San Jose Circuit Trek at San Jose, Tarlac

Year 2014, new year, and looking forward for another outdoor trek. Excited, I looked for an event at Travel Tipid–an inexpensive active outdoor open group–because outdoor activity does not have to be expensive. They have a circuit event on January 18-19, 2014 at San Jose, Tarlac. I checked the itinerary, and confirmed my attendance.

Cost
Php 900 inclusive of:
Transportation (Round Trip)
Registration Fee
Guide Fee
Camp Fee

Three Peaks

After a long ride, we arrived at Sitio San Pedro for our registration and briefing. I was surprised that their dialect is Ilocano. After the briefing, we then proceeded with trekking.

Mount Tangisan

This is the first mountain we trekked with an estimate of four kilometers. A wonderful landscape of Sitio San Pedro’s simple life–their uncemented roads, green and brown rice fields, a little dam and few houses–can be seen on Mount Tangisan’s peak. We took pictures of the beautiful landscapes and resumed trekking for our next peak.

Mount Tangisan Peak
Photo by Ace Modar

Mount Bungkol Baka

Next destination is Bungkol Baka or “Cow’s hump” because the mountain is shaped like the back of a cow. The estimated distance from Tangisan to Bungkol Baka is about five kilometers. We enjoyed our lunch along a stream of water while we shared stories. It would be so late to have our lunch if we went straight to Bungkol Baka’s peak.

We refilled our water containers from the stream of water and then continued trekking. Passing into the “junction”, where backpackers usually camp, we reached a false peak. We thought it was already the peak of Bungkol Baka. We were laughing as we ascend to the real Peak.

We pitched our tent and cooked dinner. After that, we had a little social. We again shared stories. Well, for me, I only listened and laughed.

The peak is not that high, but it was cold and windy so bring enough clothing to stay warm. We had a great “socials” night and woke up to a beautiful sunrise. We had our breakfast and took pictures of the breathtaking landscape shortly after. #Selfie!

You can still see a part of Sitio San Pedro and other mountain ranges. Although there are areas that were burnt, the landscape is still beautiful.

Mount Bungkol Baka Peak

Mount Bungkol Baka Peak

Caoayan or Kawayan

Finally, Mount Caoayan or Kawayan. The estimated distance from Bungkol Baka to Caoayan is about three kilometers. After a short trek, we reached Mount Caoayan’s peak. This is the highest and the rockiest peak of the three mountains. Obligatory #Selfie!

We started our descent, and I think this part was the most challenging in the event. It was a slippery and steep descent. We had a side trip to a falls nearby and it was a perfect timing for our lunch.

Mount Caoayan or Kawayan Peak
Photo by Ace Modar

I thank thee Travel Tipid for the event.

Travel Tipid goes to San Jose Circuit

P.S. Had a nosebleed speaking to Michael Schwarz, a German national who was with us.

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