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Friday, November 25, 2016

Manila Bay 3-Day Clean Up Marathon

This is merely .01% of the trash that was collected from the shoreline at the Manila Bay Clean Up Marathon this morning. Total number of trash collected was 100 sacks.
This morning, I went for a light run and then proceeded to join the beach clean-up drive along the Manila Bay shoreline. 

The Manila Bay 3-Day Clean Up Marathon was organized by non-profit indie Plastic Free Philippines (A.K.A. Anna Dawson). Anna, who hails from New Zealand, cycles along the Philippine coastline and makes it her mission to reduce the plastic in our oceans via beach clean-ups.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you'd know that I hold Manila Bay pretty close to my heart as it is one of the places I regularly run in. Aside from the cleaner streets, the sidewalks have vastly improved to accommodate pedestrians, runners, and even bikers too! That's why when I heard about the attempt to clean up Manila Bay, I immediately knew I wanted to volunteer.

I got to the meeting area, a tent set-up near U.S. Embassy, a little after 7:00 A.M. Anna and the Philippine Coast Guards were there to welcome the volunteers and give a few basic instructions for the beach clean-up. Basically, it's pick up the plastics and other trash, and collect the glass and/or aluminum for recycling. 

This wasn't my first beach clean-up, but it was my first time to do Manila Bay. And wow, what an eye opener it was! 

In less than an hour, I've already managed to fill 3/4 of a large sack with assorted trash. Most of the trash I've collected were plastic bags, styrofoam cups, candy wrappers, plastic straws, disposable lighters, and toothbrushes. Unmentionables like sanitary pads and human feces were present too. It was pretty disgusting, really. 

Oh, our dear Manila... ~sigh~

Greening 'em young.
School kids participated at the Manila Bay Clean Up Marathon too!
There's Anna Dawson of Plastic Free Philippines (in black) at the back.

However, at the other end of the bay, there were cheers and chants and pledges from school children to keep our city, our country, our Earth, a cleaner and greener place. And then you think, Hell yeah, we can do this! Baby steps. One plastic bag at a time. 

Kudos to the teachers who decided to let their class join this clean-up. What a wonderful way to teach and inspire.

I'm really glad I decided to join the clean-up today. I usually bring my own reusable bag, water bottle, and coffee tumbler, but I guess they're not enough. Just this past week, I had 3 glasses of juice in paper cups and plastic straws. Notably, it's the number of straws I collected today that made me realize just how much we take for granted the things we consume daily. 

It's time to be more conscious and reduce our trash. And this beach clean-up marathon is just a step closer to doing more. 

The Manila Bay 3-Day Clean Up Marathon was held from November 23-25, 2016. If you want to know more or when the next Manila Bay Clean Up Marathon will be, just follow Plastic Free Philippines on Facebook here for more updates.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

But Wait, There's More... #betterforit

What's the surprise? :)

Hello, victorious ladies! Hope you didn't throw away that little white card that came with your Nike Women Victory Tour 2016 race kits, because these are the stuff you can get as a half mary finisher. Woot!

Post-Nike Half Marathon Freebies

A pack of candy (motivation to burn off those sweets. Haha), neon pink laces, and a shoe ID (in either silver or gold color) with WMN engraved! So you'll always be reminded of your aewsome run along the coastline. You go, girl! ;) 

Oh, and wear your Nikes when you pass by to claim them. Commonwealth is giving your hardworking shoes a good shampoo scrub on-the-spot! Too bad I wasn't wearing one.

Been There, Done That? 

If you weren't able to see your name (or even the wall) at the Nike Race Village last Sunday, you can try looking for them here if you want. :)

Commonwealth Sneaker Studio is located at the Ground Floor of SM Aura Premier, Taguig. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Finisher's necklace dipped in 21K blood, sweat, and tears! ;) 

Congrats to all the ladies who conquered the half marathon at the Nike Women's Victory Tour 2016!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Good Kick

Coffee Bean GK Cup (Summer 2016)

Some of my favorite things in the world, all together in one glorious afternoon... Coffee, Football, and GK. Now this is what a good kick looks like! :)

Oh, if only I was 10-12 years old! (Yes, I would sneak a sip of coffee from my mom's mug even at that age! haha)


Score a Goal for Social Development!

We're capping off the summer season with a MINI FOOTBALL CUP on May 28 for the kids of Gawad Kalinga's SipaG Program! 

Invite your child, nephew, niece, or sibling to join and compete! Coffee Bean Kids go against GK kids for this game of camaraderie and friendly competition! 

Gawad Kalinga's SipaG Program is a youth and sports initiative which uses football as a tool for inclusive social development, so the kids get to do be active and do something fun while at the same time contribute to the advocacy! 

Open only to kids 10-12 years old! 25 slots available. 

RSVP by sharing the poster on your Facebook or Instagram and sharing us a screenshot or link to your post via Deadline is on May 23!

#CoffeeBeanGKCup #CaringCup

Monday, April 25, 2016

Minimalist Shoe-oops!

Insta Minimalist Shoe? :(

Soooo, I went trekking over the weekend and wore my trusty old running shoes (instead of investing in trail appropriate footwear), and this happened. :( Yikes, how embarrassing. 

The trail was a bit rocky, but good thing the ground was dry, so that saved me from a dangerous situation of slipping on the rocks. Our guide was ready to patch it up with duct tape, but I insisted that I was fine. Since the shoe was sewn as a whole, it just felt like a bootie once the sole fell off. It helped that I had insoles as well, so that cushioned the walk. 

I wasn't so bad, I guess. I had a glimpse of how barefoot running must feel like. In fact, I kind of like the feeling of having a constant foot acupressure every time I landed on a rock. The little pebble-sized ones hurt though.

Tell you all about the trail soon! That part was fun. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Eco Warriors Slash Runners (Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2016)

I was supposed to run at the half marathon category, but decided to downgrade to a 10K instead. Good thing I did, as I really enjoyed the leisurely run, especially since we've been drowning in sweat these past few weeks. Is is just me, or is this summer especially scorching?

I must say though, I'm glad that the organizers had the foresight to make the gun starts earlier. Though it's not unusual for the full or half marathoners to start madaling araw, I appreciate that the 10K category started earlier than usual at 4:30 AM, which saved us runners from the extra hot morning. 

I even finished the run early enough to enjoy the runner's village with no lines at the booths. Little victories. haha. I felt bad that I wasn't able to line up to drop my "I am running for the..." stub my chosen beneficiary's drop box though. I kinda forgot 'coz I was busy checking out all the booths. For the record, I am running for the Irrawaddy Dolphins!

All in all, I think the Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2016 was a success! Thousands of people joined (I think they even added more race bibs), not only in the Philippines, but also simultaneously across Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taichung. And what's good is that I saw a lot of runners bring their own water bottles to help minimize the disposable cups at the water stations. Good job, eco-warrior runners! :)

Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2016 Results here.

10K Starting Point at BGC

Rockstar mascot!
Didn't know who he was.
I heard someone say he's the Meralco Man, but it turns our he was the Cherifer Boy. ;) 

Kalayaan bridge.
Look at that sky! How do you even describe that? Cotton candy, maybe. :)

A kilometer away from the finish line at McKinley Hills.

Congratulations, eco warrior finishers!

Betadine game. Steady hands (not mine).
I won a bunch of sample packs here.

A new muscle spray player in town. All natural ingredients and all the way from India.
Bought a can, since it's only P120 introductory price here at the run (from P400 original).

A Starbucks booth at the runner's village.

I probably deserve this Frappuccino, right? ;)

All natural brewed tea by homegrown brand, Bayani Brew.
The teas were brewed by nanays from Gawad Kalinga.

Ice cooooold iced tea!

Thank you for the race kit, (Jinoe & Que). :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Earning back the 555 cals that I lost! ;) Yep. Starbucks caramel frap at the Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2016. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Recipe: French Onion Soup w A Secret Sexy Twist

Staying fit is a combination of a balanced diet and exercise, that's for sure. But more that that, it's a combination of the ff. things: Motivation, Non-deprivation, Moderation, and Substitution. 

On that note, I want to share something I whipped up in the kitchen. Home cooking lets me determine exactly what and how much I'm putting into a dish. On days I wanna feel lighter on my feet, I stick to veggies. On days, I need a punch of power, I add a bit of protein. Plus, I can cheat with a slab or two of butter, yet know exactly how many kilometers I need to put in to offset it. That's my motivation. ;) haha


I love French Onion Soup. It's my comfort food. But sometimes this healthy comfort food needs a bit of adventure now and then. Just as you're enjoying gulping down this very predictable soup, you get a hint of grainy smoothness(?) that makes you want to let your tongue linger on the soup just a little longer. Yup, it's that "secret ingredient", which I'd like to think of as my version of umami. A subtle flavor that you just can't decipher, so you just enjoy it!

French Onion Soup w/ A Secret Sexy Twist

French Onion Soup with A Secret Sexy Twist

For the Soup:
4 cups Chopped onions
6 cups Beef/Chicken/Vegetable stock (I substituted it with the healthier vegetable version from Skinny Carbs Skinny Soup Base Paste)
1/4 c. Magnolia Butter (I used unsalted)
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Sexy Pate (for Bread Topping):
1 can Purefoods Sexy Chix Chicken Chunks in Guiltless Broth
3 bulbs Roasted garlic
1/8 c. Magnolia Cream Cheese
1 tsp. EVOO
French bread slices
Magnolia Quickmelt Cheese slices

Cooking Instructions

How-To-French Onion Soup
For the Soup:
1. Saute the chopped onions with butter and olive oil
2. Keep stirring on low heat until the onions caramelize (turns brown)
3. Heat the prepared vegetable stock
4. Add caramelized onions and simmer in low heat

How-To-Sexy Pate
For the Sexy Pate:
1. Combine Purefoods Sexy Chix chicken chunks, roasted garlic cloves, cream cheese, EVOO in mixer/food processor
2. Puree until smooth
3. Spread on french bread slices
4. Add cheese slices
5. Toast bread spread in oven
6. Top bread on onion soup and broil in oven to burn the cheese topping

There you go, my little secret is out! I like using Purefoods Sexy Chix because it's so familiar, yet so versatile. As they (don't) say, chicken is like tuna of the earth. haha. Please don't quote me on that!

Seriously though, these canned chicken chunks are so convenient. They're just the right size for everyday use, so you just use up what you need. On days when I feel like experimenting, the classic Guiltless Broth (Guiltless! Yasss!) is my personal pick. I get to play around and make mine really garlicky, just the way I like it! There are so many different flavors pa (like Hainanese, Adobo, Arrabiata), so there's really something for everybody every day! As in, they're really masarap, masustansya, at kayang-kaya pa sa budget and waistline! ;)

How about you? How would you put a twist to a favorite?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Running for A Furry Cause (Pet Express Doggie Run 2016)

Every year in a mid-March summer's day, all the doggies come out to play. Actually, more of a 1.5K, 3K, or 5K fun run! 

The annual Pet Express Doggie Run was held last weekend, and it was definitely a howling success! Now on its 6th year, around 1500 doggie runners turned up to run for PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society), and raise money for the animal shelter. 

The surprise guest was actor and dog lover, Gerald Anderson, who went straight from shooting to the starting line to represent the Gerald Anderson Foundation (GAF), a non-profit volunteer organization founded by him and his family, that trains pets to be K9 dogs for search & rescue missions. He was accompanied by his brother, Ken, who also ran with their dog, Koda.

Also sighted at the run were seldom-seen dog breeds like a sharpei, great dane, and a border collie, to name a few. (Sorry, no photos though.)

Aside from an over abundance of doggie rundorphins, all Doggie Run finishers earned doggie medals and doggie lootbags for a job well done. Their humans were also given treats. A first time for this canine-centric fun run! haha.  

Look who dropped by for the 5K run? Well, there's Gerald Anderson,
representing the Gerald Anderson Foundation...
And there's Jason, the Hush Puppies basset hound mascot! ;)
(betchadidn't know that's his real name!)
1.5K Doggie Runners ready to run!
It's Charlie the Choco Lab's first Doggie Run.
Good luck, Charlie!
It's Fergus the Aspin's first run too!
Cooling off after the run. That golden boy is loving it!
Raising funds for PAWS via racing. Now that's a win-win situation.
1.5K Category Winners.
It's amazing how those tiny chihuahua feet can run so fast!
3K Category Winners.
5K Category Winners.
Winners were accompanied by Ken Anderson (in blue cap) of the Gerald Anderson Foundation.

Missed the Doggie Run this year? No worries, just add Pet Express up on Facebook to keep tabs on all the dog (and cat) events, including next year's Doggie Run! :) 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Just Because :)


I'm just gonna put this cute (big) lil' furry fella out here... ;) 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Into The Blue (& Pink & Purple & Yellow & Green...) (Watson's Sun Warrior Challenge 2016)

What do you get when you crossbreed a race filled with colors with a race filled with obstacles? 

Color Manila Run: Watson's Sun Warrior Challenge 2016
Color Manila Run is at it again. And this time, they paired up with Watson's to give you a whole new level of colors and fun in the sun! I've been lucky enough to be a recipient of a free 10K race kit via Kikay Runner's blog (Thank you, Noelle!). I've been to a number of Color Manila Runs already, and every experience has always been crazy fun. Last weekend's run was no exception, except that they can only level up! And by level up, I mean bring you more challenges than you could imagine. And by challenges, I mean giant slides, and the like.

Mere words can't express the whole experience, so here's a splash of colors for you to enjoy. :) 

When Watson's UV bracelet turns from white to purple,
it means you need to get a good dose of sunscreen ASAP!
Starting to see rainbows...
Slide into wave of fun!

Runners Bond.


Look at the streets... Look how they shine for you...
It was all yellow...


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