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Showing posts from January, 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 …

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 b…

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 pla…

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 a…

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 adv…

Hope to See you Here!!!

Thanks to Christian Salvacion of Primer Group for these posters


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/

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 …

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 in…

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 …

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.

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 wher…