Bunny Weeps: Let’s Save Tibet’s Rivers!

I don’t know about you but a trip to Tibet is, and always has been, a part of my bucket list.

It is  one of those places that I associate with spirituality and exploring one’s true self. (Note: I am not a Buddhist)

Recently, I have read that China has been planning on damming Tibet’s rivers to help fuel it’s growing industrialized communities.

275px-Salawin_river_at_Mae_Sam_Laep
Photo credit: Takeaway via Wikimedia Commons

To better understand why this has mistake written all over it, this is a quote from Forcechange.com:

Aside from blocking fish migration, these projects would harm ecosystems downstream that depend on the nutrient-rich silt the rivers bring for survival. Without this silt, the delta would also lose a crucial buffer against rising sea levels.

On a human level, such extensive diversions would hurt downstream communities that depend on the rivers’ waters to irrigate water-intensive crops like rice and wheat.

And this pains me a lot to read:

…protests by local Tibetans have been ignored or even broken up by violence. Forced to move to degraded land, they often live in poverty or have to relocate again.

Please sign the petition below and help save these river ecosystems and the Tibetan people who call them home.

I just signed the petition. To sign yours, please click the link below:

http://forcechange.com/140927/prevent-destructive-dams-on-tibets-rivers/

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I will see you soon Tibet,

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Bembunny <3

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More info about Tibet:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Tibet

Didn’t like my post?

Eh, okay. Click here.

Bunny Beeps: Exploring New Realms

Wow. The title makes it sound like I’m a pirate about to explore the vast unknown world – a world that hopefully has an assload of greed-inducing treasures you can only think it’s make-believe.

Arrr.

For a second there I wanted to have an annoying parrot as a pet.

Anyhoo, I would just like to share that I’ve decided to go beyond blogging and into – GASP! – writing stories (mostly fiction).

And so I’d like to propose to myself an alternative title which is, “SHIT, things just got real.”

Yep. Saw that on Pinterest under the topic, (wedding) engagements.

I’m so f****** jittery, I feel like I’ve just said yes to a marriage proposal.

Whew.

I know this will be a commitment and…

I know that my writing’s still really, REALLY bad.

I know that I first have to finish the writing course I took from Stanford Online before I even think of writing in this manner.

I know that I still need to develop my organization skills.

I know I need to adapt a habit of writing outlines for stories and drop my usual habit of simultaneously thinking+writing.

Gah, I nag myself too much sometimes.

I know it could lead to disaster, but I don’t really know if it could lead to something… beautiful.

I am holding on to that.

Let’s see what I will discover and where this exploration will take me.

Wish me luck!

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I need more motivation so let’s give a minute of silence to listen to what Paul Berg (recipient of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980) has to say about discovery:

With time, many of the facts I learned were forgotten but I never lost the excitement of discovery.

There. I feel so much better.

Yo-ho-ho! Batten down the hatches, me bucko!

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Shiver me timbers!
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Bembunny
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Find me on Wattpad:

http://www.wattpad.com/user/bembunny

Didn’t like my post?

 https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

Deets about Paul Berg

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1980/berg-cv.html

Pirate speak with me!

http://piratesonline.wikia.com/wiki/Pirate_Speak_-_Expressions

Bunny Hops: Pico De Loro / Mt. Palay Palay Trek + Overnight Camp

Hello!

I have been fortunate to be able to squeeze in time for a hike to Pico de Loro or Mt. Palay Palay last March 14th, and it was AWESOOOOME!

I know that the Lenten Season has already started in the Philippines, and a lot of you are probably thinking of activities to enhance and evoke your spirituality and faith.

If so, I would definitely recommend – mountain hiking.

It need not be an overnight camping trek, a day hike would do. Most mountains near Metro Manila are easily accessible (2-4 hours away) and would take around 6-8 hours in total (uphill + downhill) to hike. Very doable.

Anyhoo, if you are already prepping to conquer Pico de Loro I have a post that’s all about preparing for the hike HERE.

You can download edit & printer-friendly sample itineraries from there, so I am hoping that will make your life easier.

Moving on, I’d like to share with you what transpired during my “actual” hike.

