Finding Courage

I once came across this quote “Life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy” – luckily enough, I found my kind of crazy people!

My kind of crazy people push me to (or off of) the edge of my limits and challenge me to dare cross (or jump off) that edge and erase any boundaries that I thought existed.  And that is exactly what happened last Sunday – 31st January, at the waters of Dungaree Beach, Subic Freeport.

Limits and boundaries
My friends know that I am NOT a water person – that water is NOT my comfort zone, and that the water is my waterloo.  Yes I took swimming as a PE course back in UP but I never gained that confidence of being in the water or in the open sea.  Let’s factor in my lovely and powerful imagination, of sharks swimming or suddenly appearing – and mind you, it does not matter what kind of a body of water it is – my mind can picture sharks magically appearing – even in the pool!  Cue background music: Jaws movie soundtrack.

Back to the open-water swim. I agreed to doing the event and swim the 1.5KM distance, after James promised that he’ll swim by my side.  Come registration, oh yes I found out I was registered not on the 1.5KM but the lovely 2.2KM distance.  All because Dolly needs the training and she can manage the distance.  Yes, my friends look out for me and make sure that limits are pushed.  Haha!

Saw Nemo while Finding Courage
The 2.2KM involved swimming three loops of 750 meters in open water.  It’s about 350m out, 50m wide and 350m back. Easy they said.  Yes, easy for them… “what-the-hell-was-I-thinking-signing-up-for-this-and-for-triathlon?” was what’s going through my mind when I saw the lines.  While Gail was giving me pointers, reminders and kept telling me to stay near line, my mind was going blank and there was a point where I was hoping to wake up from the “nightmare”.  She must’ve seen that blank and scared look in my eye so she kept telling me that I can do it and stay near the line.  And now all I can remember is that I just hugged her from behind and was like that until it was time for us to start.

I was the last to go in the water and once I plunged – OMG!!! I wanted to go back!!! Panic immediately set in and alarm bells went off – they were blaring loud! My left arm pierced the water and that was my cue to blow air, and nothing came out. Lifted my right arm and I went for air, and what air?! Nothing. Face down again in the water and there goes the instinct to breathe through my nose – BAD! Then my coach’s voice was in my head telling me to float on my back – so float I did and willed myself to relax.  I saw the lines and a voice told me to stop and hold on to it – but I refused knowing that if I did – I will just have more time to “entertain” the voices I didn’t want to hear, so I went face down in the water again.  It went on like that for a while – a few strokes and  then floated on my back – until I got tired, then remembered and shouted in my mind “I freaking trained for this! I am going to finish this swim!!!”  I flipped back into the water and stroke-by-stroke started to slice through it, forced myself to look at the corals, calmed myself when it got to the it’s-so-deep-I-can’t-see-the-bottom part, drove away all the negative thoughts in my head, said my prayers and just surrendered.  Before I knew it, there was a line intercepting me and what-do-you-know, I am at the bend!!!!! (and yes water was so deep now, but forced myself not to stop) I turned, kept on swimming – counted my strokes and then found myself on the next bend on to the swim-back part and finally saw the corals again, and then felt my left foot starting to cramp! And what do you do when you feel a cramp coming??? Relax the leg and foot – and keep swimming – and then I touched sand! Relief! Hahahaha!  Done with the 1st loop!!! Hydrated and yes, I took my time at the aid station – and before any negative thought came – I decided to plunge again.  This time – I was singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” while in the water – and was rudely interrupted when I got kicked on the right eye pushing and dislodging my goggles  (ouch!). My thoughts: “Ouch, that hurts. Don’t stop, pull and fix your goggles.” And that’s what I did… while underwater.  A bit of water leaked in but well, I just kept swimming and lo and behold!  I caught up with the pack ahead of me – and felt so safe and secured when I saw that I was swimming alongside the other participants and an oh-so-familiar uniform (GHTT!).  Coming out of the water from the 2nd loop and going for my 3rd loop, I can’t stop myself from smiling – and thinking “I am in my freaking third loop!!!!!”  And then – probably because this is what I wanted to hear – I heard a voice shouting “Go Dolly!” That made me smile – and I remembered Mae L and our last conversation, then plunged in the water and went for my final loop.  Going for my 3rd I started chanting this in my head “strong arms, strong legs, smooth strokes” over-and-over again, I gained ground and overtook those ahead of me (my thoughts: yay! I won’t be the last to finish!).  My final thoughts before coming out of the water:

  • I can do this.  I’ve got exactly what it takes.
  • My desire is stronger than my fear.
  • Find courage
  • I won’t give up on myself. I won’t settle. I deserve the best… in everything.
  • I love myself and I won’t ever, ever quit on myself
  • Thank you for the love
  • I am not a quitter
  • Thank you LITA!!! (what would I tell the CLs had quit? Yikes)
  • The force is strong
  • No more “what ifs” for me
  • I am going to freaking finish this swim!!!!!!

