Friday, June 29, 2012

Run United 2: Almost sub-two in the 21k

When I did my first 21k run just over a year ago, one word filled my consciousness and that is “scary” but after several 21ks that followed, the anxiety and “scariness” was soon transformed to excitement and sheer joy every time I run. The feeling is more overwhelming when the course is new and it brings a new challenge in the game. I’ve been to several dozens of runs in the span of almost three years of running and there were quite a handful I consider an “epic” run and Run United is certainly one of them.

Just over a week ago, I finished my 4th 21k run at the Run United 2 which was set off at the Bonifacio Global City all the way to SM Mall of Asia in one single stretch. Rain poured a few days before the race day and it was still drizzling on the day itself. Many came a bit late including me because of the weather and the line at the baggage counter was really long. In a little while, the emcee Geli Victor announces the countdown for the first wave of the 5,000 21k runners, and the rest of us who were still in the line started to feel a bit of uneasiness, but still hoping to catch up at the last wave.

Finally, as soon as I was done in the baggage counter, I sprinted my way to the starting area I tried to catch up with the last batch of runners that will run the highways of Gil Puyat Avenue, Roxas Boulevard and Vicente Sotto and towards the finish line at the SM Mall of Asia. As we started to cruise the streets of BGC, excitement form every runners was felt in the atmosphere and the feeling was euphoric.

After the 7 kilometer mark the rain stopped but it left a really wet road with some puddles along the way that made many runners crowed up in a portion of the road just to evade it, because running shoes will surely hold water. But to a barefoot runner like me, it didn’t pose any problem at all. There about 16 barefoot runners who ran in the 21k category alone that day.

After the 11th kilometer mark where my ITBS normally occur, seemed to be absent that day and I felt I was on top of my game. I was so happy with my pace that I leveled up my speed a bit, hoping to get a “sub-two” at the finish line. Just as my level of excitement was high, as I reach the intersection of Vicente Sotto near World Trade Center, it suddenly collapsed because the road condition was so bad, even worse than the last time I ran there. From then on it was a slower pace with extreme caution with application of proper running form and technique. At the last kilometer mark, I managed to ran on the smoother portion of the gutter which made my pace increased a bit, hoping to recover my lost pace back earlier.

As I approached the finish line, I can already see the time and it was at 2:04:31.So I used all the remaining strength I had and sprint to the finish with the hope of getting a sub-two in my chip-time, since I was part of the last wave that was set off 15min late in the gun-start. But later on, I was told that the clock was not synchronized with the time in BGC and it was set 20min late. In short, my official time will be around 2hr. 5min. So, there goes my sub-two dream.

I didn’t get the sub-two but the overall feeling was so overwhelming because it was still faster from my previous 21ks. The next Run United 3 is scheduled on September 16 and I still have plenty of time to improve and perhaps get that sub-two in the end. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SENNHEISER: leading the audio industry for more than 60 years

SENNHEISER, the leader in high end audio and sound technology is finally here in the Philippines with their new concept store. Located right at the center of a popular center hub for audio entertainment , V-Mall (formerly Vira Mall) in Greenhills, San Juan City, Sennheiser Store is now ready to serve the most discriminate audio and sound aficionados, offering no less than the best in sound technology.

In parallel with the opening of the store is the celebration of its 20th year in Asia. In this momentous event, media and business partners gathered in a formal launch at the Seventh High, Bonifacio High Streets in BGC, last June 13, 2012. The event was graced by key people of SENNHEISER Philippines and Mr. Ng Chee Soon, President and Managing Director of Sennheiser Asia.

I was very fortunate to be invited as one of the media guess where we were treated with delectable cocktail dinner and open bar treats. The event features the latest line up of Sennheiser’s headphones with its cutting edge technology called “Noise-gard”, it prevents external noise mix with a more crisp quality sound.

The highlight of the evening was a parade of models showcasing the top of the line Sennheiser headphones. One particular model is the HD 700 which features outstanding acoustic properties sophisticated product design. The ear cups are designed in such a way that the sound waves are directed to the ears at a slight angle, resulting to a more impressive natural listening experience.

For the HD 800, it features is the high precision gauze transducer that is made of stainless steel making the headphones free form any impairment by any partial vibrations. This is because of the patent design feature of the special shape of the gauze, which continues the curved lines of the diaphragm. The resulting curvature reduces the volume of air beneath the diaphragm, thus guaranteeing even more precise diaphragm control and motion, significantly reducing total harmonic distortion.

