There were many other joys that the Bicolano Penguin experienced on the DZMM Takbo 2015. Let me count the ways:
1. Happiness on a Sunday morning is arriving early in the venue and seeing that running buddies arrived earlier. In past fun runs, I was usually the one arriving first. But in the DZMM Takbo 2015, five First Balfour runners (Delsie, Icar, Iya, Migo and Romy) were there ahead of me. It tells me that they are more excited than I am. This bodes well for the growth of our First Balfour running club. They had to kid me why I was so early considering that they were doing 21kms and I was only doing 10 kms. This is another promising sign. Many First Balfour runners have matched and surpassed the penguin.
2. Happiness on a Sunday morning is watching one of my favorite writer-bloggers go for her first 10km race. Nina Terol-Zialcita of the First Philippine Holdings (FPH) Corporate Communications group has taken up running and she has steadily progressed with her distance. The past few months, I have been exchanging notes with her on running. At the 10km finish line, I had the pleasure of having a photo with her. She finished faster than the grizzled veteran penguin. Later, I had a group photo with a few more FPH runners. One of them, Hazel Velasco, also of FPH Corporate Communications, mentioned that FPH will be turning 55 years next year. To which I suggested - how about a fun run as one of the activities to celebrate the milestone? She said it is interesting. Music to my ears.
3. Happiness on a Sunday morning is raising in jubilation the hand of our hard working project manager Nelson Cartagena as he crossed the finish line. Nelson is a very busy man as he is tasked in leading the project execution of key projects in our company. But it was good to see him take up running and go for a 5km run. It tells me he is doing something about work-life balance.
4. Happiness on a Sunday morning is joining for a group photo the First Balfour runners. Our running tribe is growing in our company. Our HR Employee Engagement team (Hanna and Anchel) is doing a good job. For the DZMM Takbo 2015, First Balfour had the following registrations: 11 for the 5kms; 8 for the 10kms; and 5 for the 21 kms. No doubt, our people in our company believe in the Lopez core values, one of which is "Concern for Employee Welfare and Wellness."
5. Happiness on a Sunday morning is watching a fellow member of the Paranaque Running Circle (PRC) go up the stage and receive a medal from the sexy and beautiful Gretchen Fullido. Iloilo-born Filmer Hiponia placed 5th in the 10km race of the DZMM Takbo 2015.
Such are the many joys that I got from the DZMM Takbo 2015 experience. I am sure we will be back for more next year. Lest we forget, it was also my first 10-km race after my 2 weeks of hospitalization. One of the many waddles on the way back for the penguin to regain ultra marathon form.