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Race Event: PDA Pilipinas Darating Ako Run, and a short quip on an almost-‘plane accident’ and Sunday’s Run For The Orphans


Hello Loves! It’s been a mad, mad several weeks of hectic work schedule occasionally punctuated by a little bit more work and one or two running event if I happen to be in town. I had been away for two weeks on business travel to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and my tiny frame has barely recovered from exhaustion and the almost-plane crash on our flight back to Manila Saturday night – which I will share with you later on if I’m still feeling prolific, when I jumped right into a 10k race at Camp Crame yesterday and almost snatched a podium finish. On hindsight, you could say it had been a weekend of ‘almosts’. Oh but perhaps I exaggerate with the almost plane crash, but let me tell you the story and you be the judge as I don’t want to sound overly dramatic about it. After all, I’m still alive and fighting to die another day, right?

So our flight was at 5:30pm via MH805. Boarding and time of departure were followed almost to the letter. I was sitting between Davoud and a nun. I watched a bit of Entourage on my laptop and I tried to move the screen away from the nun’s direct line of vision as I really didn’t want to offend her with the somewhat explicit scenes in the series. Somewhere in the middle of the episode, I started to feel sleepy so I folded the screen and drifted off to a deep slumber. I woke up to Davoud shaking my arm a little bit vigorously. Still half asleep, I asked him what it was and he said that an announcement came on the inflight speakers saying we will reverse our course and head back down to KLIA because ‘the plane is experiencing technical problems’. I only caught ‘technical problems’ and I immediately went on high alert mode, like how your dog’s or cat’s ears would perk when sensing trouble or danger. We had only been up in the air for about an hour or so. Imagine how the words ‘plane technical problems’ wrought every imaginable horror/disaster in my head!  I tried not to appear too scared but the involuntary shaking of my hands, the slight quiver in my lower lip, and the expression on my face I’m pretty sure showed otherwise.

I kept looking down and seeing only the jungles of Malaysia which only fueled my agitation. By this time, I was already conjuring fiery images of our plane crashing down and it bursting into wild flames – including us, the passengers. I mean, really, what do people usually think of in such situations? So uncool but I was too terrified to care about coolness. Anyway, we managed to land safely back in KLIA and we didn’t even have to wait for ages for the next plane to come and take us on a flight back to Manila, finally.

Whatever the technical problems were, I guess it’s rather wise of the MH pilot to make that decision to turn back instead of risking our lives. Of course, one can always argue that the plane should have been thoroughly inspected and should not have been cleared for take-off in the first place, but we’re safe now and that’s what matters. I don’t know if you guys have had the same experience but let me tell you just the same that it ain’t pretty. Nothing messes up your mind more radically than the thought of having to die in such a violent way and you’re just sitting there waiting for the inevitable to explode in your face. Literally.

***

I arrived in Manila at past midnight Sunday and reached home just after 1am. Didn’t bother sleeping anymore as I had to go to Camp Crame for a 10k run organized by RUNdezvous called Run For The Orphans, a benefit run for the children of deceased military men and women. Sir Rene aka Jazzrunner gave Team Reebok free race kits and my teammate Beep Beep picked me up around 4:30am. Still a bit shaken from the plane scare and obviously groggy from zero sleep, I manned-up nonetheless and ran as best as I could.

Thank you XtopherProject for this photo. I said on FB that I look like Flash here. Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde nga lang. hihihi.

I crossed the finish line at 57 minutes or so. No surprise there given what I had been through and of course the lack of running and workout whatsoever the past two weeks that I was traveling. I heard my name called and they told me I finished third – yey! – and then Mish, the pretty host and KB Runner’s commander, told me that I had been bumped-off from the podium because super fast Reylynne who was the consistent female leader at the race apparently got lost and ended up doing one more extra loop. Ayyy. hahaha. So ya, I was third for exactly 5 minutes which is still good – yey again!

Thank you Team USB for this photo.:)

I liked Run For The Orphans for a lot of sentimental reasons. The vibe was easy, fun, we were all like one big family there – just like old times. No bad vibes, just a bunch of running enthusiasts pledging support for a disenfranchised group of orphaned kids. I’m glad to be part of this cause and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more of my old-time runner friends and the ones that I’ve met for the first time that day.

Team Reebok and Team Diadora

***

Now if you’re a runner who, like me, is quite passionate about social responsibility and getting actively involved in helping those in need of care and nurturing, there is a racing event you can check out this coming Sunday: PDA Pilipinas Darating Ako Run. PDA is a fun run in celebration of the 8th Dental Health Month happening on the 19th of February at the Cuneta Astrodome starting at 4:30am. Apart from promoting dental health, PDA also seeks to gain support for its BINHI (Bawat Isa Nangangako Habangbuhay Iingatan) Reforestation Program – for which they declare: One Runner, One Seedling. Now don’t you agree that our environment also needs a lot of care? And wouldn’t you want to be among those who are bravely taking steps to restore Mother Nature – with great vigilance? I hope you will answer YES to both.:)

This race has been organized by Without Limits, also one of my favorite organizers in today’s running industry.

For details, check below.

Another Year Almost Over


Here I sit, watching The Voice on AXN and thinking Adam Levine is really one very attractive specimen. Don’t you think so? In the bathroom, i’m running a hot bath in which i’m going to soak myself for an hour, to wash off the sweat I worked up with my back-to-back Insanity Core and Cardio sessions earlier. It’s Saturday, the beginning of a long weekend in Malaysia (and the Philippines, too) and I’m just keeping it nice and easy in the morning – before it gets roller coaster-crazy again in the afternoon.

Not to say that I am a fitness freak...

Twenty eleven, you are almost on your way out of the door. When did the years start speeding by so fast? Is this an age thing somebody forgot to send me a memo of? Has my life now turned into this: months moving on fast forward, days on a mad loop, minutes that swirl round and round and round me? Some years ago, I graduated from the Uni and now I’m sorta-kinda living the life I had wanted since I was little – simple but purpose-driven.

I remember last November vividly. I remember traveling to Jordan for the first time and being fascinated by Petra. It was and still is, one of THE MOST amazing moments of my life. One day, when I’m old, I will forget faces, birthdays, numbers, moments, but not Petra and how it opened my senses to the beautifully strange and mystifying. One other thing I remember last November was how excited I was for months to change already so Chris and I can finally go on our December Phuket holiday.

Phuket 2010

One year later, I’m here in Malaysia for work and feeling the same wave of excitement again for December for a whole range of reasons but most especially for our second Bali trip (this piece of wonderland we visited in August 2010). The feel of sand between my toes, the just-the-two-of-us-holiday that we planned for, to once more close the gap between us, and no longer hating geography for making us so far apart.

Bali 2010

Things are changing up so fast I sometimes have to will myself to stand still, shut people out for a moment, and take several deep breaths just to regain focus. Do you ever feel that way sometimes? Being so overwhelmed it stifles you? Not that there is any reason for me to complain because try as I might, there isn’t any. Knock on wood but I feel Life has really made up for the bad cards it dealt me earlier on.
Two days ago, I also heard one of the most beautiful love story involving my dear friends from college and I remember going to bed that night feeling genuinely happy that they have found love in each other. Ahhh, Love. How is it that you make butterflies flutter about in my stomach? I think it’s time to make concrete plans to visit NY and give my felicitations personally.:)
It’s not yet twenty twelve but the dregs of twenty eleven are now visible that I can’t wait to take them all in one gulp so I can finally get a refill. Let my new year be happy. Let new opportunities come barreling through the door. I am ready for change, 2012, and if you know me even just a little bit, you know darn well that I can handle it. Let travel happen, let long distance become together-all-the-time, let me finally figure out cash and jobs and adult relationships. Will you allow me to be greedy and ask for more, more, more, and please, will you give it to me? Let everyone I love be safe, healthy, and happy this coming 2012, too. Make it an exciting year, a good year, a year we will not want to say goodbye to. At least not too soon.

The Girl Who Straddled Halloween


…and liked it very much, yes.  So last Friday, as you know, we celebrated Halloween in advance at the office and I showed up as a French maid who must’ve forgotten to go on a serious diet a month before because I looked bloated in some of the photos. ‘Sup with those gargantuan arms anyway, huh? Still, it was so much fun – especially since I don’t have past Halloweens to benchmark last  Friday’s against. So yey, fun!

