Category Archives: Makko’s Adventures!?

A Jeepney Commute Guide to Mt. Ulap from Baguio

For data recording purposes, you can fill up this form by the barangay local government unit of Ampucao before going to Mt. Ulap.


Alright! So, assuming you’ve already done your research about Mt. Ulap, read the Pinoy Mountaineer entry, and saw pictures of the place, you are now in the running towards becoming Mt. Ulap’s next top model.


In summary:

—– In Baguio City, ride a jeepney bound for barangay Ampucao, municipality of Itogon. Jeepney signage would usually be “Baguio Plaza Ampucao” or “Baguio Samoyao” (Samoyao is a sitio of Ampucao). The terminal is near Jollibee Magsaysay, Baguio Center Mall, Orion Drug (Figs. 1 – 3), along Lapu-lapu Street and Rajah Soliman Street.

Ampucao Terminal

Figs. 1, 2 & 3. Reference points for locating the jeepney terminal to Mt. Ulap.


—– Fare is 31 pesos, travel time between 45 minutes to 1 hour.


—– Assuming you already talked with the driver to drop you off at the registration area, take note of the following rates (as of March 2018):

> Registration fee: PhP 100 per head
> Local Guide Fee (1 guide: 7 people):
—–> Day hike = PhP 600.00
—–> Overnight Camping = PhP 1,000.00
> Campsite fee (Overnight Camping for group of 10 persons and below): Php 800.00
> Porter fee for senior citizens, disabled, lazy ones, and those with over-packed bags:
—–> Dayhike = PhP 500.00
—–> Overnight Camping = PhP 800.00


— Assuming again, that you would take the Sitio Ampucao – Sitio Sta Fe traverse, then you would be hiking through 9 kilometers of uphills, some leveled stretches of terrain, and steep to knee-throbbing downhills.


— You would probably take around 5 to 7 hours for the whole hike.


— A jeepney would be waiting at sitio Sta. Fe (still a part of barangay Ampucao) to Baguio City. The fare would now be PhP 50.00. Travel time more or less an hour.






  1. The trail is not a trash bin, it’s a trail for refreshing your soul.
  2. If on a day hike and assuming (yet again) you are properly hydrated and had a decent meal, I’d say that all you would need is a liter of water and some light snacks. That, aside from garments for sun/rain protection, camera, and cash for more water and food at the latter part of the hike.
  3. If on a peak day, a lot of people would be on queue at the Gungal Rocks (a protruding rock formation popularly used as foreground for that IG/FB photograph).
  4. Itogon, a 1st class municipality, is one of the 13 municipalities of Benguet province.
Tagged , , , , , ,

Chiang Mai the second time

With the ongoing recognition of indigenous knowledge as a complementary knowledge system for mainstream science, I was able to travel to Chiang Mai for the second time to attend a dialogue-workshop organized by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP, FAO, and a Thai-based NGO, Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment (I.P.F).

Attending these workshops are a bit tiresome for the brain, so to relax, I spent one afternoon walking around the walled and moat-filled city. It took me around two hours to complete a walk around the city, and while doing so, an idea to create a time-lapse video came to mind.

After the last day of the workshop, I prepared all my gear (well, just my camera), and walked about 10 minutes to Chang Phuek (North Gate). Before starting the long stroll, I first had to visit a good friend, Lisa Nesser, to say hello and check if she has some Lahu (an indigenous group) bracelets for sale. Lisa founded Thai Freedom House, a language and arts learning center dedicated to assisting refugee families and individuals from Myanmar, as well as extending help to Thai indigenous peoples. She also has a nice cafe, the Free Bird Cafe, serving various Burmese and Thai cuisine that is fresh, organic, and vegetarian. They also serve coffee, smoothies, juices and dessert. (You can check them out at:


It was 6 pm, and the camera was focused towards the city, as it is viewed across the moat. I clicked the shutter every five steps, and around the 300th shot, I could feel a slight discomfort on my shoulders. But I was enjoying the sights nonetheless so I just kept walking on. There were doves flying around, a Caucasian man slacklining across the moat, an Italian man asking me money for food (and I don’t know why he’d ask me money in the first place), bugs flying around, men fishing, folks sitting along the benches, clear skies, nice fountains, cars passing by, arches, and then… “Battery low”! So after three hours, 1,376 photos, uttering “OKKINawa, Japan!” and without completing the whole stretch of the city, here’s the video:

Well, maybe another reason to visit Chiang Mai again.

PS: If you like to help Lisa and her projects, you can also like “Thai Freedom House” and “Free Bird Cafe” on Facebook. 😀

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Adventurers are Wanderers

Well, as some have known, I joined Wrangler’s search for True Wanderers (#TrueWanderer #WanderWithPassion), and the entry which I submitted is reposted as follows:

“Makko (pronounced mak-kow) is derived from my ancestor’s name, Mammako. My name doesn’t mean anything really, but after spending my early years in Sagada; schooling in Baguio City; visiting grandparents in Bokod, Benguet; and undergoing post-graduate studies at the base of Mt. Makiling in Los Banos, Laguna; Makko began to mean traveling, nature, photography, cloud and crowd watching, ventriloquist singing, or just walking and hanging around. And now, Makko suggests a pair of tough jeans, a sturdy pack, and an adventure around the Philippines with a motorbike!

I love motorcycles, but never had the chance to own one. I dream of visiting ALL 1,490 municipalities in the Philippines, and I’ve been to 200+ so far. It feels right when I spread news of environmental protection and conservation for Philippine cultures and ecosystems; so I blog, participate, and initiate such activities as much as I can. So my dream checklist is: to visit all the 1,490 municipalities in my lifetime with a motorbike, share my knowledge about the environment, and know stories about my country and its people as they live their lives in this tropical paradise. And as wise men say, hard work, passion and perseverance is required if I want my dreams to come true!

Well, after years of saving and saving, there’s a check on the motorbike because I have recently bought a second hand one. There’s a bigger chance therefore to visit the remaining municipalities I have not visited yet. What remains is one critical check–my post-graduate degree in environmental science to guide me in sharing practical guidelines about nature conservation, and in living an adventure with a green agenda! But the journey for that diploma is already on the horizon, and it means a lot for fueling my passion in helping the Philippines develop in a sustainable and happy way.

So to end this brief meeting of ours, all I can say is love, love and love!! And yes, of course, I’d like you to join me in this journey to explore and wander, to live and be alive in this country we call home, and to be a part of this only planet known to harbor life. Because honestly, this is not just my journey. It is yours too!”

So if you find what I dream about to be worthwhile, please vote for it (until April 17!) in the following link: Who knows, we’ll be sharing the same adventures soon! 😉DSC_8614



Tagged , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: