Wednesday, December 26, 2012

International Climbs highlight LOGSAC’s 2012 feat

After five years of climbing mountains and going places, the Local Government of Sta. Cruz Adventure Club has managed to climb at least four international mountains, three of which were done in 2012 with Julpanz doing a Mt. Kinabalu while Papong scaling Taiwan’s Snow Mountain and Vietnam’s Mt. Fan Si Pan. These are some of the major achievements of LOGSAC in the very colorful year of the dragon. 

LOGSAC's International Destinations in 2012
Nonetheless, LOGSAC never ceased in outdoing its own advocacy to preserve, protect and rehabilitate the environment being one of its mandates. Activities like tree planting, clean up drives and advocacy climbs are being enthusiastically participated.

New Philippine destinations were also visited by the group members within the year, proof that this hyper club is undoubtedly one of the most-travelled factions in the entire Sta. Cruz municipality. Some of the places visited by LOGSAC in 2012 outside Mindanao are Cebu and Bohol of Visayas, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan and Manila, to name a few. As of this writing; Papong, Pawiks and Irvhin Joy are at Luzon to climb Mt. Tarak of Bataan.

Other activities joined by LOGSAC were the following: New Corella Eco-Adventours Caving and Trekking  Forum, Mt. Matutum Climb, Holy Week Mt. Apo Monitoring Climb and The Ultimate Survival Challenge by the Chain Reaction Project.  


New Corella Eco-Adventours Caving and Trekking Forum
To add to the already-checkered existence of LOGSAC, new members were recruited in 2012. This will definitely add gloss to the composition of the club as part of its human resource streamlining. Over the same year, several club members were trained on Naturalist Guiding, a program of the Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources that will respond to the need of the tourism industry in eco-tour guiding considering that Davao region is basically ecotourism-based.

Naturalist Guiding Training at Tibolo, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur
On September, a major reunion climb was conducted. It allowed pioneering and neophyte members to scale Mt. Apo altogether. It was indeed successful as terrible camaraderie was strengthened. It was perhaps one of the most memorable adventures of LOGSAC after its creation way back year 2007.



Mt. Apo Reunion Climb
Unfortunately, Bagyong Pablo stroked Mindanao just right before 2012 ended.  And since most of the club members are well-trained rescuers, they eagerly responded for search and rescue operation in Compostela Valley town. The rest of the members took care during the LGU’s relief distribution drive a week after. 

SAVERS Rescue Group President Lito Roque leading the search and rescue operation at ComVal as posted in Philippine Daily Inquirer
To sum it up, LOGSAC beats its dynamic in 2012. Our advocacy was coupled with extraordinary passion to travel and help people and that’s why even with the very limited resources it still somehow manages to stay alive and kicking. Of course, this club wouldn’t be what it is now without the people supporting it. To all those who helped us and will help us in our future endeavor, thank you very much.


YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Top Ten Runs in 2012

You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement,” Steve Prefontaine.

This famous quote has been guiding me all throughout the times I started running in 2011 up to the present. When I get hooked to this kind of sports, I found a new and different level of self motivation, physical strength and mental toughness. At this recent period of my life, running has become a way of life. With running, I discovered more personal intersections other than mountaineering, photography and traveling to places. There is indeed so much fun in doing things using only my feet as my carriage.

In this version of my blog, I would like to share to my readers the ten (10) most memorable runs in year 2012. 
Holy Trinity Run
10. Run Club New Balance Challenge, January 12, 2012 (12K). Still bearing the holiday hangover, I joined this 12K run as my first run of the year to basically jumpstart an appropriate physical activity in 2012 and to obliterate the fiend brought about by alcohol, cholesterol and everything that had been taken during Christmas and New Year. Slowly but surely I was able to survive, clocking in a total time of 1 hour and 24 minutes, not an ideal time for an average runner like me.

