Saturday, May 4, 2013

Conquering Mt. Batulao : My first ever TRAIL Experience

                I woke up at 4am, prepared everything and headed to the bus station at MRT Taft going to Batangas. From there, with my trail partner CJ Miles, we headed to Batangas (via Nasugbu) and stopped at Evercrest Golf Course in Lemery. In front of Evercrest are carinderias where you can have your early morning breakfast. The area also serves as a baggage counter for mountaineers and an after trail shower venue once you're done hiking.

     Going to the jump-off point, we hired a tricycle (P100 per trip) and a local guide (P250 for a day hike) to take us through the course.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a good experience going there because of the accident we encountered on our way. The rough road going there (approximately 5k) was a challenge. The tricycle is too low, when  the trike hit a bump, my head also hit the steel bar in front of the tricycle. My head, shoulder and leg were all injured. I was literally crying. It took us 5 mins to decide whether we will go on and continue or go back and go to the nearest hospital. I don't wanna set a negative vibe so we decided to continue our journey, after all I can still walk - brave enough to conquer the trails. 

     We started the hike around 7:30am - ascend on old trail and descend on new trail. We reached the summit roughly 3 hours after. Thanks to the buko juice I had in the summit, too bad lots of insects were flying or maybe celebrating cause of that first achievement. We finished before lunch, earlier than expected. We ran/walked on our way back, sort of post climb recovery too - no more tricycle ride because of what happened that day. 

     For a beginner and a newbie like me who doesn't have much trail exposure plus the fact that I was injured, reaching the summit was really something that I could be proud of. I know it's way easier to go on hiking at Mt Batulao (for first timers) but I believe this is just one baby step that can be a result of bigger steps in the future.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


All of us are leaders in our God-given capacity. Whatever our status in life is – we are all capable to lead. We can be leaders in school, church or any organization we belong to - the thing is how well we are as leaders?

They say in order to be a good leader, one must be a good follower – sounds so cliché but this is true. You become who you follow – and that’s the root of how well you will be as a leader.

Back in my elementary and high school days, I had the chance to lead various organizations. Being part of the cream section made it easier for me to lead. Fame, power, connections – these are some of the things that made the job even lighter. Somehow, this shows how the world views leadership: being able to influence because of my title.

People will follow you because you have a title – it’s all about ENTITLEMENT. You are a leader because of your title. But leadership is not about tenures or statures; it is never about who you know and never about your connections. People will initially follow you because of your title; the important thing is that they will continue to follow you because you are good. That’s how God defines leadership and He made Himself a perfect example of being such:  A SERVANT LEADER. It’s about the service we give to others, it’s about valuing others above ourselves - it is about our CHARACTER.  And that character is a result of having a cultivated relationship with God.

Being a leader is a continuous process. It is in our relationship with others that we show our character. And like Jesus who became a representation of how it is like to be a servant leader – we also need to have the same mindset as Jesus if we want others to follow us.

Being a leader is not about being popular 'cause leadership is not a popularity contest.