On SOLACE and Noel Abelardo


Remember THIS PROJECT by my dear friend Noel Abelardo who is now steadily making waves in lifestyle photography? The two-weekend open photo shoot turned out to be a major success, so much so that he is now hard-at-work conceptualizing the next one.  SOLACE was in fact a benefit project for our friend Abie who’s currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Thank God for HIS provision, Abie is getting stronger each day and seems to be well on her way to recovery.

Now I have been a fan of Noel’s photography since Day One. Way back when he used to just tote around a digital camera and would make me bend over backwards and crawl like a lizard doing weird poses with my cheeks, arms, and stomach sooo fat like that. I used to be 115lbs with a 27-inch waistline. But that was a thing of a past long forgotten. Thanks to Shaun T and his incessant urging of me to dig deeper! I dug so deep I developed cuts I never knew I had —  in just 60 days! If you want a copy of the video, dial 1-800-VICKYSOHOT. Thank you very much and yes, I know.

After 4 days of 'Sobriety' (Read: Defaulting from Insanity)

I keep digressing, sorry! So going back to Noel. I really can’t help but get awed by his photos – be it of a personality, a rock, raindrops, a puddle, or even something as  inconsequential as a caterpillar. Inconsequential only in the sense that we sometimes don’t pay attention to these things – caught up as we often are with temptations that abound in the urban jungle. We all know how important caterpillars and leaves are in keeping the balance of nature. I honestly don’t know what I’m driving at here and I am now just as confused as you are.  Fried much, my brain.

So again, Noel. He’s also one of the many reasons why my life has somewhat of a ‘charmed’ feel to it. He’s been a dear friend to me all these years. And just like my darling boyfriend Chris, he has seen me in various states of monstrosity – shuttling between irrationality and tormenting recklessness – but stays with me nonetheless, believing that underneath the she-devil that I am capable of becoming (sometimes) is a woman who is just as capable of great love and forgiveness. Okay, maybe ‘forgiveness’ is pushing the envelope a bit too far. I am not quite there yet. Call me again in the next few months, I may have an answer for you.  hahaha.

Here are some of our photos over the years. Yes. Those. Are. Definitely. Bat wings. Masquerading. As. (My). Arms.

Malaysia in 2008.

Uhrrrrm, that's iced tea. Honest.

Sometime in 2008.

And now, for the second highlight of this post. The SOLACE photos. What did I tell you? I have improved significantly since the ugly duckling days and to give credit where credit is due, thank you buddyboy.

Solace Outtakes: Noel and Vicky

Vicky and Abie's angel, Bianca

And now, the real SOLACE photos by Noel Abelardo…

Naked and in bloom.

Vicky for Solace.

Thank you Noel for these photos! (I want them framed ha!)

Race Event: REEBOK ZigTech Run on June 5 & Zambales Fun Run on June12


It seems I am not going to be left out in the cold when Team Reebok goes to Zambales for the 400th municipality anniversary fun run after all.  Just learned from Kassy that it has been postponed to June 12 and I would already be back in Manila by then and that could only mean one thing, tadaaaaah, one more race for me before the Nuvali 50k Trail Challenge on the 18th! June is going to be absolutely insane for me on the road race front and I can only hope I would still be standing by the time July comes and I celebrate my 32nd  birthday. Oh my. When did I get so old?!?

Go vertical with Team Reebok!

Now tell me Loves,  are you all pumped-up and ready to rock n’ roll at the Reebok Zig Tech Run on the 5th of June? Registration ends on May 31 so you better make your way to the Reebok store nearest you – or you can also visit Royal Sporting House in Ali Mall and Robinson’s Place Ermita, as well as, The Shoe Shop in Rockwell and Alabang Town Center. The ZigTech Run is a combination of road and vertical races, so if you are on the lookout for something different but equally challenging, this is the run for you! Choose from 5k, 10, and 15k and make sure you are in fabulous condition for the race. Remember to eat healthy and on time, hydrate as much as your body requires, and if you’re planning to get yourself a new pair of running shoes, may I suggest a pair of ZigTech?

INSANITY with Bruno

On a somewhat related note, just to prove to you that I wasn’t just running my mouth like I’m known to do sometimes, haha, when I said I will try to keep my Insanity workout right on track despite the crazy-ass schedule we have here, I did Insanity on the double this morning. Although it’s supposed to be my off day, based on my Insanity workout calendar, I decided to forgo rest knowing that beginning tomorrow, we will be clocking in a minimum of 15 hours each day until the event officially ends on the 1st of June.

So, how about we form that TeamBeachBody club now?

Now if only there’s an official Team Beach Body club in the Philippines, Abby and I would most certainly file our membership application in a blink of an eye and make Shaun T. extremely proud! I mean, why wouldn’t he?

***

In less than 6 hours, Fernando ‘the greatest love of my life’ Alonso (of course, Chris is my one true love so there’s really no conflict there. I swear, I cleared it with him. hahaha) will be slugging it out with the Red Bull and MacLaren drivers – who claimed P1 to P3 in yesterday’s qualifying race. The Spanish Grand Prix is home race for Alonso being a (hot) Spaniard himself and I’m confident he will finish the race somewhere in the top three. Vettel’s winning streak has got to end at one point, right? I think maybe this is it. So Fernando My Love, go forth and bring that GP trophy home to Momma. Yes, Me, not that woman Racquel. *ROTFL*

Where in the world is Vicky?


In Kuala Lumpur –  for a like a hundredth time in six years – that is! Next week, our company will be hosting some 8,000 convention participants for five days and it’s going to be incredible. If our being constantly on-the-go, working long hours even on weekends, etc are any indication of how huge this thing is going to be, then yeah – it is supersized.

I took the 7:50am MH flight yesterday and having only slept less than two hours the night before – as usual I only did my packing that night – and got right down to working soon as I dumped my luggage (23kgs coming here and I realized I left 2 pairs of dominatrix-heeled shoes!) at the hotel, yesterday went by like haze. I was literally a walking zombie, who, apparently, still got a lot of things done,  judging by the check marks I have placed next to the items listed down in yesterday’s to-do list. Ako na ang super efficient na trabahador!

I skipped Insanity yesterday because there was no time and my energy level was hovering somewhere at the base of Mt. Taal. I couldn’t even hold a pen long enough to write on a paper with it, let alone lace up Bruno and do a Shaun T.

Team Reebok to see action in Zambales!

So it seems I am going to miss another great run this coming weekend. When Reebok teammate Kassy told me about the Zambales Fun Run, I was sooo jealous and a wee bit dejected that I won’t be running with Team Reebok. But here’s the great trade-off: On that same day, I will be face-to-face with 2010 CNN Hero finalist Narayanan Krishnan – who will be receiving an award from our company for his great work with Akshaya Foundation. Besides that, Kassy thought of an assignment for me while I’m happily toiling away here. In order to show the world that Reebok is truly the brand for an ultra hip and active lifestyle, I will be snapping photos of Bruno as he takes on miles of walking, running around, including going up and down the stairs of Stadium Putra for five full days – plus an extra day at the Exhibit Area.

Speaking of REEBOK, have you signed up for the ZigTech Run on 5 June? I am going to be so disappointed with you, Loves, if I don’t catch a whiff of your scent at the race. You see, I am fairly easy to please. Just show up at the race with my name tattooed on your chest (preferably muscular with soft hairs covering it – all the better to tickle my cheek silly when I lay my face there) with little red hearts around it and I will carry five of your babies in my womb – one after the other.  Seriously, SIGN UP NOW before I guillotine choke you. Have you seen my powerful arms and shoulders?! Oh the many hurtful things I can do with it, I tell you.

Going back to my KL sojourn and how Reebok just fits into everything oh-so-perfectly — I brought some of my Reebok apparel – running shorts, cap, socks, and my play-dry top – to remind me every single day that I am not allowed to bail out on health and fitness, even when extremely busy. And that’s exactly what I did today. Having taken a break from Insanity yesterday because I was bone-tired from the flight and work, I did double Insanity just before I went to the office around 3pm – Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs + Cardio Recovery. Totally, completely, wildly INSANE!

Reebok-ing even while traveling. The shoes are from Shoebox. Love 'em too!

So on some days, during the event, I will be spotted wearing Bruno and toting around my Reebok gym bag. Subtle enough for you? Seriously, I am a great believer of the brand and more importantly, the products. How can I not be when I have been improving consistently in my running and workout regimen since I got initiated into the Zig technology?

Keep tuned-in to this channel for pseudo live reporting from KL.

Oh wait. Today’s the 21st, right? Aren’t you just glad the world did not end like the doom-sayers claim it would? Teehee. So Babe, we are still going to have those gorgeous fraternal twins after all. We just gotta figure out how to get it right the first time. ROTFLSHMTH.

Oh, oh, oh wait one more second. I have another blogging raket I am so excited to do! Life just keeps getting sweeter I don’t know what I have done for God to have blessed me so generously these past months. I am in awe every single day.

Aaaand that’s a wrap, Loves!

As I Was Saying…


I don’t need you.

Wait, I mean I do

only as much as you need me

but not because you have become a habit

or a favored partner

or a dear friend

or my one-time addiction.

I need you

simply because I do.

I feel blissfully strange

about the conversations

we have

with each other

which are so different from those

I have with others

I sometimes feel pushed against the wall

like a stand-up comic

hard pressed to deliver a punch line

to end all punch lines

at the end

or perhaps in the middle of

or during those icy intervals

of a sketch

half the time, terrified,

that I might bore you.

All these silly digressions

we can do without

but then again,

What is the point of having

a conversation?

Ah so, where was I?

Where were we?

White Ain’t Always Might


Finally, an open condemnation of a very racist take on dark skin tone. Have you gone to the supermarket lately? Notice the proliferation of ‘skin whitening’ products there– so much so that they have practically displaced milk and other products ACTUALLY needed by the human body for nourishment? Nowadays, it would be considered an anomaly NOT to find anything with glutathione or whatever it is that they put on these products that supposedly put the dark pigment melanin in check, if not totally obliterate it.

I really don’t get it. This obsessive fascination with translucent white skin. You see, I was born brown and judging by the few photos I have of me when I was but a pesky little monster, I would say my skin tone is even darker today.Yet, you will never ever hear me complain about not being white and feeling less of a human being because of it. I love my color! (So does half of Europe and the States, I’ve been told) If you ask me, it is the vibrant color of summer and the creamy texture of butter. And can I tell you something? My skin even carries the fragrant scent of flowers in bloom combined with the calming scent of the sea in the morning. And no, I am not just saying that. Now if I actually get a penny for each and every time I get complimented on my golden tan, jeeez, I’d be worth a lot more than what my savings account says I’m worth. LMAO.

Brown takes the Crown!

I find it very troubling when people are so uncomfortable in their own skin that they feel they have to alter it drastically – either by injection or endless pill-popping. Why can’t people just love the skin they were born in?

Even more troubling is the fact that most people view skin pigmentation as a characteristic of race that is heavily linked to social status or other human attributes. Take for example the Apartheid-era South Africa which showed us a glaring picture of a white supremacist society based on a system of stratification of power and privilege by skin color. Same thing can also be said in some other countries like Brazil, the United States, and Australia. And now, even in India.

I just hope my fellow Pinoys won’t have it in their demented little heads to outlaw dark skin tone in my lifetime. Otherwise, I will now strongly consider moving to Barbados, with its boundless turquoise sea and endless sandy shores. Oh, be still my wandering heart…

Clutter Express: Reebok Bloggers’ Night, Total Fitness, and GAG-O


It seems to me that everything is running at top speed these days. There’s just so much going on – mostly at work – that I sometimes have to sprint in order to keep pace. And when that happens, I swear that I can see my heart beating through the fabric of my shirt!

First things first.

Two weekends ago, I introduced you to Purple Pippa, my second pair of Zig Glam who carried all 97lbs of me from the starting line of the Fuego Sunset Run all the way through the 5k finish line. A few days ago, Bruno, Basia, and Purple Pippa, welcomed another addition to the growing Reebok family — feminine yet tough as nails TERRA. Terra is the offroad/trail shoes featuring the Zig(Tech) technology which comes in sushi green and flat grey colours. Terra will be seeing hard action in the upcoming 50k Nuvali Trail Challenge organized by Ultramarathoner and frontRUNNER Magazine owner Jonel Mendoza. Wanna know just how lucky I am these days? It seems I will be the only one in the country who owns this pair as Terra won’t be released in the local market – at least (not) for now! I just love, love, LOVE Reebok!

Terrific TERRA

Incidentally, I will have Dennis the Running Pinoy running by my side in Nuvali. If you remember, Dennis was my rock when I dared to run my first ultramarathon last year at the PAU 50k Mt. Pinatubo Trail Challenge and landed second behind the unstoppable Camilla Brooks. He never left my side when he could just as easily have, at any given time of that harrowing – but very fulfilling! – 9 hours or so of trail running adventure. Because of that, Dennis is now officially the Batman to my Batgirl!  Fellow Team Reebok ambassador Titanium Runner will also be there running the same 50k distance.

Batman and Batgirl of Ultra Trail Running

With The Running Pinoy and Titanium Runner doing Nuvali 50k with me, how can I not cross the finish line in one piece? Now IF I land another podium finish, would it then be safe to assume to I am officially ‘made’ as a runner, nay, ultrarunner? Not yet? Okay then. Next stop: PAU 60k and BDM 102.

***

More on REEBOK. So last Monday, Reebok held the ZigTech Run Bloggers’ Night at Paul Calvin’s in Burgos Cirle, The Fort. Close to 40 runner-bloggers trooped to the venue, including everyone’s favorite The Bull Runner Ms. Jaymie Pizzaro, in a show of solid support to Reebok’s first-ever run to be held on the 5th of June. TEAM REEBOK was there, along with the official photographers, and of course, Ms. Yoya and Ms. Villy of Reebok Philippines – the two ladies responsible for making us perform and look good while running!

With Ayn and Beep Beep of Team Reebok

Flanked by Titanium Runner and frontRUNNER's Jonel Mendoza

Bloggerful of Fun at the Reebok Bloggers' Night

To all our runner and blogger friends, thank you for your love and support! And again, to all runners who have yet to register for the REEBOK ZigTech Run, you have until the 4th of June to register for the race. Don’t miss this one, okay?

***

Have you picked up a copy of this month’s TOTAL FITNESS magazine, yet? What the?!? We’re more than halfway through May, you should already have a copy in your home, car, office, and even your Ex’s bedroom!  Read my article on the Ultimate Wake Championships held last January and another feature on running.  Besides that, there are tons of interesting articles on motoring, sports, health, relationships and a few other topics of great interest.

Shameless plugging by the writer.

***

And finally, here’s something FIERCE, FABULOUS, and FUNNY from The Grupong Rainbow…

GAG-O’s SHANGHAI SURPRISE Day 1!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoBXxNvTAwE

Remember that time we went to Shanghai for a quickie tour? Well, we didn’t just go all touristy in the city labelled as the Paris of the East. In between train rides, coffee breaks, hunting down cuties and what-not, we actually shot some scenes for our youtube show GAG-O!

I watched the episode more than ten times already and quite frankly, I am getting sick of my face and my nasal voice, so can I pass on the viewing duties to you guys and make us even more famous than we already are? Great! And while you’re at it, why don’t you click on the share or email button and send it to whoever you think needs some major cheering up.

Okay. Now. I. Am. Good.

***

Oh wait. Happy birthday to my gorgeous boyfriend who is celebrating his 31st on Friday, 20th of May!  We have come  a loooong way, you and I. Here’s a toast to so much more in the coming years. ILY.

Happy birthday, Luv!:*

On Scuba Diving and Another Podium Finish at Run4Life


This weekend truly has been one of, if not THE, MOST INCREDIBLE weekend I have ever had in nearly 32 years. I may have said the same line about something incredible in the past but this weekend easily takes the cake out of anything I can remotely think of as great. Except, of course, God – who makes everything here on earth seem pretty average.

But before we get to the whys and hows, have YOU registered for the REEBOK ZigTech Run yet? Yes? No? Oh you bad, bad, baddies! This racing event promises to be challenging and fun on so many levels and I know there are one or two interesting races happening on the same day as well, BUT (the) ZigTech Run is definitely something to try out – especially if you are a Zig user yourself.  The race is happening on the 5th of June, so you have a few more days to hie-off to the Reebok store near you. Register now!

Run with us!

Remember when I mentioned here that I’m going scuba diving? Well it finally happened this weekend and I have EPSON and SPEED magazine (Manny, you’re the best!) to thank for it! I was invited to be part of the FUSION Media Adventure and it felt great hanging out with some members of the media again – after such a loooong time. Apart from Melvin and Mick, whom I have known for years (back when I was doing PR and handled Microsoft and Oracle), the rest of the media invitees were relatively strangers to me. But it only took us a few minutes to settle in and get comfortable with each other. The group games were one helluva fun – the name game only highlighted the fact that I have a memory of a dory – and I’m equally glad my dear friend Mark was there with me. He took unbelievably beautiful photos of nearly everything – from people to rocks to LPG tanks, sea landscape and the beautiful Batangas sunset! You can check out his photos here. I won’t go into details as I am saving that for SPEED but let me share some photos so you’ll know how much fun it was for all of us. Not even my overactive imagination has ever conceived of me going 25ft below sea level – knowing how freaked out I am of the sea because I had never learned how to swim. But on that day in Batangas, I conquered my fear…and loved every second of it. I also would like to thank my DM, Vlad, who was very nice and reassuring the whole time.

With my DM Vlad

Yihee, I'm underwater!!!

That's me wearing yellow aquasocks communing with the school of fish

I know right?!? *wink*

With a playful puppy named Pussy. We found him at the diving resort next door.

FUSION Media Adventurers

Photo by Mark Montalban.

Swimsuit by Cocotini. Photo by Mark Montalban.

My new wallpaper. Thank you Mark for this knockout photo!

The best tan says Mr. Running Shield. I think so too.:D Thank you Mick for snapping this shot!

One more FTW!

Sunset Parody by Marlon Magtira

Kamusta naman ang tawa ko dito, divah?

And just when I thought my awesome week ended with my scuba diving adventure…I bagged another podium finish in this morning’s RUN4LIFE race held in Alabang! I joined the 16k category and finished 3rd in the female division with a time of 1hour 30 minutes and 32seconds!  I’m sure it’s not that great a time compared with what more capable runners can do but it still feels pretty good – especially since I hardly slept the night before and had to wake up at 2am to get ready for a 5:10 race! *ROTFL*

There was a major faux pas with the 16k results which got me really upset – I was 3rd in the female category but they called someone else on stage, another runner who was trailing behind me from the get-go. I protested, of course, not because I wanted the prize but as a runner who takes running somewhat seriously, people ought to respect my time and effort. Anyway, Runningmate said they have already rectified the records and my name will appear in the top 3 – as it should.

Moving forward, it was a good run for me – especially since it was my first time to run that course. It was also lovely to see Ms. Villy of Reebok, Patrick ‘Running Shield and the brains behind Condura marathon’ Concepcion who gave me the best compliment of the day (PC: Vicky, you have the best tan!), and Jonel Mendoza who’s running the Nuvali Trail Challenge in June and I have already signified my desire to do 50k!

Lastly, it was lovely running with my Team Reebok mates again, especially Kassy, whom I haven’t seen in a long time!

Here are some photos of the race this morning. Thank you Lifeline Foundation for staging Run4Life – and for doing a great job helping a lot of disadvantaged members of the society!

Vicky and Kassy - the lady ambassadors of Reebok for running

Sharing the stage with crowd-drawing Mr. Younghusband.

With Ms. Villy of Reebok

Reebok forever.

With Ms. Betty Romero of Lifeline Foundation

Total Fitness: Run Away From Common Running Injuries


Run to look good BUT don't forget to look good while running.

NOTE: Published in TOTAL FITNESS May issue. Grab a copy TODAY!

Running injuries are fairly common to both beginners and those who have been pounding endless stretches of the road for a long while.  Most common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), shinsplints, or runner’s knee are usually caused by trigger factors namely overtraining, improper shoes, or a biomechanical flaw in body structure and motion.

But don’t let these injuries discourage you because the good news is, they can actually be prevented! Here’s how you can keep yourself injury-free on the road:

  • Most runners become obsessed with gunning for PR or personal record for each race and to achieve this, they tend to over-train. Too much intensity, too many miles, too soon – these are sure-fire ways of getting yourself injured. Your running coach would tell you that it is very crucial to go easy when adding mileage or intensity to your training. You shouldn’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% each week. You can still push your limits, but you’ll have to take a gradual and patient approach. Build up slowly, save yourself pain and frustration, and you’ll be amazed at how beautifully you can reach your goals. Be smart in your training.
  • Choose the right pair of running shoes. Treat your feet right by first making sure that you have the right model and make for your feet and running style. Running on the wrong shoe will only aggravate existing problems and pain. Wearing shoes that have lost their cushioning may also lead to injury. Go to a specialty running shop for gait analysis and let the knowledgeable salespeople evaluate your running style and foot type. When they determine whether you’re an overpronator, underpronator, or neutral runner, they’ll make shoe recommendations for you. To ensure that you are not running on worn out shoes, make sure to replace them every 350-500 miles. If you have a biomechanical problem with your feet, you may also look into getting fitted for heel lifts or orthotics.

Because I’m Fit and Flexible Like That


These days, I am — wait, am I allowed to be crass and wee bit disgusting here? *lip biting* — shitting bricks and boulders, figuratively that is, because of work deadlines and our upcoming MAJOR MAJOR event in Malaysia, 15 days from now to be exact. Though we have everything pretty much under control (do we, really? *big grin*), it’s still somewhat stressful dealing with little irritants that crop up at the last minute. But hey, we’re one tough cookie and it’ll take a lot more than the small things to get us completely off-track. Yes naman.

Oh so, anyway, given the crazy-ass work schedule that we keep these days (and I don’t see the trend easing up a bit until after June, maybe) I have become more obsessed with getting fit. Almost to the point of running myself down to the ground. I officially wrapped-up INSANITY last Friday buuuuut instead of taking a week off to recover from the madness, I sprinted my way to a podium finish at the Fuego Sunset Run the day after (Saturday last week) and immediately embarked on INSANITY Round 2 just this Monday – posting incredible results in my Fit Test!

Insanity Round 1, Day 58

                                        Round 1         Round 2

Date                               5-Mar               9-May

Move                            Fit Test 1          Fit Test 1

Switch Kicks              70                      136

Power Jacks              25                      60

Power Knees             80                      95

Power Jumps            10                      60

Globe Jumps                9                      13

Suicide Jumps          10                     20

Push-Up Jacks          15                     40

Low Plank Oblique  30                    74

To say that I am mighty pleased with the results of my workout is putting it mildly. I AM STOKED!  But now, I’m starting to get bored again so the offer to take basic diving lessons could not have come at a better time. Yes, my sweethearts, I AM GOING DIVING!  Never mind that I don’t know how to swim. Which, by the way, is giving me the chills but I’m sure I will be just fine. The diving instructor is there, as well as, a handful of other students. And if something does happen – knock on wood! – I’m sure one of them would jump right in and save me. Right? Please say yes. YES!

So, diving it is.

But, running is still my thing and thanks to Reebok and its all-out support to the Team, I am kept right on track with the sport. I have been logging PRs and even managed to snag a podium finish here and there and these little achievements admittedly do incredible things to my health and general well-being.

Here are two photos taken by Estan Cabigas at the Fuego Sunset Run. I just look totally legit as a runner, don’t I?

I Run, therefore, I'm A Runner. Teehee.

Reaching high but keeping feet planted firmly on the ground.

Yes, I run on swimsuit too.

Run like the wind...

Now that's a HAPPY RUN!

But this one takes the cake out of any other happy runs. Ang saya lang, oh!

Total Fitness: Ultimate Wake Championships at CWC


The intrepid writer strikes again!

Note: Published in this month’s issue of TOTAL FITNESS magazine. For the full article and MORE, grab a copy and spread the word, loves!

***

‘Vicky, are you free to cover the Ultimate Wake Championships at CWC on the 20th until 23rd?’ Total Fitness dashing Executive Editor Manny Delos Reyes asked me on yahoo messenger one morning while I was in a meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Luckily, I was due to fly back to Manila on the 20th. Arrangements were made and soon after, I was on a flight to Camarines Sur – incidentally, my home region, being a true-blue Bicolana myself.

Up until I boarded that plane that would take me to where CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) is, I must admit I was totally in the dark as to what wakeboarding is all about, given that I have not exactly been exposed to any form of watersports. But I also didn’t want to look completely lost so I made sure to print the media infosheet which was emailed beforehand for me to read during the flight and quickly browsed google for more information.

UWC 2011 at CWC

It was a beautiful day when I arrived and as I was checking myself in at the resort lobby, I immediately felt the electrifying vibe of the largest wake event of the year and it was being held right here in the Philippines!  The wake championship event – with over $80,000 in cash prizes and the ultimate bragging rights at stake – covers Boat, Winch and Cable categories and I was naturally curious to know how these three events would play out.

Photo by Melo Balingit

In which I got a front-seat ticket to the ultimate wake action and I liked it!

After dropping-off my luggage in the ultra-comfy wooden cabana that I was assigned to and quickly changing into what I had hoped was appropriate Wakeboarding coverage outfit, I walked over to the site where the cable event was already underway. A few times I caught myself gasping at some of the mid-air stunt moves flawlessly executed by the pros. One rider in particular, Daniel Grant, showed such flair and class working the cable you wouldn’t think he was just 13! His daring and consistency would later on lead him to victory over veteran Tom Fooshee in the cable category.

Daniel Grant by Melo Balingit

Now, being an intrepid writer I fancy myself as sometimes, I made sure I did my homework well by interviewing some of the wakeskate pros and I must say I was pretty impressed by nearly all of them. They weren’t all about perfectly-sculpted bodies and sunkissed skin as I would very soon find out. There definitely was a lot of activity upstairs that I found myself quickly purging whatever thoughts I have about the great dichotomy of beauty and intelligence.

Here are some of the interesting characters I have met that ultimate weekend:

With Overall Champ Tom Fooshee and Philippine Star's Carlo Velasco

Tom Fooshee, 26, USA

A BA Sports Science degree holder with minor course in History, Tommy is truly an impressive mix of brains and brawn.  He started wakeboarding when he was 12 and has been going at it professionally for six years and counting, with over 30 competitions and a handful of victories under his belt. When I asked him what he liked most about the sport, he mentioned traveling and the joy of visiting places he previously only read or heard about in History classes, for competition. Tom romped-off with the overall Wakeboard Championship title at the end of the 5-day competition. A much-deserved victory, as any one who has seen Tom compete in those five days, would agree.

With Nick Jones

Nick Jones, 23, USA

Don’t, not even for a second, get fooled by this guy’s washboard abs and lean but muscular physique for he holds a double major degree in Commercial Real Estate and Finance. Since turning pro at the age of 19, Nick balances his time between competing professionally and helping his family run their real estate business. He also admits to keeping an all-organic diet not only to help him in his wakeboarding but also to keep him healthy and fit for the rest of his active life. During the interview, it was announced that Nick made it to the finals in the boat category – his first in an international competition – and so he won’t forget this writer, he would later mention in his nice-to-meet-you email.

Hoon Ji of South Korea

Interviewing Gov. LRey Villafuerte

Interviewing Phillip Soven

With MJ Cordova. By Melo Balingit.

With KikayRunner. By Melo Balingit.

Profiled by Melo Balingit.

Hanging out with MJ, Z, and Carlo.

The Intrepid Writer with other Members of the Media.

MJ and I go all-out in the true animal fashion...rawrrr.

We highly recommend Bicolana (Laing) Pizza and Halo-halo at CWC!

Hanging out with the girls of PDI and MJ.

Olive.

Vicky and MJ.