I feel the need to come up with a prologue so you don’t expect the wrong things. I am not going to write about rock climbing. I posted the photo of this kid because I am so impressed by him: he climbed a 5.11 route on barefoot. In a rock climber’s vocab, that is an advanced grade.
I am even more impressed by the guy who belayed him. I cannot remember his name but he is one of Cebu’s elite climbers. Anyway, he was just chilling there watching his friends climb when he saw these two kids in ragged, oversized shirts. They were wearing slippers that are way past retirement stage.
They were trying to mix it up with us.
But instead of telling them to go away, he got a harness that would fit them and taught them the basics. After the short lecture this kid made his way up. His friend did not make it all the way up but he did.
For him to be able to see that kid’s potential despite his ragged clothes…that makes me wanna close my eyes and feel good about them and bad about myself. I never bothered about those kids before. I feel so terrible.
To be honest, I did not see the whole thing because I was busy up another route, struggling to find holds while getting stung by some tiny wasp-looking insects.
Flor took these two photos, kudos to her. This is the end of any rock climbing story you are looking for. Next paragraphs are completely irrelevant to anything.
* * *
I hate procrastinating (and I would not recommend it to others) but it has always worked best for me. Nothing motivates me to do something than to not have the time to do it. I am pretty sure college students doing term papers can relate to this.
Today I found out why Italians have godfathers: because this world is so tough a man needs to have two fathers to get through it.
So if you are wondering how this relates to this first paragraph, don’t. They have nothing to do with each other. I am simply practicing my typing skills.
I am currently pressed by two deadlines: the need to write something up for my next entry at Runroo.com and the need to have a career. I love writing for Runroo because they let me go shirtless even if that may cause a decrease in their readership. I love how they advocate freedom of speech and freedom of fashion.
I am all but skin and bones but I believe that the best time to show off is when you got nothing to show off. I am pretty sure I can come up with something good.
What I really need to focus on is my career. I lost track of how many times I have written this: I am jobless again. I can fill out an entire chalkboard with this phrase, like a student being punished for misbehavior.
At age 24, I feel that I am deep into the adult age and I should start acting like one. And a career is essential.
I hope I had a choice. Like what Allen Ginsberg said, if only I could buy things with my good looks. Something like that, anyway just read his poem America.
The worst part about my not having a career? I am no worried. I really should be. Someone should motivate me to worry. Or get me into a direction where I can accomplish things that will have positive lifelong consequences (this sentence makes me sound so smart I need to end this entry abruptly).
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Friday, September 20, 2013
I am keeping my expectations at a reasonable level. I thought that I could blog, bike, climb, work, and have a fairly normal social life all at the same time but it is just a little bit too. Spending most of my waking time procrastrinating does not help very much either. It took me so long to blog about this trip that this one is almost a throwback.
But I am learning new things even if I am too busy procrastrinating. For one, I have recently learned how to read topographical maps. And please allow me to indulge with my newly learned skills by posting a few maps in the post. By the way, I am a recent convert to OpenStreetMaps.
I now know that those wiggly lines on a map represent a change in elevation. If the wiggly lines are closer together, the ascent (or descent, depending on where you wanna start) is more drastic. That is because each line indicates a certain distance.
So if the map tells you that the five-meter increments are gonna be close together, that’s a problem. It’s always easier to gain five meters of elevation every half a kilometer as opposed to gaining five meters in, let’s say, every two meters. I know it’s confusing but if you are as confused as I am you will understand it. Or you can just search “how to read topographical map”s on YouTube. By the way, those wiggly lines are called contour interval by geeks. I call them wiggly lines.
On the map you'll find right after this text (which most people don't bother to read), Mt. Lanaya is south-west of that blue spot (which is some sort of a lake by the way). I did my ascent on the eastern part, along that track that passes by the lagoon. Or lake. It is much more difficult to do it on the west side, I guess that’s what they call Legaspi Trail. I always prefer to do it the easy way. If there was a bus going to the peak I’d take it.
The only problem I have reading maps is I am very good at locating places theoretically, but I still get lost when I'm out there. I guess what my friend told me is true, I have problems placing myself in the real world.
You can find Sun Xi Mountain Resort on this map. It’s right there where you can see blue scribbles. Those are GPS tracks I don’t know how OpenStreetMap works but I guess they turn established GPS traces into tracks.
These photos of me are taken by my guide who works at Sun Xi. I couldn’t thank him enough.
Posted by Bal Marsius at 1:16 AM
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Just a quick recap of how the week has been: swamped. I started training with my new company, I made some preparations for the Enduro Pilipinas, raced it last Sunday, and went to Alcantara, Cebu yesterday to attend their fiesta. I wish I don’t have to work so I can do all the things on my new list but I have to. Those things cost money, that’s one thing.
Also, I love being self-sufficient. I feel so whole when I earn for myself and not have to rely on others. Self-sufficiency is a mountain biker’s thing. I go out alone almost all the time so I always make sure that I got all that I need before setting out: tools, food, hydration, and money.
It is a solitary sport and often “solitary” means having no one to help you but yourself.
Anyway, this post is still part of my Alegria series. Few weeks ago I stayed at Sun Xi Mountain Resort for a couple of nights to get more acquainted with the town’s mountains. I picked the place as my lodging because on the map, Sun Xi’s location is the most accessible to most interesting spots in the mountains of Alegria—Mount Lanaya is on its near southwest, Kitara and Cambais falls to its northeast, and the Alegria-Alcoy road that passes by it.
Kitara is deep within a mountainous barangay of Alegria, and it flows right down to Matutinao in Badian. They share the same river that runs through Kawasan Falls. Cambais is just a little ways downstream from Kitara.
From the main cascade of Kitara is a small stream that accumulates into an oval pool. From the bank the whole place resembles the shape of a guitar, hence the name Kitara. There is a concrete bridge that passes over the pool (about 10feet above the water surface) where you can jump from if you’re feeling Indiana Jones-y.
The fall is just 20mins from Sun Xi. My guide told me there were caves en route but I did not drop by. It would be interesting to check out what those cave got. The problem with me is that I bring a flashlight when I travel but I always leave it in my room when I go out for a day trek. After all, who would think of bringing a flashlight when the sun is high up in the sky? Answer: Someone smarter than me.
I sometimes suspect myself of being a moron but I guess I’m not too bad. Anyway, after Kitara we went down to Cambais Waterfalls. Some locals also call it Kawasan but I prefer to call it that way to prevent mix-up with the Kawasan Falls in Badian. Cambais has three main cascades. The best part about it—we were the only people when we went there. It feels good to play first-humans-in-the-planet.
Posted by Bal Marsius at 1:08 AM