Bayanihan sa Daan: Share The Road Movement

Bayanihan Sa Daan Meeting (L-R: Byron Villegas of United Folding Bikers, James Orlanda of Speed Magazine, Rhoel Fernandez of spin.ph/Summit Publishing, Allan Enriquez of RunningFreeManila.com, Patrick Joson of Fondo Manila/Multisport Magazine, Atty. Tony Oposa, Founder of Bayanihan sa Daan, Charie Villa of Tao Po Organization, Vangge Giorgetti of Tao Po Foundation, Sachiko Numano of Bayanihan sa Daan, Elen Basug, Merva Arapo and Ian Cruz of Environmental Management Bureau, DENR)

We’ve been dealing with congested roads leading to a lot of wasted time and energy.  There are no quick fix solutions at hand but a change of mindset and cooperation can be a start to a better Philippines.  Aside from unbearable traffic conditions, we also have to deal with pollution.  Bayanihan sa Daan is multi-sectoral group that promotes the Road Sharing principle among various means of transportation to have a more comfortable transport system, clean air and a healthier lifestyle.

 

It’s Time for a Change

Bayanihan sa Daan Movement

 

Let’s start with a story from Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr, who heads the Bayanihan sa Daan movement.

There was a kid who was walking to school when he was almost side swept by a car. He promised himself that one day, he will own his own car. He grew up to become a rich and successful businessman. One day, he suddenly collapsed and he was diagnosed of ‘lifestyle’ diseases and the doctor recommended him to walk every day but when he tried, he could not even find a single sidewalk and the streets are full with vehicles and he cannot even go out because of pollution.

It’s a simple story but it covers so many things we need to resolve from the roads that is overflowing with vehicles to the lack of pedestrian lanes to the lifestyle problems we get from a sedentary lifestyle and pollution.  Bayanihan sa Daan hopes to be part of the solution to all those problems and it starts with community involvement.

Let us try to make a new perspective. Let us start a movement. On September 27, in Pasig City (Exact location TBA) will be the beginning of a nationwide movement for the Bayanihan sa Daan. We can even start our part in our neighborhood, or simply tag along friends run or bike and post it online to show your support. Let’s promote alternative means of transportation whether it’s cycling, running or walking.  A lifestyle shift will not only decongest the road but it will also keep us healthier.  Please read about Bayanihan sa Daan movement below:

Bayanihan sa Daan

‘Bayanihan’ comes from two beautiful Filipino words:

  • Bayan – community and cooperation;
  • bayani – hero.

Bayanihan meaning ‘cooperative heroism.’

It is a movement of the Filipino People, headed by Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr, one of the most well renowned Environmental Lawyer in the Philippines, with the support of the MMDA, Office of the President, DOTC, DPWH, DENR, DILG, DSWD, DOH, etc. and Civil Society groups, Clean Air Asia, Philippine Medical Association, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Partnership for Clean Air, Cycling Organizations and others,

 

Bayanihan sa Daan’s Mission

  1. Clean Air

  • To improve the air quality of urban centers and to reduce the discharge of climate-disrupting gases , which causes Non-communicable disease (NCD)
  1. Public Transportation

  • To make public transportation safe, reliable, efficient, and convenient
  1. Walk and Bike

  • To give proper spaces for non-motorized transport for people who want to walk or bike and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

 

What is the Road Sharing principle?

The principle of Bayanihan sa Daan (Road Sharing) is that roads are meant to move people, not motor vehicles. The motor vehicles are equipment that can move people over long distances and must be used in a manner that is safe, efficient, convenient and reliable.

Simply put, it is the just sharing of roads, properly organizing busses, private vehicles and the allocation of bike lanes and wider, more useable pedestrian lanes.

Those who have less in wheels should have more in roads”

 

What is the goal of the Movement?

The Main goal of the movement is for a cleaner more breathable air and to reduce cases of Non – Communicable disease, by educating people to shift to a healthier lifestyle by biking or walking more. Also to fix, current traffic situation, by making public transportation more efficient, easy and reliable for commuters. Doing so should lessen the people’s reliability on private transportation. Concurrently, the movement aims to enable people to have the option to walk or bike, by providing wider sidewalks and bike lanes.

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Incoming: The Music Run by Philam Life Manila

The Music Run by Philam Life Manila will give a rocking feel of the 5 Km distance as you get to enjoy all kinds of music as you got from one music station to another.  It’s a fun run with a musical twist. It brings in a chill environment with no time pressure that makes it perfect to just about anybody who’s willing to take one stride after the other over the 5 kilometer distance.  The event is happening on November 14, 2015 at the Philippine Arena. Register Now!!! #TMRbyPhilamLife #TheMusicRun

The Music Run

The Music Run by Philam Life takes Music Runners through an exciting odyssey of sound with five different Music Zones over the 5 km area.  The Music zones will feature Rock, Pop, Old School, Hip Hop and Dance music.  You’ll get concert quality music as you go over the entire course or sound track.  The run in itself is an immersive and rocking music experience but the finish line is just the start of the party as live performances from local artists will meet you as you enter the Finish Zone Music Festival.   The Music Run is the only 5km fun run that puts music at the heart. For music lovers, casual runners and fun seekers, the bespoke digital music selection mechanic lets fans play DJ and help decide the music they want to listen to across 5km’s with five different beats. The Music Run is total music immersion with Music Every Step of the Way.

Good news!!! Registration is now open for The Music Run by Philam Life Manila. Be prepared to experience the same caliber of entertainment that has thrilled over 50,000 participants or music runners from Singapore , Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Yangon.  The Music Run by Philam Life promises to deliver a brand new experience to participants on Saturday 14th November at the Philippine Arena.  The Music Run has partnered with Spotify to build a bespoke digital music selection mechanic that enables crowd sourcing of music providing a true social voice to the event.

With the tagline Your music, Your beat, Music runners can stake their claim on the music in rotation by voting for their 5 favourite tracks in each music genre on the website www.themusicrun.com.ph The five most popular tracks from each genre will then be selected to form music zone playlists for the actual run.