'Don't Worry, 'V' Happy' Halloween 2011

I'm a good maid, yes?

And then I hied-off to Malaysia for work and arrived in time for my second Halloween, this time, with my Malaysian colleagues. If I was impressed by the costumes of some of the staff in Manila, I was even more impressed by what some of our Malaysian counterparts wore to the party. Some of them were pretty scary, I tell you. Izzan and Vijiyar startled me when they walked into the room garbed in their vampire costumes – complete with vampire contact lenses! Tanyen looked sensational in her Goth bride outfit and Jamie was a knockout in her Japanese schoolgirl/sailor ensemble. That night, I was a fairy with turquoise wings and lavender wand which does absolutely no magic, except to look pretty when (being) waved about. It was quite a transformation from the naughty maid that I was back home.Our Boss joined us at the tail end of the  poolside party and we had a managers meeting right after – which lasted well until past 1 in the morning. That’s exactly how we roll in this side of town where fairies attend meetings of the human kind.;)

Halloween in Malaysia (Photo by Eugene)

Japanese schoolgirl/sailor and the Blue Fairy

Vampires and a Fairy

With (the) Goth Bride and (the) Queen of the Damned.

And of course, after stuffing my face with sweets, Twisties, and mee hon, I felt so guilty I wanted to run around PJ, except that I forgot to pack my running kicks! I have Matilda (my EasyTone shoes) with me though, so at least I can do Insanity but with a bit of restraint because I have to constantly mind my form, which is a bit tough to hold with Matilda’s balance pods creating forced instability. Since I can’t do power jumps and other Insanity routines that could hurt my ankles when I land, I am concentrating on my core and thighs instead with lots of obliques and inner thigh pulses when on plie. At the risk of sounding utterly biased, I must say yet again that Reebok makes me look good. Don’t you think so?

Stretching is important in any workout.

Wearing Cirque du Soleil top and Reebok EasyTone shoes.

Total Fitness: Improve Your Personality, Pronto!


Which type are YOU?

Note: Published in this month’s issue of TOTAL FITNESS. Grab a copy TODAY!

***

WANTED: With pleasing personality. Look at job ads with mirth or disdain all you want, but there is a reason why nearly all frontliner jobs make ‘pleasing personality’ a non-negotiable requirement. Nobody wants to be around someone who is considered difficult or unmanageable. While some of us seem to be born with a knockout personality that people automatically get drawn to them, there are those who need some work to get there.

At the end of the day, we all secretly or overtly desire to improve ourselves and our personality.  Some do it by first focusing on what is seen on the surface – things such as: changing the whole wardrobe to accomplish a certain look or style; cutting one’s hair or changing the color completely; getting contact lenses or spectacles. Others take speech and personality development  courses or religiously go through a stack of self-help books. But no matter what methods you choose to employ, it would be good to understand that there is a lot more to personality than meets the eye. Combine beauty, impeccable diction, and other outward qualities with grace, kindness, charm, and other essential traits and you just might run off with this year’s Best in Personality award.

So how does one improve her personality?

1.  Don’t be all about YOURSELF. Be interested in people and show it! Spend time learning other people’s likes, dislikes, interests, and beliefs. By doing this, people will warm up to you quickly and think of you as someone who can be trusted.

2.  Be approachable. Don’t walk around with a huge chip on your shoulder. Smiling won’t cost you a fortune so wear that big smile on your face and don’t discourage people from approaching you with that scowl on your face.

3.  Just like everyone else, you have your own weaknesses. Own up to it and don’t go around acting self-righteous and infallible. You can be perfectly likeable in your imperfections.

4.  Appreciate your friends and don’t be shy to compliment them in front of others. By talking about your friends’ good qualities, you are essentially showing the world your appreciative nature. But make sure that you speak the truth when talking about other people’s attributes. Otherwise, you are just another liar.

5.  Surround yourself with people who are successful and happy. Associate yourself with those who can influence you in the positive way and learn from their points of view. Identify your mentor and always seek advice and guidance on matters you are not so confident about.

6. Be visible. Attend social gatherings and expand your circle of friends and widen your sphere of influence.  Listen to conversations and contribute ideas on topics you have some knowledge on. This will greatly improve your communication skills and add to your stock knowledge as well.

