panay akyat | Page 2 | rich'nritch.com

panay akyat

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

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

Pushing Through: Overcoming Mt. Baloy’s Challenges and Completing the Panay Trilogy

The Kinulitan trail of Mt. Baloy is a narrow path cut through the thick wild plants called ‘lagiwriws’ or ‘ragiwriws,’ which cover the entire area. The leaves are like of pandan plant but the branches are long, entangled, and crawling like vines. It offers a tremendously thrilling experience! The Kinulitan trail was established by AMSI (Antique Mountaineering Society Inc.) with Talahib Eco Trekeers and guides from Barangay Busog, Valderrama, Antique in 2015.

“We advise you not to go,“ said PSI Jose Nemias P. Pamplona, OIC of the Calinog Municipal Police Station. Exactly 3:00 in the afternoon of April 16, 2018 when we arrived at the station for log in. We were entertained first by an officer who asked for our IDs and recorded our personal information in a sheet of paper. Afterward, he brought us to the room of PSI Pamplona who was still out for an official business that time. With the use of a topographic map hanging on the wall of the office, he oriented us about the geographical location of the trail we will take to reach Mt. Baloy from Calinog side. He told us of the dangers ahead which at some point, made me think of backing out. The whole area is considered as a ‘hotspot'. While deciding to proceed or not, Sir Pamplona suddenly arrived. We shook hands and introduced ourselves as friends of the 20 hikers of Higher Grounds Mountaineers-Iloilo who did the same traverse two weeks ago headed by Sir Jay Plantinos. We showed to him the photo of the map provided to us by Sir Jay and explained to him our goals for the hike. He then continued the orientation and upon hearing his negative advise, I turned my head to Richard and consulted him. Richard said he wants to proceed and convinced me to drop the negativity. After a while, we told Sir Pamplona that it is unethical for us to abandon the hike prior to meeting our host in Karatagan and we wanted to assess the situation personally when we reach the jump-off point. He then wished us good luck and even joked to send his office a copy of the trail photos after our descent. That lightened up our mood.

July 10, 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

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

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

A Week into the Wild: What We Found in Walking Across Aklan and Antique Mountain Ranges for 7 Days

Trekking the pristine river somewhere in the tip of Aklan. The upstream river is part of the long trail leading to the elusive summit of Mt. Madjaas.

More than the famous powdery white sand beach of Boracay, many parts of Aklan remain hidden and untouched. The province of Aklan, particularly the towns of Libacao and Madalag, is home to numerous unexplored mountain ranges; a potential mountaineering destination in the country. The highest mountain in Aklan, Mt. Nausang, has just been explored by AMSI (Antique Mountaineering Society Inc.) in May. Mount Nausang is 1600 MASL. It's summit is located in Panipiason, Madalag, Aklan and it’s ranges extends up to Oyang, Libacao, Aklan. Inspired by the exploration of AMSI in Mt. Nausang, Richard and I attempted a hike traversing Mt. Nausang from its ranges in Libacao, Aklan to it’s summit in Panipiason, Madalag and connect it to Mt. Madjaas in Antique. The hike was our personal endeavor, fuelled by our strong passion for exploration.

November 15, 2017

Experience the Rolling Hills of Batanes and the Windmill of Ilocos Norte in Malay, Aklan located very close to Boracay Island and Bel-is Beach

The refreshing view of Panaktakan rolling hills, just like of Batanes overlooking the world famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, Philippines and the surrounding islands of Romblon

Ever wanted to see the island of Boracay, the rolling hills of Batanes, and the windmill of Ilocos Norte all at one place? Malay, Aklan has them all and it's just few minutes away from Caticlan, the gateway to Boracay. And believe it or not, it will only cost you a Php10-tricycle ride and a body fit to hike! Locals call the place as Panaktakan. The first viewpoint called Banderahan requires a 45-minute walk from the Malay Municipal Tree Park. Going farther will take you to the breathtaking viewpoint of Panaktakan. All of these are in one spot located at Barangay Argao, Malay.

October 24, 2017