Manila Life

Awesome Filipinos

Essential Romy Garduce Cho Oyu Links

Romi’s Blogs
Romi’s Cho Oyu Blog
The Road to Everest Blog (by Romi)
Cho Oyu Pictures

News Articles
New Filipino Altitude Record Set by Romi for Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu @ 26,000ft/ 8000m (Awesome Planet)
We are glad you are alive Romi (Awesome Planet)
Garduce’s next stop: Mt. Everest (Manila Standard)
Pinoy reaches peak of 6th highest mountain (Manila Bulletin)
No mountain high enough (yehey)
No Mountain High Enough (Manila Standard)

Awesome Filipinos

We are glad you are alive Romi

Congratulations again Romi for the first Filipino (based in the Phils) for achieving and climbing Mt. Cho Oyu at 8,000m! We are glad that you are alive and your indigenious children would be very happy. Here is an excerpt of his post in his blog:

Hello from Kathmandu

Greetings from Kathmandu Nepal! Hello again, and thank you for the congratulatory notes & birthday greetings (I celebrated in ABC w/ the yaks, no beer and sisig unfortunately). We just got back in KTM last night after 2 days of fast walk from ABC, down to Chinese basecamp, then a fast jeep ride to Tingri (Tibet) then over the China-Nepal border in Zangmu then finally KTM , now on recovery and healing mode — we all looked like POWs or soldiers who just got back from war =) the injuries, the burns, malnourished bodies, etc… ;)”

see related articles:

>> New Filipino Altitude Record Set by Romi for Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu @ 26,000ft (8000m)

>> The Road to Mt. Everest by Romi Garduce

For perspective how significant this achievement is, here are the 7 peaks which are the highest mountain in each continent:

Mt. Kilimajaro (Africa) 5,895m
Mt. Denali (North America) 6,194m
Mt. Everest (Asia) 8,848m
Mt. Elbrus (Europe) 5,642m
Mt. Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia) 4,884m
Mt. Aconcagua (South America) 6,960m
Mt. Vinson (Antartica) 4,897m

As you can see, Romi is already close to Mt. Everest altitude (8000m known as the Death Zone).


Awesome Filipinos

New Filipino Altitude Record Set by Romi for Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu @ 26,000ft (8200m)

The Amazing Race for the first Filipino to ever set foot on Everest!!

Romi Garduce, have set the new altitude record last September 26, 10:30AM Nepal Time by climbing Mt. Cho Oyu, the 6th Highest mountain. This record give the title to the first Filipino to reach an 8200m (26,000 ft) peak — also known as the death zone. Just to give you a perspective how high is this and how significant is this achievement:

  • Romi’s last climb was Mt. Aconcaqua at 6962m (22,800ft) set the record for the first Filipino to climb the highest peak in the western hemisphere last January 2005.
  • The Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team (FPMEE) led by Regie Pablo climb Mt. Muztagh Ata located between Pakistan and China at 7,546 meters (24,758ft) last August 2005.
  • Mt. Everest altitude is 8850m (29,035ft)

One more climb in summer next year and Everest here we come. We are sooo proud of you Romi and thank you for making us Filipino proud that we can accomplish this feat! I’m expecting alot of politics surrounding this first Filipino to ever set foot on Everest. I do hope that other companies would already support him after this Mt. Cho Oyu conquest, or each Filipino should contribute to his Climb-for-a-Cause Foundation.

Now, who are you betting on to be the first Filipino to climb Mt. Everest — Romi from P&G or Reggie from Globe/FPMEE? BTW, Happy Birthday Romi!!


About Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team
The well funded (FPMEE) everest team is composed of Regie Pablo (Globe Telecoms), Leo Oracion, Karina Dayondon, Levi Nahayangan, Ariel Ambaye, Erwin “Pastour” Emata, expedition physician Dr. Ted Esquerra with FPMEE leader Art Valdez. The team’s recent conquests of Mt. Aylmer in New Zealand and the Kiyonang Peak of India, and recently Mt. Muztagh Ata in Pakistan and China. Their ultimate goal is to climb the summit of Mt. Everest in 2007. The team is supported by Globe International Services, Philippine Airlines, ABS-CBD, The North Face, Philippine Accident Manager’s Insurance and the National Sports Grill.

About Romi Garduce

Romi is an IT manager in P&G with a passion to be the first Filipino to climb Everest. His previous mountain conquests are: Mt Uhuru, Kibo Crater, Kilimanjaro (5895m/19400ft) East Africa. Sep 2002, Mt Aconcagua (6962m/22,842ft), Andean Range, Argentina. Jan 1, 2005, and recently Mt. Cho Oyu (8000m/26000ft), Nepal, Sept. 26, 2005. He is just supported by North Face and his Climb for a Cause foundations either Bukas Sarili or Cartwheel Foundation. He funds his trips using his personal funds and his P&G manager, Mr. Greg Dawes, fully supports his passion.

Awesome Festivals

The Eye of Hurricane Katrina

Originally uploaded by mysterious chicken.

“Nature’s Hidden Beauty Inside the Fury”

“How can something so beautiful be so destructive?”

“This is an amazing shot. So impressive. It’s hard to believe something so beautiful has caused so much sorrow..”

These are some of the reactions to this beautiful picture of the Katrina’s eye. This is not a picture out of your tornado movie but an actual shot of the eye of the hurricane. Check out this photo set from myterious chicken.


Awesome Filipinos

Goodluck Romi on your Mt. Cho Oyu Climb!!

Last June 10, I’ve blogged about my good friend Romi’s next climb. He invited me to join at least the short trek at the slopes of Nepal during the first part of his climb but my schedule and finance does not permit it. I’m glad Ching was able to join and I’ll expect very nice pictures from their trip. Good Luck Romi on your Mt. Cho Oyu climb! For those who wants to contribute here and know more information about this noble cause, here are some links:

>> Read more on Cartwheel Foundation press release.
>> Romi’s Mt. Cho Oyu Blog


Awesome Filipinos

A Glimpse of Raymund’s Isaac Artistic Brilliance

I always have fun watching how artist/ photographers interpret a concept and bring it to life. I’m amazed at how it is being done, and I was fortunate to witness how Raymund Isaac brings the concept of “Essence of Wellness” to life. All elements of the visual are handled with excellence — from the projection of professional models, to the perfect make-up, to the artistic props/setup, and and choreography of the visual scene. Really amazing and just sharing with you the glimpse of the fun shoot below:

–> The use of a huge glass can do wonders for the shot either infront or behind the glass.

–> It’s fun when even the rest of Raymund’s team would pose or act out in the scene.

–> This shot calls for a hand of a person that has the same skin tone as the model. In this particular case, Raymund’s hands were the closest in tone so he decided to be the aloe vera hand props. BTW the aloe vera smells like bad odor — yuck.

>> MORE: Essence of Wellness Photoset


All Photos were shot in Raymund’s Studio in Makati..

Mall of Asia

Sunday Morning Walk @ Seaside (Mall of Asia)

Best place to spend early Sunday morning :)

Sunday Mornings will never be the same for me. Finally, the rained stopped and I had a chance to go out eary Sunday morning to exercise. I started to enjoy spending the day with my son strolling along the seaside area in front of the Mall of Asia. If you have not been to this place, this is the best place to exercise and spend early Sunday morning with your family. We call it the Seaside area where this is located near The Way, The Truth and the Life Church built by Henry Sy or infront of the biggest mall in Asia!

What can you do here? Well this is a nice escape from the busy and polluted manila. This is a treasured experience that will soon be a treasured past once the mall of asia is built by Dec 2005. There are group exercises in the morning, you can jog, ride a bike, or simply walk with your family from one end to another. I’ve seen some families bring in picnic items so that they can eat and rest as well. I would advise that you bring your own food and water.

After the exercise, you can head to the Bluewave and eat a sumptous meal of Jollibee breakfast ( tapa or longganisa)! I can tell you that the simple things in life are the best. Savor it while you can.

Sunday @ Seaside Photoset


Food Tours

Carlos Celdran noble cause to change the way we look at Manila!

Anton, Mike, Bill, and Carlos 

Fantastic Tour! Way to go Carlos!

