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Friday, November 18, 2011

Mt. Pulag | A Visit to Ma'am Gina's Place

After viewing the majestic summit of Mt. Pulag, we hurriedly went down to freshen up and eat a sumptuous feast. Instead of cooking our own food for lunch, we instinctively went straight to the house of someone who is among the well-liked personas for climbers of Mt. Pulag; Ambangeg's very own, Maam Gina Epe.

She is the lady we consistently contact whenever we climb the highest point in Luzon. She offers affordable Jeepney services for group mountaineers. A legacy that she continues after her brother who started the business passed away.

As soon as our jeepney entered the gates of her yard, we were welcomed by her bright and sunny smile. Never wasting time, she swiftly guided us to the table where our post-climb meal was laid down.

The lunch served was humongous and I thought that it would cost us plenty but as I scooped and ate the Pinikpikang Manok, I never really cared for the cost as it was one of the best I ate so far.

After the feast I was surprised that the lunch cost was only 420 Php for 7 people. That was just 60 Php for the 3 plates of rice and multiple servings of Tinola I ate. But of course, that is Maam Gina, the ever loving caretaker of the mountaineers. She even offers a free shower for every mountaineer that will pass by her house.

We had a chat about our recent climb. Surprisingly, she even remembered our soak-filled Akiki-Ambangeg traverse 8 months ago. Fortunately, this climb was perfect as the weather was friendly all throughout the hike.

She shared stories about her clients, her dogs and the upcoming climbs organized by Pinoymountaineer and Vagabond Pinas. Indeed, next weekend would be busy for them but I was sure that they would give their best to please their customers. 

In all of our climbs with Maam Gina's Jeepney, the driver was always on schedule. All of them were friendly and never did they complain about any of our requests.  They certainly added up to the unforgettable experiences a Mt. Pulag climb could give.

She usually offers reasonable prices for a group of mountaineers: a trip via Ambangeg costs 8500 Php; via Akiki costs 9000 Php; via Tawangan costs 15000 Php; and for a group of 16 mountaineers, 500 Php for a 3-hour ride to DENR and an hour and a half of totally rough road to Ranger Station is already a good catch but adding the 5-hour ride back to Baguio, 500 Php inclusive of gas money is truly an amazing offer. 

The jeepneys they lease are very reliable. Just by looking on its huge exterior, you'll know that the vehicle has the capacity to take you wherever you want. And sure enough, they always did. There was even a mishap once when a 4 X 4 truck in front of us flattened its tire because of the rough road, but not our vehicle. 

Because of the fun talk we had, I almost forgot the sole purpose of my visit. It was to get the expensive water bottle that our group mate left at her house 8 months ago but the endless stories we had took it off my mind. It was absolutely pleasant talking with this generous lady.

After I got the bottle, we waved our goodbyes and wished that the weather would also be fine when we meet again next year. For sure, our adventurous feet would lead us again to Mt. Pulag.

With plenty of mountaineers and non-climbers wishing for a peek of the majestic sunrise at Mt. Pulag, a safe and reliable ride is surely an added benefit. With Maam Gina one contact away, she is truly a blessing for mountaineers who wish to touch the highest point in Luzon. She will provide almost all of what you need before and after an exhausting Mt. Pulag climb.



*additional information

You can contact Ma'am Gina at 09198169234 or 09999916008.
You can tell your driver if you want to visit her and they'll bring you directly at her yard. Just inform her accordingly if you would want to have lunch at her house


9 comments:

  1. sya na pala ang kino-contact ngayon para sa mga jeeps. thanks for posting this info :)

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  2. It's great how you talk to the locals of Mount Pulag especially Ma'am Gina. Sobrang helpful siya sa mga climbers diyan sa Pulag at matalas talaga ang memory niya. :)

    Good to see familiar faces of Lakay on your pictures.

    Keep on climbing. :)

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  3. This made me miss Mt. Pulag! I've so far only climbed it once, but was lucky to have a majestic sunrise. I'm definitely going back!

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  4. @gladys - Yes, since the passing of Mang Roger. But still has the same good aura of the man.

    @josiah - Yep, At any mountain I climb., I really try to befriend the locals of the area. like aling kurding of Tarak or Wilson of Batulao. etc etc. hehe. Its strengthens your bond to the place. BTW. sayang hindi ka nakasama nung climb.. will post the article next week.

    @jonna - I, as well, am going back to this wonderful place. Will be going back next year to try something new. hehe

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  5. we will be climbing mt pulag this weekend.. sana maganda rin ang panahon pag akyat namin.. can't wait to experience her beauty.. thanks for the post and all the info..

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  6. Hoping for you to have a great climb. Thanks

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  7. here's the number that you requested: 09205434383. That's of Sir Geronimo. He is the park ranger at the Akiki Trail.

    ReplyDelete

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