Archive of ‘Teach Pray Run’ category

TBR Dream Marathon: Day 6

Two days into the marathon, here I am feeling under the weather. I woke up this morning with itchy throat, eyes, and nose. It didn’t help that the weather does not seem to cooperate. It has been cold these past to nights making my throat ache painfully. Quite ironic because these past few days I have been sleeping early and trying to get enough rest. I guess my body doesn’t take kindly to rest.

But then again, these might be a classic case of jitters. My body is reacting to the stress in anticipation for the big day. A while ago while I was reading the bible, I came accross Psalms 46:5, it says “God is within her, she will not fail.” Yes I believe so. God has been with me since the moment I conceived this dream in my heart. He was beside me when I was trading an extra hour in bed for a run at the break of dawn. He is with me now that the dream is almost at my fingertips. I will make this happen. We will make this happen. Me and my God. I will get us to the finish line, sans sweat and colds.

TBR Dream Marathon: Day 5

My friend’s text to me this morning was, “Blancs! Did you know that Manila to Malolos is 38kms? Mas malayo pa yun run mo sa Sunday! ? Oh my gosh!” I never really thought of it that way. I never really map out how far 42 km. is. All this time, to me, it is just a number. Four 10 km and an extra two. Sometimes I measure it by time, 6 to 7 hours on the road. But to really see how far it is from the starting to end point, I’ve never really done that. It is because I do not want to start questioning and doubting myself. I don’t want a whole stretch of road. I want to take it by minutes and hours with the Lord. I do not want to focus on the destination but the journey because I know if I do it that way, I will surely get me to the finish line.

TBR Dream Marathon: Day 4

Since it’s Ash Wednesday today, I wholeheartedly did fasting and abstinence as required by the Catholic Church. In fact, I was looking forward to it since I wanted to please the Lord in whatever way I can. I ate light breakfast and snacks, and was really planning my full meal for dinner. But then this afternoon on the way home, I started to feel my body getting weak and I was sweating cold. I was having hypoglycemia attack. I frantically searched for a candy in my bag but didn’t find any. Good thing I was able to drive myself to the nearest convenient store to grab some sweets.

Of course this set the stress button on again. I kept thinking, how can you survive a 42 km run when your body is acting like this? I was asking myself, are you sure you can handle it? It took a while for me to realize that it was fear and self-doubt talking. Of course I will finish the race, I have a good nutritional plan before and during the race day. And no doubt about it, I can handle it because I have trained my body for this rigorous activity for months. I am healthy, I am strong, and I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

TBR Dream Marathon: Day 3

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9)

How can I ever doubt if I can accomplish everything that the Lord set before me when He has already ensured my victory even before he birthed the dream inside me. When He promised a life made victorious on the cross, He wasn’t joking. He is faithful to His Word. As long as I do my part and place my complete trust in Him even if the task seem impossible, He will make it happen. He will bring my goal, my hopes and my dream to fruition.

TBR Dream Marathon: Day 2

It was a wise decision to grab the book, I Declare by Joel Osteen, from the rack last week when Scholastic came to hold a Book Fair in our school. It is the perfect motivational book for someone like me who is about to pursue her dream of finishing a full marathon.

I am in Day 4 of the book and it reads, “I declare that it is not too late to accomplish everything God has set in my heart. I have not missed my window of opportunity. God has moments of favor in my future. He is preparing me right now because He is about to release a special grace to help me accomplish that dream. This is my time. This is my moment. I receive it today! This is my declaration.”

Such beautiful words. It reminded me of why I am pursuing this dream. It is because I want to bring to fullfillment exactly what the Lord wants me to be—strong, determined, and victorious. Indeed, I am going to stay passionate about what God put in my heart and I will accomplish everything that God placed in my heart.

TBR Dream Marathon: Day 1

On Sunday, I will be running my first full marathon under the TBR Dream Marathon. To say that I am a bundle of nerves right now is to put it mildly. My stomach is full of butterflies and my body is riddled with tension everytime I think about how I might not finish the race, become injured, or get sick days before the race day. I’m driving myself nuts, I know. It suddenly hit me this evening that the biggest obstacle to our dream is really our own self.

