Train Like An Alpha at Alpha Strength


Fitness is needed for our day to day life.  We have chores. We have responsibilities. We have routines.  It helps a lot that we have the strength within to be go through our everyday hurdles easily.  Alpha Strength gives you a functional workout to create a better and strongest version of yourself.

Alpha Strength

I’ve been in the fitness community for the past 6 years. While I’ve spent most of the time running and biking, I have tried a lot of strengthening exercises and has in fact been part of my routine.  A strong core and body gives you more endurance and better capability to do more.  Even on non-training days, it’s a strenuous routine for me.  I have to walk up and down several flights of stairs at our apartment. I have to walk several blocks from my parking to the office and vice versa.  If I have to visit another area like the mall, I just go by feet even if its about 2-3 kilometers away.  The truth is even how technologically advance we are now, we should still make it a point to be fit and healthy.

I just discovered a new way to be fit tucked away at the Ground Floor of SPARTA Philippines, 126 Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong CityAlpha Strength is a gym that strongly believes that when a person is strong, everything becomes easy.  It’s a fitness hub that’s gonna make your day to day chores normally and pain-free.  In Alpha Strength, people begin with goals of getting fitter and healthier, optimizing performance and maximizing athletic capabilities. Strength is a never ending journey. You get physically stronger with better abs, legs and biceps.  The goal does not stop with physical strength and aesthetically designed physique,  it’s about creating a better version of oneself by thinking outside the box and finding their inner strength.

Becoming stronger is not easy; it will test you, it will disappoint, and just like life, it is not a walk in the park.  That’s why getting strong is worth it, and that’s what we are; we make people strong. In the four corners of Alpha Strength, we will prepare you for whatever life will throw at you. What we want you to be, is the best, strongest version of yourself. says Aaron Dela Cruz, Head Coach of Alpha Strength and Alpha Strike.

Be Alpha

Be Alpha is designed to fix your movement patterns by building your physical and mental strength as you go along.  The program works by addressing limitations in your movement while getting you closer to your fitness and health related goals.  The thing is we have some pains and difficulty because there are some incorrect movement patterns that are formed by sedentary lifestyle or a lot of time sitting.

Be Alpha program begins with an assessment of a person’s current health and capacity.  Limitations are then improved followed by measured increase in the intensity of the workouts.  Alpha Strength coaches empowers clients throughout the process, training the body and mind to build strength.

The Be Alpha program will be using mace bells, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls and other tools to get their bodies moving the way the human body is designed to move.

Alpha 365

The Alpha 365 program aims to optimize strength, agility, coordination, speed, power and endurance.  It uses a very scientific approach of its program in helping members get the best performance out of their bodies.  The body needs stress and should learn to adopt to it.  This is the only way for the body and mind to get better.  Alpha 365 is designed to make the human body adopt to stress

In Alpha 365, the stressors work in two ways.  First is by progressively overloading the body to help it adopt and succeed in its goals within each mesocycle (a mesocycle represents a specific block or timeframe of training designed to accomplish a particular goal). The second is by employing various methods during the conditioning training to help members and athletes adopt to the three energy systems of the body functions: Glycolic or short burst of energy; Phosphagen, short-medium burst of energy and Oxidative or long use of energy.

The Alpha 365 program utilizes multi-joint compound movements and power lifting exercises thrice per week (squat, press and deadlift). Combined with weightlifting exercises done thrice a week (Snatch and Clean & Jerk), the program help develop people to maintain their fitness, as well as becoming competent in their field of sports.

Alpha 365 is all about holistic fitness. For cardiovascular health and endurance, the program employs finishers or conditioning exercises every day after finishing the strength work. With a science-based program that ensures a holistic approach to workouts and dedicated coaches who ensure that clients are on top performance level – the Alpha 365 program pushes people to become the best athletes they can be.

For inquiries / reservation, you may contact 09177943776 (Mobile / Viber / WhatsApp). Follow @alphastrengthph on Instagram and like Alpha Strength PH on Facebook

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UA Team PH Female Bets Rule Test of Will Finals

Zoe and Noelle Rule Under Armour Test of Will Finals

Hundreds of athletes tested their will in the region and in the end, Ph bets Zoe and Noelle take the top two spots for the ladies division. Merwin and Derrick placed 4th and 5th, respectively in the male division.  Team UA Philippines showed that the country is a fitness hub with the fittest athletes in the region.

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Test of Will

Team Philippines

For the past two months, Under Armour held a regional elimination to determine the fittest of them all with a Test of Will challenge in the South East Asian region.  The best athletes in Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand went on to compete in the finals at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore last May 28, 2016.  Team Philippines had huge promise after showing the best times in the local heats.

The “Three Stars and a Sun” insignia was fully represented in Under Armour’s Test of Will finals at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore last May 28 as Filipina athletes Zoe Pond-McPherson and Noelle Wenceslao topped the competition’s female category placing the Philippines on top of the Test of Will Challenge.

Zoe’s the ONE!!!

With the entire archipelago resting on her shoulders, Pond-McPherson claimed the coveted gold medal in Under Armour’s inaugural Southeast Asia-wide fitness challenge that pitted eight male and eight female contenders from countries such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.  Widely regarded for her moniker “The Fittest Woman in Philippine Crossfit,” Pond-McPherson shined among the eight female hopefuls.

Noelle came in second!

Noelle Wenceslao, who topped the Philippine heat last April, had a silver-medal finish in Test of Will.

The participants had to go through “The Tower,” which contains different fitness zones with calisthenic exercises.  In the first phase, participants had to undergo 20-kilocalorie Assault AirBike and accomplish 20 jump squats and 20 ab roll-outs.  Difficulty and intensity took a notch higher in the competition’s second part as contestants were obliged to complete 20 burpees and 20 repetitions of 12.5-kilogram single-arm dumbbell thrusters.  A multi-rig course and pull-ups were prepared in the third session, while the last stage catered 64-kilogram kettle bell walk, 20-kilocalorie bike sprint, tire shift and 12-meter rope climb.

Pond-McPherson is no stranger to fitness challenges as she strutted her wares at the 2015 Crossfit Games Pacific Regional in Wollongong, Australia alongside the strongest female practitioners in the region.  Wenceslao has 16 years of experience in the field of dragon boat paddling, an avid outdoor enthusiast and was one of the first three Filipinas who reached the Summit of Mount Everest in 2007.

Merwin Torres finishes 4th in the Male Category

Their male counterparts were able to make it into the top five of the men’s division with Merwin Torres finishing 4th in the male category followed by Derrick Mercado at 5th.

Derrick Mercado showing his stuff.

All of the four Filipino representatives were mentored by fitness power couple Jim and Toni Saret.

Coach Jim and Toni Saret Leading Team PH.

Make sure to follow Under Armour Philippines via @underarmourph on Instagram and Twitter as well as Facebook at

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Mount Sembrano Mountain Run

That was one tough race.

  • Distance: 15 km
  • Date: May 29, 2016
  • Venue: Mount Sembrano, Malaya, Pililia, Rizal

Mount Sembrano Mountain Run just redefined an epic mountain run in my books.  It had a long uphill climb that came with a technical terrain and a really steep incline. It also came with a very scenic route with the long ridge atop Mount Sembrano giving a high vantage point of the Pililia area.  

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Mount Sembrano Mountain Run

Mount Sembrano Summit

It has been an all trail summer for me.  It was an easy choice to enter Mount Sembrano Mountain Run.  I opted for the 15-kilometer category since it would be perfect preparation race for next week Cordillera where I’d be doing 21 kilometers.  My friend Jose Ramizares of Running Photographers and Icar Hiponia of Team Smart told me that the 4K climb was really tough.  It had me peeking through last year’s elevation profile which was 4K climb of more than 700 meters and rolling for several kilometers before it descends back to the finish line.  The key to this race was surviving the first 4 kilometers and the race of the race would be a walk in the park.

Race Map and Elevation Profile

Race Map is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

Elevation profile is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports

The Race Starts at the Malaya, Pililia Barangay Hall and heads to Pililia – Jala Jala Pakli Road. It enters Belleza Street, which is the main access road heading to Mount Sembrano.  The roads shifts to technical trails for the next 4 kilometers until the summit with a total climb of about 750 meters. The race then shifts to a rolling terrain across the ridge of Mount Sembrano for the next 4 kilometers heading to the aid station.  There’s about a kilometer’s worth of a circular trail around another peak before the trails heads downward the rest of the way.

The Race

Entering the climb

It starts early for me with a meet up with Team Smart, 2 am at Smart Towers in Makati since I would be riding with them going to the area.  Thanks to Team Manager Ian Yu. It took us about two hours reaching the Pililia, Rizal for kit claiming and warming up.   I had too much coffee the day before so I was a bit sleep deprived for this one.  I was planning to enjoy this one and get the training effect of the long climb.

Battle Ready – Photo by Jose Ramizares of Running Photographers.

Our gun time was at 6:30 am and knowing that it was a difficult first 5 kilometers, I started out slow and relaxed.  I wanted my heart rate to be steady when I started my climb.  The first kilometer was from the Barangay Hall to the moderate stretch of the climb.  The next kilometer became a bit tougher with a mix of single track uphill trails. It was not technical but it was still exhausting as the ascent is continuous.  I usually recover on the flatter parts of the trail but the flat parts are as rare as you can get.  As you go up, things get tougher.

The start of the technical part of the trail.

After the second kilometer, you get to see a long climb above.  It was the start of the more technical trails.  It was a crawlfest from hereon. I’ve been checking my Suunto Ambit 3 Sports every now and then. The mileage is barely moving.  The next two kilometers felt like forever. The trails was technical and you have to figure out what’s the best way to attack it. “Ayan, May forever!”  I then switch the view of my Ambit to just show the altitude display rather than the distance.  I knew I needed to cover about 750 meters of elevation and I was more than halfway, I guess that counts as a plus.

Trails are mental battles.

When ever I am in a climbing a tough stretch, I always try to visualize the toughest climbs I’ve been to.  When it comes to technical trails, I try to remember the trails of Mount Kinabalu or the last 1.2 kilometers of Mount Makiling Summit.  When it comes to  long climbs, I think of the long 5 kilometer stretch of climbs of Tanay, Rizal. When it comes to steepness, I think of the 3rd kilometer of Mount Pulag via the Akiki trail. Mount Sembrano has it all.  It was a long climb. It was a steep climb. It was a technical climb. Mount Sembrano has just redefined all the mental images of all these challenges.

It was a foggy morning.

I took it a few steps at a time. I was just trying to be consistent on the climb and took a few seconds to rest once I felt winded.  I wasn’t even thinking that it was a 15 kilometers race but I was just thinking that it was a 4 kilometers vertical challenge.  You just have to be strategic on your steps as the steep ascent and the technical nature of the trail is really tough and can be punishing.  It was a chess game planning the next few steps as you huff and puff your way to the climb.  It was a covered trail so when I finally saw sunshine entering a part of the trail, I knew that the end of the tough part is near or so I thought.

Tired and about to reach the summit – Photo by Jose Ramizares of Running Photographers.

We were out of the Forrest shade. Seeing the range of mountains surrounding you even on a foggy morning was a welcome sight. We’re just 3 kilometers into the race.  There was a short stretch of flat area and guess what??? It was back to climbing again.  Even if it was still a tough climb, the scenery was just refreshing.   It was another 500 meters climb to the aid station.  I took a short drink and some food at the aid station and then proceeded with the climb.   It was another 500 meters worth of climb going to the summit.

To the Summit – Photo by Jose Ramizares of Running Photographers

It was a thin single track uphill trail with a lot of tall grass surrounding it.  I went a bit faster on the short descent and remained consistent on the ascent. I saw some friends descending the trails and some on my way back to the aid station.  The last 100 meters to the summit was probably the steepest part. Since I had trekking poles, I had more balance on that portion.

The Summit

It was a foggy summit but it was really great reaching this point after all the hardship.  It’s always worth it when you work hard for it.  I’m glad that it was foggy at this part as the heat would have made it a lot more difficult.  This is the finish line of my 4 kilometers vertical challenge and now to start thinking of the rest of the race.

Going Down – Photo by Jose Ramizares

The first part of the descent was a bit tough with the steepness.  I just trusted the traction of my shoes and the added support of my trekking poles. We headed back to the Aid Station and went on the rest of the race.  From the Aid station, we shifted to the long ridge of Mount Sembrano.  It was rolling from this point on. I wanted to fold my trekking pole as it was dragging me on the descent but I knew I would be using it again on the climbs.  I just went on a brisk walk on the descending part instead and maintained the pace on the climbs.

The look back shot. – Photo by Jose Ramizares.

This part was a walk in the park and I love ridges since it gives you a panoramic view of your surroundings.  You can see the mountains on one end. You can see the Laguna Bay at another.  You can even see the Pililia windmills at some part of the course.  Even if I had the option to speed up, I just opted to enjoy this part.  It was about a 4-kilometer stretch heading to the next aid station. It felt brief since I was already moving faster and the views were amazing.

Laguna de Bay

We’ve reached the next aid station and we were given another surprise.  It was a long loop with a steep climb at another peak.  It was a struggle going up another steep incline but considering the climb during the first four kilometers, this is fine.  The climb was just about 200 – 300 meters so had to do it with a few pushes. After this stretch it was all downhill.

Look I’ve been on the trails all Summer

I had a short stop at the aid station for another round of hydration.  It was a straight downhill trek of about 5 – 6 kilometers from hereon.  The first part of the descent was on technical and rocky surface.  I just went on brisk walk pace at this point and just went steady on the descent.  After the trails, there was a long stretch of descending paved roads.  After being on mostly covered trails, it was this time that I felt the hot rays of the sun.   I took a softdrinks break at one of the store and went on to finish the race.

Let’s do this again.

Thanks DBB for an redefining an EPIC race for me. I also love the circular loop, which gave us more views and challenges. It’s a race that will make you think why you are doing this but in hindsight, you would gladly do it again.  Trail is like pag-ibig. Madalas masakit, minsan masarap pero gusto pa ring ulit-ulitin. #hugot

Outfit of the Trail

Photo by Jose Ramizares

  • Top: Berghaus with #TaleOfTheTrail design by Breakout Design
  • Shorts, arms sleeves, calf sleeves and hydration bag: Under Armour
  • Shoes: Salomon Speed Cross
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Trekking Pole: Black Diamond Distance Z Poles
  • Trucker Cap: Gainz with #TaleOfTheTrail design
  • Socks: Ahon
  • Eyewear: Oakley Radarlock Path

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Incoming: 69th PAF Anniversary Run

Philippine Air Force has been in the forefront of securing peace and order in our country.  How about giving back to them for a change?  Celebrate their 69th year with them and contribute to their cause by joining 69th PAF Anniversary Run with 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K categories on June 19, 2016.

Philippine Air Force

Philippine Air Force has kept our country safe and secure against insurgency.  For the past 69 years, they’ve been there to patrol the skies and ensure that the citizenry is safe.  It’s not an easy job but they are always there when we needed them.  Let’s boost their morale by supporting them on their 69th Anniversary Run, happening on June 19, 2016.  It’s a chance to say thank you to them and at the same time celebrate their anniversary.

It’s also gonna be a value for money run with reasonable registration rates.  So, let’s join them in a feel good run that can go for the newbie friendly 3K and 5K distances to the more competitive 10K and 21K distances.  Register now!!!

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: June 19, 2016
  • Venue: Liwasang Ullalim, CCP Complex, Pasay City
  • Assembly / Gun Start
    • 3K – 5:30 AM / 5:50 AM
    • 5K – 5:20 AM / 5:40 AM
    • 10K – 5:00 AM / 5:30 AM
    • 21K – 4:20 AM / 4:45 AM

Fees and Inclusions


  • 3K – P350
  • 5K – P550
  • 10K – P650
  • 21K – P850
    • Race bib, RFID Timing Chips, Singlet, Finisher Medal.
    • Finisher Shirt for 21K Finishers


  • Online: via Goorahna
  • In Store:
    • Toby’s – Trinoma
    • Toby’s – SM Aura
    • Toby’s – Glorietta 2
    • Runnr – Alabang Town Center


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Beating Hypertension the Australia Harvest Oats Way

Fiber not only improves your digestive system, it also helps in blood circulation and detoxification.  It makes the heart a lot healthier and stronger.  Australia Harvest Oat brings in the nutrients and fiber that helps prevent Hypertension.

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Australia Harvest Oats

World Hypertension Day happens on the month of May.  It’s a way to keep people aware on a disease, which can be fatal if not detected and contained.  An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.  Here’s an alternative to combating hypertension and it is the Big F.  The “Big F” is FIBER. It is derived from plants and scores huge in keeping the heart and colon healthy, for better blood circulation and detoxification.

Good blood circulation prevents hypertension. Fiber helps sap bad cholesterol and toxins out of the body. Oatmeal, which is a rich source of fiber promotes good digestion, prevents colon cancer and helps boosting good circulation.  Hypertension also brings about constipation so being loaded with fiber can help prevent both hypertension and colon problems.

There have been known studies made by, an esteemed medical online publication.  Adding fiber to one’s diet was associated to significant reduction in blood pressure for those with hypertension issues.  Aside from dietary remedies, a shift is certain lifestyle habits can help reduce the propensity of hypertension issues.  This include “weight loss, reduced sodium intake, moderation in alcohol use, increased potassium intake, increased physical activity, and following the DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet.”

Fiber-packed Food

Basically, anyone who wishes to gain the benefits of fiber simply has to eat more fruits and vegetables. Fiber may also be sourced from cereals and carbo-loaded food such as oatmeal. There are many variants of oatmeal– instant, quick-cooking, whole-grain rolled oats, and oat bran. Just find the kind that suits your taste and lifestyle most.

Australia Harvest Oatmeal comes from the world’s best oats-growing region, West Australia. It has among the best quality when it comes to oats.  No wonder, the multi-titles Phillipine Volcano selected Australia Harvest Oatmeal as their official Fiber Partner. The country’s official rugby team continues to make waves in the international field and just recently winning the bronze medal at the recently concluded Asian Rugby Competition.

So celebrate World Hypertension Day this May, by staying healthy and sharing the fitness word.

Fiber up, for Life!

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

#TaleOfTheTrail Tangadan Falls (San Gabriel, La Union)

Tangadan Falls

Tangadan Falls is a hidden gem. It takes around one hour to go over the beautiful trail that passes through the Baroro River, the fields, the Forrest shaded reserves, the limestone formations and several cliffs coming from Barangay Duplas, Bagulin, San Gabriel, La Union.  The falls is even more impressive with the mix of nature, limestone formation, the cold water dropping from above and the river basin that’s excellent for a good swim. #TaleOfTheTrail

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Disuor – Cliff Diving Hot Spot

A few weeks ago, my sister told me that there’s a falls near the farm of my Uncle called Tangadan Falls.  I immediately checked on the net and I was hooked on the place since it involves passing on trails.  When I got a free weekend, I took the chance to visit Tangadan Falls in La Union with my sister.  I’ve spent so many summer months in La Union when I was a kid and it was a great chance to explore the place once again.  It’s also be great to explore a trail in a different locale from my usual trail runs.  Luckily, our Uncle had one of his friend to serve as our guide. He was also kind enough to drop us at the drop off point in Barangay Duplas, Bagulin, San Gabriel, La Union.  San Gabriel town is just a few kilometers away from San Fernando and San Juan town so you can make your way their via bus that passes through the town and get a tricycle heading to Duplas (Tangadan Dropoff Point).

The Route and Elevation

Map powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports

Elevation Profile is Powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

The Route starts at Barangay Duplas and heads to a short ascent heading to the trail starting point. The trails goes on a steady ascent heading to Tangadan Falls passing through the Biroro River over the first kilometer.  After the river, it shifts to fields and Forrest trails heading to Disuor Cliff at around 2.5 kilometers.  It then goes through a mix of dirt roads and limestone formation heading to Tangadan Falls at around 4 kilometers.  The route goes back to Duplas on a net descent on the way back.

