All posts by mulattomountainchef

I use my imagination and my palate in exploring the world's best. Name it, I'll plate it.

Mt. Ugo Marathon: Finding Traction

Team Joyce Race Report: All Finishers 😉

“This is just a race. Come on!” the macho voice said.

Saddened by the thoughts on how will I be able to catch up with the gang, I laid there, faced-down on the concrete while processing thoughts. I have no idea how long did I stay in that position. It seemed as if the clock stopped ticking. With all my running grace gone neglecting the fast paced running crowd I kept myself reminded, “Lady bug, don’t be a loser. Stand up. Fight!” “But it hurts,” and what agitates me more that I cannot accept was the idea of hey! I haven’t even cross the 2nd km marker and there I was again, a damsel in distress. What happened to me?

Japan-Japan with Sir Bong. The man who introduced trail running to me two years ago

People ran fast, like the flashy action scene on television screens. Some stopped while others offered help. Bong Damian was there too (the man who introduced trail running to me a year ago), about to bend his knees to aid me, but I said, “Sure thanks, but I can manage. Proceed. Sayang ang time mo.” And of all those people who cared is an authoritative voice that had hit me straight to the soul.

At first it was just like the others…
“Are you ok?”
“No. But it’s manageable. Don’t worry, Sir.”
“This is just a race. Come on.” the macho voice said. And for a time that statement reverberated in my head. “This is just a race… Come on!”

He held me up and didn’t leave until I was able to stand on my feet. I looked at him and to my surprise, that macho voice belongs to the CM50 race director, Atty. Jon Lacanlale. No! I will not cry (even if I really feel like it). Not in front of the one who brought my spirit back.  I just couldn’t thank him enough.

“This is it! We’ve only just began. So what if they were all over me? Trail running is no steady sports. A lot of may happen along the trail. Now it’s my turn to play the game. So dare me,” lol. It wasn’t me, actually. It was my ego talking. Haha yabang niya noh?!? I love her. Haha. The fighter. So Amazona, but cute. 😛

Optimism evokes power. Renewing the mind sharpens attitude. And that is my edge, a friend of mine once said, “Maraming mabibilis at malalakas Lady, pero hindi lahat may tamang attitude toward trail running. At yun ang meron ka. Mahirap kang pasukuin.” Idol kita, forever Kokoi. 🙂Alam mo bang kasama yan sa motivational playlist sa utak ko sa tuwing nanghihina ako? At tulad ng sinabi mo, mananatili sa lupa ang mga paa ko.

There was Edward, a man so strong who survived a gunshot trauma pointed to his head a long time ago, but is now into rocking the trail with his second life. What was that compared to my suffering that day? I have no right to stop. There was Alexandria too, with a broken ankle she was still able to groove. They were born fighters. I admire them, look up to them.

In a rented van on our way to Kayapa from Solano

Jeysen, John, and Rommel were also there running their first trail marathon, I should not fail. There was Raymond too, haha my buddy for BDM102. I shouldn’t be weak, that was only 42. If he sees me failing he might stop envisioning our goal next year. I don’t want it to happen. Mother Joyce prepared our festive breakfast a day before: the No-to-DNF-meal was served, I must stick to the goal.

                                         Ang mga Siga ng Zamora Ext. Hahaha Nakakain na kasi ng                                                 No-To-DNF breakfast treat ni Mother Joyce

Neri, Ms. Jona, Omar, Mit and Sir Dennis, the 50milers were aiming for a strong finish, kaya kakayanin ko ito. At para saan ang videoke night namin nina Erwin and Jerriel kung made-derail ako sa goal?

Luncheon!!! Yum-Yum 🙂

The aim for female’s top 10 or sub 6:30 was still on. May chance pa. E sina Randy at Dexter nga kulang sa pahinga, go! go! go! pa rin. How about Darell’s dare for a km300buckle? Haha. Let’s do this. And oh si Labidabs pa pala. Haha. Char!

Bagay noh? Tsk! Kaya lang para silang yung Complicated Subtraction problem eh. Cannot be, borrow 1 from 3 haha

Traction found! So firm it can’t be taken away from me. Just like that statement written on Jeysen’s shirt, “Finish it or die trying.” There should be no option called quitting. Push!

Then I could feel the tearing of the flesh on my left knee. Yayks! It was bleeding seriously. I took my last bottle full of water again to wash the muddy blood out before I put my gel on it to at least lessen the pain from the crash. But it didn’t do any good so I just chose not to mind it much as I must. Again, for my traction, Push!

