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Rock Climbing in Wawa, Montalban

Rock Climbing in Wawa Montalban

A route with a view. Photo courtesy of Dennis Pagayon

Wawa in Montalban/Rodriguez, Rizal is a well known destination for mountain bikers in Metro Manila. But this little rural village on the foothills of the Sierra Madre is also a mecca for another tribe of outdoor sports enthusiasts. Rock climbers flock to Wawa Montalban because of its limestone cliffs which offer some of the finest and most challenging climbing in the Philippines.

In my ten year on-and-off love affair with climbing, Wawa has always occupied a special spot. The first time I went there, I gazed stupefied at its cliffs. I did not know that there were walls like that so near to Manila. I’ve gone there two more times since my first visit, and it has never been boring. Just looking at the cliffs can make you dizzy with both dread and anticipation. With some crags shooting up more than a hundred feet, you need to be a real badass to try to scale them. Read more [+]

Relief Efforts for Yolanda Victims by the Outdoor Community

Power Up Gym's Relief Operations for Yolanda Victims

Volunteers repack relief goods at Power Up Gym in Tandang Sora. The goods were directly transported to the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar. Photo grabbed from Power Up Climbing Gym’s FB page

I had a lot of stories lined up for the blog. But when Supertyphoon Yolanda slammed into the country, writing about biking, running, climbing and other activities I enjoyed just didn’t seem appropriate.

Amid the destruction and suffering wrought by this horrifying force of nature, it just didn’t seem right to post anything that suggested happiness. Against this backdrop of demolished houses, bloated corpses and wounded desperate human beings, stories about biking up and down a steep hill, or breaking a personal running record not only seemed trivial but also insensitive. Read more [+]

Wall Climbing in Power Up R.O.X.

Young girl climbing at Power Up ROXPower Up ROX in Bonifacio Global City is the youngest sibling in the venerable climbing gym’s chain of indoor walls. Apparently, it also attracts the youngest of the climbing crowd.

I went to ROX last week to sign up for the upcoming Nature’s Trail Discovery Run. I also wanted to check out the indoor wall there which was put up only in May last year. Having visited ROX several times before, I wasn’t sure how they could have fit a 40-foot climbing wall in the building. Read more [+]

Wall Climbing in Power Up Centro Atletico, Cubao

Cubao has a climbing gym!

Cubao isn’t really known as a wall climbing destination. While it has recently become a mecca for hipsters who like to hang out in Cubao X, the area has yet to attain a rep for the more vertically inclined. But it should.

Unknown to a lot of people, there’s actually a Power Up climbing gym just a few minutes away from the Araneta Center. The gym is part of Centro Atletico which features an excellent badminton court, a TRX gym, and a snack bar. Read more [+]

Wall Climbing In Power Up Tandang Sora

A climber tries to overcome an overhang

Personally, I think bikers and runners should take on climbing to balance things out. While biking and running give our legs a great workout, they neglect the upper body. Climbing takes care of this. Also, if you bike or run in Wawa, you must be familiar with its magnificent soaring cliffs that are just waiting to be scaled.

And there’s no better place to learn climbing than in Power Up Tandang Sora–the grand daddy of wall climbing gyms in the Philippines. It is one of the first (if not the first) indoor climbing gyms ever built in the country.  Read more [+]

Rock Climbing in Sagada

Rock climbing in Sagada

Rock climbing in Sagada

Visitors come to Sagada for its cool climate, its beautiful pine-clad mountain slopes, its relaxing vibe, and its friendly locals. Travelers stay for a couple of days to enjoy Sagada’s caves, its waterfalls, its hiking trails, and its culture.

But besides these, I think this quaint little town up in the Cordilleras also deserves fame for one other thing—its beautiful cliffs that are just perfect for rock climbing. Read more [+]

Upgraditis or Gear Lust

How do you muster up the fortitude to resist buying new gear when your current ones still work?

So you just bought those new top-of-the-line racing flats. They look great, feel even greater, and they just cost you half a month’s salary. Expensive? Who cares? Because after a week of breaking them in, you feel like you could challenge Dean Karnazes to an ultra smackdown! Hey, bring it on Bikila. Usain Bolt, your days are numbered haha!

But a week later, you pass by your favorite running store. Something catches your attention. What are those things on display? What are those bright, shiny, gorgeous, kickass things? Salivate. Drool. They whisper to you: “Come to me baby… Take me home… Bring me home now and I’ll show you all the pleasures of the world…” Read more [+]