As these headphone models went around the area, I was able to get first-hand experience of SENNHEISER’S superb technology. Even with an active external music being played, it became completely isolated once you put the headphones on. The availability of HD 700 and HD 800 will be on July 2012. However, in the raffle, these HD models were given to three lucky gusts who won in the raffle draws. 

As the event was finally concluded, each of the guests had the chance to experience Sennheiser’s audio technology after all. Each was given HD 295 headphones where we can continue to enjoy Sennheiser’s outstanding products.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wall Climbing: A complete fitness regimen

Before I was hooked into running, I was first introduced to indoor wall climbing many years ago. At first, it was just a peer bonding session with close friends who wanted to wait-out the traffic congestion before going home, until it became a regular physical fitness regimen. I invested on gears and even trained for local competition that was organized by Power -Up and other climbing gyms around Metro Manila. Soon after, I was not only a regular climber of the indoor wall but became addicted to outdoor rock climbing as well.

After a few years, at the moment when I was starting to get competitive, many climbing gyms, one by one began to close down out of business, including the one in Pasig City where I’m a regular member. As soon as these gyms were gone, so does my enthusiasm to continue and that result to the absence of physical fitness outlet.

I was thankful that a few years after, running became a fast growing fitness culture where many Filipinos are getting hooked including me. After three years of running, I was back in the fitness game. I also shed more than forty pounds of fats that accumulated over the years of dormancy. After several half-marathons and marathons, competitive spirit grew back but my regular training program seemed to lack in core strengthening of the upper body strength, an intensity I normally get during my wall climbing days.

Finally, last May 9, 2012, a familiar structure emerged in the heart of Bonifacio High Streets inside ROX. A forty feet climbing gym was erected by Power-Up designed to cater the fast growing fitness community in BGC.

Mr. Joey Cuerdo, the owner and designer of Power-up ROX climbing gym and long time friend sees the best opportune time to revive the climbing community once again and there is no other better place to restore it but at the Bonifacio Global City, the place in the metro where health conscious and fitness aficionados converge  .

Cuerdo shares: “ The wall design here at ROX is not centered on steep overhangs, but gentle inclines. The wall can be easy enough for beginners to finish, but also challenging enough for pros to train on. The gentle overhanging walls is the official inclination of the International Speed Climbing Competitions. With the height of 12 meters, it is ideal for 10 meter speed climbing training for athletes who are aiming to beat the record.”

Joey further explain that this particular branch of Power-Up, also aims to cater the non-climbers and even runners who wants undergo a cross-discipline training, focusing on the upper body and core strengthening. According to Mr. Cuerdo, a recent study proves that a one-hour of wall climbing can actually burn as much as 936 calories. A calorie burning rate one can achieve by running 21 kilometers. With this basis, wall climbing can also be an effective way to lose weight in an intense execution but in shorter amount of time.

Cuerdo further stressed that “climbing can be a very personal achievement oriented spot and turns challenges into personal accomplishments. These challenges create a better individual rather than aiming to be better in the sport because of someone else’s success”.

So, to my readers who bored and tiered of the conventional gyms and wanted to have a more creative and effective way of getting fit, you may want to head out to ROX Power-Up today and experience a different kind of high in fitness training.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

JanSport Super Sized Summer: Takeshi Castle and Amazing Race combined into one fun game

I’ve been into serious running for almost three years now and even before that, I always love to do outdoor sports like hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. I got into these types of sports mainly because I enjoy them more than playing ball games (which I was never really good at). I even joined indoor wall climbing competition before and joined a lot of races and often times I tend to be competitive.

I found out about the JanSport Super Sized Summer race from my wife, Ruth who is also a blogger and does the opposite of what I’m passionate about. She loves reading books, writing, blogging and show little interest in fast movement type of sports. I got excited about the event because I find the activities and obstacles to be challenging and fun. My wife got excited too when she found out that the first prize is 50,000 pesos.

Along with six other bloggers, we went to the bay area of SM Mall of Asia where the JanSport activity was being held. There were about a hundred individuals (mostly young people) who registered and we were all teamed in pairs. My wife insisted that we pair together so we can have the prizes all for ourselves (and she said this with much confidence that we will surely win). I agreed with her but in the back of my mind we won’t stand a chance against other pairs who were much fitter and younger than us.

All of us were given race kits with map of where the obstacles are located. As the emcee was briefing everybody about the rules of the race, my wife and I were busy strategizing our “guerrilla-tactics” with matching militaristic enthusiasm coming from her. I noticed the distances between obstacles were quite far apart and I was a bit anxious for her on the physical stress of the activity will poured on her. But I kept my cool and waited for the race to start.

At the start of the race, we immediately ran to the obstacle course and did our first task. It was a mix of tire-hopping, web-crawling and a couple of jump ropes and hula hoops. It was a surge of adrenalin rush for me and I enjoyed doing it. As we went to the second task, my partner was already having difficulty catching her breath. The Second task was the Sack Race, where both us will jump our way together inside a big JanSport Bag. That Sack race literally drained the life out of my partner in just few jumps. (So much for the militaristic strategy).

Right after the sack-race which made my partner partly De-commissioned, everything was on a snail pace and I was practically dragging her to go to the next station, and we’re just on our third task. Luckily, the succeeding tasks were not as physically draining for her like the coin crawler, the match the difference and a short wall climbing stint. Just as we’re about to finish with just a few stations to go, we were caught up in the Soda drinking task where both will have to drink a bottle of 1.5 litter of Coca-cola. The few sips were really thirst quenching but to finish the whole bottle was too much for two people can handle, most especially for a race partner with a bladder capacity of only two table spoon full. Naturally, I was the one that had to finish most of its contents which made me almost puke but was able to hold it. Unfortunately, some literally spilled out from my nostrils. 

After the last two stations, we finally finish the race and we ranked #31. We didn’t get to win but I was still proud of my partners who finished the race with me despite her physical limitations when it comes to sports and outdoor activities. 

After the short program, I we were treated with hefty dinner along with other members of the media at Giligan’s and had the most awesome time ending the summer with friends. ;)

Note: Photos courtesy of JanSport and

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jolibee’s Treat to the “Champ” of the Family

At three o’clock early this morning, I headed to BGC to run in the second leg of Run United where I joined the 21 kilometer category – barefoot. I was excited because it will be my 4th 21k run but was also a bit sad to leave home that early since it’s Father’s Day and I’ll be missing my kids’ greetings when they wake up later.

Rain poured on BGC but the crowd’s excitement was still intense. I was a bit anxious because I know that running on barefoot will be much harder on wet pavement. The gun start fired at exactly 4:30am and I was at the back of the third wave of three batches. There were more than 5,000 21k runners who filled the stretch of Gil Puyat Avenue and the scene was simply awesome!

Surprisingly, despite the wet road, I was able to finish my run in less than 2 hours, but it was certainly very exhausting and made me very hungry. So I got my gym bag and went home hoping to get a decent lunch after a very tiring run.

At home, there was no greater treat than a big fresh Joliibee Champ waiting for me to devour. The Father’s Day greetings came a little late in the afternoon but it’s ok. One of my sons asked me if I won the race and I said no, but coming home to eat a CHAMP I’ve wanted to have already make me feel like a winner. 

In every run, winning or ranking is usually the least of my concerns. My kids and I also don’t mind because, to me, they are my champs and I am theirs. I hope all the dads out there also had a great Father’s Day celebration like I did.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Champs of the family!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ariel : Using cutting edge technology beyond laundry

Not many people know, especially house wives the chemistry behind an effective laundry detergent they use? More often than not, many Filipinos would resort to a much cheaper brand of detergent that would seemingly give a cleaning effect on the visible layer of the fabric but missed out the dirt, stains and bacteria hidden within the fibers of the clothes. Many people don’t realize that these stains and dirt often missed by some more popular cheaper laundry agents will eventually give the clothes a lasting decoloration and an early wear and tear.

Proctor and Gamble P&G’s top laundry detergent ARIEL has brought to the consumer a cutting edge technology breakthrough in the science of laundry. A three dimensional cross section of clothes shows how the dirt and stains penetrate the layers of fabric. The 3D deep penetrating cleaning action of ARIEL has a stainlift-effect that does not only remove the dirt and stains, but also repairs the loose fibers, protecting the clothes to be worn out easily.

