Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watching Libera in Awe

Me and my wife had a great time last night. We didn't just watch the live concert of Libera at the Waterfront Hotel in the front rows, we did for free! Its one of those rarest occasions that we get to watch a concert nowadays and a first for having seated so close to the stage, a little awkward for us to rubbing elbows with Cebu's virtual Who's Who and the metropolitan socialites. Yes they came in droves flaunting their wardrobes and jewelries for the world to see. As for us, we were just sitting watching them play their games.

The tickets cost P2,500 each, a steep price for many but a bargain I believe for watching a boys choir revered around the world for their angelic voices after seeing the show. My friend Bill offered it to me a couple of weeks back but I declined when I saw the ticket prices. He said he'd give it to me for free since He really wants to see the show and has no one to be with him. He said he could bring my wife too. Who would resist to that offer:)

We ate dinner at Tin Gow which again was unbelievably expensive made more by asking the chef to cook for us. It was like we were in the movie Ratatouille telling the chef to impressed us. Impressed we did at a cost. The bill in the end was close to seven thousand for four of us. We then made our way to the ballroom just about 8pm which was the time start of the show. I knew it would not be on time like the previous live shows I've attended years before. It started at 8:15pm with a short speech from an organizer.

As soon as the lights dim, the kids showed up in stage and started to sing, I was in awe of the quality of voice they had. Their celestial, angelic voices are truly made in heaven. Some were soloist, others did their own repertoire but every single one of them, 23 in all unbelievably were singing tunes so pure as if you were likely to be in heaven when angels sing songs for your arrival. To see 23 boy sopranos aging as early as 6 year old and as old as 14 year old was incredible sight to see.

They sang songs after songs which I haven't heard before and each time like the audience, ended up clapping our hands in approval. It was quite a little drag in the middle when you hear the same kind of composition but you still get to love it. The loudest cheers and applause where made when they sang the famous Enya's Ornoco Flow which I only knew that the word "Cebu" is in the lyrics. The grandest of approval was reserved for the last a 3 minute standing ovation when they made a surprise rendition of our own Tagalog song "Bayan Ko"! To hear them sing in Tagalog was indeed a spectacular way to end the show!

Kudos to the organizers for such a wonderful world class performance. I never thought those kids could pack a punch but it did. The whole ballroom was full house!
Kudos to Bill for his ever failing graciousness to give us free tickets. We would have miss it and would have still be saying today Libera who? It was such a treat for my me and my wife to attend a concert for such a long time. It was indeed a night to remember.:)

Monday, October 26, 2009


In my last running blog I talked my recent misfortune to get injured while on the usual Sunday run in Consolacion-Liloan-Tayud area which was aggravated when I, with my gutsy self and a itch to run that was hard to resist, ran the recent Holiday Spa 16K. With my first marathon drawing so close (two months and a half), I had to submit myself to rehabilitation after finding out that the pain was still there after a week of rest and a daily 30 minute hip abductor exercises which I read from the internet. I would rather think its a smart move to get back into shape as soon as possible as the next two months would be a tough cookie to be in without compromising or aggravating my injury further.

Like many runners myself, I am fairly familiar of the danger of overuse injuries like the Illiotibial band sydrome or ITB for short yet it struck me while I was feeling at my peak. There was a certain realization on my part that although I was running and feeling great for some time then, I was short on the stretching exercises. It was an injury that was inevitable at some point. I guess I should feel lucky that it happened when the marathon day is still months away with certain flexibility on rehabilitating the injured area and getting back into the grind with enough time for another peak running fitness.

So humbly I submitted to Dr. Renard Ramiro clinic one morning. Being a runner himself, I know I got the right doctor for me. He gave me the usual NSAID to drink and ask me if I wanted rehabilitation which I said yes before he could even finish his talk. In rehabilitation, they attached an electro-magnetic device on the side of my knees and lets some current gets into the muscles. After they get on some anti inflammatory gel on it while using what looks like an ultrasound machine to getr the gel into the muscles to relieve the pain. Only after then we do some stretches. Overall it takes an hour to finish everything.

It my third day of rehabilitation today and I'm happy the the pain is gone. I tried to ran-walk for a 5k last Sunday and didn't notice a thing. I am crossing my fingers. I also purchase a knee support which I wore and really felt good on it. I hope to get back into running this week gradually increasing my mileage next month to get into peak by the middle of December. I pray that it would not come back and I could ran the Cebu marathon in a blaze of personal glory!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wohoooo! At last, Runnr would open its 2nd store in Cebu! Target date of opening would be on November 13, 2009. Whether it would be in Ayala or SM I don't care. The fact that they are here makes it my favorite sports shop in town. Way to go for the management for putting up an outlet here! Now its time to shop.:)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I recently joined an online competition for emerging conceptual and documentary photographers around the world. You can view it in their website I have always been inclined towards the documentary side of the art and somehow this can give me opportunity to show what I can do. My friend Estan Cabigas recently posted his submission and that somehow encourage me to try it.

There still so much I should learn in making documentaries and I'm not in a hurry. I'll take it one at a time. Making documentaries is difficult, time consuming, sometimes dangerous and need to say would require someone to fund you for it. Yet I believe that this is one of the path I need to pursue to transcend my talent for a good cause.

My submission is entitled "Halad" to convey the Sinulog ritual as captured for an entire week in January, 2009. Its the easiest that I could for now as I have lots of them shot in photojournalism approach. I honestly did not think I would qualify as the competition requires a tough screening from the judges. Fortunately and happily I did after two weeks of waiting. The submission stage in now closed with hundreds of works from photographers around the world. Some are really good it makes my work pathetic. (lol) I'm still happy though that only me and Estan qualified from the Philippines! Its a great felling to see your work being displayed once in a while. I'm not hoping I would get through the next round but I'm praying it would. Who would not want to. I hope I could pursue some other interesting stories in the future. Their are lots of them, its just the time element that can sometimes be difficult to juggle.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Holiday Spa Run 2

Two weeks ago while on my usual Sunday solo long run, I hurt my knees at the end of the short 14k run. I say short as over the past weeks we (team yykredit) have been eating over 20k's of asphalt for breakfast. The last one was a 25k across the city. It just snapped on the last minute of a pretty normal run. Could have it been the new shoes that I was wearing? I doubt it. Did I run too fast for this? No, it was a slow 7-7:30min pace. Was I running on cambered surfaces. Yeah maybe but I really can't blame it all together on it either.

First I though I had the typical runners knee problem and opted to rest for the entire week as I had a competitive race on the next Sunday which was a 16K run sponsored by holiday Gym and Spa. The Sunday came and it was a party. In all 24 of us ran the race with some racing for a short 6K while the bulk was running the 16K. I told myself to run a controlled and conservative run due to the injury that I had just a week ago. I Think it started pretty much the way I wanted it except they forgot to gun at 6am. The sun was much over the horizon when they finally started by 630am. There we go running initially at a 6 minute pace but slack it out a bit to around 6:30 pace which is the way I wanted for this race. We were behind the main pack and started just walking due to the many runners who joined the race. Many run like ferrari's opting to zoom ahead in the beginning. I told my brother to just pace with me and we'll just catch them over half way through.

I was kind of feeling my legs and the knees for any pain that may recur but nothing happen past the 2k, 3k and 5k. Feeling confident, I push harder by a few seconds on my pace. Except for a slight pain on the back, still nothing happen on the 8k mark. I told my brother and Larry who was pacing with me just to keep the speed steady until the finish line. By this time, we have caught up with the main pack and many were slowing down. One by one we past them. I never counted how many we pass but to my estimate we could have easily pass more that 50 of them. I kept running in the center line and if that was not possible, was running alternately from different side of the route just to keep myself from getting hurt again. By the 14K mark, I felt tired after a long inclined near UP but still managed to maintain the pace. My brother and Larry surprisingly kept it up. My brother zoom ahead by the 15k mark, leaving me and Larry by 20 meters. By this we pass by a pink lady runner who by the time we pass her kept up with out pace and at times speed up and then falter back. This kept going until the 15.5K. With over half a kilometer to go, she up her pace. I followed her feeling intimidated to lose to a girl. We cross the finish line together for a time which I remember was around 1:38.

For a well known gym like Holiday Spa, I didn't expect they don't have the timer that I use to see on other races. They should be well placing them on their 3rd run next year. We proceeded to stretch and received water and some bread after the run. I was feeling good with the time which was within my expectation. The good news was I ran pain free until the end of the race. So much for the runner's knee so I thought. After stretching and drinking some Gatorade, a sudden pain at the side of the knee came back with a vengeance. The pain though tolerable was really painful. My legs actually locked up for a few seconds. Oh no, i said to myself. This could not be my curse forever. After breakfast in Pasil, I went home limping. Putting ice on the wound help a bit but decided to take Arcoxia, an anti inflammatory tablet that kills the pain temporarily. It was a relief that at least the pain subsided.

I research the internet after thinking clearly this must not be runner's knee that I'm experiencing. I guess I was right on the dot. What I'm experiencing now although common among long distance runners like myself is known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, those tendons that ran from the hip to my knees became inflamed near the area of the knee which rubs against the bone there. This was what John Pages experienced in the middle of the race in Hong Kong Marathon stopping him from completing the race in 2008. Its really painful when you go down the stairs. I was thinking how this could happen to me! Can I ran the marathon this January? Good to say the positive side of me took over whatever frustrations that I would have felt. Good to say, I have more that enough time to recover. With over 3 months till the race and with my schedule of long runs ahead I still have time to get back in shape. The cause? I didn't exercise and strengthen my hip abductors which control the tendons as it moves up and doen during the run. It means its lacks flexibility. I would have opted to go to an orthotic doctor like Tony San Juan or Dr. Ramiro but I opted to do strengthening exercise on my hip abductors from the many that I saw and read in the net.

Fortunately, it works! I started them immediately in the afternoon. By the next day, the pain was gone completely without relying on the anti inflammatory medication. I'm on the third day of rehabilitation and I hope to run again slowly building back my mileage next week. I am completely aware of the pains and injuries that may come with my running. One thing for sure, come like they may, It would not stop me from running. I thank God for this body he gave me even if its not the perfect athlete body. I might not have the gift of a fast runner but certainly I have the gift to persevere. My will is strong and it cannot be broken. Certainly it brings back what I have been saying all along, that pain is inevitable and that suffering is an option and that impossible is nothing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Celebrating the Source-My first published work (Asean).

I thank God for the many blessings that have come my way all through the years. Frankly I have lost count of it but never was I for a single moment lost in giving back to humanity what is due to humanity. Today, another surprise was in store for me. My work was published as part of the international publication of Art Post Asia on Asean's water celebrations. The coffee table book titled "Celebrating the Source" in connoting water as a source of life's religious and cultural celebration just arrived yesterday from Manila. To be part of this endeavor took almost months to wait, sending and resending high resolution photos of my work. The end result- not bad at all. My work that was published was part of a centerfold involving photos from the Sinulog festivities particularly the fluvial parade. I saw too other Cebuano professional photographers with their own contribution which was really good too. To stand side by side with these guys, with my little but trusty Nikon D40x looks cool.

So Again, I thank YOU Lord for everything!

Book Cover

Centerfold where my work is published

Back Cover

Shoot and Run

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

About Me

My photo
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.