When Failure Changed You

Turning wounds into wisdom…

Left – September 2014, Right – October 2015

Everyone fails.  Once, twice or maybe a hundred times; just like Thomas Alba Edison when he thought of creating the light bulb, his failures did not stop him from doing what he loves.  It even made him to do something better, until he achieved his goal… Just like him, it may not be phenomenal, I have a story too.
Flashback – I left Kuwait for Korea in July 2014. I was a bouncing 100kg block at that time. Wooohhoooo! One of my friends even threw a joke at me that I am 0.1 ton (Damn, how could they use the unit ton on me). I know I’m heavy and big for my height but I believe that things will be okay if I workout.  I’m sure it will be okay.  So I started having this new life, working out, running, swimming, but nothing really serious as my diet was the same.  SEE-FOOD (When I see food, I eat). I would always try to weigh myself and see very minimal changes; I joined various half marathons, but naaah, nothing.  Ok, I lost weight, 1lb per month.  I’m not really sure if it was a big difference… maybe, at least I’m going somewhere.  I even joined Tokyo marathon in February 2015, and I was around 95Kg; 5kg in 7months.  Then triathlon events came in April and finished last.  At the end of July 2015, I weight 93kg; a loss of 7kg in one year.

Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.
Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.

My friends see me as very optimistic person and I really consider myself the same: fit and able to endure anything that goes in my way. Then, this event came.  70.3 Ironman… A Complete Failure. I blame the full moon, the unforgiving heat and the inconsiderate marshals (even though they are not) for now allowing me to run…

Fine. No problem, I’m fine, Perfect, Try again. I was trying to console myself and so did my friends, but the truth was, it’s not okay. I returned to Korea thinking about it, and I had this realization, that I need to do something different for me to really achieve my goal.

I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.
I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.

I signed up for a number of multisport events, but I told myself that I want to be better. I created a training diary and told myself that I should do it. Whatever my reasons were when I wake up, I have to do it. I get up early to swim or bike or run. Then in the evening do the same. 7 days a week. I rest sometimes but that’s because of my work schedule.  The key was I should have a good sleep.   I used my common sense on my diet; eliminated sugar in my coffee and chose healthier options.

IMG_3687
On the first 2 weeks I saw significant difference on my weight. Wow! This is working.  I shared my plan to few of my friends who I know can motivate me; to keep my sanity (because I’ve never done this before). I would show them what I’m doing and they would virtually pat my back for my job. That feels good.

I consistently workout, and it showed huge results.  All my races may not be a complete success but there is one thing in this pursuit that thrilled me most. I lost 10kg! I looked back on some of my photos a year ago, and it was like I’m looking at two different people, with the same smile (lol).  Even I couldn’t believe on what I have achieved, just when I thought it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Then, I change the way I look at things, then it became, I’M POSSIBLE.  I used my failure as my inspiration to be better, and so I succeed.
Today, I am still aiming to shred few more pounds, I just recently hit sub 2 hours in my last half marathon, and looking forward to improve my time in my marathon pursuit.

DIFFICULT, BUT DEFINITELY ATTAINABLE.

inbody
Monitored my progress with the use of Body Analyzer in the gym I am registered, while the accuracy of the Fat% and other things seemed to be questionable, it is giving me a ball park value and something to target.
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Endure-Blackberry Aquathlon – A FUN EVENT

“Fun is better than winning.” – Oaqui

 

The Ad

After our grisly quest to Km 160 and 102, Earl (The Running Gramps) and Allan AKA j3j3RNR thought of joining a fun event; the Blackberry-Endure Aquathlon. The three of us settled on the CURVE Category (400m swim, 3K run) than doing BOLD (600m swim, 5K run) so as not to jive with the more serious Multi-sport athletes (I dreamt of going podium as well – dream on!) not realizing there are some competitive athletes as well on our category.

 

 

I honestly believe that something is wrong with my foot work.

 

Although this will be just a fun event, it doesn’t mean that there will be no competition going on among us. Earl kept on bullying me telling me to prepare on my alibis if I lost on our mini-match, Allan remain silent though and laughing on our trash-talks, he claimed that he didn’t really prepare for it (or maybe he was just trying to be the black horse).

 

Transition

The race began with me leading of course, haha, yet I noticed that kids who were parts of our wave were the ones who are outswimming us! What the h***! These kids were throwing us waters right into our mouth! What a shame!

As what my shirt says, Di masyadong mabilis...

