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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

December 30, 2016

RIZAL DAY 2016: Runnin in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you can call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

The lyrics of the BoB Dylan classic wafted thru my consciousness as the sound of our footfalls hitting asphalt broke the silence of that otherwise immaculately silent  morning in the verdant hills nestled between the municipalities of Tanay and Pililla.  Here we are, four intrepid runners, marveling at the beauty of nature offered before us  as we trudged our way into the heart of a renewable energy facility. We counted our lucky stars as we never imagined to be gifted with such an awe-inspring experience. More so because we never really planned for this running adventure. 

A few  questions raising thru our minds.  How come it is those adventures that we don't plan for are those that uncannily produces pleasant surprises?  How come on this day to celebrate Jose Rizal we ended up running in the province of Rizal?  The answers, perhaps inspired by the location where we were at, are certainly blowin' in the wind. We can't catch it as they are  rhetorical and ambiguous. But rather than grapple some more, allow me then to share a few more words and a lot more photos about this running adventure on Rizal Day 2016. 

The renewable energy facility we visited this morning is the Pililla Wind Farm located in Barangay Halayhayin, Pililla, Rizal. The wind project is undertaken by Altenergy Wind One Corporation and consists of 27 wind turbine generators grouped into 3 clusters with aggregate capacity of 67.5 megawatts (MW).  It is not the largest wind farm in the Philippine archipelago; that honor belongs to the 150MW Burgos Wind Farm developed by the Energy Development Corporation and is located in 3 barangays in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.  But Pililla Wind Farm is the closest in distance to Metro Manila.

Joining me in this running expedition were 3 fellow row5runners.   Planning for this Pililla venture was almost non-existent with the idea to run among the windmills hatched in less than 24 hours.  I called up Ateneo de Naga HS Batch 1983 classmates Ernie and Bob the morning before and both agreed to join. Then I called up fellow Pagudpud Marathon finisher Sheryllrose, remembering that she wanted to join me in any running venture east of her homecity of Antipolo. Her participation was crucial as among the 4 of us, she was the only one who has been to the Pililla Wind Farm already. She said yes and it is quite uncanny that a runner who I first met in the shadow of the Pagudpud Wind Farm will be sharing again the shadow of yet another wind farm.        

Here is our runnin' in the wind, narrated in photos:

At 6:30am, we made visual contact with the wind turbines. 
At this point, with roughly a kilometer away from the first wind turbine, we decided to park the Montero. We did not come here to tour the windmills on board a vehicle. We will tour on foot - walking & running.     
Our best runner leading the way to our first contact (WTG 1). 
We approached in single file on a dirt road. 
At 7am, we reached the entrance (back) of the Pililla Wind Farm. 
Group photo with a young child whose parents own a small store at the entrance. 
Our running group composed of Sheryllrose,... 
...Ernie, ...
... Bob, ...
... and Bicolano Penguin.
As we ventured from WTG 1 towards... 
...WTG 14 where the view deck is located,... 
... we encountered a group of tourists. Kind of like reminded me of tourists on safari in Africa taking shots at lions and giraffes. . Only this time, the big game they are taking photos of are massive wind turbines.
Old world (subsistence agriculture) meets New world (wind technology).
At 8am, we reached... 
...the view deck which offered a great view of Laguna de Bay and the surrounding towns. 
But the star of the view deck...
... is, hands down,  ...
...Wind Turbine Generator 14 (Karen).
At 124 meters tall, the Spanish made Gamesa G90-2.0 MW turbines are as tall as a 3-storey building.  
The girth of "Karen" is massive, it will probably take 8 to 9 persons to encircle the base.  
Thumbs up for renewable energy. 
As we were on our way back from WTG 14 to WTG 1, ...
...we notice Bob running faster and putting a sizeable lead ...
...but he came back for us...

...running circles around us. 
Bob was clearly enjoying this run.
And the buko refreshments at the end of our run at 9am. 
Time for us to go back. 
But before we leave, we will buy first... 
...from the...

On the way back, we passed by Daranak falls in Tanay.  But that is another story to be written. The province of Rizal have so many places to visit.  A blessed Rizal Day to all.   
Yet again, it is more fun to run in the provinces.  Yet again, running has allowed me to explore places. Thank God for running.       


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