Everyday he is in the evening news.  Everyday he is in the front page of newspapers. You see him on tv commercials.  You see him on billboards on the highway. People talk about him in social media.  Even my laptop has his sticker! MP – Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Manny Pacquiao


I, Sandi, support Manny “PACMAN” Paquiao as he faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. today, May 2, 2015, in what is dubbed as “The Fight of the Century”. Go Pacman!



The Finisher

It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it. – Martin Luther King

My father-in-law and John’s father-in-law were good buddies having worked together as officers in the Philippine Air Force. I never met John but even in his death he became a blessing not only to me, but to many. As a matter of fact, last night in his wake, the whole church auditorium was filled with people who loved him.

The Pastor briefly spoke about three things:

  • It’s not how long, but how well you lived that counts.
  • It’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts.
  • It’s not how much you’ve accumulated for yourself but how much of yourself you’ve invested in others that counts.

He also quoted verses from the Bible:

2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

John’s cause of death hit me really hard.  You see, I too had a tumor in my adrenal gland.  Big difference was mine was benign and his was malignant.

There’s something different and special when a Christian dies. You could see that there was acceptance, peace, and hope in the hearts of his family, especially Chinky, his widow. John was an Ironman, a triathlete. He would have turned fifty-one this year. Gone too soon? Maybe. But the family understood that it was God’s will for him to cross his final finish line into the arms of his Coach in heaven.



Allow me to reblog a post from Meetamorphosis about John Jacob.


JohnJLighthouseHello, dear reader.  The Tick Tock has stopped for our dear friend, John Jacob.  Days are grey and tears abound. Yet, in the midst of the dark days ahead, we have an assurance that our Ironman, the Finisher, is enjoying Heaven, post-race.  I want to thank everyone who encouraged, rallied, cheered and cheerfully gave their resources to his family.  May God”s blessings pour upon you a thousandfold for your generosity!

 As a tribute to John, I am sharing this piece written by Binoy Sadia in 2010.  It was originally published in an anniversary issue publication of Lighthouse Christian Community.


Testimony of John Jacob
By: Binoy Sadia

     The sun was high as the competitors were all geared up at the starting line and John was there with the other 750 Ironman aspirants, waiting for the “bang” of the race gun that would signal the start of the…

View original post 1,072 more words

The Christmas Story


In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:1-14 (NIV)

T2N Support

Let me congratulate my brother-in-law J-Cip for finishing the recently concluded Tagaytay to Nasugbu 50-kilometer run. We are so proud of you!

It was my first time to volunteer as part of a support team for an ultra marathon and I was excited.  We woke up at 12:30 am and drove south to Tagaytay.  Brr!  It was cold.

J-Cip explained his hydration and nutrition plan to us but we barely listened because we were sleepy! He must have thought, “What kind of support team is this?” Haha.


Well, he came prepared. The hydration and nutrition plan was typed on a bond paper so we just followed everything written there. Drinks, food, and emergency kit, check!


By 3:45, the runners, all 63 of them, gathered outside the gate of the Picnic Grove for the last minute instructions from The Bald Runner, the organizer of the run. At exactly 4 o’clock they were off.

“I also want to have a photo with Bold Runner.”


LOL. We never laughed so hard. Why did I say Bold Runner? I never, ever want to have a photo with a bold runner! Haha!

Me with the Bald Runner (and the photo bomber!)


Support team with BR



500 meters to go. “Finish strong, you can do it!” we cheered.

At last, the finish line then a medal and the hug from BR.


Congratulations to the two-time ultra-marathoner! 51 kms @ 51 years old (his GPS said he ran for 51 kilometers).

You absolutely deserve that Kainan sa Dalampasigan halo-halo (which according to him is the best). Woohoo!

My Sister in Runner’s World Philippines

Last month I was surprised to receive an email from Micah Sulit, the features editor of Runner’s World Philippines. It was hard not to get excited. She said she was hoping to interview my sister Jehan.  I was thrilled and incredibly happy for my little sister.  She’s going to be famous! 😀

So here is  Micah’s article on the October-December 2014 issue of Runner’s World Philippines.

