Diwata is a travel insider at "Choose Philippines", a tourism advocacy managed by ABS-CBN that promotes everything about the beauty of the Philippines, from amazing people to stunning destinations. A proud construction worker that inspire people about fitness, out-of-the-door activities, travel, adventures and advocacies.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Mount Apo Dayhike: Reaching the top of the Philippines - in a day.

Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines that lives up to it's name as the grandfather of all the mountains in the Philippines. It is said to be named after a nobleman named Apong, who was killed while mediating the battle between two suitors of his daughter Saribu. 

At an elevation of 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level, Mount Apo towering over Davao Del Sur Province and in Cotabato Province provides an experience for every mountaineers it's awe-inspiring views from the jump-off to the trails and up to the summit. Many mountaineers do recommend completing Mount Apo hike over two days and one night span to get your body properly acclimatize. However, for some who has limited time due to work will probably just doing it in a day.

Here’s our honest experience on what to expect as well as some useful tips when climbing Mount Apo. It was really challenging as everything was compressed into one day. From climbing up to the campsites to boulder face up to the summit climb. It was certainly a test of our endurance, both physically and mentally.

Getting to Mount Apo

Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. The easiest way to reach the mountain is to fly directly to Davao International Airport and then take a long drive from Davao to Digos City then take a habal-habal ride from Digos City to the foot of Mount Apo via Kapatagan. This drive takes 3-4 hours from Davao City to the foot of Mount Apo. It features long windy rolling roads and an off-road with banana's on your side. 

Climbing Skills

To Climb Mount Apo does not actually require advance climbing skills. In fact, Mount Apo is just one big hike.

On our route - Sta. Cruz Trail, there a is one section called the Boulder Face that requires basic bouldering skills. No preparation is required for this section of the hike though, but be extra-cautious on touching and stepping the boulders because some are loose and shaky. 

Gears and Essentials

We cannot stress enough the importance of having the right equipment to climb Mount Apo. Spending a day visiting this mountain, wandering it's neighboring mountains and run along the heat of the sun is a bit adventure. The list of survival gear is presented so you can see what others carry, and to give you some ideas if you’re just getting started in preparedness. Everyone’s needs are unique and will change depending on a number of factors.

Many hikers use trekking poles which are helpful for balance and take the pressure off your knees, especially when you descend.

Hydration Vest (Amihan)
500ml Water
500ml Gatorade
Arm Sleeves 
First Aid Kit
Chicken Skin

The lists is really meant to be a basic list. It is in no way a complete list, or a list of things that need to be included in everyone’s stockpile. It is here to give you some ideas, and some things to think about when hiking mountain/s in a day.

The two key things to consider hiking Mount Apo:

1. Drink load of fluids

Dehydration is a key cause of Acute Mountain Sickness. The more fluids you can drink the better. Daily recommended intake is 3 litres of water. You can add an energy supplement to the water to make it taste better and always remember to add purification tablets.

2. Climb high, take a nap

Climbing high, sleeping low allows your body to experience altitude for a short period before descending to sleep. On our Mount Apo Dayhike we take a bit nap at the summit before descend.


Getting to the top of Mount Apo has a lot to do with determination. There will likely be a point during the summit attempt where you might feel like giving up – typically around the boulder face. You might be feeling awfully sick and exhausted due to sulfur and bit heat. At that lowest point it is important that you remain determined to get to the top – one step at a time!

Here’s the aftermath of our Mt Apo experience! Don’t be fooled by the smiles on our faces! Though we were feeling really accomplished, we were also extremely tired and our legs felt like they were gonna break any moment! We didn’t take much photos of our descend as we were too focused on getting down as fast as we can to get over and done with this climb. We finally reached the foot at around 5.30pm.


From Davao City accompanied by our guide v.v. we shared Php 3,627.00 all in. Thank you so much to Mr. John Kalog for securing our permit, John Lester (0949 4079 411) for guiding us all the way and to all the mountaineers we meet along the way, the local mountaineering of Davao City for the kindness and of course God for the guidance and for showing us what the world could offer, for those wonderful creations. Salamat Kaayo!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Little Pony Friendship Run 2017: Celebrate the Magic of Friendship in Manila

In line with the upcoming big screening of My Little Pony: The Movie this coming October 6, Global Procurement Inc. in partnership with Hasbro and Toy Kingdom brings you their very first friendship run in Manila dubbed as "My Little Pony Friendship Run" happening on September 23, 2017 at SM by the Bay, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

This Friendship Run is a family-friendly event featuring a 5k, 3K, 1K and 500m dash. Join the fun and celebrate the Magic of Friendship with your favorite ponies - Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle.

