Feb 28, 2016

Admin Team Goes to Puting Buhangin Beach and Kwebang Lampas

Puting Buhangin Beach and Kwebang Lampas located at Brgy. Ibabang Polo, Pagbilao, Quezon Province.

Summer definitely started early for the CNX Admin Team. I am not supposed to go with the team because my wallet is already crying. Blame it on my Mt. Pulag and Batangas trip plus I just recently bought a watch. But I got some colleagues who, on the very last hour, persuaded me to join them. My heart, my mind, and my wallet has a firm stand of not going but my itchy feet prevailed. My feet are easy to be cajoled.

Going there

Since we are 18 in the group, we decided to rent a van. From Eastwood QC, we took the Manila East route (passing through Rizal, Laguna and Quezon) instead of the usual SLEX route. This route, though loaded with zigzags, is a good venue for roadtrip and side trips as well. You may stop off at Pililla Wind Farm in Rizal, take a picture beside the Lumban, Laguna's marker and have a pancit habhab feast at Luisiana, Laguna.

For those who will commute... (source)

Bus Option To Lucena 
Take a bus en route to Lucena (either from Buendia or Cubao) and get off at Lucena Grand Central Terminal. From the terminal there are vans and jeepneys going to Pagbilao. Manila to Lucena Bus fare is around Php 209.00, one-way fare.
Second Route is to take a bus going directly to SM Lucena.
You may want drop by SM Lucena to buy supplies before heading to Pagbilao.
There are jeepneys from SM Lucena Going to Pagbilao Market terminal. Fare is 15.00.
You can also buy supplies at a public market near the terminal.

From the Lucena Grand Central Terminal 
Take a jeep ride bound for Brgy. Polo for Php 35.00.
Tell the driver that you are going to Lukang Beach (Lukang Beach is the old name of Kwebang Lampas).
Once in Brgy Polo, you can hire tricycle going to the Kwebang Lampas Registration area.
Tricycle drivers are charging around Php 200-250.00 one way, to bring you to the registration area.
We met a Tricycle driver, name is Tolits (will send his number, if you need it) and his asking price is Php 150.00.
Price of course depends on number of pax and camping gears and supply you are bringing.

Three options on going to the Beach from the Registration Area.
Walk all the way to the beach.
Boat ride to cross the lake, Php 20.00 Round Trip. Short hike to beach, approximately 15-30 mins.
Boat ride to cross the lake and rent a boat to take you and all your camping gears, food, water, etc to the beach. Prices vary, depends on your negotiation skill with the boatman.

 The option we chose is the boat ride + hike.


  • You must bring a tent. But if you do not have one, caretakers offer tent rental.
  • There is no electricity so make sure that you charged your phones and you have power banks as back up.
  • Buy all your necessities before reaching the island. Although there is a store at the island, items cost a pretty penny. Like for example, a 355 ml C2 green tea costs 45php. Mahal!
  • A pail of water costs *tumataginting* 50 php. So practice conservation of water. lol.

The Experience

A roughly 5-minute boat ride from the registration area to the beach.
Vitamin sea!
Tents along the beach strip.
Upon entering Kwebang Lampas.
Groufie at the other side of the cave.
Explore the other side of the cave and you'll see this beauty.
Lots of small fishes even on the shallow parts of the sea.
A night full of fun and drunk individuals. lol
Honestly, Puting Buhangin failed to impress me. Maybe because I already have a high standard due to lots of beaches I've been. But pwede na din for a quick escape from manila. But as what they say, it's not the place but the company. I really did enjoy because of my officemates' funny antics. There was no dull moment. This became an unforgettable trip because of them. :)

Feb 19, 2016

Mt. Daraitan (with Tinipak River and Cave Side Trip)



Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Daraitan (village centre), Tanay
Minor jumpoff: Sitio Cablao Brgy. Pagsangahan, General Nakar
LLA: 14°36′48.5′′N 121°26′19.5′′ E, 739 MASL (+600)
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

Info by Pinoy Mountaineer.


03:30 meetup Cubao Farmers
04:00 ETD Cubao to Tanay
07:00 ETA Daraitan River
07:30 ETA Daraitan jumpoff
08:30 Start Trek
11:30 Summit
12:30 Start descent, traverse to Tinipak river
14:30 ETA Tinipak river
15:30 ETA Tinpak cave
17:00 ETA jumpoff, tidy up
18:00 Headback to Cubao
20:00 ETA Cubao

Since Mt. Daraitan is tagged as "mother of all assaults", we made this our pre-climb mountain for our Mt. Pulag "expedition".

Although it is a minor climb and can still be hiked by beginners, climbing Mt. Daraitan is a no joke. Expect a lot of steep trails that can challenge your cardiorespiratory endurance.

Not to brag, but I did not have a hard time climbing Mt. Daraitan because I am well-prepared. I followed the tips by sir Gideon Lasco aka Pinoy Mountaineer - running, walking on a steep slope, and carbohydrate loading specifically. Also, thanks to the vines and man-made "railings" for not letting us slip. *wink emoticon*

River crossing

View from Daraitan Brgy Hall
If you see this signage, it means your close to the summit
See that heart-shaped river? That's Tinipak river.

De kwatro pa more!

After this, we went to Tinipak river and cave. One word to describe: breathtaking!
Heading to Tinipak river and cave

See! No filter needed!
Look at that, crystal clear waters!
Inside Tinipak cave. Water is ice cold but YOLO, so we dipped ourselves into it. Note: You need to bring flashlight or headlamps - you cannot see anything without it.
Ahon salute!

Photos by my colleagues from Ahon Mountaineering Club