Contributors & Illustrators
JONATHAN BABSA-AY, MD
Dr. Joe Babsa-ay is a family medicine consultant at the UP-PGH. He began running in 2008. In 2009, he finished the pioneer edition of the Bataan Death March 102 Ultramarathon. He has been involved with FrontRunner magazine since its first issue in 2010. While he still regularly runs to say fit, he no longer attends Sunday races to devote more time to his wife, dermatologist Maria Angela, and their two young kids.
MARY JEANNE O. FLORDELIS, MD
With all three children grown up and all medical doctors themselves, Dr. Mary Jeanne and her husband now have more time to spend outdoors-hiking, running, swimming, biking and soon travelling on foot or by bike to the Philippines’ top island destinations. As a member of the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Visayas, Mary Jeanne produces patient education materials to empower persons with disabilities and works to promote exercise for all. On the side, she is her two triathlete sons’ support crew during races.
VALERIO RAMOS, JR.
Val is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is one of the few Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach with Distinction (RSCC*D) from Asia. For more than 10 years he has been coaching elite athletes of different sports and abilities from the Philippines and from Hong Kong, where he is based. Most of the athletes he has been coaching have improved their best performances and returned with medals from the South East Asian Games, World Youth Championships, Asian Games, Special Olympics World Games, Karate 1 Premier League and Youth Olympics. Aside from preparing teams and athletes for competition, he also works with injured athletes and individuals who simply want to improve their health and fitness levels. Val is also a Physical Therapist who is registered in the Philippines and shares his thoughts on www.valstrengthtraining.com.
JOSE LORENZO MINA, JR.
For many years Toto has led a staid existence where his explorations were confined in the hallowed caverns of the oral cavity, the valleys of the periodontal pockets and the restrictive tunnels of root canals, inside the confines of his 4-walled clinical life. Six years ago, he stumbled into the world of running and later, trail running and mountain exploration. He has never looked back since. He aims to take on one destination run (whether a full marathon or an ultra-trail race) at least once in each continent (four down, two to go), except in Antartica, but who knows. He finds delight in merging his love with the written word and running via his blog site rundmd.wordpress.com.
Jael is a former gym rat who now finds pleasure outside the gym exploring new places on his feet. He can be found at the track, in the streets, or in the mountains. He loves joining popular and crowded marathon majors (such as New York and Tokyo) as well as low-key ultra races (such as Miwok 100K and Hardcore 100 Miles). He claims that out of all his accomplishments, his biggest one is inspiring his wife to be a runner and marathoner too.
Robert is a familiar face in local ultramarathons and a regular contributor to the frontRUNNER print edition. The Australian, Philippine-based athlete is always looking to test his endurance limits through races and non-competitive events which he documents at www.robertjohnwatson.com. Before moving to the country in 2011, Robert served as 2nd Lieutenant Commissioned Officer in the Australian Army Reserves. As such Robert is trained in weapons handling, first aid and orienteering or reading maps and navigating with only a compass and map. He is also skilled in Krav Maga, a military form of self-defense.
JOHANNA OPORTO FLORDELIS, MD
is presently in her third year training as Dermatology Resident Physician at The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine in Manila. She has always had a passion for drawing growing up. She previously did her art using Copic markers (a Japanese brand of marker pens). Now she does computer art exclusively on her Ipad. She runs when time permits, but Pilates and Yoga are always part of her daily routine.
is an alumnus of UP Diliman with a degree in Interior Design. Best in penmanship during his Xavier School days, he admits to drawing his teacher’s faces during class. An illustrator since 2012, he is the creator of Chinitos Runner comic strip. An ultra marathoner converted by Papi Jonel, he is frontRUNNER’s back runner, often finishing last but strong, and within cut-off time. Fitness has been his way of life with bodybuilding, running, swimming, biking, and golf topping the list. He has strongly influenced the next generation. The eldest son is a Sports Science graduate, certified diver and now a fitness coach. Another is taking up Sports Studies, while his eldest daughter is a member of the national powerlifting team.
is a graduating student at the College of Fine Arts in UP Diliman. A consistent college scholar, Nicole loves painting and has joined numerous art exhibits. A member of the Philippine Powerlifting Team, she was a silver medalist in the 2015 Asian Powerlifting Championships in Hong Kong. Also a member of the UP Judo Women’s Team Varsity, she won a gold in the Philippine National Games Juniors’ Division 2013- 2014. She enjoys powerlifting because it gives her an excuse to do power eating. She plans to go into culinary arts as a second degree to help run the family business, Chinitos restaurants.