In Running

Mapawa Trail Marathon: A Race To Remember

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa 42km Female Champion, Mapawa Trail Series

Running the Mapawa Trail Marathon for my first 42km marathon was a humbling success. I have not imagined to win the first place but fate put a twist on trails that set my heart on fire.

Mapawa Trail Marathon official map and elevation profile
Mapawa Trail marathon official map with elevation profile of  2,274m elevation gain and loss. source
Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Mapawa Trail Series 2017

Two months ago, I was only doing my usual routine - heat training, uphill training and long slow distance workouts in CDO uptown. Those days were a mix of exciting and agitating emotions given that the farthest distance I've run thus far is 32km. So part of my training is to improve mental skills. I don't know what could happen during and after Mapawa Trail run. I don't want to expect either. I don't have a PR to beat so initially, Kenn and I agreed to finish the race in sub 8.

On the day of the event, I got ambitious upon seeing the podium. I pictured out myself standing there, receiving my awards of recognition after a strong Mapawa 42km Trail Run finish. Then I prayed, "Lord, kahit top three lang sa first marathon ko."

When all runners were lined up before the starting mark, I decided to apply the technique I used on my Mapawa 15km night run - to run behind the majority then slowly get ahead of everyone; but the gong startled me add to the fact that Kenn's pushing me forward. I have no choice but run. 😁 As much as possible, I have to cover more distance while the sun's not yet up and while I still have the energy to shuffle my legs. While approaching the first station at 7km mark, Kenn dropped by to take care of hydration. I went ahead then he ran after me shouting to verify my bib number and said, "Ikaw gauna sa bae!" His reaction was so intense, I can't help not to laugh. All at the same time, I am overwhelmed as well. Shortly thereafter, another female runner was behind me. Kenn said it was still too early to worry.  I'm not good with mind games so although I was anxious, I tried to relax and run on my pace. I don't want to waste our initial efforts. I want to maintain our lead.

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Peak in Mapawa
One of the peaks the 42k runners should pass by. (c) Mapawa Trail marathon

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Peak in Mapawa,  Mapawa Trail
Would you rather run or walk? (c) LadySoda

In all of the running events I've joined, Mapawa Trail marathon is by far the best race I've participated in. I have not suffered from leg cramps nor experienced heat exhaustion. Maybe because I have learned how to handle myself with my previous experiences including the Mapawa Night Run and Mt Megatong Trail Run. Whenever I feel my legs harden, I would stop and stretch quickly. I am also doing well with my supplementation and hydration, making sure to take it every hour to prevent exhaustion and  fatigue. It's one of those running essentials that I need to perfect in the next marathons I'll sign up for. On top of that, Kenn was supporting me all throughout the course. Somehow, having a running buddy makes every run memorable and fun.

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Peak in Mapawa,  Mapawa Trail
This trail could've been muddier if it rained. Thank God it haven't! (c) LadySoda

What I love about the trails in Mapawa is that  it's challenging. There were lots of open and single-tracked trails  that every runner should take. A number of technical downhills and some nagging knee-pain uphills. There were inescapable boulders and muddy trails to pass by. Albeit all these, the scenic views, the cold streams, and the will to overcome yourself made Mapawa Trail Marathon a worthwhile run.  Although challenging, Mapawa  Trail is a friendly course to run for a first time marathoner like me. Should I say, every challenges along the course is manageable.

My ambition to stand in the podium, the courage not to waste our efforts to maintain the lead, and the desire to hit out target time - these all pushed me forward until Kenn and I ran towards the finish line hand in hand. We were 36 minutes and 10 seconds behind our target yet for the record, I end up 1hr 40mins ahead of the next. (See official results here)

Credits to Tom Udasco Photography for main and closing photos.

Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1


In Activities Cagayan de Oro Misamis Oriental

CDO Heritage Walk: Historical Landmarks of Cagayan de Oro

As a Hinatuanon who planned to settle in the City of Golden Friendship, I vowed to immerse myself in the city’s local history, culture, food, adventure, and everything and anything about Cagayan de Oro.

So when I got the opportunity to join CDO Heritage Walk, I knew I was only a step ahead of my immersion goals. CDO Heritage Walk is a free familiarization tour which aims to promote the historical landmarks of Cagayan de Oro all the while enticing tourists to visit the city as well as to carry back century-old knowledge lost in the process of modernization. The activity is spearheaded by Northern Mindanao Tour Guides in line with Philippine Independence Day and Cagayan de Oro Charter Day, of which the celebration is called Himugso, held every 12th of June.


Little do we express appreciation of the things that surrounds us everyday such that we seem not to see things at all to care for what’s it worth.

When Sir Nilo, our tour guide for CDO Heritage Walking Tour asked me what’s my expectation will be, the exact thoughts above surged in my head. I already expect what CDO landmarks to see as our itinerary was already specified prior to the event, but I was thinking how most people tend to overlook significant things just because it’s a common sight. Although markers are placed and museums are available to detail history, everyone might be too busy to spare a time to read. However, as I am armed with the things I learned let me go through what we tackled on our tour.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

Plaza Divisoria is officially named as Golden Friendship Park. The word divisoria comes from Spanish word divider, as its purpose back in the days was to serve as a divider in order to prevent fires from engulfing the whole area. At present, what you can see here are lots of commercial space and monuments.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

Tourist Assistance Area, formerly known as tourism show house, is strategically located in the middle of Plaza Divisoria so that tourists who would love to tour around Cagayan de Oro and the rest of Northern Mindanao can have easy access to information with the help of the staffs (talk about a helping hand!)

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

Plaza El Pubelo Heroes or The Cry of Freedom Monument is dedicated to all the katipuneros (kagay-anons) who fought during the 2nd battle of Cagayan de Misamis known as Agusan Hill. The bolo and the flag that is carried by the statue symbolize armed resistance of the said Katipuneros.
Trivia: Uniforms of the dead and wounded katipuneros are kept inside the cabinet placed at the back of the monument.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro
Old photo (right) originally displayed in Museum of Three Cultures

If there is any structure that has survived during the Filipino-American war, it is only Tamparong building which endured all the bombings of the past. It still stands today in the corner of Velez and Divisoria streets, currently the Mang Inasal building.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

Velez Street was formerly called Calle del Mar or the road which leads to the sea during the Spanish period. Apparently, when you have to follow the road, it will take you to the portside area.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro
Old photo (right) is originally displayed in Museum of Three Cultures

Casa del Chino Ygua (Balay na Bato) was the ancestral house of first Chinese immigrants in Cagayan de Oro, the Sia family. This was used as headquarters of the revolutionary forces that fought for freedom of Cagayan de Misamis during the Filipino-American war, whose remains were also buried on its backyard. Now, the house is used for commercial space seemingly forgetting the terror of the past.
Trivia: The original bricks of the house were kept by the Sia family.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

Gaston Park was once called as barangay uno (first barangay) as it was where the first settlement was relocated. Accordingly, 1st settlement in CDO started with a group of indigenous people led by Datu Salangsang and they lived in Himologan, 8kms upstream Cagayan river. During the 1600s, they were converted into Christianity by Fray Augustine de San Pedro and were transferred in Gaston Park.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro
Old photo (right) is originally displayed in Museo de Oro

City Museum, built in 1922, was used before as water tower. It was then remodelled into a three-gallery museum that houses the history of three battles of Cagayan de Oro, the pen used to sign the charter of the city, and memorabilia among others that would serve as ‘go-to’ for the people to take a glimpse of how CDO came to be through series of events.
Trivia: City museum is a leaning structure in the city.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

Memorial Wall which was built in the vicinity of Gaston Park near the cathedral serves as a reminder of tragic history in CDO brought about by nature’s wrath. Mother Nature, although breathtaking in its own right, also impose danger when maltreated, hence, the typhoon Sendong in 2011. Scribbled on the wall is an official list of names from MDRRMC of people who died and are went missing.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro
Old photo (right)is originally displayed inMuseum of Three Cultures

St Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral has been rebuilt a number of times because it was always burned down during the war. With its former material made of wood and grass to stones to concrete, the church was finally completed in 1852 through the efforts of Archbishop Hayes . It stands for --- years now.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro

When the natives governed by Datu Salangsang converted to Christianity, they stopped paying tributes to Sultan Kudarat which made him mad and led the moros to raid the village. To repel any attacks, the villagers built a fort which is now what we know as Duaw Kagayan Park. It is a project of Kagay-anon International, City Tourism Council and all other Kagay-anons worldwide.

Historical Landmarks in Cagayan de Oro
Old photo (right) is originally displayed in Museu, of Three Cultures.

Executive Building, once known as Casa Real where the Spanish governor and colonial administration stayed, is also a witness of current history during the proclamation of city mayor, a place where he also goes for duty.

There you go! How do you find this article? If you have anything to share, comment down below and follow me on my social media sites for updated travel trails.

Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1


In Nutrition and Fitness

Lifetime Journey To Healthy Diet

Healthy diet, gawing habit -- FOR LIFE.

This year's theme for the nutrition month is a slogan to live by. It helps me meditate and relive what mom and grandma want for me, to live a healthy lifestyle along with a balanced diet.

According to Science Daily, healthy diet is a practice of making choices about what and/or how much one eats to maintain or improve overall health. It may vary widely according to an individual's genetic make up, environment, and health; hence the need to follow recommended controlled portions. Having a balanced diet provides essential vitamins and nutrients that our body needs to function properly. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes as well as obesity.

With emphasis on improving overall health, I grew up seeing two nutritional posters on our dining wall almost round the clock. These posters illustrate Go, Glow and Grow foods; and the other one shows the food pyramid - a pictorial grid of what to eat the more/least. Grandma said I need to be mindful of the foods I eat if I want to live longer. I have been taught that maintaining a healthy diet means to eat more on substantial foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, less on meats, lesser on fats and dairy products. With that being said, I jot down on a piece of paper things to do and foods to eat that would fit my lifestyle to which I followed consistently for years. Yet like anyone else, I, too, fell prey with todays eating disorder - the one which I thought is a shortcut to achieving a flat belly. Going to university in a city means more access to industrial/processed foods. I went through yoyo diet following the no breakfast, half cup of rice on lunch, oat on dinner kind of diet. Also, if it's not to sleep or cry over academic stress and life dramas, stress eating is the norm. Though it took me years to get back on track, I would have to agree that 'healthy behaviors that starts in adolescence make healthy adults' is indeed true.

I could still be munching on chips everyday if I want to but I don't need empty calories to ruin my lifelong goals for healthy diet and active lifestyle. Like me, it's never too late to start your healthy diet journey. Start building healthy habits now!


  • Ask yourself what you want to change. Be specific. As for me, I want to get back in shape and eventually maintain a weight and so I worked for that goal.
  • Reflect on the negative habit and think of its positive opposite. Mine is skipping on breakfasts and eating less throughout the day which led me to binging whenever opportunity knocks - weekends or chat time with friends. Instead of skipping meals, I get back to eating proper diet. I make sure to eat three times a day with heavy breakfast and light dinner. Later when I started running, I've been eating five times a day to partition meals to help sustain my energy.
  • Be honest about limitations. It's okay not to make drastic change in your diet but as much as possible, incorporate healthy foods every meal and exercise regularly. As they say, small is good.
    • Plan. Make things in your schedule. "If you want to achieve something, you have to make it a part of your routine." Says Erwan Heussaff on his weight loss journey. 
    • Commit to the change and ask help from loved ones if needed.
    • Reward yourself each week with a treat. This will help you motivate to hit your weekly target.

    Ditch your unhealthy eating pattern one step at a time. It may not be easy from the beginning but bad habits aren't hard to break either. All it takes is determination, perseverance, and commitment to change. A mindset to improve your life by nourishing your body. For more healthy diet tips, follow #RadyoMoSaNutrisyonYr8 on Facebook.

    This post contains main photo and some texts/healthy habits guideline from National Nutrition Council Region X. However, rest assured, that opinions expressed herein are based on my personal experience.

    Read More

    Share Tweet Pin It +1


    In Accomodation Cagayan de Oro Misamis Oriental

    Emerald Suites CDO: Urban Comfort in a Budget

    Emerald Suites CDO: Urban Comfort at a Budget

    Emerald Suites CDO, a budget-friendly hotel in the city of golden friendship was recognized as the Best Affordable Hotel Inn by Golden GLobe Annual Awards for Business Excellence (GGAABE) in 2016. Sold by this idea, I booked online to secure my room reservation all the while enjoying member's benefits - discounts and redeemable points.

    I showed up at the reception with my better half on the scheduled date. Check-in was swift and smooth. After a short orientation of the hotel's rules breakfast time, we then took the stairs to our assigned room.

    Emerald Suites CDO, Double-sized bed
    Emerald Suites' guest kits is a plus!
    I was swept off when I entered the room. It was very spacious and in my mind I was like, " shall I do my workouts here or just roll on the floor?" πŸ˜‚

    Rooms and Amenities

    Emerald Suites CDO has 30 spacious, comfortable rooms equipped with the following:
    • Fully air-conditioned
    • Cable LED TV
    • Hot and cold head shower
    • WiFi access
    • Toiletries and personal hygiene kit
    • Bath towels
    • Large cabinet
    • Dresser
    • A pair of room slippers

    We chose the deluxe room for ourselves with a promo price of ₱1,280.00, but since I booked online, we end up paying less instead. More than the price mark down, I loved everything about the room - large space, comfortably soft bed and pillows, chic bath and toilet in blue and white combination, and the cleanliness in general. Another bonus was the hygiene kit provided, which included soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste. Other hotels usually provide soap and shampoo only. WiFi connection was also stable.

    Breakfast for two was included in the net amount paid at the reception and can be ordered from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM at the hotel's cafe located at the ground floor.


    The hotel is located in Jose Agudo St - just a stone throw away from the city’s major malls namely: SM Premier CDO, Ayala Centrio Mall, Gaisano Mall and LimKetKai Mall. It would not be hard to get around downtown city goven its strategic location. Public transportation were easily accessible too.


    Aside from the location, I also admired how the well-trained staff of Emerald Suites would greet you with their smiles from the moment they will see you approaching or just passing by the reception desk. Room service was quick as well. When the TV inside our room went dead, one of the staff knocked on the door and offered assistance.

    Booking Info

    Give them a call through the following numbers:  (088) 880-7745, 0922-849-6450, and 0917-316-8949. Alternatively, search for the best deals and prices for Emerald Suites CDO at

    Check-in Time: 02:00 PM. Add P100 for early check-in
    Check-out Time: 12:00 NN

    With the comfort and accessibility that the hotel provides, you will never go wrong with Emerald Suites. I would surely not miss to recommend this to my friends.

    * Main photo is borrowed from FB page ofEmerald Suites CDO.

    Read More

    Share Tweet Pin It +1


    In Accomodation Jasaan Misamis Oriental

    Where to stay in Jasaan | Twin Hearts Spring Resort

    The view as captured atop the slide of a five feet pool.

    "Why not try Twin Hearts Resort, ma'am?" asked the motorcycle driver.

    The question hits my wanderlust right on spot. An overnight stay at Twin Hearts Spring Resort is on my list too. So why not give it a try as well?

    Twin Hearts Spring Resort

    Twin Hearts Resort is located in Barangay Mahigugmaon in the municipality of Jasaan, Misamis Oriental. It is conveniently located amidst nature with tall and big trees surrounding the area as well as a view of Gamooc river that adds a relaxing feel to the resort. The overall ambiance makes it a respite to those who seek tranquility after a weekly grind. 


    Cozy room of Twin Hearts Spring Resort

    Kenn and I spent the most of our weekend in a nice room with a good night sleep totally oblivious from the joyous laughter and talks outside. More than that, inclusions are as follows:

    • Breakfast for two
    • Unlimited use of the pool
    • Bath and toilet inside the room with rolled tissue
    • Bath Towels
    • Free WiFi

    Yellow lights illuminating the room is quite relaxing. | Twin Hearts Spring Resort
    Gold curtains and brown-furnished furniture is complementary.  Twin Hearts Resort.

    The room is spacious enough to get around for the two of us. Our window view is more of greenery which is a good diversion after seeing the crowd in the pool. We don't have a TV inside but if you wish to have one, you might want to choose the other room. As for the price, it only cost us ₱1,000.00 - best price as compared to the first one that we've checked out. Room with TV costs ₱1,500.00.


    For an all day long outing with family and friends, the resort is a good place to be as it offers many cottages to choose from that will cater small and large groups. There are four pools with varying depth from 2" to 8", two of which have slides and one has a jumping board. There are lifeguards on duty to ensure safety of all guests. The resort is well-maintained following its draining schedules; and trash bins are also visible so there is no reason for littering at all.

