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Showing posts from March, 2012

Reminiscing Mt. Guiting-Guiting, Romblon

I am blaming the talented photographer/mountaineer Arnel for this post. 
I was supposed to start packing for two trips this weekend but since packing is my least favorite thing about traveling, I decided to prolong the agony even more by logging on to Facebook to check out some updates.
Among the notifications I received was that Arnel placed a comment on another friend’s album of our 2009 climb at Mt. Guiting-Guiting (or G2 to local mountaineers). He will be climbing it next week, along with another common friend of ours, fellow blogger, The Quixotic World. G2 is one of the Philippines' toughest mountains with a difficulty rating of 9/9. 
As of this moment, Arnel is energetically posting videos, browsing various photos and blogs. His enthusiasm somehow transcended cyberspace and I found myself happily immersed on the same album, browsing through our old photos and watching the videos which he had uploaded.  
Indeed, Mt. Guiting-Guiting is one of my favorite mountains and our trip in …

Urban Adventure - Makati on Foot

What to do when you're saving up for future travels yet itching to go out without spending money? Just step out of the house, explore a couple of blocks and amuse yourselves with the sights you normally ignore during an ordinary week! :)
Yesterday morning, I ventured away  from my usual running route along Rockwell Drive and passed through unfamiliar alleys in Makati. Since it was a Saturday, not many people were around and I was able to enjoy the streets without having to dodge the crowds. I found two places which I've been meaning to check out - Museo ng Makati fronting the Poblacion Barangay hall and the Filipinas Heritage Library along Ayala Triangle. I was even able to take a photo in the middle of Paseo de Roxas which is always congested with cars on busy days. 
I nearly crawled on my way back home due to thirst and the heat. When I mapped my route using one of the online distance calculators - Map My Run, I found out that I covered a minimum of 10KM that morning. No wo…

High Altitude Honeymoon in Mt. Pulag

Two weeks ago,  a couple friend who are both mountaineers got married.  Several hours after their wedding reception, me and 10 others joined them in Benguet for their honeymoon and first climb as a married duo to Luzon's highest peak - Mt. Pulag. 
We ascended the mountain via the Ambangeg trail, which is popular as the easiest route up. The trail is mostly even and the  slopes are mild. However, you start at a high altitude and the thin air can get to you. That's what happened to me so I had a rough time. I felt dehydrated,  moved like snail and was out of breath for more than half of the way. Death came to mind as I breathe like I was having an asthma attack.  I managed to get to the saddle campsite - which is 90 minutes from the summit in 5 hours.

The cold was so much more than I had expected so I turned in early after we had dinner.  I actually thought I could not survive the night because all the layers I've put on were not enough to warm me up as I was alone inside the …

Urban Magic - Places to Visit Around Manila

Though I was born and raised in various cities around Luzon, my heart is that of a small-town lass with preference for mountain views over skyscrapers and knowing who my neighbors are. The high-rise buildings and the huge highways are indeed amazing but the noise, pollution and the hurried way of life is stressful. All those people rushing to catch the train and cars careening down the highway like ambulances are driving me crazy.
Thanks to the online community, I found the following places worth checking out. :P Here's my list, please feel free to comment if you have other recommendations. :)  (I am into books and paintings but I'd have to admit that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to interpreting art, thus the selection.)
1. Filipinas Heritage Library (Makati)
Reason to Visit : "The Library houses over 13,000 contemporary volumes on Philippine history, art, language, religion and the social sciences, and over 2,000 rare titles, rare books on microfiche, maps…

Salomon X-Trail Run 2012 - Tagaytay Highlands

I thought I'd take a rest from trail running this year but when I received an invite to try a route for an upcoming race by Salomon, a French mountain sports brand, I could not say no. 

You see, weeks before the test run, word got around that the 24KM route is the toughest trail course ever designed within Tagaytay Highlands by the charming and sadistic race organizer - Neville Manaois. Their group is responsible for coming up with routes that caused the death of a thousands toe nails, induced powerful muscle cramps and made runners discover body parts they never thought could hurt.
Under the belt of the organizing team are grueling routes of popular races such as The North Face Baguio, TNF CamSur, 1st Nathan Ridge Run, 2010 Salomon X-Trail Subic and more. While I can hardly be considered a strong runner, my alter-ego - the masochist, hyperactive, nature lover was drawn (such eccentric and scary combination!).
Last Saturday, together with 12 other runner bloggers, members of the…

Tribute Thursday - Jules, the Trail Running Mistress

If there are ladies labeled as Little Miss Sunshine, my good friend Jules, back in her high school days was the runaway title holder for Miss Scary Dark Clouds. She stalks the halls of our classroom with her back hunched a couple of centimeters to the floor as though she has this invisible thread tied to the waste of Hades. :P The overenthusiastic, obsessive, always laughing little version of me just could not find a way to mesh with her so our paths hardly crossed.
A year after high school, all the bad vibes that's partially attributed to teenage drama , melted off from Jules when she co-founded our college's first outdoor club and she was able to excavate tremendous delight in exploring the outdoors and extend it to others. Her MSDC title became a myth and we've become great friends and adventure buddies since. Today, Jules works with an NGO that allows her to travel to Mindanao extensively. She has also found love in the form of a sport called sky running (running at mou…

Munching Around Tadian, Mountain Province

Before I hopped on a bus bound for the Cordilleras, I had announced to friends that I would be hiking and exploring Tadian. But it was Ayyoweng di Lambak ed Tadian festival that weekend and food poured all over town! Me and my ever-reliable backpacking buddy could not convince our feet to go anywhere and so our raging tummies prevailed and relentlessly led us to different booths and stalls where we gorged on local cuisine and various street foods.  
We had one day to go around so we weren't able to do much. We spent practically the entire Saturday on the road where we witnessed both sunrise and sunset from the windows of our seats. When we arrived in Tadian, after 13 hours of bonding with both paved and dusty routes, we were faint with exhaustion and our stomachs clamored for good food. We stayed and ate meals at the home of Tadian's amiable tourism officer, Ms. Lynber who I corresponded with last year for a possible exploration in Mt. Mogao. I promise next time I come back, I w…