That After Fight High (plus some tips & tricks)

This is the first time that I’ll be making the video below readily view-able. The first few minutes will definitely bore you, so just go straight to the 3-minute mark and this is where all the “actions” happen.

Yes, that was me 5 years (and some ** lbs) ago.

Immediately after the fight, I had this “after fight high.” I immediately went back to boxing after 1 day of rest and even sparred with a fellow student – lalaki pa. I repeatedly watched the video above and identified a lot of flaws and acknowledged that there was still a lot to improve on. Hindi ko nagustuhan yung galaw ko – puro takbo. I seriously wanted to start training for the next fight. I even seriously considered going professional, considering that I had some sort of an offer before.

All coaches I’ve trained with since I started seriously training always say the same thing – lumaban na daw ako. Every year, I’ve been receiving invites from the organizers and boxing coaches to join the amateur boxing tournament for clients again. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will ever compete again. Hayaan na lang natin na 1-0-0 ang record ko. Hahahahaha! I am no amateur boxing veteran, but these tips surely helped me win that game.

1. Never train with a half heart.
Never let anyone decide for you if you’ll compete or not. The decision is yours alone. Fight because you want to, not because other people pressured you to do so. Fighting with a whole heart is as important as obtaining the skills needed to perform.

2. Expect to get hurt.
So better train yourself to get hurt. Train yourself on how to react if your opponent hits you with a good straight. Instead of always backing down, train yourself to endure the pain and learn how and when to counter. In the first place, you joined a boxing competition, not a hit-the-punching-bag contest.

3. Sparring will train you better
There’s more to boxing than just hitting the punch mitts. Sure, you left everyone at awe everytime you hit the mitts with your coach, but a tournament is not just about how loud or how lutong your punches sound everytime you do the mitts. One word: spar. It is only in sparring that you experience the real feel of boxing. You’ll be surprised to see that it’s not that easy to throw those combinations in an actual fight. Sparring will also teach you A LOT that practicing in the mitts alone won’t do. If you’re a beginner, spar with fellow students because you won’t be competing with professionals, and chances are haribas sumuntok yan.

4. Train with people who are at least one level higher than you are.
As much as possible, train together with your co-participants and boxers. It is only through this that you can see if you’re training enough. If you keep on training with people whose only goal is to be sexy, chances are you’ll only hear praises about your training program as your program will always be far more advanced than theirs. Sometimes, a few constructive criticisms on your performance and training from other people other than your coach will help you improve. Not only are you helping yourself, but you’re also helping your co-participants as you learn from each other’s mistakes and get some strategies while training together.

5. Kill yourself in training
Being 100% sure that you trained more than enough for this fight will give you confidence to continue even if you’re tired and hurt, which is the exact reason why I won’t compete anymore. Given my workload, I don’t have time to have enough roadwork, thus I feel that something’s missing in my training. Sure, I am confident that skills-wise, I am above an average participant, but a lack in running training will leave me questioning my stamina come fight day. “Kung ikaw pagod na, isipin mo na lang na mas pagod sya kasi mas maganda stamina mo sa kanya.” These words kept me going during my first fight.

6. Learn when to taper.
This is when you reduce the amount of exercise you do as you approach the competition. I know that this is quite difficult especially if you strictly followed tip #5. I experienced this myself. On the fight week, my coach instructed me to limit my run to 4 km per day, with no tempos. I even wanted to run on the day of the weigh in and the actual fight. Recovery. Allot enough time to allow your body to recover to ensure that you will be in your prime condition during the actual fight.

7. Goosebumps…nausea…they’re all part of the game.
But believe me, all these will disappear once you’re up in the ring. In the ring, you will see no one but your opponent. 🙂

Want to know my experience? Check it out here. 🙂

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Gerry Peñalosa Boxing Gym – A Pleasant Surprise to Barangay Marcelo Green

Ever since I started working out, my friends and family can attest that I, at one point in my life, became obsessed with it. Yeah, I know, I know. Hindi halata. When I was still actively using my Slimmers World membership, I managed to jump from one branch to another just to follow my favorite aerobics instructor. There was a time when I attended all the classes in a day.  Imagine this: at the height of a signal #3 storm, I managed to commute from Paranaque all the way to Greenhills to attend an aerobics class, and my parents eventually fetched me afterwards since MRT already ceased operation due to the storm and billboards were starting to go ballistic. Crazy. I know.

