Posts Tagged ‘Pagudpud


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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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)


The Perfect Spot for Barefoot Running…

I thought I had found a great place to run barefoot but last weekend I found the perfect spot! Where is it? Soon 😀

From my first barefoot run at the beaches of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

(I just got back from this place so I haven’t got time yet to write the story :))


The Natural Joy of Running: Barefoot?

Barefoot running?  It can’t get any natural than that—before civilization was invented, or any form of it, that was how our ancestors moved and survived eons ago.  Today in the 21st century running had become very technical—pronation, supination, compression, hydration, fartlek, Global Positioning System, etc.—isn’t it nice to not think of any of these terms when we think of running?

Running is not rocket science, or maybe now it is

Believe it or not, in the ancient Olympic Games athletes participate in the games in the nude so no one had an unfair advantage of using any tool except for what nature had given them—their bodies.  Back then there were no running shoes, chemical drinks, dope, or anything similar but runners were still able to compete in footraces in as long as 5K runs!  Even the barest of runners of our age would look luxurious! (The longest footraces in the ancient world are thought to be “only” about five kilometers long; the marathon was only introduced in the modern Olympic Games)

Long-distance runners of the ancient Olympiad

In the latter part of the 20th century people started looking at running scientifically and invented running-oriented shoes. Back then shoes were very much Spartan featuring only simple rubber soles with spikes for traction—many of the technical details we enjoy these days weren’t invented yet, but it didn’t stop humans from running, and continue getting better at it. Eventually things like stability, cushioning, mesh, and other technical features were devised and that’s when things got complicated.  Gone are the days when you pick a shoe because you liked its design!

The good old days

Many runners these days say running got complicated—actually, it didn’t.  We just started to know more about the mechanics of running and the more we know, the more we realize that we have much more we don’t know!   And now with all these fancy technologies and $160++ shoes they tell us that all these “improvements” actually made us more feeble and prone to injuries?  That with all these “comforts” we “enjoy” we practically lost our ability to run with the correct form as nature designed our feet?

Honda’s Walking Assist Device—could this be the future?

Is your mind messed up already?  Good.  Forget all that I mentioned for a while and imagine yourself here:

* with some digital color correction

One of my favorite spots in the country, Ilocos Norte, gave me the chance to get away from it all, particularly with the beaches of Pagudpud.  I could just spend the entire day there, relax, let the world turn, and be contented.  But since I did not have that luxury, I had to maximize my stay with the most natural way a runner can—run at the beach!

With practically just my board shorts on I just let loose and run like I’m the only person in a desolate island.  I even left my flip-flops on the sand and ran barefoot!  In fact the only “unnatural” item on me at the time (aside from my clothes) was my GF405—since I was already wearing it I just started it to save where in the world I was running (I lost my Philippine geography lessons quite some time ago) and just forget about it (to remember only when to stop).  I just love that it works unobtrusively letting me savor that “natural” moment.  At that moment the only thing more “natural” I can do is to run in the buff but of course I’m neither in a nudist camp nor in ancient Greece.

Crash course on Philippine geography: the location of the beaches of Pagudpud (click to view Garmin data)

At first I wanted to have a “beach running photo” for this site’s banner, but I don’t perform well in such “unnatural” conditions and after some “fake” shots I relinquished the idea.  I can always come up with some fancy digital artwork as banner I thought.

What do runners do at the beach?  Run! Little did I know (and glad that didn’t know) that some “paparazzi’s lenses” were still on me during my innocuous beach run.  It was a “real” moment in a “natural” setting, and it was digitally captured so I was very thankful that I wasn’t a lone person in a desolate island.  Running barefoot and feeling the sand under my feet—it was a feeling that every runner should experience!   I was just lucky that I found one of the best beaches in the Philippines as my setting.  Thank you Sir Rene for capturing that moment! (FYI: this site’s banner is also “natural,” taken candidly by Sir Rene “Jazzrunner”)

Enjoying myself at the beach, courtesy Rene Villarta

Running is naturally pleasurable, and it is more so on natural settings—free from feigns and complications of the world.  You need not find a secluded beach, an exotic location, run barefoot (or even in the nude) to find the natural joy of running—just bring yourself, have an open mind, a willing heart, and leave your baggages behind.  Grab along some close friends too for company!

“Natural” is always best! Also courtesy Rene Villarta

Related: my barefoot running stories in Boracay, Nasugbu, and Pagudpud.


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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