The Music Run by Philam Life has no time clock which means anyone of any fitness level can join in the fun and complete the run at his or her own pace. It is not about who has the fastest time, but simple who has the most fun. All Music Runners will be awarded with a medal at the Finish Line.

Manila is just one of 20 cities in eleven new countries experiencing The Music Run for the first time in 2015. The Music Run is one of the fastest growing fun running events in the world and the Manila leg of the hugely popular series is expected to draw 10,000 fun seekers, runners and music lovers. Music Runners may start signing up via the Ticket World website or at Ticket World outlets from August 27 onwards. A limited number of early registrants also get a special 20% discount.

Race Details

 Date and Venue:

  • November 14, 2015, Philippine Arena at Ciudad de Victoria, Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines
  • Time:
    • Gates Open at 3PM.
    • Event Starts at 4PM
    • Event Ends at 9PM

Fees and Inclusions

  • Standard Run Pack (Includes Official Event Tee, Drawstring bag, Car decal, TMR temporary tattoo, wrist band, runner’s bib and finisher medal) – P700

  • Rock Star Pack (Includes Official Event Tee, ‘Live the Beat’ Baseball Cap, ‘Live the Beat’ Phone Case, ‘Live the Beat’ Rave Shades, Drawstring bag, Car decal, TMR temporary tattoo, wristband, runner’s bib and finisher medal) – P1200

Registration

  • Online via Ticketworld (From 27th August 2015 till tickets are sold out)

Race Updates

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#TaleofTheTrail Lion Rock (New Territories, Hong Kong)

The City from the Lion Rock Viewing Deck

Lion Rock is not the highest peak but it gives you a panoramic view of the Kowloon and Shatin Area.  It just speak volumes on how Hong Kong has maintained a large forested area even as they progressed into a modern city.  It gets its name as the rock at its peak is shaped like a lion overlooking the city. It’s gonna take your breath away with the climbs and with the view from the peak.

Read About:

Lion Rock

The Lion Rock – Photo from Wikipedia

After hiking the Lantau Peak, I was searching for other trails to trek and one of the consideration was Lion Rock.  The view from the top is just the irony that Hong Kong represents, it’s a country that has been up-to-date with technology, in touch with its heritage and has preserved its forest reserve.  There are really so many friendly hiking trails in Hong Kong and you get every detail on how to visit each trail from their tourism site, blogs and even the Enjoy Hiking app.  The problem I initially had with Lion Rock was that based on what I read was there were no direct access to the starting area but via Taxi from the MRT station.  I’m such a super sleuth when it comes to finding what I want on the web so I was able to see a mini bus that passes nearby the start area of the trek.  The thing about the Lion Rock trail is there are so many ways to reach it.  You can take it coming from section 4 of the Mclehose Trail. You can take Shatin Pass or via the Lion Rock Park coming from Chuk Yuen Road.  You can read alternative direction via the strippedpixel blog.  Now, I know the various ways of getting there, it was a go for me to visit Lion Rock.

The Map and Elevation

Map Powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports and Movescount

Elevation Profile is Powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports and Movescount

I decided to take the Shatin Pass Route, which is accessible by Bus Number 72 or 73 from Kowloon Tong MRT Station.

From the Tsz Wen Shan Road, go to Shatin Pass and head to the road going up.  You’ll pass about about 1.3 km worth of concrete road with about 100 meter of elevation and once you see the temple arch, your just a few meters from the start of the Lion Rock Trail. There’s a steep climb in the next 600 meters with about 120 meters worth of elevation.  The route goes on a flat to rolling terrain for the next kilometer before another 500 meter climb to the Lion Rock with about 130 meters of elevation.  The trail heads to a steep descent from there on exiting to Lion Rock Park.

Descend the Lion Rock Park to Chuk Yuen Road and you can get bus 72 or 73 at the other side of road to Kowloon Tong MRT Station.

Trekking Lion Rock

The Climb on the concrete roads leads to the Temple

Lion Rock is located on Section 5 of the McLehose trail and is located in between Kowloon and Shatin area of the New Territories.   There are several ways to trek the Lion Rock and I opted to use the Shatin pass route for this one. I had plotted each step already from taking the MRT in Tung Chung and reaching Kowloon Tong MRT after two train line transfers.  The bus area is in front of Festival Walk, which is accessible from Kowloon Tong MRT Station.  I took Green Mini Bus 73 and I asked the driver to drop me at Tsz Wen Shan Road, Outside Wo Tin House, Shatin Pass Estate and he didn’t understand English. Plan B, I set my google maps to Wo Tin House. I noticed that the driver was not stopping at all the stop so when he stopped at the foot of Shatin Pass Road, I alighted the bus. I just went on to do the extra kilometer, which also happens to be the start of the climb.  It would be a nice warm up.  Honestly, I was more afraid of not finding the trail start area than climbing the trail.

Once you see this arch you’re about a few meters away from the Lion Rock Trail

After the intersection between Tsz Wen Shan Road and Shatin Pass Road, there’s a Fat Jong Temple which had steps to climb. That also leads you to the middle of the Lion Rock Trail. I followed the Shatin Pass Road instead and it was an uphill climb on concrete roads for about 1.3 kilometers.  There’s a temple you would see on this route.  Once you see the arch, you’re about a few kilometer to the Lion Rock trail. I asked a local if I am on the right path and he didn’t speak English. He was creative though as he imitated a Standing Lion Pose and said Rawwr. I said yes and he pointed me to the trail marker.  That’s how to beat the language barrier.

The Lion Rock Trail

I then met some hikers who just came to the section 4 of the McLehose trail and went at their pace.  One of them was a bit winded coming from the previous trail so I had to go ahead.  The trails had stone steps for the next 600 meters and it was the usual feeling of the lungs going on overdrive again.

Stone Steps

The climb felt tough because of the drastic ascent but I was just putting in the effort and taking a few breaks in between. Good thing it was not as hot as the other day as I started trekking around 2 pm.  The trail had a lot of scenic view decks along the way so that’s a perfect way to rest the lungs and at the same time please the eyes.

