Tuesday, March 29, 2016


March, Summer is here!
My favorite season. Why? I get to spend the next three months possibly submerged under water.
While growing up, my girl friends wanted to be Princesses or fairies. I wanted to be a Mermaid.
I adored Dolphins which led to my horrendous tattoo that I now have to fix.
I have 2 Dolphins "falling in love" or now I realize they look like they're mating near my ass.
Whalesharks also come a close second. That would be the perfect posse for a Mermaid.

The water was still freezing when I had to take my Nitrox Certification last February 28.
It was about 23 or 24 degrees. Brrrrrrr! It felt good to finally finishing my certification and at the same time be able to climb and go back in the water. Summit to Sea. Earthling to Mermaid.
Friends came over to visit and climb Mount Gulugod Baboy at the same time.
It was a short but grueling climb. Pretty steep for a small mountain but had a breathtaking 360 degree view of Anilao.

In every disappointment I choose to find a silver lining. When I had to cancel my trip to Japan over the Holy Week, I was distraught. Totally looking forward to smelling Cherry Blossoms and drinking sake. Silver lining was that I was able to join my brother's graduation dive weekend at Anilao.

He graduated from his Dive Master course with flying colors. It was so much fun watching him.
He had to "save" and look for a missing diver, carry him aboard the boat unconscious and perform first aid. The instructor's acting was so convincing, it was when his face would contort to stop laughing that we realized it was fake.

I love the water, the sun, the sea, and just being outdoors. Broke up with my phone and laptop.
Just soaked it all in. I could feel the salt water and vitamin C slowly rejuvenating my city-torn body.
My mind calmed down. I never realized how cluttered my mind was and how much pressure I was under.

Taking a few days to just Dive, Eat, Sleep, Repeat and climb in between saved me from going crazy. It was a much needed break. I needed to remember how it feels to be a Mermaid.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In Love

I'm so in love with life right now. So much realizations from last year to now and all about who I am.
Learning what makes me tick, what calms me down, and how to be happy.
Yes, happiness is a choice.

One of my favorite uncles, who passed away last year in a tragic chopper accident, tried to teach me this a few years back - Happiness is your choice. You choose to find joy in any situation.
And boy, did I find it at Mount Ugo's peak.

Day 2 of our adventure begins with the most breathtaking sunrise.
One of my goals for this year is to catch as many sunrises and sunsets as I can.
We never know when its our last.

We stared at God's masterpiece for over an hour, watching the sea of clouds roll in and the dawn slowly fade into vibrant blue. I couldn't peel my eyes away.
Not until I could smell freshly cooked eggs and garlic rice.
My grumbling tummy was too loud and needed to be addressed.

After breakfast, it was time to pack up and head to the summit. It was a short but steep climb up.
At the peak, the Mount Ugo marker stood proud right smack in the middle of Pangasinan, Nueva Viscaya and Benguet.

Finally, we did it. I conquered 2,150 MASL and 33 kilometers of rough terrain, freezing weather with this amazing team. We pushed and inspired each other to put one foot in front of one another and to always look at the beauty around us.

Of course, every up has it's down. Mount Ugo's traverse goes straight down to Benguet.
How cool is that? Climb up from Nueva Viscaya and end up in an entirely different province.
The path was slippery and steep. I felt my toe nails dying one by one. And man, my knees!
But each step, each dying toe, each cramp and even the numbness of each limb was worth it.
Mount Ugo was one of my best adventures.

I promised myself to do things this year that will make me fall in love with life everyday.
Find Easter eggs at work, so that as my career grows, my heart grows with it.
Go on adventures, travel, love. Love so deep that those close to you know and never for a second doubt you didn't love them. Because when you're gone, those experiences will keep your memory alive.

Like any relationship, it's a two way street, you have to give and also have to take.
To stay in love with life, you have to work on it. Balance - that is the key.
Find your happiness.
Happiness is your choice.
Stay in love, always.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Love Yourself

February... the month of hearts. A month long celebration of being in love.
What's different this year? I fell in love with ME. Just me.
Work has been absolutely amazing.
So much doors have been opening, I'm just trying my hardest to keep grounded and balanced.
Usually I would dread the Valentine's Week at work but this year I embraced it.
I guess being single makes you appreciate the freedom.
Free to do anything you want to do. Free to focus on your career. Free to go on adventures.
Free to love yourself.

I decided to start climbing again. My last hard climb was to Mount Pulag 2 years ago.
Climbing and camping gives me such joy and positive energy.
I don't even remember why I stopped.
This Valentines, a group of friends and I chose Mount Ugo.
Located right at the center of Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan and Benguet, this was sure to be an epic adventure.

The first 2 hours were daunting. The terrain was steep and the air was pretty thin.
After just probably 30 minutes of controlling my breathing and trying to get my groove going, I wanted to just sit down and head back. I was panting like a Labrador on a hot day.
I kept getting flashbacks of my whole body cramping up and that pushed me to keep going.
Finally we took a break and got a chance to sit down, inhale goo gel and just stare at how beautiful nature is. This, being one with nature... this was the reason I put myself thru this hell.

We kept trudging along the marked path. Barely talking. Just breathing in the fresh air and putting one foot in front of the other. Next thing I knew, it was time for lunch.
What a relief. Nothing felt better than lying on a mat somewhere in the middle of lush greens and eat. Remembering how good everything tasted brings a smile to my face.
It might be the fresh air, the steady vibes or the Endorphins but the food was just damn good. 

After a few more hours of barely holding on to dear life, we finally made it.
I'm sure reaching Heaven somewhat feels like reaching your campsite after a grueling climb.
We we're ecstatic.

The camp was freezing. I could literally feel my butt freeze off when I have to pee.
Good thing we came prepared with layers and with shots. A few celebratory shots helped heat my insides and knock me out. I slept like a corpse.

I was not prepared for what woke me up the next day.
Our campsite had the best view of the fading dawn and the rising Sun.
Even the cold din't bother me anymore. I was in utter awe. Speechless.

And that concludes part one of this amazing adventure of learning to love myself.
What happens next deserves it's own space. This experience was too touching to cramp it all in one article.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Quoting Conor McGregor, "There is no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession.
Talent does not exist, we are all equals as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time.
You will reach the top, and that's that."

Strong words from a champ. Words that ring true in every aspect of life.
For the past 2 months I have been obsessed with JiuJitsu and the UAE JJ Philippine National Pros.
I decided last November that I was going to start 2016 with a bang.
That "bang" was to join the first Brazilian JiuJitsu competition of the year.
But I had to commit to train hard for it, until it became my obsession.

My natural walking weight is at 58 kilos. The competition only had 3 weight divisions: Under 55 kilos, Under 62 kilos and Under 70 kilos. I had to cut to -55 kilos which would mean 53 kilos actually to accommodate the Gi. So basically, I had to lose 5 kilos or 11 lbs to compete with lighter girls.
It was a tough decision. If I played at 58 kilos, there was a risk the girls at -62 kilos would be huge.
So I risked it and decided on losing those 11 pounds.

Wow. 2 weeks before the fight and I was still 3 kilos over weight.
I was slowly feeling the stress. It was so challenging to lose the last few kilos.
My PMS also decided to join the party and retain the gallons of water I'm supposed to cut.
Not to mention the insanity that goes with the cycle plus the lack of food, I was going bonkers.
The competition training was getting intense too.
Joints and muscles we're getting pushed to the limit.
We were training and sparring at dawn then again in the evening.
The night before the UAE JJ National Pros, I was barely in weight, clocking in at 54.5 with Gi.
So I couldn't eat or drink. It was a very tough experience.

I don't regret a single minute and I would do it all over again, and again and again.
Right before my fights, all my training, waking up at 5am, huffing and puffing on the cardio machines, crying while doing circuits kept flashing in front of my eyes.
I knew I was ready. All my hard work will pay off.
My obsession will became my reality.
Winning my first Gold was worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
Bagging the Silver at the Open Weight Division was the cherry on top.
Yes, talent does not exist, I believe that. Hard work will get you everywhere.
If you want something bad enough, make it your obsession.

To finish UFC Champion Conor McGregor's quote  - "I am not talented. I am Obsessed."

