RUN DMD

I run…therefore I am


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The First Quarter Run:  Why I KNEEded to make this Comeback


 

Hello World!  Now this is my first official blog entry since I crept under a rock and led hermit’s existence in the blogging world.  Now that was eons ago (actually a little over 7 months) when I had my last run before taking a rest from the road and trail (though not necessarily as you will discover later).  Basically, the entry timeline begins way before the first quarter of 2014.

Just a Recap.  So I had my knee operation (due to chondromalacia) on Oct. 10 last year.  But before that, I finished quite a slew of road runs and was in a constant training mode (meaning 3-weekday 11KM runs and a long run on Sundays).  On August 18 (two weeks after my 21KM run leg of the Ironman), I finished the Safeguard 2XU 21KM race in the midst of windy rains along Roxas Boulevard at 1:59.  Then on the 14 September, I trodded on the trails (later becoming muddy) of Filinvest in their Endurance Run where I completed 62KMs for 10 hours.  It was a 2.2KM loop that would have bored me to death if not for Team Kuliters Dave, Chinky, Sheila & Rey who joined me.  Two weeks later, Van & I conquered the Men’s Health Urbanathlon 21KM Run which was studded with some difficult obstacles.  We finished at an impossible 1:53 but I soon found out that we missed out one set of obstacles.  Moving on.

Neon yellow is the color of the day for the Kuliters...

Neon yellow is the color of the day for the Kuliters…

Safeguard 2XU with Vann...

Safeguard 2XU with Vann…

Memorable moments with Team Kulit...

Memorable moments with Team Kulit…

Finally, on October 6, six days after my 48th, I finished my 14th full marathon with a satisfactory time of 4:25.  Three days later, I went under the knife.  It was a fast recovery but it tested my patience and antsiness to run again.

biting on the Philippine flag near the RUPM finish line...

biting on the Philippine flag near the RUPM finish line…

A Life of Ease (or Living in Limbo).  So just like that, a life which breathed on trainings, uphills and hydration packs suddenly took an unexpected detour and made a screeching halt.  I’d sometimes wake up at 5:15 AM and just stare at the ceiling and ponder on obesity, inactivity and rising blood pressure.  But I also have to drill in my head the very words of my orthopedic surgeon:  No running or jogging, just walking while the left knee is still recovering from the operation.  No pressure on the joint or any acute knee bending beyond 135 degrees.

All my plans for the last quarter had to go down the drain – the Clark-Miyamit 50 Miles, Quezon City International Marathon, Milo Finals (just the 21KM), etc.  Perhaps, this was one of the lowest point (read:  depressing) in my so-called running career.  But I’m not the one to be dissuaded by this minor quibble.  I always try to make the most out of any sorry situation.  A few days of soul searching finally made me realize that this could be one of the most pleasurable phases of my life.  No more early morning training runs and even earlier rousing during Sunday mornings.  Meaning I could eat out into the late night, watch movies I’ve missed and splurge on sleep.

good food among great running friends...

good food among great running friends…

Team Kulit makes a clinic visit for some birthday surprise and knee update...

Team Kulit makes a clinic visit for some birthday surprise and knee update…

Did I mention that we love to get together and eat?

Did I mention that we love to get together and eat?

no running, no problem, just eat and be merry...

no running, no problem, just eat and be merry…

Team Kulit's Christmas get-together at Tio's...

Team Kulit’s Christmas get-together at Tio’s…

Plus more holiday parties (and bingeing) with the Minas...

Plus more holiday parties (and bingeing) with the Minas…

Longing for the road.  A few weeks of this soon had me getting more excited on my road comeback.  Unfortunately, my hiatus had to be stretched a bit more.  Before I started to bloat (the heaviest I got was 154 lbs.) and revert to my hypertensive persona, I focused on strengthening and several drills via my Milo Apex running school at QC Circle.  Under the helm of the Sarets, I joined our two-days-a-week exercises, even if a bit protracted and simplified than the rest of the group.  It was an ordeal not to join their runs at the end of the night but it would be foolish to push it either.

My road to recovery began with the Milo Apex Running School.

My road to recovery began with the Milo Apex Running School.

Cross trainings.  So with a little patience and controlled exuberance, I started digging myself out of the injury hole.  Strengthening was also coupled by routines on balance and flexibility via yoga, pilates, even zumba.  Upper body strengthening and some leg works minus the body weight I got from our pool exercises and laps across.  Near the end of November, I had started jogging to join our Milo cool down runs.  My orthopedic surgeon also gave me the go signal to start running again after clearing me of any damage or delay in the repair of the surgical area at the left knee.

some yoga stunts to stretch and strengthen the weak and semi-flexible areas...

some yoga stunts to stretch and strengthen the weak and semi-flexible areas…

On the road again.  On the first week of December, I joined my first 10KM run via Nike’s We Run in my favorite city of all, Marikina.  It was exhilarating even if I was panting like hell and had to do some walking in between the run phases.  Survived my first official run under 1 hour and was flying around the Marikina Sports Park oval where it concluded.

I gave my kit to Van for the Nike We Run for I was just recovering, right?  But when an extra shirt comes along, who am I to refuse?

I gave my kit to Van for the Nike We Run for I was just recovering, right? But when an extra shirt comes along, who am I to refuse?

Second week of January found me at the island of Samar giving dental treatment to the devastated.  In between, I knew I had to do my runs (with Fatima Mae)...

Second week of January found me at the island of Samar giving dental treatment to the devastated. In between, I knew I had to do my runs (with Fatima Mae)…

Recovery at this point became accelerated as I religiously did 15KM runs every Sunday around UP Diliman.  By the start of 2014, I started running more regularly – that’s twice on weekdays and one long run on Sundays.  The 1.5-hour swim exercises/laps continued into April when I joined my first Aquathlon after 3 years.  I finished the Splash & Dash at 12:15 for the 400M swim and 17:10 for the 3K run.  Not bad, really.

getting my feet and body wet at the start of the 400KM swim...

getting my feet and body wet at the start of the 400KM swim…

a few meters into the Splash & Dash finish (where I threw up a little - acid reflux mode)

a few meters into the Splash & Dash finish (where I threw up a little – acid reflux mode)

I even tried joining our Rotary Sportsfest 400KM relay and 100KM dash (got the silver).

I even tried joining our Rotary Sportsfest 400KM relay and 100KM dash (got the silver).

Races & Phases.  Every month, I tried joining one race at least just so that I will be motivated to rev up my training and strengthening.  January saw me doing runs/walks for 8 hours to rack up 28.6 KMs during the Fat Ass at the Clark Complex in Pampanga.  February was a lot of long runs around UP Diliman but March finally gave me a taste of killer uphills and downhills when I joined the 16KM Wall to Shotgun at the Timberland area in San Mateo, Rizal.  It was tricky especially with the endless sharp ascents but I made up on the descents where I was flying though a bit more controlled.  By the time I crossed the finish line, I clocked a veritable 2:05:37.

the view was breathtaking, the hills took my breath literally...huff, huff.

the view was breathtaking, the hills took my breath literally…huff, huff.

I'm Alive!  (even if I almost died)...

I’m Alive! (even if I almost died)…

the final downhill dash with Van!

the final downhill dash with Van!

Volting in with Voltes Team mates Bonbon, Tina & Cris...

Volting in with Voltes Team mates Bonbon, Tina & Cris…

Once April rolled in, I was doing a lot of swimming, running and P90X workouts at the condo gym which greatly helped in my aquathlon that month.  On May 1, an unexpected invitation to run in a Rotaract-sponsored race saw me waking up early and tracing the Marikina river and back to finish the 10KM race at 51:08.  The trainings and cross-trainings seem to have helped tremendously.

Long shot with my long time running buddy, Dave Buban...

Long shot with my long time running buddy, Dave Buban…

I'm the King of the Hill!

I’m the King of the Hill!

Back on the trail with Team PP, Tagumpay Brothers & Team Kulit!

Back on the trail with Team PP, Tagumpay Brothers & Team Kulit!

Night swimming by the condo...waters were actually freezing cold.

Night swimming by the condo…waters were actually freezing cold.

at the start of the run with Fatima Mae...

at the start of the run with Fatima Mae…

Trying to look dashing while dashing to the finish...

Trying to look dashing while dashing to the finish…

Training Mode.  Now that the Milo Apex Running School has begun (last April 28),  I’m feeling a lot stronger now with the Milo Marathon in mind.  So every Monday & Wednesday nights, we’re doing the Milo routines at the QC Circle while every Wednesday and Friday mornings, we do our regular 10KM runs around the rolling village adjacent to ours.  Sundays are reserved for long runs unless I have an official race like last Sunday’s Brooks Run Happy 24K Trail Run at the Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal area.  It was a rollercoaster-like downhill leading into a rolling terrain which passes through 10 rivers and back.  The uphills we just walked up continuously until we were led into the resort’s series of obstacles followed by a succession of downhill rappelling (my fave even if I didn’t have any gloves on) culminating in an acutely angled climb to the finish.

