Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Date with Destiny

Take note of the date guys. The Cebu marathon 2010 is on. Its the first marathon in Cebu for so many years. Thanks to the Cebu Executive Runners Club for organizing it. To be held on January 10, 2010 as part of the Sinulog event, I was clearly expecting it to give time for avid runners like me to prepare for it. A four month preparation is more than enough to keep me at my peak by the first week of January. Its going to be a tough one and I hope the cool breeze of the month would help. Now I need a coach badly. It would help me correct my running form, improve my efficiency and hopefully my speed. I'm looking forward to get a time of 4:30 or lower in the run. A sub4 result would be a surprise and would bring much joy to me though but I'm not betting on it.

The route (photo above) will take up most of the major streets in Cebu. It shall pass all the major historical landmarks in Cebu up to the the boundaries of Cebu City and Talisay in the South Reclamation Project (SRP). It would pass the three sky bridges in the Archibishop Reyes Avenue which is probably in the 25K-35K just to make it more difficult and therefore a little more challenging as if running a 42K is not!haha

I'm ready for the enormous challenge. I've had several 10K and a 21K already and were running over 20K-32K in the within the next sixteen Sundays. Countless long slow distance (LSD) runs have taken its toll on my body, fought off several tendinitis and stave off shine splints for a month. Theres not looking back now. I'm in great shape. I would be running with at least 7 other persons on our team (YYKredit) which shall do the sponsoring of our running shirts and shoes. My brother might be the eight member if he can bring back his form after a stress fracture he suffered after the Milo Marathon. This is one of my dream, and that is coming to a reality. The countdown begins.Wish me luck.:)

Check it out at

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Run for Sight (CDU 4th University Run)

The Run for Sight was a huge success. Organized by the running doctor Yong Larrazabal, the run dubbed as the premier running event in Cebu live up to its name in terms of how organized the whole event was. From the starting point up to the finish line, the details where practically met. I don't actually believe its the premier event in terms of the quality of runners as majority of the participants where students from the university, a monopoly of some sort who just came to run a little bit and walk the rest of the way.

This time I was joining with the intentions of improving my previous 10K PR which stood at 57.15 in the last ABSCBN Kapamilya Run. After the Milo 21K run, I did some rounds in doing speed intervals at the oval and hills training which is abundant in our place in the hope to improve my time. I'm not actually as gifted like others in terms of running fast to I was contented to improve my time to around 55mins. By 4AM I was already awake, took a quick shower, ate a light breakfast consisting of two bananas and drank over 20 ounces of water. I did some 15-20mins stretching afterwards. By 4:45AM off I drove to the race venue with so much spare time to warm up which I did with an easy jogging for 2 kilometers only after I got bored listening to Andrea Bocelli's Toscana. By 530AM, the participants started to arrived until the whole venue was already almost full fifteen minutes before the starting gun. While waiting I met my long time college fraternity brother and good friend Eugene Sanchez who happens to be a triathlete himself. We talked on how difficult it was for him to be able to run the marathon due the the preparation it requires preferring middle distance running of not more than 21K. He was actually complimenting me how I manage to really pursue it, which actually was already a motivation for me coming from a well known triathlete. I said I was a slow runner. I bet he was expecting a sub50 10K time and when I said the fastest I got was 57mins, it must be beyond his initial expectation which was perfectly alright for me as I've come to understand that unlike many others who can run really fast, my body cannot. When he said his fastest time was 39mins. and is expecting for a 47mins on this run got me a little embarrassed for like him my initial expectation was this guy could not have run that fast.

But again, he has over 10 years experience in competing in triathlons so just thinking over it got over my initial embarrassment. It was a fool of me to misjudge him. I said to him to go ahead and don't wait for me. So at 6AM off the race started. Inadvertently while we were talking we were in the front pack. By the time the gun went off I ran too fast just like most of those in the front pack. I started my Garmin and their registered a pacing of 4.04/km. Big Big mistake! I knew I started too fast and by the 3rd kilometer, I was slowing down, my breathing heavy as if my body was one locomotive train that lost all its fuel. I did manage to slow down to around 5.30/kms for about another 3 kilometers which was probably the most agonizing time physically as I taught my body to run to that pace. A high school classmate zoom ahead of me which surprises me as he usually runs slow when we met once in IT Park. He was running the 5K though and I still have another round to go so it was a good decision not to run his pace. By the 6th which was a another loop back to the finish line the condition improve as I my body adapted to the pace. By the 7th, I started to push my way back to a faster pace. I was gaining and actually ran past several runners. By the 9th km. I was pushing hard as I could, the determination to beat my time foremost in my mind. I was actually doing self talk already a mental challenge more than a physical one. By the last half kilometer my watch registered a pace lesser that 5mins/km. which i maintained with a couple of guys beside me. I look at the clock when the finish line was about 10 meters away. It reads 51.35 and clicking . By the time I check in it was 51.38. I did it! I broke my 10K PR time by almost 6 minutes! I was happy never mind that I was beaten again by actress Donna Cruz who happen to checked in at 48 min. something. Never mind if Eugene Sanchez zoom past to a comfortable 47min. as he predicted. Never mind if one of my staff ran his first 10K to a fast 46mis. I am fully aware of my limitations and accept with humility and pride the fact that I can't run as fast as others. I was most happy because I beat myself and in the end WON!

