Yep, this easter we - the running girls Bettina, Ninfa, Raeanna, moi plus Ricky SB - headed off to Zambales for a boot camp training of sorts. Originally, the trip was intended to check out the course in Subic before joining the triathalon sprint event this May. But with the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), we decided to trek Pinatubo, and then the plan expanded to include a bike to Pundaquit and then a swim in the new Anwaya Cove where the water is cleaner than Subic Bay.
First day trek to Pinatubo. We left Subic at 6:30am and drove an hour and a half (only 20 min via SCTEX to Clark) to Pinatubo Spa Town (or known as PST) in Barangay Sta. Juliana, in Capas, Tarlac. There are no signs to PST which is located inside a military facility. We booked our 'skyway' tour, a shorter route to the crater lake, with Jovi Balbiro (contact # 0928 781-3556). Our P1750 per pax included two 4x4 jeeps, a guide, a hearty lunch and all the fees. The 4x4 ride was about an hour drive into lahar country, crossing river beds and up a narrow pathway to the 'skyway' parking. From there, its NOT a 40-min trek to the lake; more like an hour. The path starts with a steep incline, downhill then a trek along the river filled with rocks and boulders. There is a stairway leading up to the summit. The view was awesome. It brought me back to its eruption in June 1991, diving in Anilao where the whole place was covered with 3-5in ash and the water was emerald green, about 1-ft viz underwater.... We headed back down at noon. We were lucky that it was unexpectedly cool. The path was shady with lots of fern foliage. At the PST, we enjoyed a relaxing 1.5 hour shiatsu-swedish massage and facial while Rae tried the volcanic ash treatment where she was buried neck down in ash.
Second day bike and concert in Casa San Miguel. We ran 8km in Binictican (Subic) first. On the way to San Antonio, there were lots of pentinents on the road- either flagellating (whipping their raw backs) or carrying a cross - so the 45-min drive took us more than an hour. Our host, artist Plet Bolipata-Borlongan, who now resides with her husband Emong in Casa, set us up in her art studio and served us a yummy seafood fare - seaweed salad, kilawin, crabs, pinakbet and fresh mangoes from her family's orchard. After lunch, we biked first to Pundaquit (Capones beach) then to San Marcelino or a total of 30.43-kms. We made it back in time to shower and listen to the string concert of Haydn's seven last words by the Pundaquit Virtousi. (Note that Casa has a concert every Saturday at 6pm).
Third day swim in Anwaya Cove, a 45-min drive from Subic to Morong, Bataan. Again, the day started with an 8-km run in Binictican before heading out. Anwaya is the new resort project of Ayala Corp. We swam around the outer permiter of the bay.
Last day bike around Subic. We wanted to try out the sprint's course from the boardwalk to Ocean Adventure. However, after driving thru the hilly slopes, we opted for the easy course from Bettina's house in Binictican to the airport. Unfotunately, we walked half-way uphill back home and Bettina called for her driver. So, I guess this means, we're not yet ready to do the sprint this May or even the Triathalon in Bali this July... maybe do another boot camp next month again in Subic?