The best place to rest with a view of the city.

It was one effort after another. It was a bit more technical at this part as the steps were varying in size and were uneven.  You had to exert more effort on the climb coupled with the steep ascent. After forever worth of climbs (about 2 kilometers starting from the paved part), I’ve finally reached the flat surface.  The trail become more manageable with the uphill climb shifting to mud tracks coupled with few stone steps in some areas.

Flats!!!

When you’ve been climbing so long, it such a delight seeing flat grounds. After about 2 kilometers climb, the road shifts to mud tracks and it’s mostly flat.  It was a walk in the park at this point.  There were a few ascent and several descent but it was minimal.  I met some hikers on the way from the other side of the Shatin Pass doing their mileage too.

It was also time to move faster.

I started moving faster to cover more grounds with a flatter terrain.  The route was properly marked and there were alternative routes but I just went on to follow the Shatin Pass markers. The easy part lasted about one kilometer before the last 500 meter mark heading to Lion Back.

Last 500 meters, Yehey!!!

Last 500 meters to Lion Rock Peak. Whenever you see peak used in a group of words, don’t expect it to be easy and it was not.  I did expect this part to be hard as I read in most of the blogs that it was the difficult part and it didn’t disappoint.  It felt like stairs unlimited.

Stairs Unlimited

I shifted my effort to a 30 seconds climb accompanied by a 30 seconds rest though I would sometimes extend the climb to a minute.  It was another lung buster but I focused on counting down the meters heading to the peak. I knew I would eventually reached the summit so trek, rest, trek, rest and after another round of forever, I was at the Lion Rock Viewing Deck.

Lion Rock Viewing Deck

There was a group ahead of me at the top and with that, I had someone to take my photos.  If there was one reason I wanted to be here is to see the vantage point of nature overlooking the city.  It was not the highest of peaks but it had a really nice view of the Kowloon and New Territories area. Since pictures speak a thousand words, here you go.

It was a bit foggy but the view was still worth it.

That’s how I come to love Hong Kong.  It’s among the world’s most modern cities but it has taken good care of their forested areas that they can give you great views like this.  It has kept its heritage and nature in place even as it progressed.  Even with the foggy backdrop, the view was worth the effort of searching the route to be at this point.

Trails and the City

The other group at the view deck went down. I saw a marker that says Lion rock 250 meter which meant that the view deck was not yet the Lion Rock. Initially, I went down too.  I went back up just to make sure I won’t miss the Lion Rock.  I did go on the route even if it was more technical.  I saw a group of trekkers awaiting sunset near the lion rock. I would have done that too except that I didn’t bring any headlamp.  The area had an equally nice overlooking view of the city and you’d get to see the Lion Rock from here.

And that’s the Lion Rock

I honestly didn’t know if I was still in the right track since the other group went in the other direction. One group was at the peak area but might take time if I wait for them. I then went on the trail, which was more technical than the other parts of the trail as it has big uneven stone steps heading downward.  I sure wish I’ve brought my trekking pole.

Stone Steps heading down.

It’s anything goes on the road going down.  It also rained a bit too.  I’m confident though as the Newton Boco Sol had great traction on most surfaces. After a while, I was able to reach the unification pavilion.  I discovered that the route from Shatin Pass also goes to meet here.  You’ll have a lot of option from here on.  You can continue on the McLehose trail by taking Beacon Hill trail.  You can go back to Shatin Pass Road by taking Shatin Pass trail.  I opted to go to the road going down.  After a while, the road becomes easier to navigate as it shifts to paved road. The paved roads leads to the entrance of Lion Rock Park.  Take the road heading down from Lion Rock Park and you’ll reach Chuk Yuen Road.  Cross the street and take Green Mini Bus 72 or 73 to Kowloon Tong MRT.  It was then time to head home.  It was really an adventure visiting the Lion Rock.

Outfit Of The Trail

Blue and Green

  • Top: Berghaus with #TaleOfTheTrail Design by Breakout Design
  • Bottom, Socks, Visor and Sling Bag: Under Armour
  • Shoes: Newton BOCO Sol
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Eyeweay: Salice
  • Camera: GoPro Hero 3+

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Incoming: Filinvest Endurance Weekend 2015

Endurance is the name of the game as Filinvest challenges Mountain Bikers for another round of cycling. How many loops can you do in 6, 12 and 24 hours?  This would definitely test the riders longevity as they outlast the time and exhaustion in their respective category.  It’s gonna be a tough race but be rest assured that you’ll have the scenic view of the Garden City that Filinvest is known for.  Endurance Weekend is happening on October 3-4, 2015 at Filinvest City. Join Now!!! #BestEnduranceMTBRace

Read About:

Filinvest Endurance Weekend

Now on its third outing, this year’s Filinvest City Endurance Weekend is a two-day Mountain Bike (MTB) event like no other as it challenges the rider to make the most laps within a 6, 12, or — for the extreme MTB riders —24 hour span. Here, the strongest, most skillful and the best strategist will be recognized as they endure the long hours on the trails. But because all these are set against this picturesque Garden City south of the Metro, one may not even notice the hours pass by. Expect this year’s competition to take you to a new adrenaline high as you exceed your limits.  It’s gonna be a physical and mental battle as cyclist go against the time and exhaustion as they pedal their way to the loop around Filinvest that goes through it’s paved roads and trails.

Yes, the MTB race is set to happen round-the-clock extending until the break of dawn; thus, making the biking route even tougher and more challenging. The Filinvest City Endurance Weekend is scheduled on October 3-4, 2015 at Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Bikers and ultra-cycling enthusiasts (both male and female, solo or team) are all welcome to join. Medals, cash and more exciting prizes from their event partners Epic Cycles, Felt Bicycle Philippines, Ellsworth, Alpine Stars and Bell are up for grabs.

As Filinvest City is known for entertainment and spectacle, you can also look forward to a more colorful and exhilarating on-the-side activities plus some raffle prizes to give away. Expect this year to be the #BestEnduranceMTBRace and for sure, it can even be more rocking than their previous Endurance events.

Indeed, Filinvest City has become a growing community and a natural training ground for cyclists, runners and for all other sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, Filinvest City caters to everyone who has a flair for scenic places and lush surroundings.   Endurance Weekend is also a way of giving back to the community while nurturing the best sights of the South.

So are you ready to take on the challenge? Experience the unexplored areas of Filinvest City and let it take you away!

Race Details

Grab the Endurance Weekend Bike Jersey by joining the event.

  • Date and Venue:

    • October 3, 2014 (24 hours, 12 hours), Filinvest City, Alabang
    • October 4, 2014 (6 hours), Filinvest City, Alabang
  • Distance and Fees (Inclusive of Race Bib with RFID, Bike Number and Endurance Weekend Bike Jersey)

    • Solo Categories
      • 6 hours, P1,500
      • 12 hours, P2,000
      • 24 hours, P2,500
    • Team Categories
      • 12 hours, P3,500
      • 24 hours, P6,500
  • Registration Centers

    • Epic Cycles
      • Unit 114 Commercenter Bldg, Filinvest Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa
    • Cycling Zone
      • Shell Gas Station, Alabang Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa
    • The Brick Multisport Store
      • Woodridge Apartments, McKinley Hills, Taguig
    • Storck Store Manila
      • United Street, Mandaluyong
    • Paulina’s Cycling Center
      • Blue Bay Walk, Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City
    • John Wilkie Concepcion
      • J. P. Rizal Street, Barangay Concepcion I, Marikina City, Metro Manila
    • Velocipede Bike Shop
      • Building B, Royal Place Mall, Beirut Street, Don Antonio, Quezon City
    • Multisport Hub Nuvali
      • Solenad 3, Nuvali, Sta Rosa, Laguna

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#TaleOfTheTrail Lantau Peak (Lantau Island, Hong Kong)

Lantau Peak

Lantau Peak is the second highest peak in Hong Kong at 934 meters.  It’s Section 3 of the Lantau Trail, which has a total distance of 70 kilometers.  This section leads you to the Lantau Peak and then eventually to Ngong Ping, where the largest outdoor sitting Buddha is located in Lantau Island.  It’s a lung-buster with a total ascent of about 600 meters just in the first 2.5 kilometers but the trek is worth the view of Lantau Island, the neighboring Sunset Peak and the Ngong Ping.

Read About:

 

Lantau Peak

Heading Towards Lantau Peak

I’m probably in  Hong Kong about once or twice a year and that also means that I’ve been to about every attraction they have to offer.  I reverted to their trails, which are friendly to trekkers since it’s properly marked and you can easily search for the directions going to the start area.  Anybody can easily trek their trails as long as they have enough lung power to endure the climbs.  Last year, I did the Dragon Back trail, which is the last leg of the Hong Kong trail and I enjoyed that experience.  This year, I did Lantau Trail and the Lion Rock trail (will tell you about it on the next post).  Since I’m mostly staying in Tung Chung when I’m in Hong Kong, I’ve always wanted to trek that mountain in front of me.  I have to try even a piece of the Lantau Trail so I selected the highest part of the trail which is the Lantau Peak.  This would also be a good way to reach Ngong Ping Village and the World’s Largest Outdoor Sitting Buddha, which I have already visited previously via Ferry Boat and Bus and also using the Cable Car.

The Map and Elevation

Map is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports and Movescount

Elevation Profile is Powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports and Movescount

The start of Lantau Trail is at Mui Wo Ferry Pier but if you want to go straight to section 3, which is Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping, take bus 3M at Tung Chung Bus Terminal.  It’s a few blocks away from Citigate and it’s near the Cable Car Station.  Advise the driver that you’re going down at Pak Kung Au since most of the passengers would be heading to Mui Wo, which is a common beach attraction.  The start of the trail is on the other side of the road at Pak Kung Au.  It’s an uphill climb starting at Pak Kung Au with about 600 meters ascent for the next 2.5 kilometer to reach Lantau Peak.  The trail descends  for the next 2 kilometers with about 500 meters worth of elevation heading to Ngong Ping Village.

Trekking Lantau Peak

Starting Point of the Trail

The Lantau Trail is about 70 km from Mui Wo Pier and goes around the mountain to get back at Mui Wo Pier.  It’s divided into 12 stages, which has an entry and exit point so you can choose to cover one or two segments at a time. Stage 2 covers the Sunset Peak (869 meters) and Stage 3 has the Lantau Peak (934 meters).  I opted to go to Lantau Peak since it’s the higher peak and it leads to a Ngong Ping Village, which is a popular tourist attraction.  Section 3 starts at Pak Kung Au and you get to see the trail marker above.  The trails are properly marked and you follow a single track all throughout.

Stone Steps to start the trek.

You start to climb via stone steps and that’s a lot of stone steps as you get to go over steps like this for about 800 meters. This is the portion that’s a bit shaded so you won’t feel the heat of the sun much.  Since it’s a continuous accent, expect the lungs to go on overtime here.  It was a struggle really as the uneven steps is a bit of a challenge since you have to take bigger steps, which requires more effort and the vertical climb, literally, takes your breathe away.  I would take a breather after about 100-200 meters of trekking.

There are trail markers after every 500 meters.

There are trail markers for every 500 meters. Stage 3 of Lantau trail is from L018-L027 so that’s about 4.5 kilometers.  That’s one way of getting the distance. For me, I was more focused in monitoring the elevation so after 800 meters, I was about 500 meters above sea level.  It also means I would be climbing more than 400 more meter of steep ascent.  The climb is steep especially with the stone steps.

See those clouds, that’s where I’m headed.

From a covered trail, the trail opens up after about 800 meters. You get to see the mountain range. At your back, you can see sunset peak and on the far end, you can see Lantau Peak.  Yes, it’s still a long way.  You start getting to feel the heat at this point since it’s about noon already.  I think I was among the few crazy ones in the trail at the hottest time of the day.