7. Introduce changes in your environment. Avoid getting stuck in your routine. Go on vacation to recharge and whatever you do, make sure  you learn something new and different that you can apply to your  daily life.

Personality development and improvement does not happen overnight. It takes a great deal of desire to improve and focus on the steps that you need to take in order to achieve this goal. Also, don’t get discouraged when, in the process, you encounter one or two people who do not take instantly to you. There will always be stumbling blocks but do not let them stop you from becoming a better you.

***

GREAT MALAYSIA FINDS. So you know I have been here in Kuala Lumpur for the past two weeks already and because we’ve been so busy preparing for V-Malaysia; staging it for 5 full days and having the most amazing time doing it; and now that it’s finally over, making sure necessary reports are filed and post-event deliverables are executed – I was only really able to check out the mall once to see what junk I can bring back home. I remember back when I used to spend all my money each time I’m in Malaysia buying shoes, clothes, body moisturisers, chocolates and what-not. But during my last few trips abroad, I have actually been keeping the dough safe and only visiting the two stores I cannot imagine living without: ALDO and La Senza.

On our last day of V-Con, my team and Davoud’s went out to dinner (much love to our darling Venu who gave us food money!) and while waiting for everyone to arrive at the mall, Claire, Andy, Jerlen and I decided to do some window shopping. Except that we ended up actually shopping!

VComm and VBox: Only the GREATEST teams everrrr!

I told you I got LUMI the Lumix, right? She’s adorable, that Lumi!

I also got me some delectable stuff from La Senza which I can’t show you, obviously.

And these two things I got on super bargain price!

Periwinkle!

These periwinkle beauties I got for only RM30! It was originally priced RM60 but because Claire got one pair for herself, we got the second pair at half the price. Now you know I’m a ‘heels’ fan — have always been. But on some days, I must admit, nothing beats strutting around in a pair of Reebok or a cutesy flats. The comfort it gives my feet is just plain orgasmic. Pardonne my French.

My pepperoni handbag

'Bird's Nest' handbag

This gold-sequined handbag and the bird’s nest handbag (it reminds me of the Olympic structure in Beijing!) were another steal at RM99, which, again, is something I simply couldn’t turn a blind eye on. I mean, seriously, two handbags for RM99?!? No wonder my Boss now calls me the ukay-ukay queen – what with my great fondness for cheap, brand-less stuff. Unless of course, we’re talking about underthings here which I am definitely not scrimping on. But no, we are not talking about my underthings.

Mrs. ALDO

And of course, the man (or woman?) himself, ALDO. An absolute non-negotiable for me. I already have close to 15 pairs at home and the boyfriend is now going bonkers thinking how he can accommodate all my shoes – which now totals to about 60 pairs, on my last count. And the number just keeps going up – especially with REEBOK showing me so much love these days!

Isn’t it fun being a girly-girl? I know I’m having the absolute BEST time being one!

In Which I Cry A Little…and Smile More…


… Because I won’t make it home in time for the REEBOK ZigTech Run after all. It’s happening this coming Sunday and I will only be back sometime next week. Dejected is what I am but all (hope) is not lost as I still have several races lined up – at least two of them fall into the long distance category. I can imagine my REEBOK teammates not feeling so good about this piece of news, especially since we were supposed to have another team photo shoot at BGC tonight.  And so on Sunday, I will be at the race but only in spirit. I am pretty confident the Team is going to do extremely well. I can’t wait to see the photos!

In related news, Bruno was ubiquitous at V-Malaysia and if I may say so, quite a number of people were smitten by him. If he weren’t mine, I would have been so jealous of the attention he was getting! Seriously, I just love how Reebok sexifies me!

Running around is FUN because of Reebok!

Now I'm a BELIEVER!

Working Girl.