Ariel, available in several variants...

Moreover, the “stainlift” action of ARIEL strategically loosens these dirt and stains from the clothes as it spin in the washing machine and eventually dissolve in the water. For hand washing, brute strength will no longer be an issue because you don’t have to give so much effort rubbing and beating the clothes for a cleaner wash.

 Ariel's granulated consistency...

This multi-million dollar investment in the research and development of ARIEL involves forensic-like thorough investigation of the molecular make-up of dirt and how it relates to the fiber of the clothes. P&G research team has even brought in sufisticated science equipment such as Electron Microscope and Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI to study the chemical reaction of dirt, laundry agents and the clothes. Through this careful study, they have fully understood the behavior of each element and how they have come up with the “stainlift” action only ARIEL can provide.

Mr. Clint Navales of P&G, explaining the cleaning action of Ariel...

 For all the housewives and house-keepers who have kept an honorable life of servitude to their families by providing them cleaner clothes, the science behind ARIEL may not be as interesting. But it is important to know that the stains and dirt on the surface of the clothes are just the “tip of the iceberg” where much wider and much deeper dirt can be found in layers of fabric invisible from the naked eye.

With ARIEL’s stainlift 3D deep clean action, clothes are no longer cleaned superficially but three dimensionally.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beyond Yoga: Yoga and acrobatics combined

In a fast pace urban life, a lot of people resort to various stress relieving regimen that provides them a close to total wellness state, rejuvenating them for the everyday battle in the Urban jungle. Yoga, a very popular wellness routine has proven to be effective. However, in order to get in a trace state, a yogis must have a quite environment for an effective meditation, an environment which is relatively hard to find in a place as noisy and busy as Manila. 

Beyond Yoga, is a different kind of urban sanctuary where they offer a different kind of Yoga. The Anti-gravity Yoga is an aerial art form developed by Christopher Harrison, founder of the acrobatic performances company carrying the same name. Similar to the traditional yoga where one executes yoga posses, but this is done in suspended animation.

Another unique feature is the dynamic motion where one can literally swing the body hanging on a very durable silk cloth which can actually carry up to one thousand pounds. This silk cloth acts like a trapeze which lets hang from the floor not more than three feet high. From the silk cloth, one can execute various yoga positions which allow the body to stretch and apply contour poses beneficial to joints and muscle groups. One benefit is the spinal decompression that allows the vertebrates of the spine to loosen a bit for added flexibility.

Beyond Yoga houses 12 yoga experts who were trained by Mr. Christopher Harrison himself. The studio has sufficient space where they can accommodate 20 participants simultaneously. Other than yoga, the studio also offers dance classes once can incorporate with yoga and other fitness routine. 

Beyond Yoga is the country’s premier studio which offers yoga and dance classes. It is located at the Floor, Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinian Streets, Quezon City. Learn more about Beyond Yoga and Anti Gravity Yoga by visiting or +639175BEYOND

Note: All photos courtesy of Beyond Yoga Studio 

Monday, June 11, 2012

HP launches its two latest computers : The Envy14 Spectre and HPE H9 Phoenix

Hewlett Packard HP, the world’s largest technology company and world’s leader in innovation technology have set another milestone in home and business digital industry. HP have widened its range of mobile notebooks and desktop computers with the latest HP Envy14 Spectre HPE H9 Phoenix that level up to continues demand of its today’s clientele in both business and home gaming entertainment.

Yesterday, I was invited to witness the media launch of these two top of the line products of HP along with its sub model brands which equally posses cutting-edge HP technology. The launch was held at Function Hall at Alpha land Mall. The event was graced by people from the media, business partners and distributors.


The launch of these two new HP models were dramatized by amazing dance performances that depicts HP Spectre and HP phoenix’s top-of-the line technology, un paralleled power and speed that will surely served the most demanding users of today. As a brief description, the new HP Envy 14 Spectre emanate elegance and class that exceeds its other popular Laptop brands. It features a durable Gorilla glass screen and on the palm rest and even on the outer cover. The 14-inch display maximizes the screen with almost no borders. It also shows a high definition display that brings the user a better viewing angle and vibrant colors. It also comes with a Beats Audio by Dr. Dre and it has a manual volume control on the side of the unit for easy and quick controls. 

The HP Envy 14 Spectre also highlights a back-lit keyboard which not many laptops have that kind of feature, very helpful for those who prefer to work in a room with lights turned off. The keyboard design is also ergonomic with very responsive key-stroke feel. The track pad is also very sensitive and very responsive. And of course, on feature that is never absent in an HP laptop is the clear and sharp web cam. 


HP HPE h9 Phoenix is designed for the highly increasing market of today - the online gamers. This new powerful desktop is designed to the most demanding game users. It can run any of the latest games in the market that will not compromise the speed and responsiveness. The outer shell is a high durable metal casing with a slick cool design. It runs in a third-generation Intel Core i5 3570k “unlocked” processor that is battle tested for users who are overclocking. Even under this condition, the machine can barely show of increase in temperature. This is because of another cool feature HP which is the water-cool system. Just like an auto mobile, the mechanism inside is protected by a radiator-like water chamber where a special liquid coolant circulates in the metal structures of the internal mechanism, that gives optimum cooling system. Other features is the 16GB DDR3-1600 memory. It also features the highly acclaimed ATI Radeon HD 770 graphic card, that gives you a optimum graphic display even for the most intricate games available in the market today.


Available in : all HP business partners nationwide

HP Envy14 Spectre: Php 116,990

HPE h9 Phoenix: Php74,990

Friday, June 8, 2012

NUVALI offers its wildlife of 62 birds species to bird watchers

Approximately 17 square kilometers of flora and fauna, NUVALI is the sanctuary of more than 62 bird species where experienced bird walkers and watchers often visit. A part from the wide range of breeds of birds, it also offers seven mammal species, seven herpetofaunas and 55 species of flora.

This wildlife is now being protected by cause-oriented volunteer groups such as the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and HARIBON Foundation are helping NUVALI in its conservation efforts. On top of providing base-line statistics as to the number of wildlife that can be found in NUVALI, these groups also initiates tree planting and promoting volunteerism among private sectors and individuals to protect these species and promote public awareness about their existence.

Last week, I was invited to be included to participate in a rare occasion to join Wild Bird Club of the Philippines to an afternoon bird watching experience in the thick jungles of NUVALI. Along with other media representative, we were toured to the area where many of these birds freely roamed trees which also provide as their nesting grounds.

 Yellow Vented Bulbul

After a quick briefing, Architect Anna De Guzman, Nuvali’s Sustainability Manager and president of Wild Bird Club of the Philippines presented to us a short education on birds and the type of species they belong to. I was so surprised to know that many of these birds are endemic in the Philippines. It was also comforting to know that many birds that can be seen in NUVALI are also migratory birds, and they found haven in this type of environment even for just a short while.

 Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker

After getting familiarized with some of the common birds that are quite plenty in the area, we proceeded immediately to the trails where all of us can have the chance to at least have a quick peak on how these birds would look like under the binoculars. At the trail head we already here different sounds of birds un-familiar to most city-slicker like me. However, even if the sounds are so near, we can’t seem to find that was in viewing distance.

Yellow breasted fruit dove

And finally, after a few minutes of scouting, I spotted a “Yellow-vented Bubul” on a tip of a branch Bunyan-tree. In a short while, a pair of the same bird appeared in a distance but it was much exposed and it was much better to see in the binoculars. Hoping to find a other kind of birds, but it seems that the Yellow-vented bulbuls were the only types of birds present in that afternoon.

 Yellow vented Bulbul

As we went on further, we saw a massive spectacle of Bee-eaters swarming the sky. Bee-Eaters are small type of birds with V-shape wing tip. These birds are also common in Urban skyline normally in the late afternoon.

Blue-tailed bee-eater

We passed by a small stream where NUVALI constructed several viewing decks especially for bird watchers. As the afternoon was nearing towards the evening, we saw a few bats in flight. Arch. Anna shared to us some of other nocturnal animals that live in the wild forest of NUVALI. I was surprise that the reservation even has several breeds of monkeys that roam the place during night time. 

 Greater flameback

We didn’t see much of the birds that afternoon but certainly we had a wonderful time to appreciate how NUVALI have preserved the natural habitat where many people in the city rarely see. We all went home with the hope that we can always visit NUVALI’s forest reserve again in the future with my children for them to appreciate the natural wonders of nature not far from Metro Manila. 

Note: All photos courtesy of Wild Bird Club of the Philippines 



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