Here is an article I have written on the 2009 Makiling Mountain Quest which was published in the local Weekend Warrior Magazine. Sadly they did’nt put any credits on the article. I was part of Team MMS with Jerome Licup as my partner. Though we did’nt won this race, at least we have finished it compared to my other adventure races wherein I often ended up as DNF. In fact we were the leaders in the early stages after we got lost (the usual story or excuse of my racing career).
After 2 years of absence, the Makiling Quest was revived last November 21, 2009. Familiar faces from the adventure racing, mountain biking and even climbing community participated in the event.
The Makiling Quest is an adventure race organized by the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME), University of the Philippines Los Baños. The race is usually held within the vicinity of the fabled Mount Makling, particularly within the UPLB campus. It covers different outdoor disciplines but in this year’s edition, the focus was more as a mountain bike race with orienteering (navigation using compass). The Makiling Quest started last 2002 thus making it as one of the longest standing adventure race in Luzon. The race was suspended last 2007 and 2008 due to the destruction on portions of the mountain trail as brought about by Typhoon Milenyo and turning it around, this year’s race is an advocacy campaign for the restoration and rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged hiking trails to the mountain’s summit. It also coincides with the 99th year anniversary of Mt. Makiling ’s proclamation as a forest reserve on 21 November 1910.
The race followed a series of pit stops (15 control points) that each participant searched using their maps and compass in a 25km race course that traverses the mountain and the UPLB campus. Although the course is around 25km, each participants may have averaged around 35-45 Kms on their odometer as part of searching the control points. Each team is composed of two individuals, bringing with them their bikes and other mandatory equipments like maps, compass, first aid kit and other necessities.
The new format was a welcome experience as the race gave the participants a wonderful glimpse of the Makiling environs while riding a mountain bike and it was indeed a pleasant ride around campus cementing its long known fact as a biking haven. And it didn’t disappointed those seeking challenges as some routes within the race offered more than a bike to the park experience like climbing the steep Arts Center and the traditional off road trail to the summit of Mt. Maikling.
By the end of the race, it’s the Philmofo Team who won the race, bagging the 10,000 pesos cash prize.
It was indeed a wonderful experience and next year being the centennial of the Mt. Makling reserve, MCME promises a more exciting race next year. So see you next year!