Down to AS1 = Punit-damit, gulong-putik, dugo-dugo-binti… in short, DUROG!

Whew! Then I could hear my training coach’s claps, shouts, and devilish laughs after every chant, “Block the pain, Lady. Discomfort lang yan.” Haha am I hallucinating again? Of course he wasn’t around since he’s among the leading runners. Crazy in thoughts I finally got to AS1. Thanks Tutu for the training. It helped me a lot. Say it’s all in the mind when it’s actually not. Hehe. Through you I’ve learned more on empowering my brain as much as my body.

There was no room for hypocrisy. I know my strength so well as my weakness. I’m not good on flats so I pushed myself harder going up on hills, but that didn’t go well. My left calf-muscle was straining again
which is not good as my doctor appealed for enough resting time to that injury of mine. But no! I’m almost halfway there, why stop here now? Push!

As I elevate on trail I could sense hope. I was catching up with the gang. I sticked to my sub-time goal and didn’t stop until I’ve seen my teammates cheering me on. “Push! Push! Push!” We agreed to shout “push!” whenever we pass by one another so we could be enlightened. Thanks to them. I was fully on.

Heading toward the other side of Mt. Ugo, there was this man who looked at me in dismay. He said, “Anong nangyari sa legs mo, ma’am? Naku. Bawas alindog yan.” Sa isip ko, wow! Gwapo mo Uh. I looked at him and oh yeah, Gwapo nga. Tsk!

Shocks! Oo nga peklat na naman ito. Lagot na naman ako kay mama. I better be more careful.

Running my way down from the summit to AS2, I dived hard again. This time it hit my right knee and elbow. Haha. Should I be a TV actor, I’d make a good action star, I swear. At that time instead of bursting into tears I just laughed and shouted, “Go! Go! Go!” “Push! Push! Push!” Then… Awchness!!! What was that pain? It seemed like cutting my back. Did I break a rib? Nada! Nada! Discomfort Lang yan. Block the pain! Block the pain! Ok, block the pain. I looked at my skin. From my shoulders down to my legs, it was purplish. That must have been caused by the coldness. I stood up. Now I could feel the discomfort all over my body. Seriously?!? Quota na ‘to Uh. But no!
Push! Hanggat walang butong lumalabas, Go! Pick and roll. At puro na ako galos kaka dulas at gulong sa daan. Kebs!

Mahirap talagang maging babae. Buti pa yung boys tatalikod lang solved na. Kami kailangan pang humanap ng safe spot para makawiwi. Haaay. I urinated four times out of coldness and that wasn’t easy, you know. Haha. Bilis-bilisan moves while hiding in the shadows, lol. But that experience was fun ’cause it was too challenging.

Ten kilometers more, finally I got to AS1. I was hungry I could eat them all alive. Joke (Halfmeant ’cause they all looked like chocolates on candy clouds) haha. I forgot about asking the name of that man who filled my hydration bottle and who was also about to aid my wounds. With so little time, I did not linger. I’ve got to save it up for my sub-time goal. Though it’s not feasible in less than an hour I thought, “You made it this far, why give up now? Just push and see for yourself, Lady.”

The Bragging Rights 🙂

From that point to FL, I ran as fast as I can. I failed for my goal, but it was cool. I actually felt good because that’s a PR for me – 7hrs and 3mins, my best pace so far. Even faster than my only road marathon record. Best effort. I’m fine with it. ☺️


Eh naunahan ni Baby Girl si Mother. Haha. Maaaliw ka sa kanila, promise.

And oh, Baby girl got a strong finish too. Congrats Klaudette. Pumayat ka talaga. Achuchu!

To Sir Jonel, thank you for that tough route and very comprehensive orientation. Nakinig ako, promise. Haha. I love the chill it brought in and out of my being. See you next leg, Sir… Four Lakes 100 up to P1?!? Or…. Hehe

To the race marshals, locals and volunteers. Salamat sa ngiti, nakaka enlighten.


Tagay pa! Haha sa Videoke Night, Chorva!

Sa mga tropang lokal na nakasama ko sa videoke night haha, duet ulit tayo ‘pag balik namin.

