There was a time during my cadet days at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in the 70s that an enterprising Member/Officer of the PMA Headquarters/Tactics Group offered Seiko Diver’s Watches For Sale to the Cadet Corps. It is unfortunate that I did not take advantage of this offer as the payment can be easily made through a simple deduction from my monthly pay and allowance on cash or installment basis.
Fast forward. In the early 80s, while I was training for my first Marathon Race in Laoag City/Ilocos Norte where I was assigned as an Intelligence Officer, a friend of mine who owns a Gasoline Station where I usually end my LSDs gifted me a Seiko Diver’s Watch with Rubber Strap when he saw my Casio Runner’s Watch without any strap and observed me placing the said watch in my shorts’ pocket. Since that day, I have used the Seiko Diver’s Watch as my Running Watch. It was after so many running years when the rubber strap became brittle and broke into several pieces. Since then, I have forgotten where I left and stored the said watch.
In the mid-80s, I became interested to own Swiss-Made Watches as my brother gifted me with an Omega Constellation (Gold Edition) Watch which I bought in the USA after my Military Schooling. The watch is still with me up to this time!
Since the mid-90s up to the time I retired from the Military Service, I have a handful of Swiss-Made Watches in my collection but never bought a Seiko Watch.
After I finished in last year’s Boston Marathon Race, Josh, my son-in-law asked and invited me to watch the YouTube Channel. I was surprised when we watched videos about Seiko Watches. I did not know that he is also a Seiko Lover and Watch Collector. During my remaining days in Los Angeles, California in May 2019, I started watching Seiko Watch videos posted on YouTube on a daily basis using my IPad and IPhone. This experience motivated me to have a focused interest with Seiko Watches. And the rest is history.
Upon my arrival back in Manila, I went to the different Authorized Distributor (AD) Stores of Seiko Watches in Metro Manila looking for those watches I have seen on YouTube. Finally, my interest in Seiko Watches brought me back to the Watch Stores where I bought my Swiss-Made Watches in the 90s until the time that I retired from the Military Service. Some of the Sales Employees are still there and they are surprised why all of a sudden become interested with Seiko Watches!
Since June 2019 up to the present, I have now more than 60 pieces of Seiko Watches + Citizen and Orient Watches in my Collection. Seventy Percent (70%) were bought locally and the rest were bought abroad (Italy, Hongkong, Malaysia, and USA). While in the USA, I bought my Seiko Watches through Amazon Prime.
In the future, I will be featuring each Watch in my Collection in this blog.
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While Thomas and I were on our way back to Central after our first recon day in Lantau, I asked him if he wants to return on the following day to trace the reverse route of the trail from Lantau Trail Post 140, going to Lantau Trail Pos 000. Thomas answered affirmatively to my question. Immediately, I have to google the route of the Lantau Trail and I was able to locate the end of the trail. (Note: I could no longer remember the route when I ran the Translantau 100 in the past editions)
We adjusted our schedule the following day and we had to wake up earlier than the previous day in order to take advantage with a cooler temperature in the early morning. We left our hostel at 6:00 AM, took our Congee breakfast, and then proceeded to the MRT for our Ferry Trip at Central. The ferry trip that we took was the more expensive one with Air-Con and faster speed. In a 30-minute ride, we arrived at Mui Wo at 8:30 AM and immediately proceeded at the back of the business buildings near the Pier until we reached the entry/exit of the Lantau Trail where the Post Marker 139 is located.
The climb was easier than the first kilometers we had the previous day. The trail route was covered with vegetation and with the absence of rock stairs. Thomas went ahead of me with the same agreement/arrangement we had the previous day. I told him to maximize the number of mileage he can cover for the day and he can easily meet me in some of the camping areas or barbecue grill parks along the route.
After 3 kilometers, I saw a resting fixture and I was enticed to take some pictures around the place and some “selfies”. I took comfort of my easy pace while hiking as the air was cooler and the trail ground was damp with some mud. I could see the trail shoe marks/footprints of Thomas along the trail. My next stop was the next 3 kilometers but there is only one water stream that I passed along the way.
This last portion of the Lantau Trail was flatter as compared to the first section of the trail. Although the next trail camp from the start of the reverse route is longer in distance than the original route ( from the trailhead), most of the sections of the trail are covered with vegetation and trees and due to its flatter elevation profile, I could jog or run on these sections. There is also a portion where the road is paved due to the fact that the route runs alongside a concrete drainage canal where the water comes from a dam with gates that control the flow of water to the drainage canal. There are also Barbecue Grill Camps where there are concrete tables and benches, and comfort rooms. The cemented flat road beside the drainage canal has a distance of at least 9 kilometers.
