My Mt. Talamitam Race Experience

The Mt. Talamitam Assault 10 Mile Trail Challenge is not for the faint of heart. The first kilometers winds up on beautiful forest trails with very steep portions and a certain degree of challenge before assaulting the more intense uphills of this mountain. It will make you think why you didn’t train enough on hills! I was part of the group that did a test run of the course a few months back and i knew it would be one difficult run but last Sunday’s actual race was brutal yet very rewarding!

Though the distance was only 16.8kms, the route was an emotional roller coaster but it was great fun running up those hills with other runners who were huffing and puffing as much as i did.

Well, the race organizers certainly does not call this a trail assault challenge for nothing but the overwhelming feeling of achievement after is well worth it. I was glad that food was offered after the descent from the mountain where bananas, choc-nuts, biscuits, chocolate sticks and tons of water were served!

I was really glad on the weather we had. I forgot to bring my running cap at the race so i was worried about the heat and the sun specially on the open spaces near Talamitam but it was mostly overcast, with the sun just peeping at times and it was really windy during the mountain trek.

Except for a slight snafu that had some runners stranded at one portion of the trail not knowing where to go, the race went smoothly with directional arrow markers spray-painted on rocks or trees and volunteers who were very supportive and encouraging ( a trademark of the organizers) plus the fantastic views were all winners!

Over-all, the race was well-organized as they excelled at charting a race which was safe, lots of volunteer support, route that was mostly well-marked and an experience that was very memorable! I would definitely recommend this race to anyone interested. Kudos to Michael Angelo, JC Igos, Ako Si Dabull (Rick Sundiang) and the rest of the organizing team for a job well done!

Thanks to the Cavite ESE Running Team/ aRUNkada (Del, Ysa, Eric and the other event fotogs) for letting me grab some of their pictures! 😉

Check out the results here:

Group photo for posterity

Co-race organizers JC Igos and Enrique Sundiang

With running buddy, Jun (L) and monster runner, Ka Totoy!

The start

Cool pathway of trees right from the very start of the trails

View from atop the river

Runners resting, taking pics

Taking a break

With Ricky and the strong ladies!

With Ricky and Mt. Talamitam as back-drop

One of the trails on the way to Talamitam

Sky Chan of Team aRUNkada

One of the awesome views on top of a hill

One more picture break near the crest of Mt. Talamitam

50 meters away from the top. (Thanks for the photo Team aRunkada/ Cavite ESE Team)

Just took a few deep breaths at the top before descending the mountain

At the road part of the route

Crossing the finish line

The Sierra 51050: A 50K Relay, 21k and 10K Race in the Hills of Tanay

The Sierra 51050 Relay is a 5-person relay team and each will run 10 kilometers of varying degrees of difficulty summing up to 50 kilometers on the hilly Tanay course. There will also be an individual Half-Marathon and 10k to go with the relay race.

I highly recommend joining this race if you are willing to take on the challenge of running long, winded uphills and down hills, as you definitely should train for this. The scenery of the Sierra Madre Mountains is a plus!

We Run As One in Sierra!

December 16, 2014 MANILA, Philippines – Sierra 51050 has proven that running is not just a solitary sport. Runners formed groups to battle it out who is the fastest in the relay category.

On March 1, 2015, iTracc Maxxed Sierra 51050 Relay & Half Marathon will happen at the hills of Sierra Madre in Tanay, Rizal. The route runs along Sitio Mayagay, Barangay Sampaloc and Barangay Cuyambay.

iTracc Maxxed Sierra 51050 has the Relay 51050, Half Marathon and 10k for race categories. Early registration starts December 16, 2014 to January 4, 2015 while regular registration starts January 5, 2015 and will end on February 15.

Registration Fees:

Early Bird : December 16, 2014 – January 4, 2015

  1. Relay: 5 Runners X 10k : P3,500.00
  2. 21k Solo : P850.00
  3. 10k Solo : P750.00

Regular Registration : January 5, 2015 – February 15, 2015

  • Relay: 5 Runners X 10k : P4,000.00
  • 21k Solo : P950.00
  • 10k Solo : P850.00

All runners from the relay team and solo categories will receive the following:

  • Race Bib and Singlet
  • Finishers Shirt
  • Finishers Lootbag (items from sponsors)
  • Medals (except for the 10k solo runners)

The half-marathon and 10k distance categories are open to individuals who would like to try the hills of Sierra Madre, while the Relay 51050 should compose five (5) members in a team who will run 10 kilometers each summing up to 50 kilometers. You can register as many 5-member teams as you want!

Early registration for iTracc Maxxed Sierra 51050 Relay & Half Marathon is available at

  • Sports House stores (SM Bicutan, SM City Fairview, SM City Novaliches, SM Marikina, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, Robinson’s Galleria and Trinoma) and all
  • Second Wind Running Specialty Stores (Malingap St., Teachers Village Quezon City/Unit 107, G-Strip, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan/Ortigas Home Depot Julia Vargas, Pasig City).
    For more information about iTracc Maxxed Sierra 51050, interested participants may visit the Sierra 51050 page ( and Rundezvous, Inc. page (

About iTRACC
iTRACC is a proudly Filipino made apparel and it stands for Triathlon Running Athletics Cycling Compression. Each design went to thorough studies to perfect each compression technology. iTRACC is made of Spandex for comfort and Elastene for flexibility. Released in 2013, iTRACCÂź emerged in a world where compression garments are eventually popular and widely in demand.

We are all about providing the finest and science-study-oriented sportswear that every athlete desires. Whether for pros, for amateurs and even for sports enthusiasts, iTRACCÂź provides the latest trends of sportswear. Sportshouse is very proud to say that iTRACC is a PS (Patent Secured) product certified which means every design and feature has a certification from Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

Maxxed is another Filipino brand under Sportshouse offering athletic shoes and apparel. Flight 101 is one of the first designs that will be offered for athletes, specifically for runners. “The Run Right” tagline represents Flight 101’s technology. Its functionalities will assist runner in proper landing and help them push forward.”

About Rundezvous, Inc.
Established in 2012, Rundezvous, Inc. (RDV) was formed by a group of runners wanting to pay it forward to fellow runners by providing management and conducting low-key, quality fun runs and other race events at very reasonable fees.

For more information, please contact:
Allan Ray Enriquez
Running Free Manila
Email Address:
Contact Number/s: (0917) 6312255

Lacoste 12.12 Watch

Casual dress watches are kind of the “in” thing these days. Some have big dials, others come in bright colours, and most appear in the classic analog style which i personally prefer. You all see them worn in just about every occasion; at parties, office meetings, week-end gimmicks and some even wear them at their local gyms!

For me, there will be watches for two occasions, one for casual wear and the other, for my active lifestyle. The move here is getting an elegant casual, everyday-watch which has also that sporty look and the challenge is you’re going to have to find one that offers the best of both worlds–a timeless, simple, wearable elegance for work and play which i found in the latest LACOSTE 12.12 Watch!


Lacoste 1212 Watch in 6 vibrant colors

The Lacoste 12.12 watch takes its visual cues from the classic cotton petit pique tennis shirt designed by the late French tennis great (and my tukayo), Rene Lacoste and the crocs that shared the river with Lolong (world’s largest crocodile in captivity). While you may not relish being with crocodiles when crossing rivers infested by it, wearing the famous crocs logo on your wrist will certainly make you feel awesome and secure!

These timepieces are beautifully simple, characterized by their minimal looks and simply designed faces. The 12.12 watches carries 6 different colors in grey, red, blue, white, green and black with a soft-touch silicone strap to match each respective color.

The Lacoste 1212 six-color collection

The red, black and white colors look nice too!

“Much like the classic polo shirt it is named after, the Lacoste.12.12 watch embodies the brand’s rich history of designing crisp, elegant pieces, and we are really excited to be bringing its 2014 Holiday collection to Manila,” says Julian Addison, Movado Group Inc. President for Asia Pacific. “Filipinos seem to have a tasteful yet practical sense of aesthetics – values that are manifest in these timepieces.”

Julian Addison, President for Asia Pacific Movado Group Inc., global licensee of Lacoste. Mr. Addison is also an accomplished trail ultra runner having competed in 100-mile ultramarathons in Europe!

