Friday, 31 May 2013


Photos from Mainit, Bontoc Municipality, Mountain Province, Cordillera region, in 2012.

The pristine blue of a mountain stream uncorrupted and unpolluted by human activity. A cupped handful of water from here is literally liquid gold. Nay it's more precious than gold, a thousand times more valuable than any bottled springwater from anywhere on earth.

Many of the hidden wonders of the Cordillera are seen from the mountains of Mainit. Above is the Livo-o lake, a magical sea of clouds in the foreground of Mt Kalawitan. This lake only appears at certain times. Many of the high mountains of the Cordillera are also best viewed from Mainit.
Do not sully our waters. Especially this blue ribbon, blue label liquid gold.
Follow the lead of the I-Fidelisan in Sagada, and shut down mining operations that pollute our watersheds, waterways and fields.

Lake Livo-o.
Mt Amuyao in Barlig - above and below.
Mt Amuyao is the 4th highest mountain in the Cordillera region.

Views toward the village of Guina-ang in the Patoc-Chakkang range (Maligcong is behind Mt Patoc at middle-left), Bontoc lies behind Mt Pokis in the middle. Mt Polis and Mt Kalawitan are in the distant range in the background.

A close-up view of the Mt Polis gap on the Mountain Province - Ifugao border. The dim shape of the Bontoc-Banaue road climbing towards the towers on the gap is just visible.

Inudey falls in Bauko. Mt Data is just off-picture to the left, but Mt Singakalsa (3rd highest in the Cordillera) in Atok is clear as day.

Mt Kalawitan in Sabangan is an accessible mountaineering destination. But the best views of it are from the inaccessible mountains in Mainit.

Another view towards Guina-ang, Mt Pokis, Polis gap and Kalawitan.

Yes Givanay, there is a mountain vista such as thissa.

The road to Guina-ang from Mainit, just below the Chakkang rice terraces.

Mainit with Chakkang fields in the foreground.
I'll have more of that blue label stuff please.

The western/southwestern range bordering Mainit from Abra. This is the headwaters of Pasil river (behind the mountain slopes at bottom right) which flows north (east of picture) to join the Chico river in Kalinga.
 Philippine history 101 - Mainit history. Vantage point: Mt Mengmeng (Bandilaan). 
Bandilaan is the name given by the people of Mainit to the mountaintop (Mengmeng) where Filipino revolutionaries planted the Filipino flag in defiance and resistance of American rule. That ridge line heading away from bottom left of picture, is the escape route of those pioneering Filipino trail runners, a ragtag band of freedom fighters led by one Emilio Aguinaldo, on their flight from the colonial american army during the Philippine-American war. Aguinaldo followed the trails overlooking the Pasil river and found temporary refuge in Lubuagan where he set up the seat of the Philippine revolutionary government.

Talkin' 'bout a revolution? Oh no. Don't even whisper it, or you better run...
Let's leave talk about revolutions, but when those politicians get to be revolting -

The secret to the beauty and stability of the many fields of green and gold in these mountains,
 is stonewalling.
(I knew it Polichay. You stonewalling obstructionist you.)
We'll take that interjection as a comment,
but I do wonder where our forebears learned their stonewalling tactics from? 
Anybody know?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Warra: the Sandgate-Brighton foreshore

Warra is the open body of water stretching from Nudgee all the way north to Caboolture. This stretch of coastline offers many diverse activities and places for recreation and relaxation and reflection and meditation, from fishing to walking to cycling to running.

In late April this year about 500 runners participated in the 2013 Sandgate fun run.
Races included 8km, 4km and 1.5km. Runners filled the park at Einbinpin lagoon for the events on Sunday morning 21st April 2013.

While some people went to church, others did tai chi or other fitness and recreational activities,
and still others slept in - some chose to run. 

They looked good and fit and hale and healthy - in short they're dangerous.
Einbinpin lagoon, Sandgate

The foreshore too is home to the Sandgate parkrun, a 5km fun run held every Saturday morning.

 Sometimes other organisations choose Warra in Brighton as their venue for a fresh start.

A fun event called Fresh-Start-Athon was held here on the 4th May 2013.

The seagulls too are smart. I gave them a start, but they can play the part...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Pinnacles Classic 2013

Rain threatened but did not eventuate in the 2013 running of the 18-km Pinnacles Classic over 18 hills. 
The sky did stay overcast which helped the runners in the still muggy month of April. All up, 108 runners started and finished, giving their all and more – I’d say about 108%. Not bad. 
Better than this they put in 109% into car pooling which pleased TRAQ. 
Most pleasing to the runners however is the 110% put in by all the volunteers and officials – top effort that! 
The runners responded well. Everyone finished the race in under three hours, and no one got lost.

The race course is quite technical aside from being hilly – yep a minor matter of 18 hills, nothing to it really.

Yes really. The toughest hills had names like ‘mother’, ‘double whammy’ and others.
 I was struggling all the way that I started muttering, swearing perhaps, and bad-mouthing the bastards that dared slow me down. There were three of them in particular: bastards #1, #2 and #3.
 The bastards were hills of course. And they were alive with the sounds of me sick.
The finish line was just out of sight off Gold Creek and I could smell victory.
I mean I could smell the serenity, so I plodded on.

The final quarter was up and down the undulations (yes just like the first three quarters), 
along the ridges of gold creek catchment. 
There was more descents that ascents, but when you’re spent you’re broken,
(and when you're broke you've no cents).
Sometimes I make no sense, but as a law-abiding citizen, I obey the law-
and on the downhill, I obeyed the laws of gravity.
On the ups however, I had to defy gravity. I became an outlaw.
Lawful or awful, I slowly but sorely made my way to the finish.

Where I saw that everyone had finished. 
Life's like that. It has its ups and downs.
Congratulations to the top finishers. Great job!

No prizes for me but at least I had the consolation of bettering my time at my first attempt at the