9. Holy Trinity Run, September 9, 2012 (16K). A run spearheaded by the Holy Trinity College in Davao City. I suffered minor left-foot sore upon reaching the turning point but managed to make it to the finish line in 1 hour and 49 minutes, 1 minute ahead of my running buddy Pare Dockie.

8. Marco Polo Fright Run, November 4, 2012 (16K). As an annual run conducted by the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, this run is part of Marco Polo’s unique Halloween celebration. It was a well-organized event with a very good route, an established water stations and with tremendous post-run refreshment. With minimal training, I completed the run in 1 hour and 44 minutes.

7. Timex Run, August 26, 2012 (16K). This was the first time Timex held a run in Davao City and was part of the RunRio series runs. Technically powered by Vantage Sports, I participated the run along with my good friend Pare Dockie Enot. With a very friendly itinerary that has long been very proverbial to me, I easily made it to the finish line and even dashed the last 150 meters. This run was also attended by Coach Rio dela Cruz and Team Pangilinan from Manila.

4th St. Joseph Run
6. 4th St. Joseph Run, September 15, 2012 (10 K).  This is the only St. Joseph Run of the 3 legs conducted this year that I joined as a runner rather than an organizer. It was also one of the few 10K runs I made within the year. Running in a consistent stride together with my mountaineer pal Noel “Pawiks” Bartolome, we crossed the finish line clocking a total time of 59 minutes. For the record, the St. Joseph Run series is the only organized run in Davao del Sur held in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur for the benefit of the on-going construction of St. Joseph the Worker Parish.

36th National
Milo Marathon
5. 36th National Milo Marathon Davao Leg, November 11, 2012 (21K). This is my second participation of a half-marathon initiated by Milo. The first time I ran a Milo 21K had me clocking 2 hours and 18 minutes. This year, I completed the run in 2 hours and 22 minutes. Fatigue factor used to clinch me as I had severe cough and flu during the run. My left foot once again suffered cramps three times when a approached the 17K mark. I was still lucky enough to have finished the run earlier than the cut off time.

Delo-Kadayawan
Half Marathon
4. Delo Kadayawan Half-Marathon, August 19, 2012 (21K).  This was a major run conducted in consonance to the celebration of Kadayawan festival in Davao City. With a new partnership forged between Caltex company and Vantage Sports Promotions, this run was started at SM Ecoland all the way to Corocodile Park in Buhangin via the strenuous Tulip Drive and Ma-a Diversion Road. I had so much fun running this half-marathon version of Delo because of the appropriate physical preparations I made. I gracefully traversed the time clock at 2 hours and 45 minutes.

3. Run with the Masters, April 15, 2012 (21K). Of all the 21Ks I joined in 2012, this is perhaps the most effortless run I attended. This was an independent run conducted by Vantage Sports in celebration of its Foundation Anniversary. Vantage Sports head honcho Kenneth Sai made sure the run would suit to the taste buds of Davao’s elite runners. The itinerary was a mixture of plain, uphill and downhill route from Crocodile Park to the junction of R. Castillo and Sta. Ana Streets to Lanang then back to Crocodile Park. I was enjoying my tread with running friend Michael Ryan Bajo from start to finish.

2. Davao Finisher’s Marathon, December 2, 2012 (28K). This is an annual marathon conducted by Holcim cement and was technically partnered by Davao Sunday Runners Club. It was my second time to join the run and my only 28k run in 2012. With a route that’s very varied, I enjoyed the run very much although I was the lone runner joining this event from Sta. Cruz.

