Hikes | Travels | Food

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Adventure Log : Sagada 2010 - Explored until Exhaustion, Ate until Explosion

I’m back from an annual Sagada escapade with my two good friends from college. We hiked, chilled, chatted, laughed, contemplated and ate as if there was no tomorrow. It was such a great way to jump-start another adventure-filled year. My friends will also be joining me at the 2010 climbathon this October in Mt. Kinabalu and all the hiking and running we did was part of our training.

Route : Manila-Bontoc-Sagada-Baguio-Manila
Here are the highlights of our trip:

• Following a map I purchased last year from one of the souveneir shops in Sagada, we trekked until our legs and lungs gave up. During the first day, we explored Central and Western Sagada. Central Sagada is where Bokong Falls is (small falls, as in really small) and the underground river. Western Sagada is where you can find the pottery shop and Lake Danum. There’s also a high spot near Lake Danum where you can get a spectacular view of the sunset – another one of the many attractions in Sagada.

On our second day, we tested our limits and hiked until we slumped on the soil in the middle of Eastern Sagada out of exhaustion. We started the day with a mountain run in Western Sagada’s Mt. Ampacao, Sagada’s highest point at 1889+ MASL. Then after eating at Lemon Pie House and freshening up, we set off for Eastern Sagada in search of the Marlboro Country which we thought of at the last minute. It is really more ideal to trek with a guide so he can show you around and share some information but we wanted time to bond with each other and just walk where ever our feet could take us so we did not avail of one.

Sagada has great guides who charge very reasonably, just ask the Tourism office when you register upon your arrival. For your personal safety, do register at the office since there are many trekking trails scattered around Sagada that will tempt the explorer in you. You don’t want to get lost in the cold.)We did not find the Marlboro Country but we did saw a nice spot to chat, sleep and do nothing. We also had snacks at Rock Café which is where the rock and orange farm is – new attractions in Sagada. It’s pretty amazing. I’ve never been to a rock farm before so it was a fun experience. I felt like a kid seeing an amusement park for the first time.

• I lost 1,000 pesos in Baguio! Boohoo..it must have fallen off when I paid for something. That money could have got me another one-way ticket to Bontoc plus something else. I really hope it went to someone who needed it. The other casualty was my travel dolly Tofu who lost one eye while we were trekking on the second day. On the brighter side of things - I was finally able to try  Cordillera Coffee at the upper ground level of SM Baguio. It also has a branch in Marikina but I wanted to try the one in Baguio. I read an article online that the owners help the coffee farmers sell their beans at a fair market price so you're sipping coffee for a good cause. What a great reason to drink coffee!

• Had two days of icy cold bath – the kind of water that numbs your skin and pricks like a needle. We rarely get to do this in Manila so why not enjoy it while we’re there right?

• Ate to our heart’s delight – drank all the coffee I can drink; It’s really cheap here. A good brew costs about 25 pesos a cup in almost all cafes. I was also able to ate two huge slices of my favorite carrot cake with white icing from Strawberry Café which only costs 25 pesos/slice ; was finally able to try the food at Masferre and Lemon Pie House (food at 70 pesos above) ; Was able to try Civet coffee for the first time (most expensive coffee in the world) which is served in Bana’s Café at 150 pesos a cup. I looove coffee but I do not have a discriminating taste. The coffee taste just has to be strong for me to enjoy it so I can’t really describe how good it is.

• Had coffee under the pine trees at Sagada Pottery while gnawing on choc nut.

• Witnessed the opening parade of a week-long fiesta in Sagada. I often tell people that I am not into festivities but since I’m not watching out for it, I often make a mistake of traveling during a fiesta or right before the fiesta. It is a fun affair but I don’t like huge crowds. I’ve seen enough from the city.

Updated Travel Information:
Manila to Bontoc : via Cable Tours Bus :– 650 pesos (aircon); Travel Time : 12 hours
Bontoc to Sagada : Jeep at 45 pesos : Travel Time : 45 minutes
Our home in Sagada : Olahbinan Inn (200 pesos/head a night; common bath; hot shower not included. I think they have rooms with private baths though and they do offer hot shower, just ask them. We went for the cheaper options thus, no hot shower). If I go back to Sagada, I would definitely stay here again. I feel so at home in here plus the people managing this place are nice.
Food expenses : Most rice meals cost 100 pesos and above (satisfying serving); drinks not included

For more information, I suggest you visit the Sagada Genuine Guides site. It’s got every basic information you need to get to Sagada. I also wrote some information in my blog when we first visited Sagada last year.

You can also opt to go for a Banaue-Sagada route or Banaue-Sagada-Baguio or whatever floats your boat as it’s all going to depend on your budget, interests and time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Latest 2010 Adventure - First Boxing Session at Elorde Gym

Two Sundays ago, a day after my strenuous trail running stint at Sierra Madre, I enthusiastically met with my two friends from work who I made a pact to try out boxing  at least once in our lives. My body was already in a lot of pain because of the trail run run but I agreed to go boxing thinking,  "How much more could it hurt, right?".

Since it was around 2 in the afternoon, there weren’t a lot of people to see us fool around with ourselves. The instructor placed hand wraps around our tiny hands (those bandages that come in before you put on the gloves) and were asked to jog 5 times around the gym. Damn, running again! After that, we did some warm-up exercises which involved stretching and a skipping rope. We were all sweating profusely by the time the guy was through with us. Ah, the kind of interactions with guys I have. Tsk.

We were then separated from each other and assigned one trainer each. I suddenly had this fantasy of having a hottie male trainer who will teach me boxing..then perhaps teach me personal stuff like  how to get it on? Hahaha! Unfortunately, the guy assigned to me was just like a brother so it went on professionally. He taught me how to throw punches and told me not to be too aggressive. I was so into it I felt like hitting him on the face - the competitive side of me was on the loose. Good thing he was very patient. Several times, I felt wanting to hit his face but I managed to restrain myself and focused on where I really should be hitting – his hands.

We also did the spin ball and the other small ball which looks effortless on a boxer and hopeless on a newbie. I had fun though, it was pretty challenging. Towards the end of the session, we did the cool-down exercises where they made us work on our abs. Argh, I hate exercises where I had to lie down because it makes me sleepy. Out of the blue, my trainer asked me if I do some drinking. OMG, was he coming on to me or implying that I have a beer belly?! I couldn't tell.

We finished the session in about 2-3 hours. They gave us soothing massages at the end of it. Tiring as it was, we had a great time. Our grand finale was pigging out on barbeque which was just across the boxing gym. Mang Speed’s barbeque sells squid, salmon, pork barbeque , isaw, chicken and more at affordable prices. It’s also one of the great reasons to go boxing in Elorde Mandaluyong.

I highly recommend boxing, it’s a great sport which tones your body and helps you improve on your focus and listening skills. I now have a more profound respect for boxers. It's not just about force and strength but composure and grace.

Here’s some information for you guys.
Elorde Boxing Gym
Website : http://www.elordeboxinggym.com/
Fee for non-members : 250 pesos/session + 60 pesos for Glove rental (hand wraps are for free)
Operating Hours : 6AM-11PM – Monday to Sunday
Address : EDSA Cor. Libertad Street, Brgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong
Tel. No : +63(02) 535-1002
*They also have Muay Thai (300 pesos for walk-in)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Off to Sagada and Baguio this Wednesday

My friend just texted this morning saying that he has scored us tickets for our upcoming trip to Sagada.  This will be my second time since last year and I am still very much excited. I've been wanting to go back for months now because I miss the cold weather, excellent scenery and the great food. It will be three days of fresh veggies, yogurt, pies, coffee and cold bath as the place we're checking in has no hot shower (well, last time I was there. Not sure if they have one now but it's not a major concern so we'll just see for ourselves.)

This trip is part of our 9-month preparation for the upcoming climbathon in mt. Kinabalu this coming October. We will be doing a trail run in Mt. Ampacao and after that, explore whereever we set our eyes on.

The part which I detest the most is packing. It gets boring. Another thing I'm anxious about is the 12 hour bus ride to Bontoc where we will have to transfer to another jeep to get us to Sagada. I need to recharge my MP3 player and make sure that my inflatable pillow is in perfect condition. You see, sitting around doing nothing makes me feel more stressed. I'm a kiti-kiti by nature (hyperactive person). 

Our route is Manila-Bontoc-Sagada-Baguio-Manila. It's the first time I will be trying this route. I miss Baguio and you know what our main reason is for going to there?The  Cordillera Coffee shop! I read an article about it in Click the City and it was enough to spark my curiosity. Th owners are also the founders of Coffee Aid, a volunteer program which helps local coffee farmers through harvesting and coffee planting activities and other programs. Sipping coffee for a good cause?  No way I'll let the chance pass! Read the article here.

We will be traveling on a budget so I'm saving some money to splurge on my coffeee.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Salomon Mountain Run Experience

Though me and my friends have been doing some trail runs on our own, it was the first time we attended an organized activity with real trail runners here in the Philippines. My first ever trail run experience was in last year’s climbathon in Malaysia which we joined with not enough preparation and a delusional goal – to reach the summit.

The Kinabalu Climbathon is dubbed as the toughest mountain race in the world. I’m not even into running that much. I run to keep fit and because of football which I rarely get to play these days. We joined the race for fun, banked by sheer guts and determination. It did worked a little, we got back with no injury but it was not enough to take us to the summit. I was still proud of my performance though. I got as far as Laban Rata which was 2.72km away from the summit.  Just don't ask me how long it took me to go down. Hehehe! The cut-off time to get to the summit was 3 hours and 30 minutes, then another 3 hours to go down. I got to Laban Rata in approximately four hours!   Instead of feeling discouraged, we vowed to return this year in Kota Kinabalu and finish the race.

Part of our 11-month preparation is to train on our own and join activities such as this. This run was organized by Salomon, a French mountain sports brand distributed by the Primer Group of Companies. This was in cooperation with the members of the Philippine Skyrunning Association (PSA). Skyrunning is basically running in mountains with a height of 2000 meters above sea level or more like Mt. Pulag or Mt. Apo. Part of skyrunning training is doing some mountain or trail runs.

Registration for this promotional activity was free which was pretty amazing! My friend just found out about it while surfing the net. Except for food, we didn’t spend on anything else and even got Salomon, Goody and Burlington freebies. (Thanks guys!)

It was my first time in this particular Rizal side of Sierra Madre (forgot the exact name of the jump-off). This massive mountain range goes from Cagayan Valley to Quezon. Me and two other friends were grouped with the not so fast runners. The other group were the fast runners – really agile and strong runners. I started strong and even managed to take a video while running. Then in about less than an hour, my energy got depleted and I could barely run. The rest of the group zoomed by me. I met with my friend Jeff along the trail who was having issues with his knees. Along the way, we had to cross several rivers and small communities with friendly people. We reached the turn-around point by merely walking. Hehehe! It wasn’t bad as the views were amazing – mountains and ravines on both sides. The total distance of our run was 13km. I’ve climbed mountains which were farther than this but this was the first time I doubted myself if I could go back without collapsing. It was during those moments where I asked myself for the nth time why I get myself into these things. Good thing Jules and two new acquaintances were there to provide moral support and lots of entertaining stories. Despite the severe exhaustion, I had a great time going back. It was nice to just walk and talk.

Mountain running was more grueling than climbing. It provides you with a lot of challenges such as maintaining your level of fitness, training regulary, using the right techniques to maintain your balance and more. It also gives you a fresh perspective on climbing. It’s quite exigent,  which is why I feel drawn to it. Though I’m more into leisure hikes, I want to pursue this sport and achieve the level of fitness I’ve seen from the majority of the participants. They are so inspiring. Almost everyone looked healthy. Some of them didn't even look frazzled. I saw one of the strong runners who didn't look like she sweat  at all.   It was a huge wake-up call that I need to up my game – eat more healthily and train more.

I’m hooking you up with several other links in case you want to know more about skyrunning.

Kinabalu Climbathon website  – the  climbathon is an annual tourism activity organized by the Sabah Tourism Board. It’s usually one of the stops of Skyrunner World Series.

Philippine Skyrunning Association Site 

International Skyrunning Federation Website - ISF is the sole authority on skyrunningg with several organizations under it. PSA is one of its members.

Official Skyrunning Video Presentation

Definition of Skyrunning from the ISF Website : *(Skyrunning is defined as running in the mountains above 2,000 metres altitude where the climbing difficulty does not exceed II° grade and the incline does not exceed 40%).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Skyrunning – An Emerging Sport in Pinas

Running up and down the mountains with an average altitude of 2,000 MASL as a sports discipline is basically the gist of skyrunning.

It was an idea conceptualized by Italian mountaineer, Marino Giacometti. In the early 90’s, he and some fellow climbers started races on Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa in the Alps. Currently, it is managed by the International Skyrunning Federation formed in 2008. That’s like the FIFA in football.

October 24, 2009 - me and my good friend Jules had a chance to participate in a race with best female skyrunners in the world. It was held in Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. It was dubbed as the toughest and steepest mountain race and the final and deciding leg of the winners for the Skyrunner World Series. This made us go “what the heck were we thinking joining something like that?!”. Nah, scratch that, we did not think, we just went for it. If we even put the slightest effort thinking about it, we won’t even have the guts to join.

Aside from us – the two little adventurers, the Philippines also sent its official, well-trained delegates under the Philippine Skyrunning Association (PSA). You would be proud to know that PSA is also one the members of the International Skyrunning Federation. You would even be prouder to know that at the last Kinabalu Climbathon, Cebu’s marathon queen - Liezel Limindas bagged 6th place and brought home 700 USD and a medal.

With numerous mountains scattered around our country and a nation filled with running and climbing enthusiasts, I firmly believe that this is a sport that would definitely bring out or produce highly competitive sky runners.

I am not yet a member of PSA. I feel a bit intimidated to join but at the same time, I feel excited at the prospect of being able to run in the mountains. This provides an opportunity to see mountains in a new light. Part of their mission is to conserve nature which is something that is important to me.

This weekend, me and Jules – yes us, the crazy adventurers would be joining the Salomon Mountain Run Experience with the PSA. It is a trail running event sponsored by Salomon, ROX and Darlington (they gave us freebies at the orientation and they said there’s more to come, yipee!). I am so excited to go because we could use some tips on trail running. For several months, we were just doing things on our own. Most of the info we got regarding trail running were from about.com. Hehehe! It’s not called skyrunning yet, because the mountain has to be at least 2,000 MASL but this would be a great experience.

ISF website : http://www.skyrunning.com
PSA site : http://www.pinoyskyrunners.multiply.com
ROX Site : http://roxphilippines.multiply.com/
2009 Kinabalu Climbathon Results : http://climbathon.sabahtourism.com/
My blog on the Climbathon : Here

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hope to See you Here!!!

Thanks to Christian Salvacion of Primer Group for these posters

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency

Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency
WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it's 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.
Vacation Package Inclusions:
- 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel

- Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines

- Island Transfers - Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila Domestic Airport

- Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

- Boracay Activities - Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat

- PLUS - 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information: http://www.boracay-packages.com/

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Into Unfamiliar Terrain – The Hidden Falls

This waterfalls is tucked in one of the most popular trekking destinations in the Philippines, taking 4 hours of hike on a wide trail.  Water in the falls is as cold as ice, very much reminiscent to the coldness of the waters of Tappiyah Falls in Batad. The entrance to the trail is obscured by tall weeds. You have to know it's there to actually venture into it. Once you get pass these obstacles, the trail becomes clearer and wider. The terrain is clean and consists of going up and down the mountain. It's a forgiving trail, one that can serve as an initiation climb for newbies. However, about an hour before you reach the waterfalls, trail becomes narrower, passable by one person at a time. You will have to cross some ravines and overcome a lot of boulders.

At the end of your trail, a nice reward awaits - serene views, solitude and a bath in a waterfalls with a crystal clear basin.

Dec 2009
Out of respect to the group who opened this trail and requested to keep this a secret, (at least for now), I will not be able to disclose the location of this place. It’s just not my secret to share.

Personally, I am all for sharing any good destination I can discover because that means we can spread the traffic of visitors rather than everyone crowding the same place. But still, I feel grateful to the group that made the trail passable for a few nosy people like me and the rest of my group.

First Adventure for 2010 : Intramuros + Vince and Parky's Wedding

My first stop for 2010 was the classic San Agustin Church along General Luna Street in Intramuros, Manila. I must admit that I haven’t given Manila a fair chance. I always thought Manila was too crowded ,too polluted and too scary. I was wrong! We still have several gems in our nation’s capital that are worth exploring. Have you revisited Luneta? It’s amazing as well but I am limiting this post to babbling what I saw in Intramuros.

The San Agustin church is one of the four baroque churches in the entire Philippines and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. It’s one of those properties that are part of our nation’s cultural and natural heritage and has immense universal value.

