Result: Tacloban City’s BEER Mile Run

August 18, 2012/Tacloban City

1.  Edrick Nicdao—————10:59 minutes

2.  Jojo Yu————————11:12      “

3.  Vanz Camannong———-14:26     “

4.  Mary Ann De Ere (F)——16:13      “

5.  Benj Termulo—————17:37      “

6.  Nap Ocampo—————-20:15     “

7.  Ronnel Go——————-24:07     “

8.  Joseph Pineda————–25:53     “

9.  Jinky Yray (F)————–27:09     “

10. CJ Escandor—————-30:45     “

11. Hazel Arnaiz (F)———–35:03     “

1st Batch
2nd Batch
The Thrill & Excitement
A Lady Beer Drinker In Action
The Aftermath

Next BEER Mile Run will be in Baguio City!


“Did Not Peak” (DNP) @ Mt. Apo

5th “Peak Bagging” Experience (April 6, 2012)

A simple ads on Facebook did the trick on me when a group of climbers posted an itinerary of a climbing event towards the peak of Mt Apo, the highest mountain peak in the country with an elevation of 2,956+ meters above sea level which was scheduled during the Holy Week. After a phone call and coordination with a friend in Davao City, I decided to try an approach towards the peak of the mountain which is new and not-so popular among mountain climbers. Reservations had been made with regards to my accommodation and transportation needs and everything was a GO!

Bansalan Trail (Bansalan, Davao Del Sur) Climb To The Peak of Mt Apo is a yearly activity (this is the 2nd year) being organized by the Tourism Office of the municipality in cooperation with mountaineering groups in the Davao Provinces. The itinerary of the climbing event spans for 4 days! The event started on the early morning of Holy Thursday with the participation of 300+ climbers and marshals. I was among the registered climbers but I opted to start the trek the following day, Good Friday! I was thinking that I can “run-peak bag-run” the mountain!


Although I left Davao City very early in the morning of Friday, I was delayed with so many “snags” once I arrived at the Bansalan Municipal Hall—the Tourism Office was closed; the Tourism Officer was called in their house to attend to me and receive my registration fee; it was Good Friday and there was only one eatery opened to serve food; the food order & service at the eatery was very slow. Finally, we were on our way to the trailhead which is another 20+-kilometer ride from the municipal hall.

With 6 kilometers more to go before reaching the trailhead, our vehicle just stopped and had a mechanical trouble! I had to ride on those motorcycle “habal-habal” just to be able to reach the trailhead which they call “Pluto”. I realized later that all the sitios and populated areas within the trailhead are named after the planets and stars of the galaxy.

I got the services of a guide who happens to be a “former” driver and worker in Manila for about 10 years and married to a lady from Pangasinan. Our trek started at 11:00 AM and we traveled fast and light! But the first kilometer was so steep that it took us 45 minutes to cover it! It was a sign that the trek will be a difficult one! The first mountain that we trekked was full of vegetable gardens just like those mountains in the Cordilleras where they are planted with carrots, cabbage, and radish. But after the first mountain, we entered to a place where you have tall grasses, reeds and later forest!

As compared with the trails in Luzon, the trail in Bansalan towards Mt Apo is a “beast”! It has all the combination of challenges and hardships, moreso, when it started to rain when we reached the forested area. They are foot trails/single-track and muddy which was brought about by the 300+ climbers that passed ahead of me. There are big trees that fell down due to natural causes and we have to do some detour from the established foot trail. The grasses along the sides of the trail had grown so tall that they completely cover the trails. In short, these trails are not maintained and they are usually used by the locals in the area. The Bansalan Trail is not a “tourist-friendly” trail and it is best for the “hardcore trail runners/trekkers” who are looking for challenges and risky adventures! And I guess, I consider myself as a “hardcore”!

After 4 hours of trekking (this is my first time not to be able to jog or run in any point/location towards a mountain peak), my guide and I were able to catch up with the tail of the climbers. One of the climbers recognized me and he was surprised to see me! We had some short conversation and some photo-ops. I had to pass their group and was able to reach the middle part of the group as we reached what they call “Lake Jordan”.

At this point, I had been trekking for the past 5 hours and I could see the full view of Mt Apo’s Peak. I told my guide that we have to rest and assess our chances of reaching the peak of the mountain on that day. We ate our energy bars and took some pictures while resting. I still have enough water in my Camelbak and enery bars to last for another 5 hours.

