Dreaming big and running strong | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

THE COUNTRY’S swimming champions in Speedo Fastskin3 Racing System

There are challenges in life that once met, transform us into more fulfilled and complete beings. One such task is running a full, 42K marathon.

Today, around 500 brave and prepared runners are ticking one such item off their bucket list. The TBR Dream Marathon at Nuvali should just be finishing as many of you are reading this with your morning coffee.

Most of the 500 intrepid runners have trained for over six months for today’s challenge, and I am sure they have myriad stories to tell about their journeys.

INTERNATIONAL fashion designer Josie Natori and jewelry designer Arnel Papa at Manila Fame.

TBR, of course, stands for The Bull Runner, and founder Jaymie Pizarro was overwhelmed with the turnout at the huge TBR send-off party for this year’s batch held at the Bayanihan Hall in the Unilab Compound. The send-off included inspirational talks from TBR Dream Team members Jim Lafferty, Neville Manaois, my running coach Lit Onrubia, and Jaymie. Boy Ramos, a TBR Dream participant, and I hosted the event, raffling off over 90 prizes to the crowd. One quick way to hold a raffle for a minor prize is to just throw the item into the crowd!

The fun event was capped with a special video from Ripple 100 capturing the 22-week running journey of the runners who dream big and run strong.

Unilab Active Health is a proud sponsor of TBR. Unilab’s Alex Panlilio invited all the runners to lead an active life and in turn live quality lifestyles. He also manages Carbtrim, an effective ice-tea drink that blocks the body from absorbing carbs in food.

BETIS Crafts Furniture family. Jose and Myrna Bituin, Sea Princess, Alan Bituin

The TBR Dream Marathon is also sponsored by Sun Broadband and Runrio, along with Gatorade, New Balance, Otterbox and Oakley. Among its many supporters are Timex, Secondwind Running Store, Nathan, Nutribar, Chris Sports, Blacksheep Manila, Robinsons Supermarket, Neat Feat, Milo 3 in 1, Runner’s Runner, Purefoods, Starbucks, Dole, Toblerone, Cetaphil, P&G, Crystal Clear, Messy Bessy, Forward Lean Running, ROX and BGC.


Timex is one of the biggest supporters of sports in our country. For the upcoming Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Cebu, it’s once again sponsoring Timex Team Valdes. Gemma Pagsibigan, Timex marketing manager, has just e-mailed us our suit designs and my hubby Dennis, son Bryan and I are already excited for the event.

Of course, what excites me are the makeup and outfit possibilities that Ironman allows me to come up with. This year I am doing the bike leg instead of the run leg, as our team biker, brother-in-law Robin Valdes, is emigrating to Canada. Bike Town’s Goyo Larrazabal has promised to get me to Lance Armstrong speed from now to August. Our eldest Bryan has moved home from working in Singapore and will do the 21K run.

Dennis, constant as ever, is our swimmer. He is a Speedo fanatic and made sure to attend the 2012 Spring/Summer Collection fashion show of the iconic swimwear maker, held amid  the high rises of Bonifacio Global City. The new High Street Central was awash in sexy bodies boldly parading Speedo’s Fastskin3 racing system.

The annual Speedo fashion show is becoming a much-awaited event. This year, top Filipino and international models joined Speedo’s stable of athletes, like super young Justin Daniel Junio and national triathlete Nikko Huelgas, to present the sizzling collection, ranging from Play & Fun to Swim Fitness to Competitive, the latter a good prelude to the London Olympics.

Manish Mahtani, country head of Speedo, welcomed guests such as Mike Ball of the Pentland Group, and Speedo International execs Michael O’Donnell, Barry Halpenny and Harry Singh. Sen. Pia Cayetano and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano also graced the event.


TBR dream team. Jun Cruz, Neville Manaois, Janice Villanueva, Jaymie Pizarro, Macel Janeo, Jim Lafferty, Lit Onrubia

From swimming outfits, we move to another favorite topic, fashion accessories. Cebu accessory design Eleanor Omaque is in town to exhibit her wares at the Manila Fame. At the event, I bumped into international designer Josie Natori who, by special collaboration with the organizers, has put up an exhibit of her fashion wear.

Inspiration is the highlight of the Manila Fame at SMX, as well as the ongoing Worldbex Exhibit at the World Trade Center. At the opening of Worldbex, founder Joseph Ang welcomed his distinguished guests including stylish Daphne Osena-Paez, who has a booth of her lovely furniture.

Another recent event was the launch of Asian Traveler Magazine, which featured the best of the country’s tourist destinations. The editors chose me for the cover, which was taken by master photographer Bien Bautista at Fort Santiago. Fashion designer Dita Sandico-Ong also dressed model Kelly Misa for a fashion spread beautifully captured in Intramuros.

BERT Lozada Swim School COO Angelo Lozada, triathlete Tricia Chiongbian- Concepcion (second from right), Speedo Phils.’ Anna and Manish Mahtani

The launch at Prive was a tourism-focused event, with many top resort and hospitality personalities gracing the party. The buzz at the event was all about the soon-to-open casinos at Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Manila Bay. The opening of the first two casinos will truly be a game changer for Philippine tourism.

Triple A award

In closing, I would like to greet my one and only sister Sandy Romualdez a very happy birthday. She recently garnered the AIM Alumni Achievement Award, known as the Triple A Award, which is only given to alums who have done exceptionally well in the field of business. The award was presented by Jesli Lapus, AIM alum and former Secretary of Education.

AIM recently held its Alumni Homecoming, “Ready AIM Fire,” hosted by MBM ’92. I hosted the event together with Mike Ochosa, AIM alum and star of TV5’s AKTIV TV, at the NBC Tent.

The theme of the night was “fire,” symbolizing power and dominance, which was evident from the names and faces of the more than 500 AIM alums in attendance, flying in from all over the world. My co-host on TV5’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” Joby Belmonte and his team did an exceptional job in delivering the best AIM homecoming ever!

MBM ’92 capped off the event with a donation of a million pesos to the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation.

That’s the sort of donation that shows the quality of the AIM graduates and what they have attained. Truly. it can be said that AIM allowed these alums to meet great challenges in life, and fulfill and complete them.

Follow @Tessa on Twitter or email her at seaprincess@inquirer.com.ph.

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