Under Armour Philippines Opens its SM Megamall Store

Under Armour Opens It’s SM Megamall Retail Store

” Under Armour opens its second retail store in the Philippines at SM Megamall.  Being a performance brand, Under Armour is a perfect complement for the growing fitness community in the country. #UnderArmourPH has expanded and expect the dependable performance brand to be more accessible to more fitness enthusiast with the SM Megamall Store.” #IWill

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Wearing Under Armour Superman Top and Speed Form Shoes

A few months ago, the first retail store of Under Armour opened in Bonifacio Global City and this was great news for Under Armour fans like me.  I drop by their shop whenever I do my long runs at Bonifacio Global City and I usually end up buying something.  I really like the Under Armour brand even before the first retail store opened.  You really have to invest in what to wear as it’s what gives you convenience when you spend hours on the road or on the gym doing your workouts.  Technology from their heat gear to cold gear can really help you adopt better to the weather conditions.  Their lightweight shoes like the speed form can really bring in the speed in your workouts.  I also liked their compression wear as it keeps your muscles performing at an optimal level for the long haul.  Even their accessories like visors, socks and undergarments are really comfortable.  Of course, they also have flashy and fashionable designs.  These are the reason I choose Under Armour. It’s a performance brand that would make you comfortable and performing better in your workout.

You have a wide range of shoes and apparels to choose from.

A lot also have the same reason to love Under Armour that demand for the product increases by the minute.  The brand has grown even further in the Philippines after the launch of the first retail store that they are now opening a new retail store at the heart of Metro Manila in SM Megamall last October 22, 2014.  It’s centrally located and has a lot of people traffic making the brand even more accessible.  It opened the brand in style with no less than International Filipino MMA Fighter Brandon Vera doing the chain-cutting ceremonies to formally open the branch.

International MMA Fghter Brandon Vera cutting the chain to formally open the SM Megamall Branch


The store in Megamall will embody a retail experience that evokes the high energy and signature gritty ethos of the Under Armour brand. Endorsed by renowned athletes such as former Ateneo volleyball star Gretchen Ho and football ace, captain of the women national team Natasha Alquiros, Under Armour Megamall will offer to its fans the whole Fall-Winter range and the same technologies that are now pushing those athletes to the max.  The FW2014 collection includes the brand’s technological innovations such as the HeatGear® Sonic, Heatgear® Flyweight, Coldblack®, Coldgear®, UA Storm, UA Tech™ and the popular Compression range. Additionally, among the technical apparel available is HeatGear® ArmourVent™, a new training apparel technology platform available in both men’s wear and women’s wear. The UA Studio & UA StudioLux® lines are designed for athletic females such as brand ambassador and American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland.

Aesthetically, this new retail destination will bring to life the Under Armour brand personality. The environment will include accent metal and wood furnishings and the Under Armour Thrones, large black leather seats with the logo stitched in red prominently installed within the footwear zone.

Under Armour Celebrity Challenge

Celebrity Athletes challenge themselves in different cross fit challenges equipped with the latest Under Armour Technology.

The highlight of the opening day festivities was the celebrity crossfit challenge with different celebrity-athletes testing their limits in various Cross-fit exercises equipped with the latest Under Armour Equipment.  We got to see celebrities in a more competitive environment as they pushed themselves to the limit as they compete against themselves and against each other.  It was a tough day for them but they were impressive as they gave it their best shot.   It’s a good thing that they were powered by Under Armour shoes and apparel, which gave them more comfort in doing the crossfit challenges. At the end of the competition, Celebrity couple Jon Hall and Maria Perrson topped the male and female division of the challenge.

I like that the fitness community is growing as its one of my goal to influence people to a fitter lifestyle.  Under Armour equips you for a more comfortable experience while working out.   It arms you to perform and they also have the best designs when it comes to their outfit.  Get to learn more about the product by visiting their stores.

Visit Under Armour in the Philippines       

  • Bonifacio High Street
1F 12-13 Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City, 1634
Daily: 11am-10pm
+63 2 823 7289                                                           
  • SM Megamall
Bldg A, UG Level Dona Julia Vargas Ave. Wack-Wack, Mandaluyong
Daily: 10am -10pm
More photos of the opening at Francramon.com Facebook Page
Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Ballers Unite: Get The Right Gears at Tobys Sports

Toby’s basketball gears and apparel apparels ranges from Nike, adidas & Official Gilas Pilipinas Merchandise, Nike Airmax Stutter Step 2, adidas D Rose 5 Boost, Nike Kobe Venomenon 4 XDR, Solebandz & Obbo Socks

“Basketball is the Number 1 Sports in the Country. There’s a basketball court in each street corner and people just love, understand and have a say on the game.  Whether it’s in the small leagues, the university leagues, the PBA, the World Cup and even the NBA, people are hooked on each development of the game.  When it comes to playing the game, you have to get the right gears and accessories for a safe and a better feel of the game.  Toby’s Sports gives you a wide range of shoes, accessories and apparels to arm you in the basketball court.”


Gear Up for the Game

adidas Basketball Apparel, AQ Elbow Support, Solebandz, Obbo Socks & adidas D Rose 5 Boost

Apart from running, I also love Basketball.  I have my fair share of collections on Basketball Shoes.  It really makes a difference especially when you are in a game as you need to protect your knees and ankle from the impact of jumping and running along the court.  It’s a sport understood by most and people get to share their insights about the game.  It’s a sport that can unify the country. Just remember during Gilas Pilipinas valiant run in the world cup, we stayed in the wee hours of the morning We all had our own insights in social media on each of the highlights of the game.  We also go on full support mode when our favorite university, PBA or NBA team play.

adidas D Rose 5 Boost, Nike KD 7 Easy Money & Basketball Fitness Training Equipment

With its emphasis on coordination, teamwork, speed, and strength, basketball is a sport that puts a premium on all-around fitness. And whether you’re a fan who just wants to play a better game at the neighborhood court or an athlete looking to make his name in the leagues, it pays to know and have the right stuff.  More than just sinking the ball, you’ll need to work on technique and fundamentals for injury-prevention when slashing through the defense.

