Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Sunday Morning Run in the Rain

Wow! It's been like forever since I last wrote on my blog. The last couple of months were quite stressful with a loved one getting ill, ending up having surgery in the hospital, and coming home to rest and recuperate with new mechanical parts in her body. I jokingly call her the "Bionic Woman". Seriously though it was hard to see her gradually change before my eyes from a healthy, robust, active, bubbly, cheerful, talkative, assertive person to one dependent on somebody just to get off bed, weak (physically), always feeling tired, sentimental, emotional, with a distorted sense of humor ( always joked about haunting me if she dies). I always reminded her not to renege on her promise for us to grow old together. Occasionally, I would joke her back by saying only the good die young.

On the home front, I still keep myself abreast with what is happening in the home country. I closely follow the controversy about an RH bill in the Congress, I read and listen to the pros and cons. Personally, I think it is about time the Philippine Congress enacts and passes an RH bill into law. It just makes sense. With our limited land area, diminished natural resources, uncontrolled population growth, a sputtering economy not helped by a world economy still reeling from the recent recession, an RH law is a must. For survival.

I was amused by PNoy's use (or overuse) of the word "wang wang" to make his points in his SONA. I like and am sold with the idea though. It is about time to rid ourselves of this wang wang mentality. If everybody is equal before God, then every Filipino should be treated equally irrespective of his status in life. Masyado tayong status conscious. It is obvious sometimes that some people from the rich and powerful class have this false sense of entitlement. Some think they are over and above the law. We need to get rid of these "wang wang" and "suntok" mentality for us to be able to compete with the Japanese, Koreans, Singaporeans. Our workers should feel they're treated with dignity and respect, and valued. Instead of saying to himself "nakakahiya" his mindset should be "kayang kaya ko ito". If our ordinary worker continues to unjustly get a "batok" or "suntok" from some powerful person without getting justice, we will not produce the confident and proud worker we need to propel the country to greatness. We will always remain the butt of jokes in Asia.

Now, on the running front. My mileage is way down.. In the last few months, my weekly mileage has averaged 15ks or less. That means 3 short 5k runs a week if lucky. Unlike when I was just starting to get serious with running in 2007 when I ran to lose weight, this time around, I have been running mostly to de-stress.

This morning was no different. Other than waking up early at 8 and preparing breakfast ( toasts, omellete, cream cheese, coffee, slices of orange, blueberries) for the whole family (Denise decided to leave her Toronto condo temporarily for the month to help her sick mom), I decided to lace up my running shoes for an early Sunday morning run. To de-stress.

Started my run on a warm and humid morning under overcast skies, no wind. Began my run slow because of the heat. Even with my slow pace I felt uneasy with my breathing. Everytime I tried to increase my pace, my breathing became more labored, so had to content myself with exceptionally slow pace. As I looked around my surroundings, noticed that plants and trees were much greener now than more than a week before. Understandable, because we just had rain in the past few days after the driest and hottest July here in Markham in years. As I passed by the nearby park and fields, I saw the grass and vegetation which were dry and brownish only days ago were now looking more lush and green. At the 1k mark, I was sweating like crazy. It was hot. Had to remove my hat everynow and then and wipe my face with my sleeve. I started to whistle to get some breeze. No luck. Mad at myself for not carrying any hydration. If only it would rain, I thought.

I looked up the gray sky and wished for rain. At the 2k mark light rain started to fall. I took off my cap again looked up and prayed a second time, "Lord, let it pour, please". And then it did. It rained so hard that by the 3rd k I could hardly see with my eyeglasses all wet and cloudy from water and sweat mixed together flowing down from my head and cap. Like a young kid playing in the rain, rejoiced, looked up, opened my mouth, stucked out my tongue as the cool rain water wet my dry mouth and thirsty throat. In a few minutes, I was completely drenched wet, including my shoes. I saw puddles of water in uneven portions of the asphalt road. I then noticed something. Big droplets of rain sometimes create bubbles as they drop in the puddles while most droplets don't. Amazing.

By the 3.5k mark it was still raining and as I looked ahead I could see 500 meters afar the woods which was part of my favorite walking/running route. The woods looked fuzzy from that far , maybe I thought from the rain, or the humidity because although it was raining it was still warm.

Was feeling tired, but enjoyed the moment, listened to my breathing, the squishing sound of my wet feet in wet socks inside my soaking wet shoes, the sound of my steps as my feet landed on the asphalt road or puddles of water. Felt the refreshing cool rain water mixed with my sweat trickle down my forehead, my face, my arms, legs. Felt my wet clothing get heavier as they hugged closer to my skin. A bird chirping. The beautiful music created by rain dropping on leaves, branches, flowers, my skin, my hat. And then my 5k run was over. Walked for another 500 meters with the rain still falling hard. Arrived home completely drenched but refreshed. De-stressed.

Peace and love.


  1. How admirable it is to read a post about your stand re: RH Bill as well as PNoy's SONA. Well said! I've read the whole text of his speech at site (scroll down and look for Speeches link) including its technical report detailing what the SONA is all about. I still look forward to see a new Philippines.

    Will pray for the speedy recovery of your wife.

    How I wish I can run in Canada. Let's see...

  2. Hi Roselle! Thanks! Glad to know we share the same dream for a better Philippines.

    Enjoy reading your posts BTW, the one about running 2 miles in your barefeet is new and quite interesting, but not for everybody, specially ones who are not used to it. I would give it a try definitely if given a chance. Same with you, my recollection of running barefoot was also when I was a child playing "habulan" or "taguan" with my friends.

  3. Dear Bong,
    Each time I visited here, there was no new post, and now suddenly I decided to drop by, and there is one for August... but it is already September, so it is an old post by now.

    So sorry about Jojo's surgery and illness. I have no idea what happened... and what mechanical body parts she now has.

    I am praying for you and her, Bong.

    This must be a difficult time for you.

    Praying that God's healing touch will be upon your wife and that strength and encouragement from above will be your daily portion.


  4. Been months since you posted. Visited here a few times. Wishing you and your family Christmas blessings. Hope Jojo is recovering fast and becoming as good as new, if not better. Praying for you all...

    Blessings from your kababayan...