Spelunking Lumiang & Sumaguing Cave Connection- Sagada, Philippines

One of the most visited tourist attraction and activity in Sagada is the Cave Connection. The great caves are connected within. Lumiang Burial Cave and Sumaguing Cave is like a work of art hidden underground. Various of rock formations that depicts humans and things alike can be found here. You only need to widen your imaginations.

Most people who just wanted to view the cave can go directly to the mouth of Sumaguing Cave. If you’re looking for more adventure and wanted to experience cave connection, you better start at Lumiang Burial Cave.

The Cave Connection starts at Lumiang Cave, a burial site where hundreds of coffins are stacked as part of the local tradition.

At the mouth of Lumiang, My guide briefed me on what to expect inside and how to make my spelunking easy, enjoyable, and above all, safe.

Lumaing Burial Cave was a sacred ground for the Filipino Ancestors living in Sagada a hundred years back. Their ancestors came to this cave to bury their dead. At the mouth of Lumiang Cave, you’ll see hundreds of old coffins with human remains still inside.

Lumiang cave is quite a difficult trail, since most of the passage ways here are very narrow. Too narrow that only one slim person can fit. So start your diet before coming here, the guide may not allow you to venture the cave. Some passage ways are just holes in between stones. Too small that you need the lift your arms before passing through in order to fit.

After lighting the lamps, my guide asked if I wanted to hand over my camera to him so he could take me a pictures as we crawled, climbed, rappelled and squeezed our way through the crevices and gaps between the rocks

The first few minutes were easy. But it was the only easy time in the whole spelunking. I found myself facing a big rock with a tiny, tiny hole, and I was told I would need to go through it.

There were number of descents and ascents, climbing and rappelling, crawling and scooting, gripping on my guide’s shoulder and stepping on his knee, cursing and praying, and more! There was even a part where I had to brave an eight-meter pool filled with cold, cold, COLD water! But it was all fun. After all, I was taken good care of by my inspiring guide!

A few meters from the cave pool, you’ll reach the Lumiang Burial Caving – Sumaguing Cave border. From this point forward, expand your imagination because here lies most of the natural rock formations.

Some Useful Tips

Planning to take the Cave Connection Spelunking Tour, too? Let me share with you some tips that you might want to consider.

1.Wear a sturdy pair of sandals with a good grip. While shoes make perfect sense in many trekking tours, a pair of sandals with straps around the ankles and feet will work best (I think). Although many visitors who wear flip-flops complete the tour scratch-free, I do not recommend this to everyone because it tends to slide everywhere especially on wet areas of the cave. There are slippery parts so make sure your footwear has good grip.

2.Bring a flashlight. Get the type that you can strap around your head. Your guide will bring a powerful lamp (sounds magical, huh?) but it pays to have a light source that you can control so you can see more and better.

3.Wear light clothes. You WILL get wet and dirty. There are pools (and they are really cold) inside and you will have to dip in them in the course of the tour. There are shower rooms at the store near the mouth of Sumaguing Cave. Should you wish to take a shower, you may use them for a minimal fee.

4.Bring a waterproof, shockproof camera. You can still use an ordinary camera and let one of the guides hold it for you, though. They really have this Spiderman-like balance-thing going on about them that they seem to not slide or fall or whatever. But to be on the safe side, just bring a water-proof, shock-proof camera.

5.Implement a buddy system especially if you’re a big group. The guides always check if the group is complete. You can make it easier for them if you do a buddy system.

6.Listen to your tour guide. They go in, around, and out of this cave more often than you can imagine. They know what they’re talking about. Listen to them. It’s for your own safety and pleasure.

And of course:

7. Wear a pair of durable shorts. Your flexibility will be tested here and the last thing you want is to unintentionally show your *woohoo* while trying to go down and everyone is looking up.

While it was one of the most physically challenging activities I had tried while traveling, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I came out of that cave totally spent, exhausted, and unbelievably hungry. However, there was a great deal of satisfaction, fulfillment, and yes, pride after finishing it. Will I do it again? Probably not. But who knows?

Cave Connection Tour Rates

Here are the rates as of April 2019.