Obbo Socks, adidas D Rose 5 Boost, Nike Kobe Venomenon 4 XDR & Basketball Fitness Training Equipment

To quickly cover court distances, you’ll need agility and power training. Agility ladders and training cones are perfect for side movement drills, while ankle weights can add resistance for building power.  With its numerous dynamic movements, basketball can be especially hard on the joints. For this, body support systems like AQ ankle supports and McDavid knee supports to protect the ACL are worth their weight in gold.  Shoving and tackling in the shaded lane can be hell on your body. To strengthen the core and upper body, players train with dumbbells, medicine and fitness balls, and door gym equipment.

AQ Elbow Support, Solebandz, Obbo Socks & Nike Kobe Venomenon 4 XDR

Finally, part of the fun of basketball is being able to use the same gear that the superstars use. After all, why pass up the chance to wear the latest kicks like the Nike Lebron XII or KD VII, or the Adidas D Rose 5 and the Crazylight Boost? Pair these with funky Obbo socks and fashionable Solebandz and you’ll look good and play great! Off-court, keep up the vibe with official Gilas Pilipinas or PBA apparel.


Save yourself from the hassles, check out the wide selection of hoops must-haves (from kicks and accessories, to supports and equipment) at Toby’s Sports, a one-stop-shop where ballers unite.  The Game gets much sweeter when you are prepared by the right equipment and you are wearing the right gear.

Follow Toby’s Sports

Facebook Page: Toby’s Sports
Website:  http://www.tobys.com/
Instagram / Twitter: Tobyssports
Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 71 Comments

The Zombie Journals: Outbreak Assault

Hosla Building played host to the next strain in the Outbreak Universe. The place is creepy on its own even without zombies in it.

“The Humans take the next step in the Zombie apocalypse world as they try to clear or contain the Building from Zombies.  The operation gets complex as they have to do side missions given by the characters and encounter a mind-blowing twist that could leave their mission in Peril.  Anybody can do a zombie apocalypse simulation but only Outbreak Manila can make it feel like the real thing. “

Read about:


Hero or the Horde?

Taking the Side of the Humans this Side

The battle of the Humans and the Horde has been a volatile one with the Horde growing their ranks in the several Outbreaks.  The Human on one hand has started finding ways to find the cure or a way to control the zombies in the different Missions.  The ZFranc in me got contained when I ingested the cure at Filinvest and went on to explore the Mission at Intramuros with the Humans.  The Humans have been a hero in the battle but with some personal interest by the rebellion, the brotherhood and one Dr. Adarna, the sides has been conflicted.  There’s always the Zombie strain inside of me though I’ve tried to assimilate myself ones again in the human world living a normal life.  I still have some unanswered questions to fully regain my humanity and that search led me to Hosla Building (CDCP) as part of the Humans trying to clear the zombies in the building.

The Battle Lines Have Shifted

Team OMZ vs Team Redwing

The battle is different lines is different from the previous Outbreaks with Dr. Adarna missing in action and Team Redwing and their civilian recruits holding the fort for the humans.  I went on to shadow humans in their quest to clear the building of Zombie infestation.  The humans were armed with a variety of riffle for a real life shoot ‘em up experience as the zombie horde attacks.

A Red Wing Operative named Ghost guides his recruit for the mission.

The mission starts with a briefing and a quick weapons training.  Each band of civilian volunteers get a Red Wing operative named Ghost to guide them on their mission on how to combat the Zombies.  The Hosla building (CDCP) being an old abandoned building looks really creepy and the zombies took this to their advantage.  There were several floors of the building and each with zombies lurking in the area.

Scientists gives the participants a mini-mission across the Assault.

It turn out the distress signals received by Team Redwing comes from a group of scientist doing their research in the building.  They had their resources drained and are left with untrained civilians to carry out their mission.  The scientists lays out some mini missions to help the civilians be able to unlock the next mission in the Outbreak.  There are some surprises along the way as the horde gets to attack the scientist leaving the civilians with their ghost to carry out the remaining mission.

The fate of humanity rest on your hands

The civilians get to encounter a variety of zombies along the way and through their Ghost, they get a better chance at survival.  The zombies gets a lot tougher though as the floor reach a higher level.  At times gunshot can just immobilize them and they can resurrect in time.  This escalates the scarefest as the civilians finds hidden clues in the building.

The humans may be armed but the horde has the numbers.

Zombie can come from all sorts of areas.  They have become restless and the sounds of their growl and the banging in walls can be spine-tingling and hair-raising and can even paralyze the civilians from fright.  The horde has also the numbers so humans should be fast and be able to use their shots wisely before getting into the next refilling station.

The horde can surprise you from all corners.

The top floor gives you the toughest zombies who are able to resurrect faster and needs more gunshots to paralyze them.  They are also more aggressive at this level.  The key part of the floor is finding a scientist who have been attacked and you have to unlock a formula to get past this part.

Some of the scientists turn into members of the horde.

The scientist are in transition to becoming zombies and try to leave clues on the formula.  This is also the part that the Ghost discover that the scientist are working for Dr. Adarna and that the mission got more dangerous because of his obsession with zombie propagation.  They try to escape the floor via the ramp but it won’t be easy as the zombies have resurrected and are more aggressive.

The Zombies attack one final time before the escape from the building.

The ramp leads to the mezzanine area where you eventually meet Boss Charlie who confirms that Dr. Adarna has been behind the outbreak.  He gives the coordinates of the next mission and the horde gives the civilians one last surprise as they have to scamper and find a way to escape the room before they can flee for safety.

Hero or the Horde?

ZFranc Returns

Humanity is not that pure.  They have their own vested interest to protect and that led them to betray each other.  The assault on the Outbreak Manila Zombies has awaken something sleeping within me.  Zombies can be loyal to their cravings yet humanity can be prone to betrayal.  The Zombie Strain has taken over and I come to realize that…

This is the Zombie Journals, The Hero is the Horde!!!

The Battle has shifted in favor of the horde as dark of the night took over.

ZFranc was back and I immediately went to the toughest floor and all ready to unleash the wrath of the horde from the Assault of Humanity.  The zombie strain not only took over it got stronger as its been repressed for about a year now.  I’ve gathered the horde and vowed to give humanity the toughest time in our area.  We got them paralyzed and helpless and just escaping by the skin of their teeth.  Team Horde has leveled up as the day starts crossing over the night and the darkness starts to become their ally.

Bring it ON!!! Team Horde is Ready!!!

This was our stronghold and the only way to get past this part was for them to scamper fast enough and exhaust their lungs with all the screams they can generate.  We meant business.  We’ve setup a surprise by the exit ramp.  We took advantage of the time they were paralyze for the horde to gather up for one final chase.  We made it worth their while.

This is what Outbreak Assault is all about!

As the darkness came, I shifted to the third level hoping to stop the assault at first encounter.   We went on to attack the scientist and the civilians even before their mission was laid out.    The scarefest gets to the extreme with the darkness overpowering the Hosla Building (CDCP) and each corner of the building gets a lot creepier.  My undead state became in peril as I met one scientist armed with a rifle.  Bullets went on to conquer my body yet the zombie strain in me was strong enough to escape.

Even Redwing Forces didn’t escape the Zombies Wrath

As we saw the last wave of humanity dare to enter the building, we then gathered up all the horde’s forces in the mezzanine level for one final scare.  Outbreak Assualt may have been humanity’s fight back but the Outbreak Manila Zombies still lives on.  There may be some who met their end but those who remain vows a stronger battle in the future.  Get your coordinates checked as we guarantee you we would be there and yes…

We Are Ready!!! 

We Are Ready For the Next Assault.!!!

Read about the other zombies and Outbreak Manila at the Zombie Journals Tab.  Please follow this site by liking the Francramon.com Facebook Page for more zombie Journals and future Outbreak Manila Updates.

You can also follow Facebook Page of Outbreak Manila Zombies and we also posted some of the photos there.


Categories: My Thoughts, My Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 121 Comments

Incoming: Run for Hope 5

“Run in the cool Baguio climate come November 30, 2014 with 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K distances to choose from.  You’ll get to feel the early morning breeze that gets cooler at this time of the year. You’ll get treated to a course that passes through Baguio’s rich pine tree reserve. It’s also gonna be for a cause as proceeds would be for the benefit of SLU Sunflower Centennial Halfway Home for Boys and Project Daily Bread.”

Run for Hope

If you ask me, why I run. It’s because it has made me a stronger person in all aspects.  It is also one of my advocacy to encourage to people to run and get to enjoy the benefits of a fitter lifestyle.  Sometimes people get intimidated by the distance, the pace or the act of physical exertion.  But whether you are fast or slow, you are still a runner.  It eventually grows on you as it becomes a habit so it’s important to enjoy the run first and set your goals later.   It’s really nice to see that the runs are now becoming part of people’s lifestyle all around the country.  It comes full circle for me to see that my school in college, Saint Louis University has also taken the initiative of holding Run for Hope each year.  It is also for a good cause as proceeds would go to SLU Sunflower Centennial Halfway Home for Boys and Project Daily Bread.  Each stride you make is meant to give a child a better life.

I always enjoy a good run every time I am in Baguio as the weather is really cool and you don’t have to wake up really early just to avoid running under extreme heat.  Since it’s the Christmas season, you get the bonus of running in a very chilly weather with the cold breeze brushing by your cheeks as you go for your distance.  It’s also always a scenic delight running in Baguio with the view of the Baguio’s pine trees and a peek at the nearby mountain ranges at some areas of the course.  The elevation would always be a challenge in the city since Baguio is situated 5,000 feet above sea level and has the inclines that will definitely be a challenge to any runner.

This would also be a good way to shed some pounds before the Christmas Calories comes knocking in.  Run!!!  It doesn’t matter if you go for a shorter 3K or 5K distance or the longer 10K and 21K distance or whether you go at the top of the pack or take the time of your life with good company while enjoying your distance. Just Run!!! Register Now!!!

Race Details

Race Tee Design

  • Date and Venue:

    • November 30, 2014, Burnham Lake Drive, Baguio City
  • Registration Fees

    • Student Rate:
      • 3K – P300
      • 5K – P350
      • 10K – P500
      • 21K – P650
    • Non-Students Rate
      • 3K – P350
      • 5K – P450
      • 10K – P550
      • 21K – P800
    • Inclusions:
      • Singlets and Race Bib for all Runners
      • Finisher Shirt and Medals for 21K Finishers

Finisher Shirt for 21K

  • Registration:

    • SLU Campuses:
      • Diego Silang
      • Devesse
      • Otto Hann
      • Decaestecker
      • Laboratory Elementary School
    • Registration in Laperal building will start on October 20th.
  • Assemble / Gunstart

    • Gun Start:
      • 21K – 5:00 AM
      • 10K – 5:30 AM
      • 5K – 5:15 AM
      • 3K – 5:45 AM
  • Race Updates

  • Race Maps

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

The Zombie Journals: OMZs Goes #TWDonFox #BreakoutPH

“The Terminus.  Is it a safe sanctuary or not?  Hundreds of participants got to experience the terminus and try to find a way out a cargo container #BreakoutPH style while a #TWDonFox Zombie Walker scared the hell out of them.  Talk about having poise under pressure.  Shrieks from the participants enveloped the Terminus yet there was a valiant few who were able to escape on time.”

Read about:


The last season of the series, The Walking Dead ended in the Terminus with the cliffhanger having Rick and the group getting trapped in a tight spot.  That’s where the escape game begins with Breakout Philippines, the country’s first escape game and The Walking Dead teams up to give the people the feel of the Terminus.  As any of Breakout Philippines escape games, there were clues and puzzles to be unraveled and a single way to escape. For this one, you’ll have fifteen minutes (20 minutes if you download the McDonalds App) to escape.  Of course, what’s the walking dead without it’s walkers.  It turns out, there’s one walker inside the cargo container who may hold a clue to your escape and to your survival.

For two day, the area of 34th Street of Bonifacio Global City gave TWD and Outbreak Manila followers a chance to get up close and personal with the walkers while going around the Terminus or trying to escape the container. There were also TWD viewing areas and sponsors giveaways for those who dare to visit the sanctuary  The area were enveloped with panic, hysteria and high-pitched shrieks as participants figured a way out of the container even as a walker scares the hell out of them in those 15 frightening minutes.  As tight as it was, the room had all the clues needed to breakout.  There were safe zones that won’t let you down and there was a walker who may hold the key to your escape.  The experienced was made even more realistic by role playing characters leading you to the containers.

Let’s play cops and robbers.

At the center of the scarefest were the Outbreak Manila Zombies (OMZs) who have been honed in the numerous Outbreak Manila, Outbreak Missions and Zombie Schools to make their characters realistic and believable.  It turns out they are as honored as much as those who participated for being tapped to be part of The Walking Dead Breakout Philippines experience.  Here’s a recap on how the OMZs felt being part of the event and their favorite moments.

Reinard De Lima

The Walker experience was awesome! TWD x OMZ was awesomely superb! I was priveledged enough to be part of FOX PH and Breakout PH TWD experience. The thrills will never be this good.

Lori Antonio

As a fan of The Walking Dead series, it was an honor to be part of this event. Seeing the priceless (scared) reactions of the people who joined will be one of the things I’ll remember always. It just means I did my part well.

Jeng Paradero Mamiit

As a TWD OMZ, I felt elated that I’m going to extend the fear I’m bringing not just to the fans of Outbreak but also to the fans of TWD! My favorite moment at the Terminus was whenever I scream inside the container van, the lights were being accidentally switched off by the participants thus adding to the scare factor.

Pierre Stefan Lalin

It was an awesome and great privilege to collaborate with TWD. The setting of the entire event was really cool; it was as if I was actually in Terminus itself. The best moment for me was scaring the crap out of the Breakout participants, and those who wished to take pictures with us.

Ginger Agoncillo

It was fun and memorable. My favorite moment was the participants that were freaking out because of the zombie walking towards them and they kept telling that they were in the safe zone and “it wont let them down” over and over again.

Flexie Portelo

Sobrang awesome ng feeling to be part of that event. Feeling ko I was rotten ( in a good way; with some uod ). Kasi hello! it’s TWD kaya. Favorite part ko is, everytime na may napapasigaw at napapatakbo ako kasi feel na feel ko na I’m the real thing.

Masahiro Niioka

The experience was unforgettable, being able to be a walker and scaring people. My favorite moment was everytime I am in the breakout room to scare the participants and making them feel that I am a real walker.

Tezza Orlanda

It was great and exciting especially the moment when one group freezed and cannot do anything at all because they are all afraid of me. They dont even mind the clock is ticking down. Also, everyone shouted from the top of their lungs, whenever I grawl and I showed them that I’m unchained already and was running toward them.

John Henri Mariano

Being one of the TWD OMZ was great, but its quite hard compared to my usual role in previous zombie events. You have to invest a little more elbow grease and act like a real zombie and to create a really good zombie experience to all of the participants. My favorite moment on terminus? Actually, I enjoyed my entire stay, but the most favored part of the terminus experience as a zombie is when people got scared of me, especially when I began to talk like a zombie, growl and walked around to trouble them. All my effort to scare them were worth it.

The Terminus

Save Us!!!

The trip to the Terminus was a rare chance to simulate the farewell scene from The Walking Dead series last season.   A greater majority was not able to go out in time but for sure counting the shrieks and shivers that was heard and felt in BGC, a lot had the scarier time of their lives.  With the long wait from the end of the last season, this was one of the best ways to welcome the new season as TWD followers get to start following the new twist, turns and heartbeat-stopping storylines that comes with the new season.


And I have to run…. yes, for my life.

Read about the other zombies and Outbreak Manila at the Zombie Journals Tab.  Please follow this site by liking the Francramon.com Facebook Page for more zombie Journals and future Outbreak Manila Updates.

You can also follow Facebook Page of Outbreak Manila Zombies

Categories: My Stories, My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 121 Comments

Team Philippines Grabs 10 Medals at the Asian Masters Athletics Championships

“19 Athletes gave the Philippines something to cheer for by taking home 10 medals in the 18th Asian Masters Athletics Championships (AMAC) in Kitakami City, Japan last September 19 – 23, 2014.  Team Philippines gave a great performance by winning medals and setting new records in the regional meet. “

Read about:

Asian Masters Championships

Team Philippines brings home 10 medals at the 18th AMAC

Last month, we attended the sendoff for the 19 athletes competing at the 18th Asian Masters Athletic Championships (AMAC). The main difference of AMAC over other Athletic meet is that it’s for people between aged 35-95 years old.  For those competing in the masters, things are a lot different.  Gone were the days when they lived in a controlled and disciplined environment.  They now live like regular people with their own responsibilities at work and with the family.  The 19 athletes still dared and had the swagger even if they were ranged against thousands of athletes in the AMAC meet.  They were successful athletes in their youth and are now immortalized legends in their prime.  They dared to compete and they still brought home the awards as follows:

  • Margarito Baniqued, 5,000 Meters Walk (M50-54) – Bronze Medalist
  • Erlinda Lavandia (W60-64)
    • Hammer Throw, Bronze
    • Shot Put, Silver
    • Discuss Throw, Silver
    • Javelin Throw, Gold
  • John Lozada, 800 M Race (M40-44), Bronze
  • Emerson Obiena, Pole Vault (M45-49), Gold
  • Victorina Calma, Elenita Punelas, Salve Bayaban and Jeanette Obiena, (W40-44) 4 x 100 Relay, Bronze
  • Julio Bayaban, John Lozada, Edward Kho, Emerson Obiena, (M40-44) 4 x 100 Relay, Bronze
  • Danilo Fresnido, (M40-44) Javelin Throw, Gold (Also Set New AMAC Record of 63.58 Meters)

Team Philippines Medalists

That’s 3 Golds, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze for a 19 Member Team.  The rest of the Team also gave a valiant stand with multi-event specialists Elma Muros-Posadas injuring her ankle in the long jump. Here’s the full list of Team Philippines.

Even with a small delegation, the Philippine Team to the AMAC has been consistently been bringing home medals in this event even as there are thousands of participants joining this prestigious meet with the host country being able to field multiple entry per event.  Below is the summary of previous medal haul of the team over the years.

The Philippine Team was supported by San Miguel Brewery Inc, SOMA, L-Time Studio, Petron, Accel, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, SCORE and El Lobo.  El Lobo, 2 in 1 Sports Drink is the Official Energy Drink of the Philippine Team.   The El Lobo partnership characterized much of the team spirit present in the 19 member team for the AMAC.  El Lobo (Wolf) is known to be brave and strong, clever and noble, social and loyal and they move together.  Those are the very same traits that characterized the delegates of the Philippines at the Athletic meet with their courage and strength in the face of competition, wisdom and sense of community and patriotism as they work and move like a pack supporting each other in victory and in defeat.

We were also able to sample the El Lobo drinks so aside from the testimonials from the Team, we got to know first hand what sets it apart from other energy drink.  It’s 2 in 1 since it combines an energy drink and a fruit juice so expect that you would be enjoying the fruity taste of El Lobo while getting the benefits of an Energy Drink. It is available in three flavors – mixed fruits, mixed berries and strawberry. It is a carbonated drink that comes in a proprietary PET bottle. The brand and imagery of the wolf represents their brand because they want to associate with the behavior and nature of the wolf. Led by the alpha wolf, a wolf pack lives and travels together, hunts and eats together. Wolves are social by nature, much like man. This gave rise to the brand’s battlecry “Kayang-Kaya Kung Sama-Sama! Hindi Kaya Kung Kanya-Kanya!” El Lobo, El Lakas, El Sarap.  El Lobo promotes unity and teamwork not only in sports but also at work – where team members need to work as a team and play as a team, fight as a team in order to win as a team.  This was a perfect embodiment for Team Philippines too as with just 19 athletes and 2 team officials, they needed the support of each other as they face the rest of Asia and the fully supported home team in the AMAC.

They also have Chooga Juice that is a High-Quality Juice in a Low-Cost Package

El Lobo is manufactured by Refreshment Republic Inc.  Aside from Athletes, they also have the Chooga brand that caters to a younger market with a high quality juice in a low cost packaging. It comes in different fruity flavor that kids would love at only P7 for a 250 ml packaging.  This is the perfect drink you can add to a student’s lunch box.

If you love Tea, they also have one for you.

Tea Kingdom, positioned as an Oriental Iced Tea that you can enjoy like “real ICE TEA should be”. “TEA K” imports some of the best tea extract from around the Asia-Pacific region, and utilizes the proprietary WISE- PACK that is designed like traditional oriental costumes as a tribute to the birthplace of tea. Available in lemon, apple and a unique combination of raspberry-citrus flavor, “TEA K” is also fast gaining a following.

We have a bright future in Athletics.

When I was a kid, we were a powerhouse in Athletics and would bring home a lot of Medals in the South East Asian and Asian Games as well as other Athletic meets.  Team Philippines shining in the AMAC not only tells us of the storied past of these athletes and the Philippine Team but it’s a sport we can once again dominate.  The Future is bright for Athletics.

Let the Masters Be Your Guide.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 90 Comments

Run United Philippine Marathon

RUPM Half Marathon Done.


Distance: 21K
Location: SM Mall of Asia
Date: October 5, 2014

“Run United is a journey for most with the Citues (Faster), Altius (Longer) and Fortius (Stronger) theme that encouraged runners to take the next step in their running journey.  SM Mall of Asia became a host to another series of feel good stories with several runners completing the trilogy and some finishing their first or nth Marathon.  Congratulations to all finisher and most specially to the newly minted Marathoners.”

Read about:

Run United Philippine Marathon

Crawling myself to the finish line. – Photo by Neville Abuso

If you haven’t noticed I haven’t joined a race in about a month. It was nice to be back at Run United Philippine Marathon.  In between those times, I was busy having my shin splints treated at NY Theraspine.  I should have done this earlier as I am now running pain-free and injury free.  It would be a great time to test my legs in the longer distance though I’m sure I would still be short on the endurance department.  Most of my friends joined the full marathon distance but I joined the half marathon distance.   It really takes time to build up for a marathon so I decided just to have one full marathon each year with my next one being on February.  This would be part of my build phase and part of the build is trying out new stuff and testing oneself.  I ended up going for a longer 5 to 6 minutes of run with 1 minute walk interval during the race.  Unilab and Runrio has always been known for the quality of the races and the seamless execution they have on races so this would really be a great race to be back.

Race Route

Race Route is powered by Suunto Movescount

The race begins at Seaside drive and enters Roxas Boulevard via Macapagal Boulevard and V. Sotto.  The race goes on to Luneta via Roxas Boulevard for the first 5 kilometers of the race.  The race shifts to the other side of Roxas Boulevard and goes all the way to the Baclaran area for the u-turn at the 12th kilometer mark passing by the flyovers crossing Buendia and EDSA.   The race then heads back to V Sotto coming from Roxas Boulevard taking on the other end of the flyovers crossing EDSA and Buendia for the 16th kilometer of the race.  The race then heads to Macapagal Boulevard and enters Seaside Drive at Kilometer 18.  The race then goes on two kilometers of Seaside drive with a u-turn slot at Marine Way. The race goes back to the finish line at Diokno Drive for the last kilometer of the race.  The main difference of the course over other Run United races was that they had the Luneta side first which just meant taking the flyovers at the second half of the race.

The Race

Let’s get this on! – Photo by Fox T Rot

I rested the whole of Saturday and also had myotherapy to ensure that my legs won’t be stiff on race day.  I also came in early as I needed time to do my stretching and warm up before the race plus the traffic would be chaotic once the marathoners gets unleashed.  I went to the start area about 3:40 am or 20 minutes before gunstart for the pre-race briefing and warm up.  It was a different field as I can count the familiar faces in the race.  Then there’s the countdown and gunstart.

Sleepy eyes as usual – Photo from Running Photographers

After gunstart, I slowly walked myself to the starting line as I don’t want to get carried away by a fast start.  The goal was to go at moderate speed but longer intervals.  I went on with a 5 minutes run and a 1 minute walk interval.  Since the run interval was longer, the kilometers went by faster.  It was a bit dark at Macapagal Boulevard and at the CCP area but it was tolerable and there were water stations about a kilometer apart.

The race course were fast and flat except for 4 climbs along the flyover in Buendia and Edsa. – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

Roxas Boulevard felt different since the Luneta Part came first.  I usually go this part when it’s early morning and you could see the beauty of Manila Bay already.  Since the Luneta part came first, I decided to do faster splits here as I know my time would be much slower at the second half of the race with the climbs at the flyovers.  My legs were fine despite the longer interval.  Previously, I would settle for a 3:1 or 2:1 run-walk interval as I would already be sore.  I had to keep up with the 5:1 interval and  even extend to a 6:1 interval if I stopped by a water station.  There were lots of leg room to run with both sides of Roxas Boulevard being utilized.

Hey there!!! – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

The other side of Roxas was the longer stretch with a full 7 kilometers from Luneta to the other u-turn slot in Roxas Boulevard.  It also has two climbs in Buendia and Edsa.  I took my first GU energy gel at the 7th kilometer mark and went on with the race.  It was the same consistent pace and interval except for the climbs where I would go for a shorter interval on the climb to take advantage of the descents and rest up on the uphills.  The route for runners was shortened to two lanes after crossing the flyover in EDSA but there was still enough leg room left since the runners were spread out in two waves.

Can you find the hidden Francky? – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

I noticed that my cadence was slowing down after the 12th kilometer which just means fatigue is starting to crawl in.  I started being more conscious on the cadence and breathing so I’d still maintain a good pace without tiring out.  The good part about this was it was half way into the race and I am starting to count down the kilometers.  I also took my second GU energy gel at the 14th kilometer mark.  By the end of the Roxas Boulevard loop, it was down to the last 5 kilometers.  I tried to maintain the 5:1 intervals until the CCP area but fatigue becoming a factor.  I then went on a 4:1 interval until the 18th kilometer before entering Seaside Drive.

Fatigue was setting in the last three kilometers. – Photo by TJ Tiburcio

Three kilometers to go, I was already peaking when it comes to heart rate.  I then shifted to a more conservative 2:1 Run Walk Interval.  It was a slower cadence and I know I just have to endure the remaining.  Upon crossing the last u-turn, I felt my calves were already cramping.  It was one kilometer to go but if I pushed it too much, I could end up down with a bad case of cramps.  I then took a walk and inserted a few jogs in between just to reach the finish line.

Finding ways to cross the finish line. – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

200 meters into the finish line, I decided to walk the remaining part as I had an experience in the past of cramps in the last 20 meters of the race which became more time consuming.   It was a consistent race for me though I wasn’t able to finish strong as I would want to but I’ll take this as a lesson since I did push myself hard on this one.  I now know that my legs  can go on longer intervals compared to before.  It’s back to more long runs and trainings for me as I need to cover a bigger distance on my way to my marathon in February.  Great job Runrio and Unilab!

Outfit of the Race

This is my outfit for the race. – Photo by Tara RUNah Top – Nike (Designed by Breakout Design), Bottom – Under Armour, Shoes – Newton Distance III, Watch – Suunto Ambit 2S, Shades – Salice Eyewear, Wristband – TBR, Visor – Under Armour, Calf Sleeves – Under Armour,  Socks – Under Armour and Tape: Rock Tape

Pay It Forward

Lacking one of the medals after missing Run United 2

After claiming my medal, doing my stretches, doing my rounds at the active health village and freshening up, I still had a lot of time so I decided to take some photos of the remaining 21K runners and the marathoners.  It turned out the reason why there are so few familiar faces at the half marathon distance was that they were doing the full marathon distance.  Photo links below:

Run United Philippine Marathon Album 1

Run United Philippine Marathon Album 2

Run United Philippine Marathon Album 3

One of the more heartwarming moments at todays #RUPM was Ernest Carual finishing his first Marathon.

I’m glad to stay around to capture this moment.  Ernest had osteomyelitis as a child,which had his right leg 15 inches shorter than his left leg.  That’s 42 kilometers he and his wife conquered today and that’s months of hardwork and preparation.  Read more about his story as featured at Pinoyfitness.  It was really an inspiring and heartwarming moment just seeing him conquer the distance.  I hope more people would choose the running lifestyle as possibilities are endless when you give it a big hard try.

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 127 Comments

Weapon of Choice: Salice Eyewear

Salice Eyewear Comes in Flashy Colorways

“When the heat and glare is on, I’m glad there’s Salice Eye Wear to keep my eyes protected from the UV rays and the glare.  It gives you a mental edge and focus as Salice Eye Wear gives you a fresher and cooler look of the course.    What I like about Salice is that it is lightweight, durable, flashy and has high end features at mid range prices.”

Read about:

Salice Eyewear

Wearing Salice as I braved the heat at Salomon City Trail

An eyewear is always an important accessory for me as I use contact lens.  As such, I’m always concerned with debris and small objects entering my eyes while running or biking.  It’s also hard to run or ride when you can barely open your eyes because of the glare of the sun.  Of course, spending hours outdoors can also get you a lot of harmful UV rays that’s bad for the eyes on the long-term.   Salice is among the latest eye wear I have and it’s nice that it goes with a colorway that matches my newton shoes.   Of course, the best way to know if a product works for you is how it feels when you actually use it.

Conquering Mount Talamitam equipped with Salice Eyewear

I’ve seen how eye wears evolved from the classic ones to the flashier ones that have been more common now.  That’s the first consideration I had when I got my Salice eye wear as I have the traditional colors already with my other eye wears.  Having flashy colorways would mean that you are more noticeable in the road so you can avoid people or worst cars bumping into you. Since then, I’ve been using Salice on the road, on the trails or just being in the outdoors.  I’ve had a lot of training runs with it.  I’ve used it on my road races.  I’ve used it on trails and trekking mountains.  I’ve used it when driving or when I’m outdoors.

I’ve summarized below what I look for an eyewear and and how Salice measures up.

  • First in mind would be the basic, UV protection as the direct contact with the Ultra Violet Rays of the sun can be harmful to the eyes.  Just imagine the amount of UV rays you get being on the road for several hours running or biking.  Salice has a UV400 lens rating that ensures 100% protection from UV A, B and C Rays. 
  • Next is the weight and comfort of wearing them.    That’s another thing I like about Salice.  It’s made of ultra-lightweight materials and has a thermogrip inlaid temple tips with silicone.  This allows the eye wear to sit firmly on the bridge of the nose without straining it. That means a lot when you factor in the numerous hours you are using it.
  • Then I would also go for smudge proof lenses.  Salice has waterproof lenses. Since stains and water easily slides off the lens, it reduces the moisture that causes smudges.
  • Of course, another critical factor would be the price.  In terms of pricing, it’s in the middle region.  If you want functionality usually you’d go with the higher priced items.  Salice offers the same functionality as higher priced brands at half the price.
  • Then, I am also a fan of emerging brands. Since it entered the Philippine market.  It has now got a good chunk of the runners, cyclists and triathletes in the country as part of its market.

Training with matching colorway for my Salice Eyewear, Singlet and Newton Distance Shoes.

Running with Salice feels really comfortable being lightweight and has an adjustable nozzle to have a good firm fit in the nose.  That would prevent the eye wear from slipping.  It’s also made of durable materials which makes the product last longer under tough conditions.  When I say I like it smudge-proof is because I have the habit of pouring water into my head to cool down during a run.  That causes some eye wear to have moisture and smudges.  Being waterproof, Salice doesn’t retain moisture thus preventing smudges.   I can focus more on my running than taking time to dry my glasses or wiping them.  Lastly, I like how it’s tinted to have the mental edge over the Sun’s glare.  It’s always a struggle when the sun comes into play.  The heat is something you can train for but the glare can really obstruct your vision or worst, can even damage your eyes.   Most of the time, the sun comes towards the latter part of the race when you are already fatigued so having your shades block off the sun rays would give you a cooler and fresher look of the remaining course of the race.  As a bonus, it comes with a protective case and an extra lens.   In a nutshell, Salice is for athletes who loves the value of technology and value of money at the same time since it’s loaded with the high-end features at mid-range prices.

Bring in the heat cause I’m ready.

About Salice

A lot of Salice’s technology comes from its history.  The backstory of Salice’s performance lenses is one of time-tested durability. In 1919, the Italian company initially manufactured heavy-duty goggles and sunglasses for industrial and military use. As the popularity of Vespa and Lambretta motorbikes grew in the post-war years, the expanded demand prompted the company to launch its own line of glasses for bikers and skiers.  The Salice range currently includes sport-specific models for motocross, skiing, cycling, running, triathlon, and many other adrenaline-intensive activities, as well as leisure-oriented models for more laid-back pursuits.


Follow Salice

  • Salice Philippines Facebook Page
  • Twitter / Instagram: @salicePH
  • You can also test this piece of European craftsmanship on Philippine terrain yourself! Salice is available at The Brick Multisport Store (McKinley Hill; Cebu), Bike King, R.O.X., Primo Cycles, Secondwind Running Store (Greenhills; Ortigas; Quezon City), Specialized Concept Store, RUNNR (BHS; ATC; Toby’s MOA; Toby’s Shangri-la), Planet Sports (BHS; ATC), The Athlete’s Foot (Two Parkade), Epic Cycles Alabang, Nothing but Water Boracay, and Bike Town Cyclery.
Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 112 Comments

Financial Wiz to Share Investment Tips in Philippines

Andrew Stotz, CFA, shares investment tips in the different universities.

People get scared at the word Investing but Andrew Stotz, CFA, President of CFA Thailand simplifies this as he shares investment principles coming from his more than 20 years experience in the field to students of different universities in the country. De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, University of Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and De La Salle University-Manila get the privilege to get to understand this principles which would be a good building block for them as future investors. ”

Read About:

The World of Investments

There are a lot of opportunities that we gain in the world of investments.  A few months ago, I had a talk with Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Society Philippines President, April Lee Tan on how investment can be like a marathon.  Our success rates in both investments and a marathon comes in understanding things we have to do.  CFA Institute takes it one step further by bringing in Andrew Stotz, CFA, current President of the CFA Society Thailand and one of Thailand’s leading equity analysts to Philippines for a series of speeches in the country’s universities to introduce his Principles for a Lifetime of Investing.

Schools that he will visit are as follows:

  • De La Salle University-Dasmarinas (October 2, 2014)
  • University of Mindanao (October 3, 2014)
  • Ateneo de Davao University(October 3, 2014)
  • Colegio de San Juan de Letran (October 4, 2014)
  • De La Salle University-Manila (October 4, 2014)

Family and legacy were the drives behind this presentation when Andrew started creating it five years ago, as he wanted to teach his five nieces how to manage their own finances and share his experience with the greater community. He immediately realized that the financial world is totally overwhelming for most people, particularly those with no experience or interest in the area, such as his nieces. Since then, Andrew has been on a journey to reduce the core principles of investing to a road map that anyone can follow and implement. Andrew’s more than 20 years of experience in teaching finance at universities, in addition to his full-time job as a financial analyst, makes him perfect placed for this task. In his presentation, Andrew will review the Principles, showing where they came from and most importantly, what a person needs to know about them to build a sturdy financial future. On top of this, attendees will be constructing their own financial plan as Andrew walks them through each point. After the seminar like Andrew’s five nieces now, attendees will be equipped with a new hope and a clear path toward managing their own financial lives. And crucially, they will have in their hands a simple financial plan that they can follow for the rest of their lives.

Questions answered in this seminar are:

  • Should I have a written plan?
  • What should be objective for investing?
  • What is the surest way of being successful in the stock market?
  • How much should stocks be in my overall portfolio?
  • How do I cut the clutter to understand the truth about investing and investing professionals?
  • Whether I should manage money on my own.
  • Should I be picking stocks or should I buy a mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund?

About Andrew Stotz, CFA

Andrew Stotz runs A. Stotz Investment Research, which provides stock portfolio recommendations across every market in Asia to global institutional investors. He has been a university lecturer in finance for 21 years and is currently writing his PhD in finance at the University of Science and Technology of China. He is co-founder of CoffeeWORKS Co. Ltd., Thailand’s leading specialty coffee roaster and Jcademy.com, an innovative online learning website.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Incoming: Blood Rush Aftershock

” Blood Rush | Aftershock: The UP Red Cross Youth Fun Run is a run for a cause with the Dugong Bayani Blood Network as main beneficiary.  Aside from the cause, Aftershock also brings you to a post earthquake scenario with an intensity 9.8 earthquake and you’ll have to get past several incidents and disaster areas going to the safe zone. The event is happening at UP Academic Oval on October 26, 2014, 6 PM with 3K and 5K categories. ”

Read about:


If there was one life defining experience I had, it was experiencing an intensity 7.7 magnitude earthquake way back in 1990.  I can still vividly remember how we were thrown off from the table as we saw all our appliances falling down one after another because of the strong earthquake.  We managed to rush ourselves out of the house and into the road as the quake settled done.  While the main quake can be lethal, it’s the aftershock that was critical which had us camping outside our house for months to ensure our safety.  It was a humbling experience as everybody was on even footing and everybody was in need of help. Then there’s the long hard road to recovery and rebuilding.

That scene is  recreated in Blood Rush – Aftershock which starts with an intensity 9.8 Earthquake hitting the campus and you have to reach the safe zone – but proceed with caution, as the course is filled with horrible incidents and as with all disasters, time is not on your side. Grab your friends and prepare for one exhilarating night on October 26, 2014 at the UP Diliman Academic Oval. You can choose between two paths – the easy way (3k) or the hard way (5k).

The 3k is at 450 php and the 5k is at 550 php. The race kit includes singlet, race bib, a flashlight to help you survive, waivers, the route map, and other exciting freebies. You can get a 50php discount if you have a UP ID, or if you register in groups of 5 and 8.   You can register at the UP Red Cross Youth tambayan at Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman, or online at http://tinyurl.com/AftershockReg or http://tinyurl.com/AftershockRegGroup

Survivors will get a chance to win exciting prizes from our sponsors such as Birkenstock, Hawk Bags, and Eastwood Cinemas as well as cash prizes.

There will also be a photo booth, food concessionaires and merchandise booth and a short program after the run to tell you more about our cause! All proceeds will go to the Dugong Bayani Blood Network – a system of blood donors that advocates Blood Donation Awareness and Blood Advocacy

Have fun and help out! Contact 09175103195 for inquiries! For updates, visit http://facebook.com/BloodRush.AfterHours

Race Details:

  • Date and Venue:

    • October 26, 2014, UP Diliman, Academic Oval, 6 PM
  • Registration Fees

    • Individual Registration
      • 3k – Php 450 / head
      • 5k – Php 550 / head
      • Discount: UP ID holder: less Php 50
    • Group Registration Promo
      • 3k – Php 2000 (group of 5); Php 3300 (group of 8)
      • 5k – Php 2500 (group of 5); Php 4100 (group of 8
    • Race kit includes race bib, singlet, waiver, route map, flash light, sponsor freebies


Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments