Our First Visit to Masungi Georeserve

For quite some time already, my friends and I have been wanting to visit Masungi Georeserve for a trek. We’ve read blogs about it, saw it circulating on social media, and was hooked with the advocacy of the place and the idea of hiking with gorgeous views around us (and, as a bonus, it’s a great bonding experience!) Finally, our schedules synced up and we booked slots (via Klook) to a Masungi tour and counted the days down ’til adventure. The agency that handled our tour was Tanlines Philippines and they did such a wonderful job. The tour included a round trip van ride to and from Makati and Masungi—which is the main reason why we booked a tour rather than go there ourselves.

On the morning of our hike, we woke up bright and early and made our way to the Tanlines PH HQ for breakfast and briefing. We also met up with the other people who would join us on the day’s tour.

Filipino breakfast courtesy of Tanlines PH.

After breakfast, we made our way to the van and headed for Masungi. The ride there took around two hours, which gave us time to catch up on some sleep (we did wake up at 4:30 AM, after all!) When we finally arrived at Masungi, we headed for the final briefing (and last bathroom break!) before starting our trek.

Before the hike when we’re all still so fresh and energetic, HAHA.

The whole group on today’s trek!

We were immediately faced with our first challenge. Our guide told us that this was the “training course” of the entire hike—he said it was the easiest climb we’ll see in the entire trail. I swallowed my fears and climbed up the rope. The feeling I got once I finished the climb was immediately satisfying. I wanted more.

Courtney and I smiling as if what we were doing was nothing, LOL.

After a couple of minutes, we finally reached the iconic Sapot. The view from the top of the web was amazing. Both the hike and the view made us breathless, hehe.

Do you see the spider on the left?

Continue reading “Our First Visit to Masungi Georeserve”

Japan 2019 (Part 1: Nagoya)

After months of planning, researching, and booking, my friends and I finally went to Japan for our graduation trip!
I’m splitting up this 11-day trip into four posts, each focusing on one specific area of Japan—so come along on our trip as I look back and retell the story from my memories!

Six months ago (or even more), I told Nicole—one of my best friends—that I was itching to go back to Japan and explore different areas. Originally, my whole group of friends and I were supposed to go to Japan together. Unfortunately, not everyone was free to go, so we decided to push on with the trip with promises of future travel with everyone else instead. In the end, only Nicole, Alecca, and I were free to go.

After deciding on who could go, we talked about what areas of Japan we’d like to explore. Nicole, seeing that it would be her first time to visit Japan, voted for Osaka since she’s been dreaming of going to Universal Studios for the Wizarding World. Alecca, who’s visited Japan once in the past, was willing to go wherever we’ll go, and I wanted to explore Nagoya and Hiroshima. Searching up nearby places to visit, I came up with this route: Nagoya-Osaka-Kyoto-Hiroshima-Osaka.

Now that we had a clear route, we decided on a budget and the activities we’d want to do in each area. Since most of the funds (if not all) for the trip would be coming out of our own savings, we were on a budget for sure. I made an Excel sheet and worked on the budget for flights, accommodation, night buses, entrance fees, and more. Once the budget seemed reasonable, we bought our plane tickets. We booked our hostels and night buses. We bought tickets for USJ and airport express tickets. We exchanged our money and packed—the point is, we booked and bought whatever we could before leaving to ease on us spending yen once we arrived.

Fast forward to March 1 after months of careful planning and research, we were on the plane for Nagoya!

Day 1: Arrival (Nagoya)

(L-R): Nicole, Alecca, and I on the plane to Nagoya!

Chicken Sisig: one last Filipino meal before having eleven days of Japanese food!

Our flight landed earlier than expected, so took our time and rode the airport express to Nagoya Station. We embraced the cool air (which is such a luxury since I live in a tropical country) as we made our way to our first hostel of the trip.

Hostel Wasabi!

It was all our first time to try out a capsule hostel, so we were pretty excited! It was interesting to see all the different people checking in and hanging out in the lounge. My friends and I booked a female-only floor and we enjoyed how clean and quiet the floor was!

My little space for the next two nights.

We settled down, freshened up for bed, and rested for the day, excited for what tomorrow would bring.

Continue reading “Japan 2019 (Part 1: Nagoya)”