Monday, August 12, 2019

Spartan Race 2019 RD Hill


A day after my birthday, I flew to Cebu for the Spartan Race. Last year, I entered the Sprint Category in Alviera, Pampanga, where I ran 6km and completed 23 obstacles. This time, I went one level higher and joined the Super Category covering 13km in distance and more obstacles. Although I allotted more time to train for this race (around three weeks) compared to last year where I practically had zero training, I was able to complete more obstacles last year. The terrain in RD Hill in Cebu was very muddy, and every step was a challenge. We had to cross lakes, and rivers, and sometimes had to walk on waist deep mud where your entire legs get stuck with every step. The obstacles were also much more difficult. Because of the mud, the bars, the ropes, and the weights were all very slippery and hard to grip. 

Despite all these, I still had so much fun! The unexpected terrain made the victory much more satisfying. There's another race coming this October and I want to push my limits even further and join the Beast Category. It's a 21km race with 30 obstacles. I also want to complete the Trifecta this year, but the only way to make this possible is if I join the Sprint a day after I complete the Beast. I haven't made up my mind yet, but this is certainly a possibility. I guess we'll just see how it goes!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Bucket List


Traveling has always been one of my greatest passions. I enjoy discovering new places, and immersing myself in different cultures. And the more I travel, the more I want to see the rest of the world. 

Experiences matter a lot to me, which is why I'm more willing to spend my money on funding my trips, than on material things. This is also the reason I decided to keep this blog. I suck at writing but I wanted to remember everything about my travels as much as I can. I've been to quite a lot of places but my feet are still itching to explore what else the world has to offer. Here, I listed the top things I want to do and I hope I get to do all of them in my lifetime!

Monday, July 29, 2019

27th


I usually don't give a big fuss about my birthday. Every year, there are no parties, no celebrations, nothing-- just a simple dinner with the family. I treat it just like any other day. I mean, what's so special about it anyway? Everybody gives you extra attention, which does nothing except make me feel awkward.  

This year, however, was different. 

I realized that my birthday is an opportunity to celebrate the blessings I received through the years. It's a brilliant excuse to gather all the people I love in one place and to enjoy each other's company. Although my parents were away on a trip, and it was just me and my brother at home, I still felt complete and very much loved. On the eve of my birthday, I celebrated with my close friends at Tacoway, and the following day, there was a simple celebration in the office. There were a lot of surprises that I didn't expect, especially from people who took the extra mile to make me feel special. I've never felt more loved. Of course, the day didn't end without me thanking the Lord for everything He has given me, as I do everyday. 

See? Celebrating my birthday isn't so bad after all. In fact, it was awesome! Next year, please come sooner!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

La Union 2019: Day 2


We woke up bright and early the next day, excited for brunch at Choka (this was mostly just me, lol). We had a wonderful view of the sea while enjoying the dishes we ordered, which was my primary consideration when I chose this place. And have I mentioned that it was insanely hot in La Union? We couldn't bear the heat that we desperately looked for a place with air conditioning. There was only one place we could think of-- Coffee Project. When we arrived, the place was full! We had to wait for around 30 minutes before we got to be seated. Unfortunately for us, it was still scorching hot even with the air conditioning on!

The entire afternoon, we just lounged in our hotel and swam a little. And for dinner, we had ribs at Mommy Lu's-- the best ribs I've tried in my life! The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce was amazing. Really, our experience would've been awesome if not for the smell of a dead rat that lingered during our meal. Lol. Still, the ribs at Mommy Lu's are the best! We then had a few cocktails at Surf Shack before calling it a night. Note to self: order a pitcher of Pink Eye next time!    

On our last day, we decided to stop by Baguio on our way back to Manila. We had a nice, sumptuous lunch at Hill Station, and ordered some hot chocolate at Chocolate de Batirol so we have something to drink during the long drive back. When we checked Waze, we were surprised to see that it would take us over 6 hours to get to Manila when it was supposed to be only 3 hours! Apparently, Kennon road was closed so we had to drive all the way back to La Union and take an alternative route to get to Manila. Lol. The trip was short but sweet. And I'm glad to spend time with these people who I've known for more than two decades.

I'm traveling to Japan with the same group of friends this September, so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

La Union 2019: Day 1


Summer was the perfect time to go on a beach holiday, and I went with none other than my high school friends! Compared to our other trips, this one was not planned in advance. In fact, we only decided that we were going to La Union less than a month before we leave. Lol. On the day itself, I took a 12-hour land trip from my hometown (Legazpi) to Manila, and spent another 5 hours from Manila to La Union. Whew! 