Sa kuyang masahista, babalikan kita. May atraso pa ako sayo. May bayad pala iyon. Hindi ka naman nagsasabi. Hayaan mo Kuya magkikita tayo sa second leg. Sorry naman po. ☺️

And of course, to my friend… Rain hahaha andami kong tawa. Oh masaya ka naman na siguro. Natupag ko ang misyon. Ok na?!? Hahaha. Pagaling ka ng maayos. Marami pa tayong tatakbuhin at po-podium ka pa diba? Hihi


Yung ilang beses akong sumuka sa sasakyat at inaway si Darell dahil huli na ang lahat nang iabot niya ang Bonamin sa akin. Pambihira! May dala pala siya. Pinahirapan talaga muna ako eh noh. Sadista! Grrr. Pero ok lang. Kasi pag dating namin sa Baguio, Hmn… unli kain ulit. 


1. “This is just a race. Come on.”
-Atty. J. Lacanlale
Three things:
a.) This is just a race. It’s not everything. Don’t risk your life for it. Just enjoy and be safe. Marami ka pang tatakbuhang laro.
b.) This is just a race. Wag mong dibdibin yung sakit, tumayo ka.
c.) Eh ano kung tumigil ang Oras ko sa pagtulong sa’yo. Hindi ko nanaising magpatiuna, na daraanan ka lang at hahayaang sugatan because this is just a race and you are my fellow runner.

2. There are two kinds of runners, the fast and the strong. You could be one or both but that is your choice.

3. Run every opportunity. Don’t take it for granted.

4. There will always be these options: a. To Win or
b. To Lose

All the glory be to God ☺️
Next stop… PDL42km




Thank you Rosa, para sa pagiging ultimate support namin forever, from online chat to live action anjan kA palagi. I love you a lot. Xoxoxoxoxoxo unli



Group Hug: Kibungan Circuit

Organizing a climb is not as easy as tagging your friends out to watch a movie or go elsewhere you wish. There are more than tons of what ifs to weigh and think about as well as things that should be planned fully well. Hindi rin ito laro na kapag napagod ka ayawan na o immature relationships na kapag nahihirapan o nasasaktan ka, break up na because we are talking about lives here under your care.

Sa presinto ka na magpaliwanag. Haha. May problema ka ba? Talk to Jlo. haha

Truth is, team leading an outdoor activity, take mountain climbing specifically, is so stressful that it cannot just be handled by anybody. Granted, you had your BMCs and all, so what? Where would your collection of certificates take you if you cannot manage your people right and adapt to a certain change given the unpredictable situations? Can sheets of paper save you? I’m not saying it bears nothing. Training matters of course, that’s your foundation, but those training got to be given life. Apply what you’ve learned and enjoy hiking. Too basic right? But not easy.

For me, more than the perks of getting the chance to climb for free or the benefits of whatever shimmers, it’s the morals I get after every climb that matters. Beyond that are the people and our shared experiences, because are worth more than a hundred thousand treasures.


The early bird catches the grand prize, este, the worm. Hehe. Congratulations Rommel! Our call time was 8pm, but you were already there @ 7:12pm.


Katulad ng sagot si Jlo sa sa nagtanong sa kanya kung may sea of clouds ba sa Kibungan,

Ang babae sa tabi ng bato: Tanap Hot Spring Babe 

“May sea of clouds, pero malayo at kung may obstructions baka hindi mo makita.” Before the climb took place meron kaming struggles. Tuloy o tigil?

Una, bumagyo the previous week kaya nasira ang mga kalsada patungong Kibungan. Tutuloy pa ba o hindi? But as we got the assurance from Kibungan Tourism na safe nang daanan ang mga kalsada, tuloy na tuloy na talaga.
Ikalawa, kaugnay ng mga nasirang daanan, dalawang araw bago ang itinakda, nagkaroon ng update regarding increase in transportation churva, mabuti na lang at maunawain ang mga participants ko. Willing sila mag-adjust para pagaanin ang burden na iyon.

Kapoy kaayo, power nap muna tayo

Ikatlo, a day before the climb dalawa sa participants ang umatras. Yung totoo, biglang tumigil ang mundo ko. Siguro mga 30minutes akong loading noon. “The boat is sinking, to whom shall I group myself into?” Ayoko nang ipasa ang burden sa grupo dahil kapapasa ko lang noon a day ago. So ok, just please oh God, bless us with good weather. Kahit doon na lang, kahit iyon na lang po. And on that day was another name. Shocks! What’s happening? Though she assured me that she’ll still give her share, di pa rin ako maka-chill. On my end, nakaka-guilty to still take it without her on this trip. Ayoko ng ganung idea. So I prayed na sana, sana, sana talaga makasama siya. Until she came and I thanked God, so much.


