Thursday, June 09, 2016

Ten Kilometers!

I did it! Woot woot!

A couple of weeks ago, I ran my second 10KM race. (My first one was in 2013, and sadly, hindi na sya naulit til now!) I am so happy about this run because I was with my husband, plus I eventually finished with a personal best time of 1 hour 5 minutes! 

But I must say, it felt like a loooong and hard run! Our route started on 9th Street, BGC and it stretched all the way to Lawton Avenue, going past the McKinley area, and then back to BGC. I think it was on the 4th km when I started feeling tired. It was just about the same time that I entered that Lawton stretch which I have now come to abhor. Hahaha. It seemed so long, with elevation that almost killed my legs. Worse, we were running alongside vehicles (read: diesel-run jeepneys). I could feel my throat constrict with dryness brought about by the pollution! 

The 10K Route. That long stretch is Lawton Avenue--with all its jeepneys!

In my previous 10K, my "second wind" came at the 7KM mark. I was banking on the same for this run. So when it didn't come at 7KM, I felt even more tired and I seriously wondered if I could get that second wind at all and finish strong. 

At 8.25KM, I had to recalibrate my mind. If I don't feel my second wind coming, I just have to think that it's here. That did the trick!

I ran faster and felt lighter in the last 1.5KM. Naturally, it helped a lot that I knew I was nearing the finish line. The problem was, I couldn't see it! Haha. I forgot our route, and so I couldn't visualize where the finish line was. LOL. (To be fair, there were enough signs and marshalls--hindi ko lang talaga ma-produce yung image sa brain ko.)

Running the last 500 meters, I began feeling excited. I knew I was going to break my personal record and I was looking forward to making it official.

My goal was to finish between 1:00 and 1:05. I sprinted the last 30-50 meters--because I saw the official time and I was about to enter the 1:05 mark! Omg, ayoko lumagpas!

By my watch, I finished 10K at 1:04. The official time was 1:05. Race results say I finished 70th out of 330+ runners. Not bad!

Now I have a medal to show for my little achievement! 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Tea and Chicken

My sister Kai has just launched her nth blog! Hurray!

Nonprofit Chicken is home to her musings as new mother to my adorable niece-goddaughter Audrey, as well as her adventures in the NGO Kingdom.

I hope she will write about her wonderful Ate too. Maybe someday :)

Anyway, I hope our blogs will bring amusement to our readers. Like tea and chicken soup, may our blogs uplift you and cheer you up!

Visit Nonprofit Chicken at

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Amorita Love

Amorita translates as "little love", but we had BIG LOVE for it!

On my 33rd birthday, we broke our hotel staycation tradition and broke the bank saved up for a short vacay in Amorita Resort, Bohol. It has been a hectic summer for us, both on the home- and work-front, so this getaway was in itself a gift for me and the whole family.

We loved the resort! Being the geek that I am, I did my homework and researched about Amorita months before our booking. But I must say, the real thing exceeded all my expectations. Amorita was so much prettier in person!

As a mother, my foremost criteria for vacation spots like this is family-friendliness. Whenever we bring the kids, I always appreciate:

  1. Accessibility to and from the airport. Amorita made this a breeze with their shuttles!
  2. Design and functionality of accommodations. We were given a ground floor family room, which was just perfect for little ones! No stairs and we had a small balcony leading to a patch of garden where Jaden and Sophia were able to play. The room itself was spacious enough for kids. 
  3. Food. My kids are Best in Picky Eating. So having familiar food on the menu is a maaaaajor plus for me. Amorita serves all the classic kiddie meals, including spaghetti and chicken nuggets. And they serve my children's favorites--sinigang and chicken inasal. Yehey! They also have a cool candy buffet during breakfast (which Jaden always dives for. He has also learned how to charm his way with our servers during lunch and dinner, so that the servers end up sneaking in some candies for him hahaha).
  4. Kiddie Activities. The resort has activities for kids every afternoon! As in every afternoon.
  5. Facilities. I like a resort where my kids can run around without me fearing a heart attack from if they might fall or hurt themselves or be snatched away by strangers. Amorita is well-secured, no doubt about that. It is not huge but they have enough open spaces for free play. They also have a playground and their pools are certified winners!!! Their pools must be among the best for kids. They have a 2-ft pool, 3-ft pool, and a 4ft pool. The whole family can swim! Hehe.
  6. Staff Friendliness. For me, this is what separates a good resort from an amazing one. When people are warm and nice, visitors feel so much at home. Our servers, in particular, were especially thoughtful and very accommodating. They treated us like we were relatives from Manila! 
I had such a good, memorable time with my family in Amorita. In fact, Julz and I were so absorbed in the moment that we ended up with relatively fewer photos than our previous vacations. That's okay, really. Sometimes, we need to let go of our gadgets to savor memories :)

I'm sharing with you some of the few photos! Hope these will entice you to explore Bohol!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sophia turns 3 in Club Paradise

Sophia turned three last month. It isn't exactly a "milestone year" the way the first, seventh, and eighteenth birthdays are, but it has been an extraordinary year for our daughter.

She blossomed this year in a most special way. Each day in the past 12 months became an opportunity for her to show us, her family, how good and faithful and perfect the Lord is. He really weaves the best life stories! It is amazing being witness to the one He is making for Sophia.

Because of all this, my husband and I decided to have a nice celebration for Sophia's birthday. It was a toss-up between a theme park adventure or an island getaway. We chose the second. We figured, we've just been to Legoland last December, but we haven't really taken the kids to the best beaches in our own country. Plus, we weren't bringing a nanny this time, so I honestly dreaded the day at the theme park. Hehehe.

We flew to the most beautiful place in our country--Palawan. This province will always be our family's happy place. This is where we had our honeymoon, our first trip as new parents, and most recently, our sixth wedding anniversary.

This time around, with kids, we chose Coron. We booked a few nights at Club Paradise Palawan. We never regretted a minute of it. The resort is set in a stunning, spectacular island--paradise as a name was just so apt. It was the perfect backdrop to make happy memories as a family.

Our birthday girl gets acquainted with sand. 

Whatever time of day, my kids were free to frolick in the sand because of the many big trees around the resort.
Kuya Jaden

They played in the sand together every chance they got. This was right after breakfast. They snuck out of the table while Julius and I finished our coffee. Then we saw them slumped here.

Sophia relaxing in the hammock of our cottage.

The island boasts of white sand beach that stretch for a couple of kilometers, and pristine waters that is home to a vibrant marine life.

So much peace greets us in the morning. We spend a few minutes here before getting ready for breakfast :)
We stayed in a beachfront cottage that has the most wonderful view of the sunset.

I love the resort! Club Paradise has been around for quite a while, so the facilities are understandably due for an upgrade (which its new owner, Discovery Leisure, is undertaking later this year). That said, I must commend the staff for keeping par with the best resorts in our country in terms of cleanliness, warmth, and quality of service. Awesome people this resort has. 

My nanay pose, complete with milk bottle and Yakult in one hand :D
The resort staff always prepared little surprises for us. This was their treat on our first night. Then we had cookies, fruits, Pinoy rice cakes. And yes, they even had those framed photos of our family. We felt so pampered!
The kids give their huge bed 2 thumbs up!
The kids love their pool with their inflatables (including a giant swan), the clubhouse (where they played foosball, pingpong, and made friends with other guests and hotel staff), and their restaurant (where we had such happy meal times). The resort had a Kids Center, but Jaden and Sophia seemed to  prefer playing in either sand or water.

Julius and I took delight in seeing our kids happily playing in the beach. Sophia reveled at her new surroundings and we took the opportunity to teach her about God and nature. Jaden was a pleasant surprise because he acted like a real kuya all throughout the trip. He was very helpful, picked up after himself, and was generous to his sister.

On our third day--Sophia's actual birthday--we took a boat to Calauit Island where we had a Safari Party! Just the 4 of us with our two guides :) We had sandwiches, soda, and water.  The animals had leaves. Hehehe :)

This was such a memorable experience for our family. The kids were so excited seeing the giraffes and zebras. They had the grandest time feeding them. Sophia was squealing in joy. Jaden was laughing in excitement. 

We went back to Club Paradise just in time for dinner. We were in for a surprise--the staff prepared a special moonlit dinner by the beach for our darling birthday girl! They sang her the birthday song and even had a cake and candle for her to blow! Kilig na kilig si Sophia :) 

Her reaction when she first heard the strums of guitar and voices singing "Happy Birthday". Feel na feel!!!
By the time our trip came to a close, my kids were so sad and kept asking us if we could stay for one more day. Of course we said we couldn't, so they just made us promise we'll go back. Hehehe. 

I can't recall one bad memory during our stay. Everything just panned out so well. I returned home to Manila with a grateful heart--for our daughter Sophia and for the celebration that God allowed for all of us to enjoy!

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