The Under Armour Store at BHS: A Sneak Peek

If you’re a runner who’s tired of wearing the same old Adidas, Nike or New Balance apparels and wants to try out a new performance sports brand, then this place is for you! Yes, Under Armour is now officially open here at the Bonifacio High Street!

I was invited for the media launching of their first retail store at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig and even before its presence here, news of its opening a full outlet in Manila was already creating a buzz among runners and multi-sport athletes. It’s a welcome alternative to the burgeoning presence of other well established brands in the country.

Skimming the interiors of the store, it’s a regal shop with great interior designs, it’s well stocked and the selection is impressive. Staff we spoke with are friendly and attentive (they should be, it’s a new store). It’s a good sized-store, not too big but not small by any measure.

Lots of dry fit/technical shirts, dry fit cotton shirts, compression shorts and tights, singlets, running socks, caps, shorts and an almost complete assemblage of their latest running shoes. They have a Hero Zone that features Marvel and DC comics-inspired shirts like the “S” Superman label.

This is a great and very refreshing addition to the usual specialty running stores located at Bonifacio Global City. Their prices? Very reasonable! Thumbs up!

Leaving you with a a sneak peek of  Under Armour’s flagship store!


The large floor decal after the door step entrance

With lawmaker Se. Pia Cayetano, heartthrob Piolo Pascual and principals of the Under Armour store before the opening

Opening ceremonies

Men’s selection


For women

Brand Ambassador, Fafah P.

At center is football player, Natasha of the Philippine Women’s Football Malditas Team

Female running thights

Running shorts (F)

Female tops

The ladies will love these

Sen. Pia was trying these on

UA Brand Manager walking us through the different products

White Flower Half-Marathon Challenge 2014: August 17, 2014

There’s also a 10k, 5k and 3k distance categories for this run. There’s a cap of only 5,000 entrants for this race so register early!

Here are the details:



Race Categories: 21K, 10K, 5K and 3K

Venue: Bonifacio Global City

Date: Aug. 17, 2014

Registration Fee:

  • 21K – 1000 Php
  • 10K – 700 Php
  • 5K – 500 Php
  • 3K – 400 Php
  • 21K – 4:00 AM
  • 10K – 5:00 AM
  • 5K-     5:30 AM
  • 3K –    5:40 AM

Registration is until Aug 15, 2014

Target No. of Participants: 5,000

Water Station: Every 1.5Km

Medic Station: Every 1.5Km

Registration Mode: In-store (Chris Sports and Online)

A White Flower Principal welcoming the press during the White Flower Race launching lat week. At right is Emcee Boy Ramos

Participants upon their registration will received:

  • WF Singlet
  • WF Race Kit
  • WF Map
  • CalchewsChewables 2 small box of 15’s
  • Finishers Shirt will be given to 21K Finishers

Race Registration can be accomplished by two mediums:

1.  Registration via Dragon Pay Online

2.  In Store Registration (Manual Process) at the following Chris Sports outlets:

  • SM MOA
  • SM North Annex
  • Market
  • SM Megamall
  • Glorietta 3
Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 10.44.46 AM

Race singlet

Ian Alacar of Without Limits Events is the Race Director for this race


Race Mechanics for 21K Race:

1. Special Race Winners for 21K are:

  • King and Queen of the Hill
  • Sprint King and Queen
  • 5K King and Queen
  • 10K King and Queen
  • 16K King and Queen

2. There will be special signages once you approach the 21K Special Race Marks and there will be a marshal waiting to hand over the special mark medal for the participant who claims it first.

3. Once the special mark medal is handed over to the participant who reaches the mark other participants cannot claim it anymore.

4. 21k Participants can only get one Special Award

5. 21K Participants who won the special awards must complete the whole race to claim there prize, they must turn over the medal at the finish line with the finish line judges and have their names recorded at the winners booth.

6. Participants will win special prizes from their specially marked awards

7. In case of disputes participants must prepare a written report against other participants and must be signed by the race director. There will be a corresponding dispute fee of P500.00.

21k Route

10k Route

5k Route

3K Route


Filipinos are known to be hardworking and resilient. Against all odds, they work together in order to  move together. What we need to do is to utilize our full potential. Filipinos can look forward to a brighter tomorrow, once they know what we can truly achieve through our own means.

White Flower rebrands itself as a sports liniment providing comfort and quick ease of pain better than any other product in the market. To begin, WF will be challenging participants with a – 21K Race and side events 16K, 10K and a 5K.

The 21K is not the usual 21K race. There are special awards waiting for the individual and for the team. Individual participants can get a chance to win not just the over-all awards but also:

  1. 2KM Challenge – be the first to reach 2KM
  2. 5KM Challenge – be the first to reach 5KM
  3. 10KM Challenge – be the first to reach 10KM
  4. 16KM Challenge – be the first to reach 16KM
  5. King of the Hill – be the first to climb up Kalayaan Fly-over

All participants must complete the 21K Race in order to be entitled for the special awards.


World Vision Run 2014: June 22, 2014


Join the World Vision 2014 Run for the benefit of the sponsored and waiting-to-be-sponsored children of World Vision communities in the Philippines. Expect tons of great fun on June 22, 2014 at the BGC grounds.

Make this a family event to remember. Race categories begin at 500m for the kids to the 21km run for the professional runners.

This event aims to raise funds for the sponsored children and communities that World Vision supports.

5 Things you need to know about the World Vision Run 2014:

1. Its on it’s 3rd year. And every year keeps getting better.

2. It has become an inspiring and wonderful gathering of like-minded groups and individuals who share the same passion in helping children have a better future.

3. Even children can join in. A 500m distance is open for children below 12 yrs old. Create an experience for your own kids to help other underprivileged children in the Philippines.

4. It is a way to accomplish your fitness goals. Push your limit and fund raise with your friends at the same time.

5. Register now to receive your preferred singlet size. And if it is already out of stock, please select the next size.

We invite you, your friends and family to join us in this event for the children. Your support will reach miles of difference to the children assisted by World Vision. Register now at


Event Date                 : Sunday, 22 June 2014
Time                              : 3:00am to 9:30am 
Race Organizer       : RunRio Inc.
Start & End Point   : 34th St. BGC
Beneficiary                : World Vision


Online : April 28 – June 8, 2014

In-Store : May 15 – June 15, 2014



Coach Rio dela Cruz., celebrity advocate Aljur Abrenica, and World Vision Associate Director Jun Godornes, entertained questions from the media and bloggers.

With co-bloggers during the launch




Trail Chronicles #15: The Trails of Silangan To Wawa

This is one of the roughest but most picturesque trail runs that i have ever done! It’s tough not because of the hills that were constant on the trails of Silangan in San Mateo, Rizal but more of the heat which were hovering in the mid 30s. Running in mid-day for about 6 hours certainly does not make it any easier when you’re exposed in open spaces but the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction is well worth it.

This is one of the more popular trail routes many trail running enthusiasts use on their training runs. What makes the run more worthwhile for me is running this route with my teammates (Team 90%) for the first time, given how some of them really don’t like running on trails. So we all met up early last Sunday, at 4:00am in Pure Gold Supermarket and after parking our rides, we started our run towards Barangay Silangan, near Timberland Heights.

I’ve ran these trails before except for those in Silangan, which is where the trail part starts. From Pure Gold on the main highway of San Mateo, it took us about 7 kms of concrete roads inside small baranggays before reaching Silangan, working our way through small villages leading up to several low mountains.

The trails and rough roads from Silangan, Timberland, Pintong Bukawe, Amianan, Casile and finally to Wawa where the famous Wawa Dam is located is one scenic route one would expect. The trail route starts in an undeveloped subdivision and goes up a grassy valley with rocks on the apex that leads to trail ridges overlooking the Timberland Heights.

Up there, it’s a cascade of rolling hills, forests, open fields then exit out an open gate and suddenly realize that you were inside the Timberland trails all along. Then down we went to Pintong Bukawe, scene of the Merrell Trail route all the way to Casile then to the Marikina River leading to Wawa.

