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  1. #351
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    More "sea of crowds"

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_111817-jpg

    On the way down, we passed by some bamboo plants

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112747-jpg

    Views during the descent
    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112444-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Pics didn't load before

  2. #352
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    We passed by some streams and waterfalls during the descent. Some ppl from my group (and other groups) decided to get wet.

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_111609-jpg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191124_093422-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Pics didn't load

  3. #353
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    More streams
    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112314-jpg

    Cacao/ cocoa plantation on the way back to the village
    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191124_095045-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Pics didn't load

  4. #354
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    Passed by dome some houses. These ppl don't have electricity, unless they buy solar panels, since the electric lines don't reach their place.

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112419-jpg

    A few meters down, we reached this junction. It's the end of the concrete road, and the end of the power lines. There's a mom&pop store (sari-sari store) at the corner.

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112243-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Pics didn't load

  5. #355
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    Back to the village
    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112557-jpg

    I had mixed feelings when I saw this tied up monkey. It had become a pet, so its owners probably fed it. But I felt that it should be in the wild. As it is, it's now a genetic dead-end. But if it's in the wild, it would probably be caught or eaten. Sigh...

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191202_112514-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Pics didn't load

  6. #356
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    House in the village - one of the relatively large houses there. I liked the combination of concrete base, upper floor dwelling area, and use of light materials, for better aeration. But then also thought, how would that house fare in a strong typhoon or earthquake?

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191124_102509-jpg

    Small village eatery and owner-type jeep (it's non a/c, still common in the provinces). Bcos the mountain has been opened to hikers, small stores have opened up in the village, like sari-sari stores and eateries.

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191124_102552-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Pics didn't load

  7. #357
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    Some thoughts...

    Whenever I hike, aside from the views and physical activity & achievement I get from the hike, I get grounded to the reality that there are still so many ppl worse off than me.

    The ppl living in the village were mostly poor, simple folk. Most were farmers, trike drivers, etc. Two of our guides were underage. One guide, a young girl, the one who I was following in the mid pack, was only 16 and she was 2 years behind in schooling. She had to stop for a while due to lack of funds. The other guide was her cousin, a 14 y.o. boy. They both serve as guides during weekends so that they can earn some money for school.

    In some of these mountain communities, there are no high schools or middle school, only elementary school. The older kids need to go to the town center (bayan/ poblacion) since it's where the public high school is located. And going to the town center means $$ for trike rides & food. It's either ride a trike or get up early to walk several kilometers (which my parents had to do, as kids). A guide for a short hike earns 400-600 (8-12 USD) for a 6-8 hour hike (with several rest stops). It's humbling to think that if I had a 500-peso meal at a mall, someone had to work 8 hours for that amount.

    My parents / grandparents grew up in similar areas - mountainside, rural communities. I am thankful that my parents studied, and in turn, was able to provide a good education for me. As such, I was able to study, work, see some parts of my country and the rest of the world.

    And now, I'm sharing these experiences with you. Sorry for the maudlin thoughts. But looking back at the pictures, I felt blessed.

    Cheers!

    Edit: BTW, thanks to anyone who can repost the pics.
    Last edited by katie23; 02-12-2019 at 01:04 PM.

  8. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Some thoughts...Whenever I hike, aside from the views and physical activity & achievement I get from the hike, I get grounded to the reality that there are still so many ppl worse off than me.

    And now, I'm sharing these experiences with you. Sorry for the maudlin thoughts. But looking back at the pictures, I felt blessed.
    Katie,

    Great news that you've recovered enough to "get back on the bike" so to speak. Ref the poverty, it is a difficult conundrum and i have trekked in some very poor regions around the world. On one hand it can been difficult to see the poverty and you always judge it against your circumstances but on the other hand it is possible to see over time that without the "Tourist Dollar" nothing for them would change and they will still be subsisting without any hope of an improved future.

    At least by mixing with people like your good self and others they get income, insight into the world outside their community and it possibly inspires them that they can have better lives. The problem however is the change does not happen overnight. If you didn't trek and bring in your income then they'd not even have that or the chance to meet you all and the stories you tell and they share. Its not all about the money.

    Anyway look forward to your next Trek, i imagine you'll be taking it easy, no arduous ones until your confidence returns.

  9. #359
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    @toot - thanks for your reply. Re: the hike, yes, it felt good to hike again and to know that I was in the middle pack & not in the sweeper (last) team. I've got another hike lined up for the middle of this month, also a minor hike, so it won't be too strenuous.

    With all the work stuff and three Christmas parties to attend to, I hope I'll be able to squeeze in some jogging or zumba time as preparation for the hike!

