Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

beach-2433476_960_720

Dear organizers and willing sponsors of the event,

Hi, hello. I hope you are in a good mood and sober reading this after all the partying you’ve made last weekend in Limasawa. I will not hide the fact that we were shocked, frustrated and angry  to hear of a ‘beach party’ that lasted through the morning –  a week after we made a cleanup in the same island. Look, I do party, drink and socialize and its all too familiar what goes on with this kind of events: loud music, wild atmosphere alcohol and worse the spectacular amount of trash it generates… And that is exactly why we don’t approve of your event in our beloved Limasawa.

33870853_2024258621157259_4142413339001094144_n

Photo from event sponsor Discover Leyte Society  https://www.facebook.com/discoverleytesociety/

I know it comes at a surprise to hear someone lashing at you in social media and bashing your event. So allow me to introduce myself and hoping I can convince you that I’m no keyboard warrior and that I do care a lot for Limasawa, at least more than you. I’m Lester Glenn Tabada, age 30,  my address is in Poblacion, Bontoc, Southern Leyte just in front of the Municipal Building so you can always visit me there now that its officially my ‘summer’ according to the UP calendar. Yes, I’m a fine arts student from UP-Cebu. I’m a self-proclaimed environmentalist and shark rights activist, but a certified scuba diver, freediver and Eco-diver (we do underwater surveys in these waters). But as a professional I’m a CPA with masters in Public Ad. So I dont really call my self a keyboard warrior, I go outdoors and do things.  I’m also a freelance writer and blogs about my travels, so if you google “Limasawa” chances are you’ll encounter my previous articles and the photos that goes with it. Plot twist: I’m the guy behind the Lapiskamay  wordpress blog.

APR01961 (Large)_preview

This is how we roll in Limasawa. Why party when we have the best waters in the world? (c) Jao Cuyos

Here’s some of my previous articles written about Limasawa over the years (in case u want some ‘research’ from people who’s been there):

Limasawa Island: An Outsider’s Guide to Paradise

LIMASAWA ISLAND & the King of Summer

Limasawa: Island Paradise

                I’ve been in Limasawa countless of times the past few years and it would be an honor to call it a home. Nowadays, I often bring diving friends from Cebu to dive and explore Limasawa and parts Sogod Bay on weekends; did you know that there’s a whale shark watching operation too in Southern Leyte? Nah you’re probably drank and wasted on your weekend parties. I can still remember the old Limasawa just a few  years back where electricity only runs from 5pm to midnight and life was simple; where tourists are few, where beaches are litter free, and people greeting and helping me in exploring the next caves, springs, beaches and many other secrets Limasawa offers. Limasawa was, is and always will be my “Me” place, a place where I could escape depression and recharge from stress. Nowadays, it seems like stress follows me in the island when I see tourists behaving badly in the island. Depressing. But at least we can both agree that waters in Limasawa are amazing.

The similarities, however, end there. You guys organized a huge beach party because you love Limasawa, (to hell with the trash and disturbance you’ll cause in the area). Me and my friends from Sawum do things a lot different. We organized a big underwater and coastal cleanup just the weekend before the party: 30+ divers from Cebu, plus local volunteers, covering three barangays and collected almost 1.5 tons of trash in a single day. It was awesome; you should see our pictures in Facebook. And oh, we finished at 5PM, your party lasted until 5AM the next day. I really do hope that you make good in your promise that you make a cleanup post-party (though I doubt if you can pick the trash that ended up under the waters) and contribute some of the proceeds to the island. Hey, I have an idea can I audit your income statement from your event? I promise I wont be a number Nazi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(c) Photos from Mazi Keen of Maze.ph

Which brings me back to my argument, WHY ON EARTH DID YOU CHOOSE LIMASAWA FOR A BEACH PARTY? I dont really care if you’re an outsider of Limasawa or the Southern Leyte, but there are reason why Limasawa is a sacred and special place to us. Now listen..

Limasawa Island is a historical place. I am assuming you took your history lessons well, this was in on our pre-tagay years in elementary. Limasawa is one of the places where Ferdinand Magellan and his Spanish fleet the ‘Armada de Molucca’ visited in his quest for the Spice Island and fortune. Plot twist, the Spice Islands, are actually located in Indonesia so you can blame them when Magellan accidentally discovered the Philippine archipelago. LOL.  This is the island where the first Catholic mass in the country and the whole of Asia was held in March 31, 1521. (Wait, do you still go to mass, dear organizers? It was 5am when the party ended, it was Sunday). Magellan was welcomed by the locals, perhaps the same way today, and stayed for a few days in Limasawa. Like you the party goers Magellan probably went beach bumming and it is actually recorded he and the village king, Rajah Kulambo, were stone-dead drunk with tuba in Limasawa. It was one of the earliest contacts between a Filipino and the Western world, sealed with tuba. And Sandugo. Its easy to say our Philippine History, quite literally, started in Limasawa.

First_Mass

A detail of Carlos V. Francisco’s First Mass in the Philippines painting

On June 19, 1960, Republic Act No. 2733, called the Limasawa Law. The legislative fiat declared The site in Magallanes, Limasawa Island in the Province of Leyte, where the first Mass in the Philippines was held is hereby declared a national shrine to commemorate the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.

Limasawa Island is a sacred place. This is in connection to the events that happened in the above paragraph. Imagine such a gesture of hospitality and friendship of the Limasawasn of the 16th century would later on lead into three hundred years of colonization. That is because the Spanish used the Catholic religion as an excuse to colonize the archipelago. But that Faith is one of the enduring legacy of the Western world from that period, the same Faith where our culture and traditions are intricately woven up to the present day. It is important to know that Limasawa is a pilgrimage site for Catholics in and around the province. People flock the First Mass Shrine in Magallanes to offer their prayers, especially in summer.

Jundy's Place.jpg

The First Mass shrine (c) Jundy’s Place

Plot twist, the place of worship and pilgrimage is actually in the very same village of your beach party venue, the Amy Resort in Magallanes – just a few hundred meters away actually. So imagine what would the Limasawans think of a beach party with all the loud music, the unli-alcohol and the good-time-with-careless-abandon that went from evening to sunrise the next morning (a Sunday).  One has to argue if you’ve ever think about the disturbance you’ll cause to the locals or you just simply lack respect and decency. Or probably just too drunk to care.

3 copy

Limasawa Island is a marine conservation hotspot. This is the most important argument that I’m going to throw at you, and I would not blame you dear organizers if you’re not aware of this. Limasawa happens to play an important role in the livelihood of the people surrounding Sogod Bay and the nearby islands. Limasawa is covered with world-class reefs that supports growth and security for fishes for them to spawn and regroup. (You guys should see their marine protected area, those reefs are amazing!) And they are not there for beautification. It’s a protected area so that no human activities, especially fishing, would affect the spawning and growth of the fish population. Our MPA in Limasawa, like most in Sogod Bay, is a no-take zone so its really bawal to catch fish in there.  If you look at the Map of Sogod Bay, Limasawa is one of the major components of the complex network of marine protected areas (if you see red buoys floating that’s an MPA) and shallow reefs that ensures survival of the fishes but also the livelihood of our fishermen .

There is currently a global coral bleaching event happening all over the world (Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is severely affected) you know that phenomenon where colourful corals suddenly went ghost-white and soon die. The Philippines is now starting to feel the effects of bleaching and unfortunately two weeks ago my freediving group witnessed bleaching first hand during our underwater cleanup in Mocaboc Island in between Cebu and Bohol. Southern Leyte, amazingly, is spared for now. We cannot afford to lose these reefs.

And here’s a map I made for tourism purposes:

Brochure 2-1

That is  why people from the universities and conservation are particularly not fond of the trash pollution in our waters. And trash, my dear organizers, are what you inevitably brought to the island.  Again, this is with the assumption that you guys made a cleanup after the party. But goodluck with the ones that gets thrown into the ocean. Plot twist: Limasawa doesn’t have a land fill or garbage treatment facility yet, so thank you for your basura. Plastic plays a vital role in coral bleaching because they increases the carbon footprints that gets trap in our atmosphere and makes our temperatures warmer. Greenhouse effect anybody? With great heat comes devastating bleaching, and you know  lots of dead corals. And I hope I don’t have to remind you what plastic cause to our marine animals.

5-2-1

Six-pack of beers anyone? party party..

So I hope you understand the anger and frustration for your beach party thing. I know there’s nothing wrong with having a good time with drink and loud music. But there should be a limit to it (til 5Am, wtf), there should be a rightful place to host it and even further research of the venue choosen. The latter part my friends, my dear organizers, is what you clearly lack. You just don’t know Limasawa. The beach beach party is not only misguided and ill-advised, its borderline idiotic. I hope you don’t take offense if we call you out as ‘idiots’ because somehow if you read this letter thoroughly you did make some idiotic things in Limasawa Island.

