The Two Sides of My Beijing (Mis) Adventure

In one trip, I’ve ticked off one bucket list item I’ve been wanting to do ever since my first trip in China in 2004 and… I’ve also had my most horrible experience in the airport.  At the end of the day, I’m glad I was able to see the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.


Forbidden City

After getting a quick tour of the Forbidden City and a bucket list check moment by being in the Great Wall of China, we were rushing to the airport to catch our flight to Hong Kong and then the connecting to Manila.  There was nothing irregular on our flight except being a few minutes delayed from our 4 pm boarding time and the extra stringent security check.  When we were seated in our plane, I started watching a movie and that’s where all the mis-adventures started.


There were several delay announcements owing to air traffic control, which felt normal coming from a country where flight delays are so normal.  I barely noticed the time since I finished 2 movies already and that was 5 hours inside the plane.  From Air Traffic Control to the Smoggy Beijing Skies to Heavy Rains. By 9 pm, it was impossible to travel and we were asked to go-out of the plane and go to the one of the bay areas for the announcement of our food and hotel arrangements.  We had to queue for about an hour as they had to cancel our departure at the immigration and upon reaching the bay, we were informed that our flight would be scheduled tom at 10 am and for our hotel and food arrangements, there was none.

We managed to find a hotel, which we were only able to use for a few hours since we had to re check-in early the next day.  All announcement were in Chinese so we were practically lost in translation.  By the time, we reached the counter, we’ve been informed that the flight is overbooked.  How can you get booked out of your own flight, right?  They booked us to the 4 pm flight on the same day since they didn’t want to book us on the earlier available flight since they were not confident that the plane is coming.  That followed a series of flight that got filled out suddenly.  The delay was prevalent though and we managed to leave Beijing at 11 pm and once we hit Hong Kong early the next day, it felt that our world was back in full color after being helpless for 2 days in Beijing.   So I guess, every time I have an airport mishap, I’ll just remember this experience and it would make me feel better.  Even if this trip was a few months ago, the experience still does haunt me.

Bucket List Check Beijing

Forbidden City

I’ve been wanting to see Beijing ever since the first time, I’ve been in China in 2004. I appreciated the cosmopolitan setting of both Shanghai and Hangzhou and felt the remoteness of Shandong in my several trip to China but Beijing has always been the elusive one. Well, up until August this year as our Board Meeting was scheduled in Beijing.  We had a comfortable entry to China since we were on premium seats owing to the late booking.  We were able to visit a high end retirement home that had all the facilities to live the comfortable life.  We had a smooth board meeting and it was time to explore for the next 1 1/2 days.

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

On any day it would have been impossible to enter the Forbidden City since there were numerous visit and you have to really be early.  It was good that our China based Director was able to arrange everything and we had a smooth entry at the Forbidden City.  It’s a lavish Kingdom fortified by pillars of defenses.  It’s an impenetrable fortress that kept Kingdoms and Dynasties secured from invaders.  There was history written on the walls and the displays.

It’s among the most visited sites in the world. It’s a palace complex that housed dynasties and has been the political center of China.  It took us several hour exploring the whole complex and was just barely on time reaching one of the gates before it closed for the day.

I made a wish and looks like its coming true.

The Great Wall of China

Despite the short stay in China, we were able to squeeze in the Great Wall of China.  We were able to get a cab who would take us early to the Great Wall and take us to the airport after as arranged by one of our Chinese Directors.  We were picked up at arrange 6 am in our hotel, was able to see the Olympic Stadium before heading to the Great Wall.

Just setting foot on the Great Wall meant so much for me since it’s always been on my to do list.  I remember before I would always reserve an extra entry on my Chinese Visa so if time permits, I’d be able to travel to Beijing and see the Great Wall.  It’s such a massive structure that’s really worth visiting.  We took a bus ride and then a cable car to the top of the Great Wall of China.

Traversing the Great Wall was not an easy feat as it’s a rolling terrain so you’ll have climb several sections and descend on steep steps too.  It was surreal being on top of the Great Wall.  It was foggy or smoggy that day.  I would like to think its fog because it feels a bit chilly up the wall.

With Peps And Eric

With Peps And Eric

It was a really long walk in the walls and we’ve been walking for kilometers just to see several sections of the wall.  We were just on the look out on the time as we had to be done before noon in order to catch our flight.  There were several pillars in the walls that led to another section of the wall.

