A Tribute Run For Dad

Thursday, 6 November 2008  |  Bullish Insights, Favorite Posts

Last October 30, 2008, my dearest Daddy went to sleep and never woke up again.  He passed away at 78 in his own bed with half of the family at home with him.  We are still grieving, but there is comfort in knowing that he left with peace in his heart and a gentle smile on his face.

How ironic that I found myself in the Happiest Place on Earth just a few days after his death.  I woke up at 5:30 a.m. in HK Disneyland’s Hollywood Hotel, laced up my shoes, and prepared for a run which would pay tribute to my Dad’s life; it wasn’t going to be a “grief run” but a celebration of his life and his legacy.  It was—in a spiritual kind of way—a kind of prayer as I offered this run to God and asked him to care for my father and welcome him with open arms.


I stood at the start of my favorite jogging path, the same one I ran last summer, which faced the sea and offered a breathtaking view of Hong Kong.  I took in the cool breeze, switched my ipod on, and started with a slow jog.  

The first track that played was Mariah Carey’s “Bye Bye” and—with all the tiny hairs on my arms standing as well as a small shiver up my spine—I knew that this was not sheer coincidence.  Trying my best to keep the tears from falling, I took in the lyrics of the song and thought about Daddy:

…I never knew I could hurt like this
And everyday life goes on like
“I wish I could talk to you for awhile”
Miss you but I try not to cry
As time goes by
And soon as you reach a better place
Still I’d give the world to see your face
And I’m right here next to you
But it’s like you’re gone too soon
Now the hardest thing to do is say bye bye…

…This is for my peoples who just lost somebody
Your best friend, your baby, your man, or your lady
Put your hand way up high
We will never say bye (no, no, no)
Mamas, daddies, sisters, brothers, friends and cousins
This is for my peoples who lost their grandmothers
Lift your head to the sky ’cause we will never say bye

I ran like a madwoman thinking of nothing but my Dad through the run even as I reached Disneyland Park on one end and Inspiration Lake on the other.  I felt I could’ve gone on forever but decided to end at 12k to make it to my flight home.

It was the interment for my Dad yesterday morning.  I am the youngest of 7 children and I was asked to give the eulogy in behalf of the family.  It was the toughest talk I had ever given, but it was also a release of a multitude of emotions, and my last chance to tell Dad how much I loved him.  Somewhere in the lengthy speech I had stayed up all night to write, I told Dad that we loved him, we would miss him, and with my head lifted up to the heavens, I said to my dearest Daddy that we would never ever say goodbye.


– Love you, Dad –

Thank you to all the runners who sent their condolences and offered prayers, especially those who took the time out to come to my Dad’s wake.  Truly appreciate it.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

The hubby and I started our run last night at exactly 7:46 p.m. At 7:47 p.m., just as we exited the gate of my in law’s home, it started to drizzle. Hubby asked “Rain or shine?” And, I replied with a smile “Yup!”  Before we even reached a full kilometer, it was pouring. Hubby offered his cap, but I declined wanting to feel the rain on my face. (How dramatic!)

Our first few kilometers was almost serene. We were talking in the beginning, but once the rain got stronger, we both fell into a comfortable silence. Sounds of the rain falling on rooftops, the croaking of frogs, and our shoes hitting the pavement was like a celebration of nature.

Never mind that I almost stepped on two bullfrogs and played patintero with a third, or that I had to squint to avoid the rain from hitting my eyes, or that both of us ran as if we were in an obstacle course avoiding puddles and holes.  Never mind if we ended with our shoes, socks, and insoles completely soaked and hubby worried that my wet top had already gone transparent (which it had but thank God for sports bras!)  

Who cares if I’m typing this now with a runny nose and an aching throat?  Last night’s 7k run was well worth it. It had the makings of a perfect run, or at least it would be up there on top of my list of favorites.  

Now let me just go get my Vitamin C + zinc and drink a dose of Berocca.

Running is the Best Medicine

Thursday, 9 October 2008  |  Bullish Insights

Running is the best medicine, at least in my world; laughter comes a close second. (Laughing during a long run—which is a habit that Annie and I practice on weekends—will probably make us live to 100.)

Yesterday, after complications arose from the operation of my ill relative that brought my entire family into stress and worry on Monday until the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I woke up exhausted from hospital duties with only a short break to care for the kids before I returned to the hospital again. I desperately needed to run; I knew it would relieve me of all my concerns albeit temporarily and give me strength to face yet another day of troubles.

So, like a crazed woman, I pushed my body to the limits by running under the intense 8:30 a.m. heat with barely 3 hours of sleep.  I planned on running just 8km, enough to release a few pints of sweat along with the anxieties that were dragging me down. The first 2k was a challenge, but before long I found my rhythm and ran somberly through familiar roads.

When you run alone, there’s no escaping your thoughts, no escaping your own reality. Just as you can jot down your own bucket list, solve a problem, or create a new business while out on a run, you also come face-to-face with your anxieties, fears, and worst nightmares.  As it turns out, all my worries started chasing me during this run.  My initial reaction was like what most of you would’ve done, I ran away from them as fast as I could. In less than a kilometer, I was pooped.

Then, as I slowed down, I suddenly thought of visualizing my anxieties in words—being the graphic designer that I am, they were in Futura Bold, 48pt, all caps in case you wanted to know—and they popped up not in front of me like road blocks, but under my feet. I started stomping on words like FEAR, EGO, BILLS, and the biggest of them all, DEATH. This all occurred in a span of just a few minutes, but at the risk of sounding melodramatic and psycho, these things actually did work. Gone were the worries, replaced with a new sense of hope and optimism.

My relative did well during the operation last night. He surprised doctors—who told us to expect the worst—by staying strong during a 2nd operation even after suffering from a mild heart attack on Monday morning.  He’s slowly recovering and we’re all keeping our fingers crossed.

So, yes, running is definitely therapeutic; I experienced that for myself yesterday. We might as well believe what those wise runners from old have said about the benefits of running on our health: A run a day keeps the doctor away and A mile of running is better than a pound of cure.

My New Babies from the Phil. Blog Awards

Monday, 6 October 2008  |  Bullish Insights

Guess what finally arrived: my trophies from the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards! Thanks to Mark of Sheeromedia for delivering them during the Hope in Motion race.

This shot was taken while they lay in the trunk of my car after the race, but these little babies have now found a special place in our home. I initially wanted to place them on the hubby’s night table to remind him how lucky he is to have a trophy-winning wife (mind you, not a trophy-wife) like me, but due to the limited space, I’ve conspicuously displayed them in our den instead where the hubby will have to stare at them as he runs on the treadmill.


Close Encounters with the Big C

Wednesday, 1 October 2008  |  Bullish Insights

We all know someone—a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, colleague—who has/had cancer. But, for me, this week, a great big cancer scare never hit this close to home.  Suffice it to say that I spent much of the week at the hospital caring for this relative; waiting with bated breath for the biopsy and colonoscopy results; and praying endlessly for a successful operation that would remove the mass—at that time, we weren’t sure if it was benign or malignant—that blocked his colon.

Thank God the operation went well yesterday. Initial results showed that the mass is benign and my relative is on his way to a smooth recovery. Phew, nothing like a big scare like that to shake up your world and almost mandate you to reassess your life.

In the physical aspect, good nutrition and exercise are key to cancer prevention.  I hope you can say YES to these questions below:

  • Are you conscious of your health?
  • You do know that running alone isn’t going to cure you of all your health problems, right? A 21k doesn’t give you the license to eat all the junk in sight. 
  • Have you been eating your fruits and veggies (specifically great cancer fighters like grapes, melon and broccoli) just like mom taught you? 
  • Do you eat skinless chicken or fish more often than red meat?
  • Do you use olive oil instead of butter?
  • Do you enjoy home-cooked meals more than dining at McDo or Jollibee?  
  • Do you drink tons of water?
  • Have you already quit smoking? Or, you never smoked at all, right?
  • Do you get a regular massage not just to relieve the aches and pains in your legs but also to alleviate stress?
  • Do you put sunblock before a run?  Yes, it’s sticky and slimy but it’s worth the trouble, guys!
  • Have you been running (or exercising at all) and not just sitting here reading this blog?
  • Do you know what you just stuffed into your mouth?

Speaking of cancer, there’s an upcoming 8k race called Run Against Pain on October 18 at the Quirino Grandstand, Roxas Blvd.  This is celebration of Global Day Against Cancer Pain, for the benefit of the Pain Society of the Philippines.  

I’m still choosing between Run Against Pain, Takbong May Yabang at Alabang, and Paa-Bilisan on the 19th. (Click List of Races for more info)  Or, maybe I’ll just enjoy a long slow run on Sunday.  Let’s see.