I hope this is a learning curve for everyone, especially the LGU who approved the event. It does not make sense at all to allow an event that can disturb the locals and increse the trash footprint, then allow people to do some cleanups. We don’t get to see some parties around these places but there are good venues to choose from if you wanted to. The municipal grounds are particularly awesome, we camped there and really enjoyed the sunset view by the baywalk. There are also the covered courts scattered across the island, Triana, Cabulihan, Lusungan and San Agustin to name a few. We just can’t  afford to party  on an actual beach, for Magellan’s sake. But most importantly, legislation wise, we need ordinance to regulate these kind of event. Limasawa is just too beautiful, important and vulnerable to mess up. It is our role, both locals and tourists to preserve the island and maintain its unique island charm. Lets not tolerate the party culture go out of hand, we don’t want any Boracay incident in in here. The real Limasawa lies above and beneath its waters. Lets keep it that way, OK?

And, this is asking too much, but we can we make another cleanup drive next time? Brgy Magallanes need some serious cleanup.

 

Miulbo ang kaspa,

Lester Glenn Tabada

Advertisements

5-andres-bonifacio-facts-debunked

Maligayang Kaarawan, Andres, Supremo ng Katipunan!

Look you don’t know me but I kind of know you, though not personally. I’ve read you in books, movies and those damn boring history classes.  You’re like  a rock star to many Filipinos in the 21st century, you are one of our National Heroes.  Historians, professors and even the entire University of the Philippines look up to you as the guy to emulate as a role model. Because you are definitely one of the bravest Filipino who lived, for founding the revolution against the tyranny of the Spanish colonizers (er make that the Friars too). It take guts to make a secret society, but it takes major balls and big heart to go out into a battle with bolos and zero military training against disciplined, well-armed and well-trained Spanish Infantries. That’s why you are the symbol of a Filipino courage. That is why we celebrate  your date of birth every single year.

Unfortunately that’s the last bit of information of what many of us know about you and the other heroes who fought with you in the Revolution. People only know you as a god-like warrior of unlimited amount courage with the red bandana and bolo on his arms.  You were an extraordinary guy who loved his country dearly. That’s the clichés about you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Only people in my generation have already resigned to that image and ultimately failed learn more about you and to look at your weaknesses and sins. Don’t get me wrong I also don’t know much about you before. Im not even a fan of yours, sorry. I’m a Rizalian just like you.

rizalboni

Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.

I only realized I have to understand your life story because, I believe you sent our idol Dr. Jose Rizal to Luneta to be shot. You may not have killed him directly, but his blood is on your hands. But you know it, and to be clear let us review the string of painful events that led to, then, Bagumbayn:

You met Rizal in 1892 when he founded the La Liga Filipinas, you were there as one of the founding members. If it happened today you probably took a selfie with The Great Rizal who wrote best-selling YA novels called Noli Mi Tangere and its dark sequel El Filibustirismo. The idea was to improve the conditions  of the ‘Indios’ or the natives under the Spanish empire via access to better education, autonomy, commerce and equal rights via peaceful means. Peaceful. Unfortunately Rizal got arrested a few days after and got banished to Dapitan. You probably said Adios to diplomacy and peace because it failed before it could even start. The only logical solution on your mind was to turn to violence, a revolution, just like the Frenchmen did a century before in your favorite book Les Miserables! That’s when you founded the Katipunan or the KKK. So poetic and pure.

les-miserables-logo-ziegfeld-theater

cover of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. One of the books read by Bonifacio

Four years later, the number of Katipuneros grew and you rose to become its supreme leader, the Supremo. You taught you were ready and you even consulted for the “Go Signal” from Dr. Rizal who was still exiled in Dapitan but yes happy and bored to death. But surprise, he said No and flat out wanted nothing to do with your poetic Katipunan.  He however, recommended the services of this rich kid Antonio Luna guy. But just like Rizal, Luna said the same thing: without fund and weapons launching a revolution is too premature. I heard you were mad and all profanities when they declined.

You wanted to prove those rich kids wrong, so when the KKK was exposed in August 19, 1896 you tore your sedulas and make the “Cry of Pugad Lawin”. It was a point of no return and a declaration of war! 1896 is the biggest year of the Philippine History.  Your first battle major battle was to take San Juan to secure it stocks of gunpowder and armoury.  But the Katipuneros armed with only bolos and spears, boy it was a massacre. You lost in your first and last major battle. Even the guerrilla warfare you launched were also hopelessly lost. The bolos and over-sized courage are just no match against the rifles and the thing called “military science”. Your revolution only lasted for a week.   Rizal, Luna, and the upper class was proven right.

Now lets get back to Rizal after you contacted him in Dapitan on May 1896 about the plans of the revolution. The guy got scared and un-heroically packed and left Dapitan for Spain. He could have said “Fck this exile, Im gonna save my butt and go to Mama Espanya”. Even before your Revolution exploded Rizal was already headed for Cuba to serve as a military doctor under the Spanish flag. You may call him a coward because he probably was, but we also have to understand he wanted to study how the Cubans did their revolution thing out there. But to cut the long journey short, Rizal was arrested and sent back to Manila. His charges was, of course, sedition for starting a Revolution (he had no business with). By December of that year while the revolution still going on in the provinces, #Aguinaldo #Cavite, a kangaroo court was made for the trial of Rizal. Unfortunately all the circumstantial evidence and witness were provided by the Katipunan. You are so fond of Rizal you made him an honorary president of the KKK, you even set the Katipunan password to “Rizal” and guess the witnesses who confirmed the involvement of Rizal to KKK and the Supremo,  Pio Valenzuela. The same guy you sent to Dapitan is also the same guy who made the Judas Kiss to Rizal.

pio-v

Dr. Pio Valenzuela

Did you frame Rizal? We will never know, but one thing we know karma happened, because the following year, four months after the Rizal execution, it was you who stood in front of a Kangaroo court. It is so tragic to believe that the two greatest national heroes of the Philippines suffered execution on Kangaroo courts. But don’t worry most of my generation doesn’t know about this, our education system made sure we won’t found out by making our lessons boring and full of shits like enumerations and multiple choice exams. There’s a reason we don’t celebrate your death because we don’t want to remind ourselves that the Supremo was killed by fellow Filipinos.

So why write this letter to you Supremo? Because in the present day there’s never been an urgent need to understand the very definition of Heroes or in our language Bayani. Our history, the Philippine History, are getting revised right in front of our very faces. The battle for your legacy and your true stories are at stakes. Powerful people who are the perpetrators of the darkest part of our history (around 70 years after you died there’s this Martial Law thingy) and they are trying to warp what truly happened. Their weapons are  lies and manipulation, and war is waged in the field of Social Media. And I believed my generation is too damn weak to know the truth and how resist the lies. Why? Because, Supremo, somehow we lost our love to learn, to read our books and even the Love for our Country you fought so hard to emancipate. This a time when the only History books young people know, read and trust are the one found in Facebook. Its so ironic for a country with a high literacy rate we are a people of non-readers.

So how can we understand who we are if we are not going to read our very own history?

Don’t be surprised but people nowadays are really worshiping and idolizing a dictator who have stole billions, ordered to kill by the thousands and oppressed our freedom for three decades. We even bury that bastardo y salvaje in a grave for Heroes. That’s a painful lesson we have to learn and live with. We failed our History, period.

We want your legacy of bravery, of loving to read books in absence of education and most of all fighting for what is right.  We are generation in trouble of losing our identities and weakened by unnecessary distractions, perhaps it’s really time for us to dig you out of the grave and celebrate the life that you led. You are our National Hero equally alongside Rizal, Mabini, the Lunas,  and many countless others who fought for our freedom.

Yours,

Lapiskamay
Generasyon Milenyal

 

IMG_20141012_075042
I was able to run last weekend’s Run United Philippine Marathon (RUPM) held in Manila at the Mall of Asia grounds. And man it was tough and painful!

I greatly enjoyed last year’s edition where I ran on the half-marathon category and vowed return this year to take on the full M. I booked my tickets as early as April and barely registered for the race at the last line. This year’s race is designed to be a walk in the park and fun filled day of athletic awesomeness and meet ups with old friends. But after finishing the race, none seemed to mattered than the fact that I just survived one hell of a run in the metro. It was survival mode.

I trained for RUPM since late June, pushed the grind in the months of July and August implementing a low carb diet, easy runs twice on weedays, a tempo outing and one LSD per week. I felt strong and leaner and meaner. But I wished I never slacked on September, not that I could manage my workload. I guess this boring and uneventful life of an accountant got the better me. I prayed that those 2.5months of training will be enough for a strong finish in October.

It didn’t.

The Marathon Route Map.

The Marathon Route Map.

I was sluggish on race. I was weak and so goddamn slowly my only consolation is that I did not monitor the my progress during the race because I forgot my GPS watch. My plan is to go easy on the 1st 10k, build up some speed until the 32k before the sun comes up and the next 10k is as easy as pie. That’s the plan, but here is what happened. I was on great shape from start to 25k, I think I was going steady on a 6:30 min/km pace. But after those killer uphills on the flyovers, my knees started to cave in, my stomach starting to throw up at the site of Gatorade (but I kept drinking ’em anyway) and frankly I was dead tired.