It wasn’t backpacking that brought me here. I was here as a guest in a wedding of one of the very few guy friends I have – Vince, who is like a brother to me. We met at work and finally jived after a few months of running into each other at work. We share the same passion for nature and adventure. He even introduced me to jogging in Ultra, my favorite place in the city and like a brother he teases me to the core and we often have little fights. His bride is his great friend Parky. I never told him but the kind of relationship they have reminds me of Bella and Edward of Twilight. They can talk for hours like best friends and then be oh so romantic to each other.

Me and my cousin arrived 30 minutes before the wedding so we had plenty of time to ogle at the antiquated structures around us. I don’t know anything about architecture and my memory on what we studied in History is not as strong as before so my appreciation for what I saw before me was like that of a child. It was just simple unadulterated admiration for beauty.

As Vince and I don’t have a lot of common friends – mostly just acquaintances, I didn’t get a chance to socialize that much, I just did a lot of hi’s and hello’s and a few small talks before the wedding. So me and cuz searched for a store to grab something to eat and found one fronting the church. We happily munched on chips and bread at the sidewalk while most of the other guests walked passed us. I had my 2nd coughing fit that time. For the past few days, I’ve been having coughing fits where I cough until I vomit or until my face turns red and my eyes glisten with tears from all the effort. You know, I think I’m developing abs from all the coughing I’ve been doing. It’s an alarming coughing fit which made me worried that I might disturb the ceremony. After I finished coughing until tears run down my cheeks, we headed straight to the restroom to clean up. The restroom which was near the entrance of the San Agustin Museum only has two stalls but it has this amazing chandelier and old-fashioned mirrors installed in its walls. It made me feel relaxed.

We then ran inside the church to check out what it looked like and to get seats, as near to the front as possible since I have poor vision. There’s this portion before the altar where you can light a candle for 5 pesos and offer a prayer. I immediately lit one and prayed. One of the few things I prayed for and which was immediately granted was for me not to have a coughing fit in the middle of the ceremony. You know what, the ceremony went by quickly and I didn’t have my episode! Yihaa! God is so good!

After having our pictures taken and giving our regards to the newly-weds, me and cuz did some more roaming around and ended up at the Papier Tole Shop which was at the Plaza San Luis Complex, just across the church. It’s a craft and souvenir shop that sells Filipino made crafts like key chains, rosaries, figurines and more. Prices here seemed a little steep for a regular Pinoy so I didn’t buy anything.

A few steps outside the Papier Tole Shop is a coffee shop with a well in its garden. Oooh, I see wells and I think of Sadako. I no longer have whimsical fantasies of a wishing well where I could innocently drop a coin and have my wish granted. Instead, my head has been permanently corrupted by memories of one of the scariest fictional character to date – Sadako who emerged crawling from a well.

It was my first time in this part of Intramuros and walking around the old buildings felt like I just traveled back in the Spanish era. Even the guards here dress like a guardia sibil, so charming! As I marveled on the classic structures, taxis and cars pass by at crazy intervals that I am immediately transported back to the present time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Lakbayan Grade

After another year of butt-numbing travels around endearing Philippines, my Lakbayan Grade went up from C- to B-.

I realized a I still have a lot to cover. :)

My Lakbayan grade is B-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

Travel Tips from a Healing Mass

My mom was tuned in to the Healing Mass aired after the New Year’s Eve festivities in ABS CBN and while washing the dishes, I listened to the homily of one of the priests. He was comparing life to a journey. He enumerated tips on how we could successfully travel our way through life and I believe, same stuff applies to backpacking so let me share these with you :). Let me know what you think:

1. Travel Lightly – avoid bringing things you don’t really need. As with traveling and as with life, these unnecessary baggages just cramps up space and prevents us from acquiring other good things like new relationships or room for souvenirs. It’s so hard to move around when you have a lot of “stuff”, be it excess clothing or grudges, burdens from the past. It prevents you from going farther.

Sometimes, we also worry too much and we feel responsible to do something about the bad things that are going on around us. Thing that I learned last year was that, shit happens to some people because they make themselves vulnerable to receive it. We can only do so much and help someone so much. We got to let go of them at some point and let them learn for themselves because if we’re always at their back, we are depriving them of their capability as a human being to decide and care for themselves.

2. Travel with Joy – be optimistic! If you’re not an optimistic person, let me tell you that this does not happen overnight. Remind yourself to look at the bright side of things and it will eventually become a mindset as well as a “heartset”. Trust that whatever happens, things are going to turn out right. All travels are not fool-proof. Setbacks happen but with a joyful mindset, you can overcome anything and you will end up having a great time.

