Thursday, May 29, 2008


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Sponsor

So, you're thinking who would like to sponsor me?

Who else!?!
Being with them for eight fruitful years...


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Training Program

I just started training again last Sunday with a trail run at Montalban's Grotto after 23 days of inactivity.

Wait! I remembered setting-up my old flat handlebar as a pull-up bar two Sundays ago and initiated an impromptu pull-up session… I didn’t get past 5 pulls. Hehehehe… So, today I’ll try my luck again with the pull-up session. Hoping I get past 6 pulls. Bwahehehe!!!!

Ah, thank God! My wife’s cousin has a set of free-weights that I can use for upper body training. Now, I need to recall those repetitive moves I have sunk myself in circa 2000 to 2003. Upper body training will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

I have two more Sundays to do trail runs. Next Sunday (June 1), I will be back in Grotto. Then the following Sunday (June 8), will be a Reverse AFP-Giant-Timberland run.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mount Kinabalu Here I Come!

Just hours ago, I received my budget for the Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata Climb.

I went straight to BPI (thanks Dada & Mench!) in Marikina City to process the payment via wire.

I then called up Nurul at Kinabalu Travel for confirmation of my payment. I also e-mailed her the payment slip.

Then processed my airline travel and lodging on-line.

Well... I think I'm all set!
I just need to prepare my pack and off I go on June 17!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

RE: Kinabalu Climb via Low's Peak Circuit

A reply from Mountain Torq! hehehe... the truth is, their reply went to my spam folder... damn Yahoo! mail!

Hi James,

Sorry for the delay.

Please let me know your actual date?

I we have the availability then we can process you booking. Please see the attached itineraries again.




Hi James,

Sorry for the delay and thank you so much for your enquiry.

Here are our prices for each package.

2D1N Walk the Torq: USD320 per Person

2D1N the Preamble: USD365 per Person (No Summit )

2D1N Low’s Peak Circuit: USD365 per Person

3D2N Walk the Torq + Abselling: USD480 per Person

3D2N Low’s Peak Circuit + Abselling: USD565 per Person

4D3N Mt Torq Experience:USD740 per Person

*See the attached itineraries for your references.

Via Ferrata is easier than a rock climbing and yes you can bring your own PPE.

May I know your actual date? I will check reserve a slot for you.



Friday, May 9, 2008



Duration : 2 Days 1 Night
Departure Time : 6.30 am
Minimum Person : 2 persons

Hike up to Low’s Peak (highest peak of Mt Kinabalu). On descent, take a via ferrata detour to see stunning views & explore places off the beaten track.

Grading : Fair route - suitable for beginner to intermediate climbers with above average fitness & no fear of heights (vertigo)

What is a Via Ferrata
A Via Ferrata is a mountain path consisting of a series of rungs & cables embracing the rock face, creating a protected pathway that everyone can walk on. It allows access to scenic sections of the mountain normally accessible only to rock climbers & mountaineers.

note :
For more info about the activity, please visit

For Mt Kinabalu Via Ferrata - Low’s Peak Circuit package enquiry, please email to

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

06.30 am : Depart from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park
08.30 am : Arrive at Kinabalu Park, meet your Mt Guide at Park HQ & start trek up Mt Kinabalu
02.00 pm : Arrive at Laban Rata & have a late lunch (own expense)
03.00 pm : Check into Pendant Hut & meet your Mt Torq trainer
03.30 pm : Via Ferrata Familiarization
05.00 pm : Dinner at Laban Rata (buffet style)

Day 2

02.00 am : Wake up for early breakfast and prepare for climb
03.00 am : Hike up to Low’s Peak
05.30 am : Summit Low’s Peak & catch the beautiful sunrise
05.45 am : Decent Low’s Peak to Sayat - Sayat slab
06.30 am : Meet Mt Torq trainer at Sayat - Sayat slab for Low’s Peak Circuit Via Ferrata
09.00 am : Arrive & check out of Pendant Hut; have a late breakfast at Laban Rata (own expenses)
10.00 am : Descent to Kinabalu Park HQ for transport pick up
03.00 am : Transport pick up to Kota Kinabalu

Inclusive of
1 night accommodation at Pendant Hut, meals (simple breakfast & buffet dinner), climbing permits & insurance, Sabah Park entrance fee, certificate, Mt guide & return transportation

Package option
1 night stay at Kinabalu Park hostel a day before climbing
1 night stay at Kinabalu Daya / Radius International Hotel a day before climbing
2 days 1 night ‘walk the torq’ package
2 days 1 night ‘preamble’ package

Additional outfitters:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2003 Elevation Ceiling

Mount Amuyao in Barlig, Mountain Province recorded elevation. The 2nd to my last major climb (Mayon volcano in 2004). Didn't wore this watch on Mayon... i was practicing ultralight backpacking then.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New shoes

Went to ROX @ Bonifacio High Street yesterday with the family... But first went online last week at TNF's site... Good thing they got the model I want.

The North Face Prophecy

Will return to ROX as soon as I get my spending money... first! gonna checkout TNF store @ Rockwell this week.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The bite of the climbing bug

In 2005, rather than climbing Kinabalu by way of the ‘tourists trail’ only, I was suggesting to Boying to climb the mountain with-a-twist. Apart from the usual regular route of climbing towards Low’s Peak, I was thinking also of climbing Kinabalu by its Bowen’s Route and bagging King George, King Edward, , and Mesilau Peaks, respectively.

I was updating my Kinabalu trip planner when another ‘twist’ on the climb appeared on my search engine - the Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu. This twist was not offered in 2005 then; it was formally offered to public December of 2007 only. As opposed to the Bowen’s Route, where climbers can only climb lesser peaks by this route, the Via Ferrata offers climbers a different route on the way down from Low’s Peak (the highest pinnacle) towards Laban Rata. I have inquired with the outfitter with regards to their package of climbing Low’s Peak and descending by way of the via ferrata, or what they call The Low’s Peak Circuit.


I started hoping to climb Mount Kinabalu in 2005. My best friend and longtime climbing buddy, Boying, thought about it then. We were planning to climb Kinabalu in the last quarter of 2005. But, God had another plan for me… to be a father, again. So, I have to scrap the plan of climbing Kinabalu, and to an extent, scrap my whole climbing career (I do have a 2,000-meter Philippine Mountains Project) to be a father of two rowdy and handsome boys, Qogori and Konig.

Although, I scrapped the whole climber-slacker living, I still cannot let go off my dirtbag-slave-to-pain-sufferfest lifestyle. I pleaded with Aimee to let me purchase a mountain bike, so I can still be father-and-a-boy at the same time. From then on, I am into mountain biking fulltime. Until the Kinabalu climb offer landed on my lap, literally.

Before the Onslaught

On 24th of April 2008, my boss offered me to go on a vacation. Not just any vacation, but a climb to Southeast Asia’s former highest mountain (before Myanmar was included in the ASEAN), Mount Kinabalu, at 4,095.20 meters (13,436.35 feet) above seal level. They offered to shoulder the expense of the climb. I am now officially a sponsored climber!

What I need now is a good schedule provided by an outfitter. But I cannot schedule it on the month of May (my boss will be out of the country for 1-month); I cannot go on the first week of June (it’s my father’s birthday); neither on the last week of June and the first week of July (birthdays of Konig & Aimee, respectively).

Monsoon months… I now am publicly-stating that I hate rain!