(This is a long-overdue gratitude blog for Jinoe and Que; am glad that it comes on the heels of this voting thing as a game changer for the tattawards.)

My foray into running began in 2008 when I got sick and needed to drastically change my sedentary lifestyle.  Not only did takbo.ph give me an opportunity to read through accounts of hundreds of people who ran,  takbo.ph also allowed me to be who I am without being a subject of ridicule or judgment – considering running is a sport and I’m ahhh, well, ahhh….not sporty J  I was big and beautiful.  But I was accepted.  I was made to feel welcome and loved.  As slow as I was, as big as I was, I had a place to be as slow and as big as I needed to be.

It was in takbo.ph that I found really good friends – the kind you find in elementary or high school – where it’s a little bit more pure as when you’re older – you know what Im talking about  – the same interests, humour, wavelength, music, writing style, the same type of kindness – where most believed in good and positivism, where hardwork and discipline are part and parcel of the running lifestyle.

Poster Making for First Time Marathoners

People at takbo.ph are good people.  They are not mean, they encourage, they wait for you to the finish, heck they even pace you from start to finish, they make posters and banners for your first marathon, and much much more.  How much more?  Let’s see…

TAKBO.PH is a Venue to Get People Together

  • Although there may be dissenting opinions in the different fora, it’s managed really well by the administrators; such that when it gets too personal and mean, it gets bumped off; it truly is a venue for togetherness and respectfulness (I know wrong grammar.)
  • As cheesy as it is, there are many a love affair that hails from the site (Aminin! Natuloy man o naunsyami, kinilig pa rin kayo diba? LOL)
  • Businesses made; business partnerships forged (parang LOTR lang ah)

The Iconic TAKBO.PH Tarpaulin

The TAKBO.PH  tarp is an iconic tarpaulin in all the races–every runner wants to have a picture with that tarp – it used to be just one; but as the family grew, and different running groups  were formed, Jinoe and Que had to produce more and more.

The Iconic Banner at McDo

Various Advocacies TAKBO.PH introduced, initiated, and maintained

  • The Breakfast Club was the brainchild of Que and Mar if Im not mistaken, where runners contribute to a gathering for children without homes at Jollibee, play games with them, have a meal with them and have them bring home a loot bag of groceries for their families.

Breakfast Club, Pasay

Botak 100 at KM 81

  • Angel Brigade. Takbo.ph is a staple of Angel Brigade.  When typhoon Ondoy hit, it was takbo.ph who built care packages of sardines, noodles, crackers, milk, water , clothes and more.  They would of course do this after their runs at BHS, but always ready to help…until today when AB asks for volunteers, you know at least 20 pairs of legs will be at the AB Headquarters packing as fast as they can to get the relief goods to our kababayans

Tired Packers

Med Mission, Rizal (Tent City)

Medical Mission, Rizal

  • Mountain Climbers are also runners and through AB and takbo.ph,  we built packages of slippers, blankets,  kulambos, and school supplies and they brought it to the literally far flung areas of the north

Marky on the mountain of Benguet

  • Pencil Project, Better Bones Project are only a couple of individually-initiated projects that tapped into the takbo.ph database and knocked on our hearts to donate items and time, which we all happily did.


Such as the Cervical Cancer and Sports Injury Talk by Doc Dianne and Doc Rannie;  Biggest Loser 1-2-3 where those who joined really fought for this title; as well as the Wine and Cheese Parties at 7 in the morning; games of patintero and luksong tinik even before the BHS backyard was done; of Girls Night Out, concelebrated birthdays, the traditional Noche Buena Run, Bisita Iglesia Run the missing CP2, of bloggers and such

Wine and Cheese

Girls Night Out

Noche Buena Run in UP

Bisita Iglesia Run (From UP to Quiapo


Luksong Tinik

The Mysterious CP2

Blogger Friends (Photo by Jazzrunner)

TAKBO.PH  Does Not End with Finishing a Marathon

  • Because of the discipline developed in training for longer distances, inclusive of recovery runs, speed training, tempo run, drills, cross training (swim, bike),  proper nutrition, and plenty of reading , there are different ways of growing in this beloved community
  1. Your Personal Record (PR) is the best way to measure your development in this sport.  This entails listening to your body and not copying your neighbour’s training plan or PR.  Your growth is your own.
  2. 3-5-10-15/16-21-32-42-50-60-70-80-102-160-250km.  I know, I know…the 250km is a relay – hahaha.  As you develop endurance and stamina and a true love/craziness for this sport, you also tend to up the ante as far as distance is concerned.  Have you noticed though that longer distance runners are thinner? hahahaha
  3. Triathlons.  A natural progression to running is multisport /triathlon.  The transition to this is amazing.  I’ve literally seen a n ultramarathoner  – non swimmer (sputtering at the army pool) progress to a couple of Half Ironmans under his belt as well as a Full Ironman Distance  in just 12-18n months time.  As more runners are getting more and more into multipsort, I cant help but be glad that their base is running, for a triathlete can tell you that the game and therefore the finish is made in the run.

Runners turned Triathletes

My life is full and meaningful because I googled running in 2008 and found TAKBO.PH – I read, participated in the fora, shoutboxed during office hours (shhhhh…), bought the takbo singlet, happily wear them in all my races, ran 5, 10, 21, 32, and 42km here and abroad, all the while enjoying the camaraderie of friends  who I know will last a lifetime.

