rich'nritch.com | Serendipity Seekers

What It's Like Exploring and Scaling Mt. Balabag in Idio, Sebaste, Antique Traverse to Yawan, Ibajay, Aklan

The breathtaking sight from the view deck of Mt. Balabag at sunrise

Blessed with plethora of stunning natural landscapes and seascapes, it’s not surprising that the province of Antique located in the Island of Panay is one of the new eco-adventure destinations in the country. With its pristine mountains, largely untouched forests and unique biodiversity, it is also becoming a favorite destination of hikers as well as local and international researchers. In fact, the three highest and toughest mountains in the island popularly tagged as the ‘Panay Trilogy’ comprised of Mt. Madjaas, Mt. Nangtud and Mt. Baloy are generally located in Antique. While hiking activities are concentrated in the trilogy mountains, there are still many ranges in the northwest part of the province that are left unexplored by mountaineers and one of them is located in Barangay Idio, town of Sebaste.

September 6, 2018

Exploring the Wilderness of Aklan: A Very Challenging Hike to Mt. Nausang, Aklan’s Untamed and Highest Mountain in Panipiason, Madalag

Tay Freddy, ma-éa-yo pa (is it still far)?, Ritch asked Pastor Freddy, our local guide, while we were walking in the middle of the night in the mountains of Panipiason, Madalag, Aklan. “Ma-éa-pit éon lang, Ma’am, una éon sa unahan (we’re getting close, Ma’am, just few meters ahead),” Pastor Freddy replied. The rain was pouring and we started to feel cold so we stopped for a moment to get our jackets and rain coats. I pulled out my tarp and shared it with Ritchel and Tay Freddy and together, we used it as a walking shelter as we continue our hike to May Irimnan campsite. It was a struggle.

November 22, 2017

Over The Mountains and Into The Rapids: Our Altruistic Journey to Maytaraw

I want to share with you a wonderful story I was blessed to experience just a month ago. I seldom do this, friends, but sometimes you just feel the need to share some things wonderful and different that might change and inspire lives. Last December 14-16, 2018, I joined a group of people for an upland outreach mission in Sitio Maytaraw, Brgy. Dalagsaan, Libacao, Aklan that turned out to be one of the best things that happened in my life. I’ve been to other outreach activities before but this one is different. This time, we get to risk our lives doing it. Upon hearing of this mission, I knew right then that I want to go. I saw the documentary in Jessica Soho and I was inspired to be part of it. I’m not in good shape but the pregnant teacher in the docu video made it, so surely I can do better than that? Goes to show how naive I can get. But before that, I’ve got other matters to attend to, work to do, and dysmenorrhea to expect. To cut it short, I managed the work with the help of my beloved Accounting Team... and the dysme came early. A miracle. To make it better, a good friend and classmate came with me. Apart from Pres Cha, I don’t know anyone else... a little anxious, something an introvert would only know. Though we will be missing a quiz in our law school, we still decided to proceed.

January 25, 2019

Watch: Pagbueoligan para sa Maytaraw - An Upland Outreach Mission by Aklan Trekkers in partnership with JCI Aklan Kalantiao

Maytaraw Primary School is located in the mountainous sitio of Maytaraw in Barangay Dalagsaan which is the farthest Barangay in the municipality of Libacao, province of Aklan. To get there, it requires riding a habal-habal, crossing the wild Aklan River 24 times and walking for more or less 10 hours. Libacao welcomed us by a heavy rain on the first day of our mission. But that didn't stop us. After two hours of habal-habal ride from Brgy. Poblacion to Brgy. Agbatuan, we walked and crossed Aklan River multiple times for more than six hours before we reached Dalagsaan Integrated School in Brgy. Dalagsaan where we camped overnight and renewed our strength for the second day.

 

January 17, 2019

First Aklan Hammock Festival 2018 by Aklan Trekkers

Participants enjoy the hammock tower

On February 17th until 18th, 2018, a group of Aklanon hikers composed of I (Ritchel), Richard, Marco, Jackie, Clark and friends organized quite possibly the Aklan’s Largest Hammock Camping with a bit of festivity and a great cause.

