While maximizing my trimester break, my friends decided to go on a road trip to the town of Leon in the province of Iloilo, and trek on the highlands towards the mildly renowned Bucari Pine Forest, the Little Baguio of Iloilo.


The adventure started with a road trip getaway from Iloilo City with my fun friends, (from L to R) Alden Richards , Kylie Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Marselito Pomoy and the sleep deprived but a total killer, Joanna ‘Jhong’ Hilario.


To oil the works, you may commute thru Jaro Big Market, Jaro District, Iloilo City, ride on a Leon jeepney to Leon town plaza. From thereon, you may flag a tricycle and inform the driver you are going to Bucari jeepney stop. Then, there is a jeepney available 7am to 3pm. Total travel time is approximately two hours.


To have the time and convenience, we went Dutch for the gas of the wheels of our ‘haciendero‘ friend who was actually with us to visit his lords, kings and vassals in the uplands.


My friend Emella said, ‘when in doubt, travel.’ It is one great resolve to discovering the best things and one of them is the new friendship and the stronger ties of the old ones.


The rain didn’t stop us. Despite the drive-slowly-slippery-when-wet course, we managed to climb ourselves up the Little Baguio of Iloilo.

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The expedition (wow!) got them drooping and unrefreshed especially when we lost track and chose the other trail, the one which was very steep, instead of the easier right one.

IMG_3441Mansiga Viewing Deck. This panoramic view is just very good deal if your want to magnetize good vibes or search your lost soul. The freezing weather was perfect for hoodies. I have seen two uprooted trees stricken by typhoon Yolanda but the other ones were just majestic and calm.


One thing to remember when travelling is really to plan. The plan may not be followed exactly but it will be the skeleton that will make sure your stomach is full and your neurons are arranged accordingly. Some of my friends forgot to prepare the food; good thing we did, so we got these for sandwiches and chips with four servings of pansit and bihon (noodles mixed with veggies and meat).


The opportunity of immortalizing this moment on the tree laying over the cliff ending in mid-air is of course, scripted. Haha! We love Angelica Panganiban.


Capturing the moments before you get totally worn out is a must. Just be careful of the areas you step on you might not fall in all the right places.


One awesome thing I have realized on that trip and trek was to educate myself more of what life can teach us. I actually don’t know where that came from but maybe from the serenity of the place and the story of one kid we met who quit school.


Stay tuned for the next season of Vampire Diaries: Deprive a Nurse of Sleep and You Will Get Nothing.


I have also tried some shadow photography techs on these kids. As they stayed carefree on the dead tree, they carved names and love stories on the bark. They ended up guiding us of where to go because when the rain started to re-pour, they helped us secure a place and so we shared our baon (food supply taken on a journey) altogether which was really so much fun.

Another spectacle is this big off-white rock karst formation just a few trek from the Mansiga Viewing Deck. Very impressive view.


In a nanosecond, all you see are the clouds and/or the fog whatever seemed correct, and then the low lands and then vice versa. The feeling is inexplicably sublime, though a little caution is highly recommended because of the sharp mantles of the rock and the top-of-the-world Humpty Dumpty fall.


Just when we were about to prep going home, one kid suggested to trek again to the place they called busay (a falls). The outfit is never a problem if the invite is very enticing. Swim in jeans, it doesn’t matter, Jhong. Haha!


We got back to the campsite in boxers and rubber shoes with a very sexy attitude.


‘Guys, groufie sa likod ta ang green green nga daw rice terraces.’ (Guys, let’s take a group photo with the green ricefield as our background.) FHM si Emella. Jhong, may nahulog? Haha!


Driving back home, we passed by a stop of veggie market. They sell different freshly-yield-from-the-mountain crops at a very, very low price.IMG_3599

Bring home cucumbers and rejuvenate your eyes at 20 pesos per kilo.


We went back to the city and ate our heart out at a Korean-Chinese Restaurant in Smallville because of so much hunger.


Food and travel cravings satisfied, I have been trying to have my signature photo. I hope this would do. And, yeah, this video by Emella will sum it up to the top!

Always never get tired of hiking up the highest mountains or traverse the most dangerous roads. Once you survive them, you will become a stronger and better person.


See you in my next trip and trek, monkeys!