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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Extreme Selfie: Lioness, Rhino, and Pinagrealan Cave


norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget
Extreme selfie at the Lioness' Head!!!

Here's another one of those "do one thing everyday that scares you" moments of my life! And I have no regrets!! Well, we just did a "buwis-buhay" [life-risking] rock scrambling in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Rock scrambling, by the way is a term for an activity of ascending rocky faces and ridges that lies somewhere between hiking and rock climbing.

We started scrambling at around before lunch time and the sun was scorching hot!! I suggest you start it super early in the morning so when you reach the peak, the sun's heat is still not as hardcore as it is during noon time.

Check out this view!
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

My new travel buddy: Vibram Five Fingers
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

Lunch right after our climb to the Lioness Head and Rhino rock formation
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

Close Encounter with a Lioness and a Rhino

Our first destination was the Lioness Head and Rhino Rock Formation in Bigte, Norzagaray. Climbing the lioness' head rock formation was the most challenging climb of this trip! Seriously! One wrong step and you'll fall down the rocky and deadly cliff! Good thing we hired a tour guide to guide us which rock is steady enough to step on. Not to scare you, but there are some rocks that just fall off when you step on them.

The Rhino's peak was not as hard to climb as the lioness but the rocks are sharp so you need to wear protection for your hands. Make sure your shoes can also withstand hardcore climbing.

norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

Rhino Rock Formation
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

Of course, selfie on top of the lion's head!
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

Can you spot the lion's head? :)
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

Stalagmite and Stalactite Hunting at Pinagrealan Cave

This cave is a subterranean network of caverns extending more than a kilometer deep. The Katipunero Revolutionaries during the war against Spain used it as a camp in 1896 and again during the Filipino-American War in 1898 as hideout of General Emilio Aguinaldo (the First President of the Philippines). It was also used as a sanctuary by the Japanese Imperial Army when the Philippines was liberated by American Forces. [wiki]


norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

These sparking rocks are made of crystallized water droplets formed through the years.
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget

And here we are after a surviving an hour of spelunking, braving the darkness, hearing bats all over, slipping through trying to fit inside tiny holes, and swimming through icy cold water inside. REWARDING!
norzagaray, lioness head and rhino rock, lions head, rhinoceros peak, pinagrealan cave, bulacan, shareph, itinerary, budget


Detailed Itinerary:

07:00 AM – Meet up at SM Fairview
07:30 AM – Ride jeep going to Bigte, Norzagaray (Php 26.00)
08:15 AM – Tricycle ride to jump-off (Php 10.00 each)
09:00 AM – Start trek
10:00 AM – Start ascend to Lioness Rock
11:00 AM – ETA Lioness (WARNING: long queue of people)
12:30 PM – Start descend
01:00 PM – Start ascend to Rhino
01:30 PM – ETA Rhino
02:00 PM – Start descend
02:10 PM – Back to main road
02:30 PM – Lunch at a resort near Pinagrealan
03:30 PM – Wait for our turn to Pinagrealan Cave
04:30 PM – Pinagrealan Cave tour
05:30 PM – Back to the resort for shower
06:30 PM – Depart for Manila
09:00 PM – Back in Ayala

What to Bring:
- Gloves
- Water, Drinks
- Sunblock / sun shade
- Snacks
- Extra clothes and towel
- First aid kit

Estimated Budget – Php 300.00 per pax



Sunday, February 1, 2015

[VIDEO] The Beautiful Province of Surigao del Sur

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Check out this short video/trailer about our recent trip to the Philippine province of Surigao del Sur. You may also check out my blog post, including a detailed itinerary here.



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Talk soon!
- Jaypee