About Me

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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..

December 11, 2012


“Pagmumulat” is a Filipino word for awakening. It is also the name of an annual drama festival that ran for 6 years at the Ateneo de Naga way back in the 1980s during our high school years. 

And it is in this festival that my classmate and good friend, Jun Lorico, got his endearing nickname “Bitoy.” It was the character name in the Ms. Cedo-directed drama masterpiece “Bubungang Lata” which Jun portrayed full with passion which the audience so much loved (with a  long long standing ovation) that after the night of the performance, he was forever known as “Bitoy” in our  high school circles. Truly an unforgettable experience which stamped in him the beauty and wisdom of dedication and hard work.

Fast forward to the present days of 2012 and Bitoy saw himself again applying this wisdom. This time, in his pursuit of his full marathon and the stage he has chosen is the 2012 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) in the most cosmopolitan of cities in the Far East. He knew he had to sacrifice time and effort for all the training runs and he gave it all.

Thus, in the dark early morning hours of December 2, 2012, he  bravely lined up among 17,000  runners  gunning for his first full mary.  

Bitoy just started running in mid 2011 and had only completed 3 half-marathons (the first being the NatGeo Run in Manila this summer (http://www.bicolanopenguin.blogspot.com/2012/04/natgeo-earth-day-run-2012-my-friend.html#more). But Bitoy is one determined person and for us 83neans here in Manila, there wasn’t any doubt that he would conquer the 42-km Goliath.

This David did not disappoint.  He texted at mid-day of December  2 informing me that he crossed the 42-km finish line of the SCMS with a time of 6 hours & 35 mins. This represents an 8,998th place among 12,922 finishers from 17,500 runners who registered for the marathon at the 2012 SCMS. The Runpix analysis showed Bitoy  overtaking 340 runners (while 90 passed him) in the last 12 kms, a testament both to the efficacy of the Galloway method that he used, and his determined heart.

Bitoy overtaking the stragglers

Bitoy’s Runpix

2012 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore Statistics

% Finished
% M
% F



I emailed back to congratulate him and later on, I also sent a handful of questions which he answered as follow:

1. BP:   What was your motivation in tackling
            a full marathon? 

BITOY: Simply to challenge myself. I love “challenges”-  that is why I have a colourful and complicated life. Hahahaha. Seriously, one of the reasons that motivate me to fulfil a “full mary” is to inspire my Aden HS 83 batchmates who are still not into running (but are planning to start). I became a runner because of my HS batchmates, so it’s my turn to recruit (with no fees involved…hahahahaha). Finishing my first full marathon before the end of the year is the greatest gift that I could give to myself this Christmas. I may sound selfish, but I told myself “It should be this year or else I have to wait for another 6 months.” Hahahaha..

2. BP:  When did you decide to go for a full 

BITOY: December  4, 2011 to be exact, right after you and the rest of 83nean runners (Ernie, Fards& Ed) joined last year’s edition of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011.

As you have said – “Kung bako ngonian noarin pa. “

3. BP:   How long did you train for this?  

BITOY:  About 4 months, but mostly short runs only.  To be honest, I only had 3 back-to-back 21k weekend long runs and the farthest practice run I had was only 28km.

4. BP: What was your training regimen? 

BITOY:  At first I tried to follow the training plan you emailed to me, but due to work commitment, I was not able to attain the required training mileage.  My training regimen was only simple --- 5km runs during normal working days and 10km runs during Sundays with 2 days break per week.

I think, my preparation was good only for a half-marathon. Hahahaha..

5. BP: Was there a point in the race that   
          you doubted yourself that you can
          finish the marathon?  

BITOY: At the 30-km water station in East Coast Park, I suddenly felt dizzy- perhaps due to lack of sleep.For known or unknown reason, I only managed to get 2 hrs of sleep the night prior the race despite going to bed early. [ Hehehehe.. ].After East Coast Park, I joined the hordes of “zombies,” I mean runners who opted to walk in the last stage of the race.Prior to that “zombie walk,” my pace was as per planned @ 8min/km.  Had Icontinued that same pace up to the finish line (which was easier said than done), I could have finished according to my target time of 6 hrs.

Simply put, the last 12km, for me, was the most difficult part of the race.  It was just like a “survival walk” to the finish line.  

6. BP: What was the feeling when you
          crossed the finish line?

BITOY: True is the saying that “you have to experience it to feel the strange happiness.”
When I saw the 40-km mark, I felt some sort of the adrenaline rush. It was at this juncture that I managed to resume running towards the finish line. Also, knowing that a lot of photographers were stationed at the end line, I gave all the energy left in me and I sprinted in the last 50m as if I did not do a zombie walk after km 30.Hahahaha.. 
With awakening, comes transformation and Bitoy proudly points to a trio of positive changes brought about by his passion for running:

1.His blood pressure has improved significantly from 180/110 in 2009 to 125/90 today.

2.He lost some unwanted kilos dropping to 59 kgs from 68 kgs in 2009.

3.More importantly, there is a change in lifestyle. A a result of his focus on training runs, Bitoy has been able to control his drinking habit and quit smoking. No longer a “marathon drinker”, he is now a bona fide marathoner.  

68 kgs vs 59 kgs

And Bitoy’s journey does not end with  42 kilometers. He is now looking forward to bagging his first ultramarathon.

Such is the life of a runner – waking up to a  quest for more miles.................But, Bitoy is not alone. He is with us, the running 83neans.



  1. Wow what a write up!!! Thank you Vicboy for these mind-blowing words of praise.

    I hope my transformation from a "marathon drinker" to a "marathon runner" will in one way or another inspire others (especially our HS83 batchmates).

    It's never too late to live differently..."Mga padi madya na kamo... daralagan na kita para sa herilingan 2033."

  2. Congratulations Bitoy and welcome to our 83nean marathon club. Looking forward to your ultra debut. Thank you for your kind and generous words. Pleasure for me to write about the running achievements of our friends. It is nice to talk the talk. Better to walk the talk. Doubly better to get to talk about the walk.

  3. bitoy's "metamorphosis" has inspired me even if i am not an 83nean.
    his testimonials in the interview part will guide me as i gun for my first mary in 2013.
    thank you for this article, vicboy.
    kudos, bitoy!

  4. "oragon"! yeehaww!!! congratz pading Bitoy and welcome to the club.

  5. Hi WJ. Your turn to conquer your first full marathon is near. Less than 2 months till Condura. No doubt you will cross the finish line smiling.

  6. Hi Ernie. Oragon talaga si Bitoy. Lumalabas, ang ang last platoon ng last company ng CAT ta ang pinakadakul na marathoners sa 83neans. Si Allen na platoon leader mi tsaka si Bitoy asin ako. hahahaha........