a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mornings at Ultra (Pasig City)

I love spending time in Ultra. It’s quiet, has a nice view and the rubber track is nice. Ultra's new name is PhilSports Complex but people still fondly call it by its former name. It's within the vicinity of Pasig – a few meters away from the Valle Verde Country Club. I often see a lot of athletes, celebrities and normal people like me who are all gearing up for fitness or competition.

I’ve been going there for the past two years although not quite regularly, and last Saturday, while jogging, I noticed several people sitting at the top level of the bleachers - that one across the main entrance, and they seemed so contented just chilling over there. I got curious and after finishing my 10th lap, I decided to climb the bleachers to see what’s up. I didn’t think of going there before since the stairs looked really steep and I’m a bit acrophobic but I couldn’t contain my curiosity. I assumed the view would be great because of its height. I did one step at a time, feeling a bit nervous because the cement stairs seemed really old and some didn’t sound so stable as I put my foot over it. Finally I reached the highest level of the bleachers and momentarily, I felt a bit nauseous. It was so high!

I sat for a couple of minutes and stared at the view.

From there, I could see the entire football field and the area past Pasig City. I could see lots of trees and mountains from both left and right sides. I could see all the runners and joggers finishing their laps. The view was nice! If only there were no other buildings, it would have been better, but at least, I can see mountains from where I sat. The wind was blowing, refreshing my tired body. I found peace. After several minutes though, two kids followed me and played along the bleachers. I watched them closely, fearful they might fall down. So much for my peace and quiet – I swear, these are such rare commodities in the city. I went down after another set of minutes and for a moment my fear returned. Waa..how do I get down..I’m about 50 feet high from the ground…So, as usual, I did one step at a time, trying to focus on the sturdy cement and not looking at how I am progressing on my descent. Waa..couple of seconds more and I finally got down successfully. Wheew..that was more challenging than running!

So if you happen to drop by Ultra/Philsports Complex, do try going to that set of bleachers and check out the view after your run.

Running fee is at a minimal 29 pesos per person. Open Monday-Sunday 6am-7pm (but you can actually run until 9pm according to the guard). It's close on public holidays and on days where it’s reserved or when the archery team is practicing, you already know why..You can call them at 635-0102. You may also book the football field for practice games. There’s a fee but I don’t know how much you need to pay.

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