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Rich's Blog Posts

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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February 8, 2018

Hiking for a Cause: Reaching Out to the People of Idao Community and Discovering Mt. Atog and Its Unexplored Ranges in Barbaza, Antique

The summit of Mt. Atog offers an unrivalled view of Barbaza mountain ranges.

“I’ll come back,” I told Nanay Pangga as I bid farewell to her and her family. They accommodated me and Jackie in their house when we got stranded there a night before. They cooked us a very special meal for lunch and native adobo chicken and pinamalhan (fish cooked in vinegar) for dinner. “Ka-itsura mo akong bata (you look like my daughter),” Nay Pangga told me while eating. “Diin siya, Nay (where is she)?,” I asked. “Nagatrabaho siya sa Manila (she’s working in Manila),” she replied. I smiled at her and asked if she misses her daughter. I got teary-eyed when she said that seeing me somehow eased her longing. And that started a long evening chat over a glass of tuba (coconut wine) with Tatay (Nanay Pangga's husband). That night, Jayson (our guide) and the other kids went to the nearby river to catch some shrimps or patuyaw which they served for our breakfast the next morning.

December 19, 2017

Hiking the Formidable Mt. Nangtud: Our Epic Hike to the Second Highest Mountain in Panay and One of the Toughest in the Country

The knife-edge is one of the most iconic and scenic trails in Mt. Nangtud. The trail runs alongside the steep slopes avoiding the severely eroded side of the ridge.

“Ritch, your location please? I’m now in the bus, I’ll be in our meeting place at around 2:00 PM,” I told Ritch in Facebook messenger. We’re going for a major hike. It was an overcast Friday afternoon of May and a bit late for a normal hiking trip. For the record, it was our second duo-hike together. We’ve just agreed a night before. With quick planning and minimal time to prepare, time adjustments were expected to happen

December 8, 2017

From Summit to Sea: My First Paraw Sailing Experience

Paraw sails on the crystal clear water along the shores of Boracay Island

After our seven-day exploration in the mountains of Aklan and Antique, we went to Boracay Island via a sailboat locally known as 'paraw' for free. It was my first paraw experience and definitely, a remarkable one.

November 29, 2017

Traversing Aklan and Antique: A Three-day Hike to Mt. Madjaas via Panipiason, Madalag; Uncovering Aklan and Antique’s Hidden Treasures

It was 8 AM in Sitio Mananggad, Barangay Panipiason, Madalag, Aklan when we started preparing our loads for our hike to Mt. Madjaas in Antique on the same day. It is the highlight of our seven-day exploration so far and the toughest. We’ve traveled from Libacao, crossed the border to Madalag, and hiked the highest mountain in Aklan for the past two days. Spending a night with the people of Panipiason was a heartwarming experience for us. Their warmth and humility deeply touched us.

November 24, 2017

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

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