Posted by: jinoe | September 8, 2008

Dream Run #1

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Starting Point – KM42 at Pontevedra just at the foot of the bridge

In 2001, I told myself that I should run a 10km distance before I reach the age 40. What I had in mind was to run from Pontevedra, which is my fathers hometown, to Hinigaran, which is my mother’s hometown. It is about 10km apart. Since, I have made several 10Kms already, my goal have to change. I decided to run from Pontevedra to Hinigaran and back to Pontevedra. That will be about 20kms. A good long run.

Quennie and I went back to Bacolod last Wednesday to make the reservations on our wedding next year. It will also be a good time for me to do my dream run.

I woke up a bit late on Thursday morning so I anticipated a long and hot run. I made the necessary preparations even the night before. My running gear was ready when I woke up. Shirt, shorts, shoes, watch, sunglasses and a camera.

It will be a run starting from KM42 or the kilometer 0 in Pontevedra. It is just at the foot of the bridge. The turnaround point is at KM54 or the kilometer 0 in Hinigaran which is near the bridge also. So this will be like a bridge to bridge run or a hometown-to-hometown run. I thought it is just 20 kms but I realized that it will be a 24km run since the town are 12kms apart, not 10kms.

A Tale of Two Towns
Both towns are south of Bacolod. Its about an hour by bus from the city. Pontevedra is known for the ECJ Farms which is owned by the Conjuancos and the Balbina Cup which is an International Derby of fighting cocks. Rio Diaz-Conjuangco was once the vice mayor of this town.

Hinigaran is known for the talaba, the Hinugyaw Festival and the firecrackers. It has also several beaches which is most visited by families during weekends and during summer. If I am correct, Joel Torre has roots in Hinigaran. I get to see him often during the town fiesta as an Honored Guest.

Hinigaran is more progressive and has more establishments. Among the neighboring towns, it was the first to have a movie house. Unfortunately, the movie houses doesn’t exist nowadays but the building is still there. Pontevedra has very few establishments and business doesn’t seem to flourish well. I have seen several stalls of restaurants and internet stations closing in less than a year. I hope that our food business will last long in this town.

The Road Has Its Story
I have been traveling this road since I was a child. And each place seem to have a story to tell. I could point to the places where our old VW Beetle just broke down and had to stay on the road until help arrives. I can pinpoint to the spot where my uncle had a road accident that killed him.

In just this 12km stretch of road, almost all of my relatives live here. I can easily invite 200 people to attend my wedding. But I wouldn’t do that, of course.

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Plenty of sugarcanes planted can be seen from the road. Thus Negros is known as the “Sugar Capital of the Philippines”

In just 12kms, you get to read from the road all the possible spelling of the Ilonggo word for charcoal: Uling, Oling, Uleng, and Oleng. Let me know if I miss another spelling.

The route will not be easy. There are 3 main points where it is uphill. The path is either concrete or asphalt. This is a national highway where buses, truck, jeepneys and cars can run at 80kph or more. Once they are in front or behind me, I have to step down the road and take the rocky roadside which can be very painful for the feet.

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Rice fields. This one is due for harvest in a few more weeks.

But what I like about the route, are the markers for every kilometer. I can track my pace and distance using the markers. I can even recall where each markers are placed since I would count them when I was still a child.

Living the Dream
I left the house and started walking to the starting line. At 6am, the road was still quiet. The sun was still behind Mt. Kanlaon. Since it will be a long run, I told myself to have a slow pace. I wasn’t able to stick to the plan.

The sun is still behind Mt Kanlaon when I started my run.
The sun is still behind Mt Kanlaon when I started my run.

I was thinking of running between 7-7.5 minutes per kilometer. I was running at 6-6.5 most of the time and would slow down once I see the maker ahead. As a result, my last 5 kilometers was mostly walking already.

I had a good run on the first 12 kilometers. I reached Hinigaran doing ok and no signs of fatigue yet. I even met a few familiar faces and greeted them. I tackled uphills quite well too. I run faster uphill and tried to recover downhill.

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My Turnaround point – KM54 at Hinigaran

Going back to Pontevedra was a different story. The sun was high and gave a painful sting on my shoulders. I would buy water along the way and pour them over my face and shoulders to keep me cool. I can feel the heat on my feet like I was running on fire. I would move from one side of the road to another where there is some shade. I think I got too concious with the weather that it disrupted my run.

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I got back to Pontevedra and finished the 24km run in 3 hours and 6 mins. I find the time not acceptable for a 5 hour finish in a full marathon. I still need to build up my speed and endurance. I need to change my training plan and include more speed works. Since I can’t join the Singapore Marathon this December, I guess have more time to practice.