The minimalist face with its monochrome palette and unique pique texture lends the whole ensemble a sporty, but serious feel — just the thing you need when transitioning from sports wear to your regular casual wear.

The interesting thing about the 1212 watch is that it has a stainless steel case-back and is water resistant of up to 30 meters!

If you are into that sporty but elegant look and prefer a more simple aesthetic, this watch is made for you. It’ll stand out beautifully from your wrist whether you’re on the board room or in the trails and you’ll feel the need to look at it, which no doubt will be rather often.

Lacoste Watches are available at L Timestudio, Wristpod, select Chronos Boutiques, SM Department Stores, The Landmark and Robinson’s Department Stores.

(Many thanks to Ms. Judith Staples, Marketing Manager of L-Time Studio, Events master Ms. Rochelle Romero of Pix Republic, Ms. Inja Fajatin and the rest of their team for the invitation to cover the Lacoste 1212 Event Launch).

Thanks to Rodel Montejo and Titanium Runner for some of the photos used.

With fellow bloggers at the Lacoste 1212 Watch Launch

LACOSTE.12.12 (Press Release)

As iconic and recognizable as the crocodile logo is the classic cotton petit pique poloshirt that tennis legend René Lacoste designed in 1927. Nicknamed the crocodile for his tenacity on the court, the athlete created a uniform that would allow for better sweat absorption and freedom of movement.

He named it L.12.12 – L for Lacoste, 1 for its one-of-a-kind fabric, 2 for its short sleeves, and 12 for the number of the final version of the design he selected for production. Heralding the birth of contemporary sportswear, the L.12.12 has remained a beloved wardrobe staple for the elegantly athletic.

Lacoste’s sporting spirit is reignited in the Lacoste.12.12 watch collection, with a timely launch on December 12, 2014 held by country distributor Artful Marketing, Inc. (a subsidiary of the Lucerne Group) and global licensee Movado Group, Inc.

“Much like the classic polo shirt it is named after, the Lacoste.12.12 watch embodies the brand’s rich history of designing crisp, elegant pieces, and we are really excited to be bringing its 2014 Holiday collection to Manila,” says Julian Addison, MGI President for Asia Pacific. “Filipinos seem to have a tasteful yet practical sense of aesthetics – values that are manifest in these timepieces.”

Six confident colors make up the Lacoste.12.12 watch design palette: grey, red, blue, white, green and black. There is a timepiece for whatever the mood calls for. Take the classic preppy tack, go for masculine and powerful, understated and simple or relaxed and laidback. Whatever you choose, the result is timeless, simple, wearable elegance for work and play.

Simplicity, refinement and comfort are the hallmarks of Lacoste’s wearable icons. The light, airy piquĂ© fabric that serves as the polo shirt’s unique signature is faithfully echoed on the watch by an attractive petit piquĂ© mesh effect running around the case sides and along the soft-touch silicone strap. Ready to take a bite out of 3 o‘clock is the legendary green crocodile that adorns each dial. Indeed, wearing a Lacoste.12.12 watch is wearing a true classic on your sleeve.

Lacoste Watches are available at L Timestudio, Wristpod, select Chronos Boutiques, SM Department Stores, The Landmark and Robinson’s Department Stores.

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

So last Wednesday was one of the most unforgettable days ever! This is all thanks to RD Jonel Mendoza when he was able to pull all the stops and bring to the country ultra running’s towering living legend, Scott Jurek to talk about his experiences in the sport of ultra running and his take on his strict vegan diet which has sustained his unsurpassed feats of running for many years.

The entrance to the Asian Development Bank Compound was strict so we had to go through a lot of checks and verifications from security personnel before reaching the small auditorium where Jurek would speak. I was able to secure a ticket from Jonel despite knowing that tickets were already fully reserved days before.

Scott starting the lecture

Jurek is a personification of what a truly ultra-marathoner should be, disciplined but open to many options and ideas, strong-willed yet listens also to the demands and limits of his body and most importantly, a true gentleman.

His lectures has a zen-like structure that incorporates experiences derived from his races, diet and enormous thirst for adventurism. His “goal-setting” is a classic example of examining one’s attitude toward the sport. He said that to be able to succeed, you have to want it, you have to know it, be able to tweak it and really want it some more!

