The Curious Case of Mary Joy Tabal

Friday, 3 June 2016  |  News + Promos


I was asked to publish this article to share with you the other side of the story behind Mary Joy Tabal’s qualifying for the Rio Olympics. (See press release here.)

I hear that it’s a controversial topic lately among runners, but, quite honestly, it’s the first time I’ve heard about this so I don’t feel I’m informed enough to express an opinion. However, I do believe it’s important to share this article to help shed light on the issue and allow the public to decide for themselves.

Below is the article written by PATAFA marketing head, Edward Kho:

The Curious Case of Mary Joy Tabal
What it truly means for her to represent the Philippines in the Rio Olympics

The running community recently celebrated the success of Mary Joy Tabal hitting the Olympic standard for marathon. Joy ran a 2:43:30-hour marathon time at the 2016 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, beating the 2:45-hour standard for her to join the Olympics. While the running community celebrates, there are mixed feelings inside the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA). (more…)

The Elusive 100km

Saturday, 16 June 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

I should’ve done my 100k bike ride last May. But, something always got in the way: a family trip, fever, ITB, and intestinal flu.

Today, everything fell into place.

– Jun and I after our 100k bike ride at NUVALI –

Who would’ve thought I could ever ride 100km? Just goes to show that with a little perseverance, a whole lot of commitment, a dash of stubbornness, and a wee bit of craziness, everything is possible. Yes, even for imbalanced, squeamish, and accident-prone runners like me.

Runnr Lab: Free Running Clinic in UP Diliman

Friday, 18 May 2012  |  News + Promos

RUNNR presents “RUNNR LAB”, a FREE developmental running clinic in UP Diliman.


Learn about proper running techniques and more from U.S. Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist Coach Edsel Vengco.

Clinic consists of LECTURES & GROUP RUNS.

No need for registration! To join just head on over to the U.P. Diliman grounds (A.S. Parking lot, Palma Hall) on the following dates:
May 20, 7:00 am
June 10, 7:00 am

Freebies and raffle prizes await runners!

Event is powered by Newton, Smith Optics, CW-X, Polar Heart Rate Monitor, Moving Comfort Sports Bras, Fuelbelt & Gu.

For the latest on RUNNR clinics, visit, or follow RUNNR on

TBR Dream Marathoner Remi Velasco, 2011 Palanca Awardee Stages a Play for Ondoy Victims

Wednesday, 22 February 2012  |  Interviews + Features

One of the biggest gifts of TBR Dream Marathon to me is the opportunity to meet runners of all shapes and sizes. Boy was I surprised to discover that one of our TBR Dream Alumni and 2012 participant is a 2011 Palance First Prize Winner. She is Remi Velasco, author/playwright of “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong,” the 2011 Palanca First Prize Winner for Dulang May Isang Yugto.

2010 bullrun
– Remi Velasco finisher of TBR Dream Marathon 2010 –

Palanca award
– Remi receiving her Palanca Award in 2011 –

Remi sent me an email a few days ago about her current project to help Ondoy victims and I’m sharing it with you in an attempt to help a fellow runner help others:

Title: Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong A Charity Event
Where: Tanghalang Huseng Batute, CCP
When: March 17-18, 2012 3pm and 8pm
Tickets available at CCP or ticketworld
Ticket Price: 350 or more for cash donations

“Ondoy” was staged at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2010 and 2011 and at the 2011 Palanca Awards Night.

– “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong” Poster at the Virgin LabFest 6 2010 –

This March 10-11, 2012, the play will once again be shown at CCP. This time around, it will be a staging for a cause. All proceeds will go to the victims of Typhoon Sendong (we are also trying to include the recent earthquake victims.)

The cast of the play Ms Cai Cortez (Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank), Mr. Jelson Bay (Tanghalang Pilipino), Direk Uro de la Cruz (Bubble Gang Director) and Remi, the author, have agreed to waive their talent/professional fee for the said project. CCP also allowed them to stage the play for free.

However, THEY NEED HELP TO HELP. The manpower cost of CCP is not for free. They need sponsors for the manpower, logistics, marketing and advertising. Please click HERE to download Remi’s formal letter of request for sponsorship if you wish to help.

I was quite curious how a playwright / runner lives her life and so I thought I’d feature Remi on this blog too. Here’s a short interview.

1) How did you become a playwright?

I never dreamed of becoming a playwright, really not a second. When I was a kid I would rather sing, dance or honestly run than write.

Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong is the first play that I wrote. If I may say, it was also the first entry I had for Palanca and my first Palanca Award. Pretty special for me. I am a Copy Writer and News Writer prior to writing this play.

