I run…therefore I am

Mt. Pinatubo Adventure, Redux

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foreboding & mysterious…


I know, I know – I’ve been remissed on my blog entries for the last few weeks.  As you will realize later (once you start reading on my activities), it has been a hectic running/travelling life for me as of late.  Complicating matters was my mission to finish the Game of Thrones 5-book series + its TV serials and  you have one sked OC juggler.  I’m not really complaining because it gives me a bottomless source of blog materials.  So here goes nothing.  First off – my 2nd visit to Mt. Pinatubo with a group of gym buddies who have lately been discovering the excitement and joys of traveling around Luzon (so far) since our Mt. Pulag sojourn.

with Cris, April, Mark & wifey…



it’s becoming a tradition to jump shot in every new destination for me….

Last May 22 or 4 days before my King of the Mountain 100KM race, we found ourselves venturing across the desert-like lahar land of Zambales on our way to the crater of Pinatubo, an aftermath of its 1991 volcanic explosion after more than 400 years of dormancy.  The first time I was here was in 2010 when I joined my first trail race – the PAU Pinatubo 50KM race.  You can read my entry here – – which features a military exercise at the climax of the race, a lost shoe, surprise quicksand traps and searing desert adventures culminating to a strong finish before darkness set in.

what an SLR camera can deliver…c/o Rowie


lovelier the 2nd time around…

This time around, I was bent on enjoying the whole Pinatubo expedition with nary a clock ticking every minute nor the beating sun following me throughout.  Instead of 50KMs, we just went up 10KMs and another 10 going back to the drop-off station where our 4×4 vehicles were waiting for us.  I simulated the climb to the crater lake as if I were in the KOTM race (my last attempt at trail training), meaning I was moving faster than the rest of our party consisting of more than 30 gym denizens.

hiker in a strange land…


almost there…

The route was quite familiar though with Pinatubo’s ever changing terrain of ash hills and waterways, I had to rely on my internal compass – by tracing the river’s source to reach the lake.  When before, we slowed down many times whenever doubt set in if we were going in the right direction – this time, I was moving through stones, boulders and hills with familiarity and ease.  I reached the lake quite ahead of everyone and proceeded to take in the glorious views and dive in its turquoise fresh waters.  A great relief from all sweat and sand I’ve accumulated on the way up.

truly worth the trip…


made it!

my reward for a half day’s effort…

the lovely waters await…

More pictures and swimming sessions later, I was already gliding back to where we had started, still in trail training mode.  The terrain and the waterways have changed form and direction in just a few hours.  More minutes of waiting for the rest of our company and we were driving back to Capas where we had a hearty lunch and a refreshing shower.

The great shots of Pinatubo are courtesy of gym mates Rowie Co, April Almanon & Mark Nuezca


Finally, I got to enjoy Mt. Pinatubo and all it has to offer.  But I won’t mind racing back, though, along its lahar and river trails.




Author: rundmd8

Dentist by day, Runner by night

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