There was a time during my cadet days at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in the 70s that an enterprising Member/Officer of the PMA Headquarters/Tactics Group offered Seiko Diver’s Watches For Sale to the Cadet Corps. It is unfortunate that I did not take advantage of this offer as the payment can be easily made through a simple deduction from my monthly pay and allowance on cash or installment basis.
Fast forward. In the early 80s, while I was training for my first Marathon Race in Laoag City/Ilocos Norte where I was assigned as an Intelligence Officer, a friend of mine who owns a Gasoline Station where I usually end my LSDs gifted me a Seiko Diver’s Watch with Rubber Strap when he saw my Casio Runner’s Watch without any strap and observed me placing the said watch in my shorts’ pocket. Since that day, I have used the Seiko Diver’s Watch as my Running Watch. It was after so many running years when the rubber strap became brittle and broke into several pieces. Since then, I have forgotten where I left and stored the said watch.
In the mid-80s, I became interested to own Swiss-Made Watches as my brother gifted me with an Omega Constellation (Gold Edition) Watch which I bought in the USA after my Military Schooling. The watch is still with me up to this time!
Since the mid-90s up to the time I retired from the Military Service, I have a handful of Swiss-Made Watches in my collection but never bought a Seiko Watch.
After I finished in last year’s Boston Marathon Race, Josh, my son-in-law asked and invited me to watch the YouTube Channel. I was surprised when we watched videos about Seiko Watches. I did not know that he is also a Seiko Lover and Watch Collector. During my remaining days in Los Angeles, California in May 2019, I started watching Seiko Watch videos posted on YouTube on a daily basis using my IPad and IPhone. This experience motivated me to have a focused interest with Seiko Watches. And the rest is history.
Upon my arrival back in Manila, I went to the different Authorized Distributor (AD) Stores of Seiko Watches in Metro Manila looking for those watches I have seen on YouTube. Finally, my interest in Seiko Watches brought me back to the Watch Stores where I bought my Swiss-Made Watches in the 90s until the time that I retired from the Military Service. Some of the Sales Employees are still there and they are surprised why all of a sudden become interested with Seiko Watches!
Since June 2019 up to the present, I have now more than 60 pieces of Seiko Watches + Citizen and Orient Watches in my Collection. Seventy Percent (70%) were bought locally and the rest were bought abroad (Italy, Hongkong, Malaysia, and USA). While in the USA, I bought my Seiko Watches through Amazon Prime.
In the future, I will be featuring each Watch in my Collection in this blog.
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It was in the later part of December last year that the Onitsuka Tiger Page on Facebook appeared in my News Feed and I found out that the famous Japanese sneakers brand had re-created my first ASICS Running Shoes in the early 80s as their California 78 Model (and later as Ultimate 81 Model) which was their new model for the year-end season. The following day, I tried to recall where I stored those old Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that I bought few years ago in the US which had been with me for the past 15-20 years. I was able to bring out two pairs of them, one for trail running and another one is a complete replica/copy of the GT model that was very popular as cushioned running shoes of ASICS with the popular Red and Blue Logo of the brand. I found out that I had these two shoes repaired by stitching the sole with the uppers by a local shoe repair guy making them more durable in the coming years of use. I consider them as my Vintage Collection of Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers.
I tried using them in my casual wear for the next few days and they were still comfortable using them with some concerns if I use them for a longer period during the day, like driving and walking in the Shopping Malls. I observed that the cushion of the insoles are no longer the same when they were new and they seem to be in shorter size as I suspect that my shoe size had increased by half an inch for the past years that I have been running ultra trails and roads. So, I decided to look where I could find and buy the latest models of the said shoe brand in Metro Manila. However, to add more curiosity about the brand, I would join the Facebook Group of Onitsuka Tigers users in the Philippines. (Note: I will mention my observation about this group on the later part of this post).
In one of my stays in Metro Manila, I finally decided to visit the Brand Store of Onitsuka Tiger at the Shangrila Mall which is located at the 2nd Floor. On my first visit to the store, I was able to buy two pairs of their classic models: Red California 78 Model, a re-creation of my GMT shoes in the early 80s and their White Leather Mexico 66 with the Red and Blue Stripes Logo. These two models had a great and significant history in the world of running. You can “google” them if want to know more of the details, most specially if you are an average and competitive runner. The Onitsuka Tiger’s Mexico 66 Model became popular as the running shoes of Champions and Medalists in the Olympic Games 1968, 1972, and up to this date. (Note: NIKE would not be in the world of sneakers and running shoes without the Onitsuka Tiger and the rest is history).
By wearing these two classic shoes, I thought I was brought back to those years that I was starting to be a runner and being a competitive marathon runner in late 70s and early 80s. Although, I could only muster to have a best time of 17+minutes of 5K; 45-minute plus in 10K; 1:30+hours in half-marathon; and 3:30+hours of Marathon, I did not have any dream then of becoming a faster runner because of my work then in the military service. But at the back of my mind, I tried and failed to reach the qualifying times for my age in the prestigious Boston Marathon. The ASICS shoes and the Brand Logo of Red and Blue stripes were symbols of durability and comfort to all the runners then which I think up to these days are being maintained by the company.
It was in the first quarter of this year that I intently researched on the models of this brand which brought me to buy more of them. Oh, well, I bought more of their classic ones like the “Kill Bill” Yellow Leather Shoes (Mexico 66 Tai Chi) and the OT Shoes (Corsair) that was copied by NIKE which came up as the CORTEZ Model which is more popularly known as the NIKE Forrest Gump Running Shoes. I bought this OT model at the OT Brand Store in Causeway Bay, Hongkong last February 2019. (Note: Only to find out that this particular model shoes was available in the local market after two week from my trip to Hongkong).
Not being able to wait to make a trip to Japan this year, I decided to buy a Leather Shoes Made In Japan (Nippon Made) of Mexico 66 Model at the OT Shangrila Store before I left for the Boston Marathon last April. The price is more expensive than buying this particular model in Japan but I promised myself that this will be my last pair of OT. I have lost count in the number of pairs that I bought before I had this pair that is Made In Japan (Nippon Made). Most the shoes being sold in the local market areMade In Vietnam but they have the same comfort and durability that the brand is known for.
The leather Made In Japan shoes that I bought is already my favorite shoes for my casual wear most specially if I am wearing my Red Pants. I used it during my trip in USA & Italy and I found them very comfortable and classy. I will be using them again in my next trips to Europe and the United States.
I broke my promise not to buy anymore of these shoes after I purchased the OT Made In Japan. I think I bought two pairs again two weeks ago.
I have removed myself already from the OT Facebook Group so that I would not be tempted to buy again. It is also irritating to see some members posting their OT finds in “Ukay-Ukay” asking the members if they Legit or not and some are posting Fake ones For Sale.
It is my plan to buy another pair of Made In Japan (Nippon Made) among its Classic Models if ever I will have a chance to visit Japan again, maybe by next year. Wearing this brand, aside from its comfort and durability, this brand looks classy on whatever I wear in my casual clothes. And also remember those days that I was a young, faster, and stronger runner. Wow!
I bought this hip-mounted canted water bottle belt, together with my Asics Tiger “Cumulus” Running Shoes, last December 2006 at Phidippides Store in Ventura Blvd., Encino, California. I was attracted to buy this item after observing and seeing most of the average runners at the 1st City of Angels Half-Marathon Race were wearing this particular water belt. I was not particular with the name of the manufacturer/brand that time but I was after a “new style” of carrying a water jug and a small energy drink container snugged with the body during running practices.
In combat shooting, there is a particular gun holster which is positioned at the back of the body. They call this the “SOB” (Small Of the Back) holster. For this particualr water belt, I would like to call it “SOB” Water Belt! I think my wife paid $ 35.00 for the said item. It has a zippered pocket which can fit my Nokia 9300i phone and my reading glasses!
As I reached home, when I read the “Brochure & Warranty Papers” tied with the Nathan Water Belt, I found out that it was “Made in the Philippines”!!!
Last Wednesday, I used this Nathan “SOB” Water Belt for the second time since I bought it. It was useful as I ran almost 1 hour and 50 minutes for my speed tempo runs.
These pictures were taken inside my quarters in Fort Bonifacio after my speed tempo runs.
I don’t experience any bounce with the water jug as long as the elastic belt is adjusted properly and fitted tight to the waist. The bottle could be easily reached by the right hand. I highly recommend this runner’s accessory for long slow distance running practices, but not in actual road races.