I drew my inspiration in writing the play from the victims of Ondoy. I (and my younger brother) donated some relief goods and spent time packing and helping out in distributing them. But when I saw people who were helpless, starving with nothing to eat and seeking for their missing loved ones, I felt all the more depressed. I couldn’t sleep. I promised to myself, I wouldn’t stop on merely giving goods. I would like to share something that will leave impact to people. I thought of writing a film first, but I was pressed for time. So, there goes the birth of “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong.”

2) How long have you been running?

I wrote a whole article about this actually, but I’ll give the gist…

Long before I found my passion in writing, running has been in my blood. I started running since elementary days or since I can recall. I remember I was very little, I would wake up at 5am to jog or run.

I didn’t care if there were days that I would sleep scarcely. I got to wake up earlier than usual and run with my sister, a friend and her dad’s group. We would run 3k. In our province, we were part of the group who welcomed the sunrise, listened to the “tilaok ng manok” and smelled brewed coffee of the neighbourhood. We bonded as kids and had great time! At school, I would run with or without shoes. My mom would complain. In a year, she couldn’t count how many pairs of shoes that I would get damaged. She once quipped, “I’d ask for a metal pair of shoes just for you!”

It was an impossibility that I wouldn’t run. RUNNING makes me happy and free.

3) Why did you decide to join TBR Dream Marathon 2010?

42K is a challenge. Running in itself is a challenge. It has taught me a lot. I have learned and appreciated the art of winning and not quitting. I learned that the more that I felt exhausted, the more that I pushed myself forward. The more that the number of my opponents increased, the more that I jolted my energy.

TBR 2010 is one of the moments that I love to look back to. It is self-fulfilling and rewarding. When I encounter some pressure, I would recall my last 15K which were the hardest to finish. If I had conquered this challenge why not on other aspects of life.

People are always amazed when they learn that I am a 42K finisher. Some of my acquaintances were inspired and started running as well.

4) Does running and particularly training for a marathon help you become better at your craft? How?

YES, definitely! As a writer, I need to clear my thoughts and make myself free. Running is one of my happiness. As I said, it makes me happy and free. It is my connection to nature and a form of communication to myself and to the heavens. I greet sunrise and sunset when I run. I love feeling the rain drops. I appreciate seeing everything green around me. I love when the wind blows and touches my face. That is why I love running outdoor.

Many times, I have come up with ideas while running.

When I run, I can test my physical strength. My mind just wouldn’t give up even if I am already exhausted. Sometimes, I think my feet have their own minds.

I pray while I run, too. I become more grateful in everything I have. The feeling of freedom makes me feel part of nature which is pretty special.

In short Ms. Jaymie, running plays an extraordinary part in my life.

2012 bullrun training
– Remi at a training run –

TBR Magazine “Guess the Cover Runner” Contest Rules

Tuesday, 17 March 2009  |  News + Promos


CONTEST: “Guess the Cover Runner” on TBR Magazine’s Maiden issue

CONTEST PERIOD: March 18, Wednesday (TOMORROW) to March 21, Saturday, 11:59 PM (EVE OF CONDURA)

PRIZE: One (1) lucky winner will receive:

  • 1 pair of Nike running shoes (Sorry, I don’t know the model yet)
  • 1 Paul Calvin’s deli gift certificate worth P500


  1. Contestant shall provide ONE name on the comment box of TOMORROW’s post on GUESS THE COVER RUNNER.  Please refrain from asking questions or discussing your training program in that post.  Just the name of the person who you think is on the cover will suffice.
  2. Only one entry per contestant is allowed.  Should two entries be submitted, the contestant will be automatically disqualified unless the contestant provides a good excuse for posting two entries (i.e., “I accidentally hit the submit button twice on the laptop as I was running fartleks while typing”)
  3. TBR will NOT publish comments on that particular post until after the end of the contest period, March 21.
  4. All correct entries will be collected and only 1 winner will be chosen through raffle.
  5. The name of the winner with the correct entry will be drawn under the supervision of TBR Representative, namely The Little Bull Runners.
  6. Should no one guess the cover runner correctly (aw, cmon!), there will be a raffle among all submitted entries.
  7. The winner will be announced on March 23, Monday and will be informed on how to claim the prize.
  8. TBR’s relatives who were informed of the publication or friends who contributed to TBR magazine or relatives/friends/colleagues of the cover runner are disqualified from joining the contest.  You guys will have to make do with a simple “Thank you!” from me! 
  9. I repeat, the contest starts TOMORROW.  Do not submit your entries in this post.

Did I miss anything in my rules?  Feel free to ask questions here before we start the contest tomorrow.  May the smart (and lucky) runner win!