Monday, March 29, 2010

The Philippine Tarsier

Bohol Tour: World's Smallest Monkey
"The Philippine Tarsier"
by Lakwatsero
isn't it cute?

For the last and final stop of our Bohol day tour, one of the most tourist attractions that comes to our mind when youre in Bohol, "The Philippine tarsier", (Tarsius syrichta).

just looking around!!!!
The Philippine Tarsier and the Tarsier in general is believed to be the world’s smallest monkey.

Just wandering why were there many people in their place.
This cute little Philippine Tarsier Monkey will fit very comfortably in your hand. Being nocturnal hunters, the Tarsier has huge eyes which are just perfect for night vision and has oversized ears, any movement will be heard. Another unique characteristic the Tarsier has, is the ability to swivel it’s head 180 degrees, pretty clever little things.

but what they do always when the sun is up?
It lives in the lowland and coastal forests, coming out at night to hunt small insects, birds, bats and reptiles. It keeps itself hidden amongst the branches of trees which is where it lives. During the day the Philippine Tarsier will sleep in hollowed out logs or branches in the trees which it lives. Tarsiers are regarded as the oldest living mammal inhabiting earth. It’s very tiny, measuring only at about 4 to 6 inches in height. In fact, Tarsiers are also known as the smallest monkey or primate. Unfortunately, these cute species are now listed as endangered species.

what do you think? hehehehehe!!!!

You can find Tarsiers in captivity in Loboc, around 24 kms from Tagbilaran and also in Corella, about 14 kms from the city.

Where to Meet the Tarsier:

You can visit the tarsier at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, and see it in its natural habitat.

The Philippine Tarsier Foundation,
Km. 14 Canapnapan Corella, Bohol 6300 Philippines
Tel: (0912) 5163375
Mobile: (0918) 6021326

Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Bohol Tour: Chocolate Hills
by Lakwatsero

The Famous Chocalate Hills

For our 3rd to the last of stop of our Bohol Tour is the famous "Chocolate Hills". Actually this is the 1st time I will really see it in real, I remember I just used to see it in pictures and through internet, and now, I got the chance to view it beautiful formation and landscapes, for me it was a great felling, to view it's chocolate like hills, and actually thinking that time if it is raining, actually it could be really a chocolate...hehehehe...

Lakwatserong Tatay "Brian" and my wife "Reggie"

After our relaxing lunch break by the Loboc-Loay River, day trip continued. It was a long drive compared to the stops we had in the morning and so we had some time to snooze. Finally, we arrived after almost an hour drive, there was a gate and a road going up where we passed through and paid the entrance fee of 50php each.

My Preggy Officemate in White....hehehehe!!!! gogogo...bhel!!!!!

Kuya Ciano (tour driver), together with my Tito Efren just dropped us because he had to park somewhere else below the hill and we would just ask the management to call him once we were done. To reach the top and get a sight of the Chocolate Hills, we went up a flight of stairs with mini steps that made it a bit hard to go up and tiring. And even though I have a groupmate who happen to be preggy, she didn't hesitate to walk up to the stairs too, just to view the beauty of Chocolate Hills.

what do you think? so many chocolates like "Kisses"..hehehehe

on the other side....

Once you reached the top, this is the breath-taking view of the Chocolate Hills. There were a lot of tourists at that time so we had a hard time taking our pictures without anyone on the background, heheheheh. Also, there was a booth which handled all souvenir pictures, you can have a shot flying on top of the hills, touching a hill with your finger or whatever funny pose you like to do. Their prices were reasonable and you can even have it printed on shirts.

Group Pic....should not be missed!!!!hehehehe

Some Informations:

The world-renowned cone-shaped Chocolate Hills is Nature's expression of beauty, mystery and romance. Spread over the municipalities of Carmen, Sagbayan and Batuan, the Chocolate Hills is the province's signature attraction. It consists of approximately 1,268 hay cock hills with heights ranging from 40 to 120 meters. Formed centuries ago by tidal movements, the hills are considered as a National Geologic Movement. During the summers, the dome-shaped grass covered limestone hills dry up and turn brown, transforming the area into seemingly endless rows of chocolate "kisses" Two of the highest hills have been developed and provided with facilities such as a restaurant, hostel and view deck.

