Archive for April, 2008

Apexus Tadpole Classic Tent

Posted in Gear, Outdoor Equipment with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2008 by AnakAmaGuro

A dome tent is nice, but I chose to purchase a tadpole. I wanted my tent to be aerodynamic – with or without the rain fly.

Sure it doesn’t have much head room, and you’d have to sit with your back to the door or the other way around, with your legs out in the vestibule area… But that’s alright. I don’t need to stand in my tent anyway. I wouldn’t be holding indoor poker games with the entire camp in my tent. It’s my little private spot in the outdoors, and I’d like to keep it that way.

I can always upgrade to a “toad” or a “bullfrog” (as some may call it) should I need to.

Apexus Tadpole TentApexus Tadpole Tent in Alitap

It kept rain at bay and is perfectly breathable. The floor has a nice smooth finish and the indoor mesh pockets are big enough to hold your tent essentials. The poles are made of aluminum alloy, which are stronger, compared to its fiberglass counterparts.

Here are the specs:

Note: Most of it I got off the box; it doesn’t provide much information though. 😛

•Poles: Special Aluminum Alloy. Flexible, Collapsible

•Fly: Nylon 190T PU coated, Waterproof tape-sealed seam

•Inner Tent: Breathable Nylon, Nylon Mesh for better ventilation

2-layered door for ventilation control

•Eyelet: Rustproof Brass

•Dimension: 215cm x 130cm x 95cm

•Weight: 2.35kg (trail weight: including poles and pegs)

•Sleeps: 2

The tent is aerodynamically designed for high-altitude climbing to stand against strong winds. Clip provided for no-hitch-pitch assembly.

Full cover waterproof rain fly provides maximum protection and stability.

Extended vestibule for Kitchen and storage.

Elegant, lightweight collapsible aluminum alloy poles, interconnected by shock cords for easy pitching and striking.

Aluminum pegs provided (12)

Stuff sacks (for pegs and poles) and carrying bag included.

Investing on good equipment will guarantee you happy times in the great outdoors.

Happy Trails!

Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but foot prints.

A mountaineer’ s creed

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The Coleman Peak 1 Feather 400 – a camping stove for keeps

Posted in Gear, Outdoor Equipment, Reviews with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2008 by AnakAmaGuro

This was the first of many stoves I’ve had the chance of using. My first encounter with this beautiful piece of equipment was in 1996 during my first hike up a mountain in Laguna (Philippines). I fell in love with it instantly.

Since I was a beginner, I didn’t have all the equipment I needed for the trip. Besides, there were only 6 of us and it was just a weekend getaway.

The stove was on its (probably) 6th year of service. It started beautifully and kept a good groove. It needed no priming since the Philippines is a tropical country and we’re only (approximately) 290 to 300 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level).

Whether turning down the flames for simmering rice or cranking it up to full blast, the Feather 400 works wonders. Its flame adjusts beautifully, and will keep working as long as it has fuel.

I’ve read some reviews online and here’s a testimony that really caught my eye. One owner said:

“Just pulled out my old model 400 from a drawer in the cellar after 20 years of disuse.
I noticed that is still had some fuel in it, so I took it outside for test. Wow, started up just like it used too. After a minute or two I had a beautiful, even, fully adjustable, blue flame. Remarkable.”

I also learned (the hard way) that filling the tank to 3 quarters of its capacity with fuel is best. That’s about 8oz of white gas. It provides enough space to generate pressure after pumping and will last for about 2 to 3 days of cooking full meals for 2 to 3 persons.

I bought mine 2 years ago (yes, it’s available here in Manila!) and I have not sent it to a service shop or worried about it wearing down anytime soon. It’s sturdy, compact and easy to use. Pump, light and go! Three easy steps – how simple is that?

I tried checking it out at Coleman’s website and I learned that the product is no longer available. They came up with a newer version though. It’s a dual fuel stove that burns both white gas and unleaded gasoline – the Feather 442. But that’s another story.

Here are the specs. In case you’re curious.

Specifications

Weight without Fuel: 1lb 6oz
Weight with Fuel: 2lb 1oz
Dimensions: 6 3/8″ x 4 5/8″
Fuel Type: White Gas
Fuel Capacity: 11.8 oz
Average Boil Time: 1 Qt. – 4.5 min.
Burn Time, High: 1 hr 15 min
Burn Time, Simmer: 2 hr 20 min
*BTU’s: 7,500

* British Thermal Unit – In North America, the term “BTU” is used to describe the heat value (energy content) of fuels, and also to describe the power of heating and cooling systems, such as furnaces, stoves, barbecue grills, and air conditioners.

I’m looking forward to handing it down to my son; but not anytime soon. 😉

Help Anawangin Cove

Posted in Places, Thoughts, Travel, Outdoors, Places with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2008 by AnakAmaGuro

View of the cove from the hill

It’s a place you wouldn’t expect to find in Zambales. I visited this little piece of paradise last March 22, 2008 and it was a trip indeed worth taking.

I’ve heard about it from friends, acquaintances and read quite a few interesting stories online. Yet nothing compares to experiencing the cove itself.

Ruben, a local from Pundaquit, who also happened to be the boatman who ferried us from Pundaquit to Anawangin (well, it was his brother, Noli, who actually operated the boat that took us to the cove), informed us that there have been visitors, who chose to trek their way to the cove and enjoyed the scenery. There are even stories of hikers finding caves, waterfalls, crystal clear pools, and sightings of beautiful birds. That immediately enticed the outdoorsman in me.

There is even this famed lighthouse standing proud and tall atop a hill on Capones Island. Which by the way, I wasn’t able to visit. * sigh *.

But what little I experienced in those two days I was there is indeed a treasure to cherish.

I’m not very good with a camera so forgive me if the photos do not seem pro-looking. I still have a lot to learn, I must admit. But the album I’ve compiled will have to do for now.

The place is unquestionably beautiful, indescribable even. Yet amidst all that beauty lie sadness. What once was a place of solace is now slowly turning into a commercial camp ground. Visitors come and go like it was just a trip to the park.

I guess they haven’t heard of the phrase “leave no trace” or “leave it like you found it”. Most campers just leave their trash like there was someone to clean up after them. It’s sad, and it breaks my heart to see that there are still so many who have no respect for the environment.

It’s pretty simple. Pack out what you pack in. Imagine someone coming to your home and leaving a big, ugly, muddy footprint on your expensive Persian carpet. I’m sure you’d freak out too.

Mother Nature and the cove’s residents are pleading for help. It takes no more than a simple sense of responsibility to preserve what little is left of this paradise island. Let’s give our fair share and help the environment heal. It took hundreds of years for all this beauty to become what it is right now. It will only take a few months and a few more irresponsible, half-witted campers to destroy it.

I would still want to see the day when my children and my children’s children get to experience what I have experienced in my days. What we leave behind, we leave to our children.

I was thinking of proposing a simple method to help keep the visitors aware. No, not signboards nailed to the trees or staked to the sand in the cove. I was thinking more in the lines of a pre-boat-ride-orientation.

Since the boatmen of Pundaquit, Zambales ferry the tourists to the islands (Camera Island, Capones – where the light house is; and Anawangin), they will be the first to make the visitors aware.
A 15 to 30 minute orientation that includes registering the guests should be a pre-requisite. Visitors will be required to bring with them trash bags that they will use all through out their stay in the islands. Smokers will pack a small plastic bag where they can ditch their cigarette butts, greatly decreasing the chances of them throwing it just about everywhere.
All these are to be brought back to Pundaquit where the trash can be properly disposed of.

All this will guarantee a whole lot of things that we can all look forward to, especially the locals; continuous flow of visitors and tourists to the islands, which equates to jobs for the boatmen as an alternative to fishing; a piece of paradise, for generations to come.

I’m coming back to Anawangin before this month ends and give my fair share.

“Kill nothing but time, take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but foot prints.”

Help save Anawangin Cove. Read more from Chris’ and Ton’s posts.

Anak, Ama, Guro.

Posted in Alibata, Body Art, Culture, Pinoy Pride, Pinoy Style, Poetry with tags , , , , , , , on April 8, 2008 by AnakAmaGuro

Kayumanggi at Ipinagmamalaki! (Brown and Proud of it!)

It has been almost 3 years since I got my first tattoo. That is my (nick)name spelled across my back (below my nape) in what is known as the baybayin (the proper name) or widely recognized as the alibata. I chose to use the said writing method because of one primary reason – it’s Filipino.

Just last February 23, 2008, I got my left arm tattooed with a half-sleeve story of my roots and lineage. The symbols I used in it are strongly influenced by the designs used by the highlanders of the north. Polynesian designs or symbols would have been okay. In fact they’re cool. Thing is, I am not of Polynesian blood. My tattoos are a strong declaration of my Pinoy Pride. I am brown and I am proud of it!

AnakAmaGuro

AnakAmaGuro

One famous tattooed celebrity is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His ink tells a story – and it’s very interesting.

No, I have no fantasies of becoming famous, nor becoming a wrestler! I just want to tell my story through this very interesting art form, where skin is canvass and ink is paint.

My sleeve tattoo tells the story of my immediate roots. It is a celebration of my heritage and my bloodline.

•The “ling-ling-o” (Mamuli)

The figure symbolizes “celebration of life” – the ability of man and woman to procreate life with Bathala (God).

This portion of my tattoo has 5 slots, one for each child born to my family.

Historical notes:

The ling-ling-o is an amulet found throughout the Philippines and Southeast Asia both in modern and ancient times.The exact meaning of the ling-ling-o is a matter of debate.Various explanations are brought forth including use as good luck and/or fertility charm or as a partial residence for anitos (ancestral spirits).Among the Igorots, the amulet is empowered / purified in a ritual of washing in blood before wearing.

The open oval shape of the mamuli is similar to the female reproductive organ. The mamuli is known as a symbol of fertility, combining both masculine and feminine attributes. By wearing one it symbolizes virility (men) and fertility (women).

? My Mother’s side

• The Healer’s seal

The pointed figure with the star on the upper left side of the photo is symbol of a healer. I incorporated it in the design to honor my late grandfather. He had knowledge of medicinal plants and was a recognized Albularyo (medicine man) in his town.

• The Water Buffalo’s (Carabao) Horn.

A symbol of protection against the evil eye.

Power, purification, healing, wisdom, self-knowledge, renewal and eternal life.

Other superstitions link it to sexual power and good luck.
• The Carabao

A totem symbol of strength, loyalty and humility but also danger, when provoked.

• Mountains

My mother’s family are from the highlands – thus, the mountains.

• The Rice Fields

Staple to Filipinos is rice. Source of nourishment and of life. Rice Grains when full and ripe bow. Looking back to the earth that nourished it. It symbolizes humility, gratitude and strength.

Being that they are farmers from the highlands, the theme incorporated the brief story of my maternal bloodline.

? My Father’s side

• Fish

This was the primary source of income for the small fishing village where my father hails from.

Fish symbolize unity, and strength. They are never alone, always swimming in schools.

There are seven of them here. One for each member of the family.

•Corals

They represent home.

Be it that I am far and away from home, I will always long to come back to the one place where I feel safe.

•Weave

My father is also a tailor. Thread when woven becomes a strong material. Cloth when put together and sewn, provides warmth and protection.

•Earth and Water and the countless generation of Fathers and Fishermen

My father and his father, and his father’s father, and all the generations before him were fishermen. During seasons when the men of our village could not cast their nets into the deeps to fish, they turn to the richness of the earth that nourishes their crops. They plant corn, and grain and root crops that sustain them during these times.

The Triangles that are connected to the mountains and the sea by a thin line represent the generations that came before me. I pay tribute to them. This is my way of saying, “I will not forget”.

 

?The Fire Snake

"FireSnake"

One of the oldest symbols in existence, the snake’s image is found long before the written word appeared.

As a tattoo design, the snake symbolizes power, both natural and supernatural, fertility, regeneration and wisdom.

The snake’s ability to slough off its skin is truly fascinating. This has given rise to its association with rebirth and immortality.

I was born in the year of the snake, under the fire sign.

The 5 triangles represent each child in the brood. The repeating triangle patterns signify strength – strength in the family. They point downwards to honor our mother – the bringer of life.

The four swirls represent my sisters – one swirl for each sister. Spirals or swirls are linked to the circle (symbol). It is an ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent force, continual change and the evolution of the universe.

The 3 dotted black triangles represent each decade of my life.

Triangles are associated with the number 3 (three). They point upwards to symbolize fire, male, and power. Again, the pattern is repeated to strengthen the symbol.

?The Sun

Fire is my element. Fire is probably one of man’s greatest discoveries.

A symbol for “the bringer of light”; illuminates the path of those who travel. Showing them the right road and direction, guiding them towards their destination.

? The Stones of power and the Shield

Black and white, Light and dark, the unity of opposites – they represent the duality in all things; even in man. They represent choice and decisions to be made.

In my life, I have made good and not so good choices. Good and bad decisions. They serve as a reminder that I have the power to change everything in the future with the choices I make today.

The shield is a talisman of protection. To ward off evil and in turn, invite positive energy.

?My Son

 

Angelo

Angelo

 

I chose this symbol to represent my son.

 

?Anak (in baybayin)

Son

 

Anak

Anak

 

?Ama (in baybayin)

Father

 

Ama

Ama

 

?Guro (in baybayin)

Teacher

 

Guro

Guro

 

 

The tattoo is still not done… I’d still have to have it retouched.

I have plans of extending it to my left shoulder blade, shoulder and left chest area – more of that soon.

Newbie

Posted in Thoughts with tags on April 2, 2008 by AnakAmaGuro
Thursday, 03 April, 2008 01:25:20 AM.

Entry number one. Hopefully this won’t be the last. Thanks to Will‘s generosity and patience and AJ‘s inspiration, my long overdue plans of starting a blog has now materialized!

I already have a lot of things I’d like to write about. All i need now is the time to do it.

Again, thank you Will and AJ!