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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

November 9, 2011

One for T.R.E.E.S : A Fun Run for a Cause

There is a fun run in November  26, 2011 that I will be recommending  to fellow runners. 

This November 26 fun run is One for T.R.E.E.S . (Thunderbird Resorts Efforts on Environmental Sustainability).  The venue will be the Angono-Binangonan foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range.  Distances are 5K, 10K and 21K.  Start and finish area is the Thunderbird Resorts-Rizal.  For more details about the race and registration, kindly visit http://www.thunderbird-asia.com/run/

The  official line from the organizers describes  this fun run as “..a departure from the regular race settings within Metro Manila – with the route’s scenic landscapes and refreshing views, it is not the typical run venue that most runners participate in.”

I will not dispute this official line as the venue is truly a hill lovers’ delight and offers a  rainbow-laced panoramic view of Laguna de Bay and Metro Manila. However, the primary reason I am recommending this fun run to my fellow runners is the  places of art  that one can find and visit (before or after the race) within a 5-kilometer radius of the  Thunderbird Resorts-Rizal.  Specifically there are 2:
Balaw Balaw Restaurant  in Angono 

This restaurant is noted for its exotic delicacies like fried frogs, tapang baboy damo and snake dish.  However, what delights me the most is that it is also the art gallery of the artist Perdigon Vocalan.  The ground floor up to the 3rd floor of the house abounds with his paintings and sculptures.  

While Vocalan may not yet have the national prominence of his fellow Angono native(s)  Botong Francisco and Jose Blanco , this artist has the same  special gift of capturing the exotic beauty of the Filipina.  I share  a few pics of his work to prove my point.

Maganda ang PINAY!
Pinay women taking a bath

The title says it all.
The beauty of the Filipina shining thru in this painting

My favorite painting in the restaurant

Angono Petroglyphs

The next place is significant in the prehistoric sense.  The Angono petroglyphs is considered by the National Museum of the Philippines as the oldest rock art in the Philippines, dating back to 3000 B.C.  or even earlier. 

There are 127 human  and animal figures engraved on the wall of a rock shelter.  These inscriptions show stylized human figures, frogs and lizards.  I was tempted to fantasize that there could even be a human figure in a running pose, but that would be too good to be true.

Angono petroglyphs, oldest man-made art in the Philippines

Marcel, my only son, in front of the petroglyphs
One can imagine though that the same prehistoric  pinoy rock artists that were responsible for the Angono Petroglyphs could be the ancestors of the modern prolific Angono artists.  As fate would have it, the National Artist of the Philippines Carlos “Botong” Francisco is credited for “discovering” the Angono rock art in 1965.   By virtue of Presidential Decree 260 of 1973, the Angono Petroglyphs  was declared a national cultural treasure   by  the Philippine government.    

For directions as to how to go to these 2 special places of art, feel free to ask  from the   hotel staff of Thunderbird Resorts-Rizal.    They are always ready with a smile to be of help.  I know that for a fact as I have experienced such warmth during our family vacation of October  30 - November 1 there. 

There is something about Angono that produces national artists, now and eons ago.  One really cannot tell.  It  is just best enjoyed up close.This makes the One for T.R.E.E.S. an interesting and exciting fun run to join.

It is truly a fun run for a cause.  It is also a fun run for  art loving  runners.  I have a feeling there are many art lovers among the pinoy running community.

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