The Cordilleras’ Rice Terraces

The rice terraces up north have always been part of my bucket list. And they have been quite elusive to me. Might sound crazy that I flew all the way from Cebu for a 13-hour land trip – and fly back right after – but after two failed attempts in the past year, I was just more determined to go.

The itinerary was jampacked – in 2 days, we covered the Batad, Maligcong and Banaue rice terraces, plus Tappia falls and a sunrise hike up Mt. Kupapey.

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Mt. Kanlaon: Terrifyingly beautiful

This mountain has been in my bucket list since I started hiking, and now I’ve finally completed the highest peaks of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao! 🙂 Mt. Kanlaon in Bacolod is Visayas’ highest peak and the country’s largest active (!!) volcano.

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Mt Apo: Highest of them all

It still feels surreal to say that I stood at the summit of the Philippines’ highest mountain. Three days later, my thigh muscles are still sore; the summit, trails and views are still vivid in my mind but ironically it feels like such a distant memory. The people I spent 3 days and 2 nights with were strangers to me then and now I may actually have a bad case of separation anxiety.

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Pulag, playground of the gods

Who hasn’t heard of Mt. Pulag? Witnessing its famous sea of clouds has been on my bucket list since I started climbing in 2012.

Mt. Pulag – highest peak in Luzon- was my 4th climb. It also happened to be my first overnight climb. Aside from my weekly running routine, I had no preparations prior the big day. My friend and I joined an organized climb c/o Arcobaleno Trailoutours so we were spared of worrying about the food, tents and transportation. I was mainly concerned if I’d be able to 1) carry the weight of my pack up until we reach camp, and 2) withstand the freezing temperature.

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