This wasn't for any music festival, or for any company event. It was simply for the pleasure of enjoying the great outdoors, taking in the Jawili sun on a beautiful Tangalan day. A mixture of bright colors filled DENR Regional Training Center, Aklan Integrated Project locally known as Nursery as participants donned yellow event shirts and as hammocks of various styles and brands, mainly Dahon, Tingguian, and Naturehike, were set up between several pine trees. The venue was accentuated by the serene beach, beautiful orange sunrise and sunset, and blue daytime sky. Also, delicacies and local products were present at the event along with multiple slacklines.

January 9, 2019

Bulwang Falls: Undiscovered Massive Waterfall Located in Idio, Sebaste, Antique

The massive Bulwang Falls in its full glory

With its stunning green rolling hills, rocky mountains, diverse forests, impressive waterfalls, scenic coastline, and zestful people, the village of Idio in Sebaste, Antique doesn’t seem to run out of hidden wonders. Last Sunday morning was a perfect day for chasing waterfalls. Typhoon Ompong has just left and the sun was out, smiling. We took a scooter ride to Barangay Idio, Sebaste, Antique to visit the amazing Bulwang Falls located in one of its jungle’s interior. During our hike to Mt. Balabag last month, our guide Tay Lucrito told us that he knows a massive waterfall in Idio that hasn’t been explored yet. The hidden waterfall is located out of way from the trail so we planned to explore on our return.

September 23, 2018

Captivating Langoyon River: A Hideaway Paradise with Fascinating Natural Swimming Pools in Tagororoc, Nabas, Aklan

The cool and crystal clear water between the limestone walls and its surrounding nature makes Langoyon River  a perfect weekend getaway.

True to its town’s slogan that says, “Pangibabaw Nabas!” (which means Standout Nabas!), the town is really going up in placing itself on the international tourism map being Boracay’s neighbor. Nabas is popularly known for its spine-tingling cold springs. There’s Hurom-Hurom, Basang, Manyuko, and the latest Bungan-Bungan. But talking about rivers and waterfalls matched with adventures, I recommend Langoyon River and Tagaroroc Falls. These two spots are best for daytime jaunts and both found in Brgy. Tagaroroc, Nabas, Aklan. The barangay crossing is located 15-min tricycle ride away from Godofredo P. Ramos Aiport also known as Caticlan Airport which services Boracay Island, and along national highway to the Kalibo International Airport in Aklan’s capital. Major Philippine airlines fly to both airports many times a day. 

August 22, 2018

Mataudya Clean River and Seemingly Endless Mini-Waterfalls: Why Malay Is More Than Just Boracay

Sitio Mataudya serves as a boundary for the interiors of Malay and Buruanga, Aklan with a bounty of mini-waterfalls and century-old trees.

Probably one of the reasons why you love out-of-town trips is that you never really see how beautiful and rich your own place is before a tourist does. And when it happens, you regret why you didn’t see or experience it first. Suddenly, you feel like a stranger in your own backyard. Gladly, I am not. As a Malaynon who lives very close to Boracay Island, I am aware how famous the island is that almost all people who visit Aklan and/or Malay intend to go to Boracay. Well, I can’t blame them. Boracay is an ‘island paradise.’ But the town of Malay is not just all white beaches and the island is not the only tourist destination. Beyond the usual Boracay, the mainland is just as breathtaking - only much freer from the crowd of tourists. There is the lush greenery part perfect to feel attuned to nature at its purest form. If you’re into hiking, I have previously featured the Banderahan and Panaktakan viewpoints that offer a gorgeous vista of Boracay Island and its surrounding islets, Romblon Islands, and Sibuyan Sea accentuated by the spectacular sight of the rolling hills and an array of wind turbines nearby accessible via Brgy. Argao or Brgy. Napaan.

August 20, 2018

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