    Re: poverty and "tourist dollars", yes you're correct. Tourism activities help the lives of these people, whether it's for the guides or those selling snacks/ drinks. I just hope that it's responsible/ sustainable tourism - anywhere in the world.

    I remember during my Mt Pinatubo hike, there was a 10-12 y.o girl selling iced candy. She & her younger brother both sold them for extra school money. They carried little polystyrene coolers to keep the iced snacks in. They later hitched a ride in our 4x4 offroad vehicle, to get back to the village/ jump off point. They sold the snacks every weekend to tourists/ hikers. I think there's a pic of them in my Mt Pinatubo thread.

    At the moment, I'm working from home, waiting for the brunt of the typhoon to hit my area. As of now, it's still in the Eastern part (Legazpi / Naga cities). It's Typhoon Tisoy/ Kammuri and due to hit Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. It's already a bit rainy and windy, but I think the worst is yet to come. During Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda in 2013, it hit the eastern seaboard at 6 am and I felt it in my area 12 hours after. We'll see... I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

  10. #360
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    At the moment, I'm working from home, waiting for the brunt of the typhoon to hit my area. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
    Katie hope it's not bad and stay safe.

  11. #361
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    Is Katie, Tiz and Davis OK - not much in the UK news. Hope you are all safe.

  12. #362
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    Typhoon was a fizzer here in BGC.

    Not much rain and not even much wind.

    Miss TizShe's home town in Oriental Mindoro didn't do so well, they still don't have any electricity. Her uncle passed away during the cleanup after the storm, a suspected heart attack.

    They had to rebuild their house after the last direct hit by Typhoon Nona in 2015, but the new house handled this one pretty well.

  13. #363
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    @toot - I'm good, thank you. Typhoon brought some strong winds in my area, and some rain too! I was worried that power would be lost, but it stayed on for the whole time. A malunggay (Moringa oleifera) tree on the neighbor's plot fell - that was the casualty in my place. At my mom's house, things were okay too - strong winds but not much rain. I've been busy the past few days due to work, but now it's the weekend, so yahoo! Thanks for the concern.

    I've got another hike scheduled next weekend. Hopefully, that will push through. At the moment, there are not enough joiners, so it may not be commercially viable for the organizer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    @tizme - glad to know that the typhoon didn't hit hard in BGC. I'm sorry for Ms Tizshe's loss... Condolences...

  14. #364
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    Time for an update

    It's not a hiking event, but last weekend I attended a simple Christmas party with my hike friends. It was good fun - some simple games, food, drinks, prizes and of course, karaoke.

    Cheers, happy Christmas and a blessed New year to everyone!

    Venue was at the rooftop of a building that was owned by one of my friends.

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191223_095654-jpg

    We cooked/prepared our own food. To keep it simple, we did things Korean style.
    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191221_195234-jpg

  15. #365
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    Happy xmas to you and the family too Katie.

  16. #366
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    Antipolo City skyline at night
    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191221_220637-jpg

    Food & drinks
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    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191221_194658-jpg

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hiking in the Phils-img_20191221_190431-jpg   Hiking in the Phils-img_20191221_194524-jpg  

  17. #367
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    @toot - thanks, and happy holidays to you too!

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20191221_190431-jpg

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hiking in the Phils-img_20191223_105830-jpg  
    Last edited by katie23; 23-12-2019 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Pics didn't losd

  18. #368
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    Katie, can I ask? Are all your hikes guided or do you ever use maps?
    No idea what Phils is like for surveys and mapping, but most places I have traveled include Ordnance Survey map packs. These are usually updated too so we know where we are going and can work out terrain and distance.
    Many British walks are also defined by guide books for the best route with interesting bits included in the commentary.
    It is common in UK to experience different weather during a hike/walk and many popular trails are noted for this.
    Your attitude to hiking does seem very different to my experience. Not a criticism, just an observation.
    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and yours.

  19. #369
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    @switch - yes, for most of my hikes, we hired guides. I can only think of 2 unguided hikes that I've done. One was in my hometown, where there are clear markers & guides are not required. I served as guide when I brought friends there. Another one was in a hill in Antique province (Panay island) wherein I stayed at the house of a friend, and she & her family members acted as my guides.

    For most mountains here in PI, the hikes MUST be guided. It's for the safety of hikers, and also to give extra income to locals. People must also pay an environmental fee. Hikers are required to register at the local barangay/ village hall, note the number of ppl, pay the fee, hire a guide, be oriented about the mountain - whether there are water sources or not. The registration & guides are also for safety - some mountains/ provinces are known to have militant groups hiding in them. As hikers, you don't want to be kidnapped or held hostage. We also don't use maps - just rely on the guides. I have never brought a map, but I do bring a whistle with me when I hike. I also have a small first aid kit and poncho (for rainy days).

