Musaman TriDavNor inaugural race


A couple of months ago, we got an invite to race the inaugural Olympic Distance Triathlon in Davao, the Musaman TriDavNor, that was set to happen on the last weekend of June 2017. We happily accepted the invitation, and looked forward to the racecation.

But a sudden change in climate in Mindanao made us a bit apprehensive of still doing the race. A lot of people backed out, yet also plenty were still trying to get in. Mindanao was in Martial Law, there were news of rebellion just near the race venue. We were quite scared, but the organizers assured us that they will beef up security and make sure of our safety.

So we still flew out of Manila and into Davao, got greeted by police escorts and off to Tagum we went to stay in Hijo Resorts where the swim start and first transition would take place.


They say before the race didn’t feel like one at all. When we biked out to register at the sports complex, I got to appreciate the beautiful palm tree lined road that we would pass on race day. The roads were smooth and flat – it was so beautiful. Of course, it was also my first time to have police escorts as I rode out on the road – an extra precaution that the organizers gave us to entail our safety.


It certainly felt more like a vacation as we just relaxed by the pool and got fed so much local food – fresh seafood, and ulam’s and delicacies from the different tribes of Davao.. everything was so delicious it was hard to stop eating.

Race day came, and the elites were to start first, then the men, followed by the women 10 mins after the first group. To say I was nervous was an understatement, but good thing I was able to shake off my nerves after spotting some friends cheering us on.


It was a fast 1.5km point to point swim in clear flat waters and I was quite surprised to have come out of the water in 31 mins. Having zero swim background, this was very fast for me. I was elated to see my time and went on to transition to my bike ride.

The 40km bike course ran through the palm tree lines roads, and on to a banana plantation til we reached the sports complex where the next transition was. The turns were quite tight so I found myself overshooting and having had to make a u-turn.. I tried to make up for the time lost. My nutrition plan was out the door when I realized my gels dropped from my bento box when I hit a bump on the road so I had to make do with what energy I had left. All in all that bike ride was amazing and I still hit a personal best for that 40km stretch.

As I came onto the flats as a pancake run, the temperatures have risen to 35Β° and all I wanted was to run as fast as my tired legs could take me. I didn’t see a water station until 3km in so I found myself suffering in the heat. On the last km stretch of the run, I found myself running  along 3 male triathletes, one of them stayed by my side and paced with me til the finish line. Grateful for that last push to the finish.


To have finished under 3 hours for the second time in a row at an Olympic Distance Triathlon is a huge achievement for me, especially since I haven’t even been doing this for a year yet. All the training hours certainly pay off.

All in all, Musaman is a beautiful and memorable race and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.


Shout out to Father Jay, Andy, Christopher, Missy & Keith for inviting us and taking such good care of us in Davao. Our experience wouldn’t have been the same if not for you guys. Also ofcourse, this racecation wouldn’t have been as funny and fun without Kuya Kim, coach Ige, My soul sister Sara (this was her first Olympic distance tri and she rocked it!), Greta, Tim, Cj, Jonah & Jane, Rico & Trixie, Keith & Joyce. And of course the three people who keep me race ready – my swim coach Noy, my tri coach Ige and my unofficial nutrition and race strategy planner Enrico. You guys are everything a newbie triathlete can dream of. I feel so blessed to have you all as my friends. πŸ’•

Mt Maculot


 It was the day after Typhoon Nina had just devastated some parts of the country. We were supposed to climb a different, more difficult mountain that day, but, given that typhoon had just hit the area, we decided to change our whole itinerary.


From a large group of 20+ that was supposed to hike a different mountain at dawn to catch the sunrise, we ended up with a little less than 20 people climbing up to catch the sunset instead. And I’m glad we did.


We saw a tree that had fallen the day before right at the start of the hike. We were scared that the soil might be soft due to the storm but fortunately, the soil was dry, thanks to the humidity and heat that day. Ofcourse, it was the heat and humidity that made the climb harder than it really was as well.


Having some first time hikers with us, we paced slow and steady, and took tons of photos every chance we had. And boy, did we take lots of those chances! 


I kept muttering “oh my God it’s so beautiful” over and over as we were nearing the Rockies. Because it really was. Everywhere we looked, everything our eyes could see… the photos don’t give any justice to the breathtaking beauty that we witnessed.


Standing at the top and edge of every rock just for that obligatory mountain photo was quite a challenge. You look down and see that one wrong move would mean the end. It is of utmost importance to practice extra caution when going up those rocks. Didn’t help that I’m actually frightened of heights so I had to do my deep breathing exercises whenever I’d be standing by a cliff. 


We were all on top of the Rockies when sunset occurred  and we just stayed there. Sat down and took it all in. (And took tons of photos again ofcourse.) there are no words that can suffice to describe it. Mother Nature put on a show that day and to just marvel at what you see was inevitable.


We climbed down as it was getting dark and again, the view of the city slowly lighting up in the dark was another sight to behold. Took more photos not with a camera but just my eyes for the memory bank this time… extremely grateful for that sudden change of plans. Grateful to have hiked safely. Grateful to have witnessed the sunset at the most amazing spot thus far. Grateful to have had another opportunity to climb. To end the year with an exhilarating climb up a mountain is more than what I wished for when this marvelous year started. I love it. 

Beautiful BaliΒ 

Bali is a place I will forever hold dear in my heart as this is where I went to heal, pray & yoga after going through a great ordeal last year.

Several days ago, with a new set of happy & content eyes, I went back, all for a different kind of adventure.
I’ve always been meaning to surf, or atleast learn how to, so just imagine how ecstatic I was upon finding out that first on our agenda was surf lessons from Quiksilver’s Bali Surf Team. 

   
   

I was very much elated to have been able to stand on the board right at the first time!! Even if I only surfed baby waves, boy, was I stoked!

   

Other beach activities were on our itinerary the following day but I chose to just chill by the beach in my very “conservative” swimwear. Having been training under the sun all the time, my shoulders and arms were already a lot darker than my legs. This new swimsuit design allowed me to even out my tan. Don’t you just love it?

 

At the behest of no one, I still awoke at 6am everyday in this trip to practice yoga. Glad the other girls were able to practice also on our second day though! 

   
    

   

Sunset sessions, shopping & just enjoying the sights were also some of the highlights of this trip. To say Bali is Beautiful is an understatement. No words will ever suffice to describe the beauty of it. So let me just say more than a thousand words by these photos. 

   
    
    
    
    
  

What a fun & memorable trip this was. The best part? We didn’t really have to pack anything as we were lucky ducks being able to don Roxy’s newest collection that’s just being released in a few days! Can’t wait for the  the new collection to hit the stores!