New Playlist Alert: “Push It”

Can I just say, I love Spotify? It is my constant companion during my workout and training sessions these days. Songs playing in my ears (thanks to my Under Armour JBL Bluetooth earphones) help me either tune out the boredom or focus on pushing harder.

While I have my own go-to custom playlists depending on what kind of training session I’m doing, it’s always refreshing to come up with a new mix. This latest one I’ve created on Spotify is called “Push It” and is one of my most eclectic playlists to date. Continue reading “New Playlist Alert: “Push It””

Training for Challenge Philippines

Last year while I was preparing for the inaugural Challenge Philippines, my sole goal was to finish it. This year things are a little different. After bagging the third spot on my age group podium, I now feel a little bit of pressure to stay on the podium, or at least do better than my time of 7:06:06. While last year before the race was held people had an inkling it would be hard, now everyone knows how brutal it is and are preparing accordingly. Add to this the bigger number of foreign participants, and you just know the competition will be much fiercer.

Challenge Philippines (photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Challenge Philippines (photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)

It’s now just a little more than 9 weeks to go until race day, and it’s a good time to start getting some heavy hill mileage on the bike. Challenge Philippines has 1,398 meters of climbing so you will definitely need leg strength.

However, the course is also technical with hairpin curves and switchbacks. For me the best preparation is definitely riding on the course itself. Some teams may organize their own recons, but the technical committee for Challenge Philippines will be holding guided recons open to all participants. I’ve been in touch with Jumbo Tayag of Hubble Multisport, and he tells me the first recon may be on December 27 with a support vehicle and mechanic. Most weekends of January will also have recons. Stay tuned for the official announcement soon!

I’ve also put together a new training playlist for Challenge Philippines. :D Continue reading “Training for Challenge Philippines”

A Merry Christmas with Spotify

While struggling through yet another traffic jam in Manila this afternoon I used the stalled time to try to put together a Spotify playlist for the Challenge Philippines races this year (as suggested by my reader Omi Castanar). There’s only so much tugz-tugz you can listen to in one sitting, though, so I started searching Spotify for other, more calming playlists.

“How about something in keeping with the Christmas season?” I thought to myself, especially since I remembered this is the final weekend Scrooge The Musical is showing at OnStage Greenbelt.

Spotify PlaylistsSpotify Holiday Playlists

Spotify has launched their holiday playlists, so it wasn’t hard to find something Christmas-y that I felt like listening to. I’ve always loved when popular artists release whole Christmas albums (Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” is what I play every December), so a Christmas pop playlist? You got me.

Spotify Playlist - Christmas Pop

Featuring artists such as Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, Ariana Grande, Leona Lewis, Chris Brown (wait, he recorded a Christmas song?) and more, this playlist had me happily singing along in my car, and with Spotify Premium the audio was high-quality and my listening pleasure was uninterrupted by ads.

I also plan to use another playlist for my annual family Christmas Eve party. With people of all ages attending, the Classic Christmas playlist is sure to please everyone.

Classic Christmas

As I mentioned in my previous blog post about Spotify, you can enjoy Spotify Premium for free with Globe’s GoSURF plans. Once you’re registered with a GoSURF plan, just go to to activate your free Spotify Premium subscription.

If you’re not on a GoSURF plan, you can still upgrade to Spotify Premium. Globe has a Spotify data plan for P299/month which gives you 1GB data allowance for Spotify. Just text SPOTIFY299 to 8888.

As an alternative, if you don’t plan on accessing Spotify with data, you can charge the upgrade to Premium through your prepaid load or postpaid phone bill (for Android), or pay for an in-app upgrade through Globe GCash Amex (for iOS).

What do you like listening to at Christmas time? :)

My New Training Playlist on Spotify

Thanks to everyone who followed my Road to Roth playlist on Spotify! Those were the songs that helped me train for Challenge Roth and were a very important part of my journey.

But now that race is over and done with and it just didn’t feel right to keep adding new songs to that race-specific playlist. Thanks to Globe’s GoSURF data plan and the free Spotify Premium service that comes with it, I’ve been browsing all sorts of playlists and discovering songs that I love running and cycling to!

Running/Walking Workout Playlists on Spotify
Running/Walking Workout Playlists on Spotify

Because Spotify has a huge community of users who put playlists together, it’s not hard to find a playlist for any occasion. I usually hit shuffle, and when a song comes on that I like, I add it to my own playlist. Continue reading “My New Training Playlist on Spotify”

My #RoadtoRoth Spotify Playlist

I promised in my previous post about Spotify to share a playlist of songs that have helped me through the hours and hours of training on my road to Roth. While I don’t play music when I’m on the road riding or running, when I’m hamstering away on a stationary bike or a treadmill I just can’t get through without some hard driving beats or my favorite tunes. This Spotify playlist has also helped keep me awake or entertained during the long hours of driving to training venues like Pico de Loro or race venues like Subic Bay.

So, my dear readers, let me present to you my #RoadtoRoth playlist on Spotify.

#RoadtoRoth playlist on Spotify
#RoadtoRoth Spotify playlist (click to listen)

This is what my playlist looks like on the Spotify desktop/laptop app. If you also have the app installed on your computer or your mobile, you’ll be able to play it right in your app. Or you can play it right here on my website while you keep reading…

Continue reading “My #RoadtoRoth Spotify Playlist”


I’m not the type of person to wake up in the morning and immediately start playing music. I love my peace and quiet; you’ll usually find me driving in silence on my way to work instead of listening to chatty DJ’s (who incidentally play more commercials than songs nowadays). But music is a huge part of what I do every day. I don’t play music aimlessly; it always has a purpose, from the group exercise classes I teach at the gym to the indoor workouts I do as part of my training. I listen to my iPod to pump myself up before a race. And on long swims, rides, and runs I usually have a song playing in my head or I sing it to myself to keep my rhythm.

I recently switched to a Samsung Galaxy S5 and updated to Globe’s new GoSurf plan. I found out that subscribing to GoSurf gives me access to Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service. I’ve had Spotify on my laptop for a while now, but this gave me a reason to download Spotify on my S5. I don’t keep a lot of music on my phone, but now thanks to Spotify I can stream my favorite songs and create playlists anytime, anywhere.


I particularly like the Browse tab in the app, which shows me Continue reading “Spotify!”

Ask Kikay Runner: Running Playlist

This is a new section on my blog where I answer questions people ask me. If you have any questions for future Ask Kikay Runner entries, contact me!

I mentioned in my Yurbuds review that I haven’t run with music in two years. Now that I’m about to do that again for specific workouts (track/speed), I realize that my old playlist needs refreshing.

Benedict asks:

I just read your review of yurbuds and you mentioned something about filling an mp3 player with your favorite running songs, so I would just like to ask what songs would you say is a must have in any running playlist? I’m looking to expand my playlist since it’s only good for 10k runs and that’s already with some songs repeated. Thanks!

Continue reading “Ask Kikay Runner: Running Playlist”