So I have good news! I was let into the Philippines and given 21 days to stay here! Yay! There were zero complications with my ticket, and after working my way through immigration and customs I found an ATM and grabbed a taxi to the closest CrossFit gym. The taxi driver did require some negotiation and I’m pretty sure that I still paid too much. The closest CrossFit gym was CrossFit Manila, and it was about 9k away. You would think this was close, but the traffic in Manila is BAD!!! While driving to the gym it was clear to see the drastic difference in income ranges by looking at the structures along the road. After about a 25 minute drive (very slowly) I made it to CrossFit Manila where I met some really great people.
After introducing myself and finding out that we had some mutual friends in the CrossFit world I started my workout. There wasn’t a class going on at the time, but the head trainer hung around so I could do my CrossFit Invictus workout. I started off feeling pretty good considering I’d just travelled for 18+ hours, but as the workout wore on I could feel my body telling me to stop. While I was finishing up my workout the rain started to come down in sheets outside, and I was informed that there was a typhoon hitting Manila. Great, right!? My visions of returning home with a beautiful brown tan were fading quickly.
After waiting out the rain for a few minutes it was clear that it wasn’t stopping so I headed out to the side of the road and got soaked while hailing a taxi. 5 minutes later I found a taxi and took the 30 minute ride to my hotel. Again the traffic was insane, and there were literally vendors selling food to people in their cars on the side of the road (that’s how fast the flow of traffic was). That 30 minute taxi ride cost about $3… Amazing!
When I arrived at the hotel it looked pretty nice, but I became immediately skeptical when they told me their credit card machine was broken, and I needed to pay with cash. The price of the room was only $40, so I figured the worst case couldn’t be that bad. I got my key and headed up to the room, but when I got there the door was swung open, and when I peeked my head in the feet of the beds were propped up on chairs, and the fridge was wide open with towels hanging out. There had clearly been a flood, so I found a bellhop to get a new room. At first he asked why I didn’t like the room… but after telling him it wasn’t ok, he found me a new room, and all was good.
That night it continued to rain and rain hard! Because of the typhoon the boats weren’t running to Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro (where the resort was located). This turned into a 2 hour bus ride to take a longer (3 hour) boat ride to a different part of Mindoro that was followed by an hour drive. Once we finally reached the Badladz resort it was dinner time followed by bed time!
In the morning I woke up early, and still felt like I had a truck sitting on my head because I hadn’t fully adjusted to the time change. Much caffeine got me to feeling about 80% of normal which got the job done. The first half of the day was dedicated to intense internet marketing business building, and once my brain was fully fried I took a short run (about 10 mins) to the local gym called Ground Muscle. This was strange because the gym was on the 2nd floor… The gym was about 1000 square feet with about 2000 square feet of equipment jammed into it. Because of the amount of equipment, and lack of space, I was forced to avoid doing any explosive movements. On the up side, the gym cost me $3.50 for a week membership. After hitting the weights in the confined area for about an hour, and sweating my brains out, I had made it through the first training session. It will be hard to follow my normal CrossFit Invictus programming at the Ground Muscle gym, but I plan on modifying things to make it work. I may even give my poor beat up quads a break all together since there’s no squat rack.
It’s amazing how nice the people are here, and how cheap everything is. It’s clear why people who visit here end up staying. I’ll continue to keep you posted on how the trip progresses as I have time to do so.
Let me know if you have any questions about my adventures by commenting below.