And then there was sand! Weeeeeeee!!!!  And then I can’t explain the emotions running and I heard my friends shouting my name.  Ran into Gail’s arms who hugged me tightly.


Hahahaha! Yes, the tears came… a case of “I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry… Okay, I am crying.”



And then JV finished and there was more hugging and crying, before all the smiling 🙂



And I continue to live my life and choose love! 🙂



Photo credits: YellowCab Tri DIY, Bave, JV, Gail


Click, click! Shoot! The photos I Shot!

I changed theme!!!!!!!!

And I am loving the new theme… why?  Well, it is clean and simplistic, not too much clutter… and… tan ta nan! I am able to exhibit pictures I shot – look at the header! Yes, those are my shots 🙂 I hope you like them as much as I do.

Yes, if it is not yet that obvious, I am an ‘frustrated’ photographer.  hihihihi!


RUNbling Thoughts of a Doll

Then suddenly they flow in your mind… thoughts, scenarios, images – randomly and without effort, without willing them.  A cascade.  A window opened by a strong wind, which sends everything flying in different directions.  Everything settles though, it ends with the blink of an eye.  There is chaos but in the midst of it is order, you see clearly, you see the unassuming  process.  Certainties that were and are invisible to the naked eye are suddenly so vivid… you see them clearly, like a film rolling before you and you’re watching everything unfold.  But the events you see, they have not happened yet – but you see them.  Your emotions are bothered, you are hurt, exhilarated, relieved, and hurt.  But with the hurt is the undeniable truth.  With the truth that honest feeling of unselfishness and care.  The willingness to get hurt and feel the pain, to sacrifice because you care.  Then you face a crossroad.  You are challenged to make a decision.  And you end up thinking not about how you would feel.  That decision.  That. You. Have. To. Take. Then you pause.


Now I wish for a rewind and delete button.

random thoughts of a doll

Originally posted this in my other blog.  But decided to post it here (with some edits) because of a very, very, very recent conversation with a friend.


conquered Pinatubo yesterday and literally ran the trail on our way down.  well the whole group did not run the trail, it was only the crazy four blogger-runners who went crazy and tried to fly through the 8 KM of trails – it was literally boulders, rocks, pebbles, sands, water… name it and it was there!

i know that i finally consider a person a ‘friend’ when it feels heavy in my heart to say ‘see you again’ and never want to utter the word ‘goodbye’, while feeling happiness because the friend/s is/are pursuing a dream and is off to do something great.

one can never be selfish for friends.


dreams and voyages
adventures and going aways
time and memories
happiness and tears
wish them well
be the wind
let them fly
smile and hide the sadness
be glad
it is growth
your friend
will be a better person
will grace other’s life
growth in the process
just be happy



Friendship, it transcends time and boundaries.


Let me just say this… you are effin’ making me want to cry!  I can feel them tear glands already.

I was supposed to be the one figuring out what to bring to you when I return, and now it is getting all twisted.  There’ll be more this and that and asking the questions “why” and “how”, but at the end of the day, know that I am happy if you are happy.

Spread your wings, chase and run after that dream with the passion and perseverance that I’ve always admired in you.

I will super miss you.  That is already an understatement.  But hey,  ….

Mt. Pinatubo… here I come! [updated]

This place has been one of  my “places-to-visit” for years now.  For reasons “unknown” and much for me being a Capampangan – I haven’t been to Pinatubo.  Not to mention that year (2007) I actually did stay and worked in San Fernando for a year, I haven’t been anywhere near Pinatubo.

I have been long enthralled by the beauty of the place, the majestic lake as showcased in those pictures taken by friends who had all trekked to the site.  A sight, which I hope I soon will see on May 28 June 4 courtesy of “Akyat Pinatubo – Bloggers’ Climb for a Cause (Let’s Go Sago!)”

Having first learned about the event from a Twitter exchange between Leo and Argo, I visited the latter’s blogsite and read his entry <click HERE> and decided to invite myself.  hihihihi! This is one chance to visit the place that I will not let me pass by!  And the best thing about the whole package is, I get to enjoy while helping a really good cause.  You see, a portion of the registration fee will go to Tahanang Walang Hagdan.  Now that is hitting two birds with one stone.  🙂

So on May 28 June 4, I shall be doing all of these!  weeeheee!!!

