Monday, December 17, 2018

Davao gears up for 7-Eleven Run 2019

The 7-Eleven Run will be in Davao City for two consecutive seasons next year as it will be staged on February 3, 2019 simultaneous with two separate locations in Luzon and Visayas.

Organizers said it will be a more exciting footrace for both professional and recreational runners given with the plenty of freebies and cash prizes. The race was first held simultaneously in 3 venues across the country this year, with over 25,000 runners participating. The 2019 version promises to be even bigger, better and more exciting. New race categories will be introduced next year. At stake also is the opportunity to compete to an international Asian marathon and to win a 500,000 cash prize.

The race in Luzon will be held in Filinvest City, Alabang. The Visayas leg will be held at Cebu Business Park and the Mindanao leg will be in SM City Davao.

7-Eleven will be introducing the 32K category next year. Runners also have an options to take a short 500-meter run for kids in Manila and Cebu, a 10K buddy category up to a 42K full marathon.

Davao leg will have the same categories except the 500-meter kiddie run. The complete list of categories in Davao are as the following: 3K, 5K, 5K Buddy, 10K, 10K Buddy, 16K, 21K, 32K and 42K.

As always, 7-Eleven continues to support Filipino athletes. The overall top 3 Filipino winners for 21K, 32K and 42K will be awarded cash prizes and medals, plus a chance to join an international marathon in Asia with an all-expense paid trip. The 2018 winners of the 21K and 42K races were sent to Jeju, South Korea, competing the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival where they dominated the top spots in their respective race categories.

To further encourage the spirit of competition, 7-Eleven will be giving away bonus cas prize to the top Filipino athlete who can beat the Philippine record for 42K category. The record setter will take home 500,000 pesos in cash.

Registration is now open and will be up until January 15, 2019 only. Customers can also redeem free race kits from the CLiQQ Rewards Catalog when theyu buy participating items from sponsors. Run 2019 e-stamps can be earned when customers buy participating items worth 100 pesos and have their CLiQQ app bar code scanned. To redeem free race kits, customers must earn 8 e-stamps for non-buddy categories and 16 e-stamps for buddy categories. Promo runs from November 21-January 1, 2019.

Be sure to visit the official website at and follow its facebook page at for more information about the race.

7-Eleven Run 2019 is co-presented with Filinvest Alabang, Cebu Business Park, SM City Davao, exclusive sportswear partner, Asics and official timer Soleus and L Timestudio. The event is also supported by Selecta, Cornetto, Nature’s Spring, Summit, Gatorade, Del Monte, Pocari Sweat, Refresh, Kopiko78, San Miguel Beer, Fit ‘n Right, Aquafina, Pepsi, Nova, Evian, Le Minerale, Sip, Safeguard, C2, Mogu Mugo and Magnolia. Official media partners are ESPN 5, Smart, PLDT and Cignal.         

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Postcards from Britannia Group of Islands

The Britannia group of islands in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur is a promising beach site for minimalists and naturalists, that is why I find it fitting to what I heed for in a destination. In our 3-day bench marking tour in Surigao on December 5-7 we were exposed to at least three islands in Britannia and we did just that, we were really impressed with nature’s offering – pristine islands, nothing else could be more appropriate in describing the place, it is really pristine and literally beautiful.

The many islets scattered throughout the bay of San Agustin look like green marbles that enhance the beauty of the ocean fronting the pacific. And then a stopover in Hagonoy islet is perfect to have a glimpse of the bay in 360 degrees perspective. We took our breakfast in Hagonoy islet but I vehemently refused the ration for a while so that I could enjoy the finest white sand I have ever seen. This is by far a great item in terms of natural island tourism, no exaggeration whatsoever. Opposite Hagonoy Islet is another virgin site, locals call it Naked Islet.

Another stopover was the more deafening Boslon Island. In here, there is a touch of commercialism because ocean rides are being introduced by the community. At a reasonable price one can do jetski ride, banana boating, mixer riding and other related activities. Souvenir items can also be bought in Boslon Island. 

The last part of the tour had us spending short time in an islet opposite Boslon. Here, the landscape is much greener with coconut trees grown all over. Some driftwood here enabled me to manufacture some good shots, even postcard shots at that.

Britannia island is another jewel that Mindanao is truly proud of.

For accommodation requirement in San Agustin, I highly recommend Oasis Rest House as having affordable and good foods. They also cater island hopping tours. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Trailblazing Series of Waterfalls in Mailum River, Coronon

I had a great trailblazing last November 14 along with some fellow adrenalin junkies in my hometown Jojo Ibañez, Rjay Estabaya and Froilan Miagao. Our destination was the series of gorgeous waterfalls situated in Mailum River and is exactly nestled in sitio Kibasanga, a western tip of Barangay Coronon leading to forested portions of sitio Binuangon, southern portion of Mt. Barira and Mt. Loay and northern part of Tubison where the towering Mt. Leong can be seen.

There are approximately 8 waterfalls along the river, all of them good reasons of a stopover for bathing and cooling. The waters are really cold and pristine because the entire surrounding of the river is covered with green sceneries. For those who are familiar with the Kiblan waterfalls, the Mailum waterfalls series are at the upper base. River trekking accounts for more or less 2 kilometers of the whole trek which starts at the Kiblan hanging bridge. Upon reaching sitio Kibarangan I met our former Upland Development Programme (UDP) sitio leader Nong Sulpicio Dulay in his farm house. It was a quick sort of a reunion for me and Nong Sulpicio whom I considered as one of the few good leaders during my stint with UDP.

It was quite difficult trekking Mailum river because the rocks are very slippery. Some face-the-walls with minor cliffs are detour routes to avoid deep river portions. The waterfalls are good reliefs, though, especially since it all just situated in adjacent intervals. The tallest was the last waterfalls we reached, approximately measured 15 feet. Much as we wanted to trek further but the vegetation covering the upstream river part made the trail very hard and almost impassable.

After a short lunch we stayed for 30 minutes and dip into a pool in one of the waterfalls. This one we thought of as the most ideal site for bathing. Our descent was a bit faster but we had our last dipping in a pool located just before approaching the Kibarangan foot trail.

Numerous wildlife species were present in Kibasanga such as Pulchrana grandocula, a common amphibian in Mindanao. Assorted dragonflies and butterflies made Mailum river their sanctuary. I also saw and heard plenty of birds in the site. A serpent eagle was caught perching in a huge tree from afar and another one gliding. The Rufuos-lored Kingfisher also flew once and another lifer was the alluring Purple-throated Sunbird.

For those who are planning to visit Mailum waterfalls, I would like to remind you that the place belongs to an ancestral domain of the Bagobo-Tagabawa under Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title No. R-11 SCR-1005-034, hence, visiting the place needs consent from the tribal leader of Coronon. For as long as there is no standard policy yet in going to the area it is always better to seek go-signal from them for information purposes. 

A Green-carpet Tour in Guimaras

Guimaras is a small province which was extracted from mainland Iloilo in 1992. It is composed of 5 municipalities conniving together to retain its green and tranquil identity, making nature a dominant scenery and stillness a common language understood by those who are keen about freedom and serenity.

It is easy to appreciate everything that is existing in Guimaras particularly since what is being banked into its landscape are of the minimum. In one of my conversations with our tour guide during a day tour in Guimaras I said environmental planning is crucial in terms or preparing Guimaras 20 years from now. The stability of this province lies mainly on how local leaders could craft clear details of its priority directions. Planning would eventually make or break Guimaras.

Meanwhile, my participation to a day tour last November 10 was practically a green-carpet experience because my eyes have seen plenty of the literal green environment. I presume more than 50 percent of the entire province remains untouch, or are having very little human interference.  Agriculture and fishery are two of the industries that supply life to Guimaras. Tourism is also doing good given with its wonderful destinations, making it a detour route to Iloilo visitors. In this article I would like to share to you the places we visited in Guimaras.

This is a renewable power-generation venture situated in San Lorenzo. The giant wind mills are identical with the Bangui structures in Ilocos Norte. It is the very first wind farm in Visayas, which is now starting to become a premiere tourism attraction in Guimaras. It is capable of generating 54-megawatt power, supplying electricity to key parts of Western Visayas.

Somewhere at the tip of Buenavista town is Roca Encantada, a Spanish term which means “Enchanted Rock”. This is a heritage house owned by the Lopez clan pedicured with awesome architecture. The actual location of the building is a reclaimed site, providing better view of the coastal scenes of Buenavista which features small islets from afar.

Jordan is the gateway town to Guimaras which is known for its solid waste management program. Looking at how they maintained an ecology center within its landfill facility is commendable. Jordan authorities made sure to minimize garbage collection by imposing segregation at the household level and accommodating only residual wastes in the landfill.

McNester Enterprises is a successful agribusiness industry in Guimaras. It offers variety of food products out of mango and calamansi being the predominant crops in the province. They first gained esteem by being a model entrepreneur in Guimaras and later on became a supplier of mango and calamansi products internationally.

This monastery ran by monks is also a well-known stopover for visitors because aside from having notable structures the place also sells good locally-made pasalubong items. 

This is located in Barangay San Miguel in the town of Jordan, Guimaras. It has more or less 8 hectares of area both for research and production purposes of mango, a very popular commodity that is being associated into the name Guimaras.

This is another pilgrimage site in Jordan, Guimaras. Several works of art are being laid out in this area that serves as stations of the way of the cross where catholic devotees always visit every Lenten season.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The heritage province of Iloilo

I am getting several opportunities to room around cities in the Philippines with my job over the last 16 years and my current trip in Iloilo last November 7-11 is perhaps another learning occasion. For 5 days I was able to observe how local authorities in Iloilo maintained a vibrant locality with a touch of calmness not usual in a highly urbanized city. The wide freeways in major road networks prevent traffic to ensue, thereby creating a healthy environment of trade, commerce and tourism.

As the heart of Western Visayas, Iloilo serves as gateway to other provinces and cities like Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Bacolod and Cebu. It also has direct domestic flights to Davao, Puerto Princesa, Clark and Manila. The comprehensive transportation services in land, sea and air are being melded that provides doorsteps to socio-economic development of the entire region.

My first interest in joining a trip to Iloilo is the flourishing heritage sites, mostly relics of the Spanish occupation. Old churches, ancient houses and other structures within the city proper and nearby towns are beautiful subjects of my solo heritage tour. Newly-erected government buildings are strived to have ancient touch in a contemporary episode.

On my second day in Iloilo I travelled to the town of Miagao where Miagao church is located. It is a declared heritage site in the Philippines and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is an amazing architectural dwelling established in year 1787. Despite several destructions through times the people of Miagao successfully retained the archaic design of the church until now which eventually made it a popular destination in the region.

Batiano River is a site that has contributed to the overall transformation of Iloilo City. Its makeover enabled the city to win the prestigious Galing Pook Award by making the river a mangrove reservation park, successfully rearranging previous illegal settlers within the riverbanks.  Today, Batiano River serves as station to sea transport system as it flows through the calm waters of Iloilo strait.

Iloilo’s pride and prestige is further spiced up with the presence of the Ilonggos, the warm and accommodating dwellers of the province. They have been tagged as dominant people in Panay Island who have sterling reputation of being affectionate, friendly and happy creations. With all these positive stance of Iloilo province I will definitely be coming back for more travels in this part of the country.