and service to
let the Mountaineers, climbers and nature lovers to experience the
life in the outdoor, relax, rejuvenate, uplift their environmental
consciousness, and create camaraderie among themselves by bringing
them at the cool scenic places away from the city like Mt. labo. So
this coming, Set.1-2,2007, the kadlagan is initiating a the SAKATT SA
MT.LABO, Daet, Camarines Norte with assistance of ORYOL OUTDOOR
CLUB . A two days Trekking, camping and hiking.
So come and join us.

Registration: P550 includes t-shirt, certificate, souvenir giveaways
and guide services.
Exclude fare, food, tents and personal equipment and necessities.


SEPT.1 2007-Day 1

6:00- Arrival/Preparation
7:00- ETD
8:00- ETA Jump off point (Sitio Butan)
8:00-9:00- Briefing
9:00- ETD Base Camp
12:00- Lunch along the the trail
2:00- ETA Base Camp ( Site A- PNOC Exploration Area)
2:00-3:00- Camp Preparation (rest, tent pitching, etc.)
3:00- Descent to Angelina Falls
4:30- Back to camp site
5:00-6:00- Meal preparation and Socials
10:00- TAPS

SEPT.2, 2007- Day 2

4:00- Wake up call
5:00-6:00- Breakfast and Pack lunch preparation
6:30- Ascent to Summit
8:30- ETA
8:30-9:00- rest, picture taking
9:00- Descent to campsite
10:30- ETA
11:00- break camp
12:00- Lunch
12:30- Ascent to Sitio Butan (Spill way)
3:30- ETA
3:30-4:30- rest,swimming
5:00- ETD
6:00- ETA Daet

-The organizer deserves the right to change or alter the itinerary
without prior notice and bring all necessary camping equipment and
expect the trails to be cogonal or grassy so bring with you your long
sleeve shirts and trekking pants with abundant water. Individual with
special medication are advised to bring the sufficient amount of
medicine. Mt.LABO is a level 3 climb(MODERATE 2 STRENEOUS).
Waterproof, pack your camping stuff in plastic bags before putting
them into you. Make a check- list and check it twice. First aid –
bring safety with you all the times. First timer - exercise, to be
physically fit. Waste- dispose it properly. Carry out litter left by
you and others


Food: 2 days probation. Anything as long it is edible but we
recommend lightweight supply of food with enough supply of water. so
we advised to bring enough water.
Equipment: Sandals and Hiking are highly recommended for the trails
are rocky and grassy and sometimes muddy, tents, stove, personal
belongings such as clothes(for 2 days),pants, caps ,gloves, shorts,
flashlight or headlight, jacket or sweater, etc.
Equipment: Sandals and Hiking are highly recommended for the trails
are rocky and grassy and sometimes muddy, tents, stove, personal
belongings such as clothes(for 2 days),pants, caps ,gloves, shorts,
flashlight or headlight, jacket or sweater, etc.

For more information and reservation of your slots: Please contact:
MIT-MC or visit our blog site
Limited to 30 participants only.
Thanks a lot and see you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

CWC Camsur Watersports Complex amenities ~paradise philippines

Discover this enchanting retreat within the provincial capitol complex. A perfect harmony of modernity and natural splendor, the Ecovillage is an ideal tourist destination. If you're on a budget, the EcoVillage is the place for you.
Mansion Suites
Staying at the Mansion Suites is of great advantage to watersport lovers as it is just a stroll away from the world-class Camarines Sur Watersports Complex. Whether you're a sports fan or not, the Mansion Suites will cater to your needs. There's a full dining room and lobby areas where you can read or just relax.
Villa Del Rey Cabanas
The newly opened Villa del Rey Cabanas are designed for the more adventurous tourist who craves to be within walking distance to the CamSur Watersports Complex, Skatepark and Bike Trail. These affordable accommodations also come equipped with all the modern day conveniences.
Villa del Rey Containers
The Villa Del Rey Containers are an affordable way to stay and keep close to the cable. The containers sit directly accross from the cable lake and only takes a few minutes to walk to the cable. Whether you are alone or with a big group of friends, we'll be able to accomodate your lodging needs.
Villa Del Rey Villas
For those who love luxury. Visitors who stay at these villas enjoy the finest pleasures in life like their own private garden retreat, personal outdoor hot tub, access to the spa facility, swimming pool and upscale dining.

CWC Camsur Watersports Complex~paradise philippines

The Camsur Watersports Comlex is the first world-class watersports complex in the Philippines and in Asia. CWC aims to bring cable skiing to a whole new level and attract watersports enthusiasts from all over the world with its top of the line facilities and relaxing environment. This six (6)-hectare complex, with its 6-point cable ski system, is sure to draw guests, riders and spectators by the thousands. Because of good weather conditions, cable skiing in the park can be done all year round.

The CAMSUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX is located within the Provincial Capitol Complex, Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur. The province of Camarines Sur, situated in southeastern part of Luzon is found in the Philippines, Southeast Asia.

