2008...Looking Back

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2008...Looking BackJan 5, 2008

2008...Looking Back

The big events in the past 2008 have been quite few, came in big chunks, and definitely left their mark.

Backpacking South
There was the month-long backpacking to the south (Iloilo, Guimaras, Davao, Samal, Cebu, Boracay, Palawan) highlighted by my climb to Mt. Apo and discovering the fascinating beauty of Coron (Palawan). It was also an opportunity to discover the beauty of the Philippines. The experience left me wanting to see more of this country. I can put Southeast Asia or even the rest of the world on the side, for that matter. The Philippines will be my destination in the years to come. Thinking about all the possibilities is overwhelming.

No Saddle Time
On the mountain biking scene, it wasn't much for me. My frame cracked after supporting the Ultra Pinoy Marathon runners from Banaue to Sagada in Feb. Since then, I was a LoneRider without a bike. I still can't figure out how to get the bike of my choice (Giant Trance X0), but I can feel something's on the horizon for me.

Mountaineering? At least I can say I climbed Mt. Apo - that's something for me. 2008 was also a chance for me to get involved with UP Mountaineers, specially by being active with the application process of the batch '08, to which I've developed a fondness for. Some have become good friends. I got to do a cave connection story that was featured on SideTrip Magazine, and also participated in the reforestation program for IPO Dam. I certainly could have done more but had to take a back seat to what is an adventure of a lifetime - Survivor Philippines.

Survivor Philippines
Upon my return to Manila, at the goading of friends, I auditioned for Survivor Philippines as one of the castaways. I didn't really think too much into it, perhaps if only to have another auditioning experience. Who would have thought I would actually make it? To be chosen one of 18 castaways from a selection of 43,700 is still incomprehensible to me. I'd be lying if I didn't admit it was extremely flattering.

The next thing I knew, I was being shipped to Thailand to start filming. Before I could get a rhythm of things, I was already voted out and shipped back to Manila. That precipitated what was to be ground-breaking for me - I had to get to know myself more to come to terms with such failure on primetime tv in front of a public audience.

In hindsight, I simply got what I asked for. During the Survivor elimination process I consistently said I wasn't there for the money but the life experience...to get to know life...and myself a little better. I got all that but in ways I could not have imagined. For all that, I can't be any more grateful. In a surprising turn of events for me, I found vindication from the very same people I felt embarrassed to face after that abject failure - the viewing public; the people on the street, mallers, people I shared the jeeps with, people I met in parties, acquaintances, etc. I was moved by all that...and surprised realizing I was too hard on myself.

I found celebrity as I guested in GMA's tv and radio shows, gala premieres, boutique openings, etc. Now that Survivor is done and over with, I default back into my old life tucked within the confines of my mountain hamlet.

Crashing for One Night
Lastly, during my last stay in Manila, I sent out an email to people in my distribution list, if they're willing to book me for one night at their place. It was a way for me to kick myself out of my rut (since I always default to a set of friends in Manila), develop budding friendships, revive old ones and more obviously, get a roof over my head. The experiment took me to places as disparate as sleeping on a sidewalk and sleeping in Forbes Park...and everything in between. Drifting into people's orbits were equal highlights as well.

2009, A Look Ahead
Now, with 2009, I'm starting the year with the ABS Showdown launch...let's see what else lies up ahead.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: 2009

Year in Review Blogs:

Facebook Users

Reader Comments:

(Jan 25, 2009) more power ! cheers to another year of adventure!

(Jan 21, 2009) ...that was a great year for TheLoneRider huh (except for the bike frame that cracked though)...this reminds me that I still have a pending post of my own 2008 stories pa pala... guess i should finish that asap... :)

Yet Scherer
(January 20, 2009) You don't know me but I am one of your avid followers. I used to be UP Mountaineer, too! I look forward to reading your updates when I catch a break in between exams and clinicals :)

Dave Nuilan
(Jan 20, 2009) I read your blog about your last year...It seems that you had so much fun last year and I am looking forward to read your stories for this year. I hope I can join you in one of your tavels this year.

Jan 5, 2008

»» next story: A Place to Crash for One Night
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