2 mins 12 seconds

So you know where I started, my first 200m water time trial (WTT) was 4 mins 13 seconds back in 2015. Subsequent WTTs, I was still at the bottom of the pile. I wanted to give up so many times. Bakit ko ba pinapahirapan ang sarili ko? But I didn’t give up. Sayang. I love the sport. Growing physically is only one thing. The hardest is developing the correct mindset: accept criticism from those with sincere intentions (most cases it comes out harsh or prone to misunderstanding, but if it’s sincere db?), filter out noise “self doubt” (i touch the water to calm my anxiety), most important is the mindset of “not giving up” no matter what shape or size you are. It’s a friggin boat. You hold the paddle.

This is the first WTT I managed a result in the upper half of those that took the trials. Hindi mo maiiwasan yung comparisons when you started at rock bottom. I’ll continue training and breaking personal barriers. I’ll make the experience worthwhile not just for myself, but for the people on the same journey as me.

#motivation #inspiration #training

Carry on.

My Uncle Henny passed away last week.

He was the uncle who had a house by the river at my parents’ ancestral barangay. I remember going there to have lunch together with my family. I would look out the windows and see the river below. Calm but murky waters. I couldn’t fathom how that river looked like during a typhoon. Treacherous and unnerving, perhaps.

Rest in peace, uncle.


Last training weekend before our HK race

We had two days of intense training for the HK race. We’ve now increased our default distance to 400/500 meters (up from 200 meters for the SAVA Sprints). I think I’ve done well. It seems the corrections these days are more on my legwork. Endurance is fine (I feel like I’m still at 80-90% towards the end of a program… meaning… I don’t fucking lose composure).

My 2Q time trial result is my personal best at 2 mins and 12 seconds. I feel good, yes. I’m seeing the improvements. I don’t think it’s enough for some people. But I’ll carry on training. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.



I’m trying to wrap up my Penang and KL videos before the end of May. But it’s starting to look impossible because of work load. I’ll do my best to get these out.

Random tidbits

I ordered a passion planner.

The killjoy would describe a passion planner as a S$50.00 fancy notebook. I would rather look at it as a desperate stab at organisation. I want to write again. Physically write. I want to invest in pens and highlighters. I want to see my handwriting turn from slop into something legible. I want to put down my thoughts and dreams into a diary and a life planner. I’m a 31 year-old homosexual man who is about to do this.


I’m going to Hong Kong, soon.

The “city of life” inspires me. The vibrant and raw vibe of Hong Kong excite me. And this time I’m not going there to ride the Star Ferry. I’m going to paddle in a dragon boat in the rough and murky waters of the famous harbour. I am so fucking excited. I’m not thinking about the gold medal. I’m looking for the experience. I want to win but I don’t want to be an asshole. With 4,000 paddlers attending, this is looking to be the largest dragon boat race I’ve ever signed up for.


Ch-ch-ch-changes at work

Eh, what’s new? I’m no longer surprised by shifts at work. I’ve been in corporate long enough to embrace changes. I’m taking in more work load. I’m taking in a reasonable amount of responsibility. And I’m not kicking myself if shit seemingly fails. In most cases, shit does NOT fail. It gets done differently when I’m on it. And I still get it done. And I do it with heart.


Our house is a living room

My flatmate is always inviting teammates over. It’s fantastic to have my teammates come over. I think it keeps my flatmate Emman happy and busy… (when I was newly single, I needed my own distractions in the form of a PS4). The thing is… when there’s 15 people in your living room, I tend to keep to myself in my own room. Some may say it’s being “anti-social”… I would rather put it as “selectively social”. I’m happy to have mostly great teammates, but that doesn’t mean I have to be chief entertainer. I can’t keep up with my flatmate Emman sometimes. But he’s amazing at it. Cue applause.



I won’t talk about it in detail but I’ll mention it. I’ve started dating again recently (after a few months break). It’s daunting. But it feels great. It’s like getting back on a bicycle and slowly moving forward. I’ve no ambition to be a serial dater like some guys out there. But I’ll humbly take what I can get. No expectations. Just good times. And who knows.


Solo trip to Melaka

I’m heading to Melaka in mid-June for my first solo trip in a long time. I’ve booked a room at a boutique hotel which is a fusion of old and new. I want to walk along Jonker Street, have chicken rice, try street foods… perhaps run into strangers and make friends.



I received sad news the other day that one of my uncles had passed away. I come from two large families (with virtual relationships with cousins/distant relatives). I’m not close to them but I feel for them. I feel for my mom. I spoke with her over the phone when I learned about it. Time is precious. I want to spend more time with my immediate family. That means more travels and more visits.


What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

Kiss someone I really like. Take him home? Give him the world.


Write about the losses you’ve experienced.

I’ve joined three dragon boat races this year and I haven’t won a medal yet.


What are you saying goodbye to?

Some colleagues.


My faith is…

Intact? I still have my “anti-anxiety” rosary on my bedside table.


What’s the best that can happen?

I get promoted at work. Or, I break into the top 5 of time trial performers. I meet someone who loves me back.


Five places I would like to visit are:

Bagan, Yogyakarta, Hanoi, Phuket, and Bali.


Look out the window. Write about what you see.

Neighbouring HDB blocks. A vast parking lot that is half empty.


My favourite movies right now are…

Not much into movies lately. But I still recall the WTF moment at the end of X-Men Apocalypse. When Jean started walking on air. Like… wtf!


When I’m upset…

I normally speak my mind. Because I’m likely hungry!


What was a good high school memory?

80% of high school was NOT a good memory. But I would have to look back and remember fondly the time I spent with Rom. He was excellent at math. He was openly gay (and got talked about). But it never bothered me. He was out and open. He was full of life and potential. He is a happy thought from high school.

May his soul rest in peace.

Strengths and weaknesses.

When my running shoes hit the pavement, it feels great. I couldn’t run as fast a few years back. I would easily get tired. I like how I’ve found my stride. There’s a pace I’ve started to become comfortable with. I think using the treadmill at gym really helps. I owe it to consistency. Every visit to the gym starts with at least ten minutes on the treadmill.

Eight of the ten minutes would be on high speed. I won’t stop until I hit ten minutes on the timer. I am sweating profusely. But I smile because I finished my warm-up routine, again.

The same thing goes for when I am able to up the weights to the next level. This is true for the machine chest press, inclined press, shoulder press, and the free weights. I used to do 14kg on the individual dumbbells for the bench press. I’m hitting 16kg and I think I’m ready to hit 18kg.

I still feel a little insecure when I enter the gym. Even if the gym is almost empty at 2:12 PM. But I head straight to the lockers at the back. I change into my gym attire and fix my hair a bit.

Sometimes I wish I kept to a routine in my early 20s. Maybe if I had stuck to a fitness routine I would have a different body today. I feel like I’m always chasing time. I worry that I have wasted time by not investing in fitness at an earlier age.

No matter the little improvements or quiet little victories, translating that to performance on a sports team is different.


You’re in a team filled with able-bodied men and women. The spirit of competition running deep in the veins of your fellow teammates. It’s both inspiring and intimidating. You try to find your place to be at equal or better footing. Or, you sink to the back because of self-doubt and anxiety.

 What if I am not good enough?

 What if I fail?

 What if I believe I’m good enough, but no one sees it?

 What if I am imagining my strength?

All of these voices seem to speak inside your head. A teammate’s prayer before a heat helps calm the voices. You perform and you believe you deliver. But it’s not enough for now.

I think sage advice would say “take it easy on yourself” or “you’ll do even better next time”.

 I will definitely do better next time.

 Where motivation fails, discipline must take its place.

Video: FDS featured in ABS-CBN Sports + Action “The Score”

We’re one of the featured teams in an ABS-CBN report about the 11th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival. Woohoo. Here’s the segment which aired on April 28, 2017.

I shared photos about the race here. I also created a recap video here. 🙂


YESSSSS, I’m the one with the arm movement.


Kanya-kanyang awra lang ‘yan.


Thanks for the feature!

Photos: 11th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival

No medals. But I did not go home empty-handed!

My teammates won gold, silver, and bronze at this year’s Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival. You should have seen the look on our faces when it was confirmed we won gold. I don’t remember us winning a gold medal in a long time! We would always clinch silver or bronze.


The organisers didn’t create a separate category this year for international paddlers. We were pretty sure we would have gotten something if that were the case. I think some of our other boats made the semifinals.

No medals. But I go home with plenty of happy memories.

Continue reading “Photos: 11th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival”