Posts Tagged ‘Jeepney


Bohol + Cebu (2014): Eat and Walk Around Cebu

After going around Cebu City on foot the previous day, we were just tired that we woke up practically just to checkout of our hotel.  And on our last day in Cebu City, we weren’t done walking around and eating!  Here’s our last day in Cebu City.  It was a Tuesday.

This spot is starting to become the “mandatory” tourist selfie site 🙂

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34th National MILO® Marathon: Signs and Strange Encounters (Prequel)

I gave up all hopes of joining this year’s MILO® Marathon because of one HUGE reason—no training!  Coming off TNF100 my body was built primarily for endurance, not speed.  I was seriously aiming to qualify for the Finals but there wasn’t enough time to train for it, so reluctantly I let that dream go (for this year at least).

The injuries I sustained from my back-to-back ultramarathons BDM102 and TNF100 made it easier to decide to postpone that MILO® dream, but it was never totally discarded.  Then as the day of the race neared and more details were furnished I saw one detail that really snapped me back to reconsideration—the finisher’s shirt!  I didn’t care for the medal, I WANT THAT SHIRT!

I Saw the Sign

By that time registration was down to the last few days, and my longest run was a 10K trail run.  Talk about being ready!  By that time I was on a stalemate—42K or bust! Since I cannot decide for myself, I asked for some Divine Guidance (as posted in my Facebook account).  In situations like these, by experience, I’ve learned not to push my own will but instead follow His will.

Talk about photo finish, I was signed up for the race (through a friend) on the last day of registration!  Registration was actually extended so we were able to sign up on that last day of the extended registration.  That’s a foolproof answer I cannot miss!  And so with my race packet on my hand I uttered to myself, “this is really it!”

No turning back

Strange Encounter of the Third Kind

Finally the day of the race has arrived.  Due to my remoteness to the starting area I had to leave home very early and to my delight I was with the company of a running family of four on my commute, also off for the race.  Dad and Mom have been running MILO® Marathon for years and Mom was a constant placer and Dad doesn’t seem so far behind so it was natural that the kids also pick up the sport.

At that wee hours of the morning only jeepneys are the available option for commute (even taxis are scarce).  Fortunately the commute was fast, but also unfortunately the driver decided to cut the trip short (cutting trip, grrrr and I didn’t get a refund of the excess fare!) alighting us in front of Quiapo Church.  I’m not that familiar of which jeepney routes to take but Dad (of the running family) told us we should get one bound for the Pier so we’d alight very close to the Starting line.

Initially everything was smooth sailing until at some point of the trip this “person” embarked in our jeep, and sat beside me, on my right.

I’m not used to talking to strangers, except of course when necessary (like asking for directions, being asked for the time, etc.).  This person (loudly and proudly of different preferences, for the lack of proper words) asked me if the jeep was bound for Fairview, and I said no.  Then he asked something else I didn’t quite understand but I figured he’s probably asking about the event (I was wearing the MILO® singlet) so I said we were bound for the MILO® Marathon.  Then he just started acting strange—he kissed my right shoulder!  He acted as if the force of the jeepney breaking was the reason his face landed on my shoulder (landing with his lips?).  I was s-t-u-n-n-e-d!  He didn’t just do that!

Just to set things straight I don’t have anything against gay people and in fact I have a few gay friends (who doesn’t?).  But it’s totally different to be taken advantaged of in public!  O-M-G!  Even men can feel harassed!  He kept saying a lot of things (which I won’t bother list as you might think I’m delusional!) that while were boosting my ego to record levels, were also giving me embarrassment in front of all my co-passengers!  He was saying a lot of things loudly like a crazy fan talking about with his favorite actor (I felt like a Brazilian model being praised by a diehard fan, I mean seriously) and at the same time staring at my face (so I kept looking elsewhere) and touching me in places (thankfully not in “restricted” areas).  He was even cheering “Milo! Milo!” and that his weakness were athletic guys, and so on and so forth.  I was ready anytime to snap and punch this guy and it took all my patience to control myself from doing such (no violence in front of the kids!).  And when the seat across me emptied he had a reason to move in front of me, putting his hand on my right thigh as he transfers (patience, patience!).  That was the longest short trip I ever had!

It was a HUGE relief to finally alight that jeepney at the corner of P. Burgos and Roxas Blvd.  As we got off the jeepney my co-passengers were telling me, “na-tsansingan ka nun ah” (he took advantage of you, eh) and I can only respond with a reflex smile.  What a trip! Could it be a sign of what to expect with the race to come?  (Was it the white shorts that attracted his attention?)


Back on the Road: Traversing Metro Manila

It has been a long time since I was running on the road and since I had no race or group runs for the weekend I decided to do one of the routes I’ve long wanted to do: traverse Metro Manila from East to West.  Like my first road run along EDSA which followed MRT-3 this long run followed the route of LRT-2 closely except that I skipped the first station (Santolan) which was a bit off my route, and it didn’t follow the tracks to the service line but instead included the original LRT-1 route for some distance.


This run was supposed to start early Sunday morning but early morning rains ruined my plans so I decided to use the rainy weather to my advantage and defer it for another afternoon run.  Unfortunately with this change of plan and time constraints I had to cut my route by a few kilometers from the original target of SM Mall of Asia to UP Manila.  Nonetheless it was slightly compensated by starting in Commonwealth Market instead of the original Ylanan Gate of UP Diliman.

The Route

2:58PM I started my long run adjacent to Commonwealth Ave.  This would be an exceptional time to start a run which was only made possible by the very cloudy weather.  I had a little difficulty starting this run because of strong winds that blew against me so you may think of it as a unique challenge.

To make this route more interesting I also included one of my newly discovered routes, Zuzuaregi, to get to Katipunan Ave. and from there it was straight towards Katipunan Station of LRT-2.

LRT-2 goes below ground towards Katipunan Ave.

Following LRT-2 via Aurora Blvd. was interesting but immediately I realized that it wasn’t easy—sidewalks were ample but the problem was the air quality.  It was very difficult to breathe along Aurora Blvd. because of the huge traffic that goes on this narrow road.  Then there was Cubao—people traffic was a concern so running was virtually impossible.

Crowded Aurora Blvd. below Cubao Station of LRT-2

Cubao is a highly developed urban area in Quezon City and with so many structures covering the road there’s hardly any sky in the area of Aurora Blvd. in front of Gateway Mall and as a consequence there’s no GPS signal in the area.  I was only able to restore my GPS signal after the Cubao Station of LRT-2.

A common sight in Aurora Blvd. are jeepneys known as “patok.” These jeepneys are not for the faint of heart.

After the crowd and traffic of Cubao Proper Aurora Blvd. which leads to…

…the infamous Balete Drive

Gilmore—the best place to buy gadgets in the Metro

After a few meters from Gilmore I enter San Juan where there are hardly any changes.  After San Juan I re-enter Quezon City where most of the changes in the route occurred.

One of the newest landmarks of Sta. Mesa (Quezon City) is the Mezza Residences (with a passing LRT-2 train below) which is one of the tallest residential buildings in the country…

…which is just across SM City Sta. Mesa (still in Quezon City), one of the oldest SM malls

Just after SM City Sta. Mesa is the border with the City of Manila.  Sta. Mesa, Manila is close to my heart as it was a second home for me for about 10 years.  Here Aurora Blvd. ends and continues to Ramon Magsaysay Blvd.  This segment of the route from Cubao brings back a lot of memories as I used to pass through here, riding a “patok,” everyday during my College days.

A typical LRT-2 train which looks a lot like those seen abroad

The new trains of PNR—looking a lot more like an LRT train

The very busy intersection of Nagtahan

Eventually I reached the very busy Recto Ave.  Even on a Sunday there are so many people here reminding you that indeed you are in the City of Manila—the densest city in the Metro.  To be honest I was afraid to run in this area because I might look like I was running away from something.

LRT-2 Recto Ave. Terminal Station

LRT-2 service tracks crosses the LRT-1 line

For some distance I was able to follow LRT-1 and amazingly my GF405 was able to track my location (to a certain extent) despite the limited GPS reception in the area.  Unless you ran on Rizal Ave. itself you’re basically running indoors in this area.  Finally after Carriedo Station (Quiapo) of LRT-1 I can see the sky again.

Finally a view of the sky

Crossing Pasig River (can you see how dirty the air was?)

The Post Office Building as seen from Pasig River

View from the front

The newly re-painted clock tower of Manila City Hall

From Manila City Hall it was the typical Roxas Blvd. route for me and like I mentioned earlier I ended this long run near UP Manila via Padre Faura, 23K in total distance, 1,400 calories burned.  Here’s the complete route:

My Route

It was more difficult than I expected (humidity, air pollution, very bad sidewalks, people and vehicle traffic) and I wasn’t able to maintain a decent speed throughout this route (“pic-stops” and walking)—but it was worth it! Despite gobbling up more dirty air than all my previous road runs I was able to revisit routes that I no longer pass through and my dream of “traversing” Metro Manila from East to West was now a reality.  Frankly I don’t think I’ll be doing a re-run of this route but for those who’d like to give it a try you have my full support! I hope you had a great weekend as well, run safe!

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