Freedom in Mt. Lanaya

Pin It Now!

Mt. Lanaya, or sometimes referred to as Kalo-Kalo, may not be the highest mountain in Cebu but it sure is one of the interesting ones-- and difficult at that! Mt. Lanaya was this year's destination for the Freedom Trek.

At the Peak
My first face-to-face with this torturous, towering mountain was back in 2010 when I joined an open climb. It was my first time to join such event that involved a lot of mountaineering groups-- and yes I was alone, but referred to as a “freelance” which was way better than alone. I certainly looked n00bish with all their gears and apparels but the beauty of mountaineering is that you don’t need good gears, you just need to have determination and a whole lot of rest while on the trail.  

This time we approached Lanaya through the backdoor. The open field was great but the burning sun wasn’t a treat at all. We walked faster than usual until we arrived at a familiar place--- the place where we used to camp. We arrived about a couple minutes before 1pm. The whole group then rested under the shade of the tree. 

Bright Sunny Day
After a few rounds laughter, we then ascended towards the peak. Our target time was to reach the peach at 2pm. Our team lead forgot where the trail leading to the peak was-- so did I.  So, we backtracked all the way through the trail only to find out that we were on the right trail after all. After everything, we got back to the right trail and we arrived at the peak. Finally!

The peak still is beautiful as it was the last time I came. The 360 degree view is still awesome. Fronting west is the Island of Negros on the background with the Tanon Strait as its foreground and the opposite side you can see mountain ranges where you can see the distinct Osmena Peak. We took pictures, savored the moment,  rested for awhile, and then we were off to our camping site. 

The trek to the camping site was not an easy feat. We had trail blaze thick jungles and endure going down on loose and rocky terrain. I even had a “momentous” slip that ripped my pack. A few hours through the hike, I was a bit dizzy and felt that my knees have weakened. This was my comeback hike for long long time so it didn’t shock me, Also I wasn’t hydrated enough because my bladder was having problems. I was telling myself that I’m almost there even though I didn’t know if we actually were. 

The Jungle
When the team lead finally announced that we’ve arrived, I was relieved. Finally, we could rest. And what better way to rest than to sit and contemplate that hiking is way better than sitting down in front of the computer and refreshing your facebook page every 10 seconds. Oh yeah! Throw in some fresh coconut in there too. The fresh juice from coconut is as refreshing as water.  
Butong time!
We arrived at the campsite, which is dubbed as the “windows xp” campsite. We pitched our tents, cooked our food, talked about how difficult the trail was, and slept under the beautifully painted stars. Ahhh! The taste sweet taste of freedom! :)
The Windows XP Campsite

Sunset Ninja 
Thank you sir myand, maam osang, farrah, and payi for the photos and the company :)

New foldie!

Pin It Now!
   After a month of waiting, I finally have a pseudo-new folding bike. It's a surplus (hence, "pseudo") folding bike that I got from a good and known seller here in Cebu. It's actually quite funny because Stephen, the guy who sold me the bike, sent me a text that he had new stocks. I giddily replied that I will buy one on the weekend since I don't have the time. I did not get a reply from him after sending the text. I was worried sick because since then, his bikes would sell out like ice melting on a desert. 

