I am no mountaineer. I don't even know if i am classified as "amateur". But one thing's for sure: I've grown a strong attachment to the outdoors, especially the mountains and to enjoy the company of people who share the same passion; hence my first (and hopefully not last), investment on this new addiction.

I figured it would be time to reward myself with something that I know I will always use.
Meet Cutterpillow, my first hiking companion.

Tarak Ridge: Weekend dayhike

A week after our postponed twin-climb in Batangas, the mountainist Ivan took the initiative in making up for the lost time and planning effort by letting us hike with him in the craggy and sharp rocks of Tarak ridge, a well-known spot for hiker-wannabes like me. Hence, making this my first major climb. Take note, though, that this is not your typical walk-in-the-park type of adventure as tough trails and deadly cliffs are out and about. 

I tried my best to capture what my lens and film could see, while treading the forty-five degree slopes of the trail. Here are some of the selected unprocessed photos from my camera.

Let go.

One should learn to just be aware of things without feeling the need to change them. So often we look at something -- or someone (even ourselves) -- with the feeling that we need to change the situation or the person. Life will be less stressful if we simply look at things and people as they are - without trying to change them.

Most of us want to control things rather that simply be aware of them. We make judgments as to whether something is good or bad. Isn't it more relaxing when we learn to just observe without passing judgement.

It's like falling asleep. You create the "right" conditions, and then you "let go." Trying to force yourself to fall asleep usually makes you more awake.

Seven years from now

I'd be somewhere living in a quaint rustic village along the countryside, on a tree house, filled with old and new things, photograph prints plastered on walls, frames and mementos from my travels, enveloped by the smell of coffee or rosemary and alluded with innocuous humming of birds and kids outside.

Then my girlfriend would visit, bringing with her stories and souvenirs from a trip with her family and friends. We'd prepare our afternoon snack: seafood pasta in alfredo cream sauce. i'd chop the onions, she'd put the water to a boil. after which we'd enjoy the late afternoon sun below the good ol' camphor tree in the garden while we chomp down the last of the pasta strands.

Of course i am working on my own studio, which i will call atelier, designing homes and open spaces while i do some animation/sculpture work and a sideline from National Geographic. During my free time, i would enjoy myself inside the darkroom, developing photographs and printing them on chlorobromide papers.

On sunny weekends, i'd go out for a walk or a random trip out of town, or seeing friends everytime they are available, we'd go for a cup of coffee while planning future adventures together. Most of the time i'd come visit my parents and brothers in their own abodes. Mom and Dad would be leisurely running their garden restaurant or could be out of town too, touring the world aboard a five-star cruise ship. My brothers will have their own successful lives as well, living the life they chose and doing the thing they love.

Otherwise, i'll probably just be an action-star-slash-supervillain.

What's up!

It's been nearly a month since I last updated. To tell you the truth, I'm not that hardcore-busy to neglect the updating of this blog. I just felt lazy every time I go home. You see, I also keep a day job and things have been pretty rough lately regarding schedules. On the contrary, I tried my best to get my weekends off and to have some fun outside so it would be unfair to this blog of mine if i won't even publish it.

My semi epic adventure in the Bataan Peninsula commenced last week from a nearly short notice invite from my Mountainist friend Ivan. At first I thought he was joking because just a week ago, he was hit by a motorcycle in front of Rizal's monument -- incurring facial injuries, and postponing our supposed-to-be-twin-hike. But look, here he is now, with us in the ridge of Tarak, Mt. Mariveles, overlooking Manila bay-Corregidor smiling as a sunny-day as ever.
I honestly felt proud for myself  in scaling this mountain since it is my first major climb 4/9 difficulty, and towering to 1,006 MASL. There are things that didn't go according to plan though (forgetting to bring a hiking shoe, being left by the last bus trip home among other things) However, It doesn't matter anymore because we made it on top and bottom alive! I will make sure to have a separate post for this.

I just noticed, most of my trips outside Manila always fall to the North. I seldom go south-er than Batangas. I've been to Ilocos, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, and Bataan, but not Bicol, nor even Palawan. Probably if I'd be given a chance, I'll book a flight to Puerto Princesa or Bacolod, or I might just catch a PNR Train from Manila and experience the sleeper couches of the Bicol Express. How positively inviting! :D

My first company outing happened here, in one of the famous surfing spots in PH; La Union. Facing the west Philippine sea, the sunset is nearly breathtaking. I personally like the colors that dissipate in the horizon. Too bad i didn't even experience surfing here =( because I woke up late and didn't catch my friends in their lessons. Although I was able to swim until dawn and caught the sunrise while battling the big waves. 

Also, we had a very spontaneous trip to Baguio the day after! From La Union we took the alternative route from the western side of the Mountain range and arrived in the city proper at noon. We had lunch on a cozy and remote restaurant which served one of the best vegetable stews I tasted.

Getting around this mountain city is getting harder and harder by each trip I had here. Vehicles flocked every street. There are still locals (i don't even know if these are true locals) rented for the photo op. But still I find it amusing that they were able to pull off a funny pose.

I've been really really stoked to update this blog since the start of the day but I'm still in the process of collating all photos and articles I made. So, that's all folks! :D