Friday, December 31, 2010

My 2010 in 37 questions...

Sorry, following my friend Noreen lang. :)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you've never done before?
- A half-marathon! :) Completed four half-marathons this year and the highlight was the Standard Chartered Run in Singapore. Destination running FTW!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
– Yup, kept some of them... will have just one or two in 2011

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
- Shyrel Morco. =)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
- My Tita Cecil, sister of my Mom, who I love dearly. It all happened so very fast. =(

5. What countries did you visit?
- Hong Kong (I love!) and Singapore (I love more!)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
- That one. ;P Keeping fingers crossed.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- August and December. The Hong Kong trip with colleagues and the Singapore trip with friends from all over were EPIC!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- A healthier and much more fit lifestyle. Going down to a 31/32" waistline from a 36/38". Counted iyon, right? ;P

9. What was your biggest failure?
- Uhm, I keep getting myself into a particular WTF situation. ;P

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
- No injuries nor major illnesses. I did have allopesia first half of the year. That was a wakeup call to do something about stress.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
- Hanschen! (My Lumix LX-3!)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
- My closest friends - for being there.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
- You1 and You2 - You1: friends don't do that to friends, and You2: people don't do that to people.

14. Where did most of your money go?
- Brother's schooling. Home expenses. The economy of Hong Kong and Singapore. LOL!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- The H&M x Lanvin collaboration? Hehehe! The Singapore run. :)

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
- Forget You. Haha! Kidding. Uhm, Kelly Rowland's Commander.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? definitely fatter
iii. richer or poorer? just the same - richer. #Echos

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
- Cultivating friendships.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
- Letting other people get the best of me.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
- The same way I have the past 30 years - at my Lolo's place in UP Diliman.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
- Almost. Sabay pasok ng "Muntik na Kitang Minahal" ng The Company. May ganon?! Haha!

22. How many one-night stands?
- Ano iyon? LOL!

23. What was your favorite TV program(s)?
- Glee, Modern Family, The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
- Hate is a strong word.

25. What was the best book you read?
- Uhm, Angelina Jolie's memoirs of her UN work. Inspiring, just inspiring. The message is simple - Stop watching things happen. Make things happen.

27. What did you want and get?
- New artwork
- How about something I did not want but get? The trip to HK was not part of 2010 plans, but I'm happy it happened. :)
- Something from Miuccia's closet.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
- Difficult. Liked a lot of movies. But the biggest surprise for me was liking Till My Heart Aches End. Not a Kimerald fan at all, but I absolutely adored the movie.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
- 28!!! Ibaba ang kilay, please. :) Uhm, got a haircut then dinner.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
- Hmmmm....

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
- More adventurous. Hehe!

32. What kept you sane?
- Best friends. The gym! (Serious.) Si Lordy and si Mama Mary. (Always, always.)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- Hmm, can't think of any.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
- RH Bill and the Church meddling

35. Who did you miss?
- Wala naman. Siya iyong naka-miss. Kidding.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
- Uhm...

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
- Stop overstressing or else you'll lose your hair... seriously.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Starry, starry holiday (part 2)...

The other major, major stars I got to meet during the holidays were the boys of the Philippine national football team - the Azkals. Totally unexpected. I've been hearing about the guys primarily through Twitter after they made headlines with the defeat of Vietnam at the Suzuki World Cup. It didn't occur to me that I would actually get the chance to meet them.

Tuesday of the last work week was crazy. I got a text from my senior manager Monday night that I had to attend a meeting Tuesday morning re: the Azkals meet & greet. I didn't think the meet & greet would happen that same day!!! At 9AM, I rushed to make welcome banners and photo walls. And then I had to harass my suppliers to print the banners and photo walls in time for the 1PM program. That meant I needed the materials before 12 noon. I had to move heaven and earth. Haha!

It was all worth it though. There was a huge turnout of employees at the program. And despite the crowd, I had the best seats in the house because I was allowed to freely move around. Thanks to my senior manager for assigning me to do the coverage. It was the best!

Up close with the Azkals. Etheridge. Borromeo. Del Rosario. Grier. Greatwich. I was having a field day. Haha!

Of course, the real star of the season is Lordy. Gusto mo iyong segue na iyon?! Hehehe! Thank you, Lordy, for another wonderful year. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Titles to read for early 2011...

Look what's happily piled on the side of my bed and waiting to be read. Haha!

These will keep me busy when I get home in the evening from work this coming first quarter of 2011. Yey! :)

I just finished Michael Thomas Ford's The Road Home, which Tey bought for me when she went to the US a couple of weeks ago. I didn't like it as much as the other four MTF titles I've read, but it's still going to my prized books list. Before that, I was reading Mineko Iwasaki's Geisha, a Life. The book/autobiography gives the reader a wonderful peek into the world of maikos and geishas. Beautiful book.

As you can see, I have another MTF title waiting to be read. I just dunno if I should already start on that, or if I should choose another title.

The Maupin was a fantab buy because I got it at Fully Booked at a really, really cheap price. Haha! Found it in the bargain bin. It's in very good condition though.

The Kabul Beauty School caught my attention because I remember reading in a previous issue of US Vogue the story of a woman who went to Afghanistan to teach hair and makeup to the local women. It should be an interesting read. (See, I can go beyond Kinsella and Weisenberger chick lit. Haha!)

Meanwhile, Alek was meant for me. I've been looking for the book for the longest time and I stumbled upon the copy above when I went to Bibliarch just last week to get presents for the barkadings. Alek is the story of Sudanese refugee turned international supermodel Alek Wek. Again, this should be an interesting read.

Bringing Home the Birkin is something I've had for so long. Bought it at Fully Booked in Gateway ages ago. I just still haven't found the time to read it because Angelina Jolie's Notes from My Travels and Dana Thomas's Deluxe caught my interest more. Hehe! Promise to read Tonello's book this 2011.

Lastly, the Mitch Albom and the Khaled Hosseini titles are gifts from my Twitter friend/running-muay thai friend Jamie. He was so generous to give away several titles a couple of weeks ago, and I'm just so happy that I bagged the said titles.

So these are the titles on my to-read list this coming early 2011. Excited. How about you? What's on your to-read list?

Starry, starry holiday (part 1)...

The holiday season was filled with stars. Hehe!

At the company Christmas party, I wasn't expecting any celebrities. It was a long day. We had an exhibit booth that needed to be manned, and I was assigned to do the 7AM - 11AM shift. That meant I had to get up at 5AM and be at the venue by 6:30AM. Hehe! By noontime, I was tired from talking at the exhibit booth and I just wanted the day to be over and done with. The day ended at 11PM because we had to attend the party in the evening.

Though tired, I got all excited when I found out that Lea Salonga was going to sing. No, wait. Lea Salonga was going to perform. I have always been a fan primarily because of her work in showtunes. And this was the first time that I would have an opportunity to get a photo with her. Haha! Realizing that, that became my objective in the evening. I got all excited. Thankfully, I'm part of the production team and thanks to the training in Public Affairs to do everything to get the photo that was needed, I knew what to do. Hehehe!

As soon as Lea came on stage, Tey, Steph and I headed to the side of the stage to ask where Lea would exit. Photographer John was there so we asked him to please stay there so he can take our photo with Lea. John knew Lea's handler so we didn't have a difficult time asking the handler for a photo.

When Lea exited from the stage, Tey, Steph and I immediately positioned ourselves for the photo. Success! Haha! We thanked Lea and she made her way to the backstage.

We found another photo op with her, and all three of us were determined to get a photo. But then major fail. Lea was walking towards our direction and when she was right in front of us, we all just froze and stupidly looked at her. Starstruck obviously. Haha!

Then there's the photo with Dylan Ababou of Smart Gilas. When the Gilas boys visited the Smart office ages ago, I didn't get to have a photo with Dylan because I was on field. So when I saw the Gilas boys making their way to the stage and passing right in front of our booth, I had to drag Tey for the photo. I have a thing for boys with Dylan's profile - tall, boy-next-door, mestizo, eyeglasses!!! In a parallel universe where he's not straight and I'm still me but with better skin (lol!), I would profess my love for Dylan. Joke. OA iyon. Not true. Haha!

Last star for the night I had a photo with was Wilma Doesnt. Model. Enough said. Hehe! But seriously, I love the girl because she's a natural comedienne and I love her story. Haha!

To be continued...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Yakimix + friends = fun..

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I was feeling the holiday blues and I told my Twitter friend/running buddy/muay thai master (LOL!) Marl that I wanted to have a nice Christmas dinner or maybe lunch.

