Kinderdorf Leben

A Runner’s Life

BF Pasko Run Comeback

I am back!  My last post was about the 15k Masters last September 2009.   Posts would have continued but Ondoy & Co. as well as work waylaid my appetite for posting.  I nevertheless continued to run but to a lesser extent – instead of logging 50k/week my monthly total dipped to 118 in October and 109 in November.

After the Eco Dash last September, my next race was to be the New Balance Power Race last November 29.  My runs in between consisted mostly of short and easy 6k to 10k runs, which were intended to keep myself fit.

It was at this time that I was able to run in Faridabad, India and Bangkok, Thailand.  But I would still consider our streets runner friendly notwithstanding our undisciplined drivers.  India is too dusty you need a mask to protect you from the dust and pollution while Thailand is too crowded.

The New Balance Power Run was my first run after a 2 month absence.  I had not accumulated much mileage so I just considered it as an easy long run.  My lack of mileage logged in showed its toll on me after 16kms.  This was compounded by the McKinley hill inclines.  I never expected the new route in McKinley hill.  Hence I felt spent after this segment and finished the race with a disappointing time of 2:36:25.

I began to have second thoughts about joining the full marathon of the Condura Race in February 2010 given my difficulty in logging in 60-70kms/week.  So I just had to play around what is practical and doable – 35 to 45 kms per week with tempo runs and short speedwork segments.

This type of workout immediately paid handsome dividends in the BF Pasko Run last Sunday.  This run was initially intended to be part of the usual Sunday easy long runs.  But it turned out to be a fast tempo 10k race that resulted in a sub-60 min time of 57:37.

My day started at around 4:20 am when I ran to the race area in BF Paranaque from my house in Alabang for a warm up.  I felt good throughout the run.  At the race area, I positioned myself at the rear (as usual) and started with a pace of 5:49/km, which I thought I will not be able to sustain.

As the race progressed, I was pleasantly surprised that my pace remained at the 5:35-5:50/km up to kilometer 9.  At kilometer 10, I tried and was able to accelerate to 5:25/km.

Its nice to be back in the circuit and be with the Takbo.ph and Happy Feet people again whom I sorely missed during my absence.

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December 14, 2009 Posted by | Ramblings, Running | 3 Comments

The Masters’ Touch

Last Sunday, a project of Jovie Narcise aka Baldrunner came to fruition – the 1st Masters’ Run.  It was a unique running event where only male runners above 40 yrs old and female runners above 35 yrs old can participate.  The race course had a distance of 15kms, which covered the perimeter of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

As announced the race had no frills or corporate sponsors.  It was simply an honest to goodness run where the old fogies simply compete among themselves.  While the spirit of competition was present, the atmosphere was more of a community event where everyone was there to have a good time.

I arrived at the race site at around 4:45 am just to make sure that I will be able to pay and get my race bib from the registration table.  As I arrived at the race site good ol’ Jovie was there supervising the minute details of the run and making sure that everything will be fine.  Then at 5:15 am the participants started to swell.  All were in high spirits and ready to go.  Not even the rains could dampen the participants who were in for a rain drenched race.

A brief opening ceremonies ushered the participants to the starting line.  The starting gun was fired right after the last minute instructions from Baldrunner.

Everyone had a grand time running to say the least.  The route was a combination of flat terrain and reasonable uphills.  Above all we were treated to the beautiful greens of Camp Aguinaldo.

The distance was exactly as announced – 15.06 kms.  A rarity in the Philippine running circuit.

Overall the race was well-organized and managed.  There were enough marshals who were assisted by the Military Police, adequate water stations, enough finish line chutes.  Above all, there were enough freebies for everyone at the finish line.  More importantly, the organizer Baldrunner was there at the finish line to greet all finishers for a job well done.  Only in the Masters Event!

Each participant can have water, Gatorade, ice drops, buko salad, bananas and of course, ice cold San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen, San Mig Light, Red Horse and rum-cola.

For me the race proved that we can have a great race with a minimal fee of P100.00 and without corporate sponsors.  All that is needed is help from well-meaning friends.  Above all it proved that the Masters (aka Oldies, mga gurang or amoy lupa) still has what it needs to finish a race.  It was simply The Masters’ Touch”.

The Masters Run was a fitting way to get back to road races and blogging after a month’s hiatus.

Here are some pictures that I grabbed from Jerry Karundeng (High Altitude), Bro J and Jonel (Bugobugo85)

Masters 3

Masters Run 2

Masters Run 1Masters 5

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Running | 5 Comments

Globe Run for Home

I originally planned to join the 10k segment of this race but when I registered online, I mistakenly pressed the 21k button.  So I registered for the half marathon without even knowing it until the eve of the race.  But deep inside I was planning to do a long run on Sunday by completing the 10k race and running an extra 8 kilometers.

However, when I claimed by race pack on last Saturday, the people manning the booth asked what distance I am registered and I sheephishly told them “10k but can I upgrade to 21k”.  They told me “yes” and gave me a 21k race kit.  So no more turning back.

I planned to treat the race simply as a practice run.  No PRs to chase except the bliss brought about by running with friends.  I would be happy to finish the race in 2:40.

I arrived at the race area at around 4:30am.  After doing some stretching routines at the parking lot, I proceeded to the corral which was full of familiar faces, Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh (an official 5:30/km pacer), Don Ubaldo (official 7:00/km pacer), Vener aka Run Unlimited, Mesh aka My Iron Shoes, Jonel aka Bugobugo85, Mark and Tiffin Parco aka Mark’s VO2, Tisha Generoso, Tina Narvaez, Mon Domingo, Mel of Lost Command and of course the Takbo.ph posse – Sam, Jinoe, Carlo, Rico, among others.  Knowing my lack of preparation and my goal for the day, I positioned myself near the rear.

The race started at 5:01 am.  I had a goal to run the race at a relaxed 7:00/km pace for the first 18kms and try to pick up the pace thereafter, if I still have something left.  And so it was.  At the first 4 kms, I was running at around the 6:50-7:00/km pace.  More than enough time for picture taking and sightseeing.

For some strange reason, I slightly picked up the pace to 6:30-6:50/km up to 10km.  But on the way back to the Fort I slowed down slightly to a pace of 7:00/km (10km) until the Buendia flyover (12km).    I slightly picked up the pace until 15km at Fifth Avenue where I slowed down at the uphill to McKinley.  At this point my legs felt heavy so I just coasted along and took brief walk breaks up to 18k.  Thereafter, I just ran a relaxed pace of 7:50-7:30/km.  I crossed the finish line at 2:30:10.

At the finish line was the usual comparing notes and picture taking with the Takbo.ph people.

After the Buendia Flyover with the Parcos (photo courtesey of Mark Parco)

After the Buendia Flyover with the Parcos (photo courtesey of Mark Parco)

Along Lawton Ave (photo courtesy of Mark Parco)

Along Lawton Ave (photo courtesy of Mark Parco)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

While the race proper was well-organized.  There were issues that arose, which would stick out like a sore thumb if not properly addressed:

  1. Globe VIP Parking – Amado Castro, Jr. personally experienced being asked by Globe security officers to park elsewhere as the parking lot near R.O.X. was reserved to Globe executives.  That was a pay public parking.  Unless Globe has prepaid for the slots.  It turned out that it was not pre-paid.
  2. Prizes not being given on race day –  This was raised by Jovie Narcise aka Bald Runner.  The cash prizes won by elite athletes were not given on race day.  Instead the runners were instructed to claim their prizes on Tuesday, July 21.  To my mind this is not acceptable, prizes should be given on race day.  The winners are elite runners who train daily.  Its not fair to ask them to go back and claim their prizes some other time.  These elite athletes are part of the national training pool should not be given a shabby treatment.  To sum it up this is poor customer service, which I hope is not typical of Globe.
  3. Race Results –  The race distinguished itself with disposable electronic timing chips, which would ensure accurate times and tracking.  Also I have heard that the results would be released on the same date.  As of today the results were not yet released.  Broken promise?

