Posted in 3k, City Run, fun run, running event

The Non-Event: What Happened in My Little Pony Friendship Run 2017?

Awww… she’s protecting her little pony from the bad weather!

I always have a hunch that when it rains non-stop the night before a running event, it’s an 80-90% guarantee that the event will be cancelled and rescheduled. I experienced it before, twice actually, Greenfield City Run for Generations 2015 and last year’s Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run. But, both events were hit by typhoons, and I still had high hopes that this event will push through because it’s just a rainy weather. I’m just too excited to run because it’s my daughter’s first race and the family is coming along. I woke up several times, checking out the rain outside and I feel dispirited every time I feel it’s not stopping. Then when it’s time to fully wake up at around 2 am and prepare, the rain seem to have stopped…. And then is started again, but weaker. I kept checking facebook for updates, read some comments asking the organizer if the event is still a go, whilst some are asking for a cancellation and just give the medals. The organizer responded (in a facebook post that was later deleted) that the event will push through rain or shine, it was written clearly in the race manual that was included in the race kit. They also said to bring raincoats and umbrellas. Everything seemed fine, the weather in Calamba was just a drizzle, and we’re ready to go (my wife took an under time at work to join us). We arrived at SM Mall of Asia around 5 am, it was raining and I was confused about the parking area behind One Esplanade still closed. I drove to the Bayside to see if parking is available there. The gate is closed and I can see people at the event area lining up. I can’t find a parking area, so I circled twice and the guard pointed to the closed parking area. I decided to go the parking area in front of One Esplanade and we finally got a spot. We were walking out of the parking area when a lady in a car with her child called me and asked if I knew that the event was canceled just now and that we can claim the medals. I felt upset, I wasted time and money for this and I really want to run with my daughter. So, I asked my family to stay put at McDonald’s while I claim the medals.

Long and confusing line for the distribution of medals.
Then another confusing moment when we were told to move to another spot to line up.

I heard from people around me talking that the cancellation was caused by some participants asking for it because it was still raining heavily in their locations. It was a disappointing move considering that the rain was very weak and subsided around 6 am. It would’ve been better to just delayed it for an hour and then let the run push through for those who came to run. And there are many who braved through the weather and have fun in the rain. But, we can’t always blame the organizer for things beyond their control like the bad weather and for the safety of the kids, they had to cancel the event. It’s just so disheartening to see sad and disappointed kids who made an effort to look like the best My Little Pony fan they can ever be by dressing up for the occasion.

But, despite the absence of the actual run, some people stayed and decide to have their own bonding moments and have some fun of whatever was available at the activity area. I stayed too and texted my wife to bring the kids to the activity area. There’s free Slurpee, face-paint, coloring activities, and photo ops with the ponies.

Coloring activity for those who want to add some colors to a dull day.
Colours Everywhere.
Pinky Pie was the first pony to come out and the kids went crazy.
I saw this family of foreigners whilst walking to SM By the Bay to claim the medals. They just arrived and excited, unbeknownst to them that the event was cancelled. Good to see that they still found a way to have a fun time.
AppleJack gets cornered.
Rainbow Dash joins the fun.
The kids who stayed didn’t lose all the happiness that day.
The long lines of medal claiming. It does move faster than most lines in a running event, there’s just too many people who showed up.
Those who wanted to have some fun in the rain… the rain that stopped at around 6 am.
Free face paint for those who have the patience to line up for it.
Brony for a day. My daughter and I went for a kilometer jog near the bay. Then I gave her the medal.
Still had a family-time fun.
Kids will always find ways to have fun.

The organizer, Global Procurement Inc., is not a newbie when it comes to handling running events. They did a very good job with 2015’s Justice League Run and last year’s Batman v Superman Heroes Run. This run could’ve been one of the most fun and popular event this year along with the upcoming and first Philippine Hello Kitty Run (which I decided to forgo in favor of this run. I hope that event comes with good weather for the kids). I don’t blame them for this fiasco, some things happen that the organizers cannot predict or is beyond their control. But, I do agree with others that they should not have cancelled the event for the participants who came. It has been more than 2 weeks since this non-event has passed (this article is delayed because I still felt some disappointment that prevented my good mood from writing this early), the organizer promised to reschedule the event free of charge for those who still want to run. That’s the only thing we can look forward to and hope that they can make the event better….

And they finally made the official announcement 5 days ago…

01.27.2018 The Official Date for My Little Pony Friendship Run.


Still plan to attend the event? We definitely will.



Posted in 10 kilometers, 10k, 21.0975 kilometers, 21k, 5k, 5km, fun run, guerilla race, half-marathon, run for a cause, running event

Running Soon: The Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run 2

eggciting funrun2


Eggciting Adventure Family Run 2 campaigns for #EatlogEveryday

With the success of the first Eggciting Adventure Family Run last year comes another exciting run for the Filipino families in line with the commemoration of the World Egg Day.

The Philippine Egg Board Association together with Sarimanok Poultry Feeds through The Good Egg advocacy and all its sponsors and partners is all set to stage the Eggciting Adventure Family Run 2. Recognized by the International Egg Commission, the second run of Eggciting Adventure Family Run will happen on October 15, 2017 at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. This health and nutrition advocacy and charity run aims at reiterating the importance of eating an egg a day as it is absolutely necessary to one’s health. The campaign uses a #EatlogEveryday, to tell everyone that it is okay to consume egg daily.  Moreover, this running event does not only help in promoting the healthy benefits of poultry products but also aid in the nutritional and educational needs of soldiers’ children especially those affected in Marawi City conflict through Armed Forces of the Philippines Educational Benefit Systems Office.

Similar to last year, the Eggciting Adventure Family Run 2 is open to all ages. There are race categories for individual and family or group of four. This year, it also includes 21 kilometer category for individuals who desire to run at a longer distance.

The Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run categories are 200M dash with Egg Land Adventure at Php 350; 3K individual at Php 400; 3K group of 4 at Php 1500; 5K at Php 500; 10K at Php600; 21K at Php800. All participants will get a Tech shirt, Finisher Medal, Racebib, and Lootbags. The 21K will get an additional Finisher Shirt.

