The Best of My 2010 Travels

Travel wise, 2010 has been a great year for me. Chance, fate and opportunity presented me with these travel experiences that I never would have imagine happening, even in my wildest dream,in just a span of a year.
April 16-18, 2010
Palawan was one of my dream places to visit. That is why when our school planned an outing/outreach activity there last summer, I signed up for it right a way. It was everything I imagined it to be and more. I simply love the place–the fantastic beaches, the many wonders of nature that you can see around and the locals living there who are just so passionate and protective about their hometown. I will never forget our island hopping adventure along Honda Bay, a place that can be describe as marine biodiversity at its finest and our visit to the Underground River which left us awestruck by the sheer beauty of the captivating stalagmite and stalactite formations (see my related post here). I was a half-hearted environmental warrior before Palawan, but after the trip, I throw myself wholeheartedly into the fight for a clean and green environment.

one of the isles along Honda Bay, Palawan

Snake Island in Honda Bay

St. Paul Mountain, Underground River

going inside Underground River

October 14-17, 2010
Since I was chosen last October as one of the winners of a blog writing contest sponsored by Cebu Pacific, my husband and I also had the opportunity to stay at Badian Island Resort and Spa in Cebu for three glorious days (see my related post here). It was my first time to travel to Cebu, so you can just imagine how thrilled speechless I was especially after seeing the place where my husband and I were to celebrate our 10th year wedding anniversary. Badian Island Resort and Spa is simply paradise. I am a beach freak so I had a great time kayaking, sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. I particularly like the romantic lunch in Coral Garden arranged by the resort, where we also had the most humbling snorkeling experience. It was my first time to see up close huge, colorful and beautiful corals and starfish swaying in harmony with the other sea creatures. It made me realize how truly blessed we are for having all of these wonderful natural treasures right here in our country. Of course, trip to Cebu will not be complete without doing the extreme Skywalk and Edge Coaster adventure in Crown Regency, which I absolutely love, love, love. It provided the perfect opportunity for me to overcome my fear of heights. Indeed, Cebu is one of the best local places to be, if you are out looking for varied outdoor activities.
Badian Island Resort and Spa

enjoying the poolside

Coral Garden--Badian Island, Cebu

Skywalk Adventure (Crown Regency, Cebu)

April 30 – May 11, 2010
I never planned on going back to Singapore too soon after having been there just the previous summer (2009) but because my sister, who is based there for some years now, extended an invitation too good to resist, I found myself in my favorite tiger city once again last May. Just in time for the soft opening of Universal Studios Singapore (see my related post here). Who would have thought that two crazy adults would love Universal Studios! My sister and I were literally giddy the whole time we were there. We were like children on the loose. It was like reliving all of our fondest childhood memories. Since I stayed there for almost two weeks, I also had the chance to explore the places I didn’t get to visit before such as the Chinese and Indian temples and China Town, the one place I often frequented when I was there. I just loved how it gave me that culture-high and how the place just hustles and bustles. Since I traveled on my own for this particular trip (read: without my husband and kid), I did my own version of Eat, Pray, Love in Singapore. 🙂 It was liberating in away, learning so much about the culture and getting the feel of a foreign place. It left me warmheartedly full.
Kingdom Far Far Away (Universal Studios Singapore)

Universal Studios Singapore

Chinatown, Singapore

Indian Temple, Singapore

Chinese Temple, Singapore

2010, I was riding high with all these travel experiences that life presented me. It made me realized that once you start travelling, the wanderlust feeling seem to stay. I have a few places in my mind that I would like to visit this year, though I doubt if I will ever get to be that lucky again in the travel department like last year. But the way I see it, you don’t really need luck and chance that much when planning your travels, all you need are a good travel agency and an online classified ads website who can provide you with the best travel deals and leads such as Trajet Tours and Travel and Sulit.com.ph and you will surely be all set and ready to go in no time.:)
As of this writing, I already booked a flight Southeast and is dreaming of Hong Kong. (sigh!)
Sulit.com.ph and Trajet Travel and Tours promote tourism in the Philippines and abroad. Find great deals at sulit.com.ph, the leading on-line classified ad website in the Philippines.