Talking about calorie intake

I was a bit fascinated about him recalling that a week before running the Hard Rock 100, the world’s toughest 100-mile trail race,  he sprained an ankle while playing soccer with kids but continued to run the grueling 100-mile race even taking more than half an hour off the course record! He wore an ankle brace to help him survive Hardrock’s grueling trails and 33,992 feet of cumulative elevation gain, and finished in 26 hours, 8 minutes! This record has since been broken.

Book signing (photo by R. Belen)

The sprained ankle did not deter him from running in one of his best races which also taught him how to turn setbacks into advantages. He advises to take stock of the situation and accept emotions, remedy the situation in real time and put a positive spin into it.

These were just some of the bits of wisdom Scott imparted and it was awesome really hearing him on. He’s such a great guy and kind of embodies the spirit of a great champion!

Finally, a picture with the man himself!

And a picture with Scott’s better half, Jenny Jurek

A memento

Running in the streets of Metro Manila (SJ’s Instagram post)


19th Alaska Football Cup

The Alaska Football Cup is growing every year so something good is going on as Alaska continues to mold children to be at their best while giving them a quality experience. Now on its 19th edition, the organizers of this league have exceeded on what is needed to provide a quality bonding time for both children and their parents.

Alaska Milk encourages each child to reach for the highest level of play that they desire to achieve. Many kids playing on their club or school teams would not be as successful as they were if not for the level of play at this youth soccer tournament.  The Alaska Football Cup is also a great place for the child who wants a solid experience with a higher level of recreational play than is available elsewhere.

Congrats to all the winners and participants at the recently concluded Alaska Football Cup last Nov. 29 and 30, 2014!


Alaska Milk holds country’s biggest football tournament

Alaska Milk recently held the biggest football tournament in the country, the 2014 Alaska Football Cup last Nov. 29 and 30 at the Ayala Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City.

Football players of all ages, from as young as six years old, participated in this annual event organized by Alaska Milk.

The annual football event, which started in 1995, held its 19th edition this year with over 300 teams representing schools and football clubs from all over the Philippines composing more than 4,500 players competing in the different categories. The two-day event were played over more than 750 seven-a-side games, in 30 football fields, and officiated by over 120 game officials.

The Alaska Football Cup is one of the country’s most successful grassroots development program in football.

For more information on the Alaska Football Cup please visit the Website or follow on twitter: @ALASKAsportshub.

Here are the winners in their respective categories:

19th Alaska Football Cup Winners
Girls 12
1st Place ABC Stars Naga
2nd Place British School Manila
3rd Place Xavier School FC
4th Place Ateneo de Davao
MVP Rona Zaldivar

Girls 14
1st Place Nomads Football Club

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1st Place Nomads Football Club

2nd Place Makati Fooball Club
3rd Place ABC Stars Naga
4th Place Ateneo de Davao
MVP Ashley Slough

Girls 16
1st Place Ateneo de Davao
2nd Place Minuluan FC Bacolod
3rd Place Ateneo de Cebu
4th Place Tuloy sa Don Bosco
MVP Inah Rosales

Boys 10
1st Place Xavier School FC

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1st Place Xavier School FC

2nd Place Federated Football Association of Masbate
3rd Place San Carlos City FC-Bacolod
MVP Diego Aspiras

Boys 12
1st Place Hedcen FC
2nd Place Tiger City Mandaluyong FC
3rd Place Makati FC
4th Place La Salle Zobel
MVP Jan Adri Caraig

Boys 14
1st Place Claret Football Center
2nd Place Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu
3rd Place La Salle Zobel
4th Place First Fruits Christian Academy Bukidnon (first time to join)
MVP Fidel Tacardon

Boys 16
1st Place Xavier School FC
2nd Place Claret Football Center
3rd Place Hedcen FC
4th Place Goshenland FC
MVP Tony Kho

Players 6
1st Place Ateneo de Manila Football Center

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1st Place Ateneo de Manila Football Center

2nd Place Loyola Meralco FC
3rd Place Davao Hyenas FC
4th Place Xavier School FC
MVP Andres Hizon

Players 8
1st Place Makati Football School

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1st Place Makati Football School

2nd Place Xavier School FC
3rd Place St. Alexius college Southern Cotabato- First time to join
4th Place Crocodile FC Davao
MVP Jared Peña

Ladies’ Open
1st Place De La Salle Zobel
2nd Place Lizarito FC-Bacolod
3rd Place Ateneo de Davao FC Lady Knights
4th Place Green Archers Utd.
MVP Sarah castañeda

Men’s Open
1st Place LeyLam FC Cebu Team 2
2nd Place Philippine Air Force
3rd Place Team Socceroo
4th Place Leylam FC Cebu Team 1 -First time to join
MVP Ranulfo Colina

My QCIM 2014 Night Run Experience

I’ve ran on all QCIM races since their inaugural race last 2009, three of them the full marathon and the other 2 running the half, including this one i did last Sunday, November 30. It was dubbed the QCIM Night Run Half-Marathon and sponsored as usual by the Quezon City government.

The race start at the Quezon City Memorial Circle is just up my alley, a short 2.5 km jog away from my doorsteps which i have looked forward to running every year. It was staged successively from 2009 to 2012, took a hiatus last year when organizers couldn’t find a major sponsor to support it but has now been revived this year with the help of the QC government.

The stage fronting Commonwealth Avenue

In all its stagings, this event isn’t without some serious logistical issues as the main concern is always the road re-blocking and detours bringing traffic to a stand still along Commonwealth and Quezon Avenues and gets the ire of motorists and commuters alike.

As having been part of the organizing committee that staged this race during the first 4 years, it is indeed incredibly hard to organize a race at these busy thoroughfares so I definitely understood the complexity of it all. However, if you go into knowing what to expect and ignore the boos and the catcalls you might sometimes hear from commuters even in a race held late into the night, you will have a good time and a great experience as well.

At the starting line

With all the negative feedback this race has been getting because of the chaos it has caused commuters, i still come back to run this race and the reason why this is still a “to-do” race is because it’s not everyday that you get to run along the “killer highway” of Commonwealth and along the bar-club row of Quezon Avenue. I think all the clutter of this race has become a normal occurrence to those who have ran QCIM before; cursing, hollering and shouting matches between marshals and motorists–been there, heard those, seen that!

Here’s what i felt great and the not so great about this race:


  • Location of the starting line. It was at the sheer end of the Quezon monument, facing the entrance to Commonwealth Avenue. Nice stage with music blaring while runners were waiting for the start.
  • Runners had two full lanes of Commonwealth and Quezon Avenues, wide enough for us to avoid the smoke belchers.
  • The ever present marshals on choke points who guided the runners along the route.
  • Kilometer markers were evident along the course.
  • Ambulances and medical aides were on strategic areas.
  • Nice finishers medals and tech-shirts.


  • Gun time started late! A program was held at the time the race should have started. The speeches of the city officials and the endless babbling of the hosts should have started an hour earlier before race start. And where is the Running Host, Boy Ramos when you need him? He would have kept us entertained during those dull moments while waiting for the start!
  • Lack of paper cups! Shortage was evident as early as the first turn-around along Commonwealth Avenue and on some water stations along Quezon Avenue.

The race started at about 9pm when runners have to do one loop of the elliptical circle which is about 1.8kms in diameter before we headed up to Commonwealth Avenue. At the 2 kilometer mark, i was joined by trail running friend, Ashley Dimanlig and we strode side by side along this stretch.

Pacing with Ashley

Seems that Ash had some issues with her calf muscles which cramped as early as the 5th km. She later revealed that she was skipping ropes the week prior to this race as part of her cross-training which evidently showed why her calf and achilles tendons were still sore and tender. Bad move, Ash!

So to alleviate the cramps, we had to slow down on occasions, walk or stop on the side road to let her stretch the muscles which provided temporary relief for her. Sometimes, i would physically knead my knuckles into her calf hoping to alleviate the pain. This went on several times, run-walk-run or run-stop-stretch-walk then run again. There was no pressure though as we were just having a good time savoring the experience of running the long stretch of Commonwealth Avenue.

At the Tandang Sora flyover

Approaching the 10 km mark when we were about to turn right going towards Quezon Avenue, Ashley must have sensed the futility of it all and urged me to just go ahead so she can rest a bit. I asked if she was going to be ok and insisted that she will. So i continued my run, alone, and try to catch up with the tail-enders.

Fishers Mall at night along Quezon Avenue

Starting from the 10th km., i was running on pure adrenaline. I picked up the pace considerably. But then, i was a bit sad leaving Ashley behind, i also felt a little tensed and pressured but after reeling-in some of the tail-enders and overtaking more of them at the 16th km turn-around, i felt much better.

Finished the race in a still decent time despite our stop-and-go first half.

Finishers’ shirt and medal

For those who have not ran Commonwealth and Quezon Avenues, QCIM may be the race to run at least once, with no expectations of a perfect race. There’s nothing like running these major thoroughfares at night, so make the most of it and enjoy for what they offer.

Click this link for the race results:



Running To Mr. Choi Kitchen

There’s this old traditional thing about serving a noodle dish or the local “pancit”, in its many varieties during birthdays that’s said to signify a longer life and good health to the celebrant.

It’s a basic dish that’s almost always included in every birthday table so when good friend Leo took us out for dinner for his nth birthday, we went to Mr. Choi Kitchen Restaurant and ordered, among many other house specialties, the “Birthday Noodles”!

Leo (seated), the birthday celebrant and the “youngest” in our team.

Famed for their all-time favorite Cantonese dimsun, Mr. Choi Kitchen, located inside Robinson’s Galleria Mall (one among many of their branches in the metro) serves the typical Chinese fare, but the menu offers a wide variety of dishes. When finding a table inside, you’ll notice a display of barbecued meats – pork ribs, pork belly and whole ducks–at the kitchen glass window after you enter.

From their specialty dimsum dumplings, breakfast congees, roasted dishes and a wide assortment of fish, pork, prawns and other delectable soup noodles, all are cooked and served in the all familiar Hongkong style flair. There were so many dishes to choose from so we let Leo do the choosing since he has dined here countless of times and knew what the “blockbuster” offerings were.

Here’s what he ordered for us:

Sihk faahn 食飯 (Bon appetit!)

Birthday Noodles – P255.00

The Birthday Noodles, ordered so as to celebrate Leo’s almost seven decades of existence on this planet is a mishmash of quail eggs, fish balls, chicken, pork, mushrooms and fish cutlets cooked with the typical pancit canton noodles, garnished with fresh vegetables and a little broth for those who want some soup poured into their rice. Truly yummy! May this dish add more quality years to Leo’s truly enviable life with Manang Sylvia.

Cold Cuts combination – P405.00

The Assorted Chinese Cold Cuts tossed in light garlic sauce made an appetizing starter. However, this didn’t live up to my expectations. Though the century eggs was satisfyingly tasty and the jelly fish flavorful, the asado meat was fatty, lump and a little rubbery.

Steamed Fish with Garlic Sauce – P285.00

The Steamed Fish in Garlic Sauce was the highlight of the night! I thought i couldn’t love anything more than the Chicken Salad but this was delicioso! So tender, flaky, spread on thick sauce with just the right sweetness.  Lavished with minced garlic and chopped spring onions, this isn’t something that i would normally eat with gusto but it was absolutely amazing that i couldn’t stop eating once i had it melting in my mouth!

Beef with Broccoli – P295.00

The Beef with Broccoli was tender and succulent and it was the dish i really enjoyed eating with my rice. This is the only dish where i actually get to eat the broccoli!

Hot Chicken Salad – P290.00

The tender chicken cutlets is an interesting variation of a chicken dish. Called Chicken Salad, (sans potatoes and macaroni) these are pieces of tenderized chicken, coated in lustrous mayonnaise-like sauce, then garnished with a vegetable salad. Flavorful to the max!

Mr. Choi’s Butchi – P170.00

To top everything was the Buchi dessert which was just perfect, not too sweet but very filling. Reminds me of Chow Kings’ version, only, this is bigger! This rice ball is simply perfection!

The gang

After a tiring long morning run, Mr. Choi Kitchen, in Robinsons Galleria, is a good choice to replenish energy and definitely one you should keep in mind if your taste buds seek for affordable Cantonese food!