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Ramblings, Running | 6 Comments

Robinson’s Buddy Run – My way of getting rid of a cold

I was looking forward to this race as it was the first time for me to run with a buddy and to test how far I would go with a bothersome common cold.  I was paired with Mon Domingo, a veteran of numerous marathons and races.  Pressure was I should keep pace with him.

At the outset I told Mon to take it easy as I was nursing a cold and my nasal passages were blocked.  To make matters worst, I had a post nasal drip which made me cough.  But knowing that running will produce endorphins that would further boost my immune system, I went on to race and tried to follow Mon’s pace.

I arrived at the race venue at around 5:30 am and had ample time to chat with Happy Feet, Takbo.ph and Hardcore friends.  The atmosphere was homey but competitive.  The runners were simply too happy to see their buddies.

The 5k runners answered the starting gun first and the 10k runners followed suit at 6:15 am.

My buddy immediately switched to high gear at the 1st kilometer where we had an average pace of 6:12/km and a max pace of 5:28/km.  At the 2nd kilometer, our average pace increased to 5:49/km and a max pace of 5:19/km.  It was after the 2nd kilometer that the colds and its accompanying coughing started to hamper my breathing and slowed me down to an average pace of 6:42/km and a max pace of 5:15/km.

At the 4th kilometer (British School/32nd Street area) my breathing became difficult because of the colds and I had to slow down just to catch my breath.  This resulted in an average pace of 6:40/km and a maximum pace of 6:04/km.  At the 5th kilometer, our pace increased slightly to 6:33/km and a max pace of 5:23/km.

At the 6th kilometer (Rizal Drive and 5th Avenue area) my nose got clogged which made my breathing to became really difficult.  I had no choice but to take walk breaks.  This accounted for a slow average pace of 7:40/km and a max pace of 5:55/km.  I was able to clear my nose by the time we reached the 7th kilometer and tried to make up for lost time.  The average pace was 6:23/km and the max pace was 5:33/km.

The 8th and 9th kilometer, my nose started to get clogged so I had to slow down.  This accounted for a slow average pace of 7:07/km and 7:09/km.  At the last kilometer, I decided to see how far I would go.  I picked up speed and stuck to Mon like a leech.  It paid up as the average pace was 6:16/km and max pace was 4:46/km.  We finished the race with a time of 1:06:29.

Me and Mon Domingo

Me and Mon Domingo (photo by Mark Parco)

While analyzing my stats in Garmin Connect, I realized that I can maintain an average pace of 5:49/km and reach a max pace of 4:46/km.  The race also underscored the importance of pacing.   I should have maintained an average pace of 6:30/km at the first 5kms,  picked up speed at Rizal Drive, the 6th kilometer and give it my all from the 9th to the 10th kilometer.

The finish line had a festive atmosphere.  All finishers were given a bag full of grocery items.  This was followed by the usual picture taking and exchange of thoughts about the race and of course my first breakfast at Pancake House.

With the Hardcore Runners

With Tiffin Parco and the Hardcore Runners Jonel aka Bugobugo86, Lester Chuayap, Mari Javier and Ivy Macainan (photo by Mark Parco)

Takbo.ph posse (photo by Bryan Rivera)

Takbo.ph posse (photo by Bryan Rivera)

Breakfast @ Pancake House

Breakfast @ Pancake House (photo by Art and Vima Mendoza

After the first breakfast, I joined my buddy Mon Domingo and the Lost Command (LC) runners for a sumptuous breakfast at Amber’s Best, Pasong Tamo.  It was a unique combination of rice, soup, barbecue, sisig, chop suey fried chicken and pichi pichi.  The LC group just finished their 3 hour long run and I’m not surprised that they were able to gobble up all that food.

I ended the day with another 10k run around AAV in order to recover from the morning run and the colds.  As I write this post, my colds are practically gone!  Keep on running and see you on the road folks.

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Running | 1 Comment

Running Addict – Exhibits “A” and “B”

While browsing through the Takbo.ph shared items, i bumped into the post of daytripper1021.   You’re addicted to running when . . . .  you hang your race bibs on your office cubicle wall!

How true!  To the best of my knowledge Jinoe and myself hang our race bibs in our office wall.  I know there are others out there who proudly display their race bibs, certificates and medals on their office walls.

When I came to know that Jinoe Gavan hangs his race bibs on his office cubicle wall early this year, I immediately scoured my house and car for my race bibs.  I was only able to retrieve a few from my races in 2008, which I immediately hang on my office wall.  My race bibs and medals for this year are however intact.

My Race Bibs

Exhibit "A" - My Race Bibs

My Medals

Exhibit "B" - My Medals

I consider the Doc Fit Takbo Para sa Puso race bib no. 598 special as it always reminds me of the race that I finished dead last among the 197 particiants in that 10k race – NEVER AGAIN!!

These memorabilias however make my SOS kids who drop by my office curious and interested in running.  I just hope that someday one of them will become an elite runner.

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Running | 6 Comments

2,000 kms Logged

Last week, I attended our 24th Senior Co-Workers’ Meeting at our SOS Children’s Village facility in Zarraga,  a third class municipality in the province of Iloilo.  Zarraga is a sleepy town 16 kms from Iloilo City which is famous for its “Pantat” (Catfish in English or Hito in Tagalog).  Zarraga Pantat is reputed to be the tastiest in the Philippines and if properly prepared, its skin can be as crispy as freshly roasted lechon de leche.  It is also here that you can buy one sack of talaba or oysters for only P150.00.

Waiting Shed proudly announcing Zarraga as "Pantat Country"

Waiting Shed proudly announcing Zarraga as "Pantat Country"

Zarraga town hall or 'presidencia"

Zarraga town hall or 'presidencia"

The gastronomic delights of Zarraga gave me a good reason to run in order to burn the excess calories.  Otherwise, I will have to suffer the consequences.

I only had two runs in Zarraga.  My first run was a leisurely run along the highway to Barotac Nuevo and back where I logged in 9.11 kms in 1:06.  The second was a faster paced run at the town plaza which had a circumference of 410 meters.  I had a warm up of 400meters @ 2:51, a 4km run at 25:33 and a cool down jog of 1.09 km at 7:31.  It was at the Zarraga town plaza that I completed my 2,000th kilometer!

SOS Children’s Village – Iloilo is our seventh facility in the Philippines.  The other facilities are in Lipa, Alabang, Calbayog, Davao, Cebu and Tacloban.  Our 8th facility is SOS Bataan, which is located in Mariveles.  SOS Iloilo  has 12 family houses headed by a house Mother who has 10 children under her care, a Social Center for our community outreach programs, a Kindergarten School for the poor children in the community and a Youth facility for our boys who are at least 13 years old.  The Youth facility prepares our boys for independent living.

Facade of SOS Iloilo

Facade of SOS Iloilo

The 12 Family Houses of SOS Children's Village Iloilo

SOS Children's Village Iloilo - 12 Family Houses

Typical Family House that has 10 children headed by an SOS Mother

Typical Family House that has 10 children headed by an SOS Mother

The Youth Facility that houses boys over 13 years old.

The Youth Facility that houses boys over 13 years old.

SOS Social Center and Kindergarten

SOS Social Center and Kindergarten

Having completed 2,000 kms. I decided to reward myself with this Garmin Foreruner 305.  I could have gotten the 405 or the 310 but the 305 has better reviews than the 405.  I can’t wait to test my 305.

My new running aide - Garmin Forerunner 305

My new running aide - Garmin Forerunner 305

See you fellas at the races!  Keep on running.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Running, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The Merry Month of May

It has been quite sometime since my last post – I Can’t Wait to Run My Next Race.  I usually post an article almost immediately after my race.  But May was different.  After the Southern Race last May 3, 2009 and Pacquiao’s total domination of Hatton, I was ecstatic to the point that I found it difficult to get my thoughts organized and write a post.