I think this is a wishing well...hehehehe
Chocolate Hills dot the plains of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan. There are at least 1,776 uniform hills that leave visitors no wonder how they came to be. One could view and even count the hills its 210 feet above the ground view deck, Climbing the 214 steps of the view deck to the top is a rewarding exercise. Chocolate Hills is also cited as a Geological Movement of the country and is also known as the Eight Wonder of the World.

"National Geological Monument Citation Marker"

Thanks to this following persons!!!!!!

There's nothing much to do in this spot but for me it is a 3S ( Sight, Shot and Savour), the wonderful Bohol Chocolate Hills. Till the next trip.

Entrance Fee : P50 (as of February)
Parking Fee: Free of charge

Man-Made Forest of Bohol

Bohol Tour: Man-Made Forest
by Lakwatsero

This is part of our previous Bohol tour happened last February, I just want to share how beautiful it was and how they preserve it's nature and help it to be like this, now a days. And also as a Boholano, I'm very proud to say how they worked hard enough to create their own version of a provincial attractions.

According to Kuya Ciano, our driver and tour guide as the same time, hehehehe....the man-made forest in Bohol whose area covers over 800 hectares of land, lying on the town of Bilar and Loboc was created during the reforestation program by the government on the ’60s. The forest is protected under the government law, and any tree or plant under the area are prohibited from ‘kaingin’ or cutting. Most of the trees planted in this area are Mahogany trees. The trees grew in almost the same height and width that it creates a ceiling of leaves on the roads of Bilar.

While on the road in man-made forest, Kuya Lito mentioned that the road were taking is locally known as ‘tina-i sa manok’ in Bisaya (chicken intestines) because of the winding curves of the road, a winding pathway from Loboc to Bilar. Unfortunately there’s no light for the vehicles that passes there, which makes it dangerous when traveling at night.

The real joy of exploring the Man Made Forest is going all the way up the winding road, which is very identical to a chicken’s intestine. As you drive up, all that you can see behind is the luscious greens that are uniformed in height and are spread out as if they are guarding something down.

If what pleases you is taking a tour around the forest, you may do so. The most notable difference that you would be able to recognize upon entering this man-made haven is the change in temperature. Even when the weather is scorching hot outside, you will be greeted with only cool breeze inside the Man Made Forest. That is because the tall trees are able to protect the insides from the sun’s rays with its spread out leaves.

Some tourists who visits there also experiences the man-made forest by camping deep within the forest. As one of Kuya Ciano’s experience was bringing four people in the man-made forest who camped there overnight. Camping in the forest is very unusual though.

So don't waste time, if your on Bohol, take a visit to one of it's preserve nature.

Tips and Traps:

Best to come there while there’s still sun. The forest is quite dim, even in the mornings.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Camping and Climbing Checklist

Camping and Climbing Checklist Tips
by Lakwatsero
I hope, this will help everyone that are planning to have a camping and climb.

Camping and Clothing:

For overnight climbs, a 40L backpack will do while multi-day trips may require larger packs; make sure to have a raincover with you to protect your pack from rain. Bring tents that would be exact for each group. Don't forget the pegs that would protect your tent from being collapsed or blown away by wind and the flysheet that will protect your tent from being rained down. A sleeping bag is not a necessity especially when the planned campsite is predictably flat; some tents may have a built-in groundsheet but bringing one is always recommended. An earthpad serves a dual purpose of scaffolding the items in your pack and providing insulation at night.

Sets of clothes: 1 set going up, 1 set in camp, 1 set going down: but actually you can just bring two sets, one going up, and the other at camp you can wear going down; just add a pajama or sweater for the camp itself if it will be cold. For multi-day, rainy climbs, you can have two sets: the wet set during climbing and dry set during camping.

Waterproofing: It is best to make sure everything, especially clothes, are protected from rain. You do not need fancy waterproof packs to achieve this; simply putting your clothes inside plastic bags can serve the purpose. However, items that are waterproof are always cool and useful; look for GORE-TEX fabric in clothes, jackets, and shoes as a mark of waterproofing. Otherwise, make you sure you bring a poncho or raincoat (there are many full body raincoat found in malls today) to protect your body in case of rain. Also, choose clothes that easily dries and does not get heavy when it rains. This is the reason why jeans are a not advisable during climbing/hiking.

