It’s Been A While: A Comeback Blog

I have posted since last year on this blog and I somehow missed sharing thoughts. Have been busy over major life changes and some deep searching on what I really want and aspire to be. I quitted my day job early this year and have came back to the Nursing Profession as a returning RN after gap years of clinical practice.

The journey is never easy, though it is worth all the hard ship I go through as it will make me a better nurse, and a better person. My motivations were deep why I came back to the Profession, one were the deaths of my loved ones last year. I still can recall them while they were on their sickbed, not allowing myself to care for them as a practicing medical profesional. I also find myself walking though every day, of my work day the very exact place where I found my Papa at the Bethany (Morgue) of the hospital of which I now work…

I hope I can write again-with less pictures now and share these thoughts in the vast sea of cyberworld.

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Hotel Review: Centro Square, Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines

If you are looking for an affordable, yet luxurious hotel in Naga City this is one is for you!

I especially recommend this for those who is up for a short stay here in Naga City like after a dayhike or after an over night camping stay from Mount Isarog, or from a vacay from the infamous CWC, Camarines Sur and Mayon Volcano in Albay. They are located at Colgante Bridge Penafrancia intersection, beside Bicol River.

They are on a promo rate of Php 899/24 hours with free breakfast for a single room occupancy; 1,100/ 24 hours for a double or junior queen room occupancy. They are on a time in/ time out policy. Free breakfast meal is only valid up to 10:00 AM.

The washroom is pretty decent, with hot/cold shower, FREE WIFI, accommodating staff and crew! The establishments near this hotel are 24 hours convenience store (Mini Stop) and they have Fuzion Cafe which serve bread and pastries, Kape Naga, local restaurant Green Plaza, a health resto serving Cheat meals, name it.

For more details about this transient hotel/ hotel… please see video link from their Facebook site—>  https://www.facebook.com/centrosquaredormitel/videos/1770318562982844/

or visit their Facebook page Centro Square

IN PICTURES:

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Single Room Occupancy

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Single room

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Junior Queen Room

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Exploration Climb: Caririga Series of Waterfalls, Mount Isarog, Camarines Sur

“How to get the best of it all? One must conquer, achieve, get to the top; one must know the end to be convinced that one can win the end – to know there’s no dream that mustn’t be dared…” – George Mallory

I was fortunate enough to be invited for an exploration climb last January 7, 2018 by Sir Jojo Villareal of Kadlaggan Tours/ Outdoor Shop. I was with two (2) other Kadlaggan friends- Sir Pipin and Sir Kadoyks, Sir Rymar (Staff of Kadlagan) and one (1) local guide, Sir Pacs. Mount Isarog is my playground… the mountain that started it all…

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My playground- Mount Isarog
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Team Astig (L-R) Sir Pipin, Sir Kadoyks, Sir Reymar and Me!

I have been into organized activities in my outdoor ventures, I have tried hiking solo though but back then I am still an amateur/ newbie in hiking way back May, 2017. To date, the number of times I went to the mountains to either rappel, climb, mountain bike, has been up to more than ten times and having mountaineering as a hobby has gone beyond just for simple pleasure, therapy or escape. Mountaineering has been my love and the passion that burns along with it being fierce and bold that I can’t be stopped gearing up and loving more all other crafts associated with it e.g. mountain climbing, MTB Enduro and trail running.

I was warned about the exploration climb at Isarog prior that it could take as long as six hours before we can reach said water falls. And that it is an extreme climb. INDEED IT WAS! Along the way, we have seen traps installed by locals for the wild bores locally known as “Baboy Ramo” around the area. I have not seen one during the climb, but I have heard one later in the evening during descent.

The trail going to the falls is still not yet very established that the guide has to slash down some bamboo stems for us to make it through. The slashing of grass, bamboo, etc has been our take five during climbs… Mount Isarog is a leech infested mossy forest, so expect leeches to suck blood out of you. Locals has called one place as “Toktok Limatok” where there are bunch of leeches in trees. I have even seen leeches right at the waterfalls. After about four (4) hours of trek, we had to rappel  down to at about 45 meters to the three (3) yet-unnamed waterfalls… it seem never-ending assault going up those waterfalls prior we can reach its mother falls leaving a total of four (4) waterfalls over all during the climb. Pictures below are some of my action shots taken by Sir Kadoyks  Oliva:

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After going through all of the three (3) waterfalls, we had to go up high to two (2) cliffs before we can reach the highest and tallest waterfalls of Mount Isarog- Caririga. During that time, I am already very tired and my morale is has reached its lowest point… I found myself singing this “Malayo pa ang umaga, di matanaw ang pag-asa hanggang kailan matitiis and pag-hihirap ko…” until Sir Rymar pinpointed to me the glimpse of Caririga… all the tiredness and feeling very lowly has been swept away. The stunning view made me said, what is the waterfalls of New Zealand and Australia ‘coz we have found right the heart of Camarines Sur! Its height is so tall like I can say it is thrice as Harubay falls at about 300ft. tall.

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With the clouds
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With cloud clearing

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I have learned a lot from the explo climb, it is a humbling experience to have… I have gone through a life and death hustle, a struggle, during this day hike that left me fourteen (14) long hours of walking to the wild… I will definitely be coming back to Caririga Waterfalls and river.

First Heartbreak for 2018

I got my first heart break, I lost something very dear, very meaningful to me. Something I had for myself and used that I am happy having… Something I am happy using. My Salomon running shoes…

These pair got stolen probably January 2, 2018 right at the garage/ front door of our rented house from downtown…

I have conferred a value on this beyond it’s price tag, but because I bought it for myself on my 31st Birthday… with thoughts in mind that we will be together for years and training for races I had in mind…

Last night I am talking to my best friend, that I am really down realising I lost my shoes… plus I am having a dying toenails on my right foot… I was saying, it’s like running is giving me a heartbreak, a real “pain”, a loss, more so grief.

My kid saw how broken hearted I was… this may “just be a running shoes” but not having to spend so much time with it, makes it not just some shoes anyone can lost or can get stolen from…

My Enduro Lite Experience: Camaguingcing, Calabanga, Camarines Sur

The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.

-Anonymous

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Seeing the view from afar… the hills, and terrain of which I have rode my mountain bike with gave me that unknown feeling that no words can define.  My Ghost MTB went for the first time ever in the trails situated at Barangay Camaguingcing and Harubay, Municipality of Calabanga, Province of Camarines Sur. The venue of the Enduro Lite and Enduro mania organized by Sir Ben and Sir Red, of Enduro CamSur.

I was invited by them through Facebook group Oragon Mountain Bike group.  Originally we are only ten (30) participants that has signed up, but the riders that joined were about seventy (70) on the day!

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In pictures are my action shots during the stage 1 Funduro:

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Before Release
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After release

I fell down hard and painful but I went on and enjoyed the rest of the day! After the stage 1, picture below are my picture smiling even if I have outbalanced myself downhill and feeling some aches in my chest, face, arms and legs!

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After the Stage 1, we went uphill for the Stage 2. Going up the trails and seeing how hard it would be for a first timer like me, I decided to not push through.  I and along 16 others (Breakaway Group) went on trail ride and ascend hills of Calabanga with our respective rides which was really a pain in the ass but we still went on!

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Doing headcount for seventeen (17) riders.
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Climbing mountains with our MTB.
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My ride.
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Good the gentlemen assisted Nichole! They interchange in carrying the bakal bike.

My fellow riders, who fell down and got up stronger!

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It was intense adrenaline pumping experience and I am fortunate enough to be with Enduro racers and champs both old and young ones! And fellow newbies like me.

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TODAY I knew that with my MTB I can explore more wonders of nature at different places in Bicol. Isarog is nearby and it kept me inspired for my next trail run 🏃🏻‍♀️, ride 🚴🏽‍♀️ and climb 

The North Face Outdoor Challenge Philippines 2017

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My first ever trail run ever! I did it at 2:29:06 11km last November 18, 2017 with seven (7) obstacle course right here at our very own CamSur WaterSports Complex (CWC) L, Capitol, Cadolan, Pili, Camarines Sur. We were in a Team Race category with Alex and Niko with me… without them I would have not made it climbing up walls, carrying heavy loads and all – ‘coz I lacked training on core strength!!

IN PICTURES:

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(Post and Pics still for updating)