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The Return of the Ateneolympics

[I was going for a more nostalgic route but couldn’t incorporate all details in a congruent thought.  I was going to write about how my mom shared her Ateneolympics days through  her bowling days when I was growing up… And how much I enjoyed watching my High School teachers showing their passion and competitiveness on the court… And how badly I longed to be part of it that when I was finally hired, the initial disappointment of finding out it wasn’t a regular thing in school anymore was such a sad blow.  Add to that the lack of opportunity to be more active and hone my “skills” in games.  Oh well… Anyway, I opted to take on a different voice in sharing my thoughts instead.]


As early as June 2016, talks about the possible return of the Ateneolympics in school started circulating around the Unit.  Sports enthusiasts from various members of the Faculty and offices have been abuzz with excitement on events to sign up for and to begin preparations as representatives for their respective units.  A wide array of sporting events was open to all who were interested to sign up.

 The Ateneolympics was participated by the Grade School Unit, Junior High School Unit, Senior High School Unit, College Unit, and the Non-Teaching Personnel.  The games kicked off last October 1, 2016 with ball games for both men and women into Basketball and Volleyball.  Other events such as Badminton, Bowling, Swimming, Darts, Table Tennis, Scrabble, and Chess were scattered throughout the months of October and November leading up to its culmination last November 12, 2016.  The closing ceremony started with the track meet followed by a mass for all units after which a series of parlor games in between the championship games of both Basketball and Volleyball.  It was capped off by the Cheering competition and the awarding ceremony for all individual, dual, and team sports wherein the College unit emerged as the overall champion.

It was refreshing to see teachers exhibit their skills and expertise in their favorite sport.  It came as a great surprise and delight for spectators and fellow athletes alike to discover a kindred spirit in their love for a particular sport and flexing long-unused muscles to battle it out during each game.  Teachers are well-known for their passion – their love for their profession, the endless desire to learn and impart knowledge, and their drive to always make a difference.  But seeing it in a whole new environment and outside the classroom is all the more exciting and inspiring knowing that their thirst for excellence and fairness goes beyond the classrooms and the pupils but extends to the people that surround them – their teammates, and their colleagues.

So?  What keeps you active these days? 


Hiraya Minokawa Dabaw Dragon Boat Team Recruitment

Contrary to news circulated by people who do not seem to have the proper command of the communication arts, my dragon boat team, the Hiraya Minokawa Dabaw (HMD) is still very much intact and have not been exploded/destroyed/dismantled/broken (I don’t know which to use since the Visayan word released was “bungkag” – a word which I believe is normally used for objects.  To be more precise, I googled its translation as such: dismantled \disassembled \knocked down \taken apart \scattered parts).  So take your pick.

Again, I would just like to state that our team is still here to stay.  There were a number of members who decided to leave the group out of their own volition and with reasons that they can only justify with.  In life, it would be unfair if we would hold back people from their happiness.  As long as they are happy, we support them.

Now that the issue has been cleared, the HMD is continuously promoting the dragon boat sport to the Davao City community.  Being part of the group, we are eager to accept individuals who are interested in our sport.

We train during weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) from 5:00AM – 8:00AM at Bonguyan Beach Resort (at the extreme left side where our boat is currently located).  To be continuously updated, please visit our Facebook Fanpage:

Some of our recruitment ads:



Thank you for your unwavering support.


Witnessing a Mythical Dragon’s Rebirth (Hiraya Minokawa Dabaw)

It was through the prodding of a colleague in school (while having our weekly swimming session) that I was encouraged to join the first-ever dragon boat team to be formed in Davao City.  I wasn’t expecting for it to happen sooner rather than later.  Little did I know then…

April 2, 2014 (the day after my mom’s 40 days) when that same colleague told me a meeting will be held for the dragon boat team preparation.  Training started immediately on that weekend (April 5 & 6, 2014) from 5:ooam – 7:00am.  I just started my Saturday summer work then, so I had to rush to school to clock in by 8am.

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It was only during the 2nd day of training that I felt how well my muscles were working.  I had aches and pains all over the muscles of my body that I had long-forgotten I had.  Flashback to my high school life and Preparatory Military Training (PMT). Well I guess, nothing really bonds you with another human person better than sharing the same experiences (and the same body pains) to attest to your camaraderie and unity.

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The first day, first batch trainees

April 9, 2014 (Araw ng Kagitingan)

A meeting was held at Aling Foping’s Halo-halo at the Matina Town Square (MTS) to discuss various matters involving the the dragon boat competition as well as finalizing and in making our team official.  In particular, what name will we carry.  The first few names up for selection were quite generic until the words “Hiraya” and “Minokawa” were mentioned.  It got everybody a-buzzing with curiosity and awe then finally “HIRAYA MINOKAWA DABAW” was chosen as the team name.

Personally, I didn’t get much of the hype then.  But I guess that’s how we all must journey at first… alone.  So when my name got included in the Creative Committee (heaven knows why!  When I have only a limited number of creative bones in my system… especially in drawing and designing!), it was during those solo moments of conceptualizing that it began to call on me and I started to own up to it… becoming part of the team.


Hiraya, according to one of my teammates, is the offspring of combining hopes, dreams, aspirations, and wishes.  So I guess it’s all about promoting positivity and goodwill… and it’s what happiness is made of.

The Minokawa

The Bagobos wove tales of the Minokawa as a giant bird as big as an island.  It had eyes akin to mirrors, large beak and legs fashioned with steel, and wings as sharp as swords.  The Minokawa was said to be able devour the sun and/or the moon.   For a detailed background of the Minokawa, click here.

Honestly, I love stories about dragons but discovering one kind that is part of one’s own natural culture is simply spellbinding.

Hiraya Minokawa Dabaw

It’s amazing how something that you didn’t know about nor hear stories of would suddenly hold a special place in your life.  How you would widen your scope to get the bigger picture, explore various avenues, and push your boundaries to find out more about what you’re aiming for.  Never becoming satisfied until you find the one wherein you, and your teammates can resonate with (and I’m just talking about the conceptualization and visualization for our team logo here!).  But it rings true, in dragon boating as well.  You start out from knowing without… then as you come to experience it, you want to know more about the sport, tapping and connecting with people who are on the same boat, challenging yourself to work harder to become at par with the team.

Nope... not this one...

Nope… not this one…

In my few weeks of training for our dragon boat competition, I found it important to be at peace and be one with yourself.  You are not competing with the other members of the team on who’s the strongest, or the fastest – who could beat the other on whatever.  Because if it were a competition within the team, then we would be a lost cause.

Companionship (as those in the religious would call it), Camaraderie (for the sports-minded), Congruence (for some psychologists), Unity (for some sociologists), or Synchronicity (in the words of our Dragon boat team captain) is the key to a successful team.  It’s not about second-guessing what the one in front of or beside you will be doing, but more of dancing to the same tune, hearing the same pounding of the drums, beating like one heart as we paddle through the water.

I have yet to experience such a moment of “one-ness” with my team.  But as the time for the race approaches, my excitement slowly awakens my spirit with each passing day.  Much like being roused from it’s mythical sleep, our hearts will resound with our Hiraya Minokawa – our hopes and dreams – taking them all by surprise as an eclipse would.  Winning is not our primary goal, but to make our presence known.  And as we raise our paddles in entry, we slice the water with purpose.

hiraya minokawa logo


Cycling Chronicles: BFF Bike Buddies

{Wow! It’s been MONTHS since I’ve last posted! So many things have happened but I had so little time to spare to share about it. So I’m clumping this one all together.}

My BFF Toffee has returned to our hometown (for good, so she says) and I’m one happy camper knowing she’s decided to come home. One of her targets upon returning home is… to buy a bicycle. November 2013 came when we started scouting out possible bicycle options when it was just plain love-at-first-sight with one particular ensemble that got caught her attention. Here are some photos of that eventful weekend.

