PAHIYAS FESTIVAL, A COLLECTION OF COLORS

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast. – Shakespeare

Pahiyas Festival, A celebration held in Lucban, Quezon in gratitude to the Patron Saint of the Farmers St Isidro the Laborer.
Pahiyas Festival, A celebration held in Lucban, Quezon in gratitude to the Patron Saint of the Farmers St Isidro the Laborer.

May 15, locals of Lucban,Quezon will be busy preparing for the vibrant feast of San Isidro Labrador called Pahiyas Festival A thanks-giving for a abundant harvest of the year. One will definitely enjoy the splendid exhibit of rice, fruits, and vegetables and handicrafts in every abode in the town.

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Various games, Stores of different foods clothes and handicraft are what you can perceive. There are parades of giant Paper dolls, decorated jeeps and tricycles in Nipa. Men in barong and women in saya made of colorful wafers and native stuff like coconut leaves and husks. The parade also includes the lyre band to indeed have a jovial ambiance.

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Where to stay? There’s definitely places where you could stay as transient but this needs to be booked earlier. The crowd could even get worse even before the d-day so better do it quick. You can also do a day trip if you like but beware of the 4 to 5 hour travel back and forth to Manila.

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Where and what to eat? If you’re friendly and have all the guts enough to eat at different houses, you can definitely try that; however, if you’re a little bit timid, you can dine at any fast foods or perhaps you may try “BUDDYS” a restaurant that serves native lucban cuisine. You can also try the street foods and enjoy their famous kiping, pancit habhab and lucban longganisa. Side trips that you may consider

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That is their famous grotto that everyone call Kamay ni Hesus (The Hand of Christ) where you need to climb more than 500 stairs to get to the top to see the giant icon of Christ. Mt Banahaw and Cristobal are also near to the place if you want to do serious hiking.

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Pasalubong? Souvenir shops are everywhere, from shirts to wallet to fan that are made in handicraft. They are everywhere! Even famous delicacies like espasol, broas, otap… it’s abundant! Best Native Word? Kiping – a leaf shape wafer that’s made up of rice paste that solidified. This is usually used in decoration of the houses for the festival. You’ll definitely get tired after all of this, yet the fun that you had and a good sleep would be the best reward after.

Check out the Pahiyas Photos here and here

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AN ATTEMPT TO FITNESS

 
The Argonaut in May 2008
The Argonaut in May 2008
Last year of March, I was given a chance to go to United States. It was really an overwhelming opportunity to me. Working there for three months would not be a heavy load because of the fun that I’ll be getting after work; however, I never thought that there will be a big consequence. I really didn’t notice it until one of my pants couldn’t fit on me. I gained extra 15-17 lbs just after a couple of weeks. I blame it to our lifestyle when I was there. After work, although I visit the gym frequently, thinking that I could beat gaining weight by working out, another frequent past time would be just watching TV and eating. There’s just the two of us in the condo and whenever I cook for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we always make sure that we have given justice on the food that I prepared. Pasta, Chicken, Rice, Hotdog, Loaves of sandwiches, Cakes, French Vanilla Ice Cream, Milk Shakes, Steaks and Hamburgers and French Fries… All of them were eaten without hesitations. It was really enjoying though (Milk Shakes, They’re really the best!)

After three months, I went back home with the extra pounds with me. Oh yes, I’m 182 lbs and still trying to cheat myself that I’m only 180lbs (what would that extra two pounds would do?). My friends started to pick on on me and started calling me an elephant or tabachoy or anything related to being big. I was really laughing about that fact but deep inside I’m hurt. I was also having a hard time lacing my shoes because my bellies are being compressed. I told myself that i have to do something about it whatever it takes…

The Argonaut in May 2009 at 166 lbs
The Argonaut in May 2009

I went back to the gym after a week and started working out. Four times a week is what i believe would be good enough and having the right diet that I think is also hard. First week, I was able to find some progress and and so with the succeeding weeks until I found out that I’m just 5 lbs away from my old self of 165lbs.
I could definitely say that it was an achievement. I was able to reach that target in 6 weeks but I still believe that I need extra effort; still, it’s not going to be easy, yet, I am so willful that I could do it.

At present, I’m still giving my best shot and still struggling to shred more pounds. I just try to think that the fat that I previously had, had just turned into muscles that why I’m still 166-170lbs. Now that I’m trying a new sport, which is running I bet that I will be achieving the goal that I expect. There has just too many success stories that I saw and I would also like to be one.

PUTTING MYSELF BACK TOGETHER

“What are my priorities? Is it running? Or maybe photography? Or How about travelling? It would really be fun!”
“Am I too focused on all these activities that I tend to forget my simple responsibilities? Like with my family and work? Or I really deserve this thing that is happening into my life?”
I think I’m in the crossroads and I need to focus on my priorities? My competence towards my daily job has just laid low. Was it because of the stuff that I’m doing? So many questions… Yet there could only be one answer.
I need a slap on my face to tell me something is going on wrong. I need to put myself back together. I need to plan what I want and what will I do. Before it’s too late…

THE NORTH FACE 100

GO THE DISTANCE, ENDURE THE TRAIL TEST YOUR LIMITS! TNF did not break their promise.