My Little Pony Friendship Run
SM by the Bay, Pasay City
September 23, 2017

Registration Fee
1 Individual Race
* 500m Php 700
* 1K   Php 700
* 3K   Php 900
* 5K   Php 1000
2 Family and Buddy Category
* 500M and 1K Package of 3 Php 1600
* 3K Buddy Package Php 1400
* 3K Family Package of 4 Php 2200
* 5K Buddy Package Php 1600

* Race BIB
* Drawstring Bag
* Hair Accessory
* Sweat Band
* Race Manual
* Finisher's Medal
* Singlet

Online Registration: Click Here
Walk-in Registration:
* Chris Sports Outlet
  SM North Edsa Main
  SM Megamall
  SM Mall of Asia
- Payment can be made Monday - Sunday (During Mall Hours)

Redemption Options:
1 Toy Kingdom Stores 
   SM North Edsa Main
   SM Megamall
   SM Mall of Asia
   Monday to Sunday (12:00nn - 9:00pm) - Except Tuesday
2 Delivery
   Provide address for delivery
   Race kits will be delivered thru courier
   There would be an extra charge for the delivery service

Assembly Time: 5:30AM
Gun Start:
6:00am - 5K
6:15am - 3K
6:30am - 1K/500m

For More Information:
Call: 0949-135-5073 | 0997-245-6577
Facebook: mylittleponyfriendshiprunmanila
Instagram: mylittleponyfriendshiprunPH

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2017 Filinvest City Endurance Weekend

Pegged as one of the festive MTB endurance event in the Philippines, the 5th Filinvest City Endurance Weekend has quickly making its way onto the hit list of many mountain bikers. With the aim to complete as many laps of different legs, the emphasis is less about competing and more about having fun and enjoying the impressive Filinvest Trail in Alabang. Elite and Amateur mountain bike (MTB) riders can once again expect a thrilling and demanding race experience happening on the 30th of September to October 1st this year.
The Filinvest City Endurance Weekend, first staged in 2013, is an exciting two-day MTB event unlike any other as it challenges riders - either in solo and team categories to push themselves to the limit in the 6-hour, 12-hour, or 24-hour race spans that are very much a test of skill, endurance, and strength. 

That Filinvest City serves as the race venue has become even more relevant and fitting with the recent introduction of bike lanes and trails, the latter a feature that cannot be found in other CBDs. Already, bikers of all backgrounds are taking advantage of these amenities, not only on weekends but also during the work week, making Filinvest City a true bike-friendly CBD.

This is an event for anyone who enjoys challenging their own physical ability, stamina and mental strength. 

Filinvest City Endurance Weekend 2017
Pacific Rim, Filinvest City, Alabang
September 30 - october 1, 2017

Race details

Solo Categories

Team Categories
24-Hour All Male and Mixed (Teams of 3)
12-Hour All Male and Mixed (Teams of 2)

Age Group (Male Solo Category Only)
29 and Below
30 - 49
50 and Above

29 and Below
30 - 39
40 - 49
50 and Above

Gun Start
24-Hour | September 30 (Saturday) 12:00NN
12-Hour Bike Challnege | September 30 (Saturday) 5:00PM
6-Hour | October 1 (Sunday) 6:00AM

Online Registration: Click Here

Apart from an exclusive medal for all finishers and winners, generous cash prizes also await winners in the various race categories.

Technical Details

Minimum Number of Laps
• 24-Hour: 24 Laps
• 12-Hour: 12 Laps
• 6-Hour: 6 laps

For relay teams, there is a minimum number of laps per
team mate.
• 24 Hour Teams of 3: 8 Laps
• 12 Hour Teams of 2: 6 Laps

Race Route
For more information on the Filinvest City Endurance Weekened and the accompanying registration fees and procedures involved, visit facebook.com/FilinvestCityOFFICIAL.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Amphibrun Race 2017: A Sea to Summit Adventure

Thinking about doing a Sea to Summit adventure? This race turns out to be everyone is looking for, and more. From the makers of routes dubbed as #RutangInaMore which is notable for it's technically difficult races, Be Trail Ready is pretty proud to host and invites everyone in their first ever extra-ordinary race this year that dares to go beyond your comfort zones.