I know realize just like the recent book I have read, and which I discovered after successful completion of several running challenges as fast as I could, which gave me the confidence that, within my own limits, I could achieve whatever physical or academic target I set myself, as long as I was prepared to make the necessary effort. I learned that the rewards of running, as in life, come only in direct proportion to the amount of effort I am prepared to exert, and to the extent to which I can summon the required discipline and application.

Eating lechon after the race with all the YYKredit Runners.

Now its time for serious prepping up. This is it, the last 16 weeks before the marathon. Serious training like the easy slow long distance running of 20K-32K on Sundays is looming ahead. I know mentally I'm ready for it. I hope my body can respond as well. Lets get it on!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why I Run

I'm currently reading the first few pages of the book Lore of Running by Tim Noakes. His introduction to the reading which detailed his own reflection on running is inspirational. Reading them makes me feel and remember why I chose to run. Point by point in struck me both as a reminder and inspiration to keep moving forward. He gave seven reasons why he is running, those which also hold true for me. Here I are the excerpts of what he wrote:

"for a start, it provides complete solitude. Even in the most crowded races, the point is reached when fatigue drives us back into ourselves, into those secluded parts of our souls that we discover only under times of such duress and from which we emerge with a clearer perspective of the people we truly are...."

" Second, running made me newly aware of my body and of my responsibility to look after it. Having a physically improved body showed that I cared- that I had self pride and, more importantly, self discipline....."

" Next I discovered that the successful completion of several running challenges, such as finishing the ultramarathon as fast as I could, gave me the confidence that, within my own limits, I could achieve whatever physical or academic target I set myself, as long as I was prepared to make the necessary effort. I learned that the rewards of running, as in life, come only in direct proportion to the amount of effort I am prepared to exert, and to the extent to which I can summon the required discipline and application....."

" Fourth, running competition taught me the humility to realize my limitations and to accept them with pride, without envy of those who might have physical or intellectual gifts that I lack....."

" Fifth, running taught me about honesty. There is, you see, no luck in running. Results cannot be faked, and there is no one but yourself to blame when things go wrong. So running has shown be that life must be lived as a competition with oneself. That separated running from many team and skill sports. the real competitions are those in which we test ourselves in company with others. Peter Pollock, who achieved immortality in cricket, has to run the Comrades Marathon before he could write: "You have not lived in the world of competitive sports until you have fought a battle that is not against your opponent, but against yourself......"

"Sixth, in recent years, I have learned to use running for relaxation and creativity..."

"Finally, running can teach us aboout our spiritual component-the aspect that makes us uniquely human. This, I suspect, is the need to discover and to perfect, the need to keep moving forward. Running epitomizes that struggle by teaching us that we must not stop. Paavo Nurmi wrote:" You must move, otherwise you are bound for the grave" SO we inherit this desire to push to the limits to find out what makes us what we are , and what is behind us all......"

Tim Noakes
Lore of Running

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pose,Ready, Shoot.

Assisted in a advertising shoot a couple of Saturdays ago. I could only say it turned out to be the way I expected it, although a little bit longer than it should. Putting up the whole set up is always the hardest part while the actual shoot can always be fun. We used three bodies with a three lenses, a couple of pocket wizards and several accessories. I'm not really a big fan for advertising or its closest sister, fashion preferring fields in travel, documentary and concepts but had no choice but to do it. The results would be used for our website( Even how fun it is to be in this kind of field (just ask any photographer), it just doesn't give me the kick. Its a field too that is too saturated. Too many aspiring photographers for too little projects. Money is there but its not for everyone. There are only a couple of guys I know who is good at it. The rest are all crap. Obviously I belong to the latter (hehehe).Yeah I could shoot, i could also edit well enough to believe that my images would stand out but in the end it just doesn't satisfy me at all. I've have always pursued things as a passion and if it doesn't fulfill my need, its going to die down naturally. There are too many photographers nowadays, which has quadrupled in the couple of years. Its hard for you to distinguish now the good from the bad ones looking only at their great equipments. Ninety percent of them would eventually create images that only ten percent would like. Disturbing, yet we are free to dream. As soon as they own a camera, they start calling themselves photographers. Bad for the real ones as they would eventually charge their photos for free. Am I complaining? Yes, because it would kill the industry which is a source of living for the real ones. I pity them. Like the saying I heard from a good photographer friend Estan Cabigas ( "Buying a camera does not make you a photographer, it makes you a camera owner".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Portfolio Website

