When Failure Changed You

Turning wounds into wisdom…

Left – September 2014, Right – October 2015

Everyone fails.  Once, twice or maybe a hundred times; just like Thomas Alba Edison when he thought of creating the light bulb, his failures did not stop him from doing what he loves.  It even made him to do something better, until he achieved his goal… Just like him, it may not be phenomenal, I have a story too.
Flashback – I left Kuwait for Korea in July 2014. I was a bouncing 100kg block at that time. Wooohhoooo! One of my friends even threw a joke at me that I am 0.1 ton (Damn, how could they use the unit ton on me). I know I’m heavy and big for my height but I believe that things will be okay if I workout.  I’m sure it will be okay.  So I started having this new life, working out, running, swimming, but nothing really serious as my diet was the same.  SEE-FOOD (When I see food, I eat). I would always try to weigh myself and see very minimal changes; I joined various half marathons, but naaah, nothing.  Ok, I lost weight, 1lb per month.  I’m not really sure if it was a big difference… maybe, at least I’m going somewhere.  I even joined Tokyo marathon in February 2015, and I was around 95Kg; 5kg in 7months.  Then triathlon events came in April and finished last.  At the end of July 2015, I weight 93kg; a loss of 7kg in one year.

Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.
Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.

My friends see me as very optimistic person and I really consider myself the same: fit and able to endure anything that goes in my way. Then, this event came.  70.3 Ironman… A Complete Failure. I blame the full moon, the unforgiving heat and the inconsiderate marshals (even though they are not) for now allowing me to run…

Fine. No problem, I’m fine, Perfect, Try again. I was trying to console myself and so did my friends, but the truth was, it’s not okay. I returned to Korea thinking about it, and I had this realization, that I need to do something different for me to really achieve my goal.

I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.
I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.

I signed up for a number of multisport events, but I told myself that I want to be better. I created a training diary and told myself that I should do it. Whatever my reasons were when I wake up, I have to do it. I get up early to swim or bike or run. Then in the evening do the same. 7 days a week. I rest sometimes but that’s because of my work schedule.  The key was I should have a good sleep.   I used my common sense on my diet; eliminated sugar in my coffee and chose healthier options.

On the first 2 weeks I saw significant difference on my weight. Wow! This is working.  I shared my plan to few of my friends who I know can motivate me; to keep my sanity (because I’ve never done this before). I would show them what I’m doing and they would virtually pat my back for my job. That feels good.

I consistently workout, and it showed huge results.  All my races may not be a complete success but there is one thing in this pursuit that thrilled me most. I lost 10kg! I looked back on some of my photos a year ago, and it was like I’m looking at two different people, with the same smile (lol).  Even I couldn’t believe on what I have achieved, just when I thought it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Then, I change the way I look at things, then it became, I’M POSSIBLE.  I used my failure as my inspiration to be better, and so I succeed.
Today, I am still aiming to shred few more pounds, I just recently hit sub 2 hours in my last half marathon, and looking forward to improve my time in my marathon pursuit.


Monitored my progress with the use of Body Analyzer in the gym I am registered, while the accuracy of the Fat% and other things seemed to be questionable, it is giving me a ball park value and something to target.

Oh What a Comical Day! (Philippine Independence Day Half Marathon)

Sometimes, all you have to do is to laugh at it…

Post Race Photo:

It was undeniably a comical day for me today if not for some. Today, I was registered for a half marathon. Upon arriving at the site, what you can only do is to scratch your head at the very petite opening the race had in going to the coral just to check in; not to mention that there were busloads of runners trying to enter… It was like there was a famous artist that needs to be seen.

One, two three! Was that how the emcee said it? I didn’t even take notice of. All of us were surprised but we have no choice but to start. The sardines-like coral started to be emptied when the 5K, 10K, 15K and 21K started all at once!