Hill crests, river crossings, single track trails, towering bamboo trees, unparalleled views–this is a route of an unforgettable trail run. Well, we were worried about the glaring heat but still some parts of the trail were windy and cool so you didn’t feel uncomfortable running and once you got used to the sun, you were fine.

The run took us about 6 hours to finish covering about 25k to 30k at the most. It wasn’t easy but you do get to enjoy the scenery. This run was to prep us on our forthcoming trail races at the NTDR Pimco Trail Run this Sunday and the Soleus Nuvali 50k/30 trail race on June 29.

Hope you like these pictures taken of our run:

Team 90% with Ultra runner Gene Olvis whom we saw on our way to Silangan

Entrance to the trails

Uphill to the mountains

The view of Timberland Heights below

Going up that ridge while Chito and Leo were waiting for us at the top

Nearing the top

With the “ninjas’ at the top

It’s on at the Timberland Trails

The ninja look. It’s the only way to beat the sweltering heat!

The view from the top

Betty and Tonette on one of the bamboo bridges

Betty with her improvised pole sticks

Picking out Kasuy along the way

Chito walking over the streams

Back to the trails

The green pond

Chito patiently waiting…

Downhill towards Casili

Bumping into ultrarunner, Jon Las Bruce

Last pit stop before proceeding to Casile and Wawa

Main river of Montalban (using an old Nokia CP cam)

Run culminates at Wawa Dam

Suunto Ambit2-R: A More Affordable Option

It’s been a year since SUUNTO unveiled its two flagship GPS watches, the Suunto Ambit2 and the Ambit 2S and this month, the Finnish-based company is back with the introduction of its newest, more affordable sibling, the Ambit 2-R.

Hard-core runners, multi-sport athletes and mountaineers were singing praises of the Ambit2 and 2S great functionality but at a price that few could really afford. Now, the new Ambit 2-R is essentially a simpler version of the 2S and is aimed specifically for RUNNERS, eliminating the triathlon/multisport features which was a boon for athletes of this discipline.


Suunto Ambit2-R (Photo from DC Rainmaker’s Blog)

While the Ambit2 and 2S costs from P30k to P35k apiece, this paired down version now can be had for about P22,500.00 (SRP) and even less with discounts ranging from 10% to 20%. Just ask your local Time Depot Store.

I was able to attend the launching of the Ambit 2-R last week which was officially hosted by Ms. Mascy Cabuhat-Pineda, Suunto Philippines’ Brand Manager as she introduced their newest “baby”.

Suunto Philippines Brand Manager, Mascy Cabuhat-Pineda

Among the many salient features of the Ambit2-R are as follows:

  • Target market is for runners who run on roads and trails. It is also a great navigational equipment for mountaineers
  • Features on triathlon have been omitted here thus, the tremendous price reduction compared to its older siblings, the Ambit2 and Ambit2-S
  • Dozens of apps available for download with the release of the Ambit2-R. You can personalize them to your own needs and is available at the App Zone on (See apps listed below for samples)
  • These new apps will be made available for download to existing Suunto Ambit2/2S users as well.
  • Available in black or white

The Press Release given to us during the launch presents a more accurate synopsis of the Ambit2-R and with this latest iteration, Suunto again offers us an easier option to “conquer another new territory”!


Suunto launches Ambit2 R, the GPS for runners

Suunto’s popular Ambit GPS watch family grows in March with the launch of the Ambit2 R, the GPS watch for runners.

The Suunto Ambit2 R is optimized for your perfect running experience. It provides responsive and reliable speed and distance readings thanks to FusedSpeedTM, a unique combination of GPS and accelerometer data from your wrist. Suunto Ambit2 R also measures running cadence from your wrist.

Suunto Ambit2-R (Men’s version in black)

Suunto Ambit2 R can also help you reach your performance goals. You can plan your own moves, or download complete training programs from The watch reminds you of daily targets, tracks target completion, and provides speed and intensity guidance while you run.

Additionally, Track-back and full navigation offer the freedom to explore new trails without getting lost. Download routes from or simply select Track-back at any point during a run. Suunto Ambit2 R will show you the way.

Suunto Ambit2 R is available in black or white, with the white sporting a soft silicone strap for an improved fit for women. Both can be purchased with or without a Suunto heart rate belt.

Suunto Ambit2-R in white

With Suunto Apps, even more running features become available. Personalize your Suunto  Ambit2 R with running Apps of your own, or choose from the thousands of free Apps in the App Zone on They include:

  • Virtual coach: Let the coach determine when you should run easy and hard! This App is for endurance intervals. Select your pace level and the coach will give you target paces to run.
  • Ghost runner: Challenge yourself against a competitor. A positive distance means that you’re ahead while a negative one means you need to pick up the pace.
  • Running efficiency: This App helps you improve your running efficiency by recording the number of heart beats over a kilometer / mile.
  •  High intensity intervals: This App gives a short but sharp interval work out. Start with a warm up, run 15 x 200m with 30sec recovery and end with a cool down.

Marathon time: It uses your current speed to give an estimate of your finish time during a marathon, so you can see if you’re on track for that target time., the online sports diary from Suunto, makes it easy to analyze every aspect of your training and share your experiences with others.

Suunto has been designing and manufacturing gear for adventurers, explorers and divers for over 75 years. Built into every product is a level of robustness and durability beyond the ordinary — and the Ambit2 R is no exception. Waterproof to 50 meters and with a 12-hour battery life in GPS mode, you can rely on Suunto Ambit2 R, whatever the conditions.

The Suunto Ambit2 R will become available in March.

All new features will also be made available to Ambit2 and Ambit2 S users via a software upgrade later in spring.

For media inquiries, contact:

Mascy Cabuhat-Pineda

Brand Manager, Suunto Philippines
Time Depot, Inc.
Tel: +632 7435220, cell: +632 917 7933791

Brooks Cross Country Challenge: A Short Race Recap

Downhills, uphills, rocks, an almost dry waterfall, mountain scenery, stream and river crossings, town folks cheering, a near fall from my rappelling–these may well be the gist of my run at last Sunday’s Brooks Cross Country Challenge in Tanay, Rizal where i did the 24k distance.

Though i’ve ran here several times before, i still marvel at the views like i’m running it for the first time. The trails in Laiban, the mountains and rivers towards Maysawa are impressive. So was the race itself. Adequate water and Gatorade stations every 3 kms (except for the last 2 kms when they ran out of those containers), presence of marshals and unlimited fresh air are what we experienced along the route.

With some of the running bloggers

At the start, with friend Ener in raised fist

One thing unique about this race is that the starting line is located inside the grounds of the Sierra Madre Resort and Hotel, within backdrop of pine trees and not off the street fronting it, as you might expect. This hotel area has been the jump-off point of many trail runners and serves as an access in exploring the many labyrinth trails of Tanay.

You got to love this place as it epitomizes the perfect start of a trail race. The Brooks Cross Country run is a challenging course and don’t let the starting downhill fool you. The downhill road represents most of the first 4km descent and had us rolling easily. However, being an out and back course, these hills haunted us back with a vengeance.

The temperature was surprisingly cool when the race started at 6am but after 2 hours passed, the sun was really blazing down on us but i guess that was part of the obstacle and many more man-made obstacles during the last kilometer of the race.

It was dry, most of the streams were just ankle deep and even the waterfalls at Maysawa which many had hoped to splash and wade under it turned out to be a “falls-alarm” as runners jokingly defined, like reduced to just trickles of water dripping down from a kitchen faucet! Summer woes!

Directions of the route was marred when somewhere at the 9 km mark before reaching the Maysawa Falls, many 24k runners missed going to the Falls for the first turn-around and instead turned right directly to the 2nd turn-around point. When marshals realized the confusion, they immediately set up wooden barriers to block the right turn path. By then those runners whom we overtook were now ahead of us on the return.

More pictures here:

Water falls no more

With eventual Champion, Lito Divina

Those last 3 km uphills were the worst part as i struggled walking, together with those around me just to make it 100 meters at a time. The inclines were tough and so was the very warm temperature.

