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.

On Being Part of the Takbo.ph Runfest

Takbo.ph is my 2nd family…

I'm getting you! (photo by Marvin Pangan)

Upon the start of the registration of the Takbo.ph Runfest, I immediately informed Jinoe and Que (admins of takbo.ph) that I am not going to run the event, but instead I’ll volunteer as a photographer.  Days passed and I am getting excited even on the thought of it.  I can now pay forward on the kindness of my takbo.ph friends ever since I started on this passion until I joined a series of Marathons and Ultramarathons.

With Brando and Carlo (photo by Q of takbo.ph)

I received emails back and forth from moderators, about the plan on the program, about what to do.  Until someone suggested that I should lead the game portion.  I agreed without second thoughts.   The idea definitely didn’t sink in to me.

Race day came and I did my part on being a photographer.  I sought for my best shot and effort, yet I really had a tough time capturing all of them.  More than 3000 people crossing the finish line…   From the very first few who crossed, to the runners I know until almost all of them were through.  I stayed there for an hour and my arms were sore lifting my camera.

I'm a shy boy don't you think? Oh and look at the guy below! (photo by Angelo Maravilla)

When I feel that almost everyone crossed the finish-line, DJ Chloe called me to go upfront the stage.  Introduced me on a marathon that I’ve joined.  My heart leaped when my named was uttered.   I was nervous…  I was nervous but it only occurred for the first few minutes…  I felt it through my voice until everything came out naturally.  I love what I’m doing at that time and good thing that my friends who are at the same time our audience were all laughing with us.  There maybe monotonous moments on what we’ve done but heck, it was still a blast over all.

I definitely enjoyed the day!

Thank you takbo.ph It was a blast!

Perdition of Dream (My Milo Story)

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.


I am not utterly certain when I did start my training. I have really wanted to do Milo Marathon right after Condura Marathon but of course due to my desire to join BDM, TNF and PAU, everything started on the 2nd week of May.

I pulled running buddies like Earl and Allan on the preparation and did an average of 50 to 65 Km per week.  Those were really hard-hitting weeks entailing us to do long runs at the end of the week or during Thursday nights. I really want to improve my marathon time to at least 15 minutes or more…  Athena provided me so much wisdom and Eros to combust my passion to pursue my reverie. 

Come race day…  It was an all out flat route except for the flyovers. It was said that grotesque creatures were there and can suck out the power of your hamstrings on those parts. I ignored it, for I know they were just a measly pixie; however, I didn’t in actual fact realize that 10 of those could give me a great mischief.

Takbo.ph gang

My first 15 Km was just right, and so with my next 11Kilometers; however, lurking beasts started to assault me on the last loop.  I endlessly skipped at Zeus lightning despite of my hamstrings fatigue. The sun-god Helios boasted his strength of sunlight.  Good thing that the takbo.ph naiads, nymphs and mortals were there to offer support.  Merely seeing those joyful faces had already provided me more will to push trough. 

Takbo.ph-AnR Alabang in the last 3K photo: by July Pauli

Ultimately, I finished the race at 4:53:55; it was a little over four-minute improvement on my last marathon.  I felt defeated at the finish line for I have underestimated the route. The dream for the fifteen-minute improvement all went to perdition. I tried to contemplate and evaluate myself after the race, thinking if I really had given my 100% potential. 

Anyway, I am pleased I completed the race with all honesty.  I did not ride a chariot to dash, employed a doppelganger to run for me or teleported like the gods and goddesses of Olympus.  I finished the battle with valor; having faster time maybe a gauge of fitness and rapidity, but it’s finishing the race that quantifies manliness.

CB bib photo by takbo.ph


Again, I acknowledged all my friends who were there for support.  Takbo.ph,Team CB and AnR Alabang.  May God bless you always…

To the Abode of the Gods… The Great Olympus! (Condura Run 2010 – 1st Half)

‘Twas another memorable quest when the argonaut once again dared to enter the abode of the gods… the Olympus!

The Argonauts with the Nymphs of Takbo.ph

Another sleepless night… Good thing I slept more the day before the big day so I feel that I am more conditioned from my last run where in I challenged the not so worthy Morpheus.

Oh we don't want the sun king "Helios" burn us to death...

I arrived at the Great Hall of Bonifacio High Street minutes passed 3AM with the nymph Tracy.  Busloads of people were already there, all excited at the gun start for the 42Km, 21K, 10K and 5K.  Meeting with the other Argonauts, we bid each other good luck.  I believe that one is important… Those words of encouragement coming from your comrades.

Welcome Condura Marathon!

Blazing Fireworks in the sky were seen before the start to surprise the runners who wants to dare and we were all running after that.  Most people are trying to strategize by running at their own comfortable pace at first.  I was with my comrade Gab along the way for we have discussed that we’re going to pull each other’s leg during the race until one of us quits.  Mark Hernandez, Jixee were running with us for a couple of Km until Gab and I forwarded in our comfortable pace. 

Running along side with Gab

Reaching Kalayaan, we saw the formidable team Dragon Bong Z.  I told Gab that we should sneak out so that we wouldn’t be eaten easily by them.  We galloped when the light of Apollo was not present; both of us were laughing at the competition for the trio are indeed motivating us not to stop.

Olympus… The mouth of Olympus was already right before our eyes.  Both of us are having Goosebumps the moment we cross its threshold making us even more excited.  It was darkness as we ascend.  Good thing the God of Light somewhat shed some light through her sister’s emblem … the moonlight.  We are still running at our comfortable pace when the sun-king Helios was up.  At the Olympus, you can see nothing but the blue clear sky, both of us amazed at our feat. We saw Wilnar and Chris speeding, Bryan, Carly, Tina, Glen, Totoy, Dennis, Luis and Sam.  When it’s our time to turn, Gab mentioned that it will be the time how far are we from the DBZ.  Until we realize that they are just lurking behind us.  They weren’t doing so bad after all so we need to be on our guards. 

Don't be deceived... They are damn ferocious!

Km 25. A sign of the Nymph Vicky was present and so with the Running Ninja Sam before we reach the highest point of Olympus.   I stopped and walk the moment I reach that point and uttered that there’s no way I’m going to run this part for it will truly drained me a lot. 

Around Km 27, I stopped, for Zeus lightning had stricken me.  I was immobile for a few seconds and agony is all I can feel.  Gab who was a few meters ahead of me had already moved forward and so I was alone already. I don’t know what to do… I was already having a hard time. Zeus will definitely not stop until I crawl and stop…  It was a punishment for daring him to gatecrash at his abode.  The shoe that Hermes had given me is not giving me anymore drive.  I was already injured… My dream of reaching my goal is starting to shatter, the Fates are laughing at me now and Hades dark chariots are rampaging to arrest me.  Poor Argonaut is about to be sent to the underworld…

to be continued…

photos from Bryan Rivera, Carmen Cabiles, Carlo Serrano

It’s a Lifestyle

  First, we make our habits, then our habits make us. – Charles Noble

Nope, There no baby inside....

“Bukas Magdi-diet ako, hindi muna ako kakain… (I’ll be on diet tomorrow; I won’t eat for the mean time) Those are the words my friend utters when he found himself getting fat…  Then he will starve himself for a couple of hours within the day, only to find out that he is munching on pizza at the end of the day telling himself that he deserve a treat for dieting; and then the next day, he’ll find himself getting bigger and asking himself what he would need to do to get thin.

“I want to be a tri-athlete someday!” he said… and I was inspired by his thought so I trained myself so that I won’t be far behind when he’s already living his dream… Suddenly, I asked him to join me running one time and realized that he really never tried or haven’t started any of his plans.  I was disappointed trying to tell him that he can do it.  He said that he’s just taking it slowly and wouldn’t want to force his body. I agreed to him helplessly that day.  Time passed, and I’d never seen him do anything…

interested or determined?

So what’s my point?  I believe that fitness is not just a line segment.  It’s not a time line that will start today and end tomorrow.  It’s a never ending line that one needs maintain every time, all the time.  It’s not a stage or a season of the year because it’s summer but a lifestyle. I know we may sometimes eat a lot due to Christmas season but we should always have time to get back to ourselves and strive again for fitness.  It’s really a never ending battle.

You want to start today but don’t have the energy to do it?  Remember that there is great borderline between interest and determination.  You may say that you want to try running today and schedule it tomorrow but decline the next day because its raining cat’s and dogs and you’ll skip it until you lost the interest; however, if you are determined, you will go whatever it takes because you are determined.

I might not know what I’m saying or I’m just writing my thoughts out loud, but I do believe that at the end of the day, it’s still you who will decide.  Nobody can teaches anyone but himself.

My lunch... with rice?!

Dare to be Fit ‘n Right Blogging Contest Acceptance Speech



“The role of the first runner up is very important, in the occasion that if the Best Blogger did not fulfill his duty, the first runner up will take place.”

No, there are no cheesy words like that in the awarding of the mentioned contest, but yes, I am the 1st runner up…

Still the 1st loser... hahaha!

There’s a lot to be thank in this achievement.  Yes, this may be a small thing for most people but for me this is a full-size leap. I actually would have never thought that I can actually win 2nd place in Del Monte’s Fit ‘n Right Blogging Contest. 