I was thinking of something fancy. Uhm, a nice dinner at the Manila Peninsula lobby or maybe the buffet at Sofitel. Uhm, if I'm not mistaken, it's just him and me who are still single in the group so it was easy to get him to say yes. Haha! That and the fact that we drag each other to wherever most of the time.

The planned lunch (or dinner) had some changes but it turned out to be so much better.

I think Marl told Jamie about the plan, and Jamie asked if he and Ros could come. The gods have been kind to Marl and there were some recent "developments" in his life, too. Hehehe! Uhm, there was a slight question in my head if I was going to be a fifth wheel although it's not really an issue with me. Haha! Marl forgot that he scheduled a lunch with Didi on the same day, so he invited the group's favorite gal to join. I, on the other hand, thought of texting Adrian. And to my surprise (hehe! Don't kill me, Adrian, if you read this), he said he might go.

Marl made reservations at Yakimix Trinoma. Haven't tried the restau, but I've heard good things about it. The restau opens at 11. Marl and I were there ten minutes before 11.

When we got our table, we waited a little bit and people started arriving. Jamie was the first to arrive. A couple of minutes later, Ros showed up. Then, Francis and Didi came. And to complete the cast, Adrian rescheduled his fitness test at the gym so he could join us already.

We spent the next few hours just enjoying the food. I enjoyed the grilling part, too. Hehe! Sorry, I have to say that I was proud of myself because I only had a little serving of rice and noodles. It was more of a protein feast. Hehe!

After the good meal, we thought of catching a film from the MMFF. As expected, Trinoma cinemas were packed. We decided to move to another cinema. Thankfully, there was an MRT station just outside the mall. Jamie & Ros didn't go anymore because Jamie had to have his laptop repaired. Francis left because he had work in the evening.

Marl, Didi, Adrian and I headed to Shangri-la Mall, which was not crowded at all and which had waaaay better cinema. We watched Tanging Ina. It was okay. Several funny moments, though I'm still wondering why it won Best Picture at the Metro Manila Film Fest. (I can't wait to watch Rosario especially after reading all the positive tweets about the movie.)

From the Shangri-la Mall, we headed back north. Adrian, Marl and Didi went back to Binoma...errr... Trinoma. I, on the other hand, got off at Gayway... errr... Gateway. I was going to meet Tey, so we could go together to the dinner with UP Manila friends Ella, Gino, Jon and girlfriend Ela.

Really, really long day. But really, really, really fun.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Queermas dinner 2010

Thursday night was the annual Queermas party. :)

It started several years ago. If I remember correctly, it was either 2002 or 2003. The first one I remember was at the condo along Tordesillas where Jigs and Xoch used to stay.

This year, we started off the Queermas party with dinner at Sugi. Well, the rest of the group started with dinner at Sugi. I-vanchy and I were late. Hehehe! We had to do some shopping, gift wrapping and I-van's haircut. Hehe! The meeting time was at 7PM. We arrived at 9PM. Hehe!

From Sugi, we moved to Barcino where we had drinks and the much-awaited exchange gift. I bought some Moleskin notebooks for the exchange gift. Jigs was the one who got the gift. I, on the other hand, got a very nice game set from Abi & Chari. There were also presents from Millie, I-van, Edsel, Jofer & Vince.

Many years have passed since that first Queermas party. A lot of changes has happened. New faces are added every year. Some of the people who used to go are no longer seen - new work, moved elsewhere, new partner.

But even if the cast changes, one thing remains the same - the presence of friendship. It is that thing that keeps the tradition alive. It is that thing that keeps the people connected no matter what.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bringing out the boxing gloves and the hand wraps again...

In one corner of my room sits a black mesh bag with a pair of red boxing gloves. Hidden under a pile of shirts which I have to give away is a pair of neatly rolled blue hand wraps.

The last time these two have been brought out was in 2008 when I tried to get into boxing at Elorde. But I was unable to sustain that and both were almost forgotten.

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself digging for the hand wraps and wiping away the dust that has gathered from the mesh bag of the boxing gloves.

Earlier during the week, good Twitter buddy Marl invited me to join him, Ros and Jamie in their muay thai training. Marl and Jamie have been doing muay thai for quite some time now, while Ros is a fellow newbie.

Good thing that I didn't have anything scheduled yesterday afternoon. At 4PM, I was at this building on the corner of Sta. Catalina and Banawe in QC making my way to the third floor.

