Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mt. Banahaw de Tayabas - Tayabas, Quezon - June 2012

KABANAHAW Cleanup Crusade 2012 – Tayabas Tree Planting Project
Personal Struggles.
I must admit, I've been tossing coins and consulting logic to determine if my capacity to climb will enable me to carry on this cause. I am not a fan of high impact climbing (climbing in huge groups) but if with a cause, defeats my reservations as well as attempt to push myself to my limits. But that was besides the point. At 2158 MASL and an uber tight Itinerary of 1 day to climb, I personally think its suicide. There was also no assurance of a water source leaving us packed with heavy loads to cover our fluid needs.
**I was also able to join a previous Kabanahaw Cleanup Crusade at the side of Dolores Quezon. Read about it here.

The group was only allowed up to 50 participants and at that rate and the given IT - as well as the height and difficulty of the hike, makes it impossible - and true enough, called off by Sir Egay Tenepere, the project director of the Kabanahaw Cleanup Crusade restricted by our guides, the Tayabas Mountaineers. They regulate and guide hikers at the Tayabas side of Mt. Banahaw.

The Initial Game Plan.
Hike up to Camp 2, pitch tents and with a select and willing few, assault to the summit, then plant seedlings the day after at Camp 1.
The thing is, Camp 2 can only hold up to 15 people and is 10hours away from Camp 1. It's a 3day IT, and with all the delays of some participants and given the scenario, the Tayabas Mountaineers made the judgement to only allow our group up to Camp 1.
So we climb.
As consolation, we hiked up to Camp 1 which is an hour and a half trek from the jumpoff. Some of us were disappointed with the decision. I am relieved. There is water source at Camp 1 with a DENR station and Ladies and Gents cemented comfort rooms. Although we were left with failed expectations, our cause remain as our intention, to plant trees and still have a good time at the outdoors.
Camp 1 is not too bad, the Tayabas Mountaineers made sure we had a good time exploring the nearby river streams and waterfalls.

  • Malagaylay falls - Freezing waters that almost felt like pelted rocks to anyone directly underneath its fall. 
  • Socials - started as early as the afternoon, when everyone was refreshed and exhausted with the cold natural bath at the river stream and falls.
  • Balagbag route - A 1.5 hour traverse, crossing rivers and bouldering wet rocks at the side of mini waterfalls. There is as well a bath-able waterfall we passed by along the traverse. Everybody makes sure that when they encounter huge ant colonies along the trail, that they make a run for it as these tiny beasts bite like pliers.
  • Tree Planting - We were each given 4 seedlings to plant at the camp 1 vicinity. Val, Jayson and I took the initiative to go further than 4 and correct those we saw wrongly planted.
  • We broke camp after lunch and took the 1 hour swift pace to Nawawalang Paraiso resort where we washed up, continued socials, plunge at the resort pools and discussed each ones positive and negative observation about the activity.

Here are some photos. 

Banahaw de Tayabas jump off.
Grass Lands, clearing before Camp 1.
View of Mt. Banahaw de Tayabas and de Lucban. Dolores is unseen at the back. These mountain ranges form a crater to this active Volcano.
Farm Lands on the way to our exit point, Nawawalang Paraiso.
Tayabas City.
Rizal Monument in front of the Tayabas Bahay Pamahalaan.
Lucena Grand Terminal.
Specialty of Quezon. Pansit Hab-hab.
Group Huddle. Prayer and some words from the organizers and the Tayabas Mountaineers.
Confirmation of attendance and Distribution of Shirts and IDs.
The trail to Camp 1 is a mix of shade and non-shaded farm walks.
Cramp attack. Just as we step into Camp 1.
My Apexus Halcon.
A Buck and a Smith and Wesson.
The hike from Malagaylay to Camp 1.
Stream after Malagaylay.
Soft waters but deep waters.
Malagaylay Falls.

The way to Balagbag. Almost like a scene where one by one we'll disappear being taken by something unknown.

Balagbag Falls.
Crossing Rivers and Climbing Waterfalls.
Every mountaineers nightmare, limatiks.
Tree Planting.

Certificate Distribution.
Tutong birthday.
Tree planters and sponsors.
Last photo op, before going down.
Hoping to one day climb these 3 peaks.
Socials and Post Climb Assessment at Nawawalang Paraiso.
Overall, we didnt summit, nor made it to Camp 2, but it was the groups cause that made this hike, in its own way, successful. Meeting new friends, establishing ones that are already there, sharing experiences-heck even food, and the camaraderie. Unity, Friendship and Fun. This is what I appreciate in group climbs. 

Video Summary:
The video highlights the talking points of Tuco Project Coordinator, Mon Sison, Kaban Project Director, Egay Tenepere and Kaban Project Coordinator, Manny Rosales during the Post Climb Assessment.

Personal Post Climb Notes.
  • Always bring apparel for river dipping. I wore my trek pants and it is not easy to manage wet.
  • I ditched my outdoor slippers to recover weight and space but seem to be a wrong decision as I did not expect that we will wander about camp 1, hence brought only a non-outdoor pair. Val lent me his Tribu-thanks pare.
  • Thinner dry fits are easier to dry.
  • Always disinfect wet underwear if you don't have any spare or risk the blister effect of fungi between your groin. I say this even with palm-on-face to inform others about its possible mishap.
  • Learned the importance of knives.
Wag puro akyat lang, tulong naman din tayo sa bundok.