Thursday, August 29, 2013

Confronting a Corrupt Political System: March Against Pork Barrel

Last Monday, August 26, I ran from Baclaran to Luneta to join the March Against Pork Barrel. There were over a hundred thousand people who joined the rally organized by netizens on the social media. I met some of the ultrarunners, led by Retired General Jovie Narcise (aka Bald Runner) who ran to Luneta. I later joined the group from Baclaran Church who walked part of the way.

It's been a long time since I joined a protest march and rally. I thought I have retired from this but I got angry due to the latest expose of  pork barrel scam which involved Janet Napoles and some senators and congressmen. Like many ordinary citizens I was appalled at the extent of corruption engendered by the pork barrel system which perpetuates the patronage politics. I join the cry of Filipinos from all over the country: Abolish Pork Barrel! Hold those involved in the scam accountable.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Training for the Triathlon

I've  been doing a lot of traveling as usual. Over a week ago I went to Cebu to be the guest speaker the 9th BEC anniversary attended by around two thousand delegates coming from six parishes of the Mactan Vicariate. I also helped facilitate a 3-day gathering of priests from Calbayog which was held at the Redemptorist Retreat House in Cebu.

My plane landed at the Mactan airport at 10:15 in the morning of August 4. I was surprised that there were no taxi outside. No problem - I just ran/walked - carrying my heavy backpack (with clothes, laptop computer and LCD projector inside). When I reached the highway I found why there were no taxis. The Cobra Ironman 70.3 was on! The bridge was close to traffic - so I just continued on foot across the bridge up to Mandaue. I watched the triathletes on their bikes go by - and I was filled with envy and admiration. I told myself: someday, I will be there as participant rather than a fan or spectator.

Several years ago, I made a bucket list - things I would like to do before I die. There were many things to do on the list. Among these were: Bike around the Philippines - check. Run/walk across Mindanao - check. Run/walk barefoot on the Camino de Santiago - check. Run/walk across the Philippines (Davao to Aparri) - check. Join the triathlon before or when I turn 60 years old - not yet. Next year I will be a senior citizen. So I have started training for the Triathlon.

I already bought a road bike (carbon-fiber frameset) and I use it for long-distance cycling. I bike to the office and back three times a week. I run/walk to the office twice a week. And I swim for over an hour once a week at a nearby public pool.

I have no problem biking and running long-distance. My weakness is long-distance swimming. I have difficulty even swimming 25 meters - how much more 1.9 km!  I already bought a book on Total Immersion swimming method and I also downloaded video-instructions. I wanted to take up formal swimming lessons but my schedule is so irregular and erratic, I decided to coach myself.

I plan to join the DurianMan Triathlon in April 2014 in Davao City and hopefully, the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in August 2014 in Cebu. Perhaps, I can do the full Ironman Triathlon before I reach 65 years old. I haven't heard about a "Triathlon Priest" so far - I might be the first to claim that title.