A Shining Race!

As i stand at the start of the Race and Shine Run last Saturday, i felt the affinity of runners who came to run, not for fast times nor personal glory but for a unique advocacy, Autism Awareness. The Let It Shine Foundation, whose purpose is to raise awareness and funds for adults with Autism organized this race to help provide training and other work opportunities for adults with autism and support the creation of programs with companies that are tasked to hire them.

This race may not be big in numbers but it sure was huge on warmth and purpose.  It also gave runners the thrill of being part of a community. The race itself was a huge success. Organized by Raul Ylanan of Elite Multi-Sports Resources, the run had the trimmings of a well organized run with ample supply of drinks (there were jugs containing ice-cold Vitwater ready for the taking even before the race started), a new, challenging route inside the Fort and the traffic was well managed.

Raul Ylanan, Race Director giving a short briefing before the race

All finishers were treated with a post-race breakfast of rice, eggs, sausages and all you can drink Vitwater. Moreover, the race was capped by a special 3km relay that saw children as young as 7 years old run alongside their parents or other family members. Even children with autism participated in the run.

Start of the race

Runners gathered near stage before the run

Sam, The Running Ninja who set another "world record" in the 15K! Congrats, Sam!

The Running Divine blew her competitors this morning!

With Divine, Glen and Mon

Free breakfast to all finishers

The funds raised from race and Shine will go to the ongoing research of the Let It Shine Foundation. Being part of this run would hopefully help in making individuals with Autism shine!

Dare To Be Fit ‘N Right Run

It was a festive show put up by Del Monte Philippines/CEMG, Sponsors and Race Managers of  the Fit ‘N Right Race held yesterday at the Mall Of Asia, Pasay City. Marianne Tapales and her team must have spent a lot of time and energy in managing the promotions of this 3, 5 and 10k races.

The winners!

Obviously, they have pulled out all the stops to make this race a success: A grand Press/Bloggers launching of the race, physical fitness guru Jim Saret’s lecture on the Fast, Intense Training (FIT) workout, a simple but nice singlet, generous freebies and give-aways to all finishers, raffle prizes with a Lenovo laptop as main prize and a flat and fast course. These are what all runners look for in a race.

But what happens when the race itself, after all the pre-race dazzle, fizzles out? It could have been a perfect race.

I had little expectations to run a good race for this event as i was going to treat this 10k run as a recovery run, having ran another 10k race at the Race and Shine Run just the day before at the Fort. I arrived at MOA at about 5:10am and immediately proceeded to the race packet claim booth to redeem my race packet. I was met by friendly staff and after giving my name to them, they promptly handed my packet, all in less than 2 minutes considering that there was a crowd gathered at the counter.

After putting on my singlet and race no., i joined the crowd and saw friends and co-bloggers. I also bumped into blogger Amado Castro who made me aware that we were wearing a timing chip called the RFID (Radio Frequency ID, its functions similar to that of the Championchips used at some races organized by Rio dela Cruz. Only, the bar-like chip was attached to our racing bibs. According to Amado, the RFID were widely used at races in the U.S.

RFID as worn by Sir Amado

Before 6am, we were asked to assemble at the starting line as the MC announced that the race will be starting in a few minutes. Most runners did just that and i thought that this was going to be a mass start. The following events transpired during the start:

— when all runners were called to the starting area, some of the runners in all categories positioned themselves in front. The race director must have realized this mistake and announced that the 10k runners should start 5 minutes ahead of everybody else, but few of the 5 and 3k runners who were already in front moved backwards.

— it was already past 6am, the sun was almost up but the MCs were still introducing guests. Thereafter, the Race Director (RD) gave his talk on the mechanics of the race. At this time, runners were already hollering to have the race start already.

— 6:20am, runners at the front portion of the starting line were getting impatient and when the RD finished his talk, MC announces warm-up exercises before the race starts to be led by the fitness experts of Fitness First. I could only utter, OMG! Haha..! More hollering and booing!