2010: A Different Kind of High

After three days of frolicking in Badian Island Resort and Spa last October, we passed by Crown Regency in Cebu City for some fearless outdoor adventure. Well, to someone like me who is just so afraid of heights, I would describe this experience as both totally extreme and exhilarating. Yup, that’s me walking the death path, I mean the skywalk path, trying not to look too fearful. On a serious note though, I am glad I did this. For once, I felt how it is to literally have a bird’s eye view of everything.

building mighty courage

yikes!

I did it!

I remembered feeling the same thing also when I tried the Singapore Flyer last summer. That one is not as pure a torture as the skywalk adventure though because all I had to do at that time was sit out my wobbly knees in the glass cabin whereas this skywalk, I had to force myself to walk, wobbly knees and all, if I wanted “nightmare” end. *wink, wink*
the glass cabin

scaredy me. haha!

hanging on to sissy for dear life! hehe
view of Singapore at night hundred feet up there.:)

That same summer, I also had my first cable car experience in Singapore which left me both scared and thrilled speechless. I had quesy tummy the whole time unlike my little girl who was just so into it. Obviously, I have this thing with heights.
as you can see, my daughter and I are not THAT excited, not really...:)

way up there.:)

we were riding one of those.:)

I just realized that these adventures gave me that heady feeling of being on top of the world, the same feeling you get when you’re totally and helplessly in-luv.:)
If you plan to buy great gears and equipments for your many outdoor adventures, visit any R.O.X branch or follow ROX Philippines in twitter and add ROX Philippines in facebook for more information.:)

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,900 times in 2010. That’s about 14 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 68 posts. There were 157 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 74mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 7th with 289 views. The most popular post that day was Fitflop: Setting the Tone of Fitness and Health.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, outoftownblog.com, en.wordpress.com, wanderingjuan.com, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for rubi shoes, rubi shoes singapore, dextroscoliosis, thoracolumbar dextroscoliosis, and what is dextroscoliosis.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Fitflop: Setting the Tone of Fitness and Health November 2010
16 comments

2

Dealing with Dextroscoliosis October 2008
109 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

3

My Love Affair with Rubi Shoes June 2010
4 comments

4

Prayer for a Happy Married Life March 2008
31 comments

5

Universal Studios Singapore June 2010
12 comments

Print

Here are some of the articles I have written for some print publications:
Working Mom, May 2016
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Working Mom, October 2015 (writing collaboration with my daughter, Bianca)
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Working Mom, September 2015
sept
september fin
Working Mom, August 2015
(Writing collaboration with my daughter, Bianca Angela)
aug fin
august fin
Working Mom, June 2015
June 2
Working Mom, May 2015
May
Working Mom, April 2015
April cover
455
 
456
Working Mom, March 2015
march cover
march 1
 
march 2
 
march 3
Working Mom, February 2015
February cover
feb 1
Feb 2
Feb 3
Working Mom, Dec.-January 2015
December Cover
Dec 1
Dec 2
Working Mom, November 2014
 
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Working Mom, October 2014
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Working Mom, July 2014
July cover
 
imageWorking Mom, June 2014
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Working Mom, April 2014 issue
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Good Housekeeping, October 2010
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Press

Magazine and newspaper features:
Endurance Sports Magazine, April 2015
482
Working Mom, June 2014
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483
Phlippine Star, April 24, 2010 20140508-144306.jpg Manila Bulletin, September 26, 2010 20140508-144415.jpg Officially Philippines, October 2010 20140508-144514.jpg

