Pico De Loro, Second Time Around

Last February, I blogged about my adventure at Pico De Loro and was left asking for more. I fell in love with the adventure and with the beautiful scenery above. And so I promised myself that I will return on that place: mainly, because I want to experience it again, secondly, to finish the whole challenge, which I failed to accomplish during my first climb. And so I told myself, ‘this time, I’m going to conquer the top of the monolith.’

As stated in my previous blog about Pico De Loro, I failed to climb the monolith due to physical exhaustion. I had ran-out of enough strength for it.

So, this time, I planned a different itinerary to be able to complete the whole climb. Together with my two travel buddies, we headed on to Ternate around 2:30pm. They agreed to take an overnight adventure in that place. (Thank God, I got their favored after an hour of persuasion the night before the event.)

In less than an hour, we reached the terminal and rode a tricycle to DENR. (You can check this footage but this was taken during my first climb here). The transportation fees were just the same as before, and also the entrance fee. And yes, I was very much confident that everything were just the same as what we had encountered last time. And I was right, except for one. Geeee, they’re not accepting overnight campers anymore. According to them, this Memo was issued last March 28, due to uncleanliness of the campers who were leaving garbage at the top. So I thought: 1. What now? Are we going back home empty handed of the adventure we were seeking? 2. I should get ready for the blame of these two friends, after all, I was the one who persuade them to do an overnight here. And maybe the registrar guy noticed these thoughts on my face, so before I even ask him what to do, he told us that we can build our tent some place down there and start the climb tomorrow instead. At first, I was kinda disappointed and was tempted to refuse his offer. It wasn’t what we planned for. I was also looking forward to film the sunrise at the top of the mountain, and how will I do that now if we’ll start our trek tomorrow? And then the registrar guy said we can start the climb at 4am, he said just the right words to make us stay and get ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

So we find a place to set our tent to start the night early. We need so much strength for the adventure tomorrow and we can’t allow ourselves to sleep late.

set the tent

set the tent

set the tent

set the tent

But just like anyone else, we can’t force ourselves to sleep early when we’re not feeling sleepy in the first place. So we headed on to the highway outside the campsite, hoping to enjoy whatever views and amazing things await us there.

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outside the campsite

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outside the campsite

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outside the campsite

And these things didn’t let us down.

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She owns the world

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ROCK ON!!

Of course, like what I always say, mind the small details. Enjoy and savor the moment but don’t miss out the little things.

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little tree

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perspective

And finally, after somehow exhausting ourselves, and after we ate our dinner, we set a bonfire.

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This was a first time for me. I haven’t been literally camping out on a cold dark night. And thank God He gave me this perfect time to experience.

We laid our backs at exactly 7:30PM but slept maybe 2 hours after, you’ll know why if you’ll try.

We set an alarm at 2:30AM for us to have enough time to eat breakfast, to warm-up, and get ourselves ready to climb.

inside the tent

inside the tent

And though I can feel the cold ground underneath my back and how hard they were, thanks to God He gave me enough sleep just perfect for the adventure in a while.

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time to set down the tent

We started our trek at maybe around 4:00am. It was a good thing there were campers like us who were also going up at a time like that. The more, the more lights of course. 😀

And because it was dark, we failed to capture our way up. And now I must say that I didn’t catch the sunrise. We were moving kinda slow. But that’s just fine, I can still do it some other time. 😛

Besides, the scenery, as we were nearing the top at an early time, was I think amazing than any other time.

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near the first peak

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near the first peak

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near the first peak

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near the first peak

And then at last, after more than 2 hours, we reached the first peak.

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first peak

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first peak

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first peak

first peak

first peak

What awesome creations we have here. The perspiration really paid off. But we know that there’s more. We still have two challenges we need to accomplish: the second peak and the monolith. So again we set the tent up and rested for 30 mins. and then we headed on to the second peak and left our tent standing since we have agreed not to traverse.

In less than 25mins. we reached the second peak. And geez, the way up seemed steeper than before. I don’t know if it was just me or it really became steeper but I was sure my first climb here was easier than this time. But no matter how hard the climb was, it was fun and fulfilling when you reach the top.

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view from the 2nd peak

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view from the 2nd peak

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view from the 2nd peak

And after savoring the moment on this top, we braced ourselves for the last challenge: the monolith.

the monolith

the monolith

view from the second peak

view from the second peak: Monolith

view from the second peak

view from the second peak: Monolith

We had to climb down to the other side of the peak to get to this monolith. The way down was steeper but rocky, that was why I considered it easier than climbing the second peak. You have unlimited access to wherever you want to place your grip.

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way down to reach the monolith

In less than 20min. we were at the bottom of the monolith..

bottom of the monolith

bottom of the monolith

bottom of the monolith

bottom of the monolith

We were actually having a hard time deciding if we were going to climb this cliff. It actually looks dangerous when you’re already standing next to it.

But then I realized, didn’t we prayed for it and entrusted God everything in this adventure? Why not do a leap of faith. Didn’t you want to witness more of His creations? Besides, this was one of the reasons why you climbed Pico De Loro for the second time — to conquer the monolith, right?.

And then I went on and climbed this cliff, which at first was difficult but as you climb higher, things were getting easier. Thanks to God for the strength and motivation He placed in my heart. I kept on calling His Name on my way up.

Later, my two friends followed and climbed up too. Maybe they thought that if I can, then surely they can do this too.

The climb to this monolith won’t take you more than 15mins.,  just remember how you climbed up because that’s also how you’re going to climb down.

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top of the monolith

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top of the monolith

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top of the monolith

We spent a little more time at the top. We actually owned the monolith for 20mins.. Nobody’s trying to climb this cliff at that time, which was of course favorable to us.

And when we had finished savoring the moment, we headed back to where our tent was. But of course the way back there was as hard as going to the second peak and the monolith.

In less than 30mins. we were back at the first peak and rested there for almost an hour before we start our journey way down.

In less than 2 hours, we were already at the bottom of the mountain and getting ready for a ride back home.

We left the place at around 11:45am with a fulfilled and amazed heart. And I know, I’m going to ask for more adventure like this. I know.

You can check out this link to literally visualized how awesome the scenery at this place are: Pico De Loro, 2nd Time Around

You might want to budget your time and finances before backpacking so here’s our itinerary and expenses list to somehow help you:

Itinerary:
Meet up at Tejero, Cavite – 2:30 pm
Tejero to Ternate – 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Ternate to DENR – 3:30pm to 3:45pm
Set the tent – 3:45pm to 4:00pm
Free time – 4:00pm to 4:45pm
Exploring whatever it is available to explore – 4:45pm to 5:30pm
Free time and set the bonfire – 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Dinner – 6:30pm to 7:00pm
Free time – 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Sleep time – 8:00pm to 2:30am
Breakfast – 2:30am to 3:00am
Set down the tent – 3:00am to 3:15am
Getting ready – 3:15am to 4:00am
Start the hike – 4:00am
Touchdown first peak – 6:45am
Rest – 6:45am to 7:30am
Second peak – 8:00am
Monolith – 9:30am
Back at the first peak – 10:05am
Rest – 10:05am to 10:30am
Back at the bottom – 12:00nn

Total Expenses:
Bus from Tejero to Ternate – P41
Tricycle to DENR – P75 each
Entrance fee – P25
Dinner – P65 to P100
Tricycle back to terminal – P75each
Bus from Ternate to Tejero – P41

Thanks for reading and have a great adventure ahead. God bless! 😀

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