August Photo A Day Challenge Recap

Another month completed for fatmumslim’s daily challenge!


Project 365: August 2012 Recap

On my 8th month already and still going strong!

Here are my photos for August:

Road Trip: Surfs Up in La Union!


We’re very fortunately to enjoy two back to back long weekends! And for the second long weekend, my officemates and I took a road trip to San Juan, La Union, also known as the surfing capital of Luzon.

San Juan is a town in the province of La Union, located at the north western part of Luzon and is famous for its surfing spots and beaches. It is accessible via car from Manila, about 4-5 hours away (depending on traffic and number of stop overs), or via bus going to Ilocos.

It was our first time to go to San Juan, but not our first time to surf. However the last time I hopped on a board was way back in 2009, so I am a little rusty and apprehensive when it comes to surfing.

We checked in at the Kahuna Beach Resort, one of the nicer resorts in the area. It was actually very comfortable and reasonably priced, although this is given they are at low peak rates. It had garden rooms like little villas and had its own pool, spa and direct access to the beach.

We were tired from our long drive that Saturday so we mostly spent time resting, sitting at the beach and swimming in the pool.

Since we had the whole day of Sunday, that’s where all the action began.

We spent the first part of the morning playing with baby Shawn in the kiddie pool as its his first time to swim.

Then it was time to conquer the waves of La Union!

As mentioned earlier, I haven’t surfed in years so I was a bit apprehensive with conquering the waters of La Union. The waves actually looked scary and with the constant rains and southwestern winds blowing, the waves were coming in droves along the coast.

We hired some local instructors to teach us how to surf. We used long boards first since we were beginners. We practiced the techniques on how to get up on the boards on the beach first before going into the water.

After a few minutes, we headed into the water to put our skills to the test!

We were just a few meters from the beach. The water just reached to chest level where we started catching waves. Our instructors usually just helped us position our boards and gave the signal when the wave comes in.

After a few wipe outs due to nerves, I finally got up on may board and hung on for a few moments!

It was just so awesome! Now I understood the thrill surfing gives! After that initial time, I stood up more often that not during the rest of our one hour lesson. Here’s an actual video:

I am not sure if its the waters and waves in LU or the instructors that made the difference, but I can definitely give credit to all my yoga and Anti-Gravity Yoga Flying Fitness classes for helping me with my balance and upper body and core strength. I could really feel my arms and core working to help me stand up properly and keep my balance.

I really had so much fun during the trip and being on a health program didn’t spoil it either. I actually packed my fruits and veggies in a cooler and brought it with me. 🙂

I am all excited and looking forward to my next surfing trip!

Thinspiration: TRA Official One Month Update

This is my official one month entry update.

Just to give a refresher and to inform new readers and friends, last July 2, I started with a health program called The Right Approach or TRA.

My journey to losing weight began last year, when I noticed I was packing the pounds after a losing so much weight due to stress and an episode of my anxiety disorder in 2010. Despite numerous efforts, like enrolling myself in the gym, taking l-carnatine and orlistat supplements, eating salad instead, I noticed my weight wasn’t going down. It was either increasing or remaining flat. It also didn’t help that I was eating out a lot with my friends and family.

Come June 2012, I gave myself a deadline that I had to seriously go on a diet come July up to the end of the year. I researched and observed what were the best things out there that was most effective, and came across this program from my friend Kristine Alcantara-Javier. Know more about Kristine in one of my previous blog entries to know her journey.

She introduced me to the program and by some stroke of luck, I was able to get a good deal that worked for me and was able to jump start my program by my targeted date.

After one month on the TRA, I have my official photos and results:

Upon seeing my picture, I was very happy with the result. You can see that my stomach has flattened and my back grew thinner. Even my boobs seemed to have taken shape and so did my ass! And this is only after one month. It might not be seen in the pictures but I definitely felt the difference in my thighs as I could now easily fit into my jeans, whereas previously it was a struggle to put them on.

I also am so proud of the fact that my strength has improved a lot. As an avid yoga practitioner, I find myself doing the poses more fluidly and I’m able to carry my body weight while suspended in the air doing Anti-Gravity Yoga. My teachers noticed the difference as well.

