Greenfield Sunset Run 2010

19 04 2010

About two weeks after we registered for the NatGeo Earth Day Run, I and my buddy decided to register for another run – this time at a different time schedule, at sunset, as all running events happen in the early morning where one would really sacrifice to wake up earlier. 

The Greenfield City Sunset Run 2010 will be held on April 24, Saturday at Greenfield, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.  

Event categories include 500m Dash (kids), 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K.  Registration is from March 22 to April 17.  For more details or questions, please call (632) 703-1736 or visit http://www.greenfield.com.ph/ and the official run website at http://finishline.ph/.

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National Geographic Channel Earth Day Run 2010

27 03 2010

After the Earth Hour tonight, let’s again show that we care for our planet.  Join the National Geographic Channel Earth Day Run 2010 to be held on April 18 at the Mall of Asia grounds.

This is going to be a very memorable event for me.   With the involvement of the National Geographic Channel, it will be something.   

Online registration runs until April 4 while cash registration thru the Nike Outlet in Bonifacio High Street and Timex outlets in SM North EDSA and Mall of Asia is until April 11.

The registration fee includes a limited edition of the NatGeo Earth Day Run technical shirt.

  





I am finally running!

27 03 2010

I had finally found a running buddy!  After participating in our company’s fun run in September of last year, I developed an interest to join at least one benefit run (before I leave), the Century Tuna Superbods 2010 in particular, so I started inviting and convincing a few active colleagues and friends up to the last day of registration but no one became as interested.   I even posted to my FB account my interest in benefit runs and a high school mate reacted and so emailed me about the Book Run she was joining (her first run)  on January 31.   Gosh! It was already January 27.  I told her that had I known earlier that she was joining I would have registered, too.  So I missed that. 

Come February 21, the Century Tuna Superbods Run day, I wasn’t there but two of my co-choir members participated.  They were convincing me to register until the last day.  One even got the registration form for me.  Unfortunately these are young guys in their early 20s that I was, honestly, not quite comfortable being with during my first running event.  

I learned later that my high school mate joined again when I saw her photos posted to here FB account.  My envy increased… more and more as I see more photos of her other runs.  I gave up convincing my colleagues and friends until one day… 

One friend who started to regularly hit the gym, and who previously showed no interest in benefit runs, all of a sudden mentioned running to me.  She was sort of enlightened by her gym instructor.  Then last Wednesday, she called up to mention this Earth Day Run at the Mall of Asia so I researched on it.  I called her back to tell the details so it’s the National Geographic Earth Day Run to be held on April 18, 2010 at the Mall of Asia.  So we agreed to register online the following day. 

So it’s official!  I am finally running and this morning was our warm-up training.  She felt excited as we dragged our feet and jogged along the grounds of Southmall.   But, there’s no one more excited with the world-famous National Geographic Channel being involved in this event than… I.  It’s my first real run, don’t you forget.  Wink!





Earth Hour 2010

23 03 2010

Earth Hour has increased awareness of climate change issues.  In 2009, more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries showed support by switching off their lights making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative according to the EarthHour.org.

 

This year, Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 p.m. (local time).  In our company, we are encouraged to show our resolute commitment to mitigate climate change starting on Friday (last working day) by wearing blue.  

Let’s get involved in this move before it’s too late.  It’s our planet, anyway…





Nowhere but at Sonya’s Garden…

14 03 2010

Based on the descriptions shared by a colleague way back then – salad of greens and petals, eating area amidst enchanting garden, no walk-ins but reservations only – I was certain that I was going to like the Sonya’s Secret Garden.   So after our overnight stay and pampering moments at the Nurture Spa in December 2005, I and two friends stopped over for lunch and from there the brief introduction to this once secret garden started.  We inquired if we can take a look at one of the rooms.  The staff took us then on a walk-through of one of the big cottages and the restaurant area.  There we decided to have our relaxation vacation the following year in Sonya’s. 

It didn’t happen in 2006 and the following years not because we chose another destination, but because we had conflicting schedules.  

I finally had a chance last January with my balikbayan (Philippine nationals who are permanently residing abroad or those of Filipino descent who acquired foreign citizenship and permanent status abroad) relatives. They had to attend a wedding in Tagaytay so I suggested to spend a night at Sonya’s, not because it is situated in Tagaytay (only a few know that it is located in Alfonso, Cavite) but because it is very close to Tagaytay.  

The frontage and parking area had the same look, as far as I can recall, plain rocks laid down on an uncemented ground, no landscapings.  At the back of my mind, there was this line of speech for my companions, “No, please don’t get discouraged yet.  There are many beautiful surprises to redeem this lack of interesting scenery.”  I was right. My sis-in-law’s mother was sort of disappointed but remained silent about it until we got into our cottage. Here, the old adage, “First impressions last.”, didn’t apply.  Later, she described Sonya’s Garden as more beautiful than the Butchart Gardens of Vancouver, Canada. 

To go to the  reception area, we walked down the pathway of wood planks and stones amidst fire trees, butter bushes, then, lo and behold, a wooden huge gate.  Countless flowering plants of all sorts abound in the unmanicured lawns along the way and then chimes of various shapes and sizes hanged in either the trees or verandas with those relaxing tones and…

 stone bowls of different sizes with colorful petals afloat welcomed us.  

