Running ultra, chasing turtles


In everything you experience, in everyone you encounter, you will always learn something you will, in one way or another, need as you journey through life. 

The huge waves, the ocean of stars, the swim with the turtles, the endless ‘knock-knock’ moments, and the family I was with made the getaway more fantastic and at the same time nostalgic.

My sojourn in Apo Island taught me many things I never would have learned otherwise.

You know what’s scarier than those huge waves we encountered during the trip? It’s being stuck where you are.

Last weekend,  I did an ultramarathon in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental Island, a 6-hour bus and boat ride from Cebu, with my Team BANG mates. The Dumaguete 50K turned out to be one of my most challenging mostly-uphill ultras but I was happy with my race result.

After the race, the team decided to visit Apo Island, located 30 kilometers south of Dumaguete City.  It was definitely a good place to rest and recover from the race!

We stayed in the Liberty Lodge and Dive resort owned by the island’s lady chieftain herself.


Ms. Liberty shared with us a bit of the history of the island and how it became a national marine reserve.  She said the island got its name from the word “APO” which means grandchild, as most residents on the island are grandchildren of the first inhabitants of the island.

One of the highlights of that sojourn was the stargazing at dawn. It was my closest encounter with the Milky Way galaxy that morning. That moment brought back random memories of my childhood in my mom’s hometown. I was eight and I was at our terrace watching the starry night sky, asking the Universe random questions like “how do skies look like in other parts of the world?”. So nostalgic! I asked the Universe, too, how the Milky Way galaxy looks like from my Andromeda galaxy.

Everyone was excited to see the turtles, too, so after our quick breakfast, we headed out for a swim with the green sea turtles. We were all children once again, happy kids trapped in a maturing body.

20181203_102355.jpgTime was slower in Apo Island. It felt that way to me. Even if we had to leave before lunch, our time in the sea with the turtles felt like forever! I’m coming back anytime soon and I just can’t wait!