R.O.X. 30km/50km Bike For A Cause


Bike for a Cause has been R.O.X.’s (Recreational Outdoor eXchange)  major event since 2013. In cooperation with Bikes for the Philippines, they have been able to give out bike racks and hundreds of bicycles to well deserving schools.


ROX Bike for a Cause 2015. Photo credit: Realsports.com.ph

The objective of this event is to improve the quality of life of children especially those in remote areas where students have to walk long hours regardless of the weather condition just to get to class.

The Concepcion Integrated School in Pampanga has been the recipient of this initiative, and it has changed the lives of the students more than we can ever imagine. The chosen students are trained how to maintain their bicycles and how to be safe on the road. This year, portion of the registration fees will be used to donate bike racks to the school.

R.O.X. and its partners are also calling for donations for old bike parts and gears for the said students.

Event Details

What     :               R.O.X. Bike For A Cause

Where  :               Clark Parade Ground, Angeles Pampanga

When    :               August 14 (Sunday)

Time      :               5:30AM Assembly Time / Gun Start at 6:00AM


Categories          Registration Fees

30KM                    Php700.00 with Bike Jersey, Cycling Cap, Free Snack during event and a chance to win special and premium brands from R.O.X. for the raffle.

50KM                    Php800.00 with Bike Jersey, Cycling Cap, Free Snack during event and a chance to win special and premium brands from R.O.X. for the raffle.




Registration is now ongoing in R.O.X. BHS & Marquee Mall until August 7.

Php10,000.00 worth of Gift Certificates will be given to the biggest registered group.

For details, pls check: https://www.facebook.com/roxphilippines/

Datu Puti Adobo Challenge at the Mercato Centrale on June 11

Mercato Centrale’s finest vendors will showcase their Adobo recipes at a gastronomic showdown at the Mercato Central Saturday market in Bonifacio Global City on June 11, the culmination of the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge.

SNEAK PEAK: Datu Puti Adobo Movement Vendors vie for Top Adobo Dish Honors

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 3.58.29 PM

Think: mouthwatering Adobo and an appetite for friendly fun. The Datu Puti Adobo Movement is cooking up an exciting lineup of challenges and events to support its thrust to get Adobo its due accolade. Part of this gastronomic lineup of events is the Adobo

Challenge, Datu Puti’s search for the best version of the Adobo among a lineup of budding food entrepreneurs.

The Datu Puti Adobo Movement was initially created to push for Adobo to be our pambansang ulam. It is a movement that celebrates the cultural heritage of the Adobo dish. According to the Datu Puti Adobo Movement, all Filipinos across the regions have their own take on the dish, inspired by how the traditional comfort food is prepared by their families based on the their flavor preferences and their access to local ingredients.

Friendly Competition

The Datu Puti Adobo Challenge represents the next phase in the Datu Puti Adobo Movement. After the warm response to the advocacy in 2015, 2016’s Datu Puti Adobo

Challenge is poised to drive more enthusiasm and sustain support for the cult fave dish. More specifically, the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge dares Mercato Centrale’s food vendors to stake their claim for the best Adobo dish in town.


To qualify, the vendor’s adobo dish must use any type of meat or vegetable, and marinated in or cooked with at least two of the three main Datu Puti products: vinegar, soy sauce, and patis (fish sauce). Accepted entries will be evaluated based on the various criteria, including: creativity of concept, which looks at the story behind the dish as well as originality, branding, and cooking technique; innovation, noting the use of unique special ingredients and Datu Puti products; and Philippine culinary heritage, including how it adopts and represents regional cooking styles.

Celebrating Adobo’s Best

Mercato Centrale’s finest vendors will showcase their Adobo recipes at a gastronomic showdown at the Mercato Central Saturday market in Bonifacio Global City on June 11, the culmination of the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge.

Join the Movement on June 11 and enjoy the taste fest during the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge. Rate sheets will be tallied based on the sampling served to a select pool of judges. Then, at the end of the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge, three winners will be declared, taking into the account the flavor, story, and heart behind their Adobo masterpieces. In addition, a People’s Choice Award will also be given to the crowd favorite, based on the preferences of the foodies on site.

All Adobo winners will be awarded start-up funds in cash, so they can include their winning dishes in their regular Mercato menu for at least 12 nights. The People’s Choice awardee, on the other hand, will receive over P3,000 worth of Datu Puti goods.

Adobo Party

Aside from the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge, the celebrations at Mercato Centrale on June 11 will also feature a celebration of homegrown talent, all in full support of the advocacy behind the Adobo Movement. The party will be hosted by familiar foodie Tonipet Gaba, and the feast will be made even more festive with musical performances by musical idols UpDharma Down and Ebe Dancel.


Drop by Mercato Centrale (along 7th avenue and 25th street, across The Forum and in front of the “Between the Lines” art mural) in BGC Taguig on June 11, Saturday, to witness a showdown and showcase of the best of the best of our homegrown talents onstage and behind kitchen doors.


Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas

If you think you’ve trained hard to be tough enough, be there!


Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas, the Philippine affiliate of the International Powerman Association (IPA) is set to hold its 2016 duathlon race series in November and December this year.

Powerman dua

On November 20, the Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas Asian Invitational consisting of a Powerman Short (5km run-30 km -5km run) will be held at SM Mall of Asia by the Bay.

On December 3 and 4, the Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas World Series will be held at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. Aside from featuring a Powerman Short, events will also include the Powerman Classic (10 km run-60 km bike-10 km run), Powerkids (for kids ages 6-16) and Powerteens leg. The Poweman Duathlon series will be an important sporting event with around 3000 participants expected to attend.

Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas is a qualifying event for the Powerman Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland. The event welcomes professional and highly competitive age-group athletes, seasoned multi-sport athletes who want to take on a different challenge, and beginner multi-sport athletes.

Power Training with Anytime Fitness

A primary purpose is to encourage more people of all ages and from all walks of life to live a healthier, more active lifestyle, and perhaps consider taking on the challenge of becoming a Powerman. The goal is to invite people to try alternative sports activities so that runners can also start biking, and bikers can likewise enjoy running.

But to help even the seasoned duathlon participants prepare for their events, Anytime Fitness has devised a Power Training program that will help boost stamina and improve athletic ability at the races.

Apart from the requisite physical training, the program will include Power Camps and Power Clinics. These are venues where guest coaches and other mentors will share

their expertise to help participants improve techniques, or overcome other physical and mental barriers that may impede optimum performance.

Gael Le Bellec, Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas Ambassador and Powerman World Champion for 2014 &2015 will be one of the guest coaches.

Powerman Gives Bikes to the Batang Tri Grassroots Program.

Part of the proceeds of Powerman will go towards buying bicycles and other gear for the Batang Tri Grassroots program. This is a program that supports young individuals who do not have the financial means to enter the world of multi-sports. Starting out as an initiative of CEO and president of F&F International Events Group, Inc. and restaurateur Raymund Magdaluyo, Batang Tri is currently headed by Coach Jojo Macalintal, Coach Ivan Leopando and Coach Melvin Fausto, and is supported by Seafood Island.

Visit www.powerman.ph to register. Or check out Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas on Facebook for more information and updates.


Nike Women Victory Tour 2016 Manila

Nike Women Victory Tour 2016 is one of the most enjoyable races I’ve joined. Aside from being an all-women half marathon, the premium race kit, new route from Blue Wave Pasay to Island Cove via Cavitex, and the post run activities for fun-loving Filipinas made it unique from other runs.


I had the chance to join the Nike Women Victory Tour Manila last minute when a friend from Takbo.ph offered her kit. I was preparing for a marathon so I grabbed the opportunity to do my LSD.

I’ve joined a Nike run event in 2009 and as expected, the race items were premium.  Though I got the kit for free this time, I would say the fee was reasonable considering it is good for two packets, singlets had unique numbers in fashionable in razor back style, new route, shuttle service from Blue Wave to Island Cove,and vice versa, post run swim, plus a free pass for one guest.

New favorite singlet!


As an organizer of races myself, RunRio obviously made extra effort to keep us ladies safe with lots of hydration stations (as one friend described, “naiisip mo pa lang na mauuhaw ka, andyan na ang water station!”), bananas, gels, cold sponges, marshals everywhere, and very visible pacers in neon green. I couldn’t help but notice that pacers in this event were all good-looking, friendly, fit, and many of them ran back and forth to cheer us runners.

Nike Women Victory Tour Manila pacers

As planned, this should be an LSD. No pressure, pure fun, and as much as possible, relaxed run. So unlike other races, I didn’t bring a watch. I just plugged my earphones for feel good music.