    Most of my recent hikes were organized hikes, wherein I was a joiner. It's easier to be a joiner - just pay the fee, and transport, guides, etc are all arranged. Saves on cost too (well, not always, 'coz the organizer has to profit too). It's easier just in case you're a solo joiner or small group - since transport is provided. I've become friends with the organizers and with the other regular joiners, thus we had a Christmas party last weekend to celebrate our friendships!

    Btw, I'm not offended. I consider myself more of a casual day hiker, not a hardcore mountain climber (with ice picks and etc). Sometimes, I do the more dufficult mountains or trails, like 6/9 or 7/9 difficulty, but that's rare, since it takes more time, effort and $$. I have some hike friends who do hexalogies or octalogies - 6 or 8 mountain peaks in 1 day - I'm not into that. I just hike to see new places, reconnect with friends, and to get my ass to exercise so that I don't develop hypertension, 'cos that's in my genes!

    Re: safety, I was reminded of this video from a popular features show here - Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. The staff went to explore/hike Mt Pandadagsaan in Compostela Valley, Mindanao. It's believed to be a haunted mossy forest, and also known to harbor militants. The TV crew had to be accompanied by army soldiers during their hike. Just skip to the end to see the mossy forest.



    Happy Christmas and happy trails to everyone!
    Last edited by katie23; 24-12-2019 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Typo errors - dang phone!

  20. #370
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    https://www.chooseachallenge.com/three-peaks
    A UK based hike for charity, is typical of organized guided walks you can take on in UK. Nothing to stop individuals or small groups doing this independently. Most who take it on are familiar with the routes and the terrain for these 3 so called challenges.
    Its not unusual for amateurs to get lost, but thankfully, the regions all have mountain rescue teams on standby throughout the year. l have seen Japanese tourists walking up Ben Nevis in shorts, T shirt and loafers. TBF that particular walk, resembles a motorway, but people sill get lost, or fall and get injured. As I said earlier, weather changes can be quite dramatic. Without a map and compas, it’s easy to miss your way in poor visibility, and fall off a steep cliff.
    My experience was gained as an adventurous pursuit during voluntary military training, so I tend to use map and compass.

    No offence intended in my earlier post or this one. Just comparing experiences. No terrorists were harmed by these posts. ��

  21. #371
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    Chas, the tour/trekking guide thing has taken off in the last 10 years in SE Asia, like you 'd rather do my own thing but its s non-starter in many places now. Did Kinabalu 20 years ago and you now need a guide, no option.

  22. #372
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    The system that Katie uses seems sensible, and looks like it works well for all concerned.

    I was once caught in a freak blizzard in the Cairngorms on a two day hike. We decided that the circumstances required that it became a 24 hour hike to the nearest civilisation. Phils unlikely to get caught out that way, but we didn't have earthquakes, typhoons or terrorists to deal with.

  23. #373
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    Well Katie, a plan is the future so what is it. I'm not accepting kowtowing from the feisty Flippa trekker so spill the beans - where , when and how - or has your bloke saddled you.

  24. #374
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    Hey toot, thanks for the bump to my thread!

    Because of the virus, there are no hikes at the moment. The last real mountain hike that I did was in mid-January. Then in early March, I did minor walks/ trails with my "bloke" during the trip to Sagada & Baguio. But now due to the virus, most of the country is in some kind of quarantine (general community quarantine, GCQ) and only essential travel is allowed. AFAIK to travel to another province or region, travel pass, medical certificate & IDs are needed. I haven't left my province in 3 months, and only go out for essentials (groceries, bills, etc). It's quite boring and frustrating sometimes, but I do understand the need for it.

    The PI health system is very inadequate and if we had full blown cases (like what's happening in India & Brazil now), our health system can't handle it. I can't even hike in my local mountain because it's closed off by guards. But that's the way it is. Pres Du30 said that he won't allow schools (K12 level) to reopen unless there's a cure or vaccine. My local chicken vendor, who has a small kid (I'm a regular customer) said that school opening was postponed to December (should've been June, then postponed to August).

    So while I can't travel or hike yet, I'm just keeping busy with work & other stuff, and saving $$ for future travels, as well as for more land and house-building if/ when the bloke & I get hitched.

    Meanwhile I'll follow your wife's apartment build, because I like the idea of having apartments for rent as retirement income. The land is there - need to save up for house & future apartments. Cheers!

  25. #375
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    Katie, thanks again!

    I think the school opening schedule here is for August.

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