The love of adventure and travelling, it seems, are closely linked to each other. Seeking their wander lust in exploring new places, sensing a new–found adventure with every step of the way, adventure lovers become eager travelers in every chance they get to seek out thrill and excitement in unfamiliar territories.
Thirty-seven teams, who came together for yet another successful year of the heart-stopping island escapade "Smart Hundred Islands Adventure Race" held in Alaminos, Pangasinan, recently found themselves awed by the natural wonders of the new place they visited amid the adrenalin-pumping one-day race that pushed them to the limits.
The racers, coming from diverse backgrounds ranging from serious athletes, military servicemen, corporate professionals, university students and professional adventure racers, all went up to the challenge of exploring the wonderful flora, fauna and exciting culture of the Hundred Islands Park and its nearby natural reserves in a once-in-a-lifetime eco-adventure marathon.
Elite category first place team member Roel Ano affirms this. "The islands were beautiful. I enjoyed exploring its natural wonders and was mesmerized by its breathtaking sights."
Sarah Gay Lao, Fun category team member first placer also agrees, "It was my first time in Alaminos and I find it a great place to unwind and take time off from the everyday hassles of work or school. The Hundred Islands serene surroundings allow you to enjoy nature at its best."
Alaminos City, the home of the Hundred Islands National Park in the province of Pangasinan, is the perfect place for a laid back vacation or a fun–filled excursion. It now also caters to adventure lovers who want a taste of nature coupled with exciting sports and activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or kayaking in the turquoise waters; and spelunking in the many mysterious caves of the Hundred Islands National Park.
The city recently wrapped up its ‘’Smart Hundred Islands Adventure Race" with Alaminos Mayor Hernani Braganza and organizer PETCO playing host to this adventure marathon that tested the skill, strength, speed, and wits of adventure racers from all over the country.
The course brought the teams to the islands and islets of the Hundred Islands National Park and to other undiscovered areas of interest in the city. The racers were given the once-in-a-lifetime experience to unravel the wonders of Alaminos and everything in its lush landscape as they went through the race. "We enjoyed exploring the undersea caves, it will surely be a hit tourist attraction once it becomes an eco-tourism facility," Ano shares.
THE ULTIMATE HIGH
Aside from the experience of travelling to unfamiliar territories, adventure racers get the ultimate high from the many challenges posed in each race they get into. The Hundred Islands adventure race raised the bar a notch higher by posing more challenging feats for the participants.
"It was a tough race, even for us in the fun category. We weren’t familiar with the place, but the wonderful atmosphere inspired us to use our resources in order to navigate fast while still enjoying the surroundings," adds Lao.
The experience indeed left a lasting remembrance on the many participants who were game enough to unravel the beauty that lay on the pristine isles and islets of the Hundred Islands National park.
More than the exhausting but rewarding tasks that led them to victory, what the winners remember most is the warmth of the culture and the people that complemented the natural splendor of Alaminos. "How the people of Alaminos embraced their visitors and tourists was truly fantastic. Big smiles were always drawn in their faces wherever we went," shares Lao.
Among those who emerged winners of the race were: Elite Category: Sandugo AFP, 1st place, composed of Raquel Espinosa, Roel Ano, and Merlyn Lumagbas, who are all servicemen in the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Trek Ground Zero, 2nd place, composed of Bobby Relos, Louie Peralta, Padua Editha; Sandugo Trek, 3rd place, composed of Thadeus Festin, Jasmine Lasota and Jake Custodio from Quezon City; Team Sagul, 4th place, composed of Christine Bueta, Dela Cruz Antonino and Dela Cuesta Mendel; and UPM Woohoo, 5th place, team of students and professionals composed of Dennis Lopez, Dante Paulo Unson and Roselyn Cabral.
Winners in the Fun Category were: UST MC Boon, 1st place, composed of Julius Cruzat, Frederick Agoot, Sarah Gay Lao 20 years old, all students from the University of Sto. Tomas (UST); UST MC Chepot, 2nd place, composed of Sid Aris Amarillo, Ma. Jaycelyn Martinez and Carlos Amarillo; Global like Trek, 3rd place, composed of Geoffrey Tan, Lemuel Basa and David Basa from Metro Manila; Joshua Brothers, 4th place, composed of Renato Ancheta, Oliver Arellano and Alfonso Alpuerto; Batch Pakers, 5th place, composed of Mark Romano, Katrina Erika Aranjuez and Jacob Matias all from UP-Diliman.
[ The Hundred Islands ]