2016: The Year of Firsts and Achievements

Hi everyone! 2016 is about to end, which means, it is that time of the year again when I would sum everything up in one post. While 2015 was a turning point year, this year is more of a continuation of the path I chose after that turning point.

Disclaimer: This post may contain parts that have too much of my feelings, viewer discretion is advised

Ahh what a year this has been. A lot of things ranging from annoying to confusing to good to wonderful have happened since January but overall, I am quite happy of how this year turned out to be. Allow me to explain why I gave this blog post such a title.

A Year of Firsts and Achievements


All my hikes for 2016 summarized in this photo. (12. Mt. Apayang, 13. Mt. Pulag, 14. Mt. Timbak, 15. Mt. Tabayoc, 16. Mt. Tibig, 17. Mt. Banoi, 18. Mt. Amuyao, 19. Mt. Batolusong, 20.-25. Mt. Purgatory-Mangisi Traverse, 26.-40. – Kibungan Cross Country, 41. Mt. Tapulao, 42. Mt. Fato, 43. Mt. Damas, 44. Mt. Ugo)

First Major Climb (8 Major Climbs for the year)

While I ended my 2015 with my first Cordillera hike (Mt. Ulap), this year, I kicked it off with a hike to Luzon’s highest mountain, Mt. Pulag via Akiki-Ambangeg. It was a learning experience since this was my first major hike. I found out how cold it gets at night and how meal planning is important and how imperative it is to pack light and water-proof everything among others. I used the things I learned here and applied them to my other major climbs for the year. I think it is safe to assume that I become a better hiker after every major hike.

Here are my major climbs for the year:

  • Mt. Pulag via Akiki-Ambangeg
  • Mt. Tabayoc
  • Mt. Amuyao Reverse Traverse
  • Mt. Puragtory – Mangisi Traverse
  • Kibungan Cross-Country
  • Mt. Tapulao
  • Mt. Damas
  • Mt. Ugo Traverse

First Overnight Hike (6 Overnight Hikes for the year)

I think one of the most challenging parts of overnight hikes is carrying a full pack throughout the trek. Having either the tent/cookset/groceries inside our bags is no joke. Kudos to my strong friends who carry these items for the group!

Some of the things I love about staying the night in the mountains are seeing the sunset, night sky and sunrise. I think experiencing these in the mountains feels more fulfilling because of the hard work involved in getting to a certain elevation for a good view.

An overnight hike is also challenging because this removes hikers from the comfort of their beds and bathrooms.

Here are my overnight hikes for the year:

  • Mt. Pulag
  • Mt. Timbak – Mt. Tabayoc
  • Mt. Purgatory
  • Mt. Tapulao
  • Mt. Damas
  • Mt. Ugo

First 3D2N Hike (2 3D2N Hikes for the year)

While overnight hikes are already challenging, a 3D2N hike is even more so – heavier bags because of additional food and clothes and more draining treks. My most difficult hikes for this year both lasted this long and I must say that these are the hikes that made me more proud of myself as a person and as a hiker.

Here are my 3D2N hikes for the year:

  • Mt. Amuyao Reverse-Traverse
  • Kibungan Cross-Country


All my races (with distance) summarized in one photo: 1. 21K in SMDC Run 2016, 2. 10K in Pinoy Fitness Sub-1 10K Challenge, 3. 10K in Accenture Run and Rock, 4. 21K in Run GNC, 5. 5K in PBA Run for a Cause 7, 6. 16K in Pinoy Fitness Kasama Run, 7. 21K in Pinoy Fitness 21K Challenge

First Half Marathon (3 Half Marathons for the year)

Last year, I vowed to complete a half-marathon for this year and with that in mind, I successfully finished not just one but three 21-km races for 2016. In fact, my first fun run for the year was already a half-marathon.

Completing 21km is not easy. I had to find time to train and increase my endurance and speed. But finishing a half-marathon sure is fulfilling. It made me happy crossing the finish line and clocking in Sub 2:30 for all the three half-marathons.

Here are my half-marathons for the year:

  • SMDC Run 2016
  • Run GNC
  • Pinoy Fitness 21k Challenge

First Time Trial Race (2 Time Trial Races for the year)

While distance is important, time is also essential. I challenged myself to join races with cut-off times to be able to prove to myself that I can do things once I set my mind to it. This year, I was able to join two time trial races – 10k and 21k with an hour and two hours and thirty minutes cut-off times respectively.

Being able to finish a race within the given time limit is already an achievement for me. Running is no easy activity and I sometimes question why I do this but whenever I achieve something out of it, I am reminded that I am doing this not just for the medal but for my betterment as well.

Here are my time trial races for the year:

  • Pinoy Fitness Sub-1 10K Challenge
  • Pinoy Fitness 21K Challenge (Sub 2:30)

First Podium Finish

Placing in a race is something someone like me dreams of achieving. With His grace, I surprisingly bagged a podium finish (2nd place, female division) in one of my short-distance runs for the year. I still cannot believe how I was able to do it but the overwhelming feeling still remains up until now. Hopefully next year, I can place in a race once again.

Training is key and so is perseverance.

PBA Run for a Cause 7 – 2nd Place, 5KM Female Division

To be honest, while writing this post, I am having flashbacks of the year that has been – the ups and downs in work, the feelings I had during my most difficult treks and runs and all the good and bad days.

Thank you

To the people who shared my happiness and stayed during my sadness. It comforts me to know that I have people who will stick with me through the good and bad times.

To the people who were honest with me, who tell me not what I want to hear but what I need to hear. During the times I was conflicted, they were the ones who knocked some sense into me.

To the people who never fail to show their support in whatever way they can. It makes me more inspired to become a better version of myself everyday.

To the people who continue to remember to invite me to adventures. It makes me happy every time I get invites because that just means I crossed their minds as they were planning for these adventures. I hope you guys still invite me next year!

To the people who are always patient with me and who listen to me even when I tell the same old story over and over again. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone like me especially when I am stressed or when I feel down.

To the people who taught me new things. It is true that learning never stops because this year, I got to meet people who were very generous in sharing their knowledge and wisdom be it at work, mountains, gym and such.

To the people who made me feel loved during my best and worst days. This year has not been easy for me and I am grateful for the time, effort, listening ear and shoulder to cry and lean on. There are days when the (feeling) strong independent woman becomes dependent too.

Next year, while I cannot promise to climb more mountains, I can promise that I will still hike, run and go to the gym because these three go together in making me a better person each day, physically and emotionally. I already have my goals set on mountains that I want to climb (G2? Weh. Lol.), the race distance that I want to finish (42K anyone?) and the body that I want to achieve.

I also aim to be more upfront when it comes to the things that matter. I think part of the reason why I get sad or confused is because I tend to hold back a lot. That even when I want to demand something or ask a question, I don’t because I consider a lot of things more than myself.

I also aim to advance in my career because it is about time I give it more thought and make it more of my priority.

I also aim to try new and exciting things to spice up 2017! As to what these are, find out next year.

(I also aim to find more stores that sell pork buns in the metro. Hihi any joiners?)

So there goes my 2016! Please join me again on my escapades for 2017. Tara/Sama ako pls! Lol.


Happy New Year and thanks for reading!


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