Of Running Clinics; Meetings; & Visit

1. We no longer offer FREE Running Lectures/Clinics. We are now asking a honorarium for the conduct of our Running Lecture/Clinic. The fee will be used to support our Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project and logistical needs for the 2nd BDM 102.

2. I was invited for the Send-Off Party this week for our athletes in Athletics (Track & Field) who will represent the country in the 2009 ASEAN Games to be held in Laos. The Track & Field athletes consist of 20 athletes; 6 Coaches; and 1 Head of the Party. The PATAFA Team will be leaving on December 6 for Laos. The 25th ASEAN Games will start on December 9. The TEAM Philippines “HOPES” to get at least 45-50 Gold Medals in the Games.

3.  I made a “surprise” visit to my Elite Team’s “training camp” in the Sierra Madre Mountains and we had some pictorials with them with their new Team Bald Runner uniform courtesy of MILO/Nestle, Phil. Altitude, Hill workouts, trail running, and clean air are the keys for better performance.

Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project Members
Looking For A Brighter Future In Running

4. A Leadership Training/Speaking Engagement Module had been offered to me by a Private Company engaged in the conduct of training to corporate offices. I think this is a good job while I am on “rest & recovery” period.

5. “Brainstorming” session was conducted among the members of Team Hardcore and other ultrarunners about the creation of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) at the Board Room of Reinier Pacific which was hosted by Capt Amado Castro Jr aka Reinier6666. The meeting was very productive and I was able to gather positive insights about its creation and its availability for membership.

PAU's "Trailblazers" & "Pathfinders"

6. There are already 147 runner-applicants for the 2nd BDM 102. There are 40 slots reserved for the AFP/PNP runners.  If the slots for the AFP/PNP will be filled up, there are already 186 runner-applicants. However, I still encourage runners to apply in my Bataan 102 Events Page. There are 96 Days to go before D-Day!

7. More suggested logos for PAU had been received. Thanks for your interest to come up with PAU’s Logo. Deadline of submission is December 31, 2009.

(Note: Latest Awardees/Finishers of the 1,000-Km Club will be posted next!!!)


Grab Your Pictures @ NB Power Run!

21 K Start
21K Runners
Jollibee @ NB Power Race
Coach Rey Antoque @ 10K Finish
Coach Rio @ 10K
Anna Vargas (Tm BR), 2nd Place Women, 10K
Capt Amado aka Reinier6666
El Kyoshi
Bobbit Manzano
Junrox aka Tigerboy
George aka The Talkative Runner
Jonel aka Bugobugo85
Michelle Estuar
Jerry Karundeng aka High Altitude
Nolan Llanora
Luis aka Gingerbread
Jael Wency
Sam aka The Running Ninja
Margaret Jade
Ms Jaymie aka The Bull Runner
Jaymie aka The Bull Runner
Bobby Go
Col Oscar Lopez, PA
Neville Manaois of Pinoy Ultra Runners

“The Horror!…The Horror!”

1. If you read the book “The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad or had watched the movie “Apocalypse Now” which was entirely filmed in the Philippines, you know the significance or relation of what I’ve written as my title post as to what had happened last November 23 in Maguindanao.

2. Looking at the place where the November 23 Massacre had happened as I saw in the daily newspapers and TV News, I realized that this was the very same place where I was assigned as a new graduate from the Philippine Military Academy. This is where I got my “baptism” of fire from the enemy—a combat encounter with the MNLF and later an ambush from them along the highway a few days before Christmas.

3. In the 70s, the “warlords” in Mindanao were the Military Commanders! A simple order from them could obliterate a barangay from the map! Now, things had changed, the “warlords” are the politicians who adhere to the saying, that power comes from the barrel of a gun. A simple order from them results to a massacre. As a result, the military/police commanders are relieved from their posts because of these incidents. This trend started after the Marcos Administration.

4. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family & friends of those 52 victims of the Nov 23 Massacre, 13 of them are journalists. The worst incident in the history of journalism, in a day.

5. Why am I writing about this incident in a running blog? Because I want justice to the victims, most especially to the journalists! Bloggers are considered as the most privileged “journalists” because they could write and publish anything under the sun ( in real-time) without the supervision and guidance of an Editor and the screening powers of a Publisher. In my own way, I consider myself as a “journalist”. Thanks to the Internet!

6. Have you observed that most of the “presidentiables”  have started to publish their own blogsite in the Internet? I don’t believe that they are the ones personally administering and posting their blogs. In one of the blogsites, I posted this comment, “Why just now”?  I did not mind visiting their blogs again. “Presidentiables” on Facebook & Twitter? I don’t think so…they could not even give you a reply! 

6. I am writing this post in the middle of the Sierra Madre Mountains while making a “surprise” visit to my “boys”. It’s cold and raining here but “the boys” are on the road and trails doing their daily running workout. I just saw what is written in their bulletin board—“Long Run–42K & Up”. 

7. The mountains are vast and very enticing. If you are a military commander, you look at the mountains in terms of “axis of attack”; “defensible position”; “cover & concealment”; “strong points”; “strategic point”, etc. If you are a golfer, you look at a mountain in terms whether it can accommodate a 9-hole; 18-hole or a 36-hole golf course with the Clubhouse, the lakes and sand traps. If you are a “hardcore” runner, you look at a mountain if it can offer a 50K; 100K; or a 50/100-Mile Trail Run course!

8. My appreciation and thanks to those who wished me for my early recovery and to those who suggested “medications” and “cross-training”. Yes, I am getting more “crazy” after weeks of not running.

9. By the way, right now, I am wearing my running shorts & shirt in BLACK. See you this Sunday’s NB Run in “black” running attire!

When I am Not Running…

1. I had time to relax and wait for the pain to disappear from my Peroneus Longos on my left leg. After two weeks, there is still pain and there is no need to visit a doctor. I am afraid he’s going to prescribe a “pain reliever”.

2. I just need regular massage to my legs and complete rest. Two weeks of no running makes me sluggish and a feeling of getting more weight. More cross-training at the gym and water immersion in the hot spring are needed!

3. My deepest appreciation and thanks for those who started to donate cash & “in kind” support to the 2nd BDM 102. Your benevelonce and generosity will return to you in a thousand fold!

4. We intend to make the 2nd BDM 102 more memorable and “cheater-free” ultra running event. A “test run” is in order as coordinated by Team Hardcore under the leadership of Jonel aka Bugobugo85. Details will be announced in Jonel’s Blog. My staff will test and apply the new rules and regulations.

5. If South Africa has its “Comrades Marathon”, with 20,000 runner-applicants for 2010 on its 85th Edition, Philippines has its BDM 102 on its 2nd edition with 200 limited slots.

6. Comrades Marathon (90K) started in 1921 with 34 runners but it was uncertain how many finished the race within the cut-off time of 11 hours. BDM 102 started this year with 82 runners and 63 were declared finishers within the cut-off time of 18 hours.

7. I met Mr Amado Castro, Jr and requested him to be a part of the newly-established PAU. It resulted to his approval for his office, Reinier Pacific, as the “meeting place” of all ultrarunners. Thanks, Capt Amado!

8. I will be meeting a lot of ultrarunners and interested members of PAU to come up with protocols for the members, race organizers, sponsors, and club/team leaders to follow. Parameters and Standards of Races (to include Registration Fees) and Proper Scheduling of Races will be discussed and implemented. If you have suggestions, feel free to post your comment/s. In short, no ultrarunning event will be held without the approval of the PAU.

9. For the past days, I’ve been going around to my friends in the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines asking them to support (again!) my DBM 102. So far, I got positive commitments from them. This effort is better than going to those Senators and Heads of Sports Institutions in the country. Anyway, the Senators are busy thinking what Party they will join and our sports leaders could not still agree on the number of delegation to the 2009 ASEAN Games.

10. I have more time to add more Friends to my Facebook account. I found out lately that it took 15 years for the Transistor Radio or Radio to reach a population of 50 Million people; 13 years for the TV; 5 years for the Computer; 4 years for the Internet; 3 years for the Ipod; and ONLY 2 YEARS FOR FACEBOOK!

11. I was able to reconnect with my friends (through FB) when I was a member of the 1911 Gun Club and PPSA in the 1990’s. Yes, I was also a Combat/Practical Shooter then! At one time, I was ranked as 1st Runner-Up in the Military/Police Category in a National PPSA Open Competition where hundreds competed.

12. While watching the TV News last night, I found out that my comment on FB about our CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida was one of the questions asked by the reporters from the Assistant Spokesperson of Malacanang Palace. It is something to the effect that the award is “an slap on the face of the government…”.

