Tag Archives: Sinag de Leon

Paper Jam

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

It’s been ages since I last touched a paintbrush and canvas and I knew I would not start soon on my own because I would always have my busy schedule as a convenient excuse, so when my sister Sinag asked me a few weeks ago to join her in her exhibit at Likha Diwa vegetarian restaurant in UP Diliman I deliberated about it for a minute or two and just said yes.  It’s about time, I thought.

To be honest I am just happy about the fact that I started again, no matter what the result was.  Aside from being an athlete I am an artist at heart and will always be one, and I cannot keep denying that aspect of myself.  So I am again thankful for my sister and for Likha Diwa for giving me this opportunity to renew my love for painting.  Because of this show I have now decided to create more works in the near future, and hopefully on a regular basis now.

A very special thanks to our brother Diwa for contributing his talent and time to our show by playing the hegalong.  He recently launched the Hegalong Project, an endeavour which is very dear to his heart and which makes his family proud:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpbx8qCOqWI

P.S. The papercuts in the pictures below are the creations of my sister and the small canvases are by yours truly 🙂


Filed under Art and Culture, Events, Family

Teaching Art in Marillac Hills Center for Women

I am always grateful whenever I am given the chance to share my time and knowledge to deserving individuals, as was the case this past weekend.  Senator Pia Cayetano and her trusty staff coordinated the activity and when I showed up, our 30 chosen girls had their art materials already neatly arranged in front of them.

I brought out a couple of beautiful artworks which my sister Sinag had lovingly made and showed it to them.  I told them we would do something similar and that they would be able to come up with their own masterpiece when our session was over but they looked doubtful.  It seemed that this was the first time they would try their hand at such a thing.  I smiled quietly and proceeded with the instructions.  Even the rest of  Senator Pia’s staff created their own artwork.

They say a picture paints a thousand words.  Here are several photos which I took of some of the girls’ finished products.  Enough said 🙂


Filed under Art and Culture, Challenged Athletes, Pinay In Action, Sketches and Doodles

Whirlwind Weekend Part 1: Kulay at Kislap 3 Exhibit, LIKHA DIWA

My sister Sinag and my niece Raya opened their third Mother-Daughter Exhibit entitled KULAY AT KISLAP 3 on Nov 6, Friday at Likha Diwa Cafe in U.P. Diliman Quezon City. It is a good collection of mixed media work…I bought a couple of pieces myself! Exhibit will be ongoing till the end of the month.

My brother and his musical group, MAKILING, performed and delivered the goods as always.  I’m very happy to be part of such an artistic family 🙂

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Holiday with my nieces and nephew!

If I had a lot of free time I would spend most of it with Raya, Kaya, and Dakila.  I love them to death 🙂

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My Sister Sinag

I love my sister Sinag. She helped shape who I am today. Her name translates to “Ray Of Light” in Filipino and that is what she is to me.  Among other things, I got into swimming because of her.  I am a triathlete because of her.  She is the most caring mom, loving daughter and thoughtful sister.  She is the best 🙂

sinag at raya

She was the first Subic International Triathlon Female Champion.  I was only a spectator and fan of hers then.  She did the Ironman Australia a couple of years back and was the second Filipina to do an Ironman after Vicky Amara, who did it in Ironman New Zealand.

Her daughter Raya plays basketball for her school team.  At 14 she is taller than me (not very hard to do anyway).  She knows how to swim bike and run and has done one triathlon and one duathlon to date, but we don’t force her to join or train.  She is very much into her guitar playing nowadays.  She is also very sweet.  The first WTC Ironman that I did, Langkawi 2008, they made this very artsy scrap book for me to have something to hold on to during the race weekend.

I am a very very lucky sister.

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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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