   When weekend finally came, visiting the shop was in my priority list. I was pessimistic at first, thinking that there were no bikes left for me. Fortunately the gods at that time were in my favor. Stephen already reserved the bike I wanted-- a beautiful one at that. He had a lot of bikes but the one he reserved for me was one of the "good" condition bikes. It was exactly what I needed. A front suspension, fenders, a kickstand, and most importantly-- v-brakes! At long last! I bid farewell to thee, ye old caliper brakes.
3rd foldie :)
    In the past, all I had to do is look at the bike, and if it looks good then I'll take it. Not this time. If there is one thing I've learned from buying surplus or used stuff is that you have to check it-- thoroughly if you should. This would give you less headaches and troubles in fixing your bike in the future. First thing I checked was the seatpost( if the bike had a quill type stem it would the first thing that I would check). The stem and the seatpost are the number one culprits of headache-inducing problems, for me at least. These are the parts that usually get stuck because of corrosion. Thus, making it hard to adjust it according to what you deem fit. Depending on the age and material of these parts, It can be hard to get them unstuck. I had this problem with my previous folding bike which had an aluminum frame and a steel fork. I was really a nightmare to get it unstuck. I tried every suggestion found on the internet but to no avail, it just didn't want to be separated.
Simple yet effective mechanism
  Okay, back to the checking. Next thing you need to look at is the folding mechanism. Though most folding bikes have probably different mechanism, it's best to check how the bike looks when it folds by, well... folding it. Sometimes it can require a good amount of effort and other times the mechanism gets stuck, too. But usually it just needs a good bit of lubrication to get it to fold again. Sometimes they are just a bit hard to fold but they do fold, most of the time. Finally, you have to check the rims, hubs, spokes, and fenders(if there are any) for cracks or misalignment. You don't want to be riding a bike that is wiggly and all. 

    Finally, if you feel like riding your pseudo-new-surplus-in-good-condition-folding-bike home, then I would suggest you would check the brakes out and make sure the pads have a good grip and the levers are good enough for you to squeeze. You don't want to get into accidents and brake (see what I did there? :D) your bones.

   That ends my rant on checking out a surplus/used bike. After I checked everything and made sure everything was good. I paid Stephen the amount and pedaled all the way from Carbon to my home via North Reclamation >> 1st Lapu-Lapu Mandaue Bridge. This was a good time for me to also check how the bike feels and know whether I need to change or adjust some parts of the bike. 

   Overall, I came home happy with my purchase and was gasping for every inch of air-- I can't believe it was that long since I rode a long distance. For now, this will be my ride until I can afford other bikes (A fixie, mtb, rb, mv, vintage bike perhaps?). I hope to ride this bike in places too.

Fenders! and v-brakes! woot!

The Top 5 People I Would High Five

Pin It Now!
   We all have someone that we look up to. It could  a celebrity, an reggae artist, a fictional character, or maybe even our own dad/mom. Sometimes our admiration comes up to a point that we fantasize having some kind of interaction with these people, especially the ones that we don't normally get a hold of instantly. Some people would want to watch their favorite artists live in concert, some even want to have coffee, or a one-on-one backstage meet. I, too, have these kinds of fantasies but as with my case I big high five would be a great honor. Avoiding any form of conversation is the main objective. Mainly because such interaction would result to me making a fool out of myself. So, a good high five would be actually great.

   Now, I could make a long list and bore you with the details as to why I chose these probably unheard of people, but because the writing also hurts my wrists I'm just going to limit it up to 5. Think of it as a win-win situation.

  • Morgan Freeman
            This guy needs no introduction. Pretty much the best actor in my opinion. It's as if his playing he's own self on the movie screen. I surely want to meet this guy and give him a big high five. He's just one of the people that's really good at what they are doing.

  • Matisyahu
             I just discovered this reggae artist accidentally. I was looking for new music when his name popped up a good 4 years ago. What I like about Matisyahu is that he mixes his beliefs with music and the results are pretty good. You can feel his emotions in each song and the cool beat paired with moving lyrics makes good food for the ears. Plus he has this really good talent at beat boxing which is pretty amazing considering his age.
  • Luke Jermay
              This fellow is "Wicked"(said in a pseudo-british accent). Watching this guy perform live would be mind blowing. His devotion to the realm of psychological illusions is truly amazing including his contributions. He also has this great tattoos. One arm of his are tattoos that symbolizes happiness which are color-shaded while the other arm is covered with black-shaded tattoos that symbolizes unhappiness. This was pointed out by a good friend of mine, Alel -- who is also a fan.

  • Dakota Fanning
             Since the movie I am Sam, this kid-turned-teenager is one of those good kid actresses gone, well, good. I really look forward to give this actress a good high five sometime in the future. Though I don't think it would be anytime soon, still it doesn't hurt to wish.

  • Jonah Lomu
             If there is anything to describe Lomu, it's Bull. This guy pretty much knocks everyone at rugby. No, I don't mean the solvent/glue, I mean the sport. Looking at his videos, you can clearly see how strong of a guy he plowis his opponents with ease. He is the Big Guy in the sport. I'm quite hesitant to give this guy a high five as I might get plowed by his strength. Still a good high five and an autograph will do for me. 

That's it. My short list. I would've wanted to add some people but my laziness got me again. Have a free life! :)

    Rappelling in the city

    Pin It Now!
    The Building
       Probably most of us had that feeling. The one where you want to pump adrenaline up into your system to a point where you are willing to pay a certain price to be satisfied. I had this for a long time due to lack of outdoor activities. I was invited (or I invited myself) in a rappelling event to be held at Innove Tower fronting the Keppel Building. I was quite apprehensive at first due to the high price of 300php (about $8) but eventually succumbed to my itch. and I'm glad that I did.
       The event was to start at 8am. I arrived at the venue at 7:58a.m-- 'cause I was that excited. Saw a familiar face among a bunch of unfamiliar ones--- funny when you get that tiny happy feeling knowing that you won't be alone and out of place. I approached the reception where there was a security guard and there I registered, signed a waiver that had "death" in bold face, paid my my dues, and went up with the instructor, Sir Fred.

      We arrived on the 14th floor which was supposedly the 13th floor which makes me wonder how superstitious people could ever pass their Math classes. Moving on, sir Fred took us to the fire exit which was where would rappel down. Though I thought we would do it outside the building (so much for the swat-like maneuvers that I had in mind),  this is probably safer due to that fact that we are just an arm's length if we struggle with the equipments.
    Vertigo XD
    Rappelling equipments!
       We then proceeded to the veranda where we will have our orientation. We were greeted with equipments-- lots of 'em. Some looked familiar like ropes, carabiners, and harnesses but some made me do my "wtf" face. But a few minutes later I was pretty sure I was nodding my head up and down as Sir Fred gave us insights and demos on how to use each equipment. Very knowledgeable man, Sir Fred is. We then proceeded to the orientation proper which was basic rope tying/knot tying techniques. It was quite challenging and stupefying to memorize all the knots being taught but very fun at the same time. Fast forward... we had a fun and enjoyable experience. The End.

       Haha. Actually, that was half the fun. After all the rope techniques that almost twisted my brain, we had lunch--- finally. Then after it was time. The most anticipated activity. The rappel. We went down from 14th to the 8th floor where there was a rig ready. I looked down it was a gradient of light and dark. "We are on the ninth floor and you are going to rappel down to basement 5" sir Fred said. I silently added the two and came up with 13. Wow! that's pretty high. makes me wanna back out.... KNOT! Though I must admit looking down up to the 5th basement was not much of a good idea. Still I had to.
    View from the top!
    The jump off.
       I already had my harness on and the main carabiner attached to it. I super-checked  my self if there were no unlock parts of the harness, wiggled the carabiner up and down, and finally I  put on my helmet. WAIT! where's my camera? crap. I left it on my Camelbak--- one of the popular backpack brands which I will review later. "Oh well" I thought. But luckily the other guys had cameras. So I rigged the rope to the Rescue 8 equipment then attached to my carabiner, then few minutes later I was suspended in mid-air with sir Fred asking me: "Are you in control?" Of course I was. I should be.

    12 floors to go!
       "Jumper off! Belay!" Those were the words of sir Fred. Then after that, I was all alone. Going down inch by inch taking time to familiarize myself with the pace. I then concentrated on my right hand. It was burning even with the gloves on. I had to take periodic stops. I was probably doing it wrong but what the heck. Went down on a good pace and saw the big green sign that says "3rd floor." Good. I'm making a lot of progress. I was getting the "hang" of it, so to speak.

       After that. Touch down. I'm alive--- a bit sweaty but very much alive! I recall sir Fred telling all of us that we are going to rappel about 160ft. It is the highest I have rappelled so far. I tried rappelling about 120ish feet long ago in Cantabaco, Talisay. But 160ft is definitely something to be proud of. After I've unlinked my self, I went up, met the guys at the jump off, and waited for everyone to finish.

       Truly it was a great experience. It might be a bit expensive but it was really worth the expense. It was nice to do pump adrenaline back into my system again. I wish there was more but it would have to wait. XD

    We then went our own ways and then I met the girlfriend at Ayala for a chill date. :) I'd say it was a very productive day. :)
    The chill date at Sprockets Cafe.


    My partner AKA Scudo

    GriGri. XD Funny name for an equipment

    The below

    * Thank you to Miss Faye Arong for some of the pictures :) *

    Minimalist Running and Merrell Trail Glove Review

    Pin It Now!
       First and foremost, I'd like to congratulate myself for 2 milestones. First is for having to make this second post, and second is having to write something more than 500 words without expecting payment from some anonymous online boss.

    Now, on to the topic at hand. What is minimalist running?

    Minimalist - someone who makes/wants everything to be simple by not using a good amount of his/her money. (lol)

       Minimalist running has actually become more and more popular these days and minimalist gears, such as shoes, have been popping out once in a while. One of my favorite was the Vibram Five Fingers, but unfortunately, I can't seem to find a good fit in stores here in Cebu. This led me to buy my Merrell Trail Glove.

       The real essence of minimalist running is running barefoot but with the current conditions of the roads, I don't think it would a good idea. Plus, having gears that are associated with hands (Glove & Five Fingers) is quite an interesting idea.

    So, on to the review of the Merrell Trail Glove.

       Again, these are not for the hands. These are for protecting your feet while running and still having the feeling of being "barefoot." How? It has a narrow soles that allows you to feel the terrain almost the same if you were running barefoot. Now, barefoot isn't such an easy feat. You have to know the proper technique because, like any other sport, you could hurt yourself.

      Right off the bat, one can easily say that these shoes are quite a beauty. The design shouts out that it's more of a regular looking running shoes than it is something used for barefoot running. This would be good if you were to use it as casual shoes also. The Trail Glove fits nice on my feet. I'm usually a size 8 US but I bought a size 7.5 for a snug fit. I definitely recommend trying it on before buying to know how it exactly feels on your feet. Try running on it around the store if you can (throw some "yeeha's" in there too).

    Snug Fit :)
       In actual use, the shoes feel really light. I have to say the laces were quite a bit of annoying especially that they could tangle with some twigs and other stuff on the trail. It would have been better if lock laces were used but then again I could just swap it if I wanted to. Using the shoes in an actual trail for the first time is really fun. With it, you can truly "feel" the trail. It's like having a good foot massage while walking in the park, except it's not a park and it's not a good foot massage either. It's best to avoid sharp and pointy rocks to help yourself from the pain (unless of course you're a masochist). The threads of the shoes you get a good grip on rocky and slippery surfaces.  I've also tried these shoes on roads. It's far more comfortable and less painful because the road is far more predictable than an actual trail.

    In action!
      Overall, it's a great shoe. A bit expensive --- I paid 4,095php for it (approx. $100) and it isn't perfect, too.  I would say it's a good shoe to start with if you are moving towards barefoot/minimalist running. It will definitely help you protect your feet from debris. Have fun running free! :)

    • Close to barefoot experience.
    • Can be used as an everyday shoe.
    • Doesn't look "odd."
    • Good entry-level shoe.
    • Comfortable.
    • A bit expensive (For my taste).
    • The laces are quite annoying. 
    on the traill

    Flirting. XD


    Pin It Now!

       Good day, mate! In an attempt to hone my skills in writing and a free ticket to rant/share views about life, government, and whatnot, I have made myself a blog. I should warn you though, that I have the least amount of experience when it comes to writing, so expect things like misspelled words, wrong use of punctuation marks? (lol!), grammar misuse, and some other technicalities.

       Okay, enough of that. In future posts, one can expect reviews on some equipment that I have or will have. I would also be visiting some places (travel blog alert!) that are interesting, and maybe, if I'm up to it that is, I would narrate my experiences in biking, hiking, and other adrenaline-pumping related activities.

       I guess that's it for now. I will try my best to update this blog from time to time and save it from getting buried from the vast space that is the internet.                                     

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...