Lights, misery and fitness


One of the things that’s keeping me sane and healthy is my recent return to health and fitness. A recurring theme in this blog is my never ending woes about my health and weight issues, which usually led to a lot of respiratory and reproductive problems.

Following my office’s transfer to the Central Business District (CBD), I started a running schedule with my friends from my department. We all started gained weight after working for the kaisha and were all bemoaning our lack of exercise. Our current location is just right across the Ayala Triangle Park, which is actually a haven for fitness buffs. Every early evening, you would often see a pack of runners circling the park, or engrossed in their own work outs. We decided that the new location is the perfect antidote to our bulging bellies and ever-expanding waistlines.

Actually, I had a head start. My recent bout with depression has left me a few pounds lighter since I lost my appetite and basically, my will to live. Determined to finally let go of the past me and work on being a new person, I decided that I have to past the pit where I was stuck for the last 2 months and just work, no…fight in getting myself better.

So, I decided to invest in an pedometer which will help me track the calories I lost as well as the steps I took per day. Being tied down to a desk job contributed a lot to my weight gain and after consulting with a specialist, I know that I needed to be more active and has resolved to walking as much as I can.

According to health experts, we should at least reach 10,000 steps a day in order to be healthy and burn a significant number of calories. I started wearing the pedometer religiously and has become obsessed in keeping my running and work out schedule.

In my mind, not because my life is a mess right now doesn’t mean that I have to look like one, too.

I resolved to get better — and I know that step one to this journey is feeling better and looking a lot better physically.

So, I started to run, watched what I ate and even shy away from rice and any type of soda. I miss my ice, cold Sprite but my newly-found addiction to green tea was able to temper the loss. I drink water like a fish and my morning isn’t complete without a tall glass of ice cold non-fat milk.


Running became my “Me Time” — an opportunity to decompress, relax and think about nothing but the road ahead and the kilometers I’ve reached (according to my trusty Nike Run app). While my running records are pathetic (averaging 3 kilometers for 1 hour run), running religiously began to show its effects on my body. My knees and thighs always hurt but I can also see changes in their size. Pants began to sag, my shirts began to feel bigger when I wear them, people now notice that I am starting to lose the flabs and the extra baggage around my middle. To date, I have lost about 10 kilos of my original weight — but still has a long way to go to be considered healthy and with correct BMI (30 kilos more, to be exact).

However, running around Ayala Triangle–especially during Christmas–has its downside, especially for a depressed person like me:


This. The Christmas Lights and Sounds Show which has began to attract a lot of people due to the colorful and amazing light show synced to Christmas carols.

I was in the middle of my run, when the lights first came on — much to the oooh-ing and aaah-ing of the audience. It was so beautiful that I stopped running and just looked at all the lights and basked on the Christmas atmosphere, the chilly, November air and the carols playing on the PA system. That’s also when I noticed the couples kissing under the lights, the children shrieking in happiness, the families gathering under the trees, the group of friends posing for a “groufie” or recording the light show on their smart phones.

In short, that’s also when I noticed how alone I was.

In the midst of the happiness, of happy, dancing lights and uplifting Christmas carols — the feeling of sadness, of hopelessness and just being alone was starting to rear it’s ugly head again.

So, I opened the Nike Run app and pushed the “Resume Run” button, hooked my earphones and started to pick my pace.

To this day, I never stopped again to look at those wonderful dancing lights.


Dispatch from the Bottomless Pit.




Yes, I am still alive. But barely.

I’ve been out of circulation for six months. Too many things have happened and this day, I can’t believe that I am still going strong, struggling–yes; but amazingly, surviving.

The past months I have been gone, I was both swallowed by the responsibilities of daily life, and recently — some sad developments in my personal life. It is funny when I think about it, and to think that it would never happen to someone like me. After all, if there’s someone convinced there is FOREVER, then that would be me. I don’t know how I managed to survive. Maybe sheer tenacity, sheer stubbornness?

At my lowest moment, I contemplated about killing myself (but only fleetingly), my background as a publicist and my inflated (albeit, badly bruised) ego saved me from entertaining any further thoughts of just ending my misery. Why? I know this might not be funny for some, but — do excuse my morbid sense of humor — but at my lowest moment, when nothing but dark thoughts, filled my head, I suddenly thought of garish headlines printed in some of the sleaziest tabloids available and immediately shook any dark thoughts away from my head.

I don’t want to get into details but I was at a pretty dark place these past two months. I refused to eat (in spite the pleas of my parents and worried siblings) and I had trouble sleeping, often lying in bed awake trying to cry myself to sleep.

It was excruciatingly painful, to think that I had to go to work everyday and pretend I am okay — attend high-level meetings, manage projects, unveil and manage events and act like I was not hurting inside. I had to talk to my friends, my colleagues and everybody like my normal self, when deep inside, all I wanna do is just crawl into a hole, cry my brains out, and just stop breathing. It’s like two different personalities — the carefree, happy-go-lucky one which I immediately switch off once I enter my room and finally alone. There are times, when I feel like all I needed was the red and black tights and costume and the heavy wooden mallet and I can be Harley Quinn — happily dark and crazy.


But you know what, I am still here. I managed to stand up — and now I am working hard on making myself whole again.

I guess one of the things that pulled me out of the dark place is the love of my family, especially my mom who was, surprisingly, there each time I am at my lowest moment. I don’t know how moms do it — but each time I am crying or sinking further and further into depression, my mom would suddenly appear at the door, checking if I was okay. (In my head, I knew that she might be checking if I was still breathing — knowing how fragile I was during the last two months).

Work, no matter how miserable and tedious it was, also kept me busy and preoccupied. I guess when you are too tired that you can’t barely even move your body, you no longer have time to cry or grieve.

I also stayed away from all forms of social media, well, except Instagram where I amused myself by filtering the shit out of photos and regraming emo quotes. I stayed the hell away from Facebook, knowing that I will only be more depressed when I see my timeline. I stopped communicating with people and I stayed away from What’sApp, Viber and even Twitter.

I started working on my relationship with God. I have been pretty wishy-washy when it comes to my faith but when I was at my lowest, all I ever did was read the Scriptures and talk to him. In my mind, my faith was my only anchor of sanity. Praying and just shutting my mind helped me push the evil thoughts at bay and helped me climb out of the dark hole where I was for two month. I kept thinking that God will not give me something I can’t deal with and that there’s a reason why things happen. His Words gave me comfort and I tried drawing strength from my Faith. This allowed me to survive and to believe that I am above any form of trials. That no matter how clumsy and puny I maybe, I am strong.

I started taking care of myself again. I run regularly, I colored my hair back to black and started planning for my future outside the corporate world. I am now seriously going back to writing. This is something that I have been thinking about for a very long time, though it scares me a bit because I am not sure if I can manage to land a writing job again, ten years after my last writing assignment. What I am sure though, is that I am already done with corporate and my remaining months as part of the walking wounded will be devoted to growing my savings account.

I am okay now. Still not at my best, still grieving and yes, still depressed. But I am also convinced that the fact that I am still breathing highlights the fact that I am a strong woman and I can rise again, no matter how hard, how deep I fall.

This is my dispatch from the bottomless pit. Yes, I might still be here but I am getting better and in time, I know I will be able to climb out and be new again.

Earning Online


Earning money is tough, especially in the Philippines where you have to work your asses off just to live comfortably.
Aside from my full-time job, I started writing bits and pieces online to earn a few additional bucks. Early this year, I attended a seminar and one of the spokespersons mentioned about ‘eLance” — which has Odesk as its predecessor.

Learn more about eLance here.

The registration process is easy, after which you can start bidding for projects. In my first week alone, I was already invited to bid for one project and was subsequently hired. Payment was $5 per article and so far I have managed to submit 3 articles to the project. While I would have loved to write more and thus earn more–my full-time work and my responsibilities there is preventing me to from working more hours online. Usually, I reserve my writing after I have arrived from work. There are days when I just can’t do anymore additional thinking after a very long and tough day.

I already transferred some of my earnings to my Paypal account:

First Paypal Withdrawal

I know it’s not much — about one thousand two hundred bucks actually in local money. But that is enough for grocery money and get the imperious cat her favorite nibbles. I would love to make more money online but I know unless I have enough time in my hands — time to bid from many projects and thus time to work on more assignments, it might take a long time until I make a sensible and impressive earnings online.

When this blog was more lifestyle-ish (read: mostly about Japanese celebrities, bits and pieces and reviews), I was asked if I would consider monetizing it. You know, get a registered domain, get Yahoo Ads, put my name out there to be one of the many bloggers who get to earn money just by writing online. But as much as it is tempting, I had to say no to the idea. I am not comfortable selling my reviews and thoughts for profit. I work for PR and I have seen first-hand and paid first-hand good money to some bloggers to promote the brand I represent. It’s a tricky process — something I’d rather not discuss.

Much respect to other bloggers who earn from their sites, but it’s something I am not. I am happy with whatever reviews I get from my readers and I do not see the need to earn my keep that way. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Hence, I am still on the look out for more projects, hopefully one with bigger pay-outs. I also accept freelance copywriting and marketing consultancy work — so I know that once I finally decide to quit the rat race and go freelance full-time, I am confident that I already have a head start.

Being Still.


For times when I keep on questioning His presence in my life:

be still

I mentioned how I am pretty much in the dumps today. I mean who wouldn’t get depressed if you’ve just been told that you are grossly overweight, bordering on morbidly obese; that there is a probability that you can’t procreate because all the fat build-up inside your body is wrecking havoc on your ovaries and fertility; that you have zero balance in your bank account; you have to pay a lot of debts due to money you lost due to your carelessness… sorry, for ranting but this has been very therapeutic for me.

For times like this, I question why I have to go through all this shit. I think I am a pretty good person, so going through all these right after the high of going on a trip of a lifetime is pretty depressing for me. I am not an evil person — the most evil I can get is fantasizing on pushing a person off the penthouse floor of my office building, but that’s basically it.

I read somewhere earlier that maybe we should stop expecting the Lord to respond in our time, when we should accept that He works mysteriously according to His time, beyond our comprehension and beyond our time. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be Still And Know that I am God…” maybe I should listen to guidance. Maybe for this time, I need to shut up, stop fretting about things and just wait for God’s answer. I am sure even right now, He is helping me, guiding me and loving me — even if I am overweight and can be a bitch sometimes.

Be still.

Annual Physical Examinations


Working for a health company means that the people I work for value health on top of other things. After all, the subject of health is where we earn our keep. Birthdays in our company is not only cause for celebrations — celebrating birthdays meant you will be given a cup to take home to get your icky samples and you will be scheduled for your Annual Physical Examinations.

It’s a chore, but a must-do and you can’t wiggle out of an APE because HR will monitor you like crazy. When I was younger, I used to dread taking the annual physical — after all, you will be required to submit your urine and poop sample, you will get poked and prodded; your itty bits handled and mashed to check for signs of lumps and potential health problems. The thought of undressing in front of a stranger used to scare the hell out of me. I guess it is different when you get older and you want to make sure that the parts are still in tip-top condition. After all, getting sick is very expensive in the Philippines. Unless you have health insurance — incidentally, only 10% of the total PH population has one — a consultation, or worse, hospitalization is enough to put a drain in you or your family’s finances. Sad to say, in this country, there are even people who pass away without even seeing a doctor during their lifetime.

photo not mine

photo not mine

Turning another year older also meant that I am now subjected to the “Full Menu” — so aside from CBC Blood Test, Urinalysis, Chest X-Ray and Medical History Taking, I was also subjected to ECG and best of all, OB Gyne exam. It’s a bit disconcerting but something that has to be done if I want to live past the age of 50.

The results, sad to say, is heart breaking.

In spite the fact that I hardly ate, that I have the appetite of a bird, I am sad to announce that it seems to be that I have lost my battle against my continued weight gain. I have already seen the signs but until I saw the figure (which is above 160lbs – my former weight), I have never been so disappointed and depressed.


I am now severely overweight. From my weight of 100lbs during university, my weight have tipped the scales so badly that I am now told that it is affecting my capability to breed. Apparently, the excess fat might be wrecking a havoc on my reproductive system. I am trying to make light of the situation because to mope about it is just useless and will just make me more depressed than what I normally am. I did not know how I get myself to fail this miserably. I am fat, childless and currently, miserably penniless. To mope about it will do nothing to get me out of this pit I have put myself into.

After I saw my new weight, I was immediately ashamed especially since the people who measured me were my officemates. Unlike other patients who were names and numbers on the appointment sheet, I was a person who worked with them and interacted at them. They knew of my struggle on infertility and the fact that I am now at my heaviest has validated my incapability to breed. Mostly, because I was fat.

weight gain

I chose to relay my descent into FatVille not because I want you to pity me but because I need to see, in words, in black and white, how low I have come. I guess I needed the wake up jolt to see that I will never become a mother unless I do something about my body.

At the end of the day, no one is responsible with my health but myself. I was the one who didn’t took care of my body and now I am suffering from it. I am just glad that I was able to be see it before it was too late. I still have time, I hope.

…to Life’s Little Choices


How’s this for direct? On my last visit to my OB, I was informed that I may need to come to a decision to stop working in order for me to have a child. It was due to the fact that I am overworked (I worked the whole Holy Week and even on Saturdays and Sundays) and the treatment I have been taking might not work if my body remains bruised by working too much.

photo not mine

photo not mine

A part of me was sad upon realizing that eventually, I will have to put my so-called career in a backseat and concentrate on trying to be a mum. I find it so f*cked up that jobless kids half my age are procreating while I have been guzzling one fertility drug after another just to have a healthy working egg. I worked tirelessly for fifteen years, without nary a rest or respite. But at the end of the day, I will never be measured by how much I earn or what’s written as my designation. To the people I know, I will always be known as someone who “just kept on trying to no avail…” And it’s no longer amusing.

A part of me has decided that I am ready to walk away from my job and the career I have literally wasted half my life trying to build just to be healthy and fit enough. This early, I have looked at options that await me should I finally tender my resignation. I have drafted a timeline as well as a savings goal which will see me live comfortably while away from the corporate world.

I started working with eLance, having my first client as a writer last week. For my first week, I earned USD20 (PHP900), not a big amount but it’s a start. Navigating the world of freelancing is scary for someone like me who always had the safety net of a tenure or a company holding me back. I have never backed out of a challenge and I am a stubborn little girl — so, yes — right now, I am trying to increase my cred online in order for me to continuously win clients.

I don’t know when I’ll tender my resignation. My goal is to save money at least six times my current salary. Originally, I wanted it to be a year from now. But I don’t think that’s still feasible. With my luck, I hope I will be ready to resign by December and sustain myself online instead.

Wish me luck and send me a ton of prayers, please. I really need it.

The Daily Grind – 4.8.14



It’s another forty minutes trapped inside the cab that is (unsuccessfully) navigating Manila’s infamous traffic.

i’ve been doing this for more than a thousand days–that it has become an automatic habit for me. Wake up, take a bath, kiss the husband goodbye, rush out of the house, work like a robot, finish what I can, catch a cab, go home, spend whatever waking hour I have left with the hubby, fall asleep, Press repeat.

There are days when I am okay. But there are also days, like now, when I am convinced that real life is more mortifying than a Steven Seagal movie.

The only wind pushing my sail is the impending trip on my birthday–God willing I’ll get a visa. Going away somewhere great can be quite difficult for normal citizens like me whose parents don’t work for the government or have a trust fund, at least.

Work… is great, as long as I don’t think about my salary grade and the office politics. Work is great because I am learning, getting recognized for what I do and earning my own.

Everyday, I think about how my friends started building their families, of having kids and all, while Hub and I remains a family of two. There are days when it’s okay, after all we are happy, the two of us. But there are also days when sadness creeps in and I am left with ugly thoughts like, “God seemed intent on giving children to everyone I know except apparently, me…” Today is one of those days, aggravated by a callous remark made by one of my friends who deemed she is more “inconvenienced traveling because she has a kid, something that I childless person like me won’t understand…”

I tried giving her a piece of my mind bit what for, really? After all, she is partly correct.

…finally reached my office building. It’s kinda amazing/pathetic that I am pouring today’s emo thoughts on my iPhone. Whatever happened to good old journal keeping?

Confessions of a serial dieter



It has come to my attention that all perceived weight and flabs that I have managed to lose due to exercising like a mad woman during the last quarter of 2013 has been slowly creeping up my flab-riddled body.

The warning signs were there: clothes that felt a bit too tight around the middle, difficulty in running as part of the office’s running club and the slowly expanding gut. Sometimes, I say no to invitations for drinks and get-together because I don’t want to see old acquaintances and hear them say the usual line, “what happened to you? you gained weight! you used to be so thin in college!” Yes, I can deflect it with my usual tough girl lines but it kinda eats me away inside–especially when I am already at home, looking at a pile of clothes that no longer fit me.

While I do my four minute work outs during weekend, I have also begun to collect flimsy routine just to get out of my exercise routine. This–and the lack of discipline–are some of the reasons why I managed to gain back the pounds I managed to shake off.

Now, I am in panic mode.

Like the serial crammer and dieter that I am–and faced with the thought of looking pudgier than I was before–I started looking at my options.

1. Replace coffee with green tea and stick with it – after reading somewhere that tea is a good anti-oxidant and that it helps you lose weight, I started impulsively buying various green tea variants in the market and leaving it anywhere: in my room, the office and a sachet in my bag. My reasoning is that I will replace my coffee intake with green tea. I managed to do this for about a week and then stress hits me and I am chugging coffee again like a fiend.

2. Salads, hard boiled eggs and eating healthy – When I was still doing the fitness boot camp, I was eating salads, vegetables and fruits, drinking milk everyday and staying away from sweets (aka “my weakness”). But after the boot camp and the stress of work reappeared, I was downing cup cakes and fudgee bars every chance I get. I blame this for the bloated feeling.

To address this, I started eating healthy again — but man, trying to lose weight is very expensive. I was spending almost a hundred bucks per meal for my salads! Fruits and veggies also don’t come cheap. But it really needed to tone down. So, I am temporarily breaking my frugal ways in order to sustain my “healthy lifestyle”. If you have suggestions on how I can eat healthy and on the cheap – let me know!

3. Get my chair off the butt and start running again – I wasn’t able to run as much as I like due to my very hectic work sched. However, deep inside, I know that I am using work as a reason to procrastinate on my running and exercise. I have to stop this. I already left my running gear at work, reasoning that it will allow me to run if I want to.

4. Explore gym membership – I noticed that there’s a small community gym a block from my house. If I don’t have the discipline to do the work outs on my own, maybe it’s time to hit the gym and hire a trainer to bully me into submission.

God knows how much I wanted to lose weight. I don’t want to acknowledge it but gaining weight is already affecting my self-esteem.


My Selfie-loving country


I live in Makati City, Philippines — recently declared by Time as the “Selfie Capital of the World.”

Selfie Capital From Time

Above: Screenshot of the Time study identifying cities with the most number of “selfie-takers.” My city takes the cake with 258 selfies per 100,000 people.

The news was met with the same intensity as Filipinos hearing about an American Idol contestant with a drop of Filipino blood: news gets circulated starting from the 7AM news up to the 11PM round up, people share the “good news” on Facebook and yes, there are actually people tittering with excitement due to this honor. Truth be told, I am conflicted if this bit of “good news” is something to get excited about.

Have we become to transfixed with ourselves that we have to record our faces everytime?

During last Sunday’s mass, the priest talked about this bit of news and how capturing moments have become extinct, same as the company  Kodak which went bankrupt following the death of film cameras. I remembered when I was young and people use nothing but film cameras. We buy film rolls (usually comes in 12 shots, 24 and 36) and we have to make sure that the moments we take are worth it in order not to waste a shot. Hence, the pictures of yesterday shows our fully-made up forebears, dressed to the nines and usually include all family members. To take pictures then was to celebrate an event, to capture a moment or simply to have a momento to a very important occassion. I remember my mom telling me everytime “not to waste my shot” as I clutch the trusty Pentax wind-up camera given by my (now departed) uncle. Same uncle replaced the clunky Pentax with an automatic one (I love the sound of “whiiiiiiir” as the film roll retracts back to its case) after a few years but it always ends up with me retracting the film roll and going to the friendly neighborhood film processing studio to turn it into pictures. Same studio is still open (but has gotten rid of its film developing business) and is now a mini grocery store selling sanitary napkins and batteries.

Taking pictures then was equal to celebrating an event — nowadays, taking pictures is something people do when they want to pass time.

Don’t get me wrong — I am also guilty. A folder in my Facebook page, plus a few shots in my Instagram account will prove that I am also a trigger-happy, #filter-using, Instagramming fiend who celebrate hair cuts and newly bought lipstick with a mean selfie.