After a couple of minutes I moved to transition and ran!  I keep on grasping for air; oh maybe I need more practice.  One young runner overtook me and I never managed to overtake any runners, I was even tempted to walk on some hilly part of the race but I tried not to just to save my ass from humiliation.  The only bragging rights I  can tell is maybe the fact that Earl didn’t out swim or outrun me and so did Allan, good think it was just 3K, haha! (COWARD!)

Don't you think they support me all the way? Thanks Rico for the "Bragging Rights Mug"

Anyway, I know I can’t have best of both worlds, I need to train more on this aspect as this was definitely not my cup of tea yet but I might be willing to try it over again.  We had fun!  Thanks Team Endure for giving us stuff like this.

All the way support from Cherry, Yan and Marky

Keep on coming!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Raisa Tan, Glo Arbatin, KB Runner and Cherry Bautista

Claiming the Golden Fleece

What destiny sends, bear! Whoever perseveres will be crowned. – Johann Gottfried Herder

Start of the race gathering around the KM ) Post.

From my own point of view, no one would ever describe what happened back then; it was an oxymoron. Bitter and sweet while traversing three provinces by foot. Hermes winged shoes was taken from me for he felt that I did not deserve it, I didn’t execute such speed training he requires for me to adapt it; however, I still owned Athena’s wisdom, Ares’ fighting prowess, Eros’ passion and Pan’s mirth to pursue my dream to do a 100 mile…

The running gods must have been mocking us on our attempt.

The fates told me I was ridiculous and ambitious; how come a mere argonaut can survive the distance if he was a fat ass they claimed… Yes, I doubted myself for awhile, maybe they were right, but suddenly upon sharing my dream to my friends, they believed. It’s a possibility! They even began sending all their good vibes to me… And so my quest began.

Lead me Lord I always utter… He did not forsake me.

Fifty-nine runners all gathered at Km 0 in Mariveles, Bataan where the old Death March had started. Support crews of different runners were all excited to see their champions at Km 160. I was not on myself before the gunstart, I kept holding my hands together trying to make myself composed until the countdown.

Thank you Lorie and Mommy Eve for the Krispy Kreme Donuts!

The running gods were all mocking us as we start. It was an illusive dream they thought, but we dared them and that made them mad. Helios the sun-god was first sent and let his magnificent sunshine strike! It turned terribly hot as minutes and hours passed by, but I, the argonaut came prepared for I covered myself with a white iced deep plumage which made me totally comfortable except that it was a bit heavy. Donuts were my comfort food as well from the 10th and the 20th k of the race; felt like I have eaten an ambrosia… Helios wrath was so strong it made me feel like giving up, right from the start of the race, I began to wonder, can I?

Kilometer 50. It’s almost 8 hours when I reach it, changed outfit and ran. I decided to load myself with a decent rice meal that time… And that I think made me strong… I felt the 2nd wind and started to pick up the pace that I lost at the first 50. Zeus must have been missing his aim of thunderbolt on me! The mirth of the Demi-god Pan is what I currently possess! Optimistic, energetic, alive! Even my friends I felt that were giggling on my extra strength. I felt awesome until I reached 100th km. I was sore when I reached 102nd Km, and it was time again to freshen up.

Dusk came and we are still running. Morpheus the god of slumber is ready to see his preys.

Pacers:

The last stretch of the race. Just 58 more kilometers and it will be over. I can now get back to rest. Yan paced me, then Bave, Chris, Athan and Maridol. It was Terrible for I could no longer run at a good pace. The god of darkness made me fell like I was walking in the underworld. Gloomy, sad.. I felt that I could no longer pursue…

Insomiac Bave in my crew!

The thought of quiting is already playing in my mind, telling that my body has gone tired and any minute it would stop and malfunction. I was about to throw the white towel when I came to realize that my friends has not yet given up on me, not a single thought that they’d ask me if I can still go on, instead they tell me that I still look so strong… From there I believed for the thought of seeing my friends failure because of me is not an option.

My crew-turned-pacers
My crew-turned-pacers trying to comfort me despite of being irate

I fought against the Morpheus, the god of slumber by eating what we have in stock, to keep me busy in the lame hours of the night… Chips, donuts, banana, balot, coffee, gummybears, hotdogs,eggs I took them all until twilight came.

