Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mt. Gulugod-Baboy in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas is “Teletubby Land”

Peaking at 525 meters above sea level, with a difficulty level of 3 out of 9, Mt. Gulugod-Baboy in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas, is among the mountains recommended for beginners. It only takes approximately three hours to complete the entire trek. This, by far, is the easiest climb I had. However, this one's special because it's my 5th summit (discounting Mt. Pinatubo). According to my mountaineer friends, reaching your 5th summit signifies your commitment to continue conquering more mountains.

Happy Feet Adventours
At the summit of Mt. Gulugod-Baboy, Anilao, Mabini, Batangas

I joined Happy Feet Adventours for the third time. Because we have Saturday work, I could only hike on Sundays. Upon learning that Happy Feet had a Sunday schedule, I messaged them on Facebook and reserved my slot.

We met at 3am at McDonalds fronting MERALCO in Ortigas. We were 10 in all, including the three team leaders, Justine, Oliver, and Mina. Three people did not show until 430am, despite continuous follow up through SMS. Thus, we decided to leave and started our two-hour trip to Mabini, Batangas.

The travel to Batangas was rather quick, perhaps, because I was sleeping the whole time. Our TLs arranged the required permits and did the orientation, especially for the newbies, before we finally started the trek. 

Pre-climb orientation

Happy Feet Adventours
We climb, and climb, and at the top we fly! ---"In My Dreams"

Happy Feet Adventours
Tired? Buy halo-halo or ice-cold Mountain Dew from these stores along the way.

Happy Feet Adventours
Bored? Bring speakers and have a blast going up!

Gently sloping terrain, shady trails, vast, grass-carpeted summit, and cool mountain breeze at the peak made the climb a relatively easy one. It’s so easy that even children could reach the summit! We saw a group of children with their parents enjoying their time up there! I asked Justine what makes Mt. Gulugod-Baboy unique. He said, it’s because it looks like “Teletubby Land” (if you are familiar with the show “Teletubbies”, you can relate!) 

Happy Feet Adventours
Welcome to "Teletubby Land"!
Happy Feet Adventours
See, there were children at the summit!

While it took us approximately 2 hours to reach the top, it only required us less than an hour to go down the base camp. Afterwards, we had a sidetrip at Hilpan Resort where we had our lunch and the girls swam for two hours. We were supposed to go to Sombrero Islands, but because three attendees did not show up, Happy Feet decided to go to Hilpan, instead. To further compensate, we were given 20% less on our payments on our next booking with Happy Feet. Not a bad deal, huh?

As mountaineers always say, “the mountains are calling, and we must go”. I plan to conquer at least five more mountains this year.
TL Oliver, TL Mina, me, and TL Justine

Happy Feet Adventours
With our TLs Oliver and Mina

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Theater Review: Tanghalang Pilipino's "Mabining Mandirigma" And Making History Interesting To Young Audience

Tanghalang Pilipino's "Mabining Mandirigma" has all the elements to make history interesting to young audience.

Mabining Mandirigma
Mabining Mandirigma Ticket

A steampunk musical, the play presents an out-of-the-box concept that combines powerhouse cast (check out the actor who played Emilio Aguinaldo!), stylish costumes, catchy songs, and awesome choreography, among others. Both poignant (scenes of Mabini) and entertaining (scenes of the Ilustrados), the production is everything except boring. 
Tanghalang Pilipino
The cast of Mabining Mandirigma

I have seen the play twice (the first time was in July 2015), yet I was still moved by the message of the play, "Mahalin mo and Pilipinas nang higit sa iyong sarili", a relevant message, especially that the national election is happening in two months. Loving the country means electing the right people in the position, people of integrity like Mabini. This applies to voters of all ages.

Tanghalang Pilipino's Mabining Mandirigma
Together with my BFF, Ms. Didith, and Liesl Batucan, Apolinario Mabini

Tanghalang Pilipino's Mabining Mandirigma
With Arman Ferrer, Emilio Aguinaldo (he was very good!)

Mabining Mandirigma
With Pepe, Aldo Vencilao

Tanghalang Pilipino's Mabining Mandirigma
With the rest of the cast of Mabining Mandirigma

Catch the last week of "Mabining Mandirigma" next week, from March 11-13, 2016, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It's worth the money.