I hope it’s just foggy and not smoggy

I was just glad even we had a very short trip, we still got the chance to explore this ancient structures.  I always love visiting heritage sites as it feels me connected with tradition and heritage.  We learn so much and we appreciate the greatness of the thinkers back then.

With ECP and Peps.

With ECP and Peps.

By 11 am, we were on the way back and had our lunch at Burger King before taking our cab to the airport.  I guess seeing the Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China made the trip and the succeeding misadventures worth it.  Sometimes, you just have to look at the brighter side and I’ve been at two of the main attractions in China and it was really worth seeing.

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , | 21 Comments

The First Batch of Under Armour Curry 4 is Coming to Town

While Stephen Curry is on top of the world as a 2 time NBA Champion and a 2 time MVP, he’s among the more inspiring underdog story.  Undersized player who worked his way to the top of the sports and through that journey was Under Armour and his very own signature shoes. The first 200 pairs of Curry 4 lands in Manila this Week.

Curry 4


He’s the most un-guardable players with his range, foot work and speed and high basketball IQ.  Stephen Curry has redefined the game in making the 3s a potent weapon as well as the range that help spread out the defense to facilitate Golden State Warriors free-flowing offense.  With that range of skills set comes a shoe that can keep up with him.  Curry 4 has been improved to be better in all aspects of the shoes.

More Comfort, More Control, More Traction

The Curry 4 is all about more – Stephen’s insatiable desire to win more, to play more and to achieve more. The shoe was designed from the ground up with one thing in mind – to help Stephen get more, from the first ideation conversations, to sketches, to design iterations and beyond.

The Curry 4 offers more control, via continuity; a seamless feel between the foot and the shoe, and that is evident when putting on the footwear. Immediately, the shoe conforms to your foot, with no break in period, offering more comfort than ever before.

Traction is critical to Stephen’s game; the ability to grip the hardwood with no slippage and ensure the quickest, cleanest cuts to offer that extra sliver of space gives Stephen all he needs to unleash the fastest, deadliest release in the league. Concentric circles, inspired by gravitational waves, achieve more traction, beyond any prior Curry footwear iteration.

Additional tech details driving the Curry 4:

  • Knit internal sleeve creates a structural fit around the collar & forefoot for an amplified performance feel
  • Microfiber synthetic quarter panel is bonded to the knit material giving the ideal balance of support with reduced weight
  • Dynamic seam taping merges the knit sleeve & synthetic quarter panel without adding any stitching
  • Speed plate for underfoot structure & performance containment built to handle explosive movements
  • Cross-centric traction pattern is designed to optimize on forefoot-to-heel traction & provide amazing grip on any court
  • Proprietary foam compound for responsiveness under foot

Stephen has helped redefine what success looks like in professional basketball – being quick and light is the name of the game, and Under Armour has applied that approach to the design and functionality of the Curry 4.

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We Run We Care We Share

We Run We Care We Share is an intimate run for a cause spearheaded by Reyes Tacandong & Co Foundation Inc.  For me, it was a chance to meet up and run with former mentors and colleagues in the audit profession. 

We Run We Share We Care

FAA Babies

FAA Babies

We lived on a routine of meeting tough deadlines while servicing several audit clients.  We’d spent hours and at times even days at the office chasing deadlines.  Behind the chase are the people you get to share a laugh, a rant, and the tale of the sleepless nights.  That’s the life of an auditor and that’s the foundation of who I am today.  The core group of Reyes Tacandong & Co were my mentors and colleagues who I shared those sleepless work nights while sharpening my skills in the world of audit.  That was years ago and we’d have our different success story to tell but being with them at the run brought back all the memories of my times spent in the field of audit.

When I got the message from Ms. Carol, whose been among my favorite managers then partner, that RT & Co was doing a run, I couldn’t pass up the chance to share my passion with my former mentors and colleagues plus McKinley West and Bayani Road area is among my favorite routes because of the rolling elevation.  Arlyn, whose been my seatmate and among my closest friends in audit was also joining so I asked her to switch to 10K and promised to pace her til she finished.

With Ms Carol

I ditched the car on race day and just took the cab knowing that there are limited parking slots at McKinley West. It was good that I had an Amihan Go Lite Belt as I was able to fit my phone, my money, my home keys and an extra shirt in the belt.  I arrived around 30 minutes before the start of the race and it was an intimate crowd.  I could count the faces of the regular runners I see but I did see a lot of faces I used to work with back in audit.  Arlyn, Paul and Joseph came a few minutes before gun start so Paul would be pacing with Joseph while I’ll be pacing Arlyn on her first ever run.

At gunstart, we joined the crowd eager to run at the start of the race but since Arlyn had to retie her shoes twice  at the first 300 meters, we ended up at the back of the pack.   Since this is Arlyn’s first ever run and I did want her to finish the race, we started slow but we  run on the descents.  From the back, we slowly passed some runners.  I would encourage Arlyn to run faster on the descent and once we are approaching each water station.  The first part of Bayani Road was a net descent so there were a lot of opportunities to run.

With Joseph, Arlyn, Cocoy Tacandong, Paul and Ms Carol.

With Joseph, Arlyn, Cocoy Tacandong, Paul and Ms Carol.

We went at conversation pace and a few runs just letting Arlyn to go at a pace she was comfortable.  After all, she was just supposed to do a 5K run but I let her shift to 10K run.  I would tell her some ways to pace herself or how to approach a climb.  I would tell her to run and until we reach several light post or the water station.  The key was to keep her moving and also keep her mind occupied of not giving up on the race.

We’d hit the 4K mark at the C5 u-turn and I told her it’s mostly uphill from here.  We then shifted to running on flats and walking on the climbs.  I did run the long climb in Bayani Road and just waited for her on the top of the climb since I couldn’t resist the climb.  Whenever we’d see someone slowing down in front of us, I’d encourage her to run so we can move forward.  Then we were back on the Lawton Area for the last two kilometers of the race.

Boybas Unite

Boybas Unite

We took the route in Lawton and Arlyn was struggling a bit but she endured a went on to finish her first ever 10K run.  More than seeing her finish her run, it was nice catching up with her as due to our busy schedules, we haven’t really been able to keep in touch for a long time.  We caught up with our former colleagues after the race before having breakfast and calling it a day.

10K Mission Accomplished.

10K Mission Accomplished.

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

Golden Fiesta Brings Heart Healthy Camp at Nuvali Starting November 11


Philippines’ top cooking oil brand Golden Fiesta holds the first leg of its Heart Healthy Camp at Solenad 1, Nuvali on Nov. 11.

Golden Fiesta brings the first leg of Heart Healthy Camp to Nuvali on September 11 to further promote their advocacy on health and fitness. Take part in different fitness routines as well as get to listen and engage in heart talks, as well as some cooking demonstrations.

Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp


Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp participants will be treated to an assortment of workout routines and activities that suit their fitness requirements.

Bringing its advocacy of health and fitness closer to more Filipinos, Golden Fiesta, the Philippines’ leading cooking oil brand, is holding the first leg of the Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp at Solenad 1 in Nuvali, Laguna, on Saturday, November 11.

The free-admission fitness camp is expected to gather—in a single venue—not just scores of fitness enthusiasts but legions of young professionals who want to be heart-healthy by jump-starting a fitness regimen.

Participants can choose from an assortment of fitness routines and activities that are categorized into beginner, intermediate, and advance levels to suit their varying fitness requirements. They can also listen to and engage in “Heart Talks” to be administered by licensed Nutritionist-Dietician and fitness specialist Fia Batua.


Golden Fiesta encourages its consumers to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle by engaging themselves in fitness activities and choosing the right kind of cooking oil.

Apart from the workout activities, a live cooking demo and food sampling using heart-healthy Golden Fiesta Canola Oil by NutriAsia will be conducted by Pinoy celebrity chef and fitness buff Jose Sarasola. Participants will learn how to prepare simple, heart-healthy meals like Golden Fiesta Lettuce Salad with Guyabano Vinaigrette, Golden Fiesta Bangus Back Fillet and Adobo Kangkong Duo, and Golden Fiesta Japanese Chicken Katsu in Curry Sauce.

Golden Fiesta Canola Oil is a rich source of the cholesterol-reducing phytosterols, an all-natural plant extract that can reduce your body’s cholesterol level by as much as 15 percent. Scientific studies and trials show that consumption of two grams of phytosterols per day has the potential of diminishing one’s risk of developing coronary heart disease.


Golden Fiesta invites everyone to its free-admission Heart Healthy Camp at Nuvali to learn and enjoy new fitness techniques from experts and enthusiasts.

Interested participants may sign up at the registration area at Solenad 1-Flex Lot, Nuvali on Nov. 11 as early as 6 a.m. They will get a free test to check their current fitness status using Golden Fiesta’s Karada machines before proceeding to a warm-up session. They will also be given a special event passport that will be stamped after finishing each fitness activity. The Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp at Nuvali will run until 11 a.m.

According to Carl Constantino, category marketing manager at NutriAsia, the Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp is the brand’s way of reaching out to Filipino consumers, encouraging them to be more mindful of their food choices and to maintain an active lifestyle despite tight schedules.

“We are encouraging everyone, particularly residents of Laguna and nearby cities and municipalities, to drop by Nuvali, the first destination of our Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp, on Nov. 11. They must explore this opportunity to learn and enjoy new fitness techniques from fitness experts and enthusiasts—all for free. At the same time, our camp participants can pick up useful tips from nutrition and fitness experts and learn how to cook their favorite fried dishes—plus new dishes that they can try at home—using heart-healthy Golden Fiesta Canola Oil,” Constantino said.

After the Nuvali leg, the Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp will proceed to Track 30th at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig on November 26 (Sunday) and to Eton Centris Walk in Quezon City on December 3 (Sunday). The Golden Fiesta Heart Healthy Camp is coming soon to a venue near you, so make sure to check out Golden Fiesta’s Facebook page for updates on upcoming legs.

Golden Fiesta by NutriAsia, the country’s number one cooking oil brand, is available in leading supermarkets nationwide. NutriAsia is a powerhouse of beloved, timeless, and iconic Filipino food brands, including Datu Puti, UFC, Silver Swan, Papa, Jufran, Mafran Mang Tomas, and Golden Fiesta.

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Incoming: We Run, We Share, We Care 2017

Run… where every stride you make and each drop of sweat will help alleviate the lives of the poor community.  We Run, We Care, We Share is a run for a cause brought to you by Reyes, Tacandong & Co Foundation Inc. happening on November 19, 2017 at McKinley West in Taguig with 1K, 3K, 5K and 10K Distances to choose from.

Reyes Tacandong & Co.

Reyes Tacandong & Co is one of the emerging top audit firms in the country having established their operations a few years ago.  I’ve been in touch with the growth of the Company since some of the key partners were my mentors when I was still in the audit profession.  I’m glad to see it grow from the day it was founded and now being one of the more established audit firms in the country.  Of course, with that growth and success comes the need to give back and that’s where Reyes Tacandong & Co. Foundation Inc. (RTCFI) comes in.

Reyes Tacandong & Co. Foundation Inc. (RTCFI), a non-stock, non-profit organization committed to provide healthcare, educational access and livelihood projects to poor communities will be holding its first Fun Run Event entitled on November 19, 2017 “We Care, We Run, We Share” at McKinley West, Taguig.  McKinley West is also one of my favorite race route owing to its rolling terrain and its not as saturated as the other race venues.

This event aims to raise funds for RTCFI so it can financially support communities, beneficiaries or other non-profit organizations who provide affordable healthcare and educational facilities to poor communities. This event aims to promote awareness on social issues and to promote health and wellness activity to the event participants. About 1,000 participants from RT& Co. and as well as runners outside the company are expected to come together for this event.

All proceeds shall go to projects on infrastructure buildings such as classrooms and health care centers for the beneficiaries of the foundation. Everybody wins in a race like this, it jump starts you to a healthy lifestyle and it also warms your heart with a cause that will put smiles to poor communities.  Register now!

Race Details

Finisher Medal for Everyone

Finisher Medal for Everyone

Date and Venue:

  • Date: November 19, 2017
  • Venue: McKinley West, Taguig

Fees and Inclusions

  • 1K – P450
  • 3K – P650
  • 5K – P850
  • 10K – P950
    • Inclusive of Race Bib, Event Shirt and Finisher Medals for all Finishers


  • Online via Goorahna
  • In Store: Planet Sports Glorietta 3 Makati

Race Updates

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Salomon Introduces the All-New Sense Collection

One thing you can’t argue with when it comes to Salomon is the performance of its athletes and its users as you see them in the races. With a performance line that’s tried and tested by the world’s best trail runners comes an all-new Sense Collection featuring the VIBE midsole and contagrip technology designed for cushioning, support and traction.


Using Salomon at Cordillera Mountain Ultra

Using Salomon at Cordillera Mountain Ultra

Salomon is among the brands I trust in the trails and it’s been my trail weaponry in some of my biggest races.  It just gives me confidence on the trails with its superior traction and lightweight built.  When you feel comfortable with your shoes, you can focus on the run and be more effective.  That quality and efficiency on the trails comes from their passion for mountain sports and their rich 70-yearspworth of heritage in developing new technologies and progressive craftsmanship in the field of outdoor sports.  Committed in strengthening its engagement with various outdoor sporting communities, Salomon has been channeling its efforts towards promoting trail running.

From producing an extensive range of innovative trail running footwear to mounting a series of trail running events, Salomon seeks to expose the sport of trail running to a wider network of runners and outdoor enthusiasts. Consistent with this advocacy, Salomon sustains the momentum of encouraging more people to run with nature as it unveils its all-new Sense Collection.

All-New Sense Collection

Developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center in France – where engineers, designers, and athletes collaborate to produce innovative solutions that will continually enhance its offerings – the Sense Collection was designed to provide runners with maximum comfort and protection amid long runs through the toughest terrains and roughest of surfaces.

 Inspired by trail runners’ commitment to pushing the limits of their minds and bodies as they enjoy immersing in nature, the Sense Collection features three new footwear designs that will encourage trail runners to get off the beaten track and experience traversing through more diverse landscapes.


Sense Ride

Sense Ride

Leading the pack is the Sense Ride shoe which received tremendous feedback from testers and running specialists. Drawing from the key features of the S/LAB Sense Ultra, the Sense Ride embodies a new standard of performance for the brand’s range as it bears progressive technologies that will enable trail runners to go the distance.

These include the VIBE midsole technology which serves to provide better energy return and more cushioning capabilities via its Energy Cell+ material. Meanwhile, the CONTRAGRIP with Premium Wet Traction ensures extra grip on wet and slippery surfaces. Moreover, the Sense Ride shoe was built with a natural rocker profile to deliver a smooth ride along with an 8mm heel drop and bottom unit geometries to suit the needs of a large cross-section of runners.


From dry to grassy pathways to routes with intermittent obstacles and debris, the Sense Ride ensures pro trail runners and beginners alike with a smooth and secured experience. Sleek and lighter than most trail running footwear, the Sense Ride comes in the Navy Blazer colorway.


Sense Pro Max

For those who opt for more speed, the Sense Collection offers the Sense Pro 2. Crafted for a more lightweight and faster running experience, the Sense Pro 2 also bears the Energy Cell+ component. Also, included in the line-up is the Sense Pro Max with VIBE midsole technology; a trail running shoe that’s meant for those who seek more protection when going on longer runs.

 Run With Your Salomon Idols

In line with the launch of the Sense Collection, Salomon is more than thrilled to roll out an exciting campaign. Ongoing until November 15, Salomon offers a P1,000 discount for every purchase of any Sense Collection footwear. Upon purchase of a Sense Collection footwear and any regular-priced Salomon product, one is entitled to a Free Trail Running Session. For those who will join the Trail Session, there will be a free Trail running shirt, Sense ride testing units and raffle prizes.


Limited to 15 persons per batch, two sessions will be held in November with Salomon’s roster of athletes including TJ Isla, Erick Guieb, Miguel Lopez, Majo Liao, and Aldean Lim. At the event, raffle prizes will be given away to attendees. Plus, shoe testing units of the Sense Ride will be made available. This offer is not valid in conjunction with other discounts, markdown vouchers, and other promotions.

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The Amihan Hauler is Designed for the Long Haul

Amihan Hauler at Hong Kong's Dragon Back

Amihan Hauler at Hong Kong’s Dragon Back

Amihan’s Hauler Vest has all the compartments for your run to sustain you in the Long Haul.  It’s a race ready vest that’s snug fit and can go with different hydration setups. 

Amihan Vests

Fastrak on left, Crosswind on the middle and Hauler on the right

Fastrak on left, Crosswind on the middle and Hauler on the right

I’ve been using Amihan Vest for over a year now and through those times, I’ve seen the evolution of their vest.  It just get better every time.  My first one was the Fastrak and I love the compact design and the open back pouch for easy storage of poles.  I also got to try the Crosswind and it has a bigger capacity as well as zipped pockets to secure your belongings.  The comes the Hauler, which has all the capacity, pockets and also open back pouch for poles.  I’d be comfortable with racing with any of these vests and have gone through a lot of trails and races with Amihan already.  It’s proudly Philippine made and is really affordable for the trail community.  There are pros and cons for each model but I use them based on need.  The Fastrak is more compact, The Crosswind is more secure and the Hauler is a little bit of everything.

The Hauler

Hauler at Lantau Two Peaks Race

Hauler at Lantau Two Peaks Race

The Hauler, like its name suggest can really fit in a lot of items with 4 zipped pockets and 2 bottle holders on the front,  2 zipped pockets on the side, 2 compartments of open pouch and 2 zipped pockets on the back.  That’s a lot of compartment for the hauler and it does take you a long way.  That also gives you a lot of flexibility with your hydration setup.  You can go with a bladder at the back or if you prefer to use bottles you can use the front bottle pockets or for really long ones, you can use both.

Big Wave Bay

Big Wave Bay

The first time I used the Hauler was on a trek from Dragon Back to Big Wave Bay in Hong Kong.  It’s an 8K loop that gives you a look at Shek O Peak with the Dragon’s Back view and ends in the beach at Big Wave Bay.  It’s an easy hike but since we started late, we need all the hydration we can get.  I used a bladder for my water while using the rest of the compartment for my extra clothes for the day.  I used the side pockets for my extra shirt and shorts, the back pockets for my clothes, the extra back pouch for my Anker powerbank, food and my bladder.  The front pocket – I had a pocket for my Young Living essential oils (Peppermint to perk me up and Deep relief for the muscles), food and gels on the top pocket. Mints and candies on the lower pockets and my phone an wallet on the bottle pockets. It’s a bit heavy for a setup but I did have everything I needed inside the vest. After all, I’m testing out a vest that’s designed for the long haul.

Lantau 2 Peaks with Princess

Lantau 2 Peaks with Princess

For Lantau 2 Peaks, I went for a lighter setup with just the bladder an extra flask for water refills, my oils, gels and mints.  That’s the thing I like about the Hauler, you have so many options on the setup.  It’s also snug fit so it doesn’t feel like carrying a vest at all since its as if its part of you already.  That eliminates the drag and inconvenience of a loose bag.  It’s definitely a race ready bag that has all the compartment you need for the required gear.

STAR Trail Challenge Route

STAR Trail Challenge Route

I’ve also used it on the recon for STAR Trail Challenge Route and also my routine trail runs in Camp John Hay.  For the easier runs, I just use the bag for storage and just add a bottle of water.  I also like the color scheme of the Hauler with a bright blue and fierce red that stands out to keep me visible on the trail.  The advantage of the hauler is that it helps you sort your stuff for easier access on the trails.  It also helps even the load on the body to keep things more balanced.   It also has a latch to keep the bladder in place and not fall of to the lower of the bag to shift the load to the lower part of the bag.

Hauler at Yellow Trails in Camp John Hay

Hauler at Yellow Trails in Camp John Hay

You’re definitely in for the long haul with Amihan Hauler as you have enough space and compartment to keep your race essentials stored and organized. There’s room for your poles, rain jacket, extra clothes, food, gels and a lot more with the hauler.  It gives you faster access to your items with the different pockets.  It’s also spacious enough to keep your used clothes after each run so you don’t have to have an extra bag.   The hauler is also an eye-candy with its colorway that I get excited to hit the trail just to be able to use it.  The hauler is now my favorite vest now since its compact, spacious and efficient.

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

#TaleOfTheTrail Star Trail Challenge Route (Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal)

The STAR Trail Challenge Route is a scenic overload with a lot of vantage points showcasing the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.  It’s gonna give you a runners high with a lot of run-able section.  The Sampaloc route will leave you mystified by the beauty of Dayapa Falls and a long stretch of river treks.

