The Best at Kitchen’s Best

Monday, 26 November 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I have a confession to make: I LOVE DESSERTS. I try to eat healthy and wholesome foods as much as I can, but I also believe that one should indulge every so often.  (Hey, I run long on weekends so I deserve a cheat meal on Sundays, right?!)

– Banana Toffee Pie at Kitchen’s Best. Yummy! –

So, when Kitchen’s Best invited me to be one of their eight “Best of the Best Tastemakers” as part of their celebration for their 1st Year Anniversary, I said yes without batting an eyelash.  First of all, I really am a loyal customer of Kitchen’s Best (they serve great meals too) and, secondly, they promised to send me a sampler of all their cakes so I could choose which dessert best fit my personality.  My taste buds and I couldn’t say No.

I ended up falling in love with their Banana Toffee Pie.

– The Best of the Best Tastemakers –

– Here we are again during the launch –

When you enter Kitchen’s Best, you may be surprised to see a larger than life poster of myself with the Banana Toffee Pie in hand greeting you by the doorway.  (Wait, is that really me?  Looks nothing like the sweat-drenched running fiend I see in front of the mirror everyday.)  At the bottom of the giant me, there’s a quote that says: “Life wouldn’t be complete without running and Banana Toffee Pie!”  (It’s true! It’s true!)

– with Kitchen’s Best Home Patisserie Chef and Owner, Rosemarie Tiangco, and the poster of myself that was so huge I couldn’t even look at it without flinching –

– with tastemaker, social entrepreneur, and one of my best friends since grade school Krie Lopez of Messy Bessy and Martina Tiangco, owner of Kitchen’s Best. Krie chose the Turtle Pie because “Like Turtle Pie, I can be sweet, complex, and nutty!” –

– with tastemaker and grade school bus mate Lori Baltazar of popular blog: Desserts Come First –

– with my Mom and sis-in-law, Tonette, and nephew, Jake, during the event –

– “I would say ‘I love you’ with a slice of Chocolate Obsession.” says Amina Alunan of SoFA Manila and Aranaz –

– Marco Lobregat of Ministry of Mushrooms says “I love mangoes! The Mango Sansrival and Mango Royale take me back to climbing trees at my Grandma’s farm!” –

Thanks to Kitchen’s Best for making me a Best of the Best Tastemaker! I’m truly honored!  Thanks too for these cookies that Krie and I couldn’t stop giggling about it.  We even exchanged cookies!  (Yes, we’re like kids that way.)

– Thanks too for these cookies with our faces on it! Krie and I were delicious! LOL –

Kitchen’s Best Home Patisserie
McKinley Park Residences Condominium
3rd Avenue 31st Street, Fort Bonifacio Global City (across Toast Box and beside Tully’s)
(02) 478 4870 / 211 0010

Follow Kitchen’s Best on Facebook HERE.

New Balance Power Run 2012 & Bull Session 2

Sunday, 11 November 2012  |  Bullish Insights

The New Balance Power Run 25k is an event that a lot of runners anticipate.  I’ve been a big fan of this NB Power Run even when they used to hold it in Clark, Pampanga.  Now, it still draws the crowds and offers a safe and well-organized venue to run this unique distance.

The race was very well-organized.  Hydration was aplenty.  Kilometer markers couldn’t have been more accurate.  Marshals were everywhere.  And, oh boy, that 10k course was a nice one.  I would love to run that again.  The entire race was simple, smooth, and thoroughly a delight to run.


I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to remember anything from this morning’s New Balance Power Run except spotting Ann Curtis, Karylle, Daniel Matsunaga, Solenn Heussaff, Isabelle Daza, and Miriam Quiambao running alongside us.  I’m sure in the longer distances, the NB Power Run’s race ambassadors, Team Gotta Tri, composed of athletes/celebs Kuya Kim Atienza, Erwann Heussaff, Gilbert Remulla, and more  left other runners stunned either because they were starstruck or because of their speed. These guys work hard at their craft and in their training.

I think it’s great that more and more celebs are getting active and taking to running and triathlon.  It does nothing but boost the popularity of our beloved sports and increase public awareness for fitness.  To add, seeing celebs during the race is perfect distraction from the pain, perhaps even better than salt sticks.  Cramps?  Uy, si Ann Curtis ba yun?  Habulin nga.


For the first time ever, we decided to hold our Bull Session for TBR Dream Marathon during a race.  We invited our TBR Dream Marathoners to join us for our training run during the race.  As always, the Bull Session was led by Coach Lit Onrubia.  Assembly was 30 minutes before race start.  We had volunteer pacers for each of the groups we sub-divided our TBR Dreamers into depending on their preferred run-walk intervals and pace.

– Reylynne in white leads one of our groups. Reylynne is a TBRDM Alum who finished 1st Place for Women in the West Coast 200km Ultramarathon held just last week! –

– Another TBR Alum, Miriam, led the 3-1 group –

– Here’s Mike, another TBRDM alum, who volunteered to pace –

It was a practice session for most of the future marathoners where they practiced the actual first 10k of their marathon 3 months from now.  Some finished boasting of PRs, some finished their first 5k, and some learned their body’s limits and the need for serious, consistent training.  The good thing is there’s enough time to prepare the body and mind for the upcoming marathon!

– TBR Dreamers after NB Power Run! –

– Brief talk by Coach Lit –

– Happy couple Mike and Macel Janeo of TBR Dream Team –

– Lit, myself, and Ton (far right) with TBR Dreamers 2013 and relatives: Monchu, Mia’s cousin, Mia, Anton Gonzales – President of Planet Sports –

– Huge thank you to our volunteer pacers: Reylynne, Mike, Jun, Ton, Trixie, and Miriam with Coach Lit –


After the 10k, friends and I jumped into the pool for an easy swim to cool off in this hot weather.  10k easy run plus 1k easy swim followed by good coffee and breakfast was a perfect way to start this Sunday.

Booooo! Back to Reality!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012  |  Bullish Insights

What? The long Halloween break is over?  Where did it go?

The day after Run United Philippine Marathon, I was down with the flu.  (That’s what I get for running it despite the sore throat!)  For three days, I lay in bed dying of boredom when I wasn’t sneezing, cursing the high heavens about so much wasted time (I should’ve been out training!), and hoping that I didn’t resemble Gordon Ramsay after watching way too much Masterchef episodes.

As soon as I recovered, I ran 10k, biked 35k, swam 1k, and ran 15k in the next four consecutive days.  All I had been doing the past couple of months was running…and I loved it.  But, I must admit, that I was starting to miss the pool and, of course, my boyfriend, the Shiv.  It was wonderful to ease my way into swimming and biking again (despite the saddle sores for such a short distance teehee!)

With the kids on semestral break, we had more bonding time too.

I took them out biking a couple of times.  TBR Jr. wants to start biking around with me (mwahaha, my subtle hints to lure him into triathlon seems to be working…albeit at turtle pace) and Li’l Miss Bull Runner will hopefully learn to bike without her training wheels soon.



We went trick or treating.  I mean, Li’l Miss Bull Runner went trick or treating in the homemade costume she insisted on making (She’s a blue dog, by the way), while TBR Jr. felt too old for such silly traditions.  Sob sob.


On the last weekend before school, we stayed overnight at the kids’ favorite hotel for a well-deserved staycation. We were bums for two days (if you don’t count my long run that morning)…and we loved it!

– Pillow fights are a must at every hotel stay. Right on top of the list with playing in the tub –

– Gameboards are a must too. Game of Life! –

– Can you guess who won?  –

Now it’s back to reality for all of us! Boooo!  Hope you had a good long break too.

