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Showing posts from September, 2012

In Focus : Philippine Climber Romi Garduce - The Cold Truth

Press Release 
Recreation Outdoor eXchange (R.O.X.) introduced another outdoor activity last September 27, 2012 at its branch in Bonifacio High Street. Alpine mountain climbing was at the spotlight this evening, with Romi Garduce, first Filipino Seven Summit climber, enlightening the crowd. 

Garduce, who was been climbing mountains since he joined the UP Mountaineers in 1991, is the first Filipino to accomplish the feat of scaling the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are the highest peaks in all seven continents, namely Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt. Aconcagua in South America, Mt. Everest in Asia, Mt. Elbrus in Europe, Mt. McKinley in North America, the Cartensz Pyramid in Oceania, and the Vinson Massif in Antartica. It was in January of 2012 when Garduce completed the seven by conquering Vinson Massif. 
In his talk, Garduce spoke about his years as a mountaineer, the challenges he had to face, and the preparation he had to undertake before facing each mountain. As an alpine climber, on…

Meeting Veteran Climber Mike Libecki

Two days ago, I was sent by Dispatch Media to attend a press conference for Mountain Hardware athlete, Mike Libecki. My mind went black and I was like, "Sino si Mike?" (Mike who?). 
But I am familiar with Mountain Hardware (MH), I am a fan of the brand myself and can attest to the delight of using their apparel and equipment. It's light and trust-worthy. Back when almost every Filipino mountaineer got obsessed with The North Face, I was one of the few who found fascination in using Mountain Hardware and up until this day, I smile at the sight of their logo. When placed on prints, it looks very simple, almost unnoticeable. I wish I can afford to buy a few more apparel & equipment from them though, as MH is quite pricey. Oh well, someday. :) 

The conference was at Abe restaurant in Trinoma Mall which I haven't tried before so that made me excited. Haha!  Mike Libecki came in with the gang from the Primer Group, the conglomerate that distributes Mountain Hardware in t…

What's in my Backpack?

Being a natural snoop, erm, a keen observer, the contents of other people’s bags always amuses me. What’s inside and how it’s packed says something about the person carrying it and what they’re doing. A person’s bag is like a walking Facebook profile! 

On a recent trip to Sorsogon, I had to pack for a 3D 2N trip and our itinerary involved the following activities : 
1. Attend an opening for the Rizal Elementary School Library (Gubat, Sorsogon) - it’s first ever in 50 Years! Congrats everyone! 
2. Beach swim 
3. Food Trip 
4. Short hike to Bayugin Waterfalls 
5. Trip to Bulusan Volcano Natural Park 

The travel involved an uneventful 14-hour bus ride from Manila to Gubat, Sorsogon and if not for my entertaining seatmate, Gael of The Pinay SoloBackpacker and the rest of my companions, I would have melted in boredom. That said, when I pack, I also prepare stuff for the transit. 

The Main Backpack :
Deuter Act Trail 32 (very durable, light, packs a lot, highly recommended!). 
Capacity : 32 Liters 

Book Sharing Project Update : Gubat, Sorsogon

Two months back, I joined several blogger friends in the Book Sharing Project initiated by James Betia of Journeying James. The team worked closely with Emm Balabat, an alumna of Rizal Elementary School in Gubat, Sorsogon. The goal was to help fill up a library with books which the alumni association and other members of the local community heavily worked on putting up. 
What made this project special was that it would be the first library of this school in 50 years! 
Last September 14, the Rizal Elementary School library finally opened its doors to the public. We witnessed the opening along with the excited members of the community, a bulk of which were grade school students. TV5 also graciously covered the event. 
Our team received heavy support from Mayor Ronnel Lim and the people of Gubat, Sorsogon.(Emm, maraming salamat!)We were also joined by other volunteers, some of them, came by themselves after reading about the project from James' blog. :) 
A selected number of students per…

Columbia Eco Trail Run 2012 - Pinatubo

Join me and other running enthusiasts as we take on Mt. Pinatubo's rough course, a combination of sand, granite and water. Hope to see you there on October 13, 2012! :) More details below. 

Registration Period :August 1-September 30, 2012 

Categories & Registration Fees :  5KM - 600 Pesos  12KM - 800 Pesos  25KM - 1000 Pesos  *Limited Slots Only 
 Race Kit includes : Singlet, race bib, drink stub, snack stub and finisher’s medal

Gun Start Schedules : Race Date : October 13, 2012 
Sitio, Barangay Sapangbato, Angeles City 
25K - 5:30 AM 12k - 5:45 AM 5K - 6:15 AM 

Cut-off Time : 10:00 AM

*Important Reminder : Participants are required to bring their own hydration bottles 

Registration Venues: 
Columbia Alabang Town Center
Columbia Gateway
Columbia Greenbelt 5
Columbia Festival Supermall
Columbia SM Annex North Edsa
Columbia SM Mall of Asia
Columbia SM Megamall
Columbia Harbor Point
R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street
*Contact them first to check if there are still available slots. 

Transportation : 

Food Quest : Ustingan Cafe, Laguna

After eating lunch at my lolo's place who was celebrating his 94th birthday, me and several members of the clan revisited Ustingan Cafe. It's located a few blocks from the public market with  views of Mt. Banahaw as part of its backdrop. 

Started in 2002, Ustingan Cafe in  Luisiana, Laguna was the brainchild of the Igloria siblings who wanted a place where locals can hang-out and celebrate important events without traveling to nearby Lucban (less than 20 minutes away by jeep), which is famous for its annual Pahiyas Festival and flavorful cuisine. 

The siblings' penchant for coffee and the arts is showcased on the cafe's decors, most of which are their creations. 

We had chilli pops and cups of various brews. To deviate from my usual cup of Americano, I tried cinnamon coffee. It was served in a pretty cup with cinnamon sprinkles on top. When I took a sip, I had to smile. The mixture of cinnamon and coffee made me feel energized and giddy instantly. 

Most of the items in the…

Mt. Maculot Day Hike, Always a Delight

The waters of Taal Lake and its nearby islands which can be seen at the rockies peak in Mt. Maculot is one that I have seen countless times but on every visit, I still feel magnetized with the view.

Yesterday, after a month of no hiking, I got the chance to go back with two other friends, Henry and Milmar. Both have not gone to Mt. Maculot yet and I was excited for them to see rockies peak. I knew they'd love it too. 

We started hiking from the rockies jump-off, which is marked by a hut which sells food and drinks. In less than an hour after we started, I vomited. I was definitely not in a good condition as I've been feeling lazy the past couple of months and not as physically active as before. 

With my frequent pleas for rest stops, we reached rockies peak in 2 hours. 

The view is still incredible and all strained muscles ignited with gleeful praises . My buddies Henry and Milmar could not contain their amazement and kept exclaiming praises for the view. 

Above us, clusters…