If You Have A Chance To Be With Manny Pacquiao,What Would You Tell Him?

31 05 2009

Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it. Publilius Syrus (Roman author, 1st century B.C.)

He is very popular and well adored not only by our countrymen, but perhaps the whole world as well. His punches, speed and power put our country in a pedestal. From Hollywood actors, wrestler, cagers, President of the U.S, athletes and so much more, they all wanted to see and be with this guy even just for a moment. He is our hero at present times, his assets could be billions and his influence so enormous.

Let’s make the People’s Champ remain a true champion by giving him one piece of advice or two. Who knows? He will be able to read this blog and commend on what you will say.

Let me begin: Manny, thank you for making us proud and for inspiring us to aim for greatness. I want you to concentrate in your boxing career and forget politics, fight Mayweather or perhaps Shane Mosley who defeated Margarito. With your great wealth, put a Foundation for the abandoned children or support the local Missionaries in bringing the Gospel to those ethnic groups. Choose your friends wisely and stay away from bad habits. Pacman-you’re amazing! God bless you.


The Man Behind ‘The Purpose Driven Life.’

30 05 2009

Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not. Oscar Wilde

It’s Sunday, and I want to share something that can uplift our spirits…

Here’s a great interview with Rick Warren. He wrote the Purpose Driven Life, a highly recommended book. You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having ‘wealth’ from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, ‘Purpose Driven Life ‘ author and pastor of Saddleback Churchin California . In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren.

Rick said: People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.. This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems: If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people. You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72. First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free. We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings. Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD. Every moment, THANK GOD..

God be praised!

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” -Proverbs 3:7

Where Is My Bag?

29 05 2009

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” -George Washington

Following the instructions given by the TNF organizer, I deposited my bag containing my supplies and everything at ROX last May 19, 2009, 3 days before that big event- the TNF100. Although it’s very hard for me to bring that bag from Laguna to ROX by commuting, I brought my stuff because it was written there in the TNF flyers.

At ROX, I was informed that this bag (which was later transferred to a big, transparent plastic bag) can only be retrieved also in their place after the race. I agreed because that was favorable for me, since I only commuted from my place to Clark Pampanga. Few bag/s during this travel will make my life easier.

During the race, I saw my bag at AS4 and there I changed my singlet from NIke Orange to Adidas Long Sleeve-reflectorized and for protection against insect bites.


Here’s that Nike Orange singlet, and me as I reached Km9 during the early stages of that race…


And here’s that Adidas Long Sleeve.

Since I put that “used and smelly” (due to severe sweating) Nike singlet inside that bag, and even up to now, my bag was not yet in the possession of ROX, (6 days already after the race) what will happen to my Nike Singlet and everything inside that bag? That bag was air tight, and sealed. I’m hoping that all of my stuff inside that bag will not be affected by that sweaty and smelly singlet.

I contacted ROX last Monday afternoon, it was not there yet. The personnel instructed me to call again last Tuesday, I did and the same answer was given to me. Tuesday afternoon, I called Coach Rio and we talked via cellphone, he told me he will instruct the man in charge over our things to facilitate the transfer immediately. Worried about what will happen to my things because of that used singlet, I called them once again last Wednesday and talked to the man in charge via cellphone again, he gave me an assurance that my things will be ready for pick-up Thursday afternoon. I told him that I do really need to get my bag and open it urgently because of the possible contamination that my used singlet will bring to my other things. I called them once again last Thursday afternoon and again today, Friday after lunch, it wasn’t there yet.

Why too long? Haven’t they realized that those bags (including those of  other runners) contain dirty and sweaty singlets? I knew they too have hard times in organizing that event but 6 days have already passed…

If I only knew that this thing will happen, I will not surrender my bag to them. I would rather carry it during my trip.

And the reply seems repetitive but negative and not firm!

Another lessons learned.

My first 2 TNF experiences (Nasugbu Batangas) were both impressive and astonishing but this one was disheartening, except for the route.

Put your feet in my shoes and tell me If you’ll not react the same way!

God be praised!

Cat Lesson: A cat is a tiger that is fed by hand. A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution. God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing the lion. Every dog has his day – but the nights are reserved for the cats. Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia. Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. The cat was created when the lion sneezed. I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream.

“Let not the wise man bask in his wisdom, nor the mighty man in his might, nor the rich man in his riches. Let them boast on this alone: ‘That they truly know me’…” -Jeremiah 9:23-24

TNF:Terribly,Neurotic Fallacy!

29 05 2009

“Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent”. -Horace Smith

The TNF 10k/20k was a huge success, no doubt about it, except the 100k trail run.

It’s been five days after that horrible TNF100 and my first taste of DNF after my 3 year career as a runner. I already accepted it and in fact I ran in the past 2 days and preparing again for my next races. However, my friend Romy who was my companion and who did well only to DNF in the last 8 kms of that race visited me and he shared with me his horrifying ordeal.


Romy, Joe and Cas At the Final Briefing at Holiday Inn, May 22, 2009 @6pm.


With Joe, Romy and Me.


Me, Romy and Joe before the TNF100.

My buddies Cas , Joe and I went home ahead of Romy and it’s only yesterday I did saw him. He said that he got lost, his feet were locked and he almost attacked by four drunk natives. He was fuming mad not only to himself for not making it to think that he has only 8 kms to finish the race, but to the organizer as well. According to him, there were many inconsistencies and volatile decision of that race. Lack of marshals on dangerous areas, scarcity of supplies, unstable buntings/markings (not reflectorized), and the last minute announcement of the new route.

He added:

Unable to walk anymore, he DNF at km 92 but the ambulance/van arrived 2 and a half hours later. If his injuries were serious, he will be dead the moment the ambulance arrives…

At the base camp, those who DNF were given chances to make it, just run a 10 kms in the lahar country, and they will be given Certificates and Plates. There were only about less than ten runners who really finished the race and the rest were given chances just to finish it so it would appear that still many were able to survive that race. Since Romy was injured, he can’t take the offer and he DNF his first ever try of ultra-running.

I don’t know If Romy was only exaggerating but I’ve known him for years and he will not lie.

If he was telling the truth, I think the organizer’s disposition is illogical! Why offer a 10k for those who DNF? If they DNF and affixed their signatures on paper, that’s it! If I still was there, although I’m not injured, I will not run a 10k just to say I was able to finish this 100k trail run. There’s no easy road for ultra-running and If it’s true that they offer it, the purpose was not met and main objective of this race was not achieved.

I’m no longer present at the base camp when this proposition was announced. It was only relayed to me by Romy yesterday. This post is open for all to give feedbacks including that of the organizers’ or any TNF personnel to shed light on this matter. Nothing personal. I deserved an explanation, for I, too was wounded and bruised by that pitiless race. Enlighten me and I will be alright!

Think about this:

Water is elixir for life. The great sea makes one a great believer. We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. Water is the only drink for a wise man.

God be praised!

“Consecrate yourself , for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” -Joshua 3:5

Stockings And An Old,Worn-Out Shoes!

27 05 2009

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Christopher Reeve

The TNF100 separated men from the boys and one man stood valiantly, winning with tremendous endurance and strength. I used to see him and run with him during the Bataan Death March 102k Ultramarathon and in fact, he won also that race in less than 9 hours.

His name was Eduardo Villanueva. I chatted with him for almost an hour when the race was stopped momentarily due to tornado that hit the base camp, damaging the timer and other equipments.

That guy was very cool and simple. I introduced myself to him but I did not say that I’m a blogger too. He told me so many things and I admired him for his simplicity, being down to earth man in spite of his great skills in running. What caught my eyes was that, he was wearing a stockings and a pair of old, worn out shoes. I asked him what was the use of that stockings, he said for protection against lahar and insect bites.

We ended the conversation when the marshal announced that the race will resume immediately. He ran like a wind while I maintained my pace. I don’t know when will I meet him again, his simple message will remain- stockings can be a simple and ordinary thing (and it’s for women!) but it can be very useful during trail run specially running in a lahar country. If I could only think like that!

David killed Goliath not by a spear or a sword, but by a small stone! Ordinary things, often ignored and discarded, yet sometimes can be of great value!

Congratulations  to Mr. Eduardo Villanueva and may you win once again in Ko-ko Marathon in Guam.


