Category Archives: Outdoors

Defying Summer Storm at Fortune Island

“Every storm that comes, also comes to an end.” – Author Unknown

Been wanting to visit Fortune Island  after seeing the beautiful pictures a friend has posted. So when the invitation came from a runner friend Reggie via a simple post online, it was perfect.   I knew I had to see the place myself.

I love to travel. As what a former mentor said to me a long time ago, “travel will teach you something beyond what you have learned in class.” What better way to explore this beautiful country of ours than by taking a trip either solo or with friends. But there are times when you are traveling solo, it’s not always a breeze to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Soleus Team at the Parthenon-like ruins for some photo shoots (Photo by Running Jack Morales)
Soleus Team at the Parthenon-like ruins for some photo shoots (Photo by Running Jack Morales)

Good thing the invite came from a runner friend of team Soleus. Since I’ve met most (if not all) Soleus team members, I can honestly say I’ve never felt so lucky to be in the best company around.

Meet up time was early to catch the early morning ferry from a resort in Nasugbu to Fortune Island. The trip was (to most of us) a bit of a last hurrah to summer.

We took the single-day trip with a boat ride of about an hour. The waves got rougher though as we near the beach landing.  From afar, the Parthenon-like structure could be seen resting on top of a hill.  The boat would return to pick us up around four in the afternoon.  

By the time we got there, the sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. We found a good spot to pitch the tent that Mirjam brought with her and got settled for an early lunch.  Cloudless skies could mean extremely hot weather but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures of ourselves, the nice scenery, and enjoying the beach in the next three hours or so.

Is this Greece? Nope.  Taken at Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Batangas (Photo by Running Jack Morales)
Is this Greece? Nope. Taken at Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Batangas (Photo by Running Jack Morales)

After almost half a day of frolicking under the sun, the weather suddenly changed–from sunny to a bit cloudy.  Then it rained so heavily in the next 10 to 15 minutes that we could only hang on to each other big time! The big umbrella and the dilapidated nipa shed  were our only protection from the rains and the cold swirling winds. We’ve never prayed so hard until that fateful afternoon. When the rains somehow slowed down, one by one, off we ran quickly to the nearest structure–a vacant restroom–our only refuge. Then there was a sudden change in the wind direction. What started off as heavy rains escalated into a full-blown hail storm.  After a few minutes, the weather shifted again as if nothing happened.  

Enjoying the sun, the beach, and friendship.  (Photo by Pido Reggie)
Enjoying the sun, the beach, and friendship. (Photo by Pido Reggie)
The umbrella that saved us. Photographer Reggie held on to this for us to be shielded from the rains and winds. (Photo by Pido Reggie)
The umbrella that saved us. Photographer Reggie held on to this for us to be shielded from the rains and winds. (Photo by Pido Reggie)

The hail storm highlighted our first visit to the island.  Second-timer Inja said, “There wouldn’t be a next time for me after this.” To most of us, we were wondering and thinking, “Did it really happen?”  In the end, we were extremely grateful that neither from our group nor the visitors of the island were hurt during the storm.  We survived!

The beach after the hail storm. (Photo by Running Jack Morales)
The beach after the hail storm. (Photo by Running Jack Morales)
The ruins after.
The ruins after the hail storm.   As if nothing happened at all. (Photo by Running Jack Morales)

“Every storm that comes, also comes to an end.” If we are to compare the hardships of life (whether big or small) to a storm, all it takes is to have faith, to be strong and courageous. Defying it is one for the books!

Thank you Reggie, Janno, Inja, Running Jack, Bilson, Flordeliza, Mirjam, and Val for having me in this trip.  Till next time!

Enjoying the photo shoot led by Soleus/Running Photographers Pido Reggie and Running Jack.

Press Release: R.O.X. Outdoor Festival Welcomes Everyone Outside

Adventure’s doors are officially open.


Recreational Outdoor eXchange (R.O.X.) celebrated the outdoors with the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival on 18-19 April 2015 at Bonifacio High Street.   Attended by outdoor enthusiasts and converts, the two-day event marked the culmination of R.O.X.’s Get Outside campaign, which encouraged people to turn to a life of non-stop adventure.  Competitions, games, challenges, booths, shows, and workshops at the event kept excitement at a permanent high as participating outdoor brands and organizations introduced people everything the outdoors had to offer.