Planning My 2011 With a Planner

Some people think that their life will be more organized with a planner. A few friends I know would even painstakingly write “to do” list on it everyday while others would lovingly plot meetings and daily schedules on it’s pages like any attentive executive secretary would. Though I secretly admire these people who who would really take the time in documenting everything that will happen in their future, and often marvel at how hasty scribbles can give a planner that “busy” character as I leafed through the pages of my friends’ planners, try as I might I really can’t get myself to do exactly just that. I guess because planning everything in my mind works best for me. My mind seems to know the most urgent thing to do and my body automatically follows through on my imaginary list of priorities for the day. So far my life works well that way.
I stumbled upon this great contest though, the prize is you guessed it right, a planner. But this doesn’t seem like one those give-away planners doing the rounds in facebook, this one is a rare Starbucks planner. Now if I get to be lucky and actually win one of these Starbucks planner, I wouldn’t bore it with my itemized schedule for the day nor stuff it so much with usual meetings and all those stuffs. Instead, I would jot down my short daily prayers on it. I will fill it out with scribbles of wonderful quotes that I so love to chance upon in the internet everyday. And writing the sites where I got them will be made easy with this great URL Shortener that Martin Gomez has created. I would also write down “random acts of kindness” that I will receive from wonderful strangers and from people I know on it. And since I love joining online contest, I would plot the dates when I would be submitting my entries on my planner to at least give me that sense of focus and of course I would also be marking the day I would be receiving the prizes from those contest I would be joining in on that planner too (positivity works all the time).:) I so love to write, so this planner would also hold witness to the many insightful and inspiring topics that I plan to write and that would surely will cross my mind everyday.
I know these things are not the usual ordinary things that people write about on planners but hey, who says I want an ordinary life this 2011?! In fact, I plan to have an eXtRaOrdinary life this 2011, as extraordinary as the URL shortener that Martin Gomez created or as extraordinary as this rare Starbucks planner. That is why I will fill my planner with so much inspiration, only the good wonderful things instead of the mundane and ordinary. Exactly the kind of life I plan this 2011. Cheers to a great year ahead everyone! =)
Join this contest here and get the chance to win a Rare Starbucks planner of your own.:)
I used Martin Gomez URL shorterner and it has been gReaT! so far.:)

Pond's Gold Radiance

I have to admit that I was very reluctant at first to try the Pond’s Gold Radiance collection ‘cause I wasn’t ready to let go of my Pond’s Age Miracle products yet. For the longest time, they have been my secret beauty weapon, it is because of them that I look younger than my age (okay, enough of the boos!). It is the only line of beauty product that sits well on my skin, or so I thought. What made me decide to give this Pond’s Gold Radiance a try was the fact that after a week of continued use, my mom (who obviously is more adventurous than I am when it comes to trying out new stuffs) celebrated her 60th birthday looking like 50! So in the name of beauty, I broke up with Pond’s Age Miracle and gave this new Pond’s Gold Radiance line a try.

I started with the Pond’s Gold Radiance Revealed Facial Foam. I wash my face with it in the morning and at night just before I sleep. After every wash, I get that squeaky clean feeling on my face that I usually get only when I scrub it really hard with a facial loofah (yes, I used to be that unforgiving when washing my face). But with this though, I don’t have to go that far, the micro beads do the job for me. I have a combination skin type, so I like how it also regulates the amount of oil on my face without leaving it totally dry. Here is a snaphot of myself early morning after the wash.

The facial foam seems compatible with my skin (meaning no stingy feeling, rashes or zit breakouts) so I took another tentative step and started with the Pond’s Gold Radiance Precious Youth Serum after three days. I put this on before I go to sleep, I like the thought that it will work magic on my skin while I rest since it has the highest concentration of gold microparticles, and surprisingly it never leaves me disappointed in the morning. My face is smooth to touch, must be the texturizing effect that they were talking about. It has also become firmer and just glows like I am in the pink of health (I am pretty sure that these are not all in my imagination) since I started with this. Here are pictures taken randomly in the more than two weeks that I have been using the product.

