Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Comic Day 2008 (part 1)

Free Comic Day is an annual event that happens every first Saturday of May. I first thought this would happen only in the United States. Imagine my surprise when I visited Druid's Keep store last year (located at Magallanes Commercial Center) to get something I ordered (can't remember what but it's most likely a "Walking Dead" Hardcover - a must read by the way) from Felix when he offered me and Per some snacks and drinks and told us to get some free comic books. Since we weren't aware of this event, we were only able to get a copy of Spider-Man each and missed out on a lot of potential good selections when we got there late.
This year, I am more prepared as I have targeted the Comic Odyssey store in Robinson Galleria( as the place to get my free loot as venue is nearer to the house. Event starts from 12pm - 5pm and each person can get 3 comic books. Since I will be going with Per, that will be 6 different issues all in all. Titles I am looking at getting are Project Superpowers, X-Men, Bongo comics, Hellboy, All Star Superman and Stranded, so hoping (with fingers crossed) they have all these issues here.
There will also be a lot of Filipino talents from the comic book industry: Gerry Alanguilan (who will give and sign his comic book GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATED to the first 200 guests therein), Lan Medina (Fables) and Edgar Tadeo (Spawn). I met Ed when I was at the mall last week, through the help of store owner of C.O., as I was interested with one of his arts. Buying his art serves as another reason as to why I would go here plus getting the free custom made sketch I requested from him for free!! Ed posted in his website a new drawing he did that had 3 Marvel Mutants on it. No price set yet so will see how that one goes as looks nice too. Third reason to go here is to get college buddy's reservation of Marvel Select White Queen. Also good place to catch up on back issues I need as all of them will be 50% off. Looking at getting old issues of JSA, JLA, ShadowPact, etc.
And the grand finale for this day is being able to watch IRONMAN on the big screen! It will definitely be a comic book fandom day (only thing better than this is attending an actual comic book convention). More to come...

Friday, April 25, 2008

New 7 Wonders of Nature Nominees

With the new 7 Wonders of the World having been announced last year (07.07.07) in Lisbon, Portugal, a new campaign has now started which will run until December 31, 2008, and this is for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Voting is quite easy by just going to their website (, you can put in not just 1 vote, but 7 different votes!
At the start of 2009, a shortlist of top 21 candidates will be announced to which voting will once again resume for the New 7 Wonders of Nature (which will be announced in 2010).

As of April 24, 2008, the top 10 rankings are as follows:
1. Ha Long Bay - Vietnam (Asia)
2. Cox's Bazar, Beach - Bangladesh (Asia)
3. Ganges River - Bangladesh/India (Asia)
4. Amazon River - Bolivia/Brazil/Columbia (South America)
5. Mount Everest - Nepal (Asia)
6. Mount Fuji - Japan (Asia)
7. Tubbataha Reef - Philippines (Asia)
8. Fernando de Noronha - Brazil (South America)
9. Pinnacles Desert - Australia (Oceania)
10. Ein Gedi, Oasis - Israel (Asia)

On personal note, I am fortunate enough to have been to 3 of the top 10 rankings in this one year period alone (from April 2007 - April 2008), so looking forward to the results (just didn't expect wait time to be this long). My own personal 7 votes are as follows:

Tubbataha Reef
Mount Everest, Mountain
Ayers Rock (Uluru), Rock Formation
Great Barrier Reef, Coral Reef
Cappadocia, Rock Formation
Pamukkale, Springs
Grand Canyon, Canyon
Start Voting Now !!
The new 7 Wonders of The World!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Running Addiction?

I have been running now for 5 months now and more importantly, I have been joining races which started from Menshealth Urbanathon 10k challenge (3rd Qtr 2007) and ending with the recent Global Run. To date, there have been a total of 10 runs for me broken down into the following: 3 Runs at U.P. Campus, 5 Runs at Fort Bonifacio, and 1 run each at Mall of Asia and Ortigas Area. All of them are quite different from each other in that the U.P. is more of a low profile area with competitive runners while Fort Bonifacio is one likened to a big party with lots of sponsors, celebrity guests, media coverage, and lots of free things. In that sense, U.P is more for peaceful, quiet run while the advantage of Fort are the good pictures you can take (given the decorations they put up), and the loot bags. The Ortigas area is most difficult one to run on due to the steep incline and it is also the dirtiest, most polluted one out of them all, as lots of cars and jeepneys pass through here. Only advantages I can think of running here is the proximity to my house (so can wake up at a later time) and challenge of running on inclined plane. Most boring running area is the one at Mall of Asia as flat plain and no view at all except the huge shopping mall.
I have even recruited my family and friends to this activity. Started running first with Janine at said Menshealth Run (she actually started running about two months earlier than I did with her sister). Then, Natalie, Carolyn, Edwin, Per and Kervin all tried the PSE Bull Run for the first time and got semi-hooked to full blown hooked as well by this event. Carolyn went so far as even join for the San Francisco Nike Women’s Half Marathon (with goal to get Tiffany Finishers necklace). She was able to recruit a whole bunch of people as well from her cousins to her church members for various runs in Fort area. My nieces and nephews joined the run too for shorter distances as competition has now extended to the next generation. And that is how our mini running community started.

