Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kayak Explore 2013 at Anvaya Cove

Last May 1, 2013, I blog about my very first Kayak experience in Ceylabne Bay, Ternate Cavite, courtesy of my friend Ms. Arleen Lindo of Chris Sports. I had the opportunity to learn first-hand kayaking 101 from the father of Philippine Kayaking Mr. Val Camara himself. For me it was an experience that is worth learning for a relaxing cross-discipline whenever I’m not running. Little did I know that this short kayaking stint will bring me to a whole new level in this new found skill in water sport.

After one month from my first Kayaking lesson, I was invited by my friend Mr. Joey Cuerdo to participate with him in a Kayaking Competition. Joey is the business owner of Mojo Outdoor sandals and Power-Up Climibing Fitness which happens to be two of the major sponsors of the recently concluded Kayak Explore 2013 at Anvaya Cove, in Subic, Zambales. This kayaking Competition is being held annually and it is being organized by the group of Mr. Val Camara himself.

I was also fortunate to bring my wife, Ruth of to cover the event for her blog-site. When we arrived at Subic, I was introduced to my kayaking partner Kat “Jai” Pablo (a seasoned Dragon Boat paddler and climber) and we will be kayaking together for the very first time. At the registration area, Joey took the liberty of signing us up to compete in the 25 kilometer race. I was excited but at the same time felt a little apprehensive, because the 25 kilometer distance is, I should say a little above my league, since both my partner and I are considered novice in kayaking. Nonetheless, our adventure spirit overcame our apprehensions and  tried our best to be confident since both of us are well-rounded athletes in our own field.

At the shore, as Mr. Camara announced some final instructions, Jai and I took the liberty of picking our kayak and paddles and positioned ourselves at the shoreline. At the sound of the gun start, we along with other 22 other kayaks cruised the open waters of Morong Bataan and Subic, paddling the first leg of the 25 kilometer kayak race. Our target destination is to reach the Lighthouse Resort by lunch time to complete the first leg which is 12.5 kilometers long. 

The first few kilometers was a breeze, I positioned myself at the tail-end of the boat and I get to be the one to steer the kayak and make sure to keep it just along the shore line. Jai, my partner was really hitting hard on the paddles much like the style she knows when paddling a dragon boat. By around 12nn, the finish line was in sight and we were able to cross the buoy signs finishing the first leg at 2 hours and 40 minutes. Apparently, we finished the first leg 4th from the last kayak. This didn’t bother us at all since this was our first kayaking marathon race. For us, just finishing was an accomplishment.

After finishing our lunch courtesy of the Lighthouse Resort, everyone was prompted to take the position on the water and as soon as the gun started, we were off again to finish the 2nd leg back to Anvaya Cove. At the resort, Mr. Camara told everybody that the tide will work along with us, so it won’t be as difficult going back. Apparently, his forecast did not realize because the tides were actually against us and the effort was tripled and it became much harder for me to steer because the waves kept pushing us in the open sea. After almost three hours of laborious paddling, we realized that we were just only half way back and the fatigue was constantly kicking in.

In the last three kilometers, Jai was already too tired to paddle so I tried my best to paddle by myself move us forward on a very slow pace. Race marshals were already circling us to check if we wanted to stay on or self declared as DNF (Did Not Finish). At first, my pride ruled over and kept on encouraging Jai that we can finish it even if we are the last one to arrive. But in the last kilometer, my abdomen began to tighten and I knew that it will be cramps. I was trying my best to manage it by giving it a stretch by leaning backwards but the space in the kayak was not enough to give me a full stretching. After a few minutes I can’t paddle anymore so I told Jai to paddle us to the finish line. I thought that a few minutes of rest will lessen it but after a while, breathing became difficult as well. 

 At this point, both of realized that this was where we can draw the line and to accept defeat. We waved at the boat marshals and they towed us to the last kilometer of the 2nd leg of the race. As we about to dismount from our kayak, my abdominal cramps worsen and any movement was an excruciating pain. The medic hurriedly came for assistance. After the pain subsided, I tried my best to roll over to my belly and gave it a good stretch. After several repetition of stretching, the cramps subsided completely.

I loaded myself with water and electrolytes to replenish all the minerals that were lost resulted by fatigue and lactic acid build up. It was good thing that I was able to recover immediately and gained a little strength, at least to clean myself up, cool down and shower up. For any consolation, the food at dinner time was really gastronomic.

After the short program, we immediately load up and drive back to Manila. The long drive was enough for me to recap my experience and some of the lessons I learned from this adventure. Even with the slight injury experience, that didn’t deter me to try it again in the future. It was a challenge for me to really develop myself in this new found skills, so that coming next year’s kayak event, I’m more prepared to paddle the waves  and enjoy it more. 

All photos are taken by these three talented photographers
Harvey Tapan, Harold Tapan and Al Benavente

Kayak Explore 2014, I’m ready for you! 

Mud Run 2013 by Xterra

I’ve been running for more than three years now and what I love the most about this lifestyle is when I run barefoot and when I run on trails. For me, there is always something special in trail running that always gets me high. That is why whenever there is a trail running opportunity that comes in; I grab it as much as I can.

Last May 26, 2013, I finally had the invitation to join the Mud Run 2013 by Xterra. I came to know about this running series last year from a running friend but unfortunately, I was not given the opportunity to attend. But this year, luck turned in my favor because the venue of this year was just at the back of our village where I live, in Filinvest, Alabang. How convenient! 

The racing route in Filinvest is more of beginners trail running haven. If you can’t afford to go to the out skirts of Metro Manila like San Mateo, Tanay or Nuvali in the south to enjoy the trails, the Filinvest trails will give you a milder challenge. The several hectares of undeveloped land with bit of lush vegetation and secondary reforestation, is an ideal area for a more “laid-back” outdoor recreation suited for running and mountain biking.

The event was divided into two categories, 10k and 5k. I was registered in the 10k and was set to take off at 6:00am. I’m suppose to run barefoot that day but decided to wear my old Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove, though its already giving some signs of wear and tear, I was confident it can still withstand a milder trail running punishment for the day. 

As expected, the course was filled with man-made mud-pit obstacles, which for me is anticipated. The course was a mix of trail-dirt and road. There was also a military wall where all of us need to hurdle a 10-foot vertical wall with an aid of a rope. There was also a short rope bridge and at the last kilometer mark was another tunnel crawl. 

The whole trail course for me was not as difficult compared to the other trial running race I experienced. But with the mud-pit and obstacles, it made the course a bit challenging in a certain way. Over all, trail running in Filinvest was quite fun, considering that the course is in the middle of a highly urbanized setting.

I’m sure for others who are just starting to do trail running, the Mud Run 2013 will give them a nice debut run that will bring them to another level of challenges when they decide to level up.  

Note: All photos courtesy of Xterra Philippines.

World War Z: The Next level of Zombies

My earliest recollection of Zombie movies was the films of early Darna (Vilma Santos version), where one the lead characters there were DonDon Naccar and Ike Lozada in the seventies, most of which were based in a super-natural context. But as the Zombie story evolved through the years, it is now become more influenced by science, where one can be contracted in the form of viral illnesses.

A few years ago, I was beaten by our dog which made me rushed to the nearest hospital to get anti-rabies shots. In the hospital, I remember there was a documentary film that was being shown in the waiting area. It was a public awareness campaign about rabies. In that short documentary, I was shocked to see how Rabies patients practically being strapped down on their beds because of their wild demented behaviors with matching drooling symptoms, much like the behavior of the rabid dog that bit the person and after watching so many zombie movies and just recently, World War Z, the idea of the “zombie phenomenon” is becoming more real than fiction.

In the movie, the virus originated from rabies that spread through human contact. Once bitten, the incubation period react in just a few seconds. Unlike other zombie movies where a victim will undergo a lengthy incubation period, zombies in World War Z are instantaneously combat ready in a matter of 12 seconds. Another unique feature of these zombies is their ability to run as fast as regular humans. In the rabies public awareness documentary I mentioned a while ago, there was apart there where a patient unexpectedly broke from his bondage and literally jumped from the second floor of the hospital, breaking his ankle from the fall but still tried to run as if he didn’t feel any pain at all. That scene really scares because they’re like zombies in real life. 

Now going back to the movie. When Gerry Lane (Brad Pit) battles with these zombies, in the end good eventually triumph over evil and found a solution to a world crisis. And just like most viruses, vaccines were eventually became their weapon that somehow camouflaged man from the infected zombies. 

The movie is a high caliber adrenalin booster that kept me at the edge of my seat many times. The high intensity scenes made me burned 500 calories just by watching this movie and can say that I really enjoyed this one better than Man of Steel. The acting delivery of Brad Pit were superb including the leading lady (I forgot her name) who was not as popular. Actually, many celebs in the movie were not as big shots but have delivered their talents to the fullest. 

World War Z is currently showing on all major cinemas all over the metro. For those who have been following the TV series walking dead, this movie will definitely give everyone the thrills and chills. This movie is a ditributed by of Solar Entertainment and Paramount Pictures.     

Monday, June 17, 2013

World Vision Run 2013 Media Launch

Last year, World Vision Run 2012 was able to gather more than 3,600 runners covering three different categories of distances including a half-marathon, with a very short period of preparation allotted for marketing. Coupled only with a band of people with zero experience staging a fun run but armed with unquestionable commitment and dedication to the tasks given and burdened by its cause, the WV Run team went through the event with an ROI, I should say “less-substantial” to call it a success.  But how do you measure success?

This year, the Team will stage again another round of World Vision Run, despite all factors and business models pointed to do otherwise. Even with the support given by the new race organizer, RunRio Inc., and Coach Rio Dela Cruz himself, the whole team will again chartered into a very risky endeavor of losing more than what was invested, more so now, that it has only less than three weeks before the race day.  

With its best effort, RunRio and Team World Vision organized a media/bloggers event last June 7, 2013, at the Kabisera ni Dencio at the Bonifacio High Street, that was attended by our friends from RunRio together with Coach Rio himself and members of the online media particularly from the running community, in the hope that these people, through their media networks and readership would rally Filipino runners to register in the run.  In the event, RunRio did the customary race orientation and details and afterwards, Ms. Pam Millora of the World Vision Team shared the cause of the Run and emphasizes the significance of the proceeds and how it will impact the lives of poor children who are not yet in school. At the end of the presentation, she even challenged the members of the on line media to support the cause monetarily by sponsoring children. 

In my ten years in fundraising in World Vision, I always have this view that the press and media are the least receptive audience when it comes to charity. But in the course program, a running photographer friend Mr. Jojo Pauly who happens to be a former World Vision Sponsored Child from Infanta Quezon was invited to speak.  Jojo is a running photographer icon known by everyone in the running community. In the event, I asked him to share a short story of his life when he was still a sponsored child living in the province. Everyone were so amazed as they heard him shared his struggles living in a poor community and eventually rose up from poverty and now became a successful professional photographer. Even coach Rio who happened to share a similar life story and also sponsoring two kids in World Vision, somehow felt a connection with him that day. 

The event turned out to be a bit emotional when people listened attentively to Jojo’s story. And lo and behold, immediately after Jojo was done sharing, several media friends openly gave their support to sponsor children including Running hosts Boy Ramos. By it, my views about media people being less-responsive to charity began to change and I’m so glad to have been proven wrong. 

From that short scene, it somehow gave me a whole new perspective on how the run would not just be successful but more importantly, how it will be significant with the few thousand of people we will engage. 

So how do we see success here? Dim, I guess. But then I would love to see the day I will be proven wrong again.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Energizer Night Run: 3000 head lamps filled the streets of BGC

Last May 4, 2013, the Energizer Run culminates at the 34th street of the Bonifacio Global City running circuit. There were more than 3000 runners for both 5k and 10k collectively ran the course of BGC filling the streets with more than 3000 head lamps. 

Energizer, a world leader in energy source products has been hosting Energizer Runs in more than eight countries for the past five years already. In the Philippines Energizer Run is on its 4th year which crosses in different regions all over the country. 

This year, I had the opportunity to experience my first Energizer Run which admittedly a very unique experience compared to the usual running which is normally held in day time. It was also a perfect day to field test my new Brooks PureDrift a very light running shoes designed for those who love running barefoot or minimalist shoes. 