Cute moh, Kiks haha

But wait, there’s more. Ewan ko ba kung matatawa na lang ako sa mga kaganapan sa mundo when one of my kids (anak, as I consider them) got stuck on a crazy Friday night traffic. Aabot ba siya o hindi? Going once, twice, quota na po ito Lord uh. Buzzer beater boom! Basang-basa sa pawis dahil tinakbo niya ang distansya mula MRT Cubao hanggang Victory Liner. I appreciate the effort kaya ngingiti-ngiti ako noon. Ang cute mo talaga Kiko. hahaha. Somehow, nagamit ko rin naman ang waiting time para tumakbo sandali sa Farmers at makabili ng cake in 20 minutes. Kaya lang, nalamog sa biyahe pa lang matapos gumulong pabagsak ang box nito mula sa upper bags’ compartment ng bus down to the aisle . 😦

If you just smile… lalala 🙂

Lahat ng stress, pagod at pag-aalala nabura as we started trekking. My focus was then shifted to the safety of my team.
The first challenge took place doon pa lang sa Mt. Tagpew river crossing (Mayo’s river). I didn’t expect it to be that deep (most shallow part: hip level; deepest part: chest level. When the depth was measured we crossed using the most shallow part. For this, I must admit na nagkulang ako. I should’ve brought the TL’s rope. Good thing Janry and Rommel brought their emergency ropes.

Together we climb; together we cross the rivers: Never underestimate a river crossing. 

Sa tulong noon, kasama na ang bayanihan ng buong grupo lalong-lalo na ng mga guides at porters namin pati ng men in action, ligtas naming natawid ang ilog na iyon. Lesson learned: Gaano man yan kababaw o kalalim, never underestimate a river crossing. Precautions first.

Pinulikat ka ba? ‘Wag mag-alala. Kayang-kaya yan ng kamay niya. 😉 Si Marvin nga pala. Ang PT mong dream.

As the tricky assault began, nagsimula na ring mag-vary ang pacing ng bawat isa. Hanggang sa wait, may nag-cramps. Buti na lang may master masahista sa group namin, si Marvin. Sa pamamagitan ng asin, medyo na-resolve ang kanyang suliranin.

Kumanta kasi si Jlo e hehe. Umambon, umulan, umambon, lumakas ang ulan at hindi na tumigil. Nakakainis pero ano bang magagawa namin. Kalikasan na ang kumilos. But I still prayed. It didn’t work because it still rained hard on us. It was cold and getting dark. Wasn’t my faith enough? Are you not hearing me oh

Umakyat, Napagod, Bumagsak, Tulog.

God? Until we finally saw a hut. I asked Nanay if she could let us in at least for a night. Pumayag siya. Pero hindi naman kami kasya doon lahat. So I looked for another house that could accommodate the 16 of us for an e-camp and they were just so nice, we didn’t stay out in coldness for a night. For a moment it dawned on me, God loves us more dearly than I could think of. It rained hard, yes with the roars of thunder. I prayed for it to stop so we could camp at the summit of Mt. Tagpew, but it didn’t. So here, it didn’t mean that He didn’t hear anything or my faith at that time wasn’t enough. Truth is, He’s given us more than what I’ve prayed for. Lahat kami masarap ang tulog. hehe. Dinig na dinig sa paghihilik nila eh. Alam mo yung feeling na humiling ako ng tinapay pero ang binigay niya ay hamburger with fries pa at Zagu. Nakakakilig diba?!? At lol, nakapag-bonding kami ng assistant chef kong si Rommel na ang ginawa kada hiwa ay pagtikim. hahaha.

Make a wish! Happy birthday Jay!!!

Sa bahay na iyon ay maraming nangyari. Nagtulungan ang lahat para makapaghapunan kami ng masarap at mainit na bulalo.

Sa presinto ka na magpaliwanag. Haha. May problema ka ba? Talk to Jlo. haha

Haaay doon pa lang ramdam ko na. I have the perfect mix of group. Hindi ko lang nasabi sa kanilang lahat pero sobrang na-overwhelm ako sa participation nila. For an ENFP-A like me who gets energy from the vibes of people around, I can say that they had me fully charged again. Somebody asked, “Hindi ka ba napapagod? Late ka na natulog, ang aga mo pang nagising?” I answered, “Kapag masaya ka sa ginagawa mo, pag gusto mo… walang mahirap, walang nakakapagod.” Hindi ko lang naidugtong, nandiyan kasi kayo e. Sounds corny, but true. Makita ko lang na nakangiti ang team, nakakahawa na rin. Lalo na pag nasasarapan sila sa food. Haaay. nakakapawi ng pagod.
Happy birthday Jay! I wish na sana naging masaya at spesyal ang birthday mo. Sorry I failed sa cake. Nasira e. hehe. Bawi na lang sa susunod.

