Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011: My UltraElectroMagnetic Year!

2011 has been a super fantastic year for me. It was a year when my love for travel, photography and running took me to more places, gave me the opportunity to meet more like-minded friends and allowed me to experience the unexplainable joys derived from pursuing my passions. In 2011, I visited more destinations, took more plane rides and ran more miles than I've ever done in the previous years of my life.

Cebu: I started to take running more seriously and joined the 2011 Cebu Marathon on January 9. I wanted to run my first 10K but since there was no such category in this event, I settled for the 5K run. Instead of hitting the mall after the run, my Cebu-based friends took to me to a day trip in South Cebu. In a brief heritage tour, we were able to check out the towns of Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando, Carcar and Sibonga.

Bukidnon: We hiked the Provincial Tree Park in Malaybalay City and we were simply awed by the wonderful 360-degree view of our hometown. It was kinda funny since the park is situated at the back of my office yet I only got to explore it now. It made me realized that you don't need to go to far and away places just to experience some awesome sights.

Antique, Iloilo and Guimaras: A family reunion on my wife's brought my traveling feet to the Province of Antique. It was a joyous family rendezvous and at the same time  we were also able to frolic in the long Baybay Beach of Belison and visit the ruins of an Old Church in Patnongon. We took a side trip to Guimaras, dropped by the Trappist Monastery, had a quick photoshoot in the lighthouse of Guisi and ate lunch in Raymen Beach. Later in the afternoon, we went back to Iloilo City and said a little prayer inside the beautiful Jaro Cathedral.

Quezon City and Manila: The company I am working for enrolled me and five of my officemates to the Real Estate Appraisal Program in U.P. Diliman. The first module of the training was held in this month and it gave me so much excitement to finally visit the big city for the first time after 13 years. Places visited: U.P.Diliman, Intramuros, Binondo China Town, Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, Luneta Park and S.M. MOA. I also ran my first 10K in BGC Taguig during the Philippine Daily Inquirer 25th Anniversary Run.


Bukidnon: The annual Kaamulan Festival was held in my hometown Malaybalay. It was another festive celebration for the gathering of the province's seven ethnic tribes. And just like the previous years, I documented some of the festival's activities.

Quezon City and Manila: Second module our REAP training. We were in training for seven straight days so I wasn't able to explore much outside U.P. Diliman.


Bukidnon: I joined a 10-kilometer trail run in the Provincial Tree Park dubbed as the 1st Bukidnon Run with Faith. It was my first trail run and I really had a hard time running in the tough terrain. Despite of this, I still enjoyed the run because of the nice view on top of the hills.

Quezon City and Manila: The third and last module of our REAP Training. We stayed inside U.P. Diliman for five days then transferred to Intramuros during the weekend. Places visited include the San Agustin Church and the Plaza San Luis Complex. We also ran 10K during the Run with the Masters in Roxas Boulevard.


Cagayan de Oro/Misamis Oriental: I took my family to Apple Tree Beach Resort in Opol, Misamis Oriental. It was pure joy seeing my two little daughters enjoying the beach and the pool. Late in the afternoon, I took some photos of the beautiful Macajalar Bay sunset and then we had dinner at the Panagatan Restaurant. The following morning, I joined the Kidney Run in Cagayan de Oro City and finished another 10K distance.


Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro City: Did not travel much this month but instead I joined runs for four straight weekends: Freedom Run in Cagayan de Oro City and Run for the Forest, DXBU Fun Run and Dinaganay sa Malaybalay in my hometown. The last one was the most unforgettable since it was my first ever half-marathon (21K) run and I finished it at 2 hours and 20 minutes.


Bukidnon and Davao City: I joined another tough 12K trail run dubbed Takbo Para sa Bayanihan in Malaybalay. At the end of this month I traveled solo to Davao City to take the PRC Board Exam for Real Estate Appraisers. The day before the exam, I stayed at the Blue Velvet Hotel and visited the nearby San Pedro Cathedral. With God's amazing grace, I was able to hurdle the examination.


Bukidnon: A 6-K trail run from Sitio Intavas to Sitio Kibenton in Impasug-ong gave me a closer look of Mount Kitanglad. A week later I conquered the country's fourth highest peak for my first ever mountain climbing experience.

Cagayan de Oro City: A week after climbing Mount Kitanglad, I joined the 21K category of the Kagay-an Festival Run in Cagayande Oro City. Lack of training coupled with CDO's intense heat gave me my worst half-marathon finish time of 2 hours and 35 minutes. Still, I am happy to receive my first half-marathon medal in this event.

North Cotabato: An official work assignment took us to the Province of North Cotabato for a day. In one long of day travel,  we visited Kabacan, Midsayap and Kidapawan. I got to taste my favorite deep-fried hito dish once again when we had our lunch in Sariling Atin restaurant near the Provincial Capitol Complex of Kidapawan. 


Bukidnon: I rediscovered the Old Atugan Road of Impasug-ong when I joined the 1st Impasug-ong Invitational Fun Run. The 10K run gave me the opportunity to enjoy the rugged terrain and the evergreen sights of mountains, hills and canyons. Also this month, I ran 10K in the Bukidnon Cooperative Bank Fun Run then volunteered as photographer of the Malandog Ridge Trail Run in Malaybalay.


Bukidnon: The month kicked off with another fun run in Malaybalay City held to commemorate the death anniversary of the late Father Nery Satur. A hard core environmentalist, Fr. Satur was slain many years ago due to his advocacy. On the third week of this month, the Tanduay First 5 Concert Series Bukidnon Leg was held in Malaybalay. We were very fortunate to get some VIP passes and literally rubbed elbows with members of Chicosci, Sandwich, Kamikazee, Parokya ni Edgar and Wolfgang!

Cagayan de Oro City: I ran 21K in the National Milo Marathon in Cagayan de Oro. I was able to improve my previous half-marathon run and finished at 2:17, way ahead of the 2:30 cut-off for the finisher's medal. After the run we personally met the country's "rock star of running", no other than Coach Rio Dela Cruz.

Cebu: On the last week of this month, my wife and I went to Cebu to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Our destination: the enchanting Camotes Islands. We stayed at Santiago Bay Garden and Resort and, in a blitzkrieg habal-habal tour, visited Mangodlong Rock Resort, Lake Danao, Bakhaw Beach, Timubo Cave and San Francisco's Baywalk. It was another dream destination come true for me. A few weeks later, my photo of Santiago Bay was included in Flip Nomad's ebook, Pilipinas: Perlas ng Silangan.


Bukidnon: Joined two fun runs in Malaybalay this month: The Mindanao Week of Peace Friendship Run and Dole Skyland Anniversary Run. I was also hired as one of the marshals and photographers in the Columbia Trail Masters Duathlon held in the beautiful town of Impasug-ong

Cagayan de Oro: I marked my one year of running by joining another half-marathon at the Run United in Cagayan de Oro. I was able to improved my previous run by 3 minutes. There were lots of freebies at the end of the run making it the most "sulit" run I have so far joined.


Bukidnon: No travel for me this month. Instead , most of my time was spent in rushing to finish year-end work load and joining joyful Christmas gatherings. During the last day of the year, I took part in a charity run held in Malaybalay to help victims of Typhoon Sendong in Northern Mindanao.

Whew!!!!What a year it has been. Now its 2012 and I'm looking forward to another remarkable year. A  few days from, I will be running my first ever full marathon (42K) at the third Cebu City Marathon. I also have two booked flights so far: Cagayan de Oro-Manila-Legazpi round trip in February and Cagayan de Oro-Manila round trip in June. For sure, it will be another amazing year of travel, running and adventures!  

Happy 2012!!!


  1. wow! it was indeed a great yeat for you! good luck on your first full marathon... Cheers for more travels, run, and adventures this 2012! ^_^

  2. Whew, grabe jud ang year 2011. Naka tapos din. :-). Good luck earl for the Marathon in Cebu. :-).

  3. maraming salamat mervs & bonz! i wish us all more travel and adventures this year. God bless!


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