One of Leyte’s most famous delicacies is the pastillas de leche from Carigara. I grew up eating this sweet treat on special occasions. What makes Carigara’s pastillas is the use of pure carabao’s milk. This ingredient makes the product creamier but not too sweet, the kind that tastes like heaven as it melts in your mouth. Yummy!
We visited Carigara this year for the 1st Carigara Fiesta Marathon and Color Fun Run 2018. I took a short nap after spending the day working at my parents’ school. By 11:00 PM, we headed out for the hour-long drive to Carigara from Tacloban City. The start time was 1:00 AM of July 8, 2018.
An event was winding down at the Local Government Unit (LGU) grounds. We proceeded to a small building to pick up my bib and check in for the race. I pre-registered online and paid the race fee of P1,400.00. My husband Richard stayed behind in Manila but I had my brother Don and our family driver as my support crew.
The marathon was a fundraising event for the 2019 HCC Grand Alumni Homecoming that will be hosted by Class 1994 and was part of the official town fiesta events. The registration fee included the T-shirt and the bib.
I met up with a fellow Taclobanon runner and his wife who was the president of the alumni group. Many members of Class 1994 were at the alumni office busy preparing for the races. I took the chance to have my picture taken with them.
22 runners signed up for the marathon. We warmed up by dancing the zumba, and took off at exactly 1:00 AM.
Starting line was at Carigara LGU- going to Capoocan via Sta. Cruz chapel/ Slaughter house – turning point at Atipolo bridge going back to Carigara, then straight to Tunga – turning point at Naliwatan bridge going back to Baruguhay Carigara- turn right straight to Carigara District Hospital- turn right going to Barugo- turning point at Barugo Central School- going back to Carigara- straight to Cassidy Elementary School turn right going to Boulevard- turn left- going to the finish line at Carigara LGU.
Don was a very caring support crew; he ensured that I had all the water, energy drink, and food I needed. He also took photos of me running by my lonesome. He talked to the organizers prior to the race to ensure that he knew the route, and trailed me to light the road ahead.
I was thinking I had the hometown advantage in this race. Boy was I wrong! The race was tough and was longer than the marathon distance by about three kilometers. I shuffled to the finish line with another runner who was doing the half marathon.
I crossed the finish line in 6:21:16 and was very surprised to emerge as the second runner-up in the women’s division. I received the cash prize of P3,000 in cash from the president. I was so happy that even though I was super slow, I still managed to get a prize!
The finisher’s goodie bag included sample pain medicines and a promotional cup.
The race was definitely well worth it! The hometown feel and no pressure in running was just perfect. We stopped by one of the houses to buy the famous pastillas de leche and ate them all before we had a chance to take a photo of our purchase!