A few yards to the finish line…

Last 20k at 6am in the morning. I am still pushing… Last 15k and told myself I’m almost there. Last 10k and my team mates who supported Wilnar, (my team mate who finished first) were there already cheering for me. “Push!” how come I’m enter entertaining the thought. “Push” as my friends tell because someone is behind me. Last Kilomter, 9:30 am I ran and gave all I’ve got until I saw the finish line… More! I am almost there…. I finally hit the finis line I almost sob again for joy instead I scream at the top of my lungs! A battle cry claiming and bragging to the world that I am done! The god of love Eros never let my passion fall nor Athena’s wisdom it did not break! I am done! 100 miles of hardships and was earned after 21:41 (Official).

The Golden Fleece was Claimed at Last…

I ran, I walk the whole 160Km route, yet I strongly believes that the credit shouldn’t only belong to me but to the people who inspired me; to my friends who supported me on from morning to dusk to midnight to dawn until I get though my final step.  Thank you… To my dad, to whom I dedicate this race, Thank you and to the Lord God who never stopped giving me the opportunity to become strong and corageuous.

BR, Runners and Support Crew

Photo Credit: Bave, Cris Dela Cruz, Maridol Yabut, Marving Pangan and Boy Praning

Salute to A Colorful 2010!

Cheers to a promising New Year ahead! The best is yet to come…

Amazed this year!
Amazed this year!

Whoah! I just realized that 2010 is almost over.  I am just counting hours and ready to welcome a new year ahead. It was indeed an awesome year for me,   bittersweet moment.  Considerably, this year is a blast on my passion for running and on my career as well although not everything was something to rejoice like my father’s death last February.

I could almost do this during the ultra-races that I've joined...

On Ultra Races.

 
After joining Condura, then Bataan Death March, I never looked back.  It followed with a series of Ultra Marathons and Marathons month by month
which I loved so well.  TNF was the most remarkable race I’ve joined so far where my will power was tested more than BDM despite that it is only a 50Km race.  I ran, I had a hard time,  I had blisters and pain; I cried and laugh at the finishline savoring victory after each race and hurriedly go to my office for I don’t have anyone to replace me for sometimes. 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

One of the photos that I took in an early morning in Tagaytay

 

On Travels

 
Hah! It was my most travelled year as well (Not sure though).  I went to Ilocos to run, in CamSur where we were conned by a not so famous event organizer and even being dithced out in the island.  Hiked in Batangasand in Rizal to train for a Climathon in Baguio (TNF). I was on training and racing and at the same time enjoyed everybit of it despite of all the mishaps that occured. I wish I could go back and even travel more around the Philippines.  Hope I can pin Batanes next year.

Naaah, just one of my photos that I took on my transit in Singapore

 

On Career

 
At last, I hit my PR at work last May where I officially became a certified technician after fearing so much of taking the examination.  Good thing I gripped my balls so much so that they would not fall and put it back into places the moment it was over.  Lols!  Most importantly, I got the chance to go to Abudhabi to visit our office there,  in Dubai where we have an office as well, Spent a day in Singapore to at least have fun during transit and in Malaysia in an hour to enjoy every bit of it. 
I mentioned in last blog too about getting an employee award. Hmm… I wonder what will happen to me next year.  Jeez!!
I am so excited!
Lastly, No Sick-leave for me this year.  Tell me more about Work-Life Balance.

A home theater that I won in a raffle. An I thought it's just a lame DVD Player

On Luck

 
T’was three years streak that I won something in the office. From  Cellphone (2008) to Aircooler (2009) and a DVD Receiver this year! Oh boy, I am really a lucky guy.  Oh well, I think I deserve it after loosing 3 cell phones this year (Stupid me!)

Day 1 of ANR Tiendesitas (yabang ko no? =P)

On Responsibilities and Volunteering

 
I co-hosted 4 events this year! A company event, The Takbo.ph  Anniversary where I get the chance to meet DJ Chloe, The” Takbo Mo Tanglaw Ko” fun run for the Aetas and the Takbo.ph Year End Party. Seriously, given a chance, I would love to do more of it! Also,  I am really proud that I became a part of Adination of Runners sponsored by Adidas.  It was a tough work I guess but I loved it. Saturday Mornings and Fridays Nights in Tiendesitas were eventful.  on this, I would like to thank Adidas and takbo.ph for the opportunity that you have given me;and to my friends (especially Team CB) who were always there to support me.
I am glad that most of you guys had improved physically. 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Created by my friend Lorie after my first tri

 

On Multi-sport

 
I have joined series of 2 Aquathlon this year.  Ateneo Aquathlon (I don’t know how to swim yet at this point) and AnR Alabang Aquathlon.  I really improved in my swimming skills although I still have a lot to learn as far as techniques are concerned.
Eventually I was able to join a Super-minisprint event.  Thanks again to a good friend Doc Art who never
stopped believing in my capabilities.  Doing a week of Biking after so many years is not easy. Lol!
Again, what an awesome year.  Hope I can equalize it next year or even move further. How about checking my lovelife next year? Hehe!

