Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Run United 3 2012 Culminates the Unilab Active Health Trilogy

At last! I finally completed this year’s Unilab Run United trilogy at the SM Mall of Asia last September 16, 2012; a running project that I failed to complete in my two years of attempt due to work-related concerns that got in the way of the schedules. But this year I succeeded in completing the runs which were six months in the making and which started last March where I ran 21k. This June, Leg two followed where I also finished another 21k distance and outran my previous 21k personal record where I made my first PR of 2 hours 5 minutes. And lastly, the “Afroman” distance of 32k where I finished in 3 hours 28 minutes. Indeed this journey is an epic one for me because I finished the trilogy strong, injury-free and on barefoot.

The only picture I got in RU1

Made a new PR of 2 hrs. 5min

50 yards from the finish line 32k

Leg 3, just like the other two, started in Bonifacio Global City. There were about three thousand runners registered in the 32k Afroman distance where we were all set to gun-start at 3 o’clock in the morning. The weather, as expected, was very wet and it was forecasted early to be rainy with thunder storms. But despite the condition, thousands of runners came swarming the streets of BGC full of enthusiasm, all fired-up to run the Afroman.

The crowd was considerably small because some who didn’t make it to register in the 32k settled to run in the 21k category. But still, the 32k and 21k categories hold the record as the biggest delegations in the Leg 3 amounting to 6,000 runners. Organizers had to cut the two distances in separate batches where 21k will be set off at 4:00am and the 32k at 3:00am to prevent over-crowding the race course.

3,000 runners gathered in the streets of BGC for the 32k run

As soon as the guns started, rain immediately poured. For many runners, this would be a tough run because, pretty soon, running shoes will hold water and it will add to the challenge. For barefoot runners, it was not a concern but wet roads make the soles a little tender. However, the past two legs of Run United taught me well so I came prepared.

At gun start, rain started to pour

A couple of weeks before the Leg 3, a friend of mine, Joey Cuerdo of Mojo Sandals, gave me a prototype transition footwear for barefoot runners which I designed. I called it the Forefooter, (for lack of official name). Basically, it’s an innovation of running sandals that is minimized to accommodate only the forefoot area which is essential in the running form of a barefoot runner. It is made from durable rubber soles with minimal tubular webbing.

The Forefooter by Mojo Sandals

In my past races where the Kalayaan flyover and Seaside road are noted to be “barefoot-killers” for their rough textured quality of asphalt, many barefoot runners cross these roads with extreme caution, an ultimate test of running technique and form. I’ve crossed these roads many times barefooted and I always came out uninjured, but it took too much of my time. To make the odds even, I slipped on the Forefooter in those areas to cut a shorter time for me. And it worked! After the crossings, I immediately slipped them in my pockets and transitioned back to barefoot running again.

Along Seaside road...

Shortly after the 21 kilometer mark, the rain poured harder along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. On normal running days when it is not raining, at this distance, many runners would start to heat up from exhaustion. But the rain was quite refreshing for many of us. The last stretch of Seaside road was also tough for all of us but the sight of the Mall of Asia gave us encouragement because we knew the finish line was just a couple of kilometers away. At this time, my quads were already giving signs of fatigue so I made a couple of stops along the way to give myself some short stretchings. In my past races, it taught me to address these types of fatigue at an early stage where it is not yet worsening. In the last two kilometers to the finish line, I definitely didn’t want these early signs of cramps ruin my perfectly good running day, so a few seconds worth of stops didn’t matter.

Six months in the making... 

At the finish line, the much anticipated last piece of the trilogy medals was finally award to me and it felt great! Finally, the six-month running project in Run United has come to an end and it gave way to a prelude to a much greater pursuit this coming October -- the Unilab Philippine Marathon. Of course, the training starts now!

all set to do this...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mondo Juice: Home of all-natural fruit smoothies

In the last few years, smoothies have become very popular not just among health buffs but among almost all individuals who crave for fruit juicy flavored drinks. Smoothies are now actually a craze among young ones and professionals who used to hang around in coffee shops all day and consume gallons of coffee just to get the “planner” everyone is talking about.

Fruit juice/smoothie makers, like coffee shops which have been popping out like daisies in spring time around the metro, likewise carry their own promises and claim to their customers of having the most natural ingredients and healthier stuff than the rest.

Little did many people know that smoothies are not created equal. As much as many say that they are offering all-natural fruits, the ingredients speak otherwise. However, there is one smoothie maker who bothered to go all around the world to get the best quality fruits this God-given earth can produce to mankind and who will not cut corners in processing them to give the market nothing but the best combinations of fruits to make the best-tasting smoothies money can buy.

The MONDO JUICE smoothie is what define natural from the un-natural.

Why? Because Mondo Juice is the only juice hub around that blends the right combinations which allow fruits’ natural sweetness to come out without adding sugar or anything else that is not natural. Each smoothie packs 1/3 pound of fruit in each cup, from mangoes, bananas, oranges, pineapples to cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupes and watermelons, much of which are imported from other countries.

These fruits are air-lifted to the Philippines after immediately freezing them in three seconds through a cryogenic IQF process that locks all the goodness of the fruits in sub-zero temperature. Mondo Juice follows very rigid and strict protocols when it comes to gathering fruit. They make sure that the produce are only grown organically without any harmful chemicals and should pass a series of inspections and quality control to ensure that they serve only the best blended smoothies.

That is why each serving with the right mix of fruits gives you a kaleidoscope of flavors. The first sip would give you, for instance, a dash of mangoes that then transcends to banana with a blend of another fruit bringing in the full, rich flavors altogether.

There are three branches where you can enjoy Mondo juice -- SM Megamall, Robinson’s Galleria and Ali Mall Cubao area.

But wait, there’s more!

To multiply the richness of your smoothie, Mondo Juice bar also offers light and healthy snacks and sandwiches with, of course, are also made with all-natural ingredients, including grilled chicken breast, capicolla ham and smoked turkey breast served with all fresh vegetables and homemade wheat bread.

You might have been sucking that smoothie with a weird “cough-syrup” taste for some time now. Being popular doesn’t mean a smoothie brand is all good. Make sure you get the real taste of authentic fruits without sugar or any other chemicals which only Mondo Juice can give. After all, “mondo” is the Latin word for World, that is why every serving of Mondo smoothie you can be sure that you’re experiencing the best of the World’s natural fruits.

Friday, September 21, 2012

BIOTENE: Leaders in dry mouth treatment

Little did I know, many Filipino are suffering from “Dry mouth. “ I never really thought that it can lead to a more serious medical condition like tooth decay and gum infections. Admittedly, I get to have that once-in-a while when I get the flu or when I'm invited to speak for a long time in front of a lot of people. I always thought that it’ s ok because I kind of produce more saliva than normal and I often cover my mouth when I speak because of my “talsik-laway” syndrome. Only know that I realize that under supply of saliva in the mouth can lead to a more serious case, which is bad.

Not only a person can get the worst case of bad breath (halitosis), Dry mouth can also cause different kinds of oral health problems, and that is according to Dr. Jay Hansel I. Tabije of Department of Dental Medicine at St. Jude Hospital. Now another doctor, Dr. Natividad Alamzan of East Avenue Medical Center says, Dry mouth may lead to more worst cases and can developed other problems not just in the oral cavity area but also in the throat area, which is twice as bad.

Having a good oral and dental hygiene practice may reduce the occurrence of dry mouth. However, an ideal oral hygiene product can be as twice as effective. 

Photo courtesy of Alex Dizon...

Global brand BIOTENE has a wide range of oral care products such as moisturizing gel, mouth spray that help moisturize and lubricate dry mouth, supplement some of saliva’s protein enzymes and stimulate saliva to help clean and lubricate the mouth. 

Last August 3, 2012, a small group of media friends gather in an informal and intimate karaoke party at RED Box Greenblet 3 , Makati. People from Glaxo Smithkline, the makers of Biotene, presented the realities of dry mouth and how Biotene products can help prevent or treat it effectively. After long hours of singing, food and light booze, there is no better time to check Biotene sample products in action the next day morning.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

POGS Run 2012: Takbo Para Sa Ligtas Na Pag-bubuntis

On its third year, the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, POGS will commence its yearly traditional fun run that will be held inside Camp Aguinaldo on October 21, 2012. Dubbed as Takbo Para Sa Ligtas Na Pag-bubuntis” , this fun run will benefit a training program for community health workers in remote localities or areas which have no access to hospitals. This aims to educate and train local health workers the proper procedure of managing women in labor and delivering babies, in order to decrease the mortality rate of women dying from pregnancy and child birth.

In the previous years, the fun run was mostly participated by medical practitioners. This year POGS will open it to the general running community that has been phenomenally growing and maturing through the years, in order to generate more funds for its advocacy. 

Last September 14, 2012, members of the running community headed by Mr. Blas Ople Tiangco, also known as the Titanium Runner, hosted the a bloggers event which was attended by several runner/bloggers in an intimate dinner with POGS sport committee. Mr. Eric Passion of Run For Change is the commissioned race organizer for the said fun run went through the details of the race, and even presented the sample race singlet which looks impressive. The venue was held at Chef’s Quarter, the home of the best ribs and steaks at the 3rd level of SM Mega Mall.

As for me, it will be my first time to join a fun run inside the Camp, and I’m really excited to run in places which are very new to me. I’m also anxious to know if the road inside the Camp is also good to run barefoot. According to Blas, Camp Aguinaldo is slightly elevated and the whole course is covered with trees and vegetation so the temperature is a little bit cooler compared to other popular race circuits that has all these sky scrapers around. 

The race categories for the POGS Run 2012 are 3k, 5k, 10k, and 16k distances. I signed up immediately for 16k because I want to accumulate long runs in October to prepare me for the Run United Philippine Marathon where I plan to run again my next 42k barefoot. 

POGS Run 2012 is now open for registration at R.O.X. Bonifaicio High Streets, BGC and at POGS National Head Quarters, at Malakas Street, Diliman Quezon City. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

G-Star RAW Store Manila

A few years back, G-Star Raw, an Amsterdam-based luxury street wear occupies a small portion of Rustan’s Department Store along with other signature luxury clothing like Armani Exchange, Doce and Gabana, has now broken away and erected its own brand space at the posh hubs of Bonifacio High Streets in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The revolutionary design of G-Star RAW has captured the preference of many Filipino fashion enthusiasts, most especially those who are avid collectors of such high end signature clothes. It is noted for its cutting edge style in the realm of jeans and denim. With its unique clothing philosophy, G-Star Raw has gained strong followers all over the world.

With its official launch, G-Star RAW presented five Filipino model ambassadors who exemplify the true meaning of the brand. These five were selected among the top apparel models in the country today and each hold a distinct title in their own individual vocation like in the field of music, film, art and fashion. They are Sanya Smith, Pauline Prieto, Sid Maderazo, Mike Conception and Gian Romano.

Recently, the Primer Group of Companies, one of the country’s leading apparel and clothing retail enterprise and soon to be Asia’s retail giant now holds G-Star Raw Philippine distributorship hosted the grand opening of its first stand-alone store at the upper ground floor of C1 Building at the Bonifacio High Streets Central, BGC.

The event was attended by a selected few, mostly society’s most talked about personalities in the fashion and entertainment industry and of course members of the media and friends. The program was hosted by another society’s top male model, Borgy Manotoc, where he gave the preliminary welcome pleasantries. Shortly after, everyone proceeded at the entrance of the G-Store where all witnessed the grand unveiling and ribbon cutting of the store.

 A series of ramp modeling proceeded after by some of the top models of the country. At the cocktail area, where the five G-Star brand ambassador were presented to the public in their RAW jeans and apparels.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rip 60 Suspended Rotation Training at Big Shift

Last May, I had chance to get to experience a few sessions of the Rip 60 Suspended Rotation Training at the FTX Fitness Exchange in Makati under the patient coaching of Ms. Connie Fortich, resident Rip 60 certified instructor. I attended a few classes just get the feel of how Rip 60 works for a runner like me.

To begin with, I was never a gym person and I never enjoyed training with weights. At first I was a bit skeptic but I gave it a try since it’s a lot different form the usual gym equipment and the training program is totally different as well. After the four lessons at FTX, my lessons was pre-maturely cut-off and as a result, I didn’t get the “ripped-physique” this equipment is suppose to deliver, but I kind of miss the intensity it gave me.

Last week I was invited to attend a special gathering of members of the media for a special Rip 60 session at Big Shift Gym at A-Venue in Makati. For me it, it was a chance to be re-acquainted once again with suspension training and I was a bit excited to give another try.

Coach Joseph Pagulayan, the Philippines’ Rip 60 master trainer gave everyone a comprehensive presentation on how suspended rotation training gives much better result compared to the traditional weight training exercises everyone is familiar with. Soon after, there were about 10 0f us participated in a 90 minute Rip 60 work out. Some moves were familiar but mostly were very new to me.

The whole one session were an intense and a muscle burning experience. As most of the participants were cooling down, Coach Joseph asked for six volunteers (three males and three females) to take the Super 60 challenge. It is a three Rip 60 routine in 20 reps each. The challenger to complete the three routine is the winner. I was one of the three guys who took the challenge and My two other male contenders were also seasoned runners and were much younger and leaner than me, so the odds were not on my side. The first one to go was a runner blogger “Pinoy-Runner”, the second one was my friend Alfred a.k.a Running Atom and I went in last.

After the all of us had our shot, the official time was announced and it turned out and to my surprise, I was declared as the fastest among the three with an official time of 3 minutes and 2 seconds, just 5 minutes ahead of Alfred which 3 minutes 7 seconds! Perhaps the four sessions of Rip 60 at FTX made the difference after all. Ok, so now I’m really a believer. 

And of course the culmination of this blog is the prizes! Each winner got a pair of Vibram Fivefingers minimalist shoes and the over-fastest (which is also me.) gets a unit of Rip:60 Suspended Rotation Training Set courtesy of Chris Sports.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Discover the new Metro Alabang

GAISANO, the name behind the successful chain of malls that conquered Cebu, and 19 others including the the Metro Market Market, an iconic commodity center in Bonifacio Global City in taguig, now invades the mall goers of the south with the  opening the latest of the Metro Chain of Malls, the Metro Alabang.

Under the name Viscal Development Corporation, Metro Alabang officially launched its massive 44,000 square meter retail store at the south of metro manila, specifically adjacent to the already existing Ayala Alabang Town Center, operated the Alabang Commercial Corporation, a subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc., last August 19, 2012.

Together with friends, guests and members of the media, the exclusive opening was celebrated with cocktails and live bands. Organizers took time to tour the guests to each floor that highlights some of the best local products indigenously handcrafted from Cebu and other parts of the regions. The mall features the wide variety of international hard to find commodities in the supermarket at the basement area with surprisingly affordable prices.

The visitors and media were even invited to participate to join in the game where one is to visit designated stores to qualify to join the raffle. The celebration was kicked off with a ceremonial ribbon cutting participated by the members of the Gaisano Family, top executives of Viscal and the Muntinlupa City Adminstrator, Atty. San Pedro who graced the event on behalf of Mayor Aldrin San Pedro.

The mall features a wide range of groceries form around the world, delectable delis from Europe at the Metro Gourmet Deli and Coffee Shop right beside the supermarket. It offers a wide selection of cheesses much of which you don’t find in a ordinary regular stores. Metro Alabang is also one of the very few stores that sell fresh, hot and authentic Cebu Lechon that is shipped to Manila every day.

At the fourth level, they feature various selection of Cebu arts and handicrafts by world renowned local designers like Gil Karungay of Avatar and other famous furniture makers of Cebu who showcases some of their world class designs.

Metro chain of malls are the visions of the Gaisano’s Patriarch the late Sir Victor Gaisano who along with his family, instituted the first supermarket in 1982 and with series of expansions and partnership with equally giants in development, Ayala Land and Megaworld and other developers, Metro malls now operates in 17 retail outlets: 11 in Cebu province, two in Metro Manila, Legazpi, Lucena, Angeles City in Pampanga, and Maasin Southern Leyte. 

Alabang is now the 18th store and more are expected to rise as Viscsal and its partners will continue to open more stores that will increase its presence in the key cities of Luzon and Visayas. 

To know more about Metro Alabang Town Center, please visit:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Immuvit Fearless Trail Run 2012 (Leg1)

A few months back, I made a series of blog posts on Immuvit, particularly the Metafit exercises where one can actually achieve reviving growth hormones and burn as much as 600 calories by simply executing a combination of simple exercises repeatedly in four minutes every day. Indeed, after thirty days, I and five other bloggers who underwent the 30 day challenge have significantly lost not just poundage but also girth measurements. As to my experience, I made a significant improvement on my upper body strength and core. Shortly after that, I always hoped that someday there will be a fitness challenge that would ultimately validate the effects of this fitness routine onpeople like me. Lo and behold, the guys from Immuvit thought of one already!

Last week, I had one of the most awesome trail-running experiences at the La Mesa Dam Eco Reserve. It was the race venue of the recently concluded first leg of the Immuvit Fearless Trail Running Challenge. The trail running is just one of the three challenges Immuvit have concocted to give runners, tri-athletes and outdoor sports enthusiasts a higher level of test on endurance and power.

There are about a thousand who swarm the trails of La Mesa Dam Eco Reserve last August 26, 2012 to get the taste of the 10k and 5k trail run distances with a twist. The race course, however, does not just involved simple trail running but was filled with different sorts of obstacles to test the limits of the runners.

The 10k and 5k distance race courses were winding and with partly steep terrain amidst a mix of rocks, dirt and lots mud, which were really challenging. To make the race a more difficult one, race organizers set several additional obstacles that certainly set this event apart from other trail running races.

At the beginning of the trails, there were two sets of fire walls that were lit to block the trails and all runners must leap through these fire walls which blazed knee high. Since it was just set up a few hundred meters from the starting line, most of us got through it easily.

The next few kilometers were wet and muddy and then came the first series of log hurdles. There were about five to seven hurdles that runners needed go through. The height of these logs varied and so did the difficulties. The first two were just a jump high but the last three required much stronger effort and some needed to climb over the log just to get over.

Just when most of the runners have significantly acquired three kilos of mud in and on their shoes, which made running much more difficult, there came a series of tire loops obstacles which we must hop through it. With the mud on our shoes, hopping through the tires without tripping was almost impossible. Some runners’ trail running shoes even got stuck in the tires because of the mud. Thankfully, I was wearing minimalist trail shoes from Merrell, the Barefoot Trail Glove, which doesn’t hold mud as much as other trail running shoes do, so I made it through those tires easily.

After two more sets of log hurdles, we next encountered a not so high military wall. Climbing over it was not as hard as I expected and the slide right after was fun. Hydration and bananas were sufficiently supplied to all runners to regain the lost energy after those series of obstacles and to prepare us for another series of harder ones up ahead.

One of the highlights of the race was the mud wall. It was fifteen foot high and almost vertical covered by dirt and mud and the objective was to climb the wall with an aid of a climbing rope on the side. At this time, fatigue was kicking in for most runners and climbing the fifteen feet wall became a challenge on a higher level. 

The last two kilometers was mostly trail running with an easy twenty meter lunge walk and before reaching the finish line another leap over the fire wall to complete and seal the runners’ accomplishments. During a road run, I normally finish a 10k distance at 47 minutes but this 10k trail run, I finished in 1hour 13minutes. I was surprised at the time despite the obstacles and the difficulty of the terrain. I’d like to think that the two month Immuvit Metafit exercises have really done the trick.  

For those who ran with me and survived the challenge of the first leg, get ready for next one in October. The second leg is quite different form the first one but certainly will be twice as hard. It will be a combination of run and metafit exercises in between. To get a sneak peak of what will be the challenges, you can check my blog on Immuvit-metafit 30 day challenge on this link:


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