Ian Veneracion can't pinpoint when his love for the outdoors began, but be it air, water, or earth sports, he lives for the thrill that the elements bring.
He said, "I've always been in touch with the elements, like, dagat, maaga ako nag-start mag-enjoy mag-scuba.
"When I was, I think 14, I started scuba. And then I had to wait two years to get my license.
"Even now, dagat saka lahat ng air sports—from flying school, so I went into skydiving, paragliding. 'Tapos in earth sports naman, motorcycles, motocross."
But Ian is well aware of the danger he encounters from his extreme adventures.
"You're always in a near-death even just going from here to my house on a motorcycle is just a dangerous thing," the actor told a small group of press after the media conference for Zsa Zsa Padilla's Totally Zsa Zsa concert last April 12.
Ian will be one of Zsa Zsa's concert guests.
Ian then recalled "one of the best experiences" he had with nature.
"So, meron ako mga sinamahan na students for skydiving. Nasa Clark kami. Eight ng umaga, start na sila lecture-lecture.
"Ako, iniisip ko, 'Tatalon sila mga three, four pa.'
"So, yung instructor namin—he's American—niyaya ko, 'Tara, let's do one jump first while they're in class.'
"Okay, so we got on the plane, we did one jump.
"And then usually, what I do is, kapag may small puffs of clouds, sometimes papasok ako diyan and then I just inhale it.
"And sometimes, ang joke ko sa mga kids ko, binubulsa ko yung clouds para pag-uwi ko, 'See? I have cloud here.'
"Saka inaamoy ko yung clouds na parang ini-inhale mo lang. Basang-basa pala, saka amoy gamot for some reason. Amoy factory.
"On this day, merong off na cloud."
Ian checked first if his American companion was close by, and the actor eyed the cloud ahead.
He continued, "Dalawa lang kami. Nakikita ko kung saan siya. Dalawa lang kami. 'Tapos sabi ko, 'Pasukan ko kaya? Pasukan ko kaya? Huwag na lang.'
"Something told me huwag kong pasukin.
"'Tapos ito yung cloud, nandito ako, 'tapos kumidlat.
"Ang naaalala ko lang, puti lahat.
"Sa sobrang lakas na-unconcious ako for what I think was a few seconds. Basta parang na-ano na lang ako."
Ian regained consciousness, and heard a rumbling sound above him.
He quickly remembered that he was under a parachute.
"I have to land! Nawala talaga ako sa sarili ko sa sobrang lakas ng tunog. Saka yun, namuti lang. Nasa ilalim ng paa ko yung kidlat, e."
Ian and his American companion reached the ground safely.
"'I saw it! It's right under your feet!' sabi ng kasama ko.
"Pero ang delikado pala, kapag naka-land ka na because you're grounded...
"Pero when you're up there, hindi naman. Well, puwede ka pa rin tamaan, pero hindi masyado kasi you're not grounded, so hindi ka hahabulin.
"Unlike when you're standing on the ground, you're like a lightning rod.
"Pag land namin, takbo na agad sa hangar."
The experience did not stop him from seeking out more adventures outdoors.
"I mean, how many people can experience that? Seeing lightning under your feet, di ba? Those are the moments I live for. That's why I love the outdoors."
Whenever his time allows him, Ian finds solace in nature.
"Parang, there's something about being alone in nature that I really, really enjoy, and I think there's wisdom there.
"That's the only time I get to observe myself—how I lose my temper, how you react, how you figure out things.
"It's the perfect time for me for introspection, because it's like observing myself from a distance."