Arriving early at the TNF Site is really a bitter-sweet moment because we are sure that we will not be late but no accommodation was given to us because it is expected we need to provide our own comfort. We have no choice but to sleep where we think it would be okay; and so be it. Bongyu and I decided to sleep on the sidewalk. Thank goodness there is a bubble wrap nearby that we could use as our mat. Another thing that bothers me is when we get up; I was not able to find a dressing area. I owe it a lot to Runshiny for lending me her “malong” so I was able to change my clothes. I just went away from there and to a place where there is so little light and where no one could see me changing. I saw people coming one by one and people who we know. It’s really nice to see familiar faces on the race. It could give you comfort and you could assure yourself that you could have fun.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and so the race began… All the 20Km runners headed towards the road. It was easy at first until the trail narrowed; then passing through flowing water that was a bit annoying because it could enter into my shoes. I hate that as we went farther, the amount of flowing water increases… then we ran on road of sand which was also difficult because the sand could splatter and could enter again into my shoes. We ran and ran until we reach what is unavoidable, we really need to pass that river like body of water, the part that I thought I will hate most because it had terrible made myself wet and this makes things even worse when we need to do a little rappelling (not really high though) and start to hike going up and on the hill. The law of physics states that when you go up, you need to go down and that is what happened, we need to go down the hills and it’s really difficult. You need to be careful and at the same time fast. I did it in a free running in this part, let gravity push me and I will do the manoeuvring until we go back on that river thing and go back again on the sand.

Yes. I did not look at the map before I raced, so my expectation is that the last leg would be easy… I was wrong. After the water and sand comes the mud. A muddy trail and that’s worst. Mud that sank in to my shoes (I was using my road shoes which is not a good idea). I have no other choice anyway but to continue. Good thing there is Christian (PUGA NI NANA) on the road to accompany me. After the muddy trail was the long concrete bridge. Very hot. Christian and I just decided to jog all the way the other end until they told us that were now on the last kilometre and until we end up to the finish line.

The race was truly eventful. It has given me the challenges that I really didn’t expect. I enjoyed the fact that the race is hard and should be memorable to all those people who joined. I will never forget this experience. Who know, I might be able to attempt my first 100 Km trail run.

Kudos to TNF, Kudos to me.

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The man who dared

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Start of the trail

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Bongyu on the road

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Sun rising… and so with temperature…

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The trail getting muddy

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And sometimes sandy…

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The place is so wide…

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Hate this part….

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Water getting higher… Even the socks are all wet…

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A view from the top…

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Ian from the top (puga ni nana)

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Remembering Montalban

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Mossy.

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Another view

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Last action!

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The 20K finisher

MY RUNNING PLACE

I have been looking for a really nice running place in Bacoor Area. I tried running previously at the main road from our house SM-Molino and going back (10Km) but I feel that doing it most of the time will not do good to me due to the road is getting crowded as time runs, not to mention the carbon monoxide that is entering into my nostrils is not good either. I tried looking for another route, but still getting the same level of risk. I was able to check the Daang-Hari Road which is also a good running spot but I still consider it far because you would need to run at least 5Km before reaching the place. I could commute going there or again, enjoy the carcinogenic gas from the PUVs.
I’ve ask people in our area. Luckily a neighbour told me that there is one not far from our house and just 2Km away. The name of the place is Heavenly Peace Memorial Garden. Oh yes! It is a cemetery. I thought at first running there would really be freaky; however, our neighbour told me that this place is perfect because it’s peaceful and there are already a number of joggers in that area. So I tried running there and I Liked it. Now it became my official running place. Alas!

See the pictures to appreciate.

Entrance
Entrance

Just 2 Km away from our place, very easy and accessible.

Start

Start of the loop

View

The View

Me

Posing and touring the readers about on the place 

 

Another view
Another view of this loop… very chillaxing…

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After the run… Whoah! Tiring…