I would rest, hydrate and take in some of my power bars and SkyFlakes biscuits in these Barbecue Camps. When I was out of water, I just refilled my bottles from the flowing water of streams coming from the side of the mountain.
I think I was able to hike and jog for a distance of 12 kilometers. It is worthy to note that the first village that I reached along this route was at Pui O. This village is along the coast line where I could see modern houses and apartments where I could see white people living in them and most of the private cars parked are made in Europe, At one time, I was able to meet a group of young students being led by their teacher with camping gears and food. I would also see men who are with their swimming trunks and goggles coming out of the seashore. I have the conclusion that this place is a swimming area and a camping area.
About 50 meters before reaching the National Road/Tun Chung Road, I saw a convenience store with a bench and a wide umbrella and I decided to stop and bought some water and bottles of Pocari Sweat. Because of the heat, I was able to drink half gallon of water and two bottles of Pocari Sweat. I think I took about 15-20 minutes sitting in front of this store.
As I reached the National Road, a yellow painted markings in wood points me to turn left along the National Road. After about 70 meters, I could see already another yellow directional sign at the other side of the road. I followed the sign and I was back again to the trail with softer footing because I transitioned again to wet ground. After a few Lantau Trail Posts, I reached a Cemented Biking Path which is near Barbecue Grill Camps. i tried to jog and power hike on this cemented portion of the trail which is beside a concrete drainage canal.
After drinking and eating my food, I decided to rest in one of the benches and I really don’t know how many minutes I have dozed off when finally Thomas arrived at the Barbecue Camp. He told me that the next Bus Station is located a few meters ahead and to our surprise, it was the same Bus Stop that we got our Bus ride back to Moi Wo the day before.
After few minutes of waiting at the Bus Stop, we finally had our ride and we decided to change our clothes at the Public Comfort Room and then proceed to the Pier to catch our Ferry ride back to Central. We found out later that we were not able to catch our trip and we decided to have our light snacks and Coke drinks at the MacDonald’s while waiting for our scheduled Ferry ride.
We were back in our hostel at 4:00 PM, earlier than we had yesterday, and we did not know that there was a protest which was about to start at 5:00 PM a few kilometers from our place. We took our shower and changed immediately to our casual wear as we have a scheduled meeting with a Pinoy resident in Hongkong who is also an endurance athlete and who promised me to bring me to where I could buy the cheapest Seiko Watches in Hongkong.
My meeting with this Pinoy resident in Hongkong deserves another story in this blog.
My old GF 305 finally laid to rest after I could not put on its power two months ago. The old GF 305 which was my first GPS runner’s watch lasted for one year and seven months.
My GF 405 was sold to me at a discounted price from a runner-friend from USA who visited the country. But it was stored in my locker as my GF 305 was still working. Later, I used it as my casual watch and tried to learn the features as I was confused with “touch” functions on its bezel.
After my GF 305 died down, I had to use the GF 405. But instead of being “user-friendly” like the GF 305, I had a hard time adjusting myself to a more “high-tech” GF 405. Finally, I have to use the GF 405 as my casual watch and use the GF 305 that my son, John, sent me when my old GF 305 was giving me some problems on the early part of this year.
I hate the GF 405 because of the following reasons:
1) It is more expensive than the GF 305.
2) I hate the sensitive bezel that the data on my watch would scroll as my sweat would drop on the watch. While running under a light rain, the data on the display would also scroll.
3) After a few months, the light (illumination) of the watch is no longer working!
4) For three (3) instances, I could not upload the data from the watch to my laptop computer. I never encountered this problem with my old GF 305.
5) There is a maximum of 3 fields/separate data that could be seen on the watch’s display. The GF 305 has 4 fields displayed.
6) My eyes are weak as I need a reading glass and I could hardly see the data on the GF 405. The big numbers on the GF 305 display could be easily seen with my bare eyes.
I am still highly recommending the reliable GF 305 to runners who are serious on the distance, elevation, HR and time of their running workouts.
(Note: I have a friend who arrived from the US and he left me eight (8) pieces of GF 305, brand-new, for sale! Price: P 9,500 Only per piece!)