Category Archives: Environment

2011 So Far…

Posted in Fun, Racing by Ani De Leon

The first quarter of the year has passed me by quite quickly.  I sometimes feel like I am riding a high speed train from which I cannot get off.  Well things finally came to an abrupt halt, or shall I say shaky jolt, last night here in Thailand when our hotel room started to wobble. Big earthquake! As Dan and I ran out the door (him in his jocks and I in my traveling outfit, the first thing I could put my hands on) the big TV set came crashing down the floor with a booming noise but we didn’t even bother to look back as we were in a state of panic—we had to run down four flights of stairs! Luckily the fire escape was easily accessible….. (to read more, )

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Filed under Coaching and Training, Environment, Race Report, Travel

Inspiration in Green and Pink featuring Denise Matias and Ani de Leon

Thanks so much Meagan Kelly for this awesome video!!!

You can subscribe to and watch Meagan’s show every two weeks on

or on YouTube!

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Filed under Art and Culture, Environment, IronKids, Pinay In Action, Selected Features, SuperKids

My longest swim so far… Hamilo 8k Open Water Swim Race

Last Saturday, me and my friends Betsy, Nikki, Noel, Tyrone, and David decided to get (more than) our feet wet by joining the Hamilo 358 Open Water Swim Competition. 358, by the way, stands for: 3k, 5k, and 8k…. which were the swim distance options.  Except for Noel, who had already done an 8k swim in Guimaras, Iloilo, a couple of years back, this was definitely unknown territory for us… swimmer or not. 

It was daunting to say the least, but even though we were terrified, the mere thought of venturing so far out–unprotected at that–in the ocean was also very alluring somehow.  How were we going to know we weren’t going to cramp?–we didn’t know how to answer that for sure.  How were going to eat?–various hiding places for gels.  How were we going to drink?–okay, we would be surrounded by water, no need to tell me that…but drinking water it isn’t!

It was another lesson in self-discovery for sure.  Everyone was apprehensive as we lined up on the beach, and the energy was more subdued than my normal triathlon starts…no use in sprinting in the initial stages here. It was going to be a loooooong swim.  The view was breathtaking, and Hamilo Cove is worth the drive, but I could hardly appreciate it just then. Without much ado, off we went, and I struggled to find somebody to swim with.  Lucky, lucky me–Tony seemed to be swimming the exact pace that I wanted!  I cannot thank Tony enough for being such a gentleman and my surprise saviour that day! I just didn’t want to be alone and I followed his lead half the time. 

Thousands of high elbows, dozens of small sea creature bites,  and gulps of saltwater later, we finally returned to shore.  We smiled at each other, and strangely enough I felt fresh and highly energetic.  We did it! We were now certified bad a@@, long distance, open water swimmers. 

I want to thank Guy Concepcion and his group for organizing this event.  The very reason I started doing triathlons is because I could not find anything to join as an older swimmer.  Now that problem is solved.  I cannot wait for the next one!!!

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Filed under Athletes, Environment, Pinay In Action, Race Report, Swimming, Travel

Whirlwind Weekend Part 3: The LRTA Bike On Bike Off Project Launch

It was a light feeling as I entered the LRT station in Gateway Mall, Cubao.  Today was the launch of the BIKE O2 project, something that the DOTC, LRT, Firefly Brigade, Padyak Prokect Foundation, Tiklop Society, and the UP Mountaineers had been working on. 

It was about time that somebody started something as eco-friendly and mass-friendly as this, and all the organizers deserve a big pat on the back for taking this initial step.  When Pia told me that Ironfools Joey and I were joining this morning I was glad to witness the launch of this much-needed endeavour.

Secretary Atienza and Mr. Robles of the LRT were there to help with the event as well.  We rode the last car of the train all the way to Legarda, hopped off with our folding bikes, and rode gleefully to the Rizal Monument in Luneta.  What a success!!! Travel time was 20minutes!!!

Mabuhay ang UPM!!! 🙂

See our video here!

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Filed under Environment, Events, Pinay In Action, Travel

SUMMARY OF INFORMATION for Typhoon Ondoy Relief Goods Centers as gathered by Yabang Pinoy

Filipinos all over, we have to help.  It doesn’t matter how big or small.  Here are some donation centers. Also, please add to the list ALL Fitness First Clubs (except for Metro East and Eastwood), and PAPEMELROTI and TEAM MANILA branches.

DONATIONS URGENT NEED FOR COOKED FOOD!  1) Please deliver to ATENEO, SERVINI HALL  2) MARIKINA RELIEF – UNDER the flyover of C5 which connects to Katipunan

CASH Mobile donation for the flood victims! Send your donations too, to raise funds for the flood victims- text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe, amount can be 100 or 300) or 4483 (Smart, amount can be 50 or 100) RELIEF GOODS SUGGESTED RELIEF GOODS FOR KIDS Blankets /towels water – distilled powdered milk diapers clean underwear dry goods – biscuits

MAKATI: 1) PEOPLE NEAR SAN ANTONIO PARISH – Starting at 2pm, Sunday, September 27, 2009. Look for JJ YULO or Mike Yuson. Will have volunteers with us as well to help us bring the things out. Thanks! 2) WhiteSpace, 2314 Pasong Tamo Ext., beside Makati Faith Christian School 3) Mon Eugenio is accepting donations of rice, noodles, canned goods, drinking water, and CLOTHES FOR KIDS at either Myron’s Rockwell or Myron’s Place Greenbelt 5. These will be divided between the Relief Operations at La Salle Green Hills, and the affected residents of Marikina through Miro Quimbo. 4) DASMARINAS VILLAGE PARK PAVILLION: for the victims of Ondoy, we’re accepting donations in behalf of the Philippine National Red Cross. we’re told that they are in URGENT need of drinking water.

GREENHILLS: 1) A Relief Operations Drop-Off Center has been set-up at La Salle Greenhills beginning today 9:00 AM, Sunday, September 27. Please bring donations to Gate 2 of La Salle Greenhills, along Ortigas Ave., Mandaluyong ALABANG: 1) Pls send your food, clothing, & blanket donations to the addresses below….Cong. Ruffy Biazon – G/F, South Center Tower Bldg, Market St., Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa City…Tel# 8093132 c/o Zac Faelnar – 434 Taal St., AAV 4687991

QUEZON CITY: 1) Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas launched a relief goods mobilization operation to help everyone affected by the floods…drop off area for relief goods is Balay -expo centro- edsa cor gen macarthur ( near farmersmarket ) araneta center cubao qc…Please contact Ms Clare Amador at mobile no 9285205508 for more details regarding Noy/Mar relief efforts 2) 113B Gonzalez St., Varsity Hills Subdivision, Loyola Heights, QC GAS STATIONS: 1) SEAOIL Metro Manila stations are accepting donations (food, clothes, blankets,towels, etc.) for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy. Please visit; for the complete list of SEAOIL Metro Manila stations 2) ALL PETRON STATIONS ACCEPTING DONATIONS

If you have friends and family who are stuck in their houses and need assistance, please contact Red Cross 143, MMDA 136, NDCC 9115061 & Coast Guard 5276136 for rescue. Provide street names, roof colors, landmarks, etc so that it is easier to find them.

VOLUNTEER – Time for action. Red Cross needs volunteers for sorting, relief packaging, please call Pasay Chapter 8542748 n 4343751; Las Pinas Chapter 8734873 n 4689688; Pasig Chapter 6350922; Alabang Chapter 8093132 n NHQ Manila 5245787 n 5270864, Caritas Mnl 5639298; DSWD DISASTER 9517119 All accepts donations. All catering owners, can you help in the evacuation centers, they need big cooking pots n gas.

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Filed under Environment, Events

One Chance

 One Chance

“Our spaceship known as Earth does not have any passengers.  As residents of Earth, we are all crewmembers of this spaceship.” – “Give the Planet a Sporting Chance,” Japanese Olympic Committee Sport and Environment Commission


The great thing about living on this planet is that we all have a choice.  We can forge our own path and if we are lucky enough, figure out what it is which makes us happy and actually have the opportunity to do what we are most passionate about.  As competitors, our sole focus is that of the next big game or race.  As working individuals, an ongoing project, as homeowners, preparing for the family’s meals—all of which are important functions and which definitely contribute to making our world better and more interesting. 


