Will Burn Calories and Gas

About 10 hours from now will be a day about burning calories and gas. Weeks on the treadmill and just a day on the road (to pace myself) will prove its worth during tomorrow’s NatGeo Earth Day run. It will be my first official 5K and I am already excited to see how it will end up. Of course, I’d like to see myself finish in less than an hour—as my wife indicated on the online form when she secretly registered me for this race.

Immediately after I burn calories in The Fort, Taguig, I will be on my way back south to join my wife, kiddo and my in-laws for our annual summer outing which was scheduled just last week during their town fiesta celebration. It was supposed to happen next month but for several reasons they decided to have it tomorrow instead. And this is the reason I have to get back home in Cavite alone from a week of vacation in Batangas so that I can get my NatGeo race kit, be with hundreds of runners tomorrow, and then drive around 100 kilometers back to meet everyone at the resort. Burn baby, burn. Wish me luck.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I cannot recall the last time I was home alone. Silence.)

Surprise! You’re Running

The explanation why my wife has been interviewing me while I kill my Sunday time in front of the TV has come. She asked me a couple of seemingly unrelated questions: “what is your favorite program?” and “how soon are you going to finish a 5K run?” The query happened as I watch a NatGeo special about the Nazis. And last night, like a perfectly organized Schutzstaffel plan, she told me to check my email in the morning.

True enough, in the middle of the Jobstreet, JobsDB, oDesks notifications and spams on my inbox is an unfamiliar subject: National Geographic Channel Earth Day Run – Completed Registration. Details of the email confirmed my suspicion – I’m running on April 10, 2011.

I checked today’s date and it’s just the 7th of March. I still have a month to prepare to make it to the finish line. Yes, I have to or else the P700 pesos that was charged to wifey’s credit card would be put to waste and she won’t like it. Come April 10, I should be able to cross the line in less than an hour or wifey might execute another SS-like plan.

But I think I have a good chance. During my recent treadmill sessions, I have clocked 30 minutes while on a sweat suit. Distance travelled indicates around 2.2 km and based on the last fun run I made, the treadmill has an approximate error of 50% which means I can actually do twice the distance at the same time–especially if I lose weight.

Wish me luck.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Already a week without an oDesk job.)

Running for Adoption Consciousness

Today is quite a significant day for me and my family. I have been thinking about this day since last year when I started doing my strategic management paper. The months I spent knowing about domestic adoption made me realize the importance of this week’s event. Eventually, the critical call did come—a sign that I have been waiting for. The call from our social worker asking if I can give a testimonial was unexpected and quick. Before I can think of last minute alibis, something in me made me say a crisp ‘yes.’ After the phone conversation, I already knew that today is going to be one of those killing-two-birds-with-one-stone moments.

So around 4 o’clock this morning, I woke up minutes ahead of my alarm clock. I was that excited. After quick preparations of breakfast-to-go –coffee, bananas, pan de sal – and placing Marcus’ bike in the trunk, we were on our way to SM Mall of Asia. The early morning traffic was smooth so we arrived at the venue just less than an hour later.

The annual DSWD event started with a fun run just along SMB’s strip facing the Manila Bay. Several groups of people led by DSWD employees gathered to join the 3K run. I was in the middle of the pack at the starting line and the different t-shirt prints—DSWD, ICAB, CWC, etc.—of most runners around made me recall how immersed I was for months in the field of social welfare, specifically adoption, wherein I got acquainted to these organizations and some of its key employees.

The fun run started past 6:30 AM. Although I started cold, I began to pick up the pace by the first quarter of the course. I finished the 3K route in just around 20 minutes, not bad considering that it’s my first running event. A month of regular treadmill runs at home paid off.

After every runner has finished, the adoption consciousness week program proper followed. This year’s theme is ”Bata ay Huwag Abandonahin! Legal na Pagpapa-ampon ang Gawin.” Different personalities coming from DSWD and its partner agencies joined the program with some children from different child-caring agencies are also present and are part of the intermission numbers. Among the highlights of the kick-off program are the testimonials from two adoptive families—we’re one of them.

Despite having a prepared speech–I spent several hours to prepare just the night before, I decided to do an impromptu speech. It was brief but I think that I was able to bring my message across. One key message I mentioned is that hopefully domestic adoption will soon be embraced by more Filipinos because the latest statistics isn’t enough: there are only about 5,000 children adopted locally and around 3,000 internationally since 2006. Something has to be done to improve the current figures since the number of children waiting adoption is just overwhelming.

The adoption consciousness week will be until February 11, 2011. DSWD and child-placement agencies (KBF and NORFIL) have setup help desks in some SM malls to cater to anyone who is interested in the legal domestic adoption process. According to DSWD, they will have booths in SM North, Fairview and MOA. Please come and visit them.

***

I was able to talk to the founder of the Adoptive Families Foundation and I learned that he had difficulty convincing other adoptive parents to give a testimonial. This is not surprising. One of the surveys I did in this group received only a 12% response. It just shows that most adoptive parents are  still not privy when it comes to talking about it in public (or even online) and this is also one of the reasons why there are still hesitation and resistance from most Filipinos towards legal adoption. Optimistically, the efforts of DSWD and related NGOs will keep on saving more innocent lives from being wasted and deprived of a permanent and loving family.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Glad to finally reach the decision.)

Run Barefoot, Anyone?

I’m taking a break from a whole day of typing in my desperate (yet educational) dash to finish a research paper which is due for presentation this Thursday. So while checking my Twitter for updates, I stumbled upon this @TIME ‘s post: “Is running barefoot better for you?”

Out of curiosity if I’ll see the same post that was about how the Africans can run effectively and fast without any footwear, the one I saw was different but just as interesting. It is barefoot alright, but technically it’s not.

I don’t know when this Five-Finger will become a trend and make the current Nike shoes obsolete and cheap (to my delight), but right now I have mixed feelings about it. One part of me is excited to see it upfront while another part of me doubts that this is just another marketing ploy. It is just one of those things like when they’d like to sell green tea, they say that coffee is bad; when they’d like to sell a new coffee bean brand, they’d say that drinking coffee is good for one’s health. Well, make up your mind folks.

Anyway, my rant is a hopeless rant. It has worked time and again, despite having a poor product, businesses usually become better than ever. And so I know that this Vibram FiveFingers shoe will also pick up soon. It’s just all about good marketing and identifying gullible consumers who will get hooked to it like persistent leeches.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Last stretch of my research paper and I’ll be running the treadmill soon…using my Nike shoes. Not barefoot. Yet)