Vanj Endaya Test Runs the Cavinti Trails

As the 1st Cavinti Road and Trail Adventure Marathon winds down on its final 3 weeks, registration is at fever pitch with the 21k and 42k distances already running out of race bibs! Race Director Joseph Prince Baltazar had to reconsider requests to open up more slots and with the Cavinti Mayor’s go signal decided to add an additional 100 slots for the 21k and 50 more slots for the 42k distances.

I’m a bit surprised how this trail run has attracted huge interest considering that the venue is located remotely away from Metro Manila where travel time takes about 2 to 3 hours to get there and the limited time it took for the organizers to launch the race.

Already, registrants numbered to 445 from the day registration opened 2 weeks ago and is about to exceed the limit of 500 runners for the four (4) distances offered.

Part of the allure of this race might be its scenic course, a combination of roads and trails that winds down to many interest facets of Cavinti like its natural forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and its brown trails and fire roads. Together with other trail runner friends, I was fortunate enough to document the route of the race during a test run we did a few weeks ago which best describes on a blog i wrote:

Mild temperatures, expansive views of surrounding mountains, rolling hills, moderate elevation gains, a beautiful lake and wildflower meadows are the highlights of running in Cavinti. It reminded me of running up the mountain passes of Miyamit in Porac, Pampanga but here, they were shorter and the rolling terrain was more tolerable.

The dirt roads and wide-track trails offer everything from gentle loops to challenging climbs with sweeping views of the Sierra Madre Mountains…

(Complete story and pictures here: cavinti-test-trail-run/):

Just recently, no less than runner and triathlete A-Lister Vanj Endaya took to the trails of Cavinti and tested its waters, so to speak.

Vanj is such a popular multi-sports figure in the local community that when she posts her pictures on Facebook while either running, biking or just lounging around at home or at work on a selfie shot, chances are that in just an hour or two, the picture would garner anywhere from 150-200 “likes”, more if she’s in close-up shots wearing those body-hugging tri-suite of hers!

She’s sexy, to put it bluntly and she attracts what any red-blooded male (or even female) runner wants to see in a female athlete… fast, fierce and a beautiful competitor!

Unless any conflict of schedule gets in the way, Vanj is running the 12k or 21k of this race on November 30.

Let’s get to see some of her pictures during her run in Cavinti a few days ago:

Whether in a trail or road shoe, it sure looks good on her

Getting ready for the run

At the spillway

At the Bumbungan Eco Park

At a fire road in the innermost side of Cavinti (This pic attracted 510 likes as of press time)

She gives us a sneak peek of the 42k route

After the run, Vanj gives a courtesy call to Cavinti Mayor Milbert Oliveros (middle). At left is RD Joseph Prince Baltazar

The nice glass-made 42k medal

Glass trophy

Thanks to Aquiz Minlay and Vanj Endaya for the photos!


A Glimpse of the Last 14K: CRT42

After running a 25km road-trail run last month in Cavinti, Laguna  with fellow trail runners, i was back again in this quaint town (alone this time) at the invitation of Prince Baltazar who sits as the Cavinti Sports Coordinator and Race Director of the forthcoming Cavinti Adventure Road-Trail Marathon (CRT42) which will be held on November 30, 2013.

Prince wanted to showcase the other parts of the road-trail marathon after he had shown us most of the trail route last month and this time, it was the concrete road part that he wanted me to see.

I was supposed to leave Manila for Cavinti at about 9am last Friday but because of last minute tasks that i had to complete at work, i was only able to leave at about 12 noon, riding a BLTB bus in Cubao. Reached Sta. Cruz, Laguna at about 2:30pm and took another short jeepney ride to Pagsanjan where Prince was to meet me at a local 7-Eleven Store in the middle of town.

So i finally met with Prince, but there was another 7 km jeepney ride we had to make from Pagsanjan to Cavinti and when we finally arrive at the Cavinti Municipal Hall it was already past 4pm. Although there wasn’t much traffic to contend with, the rains made it hard to navigate the roads as  it was foggy so drivers had to slow down considerably.

With Prince

Wasn’t up to running that afternoon and with rains coming on and off, we just decided just to run the route the following day. That night, there would be a party to be held at the Plaza for the municipal hall employees so here’s one event that i would have to witness and probably take part at, with all the food, booze and dancing! Uh oh, i know i’ll just be sticking with the food and spirits.

