Posted by: freeclimbers | February 19, 2013

For Human Entertainment Only

Crocky

Crocky

Tagaytay City, especially Picnic Grove, has been one of my quick escape from the polluted city of urban society. So to have a quick weekend getaway, our family, I mean our clan, went to Picnic Grove.

The place is still the same. There you find the famine-stricken horses, kite-flying field, zip-line  cottages, and the souvenir shops on the sidewalks. But if there is one thing new in the park, that is the Adventure Jungle where you can have a chance to take a picture of yourself carrying a 5-foot baby crocodile or a 10-foot python fresh from Manila Zoo.

Since I already got a picture of me with an albino python when we visited Manila Ocean Park, I chose to carry the croc with my brothers. The experience is exhilarating. As an animal lover, I have been longing to interact with these beasts even just to see them personally. But touching and even carrying them is just plain awesome! 😀 NOT PICTURED: My mother was seriously nervous while this photo shoot took place.

But while enjoying this moment, I felt pity for these animals. It just saddens me seeing how these animals are captured and domesticated for man’s entertainment. I cannot imagine how the croc feels while its snout was tightly taped all day everyday just to prevent it from harming people.

My sympathy for Crocky even grows more as I look at his seemingly teary eye at the picture. And now I feel sorry for taking part of exploiting his innocent life.

NOTE: Crocky is not his real name.

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Posted by: freeclimbers | January 2, 2013

Post Christmas Celebration in La Mesa Ecopark

Ecopark

Last December 26, my girlfriend and I went to La Mesa Ecopark to post-celebrate our Christmas day. By 8AM, we’re already there to avoid any traffic.

For a nature enthusiast like me, the concept of having an ecopark at the heart of a city thrills and pampers my caveman style of living. Arriving at the place, we were greeted by this mini-tunnel covered by crawling plants and vines and I admit that I was impressed by this grand entrance! 😀

Mini tunnel

SHORT INTRODUCTION: La Mesa Watershed, located in Quezon City and owned by Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewage System (MWSS), is the primary source of drinking water of Metro Manila residents. Due to lack of funds, poaching, illegal settling, and logging, the watershed was ruined. It was later undertaken by ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.’s Bantay Kalikasan project in partnership with MWSS through the Save La Mesa Watershed Project in 1999. It was later renamed La Mesa Ecopark after it was reopened to the public in September 2004. Today, it now serves as one of the last surviving lungs of Manila.

The park offer some features. At the entrance, you can either go to the butterfly sanctuary or take a walk on their eco-road that will lead you to the other parts of the park. Here we are doing “new” style of photoshoot: jumpshot!

jumpshot 1

spidey jump

At the center of the park, you will see a man-made lake where you can either ride a boat, catch some fishes, or just stroll around. By the time we came, the lake was half-full of water hyacinths though (not shown in picture).

man made lake

At the very place, walk through a 3-level stairway and you will have a view of the dam itself at the top but you cannot go inside it since its barricaded by wires.

dam

There are still other places to visit. You can either walk on their mountain bike trail, visit the orchidarium, buy a plant (dead ones :D), horseback riding, swim, ziplining, wall climbing, paintball games, buy (DO NOT) some souvenir items, finding your luck on seeing a koi fish on the murky and brownish water, or just sit and feel the relaxing scene.

relax

Before going out, we visited their butterfly sanctuary. A guide explained to us the life stages of a butterfly from egg to adulthood. I did not actually listen since my mind and eyes were occupied by these beautiful creatures. 😀

caterpillar

Afterwards, we went to its sanctuary and had a first hand touch on them. I was not totally left in awe since my expectation of a butterfly sanctuary would be full of them of different species. But it turned out they only breed 2 varieties. But it was fun and relaxing. By the way, I learned that not all butterfly wings won’t really cause blindness like what stories say. But i don’t really believe it even when I’m still a kid.

butterfly

All in all, the visit was good and new to my ever hungry eyes. I just hope the staff and people who visit there as well would be more responsible on taking care of their garbages. A blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

HOW TO GO THERE?

From Sta. Rosa, Laguna, take a Cubao-bound bus and drop off at Cubao station or Magallanes station to avoid traffic. From there, take the MRT and drop off at Quezon Avenue. Find FX or jeepneys going to Sm Fairview and ask the driver to drop you off at Winston St. And then take a tricycle to the park itself.

EXPENSES

P55 – Sta. Rosa, Laguna > Magallanes station
P14 – Magallanes > Quezon Avenue
P35 – Quezon Ave > Winston St. (FX)
P15 – Winston St. > La Mesa Ecopark

P50 – Entrance fee (persons above 3 feet, non-QC residents)
P80 – Butterfly trail

Posted by: freeclimbers | November 19, 2012

Bucketlist #2: Take a bath at Mt. Makiling’s Flatrocks

Mt. Makiling – Mudspring and Flatrocks
November 17-18, 2012flatrocksAfter accomplishing my first bucketlist by scaling Mt. Maculot, I and my 3 little siblings together finished my second task. This is to introduce them to what I do and what I feel whenever I’m on the mountains. After going home from work, I immediately packed our things and left after lunch time.

The driver dropped us “near” the College of Forestry building so I prepared myself to carry their loads and them too since our target is to reach Tayabak campsite before sunset. Luckily, we were able to reach it by 1730H after a 4-hour walk.

Body pain alert! Erika, our youngest, got really tired before we reached station 5 so I carried her up to station 7 with my load. Fortunately, a kind-hearted habal-habal driver gave my 2 brother a hitch up to st.7 so I don’t have to carry them too. 😀

tani

Day 2: Early morning, we visited Mudspring just near our campsite to take some photos. Here they are wondering how it would feel to swim at that boiling mud.

mudspring

After that, we packed our things and ate some hot lugaw at the store and walked again to take a bath at flatrocks.

After walking for an hour, they suddenly ran ‘amok’ upon seeing the clear water of the flatrocks and immediately plunged at it. Finally, a nice dip at the cold and fresh water!

flatrocks

Flatrocks are huge boulders of rocks with water flowing from the mountain’s top that creates series of mini-falls. This view reminds me of the river near our house in Quezon province but offers much better attractions. Oh! clear-cold water, bed of rocks, trees of any kinds, and occasional birds to see — everything is just so plain perfect.

The next time we’ll be visit here, we’ll be goind to Botanic Gardens since it’s part of our original plan. A good day to all itchy feet like me!

Our Pictures

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Bucketlist #1: A Stranger in a Mountain – Mt. Maculot Solo Hike with Sitio Lumampaw Sidetrip

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