Eat and Run Bacolod was a weekend filled with good food, wonderful people, scenic runs and a lot of wonderful memories. Adventouristas Inc. gave us a one-of-a-kind tour to better appreciate the trails, nature and the variety of delicacies.
Eat and Run Bacolod
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
That’s one of the quotes posted in our homestay at Don Salvador Benedicto for the very first Eat and Run Bacolod. I booked this trip organized by Adventouristas, Inc. upon the invitation of Maui Lopez last November. Between then and now was a lot of overflow of stress from mounting a trail race, a fund-raising activity at work and some emergency situations before the year-end. It was an escape I really needed to de-stress and refocus. We get lost in the clutter of a busy life and it’s this escape that we re-discover that the best things in life are the simple ones. Travel is the best ways to appreciate life. It’s a big bonus when it comes with a fitness element and a lot of food. It’s an adventure designed for people just like me who wants to make the most out of life and still enjoy it to the fullest.
I’ve seen so many post about the Ruins and how beautiful it was. Well, I can finally say that I’ve seen it up close and was able to explore it. It was majestically built that even a fire couldn’t pull down its beauty. The Ruins was our first stop coming from the airport. While a version of me was looking forward to the dirt school part of the tour, there is always that traveler in me that gets awed by wonders like this.
After the ruins, we’re on our first stop on the eating part of the tour at Calea Pastries & Cake in Bacolod City. Calea has the best cakes. I opted for the Blueberry Cheesecake since it’s been among my favorite cakes and their version was really such a delight to the sweet tooth in me. Carla also shared her White Chocolate Cheesecake, which is among their specialties and I also liked it. We also had coffee at Calea before heading to Salvador Benedicto.
Don Salvador Benedicto
Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) is around 1 to 1 1/2 hours away from Bacolod. It’s also a popular tourism hub especially with the Baguio-like climate, the higher elevation and the view of Mount Kanlaon. DSB would be our home for the next 3-days. We were welcomed with another round of food and of course the warm hospitality of the Ramirez Family. It was cold, foggy and a really great weather just to chill and relax. We got assigned to the red house and I had my bed at upper part of the A-shaped house.
It’s Time to Run
After a sumptuous breakfast, we are now starting the dirt school part of the event. Coach Ige Lopez is the one handling the dirt school. When it comes to trails, I really learned a lot from Coach Ige. I still use some of his pointers when I attended his dirt school at Mount Makiling last year. There were so many insights about trails on the lecture. You get to learn on how to prepare for a race and the other essentials of trail running and mountaineering. We also got to do some drills to properly warm up and prepare for a run.
We were enveloped by a foggy backdrop with slight rains. It was a really good weather for a chill run. Of course, we’d also want the skies to clear up for us to better appreciate the view of Don Salvador Benedicto. We still had some time in the morning so we did a 5 kilometer out and back run. It’s always a unique experience when you are in the trails. Since it was raining, we got to do slippery dirt roads and mud tracks. We also had to deal with a rolling course. In short it was not easy but the trails were run-able. I went at an easier pace on the first run since we still would have another run in the afternoon.
It was fun to run in the wet weather with slippery grounds to play around. I was with the tail-end of the pack and ended in a fork with three separate directions. In short, we’re lost. Thanks to the navigation features of GPS watches now, we found our way back.
In between runs, we had lunch. There’s the Chicken Inasal, there’s KBL (Kadyos, Baboy at Langka), Seaweeds and Buco Pandan. After a good run, it was perfect to eat again. We would have a few hours before the next and longer run for the day.
It was a bit colder and rainy in the afternoon but we’re good to go. Trail running is an all-weather sports and it’s a different experience on dry and wet trails. The roads were muddy and getting dirty at this point is normal for us now. We made a short turn on single tracks heading back to the main road.
After hitting the main road, we stopped after a kilometer on the road to do some tree planting. We planted one tree per participant. That’s another highlight of the event. While we were here to run, it was a good thing that they incorporated some tree planting.
After the tree planting part, we headed to long and winding descent along dirt roads. While the trails were slippery, there were some solid spots in the trails that would be run-able. It was a continues run for a few kilometers but you’ll have to adopt fast on the changing surfaces. When we hit the lower part of the trails, we hit some sugar cane plantations and also some rice fields.
The trails also shifted slowly from fire roads to single track roads. The roads got muddier as the rains kept falling. It’s all part of the experience though. It was also time to slow down and be more strategic on your strides. It’s like a chess match that you have to plan two to three steps ahead. Each stride was heavier with the mud adding to the drag. As we made our way back in the upper part of the trails, we made a turn to single track descending trails and it was really slippery. We took it slowly at this stretch. After the long technical stretch, we saw another fork so we opted to use the navigation system of GPS watches and found our way back yet again. Even on a foggy weather, I can see that there are a lot of scenic spots in the trails.
We had a good boodle fight after the runs. We’re just so glad that we’ve been burning calories all day so we can enjoy the meal guilt-free. It was a good mix and a good meal. After the meal, we had bonfire before calling it a day.
While we loved the cold foggy weather, we were hoping that the weather would finally clear up so we can appreciate the views. We got our wish on our last day and we finally saw Mount Kanlaon. It was great to be up early to just appreciate the view of the area.
We are also scheduled to trek Matalan-og falls, which was about 4 kilometers away from our area. We started from our area to run / walk until the jump off point heading to Matalan-og Falls. I took it slow as this was my time to appreciate DSB without the foggy effects. I was also making mental notes on the direction back. From the jump-off point, there was about 1.3 kilometers of technical trails heading to the falls. It was another lesson of navigating technical trails for all of us. Charlle and I stayed in pace with Coach Ige and her daughter Yana, who was such a trooper for her age. It was a nice pace as we had to deal with slippery and steep descents. It also gave us the time to appreciate the view.
As we reached the lower part of the trail. We had to navigate through several river crossings as well as going over some rocky terrain. The destination is worth all the effort though as the falls was really a visual delight and the cold waters falling off was really refreshing.
We stayed for some time in the falls to enjoy the area while waiting for the rest of the pack. It’s among the more beautiful falls I’ve seen. After a while we headed back to the top and was again challenged with the climb and the technical terrain. We had suman before running our way back to our homestay for lunch.
We had lunch and really cold and delicious craft beer after. It was a chase to the airport after as I barely made the boarding call and was the last one entering the plane before it took off. That was an epic weekend, thanks to Adventouristas, Inc.