The next target to be reached by the climbers is Camp Reyes where they will spend the night and try to reach the peak of the mountain on the following day, Saturday. I was informed that I could reach Camp Reyes through power hiking in 1 hour but I would still have 2-3 hours to reach the peak. So, I made the decision to make my turn-around at this point. I was not fully equipped for the colder temperature (no tent, lack of food and water in going back to the trailhead for me and guide, and thicker jacket) as we went higher in elevation. It became colder as it rained in the mountains!

At Lake Jordan, the distance we have trekked covered 7.1 kilometers from the Pluto Trailhead and my GF305 registered an elevation of 2,428 meters above sea level. We still have another 530+ meters of elevation to trek for as to be able reach the peak of the mountain. It was a good decision to turn-around at this point. There will always be next time for Mt. Apo!

Our trek back to the Pluto Trailhead was more challenging as it rained some more and the thick mud kept on sticking to my trail shoes which made it heavier. Before we reached the last mountain from the trailhead, it was already becoming darker and it was already nighttime. With my headlight and hand-held flashlight, the guide and I were able to reach the trailhead with a slower pace making sure that we don’t slide or trip on those slippery descent and fallen trees which we have to walk on.

If my counting is right, I fell five (5) times on my butt on those slippery descents and bumped my head on fallent trees’ trunks & branches for three (3) times but I got no injuries or sprain on my body. Well, those are just part of the adventure and experience.

Finally, I reached my ride at the trailhead at 9:30 PM and reached Davao City before midnight. What a day to spend the Good Friday! This could be the longest day in my “peak bagging” feats so far!

This is my first “DNP” but it is worth the risk and adventure! I will make sure that I will be more prepared and smarter next time! This could be my first “DMB” (Did My Best) “peak bagging” so far!

Mt Apo, I’ll be back!

Rules Of The Game

In any kind of sport or game, whether it is for casual exercise or for competition, every one should know the “rules of the game”. Most of the competitive sports have a set of Rules and Regulations in order to maintain good order and efficient conduct of a game or an event. Without these rules and regulations, the event will never be called a “sports discipline”.

If a person would like to engage in any kind of sport discipline, the first thing to do is to find out its rules and regulations. The Internet is full of information on this matter and all you need to do is to input/type the topic you want to research on your browser or in Google and everything is there for you to read and download. It is very easy and fast.

By following these rules and regulations, it will be easier for you to appreciate and improve on the sport/game you want to learn or concentrate in. Do not wait for the other practitioners/athletes or opponents to remind or warn you about its rules and regulations. Prevent yourself in an embarassing situation with the pros.

In running, there are rules and regulations that should be followed also. However, they are very easy to comprehend and follow as they all boil down to these words—Common Sense, Fair Play, Honesty, and Courtesy. There are also running events that are very unique from the usual 5K, 10K, 21K or Marathon Races where you have strict duties and responsibilities of support crew and pacers. (Note: There should be no Support Crew and/or Pacers in Marathon/42K Races). Usually, support crew and pacers are included in ultra running events and they have some responsibilities and restrictions on how they would be able to support their runners. If you want to know more of these, you can browse on the rules and regulations of the Badwater Ultramarathon (for Ultra Road Races) and/or the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (for Ultra Mountain Trail Runs).

At present, I am now trying to read every word of the Rules and Regulations of a Triathlon Event as published in Triathlon Resources in the Internet. They are very long and very specific but knowing the details would be the first step to really appreciate the sport.

I hope I am on the right direction!

1st Philippine Olympic Gold Medalist

In a 6-hour “runabout” in Los Angeles, I was able to discover that the first Olympic Gold Medalist in both platform and sprinboard diving events in one Olympic Games is a Filipina, whose father is a Filipino and mother from England, born in San Francisco, California on December 31, 1924. She was almost 24 years old when she won the two Gold Medals in the 1948 London Olympic Games.  Her name is Victoria Manalo Draves and she is 5′ 1″ in height. She died last year at the age of 85 due to pancreatic cancer and I could not remember if her death was featured in the local newspapers.

Victoria Manalo Draves With Samie Lee (South Korean-American) (From Google Images)

I discovered her name written on a big mural inside a Public Park along Beverly Boulevard & Union Street in Los Angeles, California. It led me to research about her on the Internet.

A Public Park With A Mural Depicting the History of Filipinos In America
The Lady With The Gold Medal

The following links have lots of information about her life, training, and inspiration she shared as one of the public parks in San Franciso, California was named after her.

Technically, her feat was not considered as part of the Philippine Sports Annals as she represented the USA Team, However, for having her roots and blood as a Filipina, it would inspire us to develop our potentials in water sports, most especially to diving. It is a shame on our part that this Filipina Lady is not fully well-known in our country. Correct me if I am wrong.

Do we have a separate sports federation for diving? I guess, it could be a part and under the PASA. PASA? Did it deliver for Gold harvest in the 26th SEA Games?

“AFP Challenge” & Fun Run

When I was in the active service, we have a sports competition event which was called “AFP Olympics” which was a competition among the Major Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to include the Philippine National Police. This is one of the Sports Programs of the AFP to help the country hone its talents towards Sports Excellence. Most of our elite athletes in our Sports’ National Pool are enlisted as soldiers and this a way where their training is supported through their Pay & Allowances coming from the AFP. But they also perform duties as soldiers and sometimes assigned outside the Metro Manila area. Thus, these soldiers/elite athletes are not concentrated/focused on their training to be the “best of the best”! Continue reading ““AFP Challenge” & Fun Run”

Men’s Health Magazine

I started to buy a copy of the Men’s Health Magazine (Philippine Edition) last February and since then I am a regular reader of this magazine.

In the March 2008 issue, there are four items that caught my attention which are very useful to runners—(1) Eating papaya today can save your knees in the future; (2) Gym Workout that Builds Strong Quadriceps; (3) Leg workout for strength, speed, and balance; and (4) Sports/Workout Injuries: How It Happens & Its Treatment.

The magazine costs only P 125.00.

Bike Ride to Roxas City

I was accompanied by three of my officers on a bike ride from my camp in Jamindan to Roxas City, a distance of 58 kilometers (36.25 miles), on my 55th birthday last 16 May 2007. We were using mountain bikes. It took us three hours to bike the said distance. It was a tiring workout without any practice!

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Lake Perris Skydiving Center

In the 1980’s, the nearest skydiving center from Downtown Los Angeles was called the “Lake Perris Skydiving Center” and it would become a part of my twice-a-month routine to visit this place and “jump” for the “rush of adrenaline”.

I really wanted to become a member of the Special Forces and become an “Airborne” trooper of the Philippine Army during my younger years as an officer. But circumstances then did not give me the opportunity to be one.

So, while having my leave after my schooling in Fort Benning, I visited this place which is 80-90 miles east of Los Angeles early Monday morning. At the end of the day, I had my “first jump” from a small airplane after paying $ 100.00.

Once I registered on the first hour of the morning (8:30 AM), I paid my fee and I was led to an audio-visual room where I was personally lectured by my designated “jump master”, who is a retired member of the US Special Forces, in his mid-forties. After 2 1/2 hours of lecture and video presentation, there was a break.

During this break, my “jump master” and I had a conversation and asked me some questions. The “jump master” ask me why I am interested to learn how to skydive. I told him that I am a visiting student in Los Angeles from the Philippines and I wanted to experience the feeling of jumping from the plane with a parachute.  I told him also that there are no skydiving facilities in my country and such activity is only limited to the military. At this point, he bragged to me that an Israeli Commando Team had trained in the skydiving center for one month and the National Skydiving Team of Indonesia whose members are from their Kopassus (Special Forces) had also skydiving activities for almost two months at Lake Perris.

In the afternoon, I was made to do some drills: jumping from an elevated platform (4-5 feet) to simulate landing on the ground; landing on the ground with feet together; doing the body roll on the right/left side of the body once the feet touches the ground; emergency drills just in case of problems with the parachute; drills in case of landing on water, electric lines, etc. and drills to manuever the parachute.

After the drill, my “jump master” started to suspect that I am from the military because I could easily do the drills without so much corrections from him. He knows that I had advance knowledge about jumping from the airplane.

When the winds settled before 5:00 PM, I was already on the plane for my first parachute jump. The plane used was a T-10 trainer plane which is a four-seater plane. The two seats at the back were removed and the jump master and I were seated on the floor during our flight. After testing the direction of the wind from an elevation of 1,500 feet and marking my drop zone/landing area, I was made to jump from the airplane! The feeling of slowly going down to the ground with a parachute and manuevering it towards the landing zone was an awesome experience.

My first parachuting experience was a solo jump. There were no tandem jumps then during the early ’80s.

I got my First Jump Certificate before I left the place and I had to go back for some more jumps in the coming weeks. I had almost 15 jumps from this skydiving center and had experience joining other skydivers during weekends.

At the age of 49, I joined a Special Forces “Airborne” Course of the Philippine Army and finished it and earned my “Airborne” Badge! I did my five jumps in one day! Few months after, I had the chance to join the US Special Forces for a joint parachute jump at Clark Air Base which earned me also the US Special Forces “Airborne” Badge!