New York City Marathon 2012 Cancelled

Saturday, 3 November 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I woke up this morning to news that the New York City Marathon was cancelled.  Instantly, I heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Just the night before, there was much controversy over the decision of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Marathon Director Mary Wittenberg to proceed with the race despite the devastation in New York City brought upon by Superstorm Sandy.  That decision was met with a huge public uproar.  Some called Bloomberg and Wittenberg greedy and insensitive.  Some said the marathon would be a symbol of resilience and would help raise millions of dollars for the victims.  The issue caused heated debates all over the world—even between me and a friend!  By this morning, Bloomberg reversed the move and cancelled the marathon. (You can read more about it HERE or HERE.)

– New York City Marathon 2010 –

The NYC Marathon is a race that’s close to my heart having run it both in 2010 and 2011.  It is, for me, one of the best marathons ever because the entire city comes out to celebrate the marathon.  It is the people of New York, all two million of them that come out to cheer, that make the marathon extra special. I have a few friends who flew into race it this year and I was thrilled for them.   But, after Superstorm Sandy and witnessing its destruction upon New York, I questioned how the race could push through when there was so much suffering.

I felt that it was simply wrong to have people running a marathon through a city that was still grieving over the losses of the storm.  I just couldn’t imagine starting the race at Staten Island where twenty people lost their lives to Sandy, or drinking water from the hydration stations when many don’t even have water yet, or running through the boroughs of New York with people cheering when many are still shedding tears over their losses.

I sympathize with the runners who saved their hard-earned money for a trip to NY, trained for months, and made other sacrifices all for the marathon only to find out so close to race day that it was cancelled. It sucks.  It could’ve been handled better.

If I had signed up for this race, I too would’ve shed a tear or two for all my wasted efforts and cash.  But, I’d probably quickly dry my eyes and remember that, in the greater scheme of things, I didn’t lose much compared to the victims of the storm.  At the end of the day, it’s just 42.195km.  There will always be another race—even another NYCM—to run.

If you’re one of the 47,000 runners registered for NYCM, click on race2recover for one way you can help.

If you’re looking for alternative races to NYC Marathon, Adam Howitt of WalkJogRun compiled a list of alternative marathons that are scheduled for the remainder of the year. check out WalkJogRun.Net

Run United Philippine Marathon and my Bullish Awakening

Thursday, 1 November 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Around 12,000 runners gathered for one of the most anticipated races in the country, the Run United Philippine Marathon with distances of 500m, 3k, 5k, 10k, 21k, and 42k.  The event was part of the Run United series by Unilab Active Health organized by RunRio. It was the first time the race offered a marathon with thousands of runners eager to join the inaugural 42k.

I participated in the 21k event which, for me, was very well organized in terms of hydration stations, including bonuses of sponges and bananas, road marshals and traffic enforcers, portalets, kilometer signs, Finisher’s loot bag (love the messenger bag!) medal (a humongous one at that), and post-race activity area.  The route—a fast 21k course from Bonifacio High Street to SM Mall of Asia—was the same as other Run United Half Marathon events, which one can either think of as redundant (What? The same route again?!) or challenging (Do I beat my past Run United 21k times?)

Perhaps the only things I noted that needed improvement in the 21k course were these: 1) The need for more floodlights near the end of Buendia and 2) High traffic until Buendia Flyover.  While the latter is a minor issue, I only hope that if or when the 21k event increases (3,000 runners in this race if I’m not mistaken), the organizers consider wave starts to reduce traffic in the narrow Bonifacio Global City areas.  That way, we can at least aim for a PR without having to weave through a sea of runners.

As for the inaugural Run United Philippine Marathon, I did hear from friends that hydration ran out for the last 10k of the race. I’m sure organizers are ensuring that this won’t happen again.


Not a lot of people know that I initially planned on running the inaugural Run United Philippine Marathon.  Fresh from Berlin Marathon, I had the bright idea of joining Run United’s first 42km almost as soon as I stepped on Philippine soil.  Three reasons: 1) I found myself goal-less. Gasp, what do I work for now?! I thought in panic. 2) I was bored. Y..a..w..n.. and, last but not the least, 3) How cool would it be to run the first Run United Philippine Marathon?!  I had visions of myself 50 years from now telling tales of this inaugural marathon to my grandchildren as I sat on my rocking chair barely able to lift my head with the oh-so heavy gargantuan medal around my neck.

