A Visit to the OCBC Aquatic Centre

I was in Singapore last week, and during that short trip I found the opportunity to visit the OCBC Aquatic Centre!

Singapore has an abundance of public pools, and every child learns how to swim from an early age. However, the OCBC Aquatic Centre is part of that massive complex known as the Singapore Sports Hub which is comprised of the aquatic center, the National Stadium, an indoor stadium, the Water Sports Centre, a water park, an arena with a gym, a library, a sports museum, and a mall. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to see and experience as a visiting triathlete, especially when I ended up there in September last year while paying a visit to the H&M branch in Kallang Wave Mall.

Due to lack of time I only got to see the training pool as well as get something to eat from the mall food court. It was still a delightful and envy-inducing way to see Singapore sport culture as encouraged by their national government.

OCBC Aquatic Centre

OCBC Aquatic Centre
the competition pool, which was closed when I visited (both photos not mine, in Public Domain)

Thanks to JC Roldan, a Filipino based in Singapore, who offered to come with me to the aquatic centre on his day off. I hate being that ignorant tourist who doesn’t know what goes where, so I was relieved to have his local guidance there.Β  Continue reading “A Visit to the OCBC Aquatic Centre”

Dispatch 13: Traveling

Life sometimes brings you the unexpected, and after a few weeks of falling into a routine I was in for an abrupt change. But I like to go with the flow.

Well, what else would you do if you got an opportunity to go someplace and rev up your training? And so I found myself on a plane last Thursday heading for Phuket.

Dispatch 13: Flying

I do some freelance writing work for a sports resort in Phuket, and they decided to bring me in for the week to work on the website for their Wellness Centre.

Aside from some really great sports training facilities which I’ve already discussed in great detail numerous times, T*** also has a center devoted to complementary health: nutrition, yoga, physiotherapy, and mind training. So off I went to explore this side of T***. Continue reading “Dispatch 13: Traveling”

Kikay Reviews: Amanzi Swimwear High Summer Collection

The last time I shopped for swimwear was in 2014, when I was building into my first ironman and started swimming a lot more. While my suits have served me well, every good thing comes to an end and I found myself in need of new suits. I turned to Amanzi Swimwear, an Australian swimwear brand that has made a bigger push into the Philippine market the past two years.

Amanzi Swimwear

The chlorine-resistant SPF50 Amanzi Armor fabric is a big draw for me. I do almost all of my swimming in chlorinated pools, and I’ve had poor experience with high-profile swimwear brands whose suits either turn into sticky rubbery messes within a year, or shred when the fabric turns crispy. One of my Endure teammates Hanna Sanchez teaches swimming and is also a marathon swimmer; she swears by her Amanzi swimsuits. My friend Brooke Langereis-Hammond is an “Amanzi girl”, a pro triathlete featured on all their PR materials. She practically lives in Amanzi swimwear — and races all her triathlons in them!

I inquired on the Amanzi PH Facebook page about their latest High Summer collection catalogue, and the brand manager Pinky Lim was kind enough to send me one of their one-piece suits to try out! Cue the excitement… Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Amanzi Swimwear High Summer Collection”

The 28th SEA Games

The SEA Games are on in Singapore this week, and of course the Philippines has sent in our own bets across the various sports to be contested. (Here’s a list of the sports we have athletes in.)

While this week is the pointy end for professional tennis at the French Open and Game 1 plays out on Friday for the NBA Finals, don’t miss out on the action in our backyard.

SEA Games - Team Philippines

You can check out the SEA Games coverage on local free-to-air television by tuning in to AksyonTV, or browsing to Sports5.ph. Unfortunately, live airing is limited to basketball, volleyball, and football.

A better option would be to head to Youtube channel Sport Singapore which offers live coverage of the SEA Games. I see a listing for Day 1 Swimming Heats, so fingers crossed for more coverage in the following sports:

Over my years in endurance sport I’ve had the privilege to encounter many of the athletes competing: Jessie Lacuna in swimming, who has also tested the waters of age-group triathlon; Rafael Poliquit and Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista in the men’s marathon; Mary Joy Tabal in the women’s marathon and Mary Grace de los Santos in the women’s 10,000m; Mark Galedo of the national cycling team (featured in this blog post; and Nikko Huelgas, Jonard Saim, Kim Mangrobang, and Claire Adorna of the national triathlon team.

A special shout-out goes to my fellow Team Mizuno athlete Rachel Daquis (volleyball).

They work hard to be at the top of their respective sports here in the Philippines and I’m glad they’ve been put forward to represent the country. All the hard months of planning, training, and sacrifice come to a head this week. I hope they make us proud by doing their best and showing good sportsmanship over the course of the competition.

Go Team Philippines!

Training Venues: Subic Bay

This is part of a new series about training venues for running, cycling, and swimming near Metro Manila.

With only a two-and-a-half hour drive separating it from Metro Manila, Subic Bay is the preferred location for a bunch of races on the multisport calendar. It’s hard not to see why: this former U.S. base has open water, safe and well-paved roads whether flat or hilly, and plenty of good accommodation options. In fact, you’ll also often see local tri teams organize training weekends in Subic, especially before major races. Now, it’s also a training base for elite and pro athletes both local and foreign.

Next Step Tri Challenger Camp
During one training camp in Subic

Continue reading “Training Venues: Subic Bay”

Get Speedo Fit Camp, Session #1

The thing I love about being a triathlete is there’s always something I can work on for improvement. For the past few months it’s been about improving my swim and I’m glad to say all the solo training sessions I’ve done have paid off. That said, a fresh pair of eyes can see what I can’t; that’s why I popped into the Get Speedo Fit Camp a few weeks ago held at Fitness First Platinum in SM Aura, which was facilitated by Coach Anthony Lozada.

Get Speedo Fit Camp Session #1
Get Speedo Fit Camp participants with Coach Anthony Lozada

It was an intimate batch of participants all interested in learning to swim better, whether they wanted to start competing in aquathlons and triathlons or just swim for fitness. Continue reading “Get Speedo Fit Camp, Session #1”

Kikay Reviews: Speedo Aquapulse Goggles

Today I took to the pool not only for a great speed workout — Challenge Philippines IS only 11 weeks away — but also to test the Speedo Aquapulse Goggles that were sent to me by Speedo Philippines.

Speedo Aquapulse Goggles
Speedo Aquapulse Goggles

I’ve got probably about five or six sets of goggles at home (and only one pair of eyes! LOL), but I have my favorites and I am finicky when it comes to what I use for serious training. I have a love/hate relationship with swimming, so when I want to get training done, I need to have my equipment not fail on me or else I bail on the session. Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Speedo Aquapulse Goggles”