I know that reality will always be different from what you’ve expected.

In my case, reality emptied my pockets. Haha. Yes, I was 500 pesos over my budget, and though I enjoyed the trek+camp and I don’t mind paying more for convenience, I wished I could have stuck to my plans because, well… that’s what plans are for. LOL.

That’s why, as my good deed for the day, I will help you steer clear of that.

To start, here is our hike’s actual itinerary + expenses:

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Here are edit & printer-friendly versions:

Pico de Loro Itinerary-03302015 – EDIT-FRIENDLY

Pico de Loro Itinerary-03302015 – PRINTER-FRIENDLY

Alright, as promised I am here today to make sure that you will enjoy your trek without breaking the bank and breaking a sweat, so let’s name this next section as:

Bembunny’s Pico de Loro Tips and Tricks:

1. TRAVEL LIGHT

This is a MUST! Some parts of the trail are steep. It’s even more difficult during summer due to its dry, sandy and slippery ground texture. Always bring only what’s necessary, such as:

  • Bottled water (at least 3 liters)
  • Face / hand towel – to wipe away your sweat and tears
  • Sunblock – to make sure you don’t look like overcooked meat once you reach the top
  • Wet wipes – to wipe away the stress. Yes. This is a wonderful thing to bring everywhere.
  • Pocket money – bring extra money if you don’t intend to bring food with you. Food and drinks are available at the camping grounds but they are 100 to 150% marked up. Break the piggy bank!
  • Accessories to cover the face (sunglasses, cap, scarf, etc) – to keep your beautiful faces away from the burning sun’s merciless rays
  • Extra shirt – yes. Only one extra shirt is enough. No one will smell you there as everyone smells exactly the same – a combo aroma of dirt and happiness.

2. BRING LIGHT SNACKS

This is supposed to be under the first tip “Travel Light”, but judging from the bruises and tiredness I got from lugging around food + cooking tools, I decided to put it as a different tip so as to put more emphasis on it.

As I’ve said earlier, you can buy food and drinks at the camping grounds. There are 2 stores there selling stuff at competitive-albeit-higher-than-the-usual prices.

Important note: The last time (March 15, 2015) we talked to the store owners at the camping grounds, they told us that they will no longer be there in the coming weeks / months. SM Dev. Corp. recently bought Pico de Loro and issued a memo that they are no longer allowed to set up stores and sell there. I am not sure if they are still there, so take this info into account when you plan your trek. Although removing them from the grounds could help a lot in lessening the current trash accumulating in the mountain, I am hopeful that the store owners and SM can arrive into some sort of agreement that would benefit everyone including the environment.

If you don’t want to lug around food and cooking tools, but don’t want to buy stuff from the stores- scrooge! kidding, haha – it’s best for you to bring light snacks.

Remember, you will be thirstier than hungrier when you hike, so forego bringing rice and such and such – instead, bring crackers, sandwiches, nuts and trail mixes. If you plan on staying overnight, light snacks are still the way to go plus a bit of booze. LOL.

3. BRING A SMALL FIX-IT KIT

This is like your valuables’ first aid kit. You never know when your bag, shoe, strap, etc. might break so having a kit with the right tools handy could be a lifesaver. This kit should include:

  • A strong adhesive – an adhesive that could help you fix almost everything; popular brands include Mighty Bond, Bulldog, etc.
  • A tape (packing tape, etc) to fix your camping tent when necessary
  • A small sewing kit – your clothes might get tangled somewhere, your sandal’s strap might get loose, or your button might just pop. You don’t know when misfortune will strike so to avoid having you trek naked ala Adam and Eve, this is necessary. This should include:
    • 2 needles (small + large)
    • 1 small pool of white thread
    • 1 small pool of dark or black thread
    • 1 button
    • 1 alternative to a button
    • 2 safety pins (small+large)

4. BRING A TRASH BAG

Whether you are a seasoned or occasional hiker, this is one of the things that you should never, EVER, forget to bring when hiking. Remember, “LEAVE NO TRACE” – you will do yourself, your parents, and Mother Nature proud. Attaboy!

