Posts Tagged ‘Ilocos


Taray Pamulinawen 2011: Laoag Sand Dunes Challenge

After the huge success of “Run Ahead, Raising A Roof” Run held in Laoag City last December of 2009, Triathlete/Runner & Race organizer Faivo Bartolome brings another unique event up North, the “Taray Pamulinawen 2011, Laoag Sand Dunes Challenge” to be held on February 26, 2011 and will start and end at the Laoag City Hall.

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The Beach, the Bridge, the Sails, and the Sands: Dinakdakan Chronicles (Day 4)

With an amazing race finally over everyone now has time to finally relax.  Coincidentally, the hotel that we checked-in in Pagudpud was also where I ate lunch the last time I was here!  As much as everyone wanted to check-in earlier to rest, we were able only to do so after everyone finished their respective races, which is already nightfall.  Unbelievable it may seem, but some of us actually returned back to Manila soon after the race!

Morning after the race, while waiting for our breakfast

Dinakdakan Chronicles

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2009 Favorite Running Moments: In Pictures

Running has taken me to places I never imagined I’ll go to and for my first full year of running the year broke all previous records not only in terms of distance covered, and pictures taken!  2009 toll: about 20 gigabytes worth of pictures and videos, around 11,500 files.  Among these, here are some of my favorites:


Transition: from Bench Pedometer watch to Garmin Forerunner 405

TNF Thrill of the Trail: my first trail run and magazine appearance, Side Trip Magazine April-June 2009 edition

Happy Run: First 15K



LSD with

First winter run (Ohio, USA)


Condura Run: First 21K


Trail run at Montalban with

May goes climbing to Mt. Maculot

TNF100: First ultramarathon (100K)


Debut climb of the RunHikers at Pico de Loro

Back on trails with Men’s Health All Terrain

Back at ultra via Botak100 (as a pacer)


First Marathon via Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations


Repeat of Manila-Tagaytay ultramarathon long run (56K)

Ninoy Aquino Day Run


Mommy Milkshake


Reaching out through Angel Brigade

Pacer duty at QCIM

First sundown marathon via SIM


Chillax pacing during Timex Run

Running in Ilocos


Running in Singapore

2009 was a splendid year indeed for me, and hopefully yours as well.  Let us make 2010 a better year for everyone and be the change we want to be.  Happy New Year everyone!


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:


Pinakbet Chronicles: Laoag City and La Paz Sand Dunes (Day 01)

Why does a runner travel nine hours by bus to a place he’s never been to?  To run!

Friday, November 27, 2009.  Four guys from camp met in a bus station in Manila for their nine-hour journey north—to run.  It was a long weekend so bus seats are scarce leaving us no choice to travel in two groups: Sir Rene and I, and McCoy and Wilnar.  We departed around midnight and by nine in the morning the following day we arrived at Laoag City.

The best time to travel to Laoag City may be at midnight

Run Ahead race director, Mr. Faivo Bartolome, invited us through Mr. Jinoe Gavan of to join their event, and running addicts as we were we ignored the travel time and the popular race also happening at the same time.  After all there isn’t always a chance to run in Laoag, for free! Sir Faivo was event kind enough to take care of our accommodation at Laoag Renzo Hotel, and he also served as our tour guide for the next few days.

Got cozy at the reception area

Buffet breakfast upon arrival, yum!

Hotel distance from Manila bus terminal: 398.5K

View from our window

Lunch time was the first time we met in person Sir Faivo who first took us on a culinary tour with delicious local delicacies.

I love the food in Ilocos, although I can’t remember the names

After the sumptuous meal, Sir Faivo brought us to the spot where the desert scene in the movie “Panday” was shot: the sand dunes of La Paz.

Fine sands with the blue South China Sea in the background

Wilnar, Sir Rene, Sir Faivo, and me (courtesy McCoy)

It’s very windy in the area that you hardly feel the heat

For the time being we returned to our hotel for some afternoon siesta, but later that afternoon we returned to the sand dunes for some sand running.  Click here to view the area in Google Maps.

Afternoon easy run towards the sand dunes (courtesy Sir Rene)

Keep right

Entering the dunes

Keep running


The dunes

McCoy atop one of the hills (whose sands ruined my camera!)

Shadow shot

Finally arriving at the beach…

…for some group shot

…and watching the sunset

Time to head back

It was already dark when we left the sand dunes and to cap the night we headed to Run Ahead’s carbo-loading party near the capitol.  The day was very interesting, and it was only the first day.

Pinakbet Chronicles:

Special thanks to McCoy, Sir Rene, and Wilnar for some of the pictures that appeared in this post.


Join runningpinoy’s Virtual Tours

Christmas season is here!  For many this is also a time for vacation and travel.  For those who won’t be able to do so (myself included), join with me on a virtual tour of two spots I’ve been to for the past two consecutive weekends: Ilocos Provinces, Philippines, and Singapore.  These tours served as an early vacation for me so I’m home-bound this yuletide season.

These tours were spinoff itineraries of races, the first one way up North of Luzon with Run Ahead in Laoag, and the second one South almost at the Equator with Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.  These races were the primary reasons I was in these spots but was in no way the only reasons these places are worth visiting.  You may probably call me a “sports tourist” in line with my battle cry “takbo hangga’t may lupa” (run while there’s land to run onto) and being one allowed me to see places in a unique perspective.

Without further ado I’ll start with the details of our Northern tour on my next post.

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