About Me

My photo
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..

October 11, 2013


EmoticonThe Bicolano Penguin running blog is turning 2 years old this month of November.

From roughly 10,000 pageviews on its first year, my blog’s count is fast approaching 40,000. A big big big thanks to those who made this possible.

Similar to last year, we will be celebrating this milestone with another anniversary run. Again, no registration fees. No race bibs even. It is by invitation only. Just the penguin and a bunch of running buddies romancing the road in all its figurative sense.  It will be a long distance group run.

Where and When? If last year was held in the seaside Tiwi-Sangay Road (42 kms) connecting the province of Cam Sur and Albay, this year it will be on a lakeside venue  straddling same 2 provinces in Bicol. The 2nd Bicolano Penguin Anniversary Run will be on the roads around Lake Bato.  It will start on the early bewitching morning hours of November 2, 2013 and hopefully end by noontime same day. 

Roads around Lake Bato
With a surface area of 2,810 hectares, Lake Bato is the 7th largest freshwater lake in the Philippines. It is located in the Rinconada district of  Camarines Sur. It has extensive marshes and swamp forests. Its surrounding flood plains in the towns of Bato,  Nabua and Libon host fertile rice fields. The actual lake waters are home to many commercial fish like tilapia, carp and catfish.  A look at the lake clearly shows the preponderance of fish cages.  Not being deep, at only 10 meters as compared to 360 meters for Lake Bulusan (in Sorsogon), the waters of Lake Bato are  muddy and gray. 

It is a big lake with only Laguna de Bay, Lake Lanao, Taal Lake, Lake Mainit (in Surigao), Lake Naujan (in Mindoro)  and Lake Buluan in (Maguindanao) being bigger in our country.  For quite some time, ever since being  hooked on long distance runs, I have been curious about how long would it be to run around this expansive tectonic lake. Thanks to google maps, we could see that indeed there are roads that go around the lake and it is these same roads that I reconnoitered  last Oct 5 together with fellow 83nean Allen Tolledo and Nabua elite runner Mariano Basagre.

Here are pictures from the recon trip:

Lake Bato from Bato side

Tilapia from Lake Bato

Carp from Lake Bato

Church by the lake in Malawag, Nabua


...is king...

...of the road.

Lake viewdeck in Buga, Libon

  Lake Bato from the Libon side

Transporting the pork

Big M Resort along the Maharlika Highway in Bato. Target finish area

For Php 40 entrance fee per head, we can cool off in Big M’s pool.
How long in kms?  It is a total of 55 kilometeres to go around Lake Bato using these roads. The odometer of our vehicle was at 13127 when we started in Bato and ended at 13182 when we came back after going around the lake.  Given that it is more than 42 kms, the 2nd BPAR has an ultra marathon distance. The roads passed from the town of Bato to  Nabua and then back to several barangays of Bato across the lake.  From the Bato barrios, we crossed the provincial road boundary between Cam Sur and Albay to several barangays of the municipality of Libon until we reached its town center.  From downtown Libon, we went straight for the road junction of Matacon in Polangui where we hit the Maharlika highway leading us back to Bato where we started.

The concrete road terrain is mostly flat except for some hilly portions between Bato and Libon. There are almost no shade from the blazing Bicol sun come late morning.  In fact, the roads are used for sun-drying newly-harvested palay. This will be a hot run, in the literal sense.

Who?  For the  2nd BPAR: Lake Bato Ultra, I have invited running buddies from Manila (c/o Ernie Badong), Naga City (c/o Ric Lozano and Allen Tolledo) and Rinconada (c/o Mariano Basagre).  We look forward to  20 runners joining.

For the Lake Bato Ultra, we don’t expect scenic seaside vistas like the ones we enjoyed at the Tiwi-Sangay Road.  What we expect is a good old fashioned heat training run longer than a full marathon. Our endurance  will be tested. The sun- baked concrete road will be hard on our body. Our leg muscles will tighten up like a piece of old rubber. Every time the foot hits the ground, the quadriceps and calf muscles have to lengthen to absorb the shock of the impact, and that adds up when we go for more than 50 kms.  But it will be worth it  and we will be fine because we will be running, more like plodding,  as a group.

One cohesive unit helping each other romance every kilometer of the ultra. We don’t really notice the pain. If one starts whining, someone is going to tell that one to shut up. Running as a group will get our creative juices flowing even more that running solo as we are able to bounce ideas and small talk off our group members. With group running, we get our own personal cheering squad. Such is the camaraderie of long distance group running. Emoticon 


  1. Happy 2nd Anniversary BP! can't wait to run this. let's go!

  2. Good Day Macky,

    My longest run was at Caliraya 360 (34k) last Sept 15 with a time of more than 5 hrs. Last Sunday rupm my 7th half mary I clocked 3:17! I'll be in Nabua for the Undas celebration. Pwede po akong makaiba kaninyo?

    Crispin Banares

  3. Hi Crispin,

    Thank you for your comment and interest in the Lake Bato Ultra. Taga-Nabua ika? Please email me at vmdelima@firstbalfour.com for more details.

  4. Hello Macky,

    My eMail can't push through.
    Thank you.


  5. excited for this RUN!!!!
    2nd time!

  6. Bicolano Penguin, me and my running buddies here in Bicol "TREximo BuFFs" will join you on Nov.2 Lake Bato Ultra....c u mga padi 83nean runners....Happy 2nd Anni. Run padi !

  7. Bicolano Penguin, we will join you together w/ my running buddies here in Naga Kevin, Royds, Belle, Shee, Jude nd Ric on Nov.2 Lake Bato Ultra....C u mga padi 83nean runners....Happy 2nd Anni. Run padi !

  8. Thank you Kevin. As one of the pioneers of the BPAR, you are very welcome.

  9. Wow Allen. "TREximo Buffs." The name sounds interesting. Garo mga bato kayo. hahaha. Tamang tama para sa Lake Bato Ultra. Thanks for the interest and thanks for recruiting a few more runners.

  10. im in! running with tito Allen, kevin and the TREximo Buffs.,

  11. Good one.. The TREximo Buffs are flexing their muscles. Let us see if you can keep up with your old titos around Lake Bato. hahahaha....Welcome Jon to our running.

  12. My sincere apologies to my running buddies in Manila, Naga and Rinconada. I am unable to go home to Bicol for this long All Souls Day weekend. There are office works needed to be finished. As a result, the Lake Bato Ultra which we have scheduled for Nov 2 is postponed for a later date this November. I am sad with this development and I hope for your understanding.