Phoenix Marathon
1. Phoenix Marathon, March 18, 2012 (42K). The Phoenix Marathon was my most memorable running experience in my almost 2 years of running. It was a lengthy 42-kilometer run that saw me running barefoot after 28 kilometers as my feet endured a painful bruise until I spotted a store selling slippers along the way. I then crossed the finish line carrying my running shoes to the delight of my friends. However, this run completed my running life. Running a full marathon is every runner’s dream and only few can fulfill it. It’s a combination of physical and mental toughness that a runner should possess. From that memorable date until today, I am proud to be part of the elite group from Sta. Cruz who ran a full marathon along with Pare Oliver Dockie Enot, Michael Ryan Bajo, Jonas Florencondia and Noel Bartolome. The Phoenix Marathon was held as part of the Araw ng Dabaw celebration.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stride Guide No. 4. MALAGOS GARDEN RESORT


I have been visiting every now and then at Barangay Malagos in Calinan, Baguio District, Davao City basically to steer guests and friends who wanted to personally see the Philippine Eagle in the Philippine Eagle Center. All of those trips obviously allowed me to overlook the Malagos Garden Resort located just before the Philippine Eagle Center. Many other visitors in Malagos might have the same experience with those of mine and hopefully this blog would be able to open their eyes and would prompt them to visit this very wonderful place.


I got the chance to be in Malagos Garden Resort when I facilitated a seminar last November 12, 2012 as a requirement of my graduate school curriculum along with my classmates Nhessryll and Mae Ann. I discovered then that Malagos Garden Resort is more than just an ordinary resort. It actually compliments with the Philippine Eagle Center as it has a traditionally-designed accommodation facilities and other nature-themed structures.


Apart from the cool ambiance brought about by the man-made forest in the area, Malagos Garden Resort also houses several bird species. According to one of the owners Doctor Bo Puentespina, they just allow their birds to fly around the place to really let them experience their natural habitat. Unlike any other resorts where birds are caged, Malagos Garden Resort serves as an innate aviary.


As a park for all ages, the management of Malagos Garden Resort made sure they have all the facilities necessary for an overnight stay and day tours. They have a restaurant serving vegetable dishes freshly harvested from their farm. They also have children’s playground, a soccer field, an outdoor pond dwelled by lovely tamed fishes, a water ball park and several function halls for trainings and seminars.


Mr. Puentespina also revealed that aside from the ecotourism program, the resort is also going into a more interesting field of agri-tourism where guests can be treated for a tour in their huge agricultural farm.


“We wanted to be known also for our agricultural productivity that’s why we are into enhancing our farm here,” said Doctor Puentespina who, along with his staff, personally oversees their cacao plantation and dairy goat farm. While having a farm tour, I was amazed by how the farm was managed. They are basically employing natural farming practice with minimal and/or zero chemical usage.



We were fortunate then that we were also taught the basics about dairy goat production from kidding to milking right at their ventured Golden Sunset Farm. Their breeds of milking goats produce an average of 2.5 to 3 liters per goat per day.


Currently, the resort is accepting agricultural tours and at the same time catering to seminars related to dairy goat production with Doctor Puentespina himself taking care as training and education section in-charge.

To all readers of this blog who are inclined to dairy goat production and cacao plantation, I would recommend Malagos Garden Resort as one of the best places in Mindanao to visit. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Papong climbs Mt. Fansipan in Vietnam

Being in hunt to scale mountains outside the Philippines, LOGSAC’s Danrev Bronola has climbed Mt. Fansipan in Vietnam last October 27-28, 2012, adding another roll of mountain into his personal climbing portfolio.  Papong reached the summit of Fansipan on October 28 using the Manila-Hanoi-LaoCao itinerary that took him almost two days of travel before getting into the jump off area. The entire climb was only two days, shorter than the usual itinerary.  

Located in Lao Cai province, Fansipan is the highest peak of Indochina with the height of 3,143 meters above sea level. It is being dubbed as the "roof of Indochina", and has been considered one of the very few eco-tourism sites of Vietnam. Records also have it that Fansipan is home to about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species.

Like Mt. Apo and any other tropical mountains, Fansipan is characterized by wet and steamy climatic conditions. Montane rainforest is a usual scenery in the first day of trekking.


The ascent going to the summit is just a 2-4 average hike through wild bushes, rock structures and some vertical drops.


According to Papong, climbing Fansipan is almost the same with Mt. Apo. There is a need to prepare physically. "It's basically just like Mt. Apo only that they have several bamboo plants located along the trail. But everything that is there is quite similar to our Mt. Apo."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Visiting the unspoiled City of Puerto Princesa


Much has been written about Puerto Princesa city in Palawan, the place dubbed as the “City in the Forest”. When I visited the place last October 18-20 for a special trip with my colleagues, I validated everything that has already been inscribed and I couldn’t help but affirm all the good things of the city that has long been part of my bucket list.
The new Davao-Puerto Princesa flight courtesy of Cebu Pacific Air has given us opportunity to explore Palawan easier
When we arrived via Cebu Pacific flight from Davao (this flight was only launched last August this year), we instantly noticed the warmth of the people residing in Puerto Princesa as we were treated with an affectionate reception right at their airport. And when we were ferried to our transient house, the other thing that captured my interest was the city’s hygienic thoroughfares. I couldn’t remember other places in the Philippines as clean as Puerto Princesa, and it will be worthy to be emulated, if not surpassed. My salute to the local leaders of this place for crafting a very comprehensive clean and green policy and for religiously implementing it. 

Puerto Princesa Airport arrival lounge
Our visit to the Underground River was scheduled on October 20, but we already secured the permit on the 19th with the help of the travel agency catering us in the city. Another thing I admired about this place is that travel agencies are taking care of the tourism sector especially in arranging tours to the famous Underground River. Unlike any other places in the country where most of the natural park tours are still being partly managed by the national and local governments, Underground River tours are solely handled by the private sector, that’s why the tour rates in Puerto Princesa are way cheaper as compared to other popular destinations in the Philippines.

Hardi Joy is shown here enjoying the breathtaking view of Puerto Princesa landscape
The local government in Puerto Princesa is also exceptional in terms of placing the city in the chart of Philippines’ growing cities. According to Mayor Edward Hagedorn, they only have two priority programs: Agriculture for food security, and Tourism to basically augment livelihood for its people. When these programs are stable, the rest of the programs would just compliment. In terms of agriculture, Puerto Princesa has been a major supplier of food products (most notably marine products) to Luzon and the rest of the country. Its tourism program, on the other hand, is also anchored on the protection of environment, proof of which is that it is the only city in the entire country that the forest cover is increasing every year. In Puerto Princesa, there is no mining, no logging, no hunting whatsoever which made its forest cover still unspoiled. Another salute to the local government officials for that. 

This is a towering karst formation covered with thick forest vegetation
I was amazed then when we traveled to Underground River the next day because the infrastructure needed to support tourism was in placed like roads and bridges. Local and foreign tourists alike are flocking almost everywhere. Sabang Bay, as a jump off point to the sub terrain, is also amazing. Just before we headed to Underground River, we were treated to a sumptuous lunch which was already part of the tour package. I also used to taste their native delicacy called “tamilok”, a fresh and very delicious mangrove-living sea worms.

Left: My wifey Michelle taking a pose at Sabang Bay. Right: Glenn Mark eating a fresh "tamilok" during our lunch on October 19
After a 20-minute boat ride from Sabang Bay, we were face to face with the magnificent Underground River with beauty beyond compare. The huge cave formations inside has fascinated us. Indeed, this piece of our natural heritage is worthy to be declared as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites and one of the world’s Seven Wonders of Nature.

Entrance of the glorious Puerto Princesa Underground River
On the third day, we availed of a seascape tour in one of their known islands comprising the Honda Bay as part of maximizing our time in Palawan. While enjoying the island tour, we witnessed the other side of Puerto Princesa, a pristine environment in the ocean. The water was crystal clear, the coral reefs are simply abounding and the fishes always try to befriend with humans. 

One of the islands in Honday Bay
 Our 3-day trip to Puerto Princesa was very fruitful. My wifey Michelle also enjoyed it very much along with my other companions Hardi Joy, Glenn Mark, Camila, Cheryl, Liezel, Baran, Kendall, Anne, Zaldy, Mam Flor, Ate Vivian, Engineer Susie and Charina. It was one of my most memorable travels. 