Important note: Hikers who trek down without a trash bag in tow will be fined at the DENR station – so just imagine that this is like a trophy that you will be bringing home to momma.

5. INVEST IN A GOOD AND STURDY PAIR OF HIKING SANDALS / SHOES

The beauty of Mother Nature is in its predictable unpredictability.

Having said that, you will never know what you’ll encounter in the mountains. The weather could go from fine to nasty, and the ground could go from dry to muddy. It’s best to make sure that your feet will be safe and in one piece after the hike.

Remember: a hospital, clinic, etc.  could be at least 2 hours away – make sure that if you do get injured, you can at least walk to the nearest emergency aid.

Sandugo sells reliable hiking slippers for 595 pesos (cheapest), while Merrell offers good ones for 2,000 as its cheapest.

*If you’re budget’s really, REALLY, tight. Go to Landmark in Makati. I found hiking slippers for as low as 400 for men. They carry small sizes so women can also take advantage. I bought one myself for 395 pesos and it has served me well.*

6. BRING A FIRST AID KIT

I tend to ignore and forego this all the time because I always tell myself that I have never been injured in my adventures -THIS IS A SHITTY EXCUSE, PLEASE DON”T COPY.

Quoting myself:

The beauty of Mother Nature is in its predictable unpredictability.

You never know what could happen when you are in the wild. This is something that you should have memorized by now. It’s best to be prepared. A first aid kit should have the following:

  • Betadine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – best for wounds that should not be touched with anything (even a cotton), i.e. burns. Buy the 6% or 20 Vol solution that you can use as a disinfectant and mouthwash. ALWAYS DILUTE WITH WATER.
  • Cotton balls
  • Gauze & bandages
  • Adhesive bandages – commonly called “Band Aid”
  • Cotton buds
  • Over-the-counter medicines for common illnesses like diarrhea, colds, allergies, cough, fever, etc.

7. FIND AN ECO-HIKING STICK

Be resourceful. Before you hike, you can try and find a sturdy stray branch that could be used as your hiking stick.

*If it’s too difficult to find one by yourself, use your charm and be friendly with the trekkers that have just finished their hike. Most of those who have gone downhill and are on their way home will probably have a bamboo pole as a hiking stick. They could have sourced it from the camping grounds. Once they’ve finished the hike, they will have no more use for it – so if you ask in a friendly and polite manner, I believe they will oblige. Hurrah for free stuff and new friends! :) *

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MAGANDANG BUHAY! (May you have a beautiful life!) <3

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Let’s get lost in the wild,

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Bembunny

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Didn’t like my post?

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

More info about Pico de Loro from the pros:

http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2007/08/mt-palay-palaypico-de-loro-664_9808.html

Bunny Preps: Mt. Pico De Loro (Palay-Palay) Camping + Trek

Hello!

A good friend of mine – Ome – wanted to try trekking and camping since it’s something he has not tried yet.

I recommended Mt. Pico de Loro or Mt. Palay-Palay – a mountain bordering Nasugbu, Batangas and Maragondon, Cavite. I researched and found that it’s a minor climb, with a 3/9 difficulty and a trail class 1-3 (I have no idea what this means, I’m assuming it’s synonymous to “easy”)- perfect for my beginner friend.

I live south of Manila. As such, I tried finding a blog providing information on how to get there from Alabang – I failed, miserably –  so I decided to make one for myself and for others who will travel to Pico de Loro from south of Manila.

There are two jump off points to the Parrot’s beak / Pico de Loro summit:

Major jump-off: DENR Station, Magnetic Hill, Ternate, Cavite
Minor jump-off: Ternate-Nasugbu Highway, Nasugbu, Batangas

I chose the one in DENR, Ternate so I’ll be sharing directions from Alabang to Ternate.

