Monday, May 30, 2011

Venice Piazza McKinley Hills - Arias On Sunday Evenings

It has been more or less a rule of the thumb for my family that we have a family dinner or lunch once a week together with my sons and my grandchildren.  This family eat-out is normally done either dinner on a Saturday or a lunch on a Sunday.

However, lately I have accidentally discovered a relaxing place which is at VENICE PIAZZA at MCKINLEYHILLS wherein you could have a dinner “alfresco” on any of the restaurants at Venice Piazza. So since March of this year the place has been our nest every Saturday evenings. The place was perfect, your choice of good food from any of the different restaurants (I prefer KUSE and OLD VINE) , a cool breeze and open air for my grandchildren to play around while the adults discuss family matters.

I have not before considered Sunday dinner as I would like to have an early night on Sundays to be ready again for Monday work. However, by accident one Sunday evening last April due to some reasons the family instead had a Sunday dinner at Venice Piazza and to my surprise I found out that there were two performers (husband and wife) rendering ARIAS, Broadway songs, ballads and even Tagalog Kundiman music which were not only good but magnificently performed with great soprano voices performed in the middle of the piazza. To add a make believe Italian scenery, they have real painters whom you could commission (for a fee – I already had mine and my wife done) to draw you on the spot. There are also around six supposedly Italian ladies (third sex) dressed in ballroom costumes moving about the piazza with two or three pantomime performers to create that make believe Italian scenery. The whole performance is open to the public so it does not necessarily will cost you any. To attest to how good these performers are I have been back trice already.
The performance starts at 8pm and usually last for an hour an a half. I highly recommend the place to any family, those who are on date or even on your own to visit Venice Piazza every Sunday evening for a relaxing evening that would guarantee you all refreshed to begin your Monday work schedule.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Brooks Run Happy - A Happy Run Just Delayed

When I registered to participate at the “Brooks Run Happy” I did not have much of an expectation. However, when I received my singlet I was surprised and impressed of the quality that was provided. It was made by Brooks itself in which I think only Adidas does the same on their sponsored runs while others use independent suppliers for their singlet to cut on cost.  Further, a couple of weeks prior the race it was announced that a “finisher’s medal” will be provided. It was then that I had the feeling that the sponsor and organizer where serious in making the event a success.

On race day, I and my son Dennis arrived the venue at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at 5am hoping to catch our 10k start time at 5:40am. Just after parking my car I was impressed on the brilliance on how the singlet fitted the participants that were also arriving.

At 5:10am participants for the 15k event where already called to check-in themselves at the starting coral. At 5:30am, 15k runners where already excited to start the run, however, due to unexplained reasons the two emcees where playing with words and trying to stretch time as much as possible hoping to hear their cue from the organizers to start the race. It was only at around 5:50am or 20 minutes delay that 15k runners were gunned-off. No actual reason was provided but according to grapevine it was due to delay in the positioning of water station along the route (not verified).

At around 6:00am the 10k runners were started. No untoward incident was experienced thereon and I would say the event run well. Having said this I would like to say that the Brooks Run Happy was also a Happy Run. Two possible improvement in the future the organizers should consider, first is the delay in the start-up which if it was true that the reason for the delay in positioning of water station, then the second point of improvement is also of the water station in the manner they were arranged to service runners (square table instead of long table to avoid congestion). I think the organizers better review and assess their water station suppliers and attendants for the negative side of the race. Otherwise, the event was worth your time, money and effort.

Brooks Run Happy was a Happy Run. It was just delayed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Highlands Mizuno Fun-Run Challenge - Lung Buster and Knee Breaker

With the recent visit of my balikbayan daughter last April, I have not been on any weekend road race for over a month. Having again found time, I am back to my regular weekend routine. I felt trilled and excited to participate on the Highlands Mizuno Fun-Run Challenge on 15May11 which is a trail and mountain run at the Tagaytay Highlands.

Being a trail run and out of metro Manila I was not expecting a sizeable number of participants, however I was surprised that the emcee mentioned that there are 820+ participants joining the 15K, 10K and 5K categories.

At around 6:14am the 10K participants numbering 350+ were started. I have always enjoyed my weekend road races but any trail run that I have participated has always been something special for me. I just cannot explain the trill and joy in running, walking and even crawling on trails and mountain slopes. The climbs are lung busting and down hills are knee breakers. With the picturesque scene and clean air, the combine chemistry I think makes a trail run rank better than a road run. While normally we do have cool weather at the Highlands as expected being right in the middle of summer temperature was really high and the humidity high even early in the morning.

The route was well marked with directional and distance signs with dangerous cliffs marked with temporary wooden guard rails for the safety of the runners. The hydration supply all throughout the route was more than adequate. I wish to congratulate the organizers and Mizuno for a well organized run. Unlike in previous trail runs in the Highlands on this occasion there were no back tracking on the route instead it was a single loop from Saratoga to Midlands and to the mountain leading to Highlands and down to the Batino entry gate of the Highlands before finishing at the Saratoga.

The distance that registered on my Garmin 310xt was only 9.54 for the 10K but I assume the difference is due to the vertical distance up/down along the trail. Unofficially I completed the course in 01h 25m 07s. It was a lung busting morning, but, again the difficulty was the trill of the day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sixty Years and Running

Today May 3rd I just turned 60 years old! 

When I woke up today at 4am I was feeling too lazy for my usual morning run so it took me about 15 minutes laying half asleep contemplating either to run or not. Luckily I was able to muster enough determination and standup from bed and dress and head my way to Bonifacio Global City. (BGC)

I have done this ritual for countless times, however, as I started my usual 10k run a crazy idea crossed my mind and told myself to play a game of recollection on the 60 years that I have had. I decided then that for each kilometer of run I will think of a six (6) year segment in my life. For the first two (2) kilometers 0-12 years old I had difficulty in remembering people and events that crossed my life. However from 3-4 kilometers or 13-24 years old there were so many nostalgic moments to remember, so many first things in life, love, high school and college days, I think I run this segment without too much effort not noticing that I have already completed 4km. As much as I wanted to dealt more on my hay days I need to proceed on the next stage 5-6 kilometers or 25-36 years old it was a life dedicated primarily for marriage, family, work not necessarily in that order and the different events that helped me establish my name in my chosen profession. Kilometer 7-8 or 36-48 was my mastery years in my profession and my private life, children getting married and enjoying the fruits of hardship. 8-9 kilometer of 48-54 was quite recent that it was not difficult to remember people and events and it was in this period that I was best in my golf game lowering my handicap to 9 (now its a miserable 21). Then finally 9-10 kilometers or 54-60 years I more or less was recollecting on when and how I took up running/race walking and the different events that I have joined since 2007 and the total distance I have logged since then. With so many things going into my mind I was back were I started and have already completed 10.20km. This was my 10km run in which I tried to recall people, events, places and what have you in the 60 years in my life.

I am having mixed feelings being 60 yrs. old. I do not feel I am 60 but I am really 60 and starting to have memory problem, body aches, erectile dysfunction and becoming more and more nostalgic and emotional in my life. They say age comes with wisdom, knowledge and achievements, but, I would not mind trading half of the good things that I have in exchange for a quarter of years of youth. But then again its just wishful thinking!

God I am old and I hate myself when I see 18-20 yera old girls noisy and enjoying themselves without care for the future. I could still remember in my youth that although I had not much money, I was able to enjoy life and hope that someday I have money to spend and enjoy more. God, now that I have money, I no longer have the youth to enjoy the good things in life. The Lord Almighty I think made sure that you cannot have both at the same time otherwise there will be chaos in this life of mine.

As a crowning glory for my 60th years, I have today obtained my SENIOR CITIZEN ID CARD and with all the accompanying booklets. Now I can watch free movie every Monday, and 20% percent on most of everything. (how I wish I get as well a 20% discount for my age .. 48 yrs na lang) So those of you who wish to invite for a meal, from hereon will be a good time!

I take this opportunity to thank all the people that has crossed my life in my 60 years. I will not name you one by one but you know very well who you are. I thank God for giving me as well the opportunity to be part of the lives of other people. In the end I pray that as I travel to my 7th decade in life, health, wealth and love (not in that order) will shine to my setting days in this world.