Me, Eduardo Villanueva and my buddy Cas in the TNF100 base camp.

Small Beginnings: Coca-cola was first made in the kitchen of an old home. J.L. Kraft was a grocery clerk who started with a capital of 65 dollars to peddle cheese from a one-horse wagon.

God be praised!

“God uses ordinary people just like you and me who are willing to do what He commands.” -Gospel Music

TNF-The Needed Failure!

26 05 2009

Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street. Zig Ziglar

How you respond to failure is a barometer of your strength and character. The lessons you learn from failure help you mature and gain a new perspective on life.

Take for example Janet Lynn, a five time U.S champion who won the bronze medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics. She was favored to win the gold. However, she fell during her free skate performance and with her fall went her hopes for the gold.

She said, “When I knew I couldn’t win, I was very distressed and sad. I went back to the Olympic Village, and I began crying and arguing with God, saying, “I wanted to do it for You, my nation and my coach. I feel like I am such a huge failure.”

Then being a committed Christian, she began putting the whole thing into perspective. She said, “I gathered myself all I could and thought, perhaps there was a bigger purpose to my skating, to show God’s love and express the gift for skating He gave me.” And Lynn kept smiling , winning the hearts of people who saw how gracefully she handled failure.

How do you handle failure? Some become angry, some blame themselves, some turn and run away. Yet some rise from their failure and eventually do succeed. If God didn’t give you your gold or your dream, it doesn’t mean He has forsaken you. Failure is a hard teacher, but through it we can learn to glorify God. He never promises to give you everything you ask for. Instead, he promised to meet your needs. He also has a will that maybe different from yours.

After the TNF100, I’ll run an 8 miler in the IE8 race this coming Sunday, a 10k in the PTAA race on June 14, 2009 and maybe join the Botak100k solo on June 28, 2009. Sacobia was a thing of the past and I’ll not dwell on it. Running will continue in my veins and system.

Sometimes, I need failure to train more and strive more. It’s a painful experience but necessary to really appreciate the beauty and mystery of “running.”

God be praised!

“Running gives me a sense of controlling my life. I like the finiteness of runs, the fact that I have a clear beginning and end. I set a goal and I achieve it. A good run makes you feel sort of holy.”-Nancy Gerstein, runner

Ghost Of Sacobia!

25 05 2009

I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrongBenjamin Franklin

The ghost of Sacobia is still haunting me. I do have sleepless nights and I can still recall those routes, those scenes, and the place where I decided to stop and surrender. I am blaming myself for doing that. I can no longer bring back the time. What made me decide to do such a humiliating act was the thought that, “Ronnie, you have no food at the base camp (km 50), where will you get your fuel and energy for the last 50 kms?” I made a mistake when all of my foods were placed at km 35 and even those foods were not enough to supply me in the entire race. As I ran and walked, that thought demotivated me and gave me my first taste of failure in my 3 year career as a runner.

Nobody likes to fail yet some of the greatest lessons in life are learned through failure. What can I gain from failure?

1. I gain self-understanding. I learn more about myself in failure situations than in successful endeavors. People who eventually succeed after one or more failures are usually better adjusted, less arrogant and more gracious.

2. I learn what will not work. Opportunity often enters through the back door disguised as failure-probably one of the reasons so few people really learn from failure. To move ahead, however, requires a partial amnesia. Many people never rise from the ashes of their failures because they cannot forget. Fearful of failing again, they hesitate to risk trying again.

3. I can move in a different direction. A friend faced failure when his company went broke, so he borrowed money and took a two-week vacation. Sitting on the beach, he thought through his failure and came up with a new business plan, which eventually succeeded.

4. I can see an added dimension to my life-a positive one that also embraces the reality that God has much to do with my life. Countless individuals have failed , then realized that God had been left out of the equation. Understanding the importance of knowing and serving God, they included Him in their plan for the future.

Failure has much more to teach than success. Once you have climbed the hill, there’s no place to go but down; but having stumbled on the climb provides lots of opportunities to advance. It’s what you learn that makes for success.

Lord, I thank You for this failure! I will be a better runner next time, and even if I fail again in the future, still- I’ll continue to serve You. It’s only a material thing and my real treasures are up there!

God be praised!

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” -JESUS