Cold protection: You can either go for quanity (many layers of clothes) or quality (just a few with the right fabrics and sufficient protection). Not all good fabrics vs. the cold are good against rain, however, such as jackets with goose feathers or those thick ones for winter. So in the setting of cold weather, it is best to have warm insides and a waterproof outside (a Gore-Tex jacket) to keep everything dry. Body warmers such as bonnets, gloves, socks, and thermal underwear are good items. Since tolerance to cold vary from person to person, only experience can definitively tell you how many layers you should bring for a Pulag climb. Three to four is enough on the average, though.

Thin, long-sleeved shirts or rashguards would also serve the purpose of protecting the skin vs. thorns and insects and they are worn with shirts in the same way that leggings are worn with shorts. They have the added benefit of some protection vs. the sun, although wearing sunblock (SPF > 30) is still recommended in exposed trails.

Other items you can bring is a pair of sunglasses/shades to shield your eyes from the intense sunlight at high elevations and a trekking pole (sometimes two) to assist you in steep trails. A trekking pole may not have a purpose at the start, but it could be a precious tool when you get a sprain.


Backpack / raincover
Tent / groundsheet / earthpad
Sleeping bag (there are many kind of sleeping bags to choose from)
Hiking shoes / plus optional slippers/sandals
Trekking pants/light pants
Thermal/cotton/wool undershirt
Long sleeved trekking shirt / Arm guards
Poncho / raincoat
Extra shirts
Gloves/bonnet/thick socks
Bush hat / cap
Trekking pole

Drinking, Eating and Cooking:
Water: When bringing water, take the presence and interval of water sources as a guide on how much to bring. In general, 1 liter can last for two hours on mild to moderate sunlight on mild to moderate trails. So if the average interval of water sources for each climb is four hours, it is best to have at least 2-3L water in addition to what you will need in camp for cooking. A cool item is of course the hydration pack (sometimes referred to as a bladder) which can store water inside your pack; you can just sip it from a valve.

Trail food: It is entirely up to you what kind of trail food you want to bring. Personally, I always bring a mix of dried fruits (dried mangoes, raisins); energy bars (chocolate, oatmeal bars); the traditional gelatin (i.e. JellyAce -- but I love those with fruit bits or nata inside); and candies. Don't forget to keep track of your wrappers! Some climbers prepare their own trail food by filling Ziplocks with ChocNut, bits of Oreo and M&Ms, plus gummy bears, for their personal snack. Don't buy low-calorie stuff, though - you need the energy!

Meals: It has been mountaineering tradition to cook in camp - i.e. buy meat from the local market, rice, etcetera. However, don't feel embarrassed if you will resort to canned goods. The important thing is leaving nothing at the campsite, especially those tin cans. Cooking rice up in the mountains is just like doing it in town, but water boils faster in high altitudes so make adjustments. Pasta - or sotanghon - is advocated by some as an easier alternative to rice. Oil of course is very important and personally I always want something to spice things up like peppers or chili powder.

Stove: A majority of portable stoves in the Philippines are still butane-based although there is an emerging number of multi-fuel ones. Make sure you have enough fuel for the climb; one butane cylinder usually lasts for 1-2 meals. I usually bring 1 cylinder for each night, plus an extra. As for the stove, of course you have to bring one. Setting up a fire for cooking in campsites is not a recommended practice. Bring a ligher or matches just in case the igniter of your stove conks out.

Cooking and eating utensils: Your cooking utensils can double as your eating utensils. The higher-end ones are made of titanium although the classic Kovea cooker set is a very good deal. Bring
spoons/forks/knives; they can all be combined in a camping Swiss knife so learn how to economize on space and items.

Additional info: When cooking a rice in higher elevations, it will really take long to boil a water, due to cold temperature and windier conditions up there, one realiable suggestion when cooking a rice in that conditions, 1st you must boil the water, then you add up the rice, mixed it up in a circular motion, and do not place also in top of the stove, just let it for a few minutes, let the rice pop out....hehehehe...then get it back to fire in medium range, occasionally stir it, and then afterwards a perfectly cooked rice. As well as in your house you can do this steps, to save LPG, when cooking a rice, because i do it myself.

After meals: If water is limited, the utensils may be cleaned by a wet tissue/towel with alcohol. Don't leave utensils with food lest you attract mountain rats and other guests. If there is a water source, do your cleaning downstream so as not to contaminate the source.


2-3L water or liquids(but it really depends on your consumption) / hydration pack or water bottles
Trail food: could be energy bars, nuts, dried fruits
Rice / precooked/uncooked meat/
Noodles / instant coffee
Oil / garlic / pepper
Portable stove and fuel
Cooking/eating utensils
Spoon/fork/knife/can opener
Lighter /matches
Garbage bags/Ziplocks


Needless to say, you have to mind your personal needs even when in the mountains. First on the checklist is a trowel (though one per group will do) which you will use to dig a hole for your waste; the rest are quite self-explanatory. You may not need these during the climb itself, but at the jumpoff, a postclimb shower may be a good reward -- and something you need to sleep all the more soundly on the bus back home.


Trowel /tissue paper
Soap/ Shampoo
Toothbrush / toothpaste


This is like a PC game in real life - you can actually use cool gadgets in real life as you climb. Of course, the most basic ones are a flashlight or headlamp (go for long battery life) and a camera. Virtually everybody has a digital camera by now and of course outdoor photography is best served by a SLR Camera's. Navigation and expedition people, on the other hand, bring GPS / altimeter watches: these are vital on explorations. Otherwise, a compass is basic. In all these, don't forget to bring extra batteries because cold temperatures easily drains batteries. And, if it rains, make sure you have a waterproof solution (ziplocks) .


Flashlight / headlamps
Camera / binoculars
Cellphone / Two-way radios
GPS / altimeter watches
Compass / Topographic maps
Extra batteries / memory

Protection and Emergency:

I always bring a notebook with me and a pen to document the climb; but it can also be handy in emergencies. You can use ribbons to mark your path on an uncharted trail, and a whistle will spare you from the need to shout at the top of your voice. A utility rope is not really advised in most mountains, but a first aid kit is very important. A duct tape is very useful and handy equipment in case of emergency, for patching a torn fly sheet, can also be use as a temporary patch for small wound and can be used also if somebody has a fracture to support the base for the fractured body part. If you have an existing condition like asthma, never ever forget your personal medications! And when somebody finds you unconscious, make sure a contact number can be found somewhere.

Some of the climbers used and brings muscle relaxant/topical pain reliver, like efficascent oil or omega pain killer, some other suggested that you can used at the sametime a baby oil together with efficascent oil, this is effective to use when your in higher elevations, especially when it is very cold.


Ballpen / paper/ ribbons / whistle
Lighter /matches
Insect repellant / Sunscreen or sunblock (>SPF 30)
First aid kit / Personal medications
Utility rope / Swiss knife / any multi-tool handy equipment
Duct Tape
Super Glue (temporary fix forsmall gashes)
*ID with emergency phone numbers (usually in every invitational climbs there's an ID)

and Lastly do not forget in every mountains we climb, what we do always......

Special thanks to Sir Gideon Lasco for giving me permission to republish this Articles.
More power Sir Gid.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CnT Lechon Restaurant

Cebu's Finest: Lechon Cebu on CnT
Right across SM Cebu City
by Lakwatsero

CnT Lechon Restaurant

Cebu Lechon:

It can unite people of different faiths (Muslims and Catholics?). If consumed regularly, it can solve the problem of overpopulation and dwindling funds for pensions (heart attacks). Those assertions are ridiculous and far-fetched, but I can’t help it. Lechon from Cebu is just so wonderful. Cebu lechon has a different kind of saltiness to it. The balat tastes good whether it’s crispy or already makunat. Freshly chopped or made into paksiw (or sinigang -yes, Sinigang na Lechon), Cebu lechon is the one thing that will complete any trip to Cebu.

Ate!!! dahan - dahan !!!!!

Among the tourists, the “brand” we’re all familiar with is CnT Lechon. This is probably because there are several CnT branches scattered all over Cebu. Inside SM City Cebu, they can be found at the supermarket foodcourt. Likewise, at Ayala Center Cebu, CnT also have a stall at the mall’s foodcourt. Of course, their lechon is superb, hence the popularity of CNT among the locals and visitors alike.

The famous "Cebu Lechon"
We went to the CnT restaurant that’s found right across SM Cebu, along Juan Luna Extension. It’s a popular dining place during the weekend, and even though we arrived at 1pm, it was still packed with families having weekday lunch. Ordering is done at the counter, where you tell the girl behind the counter how much lechon you want to order, and pick out any additional dishes you want to go with it, turo-turo style.

1st group are done!!!!!

2nd group is still eating!!!!!!

ok let check this last table !!!! what do you think? hehehehehe!!!!!

Lechon!!Unlike in Manila, Cebu Lechon is eaten with vinegar and not with sarsa. I remember how I was apprehensive about eating lechon without sarsa, but when I took a bite, I finally understood why. The Cebu lechon has a distinct flavor — it’s so good there’s no need for any sauces! But the best thing to pair with lechon is pusu. Pusu is rice steamed in strips of coconut leaves woven into a small container. Pusu sizes differ, but usually it’s the size of a closed fist. Normally you can see pusu hanging in bundles. They cut it off from the bunch when you order one.

The steamed "Pusu Rice"

Thank !!! CnT Lechon !!!! Promise I'll be back !!!!!
Now, when are we going back to Cebu?

CnT Lechon
1377 V. Rama Avenue St.,
Guadalupe, Cebu City
Phone: (6332) 254-4249, (6332) 254-6641

Thinking of bringing home a Taste of Cebuano (as CnT’s tagline say)? CnT have boxes for their lechon, so you can bring home the best Cebu lechon for friends and family. Just tell the staff behind the counter that you want it boxed when you order. You can even order a whole lechon from CnT, and have it sent via air cargo!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Borawan Island of Padre Burgos

Rapelling @ Borawan Island
Padre Burgos, Quezon
by Lakwatsero

Borawan Island

For our last and final stop, for our Padre Burgos Adventure 2010, is known as Borawan Island, probably this island is the most visited and the most scenic beach of Lipata Island out all the undeveloped beaches around it's coastal village, the "Barangay Lipata", where also Mt. Lipata can be climb. It is situated within lush mountains and rocky cliffs overlooking of the Tayabas Bay in the Sibuyan Sea Coastal Line. Locals of Padre Burgos pride themselves of having Boracay and Palawan in one place – where the name “Borawan” derived. Because of its own spectacular rock formations like the limestone cliffs of Palawan and crystal clear water and white sand like Boracay.

White sand and some of th e cottages

other side.

some of the rock formations

lakwatsero's photo opps!!!!

the cliff side

I personally didn’t know much about this place even though i've been to Quezon Province many times, and then just one day, an invite was sent to me by Migs, from Yabag Org, President, that will be organizing the 1st adventure tour for Padre Burgos area. I just only view it's site, then think instant, and invite my friends, but sad to say, only two of the x-plorerboyz, will be gonna be doing this adventure, including me and Jobari, Actually, it will be a new experience for us, since I personally tried rapelling few years back, and for Jobari, as newby in rapelling, were really both excited on this trip specially on this activity, were you can do all beacheeniring, hiking, spelunking, and rapelling.

jobari try 1st

of course it my turn....ill just give it a shot....

