what a journey it has been

Like the blank 2013 planner, I was wishing or more like hoping for more adventures. I planned trips that will definitely tickle my senses-visual, auditory and taste! I’ve written plans, browsed articles while waiting for that next BIG PISO Fare!

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

January 2013 kicked in…and like a box of chocolates, it came with all kinds of surprises.

For one, I was diagnosed with hepatomegaly. I started running 30 minutes every early in the morning around the block to somehow accelerate recovery of what seemed to be an eternal wound. It was refreshing and it made me feel good that I extended the 30 minutes to an hour.

Then January 20 happened. Around 5AM I crossed a line that changed the way I look at running…at health in general…at life…MY LIFE.

711’s Run 800 – a fun run in celebration of the store’s 800th outlet across the country. Run for a cause, as they say. The city with the most number of participants will receive medical assistance/aid.

We (what do you know! I managed to drag other people) decided to take a plunge by participating in the 5Km category only because we liked the blue singlet. We would have loved the black one, but it was one hell of a distance (21K) to run for the inexperienced.

After the tiring endeavor, we went straight to Tondo, Manila for the feast of Sto. Nino!

Bawi-bawi lang din ang na-burn na calories…

After the 7-11 Run 800, I saw myself running more races. Traveling suddenly became a thing of the past. I was ensnared by the running craze.

PhilHealth gave me the reason to explore Manila when it offered a run in celebration of its 18th anniversary.

After what seemed like an eternity, I got to hop in the infamous Light Railway Transit again. The train’s first trip from the South was at 5AM. Dropping off at UN Station, I crossed Taft Avenue. To get to Quirino Grandstand (starting line), I passed by Luneta Park (aka Rizal Park). I got to see the Rizal Monument again…the last was during my elementary school’s field trip.

March came and I made a BIG leap. From 5Km, I ran 21 kilometers and crossed the finish line with the time of 02:42:00. It was a fulfilling experience which taught me the lesson of believing in one’s ability. I found my strength…I saw how determination drove my pair of inexperienced legs to the finish line…

21 Kilometers was long…

It was tiring…

In the end the experience was worth every muscle pain I had to endure.

Just a week after, I couldn’t get enough of the hype brought by running. On March 24, I ran for friends and loved ones working overseas. I celebrated their heroism by running my first 10 kilometer race along Roxas Boulevard.

It was not all running… I had to walk…

It was of a different kind…a journey through the aisle of St. Joseph Cathedral…

No…I didn’t tie the knot…I stood as my brother’s Best Man…First time kong maging part ng entourage. I’ve always been a spectator…

 

 

April 28 – National Geographic Channel Earth Day Run – I ran another half marathon. I gained my very first sports-related injury – a bleeding knee…It hit a concrete barrier in an ill-lit part of Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue. I did not see the uneven pavement that got me out of balance and hit the barrier…

 

Funny thing was, I did not feel anything but a slight sting. A concerned runner asked how I was and I just said I feel good and kept running. Adrenaline rush with an extra shot of endorphin!!

 

June 02 was Run United’s second leg of the trilogy, another 21K for me. I was putting together a 3-piece medal and I snagged the second one…

 

 

My daily commute to Ortigas finally stopped in June 30. I stepped out of Rockwell Business Center and walked away from the company I have had the privilege of serving for eight long years. It was a long decision to make. Took me about 3 years to finally draft and sign that resignation letter…

July 01, I met my new family at work. hahaha Walang pahinga…trabaho agad.

I accepted the offer of a US-based payroll and benefits administration provider whose office is a stone-throw away (well, not really…but I walk to get home) from my place.

October came really fast. October 06 was a happy day! I get to run with an old time friend, Lea. She’s a police officer based in Pampanga. I’ve had what seemed to be unlimited episodes of cramps and muscle pains throughout the course of the Run United Philippine Marathon. It was one of the ‘longest’ races I’ve ever been. “Longest” in the sense that it took me a while to get to the finish line…OVER 3 HOURS! 

It was fun running with a friend. For the longest time I was running by myself. Well, Me and my phone…

 

It’s nice to see some familiar personalities too! I get to see Alvin Patrimonio and Benjie Paras.

