i'm off to the happiest place on earth with the family. woo-hoo!
happy, happy, joy, joy!
february 12- as early as 3 a.m. i've been up already and preparing to leave for clark field, pampanga to watch the hot air balloons take flight at 5 a.m. during this year's philippine hot air balloon fiesta. this annual event, now on it's 10th year, showcased balloons of all shapes and sizes from all over the world. it was a warm sunday as people flocked the omni aviation complex grounds.
with no vip pass for any of us, we had to content ourselves with taking pictures from a distance. that being the case, with my trusty digital camera and tripod, it still didn't prevent me from taking great pictures and enjoying the moment to see so many balloons getting inflated and flying up to the sky and disappearing one by one.
i've been wanting to ride on one balloon for the longest time. but this year, i got one step closer to achieving this dream- i got to attend the event itself to watch and enjoy the festivities. i hope that next year i can finally get to ride one.
and i thought this would be a monday like no other. anything that deviates from my daily routine is considered a crazy thing. and i like it when it happens.
it started when i got to the train station. there weren't much people considering it was a monday. but the influx of people riding the trains is very unpredictable nowadays, i can't find a pattern whatsoever. with the volume considerably light, i saw a cream colored labrador retriever a few meters from where i was happily lying on the floor with his K-9 unit handler right next to him. they got on the same station of the lrt purple line and joyfully alighted at katipunan. i could see on his face and his wagging tail that he enjoyed the very short trip. he couldn't care less about the people staring at him with such mystery. i think deep in his heart, he was trotting as he walked side by side with his handler. for him, it was just another day, another life.
as i got to the mrt blue line, the case would be the same. not much people rushing to work considering it was a monday, blah, blah, blah, yadda-yadda. but then again, i wasn't complaining. at least this time i din't feel like i was an anchovy being stuffed in a can sitting in my own oil.
upon reaching the office and logging on to my PC i got this link from a colleague via instant messenger. this is such a crazy way to start my monday morning. i hope you guys have a crazier one. just don't run off with scissors.
this is a video link so it may only work if you have broadband and it may take a while. this was taken from google video.
just because it's time to celebrate valentine's day once again. i wish you'd all have a good one whether it's spent with your spouses, families, partners, friends, colleagues, employees, or just by being alone.
my trek to the pinatubo volcano crater was my first out-of-town trip for the year. this was a long anticipated one since i've been invited to other climbs for the nth time and for some reason i always had to cancel last minute.
saying 'yes' to the invitation and actually going with the group was easy. we had the pre-climb meeting and notes were handed out to give us a brief of the trip. expectations were set based on the stories of those who've been there before.
early saturday morning, victory liner bus station was our meeting place and we were 30 minutes late. we rode the bus going to dau, pampanga where a mountaineer and an aeta local was waiting for us. fyi, no one is allowed to trek the mt. pinatubo crater without an aeta guide for they revere this volcano as if it were their god. another jeepney ride and we got to the jump-off point that they fondly referred to as the "hacienda". a 6x6 military truck carrying water hitched us a ride to a body of water which for the life of me i can't discern if it being a stream or a river. dang!
this was the longest walk that i had in my whole life. for most of the two days, i was just walking, walking and walking. what made it difficult all the more was carrying a backpack with it our tent, sleeping bag, four liters of drinking water, some clothes, toiletries and trail food. the pots, pans and the cookset weren�t even included in my bag. we started past nine in the morning with minimal stops only for a few minutes and had lunch a little over two. once we started ascending, there were more and more vegetation, boulders and less sand and rocks. streams were getting bigger and the currents were stronger but still we constantly had to cross them. the temperature was slowly dropping because of the ascent and dusk was already fast approaching. because my friend liz injured herself along the way, we had to stay behind and set camp along the path, about five to six hours away from the summit. mountain evening dinner consisted of corned beef, dried salted fish and rice-- nothing fancy but it was still good food.
liz decided to save her strength for the walk back home and rested her injured leg. hazel decided to stay behind with liz since she'd been there before. by day break, popsy and i resumed walking to get to the supposed camp of the others. from there, it would be another three hours of walk and crawling up. sunday, around eleven o'clock in the morning, we reached the volcano brim overlooking the spectacular blue green waters of the crater lake. everyone just stood in silence and was in awe of the sight. it was difficult going there but it was well worth it. a few minutes of rest and taking of photographs and we were on our way back. we didn't get back to the "hacienda" until around ten o'clock in the evening.
this was a trip that involved a lot of walking on fine sand slash ash and sharp rocks, countless crossing of brooks, streams, rivers, and not to forget the hot scorching sun. for someone who likes the outdoors but isn't physically fit to endure, this is not the mountain to climb. i should have known better. from a difficulty scale of 1 to 10, ten being the hardest, i'd give it a 12. but above it all, the serene lake on top of the summit was all worth my troubles.