Entering back to the Sierra Madre Resort for the finish, we still had to run about a mile around the resort grounds and hurdle several man-made obstacles that were erected. I nearly fell and got bruised during the first rappel when i went off balance and partly slid off the ropes, my back againts the ground.

Clinging on the ropes, i froze momentarily for a few seconds trying to figure out how to recover from the situation. With all my might I made a reverse turn as the marshals were shouting to hold the ropes in between my legs. Slowly, i lowered myself to scale down the last 12 meters off that ravine! I got a nasty cut on my elbows and wiped off the blood several times with my gloves.

Unofficial time: 4:25. Ugh!

Shout-out to the organizers of this event, Ian Alacar and Ben, his father for a very challenging race! It was great seeing and greeting other friends along the route, Ener, Franc, Jham, Erick, Chips, Pedz, Irish, Norma, Alvin, Lito, Weng, James and many others. Good job to you all!

Thanks to Vimz Mendoza and to the other bloggers who were all part of this race!

(Thanks to Ener and Photo-Ops for some of the photos!)

PAF 67th Anniversary Fun Run: June 1, 2014

If you found yourself locked-out already from registering in the Run United 2 Race this coming June 1, here’s an alternative run that’s not too over crowded, the “Takbo ng Hukbong Himpapawid para sa Karunungan at Kinabukasan ng Kabataan 2014″ or better known as the Philippine Air Force (PAF) 67th Anniversary Run.

This run is going to start and end at the CCP Complex grounds that will support the educational needs of these orphans of Philippine Airforce soldiers killed in action.

The PAF family deeply recognizes the heroism in each Air Force soldier. It is one of the morale and welfare support system of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that grant educational benefits both to the AFP personnel and their dependents with the aim of helping them secure a brighter future.

Here are the details of the race:

Philippine Air Force 67th Anniversary Fun Run
June 01, 2014
Liwasang Ulalim, CCP Complex,  Pasay City

Registration Fees:

16K – PHP 600
10K – PHP 500
5K – PHP 400
3k – PHP 350

May 7 to 31, 2014


    • Greenbelt 3
    • Bonifacio High Street
    • Solenad 2
  • Olympic Village 
    • Trinoma
  • Second Wind Running Stores
    • Quezon City
    • Greenhills
    • Ortigas

With Race Director Coach Joar during the launching of the race at the Villamor Air Base


For the past two years, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) organized the PAF Anniversary Fun Run which attracted some 2,000 running enthusiasts. The event successfully raised funds for the dependents of Philippine Air Force Personnel who were either Killed-in-Action (KIA) or was totally incapacitated while in line of duty. This event has been an annual project of the Philippine Air Force in order to uplift the morale and welfare of its personnel and their families/dependents.

In line with that noble advocacy and as part of the 67th PAF Pre-Anniversary activities, the PAF will again conduct the “Takbo ng HukbongHimpapawid para saKarunungan at  Kinabukasan ng Kabataan 2014” on 01 June 2014 at  LiwasangUlalim CCP Complex Pasay City. The activity will include a 3km, 5km, 10km and 21km runs which will be open to all ages. Proceeds of the event will go to the scholarship program for the dependents of Philippine Air Force Personnel who were either Killed-in-Action or totally incapacitated while in line of duty.

Our soldiers, civilian employees, military dependents and civilians, both young and old will be participating in the said activity. This running event will surely foster camaraderie and solidarity among the members of your Air Force and civilian populace, as it is an avenue to promote good health and wellness.


Finishers’ Medal

Race Singlet

With the PAF officers and the media at the race’s launching

Trail Chronicles #14 : A Glimpse Of The NTDR III 50k Trail Route

The Sto. Nino trails descending to the town of Laiban have been previously used many times during Pimco’s Love A Tree race series and it’s easy to see why this route has been a staple for trail runners, specially those running Pimco’s longer distances from 21k to 50k races here in Tanay, Rizal.