Team CB! 🙂

The best is yet to come…

The Wrath of the Sun-God Helios (The CAMSUR Marathon Adventure)

Patience is not only a virtue, but an acquired trait.

The Illusion

The thought of CAMSUR is wonderful… Just right enough to enjoy the Beach and Wakeboarding at the famous CWC.  Zeus ordered Baccus the god of wine to put us to an illusion that running the CAMSUR marathon would be inviting… To make it look like a good chance to hit out best because of the flat route…  Most of us were trapped into that illusion.

Marathon and Half-Marathon Newbies

Yes, we were lured into the illusion of paradise.  Out of town… Fresh Air…  A number of my companions registered for Half marathon and Marathon  unaware of what will really happen to us.

Goodluck Bash to Our Neo-half Marathoners and Marathoners

We trained for the event.  Agreed… But the question is if are we really prepared for it?

The Start.

The race started before the Sun-God Helios comes out.  I really planned of running at 6-minute pace until I fade but I had this uncomfortable feeling right from the start of the race.  I was not able to warm-up because the chariot that brought us to the starting mark arrived barely 5-minutes before the race started.  It end up in a run-walk pace right from the start of the race.  I told myself that maintaining a 6:35 pace should be good enough.

The 42-K route

It was dark…  and I wish it was just like that; however, Zeus the god who always want to challenge the adventurers ordered Helios go shine as early as it could and let display his flambouyant light.

I maintained my pace despite of discomfort until Km 30.  I was having a hard-time but I don’t want to whine about it. Blocking the pain and happy thoughts is what all I have in my mind.  Good thine the mortals watching us cheered the best way they could.  Greeting us everytime they saw us and giving us their best cheer and applause.  Children even gave us High Fives!

My team who waited for us in the finish line

Km 30…  The wrath of Helios was inevitable.  It eventually over-powered me as my pace started to decline.  Good thing that another mortal gave me 3 salt pills along the race which I took strategically.  I didn’t take any food except to my only energy gel that I took at Km 21 (I took the first before the race started) and some bananas provided by the organizer.  Water is the only hydration that I drank for I am afraid on to get some carbonated drink that the race had in every hydration stations.

A female runner who fainted somewhere along the route being helped by out takbo.ph friends

Another good thing is that Athena blessed me with wisdom so I managed to go on kilometer per kilometer despite of my fading pace.  I even passed a couple of runners who were already suffering from the thunderbolt casted by Zues against them and from the venom of the gorgon-Medusa that turned their feet into stone.

Arrived

 I eventually arrived at the finishline after five hours of my run-walk strategy.  Despite of not beating my personal best, I am still glad about this for I have enjoyed this race.  

Post race picture... BLAH!

All of us compalined about the heat.  It was terribly hot that day yet good thing no one gets hurt.   I am also glad to see my friends to finish the race.  They were winners in their own right. Indeed that no sun-god can  beat our wisdom and determination to finish.

Takbo.ph friends who finished the race!

Thank God (the real one)  who made this day who gave me another opportunity to express my will and strength.  It was undeniably a wonderful day.

The race gave us a real BLAH!

Congratulations to my firends who just finished their first half marathon and marathons.  You made us proud! 

Acknowledgment to Joyce Morisson, Runner’s Run and Brando Losaria on some pictures that I have used. Thanks also to my dear friend Cherry who used my Camera to get some real action shots!

On Being Part of the Takbo.ph Runfest

Takbo.ph is my 2nd family…

I'm getting you! (photo by Marvin Pangan)

Upon the start of the registration of the Takbo.ph Runfest, I immediately informed Jinoe and Que (admins of takbo.ph) that I am not going to run the event, but instead I’ll volunteer as a photographer.  Days passed and I am getting excited even on the thought of it.  I can now pay forward on the kindness of my takbo.ph friends ever since I started on this passion until I joined a series of Marathons and Ultramarathons.

With Brando and Carlo (photo by Q of takbo.ph)

I received emails back and forth from moderators, about the plan on the program, about what to do.  Until someone suggested that I should lead the game portion.  I agreed without second thoughts.   The idea definitely didn’t sink in to me.