I don't care...I love it!

I don’t care…I love it!

Merrell Happy!  Thanks to Ms. Connie (of Frontrunner) for the 2 Brooks Run Happy bibs!

Asics Happy! Thanks to Ms. Connie (of Frontrunner) for the 2 Brooks Run Happy bibs!

It’s my first official trail run and I’m quite proud of my 3:16 finish.  Will I be doing more of this trail/mountail races?  How far will I go upon my return to the winding trails and verdant paths?  It’s perhaps, the main reason how I overused these knees in the first place.  I really can’t tell.  For now, I’m just happy to back in my home turf (that would be the road, the trails and the blogging world).  Cheers!

Photography by Red Knight (Emman Tiburcio), Phiclique Mata Photography, Running Photographers, Run Cabanatuan, Photo Ops, Dyeptones, Edna Yao-Lim, Fatima Mae Tiburcio, David Buban, Maripaz Buban, Tina Marasigan & Dennis Centeno.

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Frontrunner Article #4: The Great Disconnect


to run or to treat...?

to run or to treat…?

‘Doc, was that you we saw running the other day?’ queried my patient.  It’s been a question I get a lot since doing my training runs on weekdays.  Whence before I dreaded being sighted on the road dripping in sweat in very skimpy outfits by patients and friends, today I wear my running badge with pride and some confidence.  If before I led a double life of runner and dentist, today, I eagerly share my ultra trail and road adventures with gusto and gratification.

The last 23 years I’ve been in the practice of dentistry, friends and patients have always pictured me as the mild mannered guy whose idea of fun involved prying out tooth fragments and draining pus on swollen faces in the comforts of my sterile clinical existence.  It was a cocooned existence where the action was confined inside the hallowed caverns of the oral cavity, the valleys of the periodontal pockets, the uphill cusps of molars and darkened tunnels of root canals.  It was a safe, predictable, staid and boring lifestyle which little by little took a toll on the shoulders and back.

welcome to my cubicle!

welcome to my cubicle!

While I never looked better then, replete with well formed arms and chest (I was a gym buff), I had zero cardio-vascular workout and was easily fatigued and burnt out.  Plus the blood pressure went out of control.   Time for a game change…

i miss my rippling triceps...but then.

i miss my rippling triceps…but then.

Back in 2003, I loved posing, ala-Gardo Versoza.  This one was taken by Taal lake...

Back in 2003, I loved posing, ala-Gardo Versoza. This one was taken by Taal lake…

4 years ago when I stumbled into the world of running, I started donning the skimpiest of apparels and exposing myself into the ever-changing elements of extreme heat, rain and all sort of flotsam in the choking  world of Metro Manila roads.  So imagine one moment I’m pounding the pavement under the sweltering heat, dripping in sweat and all sort of bountiful slime and dirt.  And an hour later, I’m in the safety of my operatory attending to patients’ needs as peppermint oil wafts across Sitti’s cooing voice.

Back to my simple controlled life...

Back to my simple controlled life…

The great disparity was simply jarring that the first impulse was to conceal it from my patients.  The thought of them seeing me oozing with sweat and grime was just too much to take.  So this is my double life – one is controlled, organized and serene while the other is unpredictable, chaotic and full of surprises.  While I hardly break a sweat inside the clinic, the other is about dirt, sweat and I just love it.

We want our dentists well groomed, smelling sweet and uttering the wittiest statements & dishing out the most helpful of tips, don’t we?  And not cursing the wind and the race director (where the hell is the finish of this %$@* race?).  Now who would want to see his dentist slugging it out in muddy trails and treacherous mountain tracks?  I can just read their thought bubbles:  “Now isn’t that going to weaken his dexterity and clinical skill in handling my dental cases?” or “So how can he still take care of me when he’s always up there in the mountains, caked in mud and being feasted upon by jiggling leeches (eeew…)?

having a blast in the real world...

having a blast in the real world…

Now, let me run through all these misimpressions.  Oh yes, I am exposed to all sort of inconveniences (torture, if you may) in an environment teeming with dirt and grime an ordinary sheltered individual won’t be able to stomach.  But after each adventure, I’d bathe and scrub myself clean to the bone and I’d like to believe we observe aseptic techniques in our practice once ensconced in our four-walled, environmentally controlled clinic.  And yes, after years of hitting the road and trail, I can still take out an impacted molar or negotiate some shrunken root canals.

life is a series of movements whether it's macro or micro...you just learn to adjust to the situation.

life is a series of movements whether it’s macro or micro…you just learn to adjust to the situation.

And I still haven’t thrown my clinic sked into chaos in favor of the outdoors.  I can’t keep hiking if I don’t have the funds to sustain it so the most I’d take out in my work week is 1-2 days.  Basically, I still have 5 full days to see patients – yes, even if I’m a bit burned and limping.  Fact is, I look forward to be back to my air-conditioned environment after days to being exposed to inclement weather.  It balances things out without feeling burned out on either side of my polarized universe.

Without a doubt, running, besides stabilizing my fluctuating blood pressure and lulling me to long peaceful slumbers (didn’t know that Sleepasil has been routine to some colleagues), had strengthened me, physically and skillfully.  I can take hours of continuous dental procedures without complaining and feeling wasted – always keeping in mind that the finish line is coming round the bend.  Or during those toxic stressful clinic moments where I’ve learned to handle the situation the way I’ve battled injuries and submission during a race.

i run. i treat. i am rundmd.

i run. i treat. i am rundmd.

But eventually, like some illicit love affair, one tries to inevitably merge both lives.  I soon realized that running would play a greater part for the rest of my earthly life so I might as well wear it like a proud badge.  Soon enough, I was opening up to my patients on my exploits on the road and trail.  And what do you know, they were piqued curious (perhaps, by that BDM trophy resting at the reception area) and fascinated by my ‘secret life’.  I was no longer the guy who was buffed, clean and whole some, I had become the gaunt dark warrior – looking burnt and hardened but brimming with eagerness and perseverance and ready to take on any challenge, whether at the dental operatory or the road…


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NB 890 takes a hike (from Ongpin to Timberland)


 

MRT scene...

It’s been a good 10 days since I bought my New Balance 890 and so far the outcome has been mixed.  Accordingly, they’re cushioning shoes for neutral runners with forefoot strikes, supposed to be just perfect for my foot and running style, right?   There’s only one way to find out.  So I took it to where the action is – into the peopled and bustling streets of Quiapo.

I do my quarterly visits to Quiapo to usually replenish certain medical/dental supplies for stores that don’t do clinic deliveries with side trips to 168 or even Divisoria, just to get a feel of real everyday Filipino life and be thankful that I don’t have to go through this kind of daily grind.  This time, I decided to try out Ongpin after taking some tips from gym mate/patient Peter Lim (a friend of Chinatown walker Ivan Dy) on eat-worthy hole-in-the-wall restos.

welcome to the jungle!!

checking out the pomelos...

I usually leave my car at the gym (Slimmer’s World, Marcos Highway) and take the nearby MRT at Santolan station and in 30 mins., I’m in the middle of one of the busiest areas in the country.  It took a lot of walking (and gawking at all imaginable wares) along the streets of Quiapo and early on, I noticed a diminished support at the forefoot area.  Hmmm…

I travelled for miles for this...

NB890 takes a rest while I munch on dumplings galore

Sincerely, this is one meal I can eat everyday...

After asking around for some decent mami (noodle soup), NB 890 (and my stomach) led me to Kim Hiong Food Garden along Ongpin St.  The chowfan noodles were fleshy and the meat broth was quite rich and smelt of ‘Ongpin’ (without tasting like old socks, ala Ma Mon Luk).  I also passed by Den Dong Bei (at Nueva St.) for some fresh dumplings before finishing the afternoon with the much hyped and flavorful Sincerity friend chicken and sumptuous Kikiam.  I walked towards Recto station, full and scrabbling from all the calorie-rich delights.  When I got to the clinic, I checked my soles – 2 minor blisters on the right forefoot area and the big toe plus traces of plantar fasciitis on the left foot.  I was frustrated – did I just buy shoes that’s bringing back old injuries from the grave?

Goodbye, Ongpin...

Hello, Monterrey!

Well I’m not one to easily surrender so just last Sunday, I took it for a long run.  This time it’s at my favorite stomping ground – the Marikina-Tierra Monte-Timberland route which Dave & I usually go to for our LSDs.  We started out at 6 am with Boringer Bong and ultra-princess Keshia Fule.  The road goes up, up, up into San Mateo but the pace was comfortable and the weather was relatively cool, even in the company of 2 really fast runners (or maybe they adjusted to our glacial pace).  Soon we were descending towards the busy town of Tierra Monte where the AFP housing is situated.  Exiting town, the roads go further down with mild ascents in between – a truly rolling terrain.

leaving Marikina....

the weather was just perfect...

the view (bow)

what great runs are made of: good friends, endless chattering and views to a kill...

Later on, we were entering the road leading to Timberland Resort – a biker’s haven, what with swarms of two-wheelers dashing all over.  We were an anomaly as the only humans moving on our own 2 feet in a sea of bikers.  And of course seeing Keshia slugging it out with the guys on wheels suddenly sucked out all the testosterone in the air.  The real climb began with roads angling up to 50 degrees.  We power walked up the hills with Bong enthusiastically running up against the struggling bikers.

taking a sweet, short break before the 'climb'...

running backwards to relax the other set of muscles...

lakad mode vs. pedal mode

we just had to take a picture on this...

with the expansive clubhouse at the background...

the entrancing entrance...

A good 2 kilometers later, we entered the gates of Timberland as the road expands to 4 lanes with some of the most scenic views of Metro Manila on the right side.  A few kilometers later, we reached our destination – the Timberland clubhouse where we had a commanding view of the metropolis below.  We checked out their posh facilities and took some souvenir shots before going back to civilization.  It was 10:30 am.

life is great at the top...

don't let the boulders deceive you (they're made of resin)...

I could live here, mom...

taking in all the view...

The road back had minor uphills and mostly sharp descents one can easily injure the knees if done too fast.  It took us a good 1 ½ hours running back to our starting point (our home) and we racked up 33.41 kilometers.  Along the way, we were savored available road refreshments – the pink ice scramble (sweet and milky) and fresh buko juice.    5 hours and 45 mins. later, we were enjoying our lunch (prepared as breakfast 2 hours before) with stories of the day’s struggles.  Now that  BDM 160 2012 (I’m in) is a mere 2 ½ months away, expect training to go to hyperdrive and peaking in the final week of November, tapering to the QC International Marathon on Dec. 4 and perhaps, the Rizal Day Run (Dec. 30).

pink delights...yum,. yum...

Regarding, my NB 890, I hardly sustained any blister though the right inner arch felt a bit swollen (I laced the right shoes too tightly).  I just used it last Wednesday during a rigorous Milo A.P.E.X. routine under pounding rains and I felt fine after.  It’s still in its break-in stage so we shall see if these babies are going to take me to the Capas monument finish line.

 

 

 


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Catch me if you can…


Two days after the AKTV 5 Run, Dave & I set out for our regular weekday run – traversing our 7.48 km route. Unfortunately for me, the will to get out of bed took some time to overcome the will to enjoy my cool morning slumber.  So I started 30 minutes late while Dave has been up and running.  I estimated to meet him up at the 3-km mark, waiting and rounding up the covered court area while asking around the early risers on the street.  It turns out Dave was also backtracking throughout the route, hoping to see my shadow.  Usually, it takes a good 10 minutes or less to find my partner but not last Tuesday.  I was still able to finish 6.65 kms but felt incomplete and less eager.

Being able to share and talk up a storm while running always makes a world of difference.  And it need not be from start to finish.  I would average 2-3 pace partners in a race, usually surging solo into the final 2 kms.  Last Sunday, I was in luck to run with a fellow villager Ray Abenojar (of Frontrunner magazine).

Maybe it’s just me but having someone familiar to join me on the road easily distracts me from running’s many encumberances (the heat, blisters, the endless path- the usual suspects) especially if I have someone quite talky along.  We shared common experiences of the old Seafront (an American club along Roxas boulevard near the present Cuneta Astrodome) where we had our first taste of the American life, albeit just a small slice.  Ray got to play softball in their diamond field and had his fill of their yummy desserts while I had my initial bite on giant burgers and thick steaks I hardly finished.  Soon enough we passed the old watering hole, still American owned and thankfully not overrun by another condominium.

ever forever...

Eventually talk turned to our wonder years in Marist high school – he, a full fledge athlete dabbling in baseball and softball while I, a true blue geek, joining many clubs and organizations – belatedly discovering the wonders of running (+ diving in Ray’s case) while the real athletes of our time have long hang their trainers (and hopefully, not subsisting on some anti-hypertensive or hypoglycemic drugs).

