The Last Adventure of Arvin “Tado” Jimenez: Life Begins at the Mountain

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“Sir, gusto mo samahan ka namin kay Fang-od, yung traditional tattoo artist sa Buscalan.” I said. One way going to Buscalan is via Bontoc, the route Tado’s group has taken. “Ay, punta din ako dun this week, naimbitahan ako ng kaibigan ko pumunta.” said sir Tado, not knowing that this will be his last after the grim bus accident.

Mt. Province

The View going to and from Bontoc

This was our conversation just a few days ago when we were at his shop, LimiTADO. Having his own Tattoo shop, we were showing him our traditional tattoos and urging him to have one.

More popularly known as an actor-comedienne, host and former Brewrats’ DJ with the moniker “TADO”, whom many may have not known, was also an activist. He was active in social, political and environmental issues and one of the founders of Dakila Collective; An entrepreneur and owner of Limitado; A dad to 4 girls and husband to Leiz Jimenez. But lately have I only learned, he was also a traveler, an adventurer.

He talked about his 40 Mountains project (Life Begins at the Mountain). He was also going to write a book on this project.

From his Instagram

He also shared a few of his stories in mountaineering.

“Mount Cristobal, naakyat na namin yan kaya dapat gabi at maulan para maiba naman, hehehe.”

“Tamang tama, kinabukasan akyat kami Davao para sa birthday climb ko sa Mt. Apo, birthday ko kasi sa March 24.”  

He said his climb to Mt. Apo is not the usual trail since they will be taking a more gruelling 6-day hike. “Sir buwis buhay mga trip mo ah!” I said. He said, “Kanya kanyang trip lang yan e, kung oras mo na, oras mo na, kahit san ka pa.” And then his infectious laugh.

Funny, small details of our conversation came rushing back. I am suddenly dissecting every thought and every word. It all seemed funny at that time, but now his words seemed ironic. Chillingly like a premonition even.  “Pede din ako pang-burial!” he even said during our phone conversation a few weeks back.

Last Photo Op with Tado a few days back

Last Photo Op with Tado a few days back

No, we are not close. We were supposed to get him as emcee for our wedding reception that’s why we were in his shop. He kindly accepted our humble offer for his services. He even offered the StrangeBrew DVD as wedding gift. He talked to us as if we are one of his friends. It was hard not to laugh with him. It was hard not to engage in long conversation (an almost 2-hour conversation). He sincerely talked about his vision, his plans, biking, mining, Yolanda relief efforts, music, mga kung ano mang trip nya sa buhay. No, we are not close, but for that few hours, we felt that we already are.

Tado is not only my idol, he is an inspiration to me.


Sir Tado, Apir! Start your new adventure. Your life truly began in the mountain.

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Rocel Zamora is an engineer by profession, a girl from mars with a passion for photography, finding peace in rock and roll music, capturing the world in color and seeing thru your soul in black and white.

5 thoughts on “The Last Adventure of Arvin “Tado” Jimenez: Life Begins at the Mountain”

  1. Julie Pearl says:

    Ang astig naman nito Ma’am Rocel. Ngayon ko lang nakita itong site na ito. sa TIP pa lang idol na kita… hehe.

  2. kendi says:

    Astig ibang level ka Ma’am!!!
    para kay tado life is so short…oras na nya talaga kalungkot lang:(

  3. rocel, when you guys left, i arrived naman he told me about your visit and he even told me to come with him to the reception..sabi nya, “mag dress ka, mag de date tayo sa kasal nila!” tapos tawanan kami..and some more plans of adventure around the metro after the wedding hosting chores…thank you, this brought back good memories..-lei

    • siopaotonic says:

      Thanks Ms. Lei for taking time to read this small tribute. Sayang, di namin kayo inabot nun. Our wedding would have been happier kung nakapunta sana kayo. Continue to be firm with your advocacies. Many of us support you.

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