13. It is always the case, before your country reconizes you, you have to be recognized first by an international outfit/event or the United States.

14. If Senator Pia Cayetano is riding a bike with other cyclists and triathletes from MOA to COMELEC to file her candidacy as Senator for the 2010 Elections, how about us who are runners? Remember, Senator Pia Cayetano is a regular runner in our weekend road races.

15. For those who have completed 1,000 Kms in their mileage counter or running log, you can approach me after your run/race during weekends and I will award your Finisher’s T-Shirt. In return, I will be asking P 100.00 for your donation to the Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project. Leave a comment as to your Shirt Size. I will be at the New Balance Race this Sunday.

16. Have you noticed our Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project’s new running uniform? It is provided to us by MILO/Nestle Phils. Thanks, MILO/NESTLE for believing in our advocacy to be a part in our country’s sports excellence in long distance running.

17. This is the 2nd week that my Elite Team Project had established their “training camp” in the Sierra Madre Mountains. My “boys” are seriously preparing for the Cebu Marathon. “Cebu, here we come and we got our plane tickets two weeks ago!!!”

18. I don’t mind about the remaining Kenyan runners left in the country. “Let them play!”

19. I’ve been receiving a lot of suggestions of PAU Logo from our runners. Albert, Sam, Six Wings & Rick, thanks for the suggestions. I am impressed! The deadline of submission is December 31 of this year.

20. RIZAL DAY Run will push through on December 30, 2009 inside Camp Aguinaldo. Instead of 30K, it will be a 32K Run. This is a nice long race run for those who are preparing for the 2010 CONDURA Marathon and 2nd BDM 102. Registration will start on December 1, 2009. Race packet will be given as soon as one registers. Race packet includes Race Bib, Race Route & Instructions, and a Souvenir T-Shirt. The registration fee is P 300.00. All finishers are entitled to a “Baldie” Finisher’s Medal and Lots of Beer & Ice Cream courtesy of Team Hardcore and HING’s Running Club, respectively!

Grab Your Pictures @ “Fit & Right” Run!

Dr Tommy of Fairview Runners
Ms Jaymie aka The Bull Runner
Jevon, One of my ULTRA training mates
Leo Valdez aka "The Engineer"
Capt Amado aka Reinier6666
Capt Amado Before The Finish Line
Melvin & Rose
El Kyoshi
Leo Valdez
Mr Bautista
Jan Imperio
Annalene aka The Meek Runner as 1,000-Km Club Finisher

Philippines’ 1st Olympic Games Medalist Was An Ilocano!!!

While reading the book, “The Olympic Movement in the Philippines” by Celso Limjuco Dayrit, I was surprised to know that the first Filipino to win a medal in the Summer Olympic Games was an Ilocano.

In the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games, which was the second time that the Philippines participated in the O;ympic Games, we won our first Olympic Medal, a Bronze Medal, through swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso who was a native from the Province of Ilocos Norte. He was qualified for the Finals in the 200-meter Breaststroke after registering the fastest time among the third placers in the swimming trials. In the finals, he finished third to give the Philippines its first ever Olympic Medal. Yoshiyuki Tsuruta of Japan and Erich Rudemacher of Germany, got the 1st and 2nd places, respectively.

After four years, in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, Teofilo Yldefonso repeated his third place performance in the 200-meter Breaststroke, swimming event, winning his 2nd Olympic Bronze Medal.

“If You Can’t Change The System, Create One”

The Birth of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU); Our National Sports Federation On Ultrarunning

Since I started this blogsite two years ago, I was wondering what PATAFA had been doing about the sports on running, most especially on road racing. It took me some time to observe and ask people who are connected with our Athletics Sports Federation on what could PATAFA do in order to have a “control and supervision” on the conduct of road races in the country. It was during the past two years that there were so many complaints from the runners about how road races were being conducted month after month with the same complaints.

Last year, I had the opportunity to pay a courtesy call to the President of PATAFA, Mr Go Teng Kok, who had been in this position for the past 18 years. I briefed him on my observations on the conduct of road races in the country and told him that PATAFA should come into the picture as Road Racing is one of the principal components of the Athletics Sports Federation. He did not forget our conversation.

