#IssaGOesPlaces: Mt. Ulap in Itogon, Benguet

No month will be complete without a hike or an out-of-town trip! This December, my friends and I went camping in Mt. Ulap!

Thanks to my mom who allowed me to check three things off my bucket list: To go to Baguio, hike Mt. Ulap, and go camping! Sad I couldn't take a lot of photos due to a sucky phone. Boohoo.
I went straight from class to home in order to pack and catch up on articles. Once 1AM hit, I took the bus going to Cubao, where we all met up and headed onto Baguio. I slept the whole way there, and by the time I woke up, we were approaching Good Taste, where we had our breakfast. Let me just say that they should rename it to OK Taste, Amusing Service.

We then drove to Brgy. Ampucao, where we registered. We waited for about an hour before climbing (I slept the whole time, LOL). And when we began climbing, I swear I thought I was about to start crawling 10 minutes in. It was purely uphill, and being the lazy butt who's been holed in Starbucks writing and not training, it took another few minutes to warm up and get my leg muscles back the way it was! (Note to self: Start training... in January)

We took a few short breaks and had lunch at around 12NN. About an hour after our lunch break, we reached the 1st peak, where it felt like you were in New Zealand! It was almost like a sea of clouds as well, where you were surrounded by clouds, cold wind, and the beautiful greens. The trees were beautiful, and we were already way high up to see the tippy top!

We continued the trek up until we reached Gungal Rock. Very crowded, cold, and foggy. Only got to snap a photo of the Gungal Rock, but didn't bother taking a photo there. Not only was the line long, but my mother will kill me if she saw any photos.

We ended up reaching the campsite at about 4PM, where we pitched tents and prepared dinner. Also had an interesting trip to the bathroom, which was actually just bushes around me. I didn't realize there was actually a space to do your business, haha. Oh, and take note that there are a LOT of cows. And poop. :p

It was pretty fun trying to cook sisig at the top of the mountains, where our hands were close to freezing. Either way, it was delicious and an awesome experience chopping vegetables and all that jazz.

I fell asleep at around 7 or 8PM, where I felt really warm and toasty under my sleeping blanket. Just remember to pack one because it WILL be worth it. And to make sure you pitch your tent where it isn't sort of sloping down. I woke up sliding down the tent, LOL. The winds were our lullabies and it was the first time I actually fell asleep straight without disturbance.

Woke up at around 6AM and had adobo for breakfast. It was really good and I had a LOT. We went around and took photos and let nature take its course. I relaxed the whole time, knowing that I'll be going home to tons of articles soon. Huhu.

We started fixing our stuff and breaking camp at 9AM, descending at 10AM. Unfortunately, we didn't pass through the burial caves. But descending was interesting, as it was all downhill and almost as tiring as trekking uphill. I have no idea which one was worse!

It only took about an hour for us to reach the Sta. Fe exit, where we washed up and went on our way to Baguio to have lunch and have pasalubong. We left Baguio at around 4:30PM and had dinner along the way (I stayed in the van and slept as I wasn't feeling well). Arrived in Cubao at 11ish and came back to reality. Huhu.

The whole trip was a beautiful and fun experience. It was the first time I went camping (other than Batulao with my mom), and I'll definitely do it again if mama hopefully allows! *fingers crossed*

Here is the budget breakdown and our itinerary:

Bus from Boni to Cubao RT - 24 PHP
Transpo Manila to Baguio RT - 1,200 PHP (rented a 15-seater for 12,000 PHP/10 people)
Food - 123 PHP (Chipped in; 1,230/10)
Reg fee - 100 PHP
Guide fee - 80 PHP (800/10) 
Camp fee - 50 PHP (500/10) 
Shower fee - 20 PHP 
Parking fee - 7 PHP (70/10) 
= 1,604 PHP 

Just add in extra groceries, side trips, pasalubong, and you'll probably spend about 2-2.5k, depending on how much you buy (and eat HAHA). I suggest you rent a van if you are a group of at least 10 to make it easier (no need to reserve tickets/chase time).

Day 1 
1-2 Meet up in Cubao 
2-7 Cubao to Baguio 
7-8.45 Breakfast at Good Taste 
8.45-9.30 Otw to Reg area 
9.30-10.30 Register, prepare 
10.30-12 Climb 
12-12.30 Lunch 
12.30-1.30 Go to 1st peak 
1.30-1.45 Break 
1.45-2.45 Climb to Gungal Rock 
2.45-3 Break 
3-4 Climb to campsite 
4-5 Pitch tents 
5-6 Cook dinner 
6-7 Dinner/socials 
7-8 Clean up 
8 Lights off 

Day 2
6-7 Prepare breakfast 
7-8 Breakfast 
8-10 Relax, take photos 
10-11.30 Descend 
11.30-1 Wash up, shower 
1-3 Lunch @ Daddy Chief 
3-4.30 Buy pasalubong 
4.30-8 Otw to Cubao 
8-9 Dinner at Barko 
9-11 Otw to Cubao 
11 Back to reality huhu

And that's that! My last climb for 2016. Hopefully, the next year will be filled with more climbs, beach trips, and all that jazz. ;) Currently making a bucket list for 2017, so let's see. 'Til my next trip!


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