Race day came and I did my part on being a photographer.  I sought for my best shot and effort, yet I really had a tough time capturing all of them.  More than 3000 people crossing the finish line…   From the very first few who crossed, to the runners I know until almost all of them were through.  I stayed there for an hour and my arms were sore lifting my camera.

I'm a shy boy don't you think? Oh and look at the guy below! (photo by Angelo Maravilla)

When I feel that almost everyone crossed the finish-line, DJ Chloe called me to go upfront the stage.  Introduced me on a marathon that I’ve joined.  My heart leaped when my named was uttered.   I was nervous…  I was nervous but it only occurred for the first few minutes…  I felt it through my voice until everything came out naturally.  I love what I’m doing at that time and good thing that my friends who are at the same time our audience were all laughing with us.  There maybe monotonous moments on what we’ve done but heck, it was still a blast over all.

I definitely enjoyed the day!

Thank you takbo.ph It was a blast!

BDM Snap Shots

I kept on looking for in the net looking for more of my running photos.  I could almost give up looking for them until I suddenly remembered that Emil is keeping alot.

Thanks my friend, for capturing this moment for me…

Self Proclaimed Team CB as our Support Crew

These three were all waiting for us to arrive.

Take it off!

 It was so humid that time, that I decided to remove my singlet…  Still humid but it relaxed me a bit.

Oh no, but what have I done wrong...

Km I approached Km 50… yes, I am enduring a pain, and it drives me up the wall…

Managed to Smile at the halfway...

 Tried smiling halfway for a photo oppotunity; however, my heart is full of doubts at this moment for the fear of not finishing the race…

Resting somewhere...

That’s less than 10Km left and I’m done… crazy…

Oh no, don't look down...

 I have decided to removed my shoes due to blisters…  I tried running and then walking… 

To the finish (enter chariots of fire soundtrack)

A guy at the back trying to outran me after seeing how close I amto him…  It my competetive spirit and pride that dragged me to push even more…

At last... it was the finishline

 Finished at last…  Baldrunner put on the not so big medal on me and handed me the trophy as well…

Thanks Emil for these shots..  more of his BDM pictures here

Unleashing

BDM Starting Line

What does it take to unleash one’s potential?  Was it determination to conquer and achieve your goal or was it when you are trapped in a situation where there is no turning back?  Was it courage to face your  fear or pride of not being defeated?  Was it finishing a race and realize how far you have gone or was it giving up and learning what you have experienced from it?

Whatever our reason is, I’m sure that it must be reasonable…  We have our own ideals that we believe and we would always cling on that no matter what.   That made me unleashed my full potential…

The Hills Were Alive at the Sound of Celebrity Run

New PR. Photo by Marvin Opulencia
New PR

I arrived at Bonifacio High at around 4Am thinking that the race would start at 5AM, paranoid of getting late for the 21Km Race. Surprisingly, upon seeing the almost barren appearance of it, I concluded that it won’t happen at my expected hour.  Come 5:30 but still the race hasn’t started though they were quick in setting it up and everything was ready. I’ve been with the rest of the takbo.ph group and discussing about our goal for that day. I said I’m just aiming for 2:10 but seriously, I aiming higher than that… Crazy but I’m now aiming for sub-2 due to my previous weight loss of 12 lbs which I think could help me in getting more speed.   

I was totally trained...

Five-Forty, and the race started.  My first three kilometers was a blast for I would think I am doing faster that 5min/km pace.  I’ve been with Luis, Pat, Sam at that point and can see fast runners like El Kyoshi and Tigerboy.   I decided to give up before reaching the fourth Km and decided to take it a bit slower. 

I would believe I reached the 10th Km mark at 53 min; yet, I think there’s already something going fishy at the markers.  I glanced at my watch as soon as I saw the much awaited marker and I was surprised to see that it’s already at 58 min! The markers have really gone mad!  Bryan has informed me that it was over by 500meters before he left.  

With Carlo, Bryan and Pat before the race
With Carlo, Bryan and Pat

I just ignored the whole thing thinking that it might be adjusted at the succeeding kilometers, but it didn’t happen. I am really trying to push my self thinking that I am already late from my real target. 

McKinley… That’s where my agony started.  I’ve got a chaffing arms already (I might have not applied enough petroleum jelly) but I still tried my best.  The hills of McKinley reminded me of Corregidor and told myself that this is not even half of it so I should endure.  Mark Hernandez was already behind me at this point and begun catching up with me.  I told myself that I should hang out with him else the desired PR would all be gone. 