We were set off at 4:30am which was usual in most races. It was an energetic start with laser lights and confetti blasts. More like party feel. 🙂

I felt the sun up along  Baclaran heading to Cavitex. After some time, I was feeling the heat of the pavement at 35deg. and the foul smell of the sea in some areas of Manila Bay.

Long stretch of Cavitex with Manila Bay left and right
Long stretch of Cavitex with Manila Bay left and right

Many times I wanted to walk but the sight of people in their boats, fishing in the dirty Manila Bay for a living made  me realize how I should be thankful instead of whining about something that should be enjoyable. But heck, it was so hot and without a clue of time, I felt like I’ve been running less than 20km for three hours already! I was so temped to look at my phone and glance at my run time. But doing so would just add pressure which would not help.

Blue Bay Pasay to Island Cove via Cavitex

Finally, it I reached the finish line inside Island Cove. True enough, this was my slowest 21k at unofficial time of 2 hours 13 mins and something. But it was worth it. The harder it is, the more valueable it becomes, right?

Finisher’s charm necklace

At the finish line, we were given a Nike charm necklace. Though I thought a finisher’s medal or a finisher’s shirt was more rewarding, the premium race kit items justified.

The post race event was enjoyable…really thought of for women!

Ice cold pool
Ice cold pool
Post run massage
Congrats Shela for a new PR!

Photowall all you want, ice pool, freebies from sponsors, note booth for BFFs, a bunch of hunks, massage and roller booths were a treat! 🙂


Panlasang Norte: a newfound taste of North Luzon with Pilmico

In order to help backyard farmers and to promote sustainable entrepreneurship, we must love local food. Mahalin Pagkaing Atin, an advocacy program of Pilmico, focuses on helping, teaching, and encouraging farmers to embrace backyard farming as a sustainable form of livelihood for locals. The program also instills a “pride of product, pride of place” mindset.

A farmer plants rice in San Manuel, Pangasinan province, a back-breaking work.  Photo credit: Inquirer.net
A farmer plants rice in San Manuel, Pangasinan province, a back-breaking work.
Photo credit: Inquirer.net

From the hearty chicken stew that is pinikpikan in the Cordillera to the crunchy, deep-fried pig skin of bagnet in Ilocos, you can say that the northern part of the country – like any other region of the Philippines – boasts of a rich culture and food history. Traveling the country gets you accustomed not only with the local people, history, and traditions but more importantly, it acquaints you and lets you in on local delicacies or specialties. In other words, it’s a chance to get to know the diverse selection of local Pinoy food. With more than 7,100 islands, can you just imagine how many savory, hearty, and even exotic dishes the Philippines has to offer?


Since 2014, the advocacy themed Mahalin Pagkaing Atin has been traveling the country through Food and Livelihood Expos to raise awareness about embracing our local food. Pilmico, the food subsidiary of Aboitiz Group and the company behind the program, visits tragedy, poverty, and conflict stricken areas and helps the people residing in these areas build a new life and prepare them for sustainable livelihood. During the Food and Livelihood Expos, Pilmico also conducts seminars on animal husbandry and nutrition as well as cooking and baking demonstrations to showcase the different flavors of the provinces and promote local delicacies.

Mahalin Pagkaing Atin (MPA)

Mahalin Pagkaing Atin has been to places like Tagum City, Davao, Bohol, North Cebu, Iloilo, Ormoc, Palo, Carigara, Baybay, Tacloban, Roxas City, Samar, Butuan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Isabela. Now, Mahalin Pagkaing Atin is hitting the road once more to share this advocacy to more kababayans after a quick pit stop at Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City last July 31 for a session with Metro Manila’s savviest foodies, TV personality, and Mercato Centrale co-founder RJ Ledesma.

The MPA and Mercato Centrale Experience


Mercato Centrale Group is the brilliant organizer of popular premier food and lifestyle markets in the metro. It is a great venue both for passionate up-and-coming food entrepreneurs and food lovers who are tired of the usual restaurants and fast food chains.

July 31 was extra special as Mercato Centrale BGC partnered with Mahalin Pagkaing Atin featuring delicacies from the north.

I am not really a foodie. I appreciate good food but I am easily satisfied by what’s available. Hence, I get so amused (and then confused) when there’s too many food choices available at a time. I end up getting what my companion will order.

With a thousand gift certificate worth of food of our choice from MPA, we raided over 50 stalls of gastronomic delicacies that fit our taste, guided by the theme: Panlasang Norte (northern taste). Having a theme in mind before going to night markets was great help for me.

Read also: Delicacies of each region in the North

Marvin and Aldrin drooling over this stuffed boneless lechon!
Marvin and Aldrin drooling over this stuffed boneless lechon!
Getting my share of Vigan longganisa. Never been to Vigan Ilocos though and that's on the bucket.
Getting my share of Vigan longganisa. Never been to Vigan Ilocos though and that’s on the bucket.
Not your ordinary balut (fertilized duck embryo). I'd still not dare try one. haha!
Not your ordinary balut (fertilized duck embryo). I’d still not dare try one. haha!
Taste of your favorite places in a plate!
Places in a plate. Taste your favorite place!

The program was packed with live band, hosted by Mellow 94.7FM DJs Tracey Abad, Chris, and Stan Sy. And their special guest, Chef Boy Logro, who is amazingly funny and humorous. Unlike other chefs I’ve watched, Chef Logro has nonstop punchlines we can’t stop laughing. If good music, good laugh, and good food won’t satisfy you, I don’t know what else can.

Good food and good music.
Good food and good music.
Rolled milk coated with sugar in Bulacan is? Pastillas de Leche! Price goes to Bulaceno, Aldrin.
Rolled milk coated with sugar in Bulacan is? Pastillas de Leche!
Price goes to Bulaceno, Aldrin.
With Chef Boy Logro who wowed us with much laughter and hearty meal.
With Chef Boy Logro who wowed us with much laughter and hearty meal.
Pinakbit with Bagnet by Chef Boy Logro.
Pinakbit with Bagnet by Chef Boy Logro.

With Bonifacio Global City Estate developing almost every corner with buildings, I am hoping Mercato Centrale will keep its space for foodies and food entrepreneurs.

Thanks Mr. Marcie Linao for the invite! 🙂

Mercato Centrale at 34th St. and 8th Ave. Bonifacio Global City is open Friday to Saturday 6:00PM to 3:00AM.

Mahalin Pagkaing Atin: A Showcase of Famous Dishes and Delicacies in Luzon

The Philippines consists of 7,107 islands, 17 regions, and 122 cities. Aside from the unique travel spots each has, they also boast of special delicacies that make them unique from one another.  If you are a frequent traveler or a foodie, you can give the food that will describe the region, town, or city, and vice versa in a snap of a finger.

Popular must-try dishes per region Photo credit: Looloo Insights
Popular must-try dishes per region
Photo credit: Looloo Insights

Town hopping for special delicacy is just one of the many reasons that make Philippines more interesting.

Check here for the Great Luzon Menu

Living in Manila where fast food and foreign-franchised restaurants are everywhere, I usually crave for local, home-cooked food that can be found in night markets.  With most of our running events done in Bonifacio Global City, Mercato Centrale is a go-to place to satisfy this craving especially during overnight  set-up.

It is a delight to know that Mercato Centrale Group, Pilmico, and Aboitiz Group worked on creating an advocacy campaign “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin” (Love Your Own Food) featuring the delicacies of Luzon. The advocacy campaign promotes sustainable entrepreneurship, homegrown produce, and instills a “pride of product, pride of place” mindset for both the farmers and consumers.

To know more, watch Mahalin Pagkaing Atin video.

As part of the campaign roll-out,  seminars on animal husbandry and nutrition, cooking and baking demonstrations and showcases the different flavors of the provinces to advocate local delicacies will be conducted.


On July 31, take part in this nationwide advocacy and satisfy that craving for authentic Filipino food choices. See you at the Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City 8:00PM onwards. Join the night long festivities of fun activities, fill your bellies with delectable food finds, spend the night mingling, and get a chance to know your food.

Trekking in Mt. Pinatubo Crater

Mt. Pinatubo is a good day tour destination because it is very near Manila, includes an off-road 4×4 all-terrain ride, a beginner-friendly trek, river crossing, and scenic views.

Mt. Pinatubo crater

The best time to go there is during Philippine’s colder months, September to February.  The rest of the year is either hot or rainy/stormy.