This Eggciting event will not be possible without the generous sponsors – Philippine Egg Board, The Good Egg by Sarimanok of UNAHCO,  Philippine association of Breeders and Layers Inc. , DSM, Nido, Ceelin, Growee, Nutrilin, Enervon for Kids, Ceelin Plus, Ferlin, Robinsons Supermarket, Magnolia, Gigabit, Deuter, Chris Sports, Pocari Sweat, Anytime Fitness Escape Macapagal, Factory MMA, Klaypel, Mega fiber, Cranuti, Nivea Sun, Blackwater, Trampolin park and Petron Gasul.

Our Media partners that are supporting this run for a cause – Business Mirror, Malaya Business Insight, Philippine Graphic, Pilipino Mirror, Health and Fitness, DZAR, Radyo Inquirer, Travel Plus, Zen Health,,, Team Run Direction, Inding Indie Film Festival, 8 trimedia, Market Monitor, Light Network, Pinoy Extreme, Abscbn Sports and Action and ANC.  This event is organized by Aldenver Marketing Inc.

To join this worthwhile activity, please visit the race’s official registration partner, Chris Sports at these selected branches: SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA and Market! Market! or register online at For updates and other important announcements regarding the upcoming run, visit Eggciting Adventure Family Run’s Facebook page.

For more information about Eggciting Adventure Family Run 2, please contact Ms. Nikka Ramos of Aldenver Marketing at 0927-8484533 or 0998-9565231. You may e-mail them at

Posted in 10 kilometers, 10k, adventure, hiking, mountain trekking, places to run, Trail run, trail running, trekking, Uphill Run

It’s a dirty experience and involves a lot of sucking!… Nuun Dirt School Level 3

Lost in the woods!

As a trail runner, I know that running off the beaten path can get you wet, wild, and dirty. But, for the first time, I experienced getting sucked… a lot… by limatiks (leeches).

I joined Nuun Dirt School Level 3 for the opportunity to finally climb Mount Makiling and to learn more about advanced trail running. And what an experience it was.

My excitement for the event is higher than the mountain itself. But, unfortunately, a day before the event, while waiting for my shift to end, I decided to browse the internet for some information about limatiks (which is known to be a regular resident of the mountain) to know what I’m up against. Big mistake, I saw images and read about limatiks getting in your eyes, ears, and nose. I was horrified, thoughts of it getting inside me (giggity) got me worried so much that I went to Decathlon to search for some protection that is not made of latex rubber (giggity giggity). I was thinking of getting earplugs and goggles, but I ended up purchasing a Kalenji leggings worth 500 pesos (because I think I can use it often).

At the day of the event, I was having both emotions of excitement and uneasiness as the thought of limatiks going down on me like ninjas was still in my mind. UP Los Banos is only 19+ kilometers away, I left home at 5:35 am and arrived before 6:30 am. I was one of the earliest to arrive, so I had some time to rest and prepare.

School for the day…

The session started with Ms. Carina Dayondon, one of the 3 Filipinas who traversed Mount Everest, sharing her inspirational stories. It was then followed by lessons from the meister himself, Coach Miguel “Ige” Lopez.

Ms. Carina sharing her story.

The actual trail run started around 8 am, beginning with a power walk to the Makiling Trail Entry Point.

If that dog is a guide and can ward off snakes or warn you of impending danger and the presence of the Leech Queen, I’d hire him in a heartbeat.
The trail gang before we were divided into different pace groups.

The Nuun Dirt-schoolers are divided into groups in accordance to their fitness level. Four runners led the group, including Mr. Mike Baldwin, a 59-year old man who plans to run a 60k Ultramarathon for his 60th birthday. They moved real fast and were out of sight. I buddied up with Sonny, a runner I met earlier before the start of the class and we’re the 2nd placers, moving at an alternating walk pace for uphill and jogging pace for the downhill.

The area is so huge, there are so many places to explore.
To the left will lead you to the trail going to the mud spring, which is said to be the crater of Mount Makiling.

We slowed down and rest to wait for the others because the leading group already reached vanishing point and we’re not sure if we should head straight or take a left turn to the mud spring trail. Pace Group 3 joined us, with coach George, a seasoned trail ultramarathoner and mountain hero, leading the way.

Approaching Agila Base. 6+ kilometers away from Makiling Botanic Garden.

We rested at Agila Base as we wait for the others to arrive. I don’t feel tired, but very thirsty, so I fueled up with some cold Nuun drink.

We reached Agila Base around “Nuun” time! get it!? ‘nuun’ and ‘noon’ sounding the.. ah, forget it.
The party’s here! Photo from Jaymie Pizaro’s instagram.

After the 16-minute break at Agila Base, we proceeded to the main event, the trail ascending to Peak 2. Sonny, Bling Runner, and I led the group.

Fallen trees to make the scenery look Jurassic and dangerous. Loving it.

With Sonny leading the way, we stopped in the area that have 2 branching paths. We’re not sure which path to take, so we waited for Bling to take a look. We took the left path, but Bling was unsure, so we head back and took the right. We found the Station 15 sign on a tree. We’re on the right path now. I was leading the group and running until I was pulled back and stopped by a leaf that have hidden thorns on it. It scratched my favorite Team 7-Eleven Philippines ASICS shirt and I pulled some thorns out of my right shoulder. Now knowing that the flora here is different from the other mountains I hiked and can be dangerous, I let Bling lead the way. And I’m glad I did, because she spotted a snake in the plants beside the trail. I was just a few meters away from her and I signaled Sonny to pause for a moment. I saw the plants moving as the snake slither through, moving up and away from the trail. I was having 2nd thoughts in pushing through this, but I just keep moving without looking on my left where the snake was. We finally reached Station 22, which is suppose to be a camp site, but it’s not an ideal one because it is limatik territory.

Station 22: Limatik Territory. Dun dun dun! Bling let me borrow her head wear for this area.
Me, Bling Runner, and Sonny resting at Station 22.

Another long rest as we wait for the others. Had my first encounter with limatiks here and I feel grossed out. George once again takes lead as we ascend the difficult part of the trail. The leading pace group was already descending as we make our way up. Stations 23-30 is really difficult, there are several times that I stop to breathe and recover.