There were few flats and moderate inclines on some traverse along the route.

There are a few flats and moderate inclines on the traverse from one mountain area to another.  You’ll barely notice them since they are short and at the same time leads to a higher incline.  I took it as a chance to rest but the thing is it was hard to stay on a spot for a long time as you’ll really feel the heat of the day and you’re gonna lose your momentum too.  There are no shades too so a few seconds drinking break, rest and go on again.  There are some section where you get a mountain breeze and that’s the best spot to rest.

Sunset Peak

At your back is Sunset Peak and it’s also covered with fog. Sunset Peak is about 869 meters and you’ll see it often in the route especially when you rest looking back so you’ll forget for a short while that it’s still a long trek.  The heat, humidity and the forever climb makes this a mentally challenging route.  Good thing, phone reception is good at this area, I can check my online accounts here and upload some photos too.

Near the top, not really. This is around 500 meters before the peak.

There are several traverse so at times, you’ll feel that you’re seeing the peak and once you get to that area, you see another set of climbs.  This is about 500 meters to the peak and it feels like forever.  I’m now a believer of forever (Yes, May forever).  The view is awesome as get to see the mountains from all angle at this point.

You just have to take time and appreciate the views around you.

The last 500 meters is probably the hardest as the stone steps gets bigger and the climb gets steeper.  It’s much cooler at this part though as you get to enjoy the mountain breeze and foggy surroundings.  I was doing 30 seconds of climbs and 30 seconds of rest to appreciate the views.

100 meters before the Peak.

While the peak is the highlight of the climb, you can’t help but appreciate each steps that led you there. There are views from each angle.  Each breathless moment is worth it’s while.  It was both an appreciation of the view and effort going through the last 100 meters of the climb.  It’s the journey and destination that makes the climb worth it.

934 meters above sea level.

Finally, the second highest peak in Hong Kong. I read that the highest peak is occupied by a weather station so the Lantau Peak is the highest area accessible to trekkers.  It’s not as high as other mountains I’ve climb but it was a great character building climb as it’s an almost direct assault and I was doing this alone.  It was foggy at that time so the most  you can enjoy is the view.  It’s about 2 kilometers away from Ngong Ping,

Time to head down.

The road down should be easier right? Well, not really as it was more technical going down as we have to navigate big uneven stone steps. It’s less taxing on the lungs as it requires less effort but it still takes its toll on the knees when you  go too fast.

Single Track Stone Steps on the way down.

It’s a single track stone steps heading downward and there are some area covered by trees which is an excellent place to rest.  It’s a bit safer than dirt tracks but navigating it is much slower as it takes longer to cover each step.  It felt like descending forever and that’s about 1.5 kilometers worth of continuous descent. How I wished I had my trekking pole with me.

As you get closer, you get to see the Giant Buddha from a distance.

After 1.5 kilometer of descent, it shifts to a flatter surface and less technical route.  You also get to see the Giant Buddha from a distance.  It’s time to speed up on this part and finish the trail.

You also get to see the Wisdom Path towards the end of the trail.

When you see the wisdom path, you are now approaching the end of the trail.  I’ve been to the wisdom path before coming from Ngong Ping so this already familiar territory. You get an option to exit at Ngong Ping or proceed to the Stage 4 of Lantau Trail at the food of the Wisdom Path. I opted to go to Ngong Ping as planned and head back to Tung Chung.

One of the site you see before exciting to the Ngong Ping area.

From the trails, you get to regular roads as you go to the more popular side of Ngong Ping.  I saw the site where a tree grew into a house.  Not necessary an ancient attraction like Ta Phrom in Angkor Wat but it’s such an irony seeing nature growing into a cemented area.

Giant Buddha

Finally at the site of the Giant Buddha and I can say I’ve finally reached this area by foot.  I took some refreshments and ice cream to replenish lost water in my system and went home in style via the Cable Car.  I had a choice to take the bus but I wanted to have a different look at the trail from the cable car ride.

Up in the Air.

I got to appreciate another part of the trail as I discovered just below the cable car was another trail called, the rescue trail. It’s basically a part wooden / part cemented path in the middle of nature that can take you back to Tung Chung in about 2-3 hours by foot. Well, some other time.

A view of the falls as seen on the cable car.

I also saw a falls beside the trail below the cable car. You get to pass by the falls when you take the rescue trail.  I also saw a lot of people enjoying the trail as it’s an excellent training ground with its rolling terrain.  There area is also heavily forested, which is among the things Hong Kong was able to preserve.

Cable Car Wars

After the Cable Car ride, I was back in Tung Chung to take my lunch.  That was a great Tale of The Trail.  I really appreciate the effort they did on the trails that makes it easy for trekkers to navigate.  It’s a good way to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors.

Outfit of The Trail

Teal

  • Top: Berghaus with #TaleOfTheTrail Design by Breakout Design
  • Bottom, Socks and Sling Bag: Under Armour
  • Shoes: Newton BOCO Sol
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Visor: 2XU
  • Camera: GoPro Hero 3+

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , | 48 Comments

UA Fans Gets A Chance to See Stephen Curry on September 5 #UARoadShowManila

August 29 is the best time to buy your favorite Under Armour Shoes or Apparel as you get two free tickets for a single receipt purchase worth 5,000 at Under Armour Retail Shops.  This is a ONE DAY ONLY chance to get those elusive Stephen Curry tickets for his visit on September 5.  #UARoadShowManila

Read About:

Stephen Curry

We’re all excited for Stephen Curry’s visit as we get up close with the current NBA MVP and Champion.  It would be nice to know about his drives, his journey and how he worked his way to the top of the basketball world.  Here’s a chance to be a part of his visit to the Philippines.

Drop by participating Under Armour outlets in Bonifacio High Street, SM Megamall, and UP Town Center on August 29 for a chance to score tickets to see Stephen Curry at the Mall of Asia Arena this September 5. By accumulating a single purchase receipt of any product worth Php5,000, fans can get two lower box tickets to the #UARoadShowManila and be part of this exciting chapter in Philippine basketball history.

