National Library & 2nd MILO Run

I went to the National Library on the morning of rainy Tuesday but I was not able to get in those research halls/rooms after I lacked the necessay requirements. Anybody who would visit and make a research in the National Library should have a valid Identification Card, one (1) ID Photo, and Fifty Pesos (P 50.00). A Cashier in the Library needs to confirm your Identity through your ID Card and then receives your Fifty Pesos. In return, the Cashier gives you a blank Library Card and an Official Receipt of the money you gave. You should paste your ID Photo to the blank Library Card and write your name on the said card.

The National Library
The National Library/My 1st time to enter the building

Then, proceed to one of the desktop computers in the lobby and register your Library Card Number, Name, Password, Address, and E-mail address and then click Save. Your Library Card Number which is printed on the back of your Library Card is your Username. From here, you can now proceed to the research areas located at the 2nd-4th Floor of the building. The whole building is not air-conditioned and be prepared to sit yourself where wall electric fans are located.

First, I used the computer to track down if there are any books or publications about local Athletics and Running in the Directory of the National Libray. The result? None!!!

Second option was to find out the old newspapers in the Directory. I was surprised that I was made to proceed to the 4th Floor of the building and I was able to see the sorry/sad state of those book-bound newspapers stacked on open racks and cabinets. Most of them are dusty and not properly arranged by months and years. I thought I would be looking on “microforms” or “microfiches” of newspapers but I was actually reading the actual old copy of newspapers bound by month.

After looking on the different rows of newspaper racks for about 30 minutes, I came upon book-bound copies of “Sports News” which is a weekly broadsheet newspaper on Sports and the following were my discoveries:

1) There was an annual event called “YMCA Walkathon Race Event” which was well-attended by almost 300 walkers and had a Cash Prize of P 200.00 for the winner/champion. In my mind, I recalled a regular group of walkers called “United Nations Walkers Club”.

2) The first provincial annual marathon race was called Negros Marathon which was held in Negros Occidental as sponsored by Governor Roberto Benedicto. It was organized by Monico Puentebella (who is now a Congressman). The most popular runners team in Negros Island was headed by Art Valdez (brother of singer-runner Leo Valdez) and it was called BM-AMC.

But what gave my full attention during my research was the news coverage of the 2nd MILO Marathon and its elimination race and I have the following information based from the news accounts of “Sports News”:

1) The first MILO Marathon was held in 1974 and the first Champion was Numeriano Titong, a golf caddy. I heard that he is still a golf caddy at the Valley Golf & Country Club.

2) The 2nd MILO Marathon Race Elimination Race was held on November 9, 1975 with the participants coming from all over the country. Registration was made and submitted in the local branches of Manila Bank with the following requirements:

a) Runner should be an amateur.

b) Must not be less than 19 years old.

c) Must be able to submit Medical Certificate from any Physician

d) Submit One (1) Passport size or ID Photo attached to the Registration Form

e) Registration Fee: Two Pesos Only (P 2.00)

The Elimination Race is a 20-kilometer road race that starts at 12:00 Noon along Gen. Aguinaldo Street, infront of the Fiesta Carnival, Cubao, Quezon City and finishes at Luneta Park. The first thirty (30) finishers in this race are qualified to participate in the 2nd MILO Marathon Final Run.

The Marathon Finals is held the next Sunday after the Elimination Race. The Finals starts and ends at the Luneta Park. It starts at 12 Noon from Luneta Park-towards Quiapo-Espana-Quezon Boulevard-turn right at EDSA-towards Cubao-right at Aurora Blvd-Magsaysay Blvd-Legarda-back to Luneta Park.

The Marathon Finals top prize for the Champion is a chance to compete in the Boston Marathon if the finish time is 2:30 hours or less. No Cash Prizes were given to the winners that time.

The Race Organizer was Jun Castro of Intergames Inc. The race was also sponsored by PATAFA.

2nd MILO Run Start Picture
2nd MILO Run Start Picture
Victor Idava Near The Finish Line
Victor Idava Near The Finish Line

In the 2nd MILO Finals, Victor Idava, 20 years old & farmer’s son from Bicol and a national record holder then in 1,500 & 5,000-meter runs, won First Place/Champion with a time of 2:54:35 hours. He did not qualify the 2:30 hour or less finish time but MILO sent him to participate in the 1976 Boston Marathon. Out of the 30 qualifiers who started the race, 16 finished the race.

