Home // 2013 // October

Running in Sagada, with Iyer and Kundera

Running in Sagada

Sagada: one of the best places for mountain running

Sagada has always been one of my favorite destinations in the Philippines. The cool clean and crisp air, the mountains covered in a thick forest of evergeens, the clearest dome of blue that is the sky over the town, the cliffs carved by eons of rain and sun which are just begging to be gripped and climbed, and the friendly people and their unique culture–all of this always makes for a transcendent retreat.

Last year, on All Saints Day, Kara and I went there on a much needed vacation. We were also looking forward to witnessing the unique custom of Sagada on Novemeber 1st called Pinag-aapoy. Here locals build a small bonfire on their loved ones’ graves instead of lighting candles.

But first, I had to get my runnng fix that morning. I was training for a 21k trail run that month and needed to keep my cardio level up. And Sagada was just perfect for running. Read more [+]

Biking in Coron, Palawan

Biking Coron, Mountain Biking in the Philippines

Coron is not really a biking destination yet. People don’t go here to sample the singletrack and trails, but to swim in its crystal clear waters, marvel at the islands’ fantastic limestone cliffs, and to dive and snorkel in the archipelago’s incredible coral reefs and historic shipwrecks. That’s why Kara and I came to Coron, Palawan—we wanted to soak in the islands’ beauty, which begs for words that are beyond superlative.

But since we had a half-day of free time before our tour of the islands of Coron and Culion, we decided that we could explore Coron’s poblacion and its surrounding areas. Since everyone was telling us to check out the Maquinit hot springs, we decided to give this tourist trap a visit.

We could have just taken a tricycle, since it was just about 30 minutes away. But instead we opted to rent mountain bikes and pedal all the way there. I’ve always maintained that apart from walking, the best way to get to know an area is on two wheels. Read more [+]

La Mesa Offroad Duathlon 2013

La Mesa Offroad Duathlon 2013, Mountain Biking in the PhilippinesThe La Mesa Nature Reserve is one of the best running and biking trails in Metro Manila. It’s always been a favorite trail of mine because it never fails to give both newbies and old timers a very satisfying endorphin kick, while making them realize what a beautiful well-preserved forest looks like. These were some of the reasons why I couldn’t pass up the chance to race in La Mesa again.

Mud, sweat and gears: we often hear these words used to describe top MTB racing events. This year’s La Mesa Offroad Duathlon was all that and more. Much more.

Last October 13, just after Typhoon Santi dumped a week’s worth of rain on Luzon before saying sayonara to the Philippines, around 200 trail runners and mountain bikers made a pilgrimage to La Mesa to test their mettle in the forest’s soaked earth. Many of them were casual bikers and first timers who wanted a get a taste of the booming multisport scene. Others apparently were triathlon veterans who wanted to add dirt to their resumes.  Read more [+]

Tips on Upgrading your Mountain Bike

So you’ve bought your first bike and tried out mountain biking. You got to experience the trails, learned to climb and descend, and had the time of your life with your new found buddies on that astig gnarly killer epic bike ride to some never before explored majestic waterfalls and carinderia and bulalohan in the middle of nowhere.

But regretfully, you also caught that debilitating biker’s disease called upgraditis. You look at your bike, shake your head, and feel something just ain’t right. You visit bike shops and leave drool puddles on the floor while looking at that shiny new groupset, those blinged out wheels that sound mayaman, and that fork with those golden stanchions costing half your son’s pang-tuition. You are certain that if only you could have them, the magic will return.

And since you’re not exactly a porked-up senator or Janet Napoles with bathtubs full of filthy cash, you need to decide which part (or parts) of your bike make the upgrade shortlist. So here are a few tips to consider before you go to the bike shop and part with your hard-earned cash. Read more [+]