Tag Archives: GoPro

Pugaan Waterfalling Adventure 2015


Team Katkat (climb) from left to right: Elijah, me, Jeffrey, Porsche, Leia, Boknoy, Mico and Tito Bobby our ultra guide.

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Last September 4, 2015, a friend of ours, sir Bobby who is a veteran photo journalist, coffee geek, a known barefoot runner in our city and a bonfide mountain trekker asked my girlfriend Leia to organize a trekking party for Pugaan waterfalling. So Leia made a Facebook page for an open invitation and 5 others asked to join. So there were 8 of us all in all going for the Pugaan waterfalling adventure.

Pugaan is a barangay (a barangay is formerly called barrio, is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward – wiki) that is part of Iligan city which is a rural area mostly consists of mountains or hills, some lush vegetation and mostly forested area. It is rather a large barangay than most barangays found in the city and because it is still in touch with nature far from urban contamination, Pugaan surprisingly (at least for a city dweller like me) has lots of waterfalls of all sizes that some are probably still waiting to be discovered by city folks.

Pugaan proper (where the barangay hall, market and a simple covered basketball court is located) is only less than 25 minutes drive from the city proper. The main transportation within Pugaan is the “habal-habal” or a motorcycle and some very few jeepneys that goes to the city.


This is Pugaan and this was our route. We started our trek at the tiny blue arrow above center.

This was probably the hardest trekking I had in years and I slipped and slammed on my side 3 times along the water trail while stepping on slippery rocks. Thank God I didn’t hit my head but it was pretty close though. I also realized from this adventure that I’m not really used to my being overweight and I felt cumbersome and clumsy. I decided not to bring my dslr (good thing!) and opted for my digicam and gopro.

My digicam (Nikon S9100) already died not even halfway and just after our first waterfall encounter (but is now fine and dandy with an ample amount of air drying and silica gel packets) due to moisture from my wet hands. Thank God for the Gopro as I was able to continue to shoot some photos, film and occassional “documentary I was here not vanity” selfies.

In case you wanna check out our video here’s the link…


I would also like to add some of tito Bobby’s photos here (we shared each others photos for us 8 to use and post) as he took better photoshots than what I’m able to do. After all, he’s a veteran photographer and the mountains around Iligan are his playground.


Yup, this is the “habal-habal” as what most people here in Iligan would call it. Not the most comforting ride ever if there are 5 butts total trying to hold and balance along a rough jagged road. Expect an after workout like cramps after a 15 minute ride. We took the habal-habal last for Pugaan proper after almost 7-8 hours of trekking.

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Filed under Iligan City, trekking, waterfalls

Panay 2015: Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan Festival Video

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The video is right at the bottom…

The first time that I’ve been to Ati-Atihan was more than 12 years ago. That time, I wasn’t exactly too keen on observing the beautiful parades, costumes, festivity highlights and so on. I went there from an invitation from my college buddy, Carlo Opay who was also my dormmate. Yes, I went for the fun and drinks and my memory about my first Ati-Atihan experience was in short… not sober. More than a decade past, armed with a bit of awareness, appreciation and adventure together with my travel-bugged girlfriend Leia, we decided to satisfy a tiny fraction of our wanderlusting curiosity for Ati-Atihan once and for all. Our first visit together to Kalibo, Aklan was 2011 of December.

It was more like a flying visit because I wanted for us to meet Carlo before we go straight ahead to Boracay the next day. That was also the first time I’ve met his pretty and wonderful wife, Lyza and their super cute son, Uno. I also got to introduce Leia to my old buddy. The last time me and Carlo we’re together, our partners were no other than beer bottles of saintly names. Ati-Atihan is celebrated on the month of January but that December we already smelled the aroma of Ati-Atihan, not to mention the hypnotic drumbeats that was truly inviting. More about our 2011 Kalibo visit here

Fast forward to 2015, after months of saving up to have a month travel vacation (2 weeks for Leia)… I contacted my good friend Carlo again that me and Leia we’ll be coming over for the Ati-Atihan Festival 2015. It would be our first time documenting the whole fiesta event on film together (my 1st time alone was Sinulog 2014). The best part, we were not filming on the sidelines but right in the smack of everyone in the middle of the street. That’s what makes Ati-Atihan sort of unique, when the tribes are competing for the best parade, dance, costumes, drumbeats, etc. People follow right behind and party along. Heck, not just a hundred people but in tens of thousands as the whole town people and tourists dances along with the tribes in a “smorgasbord” party larger than most rave event.

Though we’re not professional filmmakers but shooting and making videos is a whole new dimension in capturing wonderful and memorable moments in our adventures. I am so glad we get to take both photos and videos of Ati-Atihan. Thank you Lord!

More about Ati-Atihan, photos of eccentric but beautiful costumes, old guys crossdressing and Leia’s point-of-view here.

Here’s the video (May not be viewable on some mobile devices due to music issues despite the attribution, please view the video on a laptop or desktop… sorry for the inconvenience guys)

p.s. I would to thank Carlo and Lyza again for lending us a room in their place, for the awesome food and for the wonderful and surely unforgettable Ati-Atihan experience.

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Filed under Aklan, fiesta, Kalibo, Philippine Heritage, Short Video, travel film, vlogging