When self-doubts and negativity start invading my thoughts, I try my best to stop them by reminding myself how badly I wanted to bag this 42 in the first place and how I have worked hard for this. I think about how the Lord has birthed and planted this desire inside me and how He has been greatly helping me inch my way closer to this dream these past months.

I really shouldn’t worry too much because I have His favor. God’s grace will help me make it to the finish line. He has seen me through the worst these past two years, from the death of my husband to my daughter and I’s battle with cancer. He has never once failed me before, and I know that He is not about to start now. I will make it to the finish line, we will cross it together, me and My God.

Educating The Mind and The Heart The Paref Woodrose Way

“There, the child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was with him.”

It was when I became a mother that the decision to teach began forming in my mind. I wanted a job that would allow me to spend as much time as I can with my baby. I figured with shorter work hours and paid vacation, teaching was the perfect job for me. So teaching was more of a calculated move rather than an inspired decision. At the start, I told myself that I have to choose an institution where I would eventually want Bianca to study so everytime I’d go for job interviews before, I ended up asking more questions about the school than the interviewer herself. I accepted Growing Place Pre-school’s offer. It is smaller than Casa Montessori Internationale and less popular than Elizabeth Seaton but more homey and progressive, perfect for Bianca I thought. The following year, I enrolled Bianca in Nursery. That was where she bloomed and where I first fell in love with teaching.

It was when she was in Pre-Kinder that I started scouting for big schools where I can teach. Between Southville International, De La Salle Zobel, Seaton, and Woodrose, I chose the later because of its personal formation. I want a school that gives strong emphasis on family and values formation, I found that in Woodrose. A year after I joined the faculty, I enrolled Bianca in Grade 1.

When friends ask me how I managed to raise a well-adjusted, cheerful, and resilient kid, I always tell them most of the credit go to Woodrose. Our mediocre parenting is nothing compared to the doctrinal and personal formations that the school provides. In our family we taught her love and respect for others, in Woodrose she learned empathy and a much deeper sense of caring and responsibility towards others. We introduced her to our faith but it is really Woodrose that deepened her love for our faith.

I appreciated the Woodrose education all the more when my husband, Nan, passed away two years ago and when Bianca was battling with cancer. During those difficult times, her strength of character and steadfast love for God never wavered. In fact, between the two of us, she was the epitome of amazing strength and grace. I can never credit my genes or emotional parenting for that. I often tell this to parents deciding where to put their child: our children will spend most of their time in school so we have to choose the one where we can feel God’s presence the most.

Love + Running

My love affair with running started right after my husband, Nan, died. Weeks after he passed away, I remember fervently asking the Lord to give me something (not someone) to occupy my mind, fill my days with wonder, and make me feel alive again. I prayed for Him to bring back the bounce in my step, the smile on my face, and that same silly happiness I felt with Nan. He gave me running.

I remember that exact time I felt it, that gentle yet insistent prodding, that persistent desire to run. It was while I was standing by my husband’s grave one day, looking over at the horizon when I caught sight of this woman who was running strong and graceful, it’s as if her feet don’t so much as touch the ground. Her whole body was radiating strength and joy. I quite remember telling myself then that someday that’s going to be me.

Fast forward to my first attempt to run, my feet felt like bricks, I was gasping for air and I was just about ready to collapse on the pavement halfway through my lap. But I made it, oh yes I made it to the first kilometer, and to the second, and to the third…I have never stopped running since then.

But, my relationship with this sport, it isn’t always easy. In fact, everytime I am out running early in the morning while the rest of the world sleeps, I often ask myself, why do I have to do this? Surprisingly though, it is when self-doubt clouds my mind like this that the amazing thing usually happens. Always as if on cue, my mind will start to clear, my lungs will start to open, my whole body will sing in tune with each step, and I will be left there totally enjoying the exhilirating experience. Finding myself thinking yet again that, this, this is why you do this. So you’ll see that no matter how hard it may seem to get up in the morning, there’s always something great for you out there there. That no matter how difficult it may seem at the start, if just make a run for it with faith and determination, you will see yourself through.

Running has made me understand the beauty of a struggle. It made me see pain in a different light. It made losing my husband easy to bear. It made me realize a lot of things like difficulty will always be a given. The elements that can beat me down will always be there, it is your determination and attitude really that will get you to the next kilometer. It made me understand myself well enough to know when I am ready and strong enough for another push.

At present, I continue to run as passionately as when I first started. For me, love and running, they’re almost like the same thing.  You love and run till it hurts because in the end, you’ll find that,  it’s all truly worth it.

Blanca will be part of the hundred dreamers who will run their first marathon on February 22 at Nuvali under the TBR dream program of The Bull Runner. Want to run for your dream also visit

My “All Woman Race” Experience

Last Sunday, I joined the All Woman Race organized by The Bull Runner in Filinvest City, Alabang. Normally, I do not join races and fun runs simply because I do not find joy in waking up so early to drive myself to a race track just so I can clock in a 5 or 10 kilometer run. I figured I can do that somewhere near just the same. But, this race is different. First because it was especially organized for women and for few daring men who do not have any qualms running around in tutus. And second because it was a run for womanity as how the organizer aptly put it. I have always been a sucker for good taglines.

And so there I was at 4:30 in the morning driving along Daang Hari with my sister who’s just been home for the weekend from Singapore, all geared up and ready for this run. I have to admit it was pretty exciting. Off track, I am a 10K runner so naturally I joined the 10K race category.   The track with its curves, uphills, and downhills to me was surprisingly challenging yet fun. My friend, Shiela, who is a seasoned 10K and 21K runner, joined me in this race and paced me as well. We were able to finish in 1:04 hr. based on our own time and 1:10 hr. based on the official time. It was my first time to do a full 10K run. Normally I walk .30 of every kilometer to allow myself to recover. I am happy to note that I exceeded my own expectation of myself. I didn’t know I have it in me to run that long and that fast.  Must be the adrenalin and my friend’s coaching.




Joining this definitely changed my perspective a little bit about signing up for races. I have to admit, I have become some sort of a race snob these past two years.  When friends invite and encourage me to join them in fun runs, I always scoff at the idea of going to all the trouble and spending a few hundreds just so I can run. I always tell myself and others that I don’t need to measure myself up against other people’s standards just so I can be a good runner and I don’t need to join major races in order to motivate myself to make and achieve new running goals. But then, running along side ladies who are just as passionate as I am with running last Sunday, seeing the same determination and focus on their faces, and witnessing their strength, I mean it just made me feel so inspired and thankful that I joined. If anything the whole experience left me humbled. I went home more determined than ever to continue setting a new pace and running goal for myself.


Whereas this experience made me more open to join future races, it didn’t, on one hand, turned me into a race fanatic overnight…yet. If anything, it just made me reassess my running goal and plan for myself. Now I have included in it joining key races that will allow me to learn from the best so I can take my running to the next level, which is half/full marathon. I know it’s an incredible dream but seeing myself run alongside these women who clearly were making a run for their dreams and goals last Sunday, and seeing myself fall strongly into step with them, I know it is possible. I can make it happen.

God’s Amazing Love

“You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments.”

And here I thought God’s love is unconditional. Well obviously, I thought wrong. Well, He has every right because He is God and He is wise afterall. He knows that the only way He can push us to be the best that we can be for Him and for ourselves is by giving us a set of guidelines to follow. Although He’s clearly a rules kind of guy or rather God, He is far from cruel. He works along the principle of rewards rather than punishment. And although He has set simple and practical conditions for us to remain in His love, He is not one to jump at every chance to scream, “Go to hell!” whenever we fail to follow one of His commandments. Instead, He provides us an all-day access to the confessional, “lifelines” that can last a lifetime, 24/7 prayer hotlines, and best of all, unlimited chances of winning a one way ticket to heaven. Thats how badly He wants us to always have our eyes on the prize, that’s how badly He wants us to win the prize—His amazing love.

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