Runner's World Philippines

Mica Sulit

Sandi's diaries

runner's world philippines

Success Story: Adel Torres

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my friend, Adel Torres. We met in 2012 while training for The Bull Runner Dream Marathon. His story is such an inspiration to a lot of runners and has been featured in broadsheets and magazines. He is also a motivational speaker for TBR University. As of writing, he has finished four marathons including a world major, the Chicago Marathon 2014.

One afternoon I decided to ask him some questions and even though he was busy, he was kind enough to answer all of them.

adelWhy did you take up running? How old were you when you started?

I went to different gyms for the past 25 years and the only running I did was on the treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes as warm-up and cool down for my workouts.

I started actively running (3 times a week) two months before turning 52 to lose weight and control my hypertension. I was a health risk, with blood pressure at 160 /100. I weighed 170 lbs. and my BMI was at the obese level.

Two months after, I joined the Energizer Night Race 5K event with friends for fun. Our goal was to finish and get all the freebies. I had lots of fun and enjoyed it so I decided that I would join more 5K fun runs and move up to a 10K. My immediate goal then was to run a 10K race without walking.

You attended several run clinics but TBR University has become dear to you having joined it twice. What area of your running did TBR-U most improve?

TBR-U improved the way I trained for long distance running specially my running form, nutrition, hydration, and proper pacing at the start of the race.

It was in TBR-U when I started using the Run-Walk interval and where I experienced power of a group in training.

What was the best thing about being involved in TBR-U?

It’s the camaraderie among fellow participants, the Dream Team, coaches, and alumni who “pay-it-forward”. It’s an incredible running community on its own where people share their experiences and stories and will help you finish your first or second marathon.

What were the best advices did the Coach Jim, Coach Lit, and Jaymie give you?

Coach Jim gave us the Three Steps to Achievement:

  • Determine what you want.
  • Determine the price.
  • Pay the price.

I also learned from him how to do progressive intensity training and speed work.

I learned the Chi-running method from Coach Lit. He taught me the correct form, pacing and stride in running the hills, the run/walk interval training, and pacing slowly at the start of the race.

I like it  when Jaymie said,

The marathon doesn’t define you. There are good marathons and there are the not-so-good ones, but, in the end, they are all the same. You cross the finish line better than the person you were when it started.

What did you learn from nutrition coaches Armand and Mitch?

I learned a lot about

  • The Healthy Plate
  • Proper Portion Control
  • Writing and reviewing for Food and Activity Journal
  • On the run hydration and nutrition, with cheap alternatives than the commercially available ones
  • Proper carbo-loading (with calorie count) before a long distance training run or race.

 What have you achieved in running after TBR Dream Marathon in February of 2014?

TBRDM 2014 was my 2nd marathon. I ran two other marathons: Milo last July, where I beat my TBRDM 2014 time by 11 minutes (with a negative split) and Chicago, where I beat Milo by 17 minutes (with a negative split)! I also ran two other 21Ks (Milo Lipa Qualifier and Bohol International) with new personal records and negative splits.

Losing weight has helped me run faster and stronger. I have gone down from 170 lbs. in 2012 to 126 lbs. this month.

What are your top tips for someone training for a marathon?

Do the minimum 3 runs a week. (2 short runs and 1 weekend LSD) If you are too busy during the week to do the short runs, don’t skip the weekend LSD. If you are more advanced, try to run 4 to 6 days a week.

Rest, recovery, and sleep are equally important as running.

Listen to your body when you run. If something hurts and is troubling you, stop and have it checked or it might get worse.

Practice, practice, practice your hydration, nutrition, lubrication, and what you will wear (nothing cotton) especially when you do your long runs (runs more than 20 km). Do not wear anything new for a race. It may cause chaffing and blister which will ruin your race.

What kind of support did your family offer?

