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..

October 10, 2013

LAKAW DALAGAN PARA KI INA: A Community in Action

"Ex abundancia cordis os loquitor"

The crowd gathering in front of the church
Location of Bombon
EmoticonLatin words which means from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 

Rev. Fr. Rey Caceres of the  Nuestra Senora del Rosario  Parish Church could be forgiven for waxing poetic when he gave his opening remarks to start the Lakaw Dalagan Para Ki Ina fun run on that early morning of October 5, 2013 in Bombon, Camarines Sur. Who wouldn’t?Massed in front of the historic church and its leaning bell tower to participate in the  fun run were parishioners, friends, relatives, nuns,  government workers and leaders  of the community. The Bombon  town mayor,  vice mayor and council members were there. The local and provincial police forces were out there, both to provide security and to run as well. Even the very busy head of the Archdiocese of Caceres, Archbishop  Rolando Joven Tria Tirona, O.C.D., was present and raring to run with his Bicolano flock. Pious and not so pious. Girls and  boys. Young and old. Elite and back-of-the-pack. They were all there to show solidarity  and Fr. Rey eloquently  expressed his  sincerest thanks and appreciation to all for making the 1st ever Parish fun run and fun walk truly meaningful and a success.  Proceeds of the fun run are for the programs of the parish. 

Archbishop Tirona
A leading light in the success is Bombon town councilor Hon. Eddie Alteza who took the cudgels of being the race coordinator. A member of the burgeoning  Caceres Runners Club, Konsehal Eddie was passionate about the fun run and was all over the place,  Facebook and otherwise, promoting and inviting running enthusiast to join.  He was also overseeing the logistical requirements of the running event.

It was in this hard working capacity that we saw him early morning of October 5 when we arrived at the Bombon patio. I, with my fellow Manila-based members of Ateneo de Naga High School Batch 1983 – Bob Castilla and Ronald Hemady, motored the whole night from Paranaque to be at the venue by 4am. Konsehal Eddie was busy setting up the onsite registration booth and the starting line contraption. He was ready with a smile and a handshake and from the get go we all felt his  warm hospitality.  Joining us too for the fun run were our Naga-based running buddies Ric Lozano, Allen Tolledo, Joji Asis and Gary Castillo.  All 7 of us were running the 10-km distance and all 7 of us were early and excited.

Konsehal Eddie Alteza busy at the on-site registration area

Ric, Ronald, Bob and Allen showing the fun run shirts

The early birds got to have photo op with the emcee Tina

Fr. Rey showing the hand crafted trophies for top 3 finishers

By 5am,  the church bell up the leaning tower sounded and pretty soon, the assembly area was getting filled up by Bombon townsfolk raring to have a go at the run and walk. Runners from Naga City and surrounding towns were arriving as well. We saw a couple  of Batch 83 colegialas – Nannah Zaens and Maluh Flores, joining the shorter distance run. A grade school classmate from Iriga,  Engr.  Anacito Lucena came with his two kids.

With Nannah and Maluh
Anacito and kids

At 6am, the short program started and the race coordinator briefed the runners of the route.  For the 10-km route, it is an out and back route where we run straight a municipal road going up to the barangay of San Antonio for  5kms and then make a u-turn at the halfway point and follow the same path back to where we started at the church patio in downtown Bombon. Simple to follow. 

10-km route map

83neans at the assembly area

The archbishop did  the  honors of starting the fun run, not with the firing of a gun, but with a downward wave of a white cloth.   As soon as the white cloth was down, the elite runners at the head of the starting line blasted onto the road. Back-of-the packers, like us,  took our sweet time leaving the starting area as we savored the applause from the audience.

The Archbishop waving the white cloth to start

And the runners go

Surveying fellow back-of-the-packers

Back of the pack is an enjoyable running strategy  for me and my running buddies Allen and Ronald (Bob, Joji, Gary  and Ric are the stronger ones who like having jackrabbit starts). For one,  we  are not agile and fast runners. We are more of the lumbering run walk types. If we start slow, chances are we would be running faster and overtaking others in the end. Not the other way around. Secondly, being at the back at the start allows us to survey who are the other runners that we will most probably be pacing with.  By the time we reach the 2.5-km marker, we  observed  a group of runners composed of  lady runners and  older runners who were doing walk breaks. This group would be ideal for pacing. Thus, we shadowed them. Nearing the u-turn , we got to exchange pleasantries with one of the lady runners. We complimented her endurance as we had a hard time keeping up with her on the uphill portion. Good thing the u-turn was near which signaled the 2nd half of the 10-kms. It was downhill mostly this time.

Huffing and puffing uphill

Leading elite runner on the way back already...

...with the second in hot pursuit

Thank you for the walk break.

One of the lovely Caceres runners going uphill

Joji and Bob looking strong on the downhill

Enjoying the walk break


One of the water stations, all manned by residents

Downhill was fun for Allen and me. It was also time to re-affirm the teachings of  the run- walk guru (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html).  According to  Jeff Galloway, you can easily spot folks who do follow the run-walk method. "They’re the ones who are picking up speed during the last  two to six miles when everyone else is slowing down." In the last 5 kms of the Bombon fun run, we were able to overtake 4 runners who looked much stronger than we at the start but actually slowed down in the end.

We crossed the finish line together. Allen and I tackled the 10-km route in 1 hour and 8 mins. This brought a smile to the both of us.  The 10-km run is part of our training for the Lake Bato Ultra (50kms+) we hope to do this November. Fr. Rey and Konsehal Eddie were there at the finish line to greet us.  The race coordinator told me that I would be interviewed by the race emcee. My smile got bigger as this was my first time to be interviewed after a fun run and the smile got sweeter knowing that the interviewer was the comely and witty  radio announcer Tina Aureus.
Getting interviewed

Top 3 male finishers of the 10-km run

Top 3 female finishers of the 10-km route

Could not resist having a picture at the podium

Caceres Runners Club
Such is the wonderful experience running in our home province of Camarines Sur.  We get to see the uncommon sight of a community united in action for good.  We get to train in an environment less polluted than Metro Manila. We get to meet fellow running enthusiasts who are spreading the gospel of running in Bicol.   We get to be interviewed by a beauty.  And saving the best for last, we get to enjoy a  delectable   breakfast with the parish priest.

Breakfast time

We love Bombon.

Surely our trip to Bombon was worth it.

Abundante quidem eventu. 


  1. Congratulations Fr. Rey! absent ako dito pero sa susunod sama ako BP kasi madaming tugot! hehehe

  2. Oragon ka Ernie. Mahilig sa tugot. hahahaha