Total Fitness: ULTRA WOMAN

Total Fitness Magazine January - February 2011 cover

‘How did you prepare for your first Ultra run?’ My friends asked one night when we saw each other at at a bloggers’ event sometime in October. It was exactly six days after I fought my way to a well-deserved podium finish in my maiden foray into the crazy world of UltraRunning (to the uninitiated, Ultra Running is going beyond the 42km marathon) and yet apart from the unsightly tan line – which, at that time, was already starting to peel making it even more unappealing but I was not minding it much because I must admit that weird-looking tan line has become a blockbuster hit of a conversation starter – I was feeling great! Not to say I didn’t suffer the brunt of Mt. Pinatubo’s unforgiving heat, rocks, sand, and what-not because damn it I DID, but I bounced back from the unpleasant aftermath quite fast. Yes, I’m some kind of an android like that.

And no, I did not train for it. Not even for a day. Because up until two days prior to the race when Dennis the Running Pinoy told me that he signed me up for the race and got me my own first aid kit from Watson’s, I was not sure I would even do it. I was in Malaysia at that time and would only return to Manila at 6PM the day before the actual race. I did NOT even get to enjoy the luxury of sleep because I had to gear up and pack my race essentials very quickly soon as I arrived home from the airport in order to meet up with fellow runners at midnight. The race venue is roughly three hours away from Manila and gun start is at 5AM. I only had time for a shower and a heartfelt prayer for safety and survival. Before braving the 1st PAU Mt. Pinatubo 50k Trail Challenge, my running resume consisted mainly of two 5k, four 10k, three 21k races, one full marathon, and sporadic solo runs here and there to try and keep my waistline looking steady and narrow at 23 inches. So you see, there isn’t  much there for anyone to be able to ascertain that I’d even make it. But I am, first and foremost, a lioness. If there’s one thing I have in abundance of (apart from the very obvious charms), that would be my nerves of steel. The minute I got Dennis’ email confirmation on my Mt. Pinatubo registration, I knew I had to finish it. The how’s, why’s, and what ifs were all a-jumble in my head at that point but all that didn’t matter. I was going to finish the race – strong.

Before gun start, my fellow racers and I were happily trading playful banters and taking photos. Every now and then we would confer with the support crew to reassure ourselves that they would be right where we need them to be stationed at any point during the gruelling 10-hour cut-off race.  Apart from very few people, I did not know anyone else there as I have not really been visible at any of the competitive races because of my work and travel.  Surprisingly, I was not at all nervous. Perhaps because at that point, I was still in the dark as to how the whole race will unfold. Had I even the slightest hint, I’m sure I would quake in my feet a little.

At exactly 5:00 am, Sir Jovie aka Bald Runner officially opened the race and the 60+ runners including myself confidently took to the half-paved road of Sta. Juliana in Capas, Tarlac at the base of Mt. Pinatubo. It was very dark and neither I nor Dennis had headlamps on so we had to rely on gut feel and chance to keep our feet off potholes which could lead us to unwanted injuries and what-not. The paved road did not even cover a kilometer in my estimation because even before my feet could get used to the uneven path, we were running on sand (far cry from the powder-soft sand of Boracay, mind you), crossing rivulets, and getting our feet very wet in the process.

**For full stories, grab a copy of Total Fitness January to February 2011 issue in bookstores and newsstands near you.

Food Trip: HOOTERS Manila

Faveyummytrops:  Secret ramen place or Hooters for lunch?

Vicky: Woooshooo. If I didn’t know (you) any better,  I’d say you prolly just want to ogle Hooters boobies!  But hey, why not? I may want to see them boobies too. Hooters it shall be!

If only I were a 'D'. Wait a minute, I am a D. D for Diyosa. Can I get an amen?!?

Located at the Mall of Asia, this local franchise of world famous Hooters – purveyor of the American concept of commercial sexuality combined with the ‘wholesomeness’ of girls-next-door – opened its doors to the public sometime in 2008, much to the consternation of the waning band of conservative Filipinos.

My friend told me that he found both the girls and the service rather unremarkable, the first time he and a guy friend went for a visit. He was curious to see how things have changed since. I was Curious George twice over as it was my first time to go there. What did I tell you? I have become a bore.  But thanks to my dear friend, I am now looking at a possible resurrected social life – at least in the gastronomy department.

Vicky,  meet my friends carbs and sugar.  They’re the sweetest.

Oh, hi there carbs and sugar. You both look delicious enough to eat. Oh look, I AM EATING YOU!

When we arrived at Hooters, there were already a few customers in the joint and they were mostly foreign expatriates.  When he saw the two Hooters girls on shift, he remarked about the ‘improvement’. While still very much a far cry from what a typical Hooters girl looks like, the local counterparts, he said, were no longer as forgettable-looking as the ones before. Looking at the girls, I can only imagine how ‘bad’ the predecessors were. Juice ko po.