Another funny thing! I don’t know what the organizers were actually thinking, but I was flabbergasted by how they fancy to begin the race. “Walang basagan ng trip… Gusto ko sabay-sabay kayong magsimula”

The throng of runners dispersed at 5k, at least… and it was a nice route until Km 14… I really thought that the race is going to end in a tasteful manner but it was astonishment! The marshals are unaware of the route making all the people confused and don’t know what to do until they either ran one loop or two short or over…

Marshal: Ikaw isang ikot ka… Ikaw 2… Ikaw wag ka na umikot, ok na yan…

I chose to do the longer route 3 turns in BHS because I know at what instant I’ll end up the race, probably 20 minutes or less after 2 hours. Too bad I didn’t get a medal; Rumors that the medals were offered to the other runners who ran shorter distances or that they are really short of one of a kind medal. Never mind… There’s no way my day will be busted… Oh did I say that they have lots of hydration station?  One point for the effort!

Takbo.ph peeps!

The race might be a total disappointment and worst for some but it still an experience learned and training accomplished.

Thank you Carlo Serrano for the photos…

Argonaut’s 2009 Running Awards

After looking back to all the races I’ve joined, I’d like to make a few on all the exceptional I believe I encountered… Let’s get the ball rolling on all the awards!


Yeah, This one is inviting!

REACH FUN RUN,– Oh yeah! This is the friendliest of the year for me; a two-loop 5Km fun run and one would need to stop to eat four Krispy Kreme Donuts. . Despite of the number of runners of the event, I can feel the air of happiness among runners. Organizers still has to learn a lot in organizing a fun run but they let us feel that the race is fun. *Special mention to Rizal Day Run for the Ice cream, Beer and Boodle Fight.


The first medal that I had that I failed to value...

TAKBONG MAY YABANG 4.4K, 8.8K – I’ve never seen such race like this before. There’s two loops and four loops of UP oval that’s just 2.2 Km per loop making it a little odd for me.


Neon Yellow: I like!

ADIDAS KOTR – I don’t think anyone would give a violent reaction. Yeah it’s the best singlet! The only problem is that I looked so dark in this singlet because of its neon color. Too bad I failed to run on this event because of Subic International Marathon. I was registered for 21K. • Special mention to Nike Human Race singlet.


I am indeed surprised! (Photo by Cathy Reyno)

SUBIC INTERNATIONAL MARATHON – This could be my worst race but instead I changed it as most surprising race. Did anyone think the organizers would mess up on this event? And who would have thought they won’t provide something to quench the runners thirst in the middle of the dark not to mention that it’s 42K! Surprising isn’t it?


BongYu with the medal!

SUBIC INTERNATIONAL MARATHON –Despite of the surprising mishaps, I would still think that they have my respect as they have the best medal in my collection. If only I’m at Mayon Trail Run… • Special mention to Quezon City International Marathon


Post Race Pic and Somewhere after the finishline would be the lootbags stampede.

FIT N RIGHT RUN – Loot bag full of Del Monte Products! That what Fit ‘N Right fun run has making it to be the most generous race. Mommy Milk Shake and Buddy Run could also be a contender but too bad I was not able to enjoy it due to my failure to wake up early.


Earl almost want to shot himself dead after the race...

CONQUER CORREGIDOR – Hills! Lot’s of steep hills! A 10 mile Challenge where in one dealt with steep hills. That’s what Corregidor has making it the most challenging for me. • Special mention to Celebrity Run for the race covered hill as well and that unforgiving 1.2 Km excess.


Still Breathless!

THE NORTH FACE 100 – This could be the most challenging race for me only if I joined 100K. Yet I’ve decided to run only the 20K version for me to enjoy the beauty of Sacobia Park in Clark Pampanga making this my best Trail Run Ever to date.


I'm sure you don't want to see one of these out of water

CONDURA RUN, RUN FOR THE WHALE SHARKS – It was definitely a dream come true running in the skyway and the race made it possible for all of us. I got injured though after the race but it was the most delightful experience I had last year!

There you have it! I’m sure this year would be promising now that running in the Philippines had boomed! Bring it on 2010!

The Hills Were Alive at the Sound of Celebrity Run

New PR. Photo by Marvin Opulencia
New PR

I arrived at Bonifacio High at around 4Am thinking that the race would start at 5AM, paranoid of getting late for the 21Km Race. Surprisingly, upon seeing the almost barren appearance of it, I concluded that it won’t happen at my expected hour.  Come 5:30 but still the race hasn’t started though they were quick in setting it up and everything was ready. I’ve been with the rest of the takbo.ph group and discussing about our goal for that day. I said I’m just aiming for 2:10 but seriously, I aiming higher than that… Crazy but I’m now aiming for sub-2 due to my previous weight loss of 12 lbs which I think could help me in getting more speed.   

I was totally trained...

Five-Forty, and the race started.  My first three kilometers was a blast for I would think I am doing faster that 5min/km pace.  I’ve been with Luis, Pat, Sam at that point and can see fast runners like El Kyoshi and Tigerboy.   I decided to give up before reaching the fourth Km and decided to take it a bit slower. 

I would believe I reached the 10th Km mark at 53 min; yet, I think there’s already something going fishy at the markers.  I glanced at my watch as soon as I saw the much awaited marker and I was surprised to see that it’s already at 58 min! The markers have really gone mad!  Bryan has informed me that it was over by 500meters before he left.  

With Carlo, Bryan and Pat before the race
With Carlo, Bryan and Pat

I just ignored the whole thing thinking that it might be adjusted at the succeeding kilometers, but it didn’t happen. I am really trying to push my self thinking that I am already late from my real target. 

McKinley… That’s where my agony started.  I’ve got a chaffing arms already (I might have not applied enough petroleum jelly) but I still tried my best.  The hills of McKinley reminded me of Corregidor and told myself that this is not even half of it so I should endure.  Mark Hernandez was already behind me at this point and begun catching up with me.  I told myself that I should hang out with him else the desired PR would all be gone. 

Two Hours has just passed and we were still running, the route must have been really longer that expected.  After finishing the race at 2:10, I was immediately informed that the route was 1.2 Km over.  What??? That long? How could that be?  Oh well, enough of ranting, at least I have improved my PR by almost 9 min (Timex Net Time 2:18:52).

Exhaustion, that’s all I can feel at that time… I was so tired and I was still panting even after 20 minutes had passed.  It must have been really hard route after all!  Oh what a day!

I had a blast with these guys...

Thank you Marvin Opulencia for the pictures


For the PR!!!

The Rotarun Medal
The Rotarun Medal

3, 2, 1! That’s what I’ve heard and everyone begun running.  I was in fact looking for the takbo.ph friends that I could actually paced with.  First I was with Ellen and Timmy then moved forward for Carina and the Barrios and eventually decided to go with Gab and DocT.  Ellen and Timmy caught up eventually together with MarkH and Ferdie.  I am not sure how many we were in the group but I could say that we were definitely a flock of Takbo.ph Runners soaring in McKinley (not the highest mountain in America).

During the race, I had this frustrating side-stitch again but I decided to take no notice of.  I just don’t consider to be left behind with the group for the reason that pacing with them was actually the best idea.  After catching up to Carlo (Hydraice) the group eventually dispersed.  I moved onward together with Mark but he is unsurprisingly fast, so I let him advanced and decided to run by myself.

My Bib
My Bib


  Since Carlo is pacing himself at 6ish/km, I am safe and I’m just at the right spot for another PR. 


Hush! There were really times that I ran slowly when I get dead beat and burst for speed when I suddenly feel that I have again the energy to run fast (not sure if this is a clever idea though).  Then came Gab (DirtySanchez) from behind and suddenly winked at me when he was about to pass me making me think he’s saying the phrase “SORRY BUD, BUT YOU’RE NOT MOVING”. Darn, it was a dejavu!


Still a victory for me!
Still a victory for me!

I have to let it go, acknowledge it and be happy with my own pursuit; at least I can see him all through out the race.  LOL! Hush! I am again feeling another pain.  The chaffing!  It’s getting more painful as I run eventually run-walked at 1:30ish.  Ellen would absolutely frown if she saw me like this…Joyful thought just came into me once again when I saw the 15K runners.  It was Raymund and Ogie that I saw first then Lauren and Julie who were pacing each other.    Last guy I saw was Gerard (Supacow) then Jay (Prometheus Comet) who has just finished the race informing us that it was a couple of kilometers short. 


I completed the race at 1:58 in my clock.  Surprisingly it was 3.3 Km short. I was pleased by the thought that my pace improved by a couple of seconds though and it was still a remarkable race for me!  Kudos to the organizers and of course to takbo.ph that was part of it. 


Time to train again for another 21K… or probably a full mary…