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Jesus is Better than Santa

This came from an e-mail circulating in our office just before we take our last day of work for the Christmas season. Indeed, I agree and believe the truthfulness of its every statement.

(Acknowledgment goes to the author)

Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh,
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year,
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies,
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited,
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa,
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap,
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name,
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name, He knows our history and future!

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly,
JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO!
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry"!
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you”.

Santa's little helpers make toys,
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts and repairs broken homes.

Santa may make you chuckle but,
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree,
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas!

Read more ...

Best 'PR' at The Rock

Eternal Flame of Freedom
Before the year 2010 ends with a bang, the last race I joined for this year ended very well with a great fire on my legs, as well as with the camera. It is my year-ender race, but definitely not the type of race which I could just "scrap out" from my running milestones.

Up until now, the runner's high that this race left me still lingers. I can still feel from my feet the trails which surprised me, and the killer hills on the final 3k which really tested my will. The wonders of the island that rocked my soul, and the history behind Corregidor, will now forever live in my heart.

Words cannot express it more! Nevertheless, let the photos form the words for you about this great adventure, a test of will, endurance, strength, with a great history to tell, an incomparable race of the year.

I decided to make the run in "picture race" mode as soon as I got a glimpse of the beauty of the island along the route. If you are one of the participants, you will never race this race with your feet. But like what I did, you will let your heart flow with the history as you traverse the route. This is my best PR - the best "picture race" I had.

Congratulations to everyone who was rocked by this magnificent island. And also a special mention of Congratulations to RunnerIshi, who have conquered her first 6k, 7k, 10k, 15k, 16k, and 21k, only in this race. You made us envy of your great accomplishment!

Corregidor Island, a relic of war, and a living witness of the Philippine history, have now been a part of me!

Race Profile:
Distance: 21 km.
Official Time: 2:23:09
Official Ranking: 94th out of 306 Finishers

Race Info:
When: Dec. 19, 2010.
Where: Corregidor Island, Bataan
Event: Corregidor International Half Marathon 2010

Overall race result may also be downloaded here.
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Condura Skyway Marathon

I could still remember some of the moments during the 3rd Condura Run. It was my 21st race, and that debut has also been a big basket of memories for me. To reiterate from my 2010 Condura Run race recap, it was during this event that the following two simple, yet memorable things happened:

1. The first time that I met a runner-blogger - that's Kassy Pajarillo, and since then we've been very good friends together with his loving boo. ;)

2. One runner accidentally covered our nice group photo, but later on, this runner become one of our good friend - that's Mish Quirolgico.

That's what I gain from running -- Dolphins, I mean.... FRIENDS!

Condura Run 2010 (photo courtesy of CaptainRunner)
A few months from now, Condura will stage their 4th running event. From Condura Run, the event will be re-branded to a much better identity, much bigger, and better Skyway run to be known as one of the premiere marathon event in the Asia-Pacific region by year 2012 - The Condura Skyway Marathon.

So what's there for us for the Condura Skyway Marathon?

For me, this race will be special once again, since I will be running my 2nd Marathon in this event, and this race is going to be my golden race (50th race count since I started running and went back from a decade of hiatus).

Then as we all know, from the time Condura sets off their first run, they already have an advocacy. The first of which benefitted the Park Rangers of our famous Tubattaha Reef (UNESCO World Heritage Site); The second event made the tourists of Sorsogon aware about the Donsol Whalesharks (commonly known as 'Butanding'), (thru ABS-CBN Foundation) through the construction of facilities for eco-tourism; while the 2010 Condura run benefitted, for the first time, the Dolphins of Pamilacan, Bohol (thru Ayala Foundation) where a Condura wharf was constructed for easy and safe boarding of the bancas for Dolphin watching.

We support and love the Dolphins (photo courtesy of Ms. Vimz)
Now, this time, the advocacy is for a much better purpose, which is also for the Dolphins of Bohol. Each runner registered for the race, gets to automatically donate Php 50.00 for the funding of scientific research, eco-tourism, and creation of livelihood opportunities for the people at Baclayon, Bohol that will help protect our precious Dolphins.

Not enough to convince you? Here are 13 MORE reasons why you should run in the Condura Skyway Marathon:

1. Run for the Dolphins.
2. Every runner gets a medal.
3. Special edition Dolphin shirt.
4. D-Tag technology.
5. Breakthrough e-Reg system.
6. 16K new race category.
7. First 10K on the skyway
8. New 21K route.
9. Run the new extended Skyway!
10. Fun route for the 3K and 5K runners around BGC
11. 2 Starts, 1 Finish
12. Lots of freebies and giveaways!
13. The top 3 Filipino (male & female) runners for the 42K and 21K categories will also be given special prize.

Ok, still not convinced? Why are you such whiny? Here's the most wonderful reason why you should join the Condura Skyway Marathon: You'll get to have your own "Dolphins", no kidding! As many as you can, not just two like what I gained from my previous Condura race. ;)

Cute friends, aren't they?
For more race information, race maps, registration details, please visit the Condura Skyway Marathon website.
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The Gem Collection - A Wonderful Christmas Gift


Have no more items on your basket for Christmas gift-giving? Well, we have the same situation, but not until when I get a dose of inspiration from this one wonderful collection of words of wisdom. It was last Saturday, December 11, 2010, during the Book Launch at the Bestsellers, National Book Store in Robinsons Galleria of ‘The Gem Collection – A Compilation of Wisdom’ by Joseph T Bismark, Co-Founder & Group Managing Director of the Qi Group of Companies.

A charismatic story-teller, simple stories, profound truths, and a best seller called the ‘The Gem Collection – A Compilation of Wisdom’.

The book, which the author maintains “is not really a book but just a compilation of my musings and reflections, brought about by my experiences and insights on random, everyday matters." A compilation of his musings and reflections; has been described by many readers as a refreshing reminder in today’s fast paced world that true wealth stems from a life that is lived in harmony with oneself and the people around us.

It all started off as a series of thought provoking emails and intranet articles by Bismark to his fellow colleagues. These initial postings, aptly titled ‘Gems of Wisdom’ (GOW) soon took on a life of its own as the readers started to share the GOW with their friends and associates outside of the company. Soon, his blog ( ensued and it was only a matter of time before the blog evolved into the book.

Officially launching the book in the presence of more than 100 enthusiastic customers and well-wishers, Ms. Donna Imson, Executive Chairperson QNet Ltd (a Qi group company) said, “This book gives us a wonderful peek into the thoughts of the man that is Joseph Bismark who has always strived to remind us that success is not just built on material achievements, but also on spiritual growth, inner satisfaction and peace, which can only be acquired through meaningful service to others. The stories here are simple, drawn from daily life, yet immensely impactful as they lead the reader towards a heightened awareness.”

Since its launch in June 2010, the bestseller ‘The Gem Collection – A Compilation of Wisdom’ (Published by RYTHM House Publishing) has made its way to avid readers, across continents. Now by popular demand the book is being translated into multiple languages and introduced in bookstores across many countries so that more and more people can benefit the same way the author did, when these gems were passed on to him by the greatest teacher of all – life.

Speaking to fans during the book signing ceremony, the modest author said “In true sense, I have not really authored this book, but merely compiled the learnings that I have been fortunately exposed to, in my journey of life. I hope you derive as much pleasure reading it, as I have had, writing it.”

Compiled in an engaging format, the book makes an interesting read, gently nudging the reader towards realizing that the most profound truths actually reside at the core of our being and with little effort we can discover the value in the gems of wisdom that we pick up in our respective daily lives.

The Gem Collection will be available in National Book Store outlets across the Philippines.

About Joseph Bismark

Bismark is co-founder and group managing director of the QI Group, a multi-million dollar multinational company operating diverse business lines ranging from e-commerce, direct marketing, property development, telecommunications, lifestyle and leisure in nearly 180 countries.

A man of immense spiritual character and an inspiration to his family, friends and business partners worldwide, Mr. Bismark’s leadership style is as unique as the man himself. He is a firm believer in the power of teamwork, and his open, consultative management style is anchored around the tenets of his Vedic philosophies.

For more information contact:
Rajesh Rao
+65 91177664
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2nd McHappy Day Fun Run Doubles Last Year’s Runners

Last November 28, 2010, over two thousand running enthusiasts, families and friends gathered to join the 2nd McHappy Day Fun Run in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities’ (RMHC) mission of helping kids learn how to read. Held at the Venice Piazza, in McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, The McHappy Day Fun Run was for the benefit of RMHC’s banner program Bright Minds Read (BMR).

Ready, Set, Go-Kids at the 500m dash
After a fun and fulfilling run for all the participants, the following emerged as top placers for each race category:

Together with event sponsors Coca-Cola, Powerade, Viva Mineral Water, Megaworld, Franke, Genosi, Technolux, Foster Foods and other partners, the McHappy Day Fun Run was able to raise P1 million for RMHC’s BMR program, which will provide beginning reading toolkits to 100 different public schools nationwide.

Runners at the McHappy Day Fun Run
Since 2002, RMHC has tirelessly worked to uplift the lives of children through reading. RMHC’s Bright Minds Read (BMR) program is in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) to teach beginning reading to Grade 1 students in public schools all over the country with the use of reading toolkits. Every BMR toolkit consists of 33 storybooks, a teacher’s lesson plan and student’s worksheets. To date, over 2,600 public schools are under the BMR program and have recorded a significant contribution in the decreased number of non-readers in the country.

McDonald’s President and CEO Kenneth Yang said, “On behalf of the entire McDonald’s family and the thousands of children whom we have helped by joining the McHappy Day Fun Run, I would like to thank each and everyone for your support and commitment to this cause.”

Hosts of the event Donita Rose and Anthony Suntay
RMHC Executive Director Kim de Leon also expressed her heartfelt thanks to everyone, who ran in the 3K, 5K, 10K and 500 meter dash races. “Every meter and kilometer that we ran has taken us one step closer in achieving our goal of having zero non-readers in the country. Thank you and we hope to see everyone again in next year’s McHappy Day,” she said.

You may now download the race results for this event.
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First Self -Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell

Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) - a world leader in Genomic research, have discovered the first ever self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell (talk about synthetic life form). Read the overview below about this stunning discovery, and check out also the download links at the end of the article for the press release, FAQs and other stuffs.

Genomic science has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biological world. It is enabling researchers to "read" the genetic code of organisms from all branches of life by sequencing the four letters that make up DNA. Sequencing genomes has now become routine, giving rise to thousands of genomes in the public databases. In essence, scientists are digitizing biology by converting the A, C, T, and G's of the chemical makeup of DNA into 1's and 0's in a computer. But can one reverse the process and start with 1's and 0's in a computer to define the characteristics of a living cell? We set out to answer this question.

In the field of chemistry, once the structure of a new chemical compound is determined by chemists, the next critical step is to attempt to synthesize the chemical. This would prove that the synthetic structure had the same function of the starting material. Until now, this has not been possible in the field of genomics. Structures have been determined by reading the genetic code, but they have never been able to be verified by independent synthesis.

In 2003, JCVI successfully synthesized a small virus that infects bacteria. By 2008, the JCVI team was able to synthesize a small bacterial genome; however they were unable to activate that genome in a cell at that time.

Now, this scientific team headed by Drs. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith and Clyde Hutchison have achieved the final step in their quest to create the first synthetic bacterial cell. In a publication in Science magazine, Daniel Gibson, Ph.D. and a team of 23 additional researchers outline the steps to synthesize a 1.08 million base pair Mycoplasma mycoides genome, constructed from four bottles of chemicals that make up DNA. This synthetic genome has been "booted up" in a cell to create the first cell controlled completely by a synthetic genome.

Negatively stained transmission electron
micrographs of dividing 
M. mycoidesJCVI-syn1.
The work to create the first synthetic bacterial cell was not easy, and took this team approximately 15 years to complete. Along the way they had to develop new tools and techniques to construct large segments of genetic code, and learn how to transplant genomes to convert one species to another. The 1.08 million base pair synthetic M. mycoides genome is the largest chemically defined structure ever synthesized in the laboratory.

While this first construct—dubbed M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0, is a proof of concept, the tools and technologies developed to create this cell hold great promise for application in so many critical areas. Throughout the course of this work, the team contemplated, discussed, and engaged in outside review of the ethical and societal implications of their work.

The ability to routinely write the software of life will usher in a new era in science, and with it, new products and applications such as advanced biofuels, clean water technology, and new vaccines and medicines. The field is already having an impact in some of these areas and will continue to do so as long as this powerful new area of science is used wisely. Continued and intensive review and dialogue with all areas of society, from Congress to bioethicists to laypeople, is necessary for this field to prosper.

Press Release from JCVI
The assembly of a synthetic M. mycoides genome in yeast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Synthetic Biology: Scope, Applications and Implication
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CDO Holiday Ham: The Premium-Cut Ham

There is no doubt that the most important food of the Noche Buena is the ham. While there are a number of meat brands everyone is familiar with, there is only one that offers the best-tasting ham which not only makes the holiday special but also a cut above the rest. Introducing the Holiday Ham – the premium-cut ham. Here are three things which make this ham the best among the rest.

First is that the Holiday Ham is made from one whole boneless meat from the hind leg which is the best cut of pork for hams. Hind leg ham is tastier and meatier compared to the more common shaped hams. Shaped hams are already processed and although brands would use meat from the other parts of the pork, nothing can beat the goodness found only on the hind leg of pork.

Second, the Holiday Ham is a high-quality smoked ham. The net marks attests to that. Only whole-meat hams can be smoked in ham nets because if it isn’t, pieces would fall off.

Lastly, Holiday Ham has no extenders. The appearance, taste and texture tell the truth. The ham is meat, juicy, and flavorful, and consumers really get the best value for their money.

Although Christmas is celebrated over a long period of time, Noche Buena is held only once this season and it has to be perfect, special, and unforgettable. The Holiday Ham can make the holidays exactly just that. It’s the premium choice for consumers who want only the best. With the three abovementioned qualities of the ham, it moreover makes the holiday simply a cut above the rest.

Learn more about Holiday Ham on ‘Like’ it also on Facebook.

Apple iPad up for grabs

To make the holidays a cut above the rest, Holiday Ham will be giving out an Apple iPad tablet computer. Interested parties need only to register with their name, Facebook page URL, mobile phone number, and email address. It’s that easy!

The registration is on the Holiday Ham promo website and is open until December 20, 2010.
Read more ...

In-Motion Road x Trail Running Series

For us who are yearning to take our feet on the trails, cycle our pedals, and burn our shoes on the road, here's a good race coming to us from Finishline this December 11, 18, and 19, 2010., the official distributor of MYLAPS-ChampionChip Sports Timing in the Philippines, have launched their Road x Trail event, a launch of the In-Motion series, consisting of three sport events which includes cycling, running, and duathlon. And for each discipline, you can choose wether to take the road, or try your wits on the trail. All of these events will be held at the famous Nuvali, Sta. Rosa in Laguna.


Cycling will be pedaling it's way this December 11, 2010. The registration started last November 15, and will end on December 8, 2010. Race kit redemption will be at your designated site from December 6 to December 10, 2010.

Visit the following link for more details:

Running, the second of the event, will be on the road and the trail on December 18, 2010. Registration runs from November 15 to December 15, 2010.

Visit the following link for more details:

Duathlon, will hit its mark on December 19, 2010, and participants shall swarm the registration centers from November 15 to December 15, 2010. Race kit redemption will also be at your designated registration sites on December 6-10, 2010.

Visit the following link for more details:

Download the entry/registration form:
Page 1     Page 2
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MyChip Race Timing Chip

Last Saturday, November 27, 2010, I was able to attend the launch of's MyChip at The Stock Market in Bonifacio High Street, Global City, Taguig. MyChip uses a radio-frequency-identification system (RFID) for fast and accurate race timing (click this link to get to know more about RFID).

Mr. Vince Mendoza, the man behind, explained to us what is MyChip, where can it be used, and how is it used. The details of When and How to Wear MYCHIP is posted below, for our guide.

The MyChip box:

The MYCHIP box contains a timing chip, bike clip, and neoprene ankle strap.
Refer below on how to use your MYCHIP, depending on the type of race you are joining:


What do I use?
• Chip on Neoprene wrapped around ankle

How do I attach it?
• Unstrap the velcro strap. Fasten the chip to the neoprene by inserting the velcro in between the chip openings. Make sure that the chip is facing outward with Championchip text facing the ground. The velcro strap should not cover the chip's face. Attach neoprene to ankle, with the chip facing outward.

Before the race, make sure:
• Neoprene strap is wrapped around the ankle securely. Chip should be facing outward, with Championchip text facing the ground (to ensure that the timing mat will read the chip).

After the race:
• Log on to using your username and password. View your chip times and results at MYRACE.


What do I use?
• Bike Clip with Yellow Chip on Fork

How do I attach it?
• Unscrew front wheel. Attach the bike clip on the fork. Make sure that the chip is facing outwards, with Championship text facing the ground. Screw the front wheel back in place.
Before the race, make sure:

• Chip is facing outward, with Championchip text facing the ground (to ensure that timing mat will read the chip). Ensure that fork is screwed properly.
After the race:

• Log on to using your username and password. View your chip times and results at MYRACE.

You can also use your MYCHIP at our ACTIVATE training spots. Now you can track your progression while you train.
Read more ...

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