Rio with Boring's newest member, Sam YG

The run started exactly at 4:45 am where 7,000 runners took in the scenic MOA/Manila Bay route.  Many of us from Team Boring ran 21 kms, with my first 2 kms done side by side with Doc Topher segueing with Ray in the last 18 kms.

For me, running is a communal experience where everyone is interconnected and drawing some kind of imagined energy from co-runners around – either you’re the dragger or the dragee, the puller or the pusher, the cop or the robber.  Ask any contender who crossed the finish line and he would admit one time or another during the race – either he was being pushed by another runner or he was behind someone pulling him when the miles don’t seem to end.

Team Boring with Team KTT and then some...

And so it was with Ray and me – one would go a little faster as the other tries to catch up and soon enough, our breathing and pace would be effortlessly in synch.  After 2:18:20, we crossed the finish line, one after the other, exhilarated from the day’s effort.  It’s 2 minutes faster from my 21-km personal best (2009’s Timex Run, the shirt of which I wore that Sunday).  Now, I’m feeling more excited with the approaching races – the Nuvali 50km Trail Run and the Manila International Marathon – and these are just for June.  Hopefully, I would chance upon an acquaintance or a total stranger who would entertain and take me along many miles of adventure.  Now this one just got my endorphins spinning.

Note:  Sorry no one caught us running during the race so the pics are quite limited.  Next time, will bring my own camera…


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Public property


Public property

Lost metal railings, detached post lights and vandalized park benches – now these are just some of the things you would expect when traversing around the metro.  It is such a requisite that whenever one steps on untouched almost pristine public areas, one would surmise they’re in another country or continent.  Or probably part of a mall/commercial property.  Or one of  ‘em Makati parks that’s being maintained by a foundation.

I know we never had what we may call urban/city planning so the Filipino mind set never placed importance on public structures, sidewalks, parks and various open spaces.  Let’s run this down:

  • public lights – I know we have one of the most hideous designs in public lighting (one topic worthy of an article or more).  Manila (c/o of ex-Mayor Atienza) started all this craze of Sputnik lights to fishball styles (and has spread to the provinces and other cities) one would think he’s in Star City.  But beyond esthetics, let me just say that the design should have the following specifications (if one is to expect a longer street life):
    1. bulbs and wires (the usual prized/saleable items) should be beyond reach of an average Filipino without using a ladder.
    2. initials (B, E, MI etc. – guess the city) of incumbent mayors/governors should not be painted/embedded or etched on them lest they be the first target of the next new administration.
    3. lighting should be either for the streets or for the sidewalks unless one can combine both like the one in Bonifacio Highstreet but that would mean less projects (less profits)
    4. proper color (yellow for the streets and white for the sidewalks) should be observed.
    5. a proper switch or sensor should be in place.  One thing that would ruin any morning is to see kilometers of public lights still blazing during the rush hour.
  • Sidewalks – we learned its existence and vigilant protection from Bayani Fernando and hopefully it remains in our psyche – sidewalks are for walking and pedestrians without exceptions for 365 days of the year.
  • public parks – of the few left in the metropolis, we expect these spaces to be maintained (keeping it green is enough sans the ornamental plants, ponds, Japanese bridges, etc.) and free of scalawags and dark characters.  And since they’re open to the public, barricading them with metal fences (in curlicue designs – another project) defeats its purpose.  So please, stop accessorizing and treating these parks as your home garden for maintaining/up keeping them is beyond impossible.  Here are my requirements for an ideal park that will survive through time – concrete fixed benches, carabao grass, trees and bushes which require little or no maintenance except water every morning.
  • unused open spaces – please sell them at the right market value lest they transform into public parking, carinderia spaces, illegal settlers’ colony or red light district.  Building another public edifice would just add up to more properties to maintain for the local government.  Or maybe a green space which require minimal maintenance.
  • Overpasses for pedestrians – they can be eyesores in a city which has its share of bridges, elevated highways and byways but try to put your self on a pedestrian’s point of view and one gets to walk around the city amidst floods and typhoons, day or night.  The walkways can look distracting in an already crowded concrete landscape but I have tried them out and they can be accessible and useful than endangering one’s life in crossing our streets.  The stairs and passages leading to our MRT/LRT networks are another story – one word comes to mind – decathlon (in leather footwear).
  • unused public buildings – retro fitting is repurposing an old building for its new tenants – it’s more expensive but it’s more green and produces less waste.  And if the building has some historical/architectural significance, the more we should preserve and re-use it instead of letting it decay and be a haven for sex workers/illegal settlers/drug dealers, etc., etc.