Akyat Mt. Pinatubo Day Tour
May 28, 2011 June 4, 2011, Saturday
Tarlac, Philippines

Akyat Pinatubo - Bloggers' Climb for a Cause

Day Tour
03:00a – Assembly at Panay Avenue, Quezon Avenue MRT
03:30a – Departure to Capas, Tarlac
06:30a – ETA Tourism Office
07:00a – 4 x 4 ride to jump off point
07:30a – Start of 2-hour trek (can be shorter depending on the speed of participants)
10:00a – ETA crater; free-time, swim, explore
11:30a – Lunch break
01:00p – ETD to jump off point (2-hr trek)
03:00p – ETA jump off point; 4 x 4 ride back to Tourism Office
03:30p – ETA Tourism Office; wash-up
04:30p – ETD to Capas Shrine
05:00p – Side trip to Capas Shrine (if time permits)
05:30p – ETD to Manila.

* arrival time in manila may vary, but the ETA would be 9:00pm

Want to Join?

Package Rate

  • Guest Participants P2,300 per person (the event is practically open to everyone at industry rate)
  • Blogger Participants P1,900 P1,800 per person
  • Blogger Participants are defined as bloggers who created a blogpost about the event, links to this post, and mentions the sponsors indicated above anytime from May 10 to May 18, 2011.
  • P300 of the P1,900 P1,800 paid by the bloggers go to Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, the beneficiary.

Package Inclusions for All

  •  Roundtrip Private Van/Bus Transfers
  • 4×4 Vehicle to hiking trail (optional skyway)
  • Local Guide
  • Optional Skyway toll fee
  • Conservation Fee
  • Usage of Shower Area at Pinatubo Spa Town
  • Sidetrip to Capas Shrine
  • Pre-Event Briefing on May 20 May 25, 8 pm ROX-BHS (venue to be announced)

Additional Package Inclusions for Bloggers

  • Jollibee Breakfast
  • Jollibee Merienda
  • Travel Factor Event Shirt
  • Raffle at Pre-Event Briefing on May 20
Get a chance of taking home any of the following prizes from the raffle!
  • Tides Boracay Accomodations
  • Mobile Phone
  • Jollibee Gift Certificates
  • Havaianas Flip-flops
  • Sledgers Card Cases worth 1290 each
  • Sledgers Passport Holders worth 1590 each
  • Jollibee Gift Certificates
  • Unilab Gift Packs
  • Starbucks VIA Ready Brews
  • Travel bags
  • 20 Gift Packs
  • Other Gift Certificates
Enticing eh?  What are you waiting for then? Oh right, how to be a part of this exciting and lovely event… read on, read on!
How To Join

Registration Guidelines

  • Deadline of Payment: May 20 June 2, 2011 (can pay cash at pre-event briefing)
  • For inquiries, email admin AT with subject: “Akyat Pinatubo Inquiry”
  • Please register only if you are 100% sure you are joining.
Oh, did I mention you might just get more prizes from simply registering?  Get’s better eh?
  • 1st 10 full registrants receive a pair of Havaianas Flip-flops
  • 11th to 20th full registrants receive a box (1 dozen) Starbucks VIA Coffee Brew & 1 year webhosting
  • 21st to 30th full registrants receive a Unilab gift pack.
  • 31st to 40th full registrants receive 1 year webhosting
  • A Full Registrant is defined as a blogger participant who has registered online, blogged about the event correctly, and paid the package (keep bank deposit slip as proof).

This event is made possible with the following sponsors and partners: SM, Jollibee, Havaianas, Unilab, Travel Factor, GeiserMaclang, Primer Group of Companies, SledgersSolid Hosting, R.O.X., Kiss Tourist Bus, Nufffnang Philippines, ChurpChurp Philippines, Orange Magazine TV, and Blogger Manila.

Tara Let’s!  Wag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan.  🙂

Conquer INFINITY on 06.11.11… Can YOU?

“Runners: Challenge yourselves and run to beat your own time and pace!” – That basically sums up what the Mizuno Infinity Run 2011 is all about.  It’s not about out-running the ‘other’ runner, but it is daring to beat yourself and be at your very best.

Mizuno Infinity Run.06.11.2011

This year’s Mizuno Infinity Run, slated on 11th June / Saturday at the Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City will feature the event’s latest and longest race distance to date – 21K.  Replacing the previous 15K, the new course is set to provide the challenge that runners demand, according to Race Director Mr. Rudy Biscocho.

Race distances, entry fees and route maps

Race Distance*

Entry Fee**

Route Map

Finisher Items


PhP 600

Click Here

Finisher’s Shirt


PhP 750

Click Here

Finisher’s Shirt


PhP 800

Click Here

Finisher’s Shirt; Medal

All registered runners will be entitled to the following:

  • Race bib
  • MYLAPS timing chip (the RFID-based chip is attached to the backside of the race bib, where it should remain)
  • Stubs/ Discount coupons (The discount stubs are valid until July 11, 2011 as confirmed by Jai Cortes, Mizuno Marketing Manager)
  • Mizuno singlet (imported from Japan; to be released during the Mizuno Run Expo on May 29 at the Paseo de Magallanes grounds; after the expo singlets may be claimed at the Mizuno stores where registration was made)

*Same distance runners (e.g. 5K in 2010 and 5K in 2011) will have a chance to get a medal if they are able to beat their own pace (See “Beat Your Own” Category)

**Participants of the Mizuno Infinity Run 2010 can also get a discount of PhP50 on the Entry Fee upon presentation of their race bibs from last year’s event.

Mizuno Infinity Run 2011 Singlets

Registration is currently ongoing at all Mizuno Branches in Metro Manila.  Or you may register online at

Registration closes on 05 June or until the 5,000 runner slots are filled in, whichever comes first.

Race categories and prizes

Race Category Prize
Open Category Cash prizes and Mizuno Items
Age Category Medals and Mizuno Items
“Beat Your Own Pace” Category*** Mizuno Items and Suunto Watches

Also, in true Mizuno Infinity Run tradition, the event will feature a “Beat Your Own Pace” category, where distance shifters from a lower to a higher distance (e.g. 15K in 2010 to 21K in 2011) who beat their own pace can get the following prizes:

  • Mizuno’s Prestige Card (for 21K runners)
  • Specially designed “Beat Your Own Pace” Medal
***”Beat Your Own Pace” Category runners qualified to win prizes are those who:
  • Participated in the Mizuno Infinity Run 2010
  • Distance shifters from a lower to a higher distance
  • Among the top 3 of the different set categories who will register the biggest pace difference
What are you waiting for? Head-out to the nearest Mizuno store or click on the online registration <link> and get one of those 5,000 slots.  Time to find out if YOU can conquer infinity.
PS. The author wishes to thank SUUNTO for the bag raffled off during the event’s press conference on 20th May at Freska Starmall.  Thank you Suunto and Timmy Sebastian of Mizuno!

where had all the tears gone to?

01.04.2011.ET 2300H. it happened


02.04.2011.ET 1000H. i was within the vicinity of the world’s perfect cone, minding runner-friendlies when i received a call from my dad.  he gave me the news, which gave me that jolt and void.  my world was shattered, my heart broken to pieces and crushed to dust.


03.04.2011.ET 2000H. i wept in the bus, on the way to the first home i ever knew; sad that the arms that used to welcome me and those eyes that never failed to light up and from which i can warmly feel love and endearment would no longer be there.  my heart would always, always flutter when i go home.  this time though my heart was heavy and it felt void.

i arrived and saw the casket.  it was placed at the exact same place where grandma was; and opposite it were the couches.  this time though, i sat alone on the couch, without my gramps who held me when i wept.  without those arms that enveloped me while i was crying and without the soothing voice telling and reassuring me that it is gonna be okay, and that i should try to stop crying coz i might make him cry too.  my heart was heavy.

gramps didn’t like it when i cry or when i am sad.  he hated it and would reprimand whoever it was who made me cry or sad even if it were my fault.  i should always be happy, he said.  i feel that until his very last he was thinking of that.  i got the news while doing something that makes me happy, and for some circumstance i was also not able to attend the funeral.  almost similar as when we brought grandma to her final resting place, gramps and i left early, he said he can’t bear the heat any longer so the both of us left early – before all the crying started.

the tears they would come every now and then, but would desert me soon enough leaving my eyes heavy and my heart heavier.  yes i wonder what was and is wrong with me.  i can feel my heart weeping but the tears are not just there.  it’s just like the dam is forced shut.


04.13.2011. gramps was in my dreams last night. so was grandma.  but it was on gramps that i was holding on tightly.  embracing him and not wanting to let go.  he said he has to go somewhere and that i cannot go with him.  that he’ll see me soon but that for the time being i have to be on my own and just wait.  i wasn’t crying then, but i didn’t want to let go.  goodness knows i don’t ever want to let go.  funny thing is, i knew, i knew even if it were just a dream that he has left this temporary world – that he’s gone home and is with grandma.  another funny thing, he was wearing that aNR singlet 🙂


gramps, you’d forever be my endless love and i will be forever singing ‘our’ song.

i don’t know if the pain will ever go away or how soon it will.  all i know is that i am missing you so much now…. i’ll be okay.  i promise to try and be okay.  don’t worry much about me, but please do watch over me and guide me.  give my love to grandma.