    I would love to take a jump but I'm afraid of drowning. :( This is the deepest pool with eight feet depth. | Twin Hearts Spring Resort
    Kids love to take a slide, too! And this one's for them. Twin Hearts Spring Resort is a place for everyone.
    Just the right depth for my height - five feet. Haha! | Twin Hearts Spring Resort

    The local driver mentioned that the water at the resort tastes sweet and is naturally cold, given that it is coming from a natural spring. As if to validate his words, Kenn saw one of the lifeguards fetched and drank directly from the spring water the next morning.

    Aside from the pools and open cottages, the resort also have a function hall and Karaoke bar.


    Weekends are days when the resort is really crowded. Despite so, the staff could still manage to accommodate everyone with heartwarming smile. πŸ™ŒπŸ˜Š Everything is synchronized and systematized - from verification to check in - I should say that it's a smooth transaction. The staff are well-trained and surely knows what needs to be done. No wonder I've heard a lot of positive feedback both online and offline.

    With all these said and done, my overall experience at Twin Hearts Spring Resort is a worthwhile one. I would not give second thoughts when asked to visit the place again, and of course, I would highly recommend this to everyone as well.

    Read More

    Share Tweet Pin It +1


    In Electronic Device Music Lifestyle

    Grab Your First Act Electric Guitar at Guitar Center

    First Act Electric Guitar at
    Purchase of musical instruments that are produced by popular US brands from a well-known retailer such as Guitar Center always ends up with smooth transaction as it comes with it both reliability and trust.

    Guitar Center, the world's most trusted musical instrument retailer always put customers' needs first. GC wants to make sure that as much as possible, all musical instruments from different manufacturers are highly available for shipping internationally. If not, they are more than happy to collaborate with the brand to deliver what you need.

    With that being said, if you are looking for first act electric guitar at, Guitar Center will do the extra mile. Just send them an email and they'll pass along your request to the manufacturer.

    First Act Electric Guitar at
    CTO / CC
    First Act is a musical lifestyle company headquartered in the heart of Boston's back bay. They strive to engage kids and parents with music through instruments that are easy to play, entertain and incorporate learning in a fun way. In a time when music programs are being systematically cut from academic budget, they infuse music back into American daily life. Hence, if you want your child to learn the basics or a college student who wish to play the guitar, grab your first act electric guitar at

    Read More

    Share Tweet Pin It +1


    In Food Jasaan Misamis Oriental

    Bay View Grill

    Bay View Grill Jasaan

    Have you experienced getting lost in one of your travels? Well, I have my share too. Shortly after our weekend escapade to Dodiongan Falls, Kenn and I planned a day hike in Mt Salumagayon but last minute changes brought us to Jasaan.

    Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my tablet where I saved all of my research works and all I can remember were words like Kiwani and Kimala. None of these two words were correct as it was Barangay Kimaya that I'm referring to where we plan to look for a place to stay later in the afternoon. Thanks to Irene for the quick response about my queries via FB chat. She instructed us to drop off at crossing Kahulugan in Kimaya but I don't know where exactly that is so I decided that we stop at Bay View Grill because it was the only landmark that I'm familiar with. When I asked around as to where Kimaya is, it turned out that we're already far from where we should be and we have to get back by riding a multicab. Since we were already at Bay View, we agreed to take our branch instead.

    Also Read: Where to Stay in Jasaan | Twin Hearts Spring Resort

    When you see this tarp on the highway, you know you're heading the right way. It's Bay View Grill!
    Bay View Grill has spacious area ideal to hold events
    Check out the comfy couch of Bay View Grill!

    Bay View Grill is located along National Highway in Barangay Jampason, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental. It offers combo meals at a very affordable price starting at ₱48. The area is also spacious to hold events like a wedding reception or a small party. There is also a room big enough for meetings. Inside the resto, there is karaoke bar intended perhaps for beer nights and a separate space for dining area. I love the mix of calm vibe and upbeat music in the background while sitting on the comfy couch. Plus,  the sea and the people who indulged in banana boating from a nearby hotel offers a good view. With all these stuffs, I can say that my mishap leading to our misadventure is not a bad thing at all.
    Travel, the best way to get lost and found all at the same time.

    Like this post? Let's stay connected! Follow me on FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER PINTEREST YOUTUBE Snapchat - sightseerpinay

    Read More

    Share Tweet Pin It +1