This is my story or quest to get to CrossFit Manila by 1pm.
Philippine army gymnasium compound
Lawton ave cor bayani road
This crazy day started by getting up at 5am to catch the 6:30am boat from Puerto Galera to Batangas (mainland Philippines). To give you some perspective, I was on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. My goal was to make it to CrossFit Manila (MNL) by 1pm for a workout… The guess was, it would take about 5 hours in a best case scenario.
I scrambled out of bed feeling like I’d only slept a few minutes. At that hour the kitchen at Badladz Beach Resort wasn’t open so I gobbled down a couple scoops of peanut butter and headed to the pier. I had packed a jar of peanut butter, 2 apples, and an orange to hold me over during the trip…
When I arrived at the pier they told me the first boat wasn’t leaving until 7:30am. This was a set back right off the bat, but it meant that I could eat! I took advantage of this and grabbed some breakfast at a restaurant about a block from the pier (eggs and beans). The breakfast and view were great!
The boats that shuttled us from Puerto Galera to Batangas were pretty small to be cruising across open water. They held about 60 people, and were long and narrow. I could only imagine what this must have been like during the typhoons that had been sweeping through the Philippines only a few days earlier. And these boats have people pack in like sardines. They actually used 2 person plastic lawn chairs for seating down the middle of the long and narrow boat. Crazy!
With the warm air and the sounds of the buzzing motor, I had trouble keeping myself awake, and the 1.5 hour ride passed before I knew it.
When I arrived in Batangas I had to hire a trike to take me about 6km to the bus terminal where I would catch a bus to Manila. Why the busses aren’t closer to the boats is beyond me…
The bus ride was a pretty uneventful 2 hours until I realized that I missed my stop… Also, I hadn’t accounted for the time it would take to get from the boat to the bus, and the time sitting on the bus before it departed.
After missing my bus stop I made friends with a collage age local guy, who pointed me in the direction of a mall. The mall was supposed to have wifi where I could figure out where I was, and catch a cab to CrossFit Manila. I walked into the mall, and sure enough, it had wifi! I selected the “free public wifi”, and waited, and waited, and waited… The bars finally popped up on my iPhone! But it still wouldn’t connect. I had no idea where I was, and it was already 12pm. I asked the security guards for help, but none of them knew where CrossFit Manila was, or why my phone wouldn’t connect. After about 30 mins of trying to get my phone and computer to connect to the wifi (which the security guards said was working…), I started asking people if I could use their phones. Finally a guy at a cell phone kiosk let me use his phone to find the address for CrossFit Manila. He even wrote some directions to tell the taxi driver. I was saved!
When I hailed the taxi, the driver had no idea where the gym was. He said we could find it though, and it would cost an extra 30 pesos above the meter price. At that point, I just agreed.
The traffic was insane! It took about 30 minutes to drive 10k. But after battling stop and go traffic for what seemed like forever, we finally made it to the CrossFit gym.
It was so nice to see a familiar place. When I walked into the gym, the guys were just getting started with the workout, and after explaining my crazy trip, I was able to catch up.
To my complete surprise I was even able to set a personal record (PR), for my hang snatches, and power through the workout. It felt great to be moving some heavy weight around after a couple of weeks doing mostly body weight workouts.
After the workout, I ate a huge “Paleo style” double burger, and grabbed a taxi to my hotel. Once at my hotel (CEO Suite Makati), I showered and passed out.
What a day!
You never like to be lost in a foreign country, but if you have to be lost in a foreign country, I think that the Philippines is a pretty good country to be lost in…
I hope that you enjoyed my little adventure. If you have any crazy travel stories, I’d love to hear them.
Now get outside and have fun by working hard! 🙂