… This time in sheer delight because for the first time in my life, I actually bought a point-and-shoot digital camera which I have aptly christened LUMI the Lumix. Yes, I am creative like that. Lumi comes in Rose Pink and is fully HD video-capable and you wanna know the best part? *cover your ears, Lumi!* She’s so cheap you won’t believe how much I got her for! I have already taken some photos with her but I have yet to transfer them to my laptop. Andy and Claire also picked up the same brand and model and they both swear by the amazing photo quality. Uhrrrrm, truth is, they were the ones who planned on buying a camera. Envy got the better of me, ergo… So anyway, this morning, while I was doing my Insanity workout, I happened to look out of my hotel room window – which gave me the best view of the pool. And there, at 8 in the morning, were six guys with some of the nicest abs I have ever seen, clocking-in some swim time – perhaps, as part of their workout. I was so tempted to take Lumi out for some paparazzi mission but I was petrified they’d catch me sneaking some shots by the window. The photos I would have taken were not for my viewing purpose, but for Noel’s. Because, you know, these days, I only have eyes for the boyfriend. Ahem. And well, he did commit to embrace cardio the way I have. After all, we gotta look fierce on beaches we have yet to explore together.

And why shouldn’t I have eyes for him alone, really, when he’s all sweet and adorable like this?

'Nighttime' by Noel Abelardo.

'Touch' by Noel Abelardo.

'Exhausted' by Noel Abelardo.

BREAKING NEWS:

Kassy Pajarillo and Vicky Ras have just been named local ambassadors of Curves® . Curves works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Curves also works to help women lose weight, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting. Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to millions of women globally, many of whom are in the gym for the first time.

Recently, Zumba® Fitness classes have been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Dina Grieve and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

In just a few days, Kas and I will have a photoshoot for Curves with the great Jar Consengco of Campfire Media. Now that is something to look forward to after 17 days of toiling away in sunshiny Kuala Lumpur!

But wait, where are my Zumba shoes?!? *hint, hint*

 

Race Event: REEBOK ZigTech Run on June 5 & Zambales Fun Run on June12


It seems I am not going to be left out in the cold when Team Reebok goes to Zambales for the 400th municipality anniversary fun run after all.  Just learned from Kassy that it has been postponed to June 12 and I would already be back in Manila by then and that could only mean one thing, tadaaaaah, one more race for me before the Nuvali 50k Trail Challenge on the 18th! June is going to be absolutely insane for me on the road race front and I can only hope I would still be standing by the time July comes and I celebrate my 32nd  birthday. Oh my. When did I get so old?!?

Go vertical with Team Reebok!

Now tell me Loves,  are you all pumped-up and ready to rock n’ roll at the Reebok Zig Tech Run on the 5th of June? Registration ends on May 31 so you better make your way to the Reebok store nearest you – or you can also visit Royal Sporting House in Ali Mall and Robinson’s Place Ermita, as well as, The Shoe Shop in Rockwell and Alabang Town Center. The ZigTech Run is a combination of road and vertical races, so if you are on the lookout for something different but equally challenging, this is the run for you! Choose from 5k, 10, and 15k and make sure you are in fabulous condition for the race. Remember to eat healthy and on time, hydrate as much as your body requires, and if you’re planning to get yourself a new pair of running shoes, may I suggest a pair of ZigTech?

INSANITY with Bruno

On a somewhat related note, just to prove to you that I wasn’t just running my mouth like I’m known to do sometimes, haha, when I said I will try to keep my Insanity workout right on track despite the crazy-ass schedule we have here, I did Insanity on the double this morning. Although it’s supposed to be my off day, based on my Insanity workout calendar, I decided to forgo rest knowing that beginning tomorrow, we will be clocking in a minimum of 15 hours each day until the event officially ends on the 1st of June.

So, how about we form that TeamBeachBody club now?

Now if only there’s an official Team Beach Body club in the Philippines, Abby and I would most certainly file our membership application in a blink of an eye and make Shaun T. extremely proud! I mean, why wouldn’t he?

***

In less than 6 hours, Fernando ‘the greatest love of my life’ Alonso (of course, Chris is my one true love so there’s really no conflict there. I swear, I cleared it with him. hahaha) will be slugging it out with the Red Bull and MacLaren drivers – who claimed P1 to P3 in yesterday’s qualifying race. The Spanish Grand Prix is home race for Alonso being a (hot) Spaniard himself and I’m confident he will finish the race somewhere in the top three. Vettel’s winning streak has got to end at one point, right? I think maybe this is it. So Fernando My Love, go forth and bring that GP trophy home to Momma. Yes, Me, not that woman Racquel. *ROTFL*