Behind the Scenes: Pico Tri Invitational at Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast

Last March 31, 2012 I had the opportunity to cover Pico Tri Invitational held at Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast.   While it may not be the first triathlon event I’ve seen, it is definitely the first world class event I had to cover.  I could count this event as my first “real” media duty.

Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club

Pico Tri Invitational had gathered some of the best triathletes from all over the world and Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast is quite a fitting place to set a world class event.  This place is just beautiful!  But before I had the chance to appreciate what Hamilo Coast had to offer, it was duty first.  We had arrived around 1PM, just about an hour and a half prior to the race gun start so we only had enough time to eat lunch.  And lunch was definitely a feast with the great tasting food from the buffet of Sun Coral Café.

Let’s eat!
Buko shake
Sun Coral Café menu

Then it started to rain, and with lightning too!  I didn’t mind getting wet, but my camera surely does.  This made my coverage a lot more difficult as I had to take pictures while holding my camera while keeping everything dry, and interchangeable lens cameras aren’t exactly like point and shoots where you can simply zoom with one hand.

A lifeguard on stand-by
Count down to the gun start
And off they go
1.2K swim
The first ones out of the water…
…two loops of the course to complete the 1.2K
At the transition area…
Barefoot? Nah, shoes are already attached to the pedal 🙂
Just after the Mount area…
Another view of the Mount area
Off they go for the 35K bike
Sometimes problems do occur
Condo unit, behind it is our hotel, Pico Sands Hotel
Went back to the beach while waiting for the bike leg to finish
I was supposed to take pictures from the boat but the rains hampered our plans
Lounging by the beach
Some bikers returning for the last leg…
…which is another 8K run
Bikes at the transition area
While some are just completing their bike leg, we were already on stand by for the winner
Eye in the sky, cool!

At the end of the day it was Mat Ohalloran and Ali Fitch who came out on top in the PRO category, finishing the entire 1.2K swim, 35K bike, and 8K run course in 1:45:25 and 1:54:15, respectively.  You may view the official race results here.

The winner of Pico Tri Invitational: Mat Ohalloran as he crossed the finish line
The winner for the relay category
Traditional media hard at work, busy interviewing the winners
Trophies that await the winners

I couldn’t have been more relieved once the event was done!  I can finally relax and enjoy what Hamilo Coast has to offer.

Peace and quiet back at the beach in front of Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club
Media duty is tiring: time to get some sustenance (back at the Sun Coral Café) 🙂
Some Angus beef burger for early dinner
Some chocolate shake as well
Finally, time to go to the hotel

Check-in time is usually around noon but I first got into my room at around 6:30PM after fulfilling my “media duties.”  Saying that I’m “impressed” with Pico Sands Hotel’s room would be an understatement—their rooms are just amazing!  I’ve been to numerous hotels rooms both here in the Philippines and abroad but my room at Pico Sands Hotel easily beat them all!  It is just huge!  Personally, the best hotel room I ever had!

Welcome gift from Pico Sands Hotel 🙂
My room (sorry for the mess :P)
View from my room, wow!

Coincidentally, March 31st is also the day that Earth Hour is observed and Hamilo Coast prepared something special for all guests that night in lieu of the event.  We were serenaded by Cookie Chua and Gary Granada as a bonfire was lit on the beach in front of Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club.

Lights off while Cookie Chua and Gary Granada serenades the crowd
A huge bonfire lights up the beach
They even launched some floating lanterns throughout the hour…honestly I don’t think this is such a good idea because it is litter wherever if falls and may even be fire hazard (just my opinion)
It is sometimes nice to go back to basics though
Nice opportunity to bond with family

The following day’s theme is all about relaxation.  I had originally planned to run on the beach early morning but I was so tired (and the bed was so comfortable) that I had just opted to catch some sleep.  When I woke up I finished a blog post and by the time I published it, I got a call that it was time for my scheduled massage at Rain the Spa at Pico Sands.  There I availed of their “Vitality” massage which was an hour’s worth of pampering to relieve my stress and muscle tension.

View from my room the following day, still wow!
View from the back of the hotel lobby

Then it was lunch time.  Before finally checking out, we had our last feast at Pico Sands Hotel’s restaurant, Pico Restaurant & Bar.  It may not be a buffet, but every meal is just heaven!

Tuscan Ribs: will give any restaurant in Manila a run for their money
Goodness to the bones! 😛
Calamansi Apple Honey shake: heaven in a glass
Pico Restaurant & Bar’s version of bulalo: so sinful yet so good!
Lens envy 😀

Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast.  It was just one of the most interesting weekend getaways I ever had, and I loved every moment of it!  I was able to watch world class athletes compete at Pico Tri Invitational, indulge in great foods served in Sun Coral Café and Pico Restaurant & Bar, relax with a massage from Rain the Spa, and stay in a luxurious room of Pico Sands Hotel.  My only regret was not having much more time to spend in this paradise called Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast.

That’s where Pico de Loro got its name, the twin peaks that looks like a parrot’s beak.  On a separate note, you may also read about our climb to that “beak” some time ago.

I would like to thank EON and Costa del Hamilo Inc. for this wonderful weekend!  I had the time of my life there and this weekend is something I won’t soon forget!  Thank you very, very much for the warm hospitality! 😀

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Pico de Loro Cove at Hamilo Coast is for members only.  For more information, call: +63 2 858 0333 or visit

One Comment Add yours

  1. Paolomer says:

    Nice blog and what a great place to start triathlon. I wish I could do that one day.


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