Mt. Daraitan, March 2019


A quick yet not-so-easy hike to one of the most popular peaks in the Sierra Madre range. It was 90 percent assault and the traverse was one of the most knee-killing things I’ve done in my life (and I’m staying this at a life stage where I am doing high-intensity interval training and some weights twice a week). Happy to finally enjoy the view from its limestone-clad summits, since three years ago we only made it to Tinipak River.


I’ve always wanted to do this shot (yeah I know #vapid). It’s less #forthegram pressure and more acknowledging and appreciating the effort I’ve been putting into getting healthier (somehow). Externally the difference is dismissible, but internally I feel stronger, lighter, more capable. ❤ I’ve also recently acquired some sports bras that are too cute not too show off so yeah.

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Our group is made up of a network of fitness professionals and enthusiasts, mostly from the South… we got looped in through our good friends from college / previous hikes. Possessing power legs and good cardio training = serious bizniz… we had gotten horribly lost on the way up (as in 3AM. pitch dark, in the middle of a dirt trail with no signal) and arrived at the jump off three hours too late, but we still made it to summit by lunch!

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I’d like to say our decision to hike here is timely and contemplative. The river and the peaks will be affected by the proposed and highly controversial Kaliwa Dam project. Should it push through, this whole ecosystem and the livelihood it provides the locals will literally dry up. Learn more about why it’s problematic, and sign the petition against it here.

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I’ve missed hiking, it’s the best way to get a day of pure focus and concentration on nothing else but the present. It helps reset your inner juju because when you’ve scaled 2000+ ft of forest, daily problems seem mundane and almost funny.

It’s 4:56 AM right now and I have a 6:15 call time in Cubao, 2 articles, 2 scripts and a couple of other planning documents un-made throughout the weekend, all due in this morning. I should be more nervous, I should be in the shower, but I am typing this only moderately fast because I wanna publish something that goes into my March archives (though it’s April 1 now)… I just want to briefly log my current state of life. How crazy it is, how I still get bouts of insecurity, side by side with surprising moments of affirmation, even more now than ever. How delivery and success is now so dependent on how far I  am willing to go. And yet I am still loving it. I am thankful for the flexibility, the redemption opportunities, the open doors. Less about control, more about going with the flow. #

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