It was kind of not-of-the ordinary running experience for me since it was also my first time to run with shoes on in more than three years of running barefoot on flat pavement. The gun fired at exactly 7:30pm for the 10k category. All of us turned on our head lamps as we cruise the night streets of BGC. The scene was spectacular seeing more than 3000 runners with their head lights on. 

It was a good fun run seeing running friends along the way and it was also nice to see new faces, which I assumed are new the running lifestyle. Energizer Run is designed to encourage new people to run, and most of them were very excited in their first race. 

In the first few kilometers, I found myself scrambling with my rhythm as I was getting to be accustomed running with shoes on. It‘s a good thing the Brooks PureDrift only weighs 4.6oz and the heel is zero-drop. After a while, I finally got used to it and I was able to run a very comfortable pace.  One highlight of the course is the tunnels with neon lights. Runners pass through them and found a scenic experience because of the effect of the head lamps. All of us find it very cool. 

At one portion the course, our pack was a bit surprise when marshals directed us to cross over an island which was quite odd, because we knew it was not part of the course. As we went through another loop, at the bend of the 34th street, we were quite amazed that we were already about to cross the finish line. In my watch, I finished the 10k run at 32minutes, way much faster than my usual 10k which was 47 minutes. Baffled by our early finished, we immediately called the attention of the organizers and told them that the 10k route was too short. In the GPS of some runners, the 10k run reflected at 3km short. As many runners arrived having the same feeling, some showed a bit of disappointment. 

A few minutes after, organizers made some public apologies and explained to the runners why the course was shortened. Apparently, a VIP living near the race course, prohibit the marshals to allow the runners to take that route and was detoured to another street. I just wish organizers could have taken care of the situation before hand so that they could have make some fall back or contingency route. 

In general, the energizer run was ok but not as spectacular as many would anticipate. For me, personally, at least my day was pacified by an expected treat form F1 Hotel who allowed me and my family to stay overnight in one of their family suites. The hotel happens to be a stone-throw away from the race course in BGC. It was a perfect indulgence where I was able to pamper myself in a hot shower and rest my feet and legs in a cozy bed and air conditioned room. 

In the morning, we were greeted by a buffet breakfast and the kids had the whole morning in the swimming pool. My wife took advantage of the complimentary massage while I spent a few minutes trying some of their state of the art gym equipment.   

In more than three years of running, I could say that there were good runs and there were also bad ones. Nonetheless, all of them are learning experiences and subsequently builds a character out of a runner. 

Note: Some photos courtesy of

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pamora chicken Free Range Chicken: The chicken with the taste of real chicken

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

With all the additive and chemicals being injected to “mass-produced” chickens today, it really doesn’t matter, because all these harmful chemicals will come out whichever comes first, whether it’s a chicken or the egg. No wonder a lot of people get allergic reactions when they eat chicken. It’s because of these chemicals that were absorbed by the animal and in the end consumed by humans.  

A few decades ago, a chicken that was qualified to be slaughtered needs at least 90 days to reach a full growth in the most natural way. But with the growing needs of the population today, the 90-day growing period became 45 days or even shorter. Thanks to the help of all the commercially available chemical additive growth boosters, that practically mutated the natural growth rate of chickens into an instant a mass produce commodity. Now, that explains why man is getting all these weird illnesses just by eating poultry food. 

However, the good news is, man is now starting to realize its own mistakes and is now going back to the old-school ways of raising poultry. Free Range Chickens are poultry products that are raised using the Natural Free-Range Farming method. Unlike the traditional ways that chickens are caged with very little space from one another and are fed with feeds that contains chemicals and other additive, these chickens are raised on the ground in wide environment where they have more space to roam freely. They are fed with feeds that are vegetable-based. They are also raised up to 90 days without any growth boosters added. 

In other countries, most especially in Europe, eight out of ten poultry suppliers uses Free-Range and organic poultry method. In the Philippines, sad to say there a handful of farms that uses such method. Apparently, such method would cost a little bit higher than the traditional ones and demands are quite a few. 

Among the suppliers of organically raised chickens in the country today is Pamora Farms is one that is sought after by many. The farm is located at Barangay Garreta, Pidigan, Abra. Owned and manged by husband and wife team Mr. Gerard Papillon and  Tina Morados and they are raising chickens organically for more than ten years already. 

Last   April 29, 2013, I was very fortunate to be invited in an intimate gathering of food bloggers at the Brasserie Cicou at Greenhills San Juan City to personally meet the special people behind this amazing product and get to taste first hand Free-Ranged Chicken everyone is raving about. As starters, we were served with various kinds of chicken Pates which were quite delectable and very much different from the usual pate I was accustomed to, which is the common Reno liver spread. At least that Pates session have widen my knowledge on the delicacy. 

After which was the star of the day. The Pamora Free-Ranged Chicken cooked in deep fried with just a few seasoning for us to taste the real chicken which was far different from the ones I’m used of eating. Honestly, the meat of the chicken taste much better. 

Presently, one can find their healthy chickens in posh hubs and resto around the metro such as, Santis delicatessen, Terry Selections, Rustan's Supermarket, Shopwise, Metro Market! Market!, RFI Farm Outlet (Holy Spirit QC), Joji Berry (Crossroad 77 Mother Ignacia, QC), NCCC-Davao, Champetre restaurant (BGC), Brasserie Cicou (Greenhills), Resorts World Manila, Illustrado Restaurant (Intramuros), El Nido Resorts, Amanpulo, Saturday Market, Ayala Alabang Village, and Golden Acres Farm, Inc. (distributor).

The whole group enjoyed eating the food that was served to us that day and luckily, before we said good bye to the couple, each one was given a bag of Pamora products including a frozen Pamora Chicken, where we can cook and serve at home. 

Note: All photos courtesy of

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Avida Towers Prime Taft’s Project Pavillion hoighlights A+ Lifestyle

One thing I like about blogging on Avida Properties is, it makes me feel I’m a little closer to my dream of owning an Avida property some day. Whenever I take pictures of mock-up prototype of rooms and interiors of the real thing, my imagination sets me to create my personal design on how I would want my condo would look like. And the best thing about dreaming is, it’s free and it’s limitless. Of course, it will come to a point that should come back to reality and be contented with the stuff I have at present, press on in striving for whatever goal I want to reach. 

And that is exactly what Avida Towers Prime Taft is offering. It targets the young achievers the A+ life where all the convenience of a safe and secure community can be at the arm’s reach of every individual who wishes to live in an Avida. Strategically, the Tower Prime Taft is located at the University strip of Taft Avenue, covering several universities and colleges, very much convenient for families with college kids. 

It is situated at the Pasay City area just at the front of Adventist Medical Center (Formerly Manila Sanitarium), it offers a safe environment where medical services are very much accessible. The property features a commuters’ friendly environment because the LRT is just right in front of your door step. One can access to any mode of transport to anywhere in Metro Manila 24/7.  

This property is also strategically placed in some well known establishment like the SM Mall of Asia, where everything else are being offered including a safe running haven for people who are now into the running lifestyle. The CCP Complex are also a long stroll where one can also do some sunset experience or even go to Coregidor via fast craft. 

In itself, Avida Towers Prime Taft, offers all the amenities of a very comfortable condo living. The Studio, 1-BR, 2-BR units has access to property clubhouse with Adult and kids swimming pools and sunset deck. The whole property is has a built in jogging path and open lawn, outdoor gym equipment, function rooms and a study hall called “The Nook @ Prime Taft”. With all these amenities and features, what is there not to like about avida? 

Avida is a subsidiary company under Ayala Land Inc. which has a long standing track record of providing home owners a stress-free buying experience. Avida Developers carries an integrity of creating high quality condominiums and town houses that appreciates in value much faster and higher compared to its competitors. It offers favorable locations for great business opportunities for homebuyers and investors with the assistance of the Leasing Services by Avida. 

For more information on Avida Towers Prime Taft and Avida Condominium in the Philippines, visit or call +632 848 5200 (within Metro Manila) and 1-800-10 848 5200 (outside Metro Manila).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Goutritis Fights Gout With Natural Nutrients From Tart Cheiries

Gout affects mostly men between the ages of 40 and 50. The disease seldom occurs in premenopausal women and children.  It is caused by the build-up of high uric acid in the blood. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called Purines.  Purines are found in all of the body’s tissues and in foods like liver, dried beans and peas, asparagus, meat gravies and broths, mussels and sardines and anchovies, among others.

Normally, excess uric acid passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine. People with gout, however, either overproduce or fail to excrete the substance which then accumulates in their blood.  As a result, some of the uric acid gets deposited in joints and sometimes, even in organs like the skin and kidneys.

Gout is characterized by attacks of severe joint pain and swelling that are sometimes accompanied by fever. The most commonly affected joints are those of the foot especially the big toe, the ankle, and the knee, although gout can affect any joint of the body.

Goutritis can help ward off these painful attacks because its main ingredient, tart cherries (Prunus ceranus), contains a lot of healthy substances that combine to ease this painful affliction.

Included is Quercitin, which prevents swelling by inhibiting the release and production of histamine, which causes inflammation.   Tart cherries also contain a subclass of flavonoids called anthocyanins that can block pain and reduce levels of uric acid. The anthocyanins in tart cherries inhibit xanthine oxidase, an enzyme involved in the production of uric acid.

Tart cherries are high in antioxidants, which are important to gout patients because of their ability to fight free radicals that are responsible for damaging cells and slowing down the repair and recovery mechanism of the human body.

Other substances in tart cherries are potassium, an important electrolyte which helps the body excrete excessive amounts of uric acid.  Potassium helps provide fluid balance and maintain proper kidney functions.  It helps gout patients by turning the hard painful crystals into a liquid form that the kidneys can process in order to eliminate it during urination.

Tart cherries also contain Vitamin C and fiber.  Studies show that consistent intake of Vitamin C can help reduce uric acid levels by up to 50 percent, and control inflammation of gout-ravaged joints, which is a primary cause of severe gout pain. Although an average serving of tart cherries offers only 2g of fiber against the recommended daily dose of 24g, it is a start in the right direction for gout patients who are advised to maintain a healthy weight.

With Goutritis, all these natural benefits of tart cherries are readily made available to gout patients. Goutritis is FDA-approved.  It is available directly from Whealth, Inc. with customer hotlines 524-6549, 354-2208 to 09 and 09474890262.  It is currently sold in jars of 90 capsules priced at P900.  For additional product information, email or visit and

All-You-Can Eat Pizza Every Tuesday Night @ Papa John’s Pizza

When I was in College, I remember Pizza Hut had an Eat-All-You Can promo and my friends and I saved our allowances for the weekend and take part in an all day Pizza eating session in SM Mega Mall. That Pizza Hut branch even had a record holder board for the number slices a guy can take in one seating. At that time, my record was eight slices, not even close to the record holder which was 18 slices! Those were the days I wished I had drum for a belly so I can beat that record. 

Funny thing was, even when we ate tons of pizza every weekend, we never gained weight. Then, after a few years where all of us have grown a little older and our metabolism slowed down a bit, gaining weight became simply unstoppable. And it will take a low-down diet and rigid exercises hoping to lose them all again. 

Papa John’s Pizza, another pizza hub that is gaining popularity among pizza lovers out there has started their own version of Eat-All-you can Pizza every Tuesday night. Learning about this, I’m wishing I could turn back the hands of time where I can eat eight slices of pizza again and my body can just metabolize everything off a day after. I’m sure if we had Papa John’s Pizza 20 years ago, I bet I could eat more slices because of the wide variety of flavors they offer. 

Check out some of their best sellers like, Meatball Bolognaise, Mediterranean Seafood, Diablo Burst and Sea Food Carbonara. While you’re at it, you can add some side dishes with their Peperoncinis, and Pizza Dip Calzone. And for the loyal Papa John’s fans, I’m sure you will enjoy their newest pricing scheme starting at P250 for a nine-inch simply cheese. Of course you can also get Papa John’s signature Pizza’s for a much friendlier prices.

The Papa John’s All-you-can Eat Pizza promo will last only until June, so better dash to the nearest branch and check on how many slices you can take. As for me, a slice or two will definitely satisfy my appetite and I will just simply enjoy seeing my two college boys devour those pizzas with their hearts content, at least until the classes starts this June.       


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