Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Slow, Smooth and Light. Mt Napulauan Dayhike

We all have favorite Peaks to climb. It might be the view from the top, the challenges, the trail itself or the locals you met that wants you to go back. It might be a different reason, personal or what-nots we all have reasons to try to summit again the same mountain.

I have first climbed Mt Napulauan in 2012. This is my first mossy forest encounter and the moments and feelings I have inside the mountain lingers with me for so long. Since then, I had been to many enchanting forest and deep jungle floor, and nothing can compare to the same thrill I have for the first time I engulfed in the forest of Mt Napulauan.

Few minutes rest (From Eugene's Go Pro )
I have been wanting to go back for the past few years. However, something along the way keeps on aborting the plan. Now, with the right team with me and maybe it is now the right time. We make it happened. This time it is only on a day hike.

Group Selfie (Picture courtesy of Eugene )
My closest friends joined me on this journey, and I am very thankful with them.

The Girls are all smile with photo bomber luigi
Day hiking a major mountain is not to popular in our society. Many wants to sleep on the campsite or the peaks. Many just wants to experience more of nature, some just wants to drink and be merry at the campsite. Fortunately for me, I have found friends who share the same thoughts with me. We can still experience the mountain without camping or spending the night on the campsite. For this,we can just carry less foods and supplies, thus makes our journey lighter, and somehow faster than carrying a full pack.

We stayed at the Municapal Hostel in Hungduan. We spend our first day, bonding and connecting with each other. And this experience made us all closer and comfortable with one another, even after the climb, we are still connected as friends.

The session
We start to hike at 3:30am with light drizzle and morning cold. Slowly but continuously ascending, made our body warmth and shortly thereafter we remove our jackets. We did not witness yet the grand forest of the mountain because its too dark yet. Our headlamps only lights our way up. With continuously putting foot on top of another, we reached the summit a few minutes after 9am. We dont have a sea of clouds or clearing to have a great view on top. However reaching the summit is just a reward in itself. The view is just a bonus. We ate our foods and at 10am we start to descend via the same trail. We did not push on our plan to either hapao or balentimol falls exit, because it keeps raining at the time, and it will be dangerous for us if we proceed to Balentimol falls as the trail, according to our guides was steep and slippery, and they also opposed us on the said plan of traverse.

At Mt Napulauan Summit. (Picture courtesy of Eugene )
Our descend is much faster, it only takes us less than 4 hours to go down. The trail was wet and muddy as most of us fell a few times. We just carry on and continue moving as its beginning to get cold due to continuous rain.

We all arrived in Hungduan Jump off wet and cold, but still laughing and smiling as we talked our experiences on the trail.

They say its about the view, sea of clouds, mountains nearby or some others things you fancy every time you hike.

For us, its all about the people your hiking with. Its all about the connection and friendship you build along the way that really matters. Someday, we can forget all about the views and challenges that the mountain brings, but the people we have shared the journey with, will forever stay in our hearts and mind long before the journey ends.

Our humble team :


Special thanks goes Janice ( our host ) Jascel Bugan, Weng Sicat, and to our two guides. Who all helped us to make this hike happened.

Group picture. (Picture courtesy of Eugene )

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Conquer 2nd TarakRidge 25km Via Paniquian Falls

I joined Conquer's year opening event tagged as 2nd Tarak Ridge. This was my second time to join Conquer's organized event, the first was 25km in Tanay Rizal last September of 2015.

Standing on the starting line with some known names and faces in the trail running community might give you chill or inspiration what ever you want it to be. Sure, there are lots of strong and dedicated runners, however, I just want to run and experience the fun, rather than to compete. For this race, I experience to get cramps in my left calves early on, just after I enter the trail going to Paniquian falls. I just walked with the pain reaching the falls and rest a little on the aid stations, as I know it will be all uphill until the summit.

At the starting line
As I reached the summit the pain subsides and I descend with much faster pace and confident only to be affected by cramps again this time in my right leg. I just smiled and continue to descend walking slowly until I reached Papaya River.

Trail Friends
At the Papaya river I met my friends who support me on this race. They gave me trail foods and drinks to continue.

Descending from the summit
From Papaya river, I have no options but to continue walking to the finish line with my right leg still in pain.

I reached the finish line after 7 hours and 30 minutes.

The event was well organized. There are lot of trail markers, local support, event marshall, first aider, and photographer.

Congratulations to Team Conquer and to Race director Benedict Meneses for a job well done.

Special thanks to Eru and Luigi for the support on this race

Thanks to sir Don for joining me on this event.

With master and coach Don
Thanks to Active Pinas and Running Photographer
for all the pictures used on this post.

and Thanks to the Almighty for giving me strength and keeping me safe throughout the race.

Happy Finisher.