Getting into places to temporarily escape the real world has always been my last resort to calm things down and de-stress thyself from the toxins life brings. If you have already read one of my entries, you’d probably know that I never had the chance to hike– even if I was in the arms of Mariang Makiling during college. Poor kid, I never had the guts and the strongest desire to reach summits. But there is still the hope in me that I’ll make it and this is one of the bucket list I have for this year.
Good thing, few of my best friends tagged me in a random facebook page (Bakasyonista) on a travel package to Rizal. Being this curious and excited, we immediately planned of inquiring and reserving for slots. Like, agad-agad. We’ve planned for it some time in January but chose and booked our travel on February 11. We paid half of the total price so the slots were reserved for us. We made sure to reserve six slots (for me, Jush, Grace, Romar, Sharm and Liane). Sadly, only half of us were able to join the trip on the exact day. Sharm had to attend her family’s party needs, Ate Lei had work and Romar was not permitted by his mom to join. TBH, it would be better if we didn’t plan it ahead of time. Maybe, everyone of us were able to join, I guess?
It was my first time to travel through booking via Facebook page. But since Jushtine had already an experience doing such, I trusted him and the universe that this one is legit and this will be a success. I was really terrified to try such thing. It was nerve-cracking to think that I;ll be away from my family for a day and the assurance of me getting back safe was not certain. But yeah, andito na ‘to. Paninidigan ko na.
We left at around 9:30pm-ish for Cubao, reaching around 12midnight because you know, traffic sucks. The call up time was actually 3am. But we were worried that no bus would travel from Sto. Tomas to Cubao at around 11pm or 12mn so we decided to leave as early as that. Since we were too early, we got no choice but to kill time. We ate snacks at Mini Stop, took a nap at Chowking (yes, we were that brave!) and patiently waited for 3am. Time gets a little too slow when you’re waiting for it, eh. Before reaching the meeting place, we were lost. We didn’t know what path to take, what roads to cross. And GPS was not being reliable anymore. I remember there was an instance where two young males passing by the same road we were walking on and we immediately shift direction thinking that those two were bad-spirited guys. Yes, we judge people as such!
The van/service finally came and it was Happy who caught us. Kuya Happy was enthusiastic to meet us since we came at exactly (and even earlier than) 3am. Good thing we came first. We had the privilege to choose our seats in the van. I seated near the window. That’s my best spot. Grace was in front of me and Jushtine on the solo seat across my seat. We were seated comfortably and the travel time were meant for us to take a sleep again since we were really zombies that time until these ladies came and totally made much noise inside the van. Yes, I understand that they might be this excited for the trip but isn’t it disrespectful to make loud noise knowing that some people were catching up on their sleeps? Naaah, poor kiddos!
We reached the first destination for an hour and a half. We were dropped off at a road at the edge of a mountain. We had to ride a tricycle in order to get to the Treasure Mountain. Each costed php50 but was worthy because the road was rough and the tric had to go through a steep slope. We reached the entrance of the mountain for about 10-15mins. Feeling hungry and dehydrated and sleepy, we forgot to bring foods. Huhuhu poor selves. We thought that the foods we ate at 3am would be enough but nahh, we have such a horrible stomachs which can digest much foods in an hour or two. We thought of eating in a resto-house near the mountain but a serving of Tapsilog costs Php150. For godsake 150!! 150 bes! Sobrang overpriced. And a cup of soup costs Php50. Damn these foods. We regreted not taking out Chow Fan or any good foods from Cubao. But any way, life goes on despite hunger. We started hiking, took some of photos and waited for the sun to rise. Fortunately, we got to the top before the sun rose. It was actually my first time to witness a rising sun on a mountain view. It was soooo calming! Feeling ko may bagong pag-asa talaga ako sa buhay. Haha
Feeling the cool breeze of the air, the warmth of the morning sun, the sea of clouds, the good talks and laughters with friends and the serenity of a view, you could actually say that it is really a good life!
We were asked to leave the place before 9am so we could get to the next destination. It was only passed 8am when the three of us left the Treasure Mountain because we wanted to eat some and we got no energy to use for the rest of the day. It was really hard to find foods in the middle of a mountain, and even at the foot of the mountain. We had no choice but to avail the siomai and rice alongside the road where our van was parked. The foods didn’t taste this delicious but was okay just to relieve the hunger we were suffering from. Kumbaga, pwede na din pantawid gutom. Since it was too early for 9am (haha we were early most of the time), we had an hour or so to again take a nap in the van. We were asleep while travelling to the next destination.
A few minutes afterwards, we arrived at Regina Rica Church and reached the 71-foot tall statue. It was Sunday then and it was perfect to attend mass. However, there was none celebrated when we got there. So we just stayed for few minutes in the chapel. It was a tranquil chapel, really. Aside from the harmonic voice of the choir practicing, you’d hear the chirping of the birds. A perfect way of meditating and living your amino spirit with God. The place was serene and clean. There were even Tanglad and scented candles in their comfort rooms which added to the cleanliness of the place.
The next stop was a place for us to have a lunch. Finally! A makatarungang pagkain na this time. We ordered grilled chicken and a bunch of rice. Yayyy! Satisfied stomach, at last!
Our next destination was the Calinawan Cave. It was one of my favorites. It was also my first time to reach a cave. This cave was really historical. It was the place were some Filipinos hid during the Japanese era. It was also the place where few of the most popular TV series were shot like Mulawin, Enkantadia and Ang Probinsyano to name a few. We reached the dead end, the fifth layer of the cave because we were this brave! Haha kidding, we made our trip worth it so we dared to get much deeper and put ourselves at risk. Crawling, having less oxygen to breathe and getting your clothes stained by mud isn’t that easy. But the fun and excitement was undeniably there.
Following this was the Daranak Falls but we were not interested to see it. Not to say that the Falls itself wasn’t that interesting or attractive but there was an entrance fee and the line was too long for us to endure. We were only given an hour or less to see the falls but seriously we fell short seeing such. But no worries! There is always a next time.
Feeling tired and extremely sleepy, there were two destinations still. Second to the last was the windmills of Rizal. I didn’t enjoy this though. Perhaps I was that tired. However, I did enjoy the streetfoods along the windmills. Grace was even laughing at me because I would always look after the foods in each and every stop. I WAS SO BROKE. Damn stomach!
Last destination was a historical church in Rizal. Forgive me I don’t remember the name of the church but it was built more than a hundred years ago which made its structures worth seeing. We didn’t get inside the church for we were all tired. But Grace and I decided to step out of the van to change clothes and refresh ourselves for few minutes. #NoLigo ang mga bes nyo!
We left at around 6pm-ish for Manila. So we had around 2 hours of sleep in the van. We were dropped by from where we were fetched in. We had a quick dinner at Jollibee for we were hungry for hours. Deprived selves! We finished at around 8:15pm and decided to buy tickets at the Grand terminal. But lo! The last trip was at 8:15 and we were that late. The attendant informed us that there will be a bus bound to Lucena at around 10pm and we only had to wait. For two hours. Two long hours. Our hearts sank and thought we would no longer get home the following day. We rode a taxi and see if we can still fetch a bus bound to Lucena in Cubao. Thank God and the heavens, there was! Our travel time that was supposed to last only an hour or two lasted more than that. The driver of the bus seemed unfamiliar with the place, the expressways, the toll gates and all so we were lost. We’ve finally reached Sto. Tomas past 11:30pm and we were all dead tired. Thanks to my mom and dad for the sundo.
It was an amazing trip! I really had fun. Cheers to us three!