Mike takes a hike
GMA 7 actor Mike Tan has stumbled on a new passion: mountain hiking. He recently “conquered” Pantingan Peak on Mount Mariveles in Bagac, Bataan, the highest summit in the province. “It was extremely challenging,” he said.
Mike—who is also into badminton, running, boxing and basketball—was initially apprehensive that he had bitten off more than he could chew. “I wasn’t sure I was prepared for it. We tried an unexplored trail and got lost. We were behind schedule by 12 hours.”
Not everyone could fit in the tents. Some, including Mike, had to spend the night in the woods. It was a good thing he had no qualms about roughing it. “We had to rapel 40 feet up a rock formation without proper equipment,” he related. The experience, he said, was a test of “faith and mental endurance.”
His nonshow-biz girlfriend introduced Mike to the joys of the great outdoors. “She asked me to join a charity climb with her,” he recounted. “She wanted to try the sport, so I accompanied her. Mount Balagbag in Rodriguez, Rizal, was our first climb—as individuals and as a couple.”
Hiking has turned out to be a unique way to strengthen their bond. “First of all, it gives me a chance to escape the daily grind,” Mike noted. “It pushes me, physically and mentally. I meet so many interesting people, whom I would probably never meet in show biz.”
Best of all, climbing teaches him a lot about himself. “It encourages me to listen to myself, pay close attention to my mind and body. It teaches me to block all the noise and distractions of city life.”
He also finds it to be a spiritual experience: “It allows me to see God’s majesty. On top of a mountain, you realize just how great He is.”
He recommends hiking to all young people. “It teaches focus and develops will power,” he said. “No matter how difficult or painful the climb is, you have to direct all your energy to one goal—to reach the summit.”
The sport enriches his work as an actor as well. Single-mindedness and persistence are virtues anyone could certainly rely on in show biz.
A regular in the Kapuso primetime soap “Legacy,” Mike feels fortunate to share the screen with veteran actor-director Eddie Garcia, whom he describes as the consummate professional.
“If the call time is 10 a.m., he’ll be on the set at 9:30. He arrives before the production assistants,” he said of his onscreen grandfather. “He requires no special treatment. He doesn’t complain even if we wrap up at 5 a.m.”
Mike recently won the Model Star award at the Asian Supermodel Festival in Korea. One other thing he hopes to tuck under his belt is staying power in the biz, like that of Eddie Garcia, his new idol.
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