Crossing the finish line on a trail race with a lot of people screaming your name is unforgettable. But, reaching the summit of Mount Daguldol, having started swimming in the ocean, running along it's shores, and running up that beast of a mountain is life altering, right? 

Make a team of 2 - either all male, all female or mixed and swim-run it together to the finish line. Swim paddle, pull bouy, swim fins and sim vests are allowed as long as you bring it all from the start line up to the finish line. 

Amphibrun Race 2017
La Luz, San Juan, Batangas
October 15, 2017

AmphibRun is a multi-stage adventure competition where teams composed of 2 participants who will swim and then run together until the finishline. The swim course will take place in open water, while the run course will take place in an off-road terrain.

Race Details
Assembly Point: La Luz, Laiya, Batangas
Assembly Time: October 15, 2017, Time TBA

Registration Fee
Early Bird Rate: PHP3,500 per team of two (register on or before Sep 18)
Regular Rate: PHP4,000 per team of two
Registrations are non-refundable and non-transferrable to other events or persons.

* Finisher medal
* Finisher shirt
* Finisher towel
* Bib vest
* Post-race meal

Registration: Click Here

Race Mechanics
* Members of the team will both run 1.5 km together
* Both will swim the 1.5km together in the open water
* Both run the 12km trail together
* Throughout the race they must carry all their mandatory gear (see below), including running gear through the swim

Both persons must be:
* At least 18 years old
* Able to swim

Mandatory Gear
Each member is required to bring all items from start to finish:
* Light or bright colored swim cap
* Swimming goggles
* Swimming vests
* Whistle
* Hydration gear for the run

Optional Gear:
* Swim fins
* Pull buoy
* Swim paddle


1. I am not a very confident swimmer. Can I still join, considering that I will be wearing a swimming vest and will be with my teammate the whole time?

It is required for both members of the team to be capable of swimming even without vests / flotation devices / swimming tools. The water is always unpredictable, and swimmers should be prepared and trained to complete the swim together with confidence.

2. Why are there mandatory gear and why are we required to carry them from start to finish?

AmphibRun is a unique race that is based on the spirit of teamwork, good application of strategies, and a great sense of adventure. While it is a swim-run race, it is different from aquathlon races in the sense that it is a team sport that it will challenge you to think and move together to reach the finishline. You could say that AmphibRun is very similar to Adventure Racing.

3. Is this race only for hardcore athletes?

The AmphibRun course is friendly to age-groupers. The race will be held in La Luz Resort, in Laiya, Batanggas- which has been a favorite venue for a popular brand of off-road triathlon race for beginners. The run course will take place at Mt. Daguldul, which is classified as a minor climb (can be hiked in 5 hours or less if you run), and with trail class 1-3 (ranging from easy stroll to using hands for balance). As with all endurance events, training is key. Respect the distance.

1.5K run - 1.5K swim - 12K trail run
Prepare now and enjoy later!

For more information and updates about the event: Amphibrun Race 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mount Polis Trail Run II: Trail Between the Borders

People nowadays blends running events with vacations, known as a “racecation” or “runcation,” a trip that includes running, sightseeing and relaxation. And with more destination race choices than ever, it’s no wonder that some runners want help with travel planning. To help you decide to find a race that would definitely give a one stop shop, Igorot Trail Runners brings you to one-of-a-kind trail race that will lead you to an altitude of more than 6,000 feet and a heart-stopping view of 3rd highest mountain in the Cordillera. 

Located between the borders of Ifugao and Mountain Province which is a couple of hour away from one of the most popular tourist destination in the country, Sagada. Mount Polis, a home of several species of birds covered by mossy and pines is one of the many trekking sites in the mountainous town of Bauko in Mountain Province. This mountain offers a view of the trails of Nueva Vizcaya, Sierra Madre Mountains and Upper Cagayan Valley on a clear day. 

Mount Polis Trail Run II
Otucan Bauko Mountain Province
October 22, 2017

Race Details

  5K     Php 500
10K     Php 750
21K     Php 1500
42K     Php 2200

Inclusion: Environmental Fees, Race BIB, Certificate, Carboloading, Post Run Meal, Finishers Medal (21k & 42K Finishers), Igortot Trail Runner's Tokens (5K, 10K, 21K & 42K Finishers), Finisher’s Shirt – short sleeves (5k, 10K, 21K & 42k Finishers).