One of the event’s big features was the R.O.X. Zero Gravity Bouldering Competition, sponsored by premier wall-climbing group PowerUp in partnership with the Sport Climbing Association of the Philippines, Inc. (SCAPI), where bouldering champions from all over the country fought for the top title and a round-trip airfare for two to Kota Kinabalu by Cebu Pacific Air.


A more grueling kind of challenge met participants of Mountain Hardwear’s Last Man Standing competition, staged on the first day of the festival. Fourteen hardy participants fought to stay on each of their 3-foot columns for nearly five hours as they endured various physical challenges on top of the heat of high summer. The winner took home the complete outdoor treatment: an all-expense paid trip to Coron, Palawan courtesy of Cebu Pacific Air and The Funny Lion Inn plus a complete set of gear by Mountain Hardwear.

Event-goers also proved eager to take on the rest of the festival’s activities, including Fox’s Pump Up the Track Challenge, The North Face’s Mountain Athletics Challenge, Columbia’s Trying Stuff Challenge, Salomon’s Outrun the Road Challenge, Strider’s competition for kids, and other high-octane pursuits. For people new to the outdoors, the event also offered opportunities for them to get started.


Various outdoor brands, service providers, groups, and communities packed Bonifacio High Street with booths for people to jumpstart their adventure. Those interested in niche outdoor experiences found sound advice from the event’s talks and workshops, such as Liliane Cobiao’s introduction to traveling around the world, Tamara Benitez and Mike Eijansantos’ guide to filming the outdoors, Carla Grino’s lecture on exploring the outdoors with your kid, and other highly useful topics by outdoor professionals.

Come evening, the festival switched on a more entertaining and relaxed vibe with performances by Lucille and Indio I at the amphitheater and big screen film viewings for families and groups of friends sprawled on the grass without actually taking people up mountains, across open seas, or into a long and winding trail in the wild, the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival proved that the road to adventure is easy to find. It only takes a brave heart and a desire to Get Outside.


R.O.X. Outdoor Festival is sponsored by the Primer Group of Companies, The North Face, Columbia Sportswear, Eddie Bauer, Sea to Summit, Fox, Telic, Nalgene, Roxy, Quiksilver, DC, Timbuk2, Poler, O’Neill, Volcom, Sanuk, Native, Mountain Hardwear, Hurley, Stance, Healthy Back Bag, World Traveller, Spyder, OtterBox, Goal Zero, Nivea, CORE, GoPro, Dan’s, Specialized, Strider, Amorita Resort, Cyburban, Planet Zips, Cebu Pacific Air, Costa Pacifica, The Funny Lion Inn, Garmin, PowerUp, Gatorade, Magnavision, Krispy Kreme, Syoss, the Department of Tourism, and Tourism Promotions Board Philippines.

This event is also supported by the following media partners: Business Mirror, Malaya, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Rappler,,, Writer’s Block,, View Magazine, 2.0 Magazine, Explore, PowerPlay Magazine, Speed Magazine, Endurance, Travel Now, Travelife, Clavel, GRID, Asian Journal, Adventour Magazine, and MultiSport Magazine.

See all the thrilling highlights of the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival by following @roxphilippines on Facebook and @rox_philippines on Instagram.  Gear up before you Get Outside. Visit R.O.X. at Bonifacio High Street, MarQuee Mall, Camp John Hay, Ayala Center Cebu, Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro, and The District North Point Bacolod.

R.O.X. is owned and operated by Primer Group of Companies, Asia’s next retail giant. It is currently the largest outdoor sports and recreation superstore in Southeast Asia. It derives satisfaction in providing the tools of trade for the outdoor enthusiast, and subsequently provides outdoor experience to sustain consciousness of people on issues pertaining to environment. What R.O.X. wants is to get everyone outside and experience firsthand the outdoors, outlive every exhilarating moment and embrace the adventurer in each one! Like us on Facebook: (R.O.X. Philippines) E-mail us:

About Primer Group of Companies

Established in the Philippines in 1985, the Primer Group of Companies is engaged in the retail and distribution of the world’s top and premium consumer brands in outdoor, travel, footwear, fashion, wellness and urban lifestyle. It has also established a solid ground in the industrial products and services landscape, with companies in digital and silkscreen printing, air-conditioning and creative graphic design and services.  The company is aggressively pursuing new grounds to become the leader in the global distribution and innovation of premium goods and services. Its retail authority alone has grown to over 150 premium brands, with over 300 stores in 8 Asian countries — making it a force to reckon with. To date, the Primer Group employs over 3,000 and has established businesses in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.