Incoming: Pinoy Fitness 21K Challenge 2016

Pinoy Fitness 21K Challenge wants to bring out the best in you by setting a higher standard when in comes to the half marathon distance.  Chase that elusive sub 2 goal, go for a 2:30 cut-off or just chase the 3 hours clock.  Whichever battle you choose, it’s bound to bring out the best in you.

Read About:

Pinoy Fitness 21K Challenge

My first half marathon was the most fulfilling among my half marathons.  I had 3-4 months to prepare for it and I was training hard both on sunny and rainy days.  There was no such thing as an excuse. I just went on to improve my resistance from a 10-15K runner to a half marathoner.  End result, I finished with a 2:23 for my first 21K. I would eventually reduce that time further but the first one was the most special because of the build up. I see the Pinoy Fitness 21K challenge as a throwback to those time that 21K was a golden distance where people would take months to prepare for the big race.

Pinoy Fitness challenges you in so many ways.  It let’s elite runners aim for the sub 2 hours finish time or even chase a new personal best. It lets experienced runner chase the sub 2:30 goal, which is a common qualifying time for some races. It also lets recreational runners progress to a sub 3 finish time.  Choose you battle!!! This is one important rule to remember, if you register for a sub 2 time, you only get the medal when you reach sub 2. The same goes for sub 2:30 and sub 3 finish time.  Another thing worth following is the competition among teams that has added some excitement to regular road races.

There’s also another challenge within the challenge.  The first 300 finisher of each wave gets a gold medal.  The rest of those who finish within the prescribed time will get a silver medal. Those registered in the sub 2 category will also get a sub 2 jacket.  The chase for speed happens on November 13, 2016 at SM Mall of Asia.

Race Details

Date and Venue

  • Date: November 13, 2016
  • Venue: SM Mall of Asia Grounds
  • Gun Start
    • Sub 2 Wave: 4:30 AM
    • Sub 2:30 Wave: 4:35 AM
    • Sub 3 Wave: 4:40 am

Fees and Inclusions

  • Sub 2 Wave : P1,400 (Inclusive of Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher Shirt, Finisher Jacket and Qualifying Medal)
  • Sub 2:30 Wave: P1,000 (Inclusive of Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher Shirt and Qualifying Medal)
  • Sub 3:00 Wave: P950 (Inclusive of Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher Shirt and Qualifying Medal)


  • Online: Via Goorahna
  • In Store: (Sept 15 to October 30, Thurs to Sunday only, from 1PM to 8PM)
    • 2XU Store – 2nd level Glorietta 3
    • RUNNR Store Bonifacio Global City
    • RUNNR Store Trinoma
    • RUNNR Store Alabang Town Center
    • Toby’s SM Mall of Asia
    • Toby’s Shangrila

Race Updates:

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

Get Healthier with Javita

You don’t need to overhaul your routine to start a healthy life. At times, you just have to develop the right habits and have the right nutrients in your system.  Javita has products variant from coffee, tea, active fruit blends and chocolate that can convert your regular drink into a healthy supplement that can help you in your fitness, weight-loss and even disease management goals.

Javita Coffee

I’m quite picky when it comes to coffee. It’s because gourmet coffees are a lot healthier and also richer in taste than regular lattes and cold blends.  Either way, a good cup of coffee tends to be pricey at around P100++ for just a cup of coffee.  3 in 1 coffees can be a lot cheaper but it has also more fat and calories packed in every sachet.  Then comes Javita, where each box has 24 sachet and each sachet can make 2 full cups of coffee, which translates to just P30 per cup.

Change your coffee, change your life.  Indeed a cup of Javita can change your life.  There’s zero fat content and low on the calories and the sugar.  With that mix comes a coffee that can help you burn fats while getting your regular dose of caffeine fix.  I’ve been trying it for about a month now and the most evident effect is that I don’t feel bloated even after meals.  I have a better metabolism and I was able to shed some pounds. I was also able to save on my coffee cost as I can now shy away from coffee shops because the Javita is a gourmet coffee and it also taste just as good or even better.   It’s like having a freshly roasted coffee with the convenience of having a sachet.  Javita has both variants for burn and control for weight watchers and another blend for those people on the go who need energy and sharpness of mind in the work place. It also goes well in both hot and cold variant.

Javita Tea

The first variant of Javita that I was able to try was their tea.  It’s even a faster weight-loss product as it really helps improve the digestive system.  It goes so well whether you love your tea hot or cold.  The best part about having tea regularly was the feeling light due to its no-fat and burn component.  To me, that’s a big additive to losing weight since you are more mobile and have a better metabolism.  It has the same price point as the coffee and would also be a good habit to keep especially if you prefer tea over coffee.

Javita Active Blendz

Active Blendz is Javita with a fruity twist.  It has the lightly sweet fruity flavor packed in their drinks.  Where the tea and coffee are part of your daily routine, active blends is the one that helps power your workouts. Rush can be a great pre workout drink to give you the energy for the routine. Flex helps strengthen your joints for added mobility. Fiber helps improve your digestive tract.  Defend is for improved immune system. Control is for that added fat burning component to make you fit and sexy.  It’s a win-win. You get a really tasty drink and you get all the benefits to your body and to your overall health.

Javita Focus Fusion Cocoa

Of course, there’s that part of our taste buds that’s craving for that luscious chocolatey taste.  Javita has their Focus Fusion Cocoa that brings you the same healthy benefits in the rich chocolatey goodness. Chocolate has also been known to be good for our body in manageable quantities. That’s one good things of Javita, they have all the healthy products that caters to different taste buds. Cocoa can be good on its own or you can pair it with Javita Coffee.

