Puerto Princesa Palawan Ultra Marathon: “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon”

(Title is a quote from Kathrine Switzer)
Event: Puerto Princesa Palawan Ultra Marathon (PPUM)
Organizer: ProSport
ProSport Upcoming Events: GUIMARAS Ultra 15/25/50K (May 4, 2013). For more events (Palawan, Panay, Negros) from them, see here >>.
We love to hear your story, please add it at aktib.ph.


There was a lot going on in me (woe-is-me moments), when we went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for the PPP Ultra Marathon. Add in some “girl red thing,” and  whatever little excitement I had in me for the race was gone. Not even the beautiful “bay views” and mountains of Puerto Princesa helped.

But when I met a few of the other participants when we picked up our race kits, sensing their excitement did not fail to perk me up. Some of them were trying their first ultra, and some were long-time ultra-runners. While, I, I always considered myself many first-timers in this ultra thing because it’s either I DNF-ed (did not finish), or I finished beyond cut-off time. So I’m not usually included in the “official finishers list.” =)

Probably one of the main things that got me stick with running are the people around it. I guess any one who is truly passionate about something is interesting in a magical way. Running is one of those areas where one needs to have a great deal of something, passion/motiviation/or whatever-floats-in-their-mind, to stay long in it.

And when you stumble into the endurance kind of sports like long-distance / ultra running, people cannot just fake their enthusiasm that long to endure it. Quoting Ervin Limpag’s answer about ultra running:

It was hard to explain to her (wife) why I do this or that, (specially the ultra marathons) when I couldn’t honestly explain that to my own self. I couldn’t just say I run ultra marathons for health reason. We know it’s beyond that.”

So for me, it probably is not that I’m passionate about testing my limits that’s why I joined this kind of events. But it’s more that I’m awed at this a bit-extra-crazy (in a positive way) true people. And, to meet them, well, I need to join them.

Following are some random snapshots of those people who do not fail to remind that hey, it’s a wonderful world after all.

At the starting line.

Yes, guys, we’re in the correct starting line.

With J. F. Abrina, one of the PPPUM organizers. Congrats on your 1st 25K/50K PPUM! More to come!


During the race. I wish I had taken a pic of everyone so I can make fun of you all. Kidding!

As expected, I was the last runner. So I have to thank these other running candidates for accompanying me along the way. Basing on the number of campaign posters, it seemed that government election have more runners than PPUM. It made me think: which is harder, running for government office or ultra distance race?

Anyhoo, it was nice to see Matt Mendoza again, and still looking young and handsome.

Puerto Princesa Government Election Candidates

Running “Calm” Doc Ledesma. The first runner I caught up with was Running Doc. As Virginia Parajenog (one of Cebu’s top female ultra runner) would say that one key to winning ultras is to keep calm. Seeing Doc Ledesma ran was like seeing calm in action, as if he’s just lounging-on-a-hammock-by-the-beach, to the finish line.

ultra running Doctor Ledesma

Jade “Screw Calm” Abellana. I thought she’s going to take it easy. With only 4 girls, she could just sleep thru the race and still be the champion. But instead, she went on picking the boys. Landing 3rd overall, only 2 boys were spared from her mean-ness. =)

But I guess the bigger consolation is that getting an almost sub-5hour finish (5:04), to think that it was a challenging route.


Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s first ultra couple. Emilio and Joanna Flores were not only first ultra couple, but they were also top finishers, 2nd placer female category and top 10 male category. (Sorry, blurry pic. You were too fast!)

Puerto Princesa's first ultra couple

#1. Jonathan Dungog, you will always be the number 1… number 1 male runner from Cebu. =)

Jonathan Dungog

Palawan Runners. I noticed all runners from Palawan can run fast. They say that most of them were first-timers, but they did it like seasoned ultra runners.


Iloilo Runner. I met Marlon when we picked up our race kit, and learned that it was his first. Seeing these both still strong on the way to the finish line was a big pusher.


Ultra Collector. AO – her name is always present in different ultra races. She just came from the 50-miler race around the most perfect cone, 360 Mayon, the previous weekend. We probably had joined few same events but it was only in this race that I finally met her up-close. But I guess what made her name stuck in my brain was the story about how she run to keep calm and strong from the pressure of her work, which is about fighting for the good cause.

Congrats on your 3rd place! (Her running group, Team Intensity, will have their “I Shall Return Ultra” this August 17, 2013)
Along the way, it was nice to see bikers and cheer each other. It seems biking is big in Puerto Princesa. With their mountains and challenging rolling hills, it’s a waste to not go out and enjoy the outdoors.


“I’m here not to finish, but to test my limits,” is the husband’s creed. That’s why, either he could not finish a race, or if ever he would, he looked dying at the finish line especially on the long distances. (Read on his story at aktib.ph here >>.)

Running is probably one of those things that made me learn more about our different personalities on a deeper level. The husband is not the one who will not accept limitations, while I’m the one who is happy to live around limitations. It’s probably a good combination, not always harmonious but fun.


For me, there is such thing as limitations. But it’s either we back down from it, challenge it, break it, or make the best of it!

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” And, you will find people who are not afraid to face their limits, their weaknesses, and make the best of their selves.

At the finish line.

Congrats to these 2 runners from Negros, a first timer (G. Escutin) who was not so happy with his 6-hour finish time, and a first placer overall (Ivan Villalon)!

Hoping to get some positive vibes from Ivan, the champion of the 1st Coast to Coast.


With JCI (sponsor), organizers, and support crews of Puerto Princesa Palawan Ultra Marathon. THANK YOU!

Posted by:


Rose Buenconsejo. A runner who runs after runners, and their stories, and her dream to become a NEDBANK.
Promo Girl, runroo.com
View her aktib race calendar >>


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