Benguet is home to the country’s well-loved mountains like Mt. Pulag, Mt. Amuyao, and Mt. Ugo. Mt. Ulap Eco Trail was opened to the public last October 2015 and since then it has created a lot of buzz in social media. So we went to discover what the talk is all about.
Mt. Ulap Eco Trail offers scenic views of the Cordillera mountain range. From afar you can see various mountains such as Mt Arayat and Mt Pulag. Besides the breathtaking mountain ranges, the trail is surrounded by Pine trees that provides shade for the resting hikers. Oh, what I also love about this trail (or all of the mountains in Benguet) is the cool and refreshing breeze that you will never experience in Manila!
What made Mt. Ulap Eco Trail famous in social media is the iconic Gungal Rock. So basically, it’s just a boulder that extends on the side of the mountain and is around 130ft above ground. The scene is truly beautiful however, there’s a downside – the long line to have a picture taken at the rock. I waited around 40-mins just to have my photo taken but I guess it’s worth it. Not sure. I hate waiting.
This trip different from all my climbs because my parents went with me. Yes, you got that right! I hiked with my almost-senior citizen parents. Cool huh?
They made an ordinary dayhike special by instantaneously turning it into an prenup photoshoot. They would literally ask me to stop and take a photo of them. What’s surprising (and unbelievable) about it is that they know how to pose! Just look at the photos below and be the judge.
All these sweetness made me feel like the third wheel of the trip. But it was fun. Really.
On Mt Ulap Eco Trail
Mt Ulap Eco Trail is perfect for daytrip hikers who are looking for a cool place to climb. Since it recently opened last October 2015, the trail looked clean and well-kept unlike Mt. Pico de Loro or Ambangeg Trail of Mt. Pulag. As for the difficulty, this trail is okay for newbie hikers and just a walk in the park for the experienced ones. However, the descent is quite a challenge because of the rocky slopes so be extra careful.
What I didn’t like about the Eco Trail is the lack of comfort rooms at the jump-off point. It only has one restroom with no shower each for the ladies and the gents. I suggest that you go do your business at a gas station or restaurant before arriving at the jump-off point. But overall, Mt. Ulap was okay. Not so special for me because I’ve been to various mountains already but this is a great start for the newbies or those who want to go out for a chill hike.
Sunburn, Sunburn, Sunburn
Benguet is a cool place but don’t take it for granted! Wear jacket or arm sleeves because your skin will be sunburnt! Just see the aftermath of my hike:
— Ope Linchangco (@opelinchangco) March 21, 2016
Like all sunburns, it’s itchy, annoying, and it looks like an icky skin disease. I had to wear a jacket whenever I go to meetings and it’s freaking summer! WARNING: PHOTO BELOW MIGHT CAUSE NIGHTMARES.
Spending time with parents is cool
I already climbed a number of mountains with my mother. We’d been to Mt. Pulag, which was our first climb together, Mt. Pico de Loro, and Mt. Maculot so I knew this trip would be like our previous climbs. However, I had reservations about my father joining us. I was afraid he won’t enjoy the trip because it’s literally outside his comfort zone — our home. But this turned out to be one of the best climbs I had ever! This trip allowed us to bond in a different setting and share experiences that are new to us.
There’s this sense of pride whenever I go out with them simply because where else can you see parents and children have fun together? I am so proud of them for living their lives to the fullest regardless of age.
My advice to everyone is spend as much time as you can with your family especially with your parents. Don’t just talk to them when you have problems or when you need money. The close relationship I have with my parents give me courage and wisdom to face life head-on. I wasn’t afraid to take the leap and make mistakes because I know that in failure and triumph, when everybody else is gone, they will be the ones who will remain to catch me. In a less dramatic sense, being bestfriends with your parents is one of the greatest things in the world. 🙂