I got some time today to make my own portfolio website using Wix which a friend from based in UK recommended.Check them out at Whats good about it is that its really easy to do and the results looks professional not like the crappy and ugly multiply site. Like manna from heaven its for free! You could upgrade though but has to pay for some fees yearly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Orphans of Asilo

The "real" celebration of my birthday happened last Saturday evening. Sometimes we spend our entire lives letting other people make us feel great. We celebrate birthdays spending lunches and dinner with people in places where a "carenderia" wouldn't suffice. Blowing out a 7K for a dinner that night with my family was an embarrassment. Not that they like there, nor they forced it which is totally my fault and which later turned out to be a tragedy in cooking, it compelled me to rethink after if to spend that much was really was actually needed nor does this social affairs ever really was worth it. Some would argue that events like these happens once in a blue moon and theres a reason to celebrate no matter what the price is, but would it make a difference in my life and others? Would it give lasting benefits to others? Before the week ends, like many other birthdays it would be forgotten. But I had to spend it anyway because I could afford it. Shame on me.

We spent the Saturday night having s simple dinner with the orphans of Asilo. Not a sort of retribution as one would think having planned this weeks before my birthday but somehow gives a comparison on how different social affairs compared to the one I mentioned above turns out to make that lasting change. Fleeting, simple and short as it would have been, every minute spent with the orphans was immeasurable for my family who have always been a keen to helping the poor and educating the uneducated. Thanks to the Chef Roger in our so called office "cafeteria" that looks more of a restaurant, they were served a great meal. They sang and they dance, they got merry for a while. They chat and they talk and at least for such brief moments I saw the joy in their eyes. It was well worth a thousand words, a thousand birthday celebrations and our hearts have always bleed for them. We are hoping to come back consistently to this place and with continued blessing would be able to sponsor some kids to go to universities. Till our next visit.:)

Garmin, a runner's perfect partner

I tried breaking the new Garmin 305 I bought last month for some test in last Sunday's long run. The couple of test in the oval using the watch using the auto lap (measures and loops specific distances)prove invaluable. Although the Garmin searches for a satellite would take a little time (3 minutes average), as soon as it locks in you'll be guaranteed of smooth transmission. I haven't encountered a single problem so far with its transmission. Last Sunday, I tried running it in an almost completely covered canopy from trees in the mountain passes which is probably the best scenic scenes I have run so far. Hoping the signal would cut, it didn't. Hoping it would read my speed incorrectly, it didn't either. Amazing, this is a perfect equipment for any runner. Downloading the data from the previous runs, I find it pretty extensive. Aside from the speed per distance which you could preset, it shows elevation as well as some important data in graphs! Even after only a few runs I would recommend this to any serious runner seeking to measure their performance.It is as complete as you can get. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

La Maison- A tale of a French cooking gone terribly wrong

Its was my birthday and I was excited to celebrate it with my family for a little dinner together in Ayala Terraces. With so many new restaurants in town, we've decided to narrow down the list to a couple we haven't tried before, Hola Espana a Spanish restaurant owned by the Lhuilliers and La Maison, which I guess was a French restaurant which means "the house". Since my dad isn't really a big fan of foreign sounding menus preferring good old Filipino specialties like Pochero or Lechon Kawali, It was obvious that choosing from any of them is likely to be met by subdued resignation.