The tour, dubbed “The UA Roadshow featuring Stephen Curry,” is designed to connect Stephen with Filipino fans and basketball players through up and close personal interactions. Stephen will showcase his relentless dedication to getting better, and devotion to helping players realize their potential both on and off the court. The activities at the MOA Arena will include fan interactions, and drills and shootouts. The event will also feature Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank who will share his story to inspire fans to persevere in turning their dreams into reality.

For more information, like Under Armour Philippines on Facebook (facebook.com/underarmoursea), and follow them on Twitter (@UnderArmourPH).

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Incoming: Run for Odyssey

CDO Run for Odyssey is a run for a cause. The proceeds would go to the Odyssey Foundation, which feeds malnourished and undernourished kids.  Running the race help put food to a hungry tummy.  Another reason to run is that it’s in BGC. If you’ve been running for more than 3 years, you’d know that BGC has been the main running hub for runners back then and here’s a throwback to those days.  Expect a moderately challenging course as you navigate the climbs at Kalayaan Flyover, the long ascent at 5th Avenue and the rolling Lawton and Bayani Road terrain.  Run for Odyssey is happening on November 8, 2015 with 5K, 10K and 21K categories to choose from. Register Now!!!

CDO Run for Odyssey

The Run for Odyssey is an event organized by CDO Foodsphere, Inc., and has become a tradition of celebrating fun and good health. Run for Odyssey is a CDO way and expression of loving and caring for others. Proceeds of this exciting run convention go straight to the Odyssey Foundation, a non-profit organization created to formally continue providing individuals new hope into their lives by giving aid and assistance. Therefore, when you run for Odyssey you not only get up to the challenge of proving yourself in your chosen run category but you also help nourish the lives of thousands of needy children and families in the country.

CDO Foodsphere Inc. is the brand behind the run. Aside from the cause of Odyssey, the run is also a celebration of their 40th year.  That’s more than a generation worth of coming out with fresh and innovative food that not only is tasty but is healthy as well.  They are channeling that excellence in their product and manufacturing process to another healthy avenue, which is running.  Let’s celebrate CDO’s 40th year by joining the run.

There will be 5K, 10K and 21K categories

The event will be on November 8, 2015 with 5K, 10K and 21K category.  It’s gonna take us to the challenging Bonifacio Global City terrain.  BGC used to be the main hub for running events a few years ago and this one is a throwback to those times.  The thing I like about the BGC is the terrain.  There’s a climb at Kalayaan Flyover (Yes, even the 5K distance get to go uphill).  There’s the fast and flat Buendia area.  There’s the long climb from Rizal Drive and 5th Avenue and there’s the long rolling terrain of Lawton and Bayani Road.  That for me is a well distributed workload for the muscles groups as you get the calves working on the flats and you get the quads doing the work when you’re on the climb.

How about trying your luck out in a raffle with these prizes on the line?  CDO Run for Odyssey is not only a run for a cause but it’s one of the most generous run when it comes to prizes.  Get a chance to win a Go Pro Hero 4 Silver, Soleus GPS Watch, Chris Sports GCs, Hydration Belts and even power banks.  The prizes are not only high valued, they are very practical and can complement your day to day routine.  Run and you might be among the lucky ones to grab these prizes. Register Now!!!

Race Details

Date and Venue

  • November 8, 2015, Bonifacio Global City

Distances and Inclusions

  • 5K – P550
  • 10K – P650
  • 21K – P950
    • Singlet, race bib, timing chip, raffle stub and loot bag for all runners
    • Finisher Shirt and Medals for 21k Finisheres

Registration

  • Online: CDO Run for Odyssey
  •  Onsite:
    • Chris Sports (Glorietta, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Mall of Asia, SM BF Homes, Market Market)

Assembly and Gun Start

  • 21K: Assembly: 3:00 am, Gun Start: 4 am
  • 1oK: Assembly: 4:00 am, Gun Start: 5:00 am
  • 5K: Assembly: 4:00 am, Gun Start: 5:10 am

Race Updates

Race Maps

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Incoming: Salomon City Trail Manila 2015

I’ve been a fixture in Salomon Races for the past few years. Why? It’s because they have an innovative way of presenting their trails. While the Xtrail, deals on the extreme side of the trails, city trail is a feel-good, scenic and moderately challenging race. It replicates the intricacies of the trail using the regular obstacle in the city like uneven cobblestone paths, mud tracks at the sidewalks and yes, stairs.  The rich heritage in Intramuros make every step in  the race such a visual adventure.  Enjoy a moderately challenging and visually enticing race by joining Salomon City Trail happening on September 6, 2015 at Intramuros. #‎MakeEveryRunAnAdventure‬
‪#‎CitytrailManila2015‬

Read About

Salomon City Trail

Salomon City Trail 2014

I joined the 12 K category of Salomon City Trail last year and that gave me 4 different scenic looks at Intramuros.  It came with a festive and relaxed environment that you’d enjoy both the run and the heritage attractions of Intramuros.  It also brought in the challenges you get from the trails. You get to navigate uneven cobblestone paths and climbs along the famed walls of Intramuros.  You get to pass by some mud tracks at the side of the road as you go through the exterior of Intramuros. You get also your share of stairs as you climb up and down the walls of Intramuros.  That’s what I like about the City Trail concept.  It gives you the challenges of the trails in the convenience of the city. Salomon City Trail is happening again on September 6, 2015 at Intramuros with 6K and 12K category to choose from.

CITYTRAIL is Salomon’s approach to everyday running in the city. Recognized for technical leadership in trail running footwear, Salomon built CITYTRAIL as a way to escape running on the same route everyday. It began with an idea of re-creating the kinds of terrain and surface variations that is found in trail running, but in an urban landscape. Even the most avid trail runners want to vary their routine- a staircase, a steep hill, a bridge, or maybe linking different surfaces through a park, it just makes running more interesting.