Very steep climb. You need to use your hands to grab on to rocks or tree parts to pull yourself up.
Some parts have a ladder and rope to help you go up safely.
You know you’re near Station 30 or Peak 2 when you see and enter this cave like structure.
Finally here at Peak 2. And I didn’t even know that a limatik is already on my chest getting some. Fortunately, my shirt is drenched with sweat and it’s probably the reason why it wasn’t able to drain a lot of blood. Too salty for ya?
It’s a mandatory blood donation to the limatik community.
Getting some on my left calf. The other one got a lot and expanding. I was so grossed out and feel weakened that I asked someone to flick it.
Suck my d… dermis! This one started moving when it felt like it wasn’t draining any blood.
Station 30 is Peak 2.
3 hours to reach the peak and 10.5 kilometers in total starting from Botanic Gardens.
The completionists at the peak.

After eating and the much needed rest and chit chat, it was time to go down. I was the last to exit because I decided to take some photos. George let me pass as he took the role of a sweeper. Another Dirt-Schooler arrived and was on his way to peak 2. He was late, but he got there fast.

The exit to the left leads to the Sto. Tomas Batangas trail, which is even harder than the UPLB trail. You can enter it if you want to traverse.
Want a nice view of the surroundings? step on this stone. The stepping stone.
Descending is easy, you can even have some fun hopping around and sliding. Just be careful.

Unfortunately, due to my stupidity of stopping frequently to take photos, thereby limiting my ability to stay focus on my surroundings, I slipped and fell hard to the ground. I even saw the cramp go up my left calf and a lump appeared. At first, I though it was a full grown leech, but after a few minutes, I touched it and it dissolved like a water bag losing water. Vic, one of the Dirt-schoolers, saw me go down and stayed with me as I recover. After a few minutes, I stood up and moved slowly, with my right leg initiating movement and my left leg just for support. I used trees and tree roots to help me descend to Station 22 since I feel like I’m only using one leg. When I finally arrived, some of my Dirt-School classmates helped me in cleaning and patching up a bruise on my left knee (which cut and ruined my newly-bought Kalenji legging) by providing a cleaning cloth and band aid. George and Enrique arrived and we decided to move again. Due to the painful calf, I never tried to run again and moved at hiking pace. Enrique was also suffering from cramps and the 3 of us were the last group. We shared our running stories and opinions about the running scene to make the trip feel faster and to distract ourselves from the pain. We ate and rest to replenish ourselves for a few minutes at Agila Base before continuing to the road back to Botanic Gardens.

One last look at the trail as after leaving Agila Base.

Enrique and I decided to jog downhill for a little boost and George told us to go ahead, he’ll catch up later.

One of the most scenic roads I ever ran on. Just look at that tree branch going across the other side of the street.

We caught up with Magzi, Bling, Sonny, and another participant at the lomi and buko juice store. We decided to stop by and drink some buko juice (thanks Enrique). Then we excused ourselves and decided to move on since we’re injured and the others may likely catch up with us on the way down.

Eye catching trees along the way.
The turtle and the snail runners.

With no one in sight, Enrique and I pushed all the way to Botanic Gardens. When we arrived, the other Dirt-schoolers already left. Somebody already won the highly sought after Suunto watch.

It was an awesome experience, I got injured but it felt hardcore (like the time I tripped and bruised my knees badly whilst avoiding zombies in Outbreak Missions). Had a down and dirty good time, and limatiks sucks!… literally. Looking forward to next year’s sessions. I might join all of them especially the first semester in Nuvali.

The Clean Loot bag (sling bag) includes the Nuun Dirt School shirt, a Salomon X 2016 Trail Run Tech Shirt, a Salomon sticker, discount cards, Regent snack, and Squeezy Gel Drink. Won a Nuun citrus berry + Nuun hydration bottle from the raffle.
Posted in adventure, places to run, run it, running, running locales, Uphill Run

Run It! – Ciudad De Calamba

This is part 2 of this month’s Run It! article and this is the connecting route from Batino to Barandal and Ciudad De Calamba.

Prepare yourself! For novice runners, it’s better to take it slow and easy there is a long stretch of uphill in the early part of the route.

We start where we left off from the intersection area going to Barangays Barandal, Mayapa, Batino, and St Clare Convent.

The starting (and end) point is the intersection from part 1.
Turn left (from St. Clare Convent, right if coming from Calamba Hills Phase 2) to the bridge going to Barangay Barandal.
There is a guard house/check point going to Ciudad de Calamba (this is a private road). Runners and cyclists are allowed to enter. To the right before approaching this point is Laguna Buenavista Executive Homes.
The first segment of the route a long road with curves and uphill.
The area is owned and managed by Filinvest Lands. It contains some of their best middle and upper class subdivisions and estate.
Long curvy and uphill road ahead.
The S curve going to Ciudad De Calamba and passing the 2nd bridge.
Elevation goes a bit higher as you approach the entrance to Ciudad De Calamba.
The arch as seen from a distance.
A beautiful and modern Spanish style design.
Welcome to Ciudad De Calamba.
After entering the arch, Valle Dulce at Pueblo Solana is to the left, going straight ahead leads to Futura Homes Punta Altezza, Filinvest Technology Park, Casa Del Nino Montessort School, and Montebello estates.
To the right leads to Punta Altezza. You can add an extra 500-700 meters if you run all the way to the Punta Altezza entrance and back. Or you can enter the subdivision as an alternate route instead. I entered this place once and you can exit on the other side.
Trees add colors to your running route.
To the left is another part of the road that doesn’t have anything except grass and some trees. To the right goes to Filinvest Technology Park.
If you choose to go left on the other road, you can add up to 60 meters with the curves and a small uphill stretch ahead.
You can take a turn to the right going to Filinvest Technology Park.
Even without entering the business park, you can add 200-300 meters to your distance by making a U-turn here.
Moving forward to the the main road, there is another uphill segment going to Montebello. Seen on the right is Casa Del Nino Montessori School.
A short uphill road to Montebello estates.
One of the big houses of Montebello.
Entrance to Montebello estates.
After passing by Montebello, another stretch of road and uphill (3rd uphill segment) leads to Baranggay Punta and Bubuyan.
After surviving the 3rd uphill, you can turn left to the road going to an intersection that will lead to Baranggays Kay-Anlog, Bubuyan, and Punta to add more distance. You can also use the Calamba-Tagaytay Road of Baranggay Punta (turn left on the intersection) as an alternate route back to CPIP.
Moving forward, you can add 400+ meters to your run if you take a right turn here going to the other entrance/exit of Punta Altezza.
It’s a downhill and an opportunity to speed up.
This is the 2nd entrance/exit to Punta Altezza. I haven’t tried running all the way to see if the guard will allow me to enter. I just make my U turn here.
And of course, what goes down must also go up.
Back to the main road, it’s long (with some curves) flat road. Perfect for speed training. There’s a nice view of Mount Sungay in the distance.
Reaching the end only leads to a left turn. Seen from this point is Mount Sungay (and People’s Park in the Sky) covered by clouds at the time.
Reaching the end of the left turn leads to an intersection. Straight ahead is Asenso Village, to the right goes to Baranggay Bubuyan and to the left to Kay-Anlog and Punta. On a good mood, I turn left all the way to the Baranggay Bubuyan arch to add 200+ meters to my distance.
Going back to where we started. If I ran from outside our house and then all the way to the Batino and CPIP route of part 1 and then straight to Ciudad De Calamba and stopped at this point, the total distance is 8+ kilometers.
This is an opportunity to speed up and test yourself.
Still have a lot left in the tank? don’t stop and go straight all the way until your body starts telling you to slow down or walk. Entering Ciudad De Calamba again (and leaving) is all downhill.
Thank you for visiting… Come again.
More than a kilometer and more downhills as you go back to the starting point in Batino.
Only a few vehicles pass by here, no traffic, and it is a beautiful road surrounded by grass (and sometimes goats and cows).
In case the first half of your run is slow because of the uphills, this is the time to run negative splits. Just don’t put too much pressure on the downhills, it can be bad on the knees. Just relax and let the momentum drive you.
The last hundred meters is all smooth sailing as you make your way back. Just watch out for them cow and goat poop on the side of the road.

There you have it, one of the best running grounds in Calamba City. Total distance is 7.9 kilometers according to Nike Run Club and if you included the Batino route you can get a total of 11-12 kilometers and even more depending on how you run the route and add more distances. The uphill and downhill segments of the route is the ideal training grounds for runners who want to build up speed and endurance. And with scenic views and wide roads, Ciudad De Calamba is one of the most beautiful places you can run around.

Posted in 3k, run it, running locales, Uphill Run

Run It! – Brgy. Barandal, Batino, and Calamba Premier International Park area

When I started jogging more than 5 years ago, my running grounds is a long stretch of road in barangay Batino and outside the vicinity of Calamba Premier International Park. It is the ideal place for people who wants to just sweat it out on Sunday mornings. When I finally became a serious runner, I started exploring the area to add more distance and in part 2 of this article, I’ll show you the connecting route to Ciudad De Calamba. For now, let’s focus on the Barandal – Batino route.

This is the entrance to Barangay Barandal and this area is Calamba Hills Village Phase 2. It’s 200+ meters from our house and living up to its name, it consists of small uphills.
Just across the road will be the starting point of the route. It is 900 meters away from our house. To the left goes Batino and to the right the rest of Barandal and Ciudad De Calamba (to be covered in part 2).
The route map as illustrated by Google maps via Nike Run Club app. As stated in the photo above, the starting point is the foot uphill. It’s an out and back route with the U-turn at the entry-exit road going to Barangay Lawa.
Going uphill, straight ahead is St. Claire Convent. To the left is where the long stretch starts.
This is the long stretch of road. It used to be called Lover’s Lane (sic), but I’ll call it Joggers’ Lane for now. I estimate it to be around 400+ meters and this is where most people run, jog, or walk back and forth several times. In my early days of jogging, I used to jog and walk here 8-10 times to complete 5 kilometers. The best part is this segment being downhill (you’ll pay later when it becomes uphill as you go back). There are trees on the side and serves as good cover to sunlight and even rain.
When you reach the end of the long stretch, you have to option to go left, heading towards a roundabout and the entrance of Calamba Premier International Park (CPIP). On the left side, with the big water tower is the Nestle manufacturing plant.
If you decided to go left, this is the road to the roundabout. To the right is the AVON manufacturing plant.
Turning left on the roundabout. Samsung Electro-Mechanics plant seen in the distance. Entrance of CPIP is also on the left.
The entrance to CPIP. Not sure if runners can go inside, I haven’t tried going in. But, it’s very likely that we’re not allowed to enter unless we have business to go in (or know someone from the inside). Fun Fact: Straight ahead is Shin Heung Electro-Digital Inc. (SHEDI), the company I used to work for back in 2008.
Moving along the roundabout, turning right leads to the road going to Barangay Lawa and Tagaytay Highlands via Barandal Road.
Slight turn to the left and then straight ahead going to Barangay Lawa entrance/exit. It’s a bit of an uphill road, good for those who prefer uphill run training. The tricycle terminal is also located here. They also have a decent sidewalk men’s urinal.
The end of the road leads here. To the right is the road going to Barangay Lawa. To the left is Barandal Road (part of Barangay Barandal) and is an alternate route to Tagaytay Highlands. There is also a kilometer marker here, this is KM 50 (50th kilometer from Luneta or KM 0). This is where I make the U-turn and back to the starting point.
Going back is a bit easier on this part of the road because it’s downhill now and then a long straight after the curve.
Momentum on the downhill after the curve. You can add some speed or just let gravity control your pace.
And if you have to go, you can go, the clean and legal way. The first time I saw this street urinal, it felt like I stumbled upon a real-world easter egg. Haven’t anything like it in other cities. It’s the most decent way to take a leak.
Approaching the roundabout again. To the left goes to the CPIP entrance, to the right goes to South Luzon Express Way (SLEX).
Around the roundabout. To the left goes to SLEX, going straight ahead leads to Nestle’ Philippines plant and the starting point.
The CPIP Oasis. Welcome!
After the roundabout, to the right is the CPIP Administration Building. Straight ahead leads to the Nestle’ plant. Turn left to go back to Joggers’ Lane. Fun Fact: The CPIP Summer and Christmas Sale are held at the Admin Building 4 times a year. It’s where I bought my Saucony running shoes and other stuff.
To the left is the Batino Barangay Hall. To the right leads back to Joggers’ Lane and the starting point.
Entering Joggers’ Lane again.
This road is also best for people trying to learn how to ride a bike or a motorcycle. It was also used by driving school instructors to teach their students how to drive. The Barangay authorities noticed it and put a fence on both ends of the road to prevent it.
The last 200 meters back to the starting point is now an uphill segment. This is great for uphill training runs…
But, some people will hate the uphill especially if they’re tired. Just walk it off. TO the left is St. Claire Convent, to the right is the starting point.
And there it is, the starting point. Straight ahead is Calamba Hills Phase 2 (Brgy. Barandal) and then Phase I (Brgy. Mayapa), where I came from. To the right goes back to Batino main road and Joggers’ Lane (if you don’t want to U-turn and back to the uphill segment). And to the left goes to Ciudad De Calamba.

So, there you have it, 3.2 kilometers in total (+1 kilometer is the added for the distance traveled from home). You can complete a 10-12 kilometer run by going back and forth 3-4 times. But, since I don’t like repetitiveness and looping, what I do is run this route and then connect to Ciudad De Calamba and part of Barangay Bubuyan to complete a 10-14 kilometer run. That route will be explored in part 2 of this article. So, if you want a safe, simple, and favorable training grounds, I recommend this place.

Posted in City Run, Gear Review, GPS watch, half-marathon, Marathon, Review, running, running event, Trail run, trail running, Valley Trail Challenge

Accuracy or Fu*K-uracy: A non-professional observation and analysis of GPS devices for running…

In the early days, runners use the stopwatch feature of their watches to check their Finish Time and it is assumed that the distance of the race route is accurately measured by the event organizers. Today’s generation of runners rely on the GPS functionality of smartphones and watches making it an essential feature. But, how accurate are the GPS of these devices? are they reliable?

I am not an electronics expert or engineer, I don’t know how GPS works technically, so don’t expect me to explain everything with scientific detail. I’m just a runner who relies on my GPS watch and smartphone app to record my performance and this observation and analysis is based on my experience in using them during training runs and running events. I use a Soleus GPS One watch and Samsung S7 Edge for tracking my runs.

The race course was said to be 5 kilometers. My GPS watch said it’s 4.88 kilometers.

Which is more accurate, a GPS watch or a smartphone app?

–  Starting both devices and standing still, my S7 Edge using Nike Run Club app connects faster to GPS satellites than my GPS One. It usually takes less than a minute for the S7 to get a good signal, whilst the GPS One can take as long as 1-3 minutes to find a signal. The GPS One may also receive an unstable connection and deliver very unbelievable results like a running speed of 40-70 kilometers per hour which is impossible considering that Usain Bolt can run at a top speed of 44 km/h. The GPS One also has a tendency to lose signal in places where only a few tall buildings surround the area. There are times that the GPS One can yield better results than the smartphone like the time I ran the 2nd Philippine Marine Corp Marathon. When I entered the famous Kaybiang Tunnel, both devices lost connection, but the watch re-connected faster and delivered a more accurate distance. It should be noted that I was using a mid-range smartphone at the time, an Alcatel Flash 2, and not the S7 Edge that I’m using now. I mentioned this because high-end smartphones and GPS watches with superior hardware may be able to deliver more accurate results than entry-level like the GPS One and mid-range devices.

UPDATE (07-23-2017): I accidentally activated the mobile data of my S7 Edge instead of the GPS. Nike Run Club app relied on internet connection and due to the weak signal and speed, it resulted to a big miscalculation, counting 600-800 meters as 1 kilometer.

According to my GPS One, I ran a maximum speed of 72.9 km/h some time during my run. Wow! Good thing Usain Bolt is retired. I should probably go after Eliud Kipchoge then.

Distance Discrepancy?

–   Distance discrepancy between the two devices is not unusual. Sometimes it can be as short as 100 meters to as long as 2 kilometers with the GPS watch very likely to be inaccurate. One example of this was during Run United Exceed half-marathon last April, GPS One recorded the total distance of 23.45 kilometers, whilst the S7 showed 22.5 kilometers. The race route in Bonifacio Global City is surrounded by tall buildings and locking on to the satellites takes time, but I was able to get a signal for both devices before the gunstart. But, I’m very sure that the GPS One was inaccurate because it showed me that I passed the first kilometer in 4+ minutes whilst the smartphone app told me that I ran it at 5 minutes and 45 seconds. I’ve also seen social media posts from runners and most of them also covered 22+ kilometers. Others got results of less than 21 kilometers, but it’s very likely that they started their devices while it was still trying to get a signal and only got one after several kilometers (i.e. 18 kilometers of total distance was likely the result the device receiving a signal after 3 kilometers of running). During my usual Wednesday and Friday morning runs, it’s often that I get distance discrepancies and most of the time, the GPS One delivered inaccuracy.

3 minutes and 15 seconds in the first kilometer. If only I can really run this pace. I know for a fact that when I run below 4 minutes and 30 seconds, I start feeling cramps about to hit me. So, yeah I have never ran a 3-minute per kilometer pace before.

GPS devices or just trust the Organizer’s Race Route?

–   What you see in your GPS devices can also match the race course distance if you get a very good signal. But, the race route can be more or less of the total distance as advertised. It depends on how the organizer of the event measured the race route and there are some instances that could force the organizer to shorten distance like unfavorable weather or last minute changes due to traffic and other road-related incidents that is beyond their control. Other organizers will add extra kilometers as a bonus  or a slight change in the race route. If you really want a distance accurate race route, then look for an event sanctioned by an athletics organization like Philippine Athletics Track And Field Association (PATAFA).

It was supposed to be only 34 kilometers, but a small change in the race route added 3 extra kilometers.

Comparison with Car Odometer (FINAL UPDATE)

I did an experiment to compare if the distance displayed on a car’s odometer will yield the same or close results with the GPS devices. I did a quick google search and found out that GPS is much more accurate than car speedometers when it comes to measuring speed because it is affected by tire size and condition. But, I’m measuring the distance and disregarded speed, so we focus on the odometer. Stopping the car at 1, 3, and 5 kilometers, the distance difference is somewhere between 30 to 200+ meters.

Trial 1: Stopping at 1 kilometer with the GPS devices connected with good signal, the Nike app recorded a 40-meter difference, while the GPS watch showed a much bigger number at 110 (or more) meters.
Trial 2: I reset the odometer and stopped at 3 kilometers. Similar results from the 1 kilometer run with 30-meter difference on the app and 110+ meters on the GPS watch.
And just for comparisons sake, I did keep the car’s speed at 40+ km/h most of the time and sped up to 80+ km/h once to overtake a vehicle. I think the GPS watch got it right with the average (41 km/h) and maximum speed (83.2 km/h) reading.

This experiment should be taken with a grain of salt since gps reading is affected by the position and availability of the satellites (take note that the experiment took place on a road devoid of tall buildings). It’s likely that distance discrepancy will increase if I travelled farther.

The verdict: Accurate or Fu*k-urate?

–   So, are GPS devices like smartphones and GPS watches accurate when it comes to measuring distance and pace? the answer is yesbut, only if you get a good and stable signal. The advance technology in these devices assures you accuracy, but not always. There will be times that you will get unstable signal and even lose the signal especially in places surrounded by tall building or trees and that guarantees fu*ked up results. The reason why I use both a GPS watch and smartphone app is for cases when one fails, the other won’t (hopefully). A small distance discrepancy (like 100-300 meters) between both devices is acceptable, 500 meters or more is where you start to question accuracy and pick the one with less distance. In my usual training routes, I can tell which one is giving me the likely accurate distance because of the numerous times I ran on that place. Even if that devices failed to connect with the satellites, I remember where the kilometer points are.

My Personal Bests in Nike Run Club app. Guess which ones are fu*k-urate. Hint: I can’t run an elite marathoner pace.
Posted in 5k, 5km, adventure, guerilla race, Obstacle Course Racing, obstacle run, running, running event, ToughXRough

A Splashing Return! (Guerilla Race Splash)

The last time I joined an obstacle run or Obstacle Course Racing was 2 1/2 years ago and that was Men’s Health Urbanathlon. But, I am no stranger to the Guerilla Race series, and in fact, I am one of the pioneer participants of the very first Guerilla Race. The last Guerilla Race I joined was the 10k category of the Panther edition in Filinvest City back in October 2014. After that, I wasn’t able to join the other Guerilla events because they were held far from my hometown and I have very limited resources when it comes to joining running events. Now that Guerilla Race has returned to the south with the new water edition, my anticipation is not just at an all time high, I feel ecstatic.

For this event, I was able to get an extra race kit and gave it to my officemate, Jaypee (a Guerilla Race first timer). We arrived at the venue before 4 am and took a warm-up, reconnaissance stroll around the area. For some reason, the race started late at 0530 (suppose to start at 0500).

Excitedly waiting. Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)


Definitely ecstatic. Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
Talking about strategies that won’t go as planned, anyway. Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
Rock (Jaypee) and Roll (Me). Photo by Tris (Active Pinas).

I was surprised when the first part of the race route is inside Splash Island and even more surprising for me is the first obstacle…


Obstacle 1: the Kayak.

Me and Jaypee watching and staring at the first obstacle. Photo by Jhunejaved Mindana
Shock and Stunned! What are we looking at? Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)

To be honest, I was a bit shocked and nervous about this obstacle because I don’t know how to operate a kayak. I kept thinking that I can’t stabilize it and will likely be moving sideways or unlikely to make the U-turn back to shore. Thankfully, I was able to relax, focus, and move it straight. I did bump unto other participants and vice versa, one time four of us bump each other but was able to get free easily. The next obstacle is much easier though…

Obstacle 2: Balsa River.

Damn, it’s cold! Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
Refreshing! Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
That time when water is more fun than beer. Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
The water is cool, but if there’s a warm spot, you know why it’s warm. Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
Now there’s a warm spot =) Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
Into the deep (ok, it’s not really deep). Photo by Tris (Active Pinas)
Whatta watah! Photo by Tris (Active Pinas).
Jaypee crossing the Balsa River. Apologies for the photo, I used my old and rugged Sony Ericsson XPERIA Active (the only smartphone tough enough for this kind of race) and photos were taken with an old 5-megapixel camera.

This one is easier and relaxing. You just go into the looping Balsa River and you can swim, float, walk, or run. We decided to take our time and just walk this one to conserve stamina. The third obstacle does slow things down a little…

Obstacle 3: Barbed Wire Crawl

I wasn’t able to take a photo of this obstacle nor find a photo of us doing the obstacle, so I just grabbed an interesting photo from the Active Pinas facebook page.

One of the regular obstacles of Guerilla Race and it will definitely get you dirty and smelly. If you don’t go low enough and crawl, your clothes will get caught (see photo above) or the barbed wires will poke you like it did to me so I got down low and dirty the non-perverted way.

After the crawl, it’s a few hundred meters of trail running to the next and slippery-when-wet obstacle. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.

4th obstacle, Handrail walk?

Difficult when wet (because it’s slippery). Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.

I don’t know the official name of this obstacle, but this is one of the most difficult as it requires some degree of upper body strength and good grip because the rails are slippery. To add difficulty, you can only do this one time. As we approach this obstacle, we already saw some of the participants doing burpees as penalty for not passing the obstacle. When we started moving, it seemed very do-able, I was already halfway through when my right hand slipped and my foot touched the ground (as seen in the photo). Jaypee also slipped and we had to do 30 burpees as penalty. Doing burpees depletes your stamina more than the obstacle, so it is better to put effort in completing the obstacles than do burpees.

Jaypee giving the one finger salute for his dislike of this obstacle and wanted to have another try (same sentiment here) because it is do-able.

Obstacle 5: Window in the Wall?

This is very easy even in low stamina. Photo by My Run Time.
The only way this is hard is if you don’t fit through the window. Photo by My Run Time.
Thanks for this awesome action shot. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.

I think this is called the military wall, but I’m not sure. Designed to just break your momentum, this obstacle is one of the easiest even if you lost some stamina after doing burpees. This will only be difficult if you don’t fit in the window properly, but I’ve never seen anyone having a hard time with this obstacle.

Taking it easy, taking our time. Photo by Active Pinas.
Walk like a boss! Photo by Active Pinas.

Obstacle 6: Bamboo Crossing?

Pain for the thighs.

Dunno what to call this obstacle. The only challenge here is if you feel pain on your thighs or that tight feeling of your hamstrings. It can also be painful on the knees when you’re already overfatigued.

Obstacle 7: Mud Crawl

Jaypee crawling first so I can take a photo of the obstacle.
Jaypee crawling out with a smile. Me? not loving the foul smell of the mud. Photo by Active Pinas.
Doesn’t smell like teen spirit. Smells like raw sewage to me. Photo by Active Pinas.
But, the water is cool… Still, the smell though… Photo by Active Pinas.
Don’t let it get in your eyes and mouth. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.
Out of the sewer! Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.
Everyone is smiling. Well, I did smile too after I got back to my feet. Photo by Active Pinas.

This is easier than the barbed wire crawl because of the watery mud and the cool water is refreshing and kinda soothing. But, it has a foul smell though, so you need to breathe wisely and close your mouth to avoid fresh dirty water getting in your mouth.

Slow jog to the next obstacle. Photo by Active Pinas.

Obstacle 8: The Wall.

I think it’s 6 feet high or more.
What I did is jump and hang on. Then Pull yourself up. Photo by Active Pinas.
You will struggle if you’re tired. Photo by Active Pinas.
But, it’s easier than it looks. Just ask Jaypee. Photo by Active Pinas.
You have to watch the ground before jumping though, to make sure you land properly and don’t slip or hurt yourself. Photo by Michael Allen Celestial.

The wall isn’t exactly as hard as the 1st and 2nd time I encountered it. In fact, I got it with only 1 try. I just jumped, hanged on to the top of the wall, and slowly push myself up. Jaypee who was very worried about this obstacle earlier got it in 1 try as well.

Obstacle 9: Inclined Wall.

The Marshal asked the girl to go for the middle part of the wall instead because this side (right) is slippery. She told Jaypee to take this side instead because she thinks he can handle it. I also lined up on this side.
It can be hard, but there’s a technique to easily climb up this obstacle. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.
Proper footing and the grip or your shoes (or feet if you run barefoot) is a key factor in completing this easily. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.

This obstacle is easy if you know how to position yourself and pull yourself up. Plant yourself properly, firm grip on the rope and then move your legs and pull yourself up gently and relaxed. You can also run up just gather momentum and with the right speed and it will be over faster.

Obstacles 10, 11, and 12: Sandbag Carry, Walk on Fours, and Tire Field

Show offs can grab 2 sandbags and help themselves with quicker stamina depletion.
Yeah on the catwalk. On the catwalk, yeah. I shake my little tush on the catwalk.

Before we engaged these obstacles, we took our time at the aid station to drink and wash off some of the mud on our face. Three obstacles in one go. First you grab a sandbag (grab 2 if you’re strong enough and want to show off the power of them guns) and then walk or run 100 meters (estimate) then U-turn back and drop the sandbag. After that, you run or walk another hundred meters to a point where you have to start walking on fours like an animal (I call it the catwalk). This is a bit hard on the thighs and can be tiring, so it’s better to move at an easy and steady pace. Thankfully, the distance is shorter and once you got up, you walk or run towards the field of tires. It’s better to look at your feet as you make your way through the tire field because there’s a chance that your foot will get caught by a tire and pull you down.

Obstacle 13: Tire Pull and Lift

I’m not feeling smug, I’m pulling. Photo by Active Pinas.
Doing it smoothly, feeling like a criminal. Photo by Active Pinas.
Wax On , Wax Off is how you do this. Photo by Active Pinas.
The lasso of lies. Photo by Active Pinas.
Tire? Tyre? Tired? Photo by Active Pinas.
Like a tire, I run on-road and off-road. Photo by Active Pinas

This obstacle can be done smoothly without affecting much of your stamina. First part of the obstacle is to pull the tire. Just relax and apply just the right amount of pulling power that it won’t affect your breathing. For example, pull with the left hand then breath in, now the right hand then breathe out. It’s that easy and keep your back straight. The second part requires you to lift the tire and put it back at the starting point for the next participant’s turn.

Obstacle 14: Money Bar

Monkey Bars are regular playground equipment and when I was a kid, it’s easy to do. It’s a different story when you grow up and add some weight. Photo by My Run Time.

This is the second obstacle that I failed to complete. I made I mistake of having my hands gripping one bar apart and it put me in the position of facing sideways to the left. I was stuck and hanging for almost 10 seconds, trying to re-position myself, but I couldn’t and fearing that I might lose my grip. So, I decided to push through and tried doing the monkey bars sideways, grabbing 1 bar apart , and it seemed to be working as I made it halfway. Then I lost my momentum (couldn’t swing anymore and my hand couldn’t reach and grab the next bar) and I fell to the ground. Unfortunately, you can only do the obstacle once, so I just accepted the penalty. Jaypee got it right and avoided the stamina-depleting burpees.

Obstacle 15: Over and Under the bars?

The added difficulty of obstacles that involves bars is that they’re slippery.

By the time we reached this obstacle, I still haven’t recovered some of the loss stamina from the burpees I had to do as penalty from failing the monkey bars. I allowed Jaypee to go first so I can observe how it’s done. You have to go over the first bar (you can jump if you want), then under on the 2nd (you can roll if you want), over again on the 3rd, and under again on the last one. When Jaypee did this his grip slipped and a 180 degree while still holding on to the bar, so he did not fall on his back. Same thing happened to me and it feels like a technique, just be sure to keep hanging on the bar and let your feet touch the ground to recover quickly.

Obstacle 16, Rope Crossing

As I pose for this shot, I just realized that those ahead of me are already off the rope. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.
My kind of hang out. Photo from Guerilla Race facebook page.

We refueled with cool water at the 2nd aid station (they ran out of cups, so Jaypee and I had to share with one that we cleaned before using) before initiating this obstacle. Balance with a chance of wobbling is best to describe this one. You step on a rope line with your hands grabbing another rope above you and then move to cross all the way to the end point. It’s easy until you end up in the middle with those ahead of you already got off the rope. As seen in the photos, I paused to pose for the photographer. I took my time for the photo that I caused a bit of a traffic and I’m the front guy now. Moving from the middle without any weight applied ahead of me made the rope wobble and it kinda threw me off balance a bit that I actually switched side (now facing right and the photographer on my six) just to regain footing. Once I got my balance back, it was easier to move again and finish this obstacle.

Obstacle 17: Cargo Net

How’s it hanging? Photo by Michael Allen Celestial.
Hang in there, baby. Photo by Michael Allen Celestial.

This is the one obstacle that really got me a bit of a scare and thought about doing burpees instead. This version of the cargo net is harder than the pyramid version. Once you make it to the top to cross over to the other side, that’s when the difficulty level goes up a notch. Once you look down, you have a good view of how high you are and then you realize how hard it is to put your foot to the other side. The net is wobbling when there are no participants on the other side to balance it and it makes you feel like you’re going to flip over and fall to the other side if you’re not careful. That is how I felt at the time since those on the other side already got down and there’s 3 (or maybe 4) of us left on the other side. In my mind I think I’m gonna flip over and fall and almost gave up. Until Jaypee and some other participant hold a part of the net to keep it stable and I was able to cross over. It was only until I saw the photos on facebook that there is a technique to crossover properly. Next time, I’ll be ready.

Obstacle 18: Hurdles

It’s very likely that you have seen her in running events. Photo by Active Pinas.

Fortunately, the last obstacle, the hurdles isn’t as hard as hurdling (running and jumping). You can just walk and jump over and over again. Take your time if you want, the finish line is just meters away.


The surprise of the event was the actual number of obstacles. There are 18 obstacles instead of the original (and advertised) 12. For me, 6 more obstacles is a bonus, it’s like getting more of your money’s worth. Jaypee and I finished with a minute left before the cut-off time of 1.5 hours. I know it’s slow compared to my first Guerilla Race finish time of 40 minutes and 42 seconds in Nuvali. But, the reason for this is because I wanted to pace with Jaypee to see if he enjoys this event and I really want to take my time and have fun. Also, my first Guerilla Race only had 12 obstacles and I can say that the obstacles in this event is more challenging (and fun) than what I encountered before. I probably would’ve rushed this event and finished the race faster if I ran alone. But, I probably would’ve not enjoyed it as much because in the end, the finish time didn’t matter to me, I was focused on having fun and running with a buddy, and that is both mission accomplished.

49 minutes slower than my first Guerilla Race, but I don’t care because I had fun running with a buddy. Jaypee finished at 01:29:27 at rank number 100. We made it at the cut-off time. Official results can be seen at

Guerilla Race Splash (as always) is an amazing, awesome, challenging, and fun event. It’s the best way to test your overall fitness level. Obstacle course racing is intimidating to some runners and fitness buffs, but Guerilla Race is the epitome of a balanced challenge. The obstacles can be hard, but they’re not impossible, and finally finishing the race feels like a big accomplishment mentally and physically.

A big thanks to the Guerilla Race Team and mam Nikka Ramos for this fresh and unique edition of the Guerilla Race. We, the fans of this wonderful race series, are so thankful that all of you keep innovating to deliver an experience like no other. You are all continuing the legacy of its founder, the late Lt. Col. Dennis Bumanglag and doing it with excellence.

Guerilla Race Splash is a strong contender for my pick of the best running event of 2017. Jaypee, a first-timer in the Guerilla Race love the experience so much that he’s looking forward to the next events. It got a lot of things right like a reasonable registration fee (which includes a day pass to Splash Island worth 499 php and discount coupons), a good venue (the right choice for the summer season), and a memorable experience (challenging, but fun obstacles). I want to see it grow with more participants and interesting locales in the future. The next Guerilla Race will be at Camp John Hay in November. Stay tuned for the complete details and updates regarding this event once the press release is officially announced.

Finishers! Photo by Jaypee.
The freebies and loot bag include 4 pcs of Mega Fiber, 4 pcs of Goutritis Herbal Supplement, 4 pcs of Brai Master Herbal Supplement, Black Mamba energy drinks, and 100 plus.








After the event, Jaypee and I decided to take advantage of the Splash Island day pass to maximize the day (especially since it was the long weekend for us BPO employees thanks to Memorial Day). It was also my first time in Splash Island (yes, I live in the South and I’ve been to Splash Island until this running event), so I have to see and experience the best things the place has to offer. Unfortunately, Splash Island was very crowded at the time with 2 company outings (NIDEC and Villarica Pawnshop) taking place along with the usual weekend visitors. But, I still got to experience the major attractions of the water park thanks to Jaypee’s encouragement (because if I was rogue running (solo) this event, I probably would’ve stayed in the pools) and 40 to 60 minutes of waiting in line for each slide. Tausug Trails is the first slide we took and after that, we lined up for Big Bamboo. Unfortunately, I don’t have an action cam with me to record the experience and I don’t want to hold my smartphone during slides. I was able to take some photos of the slides before I took my turn. Check out some of the photos I took before taking the splash.

Splash Island Map.
The attractions.
The River Calm!
The crowded Balsa River.
The not-so River Wild.
Using a water-proof pouch for my S7 Edge to take Splashing photos.
Jaypee getting splashed.
The twisting slides of King Pilipit.
Rio Montosa, more twists and turns than M. Night Shyamalan’s movies.
Before our turn in Rio Montosa. Normally this ride requires 4 people, but 3 will do. One person joined me and Jaypee. I screamed a lot during this ride because it feels like we’re about to tip over.
Seeing that dark and twisty tube of King Pilipit made my heart beat faster than running a 5-minute per kilometer pace.
Like Mario going down the pipes. My turn. No turning back. In the end, I loved it. Definitely my favorite slide.
Magellan’s Drop is our last slide. This is the tall and long slide you see along SLEX (coming from the South). Photo taken while lining up for our turn.
Last slide of the day. Took a photo before my turn. This is definitely the scariest for me since I can see where I’m going. But, I enjoyed it. We couldn’t repeat the slides because of the long queue, so left before 3 pm.