How To Order Javita

You can order Javita online.  I ordered mine online and after filling out the form, I had my order delivered to me after two days.  I actually took it one step further by getting the STAR Gold Pack, which also comes with a dedicated website for me.

People can order and also join Javita through my site: .

At least, that ticks off one of my bucket list of having my own coffee shop, even if it’s just online.  The good part about Javita is not only their product, you also get the chance to earn by getting people to order or join Javita.  There’s a big room for growth when it comes to Javita and you can be part of the growth too.  In a nutshell, Javita can help you in so many ways. It can help you in your weight-loss goal. It can help you be fit and healthy and it can also help you source additional income.

You can also help change lives, one cup at a time.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 40 Comments

Top Young Ballers Make Their Way to JrNBA Presented by Alaska

It’s been a full journey for this kids from regional selection camps until they were finally selected to be part of the JrNBA Delegation of the Country. The kids got to witness the NBA Global Games in Shanghai, China Last October 6, 2016.

Jr NBA Presented by Alaska

Alaska has been bringing the JrNBA basketball program for years. It’s a grassroots approached to finding the next basketball superstars both locally and globally.  This year the best boys and girls basketball players from Cebu, Baguio and Bacolod overcame the odds to make the final lineup of the JrNBA/JrWNBA Presented by Alaska All-Star teams that will fly on October 6 to Shanghai, China to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime NBA experience.

Boys and girls from the provinces – especially those from Bacolod, Cebu and Baguio – did surprisingly well when ranged beside their counterparts from Manila.

  • Cebu City public school students Darliene Ragasajo (14 years old) and Florence Jil Talas (14) led the JrNBA/JrWNBA Female All-Stars.
  • Tracy Carl Dadang (14), Fritz Felix Valencia (14) and Harold Alarcon (14) – who were selected in the Cebu Regional Selection Camp – led the members of the Male All-Stars. Valencia travelled all the way from Bacolod City, while Alarcon came from Silay City, Negros Occidental to qualify in the Cebu Regional Selection Camp.
  • Riz Ozner Gatus (14) of San Fabian, Pangasinan from the Baguio Regional Selection Camp, also advanced to the Male All-Stars.
  • The JrNBA/JrWNBA Davao Regional Selection Camp was also well-represented with 13-year-old Rozie Amatong of Davao City and 14-year-old Aloha Marie Betanio of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon – who travelled all the way to the Davao Regional Selection Camp – making it to the Female All-Stars.
  •  The fifth member of the Female All-Stars is Ma. Cecilia Quilenderino (14) of Dalig National High School, Antipolo City.
  • The other members of the Male All-Stars are Julian Alfonso and Isaiah Miguel Blanco (Alaska Powercamp), Andrei Philip Lechoncito, Jearico Nuñez, Miguel Rey Luis Tan and and Kai Zachary Sotto (Manila Regional Selection Camp). Arayi Ewon was named Coach of the Year Female.
  • Elegino Chollo of Davao City was named Coach of the Year Male.

The players were selected in a nationwide search through Regional Selection Camps in Baguio, Cebu, Bacolod, Davao and Makati.  The final 10 boys and five girls were named members of the Philippine All-Stars during the National Training Camp at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

They joined 90 other boys and girls from JrNBA Programs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam watching the NBA Global Games China 2016 between the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

“I’d like to congratulate our JrNBA Philippine All-Stars on their success. Through Alaska Milk’s Nutrition. Action. Champion. Program and our partnership with the NBA, we have been able to help fuel the basketball dreams and life aspirations of thousands of children across the country,” said Alaska Milk Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Wilfred Steven Uytengsu. “This collaboration is an important element of our long-standing Nutrition. Action. Champion. Campaign. By leveraging on this initiative, Alaska Milk was able to proactively educate families and children on the important role of drinking milk and getting into sports to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle.”

JrNBA/JrWNBA Presented by Alaska promotes the importance of regular physical activity, trains participants in the fundamentals of basketball and teaches the importance of core values, including sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude and respect.

The JrNBA Program is presented by Royal Friesland Campina in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam through its Alaska Milk, Frisian Flag, Dutch Lady and Foremost brands and conducted in Singapore through partnership with Sport Singapore.  This program has touched the lives of more than 1.5 million children, parents and coaches across Southeast Asia by conducting camps, clinics, and NBA Cares community outreach activities.

For more information visit Alaska Milk’s sports channel and like @PlayPH in Facebook and Instagram for inspiring stories on Filipino sports fans of all ages and skill levels.  Fans can also visit the official website at for more information on the JrNBA programs. “Friend” the NBA’s official account on LINE by adding @nba_global. Follow the NBA on Facebook at and Twitter at @NBA for all the latest news and updates. For all things NBA, visit

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

Running Wild With Brooks Mazama

Running the Maysawa Trails with Brooks Mazama

Brooks Mazama is designed to blitz the trail with its lightweight built and boot like fit.  It gives you a better feel of the surface allowing you a faster reaction time on changing trail conditions.  That’s among the things I like with the Brooks Mazama and let me run it down further with a #TaleOfTheTrail peek at Brooks latest speed demon.

Read About:

Brooks Mazama

First of let’s try to deconstruct the shoes.

  • Light and fast cushioning – weight is 9.3 oz.
  • Grippy Traction with its sticky rubber outsole with directional lugs for uphill and downhill traction
  • More power with its protective propulsion plate – the plate provides stable landing platform and gives added protection from hazards
  • Durable Bootie-like fit. – gives you a better feel of the surface for a faster reaction to the changing trail conditions.