On January of this year, Mr Go Teng Kok invited me to attend the Elections of Officers of the PATAFA. I was an observer of that elections but I was frustrated on how the process of elections was done. It was not an election but it was a simple designation of officers. Mr Go Teng Kok easily got the President’s position and he will be in that position up to the end of 2012. However, it was on that “designation” day that I was designated as the Director For Road Races which, in addition to my duties, has now the power to vote for the next group of officers for PATAFA after the 2012 London Olympics. Will it take me to wait this long to become the President of PATAFA?

I am not proud of being designated as the PATAFA’s Director For Road Races because I don’t have any powers to command & decide as I could only recommend to the President of the things that I would observe in the conduct of the road races. And my duty ends there! Through this blog I was able to observe and took note of the good and bad points of the different road races in Metro Manila. However, there should be stricter measures to follow so that PATAFA’s influence be felt in road races.

In the course of preparing for the conduct of the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race (BDM 102), I discovered that there is such an international sports federation on ultrarunning called the “International Association of Ultrarunners” (IAU)  which is under the IAAF and I conceived a plan and course of action to undertake to come up with a National Sports Federation for the country in the Sports of Ultrarunning or Ultramarathon. This plan was laid and put to action after the conduct of the 1st BDM 102 last April of this year.

IAU Logo

I created the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners, Inc (PAU) with some of the Finishers of the 1st BDM 102 and have this registered at the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and it was approved on May 18 of this year. Immediately, I sent a letter of application for membership to the IAU through the Asian Representative of the IAU’s Executive Council in the person of Mr Lee Yongsik of South Korea and he provided me with the procedure to follow and requirements to produce in order that the bid for membership of PAU will be elevated to the Executive Council of the IAU for Approval. Mr Lee gave me a positive note and encouragement that the Philippines will be the 6th country in ASIA to be a member federation in the IAU.

I have to get an endorsement and accreditation from PATAFA and fill-up some forms from the Executive Council of the IAU and they were sent to the IAU immediately. No less than the President of the IAU who was sending me things that need to be submitted for the country to be represented to the international body. PATAFA and I even wrote some letters to the Executive Director of IAAF, Mr Peter Weize to show that PAU is an accredited organization under the PATAFA.

After deliberations, I finally received a letter from the Executive Director of IAU, Hilary Walker, that the Philippines through the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) is now a voting member for the election of the incoming Asian Representative for the Executive Council of IAU and my vote should reach their Headquarters not later than November 22! In the said letter, I was informed that I should check on the latest E-publications of the IAU on its website on the announcement that the Philippines bid for membership to the IAU was accepted and approved. It showed that our membership to the IAU was approved last July this year and published in their October’s E-Publications (Welcome Members), the Philippines/PAU is the 47th member-federation/nation of the IAU and the 6th Asian member! As of the present, there are only 48 member-federations/nations of the IAU.

Ms Walker’s letter also gave me an advance information that the IAU will be sending a formal invitation for the Philippines/PAU to send our best ultrarunners to the 1st IAU Asian 100K Championship which will be held on March 2010. The place of competition might be in Japan or South Korea.

Since I created the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU), I am automatically designating myself as the President of this Sports Federation for Ultrarunning for the country. Are there any objections? I hope the sports of ultrarunning/ultramarathon will be developed and enhanced among the members of the running community through this Federation with the end-view of sending our best ultrarunners to international competitions sponsored and sanctioned by the International Association of Ultrarunners. With the plan to introduce the 50K or 100K Ultramarathon Race as “demonstration sports” in the 2012 London Olympic Games, I can positively say that the Philippines would be able to produce its Olympic Athletes to compete in this event in the next Olympic Games and later to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro’s Olympic Games.

There is no need to become the President of PATAFA afterall!!! However, in the end, I still need the support and unity of the runners for us to give pride to our country to be among the world’s best in ultrarunning/ultramarathon, if not, the best!

Now, for starters, I need somebody to design the Official Logo of the PAU. Whoever will submit the selected one, he/she will be awarded a 5-Year Free Membership to PAU. (Note: Please send your entries at my e-mail address at jovie75@hotmail.com)

PAU’s blogsite is at www.philippineassociationofultrarunners.blogspot.com.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (2009)

Critique on the 2009 Philippine International Marathon: A Run For The River/ November 8, 2009

This was titile of my post on my critique on the conduct of the 2008 Pasig River Heritage Marathon. And I am going to use it again to express my views about the conduct of the said race under the administration by the ABS-CBN Foundation. However, this critique will be limited to the conduct of the Marathon Race.

The Good

After being delayed for 9 months, the first good point in this race is that its 9th edition (since 2000) was conducted before the year 2009 ended. The Pasig River Heritage Marathon, as stipulated in an Executive Order, is supposed to be conducted every last Sunday of the month of February. The second good point is that the race is spearheaded by the largest TV broadcast media of the country and its foundation, ABS-CBN Foundation. The third good point is that the race course almost covered all the known and historical bridges that cross the Pasig River and it also followed almost 80% of the original route of the past marathon editions. And the fourth good point is that the Race Director is Mr Rudy Biscocho, who had honed his expertise in road racing organizing since the early 80s.

Although ABS-CBN Foundation through Ms Gina Lopez of Bantay Kalikasan has spearheaded the program “Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig”, I am still confused if the Foundation is doing its part as one of the key members of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission under the Chairmanship of the DENR Secretary, Hon. Lito Atienza or the Foundation is doing the (marathon) project on their own without any accountability with the said Commission.

The Pasig River Heritage Marathon has always been a very challenging course and its point-to-point course concept is very commendable as it showcases the different communities and cities in Metro Manila and at the same time relive the history of urban development from the old Walled City of Intramuros to the most modern structures of The Fort.

The Bad

The registration and giving of race packets from the Race Organizer to the runners was the number one “bad” point of the Road Race. Second, I got the “worst” singlet for a major race this year! The fabric used was too heavy and it did not have any logo of the race. Third, the Marathon Race Logo was copied from another Road Race in the United States. Fourth, the Marathon Race Finishers were not awarded with any Finisher’s Medal. Even if you have a well-renowned and veteran Race Director/Organizer and runners who are employed with the ABS-CBN Foundation who could influence the Major Sponsor that a Finisher’s Medal is a MUST in a Marathon Race, it doesn not mean that they could influence their Major Sponsors who are not seasoned/competitive runners in order to make this race a perfect one! Maybe, a “copied logo” would not be wise to be inscripted in a Finisher’s Logo or else the Foundation could be sued for copyright infringement. It could be a good reason why they did not give any Finisher’s Medal. Fifth, my basic standards on water station (distance in between stations; length of table; and quantity of cups) were not met. Sixth, the accuracy of the distance was not met and it was lacking for about 800 meters. Since the 2004 edition of the race, the original course (Intramuros to The Fort) was certified by IAAF and AIMS. I hope the Race Organizer will ask the same international bodies to certify this race course.

The Ugly

First, the ugly part of the Marathon Race is the silent treatment my staff and other runners got from the ABS-CBN Foundation and Race Organizer/Director with regards to the Prizes for the Top Runners a few days before race day. What is worst is that the Cash Prizes and Cash Certificates were not given during the Awarding Ceremony or immediately after the Race. Instead, the winners were promised to receive their prizes after 5 days! I heard that one of the Kenyan runners who left Manila last Tuesday for Kuala Lumpur came back on Friday to receive his winning prize! My Elite Team Bald Runner won 1st Runner-Up in the 20-Man Relay Team Race but they were promised to receive their Prize after 5 days, Friday to be exact.

Second, I could not understand why is it that the biggest TV network in the country could not “frontload” its resources for the operational and technical needs of the runners to include cash prizes, better registration system, better quality of singlets, and better support to the runners. Basing from their media releases after the race, this road race was attended by 22,000 runners which is a record-breaking data for a running event in the country. However, if you convert this in monetary terms, this figure will translate to P 5.5 Million (Pesos) earnings from registration fees alone! This is not to include the support coming from the other sponsors of the race. With said amount of money, the ABS-CBN Foundation would have been “transparent” in terms of prizes and “giveaways” for the elite and other runners/finishers. How I wished that they would be transparent also in telling to the public, through their media releases, how much did the race/event earned for the Pasig River Project.

Lastly, the Pasig River is still ugly, in sight and smell, with all the “illegal settlers”, sewerage and waste disposal of the communities from its banks. Hopefully, the seven (7) years that the ABS-CBN Foundation had promised to serve as the “spearhead” organization to clean the Pasig River will show a significant development. The following is the visionary depiction of the Pasig River:

Pasig River Rehab
Vision For The Pasig River

The Ugliest

After 5 days of waiting, the members of my Elite Team Bald Runner were able to receive their Prize from the ABS-CBN Foundation as the team placed 1st Runner-Up in the 20-Man Relay Team. The members were surprised to receive P 30,000 worth of Gift Certificates from Gold’s Gym. Each Gift Certificate is worth P 5,000 for a One Month Entry & Use of the Gold’s Gym Facilities. The athletes were frustrated to receive such GCs because they don’t need to go to the Gym in order to improve their Finish Times. Or are they trying to fool the athletes that a one month use of the gym is worth P 5,000? I could be mistaken but I am a VIP member of the said Gym and I know that I only pay less than one-half of the said amount every month! However, after contacting some members and Personal Trainers of Gold’s Gym, I found out that each GC is sold at P 2,000 each.

I heard that one of the Coaches of one of the winning teams tore the Gift Certificates into pieces after receiving them as he expected Cash Prize of P 50,000 to be given and not Gift Certificates.  I can sympathize with these coach & athletes as they need CASH from their winnings. They need the money to sustain their training for food, sports drinks, vitamins, running shoes and expenses for registration fees in incoming races! I really don’t know if ABS-CBN Foundation is guilty of DECEPTION in the publication of their Prizes. However, I am sure that the ABS-CBN Foundation is guilty of deceiving my athletes and the other runners for placing the value of each GC to P 5,000, instead of P 2,000!!!

Gold's Gym GCs @ P 5,000 each Per Month

I hope that there will be “takers” of these GCs from Gold’s Gym if they will be sold at P 2,000 each. The money from the sale of these GCs would mean a lot for the support of my elite athletes.

In summary, I will not expect the ABS-CBN Foundation to issue an Official Statement to answer this Critique because all Major Sponsors of all past Road Races has expressed the same statement and I predict that the Foundation will issue the said statement as shown below: 

“ABS-CBN Foundation is New In Running & It Promises To Improve On the Conduct of the Next PIM Edition”

Pictures @ TIMEX Run

With or without my present injury, I was decided not to join this race because of the following reasons: (1) The registration fee for the 21K is too expensive (P 700.00); (2) The Cash Prize of P 6,000 is not commensurate with the Registration Fee being paid by each runner and the number of sponsors supporting this event; (3) The course is too familiar and overused; and (4) I am not a fan of Piolo!

Instead, I came to the race to cheer for my two elite runners, Alquin Bolivar who ran the 10K distance and Crifrankreadel Indapan who ran the 21K distance. The other members of the Elite Team Bald Runner were distributed to other races in Metro Manila being held on the same day.

At The Starting/Finish Line

The set-up of the Starting/Finishing Area was properly prepared and I could see that these are “signs” of improvements in road racing. I was impressed with those new portalets lined up at the vicinity of the Assembly Area. I was able to see also a long tables of water aid stations for the 3K & 5K runners. Well, it is about time that such basic support services should be given to the runners. I’ve been complaining of short tables of water aid stations and the lack of water and water cups for more than one year of blogging and I am glad our Race Organizers are reacting to the observations of runners and bloggers.

Robinson's Cheering Girls @ The Finish Line
Alquin Bolivar Arriving 2nd In the 10K Race

Piolo is a competitive runner afterall. He finished the 10K race in 47+ minutes which is an impressive time for a new runner with only one month of training under Coach Rio. I hope he could run the next edition of the Philippine International Marathon: Pasig River Run 42K Race  so that ABS-CBN Foundation would be able to improve its race most especially on their Prizes for the Winners.

My elite team runners informed me that the ABS-CBN Foundation awarded Gold’s Gym Gift Certificates to the winners/members of the Team Relay Race worth P 5,000 for each runner. To the dismay & frustration of the athletes, they tore their GCs after receiving them.  I think those runners who are employed and working under the ABS-CBN Foundation should advise their boss, Ms Gina Lopez, that our athletes need MONEY for their subsistence needs. Runners do not have time to go to the gym and they don’t need to have bulky muscles!

3K & 5K Runners Near The Finish Line
TIMEX Cheering Team or UP Maroons Cheering Team?
The "Bald Runners" (Mart Miranda & Leo Valdez)
Alquin Bolivar's 10K 1st Runner-Up Podium Finish

 Congratulations to all the finishers of this race and to Coach Rio and Finish Line for raising the bar in our road races!

And the best photo of the day…

Pacquiao as the New WBO Welterweight Champion (Photo Courtesy of http://www.yahoo.com/sports)

 Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao. Amazing Performance and the Greatest Fight of the Year!  


“Water Therapy” @ Laguna Hot Spring

This is not the kind of treatment wherein you have to drink a number of glasses of water after you wake up in the morning; before eating your meals; after eating your food; and before going to bed almost everyday.

After I had the strength to stand up and slowly walk on my own, I requested my staff to bring me to Brgy Bucal in Los Banos, Laguna as I remember having visited this place with the invitation of my classmates from the Philippine Constabulary/Philippine National Police when I was still a Major in the active service in one of the hot spring establishments in the area. Although the place where I was invited was an exclusive place, I found out that there are places where it is cheap and affordable. A former classmate of mine in Elementary & High School also owns a house with pool in this area. In the end, I decided to look for a cheap place where there is no reservation procedure is involved.

Soaking My Legs In Sulphuric Water

After lunch last Tuesday, I went to Los Banos, Laguna with the intention of soaking my legs in the hot spring water of the numerous in the said place. I wanted my leg muscles to relax and get the warmth of the sulphuric water. From 1:30 PM to 7:30 PM, my legs and whole body were soaked in the sulphuric water of the old & renowned Laguna Hot Spring which was established in the year 1949. It took me straight 6 hours to soak myself in this therapeutic waters of Los Banos. Surprisingly, after 2-3 hours in the water, I could see that I was sweating and had some snack “breaks” as I felt so hungry due to the effect of the heat from the water.

Staying on the hottest portion of the pool for 6 hours seemed to be so short because of the people who shared the area with me. There was this European guy who was in his late 60’s who was looking silently to me and to other two Filipino guys who were talking in Tagalog. All of a sudden, the European guy joined the conversation in a fluent Tagalog, too! This guy had been a constant visitor of the place. A Filipino guy in his late 30s approached me and asked if I am joining marathons/road races in Manila (he might have seen my singlet in the TV news about PIM) and we started our conversation about running until it reached about topics on politics/presidential election candidates. His purpose in going to this hot spring facility is that he has “gout”! What? A guy so young with “gout”? Unbelievable!

And then there were two “senior” couples who happened to be “Balikbayans” from Cerritos, California. The topic they were discussing was about the bad image of the country’s peace and order situation as gleaned from the TV broadcasts they see abroad. I did not join their conversation but just listened to what they were talking. Later, the conversation went to Tyhoon Ondoy and the distribution of relief goods and the accountability of the money received by ABS-CBN Foundation from the local and foreign donors. Later, it went to the pros and cons of the political figures planning to run for Presidency of the country. Well, what they said were valid and some are the usual “opinionated” remarks. Hearing all their conversations were very entertaining! 

Whole Body Soaked In Water

 After 3 hours in the water, I started to move my left leg by kicking it underwater and doing some leg curl exercises. After 15 minutes of leg kicking and leg curling, I started to jog slowly. I was surprised that I did not feel any pain while doing the slow jogging inside the water. The depth of the pool is 6 feet and it was very comfortable to be curling my legs under the hot water of the spring. I did a 30-minute “water jogging” and it was a nice workout that I had to sweat!

After a brief snacks/break for about 20 minutes, I returned to the “hottest” spot and did again some leg exercises—leg curls and leg scissors! A guy suddenly started talking about the therapeutic benefits of the sulphuric water where he said that he had been a constant visitor and user of the place for the past 20 years! According to him, the benifits from the water are better absorbed by the body if you do some exercises or body movements while you are soaked in the water. Well, I silently said to myself that, that was exactly what I was doing for the past 3-4 hours!  

The Laguna Hot Spring in Brgy Bucal, Los Banos is one-hour ride from Taguig City. The admission fee during daytime is P 60.00 only per person. The toll fee from Taguig City to Calamba Exit at the SLEX is only P 87.00, one way. So, if you have the time and want to experience a relaxing moment to soak your running legs and tired bodies to the sulphuric water of Los Banos, a trip to this place is highly recommended. A canteen/store is located inside the establishment where anybody could order cooked food. However, you can also bring your own food and drinks inside the place without any extra charge.

After a full night rest, my legs, most especially to my left, has slowly already regained its strength.