November 7, 2011

Our Bicol. Our Home. Our Run

As a proud running man of the  the Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1983 (follow the exploits of these 40-something runners at , I subscribe to the precept “Our Bicol. Our Home. Our Run.”  It is an axiom that we follow in our choice of long distance running events to join.  

Our Bicol.  The Philippine region that is home to the Mayon Volcano and this sets the tone for the fiery passion of the Bicolanos and Bicolanas.  The land of the oragons.  Bicol or Region 5 is located at the southern tip of the big island of Luzon.   Having a total land area of 17,623 square kilometers, it is composed of 6 provinces:  Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes  and Masbate.  Though in recent years, Cam Sur (CWC water sports),  Albay (Misibis Bay) and Sorsogon (Donsol whale watching)  have gained prominence among local and foreign tourists, the other 3 provinces have a lot to offer.  Cam Norte can tempt beach lovers with not just one but two groups of islands that boasts of pristine white sand beaches :  Calaguas and Mercedes.  Masbate is  home of th e wild west rodeo, Pinoy  style.  And being surrounded by the mighty  Pacific Ocean , Catanduanes offers great potential in extreme surfing and water  sports.
Our Home.  We may have spent majority of our living years here in Manila, but all 83nean runners consider home our Bicol.  I was born in Iriga City.  Ruben “Fards” Fajardo  and Ernie Badong  trace their roots to Baao, Cam Sur.  Bob Castilla  is from the sleepy town of Pamplona, Cam Sur. Noel “ Ghibz” Guevara and Allen Tolledo are from Naga City, the commercial heart of Bicol.  Ed Balcueva is from the Partido District of Cam Sur (or soon to be Nueva Camarines).  Ric Lozano is from the island of Ticao, Masbate.
Our Run.  Mirroring the running boom in the whole of the country, Bicol has been seeing many fun runs in its 4 major cities (Legaspi, Naga, Sorsogon and Daet) as well as the smaller cities and towns.  But in terms  of long distance running events (half marathons and above), there are only a handful and the 83nean runners have joined in most of them :

Camsur Marathon 2011 (42 kms) last September 23, 2011:  Fards, Ed, and BP with fellow finishers

Camsur Marathon 2010 (42 kms) last September  2010:  Bicolano Penguin  getting heat relief
Mayon 360 Ultra (80 kms) last April 2011:  Bicolano Penguin, Bob and Fards.

Ridge Run (21 kms) last March 2011: Bob, BP, Ed,  Allen, Ric, Fards, Ghibz & Ernie with Bicol University HS Batch 1986 members
And we will not stop running long distance in Bicol.  Already for next year, we have lined up for 83nean runners  the following events as "must runs":
January 2012:      Ridge Run (32 kms in Legaspi City)
April 2012:           Mayon 360 Ultra (80 kms in Albay)
Sep 2012:             Camsur Marathon (42 kms in Pili)
There will be many more running events to be added to this trio.  And we might even go for 'bottleg' running adventures (the kind where you don’t have any organizers, just a bunch of runners going on a long run).  Bicol abounds with such juicy and adjacent possibilities.  How about running ultra thru 3 lakes (Buhi, Bato & Baao)  in the Rinconada district ?  An end-to-end  run (43 kms)  in the island of Ticao?  Combining running and hiking, the 39 kilometers of dirt road from Tinambac to Siruma will be a challenge.  
There are no limits to running.  Where you run and how long you run will be a function of the imagination.  Us 83nean runners have our collective  imagination set on more Bicol this 2012.
For Bicolano  and Bicolana runners   all over the globe,  we encourage you to spend your vacation in Bicol  and run in the land of the oragons. (Drop me a line in my email address  if you feel the same fiery volcanic passion for running in Bicol. ) 
Dios mabalos sa indo gabos.

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