From Asia, Europe or the USA, fly to Manila, Philippines (NAIA or CENTENNIAL 2 Airports) and take a 35 minute domestic flight via Philippine Airlines to Naga Airport, Pili. The CAMSUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX is a 3-minute or 1.5 kilometer drive from the Naga Airport. If you’re up for a road trip, air-conditioned and ordinary buses ply the 8-hour route daily to and from Manila

Cable skiing is simply water-skiing where the skier is pulled by an overhead cable suspended 8-12 meters above water surface by specifically designed pylons. The cables run counter clockwise around the lake. It is powered by a variable speed electric motor which can maintain speeds between 20 - 65 km/h.

Wakeboarding was created from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques. Instead of using skis, the rider rides a single board with stationary non-release bindings for each foot, standing sideways. Wakeboarding, besides being one of the world’s fastest growing sports and is gradually being recognized globally, has become a lifestyle for others.

Kneeboarding is an aquatic sport where the participant is towed on a buoyant, convex, and hydrodynamically-shaped board at a planing speed behind a motorboat or cable. In the usual configuration of a towsport kneeboard, the rider sits on his heels on the board, and secures himself to the deck with an adjustable strap. As in wakeboarding or water skiing, the rider hangs onto a tow-rope. The forte of kneeboarding vis-à-vis other towsports seems to be an easier learning curve, and not requiring as much effort to have fun.

Water skiing is a sport where the rider is pulled along by a rope with a handle fitted at one end and the other attached to a powerboat. Within the confines of being pulled along by the boat or cable, skiers can control their direction by balancing their weight on different sides of their ski. This is used to zip back and forth behind the boat. Recreational skiers usually learn to ski with a ski on each foot, but as they improve, they progress to using a single ski, placing the other foot into another binding behind the main one. Beginners on two skis are usually pulled along at around 25-35 kilometers per hour, whereas more advanced social skiers travel between 40 and 55 kilometers per hour - once confidence is gained it is actually easier to travel faster than at slower speeds because of the greater lift and stability.

Wake skating is an adaptation of wakeboarding that employs a similar design of board manufactured from plywood or from fiberglass. The fact that the rider is not bound to the board in any way gives wake skating its own unique challenges from wakeboarding. Instead, the top surface of the board is coated in grip tape in a similar fashion to a skateboard or soft, high-traction foam covering that is kinder to riders in the inevitable crashes. Riders usually wear shoes while riding to afford themselves extra purchase on the board, again in the manner of skateboarding.


  • Free use of basic equipment (beginner wakeboards, water skis and knee boards) for those new to the sport.

  • Free basic and safety instruction by CWCs resident instructors and operators.

  • World class obstacle courses designed to challenge even the most advanced riders yet safe enough for the brave ones who dare to try tricks for the very first time

  • Gear up for the ride with the cable park’s Pro Shop which is equipped with everything a rider needs to pursue the desired sport.

  • Besides the ramps and obstacles, the park has also set aside a beach volleyball area and a pool for those who would like to take a break from the boards but still want to keep bathing under the sun.

  • A Clubhouse is built for the guest’s dining area and for live entertainment. Guests can also chill at the Clubhouse and enjoy round of billiards, darts and foosball.

  • An elevated spectator area is placed beside the lake so that the guests will have a better view of the exhibitions.

  • The park also boasts of Wi-Fi capability which enables the guests to take a break from the bustles of the city yet still remain connected to the necessities of the world.

  • Accommodations within walking distance from the park are also readily available for small or big groups.
The CAMSUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX may very well be the next destination for every event imaginable. Book it for competitions, corporate outings, product launches, marketing events, special occasions or your next vacation destination With its complete and world-class facilities, friendly people, not to mention its proximity to the natural wonders that surround the province of Camarines Sur. CWC has a little of anything and everything for anyone and everyone. CWC is the best cable park in the world!

Accommodations within walking distance from the CAMSUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX are readily available for anyone that wishes to visit the cablepark for a weekend or week-long getaway. The Ecovillage, The Governor’s Mansion, Cabanas, Containers and the luxury villas and suites also located within the Provincial Capitol Complex are all a stone’s throw away from the cablepark and may be booked for very reasonable prices. The rooms are spacious and equipped with cable-ready 29-inch television sets, air-conditioning, and hot/cold showers. Restaurants, guest lounges, swimming pools and Wi-Fi capability are also available in any of these areas for guests to enjoy.

Camarines Sur is undoubtedly a paradise, with the gifts of Mother Nature at its best. Its ancient landscape is composed of dazzling stretches of white sand beaches, turquoise waters teeming with marine life and coral reefs and sanctuaries, massive limestone formations, majestic mountains, densely rich forests, unique species of flora and fauna, waterfalls, caves, underground rivers and unspoiled lakes.

Experience the wonders of Camarines Sur and discover the richness of its culture, the warmth of its people and ingenuity of its products. Bask in the beauty of Mother Nature and uncover the Philippines’ hidden treasure.
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