I have long registered and set my mind in running the Greentennial Run (this race event I think has the longest registration period locally) scheduled for 23Jan11. However, with a sudden twist in my work calendar requiring my presence in Iloilo on 24Jan11, I took the opportunity to have my family join me for a weekend in Iloilo City and witness the Dinagyang Festival from 22-23rd January.
While the main purpose of the trip was the business meeting which was still on a Monday and the side events is that of the Dinagyan Festival, incorporating my daily workout run in the schedule was a must. When packing for the trip, part of the essential items for packing were my running gears.
This is not my first trip to Iloilo for almost every month I am required to attend to a board meeting in one of the universities in the city. As in the past, I normally take my workout at the Sports Center were all you need is P10.00 usage fee and you can use the oval for your workout which is quite popular with the locals. However, with the Dinagyan Festival on Sunday the oval was closed as it was to be used by ABS-CBN for their ASAP live coverage. There was no alternative but use the streets which in my past experience was not a exciting and inviting due to pollution and safety issues.
Hoping to find an alternative venue, the SENATOR EFRAIN TRENAS BOULEVARD at the BOARDWALK was suggested to me. As we were staying at Hotel Del Rio the place was just across a river or about a 0.7 kilometer from the hotel. I left the hotel at 5:15am and after about 5 minutes was already at the venue. God the place was an idea venue to do your run/jog/walk or whatever mobile exercise you want to do. End to end is 1.1kilometer stretch or a loop of 1.2kilometers. It is just like a boardwalk closed to vehicular traffic and mainly used for run/walking exercise. It is clean free of litters and free of pollution with fresh air conducive to a healthy run. I made four lops which is already a good 8.8kilometer and with the travel to/from the hotel, the actual run totaled 10.2kilometers which I covered in 01h14m15s.
To any visitors in Iloilo City who wish to find a great place to run, I highly recommend the area as it is clean, well lighted, secured and with only fresh air to breath. To the local city officials my congratulations to you for giving your local citizens a great place for physical exercise.
Dinagyang Festival is another story, but in a nutshell it can be summed up as GREAT and WONDERFUL. Congratulations to Tribu PAN-AY who won the grand prize, they were just amazing. Now I have seen SINULOG and DINAGYANG both very distinct from one another. Which one is better? I will leave it hanging in the air to keep my Cebuano and Ilonggo readers at bay.
Meantime, anytime you are in Iloilo try running at the Senator Efrain Trenas Boulevard at the Boardwalk. You will not be disappointed.