Gear has become an important factor to a race as well. I alone have bought a new pair of running shoes (New Balance with possible 2nd pair awaiting further price reductions), Burlington running socks, cycling shorts and an Adidas singlet. Kervin has bought two pairs of running shoes (Adidas and NB), a pair of sole supporters and also some running socks. Per bought new shoes, shorts and shirt too. Sisters Carolyn and Natalie each bought a new pair of NB shoes and IPOD shuffles. Carolyn upped her purchases by getting Oakley glasses and water belt too (to prepare for US run).

Other stuffs I bought were all those Runningworld magazines at discount prices (from BookSale) and Nike Running themed shirts with slogans such as “The Road Is Long, So What?” and “It’s Not a Race, it’s a State of Mind” and giving a Nike collared shirt with words "Race Official" to Per as well. I even asked a running shirt from Carolyn as Christmas gift.
In terms of online community, I have joined, put in as my favorites and also have running schedule in there as well. I have also joined local running community’s yahoo group. I tried running once inside Ultra (with Gigay) and joined Mizuno Run Club twice already (Thursdays at High Street).

It's evident that for one reason or another, I have caught the running bug. Only consolation here is that I am not alone in this as apparently a lot of my friends and family have caught the fever as well (so less people asking "Why Run?", to more asking "When's the next Run?").

The Run that started it all. Thanks Menshealth!

The difficult obstacle course we had to do at Urbanathon.... Twice! Note the pick-up trucks on the left (had to climb on all of them).

Some runners hit a wall in their running. Meet the literal wall: all 8 feet of it! Grand finale for Menshealth Urbanathon before being able to cross finish line. Again, thanks Menshealth :(

Animo Run at MOA! Go La Salle! Go Go La Salle! La Salle Spelling Ready? A-T-E-N-E-O

UP's GIG run

Condura Run at Fort (still one of the best so far this year)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4th Bonifacio Global City Fun Run (April 20, 08)

It seems that running venues in the Philippines are mostly in Fort Bonifacio area. This is evident with the latest run held last April 20, 2008 but this time, it is actually organized by Global City and Anta Sportswear. Anta, by the way, is the biggest sports enterprise in China having opened its branches there in 1994. It has only two branches in Philippines with one being at High Street and a second branch at Trinoma mall. The Php 150 fee payment came with the normal race number (bib number 580 for me), a white cotton tee shirt with design similar to the poster above. Back of shirt had 4th Global Run written on top part of it as well as repeating the same design. Anta logo is also featured somewhere on the shirt. They also included race map for this route and upon reading it, I found out that the route will just be around Fort Bonifacio area. So course will pass through the International Schools, Speedzone, High Street, S&R, Market Market, etc. This time there will be no uphill climbs (unless I mistaken the International Schools for flat area). There is also coupon given once you finish the race for 20 -30% discount at Anta clothes at their branch here.
The route was one of the best I have done in this area (Fort Bonifacio) as it was relatively flat all the way so no uphill struggles and not much jeepneys or cars here so we mostly had the roads to ourselves. The 10KM runners started promptly at 6:00AM, followed by the 5KM and lastly, by the 3KM. I actually felt good throughout the entire race and it was pretty well organized too with lots of water (Per and I were right in thinking that they do not want it to be another Mizuno Run...sorry guys but that was really bad), lots of signs pointing to the right directions for 5 and 10K runners, and marshals and ambulances constantly on guard for emergency back-ups. Only bad thing I can think of here is that there was no measurement on the kilometers we have already covered or how many KM we still had to cover. On a personal note, I got a new PR here (by just 5 seconds) to get a finish time of 58 minutes and 33 seconds. Still a long way to go for me but quite happy as target for this year was to try and go down an hour (this is third time to do so) from first run of 1 hour 12 minutes at start of January. Per also got a new PR of 35 minutes, a big improvement from her average finish time of 38 - 40 minutes so we were both in high spirits and very good mood that our work out at the gym seem to be paying off. Some personal changes I made to this race were wearing an Adidas blue singlet which I purchased the day before at Trinoma Mall and also cycling shorts underneath my running shorts to keep me dry and remove chafing, which I had a lot of in the previous race (also at Fort). Biggest change for me was not using my Mini IPOD and just focused on my running more. Instead, I lent the device to Per so that she can have more upbeat songs and also since she hadn’t charged her Ipod for this race (this actually turned bad for her as after about running for 10 minutes, my Ipod conked out eventhough I had it charged for a good 15 hours the previous days). She was also sporting new Nike running shirt and shorts for this race so maybe that also helped motivate and influence her run for this race. My sister, two brother-in-laws and nieces and nephews all joined this race too with the kids running the 3KM event. All in all, a good run for all of us here (except for my one niece who vomited mid-race but thank goodness, normal again at end of the run).

Group getting bigger already (runners of all ages)

my running nieces. I'm sure their parents are proud of them!

For Art's Sake!

Our youngest Runner who finished 3K at 45 minutes. Not bad!