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.
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.
While I found the first Lakbay Norte in 2010 a bit cramped and rushed, it was still a fun trip going through the 8 provinces in 4 regions in 7 days that’s why when an invitation came for Lakbay Norte 2, I decided to join again. I checked the itinerary and there are new places I haven’t been to that caught my interest. And this time around there are two separate legs where media participants can choose which one to join or both. Let’s see where this year’s Lakbay Norte 2 will take us.
It was 7 days, 1798 kilometers, 9 Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVBs), 8 provinces in 4 regions, 26 people on one bus on a trip around Northern Luzon. This is the Lakbay Norte Familiarization tour held January 24-31, 2010. I’ve always wanted to do a horseshoe loop of north Luzon and I was glad I was able to do it with the help of North Philippines Visitors Bureau. It was packed, tiring but also fun and exciting. For those who would like to try the similar route, this would be a great reference on what to expect.
Baguio has always been known as the summer capital. People flock here to enjoy the cool weather, great food and shopping. Aside from that, it’s the gateway to the northern mountains like climbing Mt. Pulag or when heading to Sagada. But Baguio is gearing up to make people stay within city vicinity by introducing eco-adventures around Baguio.
“How would it be like to be a miner for a day?” Honestly, the thought never crossed my mind until we got into the gates of Balatoc Mines center in Itogon, Benguet. While I was able to catch the 7 dwarfs whistle while they work in the mines when I was young. It was not something I wish to grow up but still a very interesting occupation at that. I kept an open mind and a sense of adventure as we do the Balatoc Gold Mines Tour. Who knows, I may dig myself a nice chunk of gold.
(Updated June 26, 2011) Once in a while, I miss long road trips. Riding at the bus for hours on the road. Come night you rest comfortably at your seat and let the rocking motion of the bus cradle you to sleep. That may also be one reason what drew me back in Sagada last I went there. It’s the road journey itself. And the highlands is the perfect destination for it. Even if the bus doesn’t have air conditioning, most times packed on their crammed little seats, the cool mountain air blowing from the window, the bucolic back country panoramas sliding in front of your eyes is enough to satiate my crave to hit the road and travel.