Friday, September 25, 2009

The Runner's 40 Commandments

I copied this from the bald runner's (Jovenal “Jovie” Narcise)blog. Here it is:

The 40 Runner’s Commandments
by Joe Kelly

1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
5. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
6. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
7. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
8. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
9. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
10. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
11. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
12. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
13. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
14. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
15. Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
16. Don’t always run alone.
17. Don’t always run with people.
18. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
19. No matter how slow, your run is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
20. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
21. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
22. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
23. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
24. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
25. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
26. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
27. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
28. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
29. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
30. Without goals, training has no purpose.
31. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
32. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
33. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
34. “Winning” means different things to different people.
35. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
36. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
37. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
38. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
39. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
40. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Imperial Palace, a two thumbs up resort!

My body is sore all over from our three day stay and water fun with my kid at the new resort Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort and Spa. It was such a delight to indulge in some luxury pampering once in a while. Pia got a blast of her own time too in the pools and slides. The palace is located along the resort lined Maribago road, its entrance as grand as a palace can be which reminds me always when you enter the Shangrila. It just opened a week ago with the usual fun fare and a promotion that hard to resist offering room rates at half. Too bad it was on a weekday, a no no if you have kid/s going to school.

We ended up booking two nights on a weekend and a holiday by which other than we were paying a premium, there were fewer around, a fresh room and we got to check out late at 6pm. From valet parking to a wonderful and courteous staff, everything you need for a royalty service is here. The rooms where exceptionally beautiful, more beautiful than that of its counterpart resort like Shangrila or Hilton. For those that would really love to indulge, their the villas whose rates starts from somewhere around 23K! The choices of pastel colors give the inviting, fresh feel that most hotel don't have. Its a wholly owned Korean hotel, so I had my reservations about its service although being part of the Summit hotels gives me a little of the upside. in the end, my initial sentiment proved to be unfounded. Except for a gym which is a bit small, I had no complains whatsoever. A little polishing here and there is needed but its understandable for a newly opened resort.

The food is just on the average for me, nothing spectacular if you ask me. There was a Korean, Seafood and a Chinese restaurant but never dared to eat as I found the prices to expensive. All the time except from some eating outside, we were having dinner or lunch at their western buffet restaurant. The prices is comparable with the other 5 star resorts although we got a good 50%. They would have to correct though lapses in checking the people who ate in the restaurant as we could have eaten for free all the time if not for being honest to tell them they have to bill us because where in house guests!

The slide and pools are the main attraction for this resort. The water park for kids is a first in Cebu with so many slides and activities to choose from. There are several slides and a lazy river cruise that you get to ride on a inflatable float and passes along a course that includes a man made wave to keep you tossing around like your in for a white water rapids. Either way its fun. The adult slides reaching three to four storey high are wicked. Its not for the faint hearted either but like my brother Harold who came with my mom, I wouldn't blow my chances of acting like a chicken little. We tried em all and the last was the best, it somehow dislodge a little bit of my brain to the left that had me having a mild headache after.

My Pia was all fun, "This is awesome Daddy" as she tells me after. A predictable two hours a day, we headed off for her wish to have fun, a thing we as parents could never beg to disagree unless she hasn't eaten her lunch or took her daily nap. Mornings were always spent in the resort's Kids Club, ever grateful for the warm service and attitude they never forget to give us especially to my kiddo.

With this kind of service, expect to pay the premium. Its expensive like Shangrila but its worth it. Like almost everything, the fun had to end. Its was time to say goodbye after three days of water delight. It was such a great break for the three of us. Someday would visit this place again. Just have fun, don't look at the price. If only...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

It would be a long four month for me and the rest of our team as we prepare seriously for the Cebu marathon. Training days are more intense, longer and more frequent. I'm sure we're ready for what would be expected of us, and will be there in the starting line come January 10 barring any injuries. I hope my brother can ran with me too. I hope he can recover from his injury in time to be in tip top shape for the battle ahead. Its a runners dream to finish a marathon and without a doubt he want it badly like I do.

I have been a sort of inspiration for my team which has numbered over the few months seeing me run like someone going to kill me.(lol) I don't know why they run now. I never actually recommend running to anyone because its not for everyone too. Like in any sport, you've got to love doing it or the initial excitement would just fade like a temporary hobby of some sort. They say they got inspired seeing me run to achieve something like run a marathon. Maybe its the freebies that the company sponsored for some time now. Maybe the uniform that comes every after a competition. I do hope I'm wrong. I guess we will know who is really into it or not. Time would tell. I have always love running although it was more like a jog before. I enjoy it now more than I did and have come to embrace the pain that comes with it.