Two Hours has just passed and we were still running, the route must have been really longer that expected.  After finishing the race at 2:10, I was immediately informed that the route was 1.2 Km over.  What??? That long? How could that be?  Oh well, enough of ranting, at least I have improved my PR by almost 9 min (Timex Net Time 2:18:52).

Exhaustion, that’s all I can feel at that time… I was so tired and I was still panting even after 20 minutes had passed.  It must have been really hard route after all!  Oh what a day!

I had a blast with these guys...

Thank you Marvin Opulencia for the pictures

Dare to be Fit ‘n Right Blogging Contest Acceptance Speech

“AND THE 2009, DARE TO BE FIT ‘’N RIGHT BLOGGING CONTEST 1ST RUNNER UP GOES TO…. (Drum-roll….) “

“THE ARGONAUT!”

“The role of the first runner up is very important, in the occasion that if the Best Blogger did not fulfill his duty, the first runner up will take place.”

No, there are no cheesy words like that in the awarding of the mentioned contest, but yes, I am the 1st runner up…

Still the 1st loser... hahaha!

There’s a lot to be thank in this achievement.  Yes, this may be a small thing for most people but for me this is a full-size leap. I actually would have never thought that I can actually win 2nd place in Del Monte’s Fit ‘n Right Blogging Contest. 

First, I would like to thank of course Del Monte for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the event; to Dennis Ravanzo for taking a video of me during that time when I dared to take Jim Sarret’s challenge.  My family and friends who supported me, despite of pulling everyone’s hair just to get a ballot, the impact of your vote for me that reach more than a hundred and forty  had really brought me to the top 10.  It was undeniably remarkable. 

I thank Cherry for dropping me in the event.  It was always fun chatting with you and Lorie.

Most of all, I thank Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to show to that I could somehow write and express myself and the opportunity to be brave enough to tell the world that I am fit n right!

 ‘Till your next dare…

Oops, by the way, I forgot to say, I lost 12 lbs… (As if it matters)

MY TYPHOON STORY

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Then quit. There’s no use in being a damn fool about it. –WC Fields

Pulag Boys
Takbo.ph Pulag Boys who tried... failed... but will try again...

It was already scheduled more than a month ago that I am going to Mt Pulag; the highest mountain in Luzon. I have been day dreaming that at long last I will be able to witness the majestic sea of clouds at its peak that I usually see at the pictures; however, due to an unforeseen visitor, my so called total vacation was ruined… well, at least I have seen the famous Ambukalao dam…

Yes, it was ONDOY, the formidable typhoon that I have taken too lightly.  It’s really been raining in the mountain the whole time… I was shivering even I already have three layers of upper garments on (shirt, sweater and waterproof jacket) because I was only wearing a pair of pants that could not combat against the unpleasant cold wind.

oh yeah, at least i saw Ambuklao
oh yeah, at least i saw Ambuklao

We have no choice when we arrived but to stay at the ranger station all though out the day… all through out the night.  Pigging out was the only way to kill our world-weariness pairing it with bottles of gin and rum and brandy. Most of our phones were futile because there was no signal except for those who are SMART subscribers that at least could receive messages.  We’ve received a lot of text messages from our friends asking our condition (oh boy I was deeply touched) and informing us that it was raining hard and flooding in Manila.

Seriously, it was a though night...
Seriously, it was a tough night...

Getting sleep was another challenge for all of us. Since we are immobile and doing nothing but putting our eyes closed, the dreaded cold wind definitely took advantage of it.  I was half asleep the whole night (though there were times that Poj said I am snoring).

Morning came and I am still willful about getting to the summit… but the weather was too insatiable to give us a little comfort.  It was undeniably risky so they called everything off.  We arrived at Baguio a couple of hours after and only until then that I realized the tragic event that happened in Manila.  I was stunned.  Few of our friends were affected, that they would need to go on their roof due to flood and others were unreachable because the phone lines were already screwed.  I felt that I am more fortunate than the others.  I was thankful that we are safe had enough food and drinks for all of us.

Wilnar's Kryptonite:  The Long and Winding Road from Baguio to Benguet
Wilnar's Kryptonite: The Long and Winding Road from Baguio to Benguet

My vacation may have been spoiled and the unfortunate event occurred could have pissed us all, yet I it was still a learning experience …  that the mountains were always there and you always have time to go there… over and over again, whenever you wanted…

Aquafortis Gang!
Aquafortis Gang!
Aquafortis
Aquafortis

Thank you to all the people I’ve met up there who cooked for us and for all the crazy experiences that they have shared.

Enjoy the pictures click PULAG PICTURES