— sensing that the runners were losing their cool, the official holding the starting gun fired the shot, marking the start of the race (good thing he didn’t do a countdown) with the MC not knowing that the race had started already. Gun was fired at 6:35am!

I started at a very slow pace, almost jogging to loosen-up my tight muscles, still tired by the 10k race i did the day before. I caught up with Anna (The Meekrunner) near the 2nd kilometer and decided to run with her which i did all throughout the race. If there was one major drawback that i really thought was unforgivable was the total absence of water from the 4th km up to the finish. All water stations have dried-up and the marshals manning these stations were just seated in one corner, bored and probably waiting for their vehicles to fetch them. There was absolutely no drop of water available! Anna even offered her hydration flask to me but i declined knowing that she might be needing it more than i would.

The awarding ceremony was underway when we reached the finish. i didn’t dare to line-up for the freebies anymore as there were confrontations going on in the distribution tent! Seemed that lots of runners didn’t get their freebies.

Though i didn’t get to win the top raffle prize of a Lenovo laptop (in my dreams!), it was nonetheless a fitting end to a very admirable experience with CEMG, Del Monte Phil and their other sponsors.

To Marianne who has been in constant touch with us bloggers in updating us about the race, take a bow…you did a wonderful job! To the race directors, i think this race taught you many lessons on how to conduct a run and i’m sure you’ll do better without the extra baggage next time. Good luck and thanks to  you all!

With the bloggers before the race

Photo ops at the start with Natz (takbo.ph shirt) and GF

Sir Amado

Anna (The Meekrunner) giving it her all!

With the takbo.ph runners

More group shots

With Jinoe and staff of Runnerspeak

With the local winners

The percussion group setting the groove

Post race breakfast at the Taste of Asia. Thanks to Jacky and CEMG!

Running Log: What It Can Do For You

As i pack my things every time i go on out-of-town trips, i always put my Training Journal/Log into my carry on bag. It’s a Runners World training journal given to me by running buddy June early this year. Ever since i had it, it has always accompanied me everywhere i go and enabled me to record all my running sessions and keep track of the place, time, distance as well as personal notes on how i felt during the runs.

I’m not a stickler for any training routine nor do i have any existing training program to prepare me for a race. But when i made my comeback to running last year, my objective was just to go out and run–if i felt good, i would run farther than planned and if i felt sluggish, i would just go for an easy, short jog. I never wanted any one workout to count that much as i wanted my running to simply mirror the broader picture of my experiences; that there will be good days and the not so good others.

However, as my runs intensified and the races were getting to be weekly rituals, the need to improve was inevitable. Having a data of your daily runs, you’re able to analyze the type of workouts you do, how you physically felt about these workouts and this can give you some gauge on what to improve and tell you when to back off to avoid overused injuries.

I’ve always believed that the key to successful training is to understand the progress and failures of your every workout and to strike the right balance. Coming home from every workout, i always look forward to getting myself to sit, open my journal and write all details and experiences of the just concluded run, whether it’s positive or negative.

There are lessons learned in every run. There was a new route i took somewhere in South Triangle and passed a quiet street not knowing that there were dogs ready to pounce on me. In my training log, i would write: “Do not ever run on this street again!” On some occasions, i would wonder what i ate the day before that caused me to take a No. 2 on an abandoned building! And i’m still looking for that vendor who sold me a rice cake somewhere Quezon Ave which i ate after my 2nd hour of running which gave me some extra boost of energy to complete another hour of running!

Any kind of information helps you adjust on your preparations and workouts so you can track what’s best for your body. The journal may also help you see the “red signal”: it acts as a sounding board and helps you avoid some of the land mines of training and racing.

With all these information at the palm of your hands, a journal can do wonders to enhance your running. Firstly, it has given me motivation to run farther, faster and set for myself reasonable and attainable goals. More importantly, it has given me inspiration–setting back the calendar on my progress when i was just starting again to where i am at present, take stock on the weight i’ve lost so far, the generally good health i have, the new energy it has given me and the improved times (though modest) i have achieved while running with others.