November gave me the biggest challenge in my running history. It was a rainy day after the biggest storm in history ravaged Central Philippines. It was wet…it was raining for the New Balance Power Run 2013. This race really tested my endurance. I ran 25 Kilometers around almost all corners of the Bonifacio Global City. The race route included the hike of the Kalayaan Flyover all the way to LRT Gil Puyat station (well almost).

My shoes were wet and towards the last 4 Kilometers or so, the sun was shining “bright like a diamond”. It was hard to see as the wet pavement glittered. I finished the race in over 3 hours. It was appropriate to state that I “crawled” to the finish line…or, given that I have been in the round shape as my good friends would have called it “rolling (gumulong) to the finish line”.

And because I was all spent after battling with the 25 Km road/track, I thought I deserved a hearty meal.

Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes – Carbo and protein loading.

Friends have been talking about it and I am yet to discover the place. I got a protein packed pasta of 3 types of meat and a huge Banapple smoothie. The serving was just too much even for the hungry hippo! I had to take home half of the meal!

Before November finally closesd I received my final docs from the old employer. It was an opportunity to see my teammates and friends. And speaking of old and friends, November 30 was the day for the Annual Poor Club Meet up. We had breakfast at IHOP, BGC. The pancakes were good. I had the Cinn-A-Stack. Two stacks of fluffy and creamy pancakes, each topped with cinnamon spread… I also had their big steak omelet.

Then it’s Christmas…

I didn’t get to see my family for the holidays because I have work on Christmas eve. But I get to spend it with my other family, my HR/B family. We had dinner together and had fun at work…

Looking back, there’re a lot of notable events…2013 must have been one of my most colorful years in my 3 decades of existence. It was a long journey. I missed flying this year. No new places explored.  On the other hand, 2013 gave me the opportunity to reach out to my inner self. The journey was within. I discovered a whole lot about myself. I tasted new flavors through the personalities I met while running, in my new job, in my new  work place…

2014, I am excited to meet you…I don’t know what kind of flavor or color you’d bring, but I am looking forward to more surprises…

More travel…

More Run…

More Fun!

sign 3

2011: A glimpse of the year that got me to travel

It’s a day after Christmas.  In a couple of days we’ll all bid goodbye to another year.  Before doing so, I’ll take a glimpse of the year that’s about to close. It has been a fruitful year. I pray that 2012 will be as fruitful as the last.
February 2011 rekindled the fire I have for traveling when my friends and I bought cheap round trip tickets to Cebu. We weren’t the usual travelers.  We didn’t have that much of experience in this kind of activities but the old trust-your-instinct kind of attitude worked.
March gave me the opportunity to fly.  It wasn’t my first to be in an airport but it certainly was my first to travel by air. Thanks to Airphil Express’ promo that I had the opportunity to see the sky and ride the wind via Airbus Industrie A320.
So my feet landed on the wet Cebu City on March 12, 2011. I got to taste the famous lechon Cebu!
Magellan’s Cross with Kimmy and Paolo
I planned on going to Palawan last summer but did not have the opportunity.  No cheap ticket for me.
On the other hand, before summer ended, I booked a flight to Bohol! ’twas a birthday gift for myself. A little late pero ang sabi nga nila, huli man daw at magaling, maihahabol din!
August 20, 2011, my traveling feet landed in Tagbilaran City, Bohol!
Man-Made Forest in Bilar
September 04, 2011 – I walked a long line to Taal, Batangas, the home of the butterfly daggers and Barong Tagalog.
It was a very tiring walk…
The Basilica of St. Martin of Tours
September 2011 – After Batangas, I got tricked to going to Tanay, Rizal.  The two-hour butt numbing ride was worth it!
Batlag Falls after a heavy down pour
 Daranak and Batlag Falls in Tanay, Rizal was my last trip for the year. I was planning on going to Bicol during the Thanksgiving break last November. I was working on reaching the province via Bicol Express, the country’s railway system. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right time.
2011 did not get me to a lot of places but it sure inspired me get to a lot more on 2012!
Cheers to the year of the rabbit and hello 2012 Dragon! More travels to come!