Mt. Tagpew Campsite with Kuya Nestor, Danella, Mit, Kuya Cornelio, Janry, and me (left to right)

Paakyat sa Mt. Tagpew summit kinabukasan meron palang dalawang daan. Doon kami sa mas mahabang daan itinuro ng guide namin. Nakakapang hinayang pero hindi pala.

As we came to sense na kung hindi kami doon dumaan, hindi namin makikita ang ganda ng Pine trees nursery kung saan naroon ang mga bagong sibol na Pines. #TheBrightSide 🙂

Say, “Tagpeeeew!!!”

The summit didn’t fail us. It was breathtakingly wonderful. And yes, may clearing. Doon, na-in love akong muli. Ang sarap magbilad sa pang-umagang araw. haaay. Na-imagine ko tuloy kami ng aking would-be forever. Sana pagdating niya… hahaha. Sorry naman. Kinikilig talaga ako e. Bawal kj, kwento ko ito. hehe.

11960116_10204771066531745_8259508695246642476_n (2)
Kebs! Moment ko to. Bawal KJ hehe. Bleh!

Sayang lang hindi na kami nakapag-socials night noong unang gabi kasi masyado na kaming pagod mula sa mahabang biyahe habang noong ikalawang gabi naman ay sobrang lamig na sa summit campsite ng Mt. Tagpaya kaya maaga na rin kaming nagpahinga.


Mt. Oten’s Summit
Hindi naman pala sayang hehe. Nakapag-pictorial kasi sila. haha


Sa Mt. Oten naman. Hmn… Hayun! Picture-picture lang. Sayang lang hindi na nakahabol sina Ms. Gina at Allan.

Hola Tagpaya!

Kinailangan kasi nilang mag-detour dahil gagabihin sila sa daan. Wise decision naman dahil delikado at tricky ang mabatong downhill sa traverse route ng Mt. Oten to Mt. Tagpaya.
Maraming nangyari at marami akong gustong ikuwento pero sa susunod na lang. hehe.


Kailangan ko nang mai-post ito para makahabol sa anniversary ng climb na ito ng team namin ngayong araw.

3, 2, 1… Ang Tawang may Tunog, baw!

Ang tinitiyak ko lang ay lahat ng ala-alang hatid ng paglalakbay na ito ay maganda, lahat masaya. Hindi parang hipon, walang bahagi ang dapat itapon.


#GroupHug @ Tanap Hot Spring Hihihi #HeartHeartHeart


Nakakatuwang isipin na ang pagkakaiba-iba namin ay naging fit sa pagbuo ng isang malaking jigsaw family portrait puzzle. Dahil ang tagumpay na na-achieve ng grupong ito ay idinulot ng perfect group effort. Walang nang-iwan, lahat nagkapit-kamay. Kaya naman yung mahirap na trail, kinaya ng lahat.

So paano, i-group hug na yan 🙂


I miss you buddies. Thanks for trusting me. Till next climb 🙂

PS. Thoughts and virtues nga ba?!?!? hahaha

11997078_10204777524493190_63563429_n*Hindi ako under, mabait lang na boyfriend.” -Janry

* Virtue nina sir Jay at Eric: Payo nila kay kiko, “Dapat mag asawa kang maaga. Para yung magiging anak mo parang mag-barkada lang kayo. Tsaka para hindi senior citizen ka na eh naghahatid ka pa ng anak sa elementarya. hehe. Senior citizen ka na nagtatrabaho ka pa para sa pang-aral ng anak mo.”
Official Sound Track ng climb:

12036434_10207817208091835_5125262958750546523_n“Dan-nel-la, Dan-nel-la, I keep coming back to Dan-nel-la. There’s no place like        Dan-nel-la… Hinahanap-hanap kita Dan-nel-la, Ang ingay mong kay sarap sa tenga…”

* “Nagta-tantrums na ako” – Roanna

* “Hindeeeee… O-oooooo… Pweeeeedeeeeee….” – Kuya Cornelio

atbp. 🙂

Photo Credits to My Kibungan Circuit Buddies 🙂


Love, Love and Love Again,

Mulatto Mountain Chef 🙂