1st week of continued use.:)

well into the second week.:)

Taken just this morning. That's me with my beautiful friends. (I'm the one with the red belt).:)

Next on top of my list of Pond’s Gold Radiance products to try is the Pond’s Gold Radiance Youth Reviving Eye Cream since I am getting some unsightly bags around my eyes now. I have finally talked myself into using a day cream also so I would be starting with the Youthful Day Cream too, I read that it has SPF 15 that can give enough sun protection everyday and has anti-aging benefits to boot (this is what my mom uses).
Pond’s never ceases to amaze me, it has truly evolved since the time of the Pond’s Cold Cream days, the product that my grandmothers were crazy about. It seems like theres’ really no stopping Pond’s in its quest to make us radiantly beautiful everyday. And it does look like we’ve strike gold again with this new Ponds Gold Radiance line.:)

Fitflop: Setting the Tone of Fitness and Health

We cannot deny the fact that Fitflop to date is the most sought after footwear. It has taken the market by storm with the swiftness and sureness of a true winner. It can be said that the secret to its success can be attributed not only to its relentless marketing strategies but more so to the innovative, breakthrough product behind its name. Many have claimed benefits from using Fitflop, as proven by its unprecedented 100,000 (and still counting) fan base mark in facebook alone. And this 2010, it continues to prove itself unstoppable, as it skyrockets to fame with the opening of its first concept store in SM MOA and the successive launch of an impressive Lifestyle Footwear Collection that boast of stylish designs and its trademark microwobbleboard technology. Fitflop’s fan page in facebook has already seen a steady influx of fan photos and testimonies eversince it was set up. Just about anybody would kill (figuratively speaking of course) for a pair, as evidence by the overwhelming response it usually gets everytime it posts promos and contest. And I am proud to admit that I am one of those, as I myself can personally attest to its greatness, having benefitted much from its microwobbleboard technology. It is no secret that I have been struggling with scoliosis for quite a number of years now (see my related post Dealing with Scoliosis and Managing Scoliosis Through Exercise). For the longest time, I had been in search of that perfect footwear that will help reduce back stress and give strength to my lower extremity muscles. As we all know, these muscles are important to people with scoliosis like me (even for the ones who don’t have actually) for they provide utmost strength and support to our lower back, hips and legs, our body parts that are prone to pain and misalignment. It is necessary that these are well-toned at all times, with strong muscles developing at just the right places. I have found that perfect footwear in Fitflop. It’s innovative engineering design has made my bottom, hamstrings and leg muscles exactly that—firm, strong and well-toned. It truly lives up to its tag, shoe with a gym built-in.

my well-toned thigh, leg and rear end- much thanks to Fitflop.:)

Recently the launch of its utra-chic, thigh-toning, foot-flexing, bottom-benefitting, Fitflop Supertone, the current “sneaker of the hour” was waited upon with great anticipation. It had fitness fanatics scrambling to get their hands full of this latest genius. This new muscle-toning sneaker is a product of more than a year of intensive technology and design research. Fitflop was able to seamlessly merged the brand’s microwobbleboard technology and the wearability of a classic sneaker. A mean feat actually if you think about it. This new energizing, shock absorbing footwear can be considered a heavensent for it would allow people especially those with certain conditions like scoliosis to get a regular workout, one of the fitness activities that usually gets compromised . The toning sole, which by the way is cleverly hidden, is bio-mechanically designed to absorb the shock of a brisk walk/run in just the right way, thereby giving only the gentlest of pressure to the spine as it tones and strengthens the leg, thigh and hip muscles.
FF Supertone-the current "to die for" sneakers.:)

It is not everyday that we come across a perfect footwear that would take care of our needs. I guess that is why people buy Fitflop in a heartbeat. Some even boast of a collection. The way Fiflop has managed to encourage people to give paramount importance to their fitness and health is also something quite admirable. The overwhelming support it receives as it continues its fight against counterfeit products is a living proof to this. They were able to make people become fully aware of the dangers that using this kind of products bring. Our future well being does look very promising indeed as Fitflop continues to set the tone of Fitness and Health in our country.

