I Was running in the trails North of Manila one cloudy morning in muddy grassland with an endless mountain view on my left and lahar on the right. I chanced upon a Bahay Kubo sitting on top of a hill and noticed a little girl come out and wave at me. I waved back returning the gesture then, to my surprise, she called out motioning me to come over. Without giving it a second thought, I did as I was told seemingly mesmerized by this little girl. She then led me to a little bamboo bench situated just outside her home where we sat comfortably and there she began to talk animatedly about her parents, her home, the chores she had to do for the day while showing me her ducks, chickens and baboy damo. She was the sweetest girl I've ever met... always smiling oftentimes giggling while she spoke about herself and her life. Her innocence and positivity was so endearing; never once showing a hint of hardship or exhibiting any envy or want for material things. Never once did she complain about her circumstance seemingly content in the simplicity of the life she lived. After about 15 minutes of chatting with this little girl, I told her I had to go and continue my run. As a parting gesture, she gave me a nice sweet hug and waved goodbye. I left the place feeling good (a silly grin on my face) happy and content for having had a chance encounter with this little girl.
Running for me has often been a form of meditation where I can momentarily get away and relieve myself from the stresses of daily life. But once in a rare while, if we take a moment from our hurried pace to notice the things around us, like maybe spend a little time on a bamboo bench, we may be lucky enough to get a glimpse of what life is truly all about; affording us lessons we may never learn from any book or psychologists chair. Oftentimes we can be overwhelmed by real or perceived troubles and misfortunes around us, preoccupying ourselves with things that don't really matter and failing to appreciate the beauty and joy in life's simple pleasures which is essentially recognizing the little gems of happiness that come to us each day and finding joy in the moment. These are the lessons learned by a 52 year-old man from a 7 year-old girl while sitting on a bamboo bench on the top of a hill.
Test running my new ASICS AG01 GPS watch on the trails today. The ASICS GPS watch was launched recently by L Timestudio at the 100 Miles Cafe in BGC where a few running aficionados and myself were briefed on the GPS watch's main features and functions which proved quite useful for a non-techie guy like me. I opted for the "Fire Red" color to fit my personality (haha) and the new GPS feature finally compliments my “obsession“ for accurate distance runs.
You can read all about the new ASICS GPS and their line other line of watches on their website :
A good friend told me recently, "The MILO Baguio leg is the toughest course in the MILO running series. Not many who join this race qualify for the MILO finals." Last Sunday's Milo Race was no exception made even tougher by Typhoon Egay looming over the Benguet Province as forecasted. Runners can be obsessive weather watchers, planning our runs and races around the conditions. There are times, however, when you just have to get out the door and run despite the forecast. So when I was advised at 4am that the race is still a GO, that's exactly what I did.
As expected, the race course was extremely hilly especially heading out to Mines View, the Mansion and Outlook Drive and lets not forget the winding Loakan Road. The combination of cold and wet, mud, floods, and killer hills made it tough to run. With each step, my shoes made a loud slurping sound feeling like weights on my feet. Clothes clung to my body totally drenched as the rain poured unrelentingly. But when I saw the 18th km mark with just 3 kms to go, I picked up the pace and just went for it smiling all the way to the finish line. Call me crazy but I totally enjoyed the race. I guess its because I love Baguio and I love to run so that combination always gets me on a high no matter what the circumstances.
After the race, I heard a lot of chatter and complaints questioning whether or not MILO should have postponed the event due to inclement weather conditions. I was asked several times on the spot to give my opinion on this but deemed it prudent to make no comment at the time.
The hardest decision any Race Director/Organizer has to make is whether or not to cancel a race event. It is not a decision taken lightly or made so easily. There are numerous factors to consider, situations and scenarios that need to be evaluated, manpower and safety concerns that need to be assessed among others. Depending on the alert level, race organizers may rather opt to delay the start time or alter the race course in lieu of total cancellation. Either way, it is no easy task and no matter what decision he makes, he will still get flak from all directions. After all, in situations like these, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone. At the end of the day, a Race Director's decision is FINAL and we have to respect that.
In my running-paradise, every race would be 15 degrees and sunny. But this is real life, and sometimes that means we have to run in pretty inclement weather. I've had my share of runs and races in some nasty weather including torrential rains and freezing cold. While running in bad weather is less comfortable than we’d probably like, it can be manageable. At the same time, the knowledge that I have run through worse gives me a great sense of accomplishment and also makes for great running adventures.
Milo Baguio route
After a Nice Run in the Freezing Rain There is nothing Better than a Large Bowl of Hot Steaming Bulalo Soup and a side order of Sisig.
No wonder the Bulalo Soup tasted so Good it had a swimmer in it :-)