I recently visited Singapore and the Philippines, with my wife and daughter, for vacation. We celebrated the holidays with family, relatives and friends. We also got the chance to visit Coron, Palawan to see what they say is the Philippines Last Frontier.
I was surprised by the sheer beauty of the place. I’ve never seen anything like it. The blue-green water looks so clean. The mountains and rock formations are breathtaking. The islands (more than 60 of them) and its beaches are in pristine condition.
We snorkeled around a couple of islands and shipwrecks, and we saw the most beautiful coral reefs garden. We got the chance to feed and see the colorful fishes. We were even lucky to see a sea turtle.
We swam through the cleanest lake in Asia, the Kayangan Lake and the Twin Lagoon, and dipped through a 100% salt water hot springs.
The town is very friendly to tourists. There are several nice hotels, resorts, and restaurants. The town still needs some development, such as roads and reliable electricity. But who cares. You only stay in town to sleep. You mostly explore the place by going to the different islands.
The place is simply paradise.
Yesterday, Sunday, July 15, 2012, my friend Ferdie and I cycled the 60-mile hilly road bike course by the Charles River Wheelmen “Climb to the Clouds” bike tour.
Together with approximately 850 other cyclists, we climbed the gruelling 1-mile 9% grade climb to Mt. Wachusett. As an amateur rider, I felt the pain on my legs and back during the climb, but it was well worth it. The feeling of satisfaction when we reached the top was incredible.
I’ve been joining bike tours for the past couple of years, including the fun Five Borough Bike Ride in New York City, and the Maine Lighthouse Ride in South Portland, Maine. But the “Climb to the Clouds” bike tour is the longest and most difficult tour I’ve joined so far.
My goal is to ride a century course (100 miles or more) in the next couple of years. I’m looking at the Pan Mass Challenge, or the Harpoon Brewery2Brewery 150-mile ride from Boston to Vermont, as my next goal. It will be a tough ride. But just like anything else in life, if you want to reach your goal, you have to work hard for it.
Some photos: Climb to the Clouds, Maine Lighthouse Ride, Bike New York
Winter has been particularly mild this year in New England. But that did not stop me and my daughter, Justine, to go up the mountains and ski. Most ski resorts have snow making capabilities anyway and the mountains in northern New England usually have natural snow.
Aside from the usual skiing trip to Wachusett Mountain, which is only 35 minutes from our house, this year we also went to Bretton Woods in New Hampshire and Okemo Mountains in Vermont with my wife’s friend, Dick.
I used to hate the snow. I don’t like to clean up our driveway after a snow storm. It’s so much more comfortable to curl up in front of the fireplace. 🙂 And I don’t like to drive in the snow because it can be dangerous. Several years ago, my car spun 360 degrees in the highway. I was lucky there was no other vehicle near my car. And I grew up in the tropics, so warmer weather is much more suited for me.
But there is no way we can avoid the snow in New England. We need to find outdoor activities to avoid cabin fever. So, two years ago, my daughter and I signed up for skiing lesson, and soon realized that we loved it.
I also realized that it’s a good activity to bond with my daughter. I’m glad we tried skiing and I’m looking forward to many skiing and bonding trips with my daughter for many years to come.