Our choice would have been Hola Espana as someone I know told me that they have their own version of the Lechon which everybody loves. We were there around an hour before our scheduled meet when we passed by La Maison. I asked Jenni if we could stop by and try to look at their menu. We saw some of the menus that looks great. They got steaks too. Dad would like it here I said to myself as I remember my mom told me that he misses eating steaks. So I reserved a table for eight. Bad mistake. I have no inkling that it was just the beginning of our terrible experience. Since my dad wanted to have steaks, I and my brother ordered them as well as some ribs, fish fillet, pizza for the rest of the family. I knew the steaks were expensive but I didn't mind expecting some kind of a gourmet delight after. The service was not really bad until they started serving the food in about an hours time. The long wait would have been warranted by the good food that was about to be served in our table but as soon as the appetizers came in, we were in for a disappointment. It tasted sour to me, something amiss. Then came the tomato soup which was ok but not great. Finally the main courses were served. One by one as like they were served, they fell off to my list of worst meal to eat. The steaks were so bland, so thin sliced as if reminding me again that the financial crisis is still here. The description goes as well to the other stuff. I would not have eaten it if not for the price we paid.

Looking at my brother who just tasted his first steak in his life and his first taste of a thousand meal worth of meat all by himself, his words echoed back and forth that his own version of Sinugba (homemade grilled meat) is way much better than the steak. My father I knew felt it too, had said its not the steak he had used to eat and with a resigned look continued to chew bit by bit as if tormented knowing that every 100 gram of those crappy steak was worth 400 pesos. It was earlier I mentioned that it was a French restaurant but the French wouldn't like it here either. Nor was the food. I'm beginning to think that the only French in this restaurant is the name. But unlike the French who would have streak out of the restaurant with the kind of cooking they just made, we stayed and complained only to ourselves knowing that shit happens sometimes.

I ended up paying a whopping P7,476.41 for a bunch of "gourmet" food that has does not even give a little justice to the cuisine, never mind the price. A rip off many others would say. We'll I still enjoyed the company of my family, a little consolation for the embarrassing experience. But life is like that, happiness is not measured on knowing how much you don't have but how little you complain.Enjoy life even if sometimes it sucks big time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

35, Still Hungry and Foolish.

I would be waking up in a few hours with mixed expectations. First, I'm a year older. yes, its another birthday to celebrate with my family. At 35 I could not ask for more. I thank God for the continued blessings: for giving me with an ever supportive and loving wife Jenni (where's my gift? hehehe), my ever huggable Pia(tot) who never fails to amaze me day after day despite the troubles of being a parent, a body that is still strong and getting stronger every day (talk about running the marathon 20 times), for a passion (photography) that like a Pandora box has opened my eyes to the worst and best part of living and for the financial blessings that keeps coming, despite the difficult times, to make way for more giving in education particularly. This Saturday, we'll be spending dinner with the orphans of Asilo. I'm fired up for it and its a best way to teach Pia that our lives should be lived like that, born to help others and to not focus on the worldly possessions that a lot of people nowadays see. As my friend recently told me, "Its game over for them".

Second, Tita Cory would be buried today. I might not have seen her personally, nor have agreed with her opinions from time to time but she's one woman I know who thinks of the country first than her own. Such a role model to emulate. Its a great loss to a country that has seen little progress as a nation since Edsa, besieged by corruption right and left that you its actually normal now to choose the lesser evil of all the presidential hopefuls. Tita Cory, Again Saludo Ako sa Iyo!

At 35, I feel good and its good to feel good! Like the many years behind me, there are still so many things to accomplish. As Steve Jobs of Apple might have pointed out in one of his speeches in Stanford University, I got to stay hungry and foolish. To do what I love doing and to live my life to the fullest. I have my own bucket list and its not even half full. But it will be done, one way or another. Like the Addidas ad I've come to know "Impossible is Nothing". It usually is.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


We dream all the time. Whether we force to imagine things (daydream) or dream unconsciously when we sleep, they reminds us that there's something out there we love to have or perhaps the opposite, we dread to experience. I don't usually dream much these days and if I do, its almost certain I wouldn't remember it when I wake up. Jenni my wife though loves to dream (daydream). She always remembers her dreams and complains once in a while when she doesn't dream anymore. Most often, I guess, she loves the feeling out of it, happy thoughts most of the time, thought evoking realities that sometimes awakens her senses to the realities in life and keeps her grounded to what should be done. For me, I used it to be able to sleep during days when the insomnia kicks in. Pictures of a beautiful house on the mountains, traveling to a distant land usually tops the subject. We won't give up dreaming for anything crappy. Those positive feelings keeps our mind set to that dream, most usually a goal we want and actually helps us attain them. Trust me on that.

Note: Dreaming or "Damgo" is what we call it here in our dialect.This photo I took with my wife and daughter still sleeping early dawn.

Shoot and Run

Rumblings of a Cebuano on a pair of running shoes and a Nikon on one hand.

About Me

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Photography is my hobby, a long distance runner and an avid blogger, I consider traveling a dream and my family as my number one inspiration.