Managing (Dextro)Scoliosis Through Exercise

I have been receiving a lot of inquiries from visitors of my previous blogs, Dealing with Dextroscoliosis and Struggling with Dextrolscoliosis, about the type of exercises that I have been doing to manage my scoliosis. Here are some of the exercises that I do and think would be safe for all kinds of scoliosis:

you can do this 10 counts, in 5 repetitions

tuck your tummy in, hold for about 15 counts then release (repeat)

strengthens the hamstrings of the legs

I do these kneeling down, going to the direction opposite my curvature

These exercises generally are geared toward stretching and strengthening abdominal, hamstrings and back muscles which are important in avoiding back pains. For exercises that would target your specific needs, it is best to consult a Physical Therapist and Rehabilitation doctor.

Badian Island Resort and Spa

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary a month ahead of our actual 10th year in this little island paradise in Cebu. This place is just perfect for that second honeymoon that we’ve been dreaming of having. It was made possible by Cebu Pacific, who held a contest a couple of months, from which I emerge as one of the winners.

as we were approaching the island

Badian Island Resort and Spa is part of the rural town of Badian which is situated southwest of Cebu. It is a good 2.5 hours travel by land from Cebu International Airport and 5 minute boat ride from the drop off point. At the onset, I was a bit apprehensive about travelling that long since it was our first time in Cebu and we really don’t know much of the place, but all my worries flew out the window when we started passing by quaint rural towns that I used to hear only in the news like Baliri and Carcar. I happily took in the sights like a little girl out on her first ride.
our welcome party

Badian Island Resort and Spa is, what can I say, simply breathtaking. It is like nature’s perfect canvass where the elements of sun, sand and sea clearly mixed very well together. It is postcard perfect, weather and all.
my husband lounging by the beach
my favorite photo of the beach
family villas

pool

restobar

We stayed in this beautiful island resort for three days where we were cocooned in one of their pool villas, which is spacious, warm and cozy. I liked the thoughtful way they left tropical flowers everywhere, giving the whole room that intimate “Aloha” feel.
our villa
our welcome leis and drinks

I super loved our room which has its own mini-infinity pool with the perfect view of the landscape at the deck area. I also enjoyed taking endless showers (with hubby*wink*) in this sun bathroom.
our own terraza
our very own mini-infinity pool

the bathtub
We stayed out during most of the days though, dipping in the pool, frolicking in the sun, and swimming in the beach.
staying out in the sun

doing my yoga thing

snorkeling
On our first night, the resort hosted a “South Sea Evening” dinner where we were entertained by the island’s resident crooner and booty dancers. We wined, dined and danced the night away. It was truly an enjoyable night.
dancing

king and queen of the night
On our second day on the island, we hopped on the boat and proceeded to the Coral Garden on the opposite side of the island, where we did some serious snorkeling since this is the best site in the whole island for that. There was indeed an amazing garden full of the most beautiful and colorful corals that I have ever seen in my whole life in there. They are even better than the corals of Palawan. Some are as huge if not bigger than me. We also had the most romantic lunch by the sea courtesy of the resort.
where corals abound

Coral Garden

romantic lunch by the beach

Back in the resort, we also tried the spa in their Natural Thalasso and Spa. I had the Baidan Island Spa and my hubby opted for the Badian Hilot. It was heavenly, we were treated by expert hands indeed.
Thalasso Spa

hubby getting his foot massage
most heavenly massage

We super loved our stay in this beautiful island. We had the most romantic time. It truly is the perfect getaway for honeymooners and for those married couples renewing their vows. The place really grows on you. I was teary-eyed when the whole staff serenaded us with their send off song as we were leaving the island. It was a memorable three days for me, something that my husband and I would always look back to when the going gets really tough and we need to hold on to some happy memories to keep us moving.:)
last picture before we left the island

the wonderful staff of Badian

To get the best deal for a Badian Island Resort and Spa vacation, check out Cebu Pacific as they offer a Fun Tours package too good to resist at this premier island resort.:)