They said the last 10 kilometers is the real battle in a marathon. Mine was the last seven-teen. Sun came up, uphill smiling, knees breaking and energy  dropping, I knew I set my self up for one painful running (if you call it running). I said to my self I should be running, for pete’s sake this a running event not a damn walking event. 😦

I miraculously finished on 5 hours and 29 minutes. A respectable time, only 20 minutes shy of my Cebu Marathon time but it can have been much much worse. I just hold on to the idea that this is no personal run, this is for my kababayan in Leyte. They survived Yolanda to rise up again, and there’s no way RUPM will make me quit (not when you’re running with 3,000 marathoners).  I thought I’d be swept past the cut-off time (the joy of not having a gps watch. But anyway, I’m not the type of runner who keep tabs on time. I measure a run not by hours and minutes but by the unwritten barometer called “awesomeness“. I grade my performance in RUPM  a “C+”  (for craziness), not good but not too bad. I’m just happy I managed to cross the finish in one piece. #bangonLEyte

10352879_666733660101493_56291280470449241_n

Epal Mode! allow me to spoil this awesome runner’s victory shot. hihihi

But RUPM as a whole is definitely a great race to take on. The fast course of the 21k last year didn’t prepared me for the hell we have to go in the full M category. I did not see those uphills and elevation coming. The sun was shining bright and pusnishing as expected. There were loops and exciting turn on the course around the Manila. The cities we went through the race were Pasay, Quezon City, Makati City and BGC (I thought of stopping by for a Starbucks). It was fun actually seeing the sites, the tall buildings and the general urban jungle-ness of RUPM.

Defnitely, I’ll be back stronger to seek redemption one day in the future. Afterall RUPM looks a lot like the marquee running Marathon event in the country’s capital. It was so damn well organized, grabe. Not too crowdy as Milo Marathon but just big enough and stylish enough to attract runners from the provinces (me!) and even abroad. With RunRio helming their brainchild event, they cant seem to make matters wrong.  The whole course is covered by lots of water stations complete with hydrations and medical teams. Traffic was controlled and some major streets were closed for the event. I had no major concern with the route. Kudos to the organizers! (and please more stuffs in the loot bags)

I guess to conclude this recap of the toughest race and definitely the toughest letter M in my running hobby, I have to list down the lessons I’ve learn in this race. One, never to underestimate a 42k no matter how hard you train because there will always be off-days. Second, I need to train more seriously. Third, I have to IMPROVE: get stronger on the lower body, master the core, do more long runs, heat training and I have to shed off lots of kilos. The next big M will be an even tougher, bigger and riskier  with a lot on the line. In short I have to exceed myself in  Singapore this December.

10151284_666734436768082_1343059995575777505_n (1)

Couple-Running1

I found this article somewhere in my facebook newsfeed. This is a reblog of the same title from a ThoughCatalog.com article written by Charm Vergara. Honestly I got blown away by its sincerity and how it captured some nerves. Beautifully well-written.  Man, it is still awesome to be  a happy and freakin’ single guy. The Dream Girl will come, but for the meantime let me be badass as I wanna be. 

1. Go on as many adventures as possible.

I hope you’re going everywhere and doing everything. Hang out with your friends. Travel a lot. See as much of the world as possible. Try as many exotic foods as you can. Climb mountains. Join Fun Runs. Go diving and skydiving. Explore this beautiful world. I hope you’re starting to check off items on your bucket list because one day, when we’re finally together, I would like to hear all about it. One day you will share all those stories with me, and maybe we’ll try to do them together too.

2. Find yourself.

I hope you’re taking time to get to know yourself. Take time analyzing what you really want to do in life. Love yourself and be strong for yourself. Some people enjoy being needed but I (know) what I like is to be wanted. You are your own person and I hope you know that you don’t need anyone to complete you. One day we will be there for each other not because we can’t live without each other but because life is much more colorful when we’re together.

3. Live your life.

I hope you’re taking risks. I hope you’re not hiding under the covers to make as few mistakes as possible. Go out and make good and bad decisions. Do not be afraid of pain or failures. They are there to make you appreciate the good things. I hope you’re as in love with life as I am. Enjoy the sweetness and bitterness of this roller coaster ride. Life is short and I don’t want you missing out on anything.

4. Take good care of yourself.

I hope you’re keeping yourself healthy and fit. Eat vegetables. Eat fruits. Hydrate. Get as much sleep as you can — more than you think you need. Exercise. Do all these for yourself and for me, and for our future kids. One day when we’re already both wrinkly, we will enjoy the senior citizen benefits together. We will play bingo and have weekly brunch with all of our children and their children. Take good care of yourself because I would like to grow old with you.

5. Pray for us.

I hope you’re praying with me every night before sleeping. I hope you’re praying for me as much as I am praying for you. Pray that we may meet. In the right place. In the right time. Because I’m hoping and praying for the same thing, too.

Cover photo taken from this cheesy named site.  The rest are stolen with the help of Google. Lol.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

fAT and Furious

I was in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental last weekend for the 37th National Milo Marathon. I really had no plans of running there since I’m already a virtual lock for the Dumaguete Adventure Marathon (DAM) in November and to be 100% honest I was so damn undertrained  in the past weeks since conquering the Tacloban CIty Marathon.  But since my running buddy Kuya Herbie asked me to sign up because it will be his last run for the year before heading into a 6-month government work-related training, I delightedly obliged. I just can’t help the idea of visiting Dumaguete once more.

I mindlessly signed up for the 21k. I just want to make the most of that P600.00 registration fee since the 10k cost P500 so economy wise I can save a lot if I sign in for the 21k.  Idiot.  So fast forward to race day, by the time I reached the 12th K mark I knew I ran out of gas and the rest of the Ks are going to be an all-out grind relying solely  to youthful vigor/stubbornness against the cut.off time . Oh man, what have I got myself into? I asked myself.

So what have I really got myself into? For starters, physically I was not ready (obviously). Second, there’s the dreaded cut.off time which is set at 2hours and 30 minutes;  thus to get the medal I have to beat the cut.off by beating my current 21k PR (which I trained for 2 months). The odds don’t look good, right? And last, the other runners. I was surprised there’s only a few runners in the category just around a hundred and they all looked fitter and stronger. “Oh syet, magka-on ko’g abog ani styla.” That’s my gut feeling. But I knew those runners are not my competition. They are fellow travelers towards that green destination called Finish Line (they all left me behind anyway haha).

IMG_8277

Team Bontoc with Coach Rio. We sail all the way from Southern Leyte to get this shot. haha

Whether he like it or not we just simply have to get a picture of Coach Rio a few minutes before the race! Such an honor to meet and greet him. Good vibes thank yous and well wishes were exchanged. I think he just want to say “Don’t suck guys! Kaya nyo yan!”

And the race started! Ah wait, 5 minutes before gunstart there was a brownout. Total blackout, pitch darkness. “Oh sh** mao na lage bad signs ni for a kagid-lay performance” Fortunately, the power came back just exactly a minute before gunstart.  Whew I thought I’ll be running in darkness and into the arms and fangs of the backstreet dogs of Dumaguete. *BANG!* Gunstart and everybody launched their rocket-propelled legs towards the glory road ahead. I ran last, I think, basta I was at the back of the pack because I just want to finish this race seconds before cut.off so go ahead people follow your dreams and chase those PRs for this morning I am going to suck, big time! haha

My cousin, Atty. Dinah Chu who was running at the 10k category, gave us a tour of the race course the previous day so I was all aware of the tough road ahead: Concrete road in the early kilometers, then asphalt roads with mini-craters along the way until the turning point.  But in my personal opinion, I was a little disappointed with the choice of race course. The organizers got a beautiful and peaceful city to rock on for one morning, and we travelling runners got to visit the city for a piece of the city, but only to see a race course that briefly touched the city streets and instead went directly into the suburbia and deeper barangays away from Dumaguete.  It’s as if we were told “Hey runners, the city is still asleep so  you have to run somewhere away from the city streets.” There was hardly any cheerers and supporters from the locals unlike in the Cebu, Ilo-ilo and Manila legs which have festival feel kind of races.

IMG_8266

A pre-race phot at the hotel.

But hey no excuse. Good roads or off roads does not matter it is how you perform in it. My performance, unfortunately,  wasn’t something I want to be proud of. I was actually furious at myself because of the lack training. I know time is hard to find, but I could just at least made or stole a few hours a week to run and get ripped at the gym it would have been a different second half of the race. I could have finished stronger and still have the energy for a sprint finish. But my body was simply not in good condition to run 21 full kilometers. I had to slow down, significantly, from my comfortable pace.