Now let’s talk food, which was after all what we came for. We ordered chicken quesadilla, grilled chicken caesar’s salad, and fish and chips. I give all three dishes a satisfactory rating. I’m no expert on food but I know bad/yucky when I taste one and the ones we got were certainly not in that category plus they’re reasonably priced.



Before leaving the joint, my friend suggested I have my picture taken with the two Hooters girls. Well, why not? I won’t buy those souvenir shirts but a photo would be good.


Who's the Hooters girl now?!?


Scoreboard: Vicky = 1 ; Hooters girl = 0.5

On what basis, you dare ask?  (a.) Size of waist – Mine’s 23 inches, I’m sorry but that’s life. (b.) Arms, legs, and thighs – You be the judge. (c.) Face – Hmmm, maybe she has the upper hand.  But she’s a sweetheart so I’m giving her .05.


I’m totally kidding, you guys!  Sense of humor much!


Total Fitness: Holiday Bingeing

While I spent the holiday season stuffing my face with sinfully delicious Thai food and an assortment of sweet delights, I seem not to have put on weight. And that's because I made it a point to hit the gym whenever I can and I walked around a lot in Bangkok. Good job!

Filipinos love to eat. The way we celebrate birthdays, fiestas, and the smorgasbord of gastronomic feast served during Noche Buena and Media Noche are reflective of the kind of appetite we have for food. Luckily, we seem to be managing our weight better than, say, the Americans or Australians, who are reported to be struggling more with weight not only during the holidays but generally all throughout the year.  Because of the plethora of food choices available for us in malls, the supermarkets, and now even via delivery, it is pretty challenging for anyone to stick to a healthy eating plan. Thankfully, we now also have access to multiple sports and fitness activities which equally make it easy for those of us in the habit of occasional bingeing to shed the excess.

But sometimes, especially during Christmas season when there’s always company parties, family dinners, friendly get-togethers to go to, we end up putting our fitness agenda on hold thinking ‘it’s just for two weeks anyway and we can always slave away in the gym once the exhilaration of the partying settles.’  I should know. I’m guilty as charged.

So, if like me, you tend to eat more and exercise a lot less during the holidays, how about we follow these holiday survival tips and curb the compulsion to overconsume?


  • Do NOT avoid fat altogether. Eating moderate amounts of fat during the holidays will satiate the appetite and prevent overeating of carbs (about 35-65 grams per day will be sufficient for most people.)
  • Do not skip meals or completely deprive yourself of your favorite food thinkinking this is ultimately what’s best. It is NOT. Hunger and low sugar levels can lead to overeating. Moderate consumption is the key. You can still enjoy your favorite dish but do so in reasonable amount.
  • Dispose of ‘trigger’ foods or ‘comfort’ foods around the house. Store chocolate chips and sugar-laden treats in colored canisters (the clear ones are a big no-no, especially if they’re the first ones you see when you step into the kitchen!) and hide them at the very back of the cupboard.
  • Avoid going to parties on an empty stomach. Before leaving the house, have a glass of protein shake or a protein bar so you won’t be in a major bingeing mode when you come face-to-face with the buffet.
  • Drink loads of water everyday and especially during the day of a majoy party celebration when you’re sure there is going to be food served nonstop.

**For full stories, grab a copy of Total Fitness December 2010 issue in bookstores and newsstands near you.


Men’s Health: Read Her Dirty Mind ‘The Married Woman’

MH July 2009 Issue

Name: Bambi Reyes** (not her real name)

Occupation: Group Manager for Sales
Status: Married, 4 kids
Last Hookup: 2 days ago
Number of Active Partners: 2
Looking for: Non-reproductive, purely recreational sex with men other than husband
Tuesday, 11:30AM
The day started just like any other, painfully trite. Even the morning sex with my husband has failed to give me that certain kind of jolt to keep me energized at least for most part of the day. Gene, my husband, seems to have retired behind the wall of marital ease. He seems to have already forgotten the preludes to sensual desire, which left me in a state of isolation – with my needs and jungle natures unsatisfied.[1] I went down to the smoking area with two of my colleagues. It was there that I saw him again. I’ve seen him twice before and I thought he was interesting and I told my colleagues that. I can get his number for you if you want. Says my friend Nikki and though I tried to play it goody-goody by discouraging her, I was secretly hoping she’d get his number just the same. As if she read my mind, Nikki walked over to where he was standing and came back saying, His name is John and I gave him your number. In spite of my pretences, I was beginning to feel the once all too-familiar spark of anticipation for what’s going to happen next. Is he going to call me?

Gene is in the living room watching TV. I took my place in the dining area, laid out all the paperwork I pretended to review on the table and tried my best to look busy. I know it’s unwifely of me but I’m hoping he’d go to bed soon and not bother me with another one of his 5-minute sex which I have come to despise. Not only does that kind of sex leave me unfulfilled, it also makes me feel like a discarded rug after. How did we end up on the opposing sides of sexual spectrum when we had it so good in the beginning of our marriage? I don’t want to think John had anything to do with this – how I’ve grown acutely aware of my husband’s shortcomings. John. I got his text message shortly after I reached home, I replied. Thus started the manic sms exchange which I didn’t want my husband to suspect so I switched my phone to silent mode. By this time, John already knows I’m married. He is too, apparently. Let’s have dinner tomorrow, he said. Sounds like a plan, I said.
Wednesday, 8:30PM
Before dessert is served, we were both treading heavily waiting for the slightest pretext to leap out and ravage each other like primitive animals. Let’s get out of here. We walked hurriedly to the car park and when I saw that he was parked in an almost obscure spot, the wheels of my imagination started spinning wildly. I can’t remember the last time I had sex inside a parked car but I thought now would be the perfect time to recreate the experience. In the backseat, we fumbled with belts, trouser zippers, buttons, and my silk panties while our mouths, teeth and tongues hungrily sought each other. John was on top of me and I had my left leg curled around the curve of his buttocks. Soon, his engorged penis was rubbing against me, drawing sparks, and prodding me to open wider for him. I was raising myself tautly toward him, bracing myself for the sexual climax that was about to come and when it finally did, I was half-faint from pleasure.
I cheated on my husband. The enormity of what I had done came over me like a giant wave when I reached home and saw my youngest son sleeping soundly on my husband’s lap on the couch. Crossing the distance between the main door and the couch to greet my boys felt like taking the Walk of Shame. Later that night, I was the one who initiated the sex with Gene. He was a bit surprised by it but my enthusiasm and uninhibited passion got him completely aroused he didn’t ask any more questions.[2] For the first time in many years, I felt closer to my husband that night. Or was it residual guilt masquerading as affection? I looked at his sleeping form thinking how vastly different he and John are. Whereas John is lean and sinewy, Gene looks every inch the father-of-four that he is – portly and floppy-armed.
Friday, 11:00PM
I saw John again the night before and he took me to the hotel room he was staying in for the night. He told his wife a cock-and-bull story about an overnight planning session with his staff and begged me to stay with him for the night. I couldn’t. But as a compromise, I told him I can stay for a couple of hours – my husband thinks I’m out drinking with the girls anyway. John is so flexible and athletic he taught me many things I had never experienced with Gene and with any one of my Ex-boyfriends before I got married. Sometimes, I’d use these new things John taught me with Gene and in those times, I actually enjoy sex with him.
Monday, 8:00PM
I made excuses to Gene just to be able to see John twice over the weekend. I couldn’t stop re-enacting various scenes in my mind: John bending me over the kitchen sink or how firm and shapely my legs look propped up on his muscular shoulders as he takes me deep and hard. By this time I know I’m hooked. Keeping two relationships is becoming increasingly difficult but I am captivated by the intensity of pleasure and the danger that come with each rendezvous.[3]

[1] In his book Infidelity: A Survival Guide, Dr. Don-David Lusterman cited Sexual curiosity, Lost sense of fun and excitement in the marriage and Inability to accommodate a partner’s needs, desires and expectations as among the reasons for extramarital affairs. He also debunked the prevailing theory that all women are in search of emotional attachments as part of their involvement in extramarital affairs. For some women, it can be just all about the sex.
[2] Michelle Langley, author of Women’s Infidelity, said that there are 4 stages that women often experience in the course of their long-term relationships with their partners and it usually begins with the loss of sexual desire (Stage 1). Women at Stage 2 experience reawakened desire stimulated by an encounter outside the marital relationship and may experience tremendous guilt at some point and they will try to overcome feelings of guilt by becoming more attentive toward and appreciative of their husbands. But this ‘appreciation’ will soon turn to ‘justification’ as the affair drags on.
[3] From Stage 2, Michelle Langley in her book Women’s Infidelity, zeroes-in on women at Stage 3 – they are involved in affairs, ending affairs, or contemplating divorce. Women who are having affairs experience feelings unlike anything they have experienced before or what is typically referred to as being in love. But these women are also typically in tremendous pain, the pain of choosing between their husbands and their new love interests. They typically believe that what they are doing is wrong and unfair to their husbands, but yet are unable to end their affairs.

100: Mouth

Her mouth had, from the very beginning, already seduced him. The voluptuous flesh of it appeared to him like a rich promise of a generous womanhood. And the beads of moistness planted by the occasional running of her playful tongue along the curve of her lips cause him to burn in feverish arousal. Always, always, he wants to lose himself in her mouth. Ravaging it until his tongue is exhausted in its assault, and his lips swollen like the waves in a storm. In that tantalising crevice on her beautiful face is where he always wants to find his release.