Directions from Alabang to Ternate via Google Map

~Driving directions:

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CLICK TO ENLARGE

~Commuting directions

Take the Alabang –  Dasmarinas – Ternate route

Very Important Update: I have already tried this route and it’s a litte more taxing than what I have expected and have written here. First off, after taking a van from Starmall Muntinlupa to Dasmarinas, you will be dropped off at Robinson’s Pala Pala. There is no direct van/jeep to Ternate. Here is the actual route:
Alabang – Dasma (Robinson’s Pala Pala) – Trese Martires – Naic – Ternate
I know. It looks scary. But, I have tried it and it’s still fun, especially when you are lugging around your cool hiking backpack while wearing a cool hiking outfit. Everyone was looking at us with envious eyes, and I felt very much like a celebrity, pro-adventurer ala-Bear Grylls. It was awesome. (Updated March 30, 2015)

From Ternate terminal (last stop of the public vehicle), a tricycle (worth 250 pesos or 75 per head) can be taken to go to the DENR Station.

Of course, being the list-freak that I am, I will not be able to call this post my own if it does not have a list in it. (I have printables and editables for you.)

So, here you go…

My Camping + Trekking Checklist (Overnight)

000102Hooray! I have here PRINTER and EDIT-friendly CHECKLISTS for you!

Overnight Camping Checklist (PRINTER-friendly: PDF)

overnight-camping-checklist (EDIT-friendly: Word format)

I also have my budget checklist. I have accounted possible price increases so as to avoid not having enough money once there.

My Projected Budget Checklist (Alabang – Pico de Loro)

04Another hooray! I have PRINTER and EDIT-friendly BUDGET CHECKLIST versions here for you!

Budget Checklist (EDIT-friendly: Word format)

Pico de Loro Budget Checklist (PRINTER-friendly: PDF)

Budget recommendations:

Minimum budget = 800 pesos

Maximum budget = 1000 pesos

Aaaaand I know that a travel prep post will not be complete without an itinerary, so I also made a projected itinerary.

I also made PRINTER and EDIT-friendly ITINERARIES for you!

You are welcome. Haha.

My Overnight Camping + Trek to Pico de Loro Itinerary

0708As promised, here are the documents you can use:

Pico de Loro Itinerary (PRINTER-friendly: PDF)

Pico de Loro Itinerary (EDIT-friendly: Word format)

I’m sooooo nice, it’s scary. Hahaha.

Don’t forget to check the area’s weather before trekking / hiking. On our scheduled climb, it seems the weather will be quite manageable.

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Scroll down for weather site url
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Scroll down for weather site url

Note: My documents have spaces for you to write down the actual expenses, activities, and duration of the activities you’ve done, so that you can also track them on your own.

<3 I hope this information and my checklists help you guys one way or another.

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Hop+hike+trek+camp+hop again,

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Bembunny

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Didn’t like my post?

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

More info about Pico de Loro from the pros:

http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2007/08/mt-palay-palaypico-de-loro-664_9808.html

Know the weather in Pico de Loro:

http://weather.com.ph/view/980224

Bunny Beeps: I like Bem.

Disclaimer: This is cheesy, and some might find it egotistical, but the fun thing is — I don’t care. Hahaha. My good deed for the day is a good deed for myself.

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I like Bem. I really do.

I like her smile. It is contagious, and it can immediately light up a room.

I like how she cares for other people. I like that she puts a lot of effort to show how important others are, and that she thinks respect for others is awesome.

I like her courage to look adversity in the eye and smile. I like that she works hard to give what her family needs, and is not afraid to sacrifice the little things.

I like how she sees the world in its imperfect beauty. I like that she accepts things as they are and is not afraid to get dirty once in a while.

I like her loyalty to her friends. I like that she accepts them for who they are, and does not want them to change in ways they do not want.

I like that you can talk to her about anything. I like that she won’t judge you for what you say or do and would lend an ear if you need someone to listen to you.

I like how she loves being vulnerable and being human. I  like that she takes time to appreciate the little things and is not afraid to express gratitude.

I like that she wants to see others grow. I like that she feels satisfied when she has been part of someone’s betterment, and that she works hard to do it everyday.

I like that she is independent. I like that she is brave enough to do things in her own way and in her own time.

I like that she is open to new possibilities. I like that she is not afraid to feel, taste and see new discoveries in the new and the old.

I like Bem. I really do.

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I am my favorite person <3 ,

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Bembunny

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Didn’t like my post?

