Posts Tagged ‘Sandugo


Bohol Island Tour

For the second day of our tour, the island of Bohol itself is our destination.  It doesn’t sound very exciting, until we actually had the tour.  And here’s how our second day of touring transpired:

Does this scene look familiar?

(Continue reading…)


Product Review: Sandugo Tootega

One of the newest products from Sandugo, a local company known for its sandals, is the Tootega—a footwear somewhere in between sandals and shoes.  It offers the lightness of sandals and the protection offered by shoes.

First Glance

The Tootega comes is available in three colors: black, brown, and blue.  While it isn’t really as eye-catching as similar products on the market, its price makes it a very practical choice for those on a budget.  The craftsmanship of the product is good but could be much better, especially in the choice of materials.

The Test

My Tootega got the ultimate test during the recent TNF100 Philippines held in Sacobia, Clark.  I got a pair to complement my trail running shoes, specifically for the numerous river-crossings along the trails.  While it was not my intention, the Tootega performed surprisingly well that I used it for the entirety of the 100K trail route.  Here are my thoughts on the product:


  • Excellent traction.  Tootegas have excellent traction on soil, mud, and surprisingly even on pavement.
  • Easy lacing.  Tootegas use a lacing system that is easy to tighten or loosen, like a crude version of TNF’s BOA.
  • Price.  Similar products are easily double the price of a pair of Tootega making this a very cheap alternative.


  • Design.  Not as eye-catching as similar products but not really an eye-sore.


  • Comfort.  Sandugo have been known for their comfortable sandals so it was a big disappointment that this wasn’t brought to the Tootega.  Tootegas are very rough—it’s not comfortable which was probably the biggest fault of this product. It also feels hot which could probably be attributed to the materials used.

Survival Tips

So how did I survive 100 kilometers on an uncomfortable pair of footwear?  An excellent pair of socks.  The soles of Tootegas are hard—any cheap sandals on the market could be softer, so a good pair of socks helps a lot in making this product “bearable.”  For the first 60K I was wearing a pair of Nike Run Fast socks which dries fast and was excellent for river-crossings.  This pair protected my feet for that duration but due to some unforeseen circumstances I was running without any socks for the next 30K.  This resulted in record-breaking number of blisters for my feet (which swelled after the race).  I had an opportunity to put on my Nike Pro Cushioning socks for the remaining 10K of the route and that made running with a Tootega more manageable.

Better Than Sandals

Trails present many hazards to your feet that sandals can’t protect you against.  My Tootega took the damage that the trails brought, instead of my feet.  While trail or trail running shoes can also offer the same level of protection (with much better comfort) Tootegas are much cheaper so the collateral damage is less.

Sandugo Tootega in action

My brown Sandugo Tootega in action


Sandugo Tootega are excellent if you’re looking for an affordable pair of trail shoes/sandals with excellent traction on most surfaces.  It’s for those that you could say are “hard-core” or those who like it “rough.”  If you’re looking for a comfortable ride then better look elsewhere.

Product Rating: Good


Countdown to TNF100

I can’t believe it, the moment of truth is coming, and my excitement is definitely building.  TNF100 Philippines is almost here!

Today, Thursday, is my last day at the office for the week.  Because of this I have to finish every task that I have, hastily—all because of this race.  So in a way I was rushing work so I can join a race!  We’d be off for Clark tomorrow morning, and really, I can’t believe that race day is almost here!

For the past few days I’ve been pretty busy dealing with what to bring.  Thankfully last Tuesday I was able to finish packing my AS4 bag (the one that I left with the organizers to bring to Aid Station 4, some 35K from the start area of 100K route) but the weird thing about it was that it was almost all food!  I jokingly refer to the two batches of grocery purchases I had to fill up this bag as “takot mauhaw” (afraid of thirst) and “takot magutom” (afraid of hunger).

Takot Mauhaw!

Takot Magutom!

Of course not all of these items went on this bag, some I took for my base camp bag.  After handing over my AS4 bag to the organizers last Tuesday I suddenly realized that I hardly have food on my base camp bag (relative to the other bag).  This bag would contain the other non-food necessities like clothes, chargers, lights, etc. and aside from this I’d be wearing my trusty Sandugo Pilot hydration bag throughout the race.  Support groups aren’t allowed on the trails so these three bags would do the job for me.  Of course this doesn’t mean that the race organizers don’t have to do anything on their part—my support bags were setup with the assumption that the organizers would provide us runners with adequate water at the very least.  We would definitely appreciate it if there were more.

The previous trail run early this year was my most expensive one until TNF100 came along.  There were so many required items that I have to buy (since I only started running barely half a year ago) but I learned a lot during the process.  The trail running aspect of this ultra brings forth one of the things I also love doing—trekking, and many items I got for this race I can use on my future climbs.

This would be my second trail run but my first ultra marathon race.  I’ve had an LSD of ultra marathon distance before but here in TNF100 I’d be attempting to do my longest run so far—100K.  Yes you read it right, 100 kilometers.  I mentioned that this would be my first attempt at the hundred, and just finishing it is a huge accomplishment.  Hopefully He would allow me to finish this race and do it still in good condition.  Good luck to all runners!  Hope that we all have a safe run!  Enjoy and don’t forget to respect the trails!  (And I hope it doesnt rain!)


New Gears for New Year

It’s barely halfway into January but I decided to get some additional gears for running for the activities I planned for the year.  It’s one of the best times to buy as there are countless discount sales in various stores and malls—a lot of items aren’t really out of season—just to stimulate sales.

Meet the new gears

First thing I got was the mostly needed: a pair of trail shoes.  My timing was perfect—I got the pair that I like with the colors I love at 40% discount!  I got myself a pair of New Balance 811 (MTK811BK), colored black, and as I earlier stated 40% off the regular retail price.

New Balance 811

New Balance 811

I’ve been craving for a pair of New Balance for quite some time now and finally I got one.  Trail shoes are a new experience for me, and currently I’m putting it on a “break-in” test (so far it’s passing with flying colors on pavement, we’ll see how it fares on real trails on Sunday).  Here are some of its features, courtesy

  • Abzorb® EX heel provides durable cushioning and shock absorption
  • Abzorb® cushioning in the forefoot for exceptional shock absorption
  • C-CAP® midsole provides cushioning and support
  • AT Tread® all-terrain outsole combines a running and trail lug configuration for on- and off-road use
  • N-Durance® rubber compound for maximum outsole durability
  • Synthetic/Mesh upper provides lightweight comfort and support
  • Stability Shank embedded into midsole supports the arch and helps create a smoother gait
  • Shoe Weight: 357 grams (12.6 oz)

The next gear could be considered related to trail running: a light backpack for trails and road runs, a.k.a. runabouts (a term I got from Baldrunner).  I got a red Sandugo Pilot 10+5 (10% off the retail price, bladder not included but has a special discounted price when purchased with a bag) as recommended by a trekker friend.

Sandugo Pilot 10+5

Sandugo Pilot 10+5

Being “self-sufficient” on runabouts I plan on taking soon after I get my next gear (to be featured later when it arrives) is a feat I’d like to achieve.  Getting support on the road could be very difficult so it’s better to be prepared and have the essentials right in your back.  Of course nobody wants to run with a very big bag on their back.

It felt like Christmas again after I got these items which are now part of my new set of running gears.  I’m still eagerly waiting for one more to complete the set.  If you plan on expanding your gears now is a good time to check out the stores while there are still good items on sale.  However, after the euphoria is over, you just feel a bit sore, especially around your wallet!

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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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