A Look Back at 2015: A Day in the Life of a Blogger in Me

2015 was a year of many things to reckon. It was a busy year, too!

Community management for social media accounts became a second nature to me. Social media coverage included GMA New Year Countdown, MyxMo, Alaska Crema Food festival, Alaska Aces, and Alaska sports events such as Alaska Power Camps, Jr. NBA-WNBA Philippines and Alaska Football Cup.

Werkin’ it at the Ironman 70.3 Philippines (Cebu) Photo Credit: Jamil Buergo

I have learned the ins and outs of live sports coverage that I got to do live coverage of triathlon events (Alaska Ironkids, 5i50, Ironman 70.3) where I go onground to give exclusive and first hand live updates on the Pros and the Filipino elites from the swim start, the bike leg, run leg down to the awarding ceremonies.

With Ironman Pros (from left): 15x Iroman Champion Belinda Granger, Dimity-Lee Duke and Justin Granger.

With Matteo, Giorgia and Paulo Guidicelli during Alaska Ironkids Triathlon, Subic.

Doing triathlon events is a thrill because I have the direct access to the Ironman Pros like Belinda Granger, Caroline Steffen, Brent McMahon, Pete Jacobs and a whole lot more! I even had a photo with Formula 1 champion Jensen Button! And of course, I got the chance to be upclose with some local celebrity triathletes, and even got to meet the Guidicellis!

La Presa

At the famous La Presa of the tv series Forevermore.

These live coverages brought me to out of town trips. During the Cebu coverage of Ironman 70.3, I had the privilege to have Ford as my service car, picking me up at the airport or take me from the hotel to the race venue. The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA coverage in Baguio with fellow bloggers was very memorable because we got the chance to visit the very famous La Presa. It also gave way to a hosting gig during the send off party for the Jr. NBA – WNBA All Star Team. Thank you, Alaska Sports Team!

As a blogger, a runner and a fitness enthusiast, UNTV, through the recommendation of my friend Tonette Nicholas, invited me to talk about smart watches that have special features in their morning show Good Morning, Kuya. Being my first time to go live on a TV show, I really felt nervous that I got cold sweaty hands and a dry throat. The show’s host were very nice and accommodating that 5 minutes went by unnoticed.

GMK Guesting

I thought that it’s going to be my first and last but I was wrong. The show’s Segmet Producer Jay got me on the show twice. Thanks Tonette and Jay!

Quite frankly, I’m not the kind of blogger who would get invites to huge and grand events and product launches. I rarely receive invites even. But it’s not a biggie for me.

Despite of that, I was honoured to have been invited to join the ASEAN Media Bloggers Tourism Hunt, which was organised by Tourism Malaysia. The six-day itinerary was full but I was able to squeeze in some “me” time like running at the KLCC Park, a quick drop by at the Suria KLCC to get some Malaysian Ringgits, exploring the roads in Port Dickson or shopping at the Jonker Walk in Malacca. The mega fam experience included a visit to the Malaysia Tourism Information Centre, watch the grand and colourful Citrawarna @ KL, and got up close with the Petronas Towers.

Up-close with the imposing Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysia Tourism Hunt saw us on a long road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson, Malacca and Putrajaya, visits to museums, a quick drive to the Ostrich Farm and ran with the ostrich, experience best accommodation in best hotel, and experience a fast internet connection.

Road trip stop over in Putrajaya, Malaysia. #SeeMalaysiawithProton

In Malacca for the Trishaw Hunt. #MalaysiaTourismHunt

It was also a chance to learn more about Malaysia and its culture, aside from its being a neighbouring country, and meet bloggers from other ASEAN countries. The Malaysian Tourism Hunt was an absolute experience.

Six days went by so fast, and on our final night in Malacca, we were awarded with this Certificate of Appreciation. #MalaysiaTourismHunt #MYBFFXOXO

There were so much fun and adventure in all those six days. Thank you, Klay and Bianca!

Indeed, 2015 was a year to reckon. There’s too many stories to tell; there’s a lot of experiences to learn from, and endless memories to treasure.

THANK YOU, God for continuously blessing me with wonderful people, opportunities, a good job, for my friends and Family.

Cheers to a more fruitful, more rewarding and more awesome 2016!

“Blessings come to those who are good, do not envy and who patiently wait.”


The Cebu Trip and the Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines Experience Part 2

Day 3.

It’s a Saturday. And it was a good morning to wake up to. But I got out of bed late. I had to hasten up so I won’t get caught in the weekend traffic going to Shangri – La for the Alaska IronKids Triathlon. I also had to skip the Saffron Café breakfast.

On my way to the beachfront, the bike check in area was busy. The young champs, accompanied by their parents were all getting ready for the race. In one corner, a coach was giving his last minute instructions. The swim start area was even busier. I chanced up Noelle de Guzman, who despite her status as a triathlete (she was racing the following day in the 70.3 Ironman), volunteered to do marshal duties.

Minutes before the Wave 1 gun start, I went through the bike course. The route was pretty technical with a sharp turn and some minor elevation. At the start of the race, there was an overcast which was an advantage to the racers. However, roughly three quarters of an hour after the gun start, big droplets of rain started to pour in. In no time, there was already a heavy downpour coupled with strong winds. I ran to the nearest tent and as the rain poured, some participants in the run course still continued to complete the race. I’ve seen at least a couple of them who braved the ruthless weather that morning. When I got the opportunity to sneak out of the tent, I ran up to the hotel entrance and proceeded to the Media Center. Due to the inclement weather, the organiser officially cancelled the Wave 2 of the race. The rain went on for at least two hours.

Ironically, just before noon, the sun shone its brightest. Everything was back to normal. There was not a single trace of a raindrop. The participants of the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon started to gather up at the Media Center, where the awarding ceremony was held. It was a morning of victory for the young triathletes as they received recognition for a job well done. I would say that even those who didn’t win still deserve a really good pat on the back for making it to the finish line. As Race Director Ani de Leon-Brown said, “the future is bright for the triathlon in the Philippines because of the Ironkids.” True enough, because those young champs are a testimony to what an IronKid is, no matter what it takes, cross the finish line.

Lounging in a Kenneth Cobonpue creation at BE Hotel In the Photo (left to right): Nadine, Yam, Raffy, myself and Rone

Lounging in a Kenneth Cobonpue creation at BE Hotel.
In the Photo (left to right): Nadine, Yam, Raffy, myself and Rone

It was a quite a busy morning. By noon, along with media group, we took our lunch at Dimsum Break at the Park Mall. The morning activities got me drained that I had a little more than enough for lunch. But I ain’t complaing. J Back to the race venue, I spent the rest of the afternoon at the Expo Center, and attended another press conference.

Wrapping up the day’s events, we proceeded to Be Hotel as we wait for the other media personalities to join us for dinner. Unfortunately, another heavy rain fell. The weather got us tied up at Be Hotel lobby. Yam, Nadine, Rone, Raffy and I cozily occupied one of those Kenneth Cobonpue furnitures at the hotel lobby lounge as we sip our coffee. We decided to have our dinner at Be Hotel café instead. It was a blessing in disguise because I came across the Filipino Elite triathlete John Leerams Chicano. That night, I was supposed to move to Be Hotel, but having another option, I chose to stay at Crimson Resort.

The Cebu Trip and the Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines Experience Part 1

Day 1.

At the Crimson Resort & Spa

At the Crimson Resort & Spa

From the airport, we stopped by the Starbucks along Airport Rd. for breakfast. By mid – morning, we proceeded to Laguna Garden Café for the local media briefing. While the staff was preparing the venue, we took the 11am buffet lunch. The afternoon’s itinerary was not so full yet, a bit relaxed. We proceeded to the Media Center at Shangri – La Mactan. At the race venue, I checked the already busy Expo Center. Triathletes had their bikes done, some were taking their free time to shop for IronMan and sports stuff.  We had a nice dinner, and feeling the need to rest, we proceed to Crimson Resort and Spa for the evening’s accommodation.

Getting off the van, the staff of the resort helped us in unloading our bags, and loading them onto a waiting golf cart that took us to our villa. At long last, I could take off my shoes and get into my boxers. I freshened up, brushed my teeth, put on a singlet and slid into the cozy bed for a goodnight’s sleep.

Day 2.

I woke up around 5 in the morning as planned. I put on my running clothes and did a 30 – minute easy run around the cemented path walks around the resort, plus a few uphill sprint repeats. I felt the need to workout because it’s been more than two days since my last workout, and the food the day before felt like filled me so much. I need to burn some calories. At half past five in the morning, the sun was just about to rise, the sky in gray and orange hues, the breeze was a little humid. I wasn’t surprised to run into at least three people who were jogging around the place. The resort looked like it was made for health – conscious individuals.

Photos (from left): 1. Crimson Resort Luggage Tag; 2. Breakfast at Saffron Café; 3. Crimson Resort Souvenir Shop

Photos (from left): 1. Crimson Resort Luggage Tag; 2. Breakfast at Saffron Café; 3. Crimson Resort Souvenir Shop

That 3o – minute workout was good enough to jumpstart my day. After taking a bath, we had our breakfast at Saffron Café, where a sumptuous breakfast buffet was being served. I had a bowl of cereal, two glasses of milk, egg omelet, stir fried veggies, fish fillet and mixed fruits.

Meet the Pros Press Conference

I spent the most part of the day at the race venue, Shangri – La Mactan. If I don’t hang around the Media Center, I was just at the Expo Center. The Expo Center was always busy. It was teeming with more triathletes, media people and non – participants by the hour. The day’s schedule included attending a press conference for the Alaska IronKids, and Meet the Pros press launch.

It was only Friday and the race wasn’t starting until Sunday, but the hype was all over the place, especially at the Meet the Pros press conference. First, Jemma Rix, an Australian singer, a stage actress, and the better half of professional triathlete Josh Rix, was the opening act with her outstanding performance of Titanium. The hype crept up when apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas performed the hit singles Bebot and Where is the Love. Everyone was singing along. The crowd was amazing! Cameras kept flashing. Practically, everyone had their camera phones taking photos and videos. It was wild!

Whilst at the Expo Centre, I bumped into the pretty Noelle de Guzman, aka Kikay Runner, my friends Honey and Rey, Doc Minnie Tomas, Miko and Doc Toto, and the Riveras – Jonah, Jane and Isabelle. I had the opportunity to have my photo taken with professional triathletes like Belinda Granger, Jacqui Slack and Ben Allen, Chris “Macca” McCormack, Pete Jacobs, and Caroline Steffen. I was on a #fanmode. I can’t let the rare chance pass me by. And I’m quite certain that you all will agree with me on that.

We capped the night with a dinner at Krua Thai restaurant. We then boarded the van to take us to Crimson Resort.

Visiting Cebu

Mactan International Airport as seen from the plane.

Mactan International Airport as seen from the plane.

I was overjoyed, excited, and anxious when I heard the news that I’ll be travelling back to Cebu for IronMan 70.3 Philippines. How fast time flies, and it’s already been a year! PAL round trip tickets are ready. A day before the scheduled flight, I got my stuff ready for the four – day trip. 

Coming off from work at 4am on August 1, I hurried home to pack my things that I have already prepared before leaving for the office, which included of course, two sets of running clothes. What else?

It took me about 10 minutes or so before I got a cab. And that was already past 5 in the morning, and I’m coming from Pasig. It’s going to be at least a half hour before I reach Terminal 2. I calculated I should be at the airport by 5:30am, at the latest. Just in time to check in for my 6:45am flight. But I have been wrong. Passing through McKinley Hill, I got caught in the red light twice. Ugh! NAIA Road was killing me. Road work was going on which triggered the traffic build up. The Team I was going to Cebu with was already at the check in counter, and they were trying to check me in, just in case. In no time, counters will be closed, and worst may happen – I can’t take that flight any longer. I could only wish I was in a Fast and Furious movie that time. Probably, if I didn’t have a heavy travelling bag and just a backpack with me, I could’ve run the last 2 kilometers in less than 10 minutes! I had to stretch my patience, but I was already fidgeting on my seat, cursing at some cars that would cut across the cab’s lane. While in the cab, I already paid my fare, giving the cabbie driver an extra for driving a little fast than I expected. A few meters from the drop off point, I got off the cab with 10 kilo travelling bag and backpack in tow. I had literally no time to take some deep breaths as I hastened to the check – in counter where my colleagues were waiting on queue. 

Seeing them was a big relief. I even got more relieved when I learned that they were only able to check me in, and that they were still waiting to be accommodated. Simply, we got bumped off. Luckily, some passengers gave way (and received a free round trip ticket to any Philippine destination). All checked in! And so we’re boarding. We’re coming to Cebu! 

Smooth ride, it was. In roughly an hour, we landed at Mactan International Airport. On our way to pick our bags, we were welcomed by a group of ushers who handed us those nice handcrafted trinkets that we wear around our neck, which says “Welcome to Cebu.”

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