Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon 2015

I was out of the racing scene for a good three months so admittedly, I was a bit nervous coming into this race. It almost felt like being a newbie again but after doing some warm ups and getting my bearings, I finally got into the groove of the moment and all became familiar again. 

The race started 5:30am at Alviera-Sand Box in Porac, Pampaga.  We snaked through  steep fire trails, some dirt roads and single track trails heading towards the falls.  The course itself was not that difficult but what proved challenging was getting my footing right while traversing through the mossy (slippery) rocks and muddy terrain.  Highlight of the race was reaching the falls which was an awesome sight.  It was so hard to resist NOT taking a few pics and giving in to a quick dip in the cool inviting water --- which I did.  Refreshing as the experience may be, I had to cut it short and get on with the race. As I started to climb up the hill heading for the finish line, I took a moment to look back at the awesome sight of the Miyamit Falls from above and just suck in the view.   As the morning progressed, it was getting really hot that I had to continuously consume water and gatorade to stay hydrated.  I crossed the finish line at around 9am and was pretty surprised to learn that I came in at 11th place.

Despite my three month break, I never lost my love for racing and the challenges it brings most especially on trail races where you never know what to expect. Aside from the challenges, there is also the element of being in and around nature that somehow touches you in different ways like 
experiencing the beauty of the Falls and capturing magnificent mountaintop views. It always leaves me with a sense of awe and best of all,  its free! 

  Miyamit Falls     
  A quick dip before heading back to the Finish Line. :-)
Beauty of the Trails 
The Locals "Aeta "under a Tree. 
Slippery Rocks on the Race Route.
Now thats what i call an " Aid Station " with a Fantastic View .
Thank you Clark- Miyamit Trail Race for the Pictures.
With Race Organizer  - Tin F. 
Women's First Placer as Always :-) Icar Hiponia
Benji. :-) you have to invite me to your restaurant soon . 
 Renel D. mine nalang your Bandana 
My Stupid look 3 kms remaining to the finish line. 
Hey Benji move your Butt :-)


There is a place north of Manila that I call my 
Shangri-la.  No, it does not look or even come close to the Shangri-la we all know but it doesn't matter because it is 'my' Shangri-la. 
In my Shangri-la, I run in the woods, climb mountains and sometimes do a little sightseeing.  It is a place I spend time by myself with myself.  If by some dreadful circumstance I got lost or fell and break a leg, I probably would not be found.
But then again, maybe that is why I call it my
Shangri-la... because I do not want to be found.
 Cabuyao Relay Station
Korean : Mickey Mouse Ears.
Pinoy : La Presa. 
My Time in the Woods  
 The "Anvil" really caught my attention. 

It is Safer

Its been a while since I've last joined a Race.  If I’m not mistaken, it's been close to three months already but it's not because I've lost interest in Racing. In fact, I do have a very hectic race schedule for the last quarter of the year.  For now, I just really look forward to my weekend getaway trips that allow me to run and explore some new mountain trails or beach coast lines. Once in a while, I interact with the locals and try out their sweet and savory delicacies. I am often pleasantly surprised how delicious and reasonable priced they are. 

Some would say that I’m an introvert but I just like my alone time..... It is Safer .

“ I like being alone. I enjoy my own company. I am satisfied Running the Trails far from any other human being. For me loneliness is the desirable state. Solitary confinement,  a touch of heaven. I am never bored ". 
- Dr. George Sheehan ( Running and Being ).
Fields of Gold 
In the Bushes
River Crossing 
 My very own "Aratilis Hydration Drink "
Baon for my long runs in the Boonies 
Kilawin na Kambing ( Goat ) and Kalderetang Kambing for Lunch. 
 Bulalo in a Karinderia 
  I prefer White Corn compared to the Japanese Sweet Yellow Corn
 Dried Fish
 Fish Anyone 
 Korean Appetizers 
Went American for Dinner
Greasy Bacon Burger and Twister fries.

12 Best Hiking Getaways in the Philippines


With the overabundance of natural wonders in the Philippines, who can ever resist the temptation of going on an adventure? One of the most exciting outdoor adventures you can have in the Philippines is hiking in its incredible terrain. You don’t necessarily have to be a pro hiker or mountaineer to enjoy this kind of outdoor fun because there is a huge variety of hiking trails that will suit every fitness level.
If you’ve already conquered the top mountains and the most scenic hiking trails in the Philippines, here are more beautiful spots for your next hiking getaway.


hiking getaways in the philippinesImage credit: incrediblethots
diwata or forest nymph named Maria Makiling is believed to be guarding this mountain in the province of Laguna. If you’re curious about her existence, make your way to Mount Makiling Forest Reserve in the University of the Philippines, Los BaƱos (UPLB). An 8.9 kilometre stretch of hiking trail leads you to the depths of the forest reserve where flat rocks, mud springs, big trees, varieties of plants and other spectacular features of nature await you.


