“We’d like to invite you on a hiking trip At Mt. Daguldol, Batangas,” Joyce of Geiser Maclang said. “This is courtesy of Columbia Sportswear.”
“Talaga? When?” I replied.
“April 4 -5. I’ll send you an invite tomorrow, I hope you’ll be able to join.” Joyce said in parting.
Hiking trip? Sounds interesting, I thought. But hiking? Up a mountain? I’ve hiked a couple of times before, but they’re mostly up a hill; nothing major. Should I try it again? I didn’t give Joyce my answer just yet — I had to think about this first.
The following day, I came home to find a Columbia Wide Mouth water bottle on my desk. What a cute invite, I thought to myself. “We invite you to break away from the conundrum of routine and scale the heights of outdoor leisure in Mt. Daguldol, Batangas, considered as one fo the definitive climbs this side of the world. No, a strenous, extreme climb isn’t up ahead; but what we guarantee is excitement and exhilaration — in utmost leisure.” SOLD! I quickly text Joyce that I am accepting their invitation. She replied and tells me she’d text me again for the fitting and briefing schedule.
It turns out that Columbia Sportswear is providing five bloggers (AJ, Phoebe, Jayvee, Ferdz and me) with hiking apparel, including hiking shoes and backpacks. Sweet deal, I thought. And we only have to climb a mountain in exchange. AHAHAHAHAHAAA.
I picked out items that I know I can also use when I travel: Clearlake Convertible Pants, Trailhead Master Tee, Masseuse on the Loose T-shirt, Waypoint Softshell Jacket, Graffiti Noshow Socks, Islander Print Water Shorts, Day Off Booney hat, Karasi hiking shoes, and the Wallowa Day Pack. Most of the items I picked out are from Columbia’s Titanium line, and advanced fabric and technologies like Omni-Dry (breathable quick dry fabric) and Omni-Shade (Ultraviolent Protection Factor clothing that blocks almost 97.5% of UV rays).
I was both excited and dreading this hike. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I know that I HAVE to do it. I know I have to conquer this mountain, because I know that I CAN do it — I can do whatever I set my mind to. And you know what? I did. Of course, not without much griping, complaining and bitching about the damned trail and ugh, the rain.
What I never complained about was the Columbia Sportswear items I have on. I’m not saying this because they sponsored me, but because they live up to their promise. The shirt and the pants I had on were really light and comfortable, even when soaked with sweat and rain. The hiking shoes has excellent traction, which made slipping and sliding down (or up, if you’re very talented) the mountain hard to do. Actually, even their hiking shoes are made of waterproof breatable material. Dino de Leon, Columbia’s brand manager, insisted I try dipping my Karasi clad foot in one of the streams we crossed. I was sceptical, but dipped my left foot anyway. I felt the coolness of the water, but there wasn’t that squishy feeling you get when your shoe is filled with water. Thanks to Columbia’s Omni-Tech, technology the shoe was able to keep the water from getting inside, while allowing perspiration to escape.
This breathable fabric is probably the reason why our clothes didn’t stink after the hike. All of us were amazed at how our sweat-stained Titanium shirts smelled like, well, fabric, when we changed out of them. Even our socks and feet didn’t stink at all! Wait, is this too much information already? :P
Columbia Sportswear is exclusively distributed in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia by Kenrich International Distributor Corp. Columbia Sportswear have branches in Gateway Mall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, The Block at SM North, The Podium, Festival Mall, and Limketkai Mall Cagayan de Oro.