Anyway, May will always be a milestone in my running career.  It was in this month that I started to record my runs.  I joined my first race (Active and Fitness Run), I had my first 10k run (Champion’s Run Along the River) and my first lesson in humility – I finished last at the Doc Fit Run just before my birthday.

This year was pretty much different.  I registered a time 1:05:03 at the Southern Race, 1:09:45 at the Botak Paa-Bilisan, 1:03:48 (a 10kPR) at the Botak-Baguio Run and a 1;41:57 (a 16k PR) at the Earth Run.  I have also successfully reached my ideal running weight of 138 lbs from a high of 168 lbs in January 2008.  These would not have been possible without God’s abundant blessings as He made me injury-free the past year.

Southern Race

The Southern Race was more of a run for the cause of children in need.  It was organized by the Alabang Town Center for the benefit of SOS Children’s Villages.  It had a 3k, 5k and 10k segment.   The race was well-attended and went through the streets of Ayala Alabang Village.  The race was more of a community event but never lacked the spirit of intense competition particularly among those vying for top honors.

The 10k event was slightly short because of a sudden decision of the race director to change the route.  Instead of turning right after the Mindanao Avenue gate and then making a U-turn at the Ayala Alabang-Filinvest boundary, runners were made to make a left turn.

It was also the Pacquiao-Hatton fight.  As Barangay Ayala Alabang offered free viewing of the fight live at the covered courts, I passed the word to my Takbo.ph buddies.  We had a great treat – free lugaw and coffee plus the best seats in the house to watch the fight in widescreen.

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Part of the crowd that watched the fight

Part of the crowd that watched the fight

Crowd cheering when Pacquiao sent Hatton to dreamland

Crowd cheering when Pacquiao sent Hatton to dreamland

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Botak-Baguio and Sagada

I also had the chance to have a high altitude runs in Baguio and Sagada last May.  I had fun running with my buddies Mon Domingo, Totoy Santos and Roselle Dadal (aka RunningDiva) at the Botak – Baguio Race.  I simply treated this race as a training run where I will just run at a relaxed pace of 7:00 to 7:30 minutes per kilometer.  But the temperature was perfect and I no longer had the usual shortness of breath associated with the thiner air of Baguio.  I felt stronger after I negotiated the first hill so I decided to increase my pace.  Little did I know that I was then running at a pace of 6:00 to 6:30 per kilometer.  I was able to gain much ground and finished the race at 1:03:48.

baguio botak

After the Botak-Baguio Race, I proceeded to Sagada where I stayed for 3 days before going back to Baguio for the return trip to Manila.  It was an adventure and had great runs at the place.

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Sagada - a view from St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church

Hanging coffins at Sugong, Sagada

Hanging coffins at Sugong, Sagada

Lumiang burial cave

Lumiang burial cave

Sumaging Cave after entry from Sumaging burial cave

Sumaging Cave after entry from Sumaging burial cave

One of the uphill roads I ran

One of the uphill roads I ran

Baguio oval

Baguio oval

The Baguio and Sagada runs prepared me to confidently face the dreaded McKinley Hill and Bayani Road at the Earth Run.  I felt strong throughout the 16k race where I started slow and  gradually increasing my pace as the race progressed for a strong finish.  I started to pass folks whom I never thought that I would and finished the 16k race at 1:41:57 with plenty to spare.

I would not have gone this far without the help and advice of runner friends.  Mon Domingo, the Happy Feet and Takbo.ph people were always there for the carbo loadings, kulitans and gigilans that kept me going.  Jovie Narcise through his blog Bald Runner has always been a source of information and an inspiration for newbies like me.

Too bad May is over but the adventure continues!  Keep on running!

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Running, Uncategorized | , , , | 9 Comments

Sun Festival – We ran and had fun

The Sun Festival Run was the first race in the Ayala Alabang for this year, the second South of Manila (first being the Greenfield Runs) and a race where everyone had fun.  The race course typifies a roller coaster ride – mostly uphill with a few flats and decline segments.

As I arrived at the race course at 5:40am I could immediately sense the fun and festive atmosphere that typifies a community event.  Everyone was there to race and have fun.  I immediately bumped into Patrick (runningshield), Manong Jovie (bald runner) Craig and Justin Logan, Bards (banana running), Mesh (my iron shoes), Totoy Santos, Mark (VO2) and Tiffin Parco and Annalene Bautista (meek runner).  After the usual pleasantries and brief pre-run fellowship we all lined up.  Unlike in the previous races, nobody was in a hurry to start.

The race was underway after a brief and inspiring prayer by Craig Logan.  I went on to run just for the fun of it – my only target was to cross the finish line.   My pace was what I perceived to be easy and relaxed all throughout.

The atmosphere remained pleasant during the race.  Runners would greet and encourage one another all throughout.

The inclines were punishing!  This started as we made a left turn from the starting line to Country Club Drive and continued for around 200 meters.  Then it was uphill-downhill until we made the left turn to Taysan where we had a short but “steep incline”.  It was moderate thereafter until we reached the Acacia Avenue flat lands where we made our U-Turn back.

While we are in the middle of summer, the rains during the past few days provided a cooler temperature that made the run ideal.  The tree lined streets also provided the participants an escape from the heat of the sun.

The post race freebies were modest but the eat all you can bananas (lacatan variety) was certainly a welcome treat.  Also it was great to finally meet the Meek Runner (Annalene Bautista) and her family.

The race may have had some shortcomings but who cares!  We were there simply to have fun.

I can’t wait to race again in Ayala Alabang.

April 25, 2009 Posted by | Running | 5 Comments

Greenfield Race – The gods must be crazy!

For the record this race ushered in online registration in the Philippines.  This was the first time where a participant can register, pay and wait for his race kit in the comfort of his home.  I experienced this complements of Finishline.ph.  Thus  no more of the long queues and hassles of manual registration as Finishline.ph raised the bar in Philippine racing.

Prior to race day, I had several long runs of at least 18kms and modest tempo and easy runs in between, not to mention a great tune-up race the day before at the SlimmeRun.  I was close to being hubristic and was looking forward to improve on my Condura Run time as I felt that I was at this time better prepared.  So I thought.  But the running gods thought otherwise.

I arrived at the race site at around 4:30am when people started to trickle in and had no problem parking.  So by 4:35 I applied sunblock and donned all that was necessary for the race – the race belt and hydration kit.  I was at the starting area by 4:40 just in time for picture taking with the Takbo.ph folks.

The race started promptly at 5:00 am.  As I positioned myself at the tail end in the starting line so I could start at a slow pace of 7:30 per km.  But I was wrong.  I passed the Km 2 marker with a time of 12:15.  I thought that someone must have been playing a joke at me.  So I slowed down but before reaching the Pramana entrance, all hell broke loose in my stomach.  Everything went wrong.  I was thinking of making it to the tall foliage but the fear of snakes prevented me from doing such a thing.  As I reached the entrance of Pramana I immediately noticed a security officer at the guardhouse.  I asked if I could use the comfort room and he readily made me use it.

Pramana Guardhouse.  Photo courtesy of Carlo

Pramana Guardhouse. Photo courtesy of Carlo

This episode took  away at least 10 minutes plus it sapped me of energy.  Nevertheless I continued to run at and then caught up with the slower runners.  As I approached the second turn around point at Km 13 I began to realize that I was slowly being drained notwithstanding the energy drinks and bars that I had.  To top it off, Number 2 attacked for the second time.  Good thing there were portalets at the turnaround point!  It felt like hell from that point up to the finish line.  But as Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said during the German blitz: “if you’re going through hell, keep going”.  I had to even if I had to run, jog and mostly walk or even crawl to the finish line.