Online Registration
Philippine National Bank
Account Name: Jomar Buclay
Account Number: 5663 6620 019

Assembly Time - 4:00am
Assembly Area - Otocan Sur (Pak-as, Elementary School)
Gun Start - 5:30am

Cut-off time:
21K - 8hrs
42K - 14hrs

*You can avail the 10+1 Promo for Groups who wish to register (Until September 18, 2017)
Proceeds of the event will procced to Lao-ingan Day Care Center.

Participants should come to the event physically prepared for the rigours of the trail. Everyone must understand very well that the Mount Polis Trail Run is a high altitude trail race with elevations exceeding 2000m above sea level. Given the innate challenges such as physical and mental fatigue which are to be expected in doing a race of these distances and for no other reason but the safety and welfare of all those involved in the event, runners without the adequate entry requirements will not be allowed participation and without exception. Here under are some of the risks, but not only limited to such, involved in doing the events;

- High Elevation 2000m and above
- Long, steep climbs
- Extended distance and time between aid stations
- Severe weather, including heat, cold and rain
- Water crossings
- Exposure to potential for falls along ridge lines and
- Mountainsides

1. Fully-charged working mobile phone containing the number of JOMAR (09497004977/09568540019) . It is required that the mobile phone is on at all times during the duration of the race. 
2. Headlamp and/or flashlight with battery power to last for at least 8 hours.
3. Water carrier (bladder, hand-held bottles, etc.) with volume of at least 500ml for 5kms and 10kms and 1,000ml for 42kms and 21kms
4. Whistle
5. Rain Jacket/thermal blanket/wind breaker
6. 1500-2000 calories of food for those running the 21K and 42K.
7. Sleeping Bag

1. All participants are required to submit Medical Certificates to guarantee they are fit to engage in this activity
2. 0nce registration has been duly processed, there will be no refund for participants who for whatever reason do not eventually take part in the Mt. Polis Mountain Run
3. Race category and race entry are strictly nontransferable.
4. No littering of any kind is allowed within or outside the course of the race tracks. There will be designated trash drops at each aid station that the runners can use to dispose of their waste.
5. The race route will be passing through villages, so please respect the locals and their culture.
6. Help any competitor who needs assistance along the trail.
7. No Smoking anywhere within the course.
8. There will be cutoff time for the 21K and 42K runners. This is for the safety of everyone.


Random Pictures

For more information about the events: Mount Polis Trail Run II
Jomar Buclay 0949 7004 977/0956 8540 019

Team PasadaPH on a Life-Changing Hike for a Cause

Team Pasada PH is a local non-profit group that functions to promote camaraderie, leadership, cultural awareness and social responsibility through responsible traveling and active lifestyle like running, biking, mountaineering and other activities. Part of the group’s social responsibility advocacy include outreach projects that aim to give back simple necessities to secluded local communities.

Now on its second year and with the great success of last year's Mt. Purgatory - Mangisi Outreach Climb, Team Pasada PH will hold another project. This time targeting three community schools along the trails of Mt. Ugo.

Better known as the Mt. Ugo Traverse, it is another favorite in the cordillera region. A mountaineer and hardcore trail runner's favorite, this part of the cordillera is also home for adrenaline mountain bikers in the north. The traverse starts in Kayapa, Nueva Viscaya all the way to Itogon, Benguet with an option to do a reverse traverse. Its rich pine trails and hints of mossy trails here and there contribute to the beauty of this traverse.

 PROJECT 390: Mt. Ugo Outreach Climb

This year's outreach climb will be dubbed as "Project 390: Mt. Ugo Outreach Climb" The project will commence on November 25-26, 2017. The target beneficiaries will be from 3 community elementary schools with a total of 90 students from kinder to grade school. 

Domolpos Elementary School / 30 Students
Lusod Elementary School / 30 Students
Saybuan Elementary School / 30 Students

Team PasadaPH will be sharing much needed school supplies, raincoats, rain boots and possibly simple school uniforms to the local school children in Saybuan Elementary School.


List of requested Items
Plastic Envelopes
Art Materials
* Pencils
* Crayons
* all others.

