Race: Gabriel Symphony 12-Hour Multisport Celebration for a Cause

Tuesday, 1 October 2013  |  Race Announcements

FINAL Save the Date Announcement Banner

If you wish to do some good through running, this may just be the right event for you. It’s Senator Pia Cayetano’s Gabriel Symphony, a 12-hour event in Alabang in memory of her son, Gabriel, who lived only until 9 months old.  Proceeds from the event will go to children with disabilities and less privileged children.

Details of the event are posted below.  To register, you may print the registration form below , fill up, and email to  blessings@gabrielsymphony.comBy tomorrow, October 2, 2013, online registration will be available www.gabrielsymphony.com


I always support this event.  The past few years, I haven’t been able to join due to conflicts in schedule but I do help promote it.  The last time I joined Gabriel Symphony was way back in 2008!  (Click HERE if you want to read about it or just see how skinny I was! Oh, to be young again! LOL) It was a great event with such a positive atmosphere.  Looks like I’ll be joining again this year!  Hope to see you there.

For TBR-ULAH Dreamers, Sen. Pia Cayetano has a special note for you in case you’d like to use the event as a training race:

Dear Dream Marathoners,

Congrats on your decision to sign up for the Dream Marathon! It may seem daunting, but I promise you every step you take will bring closer to your goal.

That said, I would like to invite you to do your long training run at our 12-Hour Multi-Sport Celebration, In Memory of Gabriel on October 12, 2013 at the Alabang Country Club. It officially starts at 6am, but the nice thing about this event is that you can start anytime and run any distance, depending on what your training program dictates for the week. Consider it a “catered” training day with refreshments and goodies at the end of your training plus it’s all for a good cause.

Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation is inspired by my son Gabriel who only lived for nine months. By participating in the event, you make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities and less-privileged children.

For only P1,000, you may also join the other activities of the day, and you will be given access to all-day goodies: mid-morning refreshments, lunch and afternoon merienda.

Hope to see you there!

Sen. Pia Cayetano

See you all there!

Bull Circle 3: Full House with Coach Jim Saret & Sen. Pia Cayetano

Thursday, 15 December 2011  |  Running + Triathlon

Our TBR Dream Marathoners were treated to an evening of new learnings and fresh inspiration from our special guests last night at ROX, Bonifacio High Street.  No less than RP-Smart Gilas team and The Biggest Loser Coach, Jim Saret, and super athlete, mother, and Senator, Sen. Pia Cayetano, graced our 3rd Bull Session for TBR Dream Marathon 2012.

– Full house at ROX! –

Our talk started with TBR Dream Alumni Miriam Valero sharing her personal experience and practical tips on running TBR Dream Marathon.

– Miriam Valero shares her TBR Dream Marathon experience –

Coach Jim Saret’s informative and engaging talk focus on strength conditioning, core, and balance for our runners preparing for their 42k.

– Coach Jim addresses our runners –

He emphasized the importance of strengthening specifically the hamstrings, the source of power for a runner in each and every single step he takes.  (Nope, it’s not the quads like we all thought.)

Coach Jim asked our runners to perform simple tests to evaluate the imbalances in their bodies (oh boy!) and taught them specific exercises they could do at home to correct these imbalances and strengthen the muscles in both legs.

– There was a lot of wobbling, shaking, and nervous laughter in the house! –

– By partners! –

– Night of learning…and fun –


– The Biggest Loser’s Allan Choachuy was there too! Here he is partnering with my Big Brother! Yes, the guy on the left is my cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking Kuya who signed up for TBR Dream 2012 –

Sen. Pia Cayetano then shared a side of her that we don’t often see in the news nor read in the newspapers.  She candidly spoke about her own journey as an athlete dating back to the days as a varsity volleyball player leading up to her numerous marathons and triathlons in the present.

– Sen. Pia addresses our runners –

– Runners listening intently –

She spoke about how running changed her and helped her face many challenges in her life.  She also gave our future marathoners detailed tips on how to run their race, dealing with injury, and training.


Before leaving, Sen. Pia talked about her new memoir: My Daily Race and signed books of our runners.

– Sen. Pia signing her books –

I got myself a copy and I’ve read a couple of the stories in her collection.  It’s a great read that’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and completely inspiring.  Highly recommend this book! I purchased a couple as Christmas gifts already.

We capped the night with a whole lot of pictures with Sen. Pia and Coach Jim Saret gamely hanging out with our runners.

– GM of NUVALI, our event partner for TBR DM, Jun Bisnar, me, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Coach Jim’s lovely wife, Toni, and Coach Jim –

– with The Biggest Loser’s Allan Choachuy, TBR DM runners, and friends –

– with Jun, Coach Jim, and Miriam –

TBR on Good Times with Mo

Wednesday, 1 April 2009  |  Press

I was driving home this morning from a long morning at the pool with TI instructor, Nonoy, and classmate, Dondi, and as always I was listening to my favorite morning habit on 89.9, “Good Times with Mo” with Mo Twister, Mojo, and Grace Lee.  

There is not a weekday (except Fridays when they’re not on) that I don’t listen to this trio on the radio.  They’re discussions are thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating, but most importantly, they are downright funny.  I can’t count how many times I’ve laughed out loud alone in the car after taking the kids to school or coming home from a training run.  Needless to say, I am a huge fan.  Huge! 

This morning, it was not a surprise that Sen. Pia Cayetano was on the show.  She was a guest last week and a couple of days ago she was a guest on Mo Twister’s TV show as well to discuss current issues, promote her advocacies, and of course, touch on her personal life as well (which, fortunately for us, includes running.)  But, what surprised me was this: Mojo Jojo mentioning The Bull Runner Magazine!  Yes, he did!

So, TBR was NOT actually on the show (as written on the title of this post which was made only to fool you into reading this), but TBR Magazine was there, in the hands of Mojo, to be exact.  He basically asked Sen. Pia about her training program and mentioned that he was reading about it in The Bull Runner Magazine.  Woohooo…what a pleasant surprise!  Good Times with Mo, you just made my day!

Thanks to Sen. Pia for bringing your copy of TBR Magazine!

6th Gabriel Symphony

Sunday, 28 September 2008  |  Race Reports

Joining the Gabriel Symphony 10k run was a last minute decision I was glad to have made; good thing there was onsite registration.  Yesterday morning, I arrived at the Alabang Country Club at 5:30 a.m. sharp anticipating a long line of onsite registrants; it turned out that I was the only eager beaver in the area. Organizers were still setting up the venue when I registered, got my race bib and singlet, and laughed to myself when I saw the lady jot down the words “Early Bird” on my registration form. I hoped that it’s true what some say “The early bird catches 1st place.”

Shortly after, I was relieved to see friends arrive: JunC, Coach Rio, Coach Jo-Ar, Coach John, Kim and friend Cristina, Dedette and Lisa. As we did our usual warm ups, Patrick and Totoy of Happy Feet took a detour from their run to say hi too. 


– Coach Ani de Leon gives the pre-race briefing –

The 5k & 10k event started late as Sen. Pia Cayetano, who was leading the affair, came from a brief swim with Maiqui Dayrit and Joey Torres, two athletes who so admirably volunteered to do an Ironman distance from 6 am to 6 pm to raise funds for Gabriel Symphony.  After a short talk from Sen. Cayetano about the recipients of the fundraising activities of Pinay In Action, the runners—perhaps less than 50—assembled at the startling line awaiting the start of the race.

By 6:30 a.m., we were off.  The course would take us through roads that I knew like the back of my hand. We were to make two 5k loops from Alabang Country Club to University Ave. and up Country Club Drive. Easy peasy, I thought. I could never have been more wrong.

As we exited Alabang Country Club, I ran at a comfortably hard pace for me—around 5:30 min/km—almost like I was going for my once-a-week tempo run. I ran alongside Sen. Pia for a few minutes; our conversation revolving around PRs and running, no longer about the kid’s articles we used to write together.  

The first 5k loop was fairly simple. I maintained a 5:30 to 5:40 min/km following three men in a line. Actually, they looked like the three little dwarfs (a lot taller though) climbing up those two major uphills at University Ave. and Country Club Drive (Think Hi ho hi ho, it’s off to work we go!)  As for me, the 4th little dwarf, I was doing fine, thank you, until another dwarf in black overtook me and claimed my position. Arggh, I was not happy playing 5th dwarf!

So, by the 2nd loop, this little dwarf was on a mission to regain her position. I stayed behind the black dwarf during the entire run, sometimes even matching his pace—no matter how tired I was—just to ensure that I wouldn’t lag too far behind. The supposedly easy peasy route and fast pace (remember this was a big guy I was trying to chase after), however, had taken its toll on me; I was feeling tired. As we climbed University Ave., my legs started feeling heavy and the black dwarf had gone way ahead of me. This annoyed me even more.

Rolling down University Ave. I discarded all shin splint fears and sprinted my way down the hill to catch up to black dwarf. We were less than 2 km to the finish and I needed to be right behind him to execute my plan. As we climbed the last uphill on Country Club Drive, I knew it was time.

I increased my pace just as he had slowed down during the climb up; yes, I overtook him! I wanted to scream out in triumph, but there was one problem: I was exhausted. (Hubby saw me at this point and waved at me from afar, but I could barely manage a grin.)  Oh, there was another problem too: the finish line was farther than I thought as we had to enter from the exit of the Club, not the entrance. Gawd, I didn’t know how long I could maintain my 4:40 pace without the black dwarf surprising me from behind.

Well, I ended the run with a terrible time of 59:48, unhappy with my time but ecstatic over my triumph over black dwarf. Woohoo!

I took a 5 minute rest (and a quick photo op with Smart peeps Ellen and Jet) and met up with JunC, who I was to run extra kilometers with as planned. Annie was supposed to join us but she was nowhere in sight.  So, Jun and I took off. We ran at a slower 6:00 to 6:30 min/km pace around flat roads this time (thank God!) and enjoyed easy conversation about family, children, and the upcoming Singapore Marathon where we’re both registered for the half. I ran an extra 4 km while Jun ran an additional 8 km.

The big surprise of the morning: I won 3rd place! First placer was the super fast runner who took Annie’s place as first at Nike due to Annie’s collapse; 2nd placer was no other than top female triathlete Sandra Araullo. Wooaah, I was just in awe that little ol’ me stood with these two great runners up on the podium. Must’ve been my lucky day.

I arrived at Gabriel Symphony with the mindset that it would be an easy, relaxed, fun run; it was fun alright, but it was taxing, challenging, and completely exhausting—just the way I like it.

– Winners received cool medals and a bag full of grocery items –

– When I grow up, I wanna be like Sandra Araullo. Problem is, she’s younger than me! –

– with 1st placer Coach John, 2nd placer Coach Rio, and JunC –


– Smart Runners with Ellen (5k winner) at the top of the podium –

Congratulations to Pinay In Action for completing yet another successful event. May you help more children live happier and healthier lives.