Good morning Gentlemen and Ladies!
It has been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been busy at work and only found time to update this blog. Nah, I’ve just been doing other stuff and haven’t really found inspiration to do this blog anymore. But here goes.
The day started off with a nasty irritating alarm from my phone telling me to get up at 2AM in the morning and start getting ready for the hike. The wife was still asleep, she just got home at 12AM from her late night shift. I tried to remind myself why I wanted to do this again, why we needed to do this. You see, my work involves a lot of hiking and exploring parts unknown in the Philippines, so I didn’t want to have to do leisure hikes anymore. But ever since I got transferred, my body just needed to go back up there and savor the views you can’t get even from the tallest buildings in Manila. So I got up, put on my hiking gear, and woke up my wife. She deserved those extra 20 minutes of sleep.
We left home at 3AM and dropped by McDonald’s, Katipunan to pick up our dear friend Hazel. We also bought some cheeseburgers (I know I know, McDo didn’ have breakfast at that time yet) to have along the way. To get to the place, we just entered “Wawa Dam” into Waze and just drove along. It was a quick 45 minute drive to get to the place through places I haven’t gone to. It was a bit sketchy going since there were no lights in some of the roads, but thankfully we got there in one piece. We arrived at 4AM at the DENR office to register for the hike. We also met up with our guides who let us park at their place for free (instead of Php 50). After all the registration, donations, chit chatting, peeing, eating, and standing, we finally started our trek at 4:30AM.
The hike started off quite easy since the roads were still cemented. After a point, the cement road ends and the uneven roads start. What made it harder was the fact that we were walking in the dark with only the tiny light of our guide leading our way. There were several resting stations along the way so we took advantage of them before the last and the hardest leg of our trek. The last leg was where you use both hands, and feet to climb up very sharp rocks. Did I mention we were doing this in the dark? Our guides were practically jumping through the rocks like nothing. Did I mention our other guide was a pregnant dog?
After about an hour and a half, we reached a point 10 minutes away from the summit just in time for the sunrise. At this point, we had the opportunity to take a lot of photos just as the sun was rising. It was breathtaking, to say the least. Partly because we were standing at a point where there was a 300m drop below us and another is the surreal view. See the photos below.
Beautiful! It was worth waking up at 2AM for. If you would be going here, I recommend you also do an early morning hike. It would be too hot otherwise.
After taking a lot of photos in several points of the set-up, we went down at 10AM for another, more difficult hike down to the town. We were in a hurry since we all had appointments in the afternoon so we weren’t able to visit the dam. We got back down at 1130AM and drove off back to Manila with a smile on our faces. Tama ka kuya Wowie, aalis kaming may ngiti sa aming mga labi.
This was our itinerary for the day and estimated costs:
- 3:30AM – Meet up at McDonald’s Katipunan
- 3:40AM – Departure for Wawa Dam
- 4:15AM – Arrival Wawa Dam, registration
- 4:30AM – Start trek
- 6:00AM – Photo op for sunrise shots
- 8:00AM – Summit
- 10:00AM – Start trek down
- 11:10AM – Arrival at Brgy. Wawa
- 11:30 – Departure to Manila
- Guide – Php 500 + tip
- Registration – Php 50 per person for Mt. Binacayan only
- Donation – Php 50 but depends on your kind heart
- Gloves – Php 60 per pair, but you can bring your own
We also recommend you contact our guide, he was very witty and he had mad skills as a photographer. He does panoramic shots, jump shots, beauty shots, death defying shots and all kinds of shots you want. He took most of our phone shots when we were there. Do give him some support.