Then, I recalled how I got injured immediately after running New York City Marathon then California International Marathon just a month apart last year.  Was I stupid enough to let this happen to me again?  So, two weeks before race day, finally being smart about my running, I opted to run the half marathon instead.


I stood in the assembly area with running buddy Lit who I basically bullied into running fast with me for the day.  No breaking PRs because we definitely lacked speed training.  But, hey, no kwento pace either because we had more than enough of that the past months.  As agreed, we were to push hard for as long as we could.

Just one problem: I woke up with a cold. My throat was itchy and my nose runny the night before.  I committed to try my best equipped with what I needed the most: five pieces of Kleenex rolled up and tucked neatly into my Spibelt arm sleeve.  Hah!

The first 15k went, well, fast.  We ran mostly below 6 min pace and we knew we could sustain it. But, ooooh boy, things soon changed after we crossed the 15km mark.


It was no surprise that I was starting to tire out.  In truth, it was just as I had expected with the lack of training. Starting from 15k onwards, I struggled to keep the pace.  I stopped at every station to hydrate, pour water on my face and arms, take a long deep breath followed by a loud grumble, then plod on forward.

Lit suggested we slowed down.  I nodded my head in a daze, then thought: No way. I’ve gone this far. I can suffer some more.

And so, I zoned out pushing my legs to maintain the pace I committed to. In my mind, I reminded myself that the pain was temporary and it would soon end. Just a few more minutes.  Just a few more kilometers. I could do it.  Keep the pace.


It was probably at around 18k when a lady runner runs by my side at Roxas Boulevard.  She chats me up at a time when I could hardly even breathe.  “Ganda naman ng pace mo. Sabay tayo ha.”  I nod my head unable to speak. I think it was pretty obvious in my face that I was dying, but for some reason she chose to chat even more. “21k ka?”  For her, I managed to mumble a “Oo.”  She says a couple more things and repeats the same question: “21k ka?”  On better days (or maybe when I’m not trying to survive the last 3kms of a race I didn’t train for!), I’m usually a nice person.  But, at that moment, I replied “Uh huh” again while thinking: I don’t need this crap now.  Get the hell outta here!

I lose her at a station.  Thank. You. Lord.

Unbeknownst to me, Lit overheard the lady runner and her friends saying that they would run along with us, then leave us behind at the last few meters of the race.  Lit then told me: “Save a little then let’s take these guys at the finish.”  Unaware of their devious plan, I replied to Lit: “I don’t think I can do it. I’m running on fumes.”

At the last few meters, true enough, the lady runner and her friends were ahead of us by a few meters. Lit could’ve overtaken them (he actually did, but had to slow down to wait for me), but I definitely couldn’t.  I was pushing as hard as I could.

We crossed the finish line unofficially at 2:04 according to my Garmin. I was ecstatic.  We finished ahead of our target and without training.  Imagine what we could do if we trained harder!  Perhaps I can target beating my half marathon PR again soon!  Goodbye boredom. Hello speed!

– Happy to be running fast again. Photo: Tong Pascua Photography –

After the race, I learned about the “secret devious plan” of that lady and her friends.  Are you kidding me?!  Had I known about this, I would’ve pushed 10x harder if only to send two special messages to that group: 1) Never ever talk loud enough for your targets to hear your plans.  It doesn’t only spoil your scheme, but it’s also quite rude! 2) I’ll get you in the next race, baby! Tsk tsk.

The bull is back.  Raaawr.  I mean: Rrooor snort snort.

– Breakfast at Sentro with my running buddies! Congrats to Tatang Jun for finishing the Run United Philippine Marathon! –

– At home, Li’l Miss Bull Runner says she could hardly lift her head with the 21k medal around her neck –