Notwithstanding that personal misfortune, I was happy to finish the race at 2:52:44.  It was a beautiful race.  The scenery was lush greeneries and vegetation.  My only regret was that when I arrived at the finish line, they ran out of finisher’s medal.  My friend Amado Castro, Jr. also did not get a medal and he accordingly posted his comments in his blog.  The lady in the finish line told me that the medal will be delivered to our home address.  Well I just hope that the organizers will deliver the finisher’s medal which we all worked hard to earn.

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Pre-race Picture

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Photos courtesy of Carlo

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Ramblings, Running | 7 Comments

Visita Iglesia ’09 – On the Run

Visita Iglesia is a time honored Philippine tradition.  People visit Churches during Holy Thursday where they pray the Stations of the Cross or medidate on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.  People say that we need to visit 14 Churches.  Others say 7 and others say one is enough provided you enter the Church 7 times during the day.

I started doing the Visita Iglesia with my family in 1992 and it remained unbroken until last year when I had to miss it due to a Closed Lenten Retreat that I attended.  During those times, I brought my car.  But this year I thought that I should do something different – I would have my Visita Iglesia in the Vicariate of Our Lady of the Abandoned and do it on the run.  Nobody wanted to join me.

I started my Visita Iglesia at the St. Jerome Emiliani and Sta. Susana Church right across Alabang Town Center.  This Parish is administered by the Somascan Priests and is the Mother Parish of St. James the Great.  At 8:00 am, the Church was still closed presumably because the priests were attending the Chrism Mass at the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Sucat.

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St. Jerome Emiliani and Sta. Susana Church, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa

St. Jerome and Sta. Susana Parish side entrance

St. Jerome and Sta. Susana Parish side entrance

I then proceeded to run along Commerce Avenue on to the old National Highway proceeding to the junction of the National Penitentiary where the Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, the seat of our Vicariate,  was located.   I also found out that the sidewalks of Bayanan were narrow so I had to zigzag my way around pedestrians and motor vehicles.  This made me slow down considerably.

Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Bayanan, Muntinlupa

Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Bayanan, Muntinlupa

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The next stop was Mary Mother of God Parish along the old National Highway.   I still had to weave my way around people and motor vehicles.  The sun was up and it was getting warmer and warmer by the minute.

Mary Mother of God Church

Mary Mother of God Church, Bayanan, Muntinlupa

Interior of Mary Mother of God Church

Interior of Mary Mother of God Church

Next was San Roque Church, the Mother Parish of St. Jerome Emiliani and St. James the Great Parish.  I had to walk from Metropolis up to the Church as there was no way I could run because of the number of people and the inhospitable Molina St..

San Roque Church, Alabang, Muntinlupa

San Roque Church, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Interior of San Roque Church

Interior of San Roque Church

It was almost 10:00am and the heat was punishing.  I ran towards Commerce Avenue up and make a second visit to St. Jerome and Sta. Susana Church.

Interior of St. Jerome and Sta. Susana Church

Interior of St. Jerome and Sta. Susana Church

I made my last run to my alma mater’s Alabang facility San Beda College.  It was nice to be in the familiar Benedictine environment at the height of the summer heat.  For one, the aircon in the chapel was refreshing.  I really needed to cool down at this point.  While  the simplicity of St. Benedict Chapel is something to behold, it is not a favorite destination of Visita Iglesia.

St. Benedict Chapel, Alabang Hills, Muntinlupa

St. Benedict Chapel, Alabang Hills, Muntinlupa

Interior of St. Benedict Chapel

Interior of St. Benedict Chapel

It was at this point that I called it quits and started walking on my way home.  I feared that I might suffer heat stroke if I continued running.  There are still many more times to run.

I capped the day serving at the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper in St. James the Great Parish, my last stop.

St. James the Great Parish, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa

St. James the Great Parish, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa

Interior of St. James the Great Parish

Interior of St. James the Great Parish

Altar of Repose, St. James the Great Parish

Altar of Repose, St. James the Great Parish

This Visita Iglesia was not just a Way of the Cross recitation but a time for meditation, prayer and thanksgiving.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Faith, Running, St. James the Great Parish | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments