Text and Photos by Euden Valdez
(First of Three Parts)
Rainy Assault at Almasi
IMAGINE assaulting a steep trail with small steps carved from a mountain’s solid surface while being exposed to the forces of nature—behind you is the open mountain range covered in white. You realize you’re actually inside the clouds or the fog, whichever, for it is raining and every now and then, the wind blows sharp, cold stings. Below, you see the endless and tiresome steps you just took but not the bottom.
Now imagine arriving at the top of such the arduous ascent only to be faced with a new peak, beyond it, a silhouette of yet another peak. It feels and seems like there is no end to this assault.
This was the infamous Almasi trail of Kibungan’s mountain range of high summits, deep gorges, thick forests and countless waterfalls. For its very steepness and length, the trail isn’t part of Kibungan’s commercial circuit for hikers. Despite this, it was the access we took to reach Sitio Lanipew in Barangay Tacadang, the site of RAK Ph Mountaineers’ next potential solar project and outreach.
By Euden Valdez
BO MANCAO is not just a diver by heart but also by blood—if there's such a thing. After all, he was born into and raised by a family of divers from Cebu, one of the most renowned dive destinations in the Philippines.
The country being an archipelago teeming with marine treasures, Mancao naturally ventured out of his hometown, discovering other sites in nearby and faraway island provinces. Camiguin was one of them. He was still young when he first discovered and explored the waters of Camiguin together with his father back in the 90s.
Today, he has over 30s years of experience diving and has always returned in the island province, which is located off the coast of Mindanao’s Region 10. In his many visits, Mancao got to meet the local divers of Camiguin, one who would become the region’s tourism director in the future.
Text and Photos by Euden Valdez
LOCATED off the coasts of Bataan and Cavite, right at the mouth of Manila Bay, the island of Corregidor served as the focal point of naval defenses of the Philippine and American forces against Japanese troops during World War II. After days of bloody battle, the former surrendered Corregidor to the latter in 1942, heralding Japan’s reign in the country.
With such remarkable history, many have come to Corregidor lured by tales of ghosts and haunting. After all, its storied ruins and defunct armory tell of turbulent battles; while its dark tunnels form shadows and reverberate with echoes.
But beyond the history that it bore witness to and the remnants of this gloried past, what is Corregidor’s charm to us today?
Text by Euden Valdez; Photos by RAK Ph Mountaineers
FOR over a century, Cape Engaño has been a reminder of a lost time atop its hill of solace in Palaui Island. Built from 1888 to 1892, the lighthouse and its architecture is a testament to the Spanish colonization in the Philippines.
Now in ruins, Cape Engaño has surpassed its original purpose by becoming an iconic tourist destination in Cagayan province, Luzon. It invites visitors and travelers from around the Philippines to take that arduous trip to Palaui Island in Sta. Ana municipality.
is a former dyarista,