Monday, February 28, 2011

Watak Wasak Wanderers at Mt. Tarak Ridge

What's in Bataan?  I know little about Bataan.  In fact, the only thing I can associate with it is the Bataan Death March.  And last weekend, Watak Wasak Wanderers did not march to death (I think) and Camp O'Donell was not our destination, but Mt. Tarak.

Call time was 1230am.  We boarded Bataan Transit  bound to Mariveles.  The fare was Php259 each.  What was supposedly a 3-hour bus ride became a 2-hour power nap time --thanks to no traffic, empty NLEX, and to Kuya (the bus conductor), who woke us all up.

We alighted at Alas Asin, and made our way to their baranggay post for the registration.  Registration fee was Php40.  Some of the climbers went straight to Nanay Cording's kubo, which happened to be right at the foot of Mt. Tarak.  It seems that there is an issue (political?) between the baranggay and Nanay Cording, and we refused to meddle on that.  Nanay Cording and Tatay Arsenio's presence is also a hit or miss for mountaineers, but for us (ASAL - Ang sa amin lang), as long as we do not feel harassed, in fact we were treated nicely, then we're good.
Tatay Arsenio offered coffee to all of us.  For me, that is a sure hit!
At 6am, after coffee, a prayer, and some conditioning and epic stretching routine, we were all set!

I did not realize my bag was this big until I saw this photo @_@

Our ascent was approximately 5 hours.  The first hour was difficult, the next 3 hours was insane, the next 55 minutes was impossible (almost), and the last 5 minutes (which I thought was never ending) was suicide!

After a few more cramps and shortness of breath and grabbing onto as many grassroots as I could, I reached the campsite and thought I died and saw heaven..

Oh, I mean.. this heaven

Despite all the excitement, my body clock did not fail and hunger set in, but the gruelling hours of trekking made it impossible for us to immediately prepare lunch, so how about some popcorn?^^

Coolest discovery last weekend!

We then indulged in a 3-hour siesta in preparation for another hour trekking to the peak {reads: more body pain}.   

It was our second climb

.. and Nici's first

To be perfectly honest, just seeing the trail and imagining my screaming joints and burning muscles, I nearly gave up, but I would have regretted it big time had I not joined the group to the summit.

I know photographers like taking photos of photographers taking photos. ^^

I know I mentioned before how I love to practically do nothing but to wait for the sunset, and I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to view the best sunset (so far) in Tarak Peak.

my favorite photo (Thanks Geh)

The view of the sunset was priceless. 

Nothing but this can be worth the 6 hours it took us to get to the peak.

Another thing I am thankful for is that my allergy/asthma kit was untouched.  I had countless false alarms of asthma attacks during the climb. Seriously, not a single puff on my salbutamol inhaler, but surprisingly, a couple of puffs on this:

Shisha (Thanks Ian)

Happy birthday, Georgina!
The 10pm mark, which was supposedly lights off (duh?) became the start of our socials.  It was Dorj's birthday, and the night was still young!  I refused to embarrass myself again {reads: getting drunk with just 3 shotglasses of vodka}, and I found myself satisfied with some popcorn and chips.  I barely could stand the freezing cold, so at the strike of midnight, I left the circle and said good night.

Talk about missing some fun there. Boohoo!

Good morning, Mt. Tarak!

If I am not mistaken, everyone missed the sunrise, ha! But that was actually the least of my worries.  I was thinking how in the world can we go down? 

♥♥♥ Morning hug ♥♥♥

Watak Wasak!

Our descent was approximately 3 hours.  I suggest you set aside your trekking pole if you have one.  There are lots of tree trunks, branches, twigs, and even roots at your disposal.  Oh, that reminds me to condition my upper extremities for the next climb. ^^

I assume all of us were looking forward to reaching the Papaya River, the nearest water source (2 hours away).  There, we settled for some rest and a great lunch!  Believe me, one of the best parts of the climb is our food!  Too bad, I wasn't able to capture it {Ah! Ang makabagbag damdaming gravy}. :D

Siesta time

Along with Ovalteenies and Presto Creams (Peanut butter), our favorite trail food, marshmallows!
Ehem, and TOBLERONE!

Kopiko Brown, a mountain climbing essential.  Addict much?
The Papaya River Scandal @_@

With sore bodies but lifted spirits, we managed to reach Nanay Cording's kubo in time.  Not to mention, without ripping off any shoulder.  Of course, there were the bonuses: an able guide {Kudos to Mang Pilo!}, good weather, great company, and blossoming romance on the side {I will keep mum on what I heard and witnessed that night, I promise}.  

 Bragging rights don't hurt either. Yeah!

Mt. Tapulao, beat that! ^^

Til' our next climb,
Photo credits to: Juveren, Geraldine, and Eugene

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love and Hate Relationship with V&M

Happy Hearts Day, Blogger world!

Let's talk about love and hate? C'mon. Haha!

My first V&M haul :)

At last! I got myself the much raved V&M products.  For the longest time, I avoided emu oil-based products because I did not consider them as uber organic for the fact that they came from an animal fat.  But still, I tried to ride the bandwagon and placed an order.  Talk about curiosity.

What's on my cart:

100% Emu oil
Modern Geisha Makeup Fix Soap
Happy Pores Alcohol-free Witch Hazel Toner
Smooch Lip Detox
Lip Bloomer in Choco Bliss

After a month of use, I can say that it gave great results on my skin.  I admit, it made my skin clearer, and I absolutely loved it!  Though, on the second week of staying on the Modern Geisha - Witch Hazel - Emu oil regimen, it tended to be drying on me that I had to alternate not using the toner and the soap. 

I hate it that I am getting addicted to Modern Geisha!

The Smooch Lip Detox and the Lip Bloomer combo is divine!  On the first week, I used Lip Bloomer on an every other day basis.  I loved V&M Lip Bloomer more than my Ellana lip scrub because the former is definitely lighter on my lips, no irritation and it gave great results too.  Being sensitive to chocolates, I can say that this Choco Bliss is one of the few chocolate products I can indulge in.  (Note:  According to Jamie, this has no cocoa content, just choco scent).

I hate it that I now can't leave the house without Smooch Lip Detox!

I am super satisfied with these products, but there's a tiny bit of apprehension because everytime I put these on my face, I remember this poor guy:

Aww.. who sacrificed his life to give us good skin (and lips)!  Sad.
Overall, I liked the products.. I really do, but I surely can live without them.  True?  Aaarggh! I don't know!   @_@

It's official.. I love and hate V&M!

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