It was just 1 in the afternoon when we left Dampalitan Island and we will gonna proceed to our itinerary that we will gonna stay the rest of the day and spent a night at Borawan Island. There are still some undeveloped beaches around the island, and we saw one of them on the way to Borawan. It has also a nicer shoreline with palm trees and a few nipa huts. It would have been a delight to explore the other islands, but it was not included on our itinerary, and we couldn't hide our excitement to see this famed island.

where's my tent? ehehehehe

Mang Uro's boat

Just a few minutes, we finally got a glimpse of some of the rock formations and see the shoreline of Borawan. It doesn’t have the usual long stretch of white sand dotted with palm trees, like Dampalitan. Instead, it's shore is dotted with huge rock boulders with a backdrop of high limestone walls. The island doesn’t really have that fine powdery white sand, like Boracay and the limestone isn’t as grand as those you have seen in El Nido, Palawan, but to have a hint of both in one place is probably what makes Borawan Island, uniquely beautiful.

rock climbing and rapelling equipments
jobari's moment of truth....hehehehehe

and of course my moment too.....hahahahaha


at last......

Upon arriving to the shoreline of Borawan, some of us were really so excited, and some of us of course, established each of its place, assembling their own tents, of course most of the participant has a huge number of group members, as i remember all in all were 50 - 60 participants, including the group organizers, were we are part of. Migs, together with some of the yabag's, establish as fast as they could the harnesses, for the participants who wants to roped climb, and rapel the rocks, the cliffs range about 20m high, however there are no established bolted routes yet, but because of the experienced of Migs, together with its group, we managely do those things with proper precausion and proper instructions that they teach before we do such those activities.

Sunset @ Borawan

of course it's our turn.

at syempre ako nmn!

There were few groups of people when we arrive at Borawan, and because we have a reservation on this island, our group stay fronting the cliff side where the harnesses was established. Stay for the whole day and a night, together with some of the locals, and few barangay officials. We spend the whole day of doing rock climbing and rapelling, some of us do spelunking on the other side of this island, and of course when the sunset starts, the nightlife begins.

the nightlife!!!!

X-plorerboyz with Mang Uro
Of course in every place that we've been....this activity is something that would not be always forgotten and always been present......1....2...3.....



who has the most elegant jump....pls vote!!!! hahahahaha

This 3 photos is courtesy of Sir Noel Tomalabcad...thanks Sir!!!!

To summarized our stay at Borawan, all of the participants were really satisfied and grateful that we were able to set foot on one of the Quezon's best beaches that we could be.

Mt. Lipata

Mt. Lipata
Brgy. Lipata, Lipata Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon Province
by Lakwatsero

Jump-off point: Lipata Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon Province
LLA: 13° 88.97N 121° 78.94 E, 130 MASL (427ft)
Day Required / Hours to summit : 1 day / 30 - 1 hr
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail 1-2

360° view from Mt. Lipata

on another angle.....
another one...

Located in Brgy Lipata, Lipata Island, Padre Burgos Quezon, this one of the optional activities that is part of 1st Padre Burgos Adventure by Yabag. Org, together Mang Uro as our guide and of course Sir Migs, our head adventure organizer. Some of the trippers tries to hike the slope of Mt. Lipata. This mountain has an elevation standing high above the surrounding area with small summit area, steep slopes and local relief of 300m or more.

some of the trippers.....


on my way up....

photo opps on the way.....

View of Tayabas Bay from Mt. Lipata

View of Laguimanoc Bay from Mt. Lipata

Actually this mountain has no established trail because this is not a really hiking destination. But this mountain is can be considered as one of the optional activities around Lipata Island. The mountain range with a terrain overlooking China Sea, Tayabas Bay, and other islands like Dampalitan Island, Laguimanoc Bay.

View of Dampalitan Island from Mt. Lipata

rock climbing to Mt. Lipata

Mt. Lipata

Waiting for our chance to climb for the peak...


The Peak of Mt. Lipata

The actual peak of this mountain is reminding me of Pico de Loro because of it's tower although this cliff is just a 1/4 of Pico de Loro's beak, and this mountain is just considered to be minor, it is really hard to be on top, y0u must have have the skills and experience, because it can cause you severe injuries or maybe death. As Sir Migs, said for our batch maybe by the next time, their group will gonna put some ropes to help the climbers to go to top of this mountain.

View of Mt. Lipata's Peak from jump off

after the hike!!!!!!!

Special Concerns:
Please do bring some sleeves/armguards if you want to climb this mountain because, some of the leaves, can cause you itcheness that will last up to few days. Bring also gloves for some minor stone wall cliff climb, and always don't forget to be safe and don't forget the LNT rule.


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