Laswitan Lagoon

I am beginning to think this blog is turning into a travel blog. Or a pseudo one for that matter. I haven't been writing a lot of my crazy thoughts lately and a handful of getaways are in store just this first quarter of the year. So yeah, go figure.

Anyway, to start the year right, Jan and I decided to go all the way to Cortes, Surigao del Sur to witness and experience something amazing and spectacular.


And not even Typhoon Auring - that just made a landfall during our trip - stopped us. Well, braving the rain and the typhoon's strong winds is all worth it because I've never seen something like this my whole life. A waterfall in the ocean? This is absolutely one for the books.

Kitanglad - Dulang-dulang Traverse (K2D)

There must be a hundred blogs written about Kitanglad-Dulangdulang traverse already. And I will be using that as a lame excuse not to write another one.

I have to admit, I really don't know how to write a story anymore. While remnants of pain from the knee injury I got there still linger to remind me that it was not an easy climb, I do not know how to put into detail everything that happened during that climb. After all, it has almost been a month. So if you're here to know about our itinerary, how much time we've spent on the trails, yadda yadda... I am sorry but I will fail you at that.

But if you're interested how our K2D climb went, hop in. I can best summarize it into 3 words: Difficult. Exhausting. Rewarding.

Yes, very rewarding.

I'm pretty sure every blog written about it says the same.
Mount Kitanglad
Jan and I at the base of Mount Kitanglad


Photo Dump: The Best of 2016

2016 was a roller coaster ride. A lot of sh*t happened. But then again, a lot of great things surprised me too. And here are a few pages of the 365-page book that I have just finished writing.

First Quarter
L-R, top row to bottom
1. Salomon City Trail Run (12k)
2. Archery. Not bad for a first timer. ;)
3. Twas a dream come true to finally paint the walls of the streets
4. Strawberry picking at Baguio
5. Sea of Clouds at Mount Pulag
6. Won Electrolux's blog writing contest
7. Adopted this little fella and named him Appa
8. One day luxurious weekend getaway at Lorelei
9. My favorite human turned 31 ♥
10. Sunrise at Mount Apo
11. Ran for the rehabilitation of Mount Apo
12. Team building with Z fam at Maxima Aquafun


Ma, Pa, Thank You!

I was not born with a silver spoon.

In fact, I wasn't born with any spoon at all. I remember being poor. But I don't remember how it feels like to be poor, I just remember being loved. Looking back to where we came from, I grew up with hand-me-downs and that being treated with a slice of pizza would already mean the best day ever.


We also didn't have a house of our own, so it's no surprise that we moved quite a lot. From one church parsonage to another to the squatters area in Claveria to the shady slums of Piapi Boulevard to the outskirts of Puan, it's not a wonder living in those dog eat dog communities that I developed this astig (badass) personality. However, I was raised well. My dad worked two jobs, he's a church pastor and also a government employee. My mom, a public school teacher, who had to work to a far-flung area also sold ice candies and yemas for extra. We definitely had tough times. We almost had nothing but like I said, we have LOVE.

The Truth About Hiking

I just came from the longest, most strenuous, and most painful climb I ever had. I know what I am capable of and I thought that the Mount Kitanglad- Mount Dulang-dulang (dubbed as K2D) traverse wouldn't be any trouble for a relatively fit person like me. I do a lot of hikes and have even gone as far as doing pretty badass buwis-buhay ones. I know K2D is going to be hard, but not demotivating, spirit-crushing hard.

I underestimated that climb.

For three weeks, I was idle. I stopped training Muay Thai and went binge-watching over the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series (don't ask). I did no body conditioning, no carbo-protein loading, no training or whatsoever prior to this climb. End result? I went home with a knee injury and a vow never to do another climb.

You see, as rewarding and breathtaking those hiking photos you see on Facebook may seem, truth is, hiking is a serious business and IT ISN'T ALWAYS FUN. What's so fun about heavy packs, thin air, dehydration, freezing temperature, and leg cramps anyway?
Mount Apo Peak
Any experiened mountaineer will be quick to point out that this image, however awesome and breath-taking it looks, does not take into account the physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion, and pain that come with it.

I have been hiking since 2006, but I won't and will never claim to be a seasoned hiker nor an outdoor expert. But I have a pretty good list of experience enough for me to think that a K2D traverse - pegged by some as one of the top 5 most challenging hikes in the Philippines - wouldn't be all that bad.