Guide Fee:
P1000 (good for 1-2 pax).
P500 per additional person

Two-way transportation (optional):
P400

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. 🙂

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Mt. Daraitan

MT. DARAITAN
Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Daraitan (village centre), Tanay
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2.5-4 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Tropical forest, limestone formations, river trek

Mt. Daraitan – This hike-worthy mountain is situated in the heart of Sierra Madre in Tanay, Rizal. Mt. Daraitan is very popular in the mountaineering community because aside from its magnificent view it also has a lot to offer including outdoor attraction such as a river, caves, limestone formations, and natural pools.

Mt. Daraitan was surprisingly challenging. The trail is really straightforward assault even from the first part up to the summit. I never thought that this mountain would be more challenging than I expected

Basic things to bring when hiking

•Headlamp
•2-3L of Drinking Water
•Trekking Shoes/Sandals
•Assault Pack
•Sunblock
•Rain Coat (optional, in case it rains)
•Umbrella
•Trail Foods
•Extra Set of Clothes
•Toiletries
•Camera / Action cam
•Tent
•Foil Mat
•Extra Plastic Bag for trash (Practice LNT: Leave No Trace principle)

Getting to Mt. Daraitan is quite easy. There are two options you can try when heading here—via public transportation or private car. Whatever your choice might be, you can easily and conveniently reach this lovely spot. Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to get to Mt. Daraitan

  1. Via public transportation
  1. Ride a van or jeep from EDSA-Shaw Crossing to Tanay. (Cost: 70-90 PHP | 1.5 hours)
  2. Take a jeep from Tanay going to Sampaloc. (Cost: 26 PHP | 45 minutes)
  3. Head to Barangay Daraitan via tricycle. (Cost: 100 PHP per person | 30 minutes)
  4. Go rafting the Daraitan river. (Cost 10 PHP | 1 minute)
  5. After crossing the river, ride a tricycle going to the barangay hall. (Cost: 10 PHP per person | 5 minutes)

Alternatively, you can do the following:

  1. Do the same as the first step above.
  2. Take a jeep from Cogeo going to Sampaloc.
  3. If you’re staying overnight in Mt. Daraitan, ride a jeep from Tanay to Daraitan that leaves at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM and returns at 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
  4. Then do the rest of the steps above.

The entire trip will most likely take you about three to four hours due to various delays and stops.

  1. Via private car
  1. Drive to Marcos Highway and head over Tanay-Infanta Road.
  2. Turn left to the rough roads leading to Barangay Daraitan.
  3. Follow the road until you see the river crossing.
  4. Cross the bridge and pay the 50 PHP fee.
  5. Go to the barangay hall.

This route may take you an approximate of two to two and a half hours travel time.

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. 🙂

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Twin Hike-Mt. Pamitinan & Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Mt.Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi are both minor climbs which means it is recommendable even for beginners.

Local guide was required for the climb and after registering at the DENR office, we’re good to go. We started the ascend at 4 am and our first mountain is Mt. Pamitinan.

Be fully equipped, should you decide to conquer these trails – pack light, wear elastic and comfy clothes, slip on hiking shoes/sandals, thick gloves will be handy, prepare trail food and bring enough water.

TRAVEL TIPS AND OTHER INFORMATION

*Transportation service to Rodriguez/Montalban, Rizal is available 24/7 in Cubao in front of Jolibee Farmers Plaza branch or in front of Gateway Mall. Fare is P50 per person.

* Tricycle service to Sitio Wawa is available 24/7 and cost P60 for 3 people.
DENR Office in Sitio Wawa doesn’t open until 4:30 AM and hikers are not allowed entry to the trails unless they have made prior arrangements with the officials.

*Reservations are required to those going to hike 5-6 mountains in a day which needs to be started prior to 4:30 AM.

*The mountains of Rizal has one of the most scenic views of the early morning sun with the dreamy clouds filling up the horizon. Prior notification to the DENR office in Brgy. Wawa is needed to start of the hike early to witness the sea of clouds.

*Bring gloves and/or any hand protection gear. You’ll need it to navigate through sharp limestone rocks when you assault to the summit.