Read About:

STAR Trail Challenge 2017


There’s something magical about the Sampaloc Trails that we immediately fell in love with the place.  It was the top choice for the next Sierra Trail Adventure Race (STAR).  There’s a stretch that feels so green with the mountains and ridges surrounding you.  There’s the mystical yet challenging river trek with a little bit of bouldering.  There’s Dayapa Falls that flows through the river.  Of course, there are long stretches of run-able downhills and lung-busting climbs.  It’s a route you’ll love for the views and you’ll always remember for the challenges.

Trekking the Sampaloc Trails

The first run at the Sampaloc Trails was last year with the Pinoy Trails Team.  We started from Sampaloc town area entering the trail while exiting at Tanay Adventure Camp before we took the road back to Sampaloc Town proper.  It was around 15 kilometers of trails and road combined.  It was a feel good trail with moderate ascents with a visual delight in the surrounding mountain ranges.  It’s a run-able course that’s perfect for that adrenaline-rush on the trails.

We went back to trails last April with Jun and Rene, where we had a 16 kilometer of mostly trails and a variety of dirt surfaces.  We started at Tanay Adventure Camp, took the descending road before entering the Sampaloc Trails.  The Sampaloc Trails is really run-able, refreshing and moderately ascending with sweet descents.  We then had an option to take the upper trail to Tanay Adventure Camp or take the lower trail heading to Dayapa Falls. We took the lower trails, which was a lot more scenic with some areas which felt like New Zealand with its lush green surroundings.  We ended up in Daraitan Road and went on with the river trek part heading to Dayapa Falls.

The river trek part was a bit of a challenge as there were some parts where we had to go through boulders.  The route is safe though as it’s also a route for locals.  There’s about two kilometers of River Trek and it was really refreshing to be in this part as why tried to find our way to the falls.  The falls was also beautiful and it was followed by a climb back to Tanay Adventure Camp.  The climb is steep on the lower part but gets manageable as you move up.  The views also will keep your mind occupied on the climb.

I went back again last May with Redg and Richard and we tried a different combination this time.  We took the road and trail loop to the Sampaloc Trail while taking the upper route this time.  The loop was just 4 kilometers so we went on to the descent to Dayapa falls and it was really fun to go downhill running on this stretch.  It’s always refreshing to be at the falls as we took our time to play around there before heading up back to Tanay Adventure Camp.  The climb was a bit of a challenge last May because it was a bit hotter and we started a bit late.  The views made up for our effort though.

We went back again for the route recon for STAR Trail Challenge. This time we did the actual route starting with the 4 kilometer downhill challenge route to Dayapa Falls.  After the rainy season, Dayapa Falls was a lot more beautiful as you can see all the layers of the falls flow through the river.  There are some muddy stretches heading to the falls though.  The river also looked a lot more scenic and mystical.  It felt a lot more refreshing and established.  Then there’s the stretch of the Sampaloc Trails with the lush green view of Tanay right in front of you.

STAR Trail Challenge

The Sampaloc Trails is the home of STAR Trail Challenge in 2017 and it’s gonna be a festive ride with both the Pinoy Trails Team and the Be Trail Ready Team heading the trail festivities.  Spend your December 10, 2017 enjoying the wonderful trails at Sampaloc and let the trails be your playground.

There’s also a race within a race for the First Time with the 1st Hoka One One Downhill Challenge.

  • 1st Hoka One One Downhill Challenge is a race within the race and it’s been incorporated in STAR Trail Challenge.
  • Hoka One One started as a downhill running shoes with its superior cushioning, support and traction.
  • All Hoka One One users during the race are automatically part of the 1st Hoka One One Downhill Challenge.
  • The first four kilometers of the race for 8K, 12K and 21K would be a straight downhill race with its distinct finish line.
  • The fastest time recorded on the said distance regardless of category would win a Hoka One One shoes.
  • If you’re wearing Hoka One One during the race, you’re also entitled to an exclusive finisher item for being part of the Hoka One One Downhill Challenge.
  • There’s a 20% discount voucher as part of your registration so now is the best time to use it.


Race Details


Date and Venue:

  • Date: December 10, 2017
  • Venue: Tanay Adventure Camp, Sampaloc, Tanay, Tizal

Fees and Inclusions

  • 8K – P800
  • 12K – P900
  • 21K –P1,100
  • Kids Race – P500
    • 1.5K for 5-8 years old
  • Inclusions
    • Event Shirt
    • Bib
    • Finisher Medal
    • Loot Bag
    • Entrance to Tanay Adventure Camp
    • Environmental Fee

Route Description

  • 8K – The 8 kilometer distance descends to Dayapa Falls for the first four kilometers before heading back to Tanay Adventure Camp.
  • 12K – The 12K distance descends to Dayapa Falls for the first four kilometers followed by 2 kilometers of river crossing and trails before heading back to Tanay Adventure Camp.
  • 21K – The 21K distance descends to Dayapa Falls for the first four kilometer followed by 3 kilometers of river crossing and trails and another 3 and a half kilometers of rolling Sampaloc Trails before heading back to Tanay Adventure Camp.


Race Updates

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Guest Post by Maica: Hello Kitty Run

Hello Maica!!!

Hello Maica!!!

Maica joined the Pink Party and had fun with everyone’s favorite Kitty at Hello Kitty Run. #HelloKittyRunManila #LinkLoveTogether and #HKRManila2017 

Hello Kitty Run

We have painted the town PINK!

Honesty, I am not much a fan of Hello Kitty but I did have fun during the Hello Kitty Run Manila 2017. I went at such a fun and relaxed pace all-throughout the race with such a cute, festive and pink atmosphere.

The race started as soon as the sun showed up with thousands of Hello Kitty lovers of all ages joining the event. It was cute when I saw babies and children wearing their Hello Kitty stuff and Hello Kitty attires. Even adults are wearing Hello Kitty stuff and dressed like Hello Kitty, too. Being part of a sea of Hello Kitty is really such a cute attraction.

Imagine how cute the runners were? Hello Kitty was even there to grace the event and have fun with the runners. Lots of sponsors were present and were giving a lot of goodies to the participants. Surely, Hello Kitty fans were very happy to be part of the Hello Kitty Run Manila 2017.

Also, glad to have one of the cutest medals in the world!

Hello Kitty

The first Hello Kitty Run for the Philippines endeared about 10,000 participants last October 21, 2017 at the SM Mall of Asia.  The race franchise started in Bangkok in February 2016 and has made its way to other Asian Countries such as Singapore, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and now the Philippines. Hello Kitty also came with a Link Love Together concept promoted in the race and in their merchandise.  The run likewise created a buzz in the social networking sites with a lot of engagement in both Facebook and Instagram while the hashtags #HelloKittyRunManila #LinkLoveTogether and #HKRManila2017 also was prominent in social media.

With the success of the recent Hello Kitty Run, the race is headed to Cebu early in 2018 according to Tokyo Gets Co., Ltd, a Japan-based entertainment agency and its local affiliate Ten 22 Business solutions. The running landscape is now trending to character based events so look forward for more from Tokyo Gets Co. Ltd.

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Incoming: Justice League Fun Run

There’s a hero in every one of us and we get a chance to re-live that part at Justice League Fun Run. Be one with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, Flash and Cyborg as they navigate 3K, 5K and 10K distance.  The Run is happening on November 19, 2017 at SM City Cebu and November 25 at SM Mall of Asia.

Justice League Fun Run

Be a part of the Justice League and keep the world safe and healthy with a feel good run on November 19, 2017 at SM City Cebu and November 25, 2017 at SM Mall of Asia.  Be a part of the league as you navigate your way through 3K, 5K and 10K distances along with a hoard of Justice League fans in a run that will not only save the world but also keep you healthy.

Choose to be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg and get a really fun environment for a feel-good run as one of your favorite characters complete with secondary items. Superman has his cape, Batman and The Flash has their mask, Aquaman has his arms sleeves, Cyborg has his baller id and Wonder Woman has her Cuff.

Are you ready to save the world?  The register now for Justice League Fun Run.

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Cebu Leg: November 19, 2017 – SM City Cebu
  • Manila Leg: November 25, 2017 – SM Mall of Asia

Fees and Inclusions

  • 3K – P800
  • 5K – P1,100
  • 10K – P1,300
    • Singlet, Race Bib with Timing Chip, Drawstring Bag, Second Piece Costume and Dog Tag for all Finishers


Race Updates:

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