3. Travel with Trust - avoid controlling others and situations which we could entrust to God. This prevents you from enjoying anything because you’re too scared. 

You know, I started as a paranoid traveler. I never leave without my Swiss Knife and rope – that’s to tie someone just in case get attacked. My back up weapon was a pen so I can stab someone in the eyeball if I needed to defend myself. I used to lie about my circumstances. If I am in a new place and people ask me if I’m alone, I would lie about meeting a friend at a later time. Well, it’s actually a good tip not to let anyone know you’re traveling alone because it makes you less vulnerable. Thing is – lying is still lying whatever the circumstance is. 

I was always watching people. If someone looks at me strangely, I would put out a defensive stance. I was always jumpy. There was also a time when I would move the furnitures from the room towards the door – like the drawers or the extra bed. That’s to prevent criminals from easily going to my door. As a result, my first few travels in 2007 and 2008 were not as fun as my travels last year. I knew I wanted to see a lot of new things but my lack of trust in people made me too scared to enjoy it fully.

It’s been a while since I lied about being alone and you know what, though I traveled by myself around Mindanao and everywhere else in which I told people the truth about traveling alone when I was asked, everything turned out okay. I met a lot of new people and I learned more things. It’s always good to be careful but don’t overdo it. Do your share in protecting yourself and entrust your adventure to God.

4.Travel with Hope – never lose hope; though there are times when you get screwed over, you can get back on your feet and be a better person. Similar to traveling, though you find yourselves in situation which you are not prepared, you can make the most out of it.

In 2007, me and my friend were in Legaspi and we got left behind by the last morning bus trip back to Manila. We could not afford the plane and though we needed to be back early because of work we had to settle for the afternoon bus which was around 5:00pm. Being a typical planner, we were initially bummed but after letting the disappointment sink in, we turned the situation around by moving to Tiwi, about 45 minutes away from Legaspi, where we were able to eat the town’s legendary halo-halo (fruits with crushed ice and mik and arguably the best in the entire Philippines. You know how it we found it? We only had to ask the jeepney driver for the best halo-halo in Tiwi and he drove us straight to its vicinity. Personally, DJC halo-halo is the best I’ve ever tried.

And that's it, tips from a Catholic priest for our journey through life plus some of my insights on traveling.

Happy 2010 Adventures everyone!

My Lakbayan Grade is B-

My Lakbayan grade is B-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2010 Trips

Hi. Happy new year everyone!

I woke up at past 12:00am this morning and everyone in our family was almost done with Media Noche. I took an early nap because I was feeling really awful due to colds, my worst ever. Occasionally, I get struck with paranoia that I have tuberculosis or something. It’s that bad. Sometimes, I cough until my face becomes red and my eyes, watery. I don’t need to tell you that the stuff that comes from my nose can contend to the gumminess of Mighty Bond, and it’s green too, my favorite color! Now who wants to eat lunch?! Hahaha! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Anyway, I looked at my planner and my January is packed. I did made a vow to prioritize saving from traveling but despite having only one booked flight for 2010, I seem to have entangled myself to several little trips scattered around this year.

My travel theme for January 2010 is “Visita Iglesia” – after that Catholic practice of church hopping within the Holy Week. It’s because I have just entered a phase where most of the people I know are either getting married or having a baby and I received invites from good friends to share these momentous events with them. How touching.

I will be making a stop on the following churches:

January 2 – San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila – one of the four baroque churches in the Philippines (those built during the Spanish era) and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. I will be attending as a guest for a friend’s wedding.

January 9 – Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati – a popular venue for the church affairs of the rich and famous; I’ll be a guest again for a friend’s son’s baptism

January 20 – the historic Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila; again, I will be coming as guest for a friend’s wedding.

Other Trip:

End of January – trail running in Sagada with my BFF’s Jules and Tan. This is part of our preparation for the 2010 Climbathon in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

From February to June, I do not have major travel plans. As mentioned earlier, I want to prioritize saving up. I had a great travel career (if there’s such a thing) in 2009 and I don’t regret any of it but I have to focus on other priorities, then I can finally travel as much as I can for the rest of my life.

Happy 2010 everyone! This is going to be a marvelous year!!!

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