We also make a lot of mistakes along the way, which we hopefully learn from and which are, of course, part and parcel of the human experience.  Personally, I love my life so far and I feel extremely blessed on so many occasions.  I get to do what I like best and work and play with people whom I can relate to best—athletes.  Just like everyone else, I make many boo-boos, but I recover from them and most of the time get another shot at improvement, which is a most convenient and beautiful process in my opinion.


But there are times that we only get one chance to do things the right way.  And when we fail, there is just no way to go back and rewind the clock.  Like when you neglect your hydration during one of the biggest races of your life, cramp up, and miss a spot on the podium by mere milliseconds.  Even if you play the scene over and over in your head, it is done and you cannot do anything about it anymore.  Tough, but that’s how it is.


I went to Tokyo and other parts of Japan last November for a Study Tour Project for Leaders of Asian Youth Sports organized by the Japan Sports Association.  My friend from the National Rowing and Wushu Team, Jercyl Lerin and I were sent there by the Philippine Olympic Committee to interact and exchange knowledge with 27 other Asian representatives.  Our main topic of discussion was Sports and Environment.  All of us were asked to present something which was relevant to our country with regards to the subject matter.  We reported on what our own nations were doing (or not doing) to better the state of our environment.  We showed beautiful pictures of progress and painful portraits of destruction.  Our Japanese hosts were tremendously sincere in sharing their well-thought of programs and instilled in us a strong sense of urgency and advocacy primarily as citizens of our planet as well as influential sports leaders.  Needless to say, I was moved beyond expectations. 


Personally, I have always viewed myself as someone who did her part, however tiny, in helping to save the environment, even before it became a “trendy” thing to do so.  I joined HARIBON Foundation in my university and we planted a couple of trees and did some clean-ups here and there.  I have a habit to reject plastic bags from the cashier when I shop and just put the items in my purse when possible.  We have a compost pit in the backyard. 


But now I feel the burden and a burning desire to play a more active role in this campaign.  If I were to bring back home a single nugget of insight from this particular trip of mine, it would be this:  whatever your profession may be, it is your business to save Mother Earth.  You cannot ignore Global Warming just because you don’t have snow in your country and cannot see that it is melting.  You cannot ignore the denudation of the forests just because you live in the city and do not think that it is relevant to you.  You cannot keep wasting water just because you are far removed from the desert and have an abundant supply of it for now.


What I love most about my sport, triathlon, is that I get to see some of the most magnificent places on this planet.  I love swimming in azure waters and traveling to the most exotic beaches.  I love feeling the wind on my face and rolling on unique terrain when I ride my bike.  I love breathing fresh air and discovering new trails when I run.  I never take these for granted, even for a minute. 


Sadly though, most people do.  We have become too preoccupied with trivial things to even bother with something huge but isn’t really concrete to us.  But the fact is, environmental degradation is real, and it’s here.  And it involves each and every one of us. 


We only have One Planet—there is no Planet B.  And we only have one chance to do it right for our children and future generations.  Don’t be a spectator.  Be an MVP for Mother Earth.  You’ll be rewarded with more than just a trophy.

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Filed under Articles, Environment, Events, Random Thoughts, Travel

Sisters in Sport


Sisters in Sport   Apr 26, ’07 2:57 AM
for everyone

Sisters in Sport

 I run for hope, I run to feel, I run for the truth, for all that is real

I run for your mother, your sister, your wife

I run for you and me my friend

I run for Life.

 -from “I Run For Life,”  by Melissa Etheridge

I had a happy childhood.  And when I think about it now, the greatest reason for this was my sister.   Sinag is just a year and a half older than I am, and we did almost everything together.  Being both hyperactive kids, we were really blessed with a huge playground—our compound housed three families, a furniture factory, two big abandoned rice fields, an ancient balete tree bigger than an apartment unit in girth, and plenty of caimito, santol, macopa, aratilis, bayabas, and mango trees….an impossibly idyllic setting considering we lived near the city.  I’m pretty sure all that time we spent climbing trees, running around barefoot, chasing after dragonflies and each other gave us a solid foundation for our future interest in endurance sports.  But she definitely went into all of them first—and I just copied what she did!  That’s how attached I am to her.

Girls RULE

The Original Team David's Salon


A lot of siblings I know go through some sort of rivalry, intense or not—and I can honestly say that, Sinag, being the truly truly kind-hearted person that she is, never really set up this kind of environment for me.  Yes, it does take two to tango, but I still maintain that it was she who set the tone in our relationship, being the older one (although at this stage in our lives I sometimes feel like I am the ate, haha).


My sister Sinag and her daughter Raya

My sister Sinag and her daughter Raya

Today I still enjoy that female bond—and much more. Being in sports has certainly given me a whole new extended family of remarkable women—all of whom I consider sisters.  Up to this day I am simply amazed at how strong, intelligent, and diverse they all are, and I consider myself extremely lucky at having the opportunity to be with them.  Each woman’s story is different, but all as richly textured and as interesting as one can imagine.

pinaytri brunch june 16, 2006 022

Pinay Triathletes Brunch 2006

At races we may compete with each other, and sometimes personalities do tend to collide, but these are inconsequential albeit necessary rites.  At the end of the day we know we are united in that which is all part of us and that which we all experience—what it is like in this country to be women in a supposedly male dominated field, and in how we believe with great passion that we are capable of breaking down all social barriers.

Asian Du Dec 2005 Small

Asian Duathlon Championships 2005




Not too long ago I went to Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon for Senator Pia Cayetano’s Bike For Hope, wherein 500 cyclists participated. In line with the 100km bike ride, Pia also conducted seminars on breastfeeding and violence against women. I facilitated two Pinay In Action running clinics for 700 high school girls—with the help of fellow Team David’s Salon member Mona Valdes, Asian and National champions of Duathlon and Triathlon respectively, Ryan Mendoza and George Vilog, and the rest of Pia’s very able staff of women. We also visited a group of women entrepreneurs who showed us a thing or two about affordable and accessible alternative medicine and homemade products—I admired them so much because even though they obviously came from humble backgrounds and continue to face numerous challenges, their dignity and gentle spirit is evident.


With Mona and Pia atop Mt. Kitanglad

With Mona and Pia atop Mt. Kitanglad

Whether we intentionally meant for it to happen or not, the theme of our whole trip turned out to be women empowerment.  More often than not, when organizing certain activities, the personalities of the proponents will really shine through, and that is exactly what happened.  Just the day after all our obligations were finished, Pia, Mona, and I, led the group to a record-breaking ascent of 2hours and 27minutes of the third highest peak in the country.  It was a cleanup and ceremonial marking of the boundaries of the Mt. Kitanglad Protected Area in Bukidnon.  The lumads guiding us were amazed at how fast we, who were women, actually climbed it.  The three of us (who were just chattering happily up the peak) just shrugged it off matter-of-factly and concluded that any of our other regular female cycling and triathlon training buddies would have been able to do the same thing anyway.  If you have to know, we even went bellydancing that evening, and the next morning did some yoga, ran for an hour, went ziplining and whitewater rafting, and swam in the evening.  Our tired hosts, progressive politicians Tagoloan Mayor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano and Congressman Nereus “Neric” Acosta just shook their heads and thought we were crazy.  We kidded them that they could finally rest when we flew back to Manila. 


Sandra and I at SEA Games

Sandra and I at SEA Games

It is with great confidence that I say this sort of well-balanced (productive and fun at the same time!) endeavor was possible only because we were women athletes.  No one else would be as energetic and as highly motivated.


I trust my sisters in sport—I will always be there for them, because I know that they are there for me too. 


Oona's Bday Aug 2008

Oona's Bday Aug 2008

There are countless awesome girls in our business, but these are the ones who are special to me, and I would like to honor them: Popo, Pia, Mona, Kaye, Sandra, Ria, Bing, Marita, Maritess, Nancy, Amale, Rizzo, Doray, LC, Mimi, Kim, Sally, Cherry, Taleng, Oona, Waya, Lala, and of course, my inspiration, my sister Sinag.

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Filed under Articles, Biking, Environment, Pinay In Action, Random Thoughts, Running, Travel