Trekking Trangadan Falls

Heading to Tangadan Falls

After arriving at La Union in the morning, we headed to Barangay Duplas around 1 pm after having lunch.  The weather was a bit overcast but it still felt hot and humid.  We started on a short uphill road from the drop off point to the trail entrance.  It’s just a short piece of concrete roads before you see the trail head.  The trail heads on a short drop to enter the river area.  Since we weren’t able to bring any water, we bought water at the store near the trail entrance.

The Baroro River

Upon entering the river area, the trail shifts to single track trails on mixed limestone formations and partly paved road.  The view of the Baroro River is really impressive.  The river looks so clean and the limestone formations were impressive.

You’ll have to pass by several rock formations too.

The trail is a bit structured since it’s a local trail used by a lot heading to the falls.  Of course, there were still some tough spots like climbing on big rocks and going through wooden rafts and river crossings.  It’s not a technical trail but there are some points that you just have to be cautious.

The trail catwalk

The first kilometer is navigating within the Baroro River.  It’s an open trail so we definitely felt the early afternoon sun at this point.  The river crossings had some stones where you can step from to avoid getting wet or not going too deep.  Just take your time as wet stones are slippery.

The river trails slowly shifts to dirt tracks and Forrest trails.

The trails slowly shift to the fields where you get to navigate through dirt tracks while slowly ascending to the upper part of the trails. With the climb and the heat combining forces, we took several water breaks.  The field part is still open but you had to love the view of the mountains on the side and the river below.

The fields slowly shifted to raw Forrest trails.  It’s a bit covered on this stretch. It was way cooler because of the natural shade and the different trees, plant and bamboo shafts that you get to see on the dirt roads were a fresh sight. It was also fun going up and down on uneven surfaces and the varying terrain.

Raw Nature

It was about a kilometer and a half of Forrest trails before heading to the next major stop which is Disuor.  It’s a cliff with some minor falls and is popular among cliff jumpers.  We took a break here and bought some drinks while watching brave souls jump over the cliff and land on the deep waters.

Watching the brave souls at Disuor

It was an excellent stop.  The limestone formation, the water and the brave souls just spells adventure in my books.  It also had a serene view save for a few screams from the jumper.  It can also be an excellent place to just hangout. Find a stone corner, sit and just pass the time.

Look someone’s jumping.

After a few minutes here, we continued heading to Tangadan Falls.  It’s just about 15 – 20 minutes away from here.  We shifted back to the dirt tracks and this time it had a long stretch of bamboo shoots and rafts enveloping the trails. One of the things I love about this trail is that it gives you different views and surfaces of the trail.

Bamboo shoots and rafts

After a stretch of dirt tracks, we then descended the rivers once again.  From a Forrest view, we’re back to being awed by the beauty of the river and the rock formations.

The river and the rock formations.

It was back to Baroro River. We had to go through another river crossings which had wooden rafts in between.  We were nearing the falls and it was nice to see the limestone formation.  It was also a challenge going over several stones and rocks as you had to employ different strides and techniques to move forward.

Run Franckie Run

The route had us headed to several cottages and we were there.  The place was impressive as you had a huge limestone surrounding the lower part of the falls. There was a lot of awesome viewpoints of Tangadan falls.

Middle View Deck of Tangadan Falls

We then headed towards the lower part of the falls for a swim.  It was nice that we brought along our own life jacket as Tangadan Falls was really deep.  The waters at the basin of the falls were also really cold so it was a perfect way to cool down on this warm weather.

Tangadan Falls.

At first I got intimidated by the deep waters so I was just basically moving near the side of the limestone.  They were renting out rafts that can bring you under the waterfalls for an hour.  We were able to find a group to merge with us to split the cost and we were brought to the bottom of the falls.

Find the Hidden Franckie!

It was really cool to be at the bottom of the falls as the strong waters was hitting you from above with its cold drops.  I slowly got more comfortable moving within the raft and eventually in the falls.  I got pushed of the raft and into the waters and that’s when I started enjoying the waters.


After getting more comfortable with the waters, I was finally able to jump into the falls and swim back to the shore part and back.  Surprisingly, it felt easy to swim especially with the current going to the same direction.  It was an effort going back to the raft as I was going against the current.  When I got back on the raft I then went to enjoy the massage like drops coming from above.

Finally Swimming on the falls.

I then swam back to the shore area and just await the raft to get back. I really enjoyed the falls.  Tangadan Falls was definitely one of the better ways to cool down. It attracted a mix of locals and tourist who also came to find the hidden gem in Tangadan.

Top view from Tangadan Falls

I then saw some people jumping from the top of Tangadan Falls.  I got curious on the view from the top so I followed the road up.  It was another majestic view from the top as from one end you see the higher part of the Baroro River and then you get to see the basin below surrounded by the limestone formations around it.  I went back on the road going up and saw some people heading down. I had to ask what I can see from the top.  They told me it’s an entry point near the jeepney area, which takes just 10 minutes to reach the falls.  There you go, there’s a shorter way to the falls from Bagulin. Either way, I’d still go over the long scenic road to and from the falls anytime.

On the way back.

We then headed back to the start area and we were able to go back faster as it was net downhill and it was also much cooler in the late afternoon.  I also just used my flipflops going back since I was lazy to put back my shoes on.  That’s how friendly the trails are, you can navigate it even just wearing regular slippers or flipflops. It was a beautiful trail that gave you different views to appreciate and explore.

Outfit of The Trail

  • Top: adidas Climachill with #TaleOfTheTrails design by Breakout Design
  • Shorts, Arms Sleeves and Socks: Under Armour
  • Shoes: Salomon Speed Cross
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Trucker Cap: Trangko
  • Eyewear: Oakley Radarlock Path

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Good News Cebu! Under Armour is Opening Their Brand House at Ayala Center

Armour Social Media _Instagram

Under Armour entered the country 2 years ago with their first ever brand house at Bonifacio Global City.  This was followed by their Megamall Branch and then their UP Town Center Branch.  On May 22, it opens its first Brand House in southern Philippines at Ayala Center Cebu.

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Under Armour Cebu

Cebu is the Queen City of the South. It’s no surprise that after Under Armour has been able to stamp their presence in Metro Manila, Cebu is the next part of their southern expansion. Performance footwear, sports gear and apparel innovator Under Armour (UA) continues to expand its reach in the Philippines with the opening of a brand house in Cebu City on May 22.  This is a welcome news for fitness enthusiasts in Cebu as the emerging performance brand just got more accessible.

The first in southern Philippines the 164 square-meter UA brand house is conveniently located on the ground level of Ayala Center Cebu. This ups the number of exclusive UA outlets in the Philippines to four, further underscoring the importance of the country as a growth area for the Baltimore-headquartered firm. Customers can browse and purchase a range of innovative, quality merchandise the company has been famous for since its inception 20 years ago.

“We are extremely grateful for, and humbled by, the incredibly warm reception from our Filipino customers. We believe that UA’s success is a direct offshoot of the worldwide trend towards an active lifestyle, and how the brand values reflected in our products have successfully promoted such,” said Triple Pte. Ltd. CEO Michael Binger.

The company holds the exclusive distribution rights for UA across Southeast Asia. “During his visit to the Philippines, UA founder, chairman, CEO Kevin Plank had described Asia Pacific as one of the linchpins for truly defining UA as a global brand. Indeed, our upward business trajectory here exemplifies that, and increasing our presence should further enable it,” he added.

Highlighting the opening of UA’s new brand house is the Armour Challenge – open to male and female participants 18 years old and above on a first-come-first-served basis. The competition, to be held at the Ayala Center Cebu’s Activity Center, consists of three physical challenges: mountain climbers, squats, and burpees. The fastest to complete the exercises will win a UA tank or sleeveless top and a discount coupon. All other participants automatically receive discount coupons as well. Famous husband-and-wife fitness coaches and UA brand ambassadors Jim and Toni Saret will be on hand to give valuable fitness and and training advice to participants and the general public. A former national athlete, Jim was educated here and in the US on sports science and is the founder and training director of APEX (Athletic Performance Enhancement) Sports Training, Inc. Like Toni, he was one of the trainers in the Biggest Loser Philippines television program. The two presently host MetaBEATS, a fitness show on the Lifestyle Channel.

Interested participants can send their full name and mobile number to Slots are limited. More details will be e-mailed to registrants.

Under Armour’s other brand houses are located at BGC, Megamall and UP Town Center. Also available in multi-branded sports houses, such as Tobys, OV, Planet Sports, Rustan’s and major stores in key cities. Visit for more information.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Incoming: Soleus Cross Country Challenge

Soleus Cross Country Challenge starts you off with a majestic view of the mountain ranges at Camp Sinai, leads you to the run-able Casile trails and gives you an ultimate river crossing adventure at Inigan.  This trail experience awaits you on July 10, 2016 with newbie friendly 12 and 21 kilometers of trail to choose from. Register Now!!!

Read About:

Soleus Cross Country Challenge

Let’s Start with this magnificent view

Even at the start of the race, you would already be treated by the magnificent view at Camp Sinai.  You’ll get to see the mountain ranges enveloped by the clouds in one amazing picture.  The 12K and 21 kilometers distance would be sent off here and so goes the Soleus Cross Country Challenge.  Reserve the date, July 10, 2016 and be part of a scenic trail adventure.  It will take you to different views and sections of the trail.

Camp Sinai also has the tablet of the 10 commandments.

There would be a rolling single track trail along the Pintong Bukawe area. There is a long descent along rough roads at the Casile trail.   There will be river crossings along Inigan as you shift from one side of Marikina River to the oher. The 21 kilometer distance would enter the a rolling terrain along New Casile Road and have a longer stretch of river crossing.  The beauty of this trail is that it’s run-able and for most part, you have a lot of leg room to move.

Here’s a scenic u-turn for the 12 kilometer category.

The tougher part of the race would be the way back as you would be having long and continuous uphill climb back to the Pintong Bukawe area. It’s a challenge but it’s something you can do.  In any consolation, you’ll have the scenic mountain ranges around you as you huff and puff your way to the Finish Line.

Elevation Profile of the Race Recon – Powered by Asics SG01

You can have a detailed view of the course in the #TaleOfTheTrail at the Read About section above.  It’s gonna be a newbie friendly trail which is run-able, scenic and not too technical.  It’s gonna be another epic adventure come July 10, 2016. Register Now!!!

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: July 10, 2016
  • Venue: Mount Sinai, Pintong Bukawe, San Mate, Rizal
  • Assembly 5:00 AM
  • Gun Start:
    • 21K 6:00 AM
    • 12K 6:20 AM
  • Awarding: 10:00 AM

Fees and Inclusions

  • 12K
    • Early Bird (April 25-May 25): P800
    • Regular (May 26 – June 30): P900
  • 21K
    • Early Bird (April 25-May 25): P900
    • Regular (May 26 – June 30): P1,000
  • Inclusions
    • Event Shirt, Race Bib, RFID Tag
    • Finisher Medal, Finisher Certificate and Finisher Snack

12K Race Shirt

21K Race Shirt


  • Bank Deposit
    • BDO Account:
      • SA 0039-8019-6644
    • LANDBANK Account
      • LIZIEL TAN
      • SA 1476-1050-36
    • Please fill up registration form, then email with scanned copy of deposit slip to An email confirmation will be sent once validated and received.
  • In Store:
    • L TIMESTUDIO Megamall
    • L TIMESTUDIO Mall of Asia
    • L TIMESTUDIO Market Market
    • Time Gear Trinoma
    • Planet Herbs Cafe
  • Race Kit Claiming for early bird and bank deposit:
    • July 1-3, 2016 (Fri- SUN) 11am -8:00PM
    • Events Place, 3rd Floor Shaw 500 Blg.
    • Shaw Blvd. Mandaluyong City


    • 12K (MALE & FEMALE)
    • 21K (MALE & FEMALE)
  • 2nd & 3rd PLACERS will get a SOLEUS Running Watches
    • 29 BELOW
    • 30 TO 39
    • 40 TO 49
    • 50 TO 59
    • 60 ABOVE


Race Updates

Race Maps

Registration Form

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Incoming: World Vision Run 2016

You don’t have to rule the world to make a difference.  You can make a difference by supporting World Vision Run and their programs.  With our collective help, WV sponsored children get a chance to have a good education and a brighter future.  Run for your health and run for the children. #WorldVisionRun2016 is happening on June 26, 2016 at the Blue Bay Walk, Pasay City with 500 meter dash, 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K Categories to choose from.

World Vision Run 2016

I am a World Vision sponsor since 2013! I get to pay P600 a month to send a kid to school.  It’s not much but I’m giving one child a good education and a better chance at life. You could help too by doing a similar sponsorship, donating or simply joining the World Vision Run.

World Vision has been making huge strides in helping children alleviate poverty.  They have helped more than 100,000 children through their different program, which was also supported by their nearly 70,000 sponsors and their initiatives.

World Vision Run is an annual charity event that promotes healthy lifestyle through running, while also raising funds to help secure a better future for thousands of Filipino children. When you run for World Vision, you’re not just running for your own health, but for children.

Now on its 5th year, World Vision Run offers a bigger and more fun-filled activities the whole family will enjoy. The event is happening on June 26, 2016 at the Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City. Race categories include 3k, 5k, 10k 21k, and a 500-meter dash for kids. The event is co-presented by Run Rio, Inc.   It’s gonna be another feel-good run which would really boost one’s health and also boost one’s heart as together we help give poverty a long term solution. Register Now!!!

Race Details:

Date and Venue:

  • Date: June 26, 2015
  • Venue: Blue Bay Walk, Pasay City
  • Assembly and Gun Start:
    • 500 meters – A: 6:00 am / GS: 7:00 am
    • 3K – A: 4:50 am / GS: 5:50 am
    • 5K – A: 4:30 am / GS: 5:30 am
    • 10K: A: 4:00 am / GS: 5:00 am
    • 21K: A: 3:30 am / GS: 4:30 am

Fees and Inclusions

  • 500 meters – P300
  • 3K – P600
  • 5K – P700
  • 10K – P800
  • 21K – P1,000
    • Inclusive of Tech Shirt, Race Bib, Raffle Stub and Timing Chip, Loot bag and sponsors freebies
    • Medals for 21 K Finishers
    • Runners are free to choose between Pickle Green and Cocoa Brown Tech Shirts


  • Online: Via Runrio
  • In Store:
    • Runnr Bonifacio High Street
    • Toby’s Shangri-la Plaza Mall
    • Runnr Trinoma
    • Toby’s Mall of Asia

Race Updates:

Race Maps

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lagalag Sundown Trail Run

12K before Sundown

It was a last minute decision but ended up driving myself to Timberland, registering onsite and enjoying the 12 kilometers distance for Lagalag Sundown Trail Run. The trail was a roller coaster adventure with the higher part of the trail having an overlooking view of the city and the lower part showing the rich Forrest reserve of Timberland.

Lagalag Sundown Trail Run

Unplanned Race are FUN!!!

Sundown runs are a different kind of challenge from the usual morning and evening runs.  You start at a warmer temperature and cools down a bit as the afternoon crosses into the night.  Lagalag Sundown Trail Run is a unique offering as it’s an afternoon run and it happens at the very scenic Timberland Sports and Nature Club.  As for me, I wasn’t supposed to run here as I attended a Runner’s Bootcamp in the morning and had another meeting at noon.  I did have several clothing alternatives in my car. I had a setup for trail, for a road run and for the gym. Anything goes really.  By noon, I decided to join and was hoping there would still be onsite slots available.  I needed my weekend trail mileage and this was a great chance to see Timberland.  I was in the venue less than an hour to the race and was able to register for the 12K distance.  I also considered the 21K distance but I wasn’t able to bring a headlamp so it would be difficult to run in the dark without a headlamp.

Race Map and Elevation Profile

Race Map powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports

Elevation Profile Powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

The race starts at the Glades and goes to the yes or no trail for the first 4.5 kilometers, which was rolling and had several descents.  It then goes over a steep ascent over the next 2 kilometer in the Forrest trails before going back to the rolling bike terrain until kilometer 8.  The trail shifts back to an uphill course at Roxas loop for the next 2 kilometers.  After a short descent, the climb resumes at the Nursery Trail en route to the finish line.

The Race

It was a fast start for everyone. – Photo by Jose Ramizares

It’s a different trail run when you go on a route without a plan and without checking out the route or elevation profile.  I’m always strategic when it comes to races but since this was a last minute thing, I have to go by feel.  I’ll also have to manage my pace because of the warmer temperature for an afternoon run can also be energy-draining.  I needed to add some trail mileage so it’s important to not run lazy.  We had a 3:30 pm gun start and I hope to finish before it gets dark since I don’t have any head lamp.

It feels like a dessert terrain – Photo by Jose Ramizares.

The run started fast with everybody wanting to get to the trails early.  I went at the pack’s pace to start the race but I did slow down on the short climb before entering the trail head.  We entered the Yes or No trail shortly. It was single track dirt roads.  This was the usual bike trails they use at Timberland.  The first kilometer was an uphill climb so took this chance to slow down and allow my body to warm up.

Running or dancing? — Photo by Jose Ramizares.

The route shifted to descents and short climbs.  We were looping along the bike tracks.  Since it was mostly descents, everybody was moving fast along the trails.  It also took a little bit of courage to blitz the uneven dirt tracks on the drops.  The views were amazing as each trail corner had an overlooking view of the city and some would give you a view of the zigzag trails heading to the Forrest.  I wish I should have done this part slower and had taken more photos of the views.

Look at my New Trucker Cap.

It was also a warmer weather made the run a lot more exhausting.  I had to sip every now and then from my hydration bag to keep myself hydrated.  Gravity was on my side on this part as it was mostly descents.  The kid in me just took over as I went on to enjoy the fast descents. Forget that it was a bit steep and a bit dangerous but it was just fun running downhill.  I guess if there’s one thing I’ve learned lately, it’s braving the downhills.  The first 4 kilometers had us going through loops at the Yes or No trail. We were literally eating dust as we had to go though the dirt roads.

Running on dirt roads – Photo by Jose Ramizares

The single tracks slowly shifted to Forrest trails after the first 4 kilometers and the first water station.  I am starting to feel exhausted at this point.  Way to go Franc!!! Exhausting most of your energy reserve on the first 4 kilometers of a 12-kilometer race.  I had to switch my race strategy and be more conservative on my run.  I went on fast on the first half of the kilometer before walking the uphill portion.  The Forrest trails were beautiful as it was covered by the trees and also had improvised wooden bridges.

Wooden Bridges – Photo by Rene Villarta

The race started heading upwards starting at kilometer 4.5.  I just want to be consistent in my pace and to keep on moving. I went at brisk walk pace on the long climb, which lasted to about 2 kilometer as we shifted from the forest trails to the bike trails.  The bike trails had as looping for the next 1.5 kilometers as we went up and down as we navigated back to the higher part of the bike trails.  I just went at a steady pace here.

Walking on some stretches.

The route then goes back to the climb over the next 2 kilometers at the Roxas Loop. I just went at a consistent brisk walk pace.  The climb was moderate so it was tolerable doing the climb non-stop.  It also helped that some of the areas here are on paved single track roads.  After the ascent, we started to descent to the Nursery Trail.  Before shifting to the last trail, I saw a store and took a chance to drink an Ice Cold Coca Cola and it was really refreshing.  It gave me the sugar-rush and energy to go over the last 2 kilometers.

The beautiful trails – photo by Rene Villarta.

It was time to climb once again. I pulled all my remaining energy to have one final and consistent push towards the last long climb.  I was able to go on without stopping except for the last water station about 700 meters to the finish line.  I went on to run the final stretch and cross the finish line with a decent time.  This was a really fast course.  It was one of the more scenic and run-able trails I’ve ever visited.

One final push!!! – Photo by Jose Ramizares.

Outfit Of The Trail

  • Shirt with #TaleOfTheTrail design by Breakout Design and Shorts – berghaus
  • Shoes: Salomon Speed Cross
  • Hydration Bag: Under Armour
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Trucker Cap: Gainz with #TaleOfTheTrail design
  • Socks:
  • Eyewear: Oakley Radarlock Oath

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments