Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel: Bringing Back The Grandeur To Manila

In many occasions, if a tourist (local and foreign) arrived in Manila and asked a local cab driver to take him to Manila Pavilion Hotel, chances are the cab driver will take a moment to think where it is. For one reason that the historical Manila Pavilion Hotel underwent numerous make-over in the past years not just in looks and structure but also by name. 

Established in 1968, the hotel holds a title as one of the pioneering hotels in Ermita, Manila, bearing the name Manila Hilton. Previously owned by the Hilton International, the hotel started out as the prime hotel of its time, catering to well known international celebrities and political figures. This was the time where the reign of the Marcoses and its cohorts flourished and it features historical events both publicized and unpublicized, where the walls of the suite rooms were the only witnesses to its accounts. 

After two decades later, the iconic name Manila Hilton was changed to Manila Pavilion Hotel by its new owner, Sino-I Technologies Limited who acquired the Majority control of Acesite. With a new name, it continued to be the jewel of Manila, maintaining its superior Filipino hospitality culture and exceeding customer satisfaction. 

In less than ten years, a changed in management renamed the hotel to Holliday Inn Manila. Having an international name on its side boosted its market in attracting more international clientele. However, the change also made some local cab drivers a bit confused, being accustomed to its old name. 

But even then, with it all the changes in ownership and management over the years, one characteristic remained the same and that is the Filipino culture and hospitality made the hotel known for. And such quality has made Manila Pavilion quite famous and made very attractive to many repeat guests. 

And finally, this March 2013, Waterfront Philippines Inc., The country’s largest chain of hotels acquired and established its ownership and majority control renamed the hotel as Waterfront Manila Pavilion and Casino. 

Last month, I was so fortunate to be invited to re-visit this historical hotel together with my wife and three other travel bloggers to try-out and experience the suites and delicacies that made the hotel quite famous for. The deluxe room where we stayed had a very nice view over Rizal Park and Manila Bay

The management graciously served us a very scrumptious dinner-buffet that offers the widest array of delicacies from different parts of Asia. I took advantage of it, because the next day I had a scheduled run at adidas KOTR at BGC. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Adidas: King Of The Road 2013 Race Review

One of the two epic runs in my running calendar this July, the Adidas King Of The Road culminated last July 7, 2013 at where else but inside the country’s hottest and most popular running circuits the Bonifacio Global City. 

This arch welcomes more than 8,000 KOTR Runners...

Adidas King Of The Road or simply KOTR, is Adidas’s premier running event that covers several countries all over Asia. In the Philippines, KOTR garnered more than 8,000 runners covering distances of 16.8K, 10K and for the first time, it added another category which is the 10k relay which was participated by several school teams in Metro Manila.

about to give a high-five to my fellow barefoot runners...

Cruising the stretch of Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue with Voltron Visda

As for me, this year is my second KOTR and I’m quite happy because my result was a lot better compared to my last year’s KOTR. As expected, the routes were festively celebrated with colorful cheerers from different running groups and sponsors. I was personally uplifted by the cheers given to me by my running group Barefoot Running Philippines who cheered to all barefoot runners who participated that day. Along the race course, runners were able to get additional inspiration from running celebrities like Sam YG, Karylle, Ramon Bautista, Isabelle Daza, Erwan Heusaff and Rovilson Fernandez.

Sam YG with his signature pose...

Isabelle Daza Preparing for another triathlon event...

One evidence that the running community here in the country is progressing every year is the immersing new breed of Elite runners. This Year, the throne given to the defending champion Eduardo Buenavista and the new Queen of the Road Champ is May Joy Tabal dethroning last year’s champ, Mary Grace delos Santos, by just 2 minutes. Both King and Queen of the Road were awarded P25,000 as cash prizes on top of other prizes courtesy of sponsors. The new King and Queen of the Road will represent the Philippines  in the KOTR South East Asia which will be held in Malaysia this October.

The King and Queen of KOTR 2013...

For the international category, the winners were Josphat KIptanui with a running time of 51 minutes and 41 seconds and Joan Aiyabei with a running time of 1 hour 5minutes and 12 seconds. 

The 2013 KOTR gave way also in introducing the latest technology from Adidas which is the BOOSTS. A state of the art technology that provides the highest energy return cushioning in adidas running shoes. BOOSTS was launched by Adidas earlier this year and is now available in all Adidas sport shops and other sports retail outlets all over the country.

check out the newest technology, the new adidas BOOSTS...

You can check out the official result of this year’s KOTR at to www.proactive.ph. And for more information about Adidas you go to their official FB page at www.facebook.com/adidas.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Run United 2 2013: My Slowest 32k But Glad Enough To Survived It

After the Run United 1 last March 17 where I came 20 minutes late at the starting line, I promised myself to give sufficient time to prepare for the next RU. After I recovered and did some few 21s, I knew that I’m fit to take again the RU2 32k and maybe improve my time from last year’s.

A month before RU2, I had the chance to learn another sport which I began to like and that is Kayaking. After one whole day of kayaking lesson along the river and open waters of Caylabne Bay, Ternate Cavite, I realized that I have a natural niche to it. After that first lesson, I didn’t know what came over me because I decided to compete in a 25 kilometer kayak Marathon at Anvaya Cove, Subic, scheduled just a day before RU2.  Now, there goes my preparation for RU2.

At 1:00 am June 2, I woke up from a short nap as we arrived from the very tiring kayaking gig the day before. I asked the driver of Joey Cuerdo to just drop me off at Makati so I can just take a cab to MOA. Arriving there too early, I decided to get a quick snack at 7-11 and doze-off a bit. Apparently, my cat nap was extended and was awaken by a runner who told me that the 32k gun start was off. So I jumped from slumber and quickly ran to the starting line. Luckily, I was able to catch up with the second wave of the 32k.

Since I was not able to do any warm ups, I started to just run in a slow pace. I maintained my pace for several kilometers until I reached the Roxas Boulevard where the road was smooth and “barefoot-friendly”. I took advantage of the good road texture of Roxas and paced up a little. Before we reached the U-trun, I began to feel a call-of-nature and went to the nearest portalet. It took me a while finishing my “business” there, so I tried to catch up with the hope to retrieve my lost time.  

As we enter the Macapagal-Seaside Drive, where the road textures are sharp and rough, I knew I can no longer run any faster. So I paced myself again until we reached the final U-turn slot going back. In the last 5k, I was starting to feel a little dizzy so I made sure to stop in most hydration stations to replenish the minerals I lost from the 25k kayaking the day before and from the long run the next day. That feeling happened to me before so I decided to just run comfortably. Paasing out in the middle of the road is the first of my concern. 

I crossed the finish line finishing my 32k in 4 hours. Much slower than the one I had last year. I didn’t get frustrated with my time because I knew I would be slower. I was still thankful that was able to listen to my body and didn’t try to persist to get a faster PR. At the media booth, I was also thankful that the Unilab Active Health Staff, particularly Janice Miguel, offered me and the rest of the media who ran that day a very filling breakfast. After eating, I recovered easily and immediately went to the baggage counter to claim my stuff and went home. 

I learned a lot in that run. I was able to budget my energy and conserve whatever was remaining to finish the run. I was able to gauge the limitations of my body and how to manage my strength and came up with good strategies to endure a long run. At least, I know the capacity of my body now, and the next time I will compete in multiple-events, I’m sure I can be more prepared.  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Explorac 2013: Trail Runners Explored another Future NUVAlI in Central Luzon

Last June 8, 2013, the Ayala Land Inc. and in partnership with Recreational Outdoor Exchange - R.O.X. organized an epic trail running/ biking event that participated by more than 2,000 outdoor enthusiasts coming from both the trail running and mountain biking communities. 

Dubbed as EXPLORAC 2013, Adventure seekers trail blazed a 22 kilometer trail running rout that covers most area of Porac, Pampanga. A unique feature of this running and biking event is the terrain, which is the volcanic lahar bed residue left by the last eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. 

For the trail runners like us, this running event was something very special because of the unusual natural obstacles that we encountered along the trail. For many, running along the sand dunes of lahar was quite challenging because the un-even and unexpected soft texture of the lahar. Many runners had to stop for a while just to empty the sands from their shoes. Sulfuric contents from the water flowing along the rivers posted an additional challenge as well.  

The weather was quite fair. Contrary to our expectation of rains, the event was relatively dry but comfortable. Hydration station was abundant in strategic places where many of us had the opportunity to refill our water containers. However some runners had to bring extra containers since hydration stations did not have plastic cups just like the road races in Manila. We were advice to be self-contained and bring our own containers because organizers advocates for a trash-free trails.

So,  many brought their hydration pack on their back to make sure that they will not run-out of water in the duration of the race. What I brought with me is just a small water where I stowed it in my lumbar-pack. I also brought with me my personal LIFE STRAW courtesy of my friend Mr. Nino Lopez. Life Straw is the most compact and light weight water filtration in the market today, and a very effective at that.

It filters the most murkiest water and transformed it to safe and drinkable. The filters are composed of four layers where even viruses and bacteria are arrested. So when the time where we had to cross a river, I just dunked my LIFE STRAW and drank my fill. 

The last stretch of the course covers the river of Porac, Pampanga where tons of lahar and volcanic ashes flowed almost 20 years ago. After several kilometers running along the river bed, the trail led us to higher elevation covering the areas with tall grass. Soon after, the finish line was in sight and crossed it at 1 hour and 47 minutes. 

Personally, the course was on a moderate level which is ok with me since I need to save my strength for another trail running the day after at Tanay, Rizal.    

Note: Some Photos courtesy of ROX

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Adidas Continues the BOOST™ Revolution


Revolutionary cushioning material is now available in additional adidas products

Philippines, July 1, 2013 – Since its introduction to the world at a global launch event in New York City early in 2013, the Energy Boost running shoe has revolutionised the running world. Featuring the ground-breaking cushioning technology BOOST™, which provides the highest energy return in the running industry, it has set a new benchmark for adidas running footwear, was honoured with the Runner’s World 2013 Best Debut award and, in its first appearance at a global marathon, BOOST™ took home the crown in Tokyo. And this was just the beginning.

Now, BOOST™ is being rolled out to more adidas running products and colours. In addition to the Energy Boost franchise, which will come in four colorways for both men and women, BOOST™ cushioning is now also available in adistar and adizero running footwear. In fact, BOOST™ foam will replace the common EVA material in all adidas running performance shoes by 2015.

The key to the BOOST™ innovation lies in thousands of small energy capsules which make up the footwear’s distinctive midsole. With their unique cell structure, these capsules store and unleash energy more efficiently in every stride. As a result, BOOST™ at last combines the previously contradicting performance benefits of soft cushioning and responsiveness to give runners a running experience unlike any other. The revolutionary cushioning material also maintains its performance in almost any conditions, at unparalleled levels and over hundreds of kilometres.

The shoe’s upper features adidas Techfit technology with highly durable and elastic polyurethane, providing optimal comfort and support to the entire foot while in motion. A stretch, breathable mesh material offers the fit of a sock, while engineered powerbands across the upper provide targeted support and stabilise the foot where needed when moving.

The new colourful Energy Boost collection will be available worldwide at adidas Sport Performance stores and selected retailers as of July 7, 2013 at PHP 7995. Visit www.facebook.com/adidas for more information.


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