MILO Run Finisher's Ads
MILO Run Finisher's Ads

The following were the results of the 2nd MILO Run:

2nd Place—Jose De Vera—2:56:13 hours

3rd Place—Finishterio Lim—3:00:00 hours

4th Place—Numeriano Titong—3:01:58 hours

"Sports News" Newspaper
"Sports News" Newspaper

I am going back to the National Library soon! I will try to find out information about the Pilipinas International Marathon, PAL Manila International Marathon, and the Alay Sa Pangulo Marathon Race.

Did you know that there were two famous Race Organizers then in the persons of Mr Jose “Jun” Castro, Jr and Minister Elpidio Doroteo of MYSD?

Did you know that there was a National Corporate Competition in Long Distance Running Event where every government and/or corporate offices’ running teams would compete? The winners were sent to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California for the International Corporate Athletics Competition.

By the way, I was a new graduate from the Philippine Military Academy and I was then fighting it out with the MNLF in Maguindanao-Cotabato as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Philippine Army and a Platoon Leader when the 2nd MILO Run was held in Manila.

(Note: Newspaper Pictures Taken From “Sports News”)

17 thoughts on “National Library & 2nd MILO Run

  1. diyo68

    Sir Jovie,
    Thank you for taking time to learn about our early running days in the Pinas and informing us of your finds. You are doing us a great favor. And btw, I am trying to get a group of us(runners) Pinays & Pinoys here in the NY/NJ area to accompany Joy Rojas from the George Washington Bridge to the Phil. Consulate on Sep. 8. Will inform them as soon as I get the names of my co-runners. Thanks again, Happy Running Bro. BR and my best regards. Diyo


    1. kingofpots

      diyo, thanks! it just crossed into my mind to find out how races are done in the early days. we need to help joy rojas on her mission.


  2. runnerforchrist

    I have also clippings of that Milo trivia taken from the pages of the Manila Bulletin a year ago which I compiled and featured on the twitter portion of my blogs as of yesterday, but it was not stated there that the race started at 12 noon during those times, good thing that you brought this up. I think heat stroke and other related illnesses were common on those days, that’s why they changed it from 12 noon to 6am!
    Nice job! And it’s very informative. Good thing that you were able to take pictures too hehehe God bless.


    1. kingofpots

      ronnie, it shows that “race organizers” then were not “trained runners” and our athletes then were purely trained through “brute force” and not the scientific way.


  3. greencursor

    hi jovie,

    it was nice of you to run that extra mile to do research on Philippine running. the story of the Milo Marathon clearly reinforces the dedication that we, runners, put to our craft. That it is not all about prizes, but the chance to compete, give our best and to cross the finish line. my best regards.



    1. kingofpots

      it would be nice if we go back on those days where prestige & honor are the prizes the winners had to receive. there were no cash prizes but the champions were sent to represent the country in prestigious marathon races outside the country.


  4. lonerunner

    wow! this is very interesting. I am again will be interested in going to Natl Library… I do enjoy reading about old stuffs. Nice post , sir.


  5. What a coincidence that the running bug bit the Pinoys too during the running boom in USA and other countries in the 70s. Running grew exponentially in these countries but not in the Philippines. And the rest is history.


    1. kingofpots

      the involvement of the government (MYSD & Gintong Alay), corporate groups (SMC, Avon, Yakult, MILO/Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, etc) and PATAFA in the 70s & 80s were instrumental in holding marathon/running competitions during those times. in my past readings of the old dailies in the 70s & 80s, there seemed to be unity/cooperation among the PATAFA, DILG, AFP/PC, MYSD, and Corporate sponsors. No less than the President was the one who awarded throphies to the winners in Malacanang Palace in those times for the Manila International Marathon!


  6. Let

    Very informative sir jovie, I was still in College when I last visited the National Library when I had to do some research on Sarswela. I’m pretty sure that the prize money then was a fortune for those who joined and won. Thanks sir for sharing the info [like Gigi] I wasn’t born yet at that time. 🙂


    1. kingofpots

      unfortunately, winners of the marathon races in the 70s & 80s were not given cash prizes. they were sent abroad to participate in famous marathon races like Boston Marathon, New York Marathon, Golden Gate Marathon, and other marathon races in southeast asian countries.


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