The Aftermath

I was excited to finish my run because of the food. I am always excited to eat my mother’s cooking. After the run, I had cansi and vegetarian pancit guisado. Cansi is an Ilonggo specialty which is like a combination of Bulalo and Sinigang. It looks like bulalo but the taste is a bit sour like sinigang. Mama cooks it perfectly and it was my special request for breakfast after the run. I didnt ask for chicken inasal because I already had 4 servings of it the other day. Beef is not very popular for runners. But I will eat like an Ilonggo rather than a runner. Anyway, I had two pieces of banana to go with the main dish.

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Cansi – An Ilonggo dish and Mama’s specialty

Plus I had a genuine mother’s care after the run. She wiped the sweat from my arms and back and placed a dry towel under my shirt. But she was not yet contented. She got some baby powder, placed them on my back and gently stroked her hands to evenly apply the baby powder. Ahhhh… how sweet. Only a mother can do that. I was hoping she would change my wet shorts to diapers too. Despite a disappointing finish time, mama made me feel like I won an Olympic gold medal.

Next dream run
Hmmm… The next dream run could be another 24km from Pontevedra to La Carlota City. I have been to that city just twice. If I chose this route, I would pass by the mansion of the Conjuangcos and their vast fruit trees plantation. The ultimate dream run will be from Pontevera to Bacolod which will be a nice 42km run. Dream on…


I have a lot of catching up with my blogs. Our trip back to Bacolod went well. We have the venue and most of our suppliers booked for the wedding next year. I also need to update the site. Plenty of news to post since I was not around. And there are more road races in the city this September like the PMI Run and the New Balance Raising Hope 2. It will be a toxic week as I get back from vacation.

More Pics

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The dangerous road and roadside. You wouldn’t know who or what you’d meet.
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A Warning. It says not to stare at this corner or some evil spirits will get back at you. It doesn't say anything about taking pictures.

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Jollibee is still about 50 kilometers from Pontevedra. I need a bus to get there.
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A better alternative. My mother's specialty for breakfast. Cansi and pancit guisado. There's no need for Jollibee here.

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View from the bridge at Hinigaran. Fishing boats are at the docks after a night of fishing

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A contrast. This is a view from the bridge at Pontevedra. A small raft and a man checking his fish traps.



  1. Great photos and recap. I wish I had something like this to go back to and your cansi looks yummy too!

    It is yummy. The closest one we get here in Manila is at Ilonggo Grill. But other resto that serves Bacolod food have it also like Bacolod Chicken House.

  2. Nice entry Jin… Congrats gali!… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hidlaw man ko sa Negros bah!
    On charcoal, you had them all spelt out. Hehehe… Same here in Cebu… The spelling is as varied as the number of vowels that could possible be used in a word.

    And I had a long stare on “Tamaho”… ๐Ÿ™‚ It took me a while to understand what you meant… hehehe… An affliction of the H, W & Y syndrome of Hiligaynon speakers: “tamawo” and “tamaho”, “tawo” and “taho” (not the drink nor the soy by-product), “babayi” and “babahi”, “awos” and “ahos” and many others…

    Sang una ko na basa, ambi ko gani ang Tamaho apelyedo na. But when I read the warning, tamawo gali ang gina namin ya.

  3. nice blog!

    at least na-feature ang pontevedra kag hinigaran. amo gid na ang mga mama maski tigulang na ila mga bata. hehehe…

    pwede kaupod next time? indi sa run, kundi sa activity after your run – breakfast at tams! mwehehehe…

    Ay ambot. Pagkaon naman Er… Itip ka guid kung sa Tam’s ka. Dugang tambok mo. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Very nice run and “run story” ๐Ÿ™‚ You made me want to plan a trip in Dipolog – so I can just run there! And your mom’s very nice too…

    It’s a good idea to run at different places. This was my only dream run many years ago. Ngayon, ang daming kong gustong lugar na takbuhan sa amin. I get to discover new things when I run that I would overlook when riding.

    After that, bike naman.

  5. Great Place! and I’m sure great and delicious food! Hope to visit Bacolod sometime. We had friend from there.

    I hope you could visit Bacolod. It’s a good place for good food. Resorts are in towns outside Bacolod and they are great sites to visit as well.

  6. Reading this caused me to be nostalgic about my hometown, Marbel South Cotabato. Nice to go back to your roots, especially when there’s the TLC of your dearest Mom. Nothing beats that! (Well, hopefully Que when you finally tie the knot next year).

    Praying for all your dreams to come true, Jinoe.

    Thanks Nora. I am planning new runs in my hometown everytime I return home. It’s something to look forward to aside from eating a lot. Hehehe.

  7. hi, ilonggo ka gli toto heheheh nami imo pic ba hidlaw ko sa iloilo sa amon uma, di pa q nakatikim ng cansi…

  8. […] the town by foot.ย  You’d never know what you will discover.ย  Previously, I did a run from Pontevedra to Hinigaran, next was Pontevedra to La Carlota. ย  This time, Quennie and I run the Bacolod-Talisay-Silay […]

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