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

Bunny Writes: A Song For You – DearYou

DearYou,

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You, who will sweep me off my mind and not off my feet; not with sweet words and lavish gifts, but with actions, persistent and passionate.

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You, who will enjoy freedom in our independence and more so in our unity.

You, who will have faith that together, we can stand brave and mighty.

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You, who will be equally curious with my endless curiosity.

You, who will be restless together with the restless me.

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You, who will sing with me songs that are perfectly out of tune.

You, who will create spaces for each of our imagination to bloom.

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You, who will lovingly care for the things that I care about.

You, who will share words with me in gentle frankness and not with a bitter mouth.

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You, who will join me paint our world with the colors of our dreams.

You, who will help me remember – should I forget – that we work as a team.

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You, who will trust that I’m like your kite – always tied to you – and you are mine.

You, who will enjoy to see me soar as I enjoy seeing you fly.

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You, who will take this promise to your heart, through our rises and falls:

You, who will never need to ask, “Will you be my constant through it all?”

~

<3

As my good deed for the day, I am sharing one of my favorite songs from Jason Mraz — “Quiet”.

I hope it will inspire you as much as it has inspired me today.

(Click play on the music player below)

The player is tricky at times. If it’s not playing, press the middle of the bar, or refresh the page. :-)

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Inspiration comes from EVERYWHERE,

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Bembunny

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Didn’t like my post?

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

Know the lyrics!

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jasonmraz/quiet.html

Get to know Jason Mraz:

http://www.mtv.com/artists/jason-mraz/biography/

Bunny Beeps: 10 Reasons Why Adopting A Pet is AWESOME!

ELLIE

Seven months ago, I had the luck of finding a grey, striped, crazy, living furball.

It’s safe to say that my days from then on have never been the same.

So, as my good deed for the day, let me share some of the reasons why I think adopting a pet (dog or cat) is one of the most awesome things you can do for yourself.

Let’s start! Meeeee-yaaaaw!

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1. Pets are GOOD LISTENERS

Just got your heartbroken? Just killed someone?

Hey, your friendly, non-judging pet is here for you to listen.

C’mon… you can let it all out with them. They will even cry with you.

2. Pets make us LAUGH

They are funny as hell. Just check out Youtube and you’d see that more than half of the funny videos there are made by pet owners and their crazy pets.

3. Pets can be a cute alternative to an ALARM CLOCK

If you want a dog, prepare to get wet. In my case, I prepare for scratches. Sweet.

4. Pets teach us RESPONSIBILITY

It’s like taking care of a baby… a wild and crazy baby, just to turn up the ante.

5. Pets teach us DISCIPLINE

They crave for routine. So make sure that you can give them an organized and timely schedule of… feeding.

6. Pets show us INDEPENDENCE

They do their own thing… 90% of the time.

You can’t tell them what to do, unless, you have food. (And sometimes, even that, fails. Haha)

7. Pets helps us APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS

They can see beauty in every thing. No matter how little or invaluable to us.

Take my cat, for example, her favorite plaything? Crumpled paper.

8. Pets strengthen our PATIENCE

I know they are cute, but they are also capable of:

– making incessant noise at 2 am in the morning

– smearing poop everywhere

– destroying your favorite furniture

– breaking every vase and pot in the house

– unannounced biting and scratching

Lovely.

9. Pets make us FEEL LOVED

They are always excited and happy to see you. They never judge you. They are always interested in what you’re doing. They are sad when you are sad, and happy when you are happy. They protect you from bad guys. ‘Nuff said.

10. Pets let us GIVE LOVE

That’s right. They LET us, and they love it.

And that is the most beautiful thing that one can have — an opportunity to give love.

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Sold out on adopting a pet (dog/cat) of your own?

Check out PAWS:

http://www.paws.org.ph/adopt.html

They give free obedience training, free vet consultations and discounts from PARC Clinic.

AWESOOOOME!

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Love is my favorite boomerang,

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Bembunny

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Didn’t like my post?

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

For questions kindly call PARC at (02) 4751688, or email philpaws@paws.org.ph

<3