Game Changer you say? I say Life Changer 


Too Much For One Heart

A little girl  slowly removes the white  ribbon,  peaking through a small opening
of her box. Upon slightly seeing a stuff toy and a book inside,  she  immediately
closes it.  She lovingly re-ties the ribbon, making sure she ties it right.

A 5-year old boy removes the blue ribbon wrapped around a Zip Locked pack.
He’s disappointed that the pack did not open when he removed the ribbon;
turns it over and around and yet nothing.
We realize he didn’t know how to
open the zip lock.  And as we look around, the others were also dumbfounded.
We started helping them and showing them how to open and close the zip locked
plastic. And they oooh-ed and aaaaah-ed and laughed.  The 5-year old boy gingerly
pulled out one item after another, and his eyes shone in excitement and disbelief.
He says, “Wow! At may bag pa!” when he saw the folded knapsack, in utter disbelief
that this was all for him.

Another child refuses to open their box.  Waiting instead to open it at home and share
it with his brothers and sisters.


These are just some scenes from the first distribution of the Angelito’s Project of  Angel Brigade (AB) in Manila.

Tisha C. Bautista, managing director of Isdanco Foundation and founder of Angel Brigade, together with Marga Uy Baula, an AB volunteer shared  350 shoeboxes to  school children in Tondo, Manila.

Field of Dreams

The school is located in the rehabilitated area of Smokey Mountain, with a small placard sign that says Field of Dreams.

The school is made up of container vans stacked on top of each other, designed appropriately to be a real school.

Surrounded by the port area on one side and the Field of Dreams on the other, the PCF in its

School made up of Container Vans

newness and excited and passionate administrators, teachers, social workers, volunteers, and  sponsors (Coca-Cola, Sa Aklat Sisikat, & Angel Brigade to name a few) seems to be a beacon of hope amidst the obvious  needs  of the children.

The kids’ excitement upon seeing the LBC boxes in time for their Christmas Party was enough for us to get excited as well.

LBC Boxes

As we moved from one room to another, trying to get them excited by asking, “Alam niyo ba kung saan galing ang mga regalo na ito?”; we ourselves laughed when they answered, “Sa LBC!” “Kay Santa Claus”.  We happily explained that a child in their same age and gender lovingly prepared their box all the way from the United States of America.  Whether or not they understood the distance we meant or who the twin heart was who prepared their box, it mattered more to them that the boxes were bursting in the seams which meant that they themselves can give something to their brothers and sisters when they get home.

A gift of one child a thousand miles away has made at least 3 hearts a-flutter this Christmas.

This project would not have been possible without the sincere initiative of Ms. Susan Afan, who as early as September 2010 has been soliciting shoeboxes from SoCal.  Your initiative and your friends’ generosity have made so many children happy.  May you continue to be blessed with all that is good and holy. Other recipients of  the Angelitos  shoeboxes were: Kid Cancer Warriors  from CareWell,  Sacro Costato Mission in Montalban , QC Streetchildren,  children of  St. Michael Parish Taguig, Fr. Arnold Eramis.

angel brigade gratitude drive

It started with a conversation between two friends with the nagging sentiment of : My family woke up today just like any other day—with electricity, food, house intact , with loved ones safe.  Others woke up with nothing. That was September 28, 2009. Typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines in the gut and got the wind knocked out of everybody. Rich, poor, owners, employees, Tondo, Forbes….it did not matter. It hit and it hit hard. It was a moral imperative to do something…anything.  Not because we were spared, but because it was our responsibility.  Then the angels started working their magic.

Suddenly there was a huge space at the Fort that can accommodate any donations that you can give.  Donations came by the truckloads.  Volunteers walked, rode a bike, a car, the bus  to donate their precious time to pack these care items –  rice, instant noodles, carne norte, sardines, milk, sugar, clothes and so much more.  Suddenly military trucks and airplanes were volunteering  to send out these relief goods to the neediest.  Volunteers learned non-useful skills such as estimating how many bags can fit a 6-wheeler, a 10-wheeler or even a van.

Some ran to the Center. The regular TTH Runs in BHS ended with a packing session at the Angel Brigade Center. And when they did speed training, they sped up the packing at the Center to the point that they can efficiently pack (PR pack) 300 bags in less than an hour.  Takbo.ph  was Angel Brigade’s source of second wind when things got tougher, especially when Typhoon Pepeng hit us as well.  Yes, we had our own friends from takbo who was hit really bad and it will ALWAYS be a given that we take care of our OWN.  But to extend it to strangers in the far flung areas? That needed a PURE heart. And with a heart brimming with love, we gave and gave some more.  Different teams also joined in the giving.  People I did not think I will meet because of their mamaw statures in the running community, I met.  And all we had in common was the NEED to help.

Angel Brigade and takbo.ph went on to do more good things after—a very successful Medical Mission in Rizal,  the Feed and Give in Kalentong and the recent trek to Benguet.

At the core of it all is the spirit of volunteerism in each one of us.  This is the same spirit that will change our world—one helping hand, one step, one leap at a time.

Celebrate our One Year Anniversary with doing more.  Be one with us at Rockwell Mall with an Installation Exhibit and Silent Auction on September 20-26, 2010.  See you there!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.