First, I would like to thank of course Del Monte for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the event; to Dennis Ravanzo for taking a video of me during that time when I dared to take Jim Sarret’s challenge.  My family and friends who supported me, despite of pulling everyone’s hair just to get a ballot, the impact of your vote for me that reach more than a hundred and forty  had really brought me to the top 10.  It was undeniably remarkable. 

I thank Cherry for dropping me in the event.  It was always fun chatting with you and Lorie.

Most of all, I thank Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to show to that I could somehow write and express myself and the opportunity to be brave enough to tell the world that I am fit n right!

 ‘Till your next dare…

Oops, by the way, I forgot to say, I lost 12 lbs… (As if it matters)

Dare to be Fit ‘n Right

You Think You Are Fit? Think Again…

Do you have what it takes???
Do you have what it takes???

How fit are you? This is the question that struck me when the so called coach Jim Saret asked me in last Dare to be Fit n Right Blogger’s launch held at Taste Asia in SM Mall of Asia . I am confident to say I am fit. I visit the gym 3 times a week and run 2 or 3 time a week; however, when the coach gave us more follow up questions, I started to wonder… On how fit I am.

These are the few questions that I remember.

A fit person can:

Bench press 1.5 times your body weight.

Leg Curl 2.5 times your body weight.

Run 1.5 mile in 10 minutes

Touch the rim the basketball court

Throw a basketball 75 feet from your knees.

Do 40 push-ups in one set

Uhmm… Err… These are the expressions that came out from my mouth when he begun asking, Well, personally, I presume I could’ve done it, but I never really tried. I do bench press my own weight and leg curls 1.5 times my weight. Can most likely run 1.5 miles in 10 minutes but could not really touch the rim of a basketball court nor toss a ball 75 feet from my knees. Well, with his standard, I am not fit enough.

So as I listen to Jim Saret, he discussed the number of calories we burn in a day if were not doing anything, then if we are doing activities like running. He also told us a better way of burning calories with only 4 minutes…

FOUR MINUTES??? No way!!!

Yes I heard him, four minutes…  So what he did is he showed us how to do it. He asked a guy to perform a couple of exercises with a heart rate monitor and a calorimeter. After four minutes he actually burned 96 calories and eventually reach more than 300 calories after a couple of minutes more.

I am still not amazed at the performance, so Jim dared me to try their challenge. He asked me to run for 2 minutes. 20 seconds run and then rest for 10. So I accepted his challenge…

It was a blast! I can still talk for at the first 20 sec, started to pant at the next and I could almost not talk after the challenge ended. Sounds remarkable eh!

Fit n Right Fruit Snack AdDuring the session he also showed us Del Monte Product, Fit ‘n Right that could aid us how to burn fat. It has L-carnitine as he mentioned, but what the hell that it means?

This is what they tell us about L-carnitine:

L-Carnitine is a natural substance that is occurring in the body but can be supplemented for optimal health. It transports the fatty acids into the mitochondria, that’s the  powerhouse where they are burned into energy needed for a healthy heart, important body functions and physical activities. Supplementary L-Carnitine contributes to optimal fat oxidation, and along with a proper diet and regular exercise, promotes healthy body weight.

Before and After picture with one year interval... I never lose weight after...
before and after with a year interval... My weight loss has become stagnant so I think it won't hurt to give it a try....

Ugh, Yeah right! But maybe I could at least try. It wouldn’t really hurt me now that I’m not losing weight anymore and my previous success story about weight loss has now become stagnant.

Before the program ends, they clued us up about the event that they are promoting for a healthier life style. It was the Dare to be Fit ‘n Right Fun Run that will be held in SM Mall of Asia Grounds on November 22. It’s another 3K, 5K and 10K road race. I might probably join the 10K there to gun for a new Personal Record.

For a registration fee of P300, runners can get their race packet with the Dare to Fit ‘n Right Fun Run singlet, race bib, Fit ‘N Right products,etc. Registration can be in the offices of Del Monte Philippines at the Bonifacio High Street, Taguig or race organizer CEMG at 3A Vernida I Bldg., Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City or Dare to be Fit ‘n Right Fun Run registration booths in SM Hypermarket in Mall of Asia, Sucat, Pasig, and North EDSA or in Fitness First branches on November 16.


Winners will receive cash and gifts from Del Monte Fit ‘n Right and its sponsors. The Dare to be Fit ‘N Right Fun Run is for the benefit of the victims of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng through the SM Foundation.

How fit am I? A question that will haunt me as in my quest for better and healthier lifestyle…  How about you? I dare you to be Fit n Right!