Our admiration of the place increased as we were ushered to our respective cottages, named after herbs – with an ante-room and furnished with wood furniture, big beds clothed with crisp white sheets complemented with soft white pillows in embroidered cases. Moroccan glass lanterns hanging so freely in the high ceilings provide a more relaxing ambience.  What I liked the most in the cottages is the spacious bath area of pebbled flooring with huge flat river stones to step on, equipped with shower head of the rain-dome type, adorned with an arrangement of floating petals in a stone bowl.  Fresh-smelling toiletries made exclusively by Ilog Maria are arranged in a receptacle.  Next to the bath area, I also liked the nook where two soft white pillows await its occupant.  This place which is overlooking (in our cottages) the small wilderness is an ideal place to read a good book or just curl up and relax.  Other items of interest are mirrors set in Indonesian woodcarvings mounted on the wall, gauzy white cloth that serve as a shower curtain, shell-beaded curtains and bits & pieces of antiques.   

After we settled our things in the cottage, we went out to explore the area and there we met the owner, Ms. Sonya Garcia.  So we walked with her toward the location of the Panaderia (local bakery) and Country Store and we passed again through the pathway of wooden planks and stone.  From that spot, she let us smell a huge pink flower and asked how it smelled.  “Does it not smell butter?” So we learned that it’s called butter bush.  Actually it is a tree bearing that baby pink-colored flower.  

Then dinner came.  It was truly filling with fresh greens (lettuce only, no arugula, nor fennels and parsley as described by others) and an assortment of toppings e.g. cheese, corn, cucumber, boiled egg, pineapple, mango and toasted broad beans with two kinds of dressing to choose from – Sonya’s secret dressing or vinaigrette; freshly baked bread from the Panaderia with various dips such as basil pesto, white cheese, anchovies, bruschetta tomato toppings, mushroom pate, black olive tapinade and fresh green peppercorn in olive oil; and pasta with two kinds of sauces – sun dried tomato and chicken cream – and salmon belly.  If the salmon was not too oily, we would have consumed it all but it was redeemed by the entire hearty experience.  For the sweet ending, we had glazed sweet potato, banana rolls with sesame & jackfruit and a small slice of chocolate cake from the Panaderia.  Everyone enjoyed the drinks – refillable freshly squeezed dalandan (local orange) juice and the ender of all enders the tarragon tea, which tasted like hot rootbeer. 

Is there a better way to end the day than to spoil your senses?  So the ladies had the Magnolia Package which is a complete head-to-toe, two-hour pampering rituals, consisting of aromatherapy steam bath, foot spa, manicure and pedicure and Sonya’s Signature Massage.  My brother delighted himself in the Bentosa with Hilot Massage (an ancient hilot technique which utilizes tiny pieces of a local herb called damong maria that are burned in air tight glass cups. This creates heat and suction as the cups are applied to nerve points of the back. The treatment, combined with Filipino hilot techniques on the back and legs, promotes balanced blood flow, stimulates circulation, removes toxins and dissipates cold spots) 

The following morning, we joined Ms. Sonya for the basic yoga session which we arranged upon our check-in.  We just did a few sun salutation poses.  It was such a very personal encounter with her.  Initially, I and my brother were the only present but my sis-in-law joined after a while. After the session, we took a leisurely walk in the garden and there she showed us some unique and very colorful flowers which are often the subject of artists then toured us in her greenhouse of mostly herbs.  She let us taste the stevia, a substitute for sugar, and the others, of which the names we could no longer remember. 

And for our last meal, breakfast that is, we had her version of adobo, fried boneless bangus and omelet, paired with her fried rice (has similarity with bagoong rice), mango salsa, thick hot chocolate drink (there’s coffee for coffee lovers).  To our request, her staff also generously served us again her freshly-baked wheat bread. 

I still would want to visit this place maybe during the firefly mating season co’z during this time fireflies come out and light the place even in the darkest of nights. So firefly watching!  It will be another interesting experience, nowhere but at Sonya’s.





2010 International Women’s Day

3 03 2010

Each year, March 8 is celebrated as the International Women’s Day.  While the international theme is “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all”, our local theme is “Babae, tagumpay ka ng bayan!” (“Woman, you’re the country’s success!”).   The theme highlights women’s achievement in paving the way for women’s advancement and empowerment amidst major challenges. It celebrates the success of women’s commitment to pursue equality which resulted in the enactment of the Magna Carta of Women (a comprehensive women’s human rights law which serves as the national translation of the UN CEDAW, the International Bill of Rights for Women) and the achievements in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) and those related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). 

Our company has always been actively participating in the yearly observance of the National Women’s Month.  Last Monday, March 1, a number of employees joined the Walk for Women’s Rights at The Fort, Taguig City.  Other pocket activities during the day include exhibit of products for and by women, free counseling, legal, medical, beauty and wellness services for women.      

Other major activities for the month include Go Negosyo Women Entrepreneurship Summit on March 8 and Women Disabilities Day on March 29, 2010. 





Live Food Lecture by Cheloy Ignacio

22 02 2010

Ms. Cheloy Ignacio, the renowned raw foodist, is now back from the US.  I got her email yesterday informing that she will be holding a food lecture this weekend.   I was not sure if this is the Living on Live Food Lecture explained in her site (Rawfood Philippines) so I called her up.  So it is the Live Food Lecture, which according to her lasts for 6 hours but may extend depending on the queries.  I told her that I’m trying to invite some friends.  I hope I could convince one. 

The package, which costs Php10,000, is a combination of lectures and actual recipe preparations so a participant is required to come on empty stomach.  

For details and reservations, contact 687-1121.