Photo Print | Praying Monk on a High

A Chinese monk praying at the Cliff of Self Sacrifice at Mt Emei
A Chinese monk praying at the Cliff of Self Sacrifice at Mt Emei

Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.

– Frances Mayes

“Praying Monk on a High” is available on different print options (Starting from 4×6) available at SmugMug WHCC Prints.

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1,000 Post in Retrospect and Giveaway Winner

My first Mt Pulag climb circa 2003
My first Mt Pulag climb circa 2003

I was thinking about what to write on my 1000th post and I was caught in a wind. Should I write something momentous and grand? Or something spectacular like listing down all the site achievements since it started? I wasn’t sure, really, so I’m just gonna write about the 3 questions I asked on my 1000th Post Giveaway to give not only the answers but a quick overview of this blog’s history.

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Batanes: Sunrise at Mt Karoboboan and Sidetrip to Paganaman Port

Tree and Sun at Mt Karoboboan
Tree and Sun at Mt Karoboboan

We marvelled at the stars, shining plentifully at the sky. Something we don’t see in an urban night. We played around with the star-gazer on our phones figuring out the constellations, the position of the stars in the wee hours of the morning while waiting for our dump truck service to arrive. Despite the gizmos in our hands, there was no electricity in Itbayat at 4am as it runs from noon to 12 midnight only. We were headed to one of the mountains in the island, Mt Karoboboan. Usual program from tourism here is they take people to the peak at sunset. But since we didn’t have time the day before, we decided to go on a sunrise.

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Mountain Province: Sagada’s Cinematic Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint

Sunrise over at Kiltepan Peak in Sagada, Mountain Province
Sunrise over at Kiltepan Peak in Sagada, Mountain Province

I was amused when I saw this dog from Rock Inn, the place where we were staying,  running in front of our jeep as we rode up the dirt road towards the Kiltepan Viewpoint. He was panting heavily with his tongue ridiculously hanging from his wide open mouth when we got there but I thought it was really nice to have a dog as a personal escort. It was already bright when reached the viewpoint and I saw the dog continue on to the cliff-side of the peak where a few people were already waiting for the sunrise. He soon sandwiched himself in between a couple as they waited for the sun to reveal itself behind the mountains.

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Ilocos Norte: Hiking the Adam’s Trail for Anuplig Waterfalls

Chilling out along the Anuplig Falls at Adams, Ilocos Norte
Chilling out along the Anuplig Falls at Adams, Ilocos Norte

Just hearing about a valley with 18 waterfalls, 10 hanging bridges, intersected by a flow of crystal clear waters from a river already gave me a sense of fascination about the place. Adams, at the northern edge of Ilocos Norte, mid forehead of Northern Luzon, is one of the destinations I was really looking forward to during the Lakbay Norte 2 tour. No somber weather could stop us from coming as we prepared ourselves for the rain by waterproofing out gears and donning raincoats. From Kapuluan Vista Resort, we took a 15minute coach ride to Panchan Junction, just past a bridge where the Bolo (Bolu) River flows and a dump truck was waiting for us to take us to Adams.

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Benguet: Morning View at Mines View Park Baguio

Mines View Park View Deck in the morning
Mines View Park View Deck in the morning

Who says you can’t enjoy the cool climate of Baguio on a weekend? Victory Liner is definitely victorious in capturing the route to Baguio that there are buses rolling off every hour for 24 hours. But we were not just there to enjoy the cooler weather as I along with friends Oggie and Erick are joining the Columbia Eco Trail Run at Camp John Hay. It’s good thing we bought tickets earlier to get our preferred seats since the Victory Liner station at Malibay Pasay is still packed with passengers heading out of Manila.

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Benguet: Columbia Eco Trail Run 2011 at Camp John Hay Baguio City

Columbia Eco Trail Run at Baguio
Columbia Eco Trail Run at Baguio

The air is thinner at 1500 meters above sea level that made me breath harder than normal. After that steep 45 degrees trail that went on for more than 10 minutes, I was gasping. But the fresh mountain air and embracing cold was enough to invigorate my body and continue to run the trail. A half cup of water quenched my drying throat and moved on. Then on a sharp turn, the view of mountains in all its gradient glory revealed itself on a narrow mountainside trail. It was stupendous. That’s why I love trail running. That is why I joined Columbia Eco Trail 2011 at Camp John Hay Baguio.

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