Doing the program isn’t as easy as it looked and I had to make so much adjustments to how I ate. I discovered I’ve been eating so much excess calories and my food choices weren’t as healthy. It wasn’t just eating a fruit, veggie, protein and carbs, but there are also certain foods that you should avoid. It was also a challenge especially when my schedule is thrown off, like my travels out of town or I am suddenly invited to a dinner or meal with friends or clients, but the coaches offered a lot of tips to help us with adjusting like bringing your own fruit, etc.

Here are some of the things I like about this program:

  • I can eat normally – There are no meal plans that require you to eat something else from your friends or family, or starving yourself from a certain food group for a period of time. The only things that I go out of my way to bring are apples and veggies but it doesn’t make you look like you’ve sprouted another head just because you are on a “diet”.
  • I can still exercise regularly – In fact, it is encouraged to do some light cardio exercises every day. I still keep my yoga schedules and in fact it helped with my yoga poses. I could bend and flex better and also built muscle strength easily. I am a lot more stronger now.
  • Fits my schedule – You just eat 3 times a day every five hours.
  • Convenient – each pack comes complete with a pillbox for your supplements and a shaker for the trimshake.
  • In a system – with the food diary and classes, i can easily track down what I’m eating and it serves as a guide for me to follow so I don’t go astray.
  • Has a support system – dieting is hard to do on your own but I’ve got someone like Kristine and the other coaches to keep you in line and can easily consult if I have any questions. The month long class also gives vital information to help you with your program.
  • Flexible – I can have different meal combinations as long as I follow the 3333 rule.
  • Longevity – since this is on a period of 3 months, you definitely gain habits you can apply for after the program.
  • Guaranteed results – I’ve seen a lot testimonials from real people who have done this. My friend Kristine is one of them and I’ve seen how much she’s lost and is still losing months after the program. And from my results, it really can happen.
  • Gradual but effective results – The results don’t happen overnight but the period of loss is quick enough for me. According to them you can lose as much as 12 kilos in the period alone (that’s about 2 pounds per week, the healthy way to lose weight).
  • Health benefits – With the testimonials I’ve read the program helped people lower their hypertension, fight obesity and the like. I hope this could also help stabilize my PCOS, one of the main source of my weight problems.

I am looking forward to my results for the next months to come. 🙂

Rest in Peace, Sec Jesse Robredo!

It seems I’ve been posting a lot of sad news lately, but another sad thing happened in the country for the past few days.

As of this morning, the body of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was found off the coast of Masbate, an island in the Bicol region, on the southern part of Luzon.

His plane crashed into the sea after missing the runway at the Masbate airport last Saturday. A search and rescue team of divers, supervised by his good friend, Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, spent four days trying to locate him, and the airplane captains.

And as of this morning, news that the fuselage of his plane was found along with his body. The bodies of his two companions are still being retrieved.

The news of his plane crash came as a shock to everyone, and the nation kept vigil on his safe return. But alas, the inevitable has happened.

They say the nation lost a good man. I didn’t have the chance of know Sec Jesse, but I’ve seen hundreds of messages saying what an honest and humble man he was – a true servant of the people.

Rest in Peace, Sec Jesse! Thank you for being such an inspiration to the Filipino people!

The Story So Far: All Quiet in the Eastern Front

Apologies dear readers for my severe lack of updates for the past few weeks.

It’s not that I’ve been busy.

I have just been lazy on putting out updates since I’ve mostly been concentrating on other things rather than keep up my blog. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even organized my pictures for August as I’ve mostly kept my laptop closed whenever I’m in the house.

But fret not, I will still update from time to time, but not as often as expected.

So what’s been happening?

  • I’ve been devoting much of my time to my yoga practice. I’m concentrating more on attending Anti-Gravity Yoga and Bikram classes in the evenings as part of my weekly exercises. I’m also in contemplation if I will take the teacher training for AGY this November. I’ve been resisting this, but its something I’m really considering and inclined to do.
  • I’m concentrating in preparing for my new condo. However, in truth, I haven’t been taking care of it lately.
  • I’m still on the TRA program, on my second month, but I feel my concentration is slipping due to the disruption brought about by the storm and flood and now we’re on long holidays.
  • Due to TRA, I couldn’t do any new restaurant reviews as I couldn’t really experience fully the restaurants we eat in.