This blogger with buddies Hardi Joy and Glenn Mark during our island hopping
Puerto Princesa now belongs to my own list of most admired places to include Bohol, Cebu and Tagum.

Reflection: ONE FINE SATURDAY WITH MR. SUN

Text and Photo by: DOREEN JOY D. BAUYA


“There was only nature in the beginning and all creations are so beautiful and wonderful.”

Imagine working and working everyday and you don’t even know what’s happening around. And I think we all need some time to rest and take some time for leisure, many different choices, options and reasons not to get bored.

Thirteen years after spending life somewhere outside our beloved barangay, my friend Rea Gay revisited our place to experience once again the best view of Mr. Sunrise and personally witness the now -renowned Passig Islet Agri-Eco Park.

Very early morning on August 11, 2012; our First stop was at LOG POND. We both patiently waited for Mr. Sun to come out. And we did just that, straight ahead of us appeared a very tiny circle and seconds by seconds it was getting bigger and bigger….. and before we knew it, we were stunned, seeing the grandeur of Mr. Sunrise, right before our very eyes. What an amazing and breathtaking sunrise. We just simply kept on clicking our camera and took pictures in different angles as many as we could.

 

Our next stop was at the wooden path surrounded with green mangroves. It serves as a boardwalk for guests who want to go to the docking area of Passig islet. We felt the fresh air embracing us while seeing the pristine mangrove-scape in all its glory. And as we walked through the bridge, we decided to take a rest to take some pictures. To our delight, we felt as if we owned the world during that time, away from the bustling commercial life with the chirping of birds as our background music.  

Our last stop was at Passig Islet where we were welcomed by the fantastic scenic view of white island and endless ocean. I and Rea Gay enjoyed very much clicking our stuffs and I just let my friend do whatever she wanted to do around the Island. She couldn’t believe that after 13 long years, the island now offers extraordinary beauty and experience. 


After exploring the entire island, we took a breather and shifted our eyes   northwest to see the majestic gorge of Mt. Apo towering over the other sceneries as dominant as the friendship I established with Rea Gay. Basking the warmth of Mr. Sun and looking up in the sky, we felt as if we were lifted up by the gorgeous clouds. The serenity of the place was indeed beyond compare.
 

That short moment allowed us to enjoy nature at its best while also creating another page of memory to our checkered lives. I realized then that these simple things are God’s manifestation that He really loves us. He created many beautiful things for us to enjoy. 

Moreover, it will be our prime responsibility to take care all these creations.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mangrove Clean Up Drive at Our Paradise Resort


On October 23, 2012; our group LOGSAC has spearheaded an extreme clean up drive at Our Paradise Resort in sitio Talao, Barangay Tuban, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. It was scheduled through the verbal request of the resort management and was directed by Sta. Cruz mayor Joel Ray Lopez through a Memorandum Order.


Our Paradise Resort is known for its vast mangrove reserve area but since it is situated in an area flapped with a long brackish water outlet connecting Tuban and Barangay Zone 4, trashes are flowing at the resort compound. There are even cellophanes knotted within the roots of the mangroves, as well as some other debris creating eyesore to resort visitors.


In an effort to free the mangroves of these trashes, the new management of the resort has tapped the services of mountaineering groups in Sta. Cruz. Along with LOGSAC in unloading those trashes are Team Palaka of Coronon headed by Evan Bandoquillo and the ever supportive Calumpang Mountaineering Club (CAMOC) led by Kimber Clark Acson.


Half of the mini dump truck non-biodegradable and residual wastes were generated during that half-day clean up drive which was then collected by the Solid Waste Management personnel of Sta. Cruz.

Thank you to my club-mates who joined the clean up namely: Trecelyn, Faridah, Catherine, Butchie, Hardi Joy, Glenn Mark, Kirvy, Eboy, Jonas, Jercpas, Hector John, Mulong. Special thanks also to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee of Sta. Cruz Engr. Jessie Joy Berallo and his crew.