They supported my healthy eating plan. We ate more vegetables, fruits, brown rice, and wheat bread.

They let me sleep early in a quiet room because they understand that I have to run early in the morning. They’re ok that I’m not able to eat breakfast with them on weekends.

They also cheered for me and were in the finish line in both my TBR Dream Marathons. They even woke up early to be in Nuvali.

Some of them have also started running. My son finished TBRDM 2014 with me. Now my wife and sister joined TBRDM 2015. I have also signed up as a pacer to my wife.

How did your Chicago Marathon performance go?

It was one of the best marathon experiences for me. The weather was perfect, the roads were wide so there was no traffic among runners and the whole route had crowds cheering you on. I ran it 17 minutes faster than my 3rd marathon with a negative split of 3 minutes. It was a great way to see such a magnificent city and its residents.

Describe the feeling of finishing a marathon knowing you’ve hit your target?

Oh it felt awesome, like I was on top of the world. After finishing my first marathon, I felt I could do anything. That was the culmination of 5 months of intense training. Sleeping early on weekends to wake up at 2, start running at 4, and finish around 7 or 8  o’clock in the morning was all worth it.

On hindsight, I also enjoyed the training; it is part of the journey to any marathon. I was dedicated and disciplined to my training plan and diet. I have hit my target for 3 out of the 4 marathons I ran. But just finishing and training for any marathon is always a memorable and life changing experience. I hope to do it twice a year.

As a runner, what is your ultimate dream?

My ultimate dream is to run a marathon with one of my grandchildren; I believe I might be 80+ by then, God willing.

Adel's shirt

Adel’s shirt


Mango Week

We had one busy week! We started harvesting our mangoes last Sunday and we still haven’t finished until now. Oh no, I’m not complaining at all.  I’m thankful for the plentiful harvest this year. We are so blessed.


Our mangoes are organic, they were grown without the use of artificial chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides). In some trees there were a lot of hantik (large, red ants) which made harvesting difficult.  So we resorted to using the good old sungkit since we couldn’t climb up.


That's my mother-in-law helping out and getting a nice arm workout. She has roughly a kilo of mangoes at the end of the long and heavy bamboo pole!

That’s my mother-in-law helping out and getting a nice arm workout. That’s roughly a kilo of mangoes at the end of the long and heavy bamboo pole!

I thought I’d squeeze in some workout myself and started to climb a tree without hantik. But boohoo, I couldn’t even get off the ground. Haha! Must work on that upper body strength.

Ok, I'm standing on a chair here. :P

Ok, I’m standing on a chair here. 😛


organic mango

Organic, fresh, fragrant, and sweet.

One of our workers couldn’t help himself.

organic mango

Hmmm, not a bad idea!
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The Gift of Health

If you told me 14 years ago that I’d be running 27 kilometers on my 46th birthday, I’d say you we’re nuts.

Back then, I was chronically fatigued and a regular visitor to hospital emergency rooms.

Who would have thought I’d live another day after March 30, 2000?  It was the day I watched two doctors, a cardiologist and a pulmonologist, talk to my husband.  I couldn’t hear them but their faces were grim as I was wheeled to the ICU.  To this day, that scene is still vivid in my mind. *Shivers*

Who would have thought I could run after March 7, 2007?  Again, in the emergency room, they found out that my potassium level was at a very low 1.9 mEq/L. Read about it HERE and HERE.

Last Saturday was my 46th birthday and I ran 27 kilometers in Nuvali!  Yes, that’s right. After 27 kilometers my legs were still strong.  I was truly amazed.


Praise God.  He has once again proven Himself faithful to me.

birthday cake

We will all know “storms” in our life and whatever the reason, we can be certain that the storm that comes our way is no random weather front. It’s been sent for a clear purpose. It is to transform us, yielding and trusting Him fully as He gradually molds and reshapes us into His Image. And when caught up in such a tempest, our prayer should simply be, “Lord, help me to be purposefully caught up in Your purpose.”   Dennis K. Legaspi