Rich's Blog Posts | rich'nritch.com

Rich's Blog Posts

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

Pandan Hills: Eastern Aklan’s Hidden Paradise

An early morning view of Pandan Hills

Pandan Hills are verdant rolling hills located in Barangay Bay-ang, Batan, Aklan. It offers a beautiful 360-degree view of green sloping grounds covered with cogon grasses, nearby forests, mountain ranges, and the Tinago Lake or ‘Tinagong Dagat.’ The vast grassland serves as a food sanctuary for cows and carabaos (water buffalos) while the surrounding lake is known as one of the province's rich fishing grounds. The refreshing panoramic view of it’s rolling hills can rival the Panaktakan of Malay. If the western side of Aklan has Boracay Island as a world’s premier destination, the eastern side has Pandan Hills which is considered as a top attraction for adventure-goers, newbie hikers, and landscape photographers. Besides being hidden, it is also far from the maddening crowd and bustle of the semi-urban side of the province.

August 10, 2018

Mt. Balinsayaw, an Easy to Hike Peak Near Kalibo and Boracay with Scenic Views

Mt. Balinsayaw Peak

Balinsayaw Peak is a new hiking spot located in Barangay Mabusao, Ibajay, Aklan, near the Aklan-Antique border. It’s a rock mountain with overwhelming views and a perfect place for sunrise viewing. Getting to the peak will only take you 30 minutes of hike from Barangay Mabusao proper. The views along the way are enjoyable and the top offers a gorgeous vista of Mabusao and its nearby barangays.

August 9, 2018

Panay Trilogy: Top 3 Highest and Difficult Mountains of Panay

The three mighty mountains of Panay

The long and rugged mountain ranges of Central Panay is home to the three of the most difficult mountains to climb in the island and in the Philippines. They are also the three highest mountains in Panay Island known as the ‘Panay Trilogy.’ Their isolation and hostile terrains make them formidable and highly respected by hikers. Remoteness and vastness of ranges covered by extensive forests are two of the factors why they remain elusive and pristine. Scaling them is difficult and lengthy but the trails and the summits offer awe-inspiring sceneries, unspoilt panoramic views, and thrilling experiences.

August 3, 2018

Watch: Traversing Iloilo and Antique, climbing the elusive Mt. Baloy, and completing the Panay Trilogy

Watch: Traversing Iloilo and Antique, climbing the elusive Mt. Baloy, and completing the Panay Trilogy

We've been walking day-long on this unfamiliar terrain while carrying our full packs, heavier than what we carried in Mt. Mantalingajan as we both recall. Each time I step on the ground, the strap of my bag presses heavily on my shoulders and back. Whenever I turn my head, I can smell the gas leak coming from the container on my backpack. It was intoxicating. It's the fuel of my multi-fuel stove. The gasket of the container was badly damaged yesterday when I refilled it from the roadside gasoline vendor while on our way to Barangay Supanga, Calinog, Iloilo. I take rest every now and then to relieve the pressure on my shoulders, back, and knees.

July 18, 2018

Watch: Boracay Closure Documentary

Watch: Boracay Closure Documentary

“Naghihingalong Paraiso” (A Dying Paradise) is a 30 minute documentary about the current state of Boracay Island and the government-led effort to save and restore the world-renowned tourist destination site to its former glory. 

June 15, 2018

Hiking Mt. Igduao in Valderrama Antique: A Tough Journey Full of Surprises, Sheer, and Serendipity

Mountains are more beautiful after the rain. Breathtaking view of Valderrama mountain ranges taken from Mt. Igduao in Valderrama, Antique.

“Hold on tight,” Ritchel said as she starts her scooter. “I’m ready, let’s go!” I said with full of excitement. Then she squeezed the gas throttle. We’re going on a road-trip and hike Mt. Igduao in Valderrama, Antique. It’s in the opposite side of Mt. Igcuron which we already hiked separately sometime ago. It’s an approximately five-hour drive from Malay, Aklan. We had several stops on some beautiful spots along the road which ate a lot of our travel time. It was already dusk when we reached Culasi, Antique so we decided to have our dinner in the next town, Tibiao. Knowing that we wouldn’t make it to Valderrama, we decided to stay for a night in Tibiao. We stayed in a college-run hostel. Nobody was around when we arrived so we requested the security guard to call the caretaker. The latter arrived few minutes later and led us to our room. The room was good and the price was very cheap but still, we longed for the comfort of the sand as a night ago, we camped on the beach in Bel-is with our friends. It was a lot of fun.

March 16, 2018

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