Those are the key elements from the teaser of the Brooks Mazama shoes.  I always read the features of the shoe so I’ll know what to expect.  Technically, it’s a speed trail shoes and when it comes to speed shoes, I always check out how they make up for the cushioning.  I’ve went on to try out the Pinoy Trails Sierra Trail Adventure Race 2016 Route last weekend to see how it feels on the trails.

It’s a Speed Shoes

Tanay Maysawa trail was a perfect test for speed for the Brooks Mazama as it has a long downhill stretch where you can run with varying surface from dirt roads, rocky and stony areas and even deep mud.  It’s definitely a speed shoes as the lightweight feel made each stride a lot easier.  While it’s not as cushioned as other trail running shoes, its protective plate added stability in each foot landing therefore minimizing the impact on the legs and the knee.  Another key driver of the speed was the snug-fit feel that’s common in the Brooks technology.  It gave me a better feel of the varying surface as I navigated from dirt roads, muddy trails, stones, rocks and grassy surfaces.

It has Good Traction

Where us the Pure Grit 4 uses 3D hex lugs, Mazama uses multi-direction lugs.   That means the grip would be coming from all directions, which helps a lot on the uphills and the downhills as gravity can be a factor in your climbs.  It’s effective on routine climbs though It could be a challenge on more technical surface.  In terms of muddy terrain, it accumulates mud like any other trail running shoes and reduce its traction.  What sets it apart is that it sheds of mud faster with its rubber soles. The mud immediately washes of the mud with ease.

It did help me past the steep climb

It’s Not Afraid of Waters

You’ll definitely brave the mud and waters with Brooks Mazama partnered with DryMax Trail Socks

It’s a muddy stretch on the lower part of Mysawa Trails. I went fearless on this part after all, I’m testing out how the Mazama would fare under all conditions.  For the mud, I got soaked several times in the mud and my worry was how to maintain the squeaky clean neon green look. While it looks flashy on trails, I initially thought that it would be a mess after hitting the mud.  I was surprised after hitting of the stream that the mud covering the shoes got immediately washed off.  It’s not waterproof but I like that water flows out easily in and out of the shoes so didn’t feel uncomfortable all the time. I was so comfortable with the water that aside from crossing streams, muds and rivers, I even washed it off on one of the water source and that’s thanks to the breathable mesh materials its made off.

Goodbye mud in an instant.

It has a good fit.

This is a pro and con in my book. It’s a pro for those who prefer more to have a better feel of the trail. It’s a con for those who prefer wider toe area.  The soft mesh materials does not add stress to the feet since it adopts to the contours of your feet. I usually prefer wider toe area shoes because of the tendency of the feet to expand on longer course so what I did was I took went a half size bigger for more room at the toe area.  Since the mesh is stretchable, it does reduce the strain on the foot thereby negating the compact look.  It also has a shoelace pocket to reduce the risk of untied shoelaces.

Run Happy

It’s a Value For Money Shoes

Valued within the P5000-P6000 price region, it’s around mid-tier in terms of the pricing.  A lower tier brand would be below the P5,000 region and other brands priced at around the P8,000 region. It would be a great investment for beginners and even experienced runners as it can take you to a lot of trail surfaces and once you get used to it, you can even brave the tougher surfaces.  It brings in the flashy look and speed at the trails.

Brooks Mazama

Brooks Mazama is perfect for those who wish to go light on the trail.  It feels fast and has the added support for each foot strike to reduce impact on your legs.  It will definitely add speed to your trails.  Of course, Brooks also has a line for those who prefer more cushioned shoes like Cascadia. The multi-directional lugs gives you sufficient traction on several trail surfaces and the fit would give a better feel and appreciation of the surfaces. It’s made of quick dry and quick wash materials that reduces the water or mud accumulation on muddy trails or river crossings.  You’ll definitely run fast with the Mazama but more importantly, you’ll run happy.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 40 Comments

GoPro Hero 5 Has Arrived

Life is about living by the moment. No other action camera captures those active moments better than Go Pro. It gets even better with the new GoPro Session 5 and the GoPro Hero 5 Black.  GoPro Karma is also coming real soon to change the game in documenting events and occasions.

GoPro Hero 5

The Hero Family

GoPro has always been there to get those precious active moment.  It has changed the game when it comes to documentation of the both the scenery, the active lifestyle and even the regular day-to-day events.  It’s durable, compact and powerful. The GoPro has been perfect for outdoor-junkies enjoying the active lifestyle like me.  Whether I want to capture that magnificent summit view, take a video on a swift descent over a trail, preserve the priceless sunrise view over the beach and a lot more, GoPro is an excellent go-to camera for these moments.  Some moments happen but once in our life and GoPro is our best chance to preserve it.

Hello GoPro Karma

Last October 3, 2016, Dan’s and Moduvi, the exclusive Philippine distributors of GoPro for the Philippines, unveiled new products and services that dramatically simplify the process of capturing, editing and sharing engaging content, establishing GoPro as an end-to-end storytelling solution.  GoPro Session Hero 5 Black and Session 5 has improved features that every user would enjoy in capturing those priceless moments.

GoPro is also bringing in  their long-awaited drone in the Karma, which is tailor-made specifically for the GoPro line of action cameras. It has added built-in, gear-mounted image stabilization for both aerial and handheld for better output when paired with a GoPro.   Aside from better GoPro features. they’ve improved the auto-upload features to a cloud-based, GoPro plus accounts.  It’s now easier to share GoPro content online.