Being here with other trail runners in the early morning is forgetting that you’re just an hour away from Manila. The small communities that compasses the area: Baranggays Cuyambay, San Andres, Sto. Nino and Laiban gives you a lot of variety. Here you have wooded areas, single track paths, rough roads, rivers, waterfalls, meadows and wetland areas to keep you interested.

Last Sunday when many of my trail running friends were roughing it out at the TNF 100 trail race in Baguio City, me and several others who opted to stay in Manila went to Tanay to attend PIMCO’s last test run and try out some parts of their 50k route for their May 25 Nature’s Trail Discovery Run III, Leg 1. You can check out my previous blogs on the 10 and 21k routes (here) and (here 2). It was my first trail run since the Salomon X-Trail Run a month ago and it was great getting re-oriented back in rural settings.

We went out for a 20km run and we had our shoes wet for most of the time trekking the various rivers that surrounded Sto. Nino. This course threads on rolling terrain, some elevations but the inclines were minimal. It alternated between access roads, crushed gravel, dirt paths and the ever present rivers–they’re always there.

This is one of my favorite routes!  If you like discovering the undiscovered, running along a river and meandering in the heart of Tanay’s rural community, then the NTDR Trail Run is for you. 

Here’s a glimpse of the NTDR III, Leg 1 50k race route:



For more details about the race/how to register, check out their website:!ntdr-ii-3rd-leg/c1py8

(Thanks to Emn Muncal for some of the pics!)

Nat Geo Run 2014: A Short Race Recap

A high five to all the runners for this years Nat Geo Run 2014!

Temperatures last Sunday was on an all-time high and we surely felt it even before the 12:00 midnight gun start of their inaugural marathon race, as i was already sweating! Except for the temperature, there’s really not much negative to say about this year’s edition of the race although that’s not definitely what i thought when i had to stop about 5 times just to have my cramping thigh muscles sprayed with liniment oil by the medics!

With friends before the run

There were lots of nice things going on at the Nat Geo Run and it is just something to experience for yourself.

For me, some of them were:

  • Nice route and getting back to Bayani Road was a breath of change scenery at Fort Bonifacio. Although this route was very well used back in 2010-2011 races, it sort of disappeared from the racing scene thereafter for reasons i’m not aware of and it was great seeing the Heritage Park once again.
  • The entire course was absolutely packed with runners and though it was a bit crowded, it never hindered the movement of runners doing the full marathon when they merged with the 21k, 10k and 5k runners.
  • Aid and water/Pocari stations were aplenty, more than i was expecting. There were great water marshals who were working their arses off and they were doing the best they could to service the 12,000 runners on the race route. All were very courteous and saw to it that each runner were being provided for.

  • We have been told by the organizers to bring our own water bottles as they won’t provide water cups but still allotted some for runners who didn’t bring hydration containers with them. I’ve always been wary of water running out along the course so i always bring my own hydration belt in case there’s a stretch without water on aid stations. This time however, i had rarely used my own water bottle as there were more than enough on the water stations and ice-cold at that!
  • Was able to pace Jham Mariano, a co-blogger who was running his very first marathon during the 1st 15kms and although not too confident in his training prior to this race, he was able to finish in a respectable time.

With first time marathoner Jham Mariano

  • My acid-reflux was again bothering me and managed to contain it only after the 16th km. My thighs went ballistic and it was cramping during the 2nd half of the race. Good thing that medics, who were completely equipped with first-aid remedies were on every 2 kms of the course. They sprayed liniment and even massaged my cramping thighs!
  • Had severe problems with chafing along my inner thighs (near the groin) that after the race, blood was prevalent on my shorts and under-wear. I was grimacing in pain when i took my shower.
  • Great to see my running mates Carol and Gemma finish strongly on their half-marathon race. Carol even finished 8th over-all among the females.

With Carol

Nearing the finish line

With Carol and Doc Gemma

I cannot stress enough how well organized this inaugural Nat Geo Marathon turned out to be. Ice-cold water and Pocari almost every two kilometers, enthusiastic and courteous marshals–they did a hell of a job, the ever present medics, all made a huge difference for making this race an over-all success.

This is my 16th marathon and what an experience it was!