I chanced to go to Mt. Pinatubo on December 29, 2012 when a friend based in Australia, Marylove, invited me to join her and her Lithuanian husband, Pranas.  We thought of doing a DIY trip but with a few additional bucks, we can get a tour package with less hassle.

With friends at the trekking point

Funny that our tour guide was a French guy who spoke Filipino fluently.  He shared that he used to be a tourist is the Philippines, married a Filipina tour guide, and established their own tour company. 🙂

Story of Mt. Pinatubo

While hiking, I could not help but imagine how such beauty came from the 1991 volcanic eruption.  The path created by the lava flow, the rock fragments, and miles of ashes that separated mountains is now the trek route.   

Mt. Pinatubo is the world’s largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.  The eruption climaxed with nine hours discharge of millions of tons of sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere, resulting in a decrease in the temperature worldwide for years.

leigh saunders
Photo credit: Leigh Saunders

No volcanic activity was recorded after that. 🙂

How to go There

There are a lot of tour groups offering complete package ranging from P1,500 to P2,000 which includes van pick up and drop off from Manila, Zambales environmental fee, 4×4 all-terrain ride, and guide.

There are organizers that offer tour without minimum number of joiners. They will fill the slots of around 10-12 persons.

Pros and cons:

  • You can tour alone or with a number of friends without the pressure of having to form a group with X number of joiners
  • Cheaper
  • You’ll get to meet new people
  • If you come the latest, you get the smallest seat. So better get inside the van as early as possible.

There are also those that will charge you fixed rate for a private tour.

Pros and cons:

  • You get a private van
  • No need to worry about having strangers with you during the entire trip
  • You have to pay the fixed rate unless you have a lot of friends to divide expenses with, hence, more expensive

Travel time from Manila:

  1. By private car or group tour
  • Two and a half hours from Manila to Sta. Juliana, Capas Tarlac
  • One hour 4×4 all terrain ride to jump off point
  • Two hours (seven kilometers) trekking to Mt. Pinatubo crater
  1. By public transport
  • Two to three hours bus ride from Manila to Capas Tarlac or via Dau Terminal. Buses include Five Star, Victory, Solid North.  Drop off at Capas Tarlac.
  • 20 – 30 minutes tricycle ride to Sta. Juliana where the tourism office is located
  • One hour 4×4 all terrain ride to jump off point
  • Two hours (seven kilometers) trekking to Mt. Pinatubo crater
One hour 4×4 all-terrain ride from base camp to trekking point
River crossing
Picture-picture 🙂

Friendly reminders:

  • Pack light. A sweater (for cold season), food, drinking water, and of course a camera are enough to enjoy the trip. It’s just a day tour anyway.
  • Slippers or strappy outdoor sandals is better than close rubber shoes or trekking shoes which become heavy after river crossings.
  • Pole will help you balance while trekking through gravel, rocks, and rivers. They sell wooden poles at the base camp but if you are okay with balancing, you can go without it.  This is a beginner-friendly trek.
  • Sari-sari stores are available at the tourism office where you can buy small items like toiletries, and water.
  • You may take a shower at the tourism office for P100.
  • Swimming in the crater was allowed during our trip but is now prohibited.

Beautiful scene right at the crater

Enjoyed my KFC Double Decker and Pik-Nik

Our Itinerary

Tour date: Dec. 29, Sat.
Tour cost: Php1990/person

Tour inclusions:
– round trip a/c van transfer (Manila-Pinatubo base camp-Manila)
– round trip 4×4 vehicle
– local guide
– conservation fee
– certificate of conquest
– service of a tour coordinator

0230 Assembly time. (McDonalds Panay, EDSA corner Quezon Ave. close to the MRT Quezon Ave. station), Breakfast and buy lunch                                                                                                                                                                             0530 ETA Brgy. Sta. Juliana (base camp)
0530 to 0630 Board 4×4 vehicles.
0730 Start trekking (around 2 hours walking)
0930 ETA at the crater of Mt. Pinatubo.Swimming, picnic lunch (at clients’ account), siesta, taking photos, boat ride (at client’s account)
1200 Start return trek (around 2 hours walk)
1430 Back to the 4×4 ride
1530 Back at base camp. Freshen up.
1600 Departure from the base camp to Manila.
1900 ETA Manila, McDonalds Panay

Optional add-ons :
Boat ride on the crater lake : Php350/person
Shower at the base camp : Php100/person