Monday, January 04, 2016


With the earlier post, I wrote about what I want for 2016.
Now I want to reflect on the year that was.
I just want to document what an amazing year 2015 was.
I was able to visit new countries on my bucket list such as Eastern Europe and Palau...
And visit favorite ones like Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Eastern Europe 





2015 also brought a lot of passion for improving myself, my craft and my art. 
I was able to hit my work targets and also focus my energy on JiuJitsu and Diving. 
To be able to compete and train abroad was the most exciting highlight of the year. 
I learned from the best teachers and lost to amazing opponents. 
I'm going to thrive to own the mats this year. 
I want to swim free with the fish too. 

Asian Open in Tokyo 

9 Teams in 9 Cities in Eastern Europe and Taiwan

 Dumao International Open 

More importantly, new adventures.
I discovered Competitive Canyoneering and enjoyed the outdoors, climbing and the natural wonders of the world.

Moal Boal Canyoneering 

Halong Bay 

That was the year that was. 
Loving the year that is. 
And looking forward to the year that will be. 

New Year. New Me.

A lot has changed in the past year. 2015 just sped by so fast, I can still barely catch up.
Writing always puts things in perspective especially with what I want to do with my life.
For 2016, I just want to LIVE... to love life to the fullest and to live each day like it was my last.
To make sure my family and friends know how much I love them...
And to just be genuinely happy.

Coming from almost 2 decades of long relationships that didn't last, I learned one important thing...
I am not looking for another half, a better or worse half, I am looking for another whole person.
I feel complete as I am and absolutely enjoying all the experiences...
the highs, the lows, the heartbreaks - everything that got me here, to my NOW.

Girls will always want to have fun and right now I seem to enjoy every single person I meet.
2015 brought me great bonds and relationships that fill my cup to the fullest.
Every aspect seems to be covered.
My Dad still treats me like a "successful" 18 year old.
Meaning, he is so proud of my achievements but at the same time showers me with so much love and affection, it will be extremely difficult to find someone that comes even close.

There has also been a shift with the level of understanding my brothers.
We've always been the 3 musketeers, 3 peas in a pod, but this new year opened a deeper closeness that only complete trust can form.
I also seem to keep falling in love, more and more each day, with the newest addition to the family -
My baby brother.
I feel complete. Content.

For this new year, I want to see things differently.
I want to touch people and leave them feeling better and happier then they were.
Life is too short to be sad or miserable.
Life is too damn short period.
If things don't work out, Let go. Move on. Better yet, be friends with the shadows of your life.
Love even the dark clouds and wait for the light to shine thru.

I'm really looking forward to the days I'm going to seize and own this 2016.
A lot has definitely changed the past year.
Biggest change was within me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quarter Life

It's already the end of the first quarter. Been so busy trying to catch my breath. 
Work has been hell'a crazy and I literally hit the ground running as soon as 2015 arrived. 
I'm not complaining at all, so grateful for the amazing opportunity to leave my legacy. 
I just need to stop, look, listen and take it all in. 

Taking a glimpse of the past few months, It's been quite busy. 
I've had so much learning events and second quarter will be even busier. 
Thats why I'm taking this time to reflect and write about it. 
This it the only way I know or route to take when life is passing by too fast. 

I saw a post earlier about an OPTIMIST. It says - An Optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, It's more like a Cha Cha. 
Funny, but that's exactly what I needed to hear. 
I feel that I've been getting lost in trying to be the best at everything. 
Be the best Boss, Director, Daughter, Sister, Cousin, Friend, Aunt, Advocate, Coordinator, Trapeze Artist, Diver, fighter...
I'm losing who I am. That I don't have time to enjoy every minute of it. 

I'm also past my quarter life. At the crossroads of what I want to do and what I was brainwashed to do. 
I don't want to get married and I don't want kids. 
Don't get me wrong, I love kids but not my own. 
It may just be a phase but for now, this is who I am and I want to be. 
I love being free. I love being married to freedom. 

Imagine all this running around like a headless chicken and having responsibilities at home. 
Scary. Sometimes just the thought gives me goosebumps. Or hives. 
Stop, Look, Listen. Take it all in. 
Breathe In. Breathe Out. 
I'm so in love with life that I need to keep my head afloat before I drown in it. 
Living my crazy quarter life with all the passion and fire I could muster. 
Living la vida loca each day, every day.