We were starving when we arrived in La Union so we stopped by Grumpy Joe's for lunch. We didn't know that their serving size was enormous so we ended up ordering too much. Lol. For dessert, we drove to Halo-halo de Iloko for some (yes, you guessed it!) halo-halo. The queue outside the restaurant was very long so we just decided to have the halo-halo to go, and ended up eating them in the car. We were tired from the long drive, so we checked in at our hotel and rested a bit. Just before sunset, we went to the beach at San Juan for some surfing. Unfortunately, the waves were too small-- we decided it wasn't worth it. We walked around the beach to pass the time, and had an early dinner at Baybay Seafood. Our seafood boodle dinner was amazing, and very affordable! I'm not a fan of boodle fights, but this one was one-of-a-kind. The seafood was so fresh and the sauce tasted great. Naturally, I ate a ton! We ended the night early but still managed to squeeze in a bonding session in our room before going to bed.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Australia 2019: Bondi Beach & Sydney CBD


And we've finally come to the last day of our Australian vacation. We woke up early in the morning to go to the world famous Bondi Beach. Three trains, and one bus ride after, my sister and I found ourselves at the southern end of Bondi Beach. We enjoyed the light breeze and listened to the sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks. What a wonderful way to spend our morning! We then realized that we hadn't eaten breakfast, so we hurriedly looked for a nice cafe. The Pokecado at Preach Cafe was amazing-- clearly the best dish I had in Australia! It had cured salmon, edamame, smashed avocado, rocket, cucumber, mango, and black sesame seeds with soy sauce on sourdough. The combination of the flavors, and the presentation was just marvelous!

We absolutely adored the walking tour in Melbourne, so at 2pm, we joined another walking tour in Sydney. And after that, we joined an evening tour of The Rocks. For dinner, we had ramen from Gumshara in Chinatown. There were a lot of walking so I wasn't surprised that we were all so tired! I checked the health app on my phone and it said we walked 14 kilometers that day! Whew!

During our time in Australia, our tour guides would say that Sydney and Melbourne have this long-standing rivalry. Personally, though Sydney has more iconic sites, I prefer the city of Melbourne. I think Melbourne has a lot in common with San Francisco. Both have hilly terrain, and have trams as public transportation. They also have the same young, hipster vibe. I feel very lucky that we got to visit a lot of different sights with the limited time we had. In Melbourne, I think we only skipped Great Ocean Road, and in Sydney, Manly Beach. The next time I'm in Australia though, I plan to go the Outback! Until then!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Australia 2019: Sydney CBD


My aunt offered to take us around the city on our second day. She taught us how the transportation system works, and which trains or buses to take to get around the city. We visited the Sydney Opera House, and the Harbor Bridge, and strolled along the streets of The Rocks. Thankfully, there weren't a lot of tourists walking around, probably because it had been raining on and off. After walking for some time, we stopped to eat lunch at this pub called The Glenmore, and also to rest our feet. We then took a train to Parramatta and spent the rest of the day souvenir and grocery shopping.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Australia 2019: Blue Mountains


Hello Sydney! Upon arrival at the airport, we were greeted by my aunt (my dad's sister) and her family. They've been living in Sydney for as long as I can remember and because of the distance, we don't get to see each other often. We were really happy that we got to spend time with them.

We wanted to take advantage of the sunny weather on our first day in Sydney, so instead of taking a city tour, which is usually the first thing we do when we arrive in a new city, we decided to spend the day at the Blue Mountains. We went to Scenic World first to try the rides. There were three different rides-- the Cableway, the Skyway, and the Railway. The Cableway and the Skyway just felt like riding a big cable car. The Railway was the most exciting among the three because it's the steepest railway in the world! We then headed to the Blue Mountains Heritage Center for another scenic view of the mountains. This was also where we started trekking to the Three Sisters. The trek was very easy, so we didn't have any problem at all. The next time I'm in Sydney, I'd probably skip Scenic World, and do more nature hikes at the Blue Mountains instead.

After our short trek, we drove to Leura, a small, charming town just twenty minutes away from the the Blue Mountains Heritage Center. We walked around, and decided to grab lunch at a restaurant called Leura Garage. After eating, we started our drive home.

My aunt just celebrated her birthday the day before we arrived in Sydney, so she invited us for a post-birthday dinner at her family's favorite Japanese restauarant called Hukuya Sushi Bar. Definitely a day well-spent!

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