See you at the races!

Chopsuey Run

A day after our group run from Second Wind-Maginhawa Store to their newly opened Juliana Vargas branch in Pasig, i thought of getting up early that Sunday and do a solo run. Though legs still felt heavy, the short trot to the U.P. campus would probably relax these weary legs of mine. Sometimes, i feel sluggish upon getting on to start and i begin to wonder if the late night bread binges in bed could have been the culprit to all these slackness.

I usually take dinner before 6pm and i get hungry a few hours later before going to bed at about 9pm. Crackers wouldn’t satiate my hunger pangs so i turn to something a little filling, like a pudding or two and that usually keeps the craving at bay until the start of my run the following morning and this is keeping my weight up! Hopefully, i’ll have to limit this intake before sleeping.

Back to the run, i  started getting into a groove and felt the tightness in my calves and thighs. Ha! I forgot to stretch. It may be psychological but starting a run without stretching makes me feel a bit caustic in my steps but i decide to trudge on. UP is just 3 kms away, anyway.

The UP campus, specially along the academic oval bustles with activity every weekend. This Sunday, there’s the usual horde of newbie runners attending the Runnex Running Clinic in front of Abelardo Hall, a 5/10k race being held simultaneously at the other side of the oval and the usual crowd of runners, joggers and bikers. I’m not particularly fond of running around the oval so i head for the outskirts which is less crowded and get to run to what they refer to as Heartbreak Hill to get my dose of hill running.

On the route, i get to bump into Merriam, Obet and the faster runners of Runnex who are doing either their tempo or LSD runs and they entice me to join them. Geez, i wish i had the strength, so i say next time. I continue my run and after an hour and a half of slow running, i call it a day.

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Start of the UPIS Run Againts Climate Change (5k)

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UPIS 10k start

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The Runnex advance group doing their tempo run

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From Left, Gani, Merriam, Obet

I start to crave for food again and i pass by this noodle house on my way home. The attendant was serving a customer at the counter with what i thought was a generous serving of Chopsuey rice! And it looked so yummy so i decide to enter the place and order one too. The vegetables were indeed fresh and crispy and at P70.00 bucks per order, i think the price was reasonable.

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Chopsuey Rice i took for breakfast

Will have to take a rest day or two and have a massage later to give these tired, old weary legs of mine a respite.

See you at the Race and Shine Run for Autism here this Saturday and the Fit N’ Right Run here the following day, Sunday. I’ll be running both their 10k runs…and they’ll be easy runs again.

Hector Yuzon’s New Baby!

Wazzup with Hector Yuzon these days? I see the guy a lot of times during races. He hollers my name every time he’s on his way back while i’m still struggling to reach the turn around bend. In the Urbanite Run, i shout “Hec!” when i passed him while he was running slowly with a female runner, not even turning his head back to acknowledge. Wazzup, Hec? i would later read in blogs that during the run, he was in the motions of proposing to this female runner…Hmm, kaya pala.

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Second Win has a new branch at...

I seldom see him now every time i pass-by Second Wind along Maginhawa Street until yesterday when i went over to register for the Corregidor Run. Seems that Hec has been quite busy, focusing his time end efforts on a new baby. So, he’s now telling me. He, Neville and other partners are opening a second branch of the SECOND WIND RUNNING STORE, at the Ortigas Home Depot, near corner of  Dona Juliana Vargas and Meralco Avenues, Pasig City.

 

The grand opening was held this morning, November 14. “We were overwhelmed with the support of the running community–never did we expect and we’re now blessed with another opportunity to serve them once again,” says Hec who is the store’s President. “We also never expected that our small little project would eventually grow.”

To kick off the opening, i was invited to join a group run in celebration of the opening which started at their first store in Maginhawa Street and run up to their new branch in Pasig. We started at about 6:37am and passed through C.P. Garcia-Kalayaan Road then turned right to Katipunan Avenue and ran up the Katipunan Fly over all the way to White Plains, Ortigas Avenue, Lanuza then to Juliana Vargas Ave. until we reached the Ortigas Home Depot.