When I started boxing, I have tried several boxing gyms since I was looking for variety and I liked the workout that I was getting. I literally and figuratively fell in love with the sport (*wink*).  I took the Skyway everyday to avoid the morning rush traffic (hello skyrocketing toll fees); I went all the way to Taft Ave. to have my boxing fix (hello Manila traffic); I went to Alabang from our home in Paranaque, then went back to Fort where my office is located (talk about being “efficient”).

Imagine my excitement when a legit boxing gym opened within our village! How often do you see a boxing gym within a village??? Yes, within a village! Marcelo Green Village, Severina KM 18, UPS 4, and other nearby villages, this is for you!

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GP MGV Rates

With GP MGV…

  • Gone are the days when you need to travel far to get your boxing fix.
  • Gone are the days when you need to endure West Service Road traffic. With the traffic situation nowadays, my minimum spend on the road is 45 mins.
  • Gone are the days when you need to pay toll fees.

For those of you who have been following my blog (as if!), you know that I am one picky client when it comes to boxing trainers. Ayoko ng papawis lang. Ayoko ng palo ang mitts. Ang dami kong ayaw. I personally think that trainers make or break a boxing gym.

(L-R) Punching bag, speed ball, hanging ball, improvised agility ladder

(L-R) Punching bag, speed ball, hanging ball, improvised agility ladder

The timer

The timer. Green signals time-in, yellow signals the last 30 seconds of the round, and the red signals time-out.

The gym also developed my love-hate relationship with this kind of timer, where you don’t know the time remaining for the existing round, and you can’t pace yourself. Haha! The only indicator? The last 30 seconds of a 3-minute round, which seems like forever.

Excuse the after-training selfie with my coach, Coach Rap Penalosa

Excuse the after-training selfie with my coach, Coach Rap Penalosa

My coach, Coach Ralf (Rap-Rap) Peñalosa, knows how to push me to my limits. My bargaining skills are not working here. Ikaw pa ang makokonsensya kapag tumawad ka. Walang kaibi-kaibigan. Walang kakilala.

GPMGV – Great People Mean Good Vibes. True. I can personally attest to this. Good vibes lang! 🙂

GPMGV is located at 3F Julliane Building, Marcelo Ave. cor Chestnut St., Marcelo Green Village, Parañaque. If you’re MGv-grown, it’s in the same building where the old Monterey shop was located, just beside the MGV main guard house. If you’re coming from outside the village, just walk a few meters away from 7-11 until you reach the main guard house. It’s impossible to miss that distinct boxing timer bell coming from the building beside it. 🙂

Get to know more about them!

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Mt. Batulao: My First Real Mountaineering Experience

Disclaimer: This post was supposed to be published in May 2014. 🙂

If you want to experience real mountain climbing as a beginner, I think Mt. Batulao is one of the mountains that should definitely be on your list. All the plyometrics and conditioning training I had in Elorde Makati was put to good use during this climb.

This climb was planned months and months ahead. This was planned at the same time that I planned Taal Volcano. But as the old Pinoy saying goes, ang planadong lakad ang biharang matuloy. In the end, only 4 of us managed to proceed with the trip. We did not let that ruin this though.

We started SLEX at around 6 AM, and we reached the jumpoff in Evercrest at around 8:30 AM. Good thing the SLEX traffic cooperated that we did not encounter any traffic areas at all.

From 17, we were down to 4. The final four with our tour guide, Eddie

From 17, we were down to 4. The final four with our tour guide, Eddie

Batulao 1

An initial glimpse of what was in store ahead of us

Batulao 2

Can’t believe we were able to traverse that part!

Batulao 4

Meet the final 3. The SUMMIT!

The roped segments were actually easier than it initially seemed. At first, I thought I would struggle big time because of my weight, but it was actually a breeze. What actually was difficult was the descent from the summit, since the trail was a bit sandy that I had to crawl on my butt to ensure that I won’t just slide down the trail.

Common Expenses:

  • Guide – 400 per group
  • Registration – 20 per head
  • Buko Juice – 15 per glass
  • Halo-halo – 35 per glass
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The MayPac Aftermath: What Happened?

Disclaimer: I am no official boxing expert. I am no boxing analyst. All observations below are just based on my experience, observations during local fights, tips from my boxing coaches, and insights from the people I know in boxing.

Majority of the Filipinos, if not the whole world, are disappointed on the results of the fight. Some thought that Mayweather did nothing but run, and the more aggressive one was Pacquiao. But if you look at their physical differences closely, it is just logical that Mayweather did what he did, because that’s where he will win. He used his height and reach advantage over Pacquiao. It just won’t make sense if the taller and longer fighter, not to mention his natural counterpunching style, will be the one who will be the aggressor. A lot of fighters are like this actually. Observe Japanese boxers and you’ll see that most of them follow the same style.

Some see this as him being scared of Manny’s punching power. Maybe he is indeed scared of being knocked down, so he did what he had to do to win. Boxing isn’t always about fighting toe-to-toe. Sa boxing, mas nananalo ang may utak. We always said that Floyd will never engage Pacquiao in a brawl. Bakit ka nga naman makikipagsabayan kung alam mong kaya kang patumbahin ng lakas nya. Pacman’s left straight that hit Floyd in the face in round 4 clearly stunned Mayweather.

To be honest, though I thought that Mayweather will really win this fight, I never thought that it would be this obvious. My initial prediction was this fight would be close, with the assumption that Pacquiao’s volume punches would be the key for Pacquiao to accumulate on points. Historically, Mayweather also had difficulty handling fighters who throws punches relentlessly, and Pacquiao’s ability to throw from awkward angles would be his advantage. After the fight, my assessment was that Pacquiao was just too cautious to throw punches, and I thought that his knockout loss to Marquez caused him to be extra careful. His interview revealed that he fought with an injured shoulder, though not an excuse, but it explains why we didn’t see the old relentless Pacquiao.

Did Mayweather cheat? I don’t think so. From my previous post, I thought that his influence over the promotion would cause his win. Unfortunately, it didn’t even reach that point. It was clear in the fight that Mayweather really won. I am no Mayweather fan, and as much as I wanted Pacquiao to win, it was just not the case last weekend.

The supposed scorecard mishap. Seriously? If you have 2 famous boxers fighting above the ring and it’s very unlikely that the judges will mistake one for the other, does the color of the corner still matter when scoring the fight?

A lot of things can be said about this, but I’ll stop here for fear of being ridiculed as someone who know nothing about boxing. Just drop me a PM and I’ll be more than glad to discuss with you my thoughts on this matter. 🙂

I just hope that Pacquiao’s shoulder injury will heal soon, and I am really looking forward to a rematch this time.

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High Miles for the Children: Best Fun Run Ever…NOT!

Warning: This is a very loooong (borderline negative) post. Big House Events Production literally removed the word fun in the term “fun run.” We participated in High Miles for the Children organized by the said event planning company, and we never thought that we were up for the biggest disappointment and stress caused by this supposed run for a good cause. If there is one good thing about this run, it is that the proceeds will be given to St. Rita Orphanage. Other than that, every single aspect of a run is purely disappointing.

Registration

When I saw this event in takbo.ph, I encouraged my friends to join since the proceeds will go to St. Rita Orphanage, and we just finished our outreach activity there early this year. Somehow, the kids there touched me personally and I still go there every now and then just to visit. We were lucky enough to catch the extended registration, and we went to Festival Mall to register. Imagine our dismay when we were already at the mall and we were informed that there was no registration during that day. He asked me if I can go to their office in Las Pinas to register personally, but realizing their miss for not posting their registration schedule for that week, they sent someone in Festival Mall so I can register.

Race Kit Claiming

During registration, we were informed that race kits will be released around the 1st week of April. Given that the race date was moved from April 11 to May 3, we tolerated the initial delay in the race kit distribution. 1 week before the race, there was no definite date yet on when the kit will be released. They guaranteed the registered runners that it will be a multi-day claiming, since some runners already expressed minor concerns on their schedule if it will only be one day. But lo and behold, they released only a May 1 release date for the race kits. It being a holiday, OK na sana. On the evening of April 30, we were notified via a FB post that the race kit claiming will be moved on May 2 due to technical issues on their race bibs. Come May 2, we read several complaints in FB that they only released the singlet without the race bib, and the race bib will be released on the day of the actual run. Right…a race kit without a race bib which is the official proof of registration and reference for all races.

Several issues:

We registered early since we don’t want to be super early in the venue, and we didn’t want to add to the chaos during onsite registration. Oh, correction. They said that there will be “strictly no registration on the actual day.”

Several adjustments were already made to ensure that this run will be accommodated. Personally, my training run was sort of ruined since this was supposed to be a training run for me for my half marathon in NatGeo Run on the 26th. Since I thought that glitches like this can happen, I just let it pass. Hindi naman sinabi ng High Miles na gawin kong training run ang run nila e. What actually irked me is the several reschedule (May 1 to May 2 to May 3) of the race kit claiming, only to be informed that race kits (er…race bib) would be released on the day itself. Wag ka, all these reschedules happened several days before the run, and there’s no way for us to adjust our schedules to accommodate them.

I personally called Ms. Belle Belarmino of Big House Events Production and personally told her that we demand for a refund since going to the venue way much earlier than the designated assembly time will be too much of a hassle for me. Instead of pacifying me first, she told me to “paki-explain po kung pano magiging hassle kung sa mismong araw na ng race irerelease ang race kit.” A friend also called her and she even had the guts to tell her that we were the only ones complaining. Kami lang daw ang nagrereklamo. Guess what? Fellow runners during the event shared the same sentiment.

Logistics

The run’s start/finish line is located at the back of Palms Drive. Since we were not familiar with the place, we asked on their facebook page where the parking will be. They told us that there will be staff available to guide us to the parking area.

We reached the place at around 2:30 AM since we really wanted to avoid the hassle of very long lines in claiming the race kit. There were no guides situated at the area and we only saw empty roads. Since it was quite unusual to be at a very empty road 30 mins after the supposed start of the onsite registration, we decided to call the organizer. To their credit, they sent someone to where we were exactly and she guided us where we will be parking. Guess what again? By 4 AM, someone was asking everyone already parked to move our cars to the other road since it was the designated parking for the event. Magaling magaling.

We were welcomed with the following sight.

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@ 2:30 AM

Yes, you saw it right. 30 mins after the start of the supposed onsite registration and everything was not set-up yet. Mukhang 2 AM pa lang talaga sila nagstart magset-up. Usually, for runs like this, organizers start setting up as early as 12 midnight to ensure a smooth run. Obviously this was not the case here.

Race Start

Here’s the supposed start time of each distance:

High Miles PosterSige na nga, to their “credit”, the 5K run started at 5 AM…together with the other distances. That’s right! Everyone started at the same time. ‘Nuf said.

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Notice that the sun is almost up and we haven’t started yet

Their reason for the delay? Wala pa raw yung race marshals at race director. Magaling magaling!

Route

To be honest, I will never know if the 16K run is 16K at all, since we didn’t finish the entire route. Based from my watch, we only ran for 5 km, since all the “glitches” that happened killed the enthusiasm in us.

On the brighter side, we were able to make some new acquaintances in this run, everyone sharing the same sentiment on what happened. All of them were experienced marathoners and it’s natural for them to measure the distance in every race they join. I asked them and they recorded only 10 km. They were also not sure if they ran the correct route since there were no marshals on their final U-turn so no one was telling them where to go next.

Finish Time

This one was unintentionally discovered by one of my friends. Since the sun was already up and no marshal could point them to the right route for 5K, they decided to just make a U-turn and return to the finish line. Since hindi naman talaga nila tinapos, they were the “first ones to reach the finish line.” When someone saw them, a member of the organizing team asked for their finish time. To their surprise, it appeared that no one was actually keeping time. “Ano ba yan, pati time keeper wala” was what they heard among the people already flocked in the finish line.

Damage control

During registration, I discovered that the daughter of my Mom’s friend used to work with them. When we reached the finish line, I was approached by one of the organizers and asked me if I was the one who knew the said girl. I said “yes, pero diba wala na sya sa inyo?” This they flatly denied and mentioned that this girl is still very much affiliated with them. Guess what? I am chatting with the said girl as I write this and she told me that “hindi na po, matagal na.” My assessment? This is damage control from their end, hoping that consideration will be given and not make a negative post about the event kasi kakilala naman.

A veteran runner (at least based on how he looks) asked them if this was the first run they organized. Her response? “Hindi po, 5th run na po ito. Ngayon lang po nangyari to.” Right. Nagkaproblema sa lahat – from suppliers to marshals to the race director. Ano yun, nagkaisa silang lahat para mawala sa ayos ang fun run? Now they are telling us that the reason why the run was this disorganized is because most of the people involved were volunteers and their first time to volunteer as a race marshal. Guess what, you are the organizer. You are accountable. You should be above all these. Please stop putting the blame to other people, and just accept that there is a lapse somewhere in the organization of this.

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