It's the home of Sarreal Boxing Gym.

When I got there, the guys have already started with their warmup. They were jogging around the gym. Sarreal gym appears to be a good boxing gym. There's enough breathing space for the boxing ring, the drills, the training activities, and for resting. Hehe! The restroom/shower area was small but it was clean and decent.

After putting my stuff in one of the shelves, I joined Marl, Ros and Jamie.

What followed after was four hours of intense workout!!!

The warmup activities already gave me a good stretch. Afterwards, trainer Gomer taught me and Ros the basic moves. This was then followed by sparring inside the ring. I've almost forgotten how grueling it can be, even if it's just three minutes of sparring. Haha!

Jab left, jab straight, kick. Some of the instructions given by Jomer. Good thing I did boxing before so I was a bit familiar with things.

After the first round, I had to sit down and catch my breath. Ros, Jamie, Marl and I took turns sparring with Gomer. The guy is made of steel. He doesn't tire at all. Hahaha! Peaceful and compassionate person that I am (may ganon talaga?! LOL!), I didn't want to kick him with much energy because I was afraid of hurting him.

But after seeing how Jamie kicked with so much power and energy, I started to think that Gomer probably enjoys the feeling of another person's shin landing on his thigh. Masochista lang. Or maybe he thrives on feeling pain. He is a fighter after all. Haha!

In the next two rounds that followed, I tried to punch hard and kick harder. It hurts! Haha! And it requires focus, I had to keep reminding myself to pivot my non-kicking leg and I had to keep the kicking leg straight and pointed.

We started with our training a few minutes past four. By the time we got to my favorite part - the post-workout stretch - it was already close to eight in the evening. Wow, I didn't expect the whole thing to last that long. I certainly didn't expect myself to last that long. When we were doing the drills and the abs routine, I was already dead tired. Hehehe!

For surviving the initiation, I rewarded myself with a good dinner, gelato and a foot massage. Haha! I was able to drag Marl to go with me. Unfortunately, Ros and Jamie had to go ahead. I have a feeling we will do it again very soon.

So that was my baptism into the hall of pain (as Jamie calls it). I loved it. I still have a looong way to go with my form and movement, but I think I had a good start. And I will definitely go back for more pain. Haha!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Becks in the city...

One of the things that I realized when in Singapore was that I already have a lot of friends there - straight and becks. Haha!

The realization came when I started having a hard time making a schedule to meet up with all of them. There were one or two I didn't get to meet up with. There was one who I didn't know was already there.

I was only in Singapore for a couple of days and there was so much I wanted to do and see. And of course, I wanted to hang out with my friends as much as I could, but the days weren't just enough.

It's a good thing that with my becks friends, I found an easier way of gathering them or at least, most of them, even if they come from different groups. Haha!

Saturday morning, Marl and I met up with Chris. The guy was flying to Germany in the evening, so Marl and I had to get up early to see him. While waiting for Chris at MickeyD's Raffles City, I texted Miguel if he was already up and if he could come join us. Luckily, Miguel was also an early riser. He replied that he was just doing some errands in Orchard and that he could meet us at Raffles in a few. Yey!

Sunday afternoon, I was texting Richie and Mon, as well as Cyp and Jon, where they'll be in the evening. They said they had no plans. I said, "Okay, you know where Zirca is. That's where we're heading tonight. See you all there." Hehehe! Yey!

I really have to say that I was happy that one of the things I got to do before I went back to SG was getting my becks friends to meet each other. At least, merong bagging kapuso, kapamilya, kapatid sill. Hehehe!

Richie and Mon I've known since early 2000. Our best memories together was Icon. On my first visit to SG, I stayed with Richie. Cyp and Jon I met through I-van. The four of us joined a run early this year. I only got to meet them in one run, but we became good buddies thanks to Twitter and Facebook. I love the kiddies so much and I introduced them to Richie and Mon (as well as straight friends Rej, Kym and Joann who found the two super adorable) so that the two would have "Uncles" and "Aunties." Miguel is a friend from Pinoyexchange. The last time I saw him he was still in med school. I was really happy to have gotten Facebook message from him when I posted that I was in SG. We got to hang out, and I was able to introduce him to more becks friends. Miguel would kill me for writing this but I really wanted to ensure that he would have more becks friends, especially after starting a conversation on something which was unfortunately interrupted. Hehehe! Ian and Edsel are Twitter/running buddies who know each other already but I wanted them to meet Cyp and Jon too so they can all go running and partying.

It's a small world, huh?! And it's a happy world thanks to these guys.

I have to be honest. I started missing them even before I left SG. The time we spent together just wasn't enough. Haha! Yeah, sorry an. Ang drama. But I really, really want to go back to SG to see them all because I know that the Lion City is definitely much more fun thanks to the

...becks in the city.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The SCMS 2010 - Truly a race like no other...






Alright, the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010 is definitely one of the many things that made my 2010 memorable.

Even before the start of 2010, I was already decided to sign up for the SCMS run. Initially, the plan was to do the Standard Chartered run in Hong Kong, but that didn’t push through. The one in SG was more achievable since it gave me almost an entire year to prepare. Haha!

When CebuPac had a seat sale in February, I took advantage of it and booked for a December 3 flight. Thankfully, the SCMS run sched was already available and it fit the schedule I was eyeing for the trip. I got a really good deal, too! P4,300 for a Manila-SG-Manila fare!!!

The registration for the run was set to open in May and was supposed to be open until September. Kamusta naman?! Within a month, all the slots for the half-marathon have been filled. Wow!!! It’s a good thing I was set on joining the run. Otherwise, I would have really bopped my head really hard. Haha! LA-based friend Jimmy was also planning to join the run, but there were no more slots by the time he decided to sign up. Ugh! Too bad. It would’ve been awesome to meet up with him in SG, since we always only see each other in Pinas. Haha! Oh well, maybe next time.

I was really, really impressed with how well the race was organized. Sure, I’ve had good experiences with local race organizers but I wanted to see how different SG will be. The SCMS race organizers didn’t disappoint. Except for the directions to the race pack collection area (which was a bit difficult to locate), everything went smoothly. The only registration was perfect. I got text messages from SG reminding me about the run. Race pack distribution was quick and organized. They even got the MRT to open earlier for the half-marathoners!!!

The SCMS 2010 is definitely a good start for destination racing.

The Preparations
I tried to follow a half-marathon training plan from Hal Higdon, but I failed because the training plan was devoted to running. I just couldn't give up Toby's spinning, Reagan's street dance and Lex's/Pio's yoga. Hehe! But the entire year has been peppered with runs. In addition to the hamster time on the treadmill at GG, I was able to join 10 organized runs prior to the SCMS run.

I started the year with a 10K at the Condura Run, then the 15K at the Green Miles Run, before going crazy and signing up for my first 21K at the Nature Valley Run. Initially, I wanted the SCMS to be my first 21K but after doing the 15K at Unilab, it seemed like it was only natural to sign up for a half-marathon. Two more half-marathons followed after - the PIDM and the Rexona Men - but I didn't pressure myself in both runs. Hence, the 3-hour run time. Hehe!

It was the last two runs before the SCMS - Unilab and BGC Run - that encouraged me to try to perform better at the SCMS run after achieving PRs at both runs. I wasn't even aiming for a PR, so the PRs were a nice surprise. Haha!

However, days before the SCMS race, I fell sick. The sudden change in Philippine weather gave me cough and colds. I was feeling feverish days before the run. I also got worried because I know how hot it is in Singapore. I was afraid that the hot/cold weather would make me sicker. And it did. I doubled my multi-vitamins intake. I drank lots of Biogesic.
And even if I was close to accepting that I would already have a 3:15 run time for my half-marathon, I was still very much determined to go. Hehe!

First, I am in love with Singapore. I will never tire of the city. Many would say it's strict and boring. Not for me. I love everything about it. Second, I have many friends in the Lion City and I have Manila friends who are doing the SCMS run. I realized that I already have several friends in SG when I started having a difficult time booking dinners and meetups. Haha! But I really, really had a good time seeing (almost) everyone. The fact that my Twitter buddies also flew to SG for the run was also a good motivator for me to just be happy with the run. We were all excited to do the run, and it turned out to be more than what we expected. Third, andun na ko, eh. Wala ng urungan. Wag ng maginarte. So deadma na kung ma-dead, but there is no way I won't be boarding the SG-bound flight of CebuPac on Dec. 3. Hahaha!

Other preparations were the usual - carbo loading two days before the run, energy gels for the race, my running getup, run playlist, and sunblock. Haha! I wasn't sure on whether I should bring Hanschen with me during the run. Having him with me meant slowing down because I would definitely stop to take photos. Not bringing him on the other hand might mean missing several good photo ops.

I chose not to bring Hanschen. There were many nice photo ops, but I don’t regret not having Hanschen with me.

The Race Day Route

I stayed with Twitter buddy/fellow half-marathoner Marl at his hotel the night before the run. It was Marl's first time in SG, and I sort of became his local guide. Hehe! Plus, I was too OC for the race details so I already studied how we'd get to the starting point.

We got up at 4AM. I had about 5 hours of sleep. It wasn't enough, but the excitement brought by the reality that I was going to run in a different country was more than enough for me to get up and get ready. Around 4:30AM, we met up with Migs outside the hotel. He was just staying at a nearby hotel. We then walked to the MRT station to catch the first train at 5:25.

I love how the SCMS organizers got the MRT to open earlier than the usual to transport the half-marathoners. I love how the departure and arrival time of the train at each station was indicated in the schedule. Haha! I was pretty excited when the train arrived at our station and saw that a lot of runners. You can tell who the Pinoys are because they are the ones holding a camera taking snapshots of everything. For a moment, I was sort of wishing that I brought Hanschen. Hehe! I quickly forgot about that when the train arrived at Outram Park and I was greeted by a huge volume of runners who were making their way to the red line to get to the Harbour Front station. Nothing could get you more psyched for the run. You could feel energy in the air. And when we arrived at the Harbour Front station, runners everywhere. We made our way to the starting line- Sentosa Bridge.

Our race started at 6:30. Compared to the Philippine races, this one had less fanfare. There was a DJ and there was music but it was different. A minute before the race, music was turned off and it was only the sound of a horn that

I have to say that the half-marathon route was the best!!! The first eight kilometers covered Sentosa and (drumroll please!) Universal Studios!!! I didn't get to go visit USS (no more tickets for that weekend, boo!) so I'm thankful that it was part of the race.

Things got a little more challenging when we exited Vivo City and made our way to expressway. The sun was up and if not for the few buildings along the expressroad which blocked the sun every so often, I would have fainted. Haha! It was just sooo humid! That's one thing (if not the only) I don't like about SG. Heck, even the marathon winner had the same comment. And weather has a huge impact on one's performance. I was taking more walking breaks, and I could feel dehydration. I didn't want to take too much of 100Plus drink too because I know it's bad for my uric acid level. LOL! I pushed myself again when we reached the 18KM mark. After the turn at Esplanade, I was happiest when I saw that there was just 1 more km to go. I slowed down a bit just to make sure I look proper when I arrive at Hahaha!

I called Kym who was taking photos of the event to tell him I was on my last 2KM. I didn't see him though when I approached the finish line. He didn't see me either. LOL! Marathon photos are available but it costs SG $40 for one photo!!! Haha!

After crossing the finish line, we were directed towards a queue where the medal was given. It's the most beautiful medal!!! I'm so proud.

I gave Kym a call to ask where he was and we met up for post-run photos. I am really, really, really grateful to Kym for being there for taking photos of the event! I met up with Marlon, too. Also met up with Edsel who finished the 21K, 42K finishers Jamie and Ian (JB was still running when I saw Jamie and Ian), and Sef who did the 10K.

After post-run photos, I headed home. The train ride was quite challenging not because it was packed but because I was just really tired. I already sat down on the floor of the train because I my legs were about to give in. Kym and I met up at Simei and we took the bus. We passed by the hawker food stall to buy some lunch. When we got home though, we were surprised to find that Jo Ann prepared a feast! Sinigang, steamed fish, hipon and chicken! It was the perfect meal after a grueling run.

However, there was another surprise for me when I woke up from my afternoon siesta. Haha!

The Post Run
Following the feast of Jo Ann, I went into the room to take a quick nap. As soon as my back touched the comfy bed, I was asleep. Haha! That’s how tired I was. I got up around 3PM when Jo Ann (or was it Rejoy) woke me up so we can head out and do some exploring. Haha! I was half-awake when I stepped out of the room. Rejoy was eating and when I saw a small cake, I asked, "O ano iyan?" I realized that it was afor me when when I saw the banner "Congrats Gelo Belo!" (Belo from Vicky Belo because allegedly, I lost much weight. Hehe!) They got me flowers, as well! I was really, really, really touched by the sweet gesture of my dear friends! It was just too sweeeet!!!

In the evening, it was part 2 of the post-SCMS celebration. It began with pre-drinks drinks with the Twitter gang. Edsel got a room at the Marina Bay Sands (Awesome hotel!!! The room, the view! Ugh! Super!!!) I invited Cyp and Jon to go to the pre-party party so I can introduce them to SG-based runners Edsel and Ian. By the time we left MBS, I had a good buzz (I think everyone did. Haha!) and I was ready for a night of dancing. From there, we headed to Zirca which apparently turns into a "happy" place on Sunday night. Had fun with the guys. We had so much fun, that we left the place past 4 in the morning, headed straight to the nearby Mcdonald's for breakfast before heading home!!! Hongsoyo lang.

If there is one word to describe the SCMS experience - EPIC!!!

I hope it becomes a tradition, and I could probably aspire for the Standard Chartered runs in Kuala Lumpur and the Hong Kong runs. Hehe!

It was truly a race like no other.

Rest of the photos are on my Facebook page. Hehe!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Francis Chiu, we have to go here...









I know, I know. I have yet to write above the recent Singapore trip.

I haven't had the time to sit down and write about it because my schedule is pretty crazy since I got back from the trip. It's just a week or two before the holiday break so you can pretty much imagine how everyone is trying to finish everything asap.

Anyway, today is not as toxic so I found time to make one blog entry that's Singapore-related.

The SG trip was really meant to be a "running" trip. I had no plans of doing any shopping, even if I knew that there are good buys in SG. The schedule I had for the trip was also very hectic because it was only when I got there did I realize that I already had so many friends in SG and it was a challenge to find a schedule to meet all of them. (I am SO happy though that there are now many reasons to keep on coming back to SG)

The only time I got to walk and enjoy Orchard was on the morning of the day I fly back to Manila. I got up early, put on the most relaxing unused clothes I could find in my luggage, and bid goodbye to my friend Jo Ann to head to Orchard.

I had a list of things to buy and I planned on sticking to that list - an Asics SCMS 2010 race shirt (as a souvenir) and SG magnets.

Friend Ian told me that Asics was in Paragon so that's where I headed. Paragon is one of my favorite malls. I like the interior of the building, and it's just different.

After getting my Asics shirt, I was walking around to check the shops and just about ready to go home when I stumbled upon a shop that could've given me a heart attack. Haha! OA lang!

No, it's not Prada, it's not LV, it's not any of the houses you'll find on Avenue Montaigne or 5th Ave. It's a Singapore-based brand and it is home to a lot and I mean, a LOT of really, really, really YUMMY man bags.

No kidding.

I forget which floor level, but the name of the store is The Project Shop. Half of the store is the PS Cafe (which I have to try on my next visit) and the other half houses the wide range of bags. Gad!!! I love how the pieces are very classic, very structured, and do not have any screaming monograms or icons or whatever. I love the variety of material - cotton jacquard, distressed canvas, soft nylon, among others, which have been given different treatments.

I had my eye on one messenger bag (and fine, a backpack and a tote bag) but I chose not to get any because I was on a tight budget and I told myself that those bags will be my motivation to go back to SG. I did however get a soft nylon tote which I plan to use for the gym. Hehehe! Some of the small pieces like wallets and card cases were on sale but I fought the urge to get one. I didn't need another wallet. Haha!

The bags are priced reasonably and they seem to be very sturdy and functional. Awww!

If you're a friend, you would know that I'm a huge fan of bags (this doesn't necessarily translate to me buying a lot of bags... hehehe! Defensive.). I'm just really a bag lover and like my friend/colleague Monet, I believe that one can never have too many bags. Hehehe! (Uhm, e.g., on my trip to HK, I had no plans of buying bags but I ended up getting three and and additional two for my brothers and another one for colleague Engel. Hehe!)

In a blog entry following my HK trip, I think I mentioned how I am really starting to like independent designers. In HK, I love 5CM for their bags. In SG, I have to say The Project Shop really caught my eye and that I'm really, really looking forward to get a piece from there on my next visit to the Lion City. Hehehe!

Francis Chiu, attack na tayo? Hehe!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gone for the weekend...


to run...

It's the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2010, and I'm going to run the half-marathon.

Never in the past 30 years of my existence did I think I would be doing half-marathons.

I'm really excited.

SCMS is my 1st international run.
SCMS is my 4th half-marathon.
SCMS is the 11th organized race I will be joining this year.

Wish me luck, please. :)

The coming weekend is one of the highlights of my 2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dindin at Tasty Dumplings...






I recently stumbled upon a nice restau near my house thanks to neighbor Marl.

Tasty Dumplings. It's at the corner of Banawe and Retiro.

Marl and I spent the afternoon with friends Matt and Alonzo at Trinoma to watch the latest John Lloyd flick. Since it was a holiday the following day, the mall was packed. Dinner there wasn't really an option because it would be a nightmare to find a cab if we left at a later time. Good thing Matt offered to give us a ride until Quezon Ave. where it was much easier to get a cab.

Marl wasn't decided on having dinner, but later on agreed before we parted ways. The next question was where.

Banawe was the best option because it was near our homes. It's been awhile since I've been to this part in the area where I live, and I was surprised to find so many good dining places along the Quezon Ave.-Del Monte stretch of Banawe.

That included Tasty Dumplings.

Marl was excited for me to try the restau, because apparently it's a hit within his family.

The place was quite simple, and the food was good but really affordable.

I got the porkchop rice. Marl got the porkchop with noodles on the side. We also ordered steamed dumplings. For drinks, we got the soy milk.

I have to say I really enjoyed the meal. For everything that we got, we paid about P300. Not bad, yeah?

Will definitely go back to try out the other items on the menu.

Tasty Dumplings Banawe is at # 583-585 N.S. Amorato Ave., cor. Banawe St.. Phone nos. are 411-7932 / 411-7921.

Monday, November 29, 2010

BGC run was super...

The Bonifacio Global City Run yesterday just also made it to one of my fave runs this year.

I wasn't really planning on joining the run. I was decided that the Unilab Run United 2 would be my last run prior to the Singapore run. However, I changed my mind after Twitter buddy/running friend Marl asked me to join since he didn't have any company. Yes, I'm that easy. Hehehe! So while waiting for JB finish his errands the other Sunday, Marl and I headed to Runnr so I could register for the BGC Run.

Since I would be doing the 21K this coming weekend, I only registered for the 10K. Marl and his friend Matt also signed up for the same distance.

As I mentioned in my entry for Run United, I am beginning to notice the improvement in terms of endurance and speed in my running. I made a PR for my 15K in the Run United. I made another PR for my 10K in the BGC Run.

Prior to the start of the race, Marl and I were talking about our target times. He and Matt said they plan to finish at 63 minutes. I've done my 10Ks before and I said I'll probably finish at 70-75 minutes. Marl being Marl, he said I have to finish at 65. Hahaha! Me being me, I ignored him. Hehe!

So it was such a big and very nice surprise that when I was nearing the finish line, I saw the time on the clock was just approaching 1:07. That gave me the push that I needed to make a strong finish.

I crossed the finish line just before the clock hit 1:07. At least, that's what I remember. Hehe!

It was a really good run, and I have to say that the weather helped a lot in making me have a really good running time. Knowing that weather is a critical factor in one's performance during the race, I have to admit that I am fearing the weather in Singapore. During my visit there, I remember that I had to change shirts every so often because I was sweating a lot. You see, I have the most active sweat glands in the world. Haha!

I'm relying on the change in scenery/race course to be one of the factors that will help me stand the weather and give me the energy I need to finish the race well.

Going back to the BGC Run, this run was also one of my best ones because this has to be the first run where I didn't take many stops to hydrate myself. I think I stopped by a water station at kilometer 7. O di ba, ang yabang ko lang, di ba? Joke. Hehe! I'm just really happy that the training and gym time have really been paying off.

Another lesson learned: There is really no shortcut when it comes to fitness and losing weight. It took me a year to see the change and I'm just happy.

Okay, it's my last week to prepare for Singapore. I'm confident that I will finish the run. Hmm, I have a bigger problem more than wondering if I should target a 2:45 running time to complete the half-marathon.

It's whether to bring a camera while running. I'm such a freak when it comes to documenting events and the Standard Chartered Marathon is definitely one of the major, major (loll!) events in my life this year.

Hmm, what to do? What to do? If I bring a camera, I'm definitely going to sacrifice my time. If I don't bring a camera, then there's the big possibility that I just might have a really good running time.

Oh boy, decisions, decisions. So help me god. ;)