 

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Early birds at Second Wind-Maginhawa, with Hector (in yellow)

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Part of the group before we started our run

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Running along CP Garcia (Kalayaan) near U.P.

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Approaching Katipunan Avenue

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Along White Plains

There was an advance group waiting for us when we arrived at the venue. Some mouth-watering food were prepared just at the front of the store. After a prayer and short speeches were made by Hector and his group, the steel doors of the store were finally raised up, signifying that it was now open for business. Well, our mouths were raised up too, ready to gobble-up the food!

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A short prayer before the store's formal opening

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The "Opening Ceremonies"

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Store has now been formally opened

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With June posing in front

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The store's counter

A small contingent from a promotions and television crew led by Webb Delos Reyes of Visions in Actions were on hand to record the proceedings. They were conducting interviews as this event was going to be shown on Q-TV’s “RunnerSpeak” which will be aired tomorrow (Sunday) from 2:45 to 3:15pm. Hey, the Jazzrunner gave a short interview too! Too bad that the airing will coincide with the delayed telecast of the Pacquiao-Cotto boxing match.

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Doesn't she look familiar?

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Ayyy.. si Bullrunner pala!:-)

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From left, Ronald, Jay & Vener

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Ronald and a guest feasting on pancakes, sausages, assorted sandwiches, fruits and all the juice you can drink

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From left, Vimz, Webb and Jaymie

Second Wind prides itself as the Philippines’ first running specialty store for runners and owned by real runners. It caters to all runners of all ages, sizes, physical condition, from the elite to the newbie. The store provides running shoes and apparel, energy gels and is also a major registration area for most running events. They have very supportive and knowledgeable staff who employ their expertise on gait analysis in order to recommend which shoe best fit them.

Second Wind’s second location is seen to cater runners from Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, San Juan and those living in the south of the metropolis. All the best to you Hec, Neville and to the rest of your group!

Jazzrunner’s Run For The Pasig River

It was one wacky and fun atmosphere at last Sunday’s Philippine International Marathon (Run For The Pasig River) where thousands of runners, joggers and walkers invaded Roxas Boulevard, getting together for one noble cause–the clean-up of the Pasig River to bring it back to life.

I had registered for the 10k about 2 weeks ago at a Van Heusen Store in Gateway Mall, Cubao but was told to pick up my race kit one day before the race (Saturday evening) at the ABS-CBN Foundation offices in Quezon City. Earlier that Saturday morning, i was asked by Runnex Chair Art Disini to get from the office of Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte about 50 complimentary PIM race packets and to give it to those who might be interested to run in any of the race categories (3k,5k,10k or 42k). Having already registered myself beforehand, i called up friends who may be interested in joining.

To my dismay (and that of the others) who were with me waiting at Q.C. Hall for the race packets to arrive, we discovered that the packets had no race numbers on it and instead, a generic bib with just the words, “Kapit Bisig Para Sa Pasig” written on it. Although the packets contained the free singlets, the runners were therefore not going to be officially registered for this race and therefore will run as “fun runners!” Embarrassed, i apologized to those who were expecting to be registered, specially those running the 42k marathon.

The race was reminiscent of previous Milo elimination races held every year in Manila wherein students from the different schools in Metro Manila and elsewhere were asked to participate as fun runners thereby flooding the race to about 12,000 to 15,000 participants. It’s the ballyhooed “Biscocho Magic” of race director Rudy Biscocho in getting hordes of participants to join his events.

The 42k run started at exactly 4:30am, just as when we were about to reach Rizal Park. Saw running friends like James, Doc T, Mar, Gab, Roselle and a host of others.

The 10k run started at 6:00am with former President Fidel V. Ramos firing the starting gun. I thought it was the largest 10k run i had participated in as running buddy June Santiago and myself started to push with the crowd at a moderate pace of 7:00mins/km. The crowd started to thin out only when we ran up the Buendia Flyover at the 4 km mark. We reach the turn-around halfway mark at about 32 mins.