*Please wear shoes since trekking sandals might not give enough support for your feet during the hike along limestone rocks.

*There are gloves sold in front of DENR registration for P50/pair.

*Guide Fee is P500 for 5 people in a group for each mountain. If you are to hike all 3 within the day, some guides would ask you to pay P1500 but there are some who would kindly consider a lower payment.

*As the common rule, please observe the LNT Principles. Bring trash bags with you and dispose them upon getting back in the city. The locals of Sitio Wawa has no proper waste disposal facility at the moment so it will be helpful if we won’t add to the trash they would need to carefully dispose of.

*Wawa Dam is a quick 10-minute walk from the registration area.
On the other hand, on Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi you’ll have to climb up to the peak then climb down again to the junction before you can proceed to the second hike, which is what actually twin hike should be.

What to bring:

HIKING SHOES
To keep your feet protected from scratches or at least sandals with strap and wear a pair of socks for extra protection.

GLOVES
To avoid splinters from woods and also serves as a protection to possible scratches or cuts when climbing rocks.

FIRST AID
In case there was a minor accident, it’s always better to stay prepared.

BOTTLED WATER

There are stores on the junction (first station) to Mt. Pamintinan selling foods and water. They also offer refills for your bottles for Php30.00 per liter.

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. 🙂

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Mt. Binacayan

Elevation: 424 MASL
Difficulty: Minor 3/9
Features: Limestone formation, scenic views of sierra madre
Days Required/ Hours to summit: 1 Day/ 1.5- 3 Hours
Location: Brgy Wawa, Montalban Rizal

Mt. Binacayan is known for its limestone formation with a magnificent view of sierra madre and rizal province from the peak.

The lime stone are sharped and angled for about 70- 90 degree. It required outdoor skills, Climbing tactics, and death-defying stunts. All of this is mandatory.
There are a lot of obstacles, sharp limestone and rock formation that requires a lot effort, stamina, strength, and energy before you get to the summit.

The view is too beautiful not to be amazed and anyone could be obsessed by its natural beauty

The stunning view are just so amazing. We couldn’t help ourselves, but stare and witness the beauty of nature before sunrise.

How to get there

From Cubao

-Ride a UV express van ( infront of Jollibee farmers) bound to Montalban
– Tell the driver to drop you off at eastwood /luvers

-From eastwood, Ride a tricycle going to DENR (15-20 Minutes travel time)

Thank you!

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. 🙂

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A Sweet Escape in Tampay sa Sinagtala- Orani, Bataan

This farm is a 50 hectare resort, located in Orani, Bataan and surrounded by the lush greenery of the bataan national park, majestic mountain ranges in its backdrop and the natural symphony of birds and wildlife.

Every 3rd of July, I usually go out of town and I chose to take a staycation in tampay sa sinagtala which was recommended to us by the owner.

The place surprised me by its stunning view and it was so huge!

I really find this place very peaceful and relaxing that makes me forget the hustle and bustle of manila.

“Enjoying the pool all to myself and made a lot of laps, I think we were the only guest that time.”

The resort has three infinity pools you can choose whichever you want to enjoy.

Other Facilities

The resort offers restaurant, cafe, a chapel, activity room, reading lounge, meditation points, outdoor infinity pools and adventure park.

Sinagtala is perfect venue for weddings, retreats, family outings, corporate seminars and team building events.

Sinagtala Adventure Park Rides:
Single Rides:
Sky Bridge Php 100Sky Zip Php 350Sky Bike Php 200Giant Sky Swing Php 200Paintball Php500/personwith 50 paintball round
Package Rides:
All rides package Php 750
Sky Zip + Sky Bike Php 500
Sky Bike + Sky Swing Php 350
Sky Zip + Sky Swing Php 500
Sky Bike + Sky Bridge Php 250They also have a guided trekking adveture at Php100/pax.

There are plenty of activities to try for more info and inquiries feel free to visit their website

http://www.tampaysasinagtala.com/

How to get there:

Via private vehicle

From Manila, exit at San Fernando and take the Gapan-Olongapo Road passing towns of Bacolor, Guagua and Lubao in Pampanga and Layac in Bataan. There’s a fork at the PTT gas station, take the right lane until you reach Orani intersection. There are already signposts going to Sinagtala upon reaching the intersection.

From SCTEX, exit at Dinalupihan. Turn right at the highway. When you reach the fork at the PTT gas station, take the right lane until you reach Orani intersection. Signposts will take you to Sinagtala.

Via public transport:

Take Mariveles or Balanga (highway) buses. Tell the conductor to drop you at the Orani intersection. Flag a trike going to Sinagtala.

Staring up while the sun is rising makes me think all the good things that has happened to me these past years. I am always thankful to God for giving me a previlege to travel, to see the beauty of nature, to appreciate life and to always always look for the better perspective of life.❤
This place offers a lot!
Thank You!

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Mt. Susong Dalaga

Mt. Susong Dalaga (325 MASL)
Location: Brgy. Wawa, San Rafael, Rodriguez Rizal
Trail Class: 1-2 with Steep Descent
Hours to Summit: 1Day/1.5 to 2 hour
Features: Rolling hills, Panoramic view of the mountains of rizal, the sierra madre
 

 

 “Feels great to do yoga while waiting for the sun to rise!”

Before the hike

Before we get started, all hikers in sitio wawa need to register at the DENR office. Logbook and waivers to be filled out and pay for the environmental fee.

The hike

I supposed to hike mt. lagyo but kuya christian (tour guide) suggested mt.susong dalaga and told us that the sea of clouds is thick and closer or it can even touch our skin because it rains the night before our hike. It was also sophie’s (dog) first hike.


The trail is easy, beginner friendly and quite wide. You can also see mountain bikers pedaling up the slopes side by side with mountain trail runners and hikers along the way.

The summit has only a small flat space with steep slopes and small hole in the center.
 
After snapping photos, admiring the views we start descending.

THE TOUR GUIDE

Kuya christian is the best tour guide in rizal! The best photographer! lahat instagrammable! Pose lang ng pose sya ng bahalang mag adjust. Well recommended talaga! You can contact him in facebook 
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011429492696
or message him at 09121406446 very responsive din po sya! 🙂

              A beautiful God’s creation❤

How to get there:

From Cubao        
 1. Ride a UV beside Jollibee at Farmers market bound to Rodriguez or Eastwood (San Rafael) fare is 50pesos.     
  2. Upon arrival in Eastwood, ride a trike and tell the driver to drop you off to Brgy. Wawa registration area fare is Php 60 for 4-5pax/.

 Thank you!

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Mt. Pulag

December 2018, I never thought that i’m gonna fell in love for pulag…” 

Mt pulag is widely known as the highest mountain in luzon and 3rd in the philippines, standing proud at 2,926 meters above sea level (9,600 ft). Mt pulag borders between provinces of benguet, ifugao and nueva vizcaya.

Before the hike we dropped by in DENR office for orientation, reminding us some do’s and dont’s, Submitting our medical cetificates and pay for the environmental fee.

It was freezing night in ranger station where we set up our tents.

We started trekking at 1 am wearing our five layers of clotches and the temperature is almost -5 degree.

There are three parts that you will experience while traversing this mountain. You will go through the beautiful pine forest, the moist forest and the grasslands.

After more than 4 hours of trekking, we finally reach the summit! We made it! It was such a rewarding experience❤

 

The landscapes were too good to pass!




After taking lot of photographs, enjoying the view and promising to return, we went back to the ranger station. Mt. Pulag will forever remain one of the best experience i’ve ever had.

Tips before hiking mt. Pulag

  • Med cert are required to ensure that you are in good health before you can start hiking.
  • There are a lot of hikers during weekends and holiday.
  • It gets colder as you reach the summit, temperature can reach zero levels, especially from december to february.
  • Bring a thick jacket, wind breaker,gloves,scarf and layer your clotches.
  • Take trash with you.
  • Bring good camera, power bank, flashlights, 2 liters of water, raincoat and trail snacks.

Thank you!

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