This year, my job in First Balfour is giving me opportunities to visit various places of interest in the Philippine Archipelago.
Given our company’s focus on construction projects in the Power & Energy sector, we see our project sites located as far north as Ilocos Norte and as far south as Davao.
Several days ago, I was in Cebu City for a planning session with the management team of our newly-created Geothermal Projects Division. It was a 2-day affair and being the true-blue runner that we are, I did not miss the chance to run in the Queen City of the Visayas. I have read in the blogosphere that Cebu is a hotbed of running with many clubs whose names ranged from Ungo og Dagan, CERC, Lasang Runners, Nocturnal Runners Club, PH Addicts, CUC, Team Sousha, Toledo Adik Sa Dagan, and, my favorite, IGAT Runners (Insane, Glamorous and Tattoed).
|Archbishop Reyes Ave to Downtown Cebu|
With only a few hours to spare, the Bicolano Penguin decided to combine running with a bit of tourist sight-seeing. I did this by mapping my early morning run on a Wednesday (January 30) from the Quest Hotel (where the FB team was billeted) in the Cebu Business Park to the Basilica Menor del Sto Nino, near the Cebu City Hall in downtown Cebu. Per Wikipedia, this is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, purportedly built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú, a statue depicting the Holy Child Jesus was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The image is the same statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a gift over forty years before after Humabon's baptism to Christianity on April 14, 1521. It was found by a soldier preserved in a burnt wooden box after Legazpi razed the village of hostile natives. (I should read up more on this and a visit to the Ateneo University Press to check out a book on Santo Nino de Cebu is in order).
I estimated the distance to be 10 kms from the hotel to the Basilica and back. I started my run after 5am at Archbishop Reyes Avenue where the hotel was situated. From this main street, I took a left at Gorordo Avenue , then right at Mango Avenue which connects to Gen. Arcadio Maxilom Ave. Upon hitting the Fuente Osmena Circle, I took Jones Ave which led me down to the Basilica. It was still early morning and no vehicular traffic yet but I saw a dozen runners along the way. I reached the Basilica just about the time that the mass was starting. I therefore could not go close to the altar to take photos of the Sto. Nino which dates back to the time of the Spanish conquistadores Magellan and Legaspi, roughly 500 years ago. I did my best to take pictures of the scene in and around the church which gave me a taste of the intense devotion of the people to the Sto. Nino and the Catholic faith.
I also got to visit the nearby fabled Magellan Cross and the old Fort San Pedro.
A big bonus for me in this run was to see a rainbow across downtown Cebu. A rare sight indeed for me.
What a way to cap BP’s run in Cebu. I love running and the experience in Cebu proved yet again one of its many benefits. It is a great way to tour a place.