I remembered to post this article when Mike Best, my visitor from Cincinnatti, gave me a thank you gift which I received via mail last week. He appreciated the tour very much and I enjoyed joining the carlos celdran tours as well. Finally, I was able to meet the funky down-to-earth carlos and I joined not only one but two tours in one saturday afternoon. The first one was a scheduled Funky Imelda tour of the CCP complex buildings (CCP Main Theater, Folk Arts, and PICC). I learned the great importance of the Leandro Locsin architecture and understand better Imelda Marcos and how the CCP came to be. Then, we had a private tour of Intramuros which started with the tour of San Agustin Museum, Casa Manila and finally Fort Santiago. This tour talks alot about the spanish colonial era and the liberation of the Philippines by the Americans. There has been alot of articles already written about the tour and everything they said about Carlos is true. What I like most about the tour would be:

  • Carlos funky getup and how he starts all his tour with the Philippine National Anthem.
  • There are alot of funny anecdotes, controversial insights and unwritten gossips about the history of the Philippines.
  • Carlos is a great promoter of the Philippines and we should have all tourists to our country to have the celdran tours as a must in their itinerary.

By the way, we requested Carlos to bring a psychic friend, Jessica along to cap the day with ghost stories and psychic readings. It was truly a fun saturday with Carlos.

Here are some of the links and reviews:
>> Carlos Celdran Intramuros and Funky Imelda Tour Photoset
>> Planet Philippines Article on Carlos Celdran
>> Philippine Business Magazine: Volume 12 No. 4 – Lifestyle. A Walk through History
>> Time Article March 7, 2005: Walk the Talk
>> Official Blog:


Shopping Secrets

Mango and branded apparels at Factory Prices!

Awesome Factory Sale!!

I can’t believe it 🙂 It is like a factory outlet store in Manila that actually has quality branded apparel goods at less than 500 pesos per piece. It was a great sale indeed that only happens twice a year (Mid-year, and Christmas) in a warehouse in Meycauayan Bulacan. There are three things that makes this certified awesome sale:

1). People shop in crates! Yes, people actually hoards the clothes and fills up the crates. My wife and two of her friends bought P6,000+ worth of clothes. I can’t believe it either but I’ve seen it with my own eyes and my credit card is my witness. Yes, they accept credit cards — can you believe it? If you know the owner, you can simply ask for additional 5% discount on the total purchase — who can beat that?

2). A Secret Place that only Chinese people know. I watched the people go into the sale with excited faces and these are mostly young Chinese women. You know that something is really good if you can see Chinese girls shopping in the store (they are the most value conscious people). Also, if you don’t see sedan cars in the parking area– mostly you can see Toyota innova, Toyota Revo, Ford Explorer, Honda CRV, Toyota Hiace and other family or 4×4 cars. This is strictly by word of mouth through the rotarians network but once you are in their contact list of the factory sale owners, you get informed when the sale gonna be held.

3). Original Mango Apparel at 1/3 the costs! My wife and his barkada would visit all the mango stores in metro manila to check out the great Mango sale. They cannot believe it when they saw some of the same clothes that are being sold in the mango stores for P900+, you can buy it in the factory sale for around P300! The warehouse have an air conditioned room where all the mango clothes can be found and the non-aircon area would have the men’s shirts and other branded apparel. There are no imitation in this factory sale.

By the way, the Chinese owners are very nice and they even offer you soft drinks or bottled water when you shop. Really amazing!

What’s the catch in all of these?

–> The products are overruns from export factories, from Hong Kong/ China, or Marshalls from the US. We suspect that the clothes are bought in bulk by weight. Some are from export companies in the Philippines so you would also see Ralph L made in the Philippines (but there are also made from other countries like mexico, etc.)

–> The factory store is located in Meycauayan, Bulacan which is the 2nd exit in the North Luzon expressway. Here is the address:

Star Trends Apparel Corporation
Block 4 Lot 3 Acefree Street, Sterling Industrial Park
Meycauayan, Bulacan Tels 2996061, 2996120

From Balintawak Northbound, take the North Expressway and take the Meycauayan exit (the big exit after Valenzuela, right after the Ever Memorial Park). Upon entering Meyc exit, turn left at the rotonda towards Iba (there is a sign), go straight past all the gas stations and you will see a big water tank of sterling on your right that marks the industrial park. Look for the second gate which is on your right (approximately 1.2kms from the rotonda). When you enter gate 2 (you have to leave ID), take the first left (Orion St.) and take the first right (Acefree St.). The gate is the 2nd gate from the corner (green).

–> The sale was already finished last June 30 until July 2, Saturday only. So keep posted on this blog for the next sale in November/December.


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