Now that I’ve fully rested, I am determined to get back on track with these things that’s most important to me:

  • To follow TRA to a tee for the next few weeks to expect great results in the end. I have only until this month with my supplements.
  • To start looking at house ideas in preparation for my condo.
  • To get back on feet with my work.
  • To let go of my fear and take up something new like teacher training.
  • To update things to get back in track and with integrity.
  • To blog more often.

Here’s to more updates. 🙂

Movie Review: Brave

Meet Princess Merida, a spirit young Scottish princess who craves adventure and freedom. In a land where legends were lessons and magic was everywhere, she grows up with a rigid mother who teaches her the values of her people. When of age, tradition says she is to marry the eldest son from one of the four tribes of their kingdom. She defies ancient tradition by shooting for her own hand in marriage, and later breaks the family tapestry in anger with her mother. After running away, she encounters a witch where she bargains her for a spell that would change her faith forever.

In tradition with the Disney history of fairy tale movies, Pixar delivers another great story. Although it has very much not your typical Disney princess movie (it has no love story), the movie has the same heart and values that kids, especially young girls, can learn from.

My only comment is that it wasn’t unexpected. The story wasn’t as groundbreaking as Toy Story or Finding Nemo, but interesting enough with its rich legends and unexpected twists that kept everyone’s attention on the movie.

Its a great story to share to the kids.

How you can help victims of flood via ABS-CBN News

For those wondering how you can help with the victims of the flooding that happened in Manila:

How you can help victims of flood | ABS-CBN News.

ABS-CBN Foundation

What they need: Rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, coffee, sugar, water, clothes, blankets, mats, medicine and cash donations

Where: ABS-CBN Foundation-Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse at 137 Mother Ignacia Ave. corner Eugenio Lopez Drive, Diliman, Quezon City. For cash donations, interested parties may deposit to Banco de Oro under the account name “ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya” with account number 393-011-4199. For international cash donations, Sagip Kapamilya’s BDO dollar account number is 393-008-1622 with a ‘swift code,’ BNORPHMM. They may also deposit their donation through PNB and BPI which both carry the account name “ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya.” The account number in PNB is 419-539-5000-13; while in BPI (West Triangle, Quezon City Branch) is 3051-1127-75. The BPI Dollar Account is under the name ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya with the account number, 3054-0270-35.

When: Not specified. For updates, tune in to ANC, DZMM, DZMM Radyo Patrol 630,

Ateneo de Manila University

What they need: Family relief packs good for three to four days. Each would ideally contain food (tuna in easy to open cans, pork and beans in foil packs, canned goods, mixed biscuits, and rice), two gallons of water, toiletries (bath soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, sanitary napkins and towels), sleeping paraphernalia (tarpaulins, beds, tents and blankets), medicine (oral rehydration salts, paracetamol, cefalexin, antiseptics, amoxicillin, sulfur soap, Band-Aids, Betadine), clothes (sorted according to age and gender), sacks (as bags for the relief goods)

Where: Ateneo de Manila University covered courts at Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

When: Not specified

Ayala Malls

What they need: Relief goods

Where: Concierge booths at all Ayala malls

When: Not specified

Cha Dao Tea Place

What they need: Relief goods. Cha Dao will give a regular cup of your favorite milk tea for every donation.

Where: Cha Dao branches at Katipunan, Don Antonio, UP Village and Parañaque

When: Not specified


Department of Education

What they need: Relief goods

Where: DepEd Central Office, Meralco Ave., Pasig City

When: August 10, until 6 p.m. For more details, you may tweet @DepEd_PH.


Department of Social Welfare and Development

What they need: Relief goods, volunteers who will help repack donations

Where: DSWD-National Resource Op Center at Chapel Road, Pasay (in between NAIA 1 and 2). Other relief centers also need help. Click here for the map.

When: Not specified. For more details, call (02) 852-8081.

Eastwood Mall

What they need: Food, clothing and blankets

Where: Concierge of Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City

When: Not specified. For more information, call (02) 709-9888.

Gawad Kalinga

What they need: Canned goods, noodles, bottled water, crackers, rice, bread, coffee, sugar, clothes, beddings, soap, volunteers to help repack goods, and cash donations. Online donations are also accepted.

Where: HRD Training Center at the Department of Agrarian Reform Compound, Quezon City (take Gate 1); 2nd floor of 165 Loremar Annex building, ML Quezon St., Antipolo City

When: Not specified. For more information, click here.

Gerry Peñalosa Boxing Gym

What they need: Canned goods that don’t need to be cooked, drinking water, mats, clothes, tarpaulins, feeding bottles, hygiene kits and cash donations

Where: Gerry Peñalosa Boxing Gym at 8th Acropolis Center in Libis, Quezon City

When: August 8 to 14, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

De La Salle schools

What they need: Food (preferably ready to eat and in easy to open packaging), bottled water, clothes, blankets/mats for sleeping and cash donations

Where: La Salle Green Hills Gate 2 along Ortigas Avenue, cash donations at the school’s La Sallian Mission Office. Look for Marlo Castillo at (02) 726-5851. Also accepting donations are De La Salle University-Manila, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, De La Salle Zobel, De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, De La Salle University Medical center, De La Salle University-Science and Technology Complex, University of St. La Salle, De La Salle John Bosco College, La Salle University-Ozamiz, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and De La Salle Araneta University.

When: Anytime

LBC Foundation

What they need: Blankets, water, milk, easy to eat food items like biscuits, rice, baby diapers, mats, toiletries. Make sure to label these as donations. Don’t use plastic bags – instead, use a blanket, towel or old shirt to carry the relief goods.

Where: All LBC branches in the country

When: Not specified


What they need: Rice, noodles, canned goods, bottled water, blankets and clothes

Where: All open McDonald’s branches in Metro Manila

When: Not specified

Philippine Red Cross

What they need: Cash/check, donations in kind

Where: Philippine Red Cross national headquarters at Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila. PRC can arrange for donation pickup. For details on cash/check donations, click here.

When: No date specified

San Sebastian College – Recolectos de Manila

What they need: Relief goods

Where: San Sebastian College – Recolectos de Manila campus, Bilibid Viejo, Manila (for more information, call 734-8931 to 39, local 322)

When: Not specified

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

What they need: Cash/check donations. For details, click here.

Where: Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan at Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

When: No date specified

SM Malls

What they need: Relief Goods

Where: All SM malls. For the complete list, click here.

When: Not specified

Tulong Kabataan Volunteer Network

What they need: Noodles, rice, bottled water, coffee, sugar, canned goods, bread, other food items that could be stored for a long period, blankets, clothes, thick pants, socks, medicine, sanitary napkins, undergarments, cash donations

Where: Kabataan Party-list headquarters. For more details, call (02) 437-0148 or 0926-2622040

When: Not specified

University of the Philippines – Diliman

What they need: Volunteers, cash donations, relief goods (500ml bottled water, canned goods, noodles, soap and toothpaste, blankets, clothes, medicines, eco-friendly plastic bags), transportation

Where: UP Gym (at the College of Human Kinetics)

When: August 10, 9am to 9pm (For more information, contact UP Student Council Chairperson Heart Dino through Tina Reyes at 09052936182 or call 343-1771)

University of Santo Tomas

What they need: Drinking water, instant noodles, canned goods, rice, clothes, footwear, pillows, blankets, sleeping mats, toiletries and medicine

Where: UST Central Student Council Office, Tan Yee Kee Student Center Lobby, Local Student Council Office

When: Not specified. For more details, call Argee Gonzales at 0917-8460671


What they need: Cash donations. Total donations will be matched up to P1.5 million by Philseven Foundation, and will be used to provide relief goods to affected areas.

Where: All 7-Eleven branches in the country

When: Anytime