While the first half of our run was continuously flowing, our way back was chaotic as we tried to sidestep on the 5k and 3k runners, weaving and zigzagging our way out to avoid bumping into these students who were walking and mostly in groups! Before reaching the U.S. Embassy, we were able to get out of the maze when we saw an opening and transferred into the other lane but we still had to maneuver ourselves up to the finish line. June and i were laughing when we try to sprint towards the finish. Our time was 1:06 and we had to contend with a surly middle-aged lady who seemed uncomfortable in dealing with the large crowd as she got the cut-out bottom of my race bib.

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The early morning crowd

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TJ Manotoc and Nina Corpuz doing the hosting chores for TV

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Early risers woke up to find the race "live" on tv

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At the start

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June, wearing the "improvised" fun run 10k bib

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A week early for Piolo

The lady above was ready to run and asking where Piolo was. When we told her that Piolo won’t be running until next week, she wouldn’t believe us. She said that she had registered already with some friends and they will be running with him during the first 2 kilometers. Only when we told her that this race was the Run for Pasig and that Piolo’s run would be held next week at The Fort did she realize her mistake. When we proposed that she run with Rio instead who might be running this race, her terse reply was, “Who’s he?”

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With 4th place finisher, Cris Sabal

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With Ailene Tolentino

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with Jhun Bautista, Mr. Meekrunner

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With the Rexona Ladies

Over-all the conduct of the 10k race was satisfactory, with adequate drinking water and a host of marching bands playing along the route. But what’s more significant is the running community’s contributing role in helping raise funds to rehabilitate and transform the Pasig River into a scenic spot where people can play, engage in water sports, cultivate aquatic life and unclog it of garbage and other toxic wastes and restore it to its former glory.

Photo Of The Week: QCIM’s Tallest Runner

runner on stilts

Carlo Serrano (drumandrun) begs the question:  “If those were real legs, I wonder what his pace will be?” The runner on stilts who measured up to 9 feet tall ran the 5k race.

Photo by Carlo–Thanks, Carl!

(If you have other interesting/unusual running photos you would like featured, you can e-mail them to the jazzrunner at runnerjazz@yahoo.com and leave a comment with the details.)

Thanks!

Rock Runners

For the second time in two weeks, i had a chance to bond again with my group from the Takbo.ph runners, this time, a post race Carbo-Loading Party (CLP) at The Old Sphagetti House, along Valero Street in Makati where i got to hear more first-hand accounts of their horrific experiences at the SIM; the recent Adidas KOTR race and a potpourri of everything on running.  The biggest issue is still the lack of water or the absence of water stations, whichever you want to put it. If the absence of drinking water was bad enough inside the La Mesa Dam Nature Reserve (how ironic) and beyond during the recent QCIM, the situation at the Subic International Marathon was 5 times worse, among other things, according to those who ran the 42k course.

As one blogger asks time and again, “When Shall We Learn?”. It’s the most crucial issue i think any race organizer have to devote himself to! If he thinks, that water has been adequately addressed and is more than enough to meet the runners needs, he should think twice and not be complacent about it. The race organizer should be able to double or triple the supply and EXAGGERATE the need to have more than what is needed! In my experience of running these recent races, water and water stations have never been enough to satisfy these runners so additional tables should be purchased, marshals manning these water stations should be added and water sponsors should provide piles and piles of these drinking water (and cups, too) to assure a continuous supply!

Back to our CLP. On a lighter (or heavier) note, the inaugural “Biggest Loser Contest (BLC)” was launched at this get together affair. The BLC is a spin off from the famous reality TV contest wherein contestants who sheds off the biggest percentage loss in terms of body weight, wins! The idea, hatched by Rico Villanueva and those who belong to the “heavyset” group are out to redefine that running may not be enough to stimulate weight loss. In this 6-week contest, sheer will, determination and discipline play an important part, as well. Here are the mechanics:

— Any runner male or female can join and has to join a participation fee of P1,000.00 payable until November 8.