Woke up the following day with a little hang-over as Prince was already up and about waiting for me to wake up! It was about 8am, so late that i had to rush for shower and change up to running gear.

We set off and surveyed the area from Bumbungan Eco Park, where the race would end, and working our way back to where the concrete roads would start after running the trails. This means that the marathon would start on concrete roads for the first 10k, then the trails start at about the 10.1km mark up to the 28k mark. From 28k, it would be a roller coaster run back on cement roads up to the finish. So that’s another 14k of concrete roads.

So without much further ado, here are the scenes that 42k runners will enjoy in running the last 14k of the Cavinti Adventure Road and Trail Marathon (CRT42) on November 30, 2013.

Starting line of the race. At the foot of the centuries old Cavinti Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish

Scene at the Bumbungan Eco Park where slaughtered pigs are being bartered every Saturday morning or brought to the local markets. This will also be the finish line of the Marathon

Torrential rains in the last few days have murked this clear river. Hope water clears up on race day

More scenes come race day

Boundary to Paowin. Runners will be able to wash their shoes here coming from some muddy parts of the trail

Prince running this spillway which is just ankle deep.

Great view from atop the spillway bridge crossing

Another view from the spillway bridge

From this point, another 18 kms awaits the 42k runners before the finish line

A downhill part that overlooks Lake Lumot

Lumot Lake and the Caliraya mountains

Fish (tilapia) pens at the lake and they are quite tasty here.

A closer view of the scenery

Nice view to those residents living below

A selfie moment

Trees and plants abound on both sides of the road

Stopping by a ricefield

The end of the trail part before going back to the roads. Hope no rains will occur during race day.

A look at Lumot Lake from the west side

1st Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon: Nov. 30, 2013

The first ever Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon will be held on November 30, 2013 in the beautiful, centuries-old town of Cavinti, Laguna Province and starts at the Town Plaza, fronting the historic Our Lord Parish Church.

The town is hosting for the first time a trail run marathon with runners completing a scenic loop deep within forest trails and rough roads, woodlands, rivers, falls and a lake that will surely mesmerize runners completing their respective distances.

The course for the 42k runners will have moderate to steep rolling hills, several river crossings, one of which will lead to the Cavinti underground river. Mild to cool temperatures, expansive views of surrounding mountains, rolling hills, moderate elevation gains, a beautiful lake and wildflower meadows will be some of  the highlights of this race.

The start will be at the Cavinti Town Plaza where the town mayor and the townsfolk of Cavinti will be on hand to send-off the runners in their adventure run while the finish will end at the Bumbungan Eco Park Falls where runners will be treated with a sumptuous lunch after they cross the finish line.

The organizers will just be setting up conveniently placed refilling stations in different points of the route. No cups will be provided to ensure an environmentally friendly race. So runners are encouraged to bring their own hydration bottles, Hydration back-packs, hydration belts or any hydration gear.

Cut Off Times will be:

42km/10hours cut-off,

21Km/ 5hours cut-off &

12km/ 3hours Cut-off times

More updates will follow soon and will be posted in this blog.

For more details of the race course, here’s our test run made a few weeks ago and take a glimpse on what to expect: a-sneak-peek-our-cavinti-25k-adventure-run/

Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon
November 30, 2013 @ 4:30AM
Cavinti Town Plaza, Cavinti, Laguna
Organizer: Cavinti Sports and Tourism Council

Registration Fee:

6k   – P300.00

12k – P500.00

21k – P800.00

42k – P1,200.00


– Inclusive of Singlet, Finishers Shirt/medals (42k and 21k), race bibs, packed lunch and guidelines.

Registration Venue:
ARC Manila, SecondWind Running Stores, 100 Miles Cafe (BGC) AX Fitness Center (Sta.Cruz,Laguna)

You can also send or deposit your registration fee to Bpi acct#417-9363017/ A/Cs of Juden Thaddy & Race Director- Joseph “Prince” Baltazar. CP Nos. 09182300203/ 09172066110

Please send your Deposit slip with Distance & Singlet Size for confirmation-Email address:

Bus Service To Be Provided To and From the Race Venue (for an additional fee):

–to be announced

21k and 42k Finishers Shirt


Race will finish here at the Bumbungan Eco Park

Lake Lumot

The trails inside Cavinti

River crossings

Views along the route

Uphills galore

Wide open rough roads

At the underground river complex

Mountain bikers will be part of the marshals during the race

A Sneak Peek: Our Cavinti 25K Adventure Run

If anyone would ask for a suggestion where they could run some trails in Laguna, i’d mention Cavinti in a heartbeat! The rough roads and trails are a hidden gem for trail running but it’s the fantastic scenery within this quaint town that immediately grabs your attention.

I was in for a treat when long-time friend and the run’s host Prince Baltazar invited me and other trail running friends for a test run on the rough roads and trails of his hometown in Cavinti, Laguna which has never been actually tried by runners before and the chance of being the first runners to set foot on these trails was pretty exciting, indeed.

Running buddy June and i, together with Chito and Wilnar who tailed us in the second car set off at about 4am from Quezon City, enough for the 2-hour drive to Cavinti, as i thought. I then realized that our departure time was too late for the scheduled 6:00am run as it took us about 3 hours to reach Cavinti, including a short stop-over we made in Fami for breakfast.

While Chito and Wilnar had porridge and an egg for breakfast, June and i had our fill of Goto-Batangas with egg and a cup of rice each which should be enough as energy reserve for our run. It took us all less than 10 minutes to finish our food as i realized that we were really running late.

Goto batangas

Fortunately when we arrived at about 7:20am, the runners were still congregating at the covered court as announcements were being made by our host.

We were greeted by mild rains that Sunday morning when we arrived so i expected the trails to be wet and muddy. As announced by Prince, the run will cover a distance of around 30k, the first 10k to be ran along the main concrete highway and the last 20k on rough roads and trails. Except for the first 2 kms of the trail road which were indeed muddy, the succeeding kilometers were drier and soft which made my run easier and manageable.

Mild temperatures, expansive views of surrounding mountains, rolling hills, moderate elevation gains, a beautiful lake and wildflower meadows are the highlights of running in Cavinti. It reminded me of running up the mountain passes of Miyamit in Porac, Pampanga but here, they were shorter and the rolling terrain was more tolerable.

The dirt roads and wide-track trails offer everything from gentle loops to challenging climbs with sweeping views of the Sierra Madre Mountains including parts which were denuded by illegal logging for timber and coals for cooking, a rather heart-breaking sight.

All in all, we did a total of 24.7 kms (not 30k which was originally intended) in about 4 hours and 23 mins which included all the walking and picture taking i did along the course. The batteries of my old point and shoot camera gave out after only a few shots so please bear with the pictures as i used my BB phone as replacement.

As i am typing this, Prince had just announced that the first Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon and Half-Marathon is going to take place here with tentative date on November 30, 2013. So here is a glimpse on what to expect on this course:

At the Cavinti Plaza, in front of the Municipal Hall just before the run

A mini dam taken from atop a bridge

The first 10k of the run were done in concrete with views of forests, lakes, mountains and residential neighbors

June and Val taking their time

Passing by this beautiful lake, Lake Lumot

One of the scenic views of our run

Lake is rich in aquatic resources

Couldn’t help but go down the shore to take some pics! 🙂

Arianne Ortega catching up with us

Entry into the trails and rough roads. Luckily, the trails weren’t this bad as we went along inside

We had bikers from Cavinti who acted as our guides so we wouldn’t get lost on the trails. Thanks to Prince!

Nice view of the countryside though the road was damp and soggy

This is our guide’s playground

14 kilometers of rough roads going to the underground cave

This is how green the place is when you consider that illegal logging has denuded some parts of this area

One of the few dwellings located in the area

Entrance to the Deaf Evangelistic Alliance College

Sign at the entrance: Isaiah 29:18

The School’s Church

The 2nd half of the route is mostly rolling terrain

One of many uphills

The ugly face of illegal logging

Another sad picture of illegal logging

Going further inside the forest

One of my favorite parts of the trail

These trails and rough roads snake around the Sierra Madre mountain range

A scenic view near the 22k mark

Another uphill trail

The trees are always a feast of the eyes

The trails were drier on these portions but intermittent showers kept the grounds soft

The trees seem to be arranged perpendicular to each other

Endless mountain views

Downhill all the way from here

Just a kilometer away from the caves

A green rotunda trail

Just after this bend is the finish

All that was left at the boodle lunch table. 🙂

Finally, our destination (Thanks to Benj for the photo)

Water was cold enough to dip our tired legs

Taking a refreshing dip on the icy river

With May Santos

This bamboo raft transported us to the cave

The mouth of the cave

The underground cave

Another group pic

Thanks to Benj Termulo, Prince Baltazar, Ronnel Go, Vener Roldan and the others for letting me use their pictures posted here.