Today, i can count around 16 in the team. The hard core, those I call for staff who is training for the upcoming marathon, it would be around 9 persons. Some have ran several 10K and 21K competition already. I'm just worried for some who gets really excited and motivated that they increase their mileage abruptly, a recipe for injuries. I hope they can slack up a little bit before it hits them. I've seen a couple of guys already having those problems.

This Sunday (Sept. 13) is hell weekend once again. A 23k long slow distance run among the well paved mostly flat roads of the island of Mactan awaits us. I'm not expecting everyone to finish which is acceptable as in this distance, and their experience, their endurance capacity would be tested. We hope to finish within 2 hours and 50 mins. If that not tough, try running from Capitol to Liloan non stop or try running the Abellana oval 58 times.

Although it would be tough, it would be fun. I enjoy it and absolutely love the freedom that comes with. I embraced the pain. I'm trying to control it, be part of myself to enable to push one more step and another. I sometimes curse myself doing it, but my focus is something my wife knows too clearly. That I'll never give up.

Linggo ng Wika

Some of the photos I took during my girl's dance in school (MMIS) as part of their Linggo ng Wika Week which is very ironic because she doesn't know anything about our local Tagalog language.:) Anyways, she had a great time dancing to the tune that their teachers created and she wasn't shy anymore, a great improvement from last year's dance.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Were going to the beach, Aha Aha...

"Where going to the beach aha aha..." a song that my daughter sang a thousand hymns before we ever left our home for Odlot, Bogo, a destination north of Cebu which took us around two and a half hour to reach along the well paved and picturesque roads. It has been ten year since I last took a voyage in this coastal village remembering it to be very rough since the roads then was not yet asphalted. Today, yellow flowers and ornamental plants greets you on both sides of the road which is really beautiful to see, a thumbs up for posturing itself among the greenest places in the province.

After some time traveling, we were greeted by a sign on a rather unpretentious gate and a small path fit for a car with all the tall narra trees along the road which made something like a trip to an unknown, an expectation, a magical place that was about to be revealed.

And there it was, the beach house I have long to go for some time now. But wait, its not the old grass house that we used to stay for a day while having time to harvest the seaweeds that we were planting at that time. This time, after some renovation which I suspect ran in the millions, a beach house with a huge garden, walkways, cabanas and small huts greeted us. It gave to my speculation that all this from the small pathway of covered forest to the unassuming garden was made as a perfect mix typical of a rural house with a touch of luxury, a far cry from the other beach house that was modern and hip in style. This I feel I could stay for a month or so and could give Ernest Hemingway a run for his stay in his own island.

Except for the long travel that has always been my curse, tired and weary despite the comfortable ride of the luxurious van, the smell of the sea eases all the tensions as soon as we disembarked. Thanks to the warm accommodation made by the owners which by any means was rather a luxury by the sea, a beach house of Filipino taste with a splash of Moroccan architecture, it was indeed a heaven sent to rest my aching body.

We were greeted immediately by Peping, an old man that has served most of the time managing the properties of the owner in this part of the island with his wife and some helpers who I believe made a terrific job maintaining the place. He greeted me, lucid as ever, as if ten long years was just yesterday. I was in part happy to see the old man still in fit form, a stark contrast to the other house keeper whom I knew before which has long succumbed to liver cancer.

We arrive late in the morning in time for a laid back lunch of lechon and roasted chicken. The afternoon was spent what else, hitting the beach except for me though who had to go to market to buy something for dinner and lunch the next day. Although the sand is rough compared to the famous Bantayan Island across the strait needing slippers as not to hurt your feet, it was the exclusiveness of the place, a cove which made up for it. My daughter enjoyed every minute of it. There was also a small pathway to a cave nearby that we went and took some souvenir pictures of some sort.

The night was spent in drinking, at least for my father though. He was drunk all over again just when we began debating who to vote for president in the next year's election. But it was all good, and had to leave their debate with my brother in law who happens to like those stuff more than me. Besides I have an alibi that I have to wake up early.