But how do we define when your addiction to seeing your duck-pouting, filter-dependent self is just too much? Consider these examples:

  • You have a folder/s in Facebook dedicated to 67 pictures of you and your various head angles/ duck pout variations taken when you woke up. I have friends like these and they happily rest under my “Unfollow Friend” list.
  • You can’t get out of your house unless you take a #OOTD (outfit of the day, for those with lives not revolving vanity). Never mind if the clothes you wear are not Fashion Week worthy.
  • You sprained your hand because you keep reaching up — to take the patented “camera from above” shot that is popular to the selfie loving masses.
  •  You have 15 different folders in your Facebook page that contains nothing but your face.
  • You have the complete list of photo apps in your iPhone/Android phone to make sure that you have all the tools needed in creating the perfect picture.

Of course, the advent of smart phones have erased the need to “wait for the moment” before anyone can take the pic. A simple press of a button, some swipe here and there for photo editing and you are good to go. If you find the photo is not to your liking, you can always erase and take another shot.

Being declared as the “Selfie Capital of the World” is not bad. But I do want people to know that we are more than a country of selfie-loving people. We are strong, resilient, we love unconditionally, we are God-fearing and we know how to celebrate moments with our nearest and dearest. Taking a picture is just one of them.

PS: I opened the Photos folder in my trusty iPhone and it shows that I have about 30 selfies out of 284 photos. That’s more than 10% It means that I contributed to the findings by Time.

…today’s dose of vanity (Vol. 1 Issue 2): The Evils of Threading


(TODAY’s DOSE OF VANITY (phrase): a collection of my efforts to scare away my readers by doing either: posting my ugly (don’t worry readers, I have a healthy dose of self confidence); or make like a fashion blogger and post OOTDs (where my usual choice of clothes doesn’t exactly read “Fashion Week”)

Being a woman, while an utterly rewarding, exhilirating and amazing experience, can suck sometimes. OH DON’T GET ME WRONG…I love being a girl and all the shoes and bags and clothes that go with it, but when you are render motionless sometimes due to your monthly period; go through depression because you can’t conceive and a big biological clock seems to hang ominiously in the background…it can get in the way of me being a full-pledged fan of the sisterhood.

And yes, can we even talk about body hair and our need to yank, strip, shave and just get rid of the damn suckers all the time?

Case in point and the reason for this post: I went to my usual spa to have my eyebrows fixed the other day — it’s a very unpleasant experience for me but something I know I must go through in order to curtail the population of bushy-browed women in my office. Threader goes in to work on my eye brows when she noticed the thin and faint layer of fuzz on my upper lip, it’s not really visible but yeah…it’s there. She says, “ma’am do you want your upper lips also threaded?”

Because having my eyebrows threaded is already my idea of eternal damnation, I said no. But then it hit me. If it will just cost a little and will make me a lot more human (a.k.a “prettier”) in the eyes of my long-suffering husband, why the eff not? Surely, threading your upper lip can’t be more painful than cat bite (which I’ve had a few) or worse, a paper cut?

So, after confirming that upper lip threading will cost the same as the eye brow threading, I said yes. With a stern warning that this will be the first time for me and can the attendant be gentler? The kind lady said yes and proceeded to put a thin layer of baby powder on my upper lip. With a few twists of the white thread, she started getting to work.

Owwww. Ouch. Sh*t. What.the…….

Immediately, my eyes started to water — I am tempted to tell the attendant to forget it and leave my faint little upper lip fuzz in freaking peace. But no, my pride and the fact that I will be paying for a job halfway done got in the way, so I decided to grin and bear it. For me, it felt like my cats have declared revolution and decided to gnaw on my upper lip as their form of revenge. Imagine fine thread yanking those tiny buggers off all at the same time.

After about fifteen minutes, it was done. The attendant efficiently moved on to my eyebrows which was not as painful as having the tiny hairs on my upper lip yanked. Trying to force a smile, I closed my eyes and tried to sleep… convinced that threading should be declared as another form of medieval torture.

My go-to place for threading:
Let’s Face It – Glorietta Branch
3F Glorietta Mall (near Gold’s Gym) Makati City
Threading starts at PHP150 (about 3.50USD)

* I am just being creative in describing my experience, but I can assure you that “Let’s Face It” is a nice place and has really efficient staff. They’re my go-to place when I want to look vaguely human. And no, this is not a sponsored post.