Sunday, February 26, 2006

my nephew: the fierce hockey player

This morning I had to wake up at 6am because I had to drive from Hayward to Newark, then to San Jose. My nephew Nikko (Theo Tydingco to most) and his hockey team, the Santa Clara Blackhawks were playing in the state championship. Knowing that I run on Filipino time, my sister told me the game started at 7:30am instead of 8am. I wasn't pleased when I arrived at her house and everyone was still getting ready. UGH!

The team huddle at the beginning of the game.

For those of you who don't know much about my nephew, he's only 13 years old. I've written about him here and here.

Anyway... I'm proud to say that Nikko won his THIRD straight STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! YEA! WOO! HOO! I have to say that I've never seen this team work so hard. They were in the game 100% and never took their lead for granted. The final score was 5-1.

The team celebrates their fifth goal of the game with only .4 seconds left.

The new state champions celebrate!

Toward the end of the second period, Nikko was chosen to do the penalty shot. After waiting for what seemed like hours, the whistle blew and he raced down the ice toward the opposing team's goalie. All I remembered was seeing Nikko speed down the ice, pass the goalie and then BAM! The puck landed inside the net. The crowd went wild! Rumor has it that Norbert, my brother-in-law fell off the bench because he was cheering so much. I was ecstatic and turned around to see my mother's reaction. I swear, the look on her face was priceless! She was banging on our good-luck noisemakers, screaming at the top of her lungs! I pointed to her and yelled, "That's your apo!" and she pointed back at me. It was so cute! I went up to my sister and bragged, "Did you see that goal? Yeah. That was my nephew!" She couldn't help but crack up! While I can't exactly describe the shot, all I can say is that it was a totally sweet goal.

Nikko on his way to completing the penalty shot.

Nikko has been getting a lot of hockey attention lately. It looks like he just might be going to Prague to play in an international tournament. Norbert decided to sell his motorcycle to pay for the trip. Times like these I wish I earned more money to contribute to Nikko's hockey fund. Nikko's relationship to this sport is truly a family affair.

During the victory lunch, Norbert mentioned the possibility of Nikko moving away to advance and develop his skills by playing for higher level teams. I can't believe we're at this point. He's only 13 for crying out loud! Norbert reminded us that Nikko is only five years away from college and this is about the time recruiters start looking and tracking players and their progress. I still can't believe we're at this point. I'm happy and proud of Nikko. It seems like yesterday he was just learning to skate and he would prance around the house with his t-shirt, underwear and skates (and nothing else) reciting "Heel, toe. Heel, toe." I look forward to seeing him succeed in whatever path he chooses. Again, I just can't believe we're at this point.

Anyway... here are some photos I took during the game. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've done sports photos and unless we're outdoors, my camera just isn't fast enough to take good action pix. Also, I'm out of practice when it comes to sports photography (so sad - it used to be my passion at one point). I hope you enjoy them anyway:)

The new state champs head to Las Vegas for regionals on Wednesday.

Tina, Nikko, and Norbert at Dave & Busters for the victory celebration. (Note: Nikko is holding Tina's handy-dandy digital camera, where she recorded a short movie of Nikko's penalty shot. He watched himself score that goal at least ten times!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Unfortunately, I haven't been running as much as I'd like to. Right now, my longest run happens about once a week and lasts for about 45 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym. However, I'm at the martial arts studio about five to six days a week and in each class, we do running drills, so that ups my running a bit to and additional ten to 30 minutes a day, depending on how long the workout is. I also do my usual spin class, weight training and my new interest, yoga. I'm not always good, but I like the variety. I must say that I'm impressed by the fact that I can actually do these things and not bitch about it.

But I'm sad because I'm not running as much and sadly, I'm not missing running the long distances. Not that I'm giving up races, I'm just putting them on hold right now. I need to get through orals and have decided to hold off on all races until after the magic date: April 28th. That's when training will start and I'm hoping my first race will be the SF Aids 1/2 Marathon in July.

Until then, I'm keeping the workout schedule I have right now.

Lately I've been mustering in and actually enjoying the feel of a good sweat. You know what kind of sweat I'm talking about - not the kind that makes you feel dirty and stinky (like the kind that runs through your body after nine hours under the hot Maui sun). The kind of sweat I'm talking about is the kind that cleanses you - takes away the impurities and just makes you feel good. If you don't know what kind of sweat I'm talking about, then I feel sorry for you.

I think it's yoga. Taking classes with my totally awesome yoga instructor Dolian, a 60-something, spunky Pinay who isn't afraid to chase down Justin Timberlake because he's her granddaughter's favorite entertainer. I adore Dolian. While yoga should be relaxing (which it sometimes is), I can't help but work up a really hard sweat. For some reason, that sweat always makes me feel so refreshed. I like to think it's my body's way of purging evil and bitterness.

It's also the boxing training. I'm getting flashbacks of when I started with cardio kickboxing at Santa Barbara. Each time I was in class I'd leave puddles of sweat on the mats. I used to bring a towel just to wipe away the puddles. Although all the sorority girls in the studio didn't think it was cute, I didn't give a shit. Sweat made me feel brand new. It still makes me feel brand new. Besides, my sweat caught the attention of Abel, the to-die-for tall, dark and handsome instructor that all the sorority girls wanted. Abel and I became good friends because apparently, some guys appreciate a woman who isn't afraid of a little hard work and sweat. (I always thought wimpy little girls at the gym were annoying, so it was nice to actually meet a guy who felt the same way.) Abel loved the fact that I wasn't afraid to sweat and let a part of myself go in the name of a good workout. Abel used to clean my puddles for me. He could sympathize. He left puddles too.

