Stormy night and solitary days

Friday, September 9, 2016 0 Permalink

September 2012 After enduring 14 hours of sleeping on the cold floor at the restaurant of mv Aqua Hercules, squeezed between a table and the wall, using my carry on luggage full of wine bottles as pillow and hugging my backpack tightly lest it gets stolen, I finally arrived at the small port of Corfu. My body was so swollen and tight that you can hear my bones cracking with every movement. I was also starving. When I left Bari, I didn't realize that I only had €15 left, which I spent on dinner of overcooked spaghetti, cola and a bottle of water. ...

One night in Antwerp

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 0 Permalink

I was in Antwerp, Belgium last weekend, a city I often come to but have rarely explored. My idea of Antwerp is the port and restaurants Arte and Glorious. Last weekend though, I went to cover a Filipina designer participating in the Antwerp Fashion Festival and it allowed me to discover some of the city's gems. Friday evening Straight from work, we drove to Antwerp from Rotterdam in less than half an hour, thanks to the A4, the new highway between Rotterdam and Zeeland. For a Friday evening, there was hardly any traffic jam, except that when you're a Dutch driver in ...

Time for a new goal: Osaka Yodogawa Marathon

Monday, July 18, 2016 0 Permalink

I think I will never stop running. There will be days that I will be lazy, days when I wouldN't want to lace up my running shoes, days that injuries will prevent me from pounding the road, but I will never stop running. Barely five weeks after the very challenging Torshavn Marathon, here I am, with my husband, signing up for yet another 42,195 kilometres of unknown roads. We've planned our trip to Japan for the Autumn holiday already last year. But those plans did not include running a marathon in Japan. Because Robin got so inspired by Jurgen, the 75-year German ...

Ramadan in Morocco

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 0 Permalink

In that big square, we are just spectators, spectators of a grand display of faith by thousands of Moroccans, garbed in black or white robes, praying intently, oblivious to the noise created by tourism in Marrakech. I stand in awe, my ears follow the rhythm of the chants recited by the Imam from the great, unfamiliar Koran.  My eyes get hypnotized by the faint glow of the Khoutobia. My mind tries to process the mesmerizing image of men and women bowing, praying and kissing the grand in unison. Rarely do I find peace in a noisy, public place but my soul was touched by an unexplainable serenity as ...

Second chances: Mevrouw Meijer

Saturday, July 2, 2016 0 Permalink

I'm very glad I gave Mevrouw Meijer, a tiny French bistro in Rotterdam Noord, a second chance. My first visit was a disappointment. The black pudding with figs was served un-appetizingly in a purple plate on a bed of pale salad, the duck's skin wasn't crispy enough and the fish disappeared under the garnish of greens and tomatoes. The only thing that save that dinner from a becoming a total disaster was a pretty plate of Bretagne oysters, which I ate for dessert. "Lin and Tess were wrong," I thought then, remembering the Dutch bloggers who raved about Mevrouw Meijer. There was a ...

Faroe Islands: Dinner at KOKS

Saturday, June 11, 2016 0 Permalink

I came to Faroe Islands for three reasons - to run Torshavn Marathon, to eat at KOKS and to see a magical place I never knew existed. Yes, in that order. So after we booked our flights, I reserved a table right away. Much have been written about KOKS but theirs is not exactly an original concept. KOKS follows the foraging movement made popular by two-star Michelin restaurant NOMA. Accolades-wise and price-wise, KOKS is in the same category but they don't have a star (yet). I thought that the tasting menu consisted of 20 dishes but there were only 17, each came ...

Race report: Torshavn Marathon 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 0 Permalink

Four months. When I look back on all those weeks of training, I could not believe the effort I've put into it. "You must change your life for a marathon." Said this German runner we chatted with at the airport in Vagar.  He was absolutely right. Since February, my life was all about Torshavn Marathon. When it was finally race time, those relentless months of training carried me to the finish line. Taper week We spent week 13-15 of tapering, running only twice a week because our schedules got busier. On week 13, a 10km and a 21km and on week 14 a 10km and 14km. ...

Road to Faroe: 8 weeks to go

Monday, May 16, 2016 0 Permalink

The third month of a marathon training is usually the most intensive. Enndurance runs climb to 25-32 kilometers, sometimes even between 35-37 for the fanatics. This is also the time when a runner must be very careful with injuries or sickness because missing on training could mean missing the race entirely (in extreme injury or sickness of course). My third month of training was a combination of highs and lows. It saw me running four times a week doing very challenging interval and hill trainings and punishing endurance runs. It is also when I met the man with the hammer, which ...

Road to Faroe: 11 weeks to go

Sunday, April 24, 2016 0 Permalink

This should have been written two weeks ago but I got so caught up in the heat of the presidential election in the Philippines, debating with some voters about their choices. It had been exhausting, discussing the affairs of my former country. My views and rebuttal even threatened "friendship" with some. But that's a topic for another post. At the time of publishing, we have only six weeks left to train for Torshavn Marathon. This is suppose to be the toughest period in the training. In the meantime, let me tell you about how the second four weeks of my training ...

Drink and dine: 6x Surrey

Monday, April 11, 2016 2 Permalink

Who knew that I would have quite the dining experience in Surrey? The English are not exactly known for their culinary skills but it certainly helps to have friends who know the right addresses. From burgers to cakes and the best cocktails in town, here's some hotspots to check if you ever wind up in Surrey. Guildford Turtle Bay This Carribean food and drinks joint is unassumingly located beside the American bar giant Hardrock Cafe. What makes it stand out though are its blue facade and bright lights, exuding the the island of the Carribean. We came an hour before happy hour ends, ...