April 29, 2013

NatGeo Earth Day Run 2013

Last April 28, I was one of the thousands of runners who joined in NatGeo Earth Day Run 2013. If you haven't heard about it, this was the Earth Day Run last year whose picture of the trash left after the event went viral. Despite its last year's run's bad reviews online, I put my faith into it, especially after reading up that they made improvements now.

I finished my run in 1:15:13 (Chip Time). It's been a while since the last time I ran at Bonifacio Global City and for this run, we also ran at Kalayaan Flyover. Over-all, the run was good except for the following:
  • Before the run, I asked @NatGeoChannelPh where the assembly/activity area will be because their website does not say and their maps ain't good. Instead of a good reply, they just gave me maps, which fortunately, was better than the one in their website. I believe it should have been explicitly stated in their website. Other runs do this and they also had maps or instructions on how to go there.
  • In the first few meters of the 10k route, there was a small U-Turn slot and there were thousands of runners going to u-turn there. The result? A big confusion! Runners who are going to the u-turn slots and those who turned are literally on the same side and you can't run properly.
  • There were too many runners who ran at the same time. They should have just set up waves so runners won't have to be crowded on the roads.
  • The kilometer marks were confusing! They should have labeled them properly if it was for 21k or 10k.
  • I don't think it's a good idea to run with half of the side of the road with vehicles. They should have just closed the entire side for runners or chose a better route.
  • There are also areas in the route that you have to stop to allow vehicles to cross first before you can cross. For real? Runs like this shouldn't stop runners from running except when they chose to (to stop for hydration or to rest or whatever reason).
  • It's a terrible idea to have your own water bottle and have them refilled in the hydration stations. There were only a few persons assigned in the stations and refilling is done for each runner from liter-sized bottles. Considering there's a lot of runners running to the stations and it would be hard to refill, it's no wonder some runners just continued to run and did not stop for hydration.
  • Also, they said they won't be having plastic nor paper cups but in the first hydration stations, there were paper cups and less trash bins. So there's still cups everywhere on the road; it's just not as worse as last year though.
  • After crossing the finish line, there's a tent for hydration and you have to exchange a stub from your bib for a single bottle of drink. Imagine a runner is craving for water and will find too many runners in line (actually there was no line!) for the hydration. There was only one person getting the stubs and giving the bottles and he's serving the thousands of runners who will cross the finish line. In one scene, the table in front of the tent collapsed due to people eager to get the drink.
  • If the hydration tent was bad enough, the baggage tent was worse. It took me around the same or more time to get my own bag than the time I actually ran! The baggage tent was so disorganized and people are literally shouting just to get their stuff. There was almost a stampede. And some runners already went inside the booth. Of course, a lot of runners reacted especially since the assigned persons didn't look at the stuff hose runners are getting to verify.
  • I also hate it that these booths vandalize the bib by writing notes on them as marks for them.

I don't feel that the amount I paid for in the registration was worth it.

NatGeo Earth Day Run 2013 Certificate

April 27, 2013

Cebu Weekend

Celine and I went back to Cebu last weekend (April 19-21). We left Makati in the evening of April 19 and it was so hard to hail a taxi to the airport. The traffic was also heavy but we did arrive to NAIA Terminal 3 in time. We arrived in Mactan-Cebu International Airport at around ten in the evening and then met with Jerome for coffee before going to The Center Suites.

The morning after, we had breakfast at the hotel and went with Jerome to University of San Jose-Recoletos Basak Campus for Celine's Google Apps for Education training with students. After the training, we went back to the hotel and for dinner, we had ramen and gyoza dinner at Kamekichi Ramen Noodle House. We also went to CMYK Dessert House for desserts. After that, we went back to sleep and rest in the hotel.

Our dinner at Kamekichi Ramen Noodle House [Photo from Celine's Foursquare Account]

Desserts from CMYK [Photo from Celine's Foursquare Account]

In the morning of Sunday, we woke up early and attended the 10:00 mass. It was Cebuano and I wasn't able to understand most of the mass. After that, we went back to the hotel, pack our stuff and had lunch at Sunburst in Ayala Center. Before going to the airport, we also had some desserts at the Dessert Factory.

April 18, 2013

Bontoc Weekend

Last weekend, Celine and I went to Bontoc for the Google Apps Training for the teachers in the Mountain Province Division.

On the midnight of April 12, we went to the Victory Liner Bus Terminal in Cubao. We didn't bought a ticket earlier so we have to wait until 2:30 AM for the next available trip. We were asleep most of the travel time. Around 8:30, we arrived in Baguio and had breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins. After eating, we went to the bus terminal of GL Lizardo Terminal to ride a bus to Bontoc. We left at around 11:00 and arrived in Bontoc at around five in the afternoon. We then went to the Archog Hotel & Restaurant to rest and eat dinner. After dinner, we watched some TV shows and I continued burning the training materials on the CDs. I was also able to publish a minor update to Boto Ko Android App while waiting for the CDs to be burned.

The next day, we woke up early and went to the Department of Education Mountain Province Division Office for the whole-day Google Apps Training. She discussed Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Forms, Google Spreadsheets, Google Sites, and Offline Gmail and Calendar.

The trainees with the trainer [Photo from Celine's Facebook Account]

On Sunday morning, we wake up early and had breakfast in the hotel but the 8:00 AM bus to Baguio had already left. We waited for the 9:00 AM bus and arrived at around 2:00 PM in Baguio. The next available bus in Victory Liner is the 7:00 PM bus so we decided to go to the Genesis Bus Stop. They were not selling tickets and you have to go inside the bus to have a seat and pay there. The next bus to Cubao will be on 4:30 PM so Celine went to O Mai Khan to take out food while I wait for the bus. Genesis Bus does not seem organized and they are very confusing so we just boarded the 4:50 PM Dagupan Bus instead. The only problem here is that they didn't play a movie until it was 7:00 PM and the movie shown was a horror film. It wasn't a good idea not only because it is a horror movie but because most of the people are already asleep. Also, it took three hours to have a stop-over!

It's a great experience to be in Bontoc. The food, especially the vegetables, are fresh and tastes very delicious. It is also quiet and looks peaceful there. Too bad most of the weekend has been spent traveling. I'm hoping I can be back there soon so we can also visit other places and tourist spots there.

April 10, 2013

Boto Ko Android App

Want to keep a note of the candidates you'll vote this May 13 for the 2013 National and Local Elections in the Philippines? Are you putting your list in paper and keeps erasing names on it as you change your preference? This Android app is for you! With Boto Ko (Boto 'ko or My Vote in English), you can list the candidates you want to vote and update the list anytime you want. Also, you can share your list anytime with ease via SMS, email and many more.

The list of candidates for senators and party-lists were taken from the COMELEC website. The names of the senators are based from the "NAMES TO APPEAR on the BALLOT" in the official list from the COMELEC website.

Disclaimer: This app was done independently by its developer. The color scheme used in the app does not represent any candidate or political party. The names in the screenshots on the Google Play page only show the first candidates in the list and does not mean they are the developer's preferred candidate. Also, this app will only record the candidates you selected in your device.

Download the app from Google Play now!