Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hiwang Native House Inn and View Deck

It took me some time to post about this wonderful place.
Maybe because I was too selfish to share about it.
I didn't want this place to be discovered because it might get too touristic and spoil the serenity feel it gives me whenever I am here.

Hiwang Native House Inn and View Deck is in Banaue, Ifugao Province.
My first visit here was way back 2012.
 It is a place with a set of traditional Ifugao native houses that you can rent with an amazing view.

Don't be scared of those totems over there.
In the Cordilleras, they symbolizes differently per province.
In Ifugao, this is the rice god. They call it the Bulol.

The native houses are usually high and in order for you to get in, you need a ladder.
To know more about the evolution of native houses, click here. 

ifugao banaue house

Owned by Noel Dumulag Balenga and wifey Gloria Limangen Balenga.
There are 6 native houses for lodging and 2 native houses for the museum.

For you to stay in the native house, it's PhP1,500 per night for 4 people inside. It can fit maximum of 6 people. Extra head is PhP250 (Rates are subject to change. This is the rate as of March 2016)
It was too expensive for a solo traveler like me so I visited the museum instead.

To go to the viewdeck, there is an entrance fee.

Inside the museum, it was a mix of the owner's antiques that he got from different tribes and handmade carvings.
The Ifugao people are known for their craft in carving.


Some are collections and some are for sale.

banaue ifugao

banaue ifugao

I sat beside the rice gods.
There were other interesting things to show but I'd rather that you
see it for yourself when you come to visit.
That is, if they aren't sold yet.
(It needs parental guidance he he he)

hiwang native house

The face of an exhausted lady after her trek.
We have something in common. Our eyes and our tummy.
I tried to hide mine.

The water buffalo's horns.

hiwang native house

These are skulls of Japanese soldiers from a tribal war during the Yamashita days.
They were found in Hungduan, Ifugao.

Great place to go shopping here if you have a garden. 
I find them all unique.

ann d explorer

I said I will be back to stay with friends here
(since I can't afford it on my own he he he)

After 3 years . . . 

I brought two friends.

We had a lovely and cozy house.

ann d explorer

You'll have your own place. Your privacy. Your comfort room. Your view deck.

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Once you're inside, you'll be too lazy to get out.

There's only one kitchen.
You have to cook the traditional way. Per bundle of logs is PhP100.

Gellie was the expert in blowing.

Cris was the cook.
I was tasked to cut the cherry tomatoes and work on the sea weeds. (the hardest task I must say)

Globe signal is excellent up here.
Cris and Gellie were too busy with their social media accounts.
While I was busy taking photos.

Everything in this place speaks of nature.

As we were exploring the place, we saw this last native house at the top.

It has an awesome view as well.

hiwang native inn

In front of us is the Gohang Rice Terraces.

This place speaks of SERENITY.

This is our favorite house but we did not stay here because we will go hungry.
The kitchen was a little far.
We would be too lazy to get out and cook.

You can also have a bonfire. 
Order the logs for PhP100

That night was perfect.
It was a full moon.

When I woke up, I was greeted with this another awesome experience.
Though this made think . . .
The full moon was there with the sun rays.
But . . .

. . . the sun went out from the opposite side. 
What was the sun rays doing at the other end?

After 3 weeks . . .
Gellie and Cris brought their other friends!

We did an outreach at Gohang Elementary School. The first outreach was a collaboration of D'Project, Cris and Gellie. (Click here to read about it)
Then they brought more friends to share more blessings.

Gohang was near Hiwang so it was mandatory to stay at our favorite place.

Even the dogs are always sleeping.
Though they'll be at your side when you're eating.
Be careful not to leave food around.

Weather is unpredictable in the Cordilleras.
Sometimes it is foggy.

And still foggy . . .

But of course . . .  there would be clearing.
Yes . . . that's Nesa. Doesn't she look familiar?

It can get really cold but when the sun comes out, it could be warm.
Nice warm. Not the Metro Manila warm.

Cris lies down under our native house.
Everywhere we went, we just wanted to lie down and enjoy the weather.

To get there . . . 

There is a scheduled jeepney trip going to Hungduan but that's like late in the afternoon.
You can rent a tricycle or jeepney.

We rented a jeepney. This is Abe.
He usually drives for Kuya Sam, the owner of the jeepney.

Kuya Sam is also a police man. He is the man seated next to the bench.
That's why we always rent his jeepney. When he is not on duty, he is our driver.
We know we're in good hands.
If you need jeepney rental around Banaue and Sagada, his number is 0997.400.8570

This is Art. Grandson of Ma'am Gloria.
When he is not in school, you'll see him around helping his grannies and assisting the guests.