Image credit: i*want*magic
Like Mt. Makiling, Mt. Arayat in the province of Pampanga is full of mystic tales. Some locals believed that Mt. Arayat is the home of a sun god named Sinukuan. Other accounts said a fairy named Mariang Sinukuan, believed to be the sister of Maria Makiling, dwells in this place. Whether these stories are true or not, Mt. Arayat remains to be one of the most exciting hiking destinations in Luzon.


Image credit: jaya
Mt. Manalmon is probably not the most challenging and the most amazing, but it is a great destination for bouldering, camping and bonding with friends. At the summit, you can see the breathtaking landscape of Mt. Arayat and Mt. Gola. You can also explore the nearby Bayukbok caves and Madlum cave for an added adventure.


Image credit: Francis Gimenez
Mt. Tapulao is the highest peak in Zambales, and it is considered by many as the most challenging mountain to traverse in Central Luzon. Hikers need to be physically prepared because the trail leading to the summit is rocky, and it could get really cold in there too. Expect to pass through a mossy forest with colourful flowers, exotic plants and lovely pine trees. The mountain’s name is derived from the profusion of pine trees or tapulao in local Zambal dialect.


Image credit: Kristoffer Dominic Amora
From Luzon, let’s move on to the Visayas region. One of the most historical and controversial mountains in the country is Mt. Manunggal in Balamban, Cebu. It’s where the presidential plane carrying President Ramon Magsaysay and 17 of his presidential staff crashed on March 17, 1957. You may participate in an annual trek commemorating this fateful event. But you can always opt to trek on a different date if you find it a bit morbid.


Image credit: dumagueteinfo.com
Situated in the town of Valencia, Casaroro Falls is dubbed as most photographed waterfalls in Negros Oriental, but it surely offers so much more than this title. Getting to the jump-off point of Casaroro is fairly easy because you can just ride a “habal-habal” or motorcycle, but along the way, you would probably want to get down and start the hike due to the bumpy and perilous road. Don’t worry, the hiking obstacle is nothing compared to the beauty that lies ahead.


Image credit: Chad M
From Negros Oriental, let’s move on to Negros Occidental. One great hiking trail fit for beginners is located inside Mambukal Resort, a mountain resort near Bacolod City. Aside from its recreational facilities and sulphur spring, the resort features seven majestic waterfalls. Yes, that’s right – seven waterfalls in one resort. You can easily follow a paved road that will lead you to the seven waterfalls. Some of the waterfalls are quite unnoticeable so always be attentive when you’re hiking there.


Image credit: Klaus Stiefel
The photo pictured above is Lake Danao in Ormoc, Leyte, one of the possible jump-off points of your Alto Peak climb. Alto Peak is the highest peak in Eastern Visayas and one of the toughest to climb in the Philippines. It has no established trail, and the terrain is dangerously steep, only a few professional mountain climbers have successfully reached the summit. Make sure you do an extensive research and intense preparation before deciding to climb Alto Peak.


Image credit: Trekero
Time to explore the hiking trails in Mindanao. The Center for Ecological Development and Recreation (CEDAR) in Bukidnon is great for nature lovers and first time hikers. This eco-tourism centre features amazing wonders of nature from thick canopy of plants and huge trees to fresh natural pools and majestic waterfalls. It’s an all-in-one hiking destination worthy to be explored by every hiker.


Image credit: I Travel Philippines | wayph.com
Puting Bato is the highest peak in Samal Island. Due to its distinct white limestone wall, the mountain is called “Puting Bato” which translates to white rock. The climb is relatively easy, and it just takes about an hour to reach the summit. Once you’re on top, breathtaking views of the Davao seascape and its neighbouring islands will greet you. The soaring peak of Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines, can also be seen from there.


Image credit: Kleomarlo
Mt. Kalatungan in Bukdnon is one of the highest mountains in the country. While it has been tagged by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS) as a potentially active volcano, there have been no recorded eruptions yet. Professional climbers describe Mt. Kalatungan as one of the most difficult climbs in the country. You may want to reserve this hiking destination until you’re fit to conquer its trail difficulty.


Image credit: Make It Davao
Also known as White peak, Mt. Pandadagsaan in New Bataan, Compostela Valley has also been tagged as one of the toughest mountains to climb in the Philippines, even surpassing the trail difficulty of Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak. The mossy forest rich in flora and fauna, and the image of the glorious summit, will definitely fuel every climber to keep going when the going gets tough. Unfortunately, the mountain is off limits to first time climbers for safety reasons. Like Alto Peak and Mt. Kalatungan, it needs a highly technical mountaineering skill to climb Mt. Pandadagsaan.
Don’t worry if you’re not a technical climber yet, every expert starts with being a newbie. Start with the easy trails, and who knows, you might just find yourself in one of the summits of the toughest mountains to climb in the Philippines someday.

About the author

Charmaine loves random weekend trips, technology and coffee. Guided by her travel mantra "chill and travel", she enjoys unplanned escapades without compromising leisure. Her free hours are spent reading a book, watching movies or thinking about her next possible adventure.