Nothing much has changed because at the new studio, I still leave puddles and am often found wiping the river of sweat that begins on the bottom of my chin and runs down to my chest. Sometimes I feel like I'm a walking gatorade commercial. Sweat. It is in me. I'm sure folks still think it's disgusting. I still don't give a shit. I like Brad's take on women and sweat: "There's nothing sexier than going to the gym and seeing a woman wipe the sweat off her brow - not a dainty sweat - but a good, hard sweat." Brad likes students who work hard. In the studio, there's no point in working any other way.

I sweat a lot. When I'm boxing. When I'm running, When I'm spinning, When I'm in yoga. It cleanses me and leaves funny wet marks on my dri-fit clothing. I'm not vain in the gym. I don't smother my face with make-up before a workout. I don't wear cute, matching clothing either. I don't care what I look like when I work out. I'm there to work and sweat it out. I don't care if the other girls stare in disgust. I figure that if something that others think is disgusting, but makes me feel so brand new has to be a good thing.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

the end of the Runbutans

This morning I checked my e-mail and found a message from Runbu-Coach Rex de Guia. It looks like the Runbutans are out of commission. Currently, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm sad, but another part of me understands. Please note that although the Runbutans are closing shop, I will still maintain this blog. Here's Rex's letter.

End of the Runbutan Road, Thank you

Wed, 1 Feb 2006 09:51

Dear Runbutans:

I hope this note finds you all in good spirits and in good health. I would just like to let all of you know how much it has been an honor and a privilege getting to know you all through the Manilatown Running Collective (a.k.a. Runbutans). It has truly been a great experience for me to lead such wonderful groups of people in marathon training. The Runbutans have raised a great deal of money and have participated in many Manilatown events over the years. Your dedication and support has helped Manilatown open its doors to the public in the New International Hotel. Thanks for your support and hard work over the years.

It is with great sadness that I announce that the Manilatown Running Collective (a.k.a. The Runbutans) will not be continuing in 2006 and beyond. After negotiations with Manilatown, I have realized that Manilatown Heritage Foundation does not have the capacity to support the running collective in a fashion that will allow the program to be fully appreciated and sustained in the future. As a result, we will be discontinuing the program. The Manilatown Heritage Foundation has a great future with exciting programs that hopefully will grow and commemorate the spirit of the International Hotel. Please know that you played a great part in its growth. I encourage everyone to continue to support Manilatown and help its continued development. At this current time, it just does not have the capacity to ensure the continued success of the running group.

As we discontinue the program, I believe it is important to not allow the end of the program to diminish the great friendships and ground breaking feats that have characterized the program in the last three years. You raised a great deal of money to allow Manilatown to open its doors. You participated in many events in support of the growth and celebration of the on-going story of the International Hotel and Manilatown. You pushed yourself beyond what you thought was possible and joined a select group of the population that can say that you've gone the 26.2 mile distance. Although we end an era of running for Manilatown, we must no allow the end of the program to diminish all of the wonderful blessings that have resulted in the past three years of Runbutan Running. There was a great deal to celebrate and we must not let the end of the group take away from the beautiful moments of running that made the past three years so special.

This is a difficult time for Alex and I because the development of the running collective was truly a labor of love. Many people think that they can just take a 30-week schedule and run a group of people through it. Alex and I know that this is simply not the case. Two years before starting the running group, we ran several marathons to get more experience. We then helped to train friends to do the 26.2 mile distance which went well. We then took a group to do Bay to Breakers in 2003. Then we took a pilot group, the first Runbutan Team, to the Honolulu Marathon in 2003. We then proceeded to take three more teams (OGG 04, HNL 04, and OGG 05) to marathons while adding a successful fundraising components that helped Manilatown through critical years that led to a successful opening last year. We have really felt a great deal of joy in meeting wonderful runners along the way who we now consider family. Best of all, we remain perfect. All of our runners who have completed the 30-week training program went on to marathon day to run to victory. We are very proud of this, and we worked extremely hard over many years to make each runner's 30 week journey a successful one.

I would like to thank all of the coaches over the years especially Alex de Guia, Cici Ambrosio, and Patrick Cabebe who helped with all Runbutan Teams over the past three years. No one can truly appreciate your dedication and love as I have over the years. There would be no Runbutans without them. Although Alex and I are deeply saddened by the end of the group, we are very proud of all of the Runbutan Teams over the years. You honored your families, our community, and the Manilatown/International Hotel struggle as you ran with conviction and integrity in Emeryville, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Maui. Thank you so much.

As we discontinue the group, it is my hope that we not be saddened by the end, but rather celebrate the great life and spirit of the Manilatown Running Collective. I will take the hilarious moments, the great love and camaraderie within our team, and your many acts of courage to the end of my days. I am truly enriched to have taken the Runbutan journey with you. As I have said many times over the course of the past three years, it has been an honor and a privilege to have run along side you. Keep running. Don't stop. Go Runbutans.


Rex de Guia