This is Ma'am Gloria.
For reservation, contact 0927.753.8668

We will be visiting this place SOON!

*rates as of March 2016
*photo credits to my travel buddies

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mount Maculot

Mt. Maculot - Rockies (706+)
Rockies-Summit-Grotto Traverse (930+)

We met up at  JAC Liner in Buendia-LRT at 5.00am
Everyone was asleep once we've hopped on the bus since it was really early. We got to sleep for at least 2.5 hours.

We took the Lemery bus and it dropped us here.

Took a tricycle to get to the barangay.
Mandatory log-in/out.

That's our GOAL up there.

We can leave our things at the store where we can bathe after.
Our friend Jaja was drinking her water so her bag won't be heavy!
ha ha ha it was her first climb!

I always say that we hike fast but we take a lot of pictures and it slows us down :)

Don't worry about stop overs. There are a lot of mini stops.
These ones sell buko juice and bananas/hard boiled eggs sometimes.

Strike a pose.

What's challenging about this part of the climb was that it's loose soil.
Not much rocks to step on. Helpful, if you have a stick.

5 minutes of hike and another mini stop.

And another . . .

This mini stop has a nice view deck.

The trail.

This is the major stop. It is the head branch he he he
Super expensive. If we have the 7-11convenience store in the city, this is like 7-20.

I had the halo-halo which was I think 40 pesos.

The comfort room.

We had lunch here. We brought our own food but we couldn't help but buy one 1.5 liters of coke that cost like 155 pesos. 7-20 huh?
On this photo, we had another group of mountaineers with us who shared their table.

My climb buddy Kim was very happy with our new friends.
As for me, I got the That Thing Called No Tadhana shot.
ann d explorer

I belong!
ha ha ha 
The guides

On our way to the Rockies.

That other end is the way to the rockies.
We had to wait as it was traffic going up.

Ropes are placed to go down.

See the people behind me up on the Rockies.

And then there's that mandatory group shot.

There are different spots you can take photos of when you're at the Rockies.

At the tip of the rock
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If you're brave and your guide says it's okay ... go!

Sun bathing

Our group shot.

My favorite spot.

Can't go to this area without the guide.
Escorted by our guide, Ramil.
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Be careful as it gets windy in this part.
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Ann d explorer

Our next destination is the Summit which is behind me.

The only way to go to the Summit was to go down again the Rockies.
ann d explorer

On the way to the summit.

We picked some wild berries.
Guide Ramil said it was safe to eat it.


Like all summits, it's tiny. 
We had to have a group photo with another group.
This one was a failure. Against the light :)

This is more like it!
Everyone was having a hard time because of the sunlight.
I didn't.
I have super powers.
Sunlight can't get inside my eyes.
It's small he he he

Our group photo.

 You have options on which trail you want to do.
We did the traverse trail.
Our exit was at the grotto.

 The trail was fun and adventurous.

Before we reached the grotto, we saw some houses and stores.

We rested while we wait for the others.
We had the photo of the family who owns the store.
We mingle with locals!

When the other half of the group arrived, 
Jaja had a minor injury so she got some free massage from Julie.
While Kim did a pray over.

Our mandatory group shot with the store owners.

Off to the Grotto.

 Group shots overload.

We named our group AWO which stands for Arms Wide Open.
Funny joke we made of another group we encountered on this climb.

Our album cover shot

Pasaway shots
When it was a back shot, what did I do?
Ann d explorer

Instruction: Look back from their right . . . what did I do?

Instruction. Look back from their left . . . what did I do?
I think I was too far to hear it. That's why!

and then....I noticed our Guide Ramil was playing with us trying to tell us to make these poses.
Of course...we obeyed!

Going down to the Stations of the Cross.
Again, we were doing the traverse trail so we reached the last cross first.

Expect lots of people here during Holy Week.

Random local kids at one of the stations. 

It was all steps from the first station up until to the last.

While waiting for the rest of the group, I sat with the local drivers who were playing.
The game was funny and it made no sense at all ha ha ha

We took the tricycle to get back to the store where we started.

It was a fun hike.
Even my shoe was smiling.

Wonderful owners of the store where we cleaned up.

Batangas is known for their goto and lomi. 
We made sure we had one before heading back to Manila.

In case you need a guide, Ramil is the one. 
Contact him  0997.529.7412 

Our Maculot adventure is MacuLOVE!