Posts Tagged ‘Bangui


PAU P2P65K Ilocos Norte: Dinakdakan Chronicles (Day 3)

Finally, D-Day has arrived!  Ultramarathons sure are gaining popularity, fast! Thanks to PAU’s efforts, more runners are now braving ultras.  Considering that this race was staged more than 500 kilometers away from Manila, the turnout was phenomenal with more than a hundred runners!

The runners, courtesy Mark Hernandez

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Ilocos Norte 2010 Revisit Preview: In Photos

I just returned from one of the best experiences of my life, in one of my favorite places in the Philippines.  I sure have a lot of stories and pictures to share, but for now here are some select few photos that I could share while I cook up my narrative:

NAIA Terminal 2

At Terminal 2 (Manila), bound for Laoag International Airport (August 27)

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runningpinoy: Season 3 Preview

Goodness gracious!  I didn’t realize that my second season (anniversary) of running had just passed last August 17!  And as of that date I accumulated a total of 2,012 kilometers (since August 17, 2008, my first ever race).  I’ve no idea though how much of it was earned during the last 12 months, but it’s at least 1,000 kilometers.  So I guess that wraps up my second season of running!

(Preview: Season 3)


Experience the World through Sports: Sports Tourism

Given a chance, who wouldn’t want to travel?  But travelling for sports?  That’s a different story altogether.

We typically travel either for business or leisure, and if it’s the latter we usually have relaxation in mind.  And relaxation doesn’t usually involve moving too much!

Sports Tourism is a niche of the travel industry with sports at its core—either through spectating or participation.  You need not go abroad to watch the World Cup or Olympics, or be an athlete yourself to be called a sports tourist—you already are when you went out of town for that basketball game!  Indeed spectating is the most relaxed form of sports tourism, but why stay behind the scenes when you can be part of the action?

A year ago I went to Singapore for some hard labor—not for employment as typically expected with most Pinoys—I went to run a marathon!  Even Singaporeans that I met were surprised that I visited their country for four days just to run.  I was a perfect example of a sports tourist!

The Philippines has much more to offer than Singapore as far as tourism is concerned.  The latter despite being one of the smallest countries in the world it is frequented annually by a lot of visitors.  It is so small in fact that you can practically cover the entire island in less than a day!  So what keeps tourists coming back to Singapore?  Sports!  Aside from world class marathons, the country is also popular for its F1 races and now they even host a 70.3 Ironman race.  Imagine all the income these tourists bring to their economy annually?

The Philippines may not have as developed tourism infrastructure as other countries but as far as sports tourism is concerned we’ve got so much to offer.  Recently our surfing spots are becoming world famous and also a similarly world-class 70.3 Ironman race reached our shores. Even our local running scene attracts some foreign elite athletes.  It may not be as much as with other countries but it’s a good start.  Mainly fuelled by locals, Philippine sports tourism needs all the support it can get, but what’s in it for you?

With sports tourism you get to view a place in an unusual perspective—like watching a movie behind the scenes.  But don’t be contented with “viewing,” participate! Participation in sports allows you to “experience” the place—and you don’t need to be an elite athlete to enjoy it.  We can say that sports tourists don’t just “visit” the place, they “experience” it!  And the Philippine advantage is that you have a lot to choose from for every budget!

For starters you can try “jogging” along baywalk (or a nearby park).  Once you get started everything becomes easier, and before you knew it you’d be taking that six hour bus ride or that next flight out just to participate with your favorite sports!

I was once just like every yuppie out there stuck between the walls of the office cube during office hours but through sports I was set free!  Little did I know that aside from being good for health, through sports I’d be able to experience the world in a unique way!  Don’t just take my word for it; experience it for your own.  Stop thinking and start doing.  Are you ready to make your own experiences?

Note: This article was originally intended for print.


Pinakbet Chronicles: Blue Lagoon, Bangui Wind Turbines, Pagudpud, and Cape Bojeador (Day 03)

Monday, November 30, 2009, Bonifacio Day, a holiday and also our last day in Ilocos.  For this day it’s northward-bound to the ends of Luzon. But first we had to bring along some food for travel and the local Biscocho was the perfect: unlike its Manila counterpart that is hard, Ilocos Biscocho also comes in soft variety with distinct taste that’s really delicious without needing any fillings.

If you’re in Ilocos try both varieties of Biscocho from this bakery

First stop, Blue Lagoon.  This would be the northernmost point I had ever reached in Luzon thus also the farthest kilometer marker I’ve seen at 562 kilometers.  Blue Lagoon got its name from the color of its water, Blue.  I thought that water only turns blue because it reflects the color of the sky, but it was gray at that time due to thick rain clouds and yet the waters of Blue Lagoon remained blue, attesting to how pristinely clean its waters are.  Strong winds greeted us here but it didn’t dissuade us from testing the waters.  I could only imagine this place being a surfer’s haven.

Blue Lagoon

Another view of Blue Lagoon

Running barefoot at the fine beaches of Blue Lagoon

Survivor Ilocos?

Another self-timer moment, with Sir Faivo as our guide with this tour

Surf’s up!

After spending some moments at the Blue Lagoon we headed southward towards the famous beaches of Pagudpud.  All I can say was that the beaches were so beautiful I had to run on it, barefoot!  (That was the runner in me speaking, hehe)  Of course the waters were perfect for dipping and for some reason despite being a holiday we virtually have the beach to ourselves!  I can spend the entire day on this beach—it was my idea of a perfect beach getaway: company of good friends, an excellent weather and practically isolated beach!

The famous beaches of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Distinct Pagudpud Coconut trees

A perfect spot for barefoot running…

…which isn’t what people normally do at the beach!

In case you’re Garmin-curious of my barefoot run in Pagudpud, or simply want to find out where Pagudpud is, here’s my Garmin data:


Halfway into the day, still more spots to visit!

Did you see that? (Courtesy McCoy)

These are the popular wind turbines of Bangui, Ilocos Norte

The only wind farm in the Philippines located beachfront

Can’t resist the urge to run…to measure the distance between each turbine

Ever been to a lighthouse?  On top of a hill?  Well I haven’t so our trip to one in Cape Bojeador was another first for me, not to mention that it also had a historical significance.

Lighthouse of Cape Bojeador


Wonderful shot by Sir Rene

View from the top

Three days definitely wasn’t enough to tour Ilocos as there were still so many things we could do and places to visit.  Despite the nine-hour travel time from Manila it was well worth the effort as you get to do a lot of things here.  I have no particular favorite as I loved every place that we visited and for a food lover in me I loved all the food that we tasted.  Best of all was the hospitality we received from Sir Faivo and his wife Ma’am Babette.  Thank you Sir and Ma’am for giving us a wonderful tour of your province!  It was definitely an excellent experience and we look forward to returning to Ilocos.  Thank you as well to Sir Rene, Wilnar, and McCoy for the company and of course the pictures!

That’s the story of our peregrination in Ilocos

Pinakbet Chronicles:

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