The Media had a chance to test the City Trail X Scream 3D

The CITY TRAIL RUN is a global event that has been held in Europe, United States, and parts of Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, and Taiwan) to encourage runners to make their own trails in the city. This September 6, Salomon will take urban dwellers back to Intramuros, the heart of the Metro, the oldest City in the Philippines, perfect for an adventure run & rich with culture and heritage. The Citytrail Race Route will include running on different surfaces—pathways, roads, sidewalks, alleyways, bridges, stairs.

Suited for Citytrail Running, Salomon presents the X-SCREAM 3D and the SENSE MANTRA 3 footwear models, which combine the technology we’ve come to expect from Salomon. As the #1 brand in trail running, the same technology is infused in these Citytrail models—to bring out the best performance in running. Providing excellent foothold and comfort, they are constructed to have a firm grip on both hard and loose surfaces, perfect for varying terrains in the City.  The City Trail running collection of Salomon merges the convenience of a running shoes that can give you proper traction on trails and still retain speed on the road.

Salomon CITYTRAIL encourages all to find trails wherever they are, even in an urban environment. Step out of your routine, connect with your surroundings, and rediscover the joy of running. To find out more about CITY TRAIL RUN 2015, you can go to their Facebook page, or email salomon.ph@primergrp.com for any inquiries regarding this event.

The Salomon City Trail Manila 2015 is powered and sponsored by the following partners: R.O.X. , History Chanel, Gatorade, Intramuros Administration, Suunto, , Sea to Summit, Otterbox, Goal Zero, Eco x Gear, Nalgene Stance,and the Primer Group of Companies. Salomon would also like to thank the following media partners:The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Business World,Multisport, Pinoy Fitness.com, www.wheninmanila.com, and takbo.ph.

Salomon is exclusively distributed by the Primer Group of Companies, Asia’s next retail giant.

 Race Details

Date and Venue

  • September 6, 2015, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, 4 pm
  • Start/Finish line will be at Fort Santiago, Intramuros. Just show your Race bib, and your entrance fee to the premises will be waived. Companions will have to pay the Entrance Fee to the Fort.

Distances and Inclusions

  • 6km Citytrail – P900
  • 12km Citytrail – P1,200
    • Inclusive of Racebib, Timing Chip, Salomon Citytrail Singlet, Salomon Wayfarer Sunglasses, Post-race Meal, and a historical running tour of Intramuros.

 

Registration

Green Race

  • The Citytrail Manila Race is a GREEN RUN. No disposables will be given throughout the racecourse. Gatorade dispensers & Water Jugs will be stationed around the road areas of Intramuros. Everyone is mandated to bring their own hydration provision – hydration belts, handheld hydrobottles.

Prizes

  • Top 3 male & female winners per distance will be awarded. ROX Gift Certificates, Salomon Products & other freebies await the winners. Raffle items will also be given away.

Race Updates

Race Maps

  • The Citytrail Race will not be a conventional road run. It will include challenges such as going up stairs, bridges, ramps—different footstikes that simulates the skills needed in trail running. It smultaneously is a historical run, passing through landmarks & scenic areas with FAQs. Cutoff time for the entire race, is 2hours.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

#UnderArmourPH Holds the Third Leg of #EarnYourArmour Series

The Calm before the Fourth Leg of #EarnYourArmour Series

It’s how you start, and how you finish it!  The Third leg tested the speed, power, endurance, and willpower of the participants and gave them a chance to Earn Their Armour with the FortRock Challenge.  The Earn Your Armour campaign definitely finished on a high note for the participants, the audience and Under Armour.

Read About:

Earn Your Armour

It was a tough and really fun #EarnYourArmourCampaign

The third leg of the #UnderArmourPH #earnyourarmour series was held last Friday, 21 August 2015, at the Glorietta Activity Center. The third and final leg definitely did not disappoint and pulled out all the stops.

Fitness challenges awaited the participants.

The final leg encouraged all participants to take on 10 different challenges to test their speed, power, endurance, and willpower. These challenges were led by no less than Under Armour ambassadors Coach Mike Zarate, Coach Aries Fonacier and Elle Adda.

  • Coach Mike Zarate is the founder of the “SEAL 80/20” program, a holistic regimen that factors in the physical training, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and motivation to excel as an athlete even for those with limited training time. Coach Mike believes that “ time-crunched individuals spending just 20% of their daily time in the gym can get optimal results for the rest of the day”.
  • Coach Aries Fonacier, on the other hand, is the founder of Fortrock Fitness, a comprehensive functional fitness training center that focuses on strength and conditioning work for endurance and power-based sports such as running, triathlon, basketball, and rowing, to name a few. Coach Aries’ grueling circuit workouts can take up to three hours as it involves a battery of upper body, lower body, and core exercises combined with high intensity interval training.
  • Under Armour Philippines athlete Elle Adda is a French-Filipina fitness trainer from the US. She is also a performing artist, actress, model, dancer, and fitness enthusiast. Aside from leading the workouts, Elle also taught the skills of recovery to EYA participants by demonstrating specific stretching movements and yoga poses.

UA Ambassador Elle Ada led a holistic fitness workout.

Prior to the challenge, US trainer, actress and model Elle Adda led a holistic fitness workout. Participants went through a range of free weight and body weight exercises and ended with Elle also teaching them the importance of stretching and recovery. She led them through various yoga poses and specific stretching movements which would complement the adrenaline-charged workout they had just finished.

Two teams battled it out at the Earn your Armour FortRock challenge – Team Drago Pilipinas and Team SEAL.

UA Ambassador Elle Ada showed her fitness prowess as she joined Team Drago in the competition.

  • Team Drago Pilipinas was composed of Dragonboat Rowers from Drago Pilipinas and guest team member Elle Adda. These guys and gals are currently training for some international competitions in Singapore and Malaysia over the next couple of weeks and regularly incorporate the Fort Rock fitness programs of Coach Aries Fonacier into their training. In other words, this was a piece of cake for them.
  • Team SEAL was composed mostly of college students and fitness enthusiasts who regularly train under Coach Mike Zarate’s SEAL 80/20 program. Some of them were as young as 16 years old!