GoPro goes Mystery Manila

When it comes to launches, GoPro also does it with a unique concept and a bang.  They had a GoPro launch with Go Karts, Wakeboarding and Archery being the activity of the launch.  This time, GoPro goes Mystery Manila with participants going into cluedo missions in the hope to escape the different rooms.  It’s always a test of wits when it comes to escape room games and unfortunately for us, we failed in our Debbie Doll Mission.  We did go deep into the mission only to run out of time.  We did have fun and felt a sense of accomplishment for unlocking a lot of clues.

Here’s the New Line of GoPro

GoPro introduces its new line of HERO5 cameras, cloud-based software and Karma drone designed to make capturing and sharing those moments easier. The HERO5 can now auto-upload photos and videos to a GoPro Plus account, dramatically simplifying mobile, on-the-go editing, sharing and enjoyment.

HERO5 Black — The Best GoPro Ever (SRP – P21,990)

HERO5 Black is the most powerful, easy-to-use GoPro, ever. Exciting features include:

  • 2-inch Touch Display + Simplified Controls
  • Video Resolutions up to 4K at 30 Frames per Second
  • Professional Quality 12MP Photos
  • Auto-Upload of Photos and Video to Cloud when Camera is Charging*
  • Voice Control with Support for 7 Languages (additional languages coming)
  • Simple 1-Button Control
  • Waterproof Without a Housing to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with Existing GoPro Mounts, Including Karma
  • Stereo Audio Recording and Advanced Wind Noise Reduction
  • Professional-Grade Electronic Video Stabilization
  • Distortion-Free Wide Angle Video and Photos with New Linear-View Setting
  • RAW and WDR Photo Modes
  • GPS

HERO5 Session – The Best, Only Smaller. (SRP – P16,490)

HERO5 Session shares the same small design and brilliant convenience of the original HERO Session camera, but benefits from significant performance upgrades:

  • Video Resolutions up to 4K at up to 30 Frames per Second
  • Professional Quality 10MP Photos
  • Auto-Upload of Photos and Video to Cloud when Camera is Charging*
  • Voice Control with Support for 7 Languages (additional languages coming)
  • Simple 1-Button Control
  • Waterproof Without a Housing to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with Existing GoPro, Mounts Including Karm
  • Professional-Grade Electronic Video Stabilization
  • Distortion-Free Wide Angle Video and Photos with new Linear-View Setting

KARMA – Much More Than a Drone.

Karma features a compact design that fits in a small backpack. It also includes image-stabilization grip that can be handheld or mounted to vehicles, gear and more. Karma makes it easy for anyone to capture amazingly smooth, stabilized video during almost any activity. It features a painless out-of-the-box experience unlike any other drone in the market:

  • Compact and foldable, the entire system fits into the included backpack that’s so comfortable to wear during any activity, users will forget they’ve got it on.
  • A game-style controller features an integrated touch display, making it fun, fast and easy to fly without the need for a separate phone or tablet to see what your drone sees.
  • The 3-axis camera stabilizer can be removed from the drone and attached to the included Karma Grip for capturing ultra-smooth handheld and gear-mounted footage.

GoPro Plus and Quik Apps – Access, Edit and Share Anytime, Anywhere.

GoPro is also making uploading, editing and sharing photos through the following apps:

  • GoPro Plus – Game-Changing Convenience.

    Offloading and enjoying footage from a GoPro is now as easy as plugging it in to charge. When a HERO5 camera is charging, it can auto-upload photos and videos to GoPro Plus, a cloud-based subscription service that makes it easy to access, edit and share GoPro content anytime, anywhere. Editing and sharing has never been easier with this game-changing experience. A GoPro Plus subscription also unlocks additional premium benefits:

  • Access to an Expansive Library of Music Soundtracks for Editing
    • 20% off Mounts and Accessories at
    • Exclusive Access to GoPro Apparel
    • Premium Support
  • GoPro Plus supports all camera models* and costs US $4.99 per month after a free trial. It will be available in the United States on October 2nd and in additional markets beginning January 2017.
  • Quik App – Mobile and Desktop Editing Made Awesome.

Editing and sharing content is easy, thanks to the Quik app for mobile and desktop. As the name implies, Quik enables users to quickly produce high-quality videos that are fun to create and easy to share. Using Quik for desktop is simple. Import your videos, pick your favorite moments, choose a soundtrack from a library of songs, and Quik will automatically edit your video to the beat of the music. The Quik Mobile App – with more than 17 million downloads — is a fast, easy way to create awesome videos. In just a few seconds, Quik analyzes your photos and video clips to find the best moments, adds beautiful transitions and effects, and syncs everything to the beat of the music.

Additional New Products

GoPro is also launching several new accessories later this year:

  • Quik Key, a key-chain, micro-USB card reader that plugs into your phone to quickly transfer photos and videos from your GoPro.
  • REMO, a voice-activated remote that extends the voice control range of HERO5 cameras while providing one-button remote control.

GoPro Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session will be available at Dan’s (

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

#RunWithFight is ON for UA Run Crew

UA Run Crew

Under Armour welcomed its APEX Run Crew with a bang last October 1, 2016 at Bonifacio High Street Ampitheater. More than 300 Runners joined Coaches Jim and Toni Saret with UA Ambassador Piolo Pascual to kick off the launch of Under Armour Run Crew. #RunWithFight

Read About:

Under Armour Run Crew

Ready to #RunWithFight

Under Armour – APEX Run Crew had a triumphant launch last October 1, 2016 as more than 300 runners, with a mix of beginners and elite runners, showed that they can #RunWithFight at the Bonifacio High Street Ampitheater. Under Armour APEX Run crew will run until December 3, 2016 with sessions at BGC, SM Mall of Asia and Quezon City Circle and is headed by Coach Jim and Toni Saret.

Coach Toni, Piolo and Coach Jim led the launch.

 UA APEX Run Crew will be having modules for beginners and intermediate runners.  Runners will benefit from the expertise of Coach Jim and Toni Saret, who are both certified fitness icons in the field.  This APEX Training Program is designed by US Trained Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist and Philippine Olympic Committee / RP National Teams Sports Training Consultant Coach Jim SaretCoach Toni Saret is a US and UK Certified Fitness Specialist, US Certified Holistic Chef (Raw Food, Organic, Vegan, Healthy), and High Performance Trainer / Nutrition Coach, Philippine Olympic Committee.
The kick-off event at BHS Ampitheater was headed by UA athletes and program directors Coach Jim and Toni Saret. They led the runners to an intensive training to enhance their strength and endurance in running. UA Celebrity Fitness Ambassador Piolo Pascual also joined the intense 4 minute workout at the start of the event.
Piolo shared how gearing up with a high performance apparel and shoes like Under Armour would help you perform better and even make you perform more.  Piolo also emphasized on the importance of having the right shoes to prevent running injuries.  He is also happy to share his experience with the newly released Under Armour Charged Bandit 2.  The Charged Bandit 2 is equipped with the right cushioning and support to help you #RunWithFight as well as run longer and more comfortable.

The highlight of the event was having the more than 200 participants join the drills and were able to run around Bonifacio High Street. There were a lot of speed and strengthening drills that challenged each participant.  It was only a teaser of the whole UA APEX program but everybody did have their full body workout. The registered participants get to join future sessions in the following venue:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays – BHS Amphitheater, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays – QC Memorial Circle, Planas Garden, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
There will also be FREE Weekly Runs every Saturday starting at BHS Amphitheater, 6:00am – 8:00am. For more info, please visit
UA Apex Run Crew will give you a more scientific approach in your workouts which will strengthen you and increase your mobility.  It will not only help you progress as a better runner but it will help you sustain the fitness lifestyle.  Join the Run Crew Now!

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon

Survived 26K of Miyamit Falls climbs

  • Date: October 2,2016
  • Venue: Sandbox, Porac, Pampanga
  • Distance: 26K

When you lack physical preparation, train your mind to be tough enough not to quit.  That’s my mindset as I was running with some injury.  It was not an easy course with more than 1,000 meters of elevation gain with both the sun and the rain coming into play in the race.  Miyamit Falls was just beautiful and the race was just EPIC.

Miyamit Falls

The scenic Miyamit Falls

Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon showcases the beauty of Miyamit Falls and the trails of Porac, Pampanga.  I entered the 26 kilometers category since I would want to get a feel of the trail and eventually try the full distance next year.   I was able to invest some mileage in July and August but September was just erratic. I had some bouts with Ankle Sprains and Plantar Fasciitis so I switched to a lighter training schedule. I did have some attitude toughening climbs leading to the race.  I promised that after finishing the race that I’ll take a short break to let my injuries heal before I build up for 2017 season races.

Race Route and Elevation Profile

Race Maps and Elevation Profile powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports

The race starts at the back end of Alviera Sand box and proceeds to Sapang Uwak, where the climb begins starting at kilometer 2.  There’s about 8 kilometers worth of climbs covering about 750 meters of elevation gain on mix of paved and muddy roads. The race descends to the Falls on the next 3K kilometers with a steep descent of 150 meters worth of elevation followed by a steep climb back to the aid station and finally descend back to the start area.

The Race

What could go wrong? That’s how things went before the start of the race.  While my ankle was ok the whole week, I had a minor sprain and Plantar Fasciitis the day before the race.  I even had to beg off the exercises at the Under Armour Run Crew last Saturday to reduce the strain in my feet. I was seriously contemplating if I should run or not.  With the slight pain on my foot, I decided to tape it to minimize the movement in the ankle during the race.  So that was it, last 26K before I really give my body a chance to recover.  Going into the race, I was trying to divide the race in segments.

  • 10 kilometers ascent
  • 3 kilometers steep descent
  • 3 kilometers steep ascent
  • 10 kilometers descent

I had to divide the race into segments and telling my mind that I shouldn’t quit and the goal was just to finish the race even if it would mean that I would be the last runner. With an 8:30 cut-off, I programmed my mind to make sure to keep each kilometers below 20 minutes per kilometer in order to meet the cut-off.

What Could Go Wrong

Gun start was 5:30 am, which was the same for both 26K and 42K runners.  At gun start, I just went with the rest of the group who started fast.  It was ok at the start since it was on soft lahar grounds for the first 500 meters.  After entering the bridge at SCTEX, the terrain shifted to a short descent and the surface shifted to a mix of lahar and rocks.  I hit one of the rocks and felt the pain on my ankle and that was the point I realize that I need to be more cautious on my ankle.  It was time to shift to plan B. I started slowing down on the rest of the descent and was also more mindful of the uneven surfaces.

The Long Climb Ahead

After two kilometers on rolling terrain, it was time to climb.  That’s about 8 kilometers of climbing to go.  Since I can’t really speed up, I wanted to be consistent on the climbs. The first 3 kilometers of the climb were the steepest part. It did help that this portion was on paved roads so there was less drag.  I went at a consistent pace on the climb. It was scary to look up as you’ll see an endless road to the top. So I just focused my view to about 10-20 meters away.  I would climb until I reached the short flat portion after each long climb and recover a bit before going to the next climb.  My trekking pole helped a lot on the climb.

Muddy Trails

The paved road led to the muddy trails and it was a different ballgame from there on. There was a drag on the muddy surface as the mud made each step a heavy one.  It was mostly uphills with a several flat areas and short descent in between the climbs.  I slowed down a bit at this stretch as I was more cautious on each step and also had to figure out which was the less slippery part of the trail.  This was the pattern for the next 5 kilometers.  I took it one heavy step at a time and just focused on consistent with my pace.  The heat of the sun also started to come in to play towards the middle part of the climb.

Descending the Falls

Despite the challenge of the climb, I was in awe at the beautiful backdrop being surrounded by the different mountain ranges.  After 10 kilometers, the trails starts to descend moderately in the next 1.5 kilometer heading to the aid station.  It was a hot morning so it was a bit more energy draining heading to the aid station.  I was also making mental notes on which would be the challenging part of the trail coming back.  After the aid station, it was a steep ascent heading to the falls with some portion designated as no-run zones because it was slippery.  Despite the descent, I had a slow time heading to the falls because of the technical nature of the trail and the hot weather. I just went on at a consistent pace and finally, I was able to reach the falls.

Miyamit Falls

Miyamit Falls was just beautiful.

The past 13 kilometers was a difficult one with the endless climbs, the muddy trail and the hot weather.  It was worth it just seeing how magnificent Miyamit Falls was.  I never get tired of the trails even times like this when I struggle and I’m not a 100%.  Moments like this are just priceless and even if time is of the essence because of the cut-off. I took my time to appreciate the falls. I event went on the shallow part and played like a kid.  It was also nice to see Majo there as one of the marshals.

Time to Climb Again

It was nice seeing you Majo!

Halfway into the race and done with about 70-80% of the climb.  The trail from Miyamit Falls to the aid station was the toughest part of the race because of the steepness.  I took it with several big efforts on the climb with about 100-150 steps before taking a 10-15 seconds breather.  It did help that there were portions that were similar to stairs and it helped a lot in the climb.  Kilometer 14 and 15 would be my longest kilometer because of the difficulty of the climb.  It was also extra hot at this time so it was really both physically and mentally draining.  The drill was climb, rest and never quit.  I’ve finally reached the aid station after like climbing forever. I knew that the difficult part of the trail was over.

The Road Back

10 kilometers to go. I took the next two kilometers at a relaxed pace as I was still recovering from the steep climb.  While the road back were mostly downhill, there were short climbs in between.  By kilometer 19, it started to rain.  The rain was refreshing though it also gave me a lot more urgency to speed up as I would want to reached the paved part before the trail transform into a total mudfest.  I went through puddles of muddy, slippery trails and the climbs at a faster pace.  It was good that I was using Ahon gaiters so I didn’t have to worry about debris entering my shoes. I was able to reach the paved part faster than I anticipated.

Last 5 kilometers

To the Finish Line – Photo by Don Santillan for Active Pinas

The next 3 kilometers were on paved grounds.  I immediately noticed that I was now on a harder surface and also going on a steeper descent. Funny, how I was moving faster in the muddy trails than the paved roads.  The steepness of the paved part was a challenge on the knees and the calves.  I had to stop a few times to stretch a bit just so I won’t have cramps.  The goal was just to keep going.  The last two kilometers had us back on mixed of lahar surface with rocks and puddles of water.  It also rained harder. It was really fun to be doing trails under the rain.  I went on at a good pace, slowed down a bit on the climb and went on to the finish at 6:51.

Mission Accomplished

I survived! Photo by Don Santillan

I was surprised at how I did in the race. I totally just went at a consistent pace and finish more than an hour away from the cut-off.  It was an A-Race effort using Plan B.  There were points that my body felt like giving up but my heart never did.  This was an epic race because of the difficulty, the scenic view and the never-give-up attitude.  As promised, it’s time to rest all those sore muscles for a month before preparing for 2017 season.  Congrats on a great event Race Yaya!!!

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

ActiveHealth Community is Here

ActiveHealth has always been about creating progressive athletes.  They are now taking it a step further by having an online portal for swim, bike and run communities. The app is complete from coach support, to expert sections, mentors session and monitoring tools for your training and races. ActiveHealth Community is designed to help you exceed yourself.


Coaches and Mentors for ActiveHealth Community

The growth of the fitness community has been overwhelming over the years. From the boom of running 5 to 6 years ago came a lot of progressive athletes who dared to conquer longer distances and even new disciplines.  Some ventured to cycling, swimming, triathlons, cross fit, trail running, ultramarathons and a lot more. There are more people who are into fitness compared to before.  We should take care of that growing passion with an app to guide you as you set your training goal, progress and eventual conquer new goals and progress as an even better athlete.

We are a happy Bunch!

One online portal to unite them all and that’s the ActiveHealth Community App.  ActiveHealth is taking its growing community of running and multisports athletes from the physical realm of race tracks and training grounds to the digital platform of online race prep and coaching, historical race results tracker, sports nutrition and sleep advice among others. It is giving another dimension to its engagement with its active race participants through the online platform called the ActiveHealth Community (AHC) portal.  AHC App is a all in one tool for expert and mentors advice, sessions, training and race monitoring and a lot of community updates that will definitely inspire you to exceed yourself.

According to Alex Panlilio, Unilab Consumer Health Operating Vice President, “The idea behind AHC is to strengthen the ties that bind the community, which is pursuing an active lifestyle, and pursuing excellence by encouraging them to strive in reaching their potential. AHC is yet another medium to deliver the mission of ActiveHealth to empower the progressive athletes”.  

ActiveHealth team (Mr Antonio Mapa AVP Unilab Consumer Health – Ms Zeny Mejias ActiveHealth Project Manager – Mr Lester Castillo Sports, Event and PR Executive, Unilab ActiveHealth

AHC members have access to training plans that are customized to the ActiveHealth race that they are joining, expert advice/support from AHC Coaches and mentors through classes, training camps, articles and online coaching analysis, updates on all events, special offers of ActiveHealth as well as rewards for being an active member of the community.

AHC Coaches

What sets AHC apart from other training programs or clubs is that we know our community of runners, cyclists, and triathletes very well so we can provide them what they require as progressive athletes in order for them to exceed themselves. And that is a holistic, system-based approach covering all areas of training and race preparation—sleep, recovery, nutrition and gear,” shares Ani De Leon-Brown, Senior Coach Consultant of AHC.

AHC Experts

AHC members have access to a roster of the best coaches and sports specialists in their fields such as veteran coaches and marathoners Titus Salazar and Ben Alacar, former triathlon team coach Dan Brown, first certified female multisport coach in the Philippines Ani De-Leon Brown, multi-awarded triathlete Coach Andy Leuterio and other seasoned triathlon coaches such as Ian Alacar, Kaye Lopez, and Nonoy Basa. We also have sports science experts Riel Espino, Saul Sibayan, Kris Agarao, sleep and recovery expert Francis Diano and sports nutrition experts Harvie De Baron among many others who are in the process of finalizing contracts with ActiveHealth. It really helps to be in touch with the right coaches, mentors and experts as it would help guide you in your goals and help you progress in all aspects.

AHC Mentors

“The mentors will be the on-ground teachers who will assist the members with their form and technique. There will be regular mentor sessions across different training areas in Metro Manila so we can provide assistance to more athletes,” adds De Leon-Brown. Eventually, AHC will also conduct mentor sessions or classes outside of Metro Manila.

You can also add your teams in the community

AHC is accessible via the ActiveHealth website, / or by downloading the app on Google Play store and Apple store when it becomes available towards the end of the year. AHC is open to all participants of ActiveHealth races (Run United, Tri United, among others) since 2010 up to the present. Once an athlete registers for an event, they automatically get a link to the AHC portal. The AHC portal is linked to the online registration of ActiveHealth races. Membership is free and has no expiration. For your login information, please check previous emails sent by the Active Health Community.  It’s easy to update info and once you’re in AHC, you have all the training database you need.

Be Part of AHC,

ActiveHealth is offering a premium subscription to AHC members who want to avail of additional benefits such as priority registration to all events (i.e. registration will be open to premium subscribers two (2) weeks before it is open to the public), access to coach classes, request online coach analysis (extra fees apply) and other features such as sleep timer on the mobile app, once it becomes available. The Premium subscription will be offered at an introductory price of PhP365 per year.

Exclusive rewards and offers are also in store for AHC members. They can earn rewards/points by completing tasks and activities within the community such as signing up and completing races, attending classes, and achieving targets. The detailed rewards mechanics will be available to the athletes on the AHC portal.

Those interested to join AHC can already do so when they register and participate in the upcoming Tri United 4 on November 27 in Clark, Pampanga.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

#TaleOfTheTrail Mount Paliparan (Tanay, Rizal)

Top of Mount Paliparan

Mount Paliparan was not an easy climb. There were steep ascents that came with the really warm morning.  We also had to maneuver our way to sharp rocky cliffs.  The muddy surfaces also came into play.  It was hard but as all things in life, there is always a way to overcome them.  At the end of the day, we end up stronger and more appreciative of the beauty that surrounds us.

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Tale Of The Trail

Got surprised by the technical difficulty of Mount Paliparan

Tanay has been our constant playground for weeks. While we’ve been doing most of our recons in Maysawa and Laiban, we decided to try something new. We wanted to check out Mount Paliparan looking for a feel-good climb.  It turned out more than we expected.  We got different inputs on the distance to Mount Paliparan, which left us more puzzled on the degree of difficulty of the climb was.  It turned out to be a difficult climb but once we descended. we found a route that is gonna make you love trail running even more.

Map and Elevation

Powered by Suunto Ambot 3 Sports – Pertains only to first 8K of the Route.

We started out at the Marilaque Highway heading down towards Barangay Cuyambay for the first 2.5 kilometers. The next two kilometers of the route is a slightly ascending forest trail.  It then goes on a steep and technical climb to the summit for the next 1.5 kilometers before descending to the river for the next two kilometers.  The route goes on a rolling terrain for the next 6-7 kilometers back to Barangay Cuyambay.

Trekking Mount Paliparan

Weekly dose of Vitamin #SeaOfClouds

We started with an early meet up at QC and started by 6 am at Pico De Pino in Tanay, Rizal.  The first 2.5 kilometer was a sweet descent on paved roads going to Barangay Cuyambay with a view of the early morning sea of clouds in Tanay.  We had our breakfast at Barangay Cuyambay and registered at the Barangay Hall. Climb fee is P30 per person while guide fee is P500.  Once we have registered and then we were off to the trek.

Passing to rice filed and we enter the forest trails.

We started with some irrigation passageway and some fields with an overlooking view of the Mount Paliparan.  We then shifted to forest trails, which was a bit slippery coming from the rain the previous day.  The trail had some stony surface that were a bit difficult to navigate so we took it slow on this part.  It then shifted to muddy single track trails with a slow ascent.  The area is covered by trees and plants, which makes it a lot cooler to explore.  The cover also meant that it will take a lot more time for the surface to dry up.

Forest trails

I was hoping that we’d be in the forest trails forever while the trail slowly ascents to the summit.  It was refreshing seeing the green surrounding and the forest cover protected us from the sun’s rays. The forest trails lasted 2 kilometers.   We were out of the shade and we were welcomed by the warmer temperature, a view of the top parts of the mountain and a challenging climb ahead.

The Sun is Out.

The sun is out and we were going on steep ascents on single track trails with cogon grass.  One of the rare times I don’t wear arm sleeves and calf sleeves and I end up on a grassy trail.  I got a lot of small cuts and irritation from the cogon grass.  It was energy draining as the climb goes steep and the heat can be overwhelming.  We had to stop at some point to recover. We only had short resting breaks because it was too hot to stay fixed at one area.

Look at the mud all over my feet.

The view was worth it though. One end you had to see the seemingly insurmountable climb and the other end was a birds eye view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and you could even see the windfarm from this vantage point.  It was exhausting up to the point that I was starting to doubt if I can still go on but on the other hand, there were just no bail out options.

Taking a break at one of the rock structures.

When we reached one peak of the mountain, we had to traverse to the other side of the mountain with the higher peak.  It was a descent on covered trails with some slippery stretches.  While we thought that the worst is over. We were wrong.  We then had to climb several rock surfaces that was technically challenging to navigate and a bit dangerous too as one wrong step could mean falling off cliffs and ravines.

When the going gets tough.

The degree of difficulty immediately leveled up.  It was time to be strategic.  You had to see every edge you can hang on as you pull yourself over the rocky structures.  We came to climb a mountain, we ended up rock climbing.  The thing is when the going gets tough, you just find a way to get past it. Even on a slow mode, we endured on the climb, adjusted on the terrain and made our way past the long rocky climb.

One last climb.

After the tough part, we then saw the destination so near. We took a short downward trek to go to the other side of the access point, which also was the way down.  We then made the final climb over the slanted grounds and over rocky surfaces on the way to the summit. We had to rappel heading to the summit.

The things I do to have a selfie at the summit.

The rappel part was a tough one as you had to look for areas which you can step on as you slowly pull yourself to the top.  It has been a challenging journey, might as well do this part.

The Summit

The view of the summit was worth all the effort.  It was just around 3-4 K from Barangay Cuyambay but it took us hours reaching the summit.  You can see the very rich Sierra Madre Mountain range and it was all the effort going to the top.

Stone Marker at the Summit

We then our made our way down.  While it was not as hard as the climb, it did take us a lot of time descending the mountain. The trails were steep and slippery.  I think I feel 3 times on the descent.  We made our slow descent from the top over forest trails. The muddy part took away some of the traction from our shoes making it a lot slippery.  After another eternity in descending, we finally hit the river and it was the perfect place to cool down.

The river was refreshing.

We waited for the rest at the river and took time to clean ourselves and get refreshed by the waters.  We did hang out a long time at the river before we went on the journey.  We then headed back to Cuyambay and at the start of the climb, my phones and my watch were all fully drained so I wasn’t able to measure the distance or document the trails.

Mount Paliparan on my background.

On the way back was a long rolling trail, with a variety of surface from wide dirt tracks to knee high muddy surfaces.  I did enjoy this part because of the variety when it comes to views and surfaces.  I also enjoyed the part where it rained and it was instant refreshment after having to deal with the heat most of the time. It was a long way back but it’s definitely a trail worth exploring. It was a tougher trail than we expected and it was a nice mental test for the future trail adventures.


Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , | 52 Comments

It’s Fitness Friday with Bootcamp at the Park at Capitol Commons

Crossfit MNL (CFMNL) is the pioneer of crossfit in the country.  They’re taking fitness to another level with Bootcamp at the Park every Friday, 7 PM at Capitol Commons.  Let’s join the fitness Bandwagon

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The fitness craze has taken over the country. It comes in all forms and disciplines. There’s running, gym sessions, cycling, swimming and a lot more. Then there’s crossfit! The good part about crossfit is that it’s not just a fitness craze on its own but it also complements other sports disciplines and even your regular lifestyle.  CFMNL gets even more accessible with a Bootcamp in the Park at Capitol Commons every Friday of September, 7 PM.

In partnership with Crossfit MNL, Capitol Commons brings this alternative, holistic fitness program that combines various physical movements, workout routines, and sports activities into a timed workout to help participants get leaner, stronger. By focusing on bodyweight movement, Crossfit is proves to be both a fun and challenging workout.

Tag your fitness buddies and sign up for free Bootcamp in the Park classes at Capitol Commons. Visit this link to sign up:

For kicks, Capitol Commons’ partner CFMNL is throwing in a cool prize for Bootcamp in the Park participants. One lucky fitness enthusiast who attends the most number of Bootcamp sessions can also get a chance to win a one month unlimited bootcamp package. For more details, click here:

Capitol Commons is Ortigas & Co.’s latest mixed-use urban hub which caters to the dynamic, fast-paced lifestyle of young city-dwellers who wish to have a more well-balanced lifestyle. Sign up in Bootcamp in the Park now and get pumped up for a healthier, stronger you


RUN MNL is also hosting weekly and community runs in their difference boxes.  Get stronger every mile by having the right balance of running and proper core and total body strength to get you past your races.  Run MNL is your perfect complement for every runner for them to nail their A Race and allow you to finish strong and continue to challenge your personal best.  Check out the schedules above.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , | 2 Comments