Dogs Need to Excise, Too


Here's a dog playground recently featured on the weekend news.

I've been wanting to bring Princess to a place like this.

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Mt. Manabu v2 (Solo Climb)


It is one of those days when you're itching to go out and you don't have anyone to go out with because they're either in school or just plain busy. In my case, my climb buddy wasn't available that day when I was so in the mood for a dayhike.

It was a Friday, August 19th, and life had been so good that I wanted to shed that extra energy I had in me the whole week; more so, I wanted to celebrate by doing something that I love best.

Because the previous night proved futile in looking for someone to climb with, I woke up quite late the following morning. It was already around 9:30 AM when I logged in to Facebook and hoped to find a hiking buddy among my online friends... to no avail.

But then I have done solo trips before. My first climbing experience was only with a guide up Mt. Romelo. So after feeding Princess, I packed my small backpack and got ready to leave. It's really a good thing when you already know what to bring. It makes packing very easy.

I was in Alabang by 10:30 AM. I had Manabu Peak in mind. I had been there before and it's the safest mountain I could think of to climb alone without a guide. Also, I wanted to go visit Mang Pirying who I failed to see the first time I went there.

It was a two-hour ride from Alabang to Fiesta Mall in Lipa. It's my first time to go that route and I must tell you it's easier to use than riding a Lucena-bound bus like my first time. Tricycles near Fiesta Mall will take you to the jump-off for P100.00.

It was already 1 PM. There was no trace of mountaineers at the jump-off. I went up to the store to buy something to bring Mang Pirying. It was a good thing I mentioned his name to the store owner cuz I was advised he was not in his home in the mountains that day. According to the store owner, Mang Pirying was fetched by some mountaineers early that morning. They'd have his eyes checked in a nearby hospital.

Such luck. It was my second time to go up Manabu Peak and I still wouldn't be seeing Mang Pirying in the flesh.

I was also informed that no one climbed Manabu Peak that day nor the night before that. I had the mountain all to myself! I was ecstatic. But it was past 1 PM and I knew it gets dark earlier in the woods. After changing into climbing clothes, I immediately set off. It was 1:47 PM.

The stillness of the forest started becoming eerie halfway through the trek. I remedied that by pumping up the volume of my earphones, but leaving one ear clear so I could still be aware of what's going on around me.


I stopped at the fork for a while and looked at the two trails, both going up the peak, one passing by Mang Pirying's hut, the other passing by the grotto. When I first climbed Manabu Peak, I used the Mang Pirying trail in climbing up then the grotto trail in going down. I told myself that just for a change, I would use the grotto trail this time, then pass by Mang Pirying's hut when going down.


Unlike the first time I passed by the grotto, it was clean this time. No more liquor bottles. No more plastic bags scattered around.

My stomach started making funny noises when I sat down for a while. I realized I haven't had lunch. The only food I had with me was a can of San Marino Tuna Paella. I wanted to take it out and eat but the summit was still far. I was so pressed with time that I disregarded my stomach and carried on with the trek.

It rained a little harder than a drizzle when I reached the grassland. It was the loneliest part of my climb. Moreso when I entered the trail between the grassland and the peak. It was the most masukal part of the climb and I was drenched in a mixture of sweat and rain.

I love going out alone at times but I've always had things pre-planned. This was the first time I climbed a mountain alone without even a guide and I was so pressed with time. I really had to get back to the jump off before it gets dark. I had my headlamp with me but even two headlamps wouldn't do for me considering I'd be alone in the middle of the mountains in the dark.

The cloudy skies were not helping. It was making the surroundings darker than what that afternoon could have normally been if there was no rain.


After what seemed like an endless walking, I finally saw a glimpse of the top of the white cross through the leaves. It was such a relief. The white cross was like a light at the end of the tunnel, or in my case, the goal after walking alone in the forest for the longest two hours of my life.


I took pictures at the summit, of course, using my cheap CDR King tripod. I went down to the campsite and brought out my tuna paella. I alternately ate and took jump shots. LoL! After finishing the can, I immediately headed down using the trek that would pass by Mang Pirying.


I was kinda hoping the old man would already be there. But the hut was so quiet when I reached it.


Reaching the fork made breathing a little easier. It had stopped drizzling that time, but the sounds of the forest was telling me it would soon get dark.

I was back at the jump off at exactly 5:27 PM. Exactly three hours and forty minutes after I left. It might have been so lonely being alone up there, but I found myself humming a little while I took a bath. I made it. My mountaineering friends might not be happy with my solo climb even if it was just Manabu Peak, but it was somehow a milestone for me.

Did PNoy Smoke on PAL During Flight Back to Manila?


Not only is President Noynoy Aquino being talked about because of his ex-girlfriend's upcoming wedding, he is also the talk-of-the-town for allegedly smoking during his 14-hour return flight from San Francisco to Manila on Philippine Airlines flight PR 104.

Jojo A. Robles
Manila Standard Today

One of the good things about being President is that you get to bend the rules in your favor, Noynoy Aquino is finding out. Take that very strictly imposed ban on smoking in a commercial airliner, for example.

We’ve been told that during his recent 14-hour return flight on Philippine Airlines flight PR 104 from San Francisco to Manila, Aquino was allowed to smoke in violation of international and local aviation regulations. The feat was pulled off on the PAL 747-400 jumbo jet by simply preventing anyone to go up the upper, first-class deck of the plane (where Aquino was) through the stairs while the President smoked.

However, because the passenger areas of the plane do not really have exhaust vents to remove the scent of tobacco smoke, the smell could not be kept from the other people below. That’s how the other passengers got a whiff (pun intended) of what was going on—including the smokers on board who were displaying the symptoms of full-blown nicotine withdrawal syndrome but who were, unfortunately, not President.

Those who were on the flight could have sworn that Aquino wasn’t the only one smoking. They surmised that the people with Aquino lit up, as well, just to ensure that their boss wouldn’t be breaking civil aviation regulations all by himself.

Health, safety (depending on the stage of the airplane’s trip) and anti-terrorist considerations prohibit smoking in commercial aircraft, of course. But when you’re the chain-smoking President flying the nation’s flag carrier on a long trans-Pacific flight, the skies can be unbelievably friendly.

Smart Releases the Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone


Smart Communications Inc. will soon release Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone, an entry-level Android phone to be added under the network's new netphone line.


It's good to note that Smart decided to keep the name of the phone's brand instead of calling it Smart Netphone <insert model # here>, just like what they did to their first release. Smart Netphone 701 is a ZTE Blade.

I think the reason is that Samsung is quite well-known here in the Philippines and many Pinoys actually trust the brand. By keeping the name, the network will attract more Pinoys to buy it.

Speaking of buying the Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone, Smart is accepting pre-orders from October 1 to 14, 2011. It's actually free at Data Lite Plan 500 and All-in Plan 800. But if you're on postpaid, its available for only P5,990.00. (Click here to reserve a unit.)

Specifications of Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
832 Mhz Processor
3G/HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
2 MP, 1600×1200 pixel camera
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
2.8 QVGA TFT Display
164MP internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
FM RAdio
GPS w/ aGPS support
Li-Ion battery 1200mAh
TouchWiz 3.0

Converse Gives Up to 50% Discount This October


I love Converse. I didn't wear one until about 4 years ago, though. I love how versatile it can be that I wear it practically everywhere.


And that single pair is still in good condition up until now. Last time I wore it? When I sang at the wedding reception of a friend's brother last August. LoL!

Converse is holding a sale at the Olympic Outlet in Robinsons Pioneer the whole month of October. Avail of up to 50% off on selected footwear, apparel and accessories starting today!


I guess it's time for me to buy another pair!

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