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Showing posts from March, 2013

Post Run Dispatch : Salomon X-Trail 2013 (Hamilo Coast) + Race Results

Last March 23, 2013, I was among the hundreds who  joined  the recently concluded Salomon X-Trail, a trail running event held at Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Knowing that one of the  persons behind the scorching race course is Pen Nepumoceno, an ultra runner and mountaineer, I expected it to be grueling. For my sanity's sake and my aching limbs, which have just been subjected to rough terrain for the past two consecutive weekends  hiking in Mt. Palali and Mt. Mayon, I opted to join the 6K.
We arrived in Hamilo Coast at 4:30 AM, 2.5 hours before the gun start for our division. I had plenty of time to chat with friends, wander around, grab a snack and change my mind about running (hehe! It was so humid and the beach, which was just a few meters from where we sat was  too inviting!).  I almost back out of the run, but then I  remembered how amazing it is to eat after a good sweat and so I went on with the race.  

By 7:00 AM,  I was running along with other participants. There wa…

Mesmerizing Mt. Mayon

As members of the group were coming from everywhere, our group convened at the Legazpi bus terminal. I got reunited with Kabayan hiking buddies (Read about it here), blogger friend Edgar of EazyTraveler, who's also our trip organizer and Ryan T.  For the  first time, I met avid travelers, Philip, Mikoy, Ann and Ryan D. From here, we took a one hour van ride to Tabaco city (50 Pesos) where we hitched on a vehicle transporting the staff of Mayon Skyline (Formerly Mayon Rest House).
By 5:00 PM, we were already settling in at our "base camp", the floor of the cafeteria. As bedtime was several hours away, we wandered around Mayon Skyline which is a destination on its own. There are huts which serves as an excellent view deck where you can see the peaks of Mt. Masaraga,  Mt. Malinao and along with Mayon, it forms what is known to Filipino mountaineers as the Albay Trilogy. A shadow of Mt. Isarog in Camarines Sur can also be seen.
We turned in early after bonding over coffee and…

Nueva Vizcaya's Amazing Mt. Palali

My strong fascination with heavily forested trails  has brought me and three other friends to  Nueva Vizcaya earlier this month for an extended day hike. Mt. Palali, which I first read about in Tramping Philippines, towers at 1,715 MASL and is emerging as a favored hiking destination to kindred adventurers  who are up for a long and challenging hike on a steep and thick terrain, maneuvering around a thick maze of trees and plants. 
We left Manila at 10:30 PM from the Victory Liner terminal in Kamias. We took a bus bound for Ilagan (338 Pesos) and after 6 hours, got down at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. (Note : As an alternate, you can also take those buses to Tuguegarao which has more  trips leaving Manila). We were dropped in front of Jollibee where we also had breakfast 

After eating, we flagged a tricycle to Barangay Madianggat, Quezon. (Note : Before you take the trike, ask them if they know the way to avoid wasting time. ). Fee is at 100 Pesos/tricycle and travel time takes roughly 15 min…

Mt. Talamitam Day Hike

"I'm going back to Canada next week."
My good friend Drew's bittersweet announcement gave way to planning his last escapade in the Philippines. Gorging on Chinese food, which we both enjoy, came to mind but for the nth time, we chose the outdoors.
The group  decided on Mt. Talamitam, which is just three hours away by bus from Manila. It's jump-off is 30 minutes from another hiking destination frequented by local hikers, Mt. Batulao. In fact,  some physically prepared hikers  would combine the two in one trip, taking up half a day to complete both to maximize their resources. 
Although I have seen the grand views from its peak too many times, I was still excited at the thought of traveling with friends and going out for a hike, even for just a day. Joining our trip were Kaiz Galang of MissBackpacker.Info, Kirk (a friend of Kaiz' and now,  ours too!) and Jerome of Balintataw.org.
We met at the Crow bus terminal along EDSA-Pasay. It's located beside Hotel Sogo…

Hiking in Tarlac : Tangisan-Bungkol Baka & Kawayan {San Jose Circuit}

After a month of rest from the outdoors to focus on other things, I got back into hiking with friends JZ, Gideon of PinoyMountaineer, Martin and Tarlac-based outdoor group, GAME-NEST  (Ivan, we miss you! :P). Their group also hosted us when we did a grueling and painfully long day hike at Mt. Damas last year. (Blog here)

In a day, we finished what is now commonly known as the San Jose Circuit, named after the municipality where trail starts and ends. This 17.7 KM long trail passes the peaks of Tangisan, Bungkol Baka and Kawayan. It starts at Sitio San Pedro, Barangay Iba, a community that can be reached on foot by crossing a river. 
We trekked at a moderate pace - slow enough for us to take photos but quick enough to make it back down before we needed any headlamps.  We started at 9:00 AM and took 10 hours to complete, including lunch, pictorials and joking around. 

Our first peak was Tangisan  (491 MASL). The trail was steep on most parts which wouldn't have been a problem if not fo…