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Clutter Express: Reebok Bloggers’ Night, Total Fitness, and GAG-O


It seems to me that everything is running at top speed these days. There’s just so much going on – mostly at work – that I sometimes have to sprint in order to keep pace. And when that happens, I swear that I can see my heart beating through the fabric of my shirt!

First things first.

Two weekends ago, I introduced you to Purple Pippa, my second pair of Zig Glam who carried all 97lbs of me from the starting line of the Fuego Sunset Run all the way through the 5k finish line. A few days ago, Bruno, Basia, and Purple Pippa, welcomed another addition to the growing Reebok family — feminine yet tough as nails TERRA. Terra is the offroad/trail shoes featuring the Zig(Tech) technology which comes in sushi green and flat grey colours. Terra will be seeing hard action in the upcoming 50k Nuvali Trail Challenge organized by Ultramarathoner and frontRUNNER Magazine owner Jonel Mendoza. Wanna know just how lucky I am these days? It seems I will be the only one in the country who owns this pair as Terra won’t be released in the local market – at least (not) for now! I just love, love, LOVE Reebok!

Terrific TERRA

Incidentally, I will have Dennis the Running Pinoy running by my side in Nuvali. If you remember, Dennis was my rock when I dared to run my first ultramarathon last year at the PAU 50k Mt. Pinatubo Trail Challenge and landed second behind the unstoppable Camilla Brooks. He never left my side when he could just as easily have, at any given time of that harrowing – but very fulfilling! – 9 hours or so of trail running adventure. Because of that, Dennis is now officially the Batman to my Batgirl!  Fellow Team Reebok ambassador Titanium Runner will also be there running the same 50k distance.

Batman and Batgirl of Ultra Trail Running

With The Running Pinoy and Titanium Runner doing Nuvali 50k with me, how can I not cross the finish line in one piece? Now IF I land another podium finish, would it then be safe to assume to I am officially ‘made’ as a runner, nay, ultrarunner? Not yet? Okay then. Next stop: PAU 60k and BDM 102.

***

More on REEBOK. So last Monday, Reebok held the ZigTech Run Bloggers’ Night at Paul Calvin’s in Burgos Cirle, The Fort. Close to 40 runner-bloggers trooped to the venue, including everyone’s favorite The Bull Runner Ms. Jaymie Pizzaro, in a show of solid support to Reebok’s first-ever run to be held on the 5th of June. TEAM REEBOK was there, along with the official photographers, and of course, Ms. Yoya and Ms. Villy of Reebok Philippines – the two ladies responsible for making us perform and look good while running!

With Ayn and Beep Beep of Team Reebok

Flanked by Titanium Runner and frontRUNNER's Jonel Mendoza

Bloggerful of Fun at the Reebok Bloggers' Night

To all our runner and blogger friends, thank you for your love and support! And again, to all runners who have yet to register for the REEBOK ZigTech Run, you have until the 4th of June to register for the race. Don’t miss this one, okay?

***

Have you picked up a copy of this month’s TOTAL FITNESS magazine, yet? What the?!? We’re more than halfway through May, you should already have a copy in your home, car, office, and even your Ex’s bedroom!  Read my article on the Ultimate Wake Championships held last January and another feature on running.  Besides that, there are tons of interesting articles on motoring, sports, health, relationships and a few other topics of great interest.

Shameless plugging by the writer.

***

And finally, here’s something FIERCE, FABULOUS, and FUNNY from The Grupong Rainbow…

GAG-O’s SHANGHAI SURPRISE Day 1!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoBXxNvTAwE

Remember that time we went to Shanghai for a quickie tour? Well, we didn’t just go all touristy in the city labelled as the Paris of the East. In between train rides, coffee breaks, hunting down cuties and what-not, we actually shot some scenes for our youtube show GAG-O!

I watched the episode more than ten times already and quite frankly, I am getting sick of my face and my nasal voice, so can I pass on the viewing duties to you guys and make us even more famous than we already are? Great! And while you’re at it, why don’t you click on the share or email button and send it to whoever you think needs some major cheering up.

Okay. Now. I. Am. Good.

***

Oh wait. Happy birthday to my gorgeous boyfriend who is celebrating his 31st on Friday, 20th of May!  We have come  a loooong way, you and I. Here’s a toast to so much more in the coming years. ILY.

Happy birthday, Luv!:*

The Young(ish) and the Restless


THIS JUST IN. Grab a copy of Men’s Health Philippines May Issue with one of the country’s most sought-after leading men, Coco Martin, on the cover and turn to page 96 for some hard truths in modern-day relationships. Read and let me know what you think.

***

Osama Bin Laden is dead. The long-time leader of the Al Qaeda and arguably the most feared face of terror was reportedly killed in a targeted operation somewhere in Pakistan. It took over a decade of countless search and destroy operations, not to mention, inumerable deaths and collateral damage until finally… peace. Or, at least, some semblance of it.

***

UFC 129. I woke up late and almost didn’t make it in time for the co-main event which would have been a pity because Aldo and Hominick gave what GSP and Shields failed to deliver – excitement! On my way to the viewing party, my friend told me that Randy Couture took quite a beating from Lyoto Machida. Not that I’m surprised, really, because The Nature is already quite old – at least by UFC standards. It would have been a bigger upset if The Dragon were the one who got the pounding instead. But Hominick, man, you gotta give it to the guy. He took all the punches and leg kicks that Aldo kept throwing his way and when he got that elbow on the forehead that resulted to this huge bump (Joe Rogan said ‘it looks as though there’s another head growing in there!’) – I thought the guy was finished! But he simply refused to buckle and even managed to give Aldo his share of ground and pound beating just before the final round ended. If I were his very pregnant wife and I happened to be watching that fight, I can’t be faulted for going into labor right where I’m sitting! The main event, however, was as boring as most of GSP’s fights of late. I was quite certain this time around, with Shields as his opponent, he would actually end the fight via stoppage or submission – but none came. Instead, it went all the way to the judges decision – AGAIN – and a very close one at that. Though he left the octagon the same way he entered it – as the champ – I, for one, do not think it was such a great victory.

***

Formula One. Now as most of you who have been keeping tabs of my blog (especially my old blog here) would know, I am and always have been an Alonso fan. More like an obsessed fan, really. So much so that when I was in Shanghai on the same weekend that the F1 Chinese Grand Prix was held there, I kept praying I’d catch a glimpse of the Spaniard – no matter how improbable the chances of it happening were. Oh but anyway, all’s not entirely lost as I did, in fact, catch a glimpse of him – rather, of his Ferrari – at the F1 Malaysian Grand prix last month. Much love to F1 Marussia-Virgin racing team, I was lucky to have been given a grandstand pass on race day along with other colleagues from work. It was, if I’m not mistaken, the third time that I watched the F1 race in Sepang.

Here with Chris, who's forever a 'V' fan. *wink wink*

Insanity with Shaun T. Boo-hoo. Today is my final week of Insanity and I only have the greatest raves about the wonders it has done for my body and my overall physicality. That I have grown stronger, more agile, and flexible are some of the benefits that cannot be emphasized more. When I got started with it 55 days ago, I didn’t think I was going to last. Let alone complete the 60-day program without cheating. But I survived and not only that, and this is where I really ought to give credit to my uncompromising take on fitness commitment, because even during those times that I’m traveling abroad for work and/or vacation, I would never leave the hotel without doing Insanity first. Although I may have defaulted one or two times because I was too ill to even get out of bed, I made sure to compensate for it by doing double Insanity the soonest I’m better. I used to take photos of my daily workout, you know, to keep track of the progress I’m making, but got so sick of looking at the same face and body (who would’ve thought, right?!) so after a while, I stopped. But this morning, it being my 56th day of Insanity, I dared to take a photo again and see how much of an improvement has happened – if any. At the risk of sounding too self-absorbed which I really am anyway, I think I’ve achieved most of the fitness results I had set my sights on at the beginning of the program. I still have 3 more days of Insanity and one more fit test to do before I take a week of rest and recovery and then it’s back to going all-out INSANE again!

Day 20.

Day 56.

SOLACE. So last Saturday, the first of the two-part Solace Open Photoshoot series was successfully launched with my dear friend Noel Abelardo behind the lens. It was a very successful project with the actual turnout exceeding the target. I arrived late – coming from the nearby hospital where my sister was confined for the weekend due to a rare heart disease – therefore missing the greater part of the camera action, but mighty glad still to see Abie and her beautiful daughter Bianca at the set. The guys who did my hair and make-up thought it would be exceedingly cool to make me look Beyonce-ish but Noel said it was more J-Loish, but I don’t really mind all the ish-es because these days, I’m in such a gloriously happy-ish state – thanks in large part to Victory and my renewed faith.

THOR, Corned Beef Sinigang at Sentro, Chewy Junior. DELICIOUS, all of them. That’s all I have to say about these three.

Travel: SHANGHAI (Will Always Love You)


Hecticity Tour Part II made its way to Shanghai, China over the weekend – thanks in large part to Cebu Pacific’s low fare promo and Emperor Eric’s prodding and very efficient planning. This tour, though not as hectic Rampaging in Beijing in October of last year, proved to be a very pleasant surprise for all of us. Not so much with the food (everything swims in oil in this place, no wonder we all gained unwanted lbs in just 3 days – epic fail!) or the breathtaking skyline at The Bund — but the people we’ve encountered. Looking past the language barrier – ordering food is such a hassle for non-Mandarin speaking people like us – everyone was generally nice, sweet and accommodating. We especially love the cute kids and their disarming smile – which were all captured very prettily by Eric using his camera.

Hecticity Tour(ists) hit Shanghai!

Goofing around while Cris fills out his Arrival Card. Lovin my Bose to bits! (Thank you, Babe!)

Welcome to Shanghai! (Guard stopped us from taking photos but we managed to sneak this one out!)

Compared with Beijing, we had lesser photos this trip but that doesn’t mean the fun and frivolity were any less. Eric, Aldz, Cris, and I had a great time and it was just what we needed to recharge.

So how about we go through my list of Things I Love(d) About Shanghai?

1. Lush gardens with flowers of every imaginable color — We were lucky to have arrived at Shanghai just after winter and the flowers have started to come out in full bloom. Cris, being a flower expert himself, knew most of the flower species and it is most entertaining to see his eyes glaze over when he sees his favorite tree or flower. True, we probably only saw Shanghai on the surface – What can we do? Three full days were all that we had! – but that surface, I must tell you, looks very good.  In fact, I think we saw more flowers and trees in Shanghai than in Beijing. With everyone so busy running around in Shanghai working and chasing after dreams of financial wealth, it amazes me how they still find time to work on (the) urban aesthetics.

At the Peoples Park

From Rampaging in Beijing to Shanghai Surprise

Verdant, lush gardens --- winner!

Flower power!

Shanghai romance...not!:D

Tree-lined riverbanks

Channeling my inner horticulturist.

2. Warm and accommodating people — This one’s a very pleasant surprise for us, especially coming from a not-so-pleasant experience with the Beijingians. In Beijing subways, we saw how people would push other people – never mind if they’re old or pregnant – just to make it inside the train before the door closes. In Shanghai, however, people are more considerate and less rough even in the subway. We even saw passengers forming a queue at the SuZhou train/railway station when we went there for a day tour!

Old China

Emperor and KC asking for directions....

Friendly people we met during the tour. Special mention to the honeymooning Indonesian couple Irin and Alex.

3. Which brings us to my third favorite thing in Shanghai, the bullet train! — On our second day, Emperor Eric urged us to go on a day tour in the outskirts of Shanghai to check out some of the cultural sites. We hopped on the bullet train and got off at the SuZhou station where we paid 125RMB each for a tour. The train was very clean; the seats were ultra comfortable; and the leg room is so wide you can play hopscotch if you want to! The train went as fast as 305km/hour and we didn’t even feel a bump! We paid 41RMB each for the train ride – currency well-spent, I must say!

Shanghai Railway Station

Cris, reliving his childhood memories of playing with toy trains!

Inside the train bound for SuZhou station

View from the train

4. Happy, shiny, cute chinky-eyed kids — I love kids but only the really cute ones and the fact that Shanghai gave us this in abundance made this trip a good one for me! Without actually meaning to, Eric was able to create a baby photo album with about 10 Chinese kids in all shades of happiness. They are a natural when posing for the camera – no weird poses or diva attitude most kids these days take to. The parents are exceptionally nice too! They don’t turn us away when we request for photos to be taken of their beautiful kids. They even encourage the young ones to smile for the camera or say xie xie to us after.

One of the many babies Eric would snap photos of.

Baby no. 2

Vicky with the chinese kids

5. Polite cab drivers — We took a few cab rides while there and we never had any encounter with the crocodile kind and that for us is a major plus! We only show the map where we have encircled the place/address we want to go to and off we go! They even give us exact change, how cool is that?!

Okay, we didnt snap photos of the cabbies but we have this! Our friendly tuk-tuk driver.:)

The GAG-O travelogue hosts looking very comfy in their tuk-tuk ride

6. The freshest, yummiest strawberries and grapes I have ever tasted! The photos say it all, I think. One bite and the sweet, fresh juices explode in your mouth like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. And it’s cheap at 10yuan a kilo!

Fruit-y goodness!

Strawberry fields forever...

7. Sights, sounds, and the ultra-vibrant nightlife — Although we’re not much of a partyphile (Aldz and I opted to just stay in the hotel on our first night; I transferred photos to my laptop and crashed out), the glitz and glamour of the city did not escape us. After all, Shanghai is not called the Paris of the East for nothing. On our second night, while temperature was unforgiving at 10 degrees, we went out to the shopping district so Aldz can check out Zara and a few other shops while Cris and I amused ourselves (by) people-watching.

Brrrr, cold!

When darkness falls, Shanghai shines brightly...

Channeling my inner diva --- in fuchsia pink!

9. Set aside the fact that China has over 1 billion people (India is fast catching up, we all know that), it may come as a surprise to many that there are so many places where one can hie-off to and go zen-like. It could be the trees and flowers and temples or the general feeling of security — Shanghai has truly debunked all our pre-conceived ideas and boy are we glad!

View from the temple

Little Venice

Kinda like Sims City, dont you think?

View from the ground

Postcard memories

Prague-ish?

Tale of the detachable shoe.

10. And lastly, I love Shanghai because it made me do the one crazy thing I NEVER thought I had the intestinal fortitude to do — be strapped on a seat and get thrown waaaay up, only to get plunged back to earth within seconds! And for this, I also give much credit to Cris because he was the one who bamboozled me to do it. I really did NOT want to given that I pee my skivvies at the mere thought of riding a ferris wheel or anything remotely similar, but when he said ‘Sige na! Si Aldz nga sasakay eh!’ I was trapped! I gotta tell you, the thing has not even moved a fraction yet but I was already screaming like a cat giving birth to a pony! And I continued screaming with tears streaming down my face at one point, until the 3-minute ordeal ended.

Cris the culprit!

...and he got Aldz to do it!

After resisting for a bit and in futility might I add, guess what I did next?

Vicky: "Ohmygoddddd!!! Never na!!! My heart!!! Naiiyak nakooo!!!"