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This is it!!!

Toffee opted to bring her new ride home the next day (November 3, 2013). So we met up again the next day to seal the deal. 🙂

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The pick-up crew!

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Ready for pick-up!

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And it’s all set! {I dub thee Mischief!}

Just in time to join the Fun Ride sponsored by Marco Polo Hotel Davao on their 15th year anniversary.

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In preparation for the fun ride Toffee and I went for a test ride the day before just to stretch up our muscles and have a feel of taking long rides. For me it was to practice my pace once again with my bff by my side. From their home, we rode for about 19.9kms (based on the Runtastic app I had) at just a slow pace. It was a two-hour ride around town before heading back. {Good to know we could survive 20kms without pulling a muscle or two.}

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Practice Ride

November 10, 2013: Fun Ride Day

The front wheel of my bike encountered a problem at the start of the ride. I removed a thumbtack that was lodged in my wheel which caused the puncture to become more pronounced and air started seeping out of my wheel. Darn! Thank God it survived the 20km ride though. City road inclines turned out to be a challenge but… nailed it nonetheless!

We didn’t win during the raffles but the food was quite sumptuous and knowing that this would be the first of many bff cycling chronicles was reward enough.

So after the fun, I got my inner tubes replaced and so far, they’re good!

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I Turned Another One!

November 15 when my other bff Cphinx and I went out for dinner and consequently had a chance to have a l0ok-see on prospective bicycle options for her. It was another l0ve-at-first-sight moment for my bff. Basing on looks, specs, and overall gut-feel. Toffee wasn’t around to witness it that time though so the photos would have to do.

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I dub thee “Roku” {BFF would NEVER agree on that name. lol} This is Red.

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Night Ride Test Ride

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Red’s overnight at home. {Told Cphinx not to ride out at night especially for the first time}

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Our first early morning ride together!

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A quick “hello”

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Heading home (with a few pit stops along the way)

BFF Bike Buddies and Rogue Riders

Joining a cycling group is easy. A number of bikers would invite us to join biking groups but on a personal level, I held back. I still consider myself as a newbie and being in a group of well-experienced bikers may tend to intimidate me. Sure their sparks of wisdom would be welcomed, but the pressure of being part of a group can sometimes take its toll… especially on upgrading. So I’m well and good with my bffs as my bike buddies. We 3 are what you may call “Rogue Riders”. Thankfully, we’ve met a few experts who help us in maintaining our rides {special thanks to Kuya Mads of Ridea, and “Champ” of Racing Edge}.

The last two months of 2013 was a whirlwind of bike rides both long and short within the city limits (and 1 very long intercity ride between me and my bloodred sister Cphinx).

November 23, 2013 {1st BFF Bike Ride}

November 23, 2013 {1st BFF Bike Ride}

December 1, 2013 {1st Intercity Ride}

December 1, 2013 {1st Intercity Ride}

December 8, 2013 {Following a New Route}

December 8, 2013 {Following a New Route}

December 15, 2013 {Sun City... Conquered!}

December 15, 2013 {Sun City… Conquered!}

December 28, 2013 {With a new Rogue Rider!}

December 28, 2013 {With a new Rogue Rider!}

Waking up early morning, plotting out routes, weaving through city traffic, conquering inclined elevations, and facing the heat of the sun during our weekend rides have become a steady routine for the past weekends. Most of which have become the highlight of my weekend and a means of bonding with my best buddies.

My cycling mileage has steadily accelerated for the past few weeks. The cycling bug has gotten into me that – for the duration of our Christmas break – I’ve often found myself engaging in short rides in travelling. Especially in places that I can securely park my bike. Being the occasional navigator in our group has made me all the more careful in cycling and in guiding my bffs. When roles get reversed and I’m the sweeper, it becomes more humbling to be the cheerleader of the group most especially during long rides and uphill climbs.

There are still a number of things I have to learn in managing my ride. But I’m truly grateful that there are people that I’ve come to know who are very eager to be of help and have always thought of the rider’s safety first and foremost. My ride is now Stark 3.1 and it still has a long way to go before I’ll start easing up on the upgrade. But so far, Stark has been just a breeze.

My 2013 Cycling Chronicles were filled with many adventures with Stark {my bike}. Rides with different bike buddies, conquering inclines and plotted routes, various bike upgrades, almost accidents, moments of weaknesses and desperation, and trips full of lessons in life. I’d like to believe I’ve become quite confident in my rides (proud of the fact that I can pedal with “no hands” for more than just a few seconds) which helps in plotting out routes and in “cheerleading”.

So I’m looking forward to my 2014 Cycling Chronicles filled with more adventures and memorable moments!

Hopefully soon enough I’d get to have this versatile casing installed in my ride:

Armor-X ipx7 iPod Holder

How about you dear readers? Any chronicles you’d like to share? Thoughts perhaps? 🙂

The Cycling Chronicles: Biker Buddies

As I mentioned in my previous post, me and 2 other officemates have become bike enthusiasts as part of our wellness program in the office. So here are some snippets of what happened last May 11, 2013.
















The Cycling Chronicles: Upgrade Phase 2.1

It’s been more than a year since I had my mountain bike for a phase 1 upgrade. (Click here for my bike upgrade post) I remember telling kuya ROCKY (the person/mechanic who assemble my bike) that my next target for upgrading would be changing my gears to newer ones – particularly the rear gears or cassettes and the crank. In addition, I planned on upgrading my handlebar and stem (for a longer space in putting in accessories such as night light or ipod/mobile phone mount). But since I took a short sabbatical on my cycling, and financial constraints, I wasn’t able to follow through with my plan nor fully upgrade the targeted bike parts.

It was only recently that I returned to cycling and started riding my bike to work (only on Saturdays) last May 3, 2013). After having the inner tube of my rear wheel changed to a new one, I was geared to go. But when I encountered problems in shifting gears and constricting break pads, I started to worry. It was difficult to fine-tune your own bike if you’re not too familiar with what you should look out for. So rather than force on my inability, it was better to leave it be for the moment have those who are more knowledgeable check it out.

Last Saturday (May 11, 2013), my officemates and I planned on going for an afternoon bike ride at the same time fix Lesley’s bike. So off we went to an adventure – an adventure which I will post soon. I was shocked (to say the last) that one bike shop was charging Php250 just for adjusting my gears. So scratch that. When we passed by TYK along Sales St., we dropped by and had my bike checked there instead. They offered a more affordable price (plus the place was air-conditioned and had a bike stand for parking).

While browsing along their aisles of bike displays and spare parts, I came across their cassette display which were quite affordable and would fit my upgrade plan and set my mind at ease for safely riding my bike. Thus, I present to you my upgraded cassettes.


I know, I know… quite a lengthy introduction for just a piece of upgrade. But it was just very timely that the removable piece that was giving me great concern was one of the spare parts I fully intended to upgrade. So there are a couple more parts before I reach my mountain bike’s STARK 3.0 phase but it’s a slow but steady process.

Looking forward to more Saturday afternoon bike runs that are fun, exhilarating, and safe with my new biker buddies!

P.S. Wondering about the “STARK” thing? Well I have this app in my iTouch called Bike Repair that lets you input details on your bike – including what’s your bike name. So rather than using my “Name’s bike”, I thought Stark would do. (And yes, I am SOOOO into Iron Man too! That’s why!) 🙂

Lifeskills 101: Swimming

We talked about lifeskills at work while discussing among the myriads of topics we usually pick on depending on the time of day and events that have transpired.  One particular lifeskill we seem to have lacked in common was swimming.  Majority in the group didn’t know the basics of swimming.  However, we seem to have aced “not drowning”.

Anyway, earlier in November, I was given the opportunity to take up a 12-session basic swimming lessons by one of our coaches in school along with my co-counselors and a 1 month pool membership in Grand Men Seng Hotel.  So there was no turning back.

The first day of the lessons involved the very basics in swimming.  Bobbing (for air bubbles), gliding, kicking, paddling, and last but not the least, Breathing.  Proud to say that we started our freestyle and backstroke on the first day.

The succeeding days were a different matter altogether.  The backstroke and the butterfly stroke was very challenging.  Honestly up until now, I’m struggling with these strokes.  I was surprised the coach complimented me and my fellow swim buddies in being fast learners (probably because we were silently competitive with each other) since the basic lessons were meant for freestyle only and we’ve progressed to diving, tumbleturns, sprints, and underwater glide.  A couple of good things came about from this activity.  I learned a new sport, I can now swim, and I seem to have reduced my weight while having fun!  And I still have 1 more session left!  Since my one month membership is already over, I had to put a halt my swimming legs.  But when my friends will be coming home from Manila, I am DEFINITELY calling the shots for our reunion.

Pool party here we come!

Parkour in Davao

Parkour or PK is defined as “a physical discipline and non-competitive activity which focuses on efficient movement around obstacles. Developed in France by David Belle, the main purpose of the discipline is to teach participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and leaping. Parkour practitioners are known as “traceurs”, with their female counterpart referred to as “traceuses”.” (Source: Wikipedia)

I personally got interested with PK when I first saw feature videos of it years ago in Discovery Channel but never had the guts to try it out.  Social stigma would define you as deviant (plus it requires training and the right body mass and stamina to come along with it).

Thus was my delight when I found out that my colleague practices PK and within the city!  As tribute to them, here’s a video of their team in action:

You can also check there website by clicking here.

The Cycling Chronicles: Service Vehicle

I bought my bike for the primary purpose in having my own service vehicle in going to the office, returning home, and running errands. The added exercise I get is a BIG BONUS in keeping fit. Due to some hesitations (and having my half-brother dropping me off to work), I never made it a daily habit. Saturdays and holidays were my ride-my-bike-to-work day.

On a whim, I decided to ride my bike for work yesterday. Good thing my slacks were stretchy enough to accommodate movement. It was the perfect time to try my cycling app on my iTouch in heading off to work – The Runtastic Roadbike. It’s an app that an individual can use for cycling, running, and race cycling.

Here’s a screenshot of my session in heading off to work (a bit longer than my usual period of 13 to 15 minutes):


Going home was another story though. With the weather inconsistencies, I ended up braving the rain in getting home. Half-expecting that the rain wouldn’t pour too much, I sped up going home.

Unfortunately, the rain had other plans. In reaching my 5th minute (the in-ear coach of Runtastic Roadbike informs the user of the elapsed time and number of kilometers) the rain poured… HARD and FAST. Rather than take shelter, I continued on to my destination. No point waiting out for the rain to stop. I was too rain-drenched anyway! Better to be home than waiting in the rain, too soaked up to dry with the wind blowing around.

After 14 minutes of cycling in the rain, I finally got home to dry myself off.


So I braved my first rainy bike cycling. But I had to take a half-day leave to fully rest my body.

Lesson learned: Always bring jacket!

The Cycling Chronicles: Conquering the Highways

It’s been quite a while since my last night cycling. With the threat for ones safety hanging around every corner regardless the time of day/night, I could only ride my back on Saturdays and holidays in going to and from work. Just imagine the excess fats I’ve accumulated so far. Depressing.

After a tiring and stressful day, cycling sounded like a good idea.

I’ve been meaning to try cycling along one of the highways in town (JP Laurel-Lanang). Half expecting my nerves to get the best of me, I was surprised that I had enough presence of mind in keeping safe while cycling alongside private and public vehicles AND TRUCKS!


It was only a leisurely ride but having the moments in free-cycling (?) was FUN and VERY EXHILIRATING!

Though I doubt losing weight by cycling might take a LONG time (do you guys have any cycling exercise tips I could use?), at least I’m conquering a few of my fears along the way and gain confidence in the choices I make.

Cycling is definitely a start!

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