HOW RUNNING BECAME AN ADDICTION

I owe it a lot to the outdoor group I’m acquainted with on why I became addicted to running. Last January 2009, there was an invitation coming from one of our mates; asking all of us if we want to attend a fun run name HAPPY RUN. I am indeed interested, but not determined in joining that event. I ignored what’s written in the forum… I don’t know why, I just I’m not really that eager, days had past and it seems that many of my outdoor friends had registered. So I ask Glen if there will still be some slots. He said he will try but informed us later that the registration has just closed due to the busloads of participants registered. I felt disappointed, thinking that it might not work for me, but then the outdoor group was pushing us to run despite of not being registered; to be a bandit or what we call “colorum” in our own term. I am totally undecided. Hours had past and still undecided. I tried texting again Glen on how to get there because I really have no idea how to get to THE FORT (so silly!) What he only replied then was go ride a taxi and tell the driver to drop me to THE TENT. Hours had past and I said to myself that I’ll go. I
Whoah! I was able to get there on time. I was even so afraid that they’ll pick me up and throw me out of the starting booth at that time for being a bandit; never thought that it really won’t happen.
Bang! The race has just started, run, walk, run walk with a friend who is a certified mountain-climb-addict. Lots of stories came up while running until we realized were done after 42minutes. I was so happy finishing the race and even thought I’m fast (haha!). After the vent, I immediately went home for some appointment but I texted Glen that I’ll be joining the next race! I never really thought that it will be the start of my addiction. Takbong May Yabang, Power Run, Botak Paabilisan, Takbo para sa Kalikasan. I was present on those events. I really never even thought that I’ll be running for 21K in Condura Run and had a PR of 2:37. I was so proud of myself. Finishing a race was so fulfilling. It was like some sort of personal achievement. Got injured at that time and bring me to my senses that maybe I should start studying the art and science of running. Reading blogs, and asking thoughts of those who are experienced. Listening to neophytes could also give you such ideas.
That’s the start of it. Now, I’m really addicted to running. Doing 10Km runs 3-4 times a week makes me strong and healthy. I just hope that there’s no turning back…

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My Outdoor Group who run in Takbo Para sa Kalikasan

Participants
Glen (This is his fault why I became an addict) Me, Pat (Ultra addict) and Ren (Not so Addict)
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Finishing Botak 21K

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At Mens health Miracle Run

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At the Air Speed (My Worst PR due to Injury)

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At the Southern Race, ATC Fun Run (Best PR to date after the recovery)

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The Group I also owe a lot for motivating me to improve my running skills. (http://takbo.ph/)

HOW PHOTOGRAPHY BECAME AN ADDICTION

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I love taking pictures. In fact I would always want to see myself in the picture doing all the contemplative pose or a pose with an attitude I should say.  Maybe I am vain, who always wants to see myself in perfect fit zooming the camera every other shot making sure that I look good at it and deleting the ones that I abhor.  Even every during my travels, I would always want to see myself and the view or the view and myself and I should always look or feel gwapo (stupidly gwapo). 

I started using a point of shoot camera; enjoying every bit of it in automatic mode. Point at an object, and then shoot it! Point at another object, and then again, shoot! Night mode if it’s dark and removing the flash if it’s too bright.  Setting up the timer if I want to be part of it and cropping the pictures If I want to omit a thing. That would just be it.

 

Everything changed when I entered an outdoor group. I’ve realized that it’s also fun to take pictures of a simple object or stuff to be into life that could utter a thousand words or a scene that could tell a great story than taking pictures of me (freak!).  I’ve learned that there are a lot of things out there that needs to be discovered through the images that I’m taking.  Truly, it is fulfilling.

I bought an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera after a couple of months. I’ve been day dreaming of having it one day but still asking myself if I need it; If I want it or If it will make me happy. I might not need it, but I could. Yes! I want it and it will definitely make me happy! So be it! I

That’s the start of it… on how photography became an addiction.

Check out few of my works!

Bubbly Balls

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Pagsanajan Falls

HOW TRAVELLING BECAME AN ADDICTION

Me, Janice and Bob
Me, Janice and Bob

I personally love going out; going into places where I’ve really never been.  Last year, I was sent to Colorado for training.  It was really a delightful experience because of the fact that I might be able to enjoy the place.  The moment we arrived there, I fell in love with the place. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  It was winter at that time and I could only see everything in white… but still, it was neat to see. 

One of our clients invited us to go for a hike, without a second thought, though undetermined of what we are facing, we agreed… We had some side trips at first, viewing a ski resort named Eldora, Boulder falls and the Nederland Reservoir.  All of those were truly amazing. 

The last stop after our lunch is the hike itself.  It was fun at first.  We could really see everything now in green and white.  The trail was kind on its first few decametres but as we progress, slopes were getting higher, not to mention how snowy the place is. After a couple of tries, we decided to cancel the trek because it’s really getting dangerous for us. Our client said that we just have to try when the snow are gone and all. Better luck next time.

We had decided to go back. Our client did not break his promise.  The trails though steep are all doable and I could say that it’s not really hard after all. We’ve reached the summit and had some picture taking. It was pretty nice at the top and we could see the other mountain peaks there (it’s the famous Rocky Mountains) Then I thought, if they have place like this, I bet that there should also be if not of the same level a place like this in our country.  That’s the start of it.  This thought always played in my mind; seeing the beauty of my own land. 

When I went back to our country, I did not start that quick of going to a mountain or start travelling due to my schedule; however, when I was able to get a chance. It became an addiction.  Not too many place yet… but I’m getting there.