— Contest duration is from October 30 (weight-in) until December 13 (final weigh-in)

— Initial weights of candidates and their progress in terms of weight loss/calorie control shall be posted in Blogs/Facebooks/Multiply accounts of participants.

— Total pot money from participation fees are to be split among the sole winner and two runners-up.

Non-participants may bet on who they think will be the biggest loser. Mechanics will be announced within the week after the launch. As of official weigh-in, 16 runners have joined the battle of the bulge. I would have loved to join the contest and at 180 lbs, i would have benefited a lot if i could only lower my weight still. However, i think i already reached a plateau wherein i have been stucked at my minimum of 170-180 lbs. From 217 last year, i had gone down to 170lbs last August of this year and have been steadily increasing up to 180lbs as of last Friday. No way i’ll ever win or be even near the top 10 losers! So, good luck to those entered. May the biggest loser win!

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Rico explaining the mechanics of the Biggest Loser contest

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The early runners at TOSH

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Runners occupying another table

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Doc T playing around, as usual

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Lovey-dovey pair: Bryan and Doc Erin

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Taking a break

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Running ladies

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Bodies to die for?

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Rico gets to win this one

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Squeezed-in (Pix by Ace B)

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Ryshel, Doc Pinx, James, me (Pix by Ace B)

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Ryshel and Pinky

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Beer pa?

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Some of the participants of the Biggest Loser contest

By some twist of fate, we were transported into a very different environment as MUSIC would be the focus of interest. Doc Topher and a host of others left ahead to catch some concert he said he had tickets to and we just wondered what concert they would be attending. Turns out that they would be watching the annual NU Rock awards at the World Trade Center near MOA and called us to say that he had 19 more complimentary tickets.

So off we went to listen to some Rock music! Not really my cup of tea but i was really interested to see and hear what the new and upcoming Pinoy bands had to offer:

The Itchyworms on stage

The "Itchyworms" on stage

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Inside the concert hall

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Rakista Runners?

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Peace to you too, Pepsi!

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Hmm, this is better than listening to rock!

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Are we listening yet?

Hitting the wall to early?

Hitting the wall too early?

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Marga, at left--my bet for the biggest loser!

In one of the booths inside

In one of the booths inside

While rock music was blaring inside the concert hall, typhoon Santi was beginning to wreck havoc outside, its cold winds and continuous rains alternating with the drum solos and shrieks from fans inside. Had to rush home and put on some Miles Davis and Dave Holland on my CD player to soothe me a bit.

The Marathon Man

The Marathon Man

A woman was having a daytime affair while her husband was at work. One rainy day she was in bed with her boyfriend when, to her horror, she heard her husband’s car pull into the driveway.

“Oh my God – Hurry! Grab your clothes and jump out the window. My husband’s home early!”

“I can’t jump out the window. It’s raining out there!”

“If my husband catches us in here, he’ll kill us both!” she replied.

“He’s got a hot temper and a gun, so the rain is the least of your problems!”

So the boyfriend scoots out of bed, grabs his clothes and jumps out the window!

As he ran down the street in the pouring rain, he quickly discovered he had run right into the middle of the town’s annual marathon, so he started running along beside the others, about 300 of them.

Being naked, with his clothes tucked under his arm, he tried to blend in as best he could. After a little while a small group of runners who had been watching him with some curiosity, jogged closer.

“Do you always run in the nude?” one asked.

“Oh yes!’ he replied, gasping in air. “It feels so wonderfully free!”

Another runner moved a long side. “Do you always run carrying your clothes with you under your arm?”

“Oh, yes’ our friend answered breathlessly. “That way I can get dressed right at the end of the run and get in my car to go home!”

Then a third runner cast his eyes a little lower and asked, “Do you always wear a condom when you run?”

“Nope…only when it’s raining.”

marathon man