The next day, I and my brother decided to hit the roads early. I mean running. I was expecting to shoot some landscapes after a long time but unfortunately found none that I like. A few stretching here and there while facing the rising sun was one of the most beautiful thing I did during the entire stay. Its was calming, serene which make you appreciate more of the things we always take for granted. I let my brother borrow my Garmin, his first time to use as well as to run after a two month layoff due to injuries. The roads and the scenery was one of the best I've run so far. Despite the sun which rises up as fast as you run, this one never gave me the heat bumps. Thanks to the tall trees that shadowed us all the way. Too bad we only ran a 5K as my brother doesn't want to push so much his knees, a recipe for another disaster.

Breakfast was good, made really good by eating outside with the splashing of the waves and a gentle seawind caressing your senses. We hit the (me and Pia) beach again, a perfect timing as the tides was at its highest and the heat was not as painful. We made sandcastles and played with the waves. She was having a blast! It was one of these moments that you gave in to the pain from the sharp rocks beneath my feet so as someone like my Pia could enjoy. I'll never miss that for the whole world.

Lunch was served early to make for some last minute rest before heading home. At two past noon time, it was time to say goodbye. It was such a pleasurable two day trip. We will be back soon. Thanks to the Peping and his wife who I forgot to know who made our stay as comfortable as it could be. Many thanks too to the owners who have always been accommodating as always.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Please Fly Again

After several attempts to visit the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, where the monsoon rains have always made them difficult, we finally got a good weather on a holiday to visit them last August 21. Its been decades since I've last set foot on this old place, a museum created by the island's leading lepidopterist Professor Julian Jumalon who had died since then. Its located in Macopa steet, Basak which is a short drive from the city.

I was expecting a lot of butterflies the way I use to remember them way back in my elementary days where my family use to live just a block away. Aside from flying kites during the summer in the public school across the street where we live which had always left me all burned out yet satisfied, I had a fond for catching huge butterfly species Triodes Radamanthus and Triodes Megallanus who I guess at that time happen to stray away from the sanctuary. I still remember those times when my father made me a net to catch them because I could not catch them with my bare hands. These in turn enable me to fight with other kids who happen to have nets too!

Today the sanctuary is old, neglected and kind of a place which happens to lack funding to maintain it the way it use to be. Except for the caretakers and a son of the professor, a guy in his fifties, whose health as I understood took more time now than maintaining the sanctuary, there were no visitors except us. We did arrived late in the afternoon a reason to suspect for the loneliness we felt. It was far from those days when throngs of visitors come in cars and buses extending way back into the tiny streets of our place. Now, you don't even know if someone is living inside.

There were butterflies to see a few and between. I saw a couple of those huge Tri which is really difficult to find nowadays. If not for the museum and a collection of species in the viewing room, the visit would have left a bad taste in my mouth. The sanctuary in Boracay was much better than this I said to myself but I guess I have to admit that this place would never be use to be after the professor died.

I hope someone could make this place whole again. Its regrettable to know that it has turned out the way it is now. Our journey to the place I know, I used to love was still in every way worth it despite the failed expectations because my daughter enjoyed it. I wish I could be like her, when the innocence takes precedence and simple joys comes from simple things, when memories are non existence to dampen the fun. But who knows, this place might bask again in its old glory, to fly again into the sunset.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Photoburst Photo of the Day-9/1/2009

For the third time in a two month period, I won Photoburst Photo of the Day! Hurray! Photoburst is a online travel photography contest among the different travel photographers around the globe. For many of us photographers, it is one of the most difficult to qualify noting that only a handful of Filipinos have made it so far in the gallery, me of course one of the lucky few. The great thing is that among kababayans that have made it so far, two of them are my friends my from Cebu, both top notch photographers in their fields, Jacob Maenz whose travel and Sinulog images have always been a two thumbs up for me and Allan Restauro, a good friend who opened the doors to this passion two years ago and has been winning the Sinulog competition year after year after year. Another great thing is that among all the Filipinos in the hall of fame, I'm the one with as many photos that landed in its front pages.Yepee!

I didn't expect to be chosen again as most of my selected photos, only a handful of them was uploaded way back months ago. This gives me renewed vigor that travel photography, since I love love to travel, is a field I should concentrate making just like my other new undertaking in documentary and humanist photography. Its doubly expensive to travel just to shoot but hey, we live to follow our dreams so I'll just swallow the pill and get over the money spent. But a least it should be worth it. Something my family would really enjoy. Without them tagging behind me would not be worth the trip. But were planning to add another baby so things might get derailed for a little while, not very long though, hopefully...crossing my finger.:)

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.