School Tshirt (Saybuan Elem School)
Based on initial costing made, all these items will be provided to one child in an average amount of 250.00 pesos.
Therefore the amount will refer to as the PLEDGE. In order to attain the target amount to cover all the cost the target number of pledges is 250-260.

The primary plan is distributed into three phases in order to raise the total amount.

Plan A.1
Team PasadaPH will launch its official Team Shirt. The full sublimated PERSONALIZED t-shirt will be made from light weight, high quality DRI-FIT materials. It will be supplied by a respected sports apparel manufacturer in the country. The cost of the team shirt will already include the pledge amount. The total cost of the tech shirt is 750.00.

Plan A.2
A limit of only 20 PasadaPH Mountaineers will join the actual traverse, doing equal distribution of workload all throughout the event for the team and for the outreach proper. The cost of the actual climb will be based on DIY/KKB costing and will be distributed equally. The cost on the other hand will already include the official Team PasadaPH tech shirt and the pledge amount which will be the reservation amount.

The deadline date for Plan A.1-2 will be September 15, 2017 to give time for the manufacturing of the shirts.

Plan B
If a pledger should choose not to join the actual climb, He/She may still participate by depositing the pledge amount of 250.00 pesos to any of the following bank accounts.

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Jerome Jamili
BPI - Ayala
Account Number: 0489 3435 76

Mark Daryl Santana
BDO - SM Sucat A
Account Number: 0014 8047 8855

In-kind supply pledges/donations are also more than welcome. We are more than willing to make necessary arrangements to pick up all in-kind donations.
* All proceeds will be for the benefit of the school children along the Mt. Ugo traverse.
* Full financial documentation will be provided for everyone and will posted in the PasadaPH Facebook group page and event page.
* As of writing the number of beneficiaries is final, all other additional information and updates will be launched thru online channels such as Facebook and Instagram as soon as possible.
* The target deadline date for all pledges is November 5, 2017 to give way for all necessary arrangements.

Random Pictures

For more Information, you may contact the following:
Mark Daryl M. Santana +639208788688 (Smart) Jerome Jamili +639778418290 (Globe)
Official Email Address: teampasadaph@outlook.com
Project 390: Mt.Ugo Outreach Climb event link: PROJECT 390: Mt. Ugo Outreach Climb

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Double Barrel Runloaded: I Will Never Surrender Kaya Ko 'To!

Last year, Pinoy Aspiring Runners (PAR) partnered the Philippine National Police for a fun run dubbed as "The Running Addict," which promote and support the advocacy and campaign of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on the war against drug. After the success of the said event, PAR through the initiative of Director De Leon in partnership with PNCOAI (Police Non-Commissioned Officers Association Inc.) is holding another worthwhile running event for the benefit of PNP personnel injured during police operations.

This fun run dubbed as "Double Barrel Runloaded" was inspired by the campaign project of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. Both competitive and recreational runners are welcome to choose their own category to run. Run solo or run with your crew! Also get to enjoy pacing with surprise celebrity runners and members of gwapulis from the Philippine National Police community.

 I Will Never Surrender Kaya Ko 'To!
 Kristine Santillan wearing the actual finisher shirt inspired by the statement of PNP Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. Photo by: Running Photographers

Double Barrel Runloaded
Liwasang Ilalim, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay City
October 29, 2017

Race Details

16K     Php 750   Singlet, Finisher Shirt, Finisher Medal, Race BIB
10K     Php 650   Singlet, Finisher Medal, Race BIB
 5K      Php 550   Singlet, Finisher Medal, Race BIB
 3K      Php 450   Singlet, Finisher Medal, Race BIB

Onsite Registrations

1. Garmin
- 3rd Floor Glorietta 5, Makati City
- SM Mall of Asia (2nd Floor Cyberzone)
- 3rd Floor UPTOWN MALL BGC, Taguig City
- 2nd Level New Wing, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City

- Camp Rafael Crame, Barangay Santolan, Quezon City

Gun Start
16K     5:00am
10K     5:30am
  5K     5:45am
  3K     6:00am

Finisher Shirt

16K Finisher Medal

Kristine Santillan wearing the sample race singlet and holding the 16k finisher’s medal during the media launch held at PNCOAI Hall in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

For more information and updates: 
Mobile Number: 09988696146 / 09157688735 / 09278169737
Landline: 723-0401 local 4340
Email: doublebarrelrunloaded@gmail.com
Website: Double Barrel Runloaded


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