It was indeed a surprise I still finished a few good minutes ahead of the cut.off time and, well, setting a new PR too! Thanks God, what a challenge. It was all heart and determination got me through the last kilometers. Thank you Lord.  And yeah, lusting secretly for that shiny medal also helps. “My precious, my precious…”  I swear I heard my conscience say that at the finish line. hahaha #gollum

IMG_8439

My first Milo Marathon medal baby!

Every runner has their own reasons to run. For me, on that very weekend on Dumaguete, it was not about the race itself nor the finishing the course  at all. I was running for the love of Dumaguete City and I want to share that love to my running buddies I was with. It’s the city that I’d love to visit over and over again; it’s peaceful, beautiful and it has that distinct charm that will caught you off guard in every visit. And by the time I was nearing the finish line I saw my friends and travel buddies cheering for me  and suddenly all the pains and suffering vanished. I didn’t feel tired at all after the race, maybe it’s because I can see in their eyes that they were happy to be there running and having suroy2 for the weekend. It was like magic beans, I’m so  thankful I brought them in Dumaguete.

The post race happenings was quite a blast by the way. I found out my cousin Ate Dinah placed 8th in her 10k age group (ig-agaw na naho bai!). Kuya Herbie had a strong comeback race after that horrific ordeal in the Tacloban City Marathon where he injured his left thigh. And his sister’s ate April and Hasmin both finished really strong on the 10k race (OK OK they simply beat my 10k PR) . And we got ourselves some pretty nice photos too with Coach Rio!

IMG_8533

It was a hell of a race, an incredibly memorable weekend and a great travel experience to be out there in Dumaguete. So until the next run Dumaguete baby!

IMG_8430

Ang pogi pala nito. hehe

Ang pogi pala nito. hehe

Photo from medievalists.net

Today is World Blood Donors’ Day as declared by the World Health Assembly and I have no idea that there is such a day to celebrate. So I expect there will be massive nationwide bloodletting campaigns today organized by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). I would really love to undergo blood donation today but I am not available for the moment. The Red Cross chapter here in Boracay doesn’t have the facilities yet to hold donation activities.

Blood donation is very important during emergency situations. No matter how you look at it if one really needs blood that means one’s life is on the line. For such cases like major operations, dengue and other blood related diseases, fresh bags of blood are need when the going gets tough in those situations. Modern science is still yet to crack the formula to create substitute for fresh human blood. Unfortunately many people die because of the lack of blood supply in hospitals and blood banks.

Just last year, I have an ultimate firsthand experience of how important for a hospital to keep enough blood supplies and a rooster of able blood donors when one of my friends was put to the danger zone when she was attacked by dengue. I was scared to death not being able to help my friend. Unfortunately people don’t get the importance to give their blood until it’s their friends and loved ones are put to that danger.

Bloodletting was one of the most popular medical practices in history originated by the Greeks, and used up until the 19th century for, well, basically everything. - cracked.com

 

I am very proud to be one of the few 270,000 individual blood donors in the Philippines and technically a member Galloners Club. Blood Galloners are those who have donated more than a gallon of their blood to the Red Cross. The Club’s population the strong 1,054 but I’m not sure if I am already an official member of the club. I have donated twenty times already since 2006. And to be really really honest I don’t do that bloody stuff to prove myself I’m a man, that I am not afraid of some needles, or because I want to change the world, save the girl and the strangers to look cool and feel good about it and have all the bragging rights because I am the good guy. Hell NO!!!

I am giving my blood tax-free, no strings attached because I don’t have money to help other people. My Blood is the only thing I could give that doesn’t hurt my pocket. And guys, that needle thing that kept you from donating all these years doesn’t hurt at all. You can beat me up if it does.

Today I commemorate my little hobby that gives me that great sense of heroism and bravery even for a mere 15 minutes four times a year.  I really want to treat myself to a Hamas Japanese restaurant but unfortunately, again, I don’t have the money (bukas pa sahod oi) so a Selecta Cornetto will do the honors. Yum.

Angel Blood.

June 6, 2011. Nothing to write. Not because I don’t have anything on my mind worth sharing, it’s simply there are two stories, big stories, I wanted to work on. And I don’t how to where to start with and how I am going to attack them.

It was Monday night just came in for work and I was dead sure it was going to be a long rainy night. I took my decaying purse (funny to keep a poor looking thing when I have my money now, while I had a huge wallet in college) took my umbrella and went for the nearest overpriced convenience store here in Boracay. I thought of buying a coffee at first but decided for a health juice drink to compensate for skipping my running regime that afternoon.

So there I attacked the fridge! And found a bottle of that juice drink I used to get obsessed when I lived in Manila. I paid the bills in cold hard cash, err coins, and immediately drowned a quarter of it in one gulp. But suddenly there was a nasty reaction from my mouth that later went all the way to my stomach. I realized the fluid tasted bitter and fouler than it has to be. I checked the BB date and found out that wretched bottle just expired that very day – 6/6/11. Oh great out of the millions of possible coincidences this life could offer, my fate came crashing on an expired item.

Violent reactions. As a consumer I have all the rights in the world to go berserk at the store but decided to keep my cool and politely ask for replacement (trust me that’s easier said than done). Embarrassed, the manager asked me to replace the bottle with another (unexpired item).  I went for the same juice drink but with a later expiration period – next month – I needed that juice for chrissake. But what annoyed me was they even asked me if I could add order. The world is crazy I started believing that very moment. May lakas loob pa silang mag.offer ng sales right after da kafalpakan. Eh pwedeng pwede ko silang ipahiya at pahirapan sa pagreturn ng item, pag.void ng transaction, then exchange  – I would exchange a cheaper item to make ‘em nosebleed. But di ko ginawa, mabait ako eh. Hahaha

Speaking of expired moments, the worst case scenario for me to have that is not found in the store or the amount of suffering visiting the CR (due to LBM). It’s found inside the head. Literally the word expired also means no inspiration. And for artists and writers having no inspirations is a nightmare.  It’s like pulling off the life support power cord from a helpless patient.

I have my own unfortunate encounters of artistic expiration. Right before I went to business school I once have that intense passion for drawing and sketching. I was pretty damn sure I would end up taking up Architecture and Fine Arts. But I flunked some exams, screwed up some chances and proved myself unworthy of my parents’ trust (and financial support) and at the end I was served an exile trip to the world of Accountancy. It was horrible the first months, I could not draw and I stopped trying. Drawing was once my identity, my niche, and the only thing I believe I inherit from my father. As legends told me I was born with a pencil in my hand and paper on the other; I was Lapiskamay, in English the pencilhands.

But I killed him. Joining the school publication as a writer and cartoonist doesn’t give justice to that crime. I still couldn’t find myself as inspired to draw like I used to since high school.

From the ruins of my drawing dreams blossomed a different side of me as an artist. I became a writer, an essayist, an overnight playwright.  People always tell me I’m very good at it. Yeah I was special, they said, there is soul in the words I write with the attitude to conjure that wicked humor. It felt good hearing them. And it really felt good to express myself in a different kind of medium. So I stick with writing hoping that the day would come when I could I forgive myself for killing Lapiskamay.

It never came.

College was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was the period of my life where I could identify myself from the other and freely accepted who I am. Out there in Saint Joseph College I learned to open up to others, made good friends and explored the different side society. As a self proclaimed artist I not only indulged myself to writing, I tried poetry, graphic designing, literature and photography. I developed the eye that lust for aesthetic creativity. In good time I was able to have my taste of music and movies (I quickly realized how screwed up our film industry is). Yes studying accounting is a hostile environment for artists and visionaries but thanks God I made it through all the way to its ultimate goal of having that elusive license.

But there’s always a part of our lives when we experience drought. This time my writing and the rest of the artistic wanderlust came to a halt when I have my first job – and the first taste of depression. Quarter life crisis visited my life. I couldn’t fool myself anymore that I am now an accountant, not some artist nonsense as they said. There’s a huge difference from studying and practicing accountancy. The first one is bearable but the latter it’s hard, it’s boring, and it’s something I couldn’t believe I signed out for. The pay was OK but there’s always the guilt of feeling you’re not giving back what you are paid for. I lost focus and the desire to continue my job so I quit which somehow gave me another shitload of guilt for abandoning the guys who hired me and trusted me. I was depressed big time and I couldn’t even face the world. Oh God knows how long it took me before I started to write and watch a movie once again.

And I found WordPress. My desperate days expired the moment I signed up for an account. I started another blog, this very blog, and I named it in memory of my alter ego. The whole experience of being of being here in WordPress is blissful and productive. I am contented that I can write exciting stories once again and every time I finished one post I can’t wait for the next bit of inspiration to come. Here I was able to gain some accolades from my friends, (oh you are writing again) and even have the fortune of reaching out to other people I never meet before. Through blogging I am able to expand my writing to a new height and at the same time taking photography with it.

Maybe one of these days I could start drawing once again, not just drawing for the moment, but drawing because it is what defines who I am.

Oh it’s so damn good to be inspired. And the next time I go for a juice I’ll make sure it’s nowhere near the expiration date.