Angono, Rizal boasts itself of being the Art Capital of the Philippines and hometown to two National Artists, Maestro Lucio San Pedro and Carlos “Botong” Francisco. Here, one can find the concrete murals along Dona Aurora Street and The Angono Petroglyphs (which share its boundaries with Binangonan) known as the oldest work of Art in the Philippines dating back to 3000 B.C.
Of interest to runners, this highland valley south of the Sierra Madre mountain range is site to miles and miles of dirt trails, narrow concrete paths that pass along rivers, small remote villages, cogon fields, undeveloped subdivisions and wild trees that snake thru the boundaries of Angono and Binangonan. We had planned to run along these trails about 3 weeks ago and it was only last Sunday (February 15) and perfect weather that had us packing our gear and heading off to a completely uncharted territory.
With running buddies June, Daryll and Oliver, we hopped on into June’s old but trusted limousine and headed straight to the Thunderbird Resorts/Fiesta Casino located beside the Eastridge Golf course in the foothills of the Angono/Binangonan mountain range which served as our starting point. We arrived at the resort at about 5:30am and after a few minutes of stretching, we were on our feet.
On the initial phase of our run, we headed towards a wide tunnel then ran the uphills of various villages wherein one finds a glorious view of Laguna de Bay and its outlying cities. Development of these villages are still on the initial stages (many still stagnant, thank goodness) where one can run on both dirt and paved roads which in my estimation have not been utilized much.
After about 4 kilometers of running, we headed off to a dirt road which lead us to discover an amalgam of trails which were a delight to the four of us!
We were indeed in the middle of nowhere as the trails seem to be endless. Instructions given to us by the local townspeople compounded the confusion when they gave varying directions of where we should go. At this point, June wanted to go back to where we came from which was about 8 kilometers away. However, we decided to continue and explore some more after we asked children who seem to know more about the route and were more direct in their instructions.
Over-all, we covered a total of 21 kms for that 2 &1/2 hour running sojourn…in the middle of nowhere!
Next: Cool-down at the Angono Petroglyphs