It was a test of speed, power, endurance, and willpower.

The Spartan Circuit of Fort Rock Fitness was composed of a number of challenges – rowing machine, burpees, sledgehammer swings and burpees, jumps and burpees, alternating ball squats and burpees, tire pulls, and some exercises on a contraption they call the lechon rack! See the common denominator? BURPEES! Lots and lots of burpees! True to its name, each person really had to earn their Armour.

It was an intense battle between Drago Philippines and Team SEAL

Team Drago Pilipinas immediately got to work and built up a commanding lead. Team SEAL put in a strong effort and managed to catch up towards the middle, but Team Drago Pilipinas just didn’t budge and eventually won the competition. The winners got to take home lots of Under Armour goodies, bragging rights and tickets to see the 2014-2015 NBA MVP and Champion Stephen Curry when he comes to Manila on September 5 for the Under Armour Road Show at the Mall of Asia Arena. Not to be dismayed, Team SEAL also got to bring home some Under Armour goodies and tickets to see Steph Curry as well.

Members of the winning team (Drago Pilipinas Fort Rock) OCR (Obstacle Course Race) is composed of:

  1. Japa Gavino – Financial Consultant
  2. James Bungubung – Investment Capitalist & Entrepreneur
  3. Harold Pacana – IT Engineer & Entrepreneur
  4. Alexis Atutubo – IT Entrepreneur
  5. Raven Quan – Musician / Sales Director
  6.  Joseph Reverente – Fitness Consultant
  7.  Ria Sangel – Professor
  8.  Patricia Castillo -Entrepreneur
  9.  Rina Balgan – University President
  10.  Gidget Alikpala – Entrepreneur
  11.  Grace Quan – Entrepreneur
  12.  Elle Ada – International Singer / UA Athlete & Affiliate Coach

The Participants of the 3rd Leg of Earn Your Armour Challenge.

For the other participants, just having the chance to compete alongside elite-level athletes was already a treat in itself as it’s not everyday that you could bust through an extreme obstacle challenge inside a mall.

The Earn Your Armour series is perfect preparation for the team as they are slated to join Spartan races in Malaysia and Singapore this October and November.   Log on to www.tripleready.com for updates on the next leg of the Earn Your Armour series!

Note: This is a guest post by Mara Guevara, who attended the Earn Your Armour Leg on my behalf.  Mara Guevara is a triathlete and the founder of Maranators Candy Lab, which has the sweet sensation in the Snickerators and the complete trail and energy bar in the Alphanators. 

 

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Your Team: Samahang Mananakbo ng Smart

People get the impression that people who run have so much time but the truth is a greater majority of runners  (including me) are also corporate employees.  Members of Samahang Mananakbo ng Smart (Team SMS) are both corporate employees and athletes.  They run as a pack whether it’s a fun run, a marathon or even an Ultramarathon.  Let’s get to learn more about their SMART story.

Team SMS

In a Sea of SMART Blue

Your Team hopes to feature running groups and help spread their love for fitness and running.  Everybody can be fit and it gets easier when you are supported by a group.  For our first feature, we get to meet Team SMS or Samahang Mananakbo ng Smart.   Back by the country’s largest telecommunication network, we get to learn more about Corporate Employees turned athletes grow the love of running and fitness. Here’s getting up close with Team SMS Through their Club President Ian Yu.

They are making a difference in the running community.

Team SMS started way back Nov 25, 2008 and is currently one of the oldest of the 22 clubs initiated by Smart for employee Wellness. They envision themselves to be recognized as one of the country’s biggest corporate running club dedicated to creating & promoting the development & growth of each athlete in the Smart community. They also want SMS to be a “house-hold name” when it comes to citywide fun runs, marathons & ultra-marathon foot race events not only locally but internationally as well. They now have 120 active members within the team mostly concentrating on running/jogging.  They have SMS branches in various locations in the country. These are mostly Smart/ Sun Cellular/ Voyager & PLDT employee athletes situated from North to South with factions from Baguio, Lucena, Tarlac, NCR, Cebu & Davao.

Yes, they can go the distance too.

The team mainly enjoys mostly fun runs but they also have delegations for Ultramarathons.  With trails also taking off now, they are starting to strengthen their trail running groups by joining some trail events in the last few months.  They are starting to collaborate with their Smart Cycling Club for relays and hopefully they could slowly build up their duathlon team too.

They are among the largest delegations in some races.

It’s a really great achievement forming a large group of “corporate athletes” that comes together on weekends and enjoy the sports of running.  They really make their presence felt in races as they got 9 biggest delegations award in the races they’ve joined last year.  They also develop programs like a “Couch to 5K” program where in employees who wish to learn how to run may register. This is one of the key training programs that caters to everybody. The project will last for 10 training sessions each week until the runner may start doing their first 3k or 5k run. From there we guide each until they reach their running goals.  Most of the members started here and some have already completed their first 10k, 21k, full marathon and even ultra marathons.

Their making their way to duathlons too.

The biggest perk of being in the club is the change to the active lifestyle.   Running can be a addictive and can change a person from their habits, perspective and overall well-being.  It also makes them proud that they are the largest corporate athlete running club.  They take each race as a chance to exhibit team work and camaraderie as a group.

They work and race as a pack!

Team SMS is giving the corporate employees a chance to adopt to a fitter lifestyle.  They put premium on being a team and running as a pack over individual glory. Of course, we get to see some of them hit the podium too.  It’s never too late to start a healthy lifestyle. With Team SMS, that transition is made easier.  I hope that more company adopt a corporate club approach to encourage employees to be fit, healthy and a more complete person.  Be fit, it’s the SMARTer way to live.

I am glad to be part of this team backed up by our ever supportive HR Wellness group and my eager and enthusiastic club officers. Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. In this chosen sport, it’s our goal in life to find it and keep it. – Ian Yu, Club President

Check out Team SMS on your next race, as they are probably present on every race.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments